'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.
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.