Lou Cashes in Bet on Giants
The Cubs drop the finale versus the Giants to split the series and end the homestand at 4-2.
Why the Cubs Lost: Clearly Lou laid some money on the Giants taking this game, trotting out the entire bench and resting every regular he could. While I'm sure there batting averages appreciated not seeing Tim Lincecum, the paying fans must have thought it was still March and spring training. I'm all for resting the regulars, but maybe Lou would consider spacing it out a bit next time.
Sean Marshall gave up a three-run homer to Bengie Molina in the first, which probably isn't the strategy you want to employ against Tim Lincecum. He then shut down the worst offense in the league for the next six innings, before the first two runners reached off him in the 8th. Jeff Samardzija proceeded to hit Bengie Molina - Molina's first time reaching base via HBP or BB all year - and then gave up a double to Aaron Rowand who hadn't had a hit in about a week.Then another single on a drawn in infield to Randy Winn before finally retiring Juan Uribe on a popout. After walking Emmanuel Burriss, Lou had seen enough and summoned Neal Cotts who did a much better job than Samardzija of preventing the inherited runners from scoring.
The Good: Marshall looked good from innings two to seven and Neal Cotts took one pitch to get two outs in the 8th. Bobby Scales in his major league debut, got his first hit and almost a second if not for a fine diving play by Winn. Scales also made a few nice plays at second base. Lincecum did retire 11 in a row at one point, but the Cubs did hit a few balls hard at least and were in the game until the pitching imploded in the top of the 8th.
Death Pool: Probably be Bobby Scales getting sent down to make room for Friday's starter, but don't overlook Jeff Samardzija and his 8.10 ERA heading back to Iowa and someone like Chad Fox getting the call-up.
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