Game 46 Recap: Cubs 2, Astros 4
W - Sampson (3-3), cheap homers
L - Dempster (5-2), real homers
S - Valverde (13)
Things to Take from This Game
1. A Lamer Grand Slam Never Was Seen
The entirety of the Astros scoring came in the fourth, when Pence lined an opposite field grand slam home run into the first row in right field. I didn't catch the dimensions, but it couldn't have been 350 feet. It came in response to Aramis hitting a mammoth 2-run home run in the top half of the inning. If style points on home runs counted, the Cubs would have won this game.
2. Dempster, Sampson, Ascanio
If you ignore the grand slam, and the consistently getting behind hitters, Dempster had a pretty decent outing. If you ignore the fact that he won the game, gave up 2 ER in 6.2 and only walked one, Sampson looked very pedestrian. Jose Ascanio also made his debut for the Cubs, and looked ok. One of the two walks was intentional, one of the two hits was a blooper on a nice pitch.
3. Lee and Ramirez play see-saw with Soriano
How's that for a visual aid? A few days after all the talk was about how hot Soriano was while Ramirez and Lee were taking 0-fers, and now Soriano and Theriot go 0-8 while Lee and Ramirez go 5-8.
4. Enron/Minute-Maid/NASA Presents the Houston Astros of Texas Field is still stupid.
Really. It's like Baseball meets the fifth course on Excitebike.
The architectural criticism, game details, and the relentless pursuit of perfection (isn't that an auto slogan?) below...
Inning 1 - Top
- First pitch of the ballgame is about three feet over and five feet behind Soriano's head. The Astros' broadcasters on my local Fox Sports Net broadcast believe it was intentional. But it had such a bloopy arch on it, I wonder if it didn't just slip. Or if it was deliberate, it was deliberately let up on.
- Soriano then grounds to third.
- Theriot grounds to Tejada
- Lee dumps a liner into center for a base hit. Announcers say LouPa is thinking of resting Lee tomorrow, and Lee's lobbying against it.
- Ahhhhhh and this game is on WGN too. Woo, I can switch.
- Full count to Ramirez.
- Ramirez also dumps a liner into center. Bourn flubs the bounce a little bit. Lee had held up at second (odd) but then advanced to third on the bobble. 1st and 3rd
- Fukudome rolls out to second.
Inning 1 - Bottom
- Bourn swings over some breaking pitch for strike 3. Not even close.
- Matsui rolls one through the right side hole for a single.
- Tejada with the lamest acting effort of all time, taking a full swing, then waving the bat back into a check-swing position and holding it there. Quit embarassing yourself and retire already, Tejada.
- Tejada flies to Edmonds. They deserve each other.
- Berkman lines one to right, Matsui to third.. 1 and 3 with two outs, just like Cubs had in the top of the first.
- Lee chops one to Theriot, easy force at second.
Inning 2 - Top
- Soto lines one just foul of the 315 pole in left.
- Soto K's swinging
- Edmonds pops to Blum in foul territory
- DeRosa grounds to Blum, who makes a nice pick. Berkman with a nice scoop on the low throw, too
Inning 2 - Bottom
- Lee ranges off of first for a Blum grounder, flips to Dempster.
- Pence grounds one to DeRosa, another easy out. Dempster seems to have the ground ball machine going.
- Towles K's swinging at what I'm guessing is a splitter. Dempster looks sharp.
Inning 3 - Top
- Dempster grounds to third.
- Soriano K's swinging
- Full count to Theriot, pops to Pence.
- Sampson making it look easy, too. Yeesh.
Inning 3 - Bottom
- Sampson flies to Fukudome
- I don't know why, but the last few games Dempster's started I've just become totaly transfixed by that weird grabbing thing he does in his glove, as he winds up. Never bothered me before. Now I can't stop staring
- Bourn with a pop to shallow center, DeRosa goes and gets it.
- 1-2 count, and Dempster drops in a beautiful curve that Matsui and C.B. Bucknor just stare at. Called a ball. Yeargh.
- But he rolls out to DeRosa, anyway.
Inning 4 - Top
- Lee pulls one down the left field line for a double.
- Aramis Ramirez hit one way, way out to.. well, no one quite knows where. Carlos Lee just turned around to watch it, but it hit, well, something, in that travesty of a left field wall/bleachers/pavilion/faux train-yard/crapfest, and richochetted back onto the field. In any case, a two-run homer.
- Soto hits one 415 feet to the warning track in front of that speedbump/enormous dirt clod/prank/hill/crapfest in center. Out.
- Sampson blows a 90 mph fastball by Edmonds.
Inning 4 - Bottom
- Tejada hits one off of some.... oh christ, what is that, a banner? Tejada hits it off of a banner in the left field travesty, for a double. Just blow up the ballpark already.
- Berkman walks.
- Lee flies to Edmonds, who makes a very nice throw that might have gotten Tejada as he ran for third, except it hit him in the thigh, maybe, as he started his head-first slide. Very nice throw.
- Berkman advanced to second on it, making it a throwing error. Ouch. 2 and 3, one out for Blum
- Blum walks. Loaded for Pence
- Gets behind 2-0 to Pence. Hadn't noticed, but Len says he's throwing first-pitch strikes only a third of the time tonight
- Crowd gets into it
- Pence hits one into the first row of seats in right. A pretty cheap grand slam. 4-2
- Towles bounces back to Dempster.
- and Sampson chops one into the hole, Theriot just gets him at first
Inning 5 - Top
- DeRosa singles to left
- and Dempster bunts him over. 7th sacrifice this year, already, says Len
- Soriano with a check-swing K.
- Theriot bounces one to Blum, who makes another nice backhand scoop at third. Out at first
Inning 5 - Bottom
- Bourn lines to Fukudome
- Matsui K's swinging at an offspeed pitch.
- Tejada with a slow roller to Theriot, who makes a nice play on it to get him at first.
Inning 6 - Top
- Lee bounces back to Sampson
- Ramirez pops out to Tejeada
- Fukudome battles, but grounds to shortstop. Sampson rolls on...
Inning 6 - Bottom
- Berkman K's swinging, looks bad in the process. Neener.
- 0-2 to Lee
- Len and Bob get very involved in the Gold Lamme Thong discussion
- Lee K's swinging. Dempster has settled back down quite nicely.
- I'm glad that I don't know how to spell "Lamme"
- Blum singles to right.
- Pence pulls one through the hole into left for another single.
- And Towles flies to right.
Inning 7 - Top
- Soto rolls one through the left side hole for a single
- aaaaannnnnnnd Edmonds rolls into an easy 4-6-3. Routine.
- DeRosa lines one off of the Green Monster Knock-off Immitation crapfest in left, and Lee plays the richochette well, keeping DeRosa to a single.
- Hoffpauir hits for Demptser
- Hoffpauir gets the first Cubs walk. Sampson wasn't anywhere near the plate.
- Double switch - Ausmus in for Towles, and Brocail for Sampson
- 2 on, 2 out for Soriano
- Soriano K's swinging at a fastball. Guess who suddenly is slumping, again.
Inning 7 - Bottom
- Ascenio makes his debut for the Cubs.
- Nice moving fastball gets in on Ausmus, but he bloops it into right for a single.
- Bourn bunts back to Ascanio, out at first, Ausmus advances.
- Matsui flies to Soriano in straight-away left.
- Tejada walks on five pitches, a very low and inside fastball. First and Second for Berkman.
- Changeup thrown to Berkman for strike one.
- Berkman K's swinging, and for the second time tonight loses his bat in the process. This one sails towards Carlos Lee in the on deck circle, who sort of wiggles out of the way.
- Is it possible for Carlos Lee to wiggle?
- Other than a bloop hit to Ausmus and a walk, a nice debut.
Inning 8 - Top
- Theriot flies out to right
- Lee singles to left
- Ramirez takes a huge rip at an inside fastball from Brocail, comes up empty.
- Ramirez lines one to deep right-center. Bourn tracks it down just to the right of that monstrosity of a hill. Lee has rounded second, and has to get all the way back to first.
- Fukudome with a lazy fly down the left field foul line. Easy out, inning over
Inning 8 - Bottom
- Carlos Lee hits what looks like it could be trouble, but winds up being a lazy fly to left center, Edmonds gets it
- Blum hits a liner to "deep" right, and Fukudome makes a nice running, jumping catch on the warning track. Would have been a double.
- Ascenio throws a fastball to pence that starts inside, tails back over the plate, and Pence hits a shot that lands maybe four feet in front of the flag pole on that lump travesty to baseball that defiles center field. No, not Edmonds, he goes and picks it up quickly, keeping Pence to a double.
- Erstad pinch "hits" for Brocail. LOL
- and is intentionally walked...
- ... in order to face someone even less threatening than Erstad, Brad Ausmus
- who grounds into the 4-6 force
Inning 9 - Top
- Valverde in to try to nail down the save.
- Soto with a check swing K on a pitch in the dirt
- Edmonds works a 3-0 count.
- four-pitch walk. Very nice.
- First pitch to DeRosa bounces, kicks up off ausmus, Edmonds to second.
- Three straight splitters to DeRosa moves the count to 1-2. The last two were wicked.
- And then the 97 MPH fastball. Grounds out to SS. Valverde is tough.
- Fontenot up for Ascanio, 2 outs.
- First pitch swinging, Fontenot pulls one to Matsui's left. No trouble, 4-3 putout. Game over.
- Where Should Soriano Bat?
- Should We Move On From This Debate? (Yes.)
- The Revenge of Jason Dubois. (Eh, if the sequel is anything like the first one...)
- Whip insists he doesn't need my validation. Heh.
- Is Manny appearing in our Fantasies? (Rob's, evidently. Not mine.)
- Herve Vilachez.
- Is Parachat really Twin Peaks? (.sey)
- Am I too me? (Yes.)
- Some other sport is having a draft. It involves tall people. And thumbs. Not sure what the thumbs reference is about, but it seems important.
- More on this strange non-MLB sport.
- HOF worthy delusions.
- We fear internet tough guys.
- Low-information white working class voters. LIWWCVs, for short.
- Who's volunteering for the firing squads?
- Tiny American Flags (inc.) (Made in China.)
- Verlander hasn't stunk it up yet, tonight.
- Amputating Peavy's arm
- Amputating Rob's arm.
- Go back to Europe, Andy.
- Bluetooth headsets.
- and Herpies. (They're equally ubiquitous and annoying, methinks)
- Is Whip a middle aged yuppie? (Dunno.)
- Noise Assassins.
- Assassin. Heh.
- Shooting Chuck Norris out the end. (!?!?!?!)
- The Military's critical shortage of virus-free porn.
- What will happen when Rob leaves TCR? (Only Good Can Come Of It.)
- Noble terms for the anus. (Noble?)
- Sort of paying attention to the game
- A round of applause for Piazza
- Can Carlos trust us to help him cheat on his exam? (No.)
- The Gay Witchcraft meme doesn't die, it just goes into hibernation while hanging from the ceiling of a cave, waiting to return every 50 years.
- I get exposed as a fraud.
- Holocaust Historiography, Pence's Grand Slam, and other depressing things.
- Who fought Atila?
- Feces-flinging monkeys taught to plagiarize from wikipedia. What grade do you give them? (F+)
- Andy wants to know if anyone else has a drooling cat. (No.)
- Cat insults.
- Does your cup runneth over? (Yes.)
- "Hey, now that Kennedy has cancer... when does he pitch his no-hitter?"
- Send your hate mail to CT Steve.
- I already sent mine.
- What are the services like at "The church of man-love"?
- Don't Jinx the Recap!
- Sura 16 of the Quran is called "the Bee." (I'll take Whip's word for it.)
- Bob Sura
- Race and the Democratic primaries. (Can any good come of this?)
- Cuban cigars
- Would you sooner vote for a black terrorist, a gay terrorist, or what other sort of terrorist?
- Monkey terrorists, of course.
- Pickle Surprise! (No longer surpised. Eh.)
- The death of pop culture. (As long as it's dead, can we beat it?)
- Is the Brewer Home Run Slide really a Poop Chute? (Yes)
- Some guy named Obama. As a LIWWCV, I have no idea WTF anyone is talking about. Somebody give me a ballot.
- SHOW ME THE QUOTATION!
- "It's just amazing that people ignore facts" - Mike
- "an intellectual monster truck rally" - Whip
- RAWR! VROOM!
- 'Your political treasure trove is straight from Davey Dumb's locker" - Whip
- That's it. Whip wins cyberspace.
- My politician rides a pegasus and yours doesn't. Neener.
- Welcome to the First Annual Parachat Battles of 2004 Reenactment Society.
- Hollandsworth or Dubois?
- Choi or Karros?
- Clement or Willis?
- Patterson just needs another year
- GAY WITCHCRAFT!!!!!!
- We Need Nomar
- Do you think MLB has a steroids problem?
- Mr. Kurtz is still dead. Five recap-points for the nice literary reference.
- Whip is afraid Liberals are trying to steal our bodily fluids. I'm wishing they would.
- Gary Numan frequents strip clubs?
- It's time for your daily Carlos Stream of Conscience Discussion Suggestion:
- let's talk about albino americans who like to snort vodka off guy ritchie's hand, while he performs fellatio to 80's one hit wonder gary numan who once sang in a band with TCR reader mister_whipple, a guy who works at a nude/strip bar for a living. crunch, by the way, once gave him a dollar. he fucking earned it.
- How high is your poll number?
- At this point, Parachat devolves into a nebulous cloud of toxic gas, suffocating all oxygen-dependent life forms. Here is what a good parachat might have looked like:
- Implementing a workable plan for World Peace based upon a blend of respecting national sovreignty while recognizing the efficacy of international organizations, collective security and NGOs
- Evaluating the levels of symbolism in Moby Dick
- GAY WITCHCRAFT
- IN YOUR PANTS
- But no, this wasn't to be... Back to the "real" conversation in artificial space..
- My cup runneth over.
- Gender identity therapy. (Very effective. Gets a bad rap.)
- Rally Arabic
- C.B. Bucknor Is.....
- C.B. Stands For.....
- Simultaneous answers that would move this Parachat Rating from a PG-13 to an R
Game Recap record falls to 6-3.
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.