Game 37 Recap: Cubs 10, Mets 1
A Laugher. (And we were the ones laughing!)
W - Zambrano (4-3 ). The fight against high-blood pressure L - Maine (5-1) Important things to take from this game. 1. The Latest Lineup: For two days in a row, Theriot leads off and Soriano hits third. 2. Fontenot's 2007 debut : While I'm sure he is too esoteric of a player and the move too inconsequential for anyone here to have an opinion about it, nonetheless I will point out that he stroked a double in his pinch-hit appearance. 3. Like the title says: It's been a long time since we had a game that was over, early. Let alone, in a good way. 4. Z's return to form. Z had several dominating innings, and several more innings where he successfully avoided potential disasters, the sort of one-bad-inning-to-ruin-a-good-start events that we've seen from him before. He only struck out 3 through 8, and gave up a couple of shots to Shawn Green. But still, it was a great improvement. 5. Ramirez's mammoth grand slam. Aramis hit a tape-measure grand slam to blow the game open in the sixth. You'll be seeing it on the sports highlight show of your choice. And now, for what you really came here for....
- Weird first inning. Theriot gets a lead-off walk, steals second and goes to third on a throwing error. Floyd K's, but Soriano walks. Ramirez then fouls out on a popup behind home plate, and Soriano tags, and advances to second. Sacrifice pop-foul to the catcher?
- After going down 0-2, Ward follows with a 2-run double . Another quick lead for the Cubs!
- Z with a 7 pitch inning to start out. Listening to Mets announcers given to me by the mlb.tv feed, they say he's severely short-arming his throws? Will have to look for that
- Cubs also threaten in the second, with singles from Jones and Izturis, a sacrifice by Zambrano, leaving runners at 2nd and 3rd, one out, for Theriot. He strikes out. With two outs and RISP, Floyd is up. The Mets announcers explain to me that in a game, there are four or five outs that a pitcher needs to get. I could have sworn it was 27. In any case, Floyd isn't one of those outs, he singles in a run on a lined shot. 3-0
- Izturis and Theriot turn a "tailor-made" double play, very nicely, in the second. Looked like they'd been working together for years.
- And it's a good thing too, as Green then procedes to just destroy a ball for a double, high off the RF wall. Very, very, hard hit ball.
- LoDuca follows with a single to left. Soriano comes up firing, and gets Green at a play at home plate. The throw was a one-hop strike, quick release (if not much on it, due to not setting properly but just letting his momentum carry him), and Barrett blocked the plate well.
- Maine's getting hit pretty hard. Ward and Barrett both hit him hard - a single and a double - in the third. Commenting on whether Ward could have scored from first had he read the double better, one announcer told the other "I'm not sure Ward has ever scored from first on a double." Ouch. A ground out, intentional walk, and strike out of Zambrano later, and no runs score.
- Zambrano with a nice 1-2-3 fourth inning. Crank up those Z-pitching-to-impress-the-Mets rumors.
- I'm not convinced I like these Mets announcers that I have to listen to. I guess homers really are annoying, when they aren't your homers.
- And Shawn Green clobbers another one, for a solo HR in the fifth. Z hasn't walked anyone, although this one was hit on a 3-2 count.
- Some interesting exchanges after the HR. I didn't see it, but the Mets announcersare griping about Z jawing at Green as he rounded the bases. A few pitches after that, Z and Barrett have a very animated conference where they meet halfway between the mound and home plate, start yacking at each other. Z turns around, Barrett keeps walking with him to the mound, and when Z turns back to face home plate, sees Barrett is still with him. They finish the chat, Z gives Barret a pat on the shoulder, and that's the end of it. Hmm.
- These Mets announcers are really playing up the "Z is Crazy, He's Too Emotional" routine. They were on it, before the Green HR, and now they're all over it. It's annoying, but not too surprising, that this narrative has stuck to Zambrano longer than it should. Regardless of his emotional state, Z gets out of trouble in the fifth.
- And now, the Mets announcers spend the sixth inning talking about facial hair. How does this distinguish them from the Parachat?
- Zambrano, Theriot and Floyd load up the bases with one out in the top of the sixth (in between this captivating discussion about mustaches.) Heart of the order coming up with one out and the bases loaded, a good team has GOT to score some runs here. Soriano misses a bases-clearing double down the RF line by a couple feet foul. From there, he pops out. Happily, Ramirez demolishes a Schoenweiss pitch, hitting a grand slam HR ten rows deep into the "Mezzanine" section between the lower and upper deck in left, just fair of the LF foul pole. 7-1 Cubs.
- Ha! Still in the sixth, with Ward at first and Sele now pitching, Barrett doubles off the RF wall. Ward (who, you will remember, the broadcaster doubted had EVER scored from first on a double) chugs around third. And with some help from a missed relay throw, scores from first.
- Z drills Delgado with a fastball on the hand. Real bad "Crack" sound through the mlb.tv audio. The Mets announcers now tell me that Z had a reputation for being a head-hunter, early in his career. Are they simply inventing a back-story and personality for Z, at this point? Yeesh.
- And who is this scrawny guy pinch hitting for the Cubs in the eight? Mike Fontenot! He reintroduces himself to The Show with an opposite field ground rule double, a one-hopper off the warning track. Mets announcers wonder if he's related to Ray Fontenot. I had also wondered that. Anyone know?
- Z gets into a jam in the eighth, and these clown Mets announcers start complaining about the possibility of the game dragging onward because of the Cubs going to their bullpen. Seriously. They think it's bad form for us to bring in a reliever, since we're already thrashing them. They want to go home.
- FWIW, Eyre pitched a problem-free ninth inning. Now, to get Howry straightened out.
Inning 1 -
Well, the game begins with the discovery that ParaChat is right-shifting the text. (Much like I have done, here) This could be a weird night of chat.
Anna Benson (ick). Planet of the Apes Trading Cards. My emasculation and embarassment in the face of this great parachat crisis. TCR pay scales. A thoughtful discussion of the disturbing resilience of anti-Semitism, paired with a discussion of "hottest Jewish women." And that gets followed with a discussion of proper techniques for blocking home plate. Go figure.
I spent most of the third clearing out my internet cache, to fight the ParaChat deamons. Beats me, what went on while I was away. What do I look like, a machine? Huh? Do I? Because I was told that, once....
And parachat is fixed for me. We pick up with a Suns/Spurs discussion. Where'd Carlos learn English, and can he teach it to the Americans? Furby or Teddy Ruxpin: which do you prefer? And what do you associate with the word "Furby"? What did Z name his children?
Why the heck are we still talking about this Amy Winehouse person? And what's the deal with her teeth? And what drugs has she done? And do Will Smith and Jada Pinkett have an open relationship? And what sort of name is "Endy?" All these deep questions, and using parachat sounds to scare the dog.
Color schemes that work on Moises Alou. The actual baseball game, the Ramirez HR, the Mets' bullpen usage. Bulls game, Blame Barrett, and scoreboard watching. Fantasy ball.
Is Julio Franco the Iggy Pop of baseball, or is Iggy Pop the Julio Franco of punk? Augie Ojeda, we miss you. If Daryle Ward could run and field.... The story of Santo's flaming toupe. Veronica Mars and the Gilmore Girls, News Radio and Charmed, Neal Cotts and Phil Hartman.
What to call Fontenot. My metaphorical B.O. The Bulls' game. Who's riding dinosaurs in heaven? Ward's new nickname: The Wardosaurus. (credit: AaronB)
Wikipedia, time machines, and the coming reign of Fontenot. Should Z pitch the ninth? Todd Wellemeyer. Is there anything that can be blamed on Barrett, that Fontenot COULDN'T fix?
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.
Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.
soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.
he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.