The Bear Truth: Holy Crap the Bears Won
I'm gonna let The Bear Truth website evaporate into the Internet ether over the next few days, but I'll occasionally post some thoughts on here and be sure to team them up with a Cubs related post for those that do not wish to discuss football.
To the recap...
The Good: They won and they did it easily. Color me surprised. The defense was outstanding, holding a good offense albeit not great offense to two field goals. Classic Lovie Smith defense, bend, but don't break, force some turnovers with Old Man Urlacher's full out dive being the play of the game. The fumble return for a TD was just the icing on the cake, and that one was pretty much all on Matt Ryan. The only real mistake on defense was the Michael Turner 53-yard run.
Cutler and the offense looked good for the most part. A 107.8 QB rating and 2 TD's with over 300 yards looked good in the boxscore. A lot of that yardage was on well executed screens, but it's not like anyone doubts Cutler's ability to throw it downfield. And a lot of good offenses and QB's can get their yards on well-executed short yardage throws. I'm just happy the Bears finally know how to execute a proper screen. Roy Williams made the catches that he didn't in the preseason. And is just me or is refreshing to know that third and long isn't an automatic death sentence to the offense? They actually seemed to play their best in those situations.
The Bad: Cutler was sacked 5 times, some of that is the offensive line, some of that is Mike Martz's offensive scheme, some of that is Cutler. Cutler first half could have went from great to disastrous with two tipped balls in traffic that didn't get picked. Cutler missed a ridiculously open Kellen Davis in the red zone on a brilliant bootleg playcall with the TE and 3 linemen sneaking the opposite way. It might not be the easiest throw on the run, but I'm guessing he's made it in practice and it's a play who just have to make.
Mike Martz's playcalling with a 24-point lead that led to the INT returned for a TD. Martz has his strengths, running out the clock is not one of them...or protecting the QB.
The Ugly: Brutal road game at New Orleans this week and then the Packers at home in Week 3, so pretty close to a must-win for the Bears and they delivered.
Everytime I recall Szcur's bone marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
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.