Casey Coleman made his first start of the 2011 season for the Cubs Sunday afternoon at Miller Park in the rubber match between the Cubs and Brewers. Despite having a 7.20 ERA over 5 innings, his overall performance wasn’t all that bad. Coleman allowed 9 hits, two of which were home runs to Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, which gave the Brewers an early lead.
However, the Cubs were able to rebound just a little bit later in the game. Aramis Ramirez scored Starlin Castro and Marlon Byrd on a double in the 1st. Second baseman Darwin Barney singled to right in the second scoring Tyler Colvin. Ramirez scored Byrd again in the 3rd and lastly, in the 8th, the Cubs pulled ahead when Colvin grounded out on a short ground ball to first, and Byrd was able to come in.
With the lead, manager Mike Quade went to his bullpen, which has been fantastic thus far, and went with Sean Marshall in the 7th, who did a fantastic job. The problem came in the 8th when Kerry Wood came into the game. Wood has a 3.60 ERA so far this season and has been pretty reliable in the bullpen. However, he walked the leadoff hitter, Yuniesky Betancort, and former Cub Casey McGehee came in to pinch hit for the pitcher, Kameron loe. McGehee homered to right field, giving the Brew Crew the lead, and eventually winning the game.
Kerry Wood suffers the loss, his first this season. Coleman got a no decision for this game, but if he is going to continue making big league starts, I would really like to see him work on his pitch location. He is similar, I believe, to Jeff Samardzija, who has good stuff, but needs to practice it a little more and work with Mark Riggins to get it down a little more. Coleman can be a great pitcher, with a little more work.
As for the triple-C stars of the game, I would say Kouske Fukudome, Marlon Byrd and Sean Marshall. Fukudome made a great shoe strong catch in right field, taking away a base hit. However, he injured himself by pulling his hamstring and is listed as day-to-day. Marlon Byrd has been fantastic, picking up right where he left off in 2010. Byrd shows hustle on the base paths and can hit the ball as well as play center field and he really showed that today. Lastly, I say Sean Marshall because of how fantastic he was today when Quade put him in during the 7th. He had a great game, as he has all hear.
Bottom line, the Cubs lose to the Brewers in the series finale, by a score of 6-5. Hopefully the Cubs have better luck tomorrow night in Huston. Game time is 7:05 pm and it will be broadcasted on Comcast Sports Net Plus and WGN radio 720.