Wed Funnies: It's like this is all just a game to Joe Maddon. Hey, wait...

The disappointment of Jon Lester's masterful 7.2 innings of 3 hit ball with just the one dinky run given up (a homer from Billy Hamilton)... a 2-1 Cub lead... only to be dashed by Hector Rondon in the fail-save role.
Cubs and Reds go into extras tied at 2.

Then, innings of nothing as no one could hit any reliever and each team used their whole bench.
But that's where Joe Maddon may have a leg up on everyone.
'Cause he plays baseball like it's a game, and he's got a joker in his deck:
Travis Wood.
"One of the best athletes on the team."

Trevor Cahill had done a great job in the 12th, but in the 13th he gives up a couple singles and there are Reds on 1st and 2nd with just one out.
And Joey Votto up to bat.

Really really not good.

First, Maddon took out Cahill and put Joel Peralta on the mound.
And he also put Wood in left.
What in the world?...
Then a miracle double play line drive to Ben Zobrist ends the inning.
Top 14.
Baez - a nothing pop up to 2nd.
Szczur - a grounder to short.
And then it's Wood, who hits a fly ball to left and while it was an out, it seemed like the Cubs' most well-struck ball in the extras.
So far.

I felt change in the air and...
This is where Maddon began to play Twister.
With Wood in left, righty Spencer Patton comes in to face Brandon Phillips.
Then, left hand pitch - Wood pitches while Patton plays left.
Then, left hand left - right hander Patton pitches while lefty Wood plays left.
What just happened?
Pure fun.
(With the added benefit of actually working.)

Cut to Travis Wood in the dugout laughing.
Maybe he knew this would be The Big Inning.
Because then Zobrist walked, Heyward singled and Bryant knocked in Zobrist with a single.
They walk Rizzo on purpose to load the bases and get to... Jason Hammel.
Who grounds out, setting the stage for Javier Baez, who honestly looked like a man who would swing at anything last night.
Which he did again, only this time the ball went 430 feet straight over the center field wall.
Now it's Cubs 7, Reds 2.
And with lefty Wood on the mound and righty Pedro Strop in left, 7-2 is how it ended up ending.
Damn was it ever entertaining.

Cubs still in front of the Cards by 10.
It's almost July.
Greatest. Summer. Ever.

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  • crunch 6 hours 27 min ago (view)


  • Wrigley Rat 7 hours 19 min ago (view)

    For anyone hoping to watch the Marquee Network this spring:  I'll be signing up for a free week of AT&T TV NOW (streaming service) on Sunday morning: - Marquee Network will be replaying Saturday's Spring Training opener at 7am Central and will have the Sunday game at 2pm:


  • crunch 10 hours 52 min ago (view)

    Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales
    From Cubs:  Marquee available in Chicago area through following providers:
    DIRECTV (channel 664); AT&T U-verse in SD (channel 740) and HD (channel 1740); RCN (channels 377 and 679 (HD))
    MetroNet (channel 29); TVision (channel 100). Iowa’s Mediacom (Ch. 51; 768/668 in HD)


  • Hagsag 11 hours 40 min ago (view)

    I have Direct TV. I called them today., asked what was the channel #?They didn't know. 


  • crunch 12 hours 21 min ago (view)

    1pm central

    there's still people figuring out if they actually will have the channel or's been a weird mess.  don't think comcast is on board yet and directv just slid in under the deadline with a deal to carry it.  hulu has the channel, but supposedly they're not going to start carrying it for weeks.


  • Hagsag 13 hours 26 min ago (view)

    Ok, so what time will Marque go on the air ways?


  • crunch 13 hours 59 min ago (view)

    tomorrow's game has been moved to 6:10 MST (7:10 central) because of a threat of bad weather...sweet.


  • JustSayin' 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Solid % improvement for minor leaguers and nice to see the Cubs among the first organizations to break ranks to the upside.  Three comments: 1. Yes, the bonus babies have already BEEN paid but that is the minority of these young men.  2.


  • crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    more spring news...

    i.happ expected to primarily play CF this spring.  rizzo expected to primarily hit 2nd going into the season.


  • Charlie 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    That's fair. And  the discussion would be different if Almora were heads and shoulders above Happ defensively, which seems (surprisingly) not to be the case.


  • bradsbeard 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    I'm not ready to write him off from the right side just yet. One of the things I believe about Happ is that switch hitters in general just take longer to establish themselves as hitters due to having to develop and maintain two separate swings. Given that he sees fewer lefties, you kind of have to give him a little more leeway to develop there I think. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: No word yet on 2020 minor league active roster limits, but I doubt they will do anything new since the minor league 7-day IL with no doctor's note required (sometimes called the "phantom IL") allows clubs to easily rotate guys (especially pitchers) back & forth/on & off the active list. 


  • Charlie 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    I didn't realize until today that the new network will be broadcasting almost every spring training game. Just a heads up for anyone else expecting the usual 4-6 broadcasts.


  • Charlie 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    I think he's going to strike out over 25% of the time, but he's shown that he can be an above average overall hitter even if he's only batting .230-.250.

    I'm also not a big fan of the swing, and I'd be very skeptical of him if the ball is deadened. Stats suggest he'd benefit from a true platoon despite being a switch hitter. Sure would be nice if Almora could hold up the other end competently.


  • Hagsag 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    Kelly C. to the Braves. Damn it.


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    Let us know if you see Dunderwood shagging flyballs in the OF...