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.
it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).
neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.
also, rain delays suck.
take that giants
I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.
Per Jesse Sanchez at mlb.com, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus.
BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).
TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.
TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.