Harden, C.C., and Sut
Through last night's play, here is what Harden and Sabathia have done for their NL Central teams, alongside the contribution of another mid-season acquisition, who, once upon a time, made a huge impact when he joined the Cubs from the American League:
|Rick Sutcliffe (thru 8/19/84)||13||1||94||87||93||32||3.26||11||1|
(Note: Sabathia's first start for the Brewers was on July 8, Harden's Cub debut was on July 12, and Sutcliffe's first game for the Cubs was on June 19, 1984.
Thoughts after the jump...
Sabathia has been brilliant for the Brewers, with only one rocky start in the mix, a 124-pitch, 6IP+ game against the Cubs. The question that has arisen around the former Indian is whether Ned Yost is going to pitch him to death in the course of chasing a post-season berth and getting all he can out of the team's prize pick-up in what is likely to be his only season pitching for the Brewers. In fact, Yost had to explain himself after he allowed Sabathia to throw a career-high 130 pitches in Monday night's 9-3 win against the Astros. (Sabathia's 5 complete games as a Milwaukeean are more than every other National League team has thrown so far this year.)
Piniella is aware at all times of Harden's fragility and is managing him accordingly. We know he is aware of this at all times, because he mentions it constantly. As the skipper said after Tuesday night's game, "We've just got to watch him, keep him fresh, keep him strong."
Lastly about Sutcliffe, the big righty finished 16-1, 2.69, and was integral to the Cubs' '84 NL East title. His coronation as NL Cy Young Award winner, however, was arugably a mistake by the Baseball Writers. Dwight Gooden, who went 17-9 in what was his rookie year, fanned 276 men (against 73 walks) in just 218 IP. Gooden's Mets finished 90-72, 6.5 games behind the division-winning Cubs.
Don't know if Cubs will recover from "spanking" Gordo
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
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.