Cherry Pie at HoHoKam
Felix Pie went 3-3 with a bunt single, a double, a triple, and a sac bunt, leading the Cubs to a 7-6 victory over the Texas Rangers before a capacity crowd at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park this afternoon in sunny Mesa.
The Cubs and Rangers were tied 6-6 entering the bottom of the 9th. Facing Rangers reliever Robinson Tejada, Mark DeRosa struck out swinging and Henry Blanco lined out to short to start the inning, but then Pie smoked a triple into the right-centerfield alley, setting up a chance for Eric Patterson to be the hero. And that he was, as E-Pat lined a game-winning single into center, scoring a hand-clapping Pie from 3rd with the winning run.
Ryan Dempster got the start for the Cubs today, and had a mediocre outing, laboring through 4.2 IP (90 pitches - only 52 strikes, 3/6 GB/FB). Dempster allowed four runs on eight hits and three walks, striking out five, and got his pitch count up to 90 in less than five innings thanks to a couple of high-pitch innings (15-18-24-12-21).
Jon Lieber apparently lost the battle for the #5 slot in the starting rotation, as he worked as a middle reliever out of the bullpen today. Lieber pitched three innings (37 pitches - 26 strikes), allowing only a walk and a two-run homer to Adam Melhuse, while striking out three. After his three innings of work, Lieber went out to the Cubs bullpen and threw another 25-30 pitches.
Meanwhile the Cubs offense followed their six run first inning yesterday with a four-run 1st today. Facing LHP Kason Gabbard, Alfonso Soriano worked a one-out walk, Derrek Lee lined a single to center, and then Aramis Ramirez picked up an RBI on a 5-3 GO. Matt Murton then reached on an infield single to short, before Mark DeRosa clubbed a three-run homer completely out of the stadium to the left of the scoreboard to complete the 1st inning scoring.
With the score tied 4-4, the Cubs added two more runs off Gabbard in the 5th. Felix Pie scorched a double down the RF line, and scored on a line-drive RBI single to center by Ronny Cedeno. Cedeno then stole second, and advanced to third on an overthow, before scoring on a F-8 sac fly to deep center by Alfonso Soriano.
In addition to his perfect day at the plate, Pie also made an outstanding running catch into the right-center alley to end the 7th inning. He definitely seems to be hitting his stride at the plate, on the bases, and in the outfield.
crunch 1 hour 55 min ago (view)
"Chicago Cubs @Cubs
Our Aug. 7-9 series at St. Louis has been rescheduled as three 7-inning doubleheaders at Wrigley Field.
#Cubs will be home team for Game 1. Cardinals home team for Game 2."
Eric S 2 hours 5 min ago (view)
It's been fantastic how little use the pen has had (relatively) thanks to the starters going for six-seven innings. Hopefully Chatwood keeps the line moving tonight.
Dolorous Jon Lester 4 hours 49 min ago (view)
I agree with all of this except maybe Tepera. I'd put him firmly in ??? territory. I feel like he's looked better than his results but it's hard to say given small sample size.
Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 45 min ago (view)
Managerial change making a difference I think. Hopefully the changes to the amateur scouting department also bears fruit
Cubster 17 hours 34 min ago (view)
David Ross might be worthy of a little credit, especially sorting out the bullpen issues.
crunch 17 hours 39 min ago (view)
this team is amazing. i want more than 60 games of this. darvish since mid-season last year has been great stuff.
also, wick got to close. kimbrel hasn't worked in quite a while.
Eric S 18 hours 20 min ago (view)
39 pitch inning by Burnes.
crunch 18 hours 55 min ago (view)
...well, it is true that's the plan...but...umm..."allegedly"
QuietMan 19 hours 5 min ago (view)
Cubs to play double headers Monday and Wednesday against the Cardinals.
Eric S 19 hours 57 min ago (view)
Ha! Hope Nico goes on a heater!
Cubster 20 hours 2 min ago (view)
"Not thrilled"...as if on cue, Nico leads off with a double and a later Schwarbsbomb.
Eric S 21 hours 56 min ago (view)
Updated Bullpen tiers:
Tier 1 (Closer/Firemen)
Wick and Jeffress (interchangeable)
Tier 2 (Preferred Setup roles)
Tepera, Sadler, Rea (!)
Tier 3 (Face lefties exclusively if possible)
Ryan (has to get that fastball out of mid-80s or head to South Bend)
Tier 4 (Long man innings eater)
Tier 10 (reserved for use when either up or down by 10+ runs)
I think that covers it?
Jackstraw 23 hours 25 min ago (view)
Wait. The bullpen can get worse? That's unpossible.
Eric S 23 hours 44 min ago (view)
Here we go again: Nico, Rizzo, Javy, Willson, Schwarber (LF), Happ, Bote, Souza, Caratini
Not thrilled with Nico leading off when the greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history was available but whatever
crunch 1 day 1 min ago (view)
bryant was supposedly gonna be in the lineup but he has left ring finger and wrist hurties.
Charlie 1 day 16 min ago (view)
I really think they could play .500 from here and would take the division.
But leave room for at least a week long slump due to bullpen implosion.