Transmission's Archives

Game 43 Recap: Cubs 3, Cardinals 4

A(nother) tough loss.

Box Score, Play Log, Game Graphs

W - Rosenthal (2-1), late-inning drama, Cubbery, Cardinals pinch-hitting

L - Warren (3-1), wasting great starts, confidence

Things to Take from This Game

1. Lackey makes it look easy, until...

 Lackey worked briskly, threw strikes, and had a good fastball and swing-and-miss slider--he K'd five consecutivey, early in the game. This was the sort of bulldog or workhorse mentality, take your pick, that we were promised with his off-season signing. For the first 6.3 innings it looked like RBI singles by Montero and Rizzo, and an RBI fielder's choice by Russell would hold up. Lackey finished with 4 hits and 1 walk allowed, and 9 strikeouts.

2. ... Adams continues Cards pinch-hit heroics

Take a look at the game graph, which nicely illustrates the late-inning drama. See that jagged move upward? Adams's pinch-hit game-tying home run moved the Cards' Win Expectency from 15.8% to 52%. It was really quite stunning, in the context of how effortlessly Lackey had been cruising along.

3. Grichuk saddles Warren with the loss.

Continuing the theme set by Lackey, Warren looked dominant for his first five batters, only to jar us out of whatever remaining sense of confidence we might have had. He rolled a slider, and the badly slumping Grichuk hit out to right for the game-winning home run.

Game 40 Recap: Cubs 8, Giants 1

Oh, dear god.

Box Score, Play Log, Game Graphs

W - Arrieta (8-0), Outfield Walls (Countless-1), rebuilding our run differential, staying up late

L - Peavy (1-5), Heyward's torso (1 of 1), Balls in McCovey Cove (1 of 104), getting up early

 

Things to Take from The Game

1. Cubs lose Heyward to probably-serious injury on certainly-best catch of the year.

Jason Heyward made a Jason Heyward catch running full-speed before making a leaping, twisting, belly-flop dive. He hit hard with his right side just before his left shoulder and face smashed into the outfield wall. He appeared to be in a lot of pain and was helped off the field by a couple of trainers. Early reports identified it as a "right torso and abnominal area" injury.

2. Soler has a very encouraging game.

Soler showed a good approach in his at bats, and was rewarded with a single and a home run, coming right after Zobrist put one in the Cove. Soler also had an extra-base-hit-robbing catch at the wall, and then an also helpful, if less-than-graceful, catch on another deep drive.

3. The pitching duel is exactly what we thought it would be.

Peavy looked every bit as bad as his line, and it could have been worse. The big damage was a Kris Bryant three-run home run. Arrieta had to wait through long Cubs half-innings, a replay challenge, and an injury delay, and didn't look like Peak Arrieta early on. He settled in though, and gave up just one run through seven, looking steadier the deeper he went in the game.

Game 37 Recap: Cubs 2, Brewers 4

Brew Who?

Box Score, Play Log, Game Graphs

W - Anderson (2-5), 3 unassisteds, shifting the third baseman, the "tourniquet" stat.

L - Hendricks (2-3),  lame no-hit bids, homerless streaks.

S - Jeffress (11), what I should do more often when doing recap drafts.

Things to Take from This Game.

1.  Chase Anderson?!

Chase Anderson looked every bit as awful as his over-6 ERA suggested in the first few innings, with rockets getting hit all around the park.  None of them dropped in, though, and he threw strikes, eventually settling in to a very less-than-dominating no-hit bid.

2. One bad inning.

Other than a Lucroy solo homer, Hendricks looked sharp and efficient through the first five. But he got knocked around in the sixth, with the big damage being a gap-splitting double by Chris Carter.  Cahill came in to get eight straight outs and looked quite sharp doing it. Stuff-wise, the Cubs pitching looked better than the Brewers, most all of the night.

3.  Late firepower

With two outs in the ninth, Chase Anderson suddenly remembered he was Chase Anderson. Blame it on going with an off-brand hypnotist. Heyward did what few thought possible, and barreled up a ball for his first home run of the season, just escaping the reach of the right fielder, Santana. Bryant followed with a no-doubter to left, but Jeffress then came on to K Rizzo and end the game. Those of us who stuck around to the bitter end appreciated this modest moment of drama in an otherwise stupid game.

Game 9 Recap: Cubs 8, Reds 1

No Contest

Box Score Play Log Game Graphs

W - Hammel (1-0), Augie Ojeda tribute videos. Harry singing the Stretch

L - Iglesias (1-1), pseudonymous middle-relievers, throwing to unoccupied bases

 

Things to Take from This Game

1. Hammel pitches around some walks

Hammel was reasonably sharp, pitching out of a couple of instances of mild-to-moderate trouble. 4 hits, 4 walks, 3 Ks in 6 IP with no runs allowed, and a booming RBI double at a point when the game still was awkwardly close.

2. Bryant heats up

Kris Bryant hit his second home run in as many days, going 2 for 3 with a walk overall. Fowler also had another big night, with a fine defensive play in CF thrown in, as well.

3. Best Team in Baseball

The first team to 8 wins played an errorless game with really no blemishes of any sort to speak of, other than a bit of wildness from Hammel and Grimm getting into some utterly inconsequential trouble in the 9th that he soon got out of. The consensus in Parachat was that the game was a sure thing by the time we were up 3-0.

Game 75 Recap: Cubs 1, Mets 0

Quick Work

Box Score Play Log Game Graphs

 

W - Hendricks (3-4),  MLB's average length of game, magic.

L - Niese (3-8), that Home Run Big Apple thingy, losing your game summary right before publishing.

S - Motte (3)

 

Things to Take from This Game

1.  Hendricks with a good outing.

Kyle Hendricks pitched 6 efficient, scoreless innings, giving up just one walk and three hits. He struck out six with lots of movement - if not always command - on all of his pitches. Other than a one-out double that was quickly pitched around, he wasn't in trouble at all. The defense also was flawless, save a bad route and awkward catch by Fowler.

2. The offense continues to struggle.

There isn't much to say about the offensive performance.  Castro walked twice.  Bryant had a hit and a walk. The scoring came from a no-doubt double by Szczur that scored Bryant. We loaded the bases, once, so there was that...

 

3. The bullpen delivered.

Rondon, Strop, and Motte each had convincing scoreless innings to preserve a 1-0 lead.

 

The 2 hour and 22 minute, happy details,  below

Game 70 Recap: Cubs 2, Dodgers 5

After further review... still lost.

Box Score, Play Log, Game Graphs

 

W- Who knows? Eh, Howell I guess (3-1), who cares, let's go home.

L- The very concept of the "Win" also, Hendricks (2-4).

S - Jansen (10)

Things to Take from This Game

1. Starters Struggle 

Hendricks was off his game, with the big damage coming on a Justin Turner 3-run Home Run. Bolsinger looked tougher, getting several Cubs to swing over a diving "spike" curveball, but he couldn't make it through five. With Bolsinger getting Rizzo to GIDP in the fifth and picking up some help from Howell to get out of the inning, the Dodgers shut down the only good shot at a big inning.
.

2. Denorfia gets TOOTBLANed

With two outs in the ninth and down by three, Denorfia got Thrown Out On the Bases Like a Nincompoop, running into the final out of the game trying to get to second on a liner off the left field wall.  Van Slyke got a perfect bounce off the wall to him, played it perfectly, threw perfectly, and still just barely beat Denorfia. And it's not as if we likely were to come back against Jansen down by three with two outs in the ninth and a runner on second.  But still, oof.

3. Grimm Looked Good

Justin Grimm struck out the first four batters he faced, in dominating fashion, before losing some steam in his second inning. It still was an encouraging performance.

 

The I-could-have-been-paying-more-attention-to-the-season-premier-of-Big-Brother-17,-but-instead-I-recapped-this?!?! details, below

 

Game 69 Recap: Cubs 1, Dodgers 0 (10 innings)

Nine Over

Box Score, Play Log, Game Graphs

 

W- Motte (5-1), fly balls to center, getting paid by the word, pitchers duels

L- Peralta (1-1) going to bed early, offense

Things to Take from This Game

 1. The Cubs "Know How to Win"?

For those who put weight in such things, this sure looked like a knowing-how-to-win/will-to-win/clutch/piss-vinegar-and-gumption sort of game.  An error-free pitcher's duel against a big-time opposing pitcher and team, won in extra innings by the supporting cast after yeoman's work from the bullpen. There's precious little to complain about with this victory.

 

2. Hammel outduels Greinke


Hammel looked in command of this game from the first pitch, and by both the line and the eyeball was superior to Greinke, who also was dealing.

 

3. Waiting to go to Jansen


0 to 0 after nine, Mattingly went to the just-off-the-DL Joel Peralta, not the unhittable Kenley Jansen.  Jansen only surfaced to clean up a bases loaded, no outs mess, and he nearly did.  If Gonzalez doesn't bobble a potential double-play ball at first, he might have made it out of the inning untouched.

 

4. Fan catch of the year.


Seriously. 

 

The gory details, below

 

Game 1 Recap: Cubs 5, Braves 16

I Returned to TCR to recap THIS?!?!

 

Box Score, Play Log, Game Graphs, Photos

 

W-  Lowe (1-0), calls for instant replay, people making their team or career debuts

L- Zambrano (0-1), dignity. 3 hours of my life

 

Things to Take from This Game

1.  Not So Good: Zambrano, Samardzija

Zambrano got knicked by a series of softly hit singles before giving up a 3-run home run to Neo Heyward.  Some throwing mistakes and a McCann homer in the second chased Zambrano from the game, having given up 8.   The fourth reliever in, Samardzija, walked three in a one third of an inning.

2.  Good:  Byrd, Marshall, Russell.

Byrd gave the Cubs a very early and short-lived lead with a 3-run homer in the first.  Marshall and Russell gave the Cubs a chance to get back in the game with a Ramirez 2-run Homer, as they pitched 4 and 2/3 of scoreless relief, before turning things over to Samardzija, Berg, and Grabow

3.  McLouth Lies like a Dog.  And Fakes It.  And Just Isn't Very Nice. 

Down 8-5 with Ramirez on 1st, Byrd smoked a liner to left center.  McLouth made a diving catch with the ball popping out on contact with the ground.  But McLouth faked the catch, threw it in, and the umpires, missing the call, declared Ramirez doubled off of first.   We went from having the tying run at the plate with no outs, to no on and two outs.  After Soriano predictbly ended the inning; it was all downhill from there.


 

The gory details, below

 

Tags: 

Soriano by the Pitches

Hoping to understand Alfonso Soriano's hot and cold streaks this year, I turned to the incomparable Fan Graphs to break down his present and historical success against different pitches.  The results suggest that Soriano is losing the skill that made him one of the more feared hitters in the game, but that he might have found a method to compensate for this loss.  Below is a chart showing the percentage of fastballs Soriano has seen each year since 2005, with 2009 broken down per month. It also shows his ranking among hitters seeing the fewest fastballs, his "runs above average"  number on fastballs, (wFastball) and how high he ranks among all hitters, and his overall OPS. (As in, not specific to fastballs)  The most important thing to notice here is his wFB rank.

 

Date  Fastball%  FB% Rank  wFastball wFB Rank  OPS
2005  47.9  147/147  27.6  15/147  .821

2006

 54.1  150/159  23.7  25/159  .911
2007  54  150/161  23.3  27/161  .897
2008  53.2  134/145  17.9  38/145  .876
April 2009  45.9  196/197  3.3  55/197  .965

May 2009

 43  185/185  3.6  60/185  .657
June 2009  49.1  180/184  2.4  72/184  .585
July 2009  44.8  190/190  .7  112/190  .992
August 2009  36.7  179/190  -.6  156/190  .220

 

You probably have noticed a couple of striking trends going on here.  First, Soriano has progressively moved from being one of the most effective hitters in baseball against the fastball to being quite pedestrian. Second, pitchers have not noticed and adapted to this change:  They contiue to avoid throwing fastballs to Soriano as if he were the same hitter he was in 2005.  He's not.

So how do we explain Soriano's April and July, when he hit like the hitter for whom the Cubs offered that premium contract?

Finding  that answer requres looking at Soriano's results swinging at sliders.

Snark Weak

Snark is the blogging equivalent of pennies:  easy to throw around, but no matter how much is thrown, it doesn't buy much.  Using too much of it in one place is a real jerk move, but when one just don't have any currency more valuable to offer, for a short while you can make due with each.

That weak analogy aside, let's snark up the Cubs sports media.  From the headlines at the Sun-Times, I learn...

Bench player doesn't mind the opportunity to play every day

Pitcher has a tired arm, therefore he will rest it.

Player would prefer not to hold an unflattering record.

 

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  • crunch 3 hours 12 min ago view
  • My guy Addy

    jacos 3 hours 12 min ago view
  • oh, another a.russell HR...whatever.

    crunch 3 hours 26 min ago view
  • Dylan Cease throwing gas tonight for the Emeralds. In first three innings, has hit 100 mph six times, averaging 98 mph

    Eric S 3 hours 45 min ago view
  • Can I get a gif of Joe West's jowls waving as he chews gum?

    /Asking for a friend

    jacos 4 hours 9 min ago view
  • my gawd...that castillo-to-bryant pickoff was a thing of beauty. the knock on him in the minors being slow out of the crouch is looking less like a thing.

    crunch 4 hours 21 min ago view
  • bless your heart. *pinches cheeks*

    crunch 9 hours 18 min ago view
  • real shame I missed this week's episode of The Crunch Reporter.

    It's highly unusual.

    It does matter a little.

    It matters much less than you think.

     

     

    Rob G. 9 hours 20 min ago view
  • four winds field is awesome. it's crazy how minor league parks have "grown up" since the 80s/90s and that park was one of the late-80s models that showed a low-capacity ballpark could look like you're at something other than a highschool baseball game.

    crunch 10 hours 26 min ago view
  • On another topic....I returned to South Bend last night for the 2nd time this season (still haven't tried either the deep-fried mac & cheese sandwich nor "The Porknado", as the drive home is over an hour and that could get ugly), and was pleasantly surprised to find D. Underwood pitching in a rehab start. He looked good -- although, to be fair, these are low-A hitters -- fastball consistently at 94-95 (if the SB scoreboard is to be believed -- several pitches were clocked in the 30s...) and with good location.

    billybucks 11 hours 34 min ago view
  • he gains nothing, no advantage, no saving of resources, nothing...there is not a cost/benefit tradeoff...him letting the running game go on around him for others to control isn't gaining him an advantage elsewhere. it's putting him at a disadvantage even if it's not cashed in with a run.

    crunch 14 hours 14 min ago view
  • And out of respect for the rest of TCR, I'm done on this. I'm sure I'm not the only one in the other camp, but time to let it go. (Until the next Lester start. I kid.)

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 14 hours 17 min ago view
  • He is putting himself at a disadvanage. But how much of one relative to the rest of his game? He's not Justin Germano -- he's inarguably one of the best SPs in baseball, issue or not. It would be more of thing to discuss ad nauseum if it constantly caused him to give up runs and lose games. But it doesn't.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 14 hours 27 min ago view
  • shouting down my points about lester with "well, it didn't hurt" is like saying it doesn't matter if a guy starts out walking 3 guys every inning as long it's followed by a K and a double play.

    it's like elevating ERA and wins to a high level while ignoring what it took to get there.

    crunch 14 hours 33 min ago view
  • I'm asking how much it has hurt Lester and the Cubs this year. Do you have that answer?

    I legitimately don't recall you answering that quesion, apart from the condescending silliness you just posted. So if you did answer specifically about the impact of Lester's issue, I'd like to re-read it. Thanks.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 14 hours 46 min ago view
  • if runner = on base and pitcher = j.lester then lead = large

    if lead = large then probability of extra base on following hit > average of mean

    okay, enough of that silliness...

    ...you can read more on the thread i copy/pasted this from the last time you decided you needed to talk to me about me.

    crunch 14 hours 53 min ago view