Cubs fail to deliver the big hit in Game 1
Q: Did Game 1 of the Cubs-Diamondbacks series go the way you thought it would?
A: Yes, I thought it would be dominated by starting pitching. Both starters, Brandon Webb and Carlos Zambrano, pitched well. The Cubs had some opportunities. They had three innings in a row in which they had a man on second with less than two outs and weren't able to come through with the big hits.
The Diamondbacks were able to come through with the big hits and the Cubs didn't. That is the difference.
Q: Through the first six innings, it appeared the only real mistake pitch by either starter was Zambrano's pitch to Stephen Drew that Drew hit to center field for the home run. Did you see any other mistakes by the starters?
A: Not by the starters. Carlos Marmol wasn't as overpowering or dominant in the last couple of weeks of the regular season. Against the Diamondbacks, he missed with his command and wasn't as sharp as he was a few weeks ago. He made a couple of mistakes. He didn't have much command on his slider and pitched himself into some bad pitch counts. But I thought both starters threw well.
Q: Did Brandon Webb actually outpitch Zambrano?
A: The Cubs had him on the ropes but couldn't knock him out. Zambrano had a double to lead off an inning, and the Cubs had Alfonso Soriano, Jacque Jones and Derrek Lee coming up. Webb struck out the side. That was a huge confidence boost for Webb.
Q: Did you see any nervousness from anyone on either side?
A: No. I think everyone settled into the game pretty early. You can't blame the lack of hitting on nervousness. It was just a well-pitched game.
Q: What do you think of tonight's starters, Ted Lilly and Doug Davis?
A: It's going to be a good matchup. Davis is good at containing the running game. On paper, the matchup favors the Cubs. But you just never know what is going to happen in the postseason.
Q: Lilly is a veteran pitcher and appears to be unflappable when he pitches. Does that give him an advantage?
A: The postseason is different from the regular season. I am sure he is going to have some extra energy early in the game. If he can do what Zambrano did, settle down early, find his rhythm, don't overthrow, and the Cubs can get him a lead early, that will allow him to relax.
Q: Were there any managerial decisions that affected the game?
A: I'm sure Cubs manager Lou Piniella is going to be questioned for taking Carlos Zambrano out of the game after six innings. Was he cramping up or was Lou saving him for another game in this series?
Q: Is the series over if the Cubs lose Game 2?
A: Game 2 is a must win for the Cubs. The last thing you want to do in a short series is fall behind 0-2. The Cubs will be very happy now to come out of Arizona with a 1-1 split.
Q: The Cubs' outfielders are not as skilled as Arizona's outfielders. Does Chase Field pose some challenges?
A. Wrigley Field's a very difficult field to play with the short alleys and walls down the lines. Arizona's field has more ground to cover in the gaps, but it's an easier outfield to play.
Still, you're always a little bit concerned with so much ground to cover, and Arizona's defensive lineup is a little better than Chicago's outfielders.
Former Cubs pitcher Dan Plesac provides postgame analysis following every Cubs playoff game on Comcast SportsNet's "Cubs Post Game Live."