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 know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.