Game 11 Recap - Cue the Banjo Music
The Gist: The odds were pretty low heading into the game that the Cubs could win it with the Astros best pitcher going and the Cubs going with a guy on a 45-50 pitch count limit. At least they didn't waste our time making it suspenseful. It started with the first batter for the Astros with Michael Bourne taking advantage of the lefty making his first major league start. Knowing that he's going to be falling off to the third base side of the mound and probably just worried about throwing strikes with that pitch count limit, Bourne executed a perfect bunt to the first basemen that Russell had no chance to get to the base in time. And then they did the exact same thing with the next batter. Give 'em some props for the smart baseball.
Then the little league defense, starting with Soriano's muffing a single and Barney missing a tag that gave the Astros another run. The Cubs made three errors on the night and really four although they gave Quintero a triple instead of Reed Johnson an error late in the game. Samardzija was asked to pitch three innings and he got his first four batters, but ran into trouble in the 4th giving up two runs. He got in more trouble in the 5th before Jeff Stevens bailed him out. I feel that whatever the team needs out of Samardzija, he'll always deliver one less. You need two innings out of him, he'll give you one good, one bad. You need two outs, he'll get you one. Anyway, Stevens, Marcus Mateo (struck out the side), Tyler Colvin and Marlon Byrd were about the only bright spots in the game.
Z vs. Wandy in the rubber match on Wednesday. The Cubs have an off day on Thursday so Q-Ball can probably push the bullpen a little tomorrow if needed with only Samardzija being unavailable. I wouldn't be too surprised if Russell or Stevens gets sent down in the next two days for a bullpen arm. The team won't need another 5th starter until Tuesday, April 19th next and I suppose I could see Ramon Ortiz getting that nod.
|Hitter Results for April 12|
|Pitcher Results for April 12|
- Albuquerque 18, Iowa 3 (In case anyone thought that T. Diamond was a better idea than Russell: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 9 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 2 HR)
- Daytona 5, Clearwater 1 (R. Whitenack with 6 IP, 1 H, 1 unearned run, 0 BB, 12 K)
- Peoria 8, Burlington 5
Tennessee had the night off.
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.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.