Game 36 Recap: Cubs 4, Mets 5
An avoidable loss
W - Heilman (4-2), (A win with only one pitch thrown!)
L - Wuertz (0-2), the Strike Zone
Important things to take from this game1. The Lineup: With Lee out, DeRosa took over at first. Additionally, Blanco spelled Barrett for the night. With the lefty Glavine on the mound, Pagan played CF in place of Jones. Finally, Soriano got dropped to third in the lineup, with Theroit leading off and Izturis hitting second. 2. The Early Offense: The Cubs Offense (read, Marquis) staked Marquis to 4-0 lead after two innings. A combination of some shakey OF defense, balls dropping in, and a 2-run single by Marquis, and he had room for error, early on. 3. A Very Ugly Play: Bottom of the fifth, Endy Chavez lays down a great bunt. Ramirez gets out of the way just in time for Marquis, who then nearly hits Ramirez with the throw. The throw sails wide, into the basepath, and Chavez collides with DeRosa, hitting DeRosa's exposed throwing hand. Everyone stays in the game, but it looked really bad. 4. The Middle Relief: Marquis never really had it tonight, but held things together through 5+, exiting with a lead (and just 87 pitches thrown) but also with the tying runs on base and nobody out. It's times like this where you really need a knock-out performance from a middle reliever. Ohman in to face Green, overpowers him for the strikeout. Cherry in for the next batter, LoDuca, who doubles to score a run. Easley gets a sac. fly, and the game is tied at 4. Nuts. 5. From Bad to Wuertz. In the bottom of the 9th in a tie game, Wuertz gets two easy outs, then gives up a single to Reyes, a stolen base, and then totally loses it. 9 straight balls to load the bases. Facing Delgado withthe bases loaded, he goes to a full count. One pitch determines if we lose, or live to fight out the tenth. Two more foul balls later, and Wuertz walks in the winning run. Stunning how quickly he lost control of what looked like an easy inning. Mets win. The comedic relief is below.
- Arriving Late, I discover that we have Dusty Baker and Rick Sutcliffe in the booth together. This should be fun.
- And indeed, Dusty explains to me how Izturis needs to get his leg strength back. (After that Tommy John Surgury, Dusty?)
- And now, the discussion of the merits of small ball. It's going to be a long night. But hey, where'd this first inning run come from? - Ah. A Soriano double and Ramirez single. Beltran probably should have caught Ramirez's hit.
- Wow, did Endy Chavez just miss a tough catch? I don't think I've ever seen that before.
- And who is Mr. Baker most impressed with, on the Cubs? Blanco and Izturis. And Marquis' speed. (On the basepaths.) I need a beer. Sutcliffe calls the "Silver Slugger" the "Silver Bat."
- and the Silver Bat winner, Marquis, hits a two-run single. 3-0 with 1 out in the second, prospects for an early blow out. Why did the MEts have the infield in?
- Ugly second inning for the Mets. Chavez misses a tough (but for him, not that tough) ball in the OF, and now Easley whiffs on a Texas Leaguer that Izturis hit over his head, as he had his eye on the in-coming Shawn Green. Ball gets away, Marquis scores from first, 4-0. Izturis can not be stopped by mere mortals.
- As vapid and generally incorrect as I think Sutcliffe's and Baker's analysis tends to be, I've always enjoyed Sut's personality in the booth, and have noticed that I also like Baker's demeanor as an ESPN personality. I never learn anything from them in a broadcast, but at least they're usually pleasant to listen to. Contrast that to Joe Morgan, who every once and awhile will point out some interesting subtlety to the game that I'd never thought of, but has an insufferable personality
- Nice over the shoulder catch in foul territory by emergency 1st baseman DeRosa
- Dusty's M.O. in the booth seems to be to sing the praises of every player. It's nice to hear so many flattering things about the Cubs, just not illuminating.
- Marquis walks Reyes to start the third. Not good. He promptly steals second. Should have gone to third on a deep fly out, but went halfway instead of tagging. He would have scored, from standing on second, had the ball gone over the OFer's head. In any case, the ball is caught, he stays on second, and ultimately, the inning ends without a run scored.
- Marquis with another leadoff walk, to Delgado. He procedes to fall behind 3-1 on Wright, who then hits an opposite-field HR. 4-2 Cubs. It would have been a very tough play, especially for a guy who just moved to RF and is in the away park, but Murton ran into the wall before he could jump to try to rob the HR.
- Some melodrama from Sut and Baker, about how Marquis' 4th inning struggles signify whether or not he can "handle success" and might be a "turning point," perhaps in his whole career. I wonder what they would say about my troubles deciding what to eat for dinner, tonight.
- Three consecutive walks by Glavine with two outs in the fifth. We can't convert, however, as DeRosa flies out. A painful scoring opportunity to have passed up.
- Soriano with a rather gimpy attempt at diving for a fly ball, which drops in front of him in the sixth. Again, it seems to hint that his legs aren't quite right.
- It sounds like Sutcliffe is a happy drunk. He's ranting and raving and babbling on about god knows what.
- Pagan and Murton converged on a drive to deep right center in the seventh. Pagan caught it, and sort of backpeddled into Murton, as they both crashed into the wall. I wonder how often the two of them have patrolled the OF together.
- Is there any Cub fan who thinks the Cubs will win a tie game in the 8th, playing at Shea?
- Wuertz gets 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth when Reyes singles. He steals second on a pitchout. The throw was terrible, but he probably had it stolen, anyways. He then walks Endy Chavez, bringing up Beltran. Arrgh. Falls behind on Beltran, then just walks him intentionally. Wuertz has lost it, and very quickly, after a couple quick, easy outs.
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.
With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined).
BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.
If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).
As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).