Game 23 Thread / Cubs @ Nationals (1 of 3)

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SP Ryan Dempster SP *Odalis Perez
  3-0, 3.00, 16K, 11 BB
0-3, 3.38, 20 K, 12 BB
       
CF Reed Johnson 2B #Felipe Lopez
SS Ryan Theriot SS #Cristian Guzman
1B Derrek Lee 3B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Nick Johnson
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF Lastings Milledge
LF Mark DeRosa C #Johnny Estrada
C Geovany Soto LF Wily Mo Peña
2B Ronny Cedeno RF *Rob Mackowiak
P Ryan Dempster P *Odalis Perez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WIth tonight's first-ever visit to Nationals Park, the Cubs will have played in three different cities in three different time zones, necessitating somewhere around 2,700 miles in air travel, all in a little over 72 hours. Gotta love those schedule gremlins.

Even with yesteday's loss to the Rockies, the first-place Cubs have won 8 of 10. After opening the season 3-0, the fifth-place Nationals, who needed 13 hits against the Mets on Thursday to raise their team average to .233, have lost 16 of 20.

The Cubs beat Washington in 6 of 7 games a year ago, winning 3 of 4 at RFK.

As for tonight's pitchers, the Cubs' Dempster labored through five innings and 94 pitches last Sunday against the Pirates, a game the Cubs won 13-6. Perez, the first of three lefty starters the Cubs will see in this series, hasn't hooked up with the Wrigleys since his days as a Dodger in 2004. He has also pitched well enough to win in four of his five starts, but hasn't won any.

Five runs of offensive support in 26 2/3 IP will do that to a guy.


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Comments

He wasn't laboring at all until the fifth inning when he suddenly lost his command as only Ryan Dempster can do. Took him 37 pitches to get out of the inning.

For those not watching the game, Johnson just made a highlight reel catch. One of the best I've seen this year.

That catch by Johnson was amazing. You have to see it to believe it.

However, I saw it and I still can't believe it...

well, that sucked. Theriot can't steal bases worth shit anymore. Howry is still struggling. We burned another long inning out of Marmol. And, as hard as it is to say, I would have much rather had Cedeno hit with the bases loaded. Using up Cedeno, Ward, Murton, Blanco, and Fontenot to get one RBI walk and one K seemed like a waste.

I have to admit I was a bit suprised by all that. When the bases got loaded after the IBB and Cedeno up, I thought he'd go to Fontenot since Acta would certainly go to the lefty and burn Fontenot instead of Ward there...and then go Murton. That would have left Ward for the next AB instead of Fontenot. Unless Lou thought there was a chance that Acta would have left Ayala in there...but that seemed unlikely.

Cubs seem to be finding ways to lose the last couple of games. Haven't been getting the big hit or making the big pitch/defensive play at the end of games. Oh well. It's a long season and there was bound to be some bounce back from their nice run of late. Neither loss was necessarily a poorly played game, but just a couple of wasted opportunities.

I will say, though, that it may be time to find a different answer on the bench than Little Lord Fontenot, at least for the time being. He's not really giving them what they need. He's not a good glove guy and he's drawn 1 walk so far in almost 40 PA's. He looks very unsettled at the plate and it really seems to be wearing on him. He strikes me as a good guy and I think he can be a good role player, but this team really can't wait for a bench guy to find himself. When Sori comes back, I'd let Murton hang around and send Fontenot down to find his groove.

not getting the big hits the last couple games. still opportunities, but not the big, break-it-open hit. Guess that's why we have 5 runs in 2 games.

How long will Lou stick with Fontenot on the team? He's been pretty useless -- huge K today with the bases loaded and one out in a tie game. Loved him when he was hitting .400 last year -- since then, not so much.

I agree about Fontenot. Enough. However, the vaunted Mark DeRosa has been terrible and a strike out king with bases loaded, or any key hitting situation - save for one time against the Mets so far. In fact, imo, if I never see him bat w/the bases loaded again it will be too soon.

Recent comments

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  • ESPN game tonight, btw.

  • Cardinal way #48
    "negligent transmission of STDs"

    http://mlb.nbcsports.com/2016/05/01/carlos-martine...

  • Heyward getting the night off.

    Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd

    Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist

  • See ya on parrot chat

  • In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST... 
    Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex: 
    4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes) 

    Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)  

  • There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?

  • Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.

    Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.

  • It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.

    I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.

  • I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.

    This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/making-too-much-of-...

  • Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!

  • Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.

  • Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.

    Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.

  • Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.

  • Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.

    Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.

  • He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.

    He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.