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...
SS Gleyber Torres, RHP Adam Warren, LF Billy McKinney, and CF Rashad Crawford for Aroldis Chapman
That is a hell of a lot if they don't get an extention done. I'm assuming Chapman is going to be the closer with Rondon in the 8th and Strop in the 7th. That sounds great but Rondon #s aren't as good in non-save situations so we'll see how he responds to being the setup man.
I certainly hope he signed an extension. I would have been ok with this package for Miller, it is too much for 2 (well 3, hopefully) of Chapman. Of course, we win the World Series, I will retract this immediately.
@JonHeyman: Yanks and Cubs have a deal. Torres, mckinney, Warren and likely 1 more to NYY.
Rumor McKinney part of package
I would rather have Ian Happ at second.
that is a hell of a lot of talent to shift for a reliever who's gonna get paid top-scale "free agent" type money in 2017+ after a 1/2 year rental for the remainder of 2016.
Cubs are going to need a 2nd baseman of the future. I'm still not convinced Baez can be that offensively on an everyday basis.
Updating: Per @Joelsherman1, #Cubs-#Yankees trade, if completed, would be Chapman for Torres, Warren and likely two others.
Can only imagine they'd only give that much up if he's signing an extension.
The official police report on Chapman:
You can draw your own conclusions.
Where is he going to play for the Cubs?
That was, ummmm, you know. A joke?
Even from an on-field perspective, Torres is a 19-year-old beating up High-A pitching who also plays a great SS. Even if he never develops a legit MLB power stroke, he's still an obvious 4-tool guy with a very high floor. Sucks to trade away his next 6-8 years for a closer, albeit a great one.
"Like the Chapman deal for Cubs from on-field POV, wish I didn't now have to feel lousy following an otherwise likable Cubs team." @jonahkeri
pretty much sums up my feelings
You mean Yankees?