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.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
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!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
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.
Baez still learning
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.
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.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
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.
video of Maddon.
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.
#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
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.
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.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?