Cubs Say No to Winning Record
I think that was the first game I got to watch in its near entirety in about 2 weeks. My apologies for the outcome.
The Good: After Gorzelanny finished his warm-ups, he mowed the Nationals down through 7 innings. The problem was it took him 3 batters into the game to finish loosening up. Geovany Soto went 2/4 and Kosuke Fukudome reached base 3 times, twice on walks to set-up getting stranded by Lee, Byrd and Ramirez. Soto also gunned down two very capable baserunners in Wily Taveras and Justin Maxwell.
The Bad: Gorz is now 0-3 despite a 2.45 ERA and as mentioned, took 3 batters to get going. Those 3 batters included a stand-up triple by Nyjer Morgan to leadoff the game that he hit to left center. I didn't even know that was possible. Then Ian Desmond singled Morgan in, and stole off the lefty Gorz. Christian Guzman launched a ball into centerfield into the teeth of the wind that Marlon Byrd completely lost track of leading to the second triple of the inning. Gorz settled in and stranded Guzman and didn't run into much trouble the rest of the night. The bullpen gave up another run in the 8th, with Grab-Ass being the culprit thanks to his own throwing error. The 3 through 6 hitters went a combined 2/16 including Lee, Byrd and Ramirez all getting a crack with 2 runners on in the bottom of the 8th. Matt 'Could've Been a Cub' Capps nailed down his 9th save in 9 opportunities.
The Minors: Iowa picked up the 4-3 win in a shortened double-header in the first game.. Thomas Diamond throws 5 scoreless with 5 K's and Jeff Samardzija got the win with 1.2 scoreless innings and no walks with a K. Brad Snyder went 2/4 and Sam Fuld got on-base twice out of the leadoff spot. They won 4-2 in the 2nd game with Casey Coleman throwing 6 innings and giving up 2 runs. Mitch Atkins picked up the save in the 7th in that one. The white hot Smokies take a rare loss but Starlin Castro went 3/5 with a double. Ryan Flaherty, who is off to a poor start, did go 1/2 with 2 walks. Daytona won 3-1 with Alberto Cabrera throwing 5.2 scoreless innings with 6 K's. Aaron Shafer extended his scoreless streak to 16 innings in relief. Matt Spencer and Rebel Ridling homered, but B. Jackson, Vitters, LeMahieu and Burke were a combined 0/12. Peoria won 5-4 with Trey McNutt going 5 innings, giving up a run and striking out 5. Larry Suarez threw 2 scoreless innings. Greg Rohan homered and Hak-Ju Lee went 1/4 with a run scored and a double out of the leadoff spot.
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.