Game 81 Recap: Cubs 1, Braves 2
- In case you missed it, Z starts on 3 days rest, insted of Hart, who had been slated to take Dempster's place.
- Game starts with McLouth walking on five pitches, Z missing low of the zone.
- Prado bunts McLouth over to second.
- Z working very fast. Z with a nice pickoff attempt at second, it looks like Theriot had McLouth, but he's called safe.
- and Garret Anderson, hitting third (heh) grounds out to second, advancing McLouth to third.
- McCann lines one sharply to right-center on the first pitch, scoring McLouth. 0-1 Braves
- Escobar waves at a fastball, strikes out.
- Fukudome battles to a 3-2 count, before striking out swinging on a fastball. Len and Bob praise Fukudome for at least seeing some pitches before making an out, a not too veiled swipe at Soriano
- Theriot chops out to Escobar, coming across the middle.
- Lee K's swinging, Vazquez looks tough.
- Kotchman serves one out to Lee, takes it unassisted.
- Francouer with a fly to Hoffpauir in medium-deeo right.
- Brooks Conrad (who!?!?) laces one off of the part of the right-field wall where the "well" begins. Hoffpauir was turned around to begin with, and as it bounces off the well he has to go chase it down. Conrad triples
- Vazquez grounds to Theriot.
- 23 pitches in 2 innings for Z.
- Hoffpauir with a broken-bat liner into shallow right-center for a single.
- Ramirez with a nice stroke, hitting a soft liner into center for another single. 1st and 2nd for Soriano.
- four straight breaking balls to Soriano, who K's swinging at one off the plate. Fans boo.
- Fontenot with a nice battle against Vazquez.
- Fontenot with a nice lined shot to deep right-center, McLouth makes a fine running catch, over his shoulder.
- full count, two outs to Hill.
- Hill lines a pitch right back up the middle, scoring Hoffpauir. Ramirez has to hold at second. 1-1 Tie.
- Z K's swinging.
- McLouth rolls out to Theriot.
- Full count to Prado, hits a sharp liner to straight-away right for a single.
- Anderson swings over the top of a splitter or slider, striking out on the third pitch of the at bat.
- McCann lines one down the left field line, getting into thecorner. Fastball outside that got too far up in the zone. Prado scores with ease, double for McCann 1-2 Braves.
- Escobar swings over what might have been a change, striking out. 43 pitches through 3 for Z.
- Fukudome screws himself into the ground striking out swinging on a straight change.
- Theriot with a sharply hit one-hopper back to Vazquez, on a fastball that got over the plate. Vazquez with a nice spinning backhand to make the grap, 1-3 putout.
- Lee quickly grounds out to short. very easy inning for Vazquez
- Kotchman walks.
- Z blows a 94 mph fastball by Francouer, up at the letters, for the K.
- Conrad rolls one toward the right-side hole, Fontenot makes the nice pick and throw to beat Conrad at first.
- and Vazquez grounds to Theriot.
- Hoffpauir pops to Prado at third
- Ramirez with a hard hit ball up the middle, it kicks off the mound toward Conrad at second, who throws him out.
- Soriano hits one back up the middle for a single. Brenley congratulates him on the shortened swing with a two-strike count.
- Fontenot grounds to second.
- First pitch of the inning, WGN misses it as McLouth lines one sharply but right at Fukudome.
- Prado with the lazy fly out to Hoffpauir.
- Anderson walks, bringing up McCann. gyeh.
- Z K's McCann with a nice fastball over the outside corner.
- Hill tries to bunt for a hit up the third base line, but McCann makes a nice pick, spin and throw for the out.
- Z, batting lefthanded, hits a sharp grounder just to the left of second. Escobar makes a nice diving stop and throws him out.
- Fukudome rolls to Kotchman, unassisted.
- Escobar lines out to Theriot.
- I really don't get why they fell the need to do the Player of the Game promo at the top of the sixth. But it's Z. Hooray.
- Kotchman hits a sinking liner into left-center for a single.
- Francouer with an easy fly out to Hoffpauir. That's a lot of unnecessary vowel combinations involved in that play.
- Full count to Conrad, Z blows a fastball by him, up in the zone, for a swinging K. Probably the end of the night for Z with 91 pitches and Marshall warming up.
- Theriot grounds to Escobar, easy play.
- Nice full-count battle, but Lee K's swinging on a fastball that rides up and in.
- Hoffpauir pops into shallow left, eventually Anderson calls everyone off and makes an easy catch. Vazquez not meeting much resistance.
- nice to see Angel Guzman making an appearance in relief of Z. k's Vazquez on three pitches, last a 92 mph fastball low and away.
- Full count to McLouth,lots of fouls, finally gets a low and in fastball, and one-hops the right-center wall for a double.
- Prado hits a liner into right-center, Hoffpauir intercepts it, holding McLouth at second.
- 0-2 to Anderson, fans on their feet to cheer for an end to the inning. Fastball high, now fastball in, JUST off the plate, fans boo the "ball" call. 2-2. Now a fastball wide outside, fans groan. Tense AB here.
- 3-2 count, Anderson fouling pitches off. Intense.
- Finally flies out softly to Soriano.
- some native Chicagoan comedian, who I know I've seen do the stretch before, does the stretch. He's still as much of a no-name as the last time I watched him do the stretch. Tom Dreesen, I guess.
- Ramirez hits a sharp liner in front of Anderson for a single.
- Contrary to Dreesen's predictions of a homer, Soriano chops into a 6-4 force, unable to turn the 4-3 in time for the double play
- Fontenot with a soft liner to Anderson.
- Hill grounds to Kotchman, unassisted.
- Marshall in
- weird, scary play where McCann hits a swinging bunt right on the first base foul line. Marshall tries to pick it up with his glove right as McCann is running by. They avoid each other, barely, but Marshall drops the ball. Picks it up again, and turns and throws to first, just getting McCann.
- Escobar with a broken-bat soft liner to Lee.
- and Kotchman with a much easier tap back to Marshall
- Mike Gonzalez in to pitch, with Bradley hitting for Marshall. Bradley hits a sinking liner into left, Anderson makes a nice running catch.
- Reed Johnson pinch hits for Fukudome, flies out to Anderson.
- Theriot dumps one down the right field line, holding up underneath the padding by the bullpen for a double.
- Lee pops to Conrad on the first pitch. Nuts.
- Heilman in. Francouer hits a grounder up the middle, takes a big hop on Theriot, backing him up as he runs to his left for it. Leads to a weak throw, Francouer safe. Single
- A bunt by Conrad, Heilman takes awhile to get to it. Grabs barehanded and makes a twisting jump-throw to Lee, over his head. Fontenot is backing up on the throw, and catches it on the fly. Runners at 1 and 2.
- Diaz hits for Gonzalez, and pops a bunt to Ramirez. Len and Bob wonder about using your top pinch-hitter to bunt.
- McLouth flies out to Soriano.
- Full count, 2 outs to Prado, he hits one up the middle to the right of second. Fontenot makes a fine dive to save a run, double-clutches and it looks like there's no hope of throwing out Prado. He makes the throw, Lee does a nice job of sprinting off the bag for the dugout from the second the ball reaches his glove, and they get the "out" call at first. I'd like to see if Lee came off the bag early....
- Soriano in to pitch.
- Hoffpauir hits a sharp liner, but right at McLouth. It seems like McLouth always catches the ball right in front of his face, and sort of winces out of the way as he catches it.
- Ramirez takes a big swing and miss for strike one. And another, foul, 0-2. a 1-2 pitch, and Ramirez takes it, just inches off the outside corner. 2-2. Crowd realy in to it. K's swinging over a splitter. Nuts.
- Soriano to hit against Soriano. Slider over for strike one. Next pitch, lines one up the middle for a single. The WGN shot didn't show a shortstop anywhere in view, he must have been pulled way, way over toward third. Odd.
- Fastball, low inside strike one to Fontenot. goes to a 2-2 count. fastball wide outside, full count.
- Fontenot hits one sharply, off Soriano's glove and toward Escobar. Escobar fields it and the throw beats Fontenot by a step at first. Game over
- Rob and I talk creative vision for TCR.
- People join. Gripe about the call on the pickoff.
- Over/Under line for Z's IP tonight?
- I'll put it at 5 and 2/3. Z's a horse.
- How did you go on the TCR DL?
- Trade rumors wiht Vazquez, Halladay
- The contract I negotiated with TCR.
- Rob's "minders" who follow me around.
- Trying to remember just when we started writing/commenting at TCR.
- More efforts to try to remember TCR's sordid history. We need an in-house archivist.
- Who killed Ruz?
- The same person who killed John Hill.
- I'm filled in on the Whip/Eamus Catuli/Moustaches dust-up. Oh my.
- I just want to let you all know how much you all mean to me. You matter. You are not just words on the screen. I love you all, and may God keep you.
- Whip thinks I'd make a sexier woman than man. He's probably right. Which is why they'll never take me to Prison alive.
- If I were a Native American...
- Silly things researched by sabrmetricians.
- The Vagina Dialogues.
- Historical articles I ought to write about baseball.
- Carlos is easily deceived
- Sexual pranks.
- The MJ funeral.
- and obligatory jokes.
- Comments found on you-tube video message boards.
- Things from which Manny has been ejected.
- Yet more of The Vagina Dialogues.
- Chad tells a harassment joke that everyone seems to think is brilliant, except me.
- We're just regular everyday normal guys.
- Jokes about deployment.
- Noticing that Brenley's being pretty quiet tonight. So's Len.
- Fruit Wrinkles.
- Carlos and Rob with bizarre knowledgability about midget-themed movies.
- Diet soda
- other drinks
- is it odd they didn't X-ray Dempster until today?
- The BEES!!!! Delay in the Hou/SD game.
- Andy loses his pointer. Conspiracy theories abound.
- Thoughtful evaluation of tonight's Fan Cam.
- Andy manages to get both sizeism and sexism into his moped joke. Jerk.
- and now going after the disabled. Andy is a cruel human being with a soul as black as my coffee.
- and now the Waffle House jokes. Someone stop him, before he insults again.
- and now going after the disabled. Andy is a cruel human being with a soul as black as my coffee.
- Aliens in the computer, and the WWF/Soriano video clip
- No one knows who Tom Dreesen is.
- Famous newspaper headlines
- Baseballs have Assholes?
- Dewey Defeats Truman vs. Extreme's "More Than Words." wtf?
- textsfromlasnight, stfumarrieds and stfuparents
- stfumarrieds, stfuparents, and the dullest blog in the world
- and internet comic websites.
- Who decided to call it flomax?
- other potential drug names: shitjets and peemore -nice work, Mornington Crescent
- Ryno with some ill-conceived NBC PSA"The More You Know" ideas.
- Ryno confesses a fixation with watching Wario breath in Mario Tennis. Sick.
- I abuse the admin. controls in parachat in order to orchestrate a cyber-lynching of Crunch. sorry, Crunch.
- After what, 5 years maybe of Parachat, finally God has decided to join us.
- God gives us new commandments.
- And informs us that this is funny.
- oh, dear god...
- Vishnu's Crotch.
- St. Peter joins.
- $16 million singles
- pinch hit Fox for Fontenot?
- no. Do it if you get to Hill or the pitcher.
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.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.
With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined).
BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.
If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).
As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).