Cubs Wilt in Desert Heat
The Cubs drop the finale in Phoenix and the series, finishing the roadtrip at 2-4. Hey, they won 2 games.
Why the Cubs Lost: Ryan Dempster came out of the gate rolling breaking pitches up in the hitters' eyes while generally missing the plate. He did settle down for the most part after the first inning, besides a Chad Tracy home run in the third, but the Cubs offensive funk didn't need the degree of difficulty to start the game. It looked like Dempster was done after six and allowing four earned runs, but a Mike Fontenot double play to end the top of the 7th sent him back out for the bottom of the inning. Dempster walked the leadoff batter on four straight and was promptly removed and had another run tacked on to his total. He ended the day with 97 pitches, 61 for strikes, 5 earned runs in 6 innngs pitched and a 5.10 ERA in April.
That's when the bullpen got its chance to piss all over itself as Carlos Marmol came in showing the signs of a four day layoff...22 pitches just 5 for strikes. After walking in two runs, it was Jeff Samardzija's turn and he did strike out two, but sandwiched them around a bases clearing Justin Upton double to put the game from joke to laugher' territory. Kevin Gregg got his shot in the ninth and after 35 pitches of which only 18 were strikes, he walked in a run (3 walks total) and then had some parting words for the home plate ump, who I don't think actually ejected him. If he indeed did not get ejected, and considering the argument went on a lot longer and Gregg seemed as agitated if not more than Milton Bradley did, there seems to be a bit of a unsurprising double standard going on by the umpires.
On the other side, Doug Davis dazzled with junk ranging from 68-83 mph taking 50 pitches to get through the first 2 innings Naturally, the Cubs start hacking and Davis gets through the third in eight pitches and just 66 over the next five innings.
Armchair Managing: Let's start with Lou deciding to give Geovany Soto the start over Koyie Hill after saying Soto would rest a few days. Soto went 0-3 with a walk, two strike outs, a passed ball and two stolen bases allowed. The other questionable decision was to bring in a in a rusty Carlos Marmol with a runner on, in what was still a close game. I would think you'd want to ease him in a little but more and Marmol was predictably wild, effectively putting the game out of reach.
Death Pool: Cubs still seem undecided about whether to put Aramis on the disabled list or not, but he's probably closest to being replaced on the roster. Neal Cotts remains safe by virture of not pitching since Sunday.
The Cubs are back home for four against the Florida Marlins, aka Cubs kryptonite, and then two versus the San Francisco Giants.
j.buchanan with a nice start...5ip 2h 1bb 3k, 0r/er
zobrist with 2HR and a double through 8
heyward 0-4 :(
Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales
Soler likely to return Sunday, Maddon says
Right now, I'd like to see the Mets first, Giants 2nd.
I believe that since most of the team from last years' NLCS is on the squad this year, they will really amp their game up even more to kick their ass in payback for 2015.
The Giants just do not have the depth in years past, and I think all things equal - and at Wrigley - they could handle them.
I do not want to see the Cards, period. Or their fans, media, or Joe Buck.
I don't want to play Braves in the first round. Any friggin team in the league can win 3 of 5..I hate the first round. Furthermore, I wanted to play the Marlins in 2003 and the Mets over Dodgers last year.
With that said in reverse order:
3. Cardinals: It will be devastating to lose in the first round, but even worse to their main rival. It is increased incentive for the Cardinals, especially after last year. Cards would have nothing to lose, Cubs have everything to lose.
2. Giants: Rotation in the playoffs scare me a bit, but what a lousy team.
1. Mets--because of the losses in the rotation
2. Giants--because they're not the team they were BUT they maybe have bullshit even-year magic?
3. Cardinals--because rivalry and not making the playoffs hurts them more than losing in the NLDS plus getting eliminated by them in the playoffs would make for horrible sports commentary next throughout next season.
CLE/DET rained out last night already, possible rain-outs in New York (vs. Baltimore), Boston(vs. Toronto) and Philly(vs. Mets) this weekend too.
Not only games involving playoff spots that would need to be played, but any that involve home field advantage.
I got the first one! Second one I'm not even sure what even/odd betting is.
any opponent preference for NLDS?
Mets are down to 1 great pitcher instead of 4. Syndegaard may pitch Sunday which means if Mets win the WC game, he'd be set up for Game 1. There's a chance they clinch a spot by Sunday so he'd pitch the WC and then we'd probably get Colon for Game 1. They've certainly had the hottest bats over the last week and month out of the WC options.
A couple of Cub related puzzles.
Can't teach height and thinness
Hopefully Pirates don't call up A. Lincoln.
j.buchanan going friday...should be...baseball...or something like it.
Wow. I didn't know they could do that.
Nice for Willson, not so much for Addy.
Game is officially called...also officially a tie.
Stats count, no make-up date of course.
Yeah -- seeing the weather -- I hope KB and Rizz are inside, wrapped in blankets and drinking hot chocolate.