Cubs Recap for April 23, 2012
9th inning dramatics at Wrigley and the Cubs have won 2 of 3. You probably don't want to go any farther back than that though.
@Cubs 3 - Cardinals 2; That certainly was an unexpected win, but let's first take a look at the expected. Garza gives up just 2 ER over 7 innings against a slightly depleted Cardinals lineup (no Berkman or John Jay). Garcia of course answers against a depleted Cubs lineup (no injuries, just by their very nature). Now to the surprises, Garza made a decent play on defense, laid down a sacrifice bunt and the team did not commit any errors. There were some adventures on the basepath, Castro getting picked off by Garcia and then 8th inning weirdness with Campana that worked out for the Cubs. Campana singled with 1 out and representing the tying run in the 8th. I missed the DeJesus at-bat unfortunately, so I don't know if he attempted to run off the lefty Garcia. But Matheny brought in the righty Boggs to face Barney and the Cardinals knew Campana would be running. He did on a 1-2 count and they called the successful pitchout and Molina delivered a strike, but Greene couldn't handle the throw and Campana ended up with the bag and then for good measure took third as well. It was all for naught in that inning, but fun to watch. To the 9th, Motte made quick of Soriano's slowing bat with 98mph heat. LaHair though battled to the tune of 12 pitches, fouling off all kinds of crazy pitches before working a walk. Soto followed with a walk of his own and Sveum went with Clevenger as the pinch-hitter for Dolis. He managed to advance the runners and now with 2 outs and runners on 2nd/3rd, Sveum lets Mather hit with Stewart on the bench against the righty Motte. Not the call I would have made, but Mather came through with the winning hit. I have no idea if Motte used up all his mojo up on LaHair's at-bat, but things certainly turned with that epic at-bat. Winning is fun.
Memphis 6 - @Iowa 2; Iowa played earlier in the day and you can see the recap in the game thread below, so no reason to repeat myself.
@Tennessee 5 - Chattanooga 4 (12 innings); This is an interesting one. Jonathan Mota started in left field, taking over for Ty Wright whom was promoted to Triple A when Campana was called up to the majors. Mota homered and then got credit for the win with a scoreless 12th inning. Mota for his minor league career entering tonight has played the following positions: 300 @SS, 130 @3B, 114 @2B, 15 @RF, 12 @ CF and 4.2 innings as a pitcher since 2008, so it wasn't completely new to him. Elliot Soto also had a multi-hit game with a double and a triple and Watkins had 2 RBI's. Dallas Beeler started and went 5.2 IP/4 ER/8 H/2 BB/ 3 K/1 HR. Justin Bour had the game-winning hit, singling in Nate Samson.
Lakeland 7 - @Daytona 2; A tough draw for Daytona as they got highly touted Jacob Turner for some reason (I presume some sort of rehab assignment as it was his first appearance of the year). Turner went 4 innings, giving up 0 hits, 2 BB's and 0 K's. Zach Cates got the start for Daytona and gave up 3 ER in 4 IP on 6 H/1 K/ 0 BB. Larry Suarez got roughed up for 3 ER in 2 innings of work to put the game out of reach. Richard Jones and John Andreoli were the only hitters to reach base multiple times.
Lansing 7 - @Peoria 3; Jose Rosario roughed up again for 4 ER in 5 innings against 9 H/2 BB/2 K. Offensively, DeVoss and Darvill were the only hitters to reach base more than once and Easterling had the only extra-base hit - a triple.
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.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)