Game 68 Thread / Cubs @ Blue Jays (1 of 3)
|SP||Sean Gallagher||SP||A.J. Burnett|
|3-2, 4.42, 31 K, 13 BB, 36.2 IP||5-6, 4.98, 78 K, 38 BB, 81.1 IP|
|SS||Ryan Theriot||RF||Alex Rios|
|1B||*Micah Hoffpauir||DH||*Matt Stairs|
|DH||Derrek Lee||3B||Scott Rolen|
|3B||Aramis Ramirez||CF||Vernon Wells|
|RF||*Kosuke Fukudome||1B||*Lyle Overbay|
|C||Geovany Soto||C||Rod Barajas|
|CF||*Jim Edmonds||LF||*Brad Wilkerson|
|2B||Mark DeRosa||2B||*Joe Inglett|
|LF||*Eric Patterson||SS||David Eckstein|
Can the Cubs reach 20 games over by mid-June? They have a chance by winning tonight or this series, and it would be the first time since late 2004. But they'll be on the short-end of the pitching matchups for the most part. By ERA, Gallagher is outperforming Burnett at this point, but Saturday's matchup is Roy Halladay(3.07) vs Jason Marquis(4.54) and Sunday is Jessie Litsch(3.42) vs. Ted Lilly(5.13). Burnett might also have the added motivation of trying to audition for his next team, as he's one of the names certain to be bandied about during the trade deadline in connection with the Cubs.
The Blue Jays once again tried to convince themselves they could contend in the AL East and have delivered a fine pitching staff, currently third in the AL in ERA and runs allowed. The offense has struggled through injuries and poor performance though. Scott Rolen missed a month, Wells and Eckstein have also been on the disabled list, Aaron Hill is currently on the disabled list with a concussion and they released Frank Thomas early on. That doesn't even mention the horror that was suppose to be Alex Rios's MVP season (so my fantasy teams thought). That all being said, they now find themselves at the .500 mark, 7.5 back of the division-leading Red Sox and five back of the Rays. They also happen to be a half game back of last place in the division - funny how perspective works.
As promised, Lou is using the DH to give some of his stars a bit of a breather by DH'ing them and letting a bench player handle the defensive duties; tonight it's Derrek Lee with Micah Hoffpauir playing first base. Lou also tinkers with the lineup and puts Theriot in the leadoff spot with Patterson (who stays in left field) at the nine spot or the duel leadoff men that many AL lineups feature.
The next fifteen will be against the AL, here's hoping the Cubs can keep the NL mojo they had going.
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.