Wild Card Game Recap: Cubs 1, Rockies 2 (13 Innings)
Tony Wolters vs. Terrance Gore for the Right To Advance in the Playoffs
W - Oberg, never-quit fans at Wrigley and Parachat
L - Hendricks, Wednesday's work productivity
Some Compelling Questions....
1. Was this great pitching or poor hitting?
Most of this game did not lend itself to second-guessing. After a Rockies run in the first, Lester and the bullpen (and leftover starting pitchers) shut them down. About the only real question to debate is if Maddon ought to have pinch-run Gore for Rizzo in the eighth, but, it worked out when a stolen base and a Baez double resulted in the Cubs' run. Other than that, one might squabble over when to pull relievers, but I won't second-guess 11+ innings of shut-out ball after the 1st. If only the bats had done... something... anything... Perhaps De La Rosa should have come in for the lefty-lefty match-up against Tony Wolters with 2 out and runners on 1 and 3 in the 13th, but Wolters is a .170 hitter and Hendricks had been cruising. Of course, Wolters hit the go-ahead single...
2. My God, What Have I Done?
I am so tired.
3. 42 games in 43 days.
Ok, that's not a question. But it still was one heck of a grind.
4. Whither the Cubs Dynasty?
Smarter analysts than I will have to decide what 2018 means for the Cubs' long-term prospects. Let the hot stove season commence.
The grueling details...
1st Inning - Top
- Fastball low and away to the Unibomber starts the game. 4 pitches later and Chuck Noland walks.
- LeMahieu works a 3-1 count. Showing bunt. Lester is not missing by much. 3-2 count, crowd stands to cheer on Lester.
- LeMahieu lines one that splits the Left-center gap, and it rolls into the vines. Bryant immediately, smartly signals for the double, and it freezes Hagrid at third.
- Arenado flies to center, just short of the warning track. Moses scores and LeMahieu to third, 1-0 Rockies.
- Story K's on 3 pitches, staying away. Cutter, cutter, and a looping curve.
- Matt Holliday is alive? Huh. Fossil K's at something breaking in the dirt.
1st Inning - Bottom
- Fastball middle, and Zobrist lines it up the middle for a single.
- Bryant K's swinging at a fastball up in the strike zone.
- Rizzo with a short fly to Dahl in right.
- Freeland seems to have picked Zobrist off of first. Replay.... Safe!
- Baez K's swinging at .... wait for it... slider in dirt.
2nd Inning - Top
- Desmond flies to Almora.
- Dahl flies to deep center. Almora leaps a bit awkwardly into the vines, using his right hand to help elevate, and makes the grab, with the ball just missing the basket. Phew. I am told that on the national telecast, A-rod identifies him as "Almonte"
- Iannetta swings over a curve breaking into his feet, strikes out. 8 pitch inning.
2nd Inning - Bottom
- Almora lines a fastball to left-center for a fastball.
- Murphy chops to Desmond at first, who tries to start the 3-6-1, but Freeland is late in covering the bag. Force-out at 2nd.
- Freeland fastball catches too much of the plate, down, Contreras lines it to right-center, slicing away from Sasquatch, but he makes a nice running play.
- Bote K's on a fastball
3rd Inning - Top
- Lester makes short work of Freeland, K's swinging.
- Gandalf hits a sinking liner just in front of Bryant in left.
- LeMahieu called out on strike three, high and at the outside edge of the zone. The pitch-tracking box likes it.
- Bote makes a nice stop on an Arenado smash, for the 5-3 putout.
3rd Inning - Bottom
- Lester K's swinging. I missed it finding my beer.
- Freeland stabs a come-back chopper from Zobrist.
- Bryant pops out to second. Lazy inning
4th Inning - Top
- Story lines to Zobrist in deep right.
- Methusela hooks one over a leaping Bote into the corner for a double.
- Looping curve to Desmond that allegedly caught the outside corner. Desmond has warrant to disagree, but it's still strike three.
- Dahl with a roller to Rizzo, unassisted. Nice work by Lester.
4th Inning - Bottom
- Rizzo bounces to Story, positioned just to the 1B side of 2B.
- Baez lines right to Dahl in right.
- Almora bounced to a drawn-in Arenado at 3rd.
5th Inning - Top
- Iannetta K's looking at an 88 mph... something... center and down.
- Freeland K's looking on the low inside corner.
- Billy Gibbons grounds to Rizzo. Lester is cruising.
5th Inning - Bottom
- Murphy with a soft chopper to LeMahieu.
- Freeland breaks Contreras's bat, with Arenado making a nice charging bare-handed play to get Willson at 1st.
- Bote K's swinging at a fastball high and outside. 12 in a row set down by Freeland.
6th Inning - Top
- LeMahieu grounds to Baez.
- Arenado grounds to Bote. Lester still cruising
- Story inside-outs a high pitch to right center, bouncing over the wall for a double.
- Lester really pitching Rip Van Winkle tough here. Eventually K's him on a fastball up and away, Contreras pumping his fist as they run off the field.
6th Inning - Bottom
- Happ hits for Lester, quickly down 0-2. Chavez is up in the bullpen. Happ works it to 3-2. Everyone is on their feet. Happ fouls one away at the last possible moment.
- Happ draws the walk on a pitch inside. Pat makes it sound much closer than what the pitch trax thingy says. Nice work by Happ.
- Parra in left for Abe Vigoda.
- Zobrist K's swinging.
- Bryant pops one down the right field line, shallow. Dahl sort of overruns and over-circles it, and it falls in. Really ugly effort by Dahl. Bryant at 1st, Happ at 2nd.
- Rizzo promptly grounds into a 4-6-3. Oww. Oww, oww, oww.
7th Inning - Top
- Chavez in. Desmond lines into the right-center gap, with Almora making a nice play to keep him to a single.
- Dahl with a lazy fly to left. Bryant, camped under it, makes the easy play, but Desmond, inexplicably, is tagging up. He tries for the swim move, but Ian, I know Javy Baez, I root for Javy Baez, and you are no Javy Baez. Out.
- Iannetta flies to Bryant in left. Pitch got too much of the plate, but no harm.
7th Inning - Bottom
- Kerry Wood is spectacularly tone-deaf. But we love ya, Kerry, and glad you did the Stretch.
- 86 MPH something-or-other gets the center of the plate, and Baez pops to second.
- Almora lines just in front of Dusty Hill, who may have been able to make a high-risk play for it, but lets it land in front of him for the single.
- Murphy lines to Story's right, who makes a nice diving catch for the out.
- Ottavino in to face Contreras
- First pitch is wild, way outside, and Almora goes to second. Conteras works a 3-1 count. Walks on a pitch that bounces, Contreras is fired up.
- LaStella in to hit. First pitch, a breaker, nearly hits him. Second pitch also wild inside. Schwarber on deck
- LaStella hits a weak chopper back to Ottavino, but starts gesturing back to home... Catcher's interference! His bat hit Butera's glove, quite clearly. Bases loaded.
- Heyward, instead of Schwarber, now hitting.
- The 1-1 pitch nearly hits Heyward in the shin. 2-1. Crowd going nuts.
- Ottavino battles back, and K's Heyward on a nasty fastball, swinging, down and away.
8th Inning - Top
- Rosario in to pitch, Heyward to Right, Zobrist to Left, Bryant to Third, Bote out.
- Butera draws a walk.
- Charles Darwin hits a lazy fly to Zobrist
- Cishek in.
- LeMahieu hits a chopper to Murphy who throws to second on a very close play. Called out, and Baez throws to first for what surprisingly seems to be a double play. It'll be reviewed... appears to be safe.... and.... everyone is astonished when Butera is called out at second. Pat Hughes can't believe it.
8th Inning - Bottom
- Zobrist rolls out to 2nd.
- Strop and Hendricks up in the bullpen
- 96 MPH on the low outside corner, Bryant K's swinging.
- Rizzo lines an outside fastball to center for a single.
- Gore pinch-runs for Rizzo. Steals on the first pitch, uncontested. I can't even describe how fast he looks, in slow-motion.
- Javy is 0-5 with 4 Ks against Ottavino, and promptly lines a double over Gore's head and into left-center for a double. 1-1 tie game.
- Wade Davis in to pitch
- Baez steals third on a swinging strike in the dirt.
- Almora K's swinging.
9th Inning - Top
- Gore in at left, Murphy to 1st, Bryant to 3rd, Zobrist to 2nd. I think that covers it?
- Strop (!!!) is in.
- Strop K's Arenado on a couple of nasty sliders. Looks sharp.
- Fastball catches too much of the plate, Story bounces one through the left side hole, for a single.
- Parra bounces to Murphy, who is playing in and on the line. Makes a nice-yet-awkward stumbling play and steps on the base. Not in a position to try for a double play. Story to second.
- Strop K's Desmond on a hanging curve down the center of the plate that Desmond clearly wasn't expecting. Crowd continues to be bonkers.
9th Inning - Bottom
- Murphy K's on a check-swing at a knuckle-curve in the dirt.
- Hamels warming up.
- Contreras works a full-count walk, real nice AB.
- Schwarber hits for Strop. 2-1 count, a pitch slightly outside gets called strike 2. Ooof. Swinging strike 3.
- Heyward bounces back to Davis, and we go to extras
10th Inning - Top
- Cole Hamels, 10th Inning Relief Pitcher.
- Dahl with a slow chopper in front of Zobrist at second, who just does get him at 1st. Right-side defense looks rickety, but gets it done.
- CarGo came in at some point (just now? It's late and I am tired) and singles to left.
- Butera with a soft pop just behind the infield dirt near 1st. Murphy has a bad angle on it, but Zobrist is there for the out.
- Pat Valaika is pinch-hitting for... someone.... listening to Pat and Ron with TV muted and trying to recap and contribute to parachat is hard, DON'T JUDGE ME.
- Ah. Looks like Dumbledore got taken out when Davis came in, and now this is PH for Davis.
- Somewhere in that confusion, Valaika K's.
10th Inning - Bottom
- Seung Hwan Oh in to pitch
- Zobrist bounces out to Story.
- Bryant hits a smash to the left-side hole, but Arenado makes a nice diving grab to get the out at first.
- Gore up... sees a couple of balls, but K's swinging at a fastball up in the zone
11th Inning - Top
- Hamels still pitching. You owe it to me to comment on this recap. Then maybe throw some money at TCR. We'll use it to buy Pogs.
- LeMahieu bounces the first pitch to Bryant for the 5-3.
- Arenado singles back up through the middle.
- More first-pitch swinging, and story pops to shallow right-center where Zobrist has it.
- Full Count to Parra... just misses for the walk. Runners on 1st and 2nd.
- Chopper to Bryant's right, and he goes to second. Parra however gets a big jump and beats the throw. Probably had a play on Desmond at first.
- Next pitch, Dahl bounces to Murphy who makes a nice feed to Hamels to get us out of the jam.
11th Inning - Bottom
- Baez watches five straight pitches from Oh, and walks.
- Almora bunts to Arenado, charging in. Throw to first for the out. Baez rounds second and inquires about taking third, but finds Butera has hustled down to cover third, so Baez stays put at second.
- Murphy intentionally walked. Right about now I wish they still had to throw four balls.
- Contreras seems to have hurt himself fouling off a pitch. Caratini had been on deck to pinch hit, so.... Ron thinks it may be a cramp, and indeed they have him drinking something on the field. Crew chief being generous giving Willson some time.
- Thought we had ball three, but time evidently was called, so count remains 2-2. Maddon uses this as a chance to freeze the pitcher and sneak Contreras a juice box, but no luck on that.
- Contreras chops to Arenado, who tags Baez on his way to third. Baez hits the breaks, forcing Arenado to come tag him, and Baes then bear-hugs Arenado when he comes in for the tag, because Javy. Arenado seemed to enjoy it and hugged back, may have even initiated it. Bud Black comes out to object that this is interference, and now we're interpreting the intent of a hug. But clearly, Arenado had given up on any effort at also going for the play at first, because, hey, who would turn down a chance to bear-hug Javy Baez?
- Chris Rusin in to pitch, Caratini to hit. McMahon in at first
- Caratini promptly grounds to McMahon, unassisted.
Inning 12 - Top
- Justin Wilson in.
- CarGo bounces out to Second.
- Kyle Hendricks, Relief Pitcher, in for Wilson.
- Butera lines sharply to center, right at Almora.
- McMahon flies out to Gore, an easy time of it for Hendricks.
Inning 12 - Bottom
- Heyward grounds to first.
- Zobrist pops one to shallow right. CarGo comes in and LeMahieu goes out, and LeMahieu makes a very difficult catch, avoiding CarGo.
- Oberg in to face Bryant. Wolters in for Butera. That's three catchers used by Colorado tonight.
- Why not just walk Bryant to get to Gore? Pat and Ron wonder, and so do I...
- That's why. Bryant chances some sliders and then watches strike three.
Inning 13 - Top
- I hate everyone. It's 12:40 am.
- LaMahieu hits a lazy fly to Almora.
- Arenado with a sharp grounder to Zobrist, for the out. Hendricks having no trouble. Wrigley still totally packed.
- Story bounces one through the left-side hole for a hit.
- Parra reaches for a change-up and singles it into right. First and third, two outs, for Wolters.
- .170 hitting Tony Wolters singles up the middle, past Hendricks' glove-hand, for the rbi single. 2-1 Rockies.
- De La Rosa in to face Dahl. A bouncer gets away from Contreras and Wolters advances, but De La Rosa comes back for the strikeout.
Inning 13 - Bottom
- Leading off with the season on the line in the Wild Card... Terrance Gore. Not how we drew the season up.
- Oberg throws a fastball running inside and it..... hits? Gore? It definitely got the home plate umpire somewhere up around the collarbone, and we go to the review to decide if it hit Gore. Really hard to tell both live and in replay. I suspect the answer is no.
- Nope, not HBP, just ball three. The whole season winds up being about Terrance Gore. He chases a slider down out of the zone for the strikeout.
- Baez K's swinging at a 90 mph pitch down the middle
- Almora K's to end the season.
- I somehow am in a Parachat room with no one else in it, wondering why I am alone. I invite people to join me and realize I'm the one who is missing out. People taunt me when I arrive in the right room.
- Woo Girls
- Ronnie Woo-Woo
- Who is at work?
- Parachat vs. helping kid with Math. Parachat wins.
- Where is CT Steve? Biz, Block, 'los, Crunch, JAG, Whip, Sonic and me here.
- Infinite Hits. Michael Jackson.
- The Zobrist pick-off: what was he thinking? (Answer: his wholesome Christian wife.)
- Off goes Mister Whipple to help kid with the math. Good whip.
- People listening to the national TV telecast are annoyed with A-rod. Pat and Ron overlaid for me, so life is good.
- Are the Cubs the least-rootable team for a non-fan this year? (Answer - why would non-fans be rooting? Dumb question.)
- But, JAG and I agree we aren't going to be too bothered if we lose to the Rockies.
- Huh: So we're even less popular than the Yankees. Cool.
- Evaluating Mendoza, Glanville, Arod as broadcasters. Tough crowd. I like all of them. I am in the minority.
- Ditching partners for the Cubs game.
- Blockhead - Almora is LaStella but thinks he's Baez.
- The exploits of one of my cats, Iggy Cat.
- Marlins Man
- PJ Franklin. (Huh?)
- CORNER GAS
- Crunch joins.
- Whipple returns from helping the kid with math. Good whipple
- Parachat sounds. Ip still is not Ip.
- ESPN vs ESPN 2 telecast
- Block points out just how different we'd be handling tonight if we had lost game 7 in 2016. I made a similar observation to my department chair earlier today. He pointed out that Philly fans would not be so chill.
- Wow, we're really chill in Parachat about the prospect of losing. We're so chill....
- I break the news: JAG and I are officially BEST FRIENDS in Pokemon Go. The Parachat crew celebrates our happiness.
- Crunch is a Poke-vegan.
- Free Willy Contreras. (With purchase.)
- Laminating Ben Zobrist
- Lamination and Mummification as kinks.
- When was this season lost? (Wow, we're a defeated bunch.)
- Bin Laden, who is a huge improvement over Arod, bombed Pearl Harbor. With the Maine.
- Swearing in Parachat, and new ways to prank Carlos
- What we're drinking and eating. (Dogfish Head Midas Touch, and Trader Joe's Ghost Pepper Potato Chips, for me.)
- Ground habanero and ghost pepper spices.
- We love the new TCR banner photo. Thanks, CT Steve.
- Bees on the Tweets Liked by TCR
- Life Updates from JAG, Carlos, Whip, Me.
- Wait, did I miss Charlie joining? Sorry Charlie, there's a lot going on.
- Cost of Living around the 50 states
- Carlos impersonates POTUS tweeting about Crunch. I ~punch2~ Carlos.
- Carlos impersonates POTUS tweeting about Whipple
- The result of all these POTUS tweets is.... "Carlos has left." Good work, jerks.
- Pussy Crabbing.
- Actively recruiting Whipple
- Police encounters. Whip and JAG and Charlie have good perspective for me.
- Police impugnity. Parachat turns serious at a particularly important moment in the ballgame...
- Parachat turns very serious. Woke Parachat.
- Our bullpen concerns.
- I do not know who Pink Hat Guy is behind home plate. This evidently is a failing of mine.
- Crunch, JAG, whip, et. al, are convinved I am a Russian Bot in on the long con.
- I confess I've never seen The Office.
- Murphy's retrograde remarks.
- Big Lowitzki joins us. From Wrigley.
- How does everyone here know of Pink Hat Guy?
- Phew, Charlie also doesn't know of him.
- Worst ways to win this game.
- Rizzo's aggressiveness at the plate today
- Stinky Cat Food.
- Intensely following the game.
- "This is a lot like my kidney stone surgery, only with more Randy Rosario." - Biz
- Amazement at the "out" call at second.
- BEES NUTS
- Justin Verlander has OCD?
- The bad call that helped the Cubs in this game.
- Debating whether or not it's right to pinch-run Gore for Rizzo. Carlos: No. Me: Yes.
- "Our sweet, sweet chaos muppet" - Whipple
- Family members who are asking if we are watching.
- We're going to be more frustrated with this team, now, if they lose.
- Piglatin Romance Novels
- The pitch Desmond took to end the half-inning
- RALLY CAPS
- We like Hamels.
- We have.... other thoughts.... about POTUS.
- Waiting for our Gore walk-off.
- Coloardo's quality infield D.
- Still waiting for that walk-off.
- Discussing the Bryant fielder's choice.
- Absinthe with Lime Seltzer = dinner. Counts as fruit.
- Cheering the bunt...
- Dealing with cramps.
- Dealing with bear hugs.
- Some incident with Ozzie Guillen throwing Geo Soto's mask, and Soto finding it hilarious, which I do not remember.
- Is now the time for Celine Dion lyrics?
- No, it's time for Personal Jesus as the lead-in song for Cubs radio...
- Ron Coomer's thong (song), brought to you by Fifth Third Bank.
- Korn Coffee.
- Who is where?
- What we'd do to have this game over and won.
- An "I'll hit for Heyward" shirt. That's just mean.
- The Gore AB.
Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
In addition to 40 players signed to 2020 MLB contracts, after releasing 22 minor leaguers this week the Cubs now have 279 players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (plus one minor leaguer on the Restricted List), for a total of 320 players in the organization (181 pitchers, 30 catchers, 60 infielders, and 49 outfielders).
JustSayin' 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
Some of the players cut I am not too surprised by. Some of them I think are definitely victims of the minor league pay thing and being squeezed out.
That said, I am very surprised they gave up already on Riley McCauley and Niels Stone.
Hagsag 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
Baseball America is showing a big group of players that have been released.
Arizona Phil 2 days 11 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have released minor league catcher Rafelin Lorenzo. He was selected from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and spent the 2019 season at South Bend. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020.
JustSayin' 3 days 21 hours ago (view)
The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever. That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.
crunch 3 days 22 hours ago (view)
"According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."
so that's where that promise landed. the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.
crunch 6 days 14 hours ago (view)
"Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.
crunch 6 days 20 hours ago (view)
i miss baseball. it could happen in june...it may happen in late may...it might not happen either way.
there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list. there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead. former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup. his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...
JustSayin' 6 days 23 hours ago (view)
COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever. It WAS still America's grass roots sport. Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive. I believe that era is over. What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems. With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go. I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca
crunch 1 week 20 hours ago (view)
fyi for anyone who bought MLB.tv
for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...
bradsbeard 1 week 1 day ago (view)
I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement.
Hagsag 1 week 1 day ago (view)
AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.
Arizona Phil 1 week 1 day ago (view)
jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.
jdrnym 1 week 1 day ago (view)
AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.
crunch 1 week 3 days ago (view)
"Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.
Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."