I-Cubs Still Looking for Way Out
Round Rock hasn't had any trouble getting into the jet stream above Principal Park. The Express have belted four homers in two games including a back-to-back pair Friday night off of Casey Coleman that were the difference in the 4-3 contest. But the home team remains homerless, having split the first half of a four-game set to open the season.
RR started southpaw Martin Perez and the only hit he surrendered to an Iowa lefty in six innings of work was Brett Jackson's two-out, opposite field, off-the-wall triple in the fifth that went for naught. Jackson later drew a bases-loaded walk.
Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh Iowa mounted a threat that brought Anthony Rizzo to the plate with the bases loaded, one out and the score 4-2. Rizzo, facing LH reliever Mike Kirkman, singled to center. With Tony Campana the runner aboard at second the score was sure to be tied, right? Wrong! Instead the crowd was fit to be tied when CF Leonys Martin gunned Campana down at the plate on the play that decided the outcome.
For the second night in a row Campana was in the middle of everything, like a brat at a birthday party. Twice he was thrown out on the bases, having been caught stealing earlier after drawing a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first. Later he played a liner perfectly off the wall and turned a sure double into a 7-4 putout with a strong throw. In the middle of the seventh inning sequence he laid down his second bunt hit in as many games.
Wellington Castillo almost got the I-Cubs off and (home) running with a double high off of the center field wall that scored Ty Wright in the fourth but that was it other than the uprising snuffed out by Martin's erasure of Campana.
Coleman was working in the mid-90's and fanned five without walking anyone in his five innings but four of the five hits off of him were doubles or home runs so he remains who we thought he was.
The Iowa bullpen hung up four more zeroes. That's seven in two games. I'm wanting to start calling them the Goose Egg Gang but it's early.
Everytime I recall Szcur's bne marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
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.