'P' Stands for Pitching?
The first hint that it was not a normal night at Principal Park came when the national anthem was whistled.
Then a thing uncommon in the PCL, where there are typically lots of bombs bursting in air, broke out - a pitchers' duel! The scoreboard practically had the night off as Nashville, behind undefeated Mike Fiers, nipped the I-Cubs, 1-0.
All was not lost for the home team - hardly. The enigmatic Jay Jackson recorded his 6th consecutive quality start and matched a career high with 11 whiffs in his six inning stint. He was succeeded by Bobby [there's no Roberts in baseball!] Coello who continued his sparkling work out of the bullpen with three more scoreless frames. Since moving exclusively to relief duty Coello has worked 34 innings, allowing a mere 18 hits while walking 13 and fanning 46. The non-starter ERA is 1.04; the BAA .158! Significantly, he's been touched for no home runs after serving up 11 in 60 innings as a starter. If he keeps this up, call him Robert-0.
Watch out for Fiers in the NL Central. He's 7-0 since promotion from Double A and his cumulative body of work for the summer shows only 80 hits permitted in 120 innings. He never exceeded 90 on the scoreboard radar last night but complete game shutouts in this league are about as rare as whistled anthems.
As for record-breaking slugger Bryan LaHair, he was in the lineup after shoving Joe Hicks even deeper into franchise trivia with his 38th homer of the season the night before. He flew to the warning tracks in both left and right while playing 1B after a recent run in left. On my way to the park I heard him interviewed on the pre-game radio show where he strongly hinted that he has reason to believe any playing time he gets upon call-up to Chicago will be in the outfield. He also mentioned that, thanks to lots of vacancy in the right-field bleachers Tuesday night, it was his wife that was able to fetch his record-setting long ball. Ah, the charms of the minor leagues.
Andrew Cashner is on hand and slated to work an inning tonight after manning a post as bullpen sentry last night while Coello loosened.
I can relate to that, E-Man. I don't think I'll enjoy watching a high-stakes away game like this on TV. I've watched a lot of games this season after they ended or at least after the Cubs got out to a decent lead. Since they usually win, I've gotten to see a lot of baseball.
But in this case I think we should probably all watch the game live, and not let the pressure exceed the pleasure.
Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!
Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.
Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.
Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.
Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories.
And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around!
CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!
I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.
You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.
BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.
oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.
Not surprised about Lester but bit surprised about Hendricks. Guessing that if something happens to Arietta right away they go to Lester but if they've burned relievers and are in extra innings they go to Hendricks.
My kids' 8:30pm (ET) bed time will be waived tonight (They are Rizzo & Castro fans). We'll get geared up in our Cubs apparel and will watch this as a family. I am stoked. Go Cubs!
Bryant: Base running adventures.
Remember Bryant's home-away splits, too.
Wrigley: 21 HR, 59 RBI, .311/.408/.629
Road: 5 HR, 40 RBI, .243/.333/.360
Good Lord this season has flown by so far. I need more Cubs gifs--the four on the MLB.com article today are not enough. I need a 100 best moments of the season listicle of gifs.
Rizzo: The slide, the catch.
Russell: All the defense.
Bryant: Pelting the video board.
Soler: 125 MPH ground balls.
Schwarber: DINGERS, surprising LF catches.
Fowler: Walks, the many walks he should have had on 3-2 BS strike calls.
Baez: That 3B play.
Ross: Walk-up music? Bullpen appearance?
No evidence other than 8 hits and 0 HR in 45 AB....
I just think hitters like their routines -- think Boggs or Ted Williams -- and messing with that routine adds an element of change. I want my best hitters in their normal routines.
evidently i was busy burying context and meaning.
i was excited about this playoff season kicking up in the drama of that environment, but it was stated insanely muddled.
Woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep in excitement/anticipation. Go Cubs Go!