Cubs Wilt in Desert Heat
The Cubs drop the finale in Phoenix and the series, finishing the roadtrip at 2-4. Hey, they won 2 games.
Why the Cubs Lost: Ryan Dempster came out of the gate rolling breaking pitches up in the hitters' eyes while generally missing the plate. He did settle down for the most part after the first inning, besides a Chad Tracy home run in the third, but the Cubs offensive funk didn't need the degree of difficulty to start the game. It looked like Dempster was done after six and allowing four earned runs, but a Mike Fontenot double play to end the top of the 7th sent him back out for the bottom of the inning. Dempster walked the leadoff batter on four straight and was promptly removed and had another run tacked on to his total. He ended the day with 97 pitches, 61 for strikes, 5 earned runs in 6 innngs pitched and a 5.10 ERA in April.
That's when the bullpen got its chance to piss all over itself as Carlos Marmol came in showing the signs of a four day layoff...22 pitches just 5 for strikes. After walking in two runs, it was Jeff Samardzija's turn and he did strike out two, but sandwiched them around a bases clearing Justin Upton double to put the game from joke to laugher' territory. Kevin Gregg got his shot in the ninth and after 35 pitches of which only 18 were strikes, he walked in a run (3 walks total) and then had some parting words for the home plate ump, who I don't think actually ejected him. If he indeed did not get ejected, and considering the argument went on a lot longer and Gregg seemed as agitated if not more than Milton Bradley did, there seems to be a bit of a unsurprising double standard going on by the umpires.
On the other side, Doug Davis dazzled with junk ranging from 68-83 mph taking 50 pitches to get through the first 2 innings Naturally, the Cubs start hacking and Davis gets through the third in eight pitches and just 66 over the next five innings.
Armchair Managing: Let's start with Lou deciding to give Geovany Soto the start over Koyie Hill after saying Soto would rest a few days. Soto went 0-3 with a walk, two strike outs, a passed ball and two stolen bases allowed. The other questionable decision was to bring in a in a rusty Carlos Marmol with a runner on, in what was still a close game. I would think you'd want to ease him in a little but more and Marmol was predictably wild, effectively putting the game out of reach.
Death Pool: Cubs still seem undecided about whether to put Aramis on the disabled list or not, but he's probably closest to being replaced on the roster. Neal Cotts remains safe by virture of not pitching since Sunday.
The Cubs are back home for four against the Florida Marlins, aka Cubs kryptonite, and then two versus the San Francisco Giants.
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 hours 7 min ago (view)
I understand why it feels unsettling. I remember the series well (though I, unlike Theo, actually was in high school). Anyway, I view it as a chance to right previous wrongs in the same way we stomped StL out of the playoffs in 2015, or the way the Nationals got to burn through two teams last year that had dumped them out of October in previous seasons.
But if we lose, of course that was 17 years ago so it's two extremely different organizations.
Arizona Phil 6 hours 8 min ago (view)
DJL: All players on Optional Assignment to the minors must be recalled on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season, even if the player has not spent at least ten days on Optional Assignment. Players cannot be optioned to the minors again until Spring Training.
Arizona Phil 6 hours 29 min ago (view)
CHAMP: No option year is spent just by calling up a player to MLB. An option year is spent only if a player on an MLB 40-man roster is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days in a given season.
Also, Brailyn Marquez is (was) eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft in December, so the Cubs were going to add him to the 40 on 11/20 anyway. They just did it a couple of months early.
bradsbeard 9 hours 38 min ago (view)
Not sure if serious, but Theo became the Red Sox GM in 2002. It's true though, there probably aren't many people in the organization besides Ricketts and Crane Kenney who have any strong feelings about that series.
Craig A. 10 hours 37 min ago (view)
I wonder if anyone on the Cubs cares or even remembers the odd events when the Marlins played the Cubs in 2003. I think Theo was in high school. To this old fart it will be more than a little unsettling to watch this post-season match-up. At least we can be fairly certain there will no fans grabbing for foul balls.
bradsbeard 14 hours 5 min ago (view)
Which is kind of annoying. Nobody really picked the Cubs to win this division pre-season. I guess Mattingly gets some credit for guiding the Marlins through their positives but even just letting them play that one game with half the team sick should knock him out of consideration. Meanwhile Ross kept a tight ship and the Cubs has no positives all year. I'd say Ross or Tingler should get it over Mattingly.
crunch 15 hours 22 min ago (view)
cubs finish 34-26 (1st, division)...they play MIA on wednesday.
good start for d.ross, but the manager of the year is most likely going to d.mattingley (MIA) or j.tingler(SD).
crunch 15 hours 58 min ago (view)
...or he won't make it out of the 8th
0.2ip 2h 3bb 1k, 5r/er...2 wild pitches
there's some great stuff in that arm. mid/high-80s slider, "changeup" around 90mph, fastball 97-99mph...all effortless. 21 years old and never pitched above A-ball.
crunch 16 hours 4 min ago (view)
crunch 16 hours 8 min ago (view)
rough debut...doubt we're going to see him in the 9th.
Charlie 16 hours 15 min ago (view)
Reminds me a little of Jeff Samardzija's debut. Adrenaline throwing straight gas but all over the place. Samardzija threw a fastball all the way to the backstop in his debut (2008).
crunch 16 hours 18 min ago (view)
back to back 3-2 count 6-pitch walks.
he's not in the zone. he's throwing almost totally fastballs, too.
crunch 16 hours 19 min ago (view)
alzolay's gotta be locked in for a start given what he's done lately.
i wonder what role j.lester will be given. if he's starting, hopefully he's the 3rd/4th starter, if at all. someone will probably give him a 2021 contract if he doesn't retire...hope it's not the cubs giving that contract, though.
crunch 16 hours 22 min ago (view)
dude's thrown a 97mph and 98mph fastball to start and both looked like he was barely expending effort.
unfortunately, neither were near the plate.
Charlie 16 hours 24 min ago (view)
So, Alzolay gets at least one October start, right? He'd be a weapon out of the pen if the Cubs had more than two believable starters ready.
crunch 16 hours 25 min ago (view)
Q goes 2 effective (2ip 2h 1bb 2k, 0r/er) and here comes b.marquez...