You really have to squint to see anything good in this one, but there are some promising remarks to be made.
First, the bad.
Zambrano (0-1) left the game after 1.1 innings pitched, in which he pitched a monstrous 49 pitches, only 28 being strikes. Along with his eight earned runs, two walks, two home runs, and 6.00 WHIP, he managed to squeeze in a signature hit batsman.
This is going to be a long 162 game season, I can tell already.
While we're on pitching, Jeff Samardzija didn't do anything to put promise in the hearts of Cubs fans across the world, giving up four earned runs and walking three.
I think this as good a time as any to begin my Release Alfonso Soriano Campaign , as he did nothing to build on his spring, striking out twice and never reaching base. Not only that, but he hit two ground-outs to complete his box score. He's going to have to hit the ball in the air to have any success with his broken 33-year-old body.
Second base will prove to be another question mark throughout the season, as Mike Fontenot went 0-3 with three ground-outs.
On a positive note, however, my personal narwhal , Sean Marshall, put in an amazing outing, going 2.2 innings with five strike outs, 66.7 percent ground ball outs, and allowing no runners.
Yes, Cubs fans, zero.
Rookie pitcher James Russell also pitched great, giving up two hits in two innings, but more spectacularly throwing 22 strikes in 28 pitches.
Marlon Byrd hit a home run in his first at-bat, and did a good job of putting the ball in the air, at least. Aramis Ramirez also smashed his first homer of the year in the third inning.
All in all, it was a very disappointing game for the Cubs, but let's be serious, it was the first game of the year, and one against a very formidable opponent in the Braves. Let's hope we get more out of Ryan Dempster next game.
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