Game 1 Recap: Cubs 5, Braves 16
I Returned to TCR to recap THIS?!?!
W- Lowe (1-0), calls for instant replay, people making their team or career debuts
L- Zambrano (0-1), dignity. 3 hours of my life
Things to Take from This Game
1. Not So Good: Zambrano, Samardzija
Zambrano got knicked by a series of softly hit singles before giving up a 3-run home run to Neo Heyward. Some throwing mistakes and a McCann homer in the second chased Zambrano from the game, having given up 8. The fourth reliever in, Samardzija, walked three in a one third of an inning.
2. Good: Byrd, Marshall, Russell.
Byrd gave the Cubs a very early and short-lived lead with a 3-run homer in the first. Marshall and Russell gave the Cubs a chance to get back in the game with a Ramirez 2-run Homer, as they pitched 4 and 2/3 of scoreless relief, before turning things over to Samardzija, Berg, and Grabow
3. McLouth Lies like a Dog. And Fakes It. And Just Isn't Very Nice.
Down 8-5 with Ramirez on 1st, Byrd smoked a liner to left center. McLouth made a diving catch with the ball popping out on contact with the ground. But McLouth faked the catch, threw it in, and the umpires, missing the call, declared Ramirez doubled off of first. We went from having the tying run at the plate with no outs, to no on and two outs. After Soriano predictbly ended the inning; it was all downhill from there.
The gory details, below
Inning 1 - Top
Trying to get settled in and find the game somewhere, anywhere, I turn in to espn3.com just in time to see Byrd hit a lined shot of a home run just to the right of dead-center. Impressive. 3-0 Cubs
Inning 1 - Bottom
- 3-2 count to Leadoff Hitter Melky Cabrera (heh), fasball just inside and it's a leadoff walk from Z. Byrd's HR on opening day is the first time a Cub newbie has done that since Henry Rodriguez. Any recap with a Henry Rodriguez shout-out is a good one.
- Prado reaches for one, dumps it down the line in right, runners to 1 and 3.
- Chipper pops to shallow center. You could hear and smell the cubbery coming from a mile away, as it drops just behind Theriot and just in front of Byrd and Soriano. Run scores, runners at 1 and 2. 3-1 Cubs
- McCann pops another one to just-in-front-of-Byrd. Bases loaded, no outs.
- Z blows a 94 mph fastball high and inside past Glaus. 3-pitch strikeout.
- Yunel Escobar with a chopper up the middle, two runs score tying the game. None of these have been well-hit balls, yet it's 3-3.
- Matt Weiters Chuck Norris Robert Redford Paul Bunyan Jesus Jason Heyward clobbers a low and inside fastball maybe 420 feet into the back of the bullpen in right-center. 6-3 Braves.
- 3-0 to McLouth, now 3-1. Walk.
- Lowe bunts to Z, Fontenot covering. Out, runner to 2nd.
- Sean Marshall up in the pen.
- Melky Cabrera (heh) fists one to Theriot, inning mercifully over.
Inning 2 - Top
- Fontenot bounces one to Escobar's left, 6-3 putout.
- Soto hits one to Chipper's right, makes a nice pick, 5-3.
- and Z rolls one to Escobar, 6-3, easy inning for Lowe
Inning 2 - Bottom
- Z whacks Martin Prado with a fastball off the elbow protector.
- Cubbery Part Deux. Jones rolls one past Lee, Fontenot and Z hook up for a nice 4-3. Z then turns and fires to third trying to get Prado advancing to third, but the throw is high and wide, Prado scores. Ramirez wasn't in any position to cover third, anyway. 7-3 Braves
- McCann smites a ball deep into right field. 8-3 Braves. Out comes LouPa
- In comes Marshall. If this is new, emotions-under-control Z, give me Cray-Z Z, anyday.
- Glause K's on a curve near his feet.
- Another nice curve, this time for called strike 2 on Escobar. Fouls off another tough curve. Finally grounds 5-3.
Inning 3 - Top
- Theriot with an easy 6-3 chopper. I am detecting a pattern, here.
- Fukudome with a nice opposite-field liner just out of Cabrera's reach, down the line for a double.
- Lee 6-3.
- Ramirez takes a low fastball out to left of straight-away left. Nice lined shot, classic Aramis. 8-5 Braves
- Byrd with a pretty dumb swing at something low, for Lowe's first K.
Inning 3 - Bottom
- Hercules Heyward lines out to Lee.
- McLouth swings through a high fastball, K.
- Swinging strike on another nice curve, Lowe's AB is done. Nice work by Marshall.
Inning 4 - Top
- Soriano squibs the first pitch, 4-3
- Fontenot with an easy chop to Chipper. Lowe is doing his thing.
- Soto 5-3. Little opposition put up against Lowe this inning.
Inning 4 - Bottom
- Cabrera 5-3. Marshall mowing them down. Z's era is 54.
- "With Zambrano, you just didn't expect this." - Santo.
- Marshall with a real sharp, big curve that hits the bottom of the strike zone, gets Prado looking.
- Another curve for a called strike 3, this one on Larry Wayne Jones.
Inning 5 - Top
- Marshall taken down for Chad Tracy. 2 and 2/3 IP, 5 K. I'd have kept him in, but what do I know. 37 pitches for Marshall.
- Tracy walks.
- Theriot lines one to Escobar, doubles-up Tracy.
- Curve just off the corner, full count on Fukudome. Walks on the next pitch.
- Lee smokes one to right-center, McLouth makes an excellent, fully extended running catch to rob a double.
Inning 5 - Bottom
- James Russell makes his big league debut. Haven't had a chance to watch much spring training, Russell is big, ugly, works quickly, sort of a severe 3/4 delivery.
- and he gets McCann to roll out to Fontenot.
- Glaus lines a single to the left-center gap.
- Escobar flies to right
- Jesus Caesar Rasputin Ric Flair Heyward looks at a high curve for a called strike three from Russell.
Inning 6 - Top
- Ramirez reaches for one, slaps it to Chipper's left for a single.
- Byrd macks one to the left-center gap. McLouth makes a fantastic diving catch, but then the ground shakes the ball out of his glove, rolling on the ground before he picks it up. Ramirez sees it come out and goes to second. The ump rules it as a catch, however, causing Ramirez to be doubled off at first base. Review clearly shows that it came out, but after conferencing, they uphold the double play. Len and Bob correctly point out that none of the umps would have been able to see the ball coming out behind McLouth's glove and body, and McLouth sold it quite well. Then on the other hand, if Ramirez can clearly see it, how can four umps miss it? Bob asks.
- Soriano up, he should be the tying run with nobody out. Instead he's up with two outs and nobody on. Ramirez is prety frustrated.
- Soriano swings at a pitch in the dirt to end the inning. Ouch.
Inning 6 - Bottom
- McLouth with a slow roller off the mound, Fontenot fumbles the awkward hop, but it's correctly ruled a hit. No, now it's ruled an error. Meh.
- Lowe chops a bunt off the plate, Russell goes to first for the out.
- Ramirez shown shaking his head in disbelief at 3B. Me too, Rammy. Me too.
- Len: If Melky does well in Atlanta, and they name a street after him, it can be The Melky Way.
- Oh, dear god.
- Melky flies to right, McLouth to third.
- Prado rolls to Fontenot. Good work by Russell
Inning 7 - Top
- Fontenot's error gets re-scored as a hit. Good.
- Peter Moylan in.
- Over my wgn on mlb.tv telecast, I barely hear someone on ESPN on the TV mention that "Moylan comes from down under, twice." - He's a siderarm/submariner from Australia.
- Fontenot back to Moylan.
- Soto K's swinging
- Colvin makes his first appearing, pinch-hitting for Russell. Flies to Heyward, just getting under it.
- I am so sick of God Bless America being part of the Mid-Seventh Festivities. No one felt the need to sing it until mid-September 2001. It made sense to sing it, then. Maybe we can retire it, ten years later?
Inning 7 - Bottom
- Samardzija in. I'm in mid-season form, correctling spelling Samardzija on the first try.
- Jones walks.
- Theriot is trying to ask for time as Jones gets about a four-step jump on Samardzija as he stands in the stretch. Soto then tries to get up and call for time, as Samardzija starts to throw, realizes what Soto's doing, and lets up, lobbing in a ball. Jones steals second. Ugly.
- Now McCann walks.
- Full count to Glaus. This isn't going so well for Samardzija.
- fastball just off the outside corner, bases walked loaded.
- Rothschild out.
- Escobar lines a shot of a double through the left-center gap, fastball belt-high and middle-in. Bases clear. 11-5 Braves.
- Gilgamesh Heyward bounces to Lee, who throws way above Samardzija's head, scoring Escobar while Heyward goes to second. 12-5 Braves
- McLouth K's looking
- Hinske hits for Moylan. Crushes one deep to right-center, stretches it into a triple with a bad relay throw. 13-5 Braves
- Justin Berg in.
- We're playing the infield in. Bwaaaaaaahahahahahaaaaaa.
- That said, it works. Melky hits one right to Fontenot, 4-3 with the runner holding. Brilliant!
- Prado lines a single to the left of second base for a single, 14-5 Braves.
- Fontenot makes an excellent diving grab on a Chipper liner to his right. Inning mercifully over.
Inning 8 - Top
- Saito in to pitch.
- Theriot K's swinging at a slider low and off the plate.
- Fukudome with a lazy fly to Melky
- Lee K's swinging, Saito looks pretty good.
Inning 8 - Bottom
- Berg walks McCann to lead off the eighth.
- 2-0 on Glaus. Rothschild out. High and tight for ball four.
- Brooks Conrad (who!?!?) runs for McCann.
- This game's just a stinker. (For you, kjk)
- Escobar flies to straight away right, advanced Conrad.
- Sparticus Luke Skywaker Hammurabi Indra Heyward lines a single back up the middle, scoring Conrad. 15-5 Braves
- 2-1 to McLouth, Berg continues to miss high.
- Most runs the Cubs have allowed on opening day since 1884.
- McLouth walks.
- Grabow in for Berg
- Omar Infante pinch hits for Chipper, grounds to.... aw, I dunno, fuck it, someone, who cares anymore. Run scores. 16-5 Braves
- Conrad (I think) pops to foul territory, Theriot makes a nice running catch, worth 11 runs.
Inning 9 - Top
- Wagner in. K's Ramirez swinging at a slider low and inside.
- Byrd pops to Prado at second.
- Soriano K's swinging at a 96 mph fastball. Wagner looks like he's back.
- What have you done in your offseason, in six words?
- Technical difficulties
- You always know that things are going badly when Cholera appears.
- Fantasy teams
- Other games.
- Chipper Jones, Conversation killer.
- basting the lamb shanks
- expressions of disappointment.
- Will 8 runs win this game?
- Why does Z keep getting the Opening Day assignment?
- The new parachat sign-in, tougher and more inscrutable security than the airport.
- Missing HRes while dicking around with your password
- Recommended drugs/medications for Z
- Marshall's time to Free Agency
- First-day performances.
- Soriano still is not good.
- Which is higher, Z's era or his Emotional IQ. (Now that's just mean, CT Steve).
- "Marshall will open next season just like this one. Starting in the second." - Mr. Whipple
- 1st Johann's Mom reference of the year.
- and Jacos links it to a Tiger Woods joke. Very nice.
- Jacos on fire: Not only is Nady wearing Prior's number, he's also wearing Prior's arm.
- What we'd ask Z after the game.
- Where's Prior?
- That Buehrle play.
- The racial subtext of being "Raised right"
- The bane of my existence, adds for The Blind Side
- That botched call on the Byrd hit.
- How to convince Fukudome that every day is opening day.
- And Fontenot that he's two feet taller, Lee that it's 2005, etc. etc.
- If only we could be hyponotized into liking some other team....
- Lee's 2009 vs. 2005.
- Is it your vasectomy that is making you snippy?
- Oh, dear god.
- Bad Answers to Essay Questions
- Things we'd rather doo to our genitalia than watch this game.
- the horrific Bogut injury
- The GBA singer.
- I'm Rupaul. But don't tell anyone.
- How to characterize the worst exams I'm grading.
- How to characterize Samardzija's performance.
- Put in Lady Gaga!
- Chainsaw vasectomies.
- If you wagered that Samardzija would be better than Z, you lose.
- How do we feel?
- Forms of violation that remind parachatters of this game.
- Creative analogies that I'm avoiding like the plague.
- What might have saved this game.
- Fan racism and booing players.
- Insurance/Warranty scams.
- global warming
- Broadband access
I love winning! It's, like, better than losing?
You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!
Its too bad Warren didnt get to pitch. He would have saved us.
Whoa -- that Contreras play in the 8th looked too much like a "Schwarber" -- nearly crashed into the wall going full speed, with Heyward doing the same.
New rule: if you are a catcher playing LF, and find yourself sprinting after a fly ball in the gap -- stop, let the CF go after it and get ready to play it off the wall.
Cubs have no spark and no life. Pretty boring to watch these days.
I thought trips to Miami were supposed to be fun. This one sucked.
The bottom half of the bullpen now turns close games into blowout losses. Not good.
Once Fowler went to the DL, the team went into the tank. Wonder if he'll get any love this offseason? Probably not.
6IP, 2ER. The last one scored because of another botched Zobrist DP turn.
And now, a bad throw by KB. Sloppy.
What is it with Hammel always starting well and sucking after a couple months?
Ahhh...sad. Lke a few of you here, I saw him play during the '69-'71 seasons. He was the "hot Zobrist" for the club in August/September of '69 while everyone else was fizzling out...
I predict: "They will play hard and if they give the same effort every day, they'll win a lot of games."
OK, boys -- find a way to win today.
There's some BA is missing too, here's all signing bonus BA doesn't have some:
-6 Hockin $241,000 (slot price), 7 Cruz $75,000 (saved $110,00), 8 Ridlings $120,000 (saved $53,800), 9 Robinson $30,000 (saved $132,300), so far the Cubs have saved an extra $297,100
Zobrist (2B), Hayward (CF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo, Contreras (LF), Montero, Russell, Coghlan (RF), Hammel
Also -- despite losing 6 of their last 10, the Cubs picked up a game on both STL and PIT during that period. Weird, given that they swept PIT and were swept by STL.
Also, I'd like to know if there are numbers to back up my suspicion that there are a lot more fast starts than late June romps. This seems like a time where everybody not named Willson Contreras is looking a little tired and/or banged up a bit.
For once, the Cubs got off to a fast start. Seems like I've been waiting for that for 50 years.Everybody is really gunning for this team, too. It's their playoffs.