Game 54 Recap: Cubs 8, Rockies 4
Best Team in Baseball
W- Wuertz (1-1), pitchers who can't field their position, first MLB RBIs, double-steals
L- Herges (2-2)
Things to Take from This Game
1. Balanced Attack
Soriano, Lee, Ramirez, Soto and Johnson all had RBIs, with XBH by Ramirez and Fukudome (2Bs) and Lee (Solo HR.)
2.Cotts almost has a good sixth inning
Almost. He relieved Marquis with a 3-1 lead and the bases loaded, one out. He gets Willie Tavares in an 0-2 count, before Tavares bloops one just over the drawn in Lee, scoring two and tying the game at three. He K's Seth Smith, and seems to K Helton swinging, but it's just barely a foul tip, popping out of Soto's glove. Helton walks on the next pitch. So much for Cotts' return to the majors. Marquis wasn't great, but some bad luck after he had left gave him a final line worse than it might have been.
3. Messy 7th gives Cubs a comeback
A blooper into the bermuda triangle, another soft single, an error, a hit by pitch and a sacrifice fly gave the Cubs two generous runs off of Matt Herges.
4. Messy 8th gives Cubs an easy win
A double, a bad throw on a sac bunt, a single, a double steal, a single with a dropped ball on a play at the plate, and the Cubs get three more in the eighth, for an 8-4 lead. After some shakey middle-infield play by the Cubs early in the game, it was the Rockies who played sloppy the rest of the way.
With the win, the Cubs move past a certain AL East powerhouse, to claim the best record in baseball. The cream of the crop details, follow.
Inning 1 - Top
- Podsednik grounds out to short, deflected off of Marquis' glove.
- Smith singles to center
- Marquis K's Helton swinging on a change up.
- Atkins grounds into a 6-4 force.
Inning 1 - Bottom
- Soriano flies to the warning track in left.
- Atkins is pulled in, and Theriot bounces one past his left, for a single
- 3-2 count, Lee lines to Podsednik.
- Ramirez doubles to the left-center Under Armor sign. Theriot slides in around the tag, and the ball bounces away, anyway. 1-0
- Soto lines to Spilborghs.
Inning 2- Top
- Spilborghs doubles past Ramirez down the left field line.
- Stewart hits a high fly to deep left center. Soriano makes a running catch, Spliborghs goes to third.
- Torrealba hits a slow roller to the right of Theriot. He charges, but the ball clangs out of hs glove. Runner at third holds, Torrealba safe at first. Looks like Theriot was checking out the runner at third, taking his eye off the ball
- Quintanilla K's swinging, changeup.
- Francis hits one to Ramirez. Easy 5-3, nice escape from the inning
Inning 2- Bottom
- Fukudome walks.
- DeRosa with a lazy fly to right.
- Johnson hits one down the third base line. Atkins again is playing in, can't quite react quickly enough. The ball hits off the bag, trickles away. Runners at 1 and 2.
- Marquis trying to bunt.
- With an 0-2 count, Marquis takes a real bad bunting stab at a pitch, strikes out.
- Soriano flies to just short of the warning track in right.
Inning 3 - Top
- Podsednik grounds out to DeRosa
- Smith singles just to the left of DeRosa, who stretches up to snag it, just out of reach.
- Runner goes, pulling Soto out of his crouch to throw. The pitch skips in the dirt, bounces up off his glove as he goes for the backhand, up into the stands. It's ball four, so Smith stays at second, Helton takes first on the walk.
- Atkins flies to deep left
- Spilborghs bounces to Ramirez, steps on third for the force
Inning 3 - Bottom
- 3-2 pitch, Theriot K's swinging at a low slider
- Lee hits a belt-high fastball over the middle plate out to straight-away left field, for a home run.
- Ramirez grounds to short.
- Soto K's swinging
Inning 4 - Top
- First pitch, Stewart lines a triple to right-center. Johnson had been playing around towards left.
- Torrealba hits the sac fly to center, scoring Stewart. Johnson lost sight of it for a second, but caught it without any problem. 2-1 Cubs
- Quintanilla breaks his bat, and the grounder scoots under DeRosa's backhand. Error on DeRosa.
- Francis bunts him to second.
- Lee makes a nice play on a Podsednik grounder, 3 unassisted, out of inning
Inning 4 - Bottom
- Fukudome lines one high off the wall in left-center, for a double.
- DeRosa swings over the top of what I think was a slider. mlb.tv is not very good
- Johnson inside-out ones to right. Fukudome waits to see if it'll go through, but still scores without a play. 3-1.
- This time, Marquis gets the bunt down the third base line. Johnson to second.
- Soriano bounces to Atkins, 5-3
Inning 5 - Top
- Smith grounds to Lee
- Helton lines one inside the third base line for a double.
- Atkins bounces to Theriot, Helton to third.
- Marquis breaks Spilborghs bat, and he bloops to DeRosa, who makes a nice running, leaping catch near second base. Out of the jam.
Inning 5- Bottom
- Theriot walks.
- Lee K's swinging
- Ramirez flies to a step short of the wall, just left of center. Len points out that the wind has shifted, blowing straight in. Might have been a homer, earlier in the game.
- Soto grounds out 5-3
Inning 6 - Top
- Stewart hits a check swing down the third base line. Ramirez makes a leaping dive for it, and hit hits just off the glove, rolling away far enough for a base hit. Nice play saves a double, at least.
- and Torrealba singles to left. Stewart to second.
- Tight strike zone, Quintanilla walks. Bases loaded, no outs.
- Francis taken out of the game, Jeff Baker pinch hits
- Marquis throws several nice sliders to Baker, the last one striking him out, swinging.
- LouPa comes out to pull Marquis. He wants to stay in.
- Cotts in to face Podsednik
- Willie Tavares in to pinch hit
- Cotts throws strike one and strike two.
- Two pitches fouled off.
- With Lee pulled in, Tavares fights one off, blooping it just over Lee's leaping glove-hand. It rolls into the Rockies bullpen. 3-3 game. Runners on 1 and 2
- Smith K's looking at strike three. Fastball, inside corner.
- 3-2 count on Helton, He swings, misses, and it pops out of Soto's glove. It's ruled a foul tip (and seems to be), Helton stays alive.
- And he walks on the next pitch. Bases loaded.
- Wuertz in to face Atkins
- 3-2 count to Atkins, Wuertz K's him looking at a tough slider on the inside corner.
Inning 6 - Bottom
- Corpas in to pitch, Taveres in center
- Fukudome grounds out to second.
- DeRosa walks.
- Johnson lines sharply to Atkins, who makes a diving catch, gets up, and doubles DeRosa off first.
Inning 7 - Top
- Spilborghs with a bloop single into center.
- and just does get in on a steal of second. Nice effort by Soto on a low pitch.
- Stewart then slices a double into the left field corner. 4-3. Stewart needs a homer for the cycle.
- Torrealba grounds to Theriot.
- Quintanilla lines one in to center. Stewart is running, for some unknown reason, and Johnson easily doubles him off with a lobbed in bouncer to second.
Inning 7 - Middle
- Santo does the stretch. It's good to see him looking well.
Inning 7 - Bottom
- Matt Herges in to pitch
- Fontenot hits for Wuertz
- and K's swinging
- Soriano hits one into the trianble between second, RF and CF. It drops in, with Stewart coming closet to making an over the shoulder catch
- Theriot hits one to right, Soriano to third.
- Theriot getting a lot of attention at first
- Lee hits a tapper to the left of the mound. Herges goes for it, throws it to first, where it hits Lee in the butt, getting away from Helton. Soriano then comes home, Theriot to third, 4-4 game
- Ramirez HBP on a 2-1 pitch. Fastball that runs up and in, clipping the jersey in front of his chest. Bases loaded
- Soto flies to right. Theriot scores, Smith throws behind Lee at second, almost getting him. 5-4 Cubs.
- Fukudome K's looking
Inning 8 - Top
- Marmol in.
- Cory Sullivan (who?) hits for Matt Herges
- and flies to center.
- Tavares with a foul tip K on a fastball
- Marmol K's Smith on a nasty slider. Made the inning look easy.
Inning 8 - Bottom
- Sullivan in right, Taylor Bucholz pitching, Smith out of the game, double-switch.
- Bucholz his Rafael Betancourt or Steve Trachsel-esque in his pace, and it's already a ten pitch AB
- 11th pitch, DeRosa hits the right field gap for a double.
- Cedeno in to pinch run
- Johnson bunts a dribbler down the third base line. Bucholz gets it, and like Herges, throws it into the path of the runner. This time, Helton catches it, and Johnson's helmet bumps it out of the glove. Cedeno to third, Johnson safe at first, error on the pitcher.
- Hoffpauir in to hit for Marmol
- Lines a single up the middle, through a drawn in infield. 6-4 game. First career RBI for Hoffpauir, congrats.
- Double steal. Pitch is in the dirt, no play. Runners at 2 and 3
- Soriano singles up the middle. Tavares throws home trying to get Hoffpauir from second, a nice one-hopper. Torrealba can't handle it, Hoffpauir gets his hand on the plate as he slides around Torrealba. 8-4
- Alberto Arias in to pitch
- Theriot walks.
- Lee hits a sharp liner to Quintanilla, who knocks it down, then completes the 6-4-3. Soriano to third
- Ramirez pops to Atkins
Inning 9 - Top
- Wood in to pitch
- Helton K's looking at a tough slider
- Atkins K's swinging at a slider
- Spilborghs singles to right, takes second on indifference.
- And Stewart K's looking at a nasty slider. Wood really had the stuff going, tonight.
- Evidently, I died.
- How did I die? Opinion is divided between sci-fi, sexual, and redneck-related answers.
- Can we cheer Whipple up?
- King Felix.
- Who plays center, part 5,194
- The Pie vs. Cake gender divide
- Jesse Litsch, Pat Listash
- Where have you gone, Cubs draft class of '02?
- Marquis' sad at bat
- You're a Towel. Ouch.
- The All-Japanese MLB Player Team.
- Facing Glendon Rusch
- Tonight's fantasy results
- Choo Freeman: where is he now?
- Cubs hitters over .800 OPS
- Better than Ezra
- Rob G is a Knob.
- Bad fantasy weeks
- I step out for two minutes, and I...
- get fired
- am declared dead
- I return, get my job back, and am resurrected
- No wait, I'm told I'm a zombie.
- mmmmm. Brains......
- Are there any brains in my refrigerator?
- Mmmmmm..... Musician brains....
- Mmmmm... Rachel Ray and right-wing blogger brains.....
- Still hungry after that light snack
- Who starts a keeper-league fire sale in May?
- Submitting Rick Astley to......
- a Zombie buffet?
- Throwing lesbians out of Safeco
- and into a horde of Zombies.
- The Butthole Surfers
- Firing people...
- ...out of cannons
- Is Basketball over yet?
- griping about the game
- We have failed to cheer up Whipple.
- New rule: a one-to-one matching of every musical group referenced with the word "boobs"
- Sombrero-wearing wi-fi users under cactii.
- Whipple must be feeling better, he and Crunch have resumed explaining what's cool to us. :)
- Kelly Clarkson.
- We educate Carlos about the decisio-making process in gay sex.
- Evidently, I'm a Zombie foreskin. Who knew?
- Carlos: Bustin' Fontenot lined a double into tha left-centa gap. Soriano then hit a shawty bloopa dizzle tha left field line thizzat J-to-tha-izzust did drop in fair territory.
- This section edited out to preserve my prospects for being selected as a V.P. candidate in a major political party.
- Continuing: Chizzan Ho Pizzark relieves Saito. Heh mah nizzle. On a N-to-tha-izzight where Fernando Tatis is play'n fo` tha Mets, n wit Scizzay Elarton also called up . It dont stop till the wheels fall off. I'm amused and yo momma.
- "Consistently out of his mind - like he's sippin' on the Dusty Juice" - SJS Kenosha
- Rally Bush language?!?!
- Rays fans.
- Blackhawks, Red Wings, Bulls, Red Bulls. Oh My.
- Potato skins as sex toys.
- Carlos tells us how we should vote in November.
- RALLY POLITICS!
- Wood and Helton in a beard-off
- PICKLE SURPRISE!
- Carlos looks for low-cost bids on a Ph.D.
- Wes's GPA vs. his ERA
Cubs record in games recapped moves to 8-3. Coincidence? (Yes.)
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.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.
cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.