Ward-o-saurus Walks the Earth Again

In one of those magic moments that seem to happen during every team's playoff run, Daryle Ward went from one of the Cubs 2008 goats to Northside hero. His three-run homer in the top of the ninth was good for a .647 WPA, which seems to be the biggest hit of the Cubs season.

fangraph

Before that astonishing at-bat, Ward was 0 for his last 10, 4 for his last 29, and 4 for 40 as a pinch-hitter this season. Nothing like a big surprise in a big package.

Comments

WOOOOO SPRING BREAK

i never gave up on ward. honestly. he's going to have another big hit or three by the end of the year, and probably one in october. big win!!!

5.5 magic #35

when does the magic number make the front page?

Go Doyers! (sic)

I vote when it reaches 2.

may you never own a stock that has a chart like the above (unless you've shorted it)

Cubs one game behind the Angels for best record.. and .500 on the road!

from the sun-times:
http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/11109...
---------------------
Piniella plans to use a left-handed lineup today against Marlins right-hander Anibal Sanchez, with Daryle Ward at first to spell Derrek Lee. Left-handed hitters Mike Fontenot, Kosuke Fukudome and Jim Edmonds also will play.

''We're trying to rest some of our people now,'' Piniella said. ''We couldn't do it as much last year because we weren't in a position to do it [in a closer division race]. This year, we have a little room.''

Aramis Ramirez didn't start Friday after bruising his left thigh sliding into home Thursday in Atlanta. But he was available to pinch-hit and might rejoin the lineup today.

''I didn't ask him [how he was],'' Piniella said. ''I talked to the trainer. A day off won't hurt him.''

so does this mean for every pinch hit HR, DLee gets a day off the next game?

Kind of like it.

For what it's worth, he was planning to start Ward on Saturday before Friday's game.

Damn... Z has some gaudy numbers at the plate. He has twice as many total bases (40) as any other pitcher. In 69 ABs, he's .362/.362/.580 (patience is not his strong point :-). The only other pitcher even comparable is Backe at .316/.381/.526, and he's only had 38 ABs to date.

I'd happily trade some of Z's hitting prowess for more dominating pitching performances, but still it's great to see him help himself with the stick.

did you say pitching? last night's 1-0 I-Cub win was accomplished in less than two hours! Wuertz had an impressive 10 pitch, 7 strike, 2k save; K. Hill apprehended 2 base thieves;Felix fanned twice & grounded into a DP but hustled into the left field clubhouse for a bodily putout before returning safely to the dugout in the bottom of the fifth...the game barely lasted a bag o' peanuts; it was positively Madduxian!

this is a tangent way out there...

while surfing the iTunes store, I just found a band that put out a CD in 2004 called: The '89 Cubs.
CD titled: There are Giants in the Earth.

Not sure why they named themselves after Grace, Maddux and Jerome Walton. They are apparently from Nebraska.

http://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Giants-Earth-Cubs/...

according to ye olde world o' roto...

s.marshall limited to 80 pitches and marquis to play long-man backing him up.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080816&c...

Big League Contracts rare this year.

Interesting: Cincy caves. Gives Yonder Alonso a Big League contract.

Alonso caves. Drops $8 $7 million ask and signs for $4.5 .

I dunno. It doesn't seem like smart strategy to rebuild your team around first basemen. But with Alonso limited by all accounts to playing first base, Votto will have to take up permanent residency in the outfield. They both can't play there.

Cubs 37-29 (66)

NYM 34-28 (62)

StL 34-32 (66)

Fla 30-31 (61)

Mil 34-35 (69)

LAD 30-33 (63)

Arz 22-32 (54)

Phl 27-39 (66)

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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 7 hours 15 min ago view
  • 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.

    johann 10 hours 12 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 10 hours 25 min ago view
  • 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.

    The E-Man 10 hours 34 min ago view
  • 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.

    The E-Man 10 hours 39 min ago view
  • 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...

    crunch 10 hours 57 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 11 hours 33 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 11 hours 51 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 11 hours 53 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 12 hours 11 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 12 hours 18 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 13 hours 14 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 13 hours 31 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 13 hours 36 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 14 hours 46 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 15 hours 25 min ago view