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Wednesday

19

April 2017

96

COMMENTS

Organizational Recap – Cubs overcome early deficit, get back to .500

Written by , Posted in General

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

Brett Anderson gave his worst outing of the year, Kyle Schwarber and Miguel Montero each hit a two-run homer and the Cubs ended a four game losing streak in comeback fashion Tuesday night against the Brewers.

Montero drew his second consecutive start (which I found odd when the lineups were released) but proved Joe Maddon‘s decision to be warranted, racking up three hits, including the long fly.

Milwaukee jumped out to a 5-0 lead, tallying three scores in the first and two in the third inning. Travis Shaw provided two of those RBIs with doubles in his first two plate appearances, and Domingo Santana and Orlando Arcia provided the others.

Kyle Schwarber commenced Chicago’s successful comeback efforts with a homer in the home half of the third to make the score 5-2. Montero cut the deficit to two scores with his blast in the fourth inning, and a four-run sixth inning was all the Cubs needed to secure a victory.

Heyward, Almora continue to hit

Jason Heyward raised his batting average on the young season to a healthy .300 with two hits last night. Sure, it’s too small of a sample size and the expensive right fielder has still shown weaknesses at the plate, but there is no denying that this is an encouraging sign.

Albert Almora is on fire. The 23-year-old is 8-for-19 this season in addition to playing tremendous defense. As it has been discussed after his dazzling performance in spring training and into the first week of the regular season, it will be a challenge for Maddon to keep this guy out of the lineup.

What’s wrong with Zobrist? 

Ben Zobrist has borderline looked uncomfortable at the plate so far this season. This is alarming for a typically savvy middle-of-the-order bat that thrives on working deep counts and punching timely base hits. Hitting just .191 through the team’s first 14 games, Zobrist must start hitting–or it will make Maddon’s daily lineup decisions with his bolstered clubhouse that much easier.

Hat tip to the bullpen

After being dragged through the mud during this tough stretch, the bullpen came out and tossed 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one run. Chicago starter Brett Anderson defecated the bed last night but was saved by the formula of Brian Duensing (1 1/3 innings, one run), Justin Grimm (1 inning, 0 runs), Carl Edwards Jr. (1 inning, 0 runs), Hector Rondon (1 inning, 0 runs) and Wade Davis (1 inning, 0 runs).

Side note: it appears to me that Rondon is the clear leader in the clubhouse for the 8th inning setup role. Thoughts?

AAA – Iowa Cubs 0 vs. New Orleans Baby Cakes 8

The I-Cubs only mustered four total hits so the only thing I’d like to point out from this game is that the New Orleans’ mascot is in fact, a Baby Cake.

AA – Tennessee Smokies vs. Birmingham Barons

Rained out. What a start to the minor league recap…

A-Adv – Myrtle Beach Pelicans 6 @ Buies Creek Astros 0 

SP – Justin Steele – 5.1 innings, 0 ER, 5 K’s

RF –Eddy Martinez – 1 for 4, HR, 2 RBIs

Boom. Steele lowers his ERA to 0.63 in 14.1 innings for the Pelicans.

A – South Bend Cubs 9 @ Great Lakes Loons 6

2B – Yeiler Peguero – 3 for 5, HR, 3 RBIs

RP – Dakota Mekkes — 1.1 innings, 0 ER

Mekkes has yet to allow an earned run through nine relief innings for South Bend.

  • Brad Lyerla

    Good stuff, Nate. I was at the game last night and can report that it was a night made for baseball. Really gorgeous. A warm wind blowing out and it stayed comfortably warm until the last out. There is no place more beautiful than Wrigley on a night like last night.
    But as you said, Anderson was awful and the team looked lifeless. Schwarber’s homer sparked a little llfe. But it was Montero’s homerun that really inspired the crowd. Then the team poured it on. It was great to the comeback.
    A couple of thoughts:
    1) Zobrist does look bad at the plate. I noticed it more last night than I have on TV.
    2) Bryant looks like he is trying to guess pitches more than he used to. It was good to see him get a couple of hits and an rbii. And his swing looks the same. But his at bats look different. Could be he is trying to outthink the pitcher. I wonder what others think.
    3) When he is healthy, Rondon is a terrific one inning type reliever. I would be happy to see Joe stick with him in the 8th inning and let’s see how he does.
    4) I have said this before, but when you see Heyward in the flesh, he is huge. When he stands next to Montero, Miggy looks like a munchkin. I see that another website gave Miggy the first star honors last night. He deserved it.
    5) I had a buffalo Italian sausage last night. It wasn’t awful, but I doubt that it will become a regular thing for me.
    6) I don’t miss the bull pens. The playing field is prettier with the bull pens under the bleachers.
    7) The outside of the stadium look great.
    8) THe public green area, where the player’s parking lot used to be is a huge improvement.
    9) The crowds now are so large that the concourse seems too small to accommodate everyone.
    10) I really like my new seats. I got a package of 14 games. It fits our schedule nicely.

    • Dork

      You can’t go wrong with the sausage and Italian beef – whatever that is called

      • Brad Lyerla

        Agree. The Italian Combo. And I love it. We got in the specialty sausage sandwich line because you can get a green line there. So it was driven by the beer choice.

      • Bryzzo1744

        My favorite for the combo is Portillo’s, and I always do it dipped. Do you do yours dipped or no?

      • Adam Peters

        You gotta dip! Gotta!

      • cap’n realist

        Cue Seymour….

      • Seymour Butts

        Not making the connection… I am unfamiliar with the dip phenomena, though the conversation does bring to mind a 2 word personal pronoun with the first word being dip.

      • Sherm

        Theria?
        Thong?
        Ittydo?
        Stick?
        Lomat?

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        You are on your game I could not find that many dip references in 8 minutes if I tried.

      • Brad Lyerla

        I dip when circumstances permit. Seymour? Seriously, if you dip at the ball park and take it back to your seat to eat, then it’s a mess.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I went to Al’s Beef when I was at UIC, and Portillo’s at home. What are you go-to’s?

      • Doc Raker

        I think Al’s Beef is the best but we don’t have Al’s in SoCal, we have Portillo’s so I do get plenty of Portillo’s

      • cap’n realist

        There is an Al’s in Chino Hills. Can’t think of any other reason to go to Chino Hills, but I might need to make a run out there sometime soon.

      • Bryzzo1744

        They have Portillo’s in San Diego! I might have to get some when I’m there. Along with a 4×4 at In-N-Out done animal style, animal style fries, and a Neapolitan shake.

      • Bryzzo1744

        When you were at UIC, was the Al’s on Taylor street there or no?

      • cap’n realist

        yes. How old do you think i am? The Taylor Street location was the first one to open, in the 1930’s. Learn your history, CAPS.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I have an idea of your age because you told me when you were at UIC. I didn’t know it’s been there since then. I haven’t been back to UIC since I graduated and I don’t ever plan to. I didn’t even walk for graduation.

      • Sherm

        He told you his age when he was at UIC? I thought you went there much later.

      • One would think you’d have an idea if his age not because he told you when he was in school, but rather because you’ve met him in person. Just a guess.

      • Bryzzo1744

        The former is because of the latter.

      • Sherm

        The farmer is because of the ladder?

      • Seymour Butts

        Well there you go again using your fancy pants logic.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I thought we all knew that logic and CAPS go in different directions.

      • cap’n realist

        In his defense, I’m REALLY young looking in person.

      • Doc Raker

        It closed

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        One of our happier day’s here in Wisconsin was when they opened up the first Wisconsin Portillo’s it added another fast food option, and finally one with some flavor. They now have two open in the Milwaukee area.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Do you like Culver’s? There’s none near me in IL and I’ve always wanted to go there.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Culver’s is OK, but it is just another burger joint. The Custard is good.

      • Eddie Von White

        The custard is good if you like custard that tastes like eggs.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I did not say it was great. I am a sucker for anything sweet that has anything to do with cream. That is why my index finger would be whip cream for the condiment finger question.

      • bold index move Jer

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I have to do something to keep up with your Kawaski googles.

      • Eddie Von White

        I like those googles too. What’s a google?

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I meant Goggles. I apparently go to google way too much.

      • Adam Peters

        “I am a sucker for anything sweet that has anything to do with cream. ”

        I can’t believe no one has run with this yet.

      • cap’n realist

        I got the Buono beef last year when I was at Wrigley for clinching day. Quite tasty and well priced at $10. I liked it so
        Much I saved the picture on my phone for 9 months. Beef. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dfe376fe8fe7039b5347274b52d819cf1d7e361a479c221250beedf00ff69804.jpg

      • cap’n realist

        as you can see from the photo, I did not wash it down with anything called RumChata.

      • Sherm
      • Doc Raker

        A Beef and Sausage Combo or Combo for short. I love an Italian Beef and a Combo is awesome with hot peppers of course.

      • Brad Lyerla

        Sweet peppers.

      • Doc Raker

        Sweet peppers, no hot peppers? What -you and Donna share the sandwich?

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        That is the only reason to order sweet peppers only. I like to have both sweet and hot peppers on my beef sandwich.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Has anyone else tried the Pepper and Egg Sandwich during Lent?

      • Brad Lyerla

        Of course.

    • Eddie Von White

      I hate to say it, but I’m pretty sure that awful buffalo Italian sausage you had last night was actually that vermin you saw run across the field on Sunday.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Rickett’s dad has a ranch in Wyoming, and I read one year that they were selling hot dogs and sausages made with bison direct from his dad’s ranch

      • Brad Lyerla

        Whatever it was, a friend insists that I continue to eat one every day until we lose.

  • Dork

    The coffee tastes better this morning – not a good start for Anderson the ground ball pitcher

    • Bryzzo1744

      My tea was better this morning than it has the last week as well.

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    A nice surprise this morning. Called it a night after the Brewers went up 5-0 thinking the losing streak was going to continue and was happy to read through the box score this morning. Anderson was decent in his previous starts so hopefully last night was just an off night for him.

    • Bryzzo1744

      I also hit the hay when they were up 5-0

    • Doug S.

      I’ll admit I turned to the Raptors-Bucks game at that point but kept following and very pleased to return to the game just before the boys tied it up.

  • Adam Peters

    I love the guy, but if Zobrist keeps hitting like this his defense sure isn’t going to keep him in the lineup. And as you say, Nate, it will just expedite his inevitable transition to the bench and Baez’s to starter. At the end of the day that might not be such a bad thing.

    • Kyle

      I think he needs to move to 9th, when he’s in. Take the pressure off. Get on Base for Schwarbs.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Or you could move him to lead off and let Schwarbs bat second.

      • Buddy

        Zobrist is certainly struggling, but he looks like Babe Ruth at the plate compared to Baez. Good lord, take a pitch every once in a while!

  • Guy Karafa

    Off topic , but wondering , with Marte getting suspended , will the Commisioner void the Pirates wins to date ??? GREAT comeback ladt night.

    • Doug S.

      Doubt it.

    • cap’n realist

      never happened before…can’t imagine it will.

  • Nate, “shit the bed” is acceptable here at VFTB. Besides that you might confuse some folks with the big word. ?

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      I was going to ask what the manure is defecate.

      • Seymour Butts

        Gonna take me a while to digest that…

        We are aware that our boys won a nice game last night, right? With the dominant talk being of sausage, condiments, and sticky fingers, I thought I had stumbled onto a Japanese fetish website.

      • I just like that you have that frame of reference.

      • Sherm

        I just like that we are not talking about sausage any more

      • cap’n realist

        I just like that we aren’t talking about LOSING any more…

      • Sherm

        Hey, I heard you were born in like 1930. Go take a nap.

      • Speaking about losing and sausage, whatever happened to our Johnsons? One of them popped up in November I think.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Was that during the Merkle Boner story?

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I am surprised nobody bit on this.

      • Seymour Butts

        Biting on a Boner story. I think Tommy left.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    I will take the blame for the losing streak. My car had troubles last Friday and I was forced to take my keys off of my Cubs key ring. I did not get it put back together until yesterday, I’m Sorry, and will make sure my car will not have anymore problems when the Cubs are playing.

  • Doc Raker

    Great come back win, I must admit down 0-5 I thought it was over but I hung there with Pat and Cooms until the victory was sealed.

    The Cubs signed Zo to a 4 year deal, he will not be a starter in his final year of the contract and if he continues to hit so poorly he might not make it out of 2017 as a starter. He does see a lot of pitches and is a great mentor for the young Cubs and he got the big hit Nov 2 2016 in the 10th inning

  • Bryzzo1744

    No Schwarber today. Meaning we have our 2nd player to hit leadoff this season. Doc set the over/under at 7.5. I took the over.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    And I thought that with a Cubs win the number of comments might end up somewhere below 95, looks like I am wrong.

  • Doc Raker

    Ceasar is leading off today, he is the second Cub to bat leadoff this season. The over under on how many different lead off hitters the Cubs have in 2017 is 7.5,

    Maddon took my advice and mixed up the line up today and put Russell in the 4 hole. More evidence the Cubs brass read this blog. The Cubs also released a press statement saying their Buffalo Sausage is from the Ricketts ranch and not made from the city vermin also known as Buffalo Rats that were seen on a recent broadcast.

    • Doug S.

      Looks like we’ve dug ourselves into another early hole.

      • Eddie Von White

        We’ll get out of it. Milwaukee’s not that good.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        They may not be that good, but we need to start beating them very soon.

  • Kyle

    Almora Home Run! Dude’s on fire. He’s gotta play every day until he cools off.

  • Guy Karafa

    Anyone have an idea how the Cubs gave out rings? I know Dempsey , Beckert , Hundley , Cardenal got one , but heard nothing about Kessinger , Andre , Kerry Wood. Is there an official list ? Thanks

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      I know that Rick Sutcliff received a ring.

      • Sherm

        Joe got one for running this blog, I think.

    • Doc Raker

      Probably all the guys that work for the club in some capacity. I don’t know if the former Cubs that work Randy Hundley Fantasy Camp are considered Cub employee’s but Jody Davis, Bob Denier and those other Cubs all work the fantasy camp.

  • Sherm

    Disappointing 7th inning there. Baez swinging at bad pitches and trying to hit a 3 run homer leading off when a single would do. Wasted PH for Schwarbs – why use him then? Why not use LaStella and save Schwarb for a “men on base” situation? Makes no sense. Then Heyward PHs for Szczur – a fast hitter, against a fastball pitcher – and promptly whiffs. Schwarbs stays in. For defense? I jest. Heyward does NOT come in. I’m confused by all of that. Let’s hope the 8th is more productive.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Maddon has burned his entire bench and Hardee’s is running for Montero. If this game goes to extras, we could be in for another LF game

      • Sherm

        Where is LaStella?

        Maddon didn’t burn his bench. He mismanaged it.

      • Bryzzo1744

        On bereavement. That’s how room was made on the roster when Hardee’s came back

      • Bryzzo1744

        Well thanks to Russell, Maddon pulls a Homer and doesn’t have to worry about a LF game

      • Doug S.

        I have difficulty believing what I just saw. Need to process, post tomorrow. Holy shit.

      • Either lay off or lay on the Kokanees, Doug.

      • Doug S.

        Sound advice, Frankenswan.

  • Bryzzo1744

    RUSSELL!!!!! 3-RUN HOMER!!!!! CUBS WIN!!!!!!

  • Doc Raker

    Beef dipped with hot peppers on me, Cubs Win!

    Montero is raking.

    • Eddie Von White

      Monter-em-up-o!

      • Sherm

        Miguel MONSTERO.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Don’t worry he will eventually go back to not hitting, but he will also get big hits when you least expect it, like the grand slam against the Dodgers.