View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Thursday

20

April 2017

92

COMMENTS

Organizational Recap – Two in a Row.

Written by , Posted in General

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game Video

The full headline I wanted to use was “Two in a Row. Win again Friday and It’s Called a Winning Streak, it Has Happened Before.”, but it was a little long.

The headline comes from one of my favorite parts of Major League. Who says that managing is hard?

As I was watching the game and taking notes I was noticing a depressing recap developing. I’m certainly not on a ledge about the season and still believe the Cubs will win the division by at least ten games (with a tip of the cap to Starling Marte and his “neglect and lack of knowledge”). However, the urgency and passion seemed to be missing.

However, as Kyle Hendricks exited from another uninspiring start, the feeling that the game was over because of a three run deficit was never there like it was just three short years ago. The ability of the Cubs of the past couple years to fight back and chip away at leads means that there is always a chance.

We’ll get to the exciting part of the recap in a bit but let’s start at the beginning. On getaway day, against a crafty lefthander, the Cubs started an outfield of Jon Jay, Albert Almora, and Matt Szczur. I would love to replace Jason Heyward for Szczur one game just to see if a ball would ever touch the ground.

The first pitch from Hendricks was over the middle of the plate and lined out hard to right. The next pitch was low and on the corner, looking like 2016 Hendricks, but the rest of the at-bat to Eric Thames wasn’t impressive and Thames walked to bring up the imposing, but thus far unsuccessful, Travis Shaw. Boom, two-run homer. Another homer given up in the second inning to catcher Jett Bandy and the Cubs were chasing three early runs.

Hendricks finished the day after five innings giving up four hits, four runs, four walks, and striking out four. I still believe that the real Hendricks isn’t far off from his success of last year. Hopefully the early struggles are due to the ever-changing Chicago weather.

Picking up the game in the sixth, the Cubs mount a little two-out rally after starter Tommy Milone came out of the game. Only one run was scored but any two-out rallies build future confidence in my opinion.

The eighth inning was both good and bad. The good included a Kris Bryant lead-off walk followed by singles from Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell. With nobody out and the tying run at second, the bad quickly started in the form of strikeouts. Willson Contreras was called out on strikes. Rizzo and Russell successfully completed a double steal after Contreras struck out. While successful, I thought the attempt was bad baseball from Rizzo. Never the less, the tying run was now on third with only one out. Unfortunately Almora was also called out on strikes followed by Javier Baez going down swinging as the Brewers brought in closer Neftali Perez to get four outs.

Honestly, my confidence for the comeback was now pretty low. Failing to get the tying run in had to be a team downer that would be hard to come back from. If Kyle Schwarber didn’t hit a lead-off homer in the ninth, there was probably little hope. Schwarber didn’t hit that homer, he didn’t even get it out of the infield. Hopes were fading. Jay worked an impressive ten pitch walk to bring up pinch hitter Miguel Montero. I completely expected a game ending double play. I am very excited to see that I was wrong. Montero continued his strong recent play with a single. Bryant tied the game with his only hit of the game and after a ground out from Rizzo, we know that Russell walked off the win with a three run bomb.

Tremendous come back win and I could see that the passion and excitement is still there for the team as they celebrated Russell’s heroics. I think that it’s just going to be that type of a year where the Cubs see the best that a team has to offer each and every night. Bring on that challenge.

In honor of the hockey playoffs, let’s do three stars for the game.

3rd Star – Miguel Montero: As I mentioned, I completely expected Miggy to end the game with a ground out. Over the past three days, Montero is 6-8 with a couple of huge hits. Look for him to get a bit more playing time.

2nd Star – Addison Russell: A game-ending three run homer guarantees you at least one of the top three spots. Today he gets the second star and the hero’s welcome at home plate. If Joe Maddon insists on keeping Schwarber and Bryant as the top two in the order (which I don’t believe is the best), I like Addy batting clean-up.

1st Star – Cubs bullpen: The bullpen was much maligned early in the year (like just a couple days ago), and deservedly so, but the past two days have shown how fickle the fate of the pen can be. While Mike Montgomery didn’t exactly sail through his 1 2/3 innings, he got the job done. After that, Pedro Strop, Koji Uehara, and Wade Davis held the Brewers scoreless so that the Cubs could mount the comeback. Even Carl Edwards Jr. got into the act as he ran for Montero in the ninth. Great job guys, keep up the stellar work.

Writer’s note: Does anyone play “Beat the Streak” from mlb.com? Bryant extended my streak with his ninth inning single so that was pretty exciting. If you don’t play, start today. Beat Joe DiMaggio and win millions. If you play, what has been your longest streak?

AAA – Iowa beat the Baby Cakes 8-3 to even their record up at 7-7 on the year. Outfielder John Andreoli hit two solo homers and catcher Taylor Davis hit a grand slam to pace the offense while Miguel Majia swooped in for the win with two scoreless innings.

AA – Tennessee also evened up their record (6-6) as they shut out Birmingham 3-0. Jen-Ho Tseng gave up only one hit over six innings to earn the win. Tseng only recorded two strikeouts so he kept the defense on their toes. Reliever James Pugliese struck out the side in the ninth to get his first save of the year. The offense was paced by DH David Bote who went 3-3 with a double. Bote is hitting .364 on the young season.

High A – Myrtle Beach was the only team that came up short on Wednesday dropping the game 3-4 to Buies Creek. Like Hendricks, Oscar De La Cruz started the game and had an uninspiring outing. Offensively, second baseman Bryant Flete hit a two-run homer.

Low A – If you’re a South Bend fan, you better catch Dylan Cease while you still can. Cease started the game and through a no-hitter through six innings , striking out seven Great Lakes batters. Cease threw just over 90 pitches and came out as reliever Matt Swarm pitched the last three innings (giving up only one hit) to get the win as South Bend prevailed 3-0 as they scored three in the seventh inning from a bases clearing double from shortstop Vimael Machin.

  • Sherm

    First of all…

    Sorry, Miggy. Maybe I buried you too soon. Maybe not, but you sure did the job against the Brewers this week (at least offensively.) I too, was CERTAIN a game ending DP was coming, but you came through when others failed. A tip of the cap to you.

    Some HORRIBLE at-bats in that game. Mostly from Baez and Schwarber in my opinion, but a few others, too. Almora’s K in the 8th was the last pitch of a long at bat, and the guy threw a nasty 3-2 hook that dropped over the plate. There are times when the pitcher just wins an at bat. That was one. The preceding Contreras at bat was awful, as was the following Baez at bat. Schwarber is simply pressing WAY too much – and needs to hit middle of the order to relieve some of the pressure. Batting lead off for a MLB team is a high pressure job, and something he’s never done. Plus, he’s trying to play left field everyday, also something he’s never done. Give him a break – bat him 5th where he belongs.

    Bryant had a great at bat in the 9th. He was getting beat (both by the pitcher and the ump) on that low outside corner, and he adjusted to it. Instead of trying to murder it…he went with it and made contact and drove a single to center – a KEY hit.

    Jhon Jhay has good at bats. Almora has good at bats. Rizzo has some good and some bad. There are moments when I think “okay, here we go…he’s seeing the ball well.” And then? He’s not. I’m waiting for him to swing at a pickoff move to first.

    Bryant and Russell on the left side of that infield look really, really good.

    I felt Maddon mismanaged his bench yesterday but won anyway.

    Nonetheless, win streaks of any length are good, and this morning’s coffee is just fine. Hendricks will be fine, too, but he’s not getting any respect from the umpires. Pitches that were being given to the Brewer pitchers were not being called for him, and that is not the first time this season it has happened. Is that a Contreras issue? Does he need to be a little more “still?” I don’t know. But the stuff is there, and the command seems okay but when you force a guy like him into the middle of the plate…well, you know the saying: “hit happens.”

  • Doug S.

    Happy with the W.
    And I get pinch running for Montero. Somebody please explain the logic of putting Edwards in there. The guy has very limited plate appearances in the majors, let alone base running experience. Then he represents the winning run on 3rd. I was bracing for a play at the plate and Edwards sliding into the catcher which could be disaster. It didn’t happen, but it could have. Am I alone in thinking this was an overly risky move? Thanks.

    • Sherm

      If by risky, you mean stupid? I agree 100%

      When he was at second, I was thinking “jeez, I hope and don’t hope they hit a single.”

      There had to someone more expendable, but again, he burned both Zobrist and Heyward in unnecessary at bats. And, Jake Arrieta is a pinch hit candidate. If you KNOW you are short-handed, and I assume he knew, you have to be a little bit more careful.

      • Doug S.

        I don’t see LaStella’s name anywhere in the box score. Was he not available?

      • Eddie Von White

        I think someone said he is on bereavement leave.

      • Sherm

        Yes – grandmothers are dropping like flies lately.

        I don’t recall getting time from work at the loss of a grandparent…

      • cap’n realist

        Your union probably isn’t as strong as the MLB players’.

        Montero for The Hall!

      • Sherm

        Miggy MONSTERO.

        For the hall. Of fat, old catchers who used to be better but now occasionally run into one with crazy good clutch timing.

      • Bryzzo1744

        My job offers bereavement for death of grandparents.

      • Sherm

        But you hate all family, so you can’t have it

      • Bryzzo1744

        Never said I would use it. But I work for a huge corporation.

      • Bryzzo1744

        He is. That’s how a spot was opened for Edwards when he came back

      • Bryzzo1744

        Why is it stupid? Pitchers pinch-run plenty during the season

      • Sherm

        Did you see him run the bases? One Bryant’s single – he ran TO second base directly and slowed to a stop on the base. Professional baseball players ROUND the base. I bet he hasn’t been on base in years. He ran like a T-Ball player going point to point. If you must use a pitcher to run? Use someone savvy. And someone who won’t break if tagged. Just because he’s black doesn’t mean he’s fast and can run bases well.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I never said anything about him being a good choice because he’s black, but I didn’t see that about how he ran the bases. Agree with you that someone smarter should run if a pitcher is used.

      • Dork

        It must have been pretty obvious that he was uncomfortable because Pat and Ron described it on the radio feed as CJ not wanting to make a mistake. I don’t think we will see it ever again. Sometime you try stuff and it just does not work like you might have thought.

      • cap’n realist

        Sherm the Greek

      • Sherm

        Better than Sherm Campanis

      • Seymour Butts

        …or Sherm Butz.

      • And plenty of your friends still watch Arthur.

      • Bryzzo1744

        So?

      • cap’n realist
      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I almost was able to forget Arthur, until you brought it up.

      • Don’t forget about Corey Black.

  • Dork

    Off days are better after a win

    • Sherm

      Off days always suck

      • cap’n realist

        Yes. 96 comments. 42 of which will be either sandwich driven or obscure Simpsons references from CAPS that he has to then re-comment to explain. Maybe 2 or 3 where a guy calls me a tool. Cubs and Reds tomorrow. I’m boldly predicting that Billy Hamilton breaks his stolen bases in a game record with 8 off dunce cap Lester tomorrow.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I think he could do a 3-fer and steal 3 bases on one pitch.

      • Sherm

        I don’t think so

      • Bryzzo1744

        He could steal 2 bases on one pitch, especially if there is a shift. Brandon Phillips did it once when the defense put on a shift for Adam Dunn. That’s another reason we should have signed him instead of Bradley

      • Sherm

        Hold on. Let me do the math.

        3 = 2. Hmm. Nope. Not working for me.

      • Bryzzo1744

        2 is reasonable. 3 was a joke. He’d have to steal home. Even with a shift and a terrible at holding runners and slow as molasses Lester, the pitch would get to home well before he got to 3rd.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        We certainly are a food driven bunch.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Nothing wrong with it. I learned of a couple places I can eat while I am in SD. There’s plenty of good food around the park, but now I know where to go the rest of my time in SD.

      • Seymour Butts

        Did you google the local Chuck E Cheese?

      • cap’n realist

        Charles Etienne Fromage…its a French Pizza place

      • Kyle

        Or as Yoda would say, “Suck, Off days do.”

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    The nice thing with the Cubs playing a day game against the Brewers, is that they repeat the game at night. It was much more relaxing seeing Montgomery load the bases knowing that the Brewers weren’t going to score.

  • Doc Raker

    My favorite part of the game was when Travis Shaw hit a foul ball and JD said, “Can we call that a Shaw Shank?” My second favorite part of the game was when the TV camera man got a shot of a duck sitting on a roof top and Len yelled out to JD, “JD, DUCK” like Jd had to duck at something coming at him. It was all so funny. You see there was a movie back in the olden days called The Shawshank Redemption and JD’s comment was a reference to that movie, brilliant really. As for Len, he used the word duck, as in ‘duck your head so you don’t hit it on that low hanging fruit’ while the TV crew showed a picture of a duck, the kind that swims in lakes and ponds, which was really clever. It was so clever that I was worried many of the viewing audience wouldn’t understand the humor so I wanted to explain so everyone can enjoy the genius of Len and JD. To be fair JD did bring up some very good points about baseball which Len ignored.

    I did note a Rizzo AB that confounded both Len and JD. Early in the game Rizzo hit a pop up that was caught directly in front of home plate in fair territory. Rizzo did not run and started walking back to the dugout before the ball was even caught. At the time we had a man on first base, had the ball been dropped it would of been an easy double play. To me this seemed to be a breach of the “Respect 90′ rule but Len and JD began a game long discussion of ‘what excuse can we come up with for Anthony’. Later in the game another foul ball was hit and players seemed to have trouble locating it in which JD said, “Maybe that is what happened to Anthony, he didn’t know where the ball was.” Right JD, that’s why Anthony started walking back to the dugout before it was even caught- because that’s what you do when you don’t know where the ball is- even though it was right in front of him and he looked at the defense getting ready to catch it. How about just saying, “Anthony made a mistake and should of ran that one out” and then move on. That would be the truth and the right thing to say but these guys are like political hacks tripping all over themselves trying to create a talking point that protects their players for criticism.

    I think Scott Feldman and Andrew Cashner deserve World Series rings.

    • Doug S.

      You sleigh me, Doc

    • Adam Peters

      I don’t want to sound like a know it all, (I really don’t) but on that pop up the infield fly rule would have been in effect, so Rizzo would have automatically been out, so no need to run.

      The Duck and Shawshank comments though–GENIUS!

      • Doc Raker

        Neither Len or JD mentioned the infield fly rule, I thought there was only one man on first base which would not induce the infield fly rule. Len and JD spent a lot of effort explaining all the reasons Rizzo did not run except the most obvious reason of…..Rizzo made a mistake…… it’s OK, everyone makes mistakes, why try and hide it…………

      • Bryzzo1744

        Infield fly is 1st and 2nd less than 2 outs. Because the batter can run to 1B, replacing the runner at 1B in the event of a drop. 1st and 2nd, that’s a double play. Same reason dropped third strike only applies with first base open and/or 2 outs.

      • Sherm

        I think he knows what the infield fly rule is

      • Doc Raker

        Ya dumbass, I know the rule.

      • cap’n realist

        only Sczczr was on 1st at the time…no infield fly rule unless there’s a force at 3rd base.

      • Doc Raker

        I checked the game day on the interweb, the infield fly rule did not apply, there was only a man on 1st base. It was in the first inning, Ceasar was on first and there was only 1 out. No infield fly rule.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Does that mean CAPS will question if Adam Peters knows the infield fly rule?

      • Doc Raker

        The Capn will……….1….2….3..

      • Adam Peters

        OK. My bad.

    • Sherm

      Agree on Cashner and Feldman.

      Jim Hendry got a ring, too, but he quickly traded it away for a long term deal on some magic beans.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Castro and Sasuckzidja should get rings too

    • I listened to Pat and Ron on XM for the past maybe six games or so, then yesterday accidentally turned on the TV. At Shaw Shank I turned it off.

      • Seymour Butts

        She saw Shaw shank statement, subsequently seized.

        Say that 3 times fast.

      • Sherm

        THAT THAT THAT

      • Kyle

        “What we have here, is a failure to communicate.”

    • Sherm

      The whole series was a broadcasting shit show.

      When the dribbler went through Barnes’ legs – Len says “that opens the door” and JD says, because apparently idiocy IS contagious, “the Barnes door!” Guffaw guffaw…

      They spent five minutes talking about the 30 second clock, and turned it into a bad “Beat the Clock” skit…and pretty much forgot to talk about the baseball game that was happening in the thick of the schtick.

      And me? I watch because I’m fascinated by the new lows they reach. It’s like a train wreck, but no one dies (other than brain cells)

      • Eddie Von White

        Some people call that on-air charisma. I think someone is going to talk to them and make them smarten it up a bit. Really, I’m rooting for both of them to get baseball wiser, but I had the Lizzie-sieze up too.

      • Since we know the leadership reads VFTB for advice maybe they’ll have that talk real soon. Please.

      • Doc Raker

        There is no hope for Len, he is incapable of understanding the games strategery, there is no strategy in regurgitating stats. Len tells you what stat might be made, “If he hits s home run here he will be the first person from CousinsScrewville to ever hit a home run in the big leagues”,

      • Bryzzo1744

        Is that town somewhere in Alabama?

  • Adam Peters

    I would like to point out that my favorite player, Miggy Montero, was instrumental in the game-winning rally. 😀

    • Doc Raker

      What endeared you to Miggy?

      • Adam Peters

        It’s a joke.

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    Was nice to see the good part of the game versus the bad part the night before. Listened on the radio on the drive home from the office and caught the ninth inning on TV when I got home and was able to see Russell homerun and walkoff win. Much better than the night before where I watched the first 3 innings of the game with the Brewers going up 5-0.

  • Sherm

    So – I’m traveling today. Back in time. To September 20, 2009. I don’t want to step on Lizzie’s post, which should be coming soon, and is the highlight of everyone’s week, but if you have a spare 15 minutes and want to read something truly fascinating – you really need to check THIS out.

    http://viewfromthebleachers.com/archives/3960

    It’s an old post – you’ll recognize some of the people and not others (fortunately) but I hope some of you have a chance to read through this. If you like this kind of thing? Swan and I are talking about breaking out some “OLD” stuff like this every so often as a “best of VFTB” feature. Like reruns, but gooder. Let me know what you think.

    • Bryzzo1744

      That’s where the whole Adam Dunn thing started. My original screen name here was Terrelle Pryor 2

      • Sherm

        I know

      • Bryzzo1744

        But the n00bs don’t.

      • Sherm

        You show up as Bryzzo1744 to me…the site changes your name to what it is now, so they’d have figured it out. They’re smart n00bs. (whatever that means.)

      • Sherm

        I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS…DON’T ANSWER AGAIN

      • Seymour Butts

        I think you misspelled boobs.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I was referring to the Adam Dunn thing and not TP2

      • Sherm

        I knew that, too. Anyway, no one else is going to read it because it is now three posts old, and you are one of the few who actually goes back and reads updates on old posts. I know I do, and I am sure Seymour does because I’ll occasionally get a response from him a week later on an old comment…but I’d venture to say that few others do. (Except Lizzie, of course, who reads it all!)

        Nonetheless – that entire exchange (to me) was hilarious. Capn and Raker vs the Stooges. That’s pretty close to the time I bailed out for a few years – I’ve been trying to find the “when I left” and “when I came back” dates, and it’s hard with the way that this system keeps archives.

      • Dork

        Yep you have to do this as a new post on a slow day because Id like to comment
        – I’m surprised how contentious the site was
        -I’m surprised how people stuck with Bradley right to the end, at some point don’t you just say I was wrong.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I hated Hasbro, and I was glad to get rid of him. I don’t care that we got tubby Carlos Silva in return.

      • Sherm

        The one guy, Dave? Would fight anyone about anything, and refused to leave his high horse to do so. The kind of person you could not have a “discussion” with in a bar, because there is no question whatsoever – he’d be getting punched in the face at SOME point.

        I’ve been WRONG about a ton of stuff. Hey, I wasn’t happy they traded away Scott Feldman for Jake Arrieta. At the time, I had no idea who Jake was, and couldn’t know what he’d become, but Feldman seemed to be the only bright spot in a real shitty rotation. I was NOT wrong about Bradley. Not from day one. Not now. Maybe I’ll re-post that whole thing as a fresh post one day – I thought the repartee was hilarious…

      • Yeah, that’s it. We are contentious in spurts, not as a group but usually in response to someone who won’t give an inch or even say “I think you’re dead wrong but respect your right to think it.” Usually those types tire themselves out in short order and leave. Those of us who have been here for the long haul basically get along just fine even if we disagree about things.

      • Dork

        There are things that you can argue one way or another but that one was so crystal clearly a disaster by midseason that there was no other side. That is what surprised me that in september someone would still defend it. Me, I don’t really remember how I felt at the signing probably was a “I sure hope that works out” and maybe even some optimism because that is how I usually take these things. I could see defending it in the spring but not by september what a disaster.

      • Sherm

        Right? Those chuckleheads simply refused to admit they were wrong. And somehow believed that his career indicated he’d still be productive at some point…which may have happened, as I have no idea what his BABIP was in prison.

      • Seymour Butts

        perhaps this will help

        http://shermrants.blogspot.com/

      • Bryzzo1744

        That’s awesome! I can’t believe Sherm had the exact same views I did about Dunn in 2009.

      • Sherm

        Pretty sure you GOT those views from me.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Nope. I never knew about your site until just now, and I discovered VFTB July 2009 I believe. 2008-09 off-season I was bitching on facebook constantly that we should have signed Dunn, Abreu, or Ibanez instead of Hasbro.

      • Sherm

        Still, I’m sure it was from me. Probably telepathic then. I have very powerful waves of conscious thought that are known to infest weaker minds.

      • No telepathy needed, you all were posting here and there simultaneously for a decent amount of time.

      • Sherm

        Dammit. I really wanted it to be telepathy!

      • Sherm

        So Sunday, October 11, 2009 was the end of Shermrants. I know I came here for a while, and then lost interest in fighting with Dave the douche…(not you, Cap’n)

        Every once in a while I go back and read some of those and have a few laughs. Nothing has really changed – we just moved our shit over here to Joe’s house.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Now you’ve done it Seymour will be thinking boobs all night.

      • Sherm

        Yeah. That wasn’t going to happen anyway.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Nothing wrong with that

      • Seymour Butts

        Why should tonight be any different than every other night.