Cubs Hits Of The Week (For the Week of 4/7 through 4/13)
The five hits that did the most to enhance the Cubs' chance of winning during the past, exhausting, extra-inning-filled week, as measured by FanGraphs' Win Probability Added (WPA):
#5 Big Hit: Sunday v. Philadelphia, 3rd inning--Derrek Lee socked a two-run double off 67-year-old Jamie Moyer to give the Cubs a 3-1 lead they would eventually surrender. WPA .182
#4 Big Hit: Thursday v. Pittsburgh, 6th inning--Geovany Soto put the Cubs in front of the Pirates to stay with a two-run, sixth-inning bomb against Matt Morris, who, just because of how many times he beat the Cubs as a Cardinal, had it coming to him. WPA .257
#3 Big Hit: Sunday v. Philadelphia, 10th inning--With the Cub bench thinned by substitutions in yet another extra-inning game, Carlos Zambrano entered the game as a pinch-hitter with teammates at first and second and one out. Zambrano slapped a would-be double-play ball but Phillies second baseman Chase Utley's errant throw allowed Zambrano to reach base and Ronny Cedeno to score with the eventual winning run.
"Z put the ball in play and he hustled," Mark DeRosa said. "That shows the character of this team." This play also showed the power of having the opposing team's second baseman muck up a double play at a critical juncture in a game. WPA .322
#2 Big Hit: Wednesday v. Pittsburgh, 15th inning--When Felix Pie came to bat with two men on and two out in the 11th inning of this game, Ron Santo's radio commentary consisted of something between a sigh of resignation and a groan. Pie then rolled out. Four innings later, with two outs and the bases loaded, Pie, facing reliever Phil Dumatrait, had another chance and on this occasion, he sliced a single to short leftfield, plating Kevin Hart and Ryan Theriot with the runs that allowed the Cubs to finally dump the Bucs. WPA .387
#1 Big Hit: Wednesday v. Pittsburgh, 14th inning--An inning before Pie's timely hit, Aramis Ramirez clubbed a Dumatrait pitch deep into the Pittsburgh night to give the visitors a 4-2 lead...that lasted for all of about 15 minutes. WPA .484
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.