Game 42 Recap: Cubs 6, White Sox 10
W - Massett (2-1), Joe West's ego, infield drying compound stock-owners.
L - Zambrano (4-4), Joe West, Soriano's legs, brooms.
Things to take from this game
1. Just a couple of bad innings
It's not much consolation, but Z actually looked good for most of the game. He totally lost it in the seventh, we didn't get him out of the game soon enough, and Cotts couldn't pitch out of the jam. (That AJ guy brought in four runs with one swing of the bat.) But other than thatinning and the third, Z actually looked sharp to me.
2. 2 out RISP
Barrett had a couple missed opportunities to knock in some 2-out runs. In the grand scheme of things, it wound up being the least of our problems, but at the time it seemed consequential. Sox had far, far more LOB, by the end of things.
3. Sox pitching
Massett looked shakey in the first, but settled down to give up only 3 hits and 2 runs through 5 and two thirds. The Sox bullpen didn't allow a hit until a Theriot single in the eighth.
4. What's up with Soriano?
At this point, I'm convinced that either Soriano isn't healthy, or he isn't hustling. Either way, it's noticable affecting his on-field play. (FWIW, my guess is this is health-related.)
5. Joe West strikes again
With West and Bucknor in this umpire crew, we should have set up a pool for whom would eject whom, and why and when. Answer winds up being West ejects Floyd in the bottom of the 9th, over balls and strikes, and West's inability to distinguish the one from the other.
More interesting observations than you can handle, below.
- Ugh, we get Hawk and DJ for the broadcast. Is there a worse broadcasting crew than these two jokers? I am beginning to rethink my complaints from yesterday, about not being able to see the game on TV
- Lots of pressure on Massett: first big league start, in Wrigley in the middle of the cross-town rivalry, trying to stop a sweep.
- Ignominious start to the game, with Z walking Erstad on 4 straight. For a baseball player, Erstad is a hell of a collegiate punter.
- Hot-headed Joe West calling the balls and strikes, and C. B. Bucknor, often voted the worst MLB umpire in those Sports Illustrated anonymous polls of players, at third. With Z, Lou, Ozzie, Barrett and AJ in this series, it's amazing we haven't seen more ejections.
- nice 5-4-3 DP for the Cubs, in the top of the first. Theriot shaken up a bit on a hard but fair slide, he seems to be OK
- Pagan walks, steals second even with the pitchout. This Pagan guys is ok with me.
- According to Pat and Ron, Massett hasn't pitched more than 2/3rds of an inning in over a month. He now walks Soriano. Will he make it to 2/3rds of an inning, today?
- Yes. But immediately following Ramirez's fly-out, Ward singles in the first run of the game. Two walks and a single, and we're on the board, yes.
- Runners 1st and 3rd with 2 outs as Massett struggles, but Barrett grounds out. Only one run from the first inning.
- Blargh. Soriano goes after a pop foul down the line. A tricky play, as he has to go over the bullpen mound and contend with the brick wall, but the ball winds up dropping in front of the mound, with him standing on it, right next to the wall. He should have made the catch, frankly, even without much experience down that foul line. He wasn't within five feet of where it landed. With a new life, the batter, Mackowiak, bloops a single to right.
- Crede then singles, loading the bases, and Uribe singles to drive in two.
- Massett trying to bunt runners over, finally gets it down on 0-2. Barrett throws a dying quail to first, where The Riot has to lunge for it, a great job catching the ball, and keeping the foot on the bag
- Some fans snuck into the blacked out area of center field, where the cameras are. At least one of them has a Sox cap on. Joe West stops the game until they move out of the blacked out batter's eye area. Ron Santo is very confused about what's happening.
- Sox can't get any more runs in, with runners on 2 and 3 and 2 out. 2-1 Sox.
- Dye smokes a Zambrano fastball into the left- CF seats, against the wind. SEriously blistered it. And now, Z is getting in to it with Joe West about balls and strikes, and Barrett orders him back to the mound.
- Z settles down with a 1-2-3 fourth.
- and the fifth. Starting to strike people out now, struck out the side
- Z is really looking pretty good, outside of that one inning. has the Ground Baller and The Strikout working.
- Which was less impressive, Dye's attempt to catch Soriano's fly ball in the sixth, or Soriano running to third? Really hard to tell how much of this is Soriano guarding a minor injury (we know he's said he's not 100 % in the legs) and how much of it is him not going all-out unless he really has to. Or is it one in the same?
- Lee in to pinch hit again, and after a wild pitch, he has 2 RISP with 2 outs, and the Cubs down 2. God, there's been some good drama in this series. Another wild pitch, and now it's 3-2 with a runner on third, Lee still batting. Lee walks, and Massett is out of the game
- MacDougal in, gets Barrett to ground out to end the inning. That's a couple of 2-out, RISP ABs that Barrett has had, without any RBI to show for it.
- Uribe gets hit by a Z pitch with two outs in the seventh, and Thome comes in to pinch hit, in his first appearance since being activated off the DL. And when the hell did THAT happen? The pre-game guys said he hadn't yet been activated, because of uncertainty about how they wanted to send down.
- Thome walks, and Erstand singles in a run. 4-2. Z looked quite good, before losing it in the seventh. And now, he's really losing it. Wild pitch. Walk to Iguchi, and Z leaves with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the 7th. Cotts in.
- Cotts in to face A.J. Grand Slam into the basket. 8-2 lead. Dye walks, Konerko doubles, and I begin observing that the Ivy doesn't seem to be as nicely groomed as it usually is. Different colors and looks overgrown, not trimmed.
- It gets worse. Mackowiak singles in two more, and a horrid throw by Jones. 10-2, first time Sox have scored ten, all year.
- Cubs follow it up with a very, very fast bottom of the 7th.
- Pat Hughes declares the game isn't over yet, as Ramirez hits a 3-run HR off of Aardsma in the bottom of the 8th. 10-5.
- It's pouring rain.
- 10-6 after a blooper falls in, between the pelting raindrops. Izturis is up, with 2 strikes and 2 outs, and you canjust tell that Joe West wants to call this game, the moment the inning is completed.
- AndIzturis grounds out to second, end of inning.
- I'm astonished they're coming out to play the top of the ninth. Now the ground crew is having to come out to throw the drying compound on the mound. This really isn't playable weather. And indeed, they call them off the field with one out in the ninth. Ugh, so we'll have to resume this one, at some point.
- Lost track of how long the delay was, but it was extensive. Eyre gets through the rest of the 9th without damage.
- Joe West calls Floyd out on a called "strike" to lead off the ninth. It was easily six inches inside when it passed over the plate, and was behind Cliff's hip, by the time it was caught. Floyd and Joe West get in to it. Floyd had returned to the dugout, but West was jawing at him, and Floyd came back out. (IT seems to be that West ejected Floyd, inspiring Floyd to get his full money's worth) It took nine innings, but we finally have our expected incident. What does it say about an ump, that you go into a game expecting that there will be an incident involving that ump? I don't care how good of an umpire he is, he's still a clown.
- Game ends on a Soriano AB. Hits one up the middle, nice stop by Uribe, who tries to get the force at second. Can't, but Iguchi spins and gets Soriano at first. Again, it's hard to say how much of this is Soriano favoring a slightly hurt leg, and how much of it is a lack of hustle. Santo, for one, said "oh man, Soriano not running." I'm at the point where I vote for not playing him until he decides he can run, as this is getting tedious, and affecting the outcome of innings, if not games.
What would you rather do than listen to Hawk and DJ? - Stick screwdrivers in your ears, by CT Steve, is early winner. Taking the "Survivor" gameshow title a bit too literally. Getting strapped down, as Hawk encourages. Thome's runt, annorexic brother, ( Erstad), Mexican elections, granny love, dreaming about non-Transmission transes....
Memories of Dave Magadan. A pretty serious, detailed evaluation of Magadan's career. Man, we're weird. Stories about meeting Moises Alou, and slapping him on the back instead of shaking his hand. Will Z melt down?
Hawk and the Unabomber: separated at birth? Are the Brewers for real? Are any of us for real? Other epistemological topics. Hall and Oats. Iggy and the Stooges. Hordes of white trash.
More musical debates. Fantasy trade offers
Another round of really, really unnecessary double-entendres on Cherry, Pie, and spots in the batting order. Johnny Weir and Harry Belafonte in fantasy leagues. Misspelling Colin Powell. Japanese pornography (oh great, THAT'S going to get TCR onto some unwanted google search results.)
Parachat jumps the shark. Can a shark be unjumped, or, like the fried egg that can't be unfried, are we at the mercy of larger laws of physics? Why every modern philosopher after Wittgenstein can kiss the ass of somebody in parachat.
putting a parachater's hook-up options to a vote. What would Jim Thome be, if he wasn't a ballplayer? Who's overrated? A cameo appearance by Exploding Head Case! Another cameo, by Exploding Bullpen! Despair and frustration. Talent evaluation on the Cubs.
Career years. Is Cotts the symptom, or the disease? Lovers' quarrels. Smart ballplayers, and people whose last name could be a first name. "Christian" "Comics". Anti-intellectualism. Manufactural moral crises used for political gain. Sex.
The known suck versus the unknown potential suck, in evaluating players. Scouting. Comedy and Sadism. Rain delay time-killing. Joe West is dumb.
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
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.