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.
crunch 2 hours 1 min ago (view)
the 2 geese are now together covering left-center
crunch 2 hours 14 min ago (view)
we now have 2 OF geese.
crunch 2 hours 45 min ago (view)
game is in goose delay.
arrieta threw 2 innings...not bad, not good, nothing alarming, nothing impressive. it'll be nice to see him work in future outings.
game back again...goose still in CF.
crunch 3 hours 10 min ago (view)
there is a goose in CF hanging out.
this is goose territory now. this is not up for discussion.
crunch 4 hours 20 min ago (view)
pedro strop broke COVID protocol and will be even more days away from his spring debut. good job, guy.
Arizona Phil 18 hours 23 min ago (view)
HAGSAG: I've been watching Michael Hermosillo since his earliest days with the Angels, playing over the years against the Cubs in AZL, Minor League Camp, EXST, and AZ Instructs.
From the outset he showed plus defensive skills, a plus arm, and plus speed, but his hit tool was clearly lacking, and he had well below-average power. I thought AAA was his likely ceiling, and even then only as a 4th OF.
crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
3/9 with a homer (no walks).
Cubster 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
How is Almora Jrs spring going?
crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
maybin 0-9 with 6 Ks so far this spring.
Hagsag 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
Phil, what are your thoughts on Mike Hermosillo? He is from our area,Ottawa.
Arizona Phil 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
The fact that the Cubs have not run him through waivers by now tells me they know Duane Underwood Jr is a lock to get claimed and so they are hoping to find a club that would be willing to give the Cubs something more than the $50,000 waiver price in return for Dunderwood (either more $$$ and/or a player).
Arizona Phil 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
Today's pitchers, most of them the same guys who threw last Tuesday:
COMMENT: This just in: Mills heater now sitting at 91!!!!... had two easy innings and looked very good... threw only a handful of his "Bugs Bunny curves" but they are fun to watch because hitters don't know how to deal with it... ...
Arizona Phil 2 days 8 min ago (view)
DJL: Jason Adam sustained a right elbow fracture a few years ago and missed two full seasons, and when he returned to action he started using a "short-arm" delivery.
crunch 2 days 9 min ago (view)
baez "soft tissue injury"...no biggie...it's spring. he'll be back in a day or 2.
crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)
kimbrel...K, single, HBP, 3 more hits...inning called due to pitch count. 4 earned.
also, baez removed after being HBP on the hand.
First.Pitch.120 2 days 8 hours ago (view)
Cotton McKnight: In 23 years of broadcasting I thought I'd seen it all, folks. But it looks like Peter La Fleur has actually blindfolded himself.
Pepper Brooks: He will not be able to see very well, Cotton.