Game 123 – Don't count your chickens…
Cubs 5, Astros 6
I think this image is appropriate in the top spot today. Carlos Marmol ruins what could’ve been the easiest game recap in the history of game recaps. Cubs played flawlessly for 8 innings, but since it was a save situation, Quade brings in Marmol who goes on to give up a walk off pinch hit grand slam to Brian Bogusevic.
What went right:
- Cubs started the game with three straight singles and scored two runs in the first inning. Tyler Colvin and Aramis Ramirez would add home runs to extend the lead. (Why would you ever throw Colvin a fastball?) Carlos Pena was on base four times as he hit two deep doubles to go along with two walks.
- Ryan Dempster had another quality start as he threw seven innings while giving up four hits, two earned runs, three walks and seven strikeouts. Kerry Wood threw a scoreless inning of relief.
- No errors!
- Sam Adam’s Octoberfest beer is in stores now.
What went wrong:
- Look at the game graph. Going into the 9th inning, the Cubs had a 98.6% chance of winning the game. Marmol went wrong.
Cubs made a splash in the draft and I don’t understand people saying they “overpaid” for someone. The draft is the best place to get talent at a good price. What is $1.275M for Shawon Dunston Jr. going to do to hurt the organizations future? Nothing! Nothing at all. Get the talent in the organization and see what happens. You can’t develop a player unless he’s in the organization, and if you’re going to let a few hundred thousand dollars get in the way of that, you need to think about how many millions are wasted on bench players and relief pitchers that don’t help the team at all.
Albert Pujols is a free agent this offseason, are you going to pay him for what he’s done the last few years or are you going to pay him for what you think he’ll produce for your team over the duration of the new contract? The same answer should apply to those you draft.
Back to the Cubs haul…the Cubs spent $12 million on this years draft, validating Tom Ricketts talk of pouring money into scouting and development. The biggest surprise was Dillon Maples in the 14th round for $2.5M, the largest bonus ever given to someone after the 2nd round. Baseball America ranked Maples as the 46th overall prospect going into the draft and he’ll slide into the Cubs Top 10 for 2012.
The Cubs 1st round pick, Javier Baez, signed for $2.7M and you’ll see him at the top of some Cubs prospect lists next year with Brett Jackson remaining at the top of others. He was a shortstop in high school but will probably move to third base in the future.
My favorite is already Dan Vogelbach, 2nd round, who some scouts say had the most raw power in the entire draft. He’s a 1B in a DH’s body who won a home run derby which included a 508 ft bomb.
By spending so much in the later rounds on prospects that dropped due to bonus demands, Tim Wilken felt the Cubs pulled in 8 or 9 players that would have went in the first three rounds on talent alone. This is how a large market team should operate. Actually, that should be how all teams operate. Otherwise you’re the White Sox who spent just over $2M.
For more on the draft, here’s an interview with Tim Wilken from the Daily Herald’s Bruce Miles.
Stars of the Game
Base on Win Probability Added (WPA)
1st Star – Brian Bogusevic (.817 WPA)
2nd Star – Ryan Dempster (.217 WPA)
3rd Star – Aramis Ramirez (.178 WPA)