Zephyrs' Montz Drills Wells Deep
There was a big, bad moon rising tonight over Principal Park about the time New Orleans' Luke Montz boomed a Randy Wells s(t)inker through the teeth of the brisk zephyr blowing in off the Des Moines River to break a 1-1 tie and launch the visitors to a 7-3 series-evening win.
Wells actually lowered his Iowa ERA to 8.38 while allowing three runs in his rather ordinary five inning stint. He was touched for seven hits and walked two while needing 91 pitches to labor through his outing. Only once did he retire the side in order. He did score a run after drawing a walk himself before Anthony RBIzo doubled him home to put the I-Cubs in front in the bottom of the third.
Rizzo had fanned on three straight breaking balls in the first. The first pitch to him in the third was another one which he pulled sharply foul. On the fifth straight one he saw he stayed back and lined it just fair inside the line at third.
Brett Jackson was back in the lineup tonight and led off in the bottom of the first with a ringing double over the left fielder's head but then proceeded to strike out in his next four trips.
Daniel Berlind relieved Wells in the sixth and made his Iowa debut. He's lanky and throws hard from a preying mantis type posture. When he retired the first hitter he faced on a pop fly I sat up and took notice. Then the next five batters went walk, walk, double, single, double and Berlind took his 108.00 ERA into the showers. Succeeding him, Manny Corpas, Esmailin Caridad and Scott Maine all had scoreless lines. Corpas throws his overhand fastball about 90 and his sidearm one about 85. Tonight he mixed them effectively and retired all five batters he faced, two on strikes. Maine looks good every time I see him. As Cubster has noted, I think he's good enough to pitch out of a bullpen as shambled as Chicago's.
Not much else to report except that Rizzo, who has made six errors already at first, looks very good there to me. Tonight he made one particularly sparkling play and almost made another when a screamer glanced off his glove as he leaped to spear it. I've seen half a dozen games but only one of his miscues when he muffed an underhanded scoop to a pitcher covering the bag.
Travis Wood was to have started tonight until he was summoned as Garza's understudy for tomorrow's rubber match with the resurgent Dodgers.
Oh, one other thing. I scored tickets today for the Springsteen gig at Wrigley on September 8. We go back to his show at the University of Iowa 37 years ago when I was matriculating there. He may have lost a step but we'll see if he beats Brett Jackson to center field at The Friendly Confines. I'm not trying to put pictures in Tim's pen but I'd like to see what he could do with this scenario.
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?
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
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.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible