April games in Wrigley were never as fun as the ones later in the summer. Growing up a Phillies fan, I always thought what made Wrigley look as good as it did was all the walls and ivy. Which was never the case in April, as it was a bunch of brown vines, which I thought made the park look just the opposite – pretty dreary looking. I do like that into 2013, the walls are still advertising free. I remember for the longest time Wrigley had NO advertising of any kind inside the park. That was really unique. That’s been lost, but the walls remain mostly ad free. Be nice if it could have stayed ad free. I have always loved the ivy covered walls there. I hope to see a game there someday. :)
Derek Holland took the mound, and again it looked like the new and improved 2013 version of Holland. In the pre-game warmup on TV, they mentioned that Holland had been looking forward to pitching in Wrigley. It showed. He had quite a good outing. I mean EXTREMELY good. Went seven innings, allowed just two hits, NO WALKS and struck out six. Did it on 108 pitches too. So it was a good outing, well pitched, and in a historic ballpark. Glad for Derek. Glad for the Rangers too, because we get the benefit of that outing, but yeah – it was good.
Michael Kirkman had a blip in his 2013 season – allowing a hit and a walk in his 2/3 of an inning pitched. Unfortunately, the blame wasn’t totally his as Joe Nathan followed and allowed both of those guys to score. In fact, I’d say the bottom of the ninth was a John Wetteland heart attack save. All we needed was for Nathan to hand the ball to some old woman in the stands, and his impression of Wetteland would have been complete. :) Scheppers had an uneventful inning of relief as well.
Thing is, the Cubs pitching was mostly spot on too. Through six, the only run we managed to get was when we bunched two doubles together in the fourth (Beltre and Jeff Baker). It fell apart for the Cubs in the eighth, when they allowed three runs to the Rangers. There was a walk to Kinsler, a single by Elvis, a throwing error by the pitcher Shawn Camp on a pickoff move allowing Ian Kinsler to score. That error cost Adrian Beltre an RBI, as he then followed with a home run that scored Elvis. That accounted for the three runs we got in this inning, and ended the scoring – for us, anyway.
I am glad though that Derek Holland got the win, and didn’t get screwed out of one due to the offense being asleep again. Seems a common theme for him early on in 2013.