Game 99 Recap: Cubs 12, Astros 0
- Wells throws Bourn a fastball over the plate for a strike to start the game. A beautiful, mild day at Wrigley. Eventually flies out, directly to Soriano
- Keppinger rolls out ot Theriot.
- Strike one called to Tejada, now 1-2. A bouncer out to Baker for a very easy 1st inning, woo.
- 0-2 to Johnson. Fouls off some pitches, and then singles into right-center.
- Theriot hooks one down the left field line, past the bullpen. Johnson is flying around the bases, but holds at third as the ball didn't make it all the way to the left field corner. Runners at 2 and 3.
- Lee Flies to medium-depth right field, Johnson comes home. Throw is up the third base line a bit, by Pence, runner safe. Theriot to third. 1-0 Cubs
- and Ramirez singles throught he left-side hole, scoring Theriot. 2-0 Cubs
- Bradley walks on five pitches.
- Soriano skies a fly ball to left, slowly drifting over Carlos Lee's head and into maybe the third row up from the left field well. A fastball right down the middle, and a towering, towering fly ball. Bob says Hampton kew "nothing good was going to come of it" when he threw it. Looks like Bob's getting hip to the TCR lingo. 5-0 Cubs
- Baker walks. Pitching coach to the mound.
- Len tells us this is Hill's 19th straight start as catcher. Last Cub to do that, Damon Berryhill in 1989, who went to 25.
- Hampton spikes a slider into the dirt, getting by Rodriguez. Baker to second. Hampton is wild both in andout of the zone.
- Hill singles back up the middle, Bourn's throw to the plate gets cut off, and Baker scores without a play. Sharply hit back at Hampton. 6-0 Cubs
- Wells bunts back to Hampton, advancing Hill to second. Two outs this inning, each were on sacrifices.
- Johnson skies one to shallow center, Bourn battles the sun, catches it to end the inning.
- Wells' first pitch after a six run inning is a strike. Good boy.
- Moises Alou is watching the game from the stands.
- Transmission passes on the chance to make any obvious Alou joke.
- Theriot snags a ball hit up the middle, but the throw to first pulls Derrek Lee wide of the bag, unable to tag Carlos Lee as he lumbers by. Lee sort of ducks around the tag, touching the base barely with his hand as he rolls by. Error on Theriot
- Immediately followed by a routine 4-6-3 DP on what I think was a slider to Blum.
- Rodriguez rolls out to Baker.
- Theriot and Lee with two routine flies to Pence.
- The red-hot Aramis Ramirez lines a home run over the left-field well, and on to Waveland. Impressive shot, 7-0 Cubs
- Bradley grounds to Keppinger at third.
- Matsui singles into right.
- Down seven, Hampton is swinging away.
- Hampton bounces to Ramirez, force at second, but beats the throw to first.
- Bourn shatters his bat, bouncing it back to Wells. He throws to Theriot coming across the bag at second, forcing Hampton, but the ball just sort of pops out of Theriot's hand as he transfers it to make the throw to first. Would have been an easy double play.
- Not much harm done, Keppinger promplty bounces back to Wells.
- Soriano looks at a called breaking ball strike three, over the inside corner.
- Baker pops out to Matsui, again having to battle the sun
- and Hill flies to center.
- Fukudome replaces Johnson in center. No word yet on why. Johnson fouled a ball off his foot in his second AB of the 1st inning, but no reason to believe that's the cause of the change
- Tejada singles into left.
- Lee lines right to Bradley, easy play
- Blum grounds to second base, foring Tejada. Can't get the double play
- Pence up. The HD Shot Of The Day is of Pence's spindly legs. BJB explains that Pence weighs 215 pounds, 210 of it above the knees. In a Western, he says, they'd round up a posse to find the rustler who swiped Pence's legs. Precious.
- Legless Hunter Pence fouls out to Lee.
- Wells bounces out to Tejada, who gobbles up a big hop and throws him out.
- Fukudome hits a sharp liner to right, but directly at Pence.
- Theriot walks.
- Full count to LEe, who dumps one just fair downt he right field line, scoring Theriot. Double for Lee 8-0 Cubs
- Hampton walks Ramireaz to get to Bradley. In an 8-0 game. With two outs. This might not end well for Hampton. Bradley takes a big swing and miss at the first pitch, a changeup.
- Next pitch, Bradley lines a single into right. Oddly, Lee gets sent, though the ball was hit sharply right at Pence, and Lee wasn't even at third when Pence gets to it. But Geoff Blum cuts off the throw, and Lee scores uncontested. 9-0 Cubs, runners at 1st and 2nd.
- Soriano pops into shallow left, Carlos Lee gets it.
- Rodriguez grounds to Theriot
- Matsui singles into left-center
- Matt Kata bats for Hampton, mercifully ending his day.
- Kata bounces to Lee, who turns a nice 3-6-3.
- Bud Norris comes in to mop up.
- Baker with a modest popup to Matsui.
- Hill K's looking, but then Wells walks.
- Fukudome also K's looking. Decent debut inning, for Bud Norris.
- Leadoff walk to Bourn.
- full count to Keppinger, he chopps one to Therior's right, starts a nicely-turned 6-4-3, the third double play of the game.
- Theriot flies to center, and Lee K's looking.
- Ramirez lines out right to Tejada. Norris helping speed this game along.
- Lee flies out to right
- Blum K's on a checked swing slider low and inside. It sure didn't look like a swing to me, and the home plate umpire didn't ask for any help, but it goes down as Wells' first K of the day.
- Wells doesn't get the call on a ball on the outside corner, full count. Next pitch, and Pence dumps a single into right field.
- I-Rod flies out to Fukudome
- Somebody named Terrence Howard sings the stretch. He has a very pronounced vibratto. But basically well done: kept something resembling a tempo, was enthusiastic, knew all the words, and wasn't too far off key.
- Bradley slices a single the other way into left-center. Bourn over-runs it, and Bradley takes second as the ball kicks off of Bourn's glove.
- Wild pitch advances him to third.
- Fox hits for Soriano. A fastball sails behind Fox, at the letters. Bradley holds at third as the ball ricochettes right back toward the mound.
- Howard seems to be a baseball fan, a sincere earnest enthusiasm. Tolerable interview, for a random actor's stop-in.
- Fox flies to Pence, sacrifice fly scores Bradley 10-0 Cubs
- Baker drives one into the left field well, disappearing as it landsin the ivy at the base of the well. Lee stares at it for awhile, then holds up his hands. Ground-rule double. Lee also didn't play the ball too well, as it basically landed a foot or two away from where he was at the wall.
- Hill singles through the right-side hole, Quade holds Baker at third, broadcasters think it's out of "Respect" for the blowout circumstances.
- Wells hits for himself, pops to Blum at first.
- Fukudome strikes out spinning.
- Er, I mean, swinging.
- No, spinning.
- Er, I mean, swinging.
- Hoffpauir in for Lee, and Blanco for Theriot
- Matsui singles, and Jason Michaels hits for Norris.
- Michaels rolls one to Baker, who flips to Blanco, who grabs it bare-handed coming across second, and fires to first. It's a bit low, and Hoffpauir can't hang on, probably ought to have. Just gets the force.
- Now Bourn hits one to Wells, who can't quite hang on. Would have been yet another DP chance. Instead, runners at 1 and 2.
- Keppinger flies to Fukudome in shallow center.
- Tejada bounces to Theriot, 6-4 force.
- Doug Brocail relieves Bud Norris. Carlos Lee has come in to play first. You'd think he'd have some experience there, but it's only a handful of games in his career. Michaels stays in to play left.
- And this is the icing on the cake. A first-pitch fastball down the middle, and Blanco lines one right down the right-field line for his first career home run. 11-0 Cubs.
- Now Hoffpauir pulls one down the line, and Pence makes a pretty lame effort to reach down for it, as it scoots under his glove to the wall. Hoffpauir gets his first career triple. This is very amusing.
- Fontenot hits for Ramirez. Walks on four pitches. Brocail's got nothing.
- WGN finds a great shot of four young women all sitting in a row, wearing blue Cubs jerseys, with almost identical long, straight brown hair, all with blank, expressionless faces.
- Bradley breaks his bat on a liner to first, Lee makes a surprisingly decent leaping catch.
- Fox dumps one into center, Hoffpauir scores, 12-0 Cubs.
- Baker flies to Pence, Hill rolls to Matsui, and Brocail gets out of the inning. Finally.
- Baker to third, Fontenot to second, Mitch Atkins makes his debut. First pitch is a foul ball to Carlos Lee. Second pitch is a grounder to Baker, who misses the backhand for an error.
- Breaking ball, strike one to Blum. Eventually pops up directly behind home plate, where Hill catches it for Atkins' first major league out.
- Fittingly, the game ends with a GIDP as Pence rolls to Theriot, who turns the 6-3.
- Credit card fraud
- Cincy Kid, others teach me about modern concepts of finance and credit. Thank you, chatterers
- Soto's future, Walton's past.
- Real Neal dates himself
- So does CT_Steve
- I try to pick up one of CT Steve's students. He recommends that I stick with this option.
- I think the "no real jerks" line disqualifies me.
- Real Neal wants to trade for a shortstop named Butcher, and a first baseman named Candlestickmaker.
- Steve's courses.
- Cincy Kid's CNN tour, and Who Is Ted Turner?
- RN is on a roll: pitching on "normal rest" vs. pitching after sleeping in a sensory deprivation chamber.
- CT Steve is unimpressed with the new Philly ballpark, or its fans
- He is really, really unimpressed.
- Blame Crunch.
- Soriano's baserunning
- The division-altering Wlademir Balentine acquisition.
- Taxing all the things Crunch enjoys.
- Grad-student strippers.
- Tax codes on strippers.
- the Pirates trades.
- RN: WWE implementing drug testing: anyone with less than 7X the normal testosterone levels gets fired.
- Future sporting events at Wrigley
- Paul Noce: We have a 10 million dollar singles hitter, and a 14 million. Hendry needs to find us a 12 million.
- Ricketts' finances
- Fukudome's contract.
- So Mayo.
- Bud Norris and Married with Children
- Bud Norris, the Jawas, Bad Breath, R2D2 and Sergio Mitre.
- I don't get the connection, either.
- Mark Grace's open mind
- marketing slogans for the Diamondbacks
- Could the Cubs trade for Victor Martinez?
- Crunch does his Pepsi Rap. It still needs some work.
- Morgan Freeman and Grover Cleveland share what in common?
- Reviewing Terrence Howard's performance.
- LaTroy Hawkins' criticisms of the umpires from the other game.
- Filmmakers Crunch hates.
- Craigslist Singles invade Parachat
- Freddy Sanchez negotiations.
- The purgative powers of a sausage egg McMuffin
- Mitch Atkins vs. Mitch Webster.
- Complaining about Steve Stone.
- Atkins AAA numbers
- Mystery Shirts
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)