Cubs Rally in 9th to Beat Royals
Casey McGehee bounced a PH GW RBI single between short and third, scoring Ronny Cedeno with the winning run in the bottom of the 9th, as the Cubs rallied to defeat the Royals 6-5 at HoHoKam Park this afternoon.
The Cubs trailed 5-4 entering the last frame, and were facing Royals closer Joakim Soria.
Koyie Hill led-off by hitting a broken-bat liner to the shortstop, but then Felix Pie looped a single over shortstop that fell in front of the left-fielder. Cedneo then hit a fly ball down the right-field line that fell just fair, and nearly bounced into the stands for what would have been a ground rule double, before instead rolling up against the stands and then into the RF corner, scoring the speedy Pie with the tying run as Cedeno came into 3rd standing up. McGehee followed by smacking an 0-2 pitch into the hole, and the Cubs had their victory.
Jason Marquis got the start for the Cubs today, facing off against KC LHP John Bale. Marquis pitched very well, allowing just one run on five hits, two walks, four strikeouts, and one GIDP in his five-plus innings of work.
Marquis threw a total of 73 pitches (46 strikes) with a 7/4 GB/FB, and never threw more than 17 pitches in any one inning (16-17-10-12-14-4).
The only run allowed by Marquis came in the top of the first, when lead-off hitter David DeJesus tripled into the RF corner, before scoring on a one-out RBI single. After that, Marquis pitched shutout ball until being removed after surrendering a lead-off single in the top of the 6th.
Meanwhile, the Cubs tied the score in the bottom of the 2nd on an RBI triple by Mark DeRosa following an infield hit by Kosuke Fukudome. However, Geovany Soto struck out looking and Felix Pie bounced out to 1st to end the possibility of any further damage.
But the Cubs did take the lead 4-1 in the bottom of the 6th, as Aramis Ramirez hit a one-out opposite-field three-run HR (his first dinger of the Spring), scoring Ronny Cedeno (who had reached on an infield hit) and Derrek Lee (who reached on a FC).
Cedeno didn't enter the game until the bottom of the 6th, but even so he managed to go 3-3 with a single, a double, and a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored.
Trying to protect a 4-1 Cubs lead in the top of the 7th, rookie RHP Tim Lahey was unable to get the job done, allowing two infield singles, two RBI doubles, a FC RBI, and a walk, before being relieved with only one out, Cubs down 5-4, and two runner still on base. But Les Walrond got out of the jam, and then Jose Ascanio (1-2-3 six-pitch 8th featuring three weak grounders) and Kevin Hart (1-2-3 9th including two strikeouts) kept the game close until the Cubs could pull it out in the bottom of the 9th.
It appeared that Alex Cintron suffered a pulled left hamstring while running out a single in the bottom of the 8th, and he had to be removed for a pinch-runner. He was last seen limping into the dugout. It's been a tough week for Cintron, first getting hit in the face with a foul ball while standing on the on-deck circle, and now this.
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.
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.