The Easter Bunny comes early to Wrigley Field

 

This was truly an enjoyable afternoon of Cubs vs Dodgers action at Wrigley Field, although some of the stuff I saw didn't make sense in the real world.

Like when the Easter Bunny hopped up in the chair next to me.


"Watch this." he said in the 3rd, "Barney and Byrd are gonna double steal."
They did. 
"Do you believe that?" says Easter Bunny.
"No." I say. 

In the top of the 5th, Ryan Dempster did not look good at all, giving up homers to Blake and Kemp and now the Cubs' lead was only one. And I'm thinking probably Dempster is done.
But in the bottom half, there are two out and the bases are loaded and WTF?
Dempster comes up to bat? 
That's when the Easter Bunny says, "Don't worry, man. Quade knows what he's doing."
Even the guy in front of me says, "No he doesn't."
And Demp strikes out.
Bunny says, "It's cool. You gotta wait til the 8th."

Which was good because then Demp gives up the tying home run, he's relieved by Sean Mashall, Andre Ethier doubles scoring 2 more and by the end of the 7th the Cubs are down 5-8.

"Okay ya stupid rabbit, it's the 8th." says me.
He goes, "You gotta believe."

Soriano singles, Johnson safely and beautifully bunts, Fukudome walks, Castro singles, Soriano and Reed score, Barney hits a grounder to short and Fukudome scores, Ramirez singles, and freaking Jeff Baker hits a double that drives in Barney and Ramirez and the Cubs win 10-8.

So do I believe in the Easter Bunny?
Well I do now.

The last thing he said as he was hopping away: "If you're reeeaaaaaallllly lucky, I'll hang around til October." 

Comments

3-0, 0 outs in the top 1st. men on 2nd/3rd.

go Z go.

3 outs later...5-0.

what's yer point?

12er in 4 games vs. 5er in 1 inning, mostly.

We're chasing so many outside pitches off Kuroda.

The Bunny, the bunny,
Yeah I love the bunny
I gave everything that I had for the bunny...

Project .500 really has become quite the success, with the goofy .500 record the Cubs have managed to get into the books. If they win tonight their new, impressive record will be Maris-like. Er, wait. Never mind.

..and hopefully The Farm System will get his first win as a Cub tonight.

it was just archer, a 19 year old SS, and some spare parts.

at least "the farm system" should lead MLB in Ks after the night is over.

btw, 3 games for archer so far...

12.2ip 21h 6bb 12k 6.39era...and "1/2 the farm" is still looking for his 1st win.

odd he's giving up so many hits. he didn't walk anyone in his last outing, but he gave up 10 hits in 4ip. he's yet to throw 5ip. he goes again tonight, fwiw.

haven't had a chance to get on this site much lately, but that's a great nickname

The Farm System reminds me of the Rich Harden experience so far, 5-6 innings of Ks and then get the hell off the mound (substitute electric slider for Harden's changeup)

This is something that needs to change, pronto, for all of the Cubs starters. Hard to win ballgames consistently when the pen throws 4 or 5 innings per game.

Also, it's absolutely inexplicable that they've allowed James Russell to make 2 starts on a reliever's pitch count.

Totally agree about Russell. Coello and Diamond are on the 40 man. 2 open spots means that ABD, Ortiz, Wellemeyer, Doug Davis or whoever can be brought up to pitch.

How can a team with 130 in Payroll just punt 3 games by using the bullpen starter method?

1 spot open on the 40 man. Brian Schlitter was returned to it.

2 blown saves by Marmol this year against Pirates and Padres

You mean the worst two offenses in the league, Pirates and Padres?

yes, Marmol blew 2 saves against the two worst offenses in the league at the moment costing Garza 2 wins.

Really he should be 4-0 then, since the Cubs offense blew those other games.

So, maybe The Farm System will not get knocked around by a decent hitting team tonight, and get his first win.

I'd say 2-1 or 2-2, the 0-2 pitches he threw to Fielder were all his own doing.

Rockie game is 50/50, Byrd should have caught the ball that led to the first 4 runs (one run would have still scored), but he still might have loss since the offense got shutout.

a guy with 34 K/8 BB/0 HR in 24.2 IP with a near 5.00 ERA and .471 BABIP is a guy I'd be picking up in all my fantasy leagues.

Thanks for the reminder about that. He threw some boneheaded pitches to Fielder. And also, Fielder was really mashing that night.

+31, +13, +17, -23, -24, -26

guess which group the Cubs are in ?

Cubs are 14th in Runs allowed per game, 10th in Runs Scored per game, 15th in defensive efficiency

In the NL or MLB? Hopefully MLB.

NL, I almost never do MLB numbers

In that case... *puke*

Cubs are 1st in all of MLB in BABIP at (.331) but the Cubs pitching has a BABIP against of (.341)

The Cubs have 5 stolen bases, Sam Fuld has 10 (leads the major leagues).

Fukudome's Mr. April line

415/529/439 (968 OPS) with 1 XBH, 10 BB to 5 K

Despite post #11, I like our chances if Fukudome continues on at that rate.

That's always been Fukudome's problem..."if Fukudome continues on at that rate" never comes true.

Believe.

I don't know about that.... I really think he's figured it out this year. I like his chances to have the 7th best OBP of all time . He would slot nicely there right between Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds on the list.

Q-Ball has parlayed all this FukeOBP into 3 runs.

He looks thicker this year, and not the good kind.

I'm curious, is there another hitter whose hits are 94% singles?

over the course of 52 PA's? probably.

over/under on d.barney finishing the season with a higher ob% than slugging %

=p

over/under odds that his OPS is under .670 at season's end?

im impressed at what the guy is doing, but im a little weirded out we got theriot back...in 2nd baseman form...

at least d.barney can field...and play SS, too...

either way, having him around the next 3+ seasons for next to nothing is nice.

He should be a utility guy. At least Mike Fontenot offered a little power. Barney is going to have to hit .330 to be an offensive benefit.

"over/under on d.barney finishing the season with a higher ob% than slugging %"

Of course, Barney hit his first home run of the year almost immediately after that was written.

that's happened to me twice in the past week or so...

that said, over/under on 5 cubs hitting at least 25HR. and uh...over/under on 4 15-game winners for the cubs. and umm...i want a pony.

Marlon Byrd managed to go 22 PAs before his first XBH, and aside one game he hasn't walked all year.

If your point is that even a slugger can go a long time between XBH'es, Byrd is no slugger. His swing is so truncated . . . one of these days, he'll swing at strike three and the ump will say, No, he checked it in time. Byrd has to pump iron all winter to even hit a double.

Is Aramis hurt?

RF Fukudome, 2B Barney, SS Castro, 3B Baker, 1B Pena, CF Byrd, LF Soriano, C Soto, P Garza,

Esmil Rogers (a righty) going for Rockies

Garza needs no worse than 1 ER in 7 IP to get his ERA under 4.

Don't know on Aramis, but it's probably just a day off. 3K's over the last two days just about doubling his season total.

So Baker batting 4th against a rightly is actually a voluntary decision?

guess it don't matter, Cubs are 10-11, games already been won.

That's the dumbest ass lineup I've ever seen. Would make as much sense to do it backwards....or random.

baker hitting 4th. the guy leading the club in HR hitting 7th (t.colvin with the 2nd most HR...at 2). soto bringing up the 8 hole...

neat.

Fowler8, Herrera4, Gonzalez7, Tulowitzki6, Helton3, Smith9, Lopez5, Iannetta2, Rogers1

and

Esmil Rogers, facing the #Cubs for the 1st time, hasn’t allowed a single HR in his last 13 outings on the road (7 starts).

That's OK, the Cubs don't hit home runs off anyone.

It's a small-ball team that doesn't bunt often and doesnt steal many bases.

ha

light rain suppose to be falling throughout...

at least Garza can't complain about it being dry

Recent comments

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  • I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.

    Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.

  • The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.

  • Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".

  • KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.

  • Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?

    It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.

    In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.

    I hope Maddon can keep it going.

  • (It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)

  • Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.

    Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).

  • Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.

  • Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.

  • BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left. 

  • K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A. 

  • His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.

    He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.

  • "KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?

  • Baez is looking like a pretty special player.

  • Hey AZPhil,

    Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.

  • bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...

    felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size

    13ip 4h 3bb 20K

    remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.

    this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.