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).
Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.
Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)
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For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.