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Friday, December 8

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Cubs Sat Apr 02 2011

Cubs Drop Opener

Thumbnail image for castro slide.jpg

Starlin Castro scores in the first inning / Tribune photo: William DeShazer

Nothing spoils the festive mood of Opening Day like losing. The Cubs did just that as they lost to the Pirates, 6-3. The game started off favorably for the Cubs. They jumped out to a 2-0 advantage thanks to a couple of miscues by the Pirates defense. That lead became short-lived.

It was almost eerily similar to Game One of the 2008 NLDS as starter Ryan Dempster walked the bases loaded in the fifth inning and then served up a grand slam to Neil Walker. Dempster went 6 2/3 innings. He gave up six hits, six earned runs and struck out seven.

The Cubs offense had their chances but could never cash in on their opportunities. However, it's going to be hard to win a game when you leave 11 men on base and don't have a single extra-base hit. The hits were encouraging, but the inability to score runs is troubling especially since that was one of their biggest problems last season.

Viewing the game in person yesterday, it was evident Dempster needed to be pulled after the fifth inning, but what's done is done. It is easy to sit here and say shoulda, coulda, woulda. The good thing is that it is one game and there is plenty of time left, but it is better to get off on the right track now than have to play catch-up later on. The best thing about baseball in my opinion is there always another game tomorrow; unlike most sports you don't have to wait around to get back at it.

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