Game 8 Recap - Prince is King for a Day
The Gist: Chris Narveson pitched a gem, Matt Garza did not. Not much else to say. I believe the first two times through the Brewers lineup, the top 4 hitters had all reached base safely, somethingl ike 6/6 with a BB and a sac bunt and the bottom 5 were 0/10. Space that out and the Cubs are probaly not down 4-0, but such is the game. The big hits came from Prince Fielder of course who knocked in 4 of the 5 runs off Garza all on a bunch of lousy pitches and lousy location.
First At-Bat Soto Set Up and Delivery.
On an 0-2 count Garza seems to hit his spot with a changeup, although I think it stayed a little more up then he wanted. It's spanked down the right field line. Demerits all around.
Second At-Bat Soto Set Up and Delivery.
Another 0-2 count, Soto sets up low and outside, Garza's throws a fastball that ends up over the middle of the plate and Fielder lines it the opposite way.
Third At-Bat Soto Set Up and Delivery.
Yet another 0-2 count, Soto sets up low and inside it appears. Garza throws
the 12-6 curve that Fielder has whiffed at a few times when it's at his
shoetops. This time the pitch is up and over the plate though and Fielder lines into the left field gap.
Not often a hitter goes 1.000 on 0-2 counts for a game. Garza still strikes out 8 over 5.2 IP with 3 BB's (one intentional) and has yet to give up a home run. And while I admire him attacking hitters, he's going to have execute a lot better with 2 strikes to succeed (stating the obvious).
Not much else to say, the offense did nothing, Castro got hit in the face trying to catch a throw from Soto and had no one but himself to blame. Why the Brewers were running up 5-0 is the more interesting story. Gallarado vs. Coleman pitch tomorrow in the rubber match.
|Hitter Results for April 09|
None of the pitchers I'm tracking threw so I'm skipping them.
Scores from Saturday...
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.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?