Pittsburgh went down in order in the second; not so Chicago. Chris Valaika doubled and went to third on a bad pickoff throw by Vanimal with one down. But a K, an intentional walk and a pop up by Wada calmed the waters.
Josh singled with an out in the third, and an out later Cutch and Russ both were plunked in the foot to juice the sacks. Starling couldn't keep the party going, tapping back to the hill. A bunt single and one out double set up the Cubs. A sac fly brought one run home and an air-mailed throw by Josh added another to make it 2-1 Chicago.
The Bucs answered in the fourth. The Kid walked with an out and scored on JT's double, a ball to center that Arismendy Alcantara misread, coming in and then watching it sail over his head. Carlos Villanueva climbed the hill after that as Wada cramped; it is a muggy day by the Lake. After a whiff, Josh banged another double to regain the lead. The Cubs went down 4-3 three times in their half.
In the fifth, a Cutch single was negated when he was caught stealing and a later Russ walk led to nothing. There was a 37 minute rain delay, and Vanimal lost it when he came back out. He got lucky when a couple of fat pitches were converted into outs, but they were followed by two walks with a wild pitch in between, a single and a run. Clint went to Justin Wilson, who got a soft grounder to end the frame.
Justin Grimm came on in the sixth. He sandwiched a pair of whiffs around a single to JT, who tried to stretch it and was dead at second. Jared Hughes took over for Pittsburgh and worked a quiet inning.
Neil Ramirez claimed the bump in the seventh. With an out and Jordy up, the rain came again hard enough to send Noah scurrying to the ark, and down went the tarp.
And it stayed down. The game was suspended at a few minutes before 7 o'clock as a third storm was approaching, to be picked up again at 3PM tomorrow. The originally scheduled game will start 1/2 hour after the first game ends.
So big day tomorrow - the Bucs could take two, and they could stand a couple of wins about now.
Tomorrow afternoon's game will match Francisco Liriano and Felix Doubront.
- JJ Cooper of Baseball America has a great if lengthy article on John Holdzkom.
- Josh is 3-for-4 with two doubles and JT is 2-of-3 with one two bagger in today's game. Both clubs have been equally inept when opportunity has knocked; they're each 1-for-7 with RISP.
- Charlie Morton is still throwing side sessions on a regular basis, so we're guessing he's not been completely written off for 2014 yet.