Game #66 Preview: A's (33-34) @ Cubs (29-36)
Though it sounds like Jim Hendry truly couldn't care less, it's the first day of the Ari Kaplan Era at Wrigley Field. As for the game on the field, mlb.com reports that Randy Wells is looking at today's start against the A's as hitting the reset button on his thus far rocky season.
The irony, of course, is that Wells's employers might not be able to overlook the past quite as easily: since the beginning of May, the righty is 0-5, 6.47. His first-inning troubles have been especially ugly. In 13 Wells starts this year, opponents are hitting .357 against him in the opening inning and Wells's first-inning ERA is a Grabow-esque 11.25. (Stats from Baseball-Reference.com.)
Moreover, all of this is happening while Tom Gorzelanny collects dust in the bullpen—since his last start 22 days ago, Gorzelanny has pitched just three times (1 2/3 IP) and thrown a total of 52 pitches.
The lineups have been posted. You'll note that with the A's starting another lefty, the Cubs' "everyday" right fielder will be sitting for a second consecutive day.
A's vs. Randy Wells (3-5, 5.15; first appearance vs. A's):
Davis 8, Jackson 7, Barton 3, Suzuki 2, Kouzmanoff 5, Cust 9, Ellis 4, Pennington 6, Braden 1
Cubs lineup vs. Dallas Braden (4-6, 3.95; first appearance vs. Cubs)
Theriot 4, Baker 5, Byrd 8, Lee 3, Nady 9, Soriano 7, Soto 2, Castro 6, Wells 1
From the FWIW Department, Marlon Byrd is the only Cub to have faced Braden and has gone 6/16 against him, including 3 doubles. As for Braden, he's 0-4, 4.75 in six starts since his perfect game against Tampa Bay.
Baez had Maddon's ass last night. I didn't hear the reason for taking Contreras out last night but whatever game management thingy it was, you don't take out your second hottest hitter. Or is he third? Anyway, you don't take him out. The guy can probably play anywhere in the field, anyway. Did anybody see that nice catch in left he made? I don't think he got a late start on that, just tracked it damn well for a catcher.
Bryant took over NL lead in WAR after yesterday's effort. 3.9. Rizzo's at 2.8 and 8th in the league. Rizzo actually with better offensive numbers (161 wRC+ versus 146 for Bryant), but Bryant gets a good bump because of defense and position(s) played.
Fowler with a 2.8 WAR as well (9th), Zobrist with a 2.7 (14th).
M. Carpenter leads NL with 163 wRC+ just ahead of Rizzo who is 2nd.
@jonahkeri Joe Maddon living out Joe Maddon fanfic IRL tonight
yes. I was at the Sean Marshall game in LF. Lou Piniella was managing. StL won 4-2, so I guess it didn't help but it was zany. Soriano/Reed Johnson and Marshall were the LF's.
On a 6 degrees of separation note: Cubs got Travis Wood in the trade that sent Sean Marshall to Cincy.
Make that 1-7, 4 RBI.
i like how strop played LF with his "crooked cap" look...that's not just for the mound.
let baez pitch the 15th, he earned it.
Forget the save, finally Javier!!
Can a pitcher get more than one hold in a game? Or a Win and a save?
Didn't they do this sort of thing with Sean Marshall years back? Sticking him in LF to save him to face others, but without a pitcher replacing him in LF.
This is the most beautiful thing ever.
all i wanna know is...when's d.ross gonna pitch?
Maddon is over-managing the shit out of this game.
i was a bit more confused why the guy who gave up a HR to votto last night was facing him with 2 men on.
...now that wood is coming in to pitch the following inning, the whole thing gets weirder. so like, okay.
Javy 0-6. At least he's consistent.