Game 139 Thread / Astros @ Cubs (2 of 3)
|SP||Brandon Backe||SP||Carlos Zambrano|
|9-12, 5.42, 122 K, 72 BB, 159.1 IP||13-5, 3.53, 114 K, 61 BB, 168.1 IP|
|CF||*Michael Bourn||LF||Alfonso Soriano|
|LF||Ty Wigginton||2B||*Mike Fontenot|
|SS||Miguel Tejada||1B||Derrek Lee|
|1B||#Lance Berkman||3B||Aramis Ramirez|
|3B||#Geoff Blum||RF||Mark DeRosa|
|RF||Hunter Pence||CF||*Jim Edmonds|
|2B||*David Newhan||C||Geovany Soto|
|C||Humberto Quintero||SS||Ryan Theriot|
|P||Brandon Backe||P||#Carlos Zambrano|
While Cub fans are hoping that the team's bats will come back to life (no EBH's among the club's last 27 hits), the greater concern right now is with Carlos Zambrano.
All Cubdom would like to see that the two extra days of rest Zambrano got when his scheduled Sunday start was pushed back to this evening have proven beneficial to his
"fatigued" "dead" tired arm. If nothing else, in the span of those two days, the calendar turned from August to September.
As mentioned here—and everywhere else—previously, in five starts this past month, Zambrano went 1-1, 7.42, allowing opponents to hit .284 with a cumulative 917 OPS. He was 0-4, 7.06 in August of 2007, and in his career, Zambrano has gone 12-16, 4.22 in August starts. His lifetime September numbers are better: 17-10, 3.48 in 32 starts. Of course, all that really matters right now is he does this September.
His opposite number tonight, Brandon Backe, was the victim of that eight-run third inning, not to mention a grand slam by Mark DeRosa and a three-run job by Alfonso Soriano, the last time he pitched at Wrigley, the first week in August.
Backe's team, however, comes into the game having won six games in a row and closed to within two games of the third-place Cardinals. Maybe the Astros' veteran catcher, growing wistful as he nears the end of his career, can distract his mates by infecting them with his wistfulness.
(Brad) Ausmus, like most Major Leaguers, considers the Windy City the best of all road destinations. Playing day games at a historic, festive ballpark such as Wrigley Field and having nights free to enjoy some of the "best restaurants in the world," by Ausmus' estimation, make trips to Chicago a pleasure for all.
"I'll miss Wrigley," Ausmus said. "There's nothing more fun than an 80-degree day in the middle of summer at Wrigley Field...When I'm done playing, I plan on making a trip and watching a couple of games from the bleachers," Ausmus said... "That is something I definitely will do."
I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.
Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.
CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.
Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.
Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.
I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.
I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.
It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.
Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.
My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.
In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.
One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.
I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.
Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.
What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?
I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.
there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.
I certainly am digging the RISP machine Zobrist version.
Cubs are taking advantage of bad D by their opponents -- did it a few times in PIT and the Nats botched 2-out rundown leads to 3 Cub runs in the 8th. Which were nice to have.
I hope Kyle had fun at the dance party -- he was terrific.