Block party with the worst Cubs game ever!
Did it seem like it was National Block Party day yesterday?
I had to go get more brats at about 1, and I swear I drove by 3 on the little trip to the Jewel.
Ours had a million kids, a pet parade, a raffle, an egg toss, a firetruck visit, the Chicago Mounted Police (2 guys on horses!), that giant inflatable room where kids can jump, incredible barbecue, bean bag toss competition, a dj (Hokey Pokey! Lady Gaga! The Macarena!), musical chairs, frosty cold malted beverages and the worst Cubs game possible on the radio.
At one point I walked into the house, turned on the tv.
It's 5 nothin', Cubs not winning.
I walked into the back yard, came back in about a minute later.
Now it's 8 nothin' and Big Z is getting pulled.
Good God, remember the end of last year when he won all those (8, I think) games in a row and you thought, "HE'LL NEVER BE MORE APPEALING TRADE HIM NOW!"
I read Phil Rogers this morning.
He says there's an unconfirmed rumor the Yanks might be interested in Soriano.
Anyway, there's another Phil who lives a couple houses down, and he comes over with the old 1986 Crosstown Classic mug.
That's the photo above.
Just look at old man Jimmy Frey.
2 years before this, 1984, he comes this close to the Series.
He gets canned after winning just 23 of the first 56 games.
Compared to strapping young Tony LaRussa with the big guns and a 72-90 Sox team with a payroll of about $10 mil.
Anyway, what fabulous art!
I found a commercial for a recent crosstown classic, and it has this joke in it:
SOX FAN: Why'd it take the Cubs so long to get a website?
CUBS FAN: (LOOKS MYSTIFIED)
SOX FAN: They could never string three W's together. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
How come that seems so...not unusual?
These Cubs were Sutcliffe and Davis and Dunston and Ryno and Maddux and Moreland and Dernier and Durham and GOD DO I MISS THAT TEAM.
Even though they won just 70 games that year.
Right now the Cubs are 38-57.
Wonder if they'll be as good as '86?
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.
Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.
Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.
that game sounds fun as hell.