Cubs Recap for April 19, 2012
Big nights with the bat for Anthony Rizzo and Nate Samson, but not a win in the organization.
@Marlins 5 - Cubs 3; A few brights spots in the game; the bullpen threw 4.1 innings of scoreless ball and they drew 3 walks off Nolasco. But Barney's bases clearing defense-assisted triple was the only big hit of the game and Samardzija was the Samardzija we all know and love. The one that can't throw strikes consistently walking 5 himself in 3.2 IP, while also giving up 8 hits.
@Albuquerque 4 (Dodgers) - Iowa 3; Travis Wood with the start and he gets 5 K's and just one walk in 6.1 IP, but also 9 H and 4 ER and gets hung with the loss. Offensively, it was Anthony Rizzo's world and we're just living in it. Two blasts, numbers 6 and 7 on the year, but it wasn't quite enough offense for Iowa. Dave Sappelt sums it up:
@SappySappelt6 Anthony Rizzo is a Monster this league is child's play for him
@Huntsville 9 (Brewers) - Tennessee 7; Not to be outdone by Rizzo, Nate Samson goes 4/4 with a walk, 2 doubles, a home run and 3 RBI's and it's also not enough to carry the Smokies to victory. Rhee got tagged for 5 runs in 5 IP, Berlind for 2 runs in 2 IP and Hatley for 2 runs in 1 IP. Ty Wright's been hot, a 2/5 night for him and a batting average of .444 on the season.
Tampa 5 (Yankees) - @Daytona 2; Nelson Perez with the only multi-hit game of the night including a home run. Greg Rohan doubled for the only other extra-base hit. Alcantara commits his 8th error of the season though which leads to 3 unearned runs in the first that Daytona can't overcome. Tomorrow they'll face the hoopla of an Andy Petitte start.
Great Lakes 11 (Dodgers) - @Peoria 4; Ben Wells gets tagged for 10 runs, 6 of which are earned in 4.1 IP (4 team errors on the night). Kyler Burke gives up a run in his 3.1 innings, but strikes out 4 and walks no one. Chen gets on-base twice via walk, as do Easterling and Taylor Davis via hit and a walk. Cuneo, Zapata, Darvill all have multi-hit games and Zapenas goes 2/2 plus two walks, but all that offense just produces just 4 runs.
Cubs are back at Wrigley tomorrow to start a 3-game set versus the Reds, whom until today were struggling on offense just as much as the Cubs. Volstad goes against Homer Bailey.
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?