Cubs Recap for April 23, 2012
9th inning dramatics at Wrigley and the Cubs have won 2 of 3. You probably don't want to go any farther back than that though.
@Cubs 3 - Cardinals 2; That certainly was an unexpected win, but let's first take a look at the expected. Garza gives up just 2 ER over 7 innings against a slightly depleted Cardinals lineup (no Berkman or John Jay). Garcia of course answers against a depleted Cubs lineup (no injuries, just by their very nature). Now to the surprises, Garza made a decent play on defense, laid down a sacrifice bunt and the team did not commit any errors. There were some adventures on the basepath, Castro getting picked off by Garcia and then 8th inning weirdness with Campana that worked out for the Cubs. Campana singled with 1 out and representing the tying run in the 8th. I missed the DeJesus at-bat unfortunately, so I don't know if he attempted to run off the lefty Garcia. But Matheny brought in the righty Boggs to face Barney and the Cardinals knew Campana would be running. He did on a 1-2 count and they called the successful pitchout and Molina delivered a strike, but Greene couldn't handle the throw and Campana ended up with the bag and then for good measure took third as well. It was all for naught in that inning, but fun to watch. To the 9th, Motte made quick of Soriano's slowing bat with 98mph heat. LaHair though battled to the tune of 12 pitches, fouling off all kinds of crazy pitches before working a walk. Soto followed with a walk of his own and Sveum went with Clevenger as the pinch-hitter for Dolis. He managed to advance the runners and now with 2 outs and runners on 2nd/3rd, Sveum lets Mather hit with Stewart on the bench against the righty Motte. Not the call I would have made, but Mather came through with the winning hit. I have no idea if Motte used up all his mojo up on LaHair's at-bat, but things certainly turned with that epic at-bat. Winning is fun.
Memphis 6 - @Iowa 2; Iowa played earlier in the day and you can see the recap in the game thread below, so no reason to repeat myself.
@Tennessee 5 - Chattanooga 4 (12 innings); This is an interesting one. Jonathan Mota started in left field, taking over for Ty Wright whom was promoted to Triple A when Campana was called up to the majors. Mota homered and then got credit for the win with a scoreless 12th inning. Mota for his minor league career entering tonight has played the following positions: 300 @SS, 130 @3B, 114 @2B, 15 @RF, 12 @ CF and 4.2 innings as a pitcher since 2008, so it wasn't completely new to him. Elliot Soto also had a multi-hit game with a double and a triple and Watkins had 2 RBI's. Dallas Beeler started and went 5.2 IP/4 ER/8 H/2 BB/ 3 K/1 HR. Justin Bour had the game-winning hit, singling in Nate Samson.
Lakeland 7 - @Daytona 2; A tough draw for Daytona as they got highly touted Jacob Turner for some reason (I presume some sort of rehab assignment as it was his first appearance of the year). Turner went 4 innings, giving up 0 hits, 2 BB's and 0 K's. Zach Cates got the start for Daytona and gave up 3 ER in 4 IP on 6 H/1 K/ 0 BB. Larry Suarez got roughed up for 3 ER in 2 innings of work to put the game out of reach. Richard Jones and John Andreoli were the only hitters to reach base multiple times.
Lansing 7 - @Peoria 3; Jose Rosario roughed up again for 4 ER in 5 innings against 9 H/2 BB/2 K. Offensively, DeVoss and Darvill were the only hitters to reach base more than once and Easterling had the only extra-base hit - a triple.
Some perspective (mostly for my own benefit): Dan Straily beat MadBum 2-1 today as the Reds took 2 of 3 in SF. Giants are 2-9 since the break and their lead over LA is down to 2.5 games. So, yeah...baseball. It'll drive ya nuts.
McNutt / Archer didn't work out well for us.
The floor is more valuable than the ceiling. It's the same reason we drafted Kris Bryant instead of Jon Gray.
Apparently the Yankees had the choice of either Gleyber Torres or Eloy Jimenez in the Chapman deal, and they chose Torres.
Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.
Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.
He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.