I was afraid of this. Very afraid. I hedged a little bit yesterday in making the game predictions and I should have gone with my head instead of my heart. Tim Lincecum is just that good.
On a wind swept day at Wrigley field, the Cubs had no answers for Lincecum who handed Ryan Dempster his first home defeat of the season. Spreading out six hits over eight innings while striking out nine, Lincecum completely dominated the Cubs potent lineup.
The Cubs only hope would have been to get into the Giants bullpen. Unfortunately, Lincecums pitch count enabled him to stay in the game long enough to not have to turn things over to the shaky setup crew of the Giants. You got the feeling that with the All Star Break here giving Lincecum an extended break, Giants Manager Bruce Bochy was going to do everything he had to to get the fortunes of his club reversed. The Giants were in the middle of a six game slide and Bochy used some strategy to get his team a win. The formula was Lincecum early, and Lincecum Late. Turn it over to Wilson and hope. The Cubs almost capatilized scoring one run in the bottom of the ninth and getting the winning run to the plate…but Ryan Theroit grounded out to end the game.
Still the Cubs won the series 2-1 and finish the first half tied for the best record in baseball with the sneaky, quietly, west coast, no one talks about Los Angeles Angels. (The Angels Angels???)
Somewhere in the prediction for the game I thought the Cubs in a normal pre-break series would lose this game 3-2…maybe it was the Cubs looking ahead.
I also thought the Cubs would win 6-4…that was my gut feeling Cubs sweep, and more Dempster magic…Demp pitched great today, but a few tactical errors, and a non called error by Mark DeRosa…spoiled it for Demp’s perfect home record. But I never really believed he would go 16-0 at home.
So for the predictions….I somehow got the number of Giants runs with my gut (4) and the number of Cubs runs with my head (2)…Lincecum dominant? Check. Cubs only shot was relievers? Check.
I will be posting the Home Run Derby and the All Star Game so check back over the next few days…I am sure there will be a lot of Cubs news as Carlos Marmol was added to the roster today replacing Kerry Wood. Wood’s blister will need additional rest and time to heal. Marmol’s addition means a record tying EIGHT Cubs in the 2008 All Star Game.