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.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.