View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



April 2017



Game 3 Notes: Cubs 6 @ Cardinals 4

Written by , Posted in General

Box Score / Highlights

The Cubs battled back from an early hole and won today to take the opening series with the Cardinals by a score of 6-4 today.

Good things:

  • I liked how John Lackey battled through a long and mistake riddled 1st inning without his good stuff. If you told me he was going to get through 6 innings today after the 1st inning, I would have laughed at you and said nah.
  • The go ahead Kyle Schwarber HR only adds to the legend he is becoming, what a shot. It left the bat at over 112 MPH and went 400 FT to RF. It was his first regular season HR since September 12, 2015; first of many to come, I might add.
  • Rumors of the demise of Hector Rondon have been greatly exaggerated as he came in for the 7th inning pitched a 7-pitch perfect inning. Maybe preseason baseball results really don’t matter.
  • Carl Edwards Jr. finally coming into the game in a very high leverage situation (after Strop walked 1 and allowed another to reach on an err0r) and getting the job done. He struck out 2 to finish out the 8th with the Cubs still in possession of the lead.
  • Jason Heyward had 2 more hits today, he may do something he has never done and have a good month of April (a career .225 hitter in March and April)
  • Addison Russell did a good job knocking in a couple runs today in situations that just required contact. He had 95 RBI last year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him surpass that into the 100 RBI club if he keeps going this way.

Bad things:

  • I’m not always in love with Joe Maddon‘s in game decision making, for instance today he had Pedro Strop come into his 3rd game of the year so far when Justin Grimm has yet to make an appearance.
  • Ben Zobrist playing 2nd instead of Javier Baez isn’t one of my favorite things. Zobrist had a tough first inning that help lead to most of the damage the Cardinals did in it. It is easy to say well there is no guarantee Baez would have made those plays, but I think the evidence suggests otherwise.
    • I know Zobrist has to play and where else are you going to put him really with the OF also crowded, but still his lack of Javier-like ability at 2nd led to some trouble today.
  • Who would have guessed that John Lackey would have 2 more hits than Kris Bryant does so far? I will say that today was probably one of his better looking games with a hard line out to CF and a walk, but overall it has been a quiet 3 games so far for the MVP.
  • Wade Davis was a little shaky in the 9th and I have to say that his forearm issues from last season continue to pop into my head, hopefully he can finish the year healthy and successful.

Really bad things:

  • The clear and blatant cheating that Yadi Molina is apparently doing behind the plate was pretty terrible. If you didn’t see it, he dropped to his knees to block a wild pitch on a 3rd strike to Matt Szczur and instead of it bouncing off it stuck to the front of his chest protector. (Video below)
    • I would imagine this is due to pine tar or some other substance, but it is clear to me that he probably has that on his chest protector to help get a better grip on the ball for his pitchers. Seems like it would have been a good time for Joe Maddon to come out and ask about it, but maybe the Cubs do it too.
    • I think it really just bothers me the most because it is Molina and the Cards.
  • Sherm

    Great recap – you covered pretty much all the things I wanted to say. I see Zobrist at second and Montzero behind the plate, and I groan. Not that Zo is bad…but Baez is so much better.

    Lackey was good. Thank goodness they saved Hendricks for game 5.

    Bryant is struggling – why not drop him in the order? They won’t…but no one has ever died from it.

    Jhon Jhay impressed me. He can stay a while longer.

    Heyward hit the ball well – the last out he made might have been the best stroke…but at least he’s getting something done offensively.

    WTF is the deal with Grimm? Strop again? That’s just stupid. And Davis did not look impressive.

    Also – they (the Cubs) obviously know that Fowler can’t throw anyone out…so even Lackey took a base on him. So did Bryant, and it appeared that any opportunity to run on him…they were going to do so. New motto? He throw, we go?

  • Seymour Butts

    The lack of curiosity by the home plate umpire is befuddling. When you see that ball stuck there one might think some foreign substance was involved.
    After the game, Cardinal equipment manager Lester Hayes was quoted as saying ” What? I have absolutely no idea what happened. Sue me.”

    • Bryzzo1744
      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        We need to keep this going!

        Streak of sorts: The Cubs have won their last five series at Busch Stadium since getting swept June 26-28, 2015.

    • Kyle

      MLB’s has gotta look into this, right? RIGHT?! I think Molina is one of my top 3 most hated players, and this didn’t help.

      “Was there something on your chest protector?” “Psh, that’s a dumb question.” Uh, no it most certainly is not.

      • Bryzzo1744

        There are no rules forbidding catchers from putting pine tar on their uniforms to help them get a better grip on the ball, particularly in chilly conditions.

        As much as I hate the shitbirds, nothing wrong here.

      • Kyle

        You’re killin’ my hate-buzz over here, Caps!

      • cap’n realist

        It’s not pine tar, that would show up on the chest protector. This is tape adhesive or stick-um. The truth is, the only way anything happens is if Maddon comes out of the dugout and raises a stink. 2 reasons he didn’t do that yesterday. It was game 3 of 162, and there’s a pretty high likelihood that there’s a Cub or 3 engaging in similar activity. It’s CLEAR to me that Molina is loading the ball for his pitchers, which absolutely explains why pitchers and broadcasters alike are constantly gushing about Molina and how everyone just loves to throw to him. Sure they do, he’s loading up the pill for them. I’d often wondered why Molina wears that skinny and shiny chest protector. Wonder no more, he goes with the shiny to hide the stick-um in plain sight. Ever notice how often he ‘adjusts’ said chest protector with his throwing hand. HMMMM. Also found it humorous that Tuesday night Costas and Kaat were gushing about Wainright’s curveball and how it has the highest RPM in the league, and how Martinez’ 2 seamer was sooooo unhittable Sunday night. No need to wonder why, a little extra traction goes a LONG way. The Cardinal way, baby.

      • Eddie Von White

        cap’n Von realist – great commentary.

      • Kyle

        Got my Hate-buzz back. Thanks Cap’n!
        I mean, how much was he using for the ball to just stick to it and not bounce off like every single other wild pitch that’s ever happened in baseball?

      • cap’n realist

        just watched the entire thing on DVR. First of note is that an exceptionally mediocre lefty reliever uncorks an ungodly filthy slider that makes a professional hitter look absolutely silly. I’ve said this about Bumgarner when he’s loading the ball, when big league hitters look lost and un natural, something is going on that is un natural with the ball. Notice how Molina grabs the ball as the ball as the umpire reaches for it and quickly covers with both hands like a pitcher rubbing up a new ball. Then he throws it straight into the Cardinal dugout. So blatant. Len says ‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before’ and then segues to the upcoming Lady Gaga show. This is also a better explanation than a cross up for the fastball that Wainwright spiked the other night. Whatever they are using is clearly a very tacky clear substance. CAPS is right, there’s nothing specifically preventing Molina from having this substance on his gear, but he can’t use it to load the ball, and that’s absolutely what’s happening here. Someone will call him on it later this year.

  • Watched the Cards feed again today.. may have missed out on some Big Head Todd funfacts or some shit, but I’m telling you guys it’s the way to go.

    Lackey, Jhay, and Carl’s Von Jr. played their parts very well. Schwarbs being Schwarbs. Ceasar looked horrible in his pinch hit.. think he’s playing against himself. Not weighing in on Heyward.. go Cubs!

  • Dork

    i think zo at 2nd is fine – stuff happens then move on and win anyway – javy will make another error at second too soon.

  • Doug S.
    • Dork

      I don’t see the blemish from that Box score

      • Bryzzo1744

        Strop’s ERA?

      • Doc Raker

        Spread sheet that Dork

      • Doug S.

        Strop walked Molina for the BB.

        But what doesn’t show here is his error.

  • Doc Raker

    Schwarbs- 82 more to go. Schwarbs gets big hits when we need them, he just doesn’t hit when the team is winning 8-1, Schwarbs is clutch. 3 run bomb to beat the Cards – Schwarbomb

    • Adam Peters


      • Bryzzo1744

        1 down, 103 to go