How Does Gallagher Spell Relief? W-A-L-K-I-N-G...
I delayed my end-of-homestand post for a day so I could see how Sean Gallagher followed up on his brilliant outing from last week.
The results? Mixed.
Gallagher retired the first ten Fresno hitters he faced. He entered the sixth having surrendered only one run and retired the first two routinely before an infield single dripped from the faucet. A stolen base followed, then an intentional walk, then an accidental walk and Gallagher called it a night, leaving the bases loaded and the water running for Carmen Pignatiello.
Channeling his lone big league appearance of the season before being dispatched to Iowa, 'Piggy' walked both of the batters who stood in against him. With the water now rising quickly, Randy Wells waded right in and served up a grand slam to the first guy he faced and the ballgame floated away.
All five of Gallagher's whiffs on the night were swinging, giving him seventeen straight of that variety over his last two starts. He seems to be foolin' people.
Five starts and 30 innings into the season and Gallagher is sporting a .196 BAA. Good stuff.
Jose Ascanio also continues to impress. He's saved six of the team's eleven wins, and the I-Cubs are 9-1 when he appears in a game.
Neal Cotts is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA so far. Versus lefties he's allowed only two hits in five frames while walking one and fanning seven.
Those three hurlers are the only silver linings this prospector has found on the club.
Jake Fox has somehow managed to produce 18 runs with his 15 hits, but his BA has plummeted to .169 for the year. In the last ten games he's 2/38 [.053]. Want more? He's tagging southpaws at an .063 clip [1/16].
Patterson's on the DL with the hammy he strained last week, Fuld still isn't playing due to his bad thumb and Hoffpauir remains a fond memory from last year.
Old war-horse Les Walrond got his walking papers yesterday in favor of Justin Berg who was promoted from Tennessee where he'd been 0-3 with a 3.49 ERA in five starts.
The pesky redhead should be back with the team when they return from the road on May 6. I can only hope...MW
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.