One Run Done Won
Denied the walk-off RBI by his once-burned, twice-shy skipper, Anthony Rizzo instead scampered across with the game's only tally in the bottom of the 9th tonight at Principal Park to give the I-Cubs a 1-0 win over New Orleans.
Luis Valbuena led off with a single before Rizzo doubled up the alley in left center. Dave Bialas rightly put the brakes on Valbuena with nobody out. Earlier he'd sent plodding catcher Juan Apodaca to the plate on another of Valbuena's three singles but he was apprehended by a strong throw from Zephyrs' left-fielder Chris Coghlan.
Following Rizzo's two-bagger Rob Delaney, who entered the game in the 8th unscored upon this year in 19 innings of work, intentionally passed Ty Wright. JV, elevated to #6 in the lineup due to recent roster attrition, grounded into a force at the plate before Delaney uncorked a wild one that plated Rizzo.
Besides the 9th inning double, the extension of Rizzo's hitting streak to 11 games also included a ringing single off of New Orleans LH Wade LeBlanc. Nice to see him work on his southpaw splits. Also, Rizzo is hitting just below a .300 clip with the bases empty but over .400 with runners in scoring position. Certain situations seem beneath him; others bring out his best.
Jackson didn't play tonight until pinch hitting and flying out in the 8th. Adrian Cardenas also sat out the opener of the home stand. Rodrigo Lopez worked three efficient innings in his first appearance since clearing waivers and joining the team. Frankie De La Cruz then threw up five zeroes before Blake Parker pitched the 9th and copped the win.
New Orleans might have won but for a botched squeeze play in the 8th on which the batter failed to offer so both teams had runners cut down at the plate before Rizzo finally crossed it safely.
On the drive home from the ballpark I heard the Iowa radio team say that the Cub organization has the worst collective record in baseball with no teams on the plus side of .500. Guess you gotta raze before you rebuild.
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?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.