One Run Done Won
Denied the walk-off RBI by his once-burned, twice-shy skipper, Anthony Rizzo instead scampered across with the game's only tally in the bottom of the 9th tonight at Principal Park to give the I-Cubs a 1-0 win over New Orleans.
Luis Valbuena led off with a single before Rizzo doubled up the alley in left center. Dave Bialas rightly put the brakes on Valbuena with nobody out. Earlier he'd sent plodding catcher Juan Apodaca to the plate on another of Valbuena's three singles but he was apprehended by a strong throw from Zephyrs' left-fielder Chris Coghlan.
Following Rizzo's two-bagger Rob Delaney, who entered the game in the 8th unscored upon this year in 19 innings of work, intentionally passed Ty Wright. JV, elevated to #6 in the lineup due to recent roster attrition, grounded into a force at the plate before Delaney uncorked a wild one that plated Rizzo.
Besides the 9th inning double, the extension of Rizzo's hitting streak to 11 games also included a ringing single off of New Orleans LH Wade LeBlanc. Nice to see him work on his southpaw splits. Also, Rizzo is hitting just below a .300 clip with the bases empty but over .400 with runners in scoring position. Certain situations seem beneath him; others bring out his best.
Jackson didn't play tonight until pinch hitting and flying out in the 8th. Adrian Cardenas also sat out the opener of the home stand. Rodrigo Lopez worked three efficient innings in his first appearance since clearing waivers and joining the team. Frankie De La Cruz then threw up five zeroes before Blake Parker pitched the 9th and copped the win.
New Orleans might have won but for a botched squeeze play in the 8th on which the batter failed to offer so both teams had runners cut down at the plate before Rizzo finally crossed it safely.
On the drive home from the ballpark I heard the Iowa radio team say that the Cub organization has the worst collective record in baseball with no teams on the plus side of .500. Guess you gotta raze before you rebuild.
Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).
Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.
Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.
In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?
Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.
Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.
Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.
I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.
peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.
unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.
they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.
Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester
damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice
Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.
Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.
Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.
Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.
"Pitching prospects not looking so hot"
That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.
Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.
Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:
"Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
"No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"
How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.
Ian Happ is hitting.733 after 5 games at Tennessee. He went into tonight's game hitting .667 -- and went 3-for-3 to raise his average.
2-for-3, including a bomb, for LaStella at Iowa. Pierce Johnson very bad -- 2IP, 5ER. Pitching prospects not looking so hot -- Underwood has been awful.
Did Jiminez get hurt? I noticed he came out early yesterday.