I-Cubs Still Looking for Way Out

Round Rock hasn't had any trouble getting into the jet stream above Principal Park. The Express have belted four homers in two games including a back-to-back pair Friday night off of Casey Coleman that were the difference in the 4-3 contest. But the home team remains homerless, having split the first half of a four-game set to open the season.

RR started southpaw Martin Perez and the only hit he surrendered to an Iowa lefty in six innings of work was Brett Jackson's two-out, opposite field, off-the-wall triple in the fifth that went for naught. Jackson later drew a bases-loaded walk.

Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh Iowa mounted a threat that brought Anthony Rizzo to the plate with the bases loaded, one out and the score 4-2. Rizzo, facing LH reliever Mike Kirkman, singled to center. With Tony Campana the runner aboard at second the score was sure to be tied, right? Wrong! Instead the crowd was fit to be tied when CF Leonys Martin gunned Campana down at the plate on the play that decided the outcome.

For the second night in a row Campana was in the middle of everything, like a brat at a birthday party. Twice he was thrown out on the bases, having been caught stealing earlier after drawing a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first. Later he played a liner perfectly off the wall and turned a sure double into a 7-4 putout with a strong throw. In the middle of the seventh inning sequence he laid down his second bunt hit in as many games. 

Wellington Castillo almost got the I-Cubs off and (home) running with a double high off of the center field wall that scored Ty Wright in the fourth but that was it other than the uprising snuffed out by Martin's erasure of Campana.

Coleman was working in the mid-90's and fanned five without walking anyone in his five innings but four of the five hits off of him were doubles or home runs so he remains who we thought he was.

The Iowa bullpen hung up four more zeroes. That's seven in two games. I'm wanting to start calling them the Goose Egg Gang but it's early. 

Comments

Muskat tweets...
Cubs lineup vs Nationals: (Gio Gonzales is a lefty, so it's an all righty lineup)

Johnson RF, Mather 3B, Castro SS, Soriano LF, Baker 1B, Soto C, Byrd CF, Barney 2B, Garza P
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Lopez is in Cubs clubhouse and available today. Corresponding move won't be made until game time

However, Luis Valbuena is not on Cubs lineup sheet. May be waiting to see if clears waivers

LaHair is better and could pinch hit today. Expected to start Sunday.

A lineup that includes Johnson, Mather, Baker and Barney. It happened sooner than I thought it would.

Mike: couple things:

- What kinds of speeds and movement is Maine showing?

- Is Corpas using the Swiss Army arm-slot approach still as AZ PHIL mentioned? Is he so far just using smoke and mirrors for his outs, or is he really keeping the ball down with some velocity?

Coleman was working in the mid-90's

I think the gun is a little hot there in Iowa.

The speed gun at Iowa typically registers 2-3 miles slower than the one in Chicago. Noticed this when guys have been promoted from Iowa

it is generally thought to be a couple miles slow & I factored that into my report; maybe it's been recalibrated for this year...

fair enough, Coleman has a lot trouble topping 90, so mid-90's would be major news.

I was maybe being inadvertently sensational...maybe now it's running hot; he was hitting 94 on the scoreboard speedometer, fwiw...

whatever the velocity the meat of the RR lineup found it to be just right!

Is Corpas using the Swiss Army arm-slot approach
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I predict. Manny Corpas will wind up as the Cubs closer by July.

(puts Blue Kool-aid pitcher down)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9UxnYUDzvcw/TzMjYZZ...

if Swiss army slot means sidearm/slingshot then yes, he is...Maine has generally been effective @ Iowa & done poorly when called up...he looked strong Thursday night

Coleman was working in the mid-90's and fanned five without walking anyone in his five innings but four of the five hits off of him were doubles or home runs so he remains who we thought he was.
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Coleman is who we thought he was. And that's why we took the damn field. If you want to crown him, then crown his ass!

~clap~ ~clap~

Nice :)

exactly...

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  • 2nd in defensive WAR, NL.

    6th in NL in RBI

    Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.

    The E-Man 4 hours 13 min ago view
  • Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.

    billybucks 5 hours 28 min ago view
  • Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.

    billybucks 6 hours 12 min ago view
  • There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!

    billybucks 6 hours 13 min ago view
  • Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.

    billybucks 6 hours 14 min ago view
  • Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.

    Jackstraw 6 hours 17 min ago view
  • Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.

    Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.

    billybucks 6 hours 18 min ago view
  • Baez still learning

    jacos 6 hours 46 min ago view
  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 7 hours 50 min ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 8 hours 56 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 9 hours 45 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 14 hours 15 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view