Mike Quade Era Starts With A Bang, Will Surely End with a Whimper
The Cubs came out thumping last night for their new manager knocking out 15 hits and taking 6 walks, 3 of them by Soto as they pitched around him in the 8th spot. The last time the Cubs had an interim manager it was 2002 and the job went to Bruce Kimm (with Rene Lachemann getting one game before Kimm took over). The Cubs responded well that first game for Kimm, winning 7-3 over the Braves, but he ended up going 33-45 on the year, nearly identical to Baylor who was 34-49 before being fired.
You have to go to 1991 for the next mid-season firing, when Don Zimmer got canned after going 18-19 and once again a one game gig was given to bridge the gap, but this time to Joe Altobelli before Jim Essian took over. If my math is right, the Cubs won that game as well for Essian, a 5-2 win over the Mets thanks to Greg Maddux, but Essian didn't fare much better than Zimmer did for the rest of the season finishing with a 59-63 record.
Some other interim manager results since 1970 for the Cubs.
1987 - Frank Lucchesi (8-17), lost first game to Pirates 4-1. Replaced Gene Michael (68-68).
1986 - Gene Michael (46-56), lost first game to Cardinals 1-0. Replaced Jim Frey (23-33).
1983 - Charlie Fox(17-22) , won first game 2-0 over Reds. Replaced Lee Elia (54-69).
1980 - Joey Amalfitano (26-46), lost first game 14-6 to Giants. Replaced Preston Gomez (38-52).
1979 - Joey Amalfitano (2-5), lost first game 3-1 to Mets. Replaced Herman Franks who resigned (78-77).
1974 - Jim Marshall (25-44), lost first game 10-2 to the Phillies. Replaced Whitey Lockman (41-52).
1972 - Whitey Lockman (39-26), lost first game 6-5 to the Astros. Replaced Leo Durocher (46-44).
Kimm nor Essian got to keep the job the following year and I'm sure the same will happen for Quade unless the team goes on a crazy hot streak to finish the year. Gene Michael was the last interim manager to keep the job after the '86 season although he didn't even make it through the '87 season. Amalfitano did get a chance in the strike shortened '81 season but with poor results. Marshall stayed through 1976 before being replaced by Herman Franks in 1977 and Whitey Lockman stayed on for 1973 and part of 1974.
Quade's big move for tonight against the lefty Lannan is to move Soto up to the 6th spot, offsetting that inspirational move by batting Jeff Baker 5th and playing him in RF. Dewitt stays in the leadoff spot after going 3/5 with a HR and a 2B. Byrd sits after being hit in the hand yesterday and leaving the game early.
DeWitt 2B, Castro SS, Nady 1B, Ramirez 3B, Baker RF, Soto C, Soriano LF, Colvin CF, Zambrano P
And Justin Berg has been optioned to Iowa, lefty Scott Maine has been recalled (acquired in the offseason in a deal for Aaron Heilman).
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
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.