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I watched the Cubs game (almost in full), and am really excited! Matt Clement threw an eight inning two-hit gem today, and the Cubs won 4-1. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, which he lost when he gave up a home run to Karim Garcia. (I was at the grocery store for half an inning and just missed it... shouldn't have left the couch.) Anyhow, he looked a bit flustered and gave up another hit to the next batter. Then, he got a pop-up and threw another perfect inning. He looked great the whole game, struck out 13, and when he walked a guy in the second, I thought to myself... darn he coulda had a perfect game. Anyhow, nothing terribly remarkable in the stat box, but a great game from Clement, who has put some spring-training struggles behind himself. A few other things of note: I am now a big Aramis Ramirez fan! I hope the Cubs ink him to a long-term deal. I could see him playing at Wrigley for the next 10-15 years.
Although our win streak is now at six, and our error-free streak at eight, I saw some troubling things today. (First a note, Ramon Martinez dropped a ball on the transfer from glove to throwing hand today, which could have been an error if errors were allowed for failing to turn a double play.) Ok, troubling things: The Cubs are having a terrible time getting down sacrifice bunts. I have been noticing this for a while now, and was rather peturbed when Greg Maddux failed to get down a bunt April 18th against the Reds. In the 4th inning, with Paul Bako on first, Maddux <error> at second. Todd Walker followed with a double getting Maddux to third, where he was stranded. If Maddux would have gotten the sacrifice down, Bako would have scored from second and the Cubs would have won. Instead, the Cubs ended up losing the game in extra innings. In his next start, April 23rd, Maddux again failed to advance the runner in a sacrifice attempt in the seventh inning. Although the Cubs won that game, the failure to accomplish the "little things" in a game, will eventually cost this team some more games. The reason that this is making it into today's space is that in the third inning today, Clement popped up a sacrifice bunt that nearly cost the Cubs a run. (After a would-be sacrifice fly from Ramon Martinez, Corey Patterson got a two-out single to score Michael Barrett from second.)
The other thing that is bothering me is Todd Walker's propensity for lazy underhand flip's/tosses from the second base position. So far, nothing horrible has happened yet, but everytime he weakly flips a ball to first makes me cringe. So far, in the early season, I am much more concerned about Todd Walker's defense than Aramis Ramirez' (who by the way showed off his rifle of an arm today...). If you can, I definitely recommend watching this game again.
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