(Charlie Manuel won a first toss out of the season today)
What’s pissing off exiled manager Charlie Manuel more right now, that 6th inning called home-run or Chase Utley’s throwing the game away? The Cubs avoided a sweep in Philly today and going less than .500 on their first road trip with a 6-5, 10th-inning win. I caught a total of two innings of yesterday’s Cubs-Phillies game, three go-rounds today, and the Cubs look to be running as hot and cold under Piniella as they did last year. No wonder he’s still monkeying with the line-up. Both teams sat out a pro, Jimmy Rollins and Kosuke Fukudome respectively, and the Cubs benefited as much from De Rosa’s disputed home run as they did from Chase Utley’s lob over first base to blow an extra inning out. Yesterday I saw enough that showed a classic cold Piniella team, unable to hit, move runners, or show any effective defense. Today it was just the opposite, and after Utley’s remarkable catch near the 3rd base wall, his equally remarkable error was crucial in handing it to the Cubs. While the Cubs numbers look OK, inconsistency is a huge problem right now.