Lucky Number 13
For the second time in a week the Cubs go 13 innings, but manage the win this time to keep a half-game lead in the NL Central as the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers (Brewers lost again to drop 4 back). The class of the Central division since June, the Astros waltzed into Wrigley on the shoulder of the über-hot Wandy Rodriguez (4 straight wins and 0.62 ERA in July) and he didn't disappoint, holding the Cubs to a run on 7 strikeouts in 7 innings. Z matched those 7 innings and one run, although with just 4 K's and 4 BB's. That left it up to the bullpens and the Cubs' proved to be just a little bit better tonight
Alfonso Soriano had goat written all over him, going 0/5 with 3 K's and
failing to run on a tap out to third base that he claimed hit his toe.
Then with the bases loaded and 0 outs, he got one more chance and
launched one deep to center on top of the center field restaurant for
the win and give the Cubs the opener.
Armchair Managing: In the bottom of the 7th with 2 outs after a Jeff Baker double, the Astros walked Koyie Hill intentionally to force Lou's hand with Zambrano due up. Z did double in an earlier at-bat and was at 103 pitches and Lou stuck with Z for the at-bat. He mercifully grounded out to end the inning and then was replaced by Aaron Heilman to start the eighth. I mean, I love Z as good-hitting pitcher, but there are better options on the bench, especially if Z is done for the night. Of course, the game ends up going 13 innings and the Cubs needed all those extra bats, although they may not have if the pinch-hitter came through.
Armchair Managing II: Bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th with one out, Lou sends Mike Fontenot out to pinch-hit. Then Lou calls for the suicide squeeze to the surprise of everyone and Fontenot whiffs at the attempt and Bradley is out at home. I actually thought it was a good call, just poor execution. Fontenot would then add a poor throw to third base on a triple by Jason Michaels with two outs in the top of the 10th. A decent throw nails him by plenty, but luckily Jeff Stevens got the next batter.
The Bullpen: Speaking of Stevens, it was my first look at him since his call-up and I have to
say I like what he has to offer. He seems to have a little deception in
his delivery and his 93-95 mph seems to get up on the hitters with a
little late movement catching them off-guard. His breaking ball has a
steep drop that he was able to control...at least tonight.
For all the hand-wringing over the relief corp, they entered the game 6th in ERA in the NL(3.79) as a group and that ranking might improve after 6 scoreless last night.
Great Moments in Parachat: I could never do justice to a Transmission recap, but some solid offerings in tonight's Parachat..
- The Mike Fontenot/Orphan parallel...add "Esther" to his list of nicknames
- clothing optional charity dining with Ryan Theriot
- Bobby Jenks bobblehead does not resemble Bobby Jenks
- Brenly and 17 yr old gymnasts
- Celebrity church-going and my brush with fame
- Reminder to self to write down Parachat moments as they happen instead of trying to remember them 3 hours later
- I have much to learn
- appreciating Transmission's recaps...
"According to FOX Sports' Jon Morosi, Tim Tebow's baseball workout Tuesday in Los Angeles will be attended by scouts from "roughly half" of the 30 major league teams."
"One scout told ESPN.com last week that Tebow's swing is so long it might "take out the front row." That's not a good thing."
MyrtleBeachPelicans [email protected]
The #MBpelicans and @Cubs have extended their PDC through 2020!
Carolina League getting 2 new teams too.
CF WAR is ridiculous...billy hamilton is pulling a 3.0 WAR somehow...and managed a 2.0 WAR last year (even though he missed a month of the season)...and a 3.7 WAR in 2014.
yeah, a lot depends on how one is doing relative to others at a given position, but WAR is common used (right or wrong) as a blanket comparing all kinds of players.
trout's one of the best, and at this point should probably win over donaldson (and should have more MVPs in the past, too), but the defensive aspect of valuing WAR still needs more tweaking...imo.
Mike Trout is ridiculous
Don't know if Cubs will recover from "spanking" Gordo
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.