Yea, I know that the Chicago Cubs were able to compile a grand total of three hits in the day portion of the double header, but that comes with an assist to instant replay. If there were not replay being used this year, the Cubs would have been held to one lousy hit against Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees today. Both hits against Tanaka were infield bunt singles. If he had only given up that one hit, with the way Tanaka was cruising through the Cubs lineup, there is a good chance that Joe Girardi allows him to at least start the ninth inning, sticking with him until he gives up another hit. If Tanaka starts the ninth, I do not doubt that he finishes the game without giving up another hit.
I know that the Cubs offense is limited as far as talent goes, but being held to three hits, with one being overturned by replay is rather pathetic. In all honesty, the Cubs probably should have been no hit. That is how good Tanaka was today in the third start of his Major League career. I do not envy the teams in the American League East having to face him for the next several years. However, I am jealous that the Yankees were able to outbid the Cubs for his services. Though knowing the Cubs luck, he probably would be nowhere near this good if he were in a Cubs uniform.
Typically, historically, the Cubs have struggled against a pitcher they have never seen before. Add that to facing a pitcher the quality of Tanaka and you had to know the Cubs would he in trouble. However, you would have thought that they would have been able to at least collect a few more hits than the two they had today, maybe even score a run or two. That was not to be though as Tanaka and the New York Yankees were able to win the game with relative ease.
You have to feel bad for Jason Hammel today who did not pitch bad at all for the Cubs. He just had the misfortune of playing for the Cubs, who tend to give little run support to their starting pitchers. Jeff Samardzija feels your pain Hammel, he has not gotten much support at all this year. At least Hammel managed to get two wins this year with his limited support, Samardzija is still waiting for his first.
Thankfully, the Cubs do not have to wait too long to be able to wash that bad taste out of their mouths. Only a couple hours in fact, when they are able to play in the second game of the double header against the Yankees. Travis Wood will take the bump for the Cubs, with Michael Pineda (of the pine tar) pitching for the Yankees.
Think the Cubs can get more than three hits tonight? We will find out in roughly six hours.