I-Cubs (Dar)Win Again!

Crafty Chris Rusin worked seven strong innings under the weather, you might say, in pitching the Iowa Cubs to their second straight win over the Albuquerque Isotopes this afternoon at Principal Park. He wasn't sick. He just kept the ball down (to the tune of 11 ground outs) and out of the southerly jet stream blowing toward the fences as the I-Cubs notched consecutive W's for the first time in 2013.

I went to the home opener Friday night strictly to preserve a tradition. The stiff wind that evening was out of the north and made the chilly temps in the high 30's insufferable for long. I lasted only the first third of the game. Today I stayed for 2/3 as I stretch myself with an eye on shorts and t-shirt game conditions.

Half of the infield today was manned by rehabbers. As a gold-gloved I-Cub alum Darwin Barney rated what ovation the smallish crowd today could muster when he came to the plate in the bottom of the 1st. He was followed by Ian Stewart hitting in the 3-hole. When Stewart was announced you could have heard a peanut shell drop.

Barney walked on four straight pitches three AB's in a row before striking out in his fourth trip. All told he saw 17 pitches without putting any in play. He also stole a base. Stewart fanned twice, once looking; once swinging, before realizing his bat was useless and drawing a four-pitch walk of his own with the bases loaded in the 4th to knot the score at one. Brad Nelson followed with a two-run single that was the game's deciding blow.

The other thing of note about the game, other than the mausoleum vibe that persisted throughout, was that it took until the game's 22nd batter with two out in the top of the 3rd before a ball was fouled out of play. Don't ask me why I happened to notice that. There's always something that you just don't see everyday. Friday night it was a wind-blown 65 foot double by I forget who that failed to score a runner from 2nd because it came with only one out. The high pop looked destined for the third baseman's glove off the bat but landed safely and untouched right behind the pitcher's mound. Give whoever hit it credit for hustling.



I don't think that's a fair criticism of Kendrick (on TCR Twitter). The seats came with a warning, they violated it, and they still got free clothes and drinks out of the situation.

About five years ago a friend of a business associate invited me onto the field at AT&T Park before a Cubs-Giants game. We got to meet Pinella, DLee, and some of the other guys, plus I watched Lincecum do his off-day throwing from about 10 feet behind the mound. The only condition was that we couldn't wear any Cubs gear. A few people in the party bitched about that, but in the end, some privileges are clearly worth the sacrifice.

Not all that long ago I went to a Cubs spring training game and there was a sea of Prior jerseys and it was about 3 years since he had pitched for the Cubs. Some people should be banned from wearing jerseys just on general principle.

I know this girl who got the owner's box seats at Yankee Stadium back in the 90's. She wore an Orioles hat, she was a fan. She and her hipster doofus friend were kicked out of the game. I think he got hit by a foul ball.

Hee hee.

I'll have you know that the "hipster dufus" you mentioned happens to be a very talented dermatologist. He saved my cousin's life by identifying a problem mole. Dr. Van Nostrand, I believe it was

Isn't that the guy who decked Mickey Mantle?

Joe Pepitone is screaming "You killed Mickey! You killed Mickey!"

You called?

Recent comments

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  • Agreed. And, with Hendricks on the mound, Cubs will probably need to score some runs to win -- why not start Soler for his bat and bring in Ajax for defense later?

    NEVER MIND....just re-read the lineup.

  • If the Cubs have the lead in the 8th, who pitches? Rodney? Travis? Yikes.

  • The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.

  • I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.

  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.