1-0 win over the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Cueto took the loss after eight full innings that saw him allow just three base hits.
Game two is tomorrow night in Chicago with Jeff Samardjza for the Giants against Kyle Hendricks for the Cubs...
1) I hate the basket at Wrigley Field.
Don't get me wrong,I don't dislike Wrigley or the Cubs,but I hate the basket.
The ball either leaves the yard or it doesn't,(the basket is leaning out into the field) shouldn't exist and it played a role in this game as Javier Baez's homer landed in the basket-not the stands.
There is a chance (just a chance) that without the basket,Baez's homer was just another deep flyball out...
2) This note made me madder than the Baez homer.
The basket is at least part of the ground rules and fair for both teams,but the terrible check swing call on Gorkys Hernandez by the first base umpire on a pitch that he didn't offer at to lead off the ninth inning cost us more baseball.
Had the correct call been made,Hernandez would have been on first base with one out when Buster Posey doubled off the wall and with his speed,I'd wager he would have scored or would have when Hunter Pence ended the game with a grounder to second.
Bad calls that affect games aren't always the final call of the game and not always on a safe/out play...
3) Johnny Cueto was very impressive in his outing,he just made one mistake to Baez.
Cueto throws hard enough,but what he does best is mix and vary his delivery just enough to distract the batter so they don't get a comfortable feel for digging in against him.
The pitcher that Cueto reminds me of?
Luis Tiant. Cueto may throw harder,but his maneuverings bring all the different windups that Tiant used to mind...
4) Jon Lester was pretty impressive himself in his eight innings for the Cubs.
Lester caught a break when it was Buster Posey running the bases rather than anyone else on Ben Zobrist's muff,but those are part of the game.
Take that away and Lester was the equal of Cueto when that was needed to win...
5) The Giants did have some pretty bad baserunning and I'm not counting Posey in that.
Buster didn't take a bad jump on the above play-he's just slow.
Gorkys Hernandez was caught stealing by David Ross and Conor Gillespie was picked off first by Jon Lester,a pitcher notorious for not wanting to throw over to first base.
Against pitching like the Cubs,teams cannot afford to make such dumb decisions on the bases..
6) Fox Sports One was the broadcaster of this game and boy did they botch it.
A reliance on the center field camera made it very hard to call balls and strikes and the camera angles used made this one of the most frustrating games of televised baseball that I have seen.
I hope this gets corrected for tomorrow nights game.