Ninja Jae-Kuk Ryu's Cardinals!
A nice night for the Golden Boy last night as he throws 5.2 shutout innings against the fading Cardinals to further deter their playoffs hopes. Samardzija did give up six hits and four walks against just one strikeout, so he was constantly working out trouble, but he got 8 groundballs and two timely(as if they are never not timely for a pitcher) double plays by Pedro Feliz to help the cause.
Mike Quade and Geovany Soto came away impressed.
"To me -- and I haven't seen him since Spring Training -- he did a lot of damage with his soft game," Quade said. "He threw some good splits, some good sliders. ... He did a good job against a nice club. It's a real good start."
"He looks more aggressive, throws with more conviction and isn't afraid to baby it in the zone," Soto said.
Ninja says he worked on his offspeed pitches while down in Iowa and mastered picking up groupies for a hopeful 2011 run around Wrigleyville.
"Being down there all year, you get a lot of opportunities to throw [offspeed pitches]," he said. "It's not live or die situations all the time. Not only that but [catcher Geovany Soto] calling pitches [Monday], he showed confidence in me to throw those pitches. A lot of times that's what it takes -- throw it two or three times in a row and that gets it going for the rest of the game."
He'll throw again Saturday against the Marlns and the Cubs say Ninja will be considered for a starting spot no matter how he fares the rest of the season.
In draft pick news, the Cubs slightly improved play has them at the 8th spot right now and in danger of catching the Brewers for the 9th spot as they're just 3.5 behind them with 18 to play.
10 pts for catching the title reference.
Everytime I recall Szcur's bne marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
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?
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.