Game 7 Recap - Baker's Big Day
The Gist: They took away streaming video or music from my day job which means these recaps are gonna be a lot shorter and lot less interesting. I think I got home just in time to see Kerry finish his inning and the Cubs finishing it off in the 9th. The big day obviously went to Jeff Baker who clubbed a two out, 3-run home run off Randy Wolf in the 4th off a cookie that Wolf left up in the zone. Unearned runs at that, as Rickie Weeks muffed a pop-up to start the inning. Baker then later tagged Wolf again in the 6th for the Cubs sixth run and scored the seventh run in the 9th when Byrd doubled. He ended up with 4 hits on the day, all off lefties. There's something reassuring when a platoon split works out like that.
On the pitching side, Z pitched. Not particularly well or poorly, but just good enough to get the win thanks to the generous Brewers defense and Cubs offense. He did have a neat pick-off of Carlos Gomez off first base. The late-inning bullpen plan worked to perfection though. Marshall took the 7th and retired the top of the order with ease and some nifty glove work of his own. Wood took over in the 8th and retired his three batters with ease and has yet to give up a run this season. With a 3-run lead, Marmol decided that was too easy and immediately let the first two runners reach to get the tying run up. He then got 2 K's in-between a flyout to end the game.
Brats and Beers for everyone!!! Garza vs. another lefty in Chris Narveson on Saturday.
|Hitter Results for April 08|
|Pitcher Results for April 08|
Friday Night's Scores:
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.