The LaTroy Hawkins Experience
The Cubs come back in dramatic fashion with four runs in the eighth with the entire rally starting with two outs - taking a second straight from the Brewers. I don't know what the joke is, but the punch line was once again LaTroy Hawkins.
The Good: Oh...so much. Randy Wells struck out the side to start the game and then struck out Weeks, Hart and Braun again the second time he faced them. He ended up with 7 K's on the day against just one walk, although he did give up 10 hits (just 2 for extra bases). Geovany Soto only manages a hit, but it's a home run along with 2 walks. Ryan Theriot has to be your player of the game....4/5 with the clutch 2-out, 2-RBI single in the 8th and then steals second base to set-up Fukudome's heroics. He also nailed Fielder at the plate in the second inning with the infield drawn in. Speaking of that 8th, the entire rally started with 2 outs. Byrd grounds out against Hawkins, then Chad Tracy K's. Jeff Baker singles though, Soto and Colvin work walks, the Theriot single, a clutch SB and then Mr. April with the single for the win. Marmol mows down the middle of the Brewers order with a 1-run lead...nailing down the 'tough' save.
The Bad: Jeff Gray gives up back-to-back triples in his first outing and two runs. He does end up with the vulture win. The Parachat crowd suggested there was some bad luck/sloppy defense involved though. Soriano makes another error and doesn't play a ball off the wall properly. Wells walked the pitcher with two outs in the 5th and then gave up his first two runs of the season when Weeks doubled in his third at-bat (and took third on Soriano's error).
Dare I Question Lou?: After the Brewers make it 4-2, Lou goes to Justin Berg to face Ryan Braun and he gets a ground-out, moving Corey Hart to third base. With first base open and Prince Fielder due up and righty Casey McGehee on-deck, I expected an intentional walk to Fielder. Lou went to James Russell instead, who dismissed Fielder easily on Monday and went after Fielder again. It worked, but how often can you play chicken with a 300-lb vegetarian and expect to win?
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)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.