Game 32 Recap: Cubs 2, Astros 0
W - Wood (3-2), History. Fastballs over the outside corner. Generous outside corners.
L - Reynolds (2-3), any losers who didn't see this game live because they were out in the rain and cold shooting a bad round of golf. Trying to come up with an adequate term for that freaky breaking pitch of Wood's.
Things to Take from This Game
1. Wood Strikes Out 20, Two Batters Reach in Complete Game Shutout
From the first few pitches of the game it was clear that Wood had a potentially history-making fastball and breaking stuff working today. Wood K'd his first five,and gave up his only hit on a grounder by Gutierrez off of Orie's glove. This won't make me the most popular guy around here, but yeah, it was a hit. It also was a play that Orie probably makes more often than not. Tough luck for everyone involved. The only other runner came on a curveball that got away from Wood and beaned Biggio. The performance is every bit as dominating as the box score will indicate. Almost without exception, the Astros looked completely helpless.
2. Cubs scratch out 2 runs against Reynolds
Reynolds threw a complete game gem, himself, with 10 Ks and 1 ER in 8 innings. The Cubs' scores came on a Grace "double" in the second, on an incredibly generous ruling where third-baseman Howell got completely devoured by a bouncer. Grace then advanced to third as left-fielder Dave Clark throws away the potential play at second base. Oh Henry! drove him in with a sac fly to Alou in deep center field. They added another for good measure in the eighth; Morandini and Grace singled, with Morandini scoring on an attempted 5-4-3 double play that was too slowly turned and resulted in a fielder's choice.
3. Greatest Game Ever?
A traditional recap can not adequatly contextualize this game. The central question at this moment, just minutes after witnessing this gem, is not "what do we take from this game?" but "where will this game place among the all-time great games ever pitched?" Larson's perfect game came in a far more important context. Haddix's perfect game through 12 innings kept more hitters off base for longer. Clemens has two 20-K games to his record, but as I thumb through the pages of my favorite baseball encyclopedia, I see that Clemens gave up five hits in his 1996 gem, and a run on three hits in 1986. The 1996 Tigers and 1986 Mariners, furthermore, were no 1998 Astros. IS this the greatest game ever? If only we had some sort of pitcher's in-game dominance statistic, and a place that compiled every statistic from every game ever played. Then we might have a more objective idea of where this game ranks on the list of all-time great pitching performances. In the meantime, here's hoping that Wood's career is as successful and distinguished as the Rocket's.
4. Looking to the Future... All the way to the Year... 2000...
This has to portend well for the Cubs. If Wood can stay healthy and anchor a rotation with Trachsel, and another talented young arm like Geremi Gonzalez or Terry Adams or Telemaco emerges as a compliment, we could have a dominant rotation for a decade to come. We just need Wood's health to hold, and though we know he was worked hard in high school, he seems to be a very well built young man, and hopefully can keep his strength up. The Cubs winning a world series may be about as likely as a black president or a second Great Depression, but Wood may have the arm to get us there.
The if-this-is-his-rookie-year, just-imagine-the-things-to-come details, below.
Chip Caray and Steve Stone on the call for a surprisingly warm and bright out for a game held at 9 pm in late February. It looks almost like a mid-day game in, say, early May it's so nice out, with the sparse crowd wearing shirt sleeves. Caray warns us that Derek Bell is leading the league in hitting with a .403 average. One thing about Bell, you know that he's always grinding it out, a guy who just would never shutdown on you.
Wood with 25 K's in 18 and 1/3 IP on the year. Stone informs us that homeplate ump Jerry Meals may be a key figure in the game, as Wood could benefit from the generous strikezone Wally Bell offered last night.
Inning 1 - Top
- Biggio and his paleolithic helmet lead off the game. First pitch and Biggio shows bunt, pulls back. Sandy Martinez totally whiffs at the fastball, with the pitch sailing back and hitting umpire Meals right on the mask. Inauspicious start.
- Wood's fastball is really crackling, but only one of the first three is for a strike.
- Biggio flails at a fastball high and outside, for a K. Stone declares "Biggio swung when that ball was in the glove." He's not exaggerating.
- Bell's mustache stands in at the plate. Second pitch, we finally see something other than a fastball: that wicked slurve thingy for a called strike. Stone sounds very impressed so far with Wood's stuff, I have to agree.
- More of a 12-6 curve that just falls off the table. Bell doesn't stand a chance, strike three swinging.
- Bagwell looks at a blistering fastball on the outside corner for strike one.
- I can't even begin to describe the movement on a slider that Bagwell lays off of.
- Wood blows a fastball by Bagwell for strike two. Bags looks completely overmatched, Caray says the astros "are just shaking their heads right now." And Bags looks at a bit of a generous strike 3 call on an outside-corner fastball.
- Is it too early to point out that Kerry has "hmm-hmm" stuff today?
Inning 1 - Bottom
- Wow, the top of that Cubs' lineup has some nice averages. Then, there's the bottom half of it... Ugh.
- I love Stone, who introduces "the venerable Jack Howell" at third. Heh.
- Brown waves at something offspead, strikeout. 4 Ks to start the game.
- Bit of a hanging curve Morandini fouls it off
- Caray calls it "A good sized crowd gathering." I don't see it.
- Morandini with a tough check-swing called strike three. Home plate ump Meals doesn't even ask for help at third. Riggleman comes all the way out to have a word with Meals. Use your colleagues, Meals. That said, Riggleman could stand to chill out a bit. I imagine whomever the Cubs hire, after Riggleman, will be someone a bit more laid back. We could use that. Five ABs, Five Ks so far.
- Sosa uncorks a vicious swing, missing a curve for strike two. He gets a clear look at a pitch just off the outside corner, and knowing he couldn't cream it, he holds off.
- But Sosa injects himself into a slider off the outside corner on the next pitch, striking out. Both pitchers K the side.
Inning 2 - Top
- Howell checks on a fastball, and now Meals appeals to third, and it's not a strike? Bah. Also should be pointed out that virtually every fastball Kerry throws gets the Astros' hitters trying to check their swings. THAT is impressive.
- Wood misses his outside-corner target on a fastball, getting it up over the center of the plate. But Howell swings right through it. 4 straight Ks.
- A generous strike one call on a slurvey thing on the high outside corner. And a weak check on a lower outside slurvey thingamabobber. 0-2.
- The third whateverthehellyoucall it is the nastiest of the three, but Alou lays off.
- Alou, who is supposed to have the quickest hands in the game, can't get around on a high inside fastball. K's swinging. 5 in a row.
- Hmm-hmm stuff, indeed. Alou looked a bit peevish in that at bat
- Dave Clark hits one hard, but just short of the warning track in center. So much for the K-streak.
Inning 2 - Bottom
- Fastball down the middle, Grace bounces it right at Howell. Howell backs up on it, plays it off his hip, and it gets past him. No chance. Astonishingly, improbably, they call it a hit - a double. Clark makes the throw to second, and its way off line, heading into the right field bullpen. Grace to third on the error. Little League stuff there.
- Reynolds with a 58 foot something-or-other, Ausmus with the block.
- A very generous outside corner for a called strike to Henry Rodriguez. 3-1 count.
- 3-2 count, Henry! hits a high fly to center, just short of the track. Easy sacrifice fly, 1-0 Cubs
- Reynolds has a fastball drift inside to Blauser, but Howell handles this hard-hit bouncer for the out.
- Sandy Martinez with the start today, gets a 2-0 count in his seventh AB of the year. 3-0 count, now a 4-pitch walk. Nice work, Sandy
- The struggling Kevin Orie up, Stone tells us that Jeff Pentland has been trying to get Orie to open up to better deal with the inside fastballs. And Reynolds starts him out with an inside fastball, strike looking. And another, ball two. Swing and a miss at the spliter inside, 1-2. Fastball inside, 2-2. Splitter down, swing and a miss, strikeout.
Inning 3 - Top
- Caray: Happy 89th birthday, former Cubs employee Harry Steinberg. I wonder if Harry knows my friend, Heinie Massman.
- Gutierrez with a foul, and a strike swinging on the fastball.
- Wood with 24 pitches through 2
- Gutierrez with a sharp grounder on a slightly-hanging breaking ball. It's a bit to Orie's left, maybe two big steps and a lunge for it, and it tips just off the edge of his glove and dribbles into the outfield. Tough play that Orie makes on another day, but properly ruled a hit. We'll see how Kerry does from the stretch. So much for the hmm-hmm.
- 2-2 on Ausmus. A good number of pretty women in the stands today, amongst the smallish crowd.
- 3-2 on a high and outside curve. Ausmus then K's swinging on a fastball, with Sandy trying to pick Gutierrez off of first, not close.
- Reynolds bunts Gutierrez over, 3-4 putout. Nice work by Reynolds getting it down.
- Wood balks Gutierrez to third. When Blauser sneaks behind Guttierez, Wood sort of flinches, bobbles the ball, and it's called a balk. This is the sort of potentieal rookie-meltdown and pitch-count inflator we have to worry about...
- Biggio bounces out to Blauser on a 1-1 count. Inning over. Phew.
Inning 3 - Bottom
- Wood gets behind in the count, looks at a generous strike three fastball on the outside corner. Better things worth worrying about today, Kerry
- Stone predicts it, and Brown does indeed lay down the bunt. A nice one up the third base line, beats Reynolds' throw easily. Brown has that big home run from yesterday and now a fine bunt, and looks really sure-handed in the outfield. Here's hoping he'll be around for years to come.
- Give it another decade, and I'm sure that the Mullet will be back in fashion. But for now? Sorry, Mickey.
- Four games against Bonds and San Francisco coming up. It's impressive how young and svelt Bonds still looks....
- A nice striaght change and Morandini swings over the top for the K. 6 for Reynolds.
- Wow, Reynolds leads all active pitchers in strikeouts per walk. Ahead of Saberhagan, Schilling, Eckersley and Pedro. What an odd statistic, I suppose it is a bit illuminating, at least.
- Sosa steps in. 2-0 count, and another very generous called strike fastball on the outside corner. There should be a Congressional investigation into this strike zone.... I'm sure Sosa would be happy to testify.
- Sosa fists off a fastball, blooping it just over Biggio's outstretched glove and into center. Way to muscle up, Sammy!
- That gives Sosa a 13 game hit streak. Bichette leads with 54, Bell with 50, and Sosa, Chipper and Fernando Vina at 44.
- Runners at the corners for Grace. Grace's average against Reynolds is further up in the stratosphere than the Dow Jones.
- Reynolds keeping Sosa close at first.
- Ausmus with another tough block on a ball in the dirt, saving a run.
- Grace walks on four straight. Bases loaded for Henry!
- Who flails at the first pitch, down and away. 1-1 count, then another wave at a fastball outside
- Stone correctly notes that another run could be the ballgame, the way Wood is throwing
- But another called strike on an outside fastball, for the K. Inning over.
Inning 4 - Top
- Funny joke Stone tells about Derek Bell when he was a youngster playing for the Jays. Winfield and Carter drove his truck onto the Sky Dome field, and had the PA announce that for fan appreciation weekend, they'd be raffling off Derek Bell's truck. Bell could have emotionally shut down over that prank, but persevered and took it well. Cool guy.
- Bell does a nice job going opposite field on a tough pitch, but Sammy easily snags the fly.
- Fastball sails up and in on Bagwell, 2-1 count. 3-1, then Kerry drops a slider over the middle for a strike. Bagwell freezes on a 3-1 pitch, nice
- A bigger, funkier slider-slurvey thing, Bagwell stares at it, easy called strike three. Wow. 7 Ks.
- LOL, Stone advises the K sign-holders to go to a K-mart to buy some more K's for today.
- Kerry throws a fastball right to the mitt, Howell looks at it on the outside corner for K 8.
Inning 4 - Bottom
- Caray speculates that Gutierrez's hit may be a source of controversy (hinting that it might be the only hit of the game). Sorry Chip. It was a hit.
- Blauser bounces a fastball inside the third base line for a double.
- Martinez with a hard hit fly to right, but Bell catches it, keeps Blauser at second.
- Orie up, more inside fastballs. Given the success Pentland is having with Sosa, you have to hope he has something for Orie that can affect a similar transformation. Maybe next AB. Orie looks at a low outside fastball for the K. Stone says "Kevin Orie looks confused."
- Wood with a big swing and a miss. Don't hurt yourself swinging the bat, Kerry!
- Kerry bounces one to Bagwell, who backs up on it, almost gets handcuffed. But makes the 3-1 putout.
Inning 5 - Top
- 16 Ks through 4 innings, total. 8 each. Wow. Will be a fun contest to see who can K more.
- Caray still wondering if we'll get a scoring change on the Gutierrez single. Give it a rest. A. even with Wood's stuff, there's likely to be another hit, and B. it was a hit.
- 0-2 on Alou. Wood K's Alou on yet another outside corner fastball. Overhead cam shows it two inches or so off the plate. Nothing Alou can do but wipe his hands of the at bat, and start fresh next time.
- Wood has tied his career high in strikeouts, already
- Strike one, strike two to Clark. A huge 12-6 curve catches the top of the zone.
- A huger 12-6 curve right through the middle of the zone, K looking. Dear god. "That curve is spinning so quickly, you can probably hear it. WWooaaaaaaaaah" - Stone 10 Ks.
- Caray can't let the Gutierrez hit rest. Seriously, Chip, there won't be any controversy there unless you insist on manufacturing one.
- Martinez gets really low to the ground, like Tony Pena used to do.
- Chip with an "official scorer's nightmare kind of game" line. STFU, Chip.
- Gutierrez stares at yet another fastball over the outside corner. 11 K
Inning 5 - Bottom
- Stone advises us that we're watching something special here today. No doubt.
- Wood has K'd five in a row, for a second time now.
- And we get another look at the Gutierrez single
- And there are storms in the area, Stone tells us.
- Brown laces a single to center. This guy is going to be one helluva ballplayer, folks. Oh Yes.
- Lights come on at Wrigley
- There's almost no one sitting in the upper deck...
- 3-2 pitch to Morandini, he smacks one right back to Reynolds, who makes a nice pick, spins to second, where Gutierrez is covering on the hit and run. Brown with a very hard slide, slamming his right shin right into the bag. Hope Brown's all right. Completes the double play, 2 out, Sammy up.
- Sosa swings over a tough breaking pitch, 1-2 count. And again, for strike 3.
Inning 6 - Top
- Ausmus with a sharp roller, but right to Morandini.
- Reynolds stares at a fastball, I'll let you guess the location. 12 Ks. 7 called, 5 swinging.
- Biggio's fossilized helmet steps in. Every Astro has K'd today.
- Biggio takes a humongous swing at a curve, not even close. Crowd "woahs"
- The Astro's star on Biggio's helmet is peeling off. Get an f'ing maid, Biggio.
- Chip now notices it, lol.
- Biggio doesn't seem quite right after that wild swing.
- A curve slips away from Kerry, and Biggio tries to duck out of the way (for a change.) Gets hit on the elbow, could have been worse as it could have gotten the head. 122 HBP on Biggio's career
- Bell pops out to Grace in foul territory on the first pitch. Inning over.
Inning 6 - Bottom
- It's looking real stormy at Wrigley.
- Biggio with a great play ranging to his left on a ground ball. Stretches out and snags it, spins and throws out Grace.
- Henry! with what might be the furthest outside called fastball strike yet. 0-1.
- I'm so glad I decided to cancel on my friend Dave, and watch this game instead of going out golfing. It's kind of cold and stormy out, and it's not like I have a VCR or any other means of watching a game after the fact.
- Henry! chases a pitch in the dirt. 10 Ks for Reynolds. Henry! now 3 for 30 against Reynolds, career.
- Rain is starting to come down.
- Blauser fists one to center, in front of Alou for the single.
- Martinez inside-outs a liner to third Howell with a nice play to his left to snag it. Inning over.
Inning 7 - Top
- And the rains continue.... Not enough to delay the game yet, but we'll have to see.
- A nifty little thingmawhatsit slider for strike 2 on Bags. Smoking fastball, just a bit too far outside to get the call. 3-2 count. Bagwell is hopelessly late on the next fastball, 13th K. Unreal.
- We need a radar gun. Haven't heard the speed on a single pitch yet, just "upper 90s"
- 3-0 on Howell.
- Comes back with a fastball strike. Rain gets steadily thicker. Howell tries to check his swing on a head-high fastball. He tries to jog to first, but Meals calls it a strike. Swings through a letters-high fastball for K 14. Nice comeback from 3-0.
- With it raining, you have to wonder how Alou manages to keep a grip on the bat when his bare hands are so wet.
- LOL and on the next swing, indeed the bat slips out of his wet, gloveless hands.
- Crowd really getting in to every pitch now.
- Alou tries to check on a slurvamasomething, it's called a strike by the first base ump. 15 Ks, K's the side.
- Joe Mantegna for the 7th inning stretch!
Inning 7 - Bottom
- The already slow-paced Reynolds really slowing it down, now, trying to let the rain come down.
- Orie chops it to third. Easy out.
- Wood gets a nice hand as he comes to bat. A few chanting "Kerry! Kerry!"
- Chip just said to Mantegna. "yer in town for a ...." heh. Yerintown.
- Wood pops to Biggio.
- It looks really, really dark at Wrigley. And wet. Reynolds calls over the equipment man for a tongue depressor to clean out his spikes.
- Reynolds rolls a curve, Brown swings through it for strike 2. Chip has stopped calling the game in order to talk theater with Mantegna. Does anyone care about his 3:30 performance in Skokie? Anybody? Bueller?
- Brown pulls one to second, slips running out of the box. Inning over.
Inning 8 - Top
- Jose Hernandez in for Henry! in left.
- A sign on the fence says "We Got Wood." Stone says "We certainly do!" Oh my.
- Oh for the love of christ. Oh, dear, god. The Ameritech play of the game is the Gutierrez base hit. Stone sort of smacks down Chip, saying, quite definitively, "this is a base hit. Folks, that's a hit, it was a good scoring call." God, what would we ever do if the Cubs replaced Stone with some stereotypical jock to partner up with Chip. It'd be insufferable.
- Jack Pfeister struck out 17 for the Cubs on May 30, 1906 against St. Louis in 15 innings.
- 2-0 on Clark. Former Cub Bob Scanlan up for the Astros.
- 3-2 on Clark, crowd really into it. 102 pitches for Wood. Fastball still zipping. Clark K's on a touch 12-6 curve, Clark way out in front. 16 is a new Cubs rookie record, and tops Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson for the most Ks in a game on the season. God, imagine a Wood-Schilling-Johnson rotation....
- Fans into the 0-2 pitch, Gutierrez swings and misses at a fastball on the outside corner. 17 Ks. Ties a Cubs record set 92 years ago. Bullet of a fastball.
- Stone finally mentions there's a chance to hit the all-time strikeout record, set by Clemens in 1986 and 1996.
- Ausmus swings at a curve that was maybe two feet short of home plate and a foot outside. Unfuckingbelievable. Stares at a whosaslurvamagaddget onthe outside corner. 18 Ks.
A Brief Poetical Interlude:
Rain, rain, go away.
Come again another day.
Little Kerry wants the K.
Inning 8 - Bottom
- Morandini lines a sharp single in front of Bell, for a hit.
- Sosa inside-outs a fly to right, Bell catches it.
- Fastball down the middle, Grace lines another single into right Mini Mulletdini to third.
- Jose Hernandez with his first AB.
- Nice curve for a called strike, 0-1.
- Credit to Reynolds, he's pitched a fine game, and could still win this if disaster strikes.
- Stop stealing my thoughts, Chip. It's like you have some monitoring device that records everything I enter on my keyboard.
- Hernandez with a bouncer to third. Howell with a slow pivot and throw to second, perhaps forgetting how many outs there are. Hernandez beats the throw to first, thereby driving in the second run of the game. 2-0 Cubs
- Hernandez tries to steal second (huh? Leave it for speedsters, like Sosa), and is thrown out by Ausmus.
Inning 9 - Top
- Rod Beck warming up in the bullpen.
- Bill Spiers in to hit for Reynolds.
- 0-2, two late swings to foul off two fastballs.
- Crowd stands and cheers.
- Jack Brickhouse calls it the best pitching performance since Bob Henley lost a one-hitter to Koufax, who threw a no-hitter in response.
- Sandy Martinez pumping his fist, cheering Wood on from behind home plate. A couple curves fouled off.
- Wood ties the NL record of 19 Ks, with Spiers swinging at a slightly floating slurvamaslidingkabreakerladiddy. 7 straight Ks for Wood. Broke so far inside it could have hit him
- Biggio takes an outside fastball and pulls it to Blauser for an easy 6-3. No record for Wood, fans boo Biggio.
- Derek Bell stands in. As hopeless as things may seem for the Astros, you know that Bell will give it his best, until the bitter end.
- Bell flails at a whothefuckknowsit low and outside. 1-1 count
- and again at the whirleymajigger, 1-2 count. Bell trying his hardest, but not even close. Caught at least a foot outside of the corner.
- one final spinnymasliderthingy for a swinging strike out. 20 strike outs. Chip is shrill. The fans are few but raucous. Grace looks pumped, Wood looks kind of dazed, cool, almost lethargic. Beck looks pumped, everyone laughing. Sosa comes in, no one looks happier for Wood than the consummate teammate, Sosa.
- Wood to be interviewed, quickly being hustled over to the microphones in front of the dugout, see the earpiece being put in his ear. Dear God, let him ice down first, it's not like he has a bionic elbow or something... Then again, maybe he does...
- Partying like it's 1998
- Who should close, Beck or Mullholland?
- Or Telemaco?
- Brant Brown Rules
- Timing our start to the game
- The oscars suck.
- How durable will Wood be?
- The difference between Shane Reynolds and Darryle Kile
- Sandy Martinez, ground-scraper.
- Making fun of Derek Bell
- Does Wood have closer's stuff?
- Pitch counts
- Good managers for Wood to work under
- Making fun of someone who isn't here.
- Oscar updates. What are these "movies" of which you speak?
- Heckuva job, Brownie.
- Whip's getting married?
- disbelief ensues
- the Seinfeld finale
- some geeky friends who want a loan so that they can fund their search-enging project...
- Has Sosa bulked up a bit?
- Babes at wrigley
- Hideki Irabu
- Whip needs to visit the WTC when he heads to NYC
- Does baseball have any roids users?
- Pentium II
- A new Windows OS?
- home-team scoring.
- Viva Zapata!!
- Cheering Henry!
- Managers we like
- Is the Wrigley concrete cracking?
- Ways to defile wrigley with advertising.
- Nah... never would happen
- IsY2K anything to worry about?
- Oh dear god, yes.
- The moochers on the rooftops
- Porn on the internet? That'll be the day
- Hit, or error?
- How big is a megabyte?
- Joe Morgan will love the internet.
- Watch out for the Krauts. Damn Gerries.
- Waiting for Chinese Democracy to come out.
- What did you think of Titanic?
- Haven't seen it.
- YO-YO DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Anyone hear about this Pokeyman stuff?
- Brant Brown
- Oscar talk
- "Never go full retard."
- Is that like a gymnastic move? Ice skating?
- More oscar talk.
- Getting younger.
- Who will win a WS first: Cubs, W. Sox or R. Sox?
- Cubs, duh!
- Token Cripple has gas
- no good can come from any of that last parachat update.
- The Oscars are like a four hour game where you're losing 1-0 all the way from the first. - Whipple
- Which is why only losers watch Oscars when they could be watching a baseball dvd with a bunch of strangers on an internet chat site.
- concentration camp comedy.
- Oh, dear god....
- Carlos is Hugh Jackman
- Accents that make your IQ drop
- Games called due to rail.
- Hit or error?
- Can anyone name the current president of Mexico
- Senor Mexicola.
- Looking forward to the new Star Wars movie....
- Filipe Hussein Hinojosa -
- who pals around with Banditos. - Whip
- Another round of Dick Pole jokes.
- Alou complains about a called strike three. Someone get parachat the smelling salts.
- How is Rosie O'Donnell still unmarried?
- Rob is paying absolutely no attention.
- When is he?
- hit or error?
- Hit, you morans.
- Larry Walker
- More Career Wins, Reynolds or Wood?
- Doing it with Craft and Guile. Oh yeah.
- Bowden skims off the top
- How many Ks now?
- Dead People Roundup
- Biggio's helmet is nastier than ____________
- Dead or Not Dead?
- Dreaming about Paul Newman before you die.
- Er, or before he dies.
- How do you like your Newman Sauce?
- Crunch likes it chunky, I don't.
- "oh danny boyle, the pipes are calling you" - flyin bryan
- Alou's losing his grip.
- Pitch counts
- Joe Mantegna
- CGI rain added to the game
- Biggio sucks.
- Steve Stone Knows All
- a Marlee Matlin joke, wow
- Wood looks like he's in a zone. What sort?
- Who'd we trade for Morandini?
- Glanville's column in the NYT
- "Centerpiece cripple, token historian" - Andy and Steve
- If anything happens to Wood, we're blaming Andy.
- "what do you do in your spare time? I cruise the Vine Line" - Flyn Bryan
- synching up
- RALLY K CAPS
- cheering along
- Are groundballs legal?
- BEES ON BOOBS ON PONIES ON GAY WITCHES!!!
Cubs move to 1-0 in games recapped from DVD.
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
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?
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