TCR Friday Notes
- Chone Figgins loves his Orange County Angels.
"...when you find a home, you want to stay here. I love what this
organization is all about -- winning, playing hard. I love being here."
- The Peoria Chiefs dominated the Midwest League this season to the tune of 81-57, then proceeded to get swept out of the best of 3 playoff series by the Cedar Rapid Kernels (Angels). It's important to have an organizational philosophy that runs through the entire system.
In Game 1, Jovan Rosa hit a game-tying two run home run in the 9th, only to see Peoria lose 6-4 in 10 innings.
In Game 2, the Chiefs led 8-7 heading into the 9th and turned to bonus baby, Chris Huseby. And in spectacular Cubbery fashion, he walked two to lead-off the inning, then got the next two outs, then a wild pitch, another walk to load them up, another walk to tie up the game and a hit-by-pitch to finish off the season. Final line for Huseby on the night: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP.
- As for Tennessee, they played Game 1 last night against Huntsville (Brewers) and were up 2-1 in the 8th when Marcos Mateo served up a 3-run shot to get saddled with the loss. Tyler Colvin hit one out for the Cubs earlier. Casey Coleman takes the mound tonight in Game 2 of the best-of-5 series.
- Gordon Wittenmyer continues his assault on the coveted, "Worst Beat Writer in Sports." Today he blames Bud Selig for the Cubs missing the playoffs and explains how the Colorado Rockies have benefited from interleague play and how if they didn't enjoy that 11-4 record in interleague games, they would still be in first place in the wild card standings. Wait. Check's article. Yup, that's exactly what he demonstrated.
Consider the current NL wild-card standings (before Florida’s late game Thursday night):
Colorado 81-60 —
San Francisco 76-64 4.5
Florida 74-65 6
Cubs 71-67 8.5
Now look what happens when only National League games are included:
Colorado 70-56 —
San Francisco 67-58 2.5
Florida 64-57 3.5
Cubs 65-58 3.5
- Cubs vs. Reds at Wrigley today. Justin "Shutout" Lehr vs. Rich "Farewell Cubs Tour" Harden. I just hope beyond hope that Bobby Scales gets to start another game.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.