Playing Out Strings
The team, the economy and the schedule all stunk. This looked to be the year when the Cubs’ winning streak at the turnstiles would snap.
But, in the tradition of neighborhood taverns everywhere, ownership resorted to cheap beer and even cheaper hot dogs to keep ‘em comin’ in and now, with 12 home dates remaining in the season, if the current average of just over 37,000 is maintained Team Ricketts will again have suckered/entertained in excess of three million guests. Maybe somebody slipped the fire marshal a free pass to a skybox suite to get him to look the other way so they could cram the joint when the schedule called for it, as when the Yankees visited over a weekend in June. Suddenly the place holds 42,000+.
I personally visited only once, my lowest total in years. I came for an unveiling and stayed for the dollar dogs and free sunset in the bleachers.
Business remains good down here on the farm, too. Despite the smallest market in the 16-team league to draw from, and that they’ll finish in the PCL North basement with their first losing record since 2005, the I-Cubs are still running 4th in the league attendance derby. Omaha is the crown jewel of the Royals’ top-ranked farm system and leads its division while playing this summer in a brand new ballpark. Still, the Storm Chasers are 9th in attendance. Guess maybe the name change didn’t take…
Fresh from dropping the finale of a nine-game series with Oklahoma City [four here; five there]Iowa comes home tonight for the final stand of 2011. The only unfinished business is Bryan LaHair’s assault on Joe Hicks’ club record for home runs. Stalled for a few days at 36, he remains one short. I’d like to be there when he ties and breaks it before collecting his reward of a September call-up. When that happens LaHair might be the happiest Cub at Wrigley Field all summer.
Meanwhile the I-Cub website has already posted the tentative schedule for 2012. Shuffle the cards.
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.