Yeah That One Hurt
“We had a plethora of wasted opportunities.”You don't say. Before we play the blame game, let's look at a few positives: - Ted Lilly threw yet another quality start and on a night when it seemed he didn't have his best stuff. At least early on he seemed to be missing his locations by quite a bit and getting hit hard, a cruddy Pirate offense certainly a contributing factor. - The top two spots in the order continued to produce going 6 for 13 with a run, three RBI's and two stolen bases. Unfortunately the middle of the order decided to take the night off. - Some nice defensive plays to keep the game going by Soriano and Theriot, although both looked like they were umpire-aided calls. The umps owed us a few from earlier in the year so file it under baseball karma. - Will Ohman performed his LOOGY duties to perfection and has only allowed one hit to a lefty all season on top of four walks in 19 plate appearances. It's the righties that have been giving him more trouble than usual. - Scott Eyre's three shutout innings lowered his ERA to 8.47. - Lou Piniella actually had a relief pitcher left for the 15th inning and a pinch-hitter for the 14th. Baby steps. Oh but much went wrong, beginning with the eight inning: - Lou brings Felix Pie into the game in the top of the 8th as a defensive upgrade over Cliff Floyd. One-run lead, a flyball pitcher and the middle of the Pirates lineup due up, seems like a smart move. But Lou negates all that in the bottom of the inning. Lee and Ramirez reach to start the inning and the Pirates bring in a lefty to face Pie. Lou, going for the kill, brings in Murton to counter and he pops out rather unceremoniously. If you're playing for defense in the top of the inning, why change your mind in the bottom half? With zero outs and runners on second and third, it would have been a good time to try the squeeze with Pie for that insurance run. If it fails, the team should still have a runner on third with less than two outs and you would have set yourself up with a better defensive outfield for the 9th even with a groundball pitcher coming to the mound. And of course... - Ryan Dempster issues a one-out walk to Nate McClouth although I didn't think it was a bad 3-2 pitch. Tailing two-seamer that just missed the plate that most lefties will chase thinking it's going to be a strike. A single later and Jack Wilson hits a flyball to right field. Jones should be out there if not for Lou's substituting in the eighth and while he may have just thrown it ten feet to either side of the plate or in front of him, he does have a stronger arm that would have had a better shot to nail McClouth. - More adventures on the basepaths that I could do without. Soriano gets thrown out at third when a ball doesn't get far away enough from the catcher. Theriot gets doubled off second when a liner by Murton that is in FRONT of him gets caught and Barrett gets thrown out at second base on a missed hit and run by Jacque Jones. - Neil Cotts is no longer invulnerable giving up his first run of the year. I'll pass out equal shares of blame on the offensive ineptitude in the eight to add insurance runs when we had two runners in scoring position and zero outs and Ryan Dempster for blowing his first save of the year against the bottom of the Pirates lineup. And of course Lou for some more questionable decision-making which of course would have been less questionable had Dempster, Murton or Jones done their jobs. While I wasn't nearly as up in arms about Sunday's game as some were, I did understand the concern. The concern was for games like today. Using up bench guys when you're losing to gain just the slightest advantage has a sort of Old West nobility about it. Better to go down with no bullets in the chamber than be left with a loaded gun and a bloody corpse. But when you're ahead or tied, I think the roster shuffling has to be more controlled. That's the time to save those bullets until you have an absolute clear shot and make sure that bloody corpse is in the opposing team's dugout. Well last time we blew a win against the Pirates we reeled off five straight, I'll take that trade-off.
Cubster 43 min 48 sec ago (view)
high fives followed by Rizzo passing out hand sanitizer
how do you socially distance the dogpile?
crunch 15 hours 19 min ago (view)
cubs in 11!
7-2 record to start the year.
the "socially distanced high-5s" in the middle of the infield is good stuff.
crunch 15 hours 56 min ago (view)
been a while since i've seen a solid home plate collision...couldn't be avoided.
crunch 16 hours 10 min ago (view)
game on...stupid rain delay...
Charlie 17 hours 24 sec ago (view)
Any other readers in southern Il.--are you blacked out of Cubs games? My dad is always blacked out as of this year even though MLB tv lists his zip as blacked out for Cards only.
Sonicwind75 17 hours 32 min ago (view)
When then is ever over, gonna have to have some of them Magic City wings, they must be something!
Cubster 17 hours 48 min ago (view)
For all the heat Lester took to this point, he's really "pitched" excellent in both starts. In fact, the entire starting staff has been really good. Bullpen not so much although I've liked Jeffress.
crunch 18 hours 2 sec ago (view)
cepedes is "opting out" of 2020, but didn't let the team properly know. glad they found him.
Eric S 18 hours 12 min ago (view)
60 game schedules are a perfect fit for Lester. Hell, if we know 2021 will also go 60, Cubs could do a lot worse than re-signing Big Jon
crunch 18 hours 12 min ago (view)
we're 10-ish games in and the future is looking dim for finishing the season, much less forming a 16-team post-season.
at this point it seems making it to playoffs with enough people to fill a roster is a wiser move than actually winning games.
Eric S 18 hours 15 min ago (view)
Magic City wings could be in play here.
Eric S 18 hours 18 min ago (view)
Well done, Dr Cubster
Cubster 18 hours 20 min ago (view)
more on Cardinals...
Jeff Passan says: The latest round of coronavirus tests from the St. Louis Cardinals are, in the words of someone with the team, "not good." There are expected to be multiple new positives, sources tell ESPN. Cardinals took more tests this morning, and results of those should arrive by tonight.
Robt Murray: The St. Louis Cardinals have multiple new positive tests, according to sources with direct knowledge.
crunch 18 hours 31 min ago (view)
...and no one seems to know where y.cespedes (NYM) is...didn't show up for the game today and isn't answering calls. they're on the road @ATL.
Cubster 18 hours 36 min ago (view)
Telecast with Len/JD saying that several more Cardinals tested positive this am. Can't find it on twitter or net yet.
Another Pirate pitcher removed with injury.
KB in Covid protocol even though he had a negative rapid test today.
This is stressful.
crunch 18 hours 49 min ago (view)
contreras breaks up the no-hitter with a double in the 5th.
lester needs to throw a complete game today.