Cubs Hits Of The Week (5/5 Through 5/11)
The five hits that did the most to enhance the Cubs' chance of winning during a week that began with a disappointing series against a team in the throes of a long losing streak, but ended with a sweep of the club with the best record in the National League, as measured by FanGraphs' Win Probability Added (WPA):
#5 Big Hit: Tuesday, v. the Reds, 4th inning — After Geovany Soto whiffs with men at second and third, Ronny Cedeño connects for a two-out, two-run single to extend the Cubs lead to 3-0, which turns out to be more than cushion enough for Carlos Zambrano. Cedeño's hit was far and away the Cubs' biggest one during the three games in Cincinnati. WPA .172
#4 Big Hit: Saturday, v. the Diamondbacks, 7th inning — Alfonso Soriano, who opened the week flailing and failing in Cincinnati and looking like a living, breathing argument for players going on rehab assignments following stints on the DL, had his biggest day of the year on Saturday. One of Soriano's four hits was this tie-breaking double, which brought pinch-runner Jason Marquis home with the run that put the Cubs in front to stay. WPA .181
#3 Big Hit: Saturday, v. the Diamondbacks, 7th inning — Daryle Ward, who, up until this game, had managed to take the "hit" out of "pinch hit," collects his first hit of the year coming off the bench, a single that scores Mark DeRosa from second base with the run that draws the Cubs even with Arizona, 2-2, and sets the stage for the fireworks that are to follow. WPA .183
#2 Big Hit: Sunday, v. the Diamondbacks, 8th inning — Turns out the D-backs got a double dose of Daryle this weekend. On Sunday, Ward steps to the plate with the bases loaded, one out, and the score tied 4-4 and pounds a Tony Peña pitch into right-center field for a two-run double. Kudos here to Lou Piniella for his decision to pinch-hit Alfonso Soriano immediately before batting Daryle Ward, knowing that Arizona would walk Soriano, but then be without a lefty to face Ward. That being the case, we'll deposit 30% of this WPA into Lou Piniella's account. WPA .187
#1 Big Hit: Sunday, v. the Diamondbacks, 7th inning — In the last two years, Juan Cruz had allowed his former team just one earned run in 15 IP. This past weekend was another story. On Sunday, Reed Johnson clubs a Cruz pitch deep into the left-centerfield bleachers, a two-run shot that knots Sunday's game at 4-4 and is sufficiently dramatic to overshadow a scintillating Kasper/Brenly interview of Tony Romo. WPA .319
given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.
i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.
Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?
He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.
My guess? Toronto.
PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.
Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?
Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.
Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.
Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.
While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.
For some reason
It is remarkable how my mood has become uplifted with one game against the Cards.
That is sick.
But, I have been an addict for a long time.
A W tomorrow and it will be a .500 road trip.
Also, to keep the losses in perspective, if the Cubs were to lose 10 games a month - a lot at this current pace - they still end up 102-60. Six months of the ride!
So, the Mesa Cubs should be solid this summer in the AZL Rookie League?
And, I like the, "But did you know" lead in there. Something a little different.
I can tell really like this group of hitters in AZ right now.
What pitchers out there, other than Cease, should we be excited about?
Thanks as always for the info.
back on the Run Differential hunt... (aka The Hunt for Blue October)
These are the 2016 Cubs I know and love. Also digging that Cardinals OF (lack of) defense.
Another day, another eight runs
I'm not sure there was another team in baseball that would flip a Dansby Swanson type of prospect (plus Inciarte, plus Toussaint) for Miller. That trade was just comically bad from the start, and getting worse...
Zobrist just keeps squaring up - and Soler goes yard!
Pirates jumping all over Shelby Miller tonight - so glad the Cubs didn't flip a Dansby Swanson type prospect to the Braves for him. Two years of Lackey looking like a good alternative.
3rd inning...soler walked twice in the game...first time since aug 4th last year in the regular season (2 times in the playoffs, amazingly).