All Good: Cubs 5 Brewers 1.
So, just how much good stuff happened in this Saturday night game?
(Click on image for full-size version)
First off, Ted Lilly.
Bob and Len kept saying he looked pretty rusty. But godDAMN, he shut out the big bats of the Milwaukee Brewers for 6 innings in his first game back from shoulder surgery! If that's rusty then uh, I'll take rusty. He struck out Prince Fielder 3 times. He finished strong in his last inning with a groundout by Ryan Braun, a backwards K by Prince, and an easy pop fly by Casey McGehee on maybe 7-8 total pitches. Yep, a couple walks earlier but still, he looks like the man with guts the Cubs have been missing.
Marlon Byrd has been hotter than what my root canal feels like right now (I'm sooo about to take another vicadin).
Did you see his slide into home in game 1? Just get the hell out of the way. For some reason, maybe the way he moves or his shape or something...reminds me of Gary Mathews (not the current one but rather "The Sarge" one). Just a big freakin' gamer, that guy. Byrd goes 3 for 5 tonight, and others staying hot would be Theriot and Soto with a couple hits each.
Time will tell, but maaaaybe this Big Z in the bullpen thing is exactly what the team needed. I guess he seemed nonplussed after, but he looked pumped coming in... he's also suddenly like a pretty dangerous pinch hitter coming in late in the game. And if you're the Other Guys, having Carlos Zambrano show up on the 8th inning mound all fresh like that has got to be a hope-dasher.
Except for Xavier Nady leaving the bases loaded and John Grabow slowly turning into this year's Bob Howry, this was just fun to watch and a great game all the way around. Even Alfonso Soriano got a shout-out from Bob Brenly for running out a weak grounder and getting a single out of it. (I know, I know...)
And then I checked the Hawks score online and they pulled out one of those games you just wish you could have been at: a 5-4 overtime W that leaves Nashville a game away from going home.
And THEN, I saw an article about the Bears draft - someone please tell me how in the world the Bears could get publicly blasted for their draft in a year when they weren't even really at the table? They only had 5 total picks, all of them late.
I forgot about that boob Jerry Angelo!
Oh well, the Cubs just ruled, and maybe with young Randy Wells on the mound we'll see A SWEEP today!
deno ended the season well even though ajax heavily cut into a lot of his chances to play. it's either him or ajax. i'm a bit partial to deno, but whatever...at least ajax isn't hitting 2nd.
Agreed. And, with Hendricks on the mound, Cubs will probably need to score some runs to win -- why not start Soler for his bat and bring in Ajax for defense later?
NEVER MIND....just re-read the lineup.
If the Cubs have the lead in the 8th, who pitches? Rodney? Travis? Yikes.
The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.
I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.
Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.
Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell
if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.
I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth
Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.
Wtf is up w/that?!
Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...
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.