Game 65 Recap: Cubs 5, Mariners 4
- Nice start to the Cubs half of the first: Soriano stretches a blooper down the LF line into a double, Pie smokes a triple to the CF vine, scoring Soriano, and Floyd laces a single to score Pie. Fontenot caps the extra-baseathon with a triple. 3-0 at the end of one, Weaver getting hit hard.
- BJB with a story of how when he and Ron worked together in a booth in '90-'91, Ron would lose his reading glasses on his nose, and accuse Bob of having taken them. Heh.
- Koyie Hill with a double down the RF line, then gets pickled when he breaks towards third on a ball hit back up the middle, which Weaver managed to field. More bad Cubs running.
- Marquis is sailing along. How many good pitching performances with Koyie as the catcher, before it's a bone of contention? Only one base-runner through four IP
- Floyd 3 for 3 so far, in the fifth. flips this one out to left, nice piece of hitting.
- I always liked Weaver, and can't help but feel bad for him. He's showing his disgust with himself in the fifth, even though he didn't give up a run. Angrily swipe-catches the ball thrown back to him, a couple pitches after giving up the opposite-field hit to Floyd. the WGN close-up shows him grimmacing in anger.
- and now, in the 6th, poor Weaver gets hit by a pitch right on his throwing arm. Looks like it hurt, but he stays in to run, at least.
- Marquis might be losing it a bit, as he then walks Ichiro, and just visibly seems to be laboring
- And there's a pink backback in the bullpen. I think it's by Rapada. Probably one of those zany hazing hijinks, where they emasculate the rookie by making them do humiliating things like carrying around pink backpacks? Oh, the humor, oh, the cruelty.
- And with that bit of social commentary, DeRosa boots a ball at third. Weaver Scores. A walk to Guillen then loads the bases, all this without a hit in the sixth.
- and the real killer comes when Raul Ibanez clears the bases on a double, 4-3 M's. Fontenot hesitated a bit on the relay throw to the plate to try to get Guillen, not sure it would have made a difference
- and today's weirdness is Jose Guillen confronting the home plate umpire after he scores. It looks like Guillen accidentally bumped in to Tim McClellan as he was crossing home plate. Guillen pushed off a bit on McClellan, and McClellan gave him the finger. Er, the wag of the index finger, like don't do that. Guillen then comes up to McClellan, puts his hand on McC's belly, and has a nice chat with him! Finally the Mariner manager, Hargrove, drags Guillen off, and that's the end of it. Dumb play all around, as McClellan probably shouldn't have been right in the line of the runner, Guillen should habe known better than to push off, and McClellan should have let it go as just a part of the play, due to bodies getting in the way.
- Cubs half of the sixth, Koyie Hill walks, takes second on a wild pitch, can't score on an Izturis single to right. Guillen throws a rocket in to home, keeping Hill at third. Jaques Jones in to pinch hit for Marquis, to try to drive in the runner from third with one out. He flies out, as does Soriano. Can't get that run back, still down 4-3.
- That was the most godawful 7th inning stretch I've seen in..... well..... in two or three days, I guess..
- The Fray at least makes an effort to talk baseball, for five seconds, before we get a half inning of discussion about the music business.
- Clay Rapada's first MLB apperance. I've barely ever seen him throw, before. Comes in with runners on first and second, one out in the eighth. In to face Ibanez. Gets ahead with a called strike, gets Ibanez way out on front of a change up for a foul strike. Ibanez continues to be way out in front of another off-speed pitch. Eventually, gets the fly-out. Howry comes in to get Sexon on another fly. Between them and Marmol, some good bullpen work.
- Brandon Morrow comes in for the 8th, and begins by walking DeRosa and Fontenot. Koyie Hill up to bunt (I keep typing Koyie, for the practice, and because "Hill" alone means Rich Hill, to me). Good bunt (with, it sounds, some help from a lucky bounce) and we get runners at 2 and 3 with one out, down a run, in the eighth
- a pair of interesting decisions here: first, not to pinch hit for izturis, and second, to pitch to him when the pitcher's spot is up next (with Pagan getting ready to pinch-hit on deck) and first base open)
- and Izturis comes through with a single down the LF line. With a bobble, both runs score and Izturis takes second. 5-4 Cubs. Morrow looks terrible. Can't field a bunt by Pagan, either. Morrow out, Green in, strikes out Soriano for the second out, Pie grounds out for the third.
- Howry to keep pitching, for the save, since Dempster has gone four nights in a row.
- A few pitches in to the ninth, and Howry continues to look good. Keeps throwing fastballs at 91, 92, on the outside corner to Betancourt. The blows him away with a fastball upstairs.
- More of the same. Howry just keeps painting the outside corner with low-90s fastballs. Bloomquist goes down. Johjima makes contact, at least, but grounds out weakly to Izturis. Cubs win. Howry looks great.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.
Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.
Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.
that game sounds fun as hell.