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.