Game 11 Recap - Cue the Banjo Music
The Gist: The odds were pretty low heading into the game that the Cubs could win it with the Astros best pitcher going and the Cubs going with a guy on a 45-50 pitch count limit. At least they didn't waste our time making it suspenseful. It started with the first batter for the Astros with Michael Bourne taking advantage of the lefty making his first major league start. Knowing that he's going to be falling off to the third base side of the mound and probably just worried about throwing strikes with that pitch count limit, Bourne executed a perfect bunt to the first basemen that Russell had no chance to get to the base in time. And then they did the exact same thing with the next batter. Give 'em some props for the smart baseball.
Then the little league defense, starting with Soriano's muffing a single and Barney missing a tag that gave the Astros another run. The Cubs made three errors on the night and really four although they gave Quintero a triple instead of Reed Johnson an error late in the game. Samardzija was asked to pitch three innings and he got his first four batters, but ran into trouble in the 4th giving up two runs. He got in more trouble in the 5th before Jeff Stevens bailed him out. I feel that whatever the team needs out of Samardzija, he'll always deliver one less. You need two innings out of him, he'll give you one good, one bad. You need two outs, he'll get you one. Anyway, Stevens, Marcus Mateo (struck out the side), Tyler Colvin and Marlon Byrd were about the only bright spots in the game.
Z vs. Wandy in the rubber match on Wednesday. The Cubs have an off day on Thursday so Q-Ball can probably push the bullpen a little tomorrow if needed with only Samardzija being unavailable. I wouldn't be too surprised if Russell or Stevens gets sent down in the next two days for a bullpen arm. The team won't need another 5th starter until Tuesday, April 19th next and I suppose I could see Ramon Ortiz getting that nod.
|Hitter Results for April 12|
|Pitcher Results for April 12|
- Albuquerque 18, Iowa 3 (In case anyone thought that T. Diamond was a better idea than Russell: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 9 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 2 HR)
- Daytona 5, Clearwater 1 (R. Whitenack with 6 IP, 1 H, 1 unearned run, 0 BB, 12 K)
- Peoria 8, Burlington 5
Tennessee had the night off.
TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.
TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.