Game 1 Recap: Cubs 4, Astros 2
- Soriano with a leadoff Homerun that I miss first because I'm learning the game isn't on WGN, or my ESPN 2, it's blacked out on my MLB.TV, and only can be found on my FSN station. 1-0 Cubs From there, three groundouts. (Finally seeing a replay, it's on a fastball down the middle, a no-doubt homerun to the deep part of left-center, by that large concrete terrace monstrousity of a thing in this god-foresaken ballpark)
- Z walks Matsui on four straight, and my recap for all of this gets lost when MLB.TV freezes my computer and crashes my browser. 7 year old computer strikes again. So everything from here to the fourth inning is by memory.
- After I-Rod flies out, Berkman lines to right, Matsui to second. Right field has weird sun and shadow patterns as the light comes through the windows of the closed dome.
- Lee filies into a weird double play where Bradley makes a nice play running in and towards the line in right. Matsui broke from second, is standing on third as Bradley flips it in to Lee at first, who tosses it to Theriot at second for an inning-ending double play.
- Ramirez leads off the second with a lined shot home run into the left field bleachers. A fastball that was supposed to be inside but caught the plate. 2-0 Cubs
- Fontenot looped a single to right and Soto lined one to left, Theriot inside-outs a grounder between Berkman and the line that he makes a nice play on to get the out with the runners advancing. The rally ends, though, with Zambrano grounding out to Matsu, drawn in, and Soriano also grounding out.
- Tejada singles, then with Blum batting, is thrown out when he tries to take second on a ball in the dirt that bounces out just in front of Soto. He's out and throws a tantrum over the call. Blum then softly flies out and Pence, who still is just incredibly ugly and stupid-looking, bounces a one-hopper to Aramis.
- Fukudome called out on an inside fastball. Lee flies out to Lee, just in front of the Waste Management "think green" sign adorning the padding at the left field fence. Bradley walked, but Aramis flied out.
- Somewhere around the top of the third, I think it was, the FSN announcers explain thatsome Dodge-Ram sponsored thingy tonight will tell us what Lance Berkman has in his pocket.
- do I really want to know?
- Now, they're talking about cheese sandwhiches and hot dogs found in players pockets when they slid into second, back in the day. Dear god.
- Bourn singles to left-center and Oswalt sacrifices him to second. Matsui dumps one in front of Fontenot and Bourn reads it well, going to third.
- Z gets out of it, striking out Rodriguez swinging and Berkman rolling to second.
- And I've now re-entered the heavily summarized version of everything I lost. For the love of god, please, let's do a fundraiser to buy me a decent laptop.
- Fontenot lines a double over Lee's head in left, one-hops the wall.
- Soto bounces to Berkman, Fontenot advances on the out.
- The FSN field reporter, one Patty Smith (sadly, not Patti Smith, Punk Rock Goddess and my personal hero) is explaining how they've added advertising to the foul poles. They're now the Chic-Fil-A Fowl Poles. If an astro hitter hits a home run off the pole, it's free crappy southern fast food for everyone!
- Theriot flies out to Pence, who makes his typically weird-ass looking thrown in, but Fontenot scores easily. 3-0 Cubs.
- Zambrano grounds out, Blum to Berkman.
- Lee fouls to Lee.
- Tejada looks stupid as he K's swinging.
- Blum with a lazy fly to Soriano. Easy inning for Z. 58 pitches through 4, fastball still around 92, 93.
- Soriano lines a single into left. It's so weird hearing them saying "Patty Smith is waiting." I want my Patti Smith!
- Fukudome grounds into a 4-6-3, tailor-made, right at Matsui.
- Oswalt with 10 groundball outs. Now, more from Patty Smith. (Play "Pissing in a River," Patti!!!!)
- Oswalt hangs a slider just a bit, but Lee pops it to Matsui.
- Pence and Bourn both look at fastballs on the corner for called strike threes. 4 K 1 BB on the night so far.
- Oswalt bounces back to Z, who casually tosses it to first. Easy inning! 72 pitches through 5, nice.
- And we learn what Berkman has in his pockets. Nothing interesting. A FSN announcer uses it as a chance to joke about European Man-bags.
- FSN tells me that BP rates Minute Maid Park as neutral, not the band-box it's made out to be. I want to see that with my own eyes. Even so, it's still a crummy park.
- 1-2 count on Bradley, just does check his swing on a fastball. 2-2 Jammed on the next pitch, pops it out just in front of the plate, Pudge catches it.
- Aramis with an easy popup to Berkman.
- Fontenot rolls out to Matsui, Oswalt now on a roll, too. 81 pitches through 6.
- Matsui K's on a check swing that the home plate ump called himself, not happy about it.
- and now Pudge irked at a called strike two on a slider that looked like it backed up over the plate and got way too much of it.
- Pudge swings through a 94 MPH fastball that was supposed to be outside corner, tailed back over to inside corner. 1 BB, 6 K for Z so far. Making it look easy.
- Z almost gets a called third strike on Berkman, fastball outside corner, but it's a ball. Berkman comes back and works a walk.
- Lee immediately grounds into an easy 6-4 force.
- Soto grounds to Blum at third.
- Theriot with his patented inside-out swing through the right-side hole for a single.
- Z can't advance Theriot, strikes out swinging
- Soriano grounds into a 5-3 force, inning over.
- Tejada singles up the middle, and Blum walks. Piniella hops out of the dugout and Z leaves. Crowd is booing Z? Jerks.
- Heilman in, and Pence immediately hits into a perfect 6-4-3. Tejada to third. Love that for the first relief pitch thrown on the season.
- Bourn with a weak chopper that rolls maybe 40 feet for an rbi single. It'll look like a line drive in the box score. 3-1 Cubs.
- Erstad in to "hit" for Oswalt, Cotts in to do the lefty-lefty thing.
- Cooper counters with Jason Michaels.
- 2-0 count to Michaels.
- 3-1 slider called strike 2, michaels didn't like it.
- Michaels with a soft grounder to Theriot. Charges it, bobbles, gets him at first.
- Geoff Geary in for the eighth. Jeffs who spell their names Geoff have always driven me nuts, and here the Astros have two of them.
- Fukudome with a weak fly out to Lee.
- Lee strikes out swinging at a fastball up and a bit in.
- Bradley pops one into shallow right, and Matsui makes a fine over-the-shoulder tumbling catch. Inning over.
- Inning begins with FSN showing replay of Bradley jogging to first looking to see if his blooper would fall, and he twists his ankle as it clips the side of the bag. He's still in the game, but I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this.
- Marmol in.
- Matsui with an easy grounder to Theriot.
- Pudge grounds one to Theriot's right, also an easy out.
- first pitch to Berkman, he waves through a high 94 mph fastball. Fun to watch.
- Nice off-speed curve for strike 2 swinging, fastball low and outside for 3-2 count.
- and Berkman walks on a curve inside.
- Lee up as the tying run.
- Lee pops out to Ramirez in foul territory, up against the stands behind third base. Inning over!
- Ramirez grounds to Tejada.
- Fontenot gets jammed, pops one out to shallow left, where Tejada and Lee watch it land between them.
- Wild pitch sends Fontenot to second. Pitch slipped, over Pudge's head.
- Soto K's looking at a pitch on the corner.
- Theriot walks. Really nice night for the LSU combo.
- Hoffpauir in to hit for Marmol. Takes a big rip at a fastball, misses, 1-1 count.
- Hoff lines a single into right, and Fontenot, running on contact with two outs, beats Pence's throw. It's a bit up the line and Fontenot slides around Pudge. 4-1 Cubs. Theriot to third.
- Soriano flies to Pence.
- Gathright in to play center, Gregg pitching. Sort of surprised they didn't swing Fukudome to right for Bradley, especially with the ankle.
- Tejada grounds a single right back up the middle.
- Blum hits a sinking liner into right-center. Bradley has a bead on it, makes a sliding effort to catch it, but the ball pops out of the glove and he sort of stumbles over himself at the end of the slide. Runners at 1st and 3rd. Yep. Should have moved Fuludome to right.
- Pence flies to medium-depth center, Tejada scores easily on the sacrifice. 4-2 Cubs.
- Michael Bourn flies one to deepish right-center, easy play forGathright. two outs, runner still at first for pinch-hitter Jason Smith.
- Smith with a roller to Lee, easy unassisted to the bag. Game over!
- Carlos swears a blue streak. He also has a blue cock.
- John Kruk is an "emmy-nominated" analyst. Heh.
- Cheering on Pie-rats comeback against the Cards
- Aramis, Musketeers and Slumdog Millionaire.
- How has the recession affected you? (Don't ask.)
- V-chipping Carlos.
- Crunch and the whore ta culture.
- The Sosa for Fontenot trade gets better and better
- I ask for lies I can use to insert in my Parachat recap, to conceal the factthat most of the first three innings were wiped out by my cheap computer and stupid mlb.tv. I get few good suggestions.
- First post-Election regular-season parachat. Woo.
- What will Al Yellon run for?
- Remember, the world ends Dec 21, 2012
- Would the Olympics be good for Chicago? (No.)
- Economics of the Olympics debate continues.
- Rotating dicks
- Puking out lout/loud.
- He's happy.
- MVP Polishing.
- I'm not clicking on another Carlos-sponsored link, this season.
- Z's mph on the fastball.
- Bagwell and Thomas for HOF? (No and Yes)
- More on Bagwell, Enron/Minute Maid vs. Astrodome
- I choose life.
- really, I choose laziness.
- Lyle Lovett: no new insightful commentary here. Guess what, he's not the most handsome of men.
- but he's still better than Pence.
- Ugly ball-players and other celebrities
- who has lost a job?
- who has bought a car?
- other random catching up from the off-season
- Raising girls.
- Is this the 10th year or 9th year anniversary for minute maid?
- They're saying it's 10th year anniverary, but it only should be 9, as they're now STARTING season number ten. Tenth anniversary will come on opening day of next year, damnit.
- Dick Trickle, Dick Pole make their first appearances
- A Professor Ley, who claims to have met an Anita Ley. No Way, Prof. Ley.
- Whip jokes about having cancer.
- And keeps joking.
- What do I self-censor in parachat recaps?
- Clearly, not cancer jokes.
- How we're all going to die.
- Blue-cock cancer.
- Christina Karl and Nate Silver jokes.
- High-scoring Spots.
- Inning 7 of Parachat, Game 1, quickly vaulting itself into a potential Parachat First Annual End-of-Season Award....
- Who killed your people? Heilman, or Cancer?
- Gypsy whips.
- Jason Michaels: name of a pro wrestler, a serial killer, or a gay pop icon?
- Escolar, the orange-oil-shooting-out-your-ass fish.
- Who would you rather have, Halladay or Peavy?
- Roy, not even close.
- Twisted ankles.
- More Big Blue Cocks.
- Steve Phillips as a broadcaster
- Burt Reynolds gives Llamas as gifts.
- LeBron James vs. Lyndon Baines Johnson in Center Field.
- What's left on D. Lee's contract?
- First-game celebration.
Cubs record in games recapped begins the year at 1-0.
BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).
TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.
TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.