What Would Tyler Colvin Do
It's your first start of the season, chance to impress the manager and the fans...Cubs need a pick-me up. Tommy Hanson, ace-in-training on the mound just struck out the side in the first. He unleashes a 95 mph fastball down the middle of the plate, might be the best pitch you see the entire at-bat. You calmly let it go for strike one. Bravo. Make him think you know something. Next pitch is another fastball but Hanson misses well inside. 1-1 now, and Hanson mixes it up with a slider but it's outside. A hitter's count and you know the fastball is probably coming. The catcher sets up away and Hanson rears back and fires. He misses his target...badly, ball is right in the lefty sweet spot down and low. You bring the hands in, uncoil the swing and *crack*, you know you hit it good. You're a rookie though, put your head down and start running. A muffled cheer and the ump twirls his finger, time to break out the home run trot but don't show up anybody or you'll get one in the ear next time.
Jesus Heyward ain't got nothing on you Tyler Colvin...well other than probably having a much better major league career. As for rookie theatrics, you're neck and neck.
The Good: Randy Wells goes 6 innings, giving up 6 hits, 2 walks and getting one strikeout and 3 inning-ending double plays, twice with a runner on third base and less than one out. That's some pitching magic. The bullpen throws three scoreless including Sean Marshall retiring two more batters and running his total to 13 straight batters to start the season. Carlos Marmol gives up a loud out to Eric Hinske in the 9th, but manages the 4-out save. Marlon Byrd hits his second home run of the season, on the road no less after I bitched about he didn't show much power away from the Ballpark when the Cubs signed him.
The Bad: Ryan Theriot is 0/11 without a walk out of the leadoff spot. Jeff Baker got 4 at-bats.
Minor League Watch: Andrew Cashner strikes out 10 in 4.1 IP giving up 2 walks and a 3-run HR before getting lifted. Starlin Castro goes 2/4 with a triple and an RBI in the same game as Tennessee wins 4-3. Jeff Gray pitches a scoreless inning for Iowa and Sam Fuld gets on-base twice out of the leadoff spot in a 6-3 loss. Daytona only manages a hit by Michael Brenly, but Rafael Dolis goes 5 innings with 5 K's and 0 BB's against 2 hits, but Daytona loses 3-0. Peoria wins 4-3 as Greg Rohan homers and Hak-Ju Lee walks and scores a run but goes 0/4 out of the leadoff spot. Don't forget you can view all the minor league updates clicking on the "Organizational Results" link underneath the Cubs boxscore on the right sidebar. The First Inning recap doesn't get compiled until the morning though.
Next Up: Cubs head to Cincinnati for a three-game set with Carlos Silva, Carlos Zambrano and Tom Gorzelanny scheduled to go against Homer Bailey, Aaron Harang and Mike Leake.
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.
Now looming VERY large. Game tied.
That Braves TOOTBLAN trying to stretch a double into a triple is looming very large.