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April 2017

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Organizational Recap – An Old Fashioned Pitcher’s Duel

Written by , Posted in General

I’ve got recap duty today. The scheduled writer who shall remain nameless, continues his strike and holdout in search of a higher lizzie per post wage. I’ve tried to explain that Lizzies are not simply given on a whim, but earned with carefully crafted wit with a hint of snark.

I’ve been so busy lately with things that I haven’t been able to watch near as much as I’d like to. I find myself only able to stay up until the 6th or 7th inning. Tonight I watched the whole game, thanks to a quick pace and lack of scoring. I’m not going to lie, I like games that end 1-0 and move at a good pace.

For what it’s worth, Gerrit Cole deserved a better fate. His defense let him down, something that has gone on in abundance for the Buccos this year, and it cost him the only run allowed. Scratch that off and he was magnificent and certainly did not deserve the loss, dropping his record to an astounding 1-3. He’s too good a pitcher to continue to struggle like that.

I liked what we saw from Kyle Hendricks. I’m sure some are worried that 2016 was a bit of a mirage, and it may have been, but 2017 Hendricks is not going to be as bad as he’s been so far this year. Tonight he did what he needed to do to turn in a great outing, even if it only went six innings. It’s a building block, and it was good to see. Back to back nights of good performances by guys I’m a little worried about in Hendricks and Brett Anderson. Now we need to get John Lackey in on the action and we’ll be cooking with gas.

We need to give props to the pen. When you knew Hendricks’ night was done after six, part of me was a little concerned at who Maddon would turn to for the last nine outs. It’s how this pen is right now. I have a lot of confidence in Carl Edwards Jr, Hector Rondon, and Wade Davis. Even Koji Uehara gives me a little tingle in the loins. Beyond that and it’s anyone’s guess. However, when you stop and think about that, it’s not bad. Given how good our rotation can be, you need three or four lock down guys at the back end, and you can win a lot of games. I feel like we’ve got that right now. In addition, guys like Pedro Strop and Mike Montgomery can be productive pieces. I grow more confident in the pen as each day passes.

Other than that the only other thing to mention is the move, and it’s happened a lot, to replace Kyle Schwarber in left field with Ben Zobrist. I get that you are concerned in a close game that Schwarber’s lack of experience in the outfield may come back to bite us, but are we really upgrading by marching Zobrist out there? I’ve seen him take some questionable routes to balls out in right when he plays for Jason Heyward, so how he’s an upgrade is something that is lost on me. Why not throw Matt Szczur out there if you’re that worried. I just don’t like it.


AAA – Iowa Cubs

SP – Williams Perez – 5 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

AA – Tennessee Smokies

SP – Zach Hedges – 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K

SP – James Pugliese – 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K

C – Ian Rice – 2 for 3, 1 R

A-Adv – Myrtle Beach Pelicans

SP – Oscar De La Cruz – 5 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

DH – Tyler Alamo – 2 for 3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R

A – South Bend Cubs

SP – Manuel Rondon – 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 1 K

C – Jhonny Pereda – 4 for 5, 2 R, RBI

 

  • Sherm

    Non-Cubs, ex-Cub note: if you have seen Chris Coghlan’s “slide” into home tonight vs St. Louis? You must. Almost makes me miss the guy.

    • Joe Aiello
    • Mark_from_Toronto

      Was talking to a Jays fan about it this morning. Told him I was happy to see a former Cub sticking it to his former division rivals. Didn’t realize Coghlan had ended up with the Jays, I guess he and Darwin Barney can reminisce about the bad old days when the Cubs were not what they are now.

      • Dork

        Yeah weird Barney and Coghlan and now the Jays have the worst record in baseball. I say that tongue in cheek of coarse.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Even better because the shitbirds lost

    • Dork

      Yadier was definitely bracing for the hit that never came – were his eyes closed? Cool replay

    • Kyle

      It’s a good thing he didn’t try to run Molina over. He would have just stuck to him and never made it to home plate.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        That might be the reason he jumped over him. Avoid the chest protector or you will find yourself permanently attached to Molina for life. A punishment worst than death.

      • Sherm

        You just become another tattoo. It’s like the Twilight Zone.

      • Doug S.

        Something to aspire to – a Yadi tat.

    • Doc Raker

      The Cardinals made 4 errors last night. Remember the hall mark Tony LaRussa Cardinals that never made errors, pity the Cardinals commit so many errors now. The ex Cub who is dead to me is hitting in the low 200’s with an abysmal on base percentage, another pity. Cards are 9-11, triple pity.

      • Sherm

        Gee – do you think having Kris Bryant hitting behind him (instead of Aledmys Diaz) might have made a difference? He had two hits last night, to RAISE his average to .184

      • Doc Raker

        I stand corrected, BA is in the high 100’s, worse than I thought.

      • Sherm

        Maybe it’s a Manchurian Candidate thing that Theo does. Wins the WS with Ellsbury…he goes to the rival Yankees the next season and they haven’t done a thing since. Fowler wins the WS with the Cubbies and goes to St. L, and hasn’t been good. A trend? Some well placed hypnotics? An evil plan to take over the tri-state area? Who knows?

      • Doc Raker

        .184, .234, .233, .340, .267, .172, .229, .231- That was the batting averages for the Cardinals starting line up yesterday, pity. BUT, batting average doesn’t matter so the Cardinals have that going for them.

        Did you see the Blue Jays starting pitcher, Strohman, got a pinch hit double to and scored the go ahead 10th inning run.

      • Doug S.

        Pinch hitting an AL pitcher in the 11th inning? And he scores the winning run and doesn’t pitch in the game? Maddon-esque.

    • Adam Peters

      “Slide”? that was a full out dive + tuck & roll. I give him a 9.1

  • Eddie Von White

    Zobrist is not an upgrade in left. I don’t care about Gerrit Cole. Wade Davis looks like Justin Grimm. I too was worried about the bullpen holding a 1-0 lead, but they did. No tingle in the loins for me. I felt comforted by Lizzie’s pictures knowing she was safe behind that mesh.

    • Sherm

      Gerrit Cole looks like Blake Shelton.

      I’m still worried about the bullpen holding the 1 – 0 lead, and the game has been over for 9 hours.

      Extra inning potential be damned – I’d have put Szczur in left, too, but I’d sure prefer Zo to Schwarbs…he’s an “oh shit moment” waiting to happen out there.

      No wonder free agents don’t want to go to Pittsburgh. The stands were practically empty – and the WS Champs are in town. That’s just pathetic. They don’t deserve a team.

      Broadcast “non-call” of the night. Contreras throws out a runner at second on a steal attempt…with a laser right on the bag, and the booth “mentions” it, i.e. “so and so is out at second trying to steal” and goes right back to the subject at hand (whatever THAT was – it wasn’t baseball related) and never mentions the fantastic throw. Did anyone watching or listening to another broadcast notice if that play received any other mention…because I thought it was deserving (especially in a 1 – 0 game.)

      • Dork

        Pat and Ron were impressed with the throw.

      • Doug S.

        Somewhere, Jessica giggled.

      • Buddy

        Is Blake Shelton that guy who played 1B for the Tigers 10 years ago or so? I think he hit 18 homers for them one year.

      • Bryzzo1744

        No that was Chris Shelton in 2006. Blake Shelton is a country music singer

      • Sherm

        Holy Shit, CAPS

      • Bryzzo1744

        You’re right Cole does look like Blake Shelton. Chris Shelton has the same bday as me, and is Alex Smith’s cousin.

      • Doc Raker

        A Tuesday

      • cap’n realist

        He’s Shelton Cooper.

      • Dear Buddy, please don’t think the rest of us don’t appreciate your wit just because Caps doesn’t understand humor.

      • Buddy

        Nice to know that my weak attempts at humor aren’t a complete waste of time. Maybe just mostly a waste of time?

      • Sherm

        They are greatly appreciated on this site, widely known as the funniest Cub blog in the world, by, well, all 26 of us. Except for CAPS, who doesn’t even have elbows.

      • Doc Raker

        That’s why I can’t stand listening to Len, he misses so much of the game. To him it was simply a caught stealing, a stat to recalculate for Contreras. The art of the play is completely lost on Len. FIRE LEN KASPER!

    • Junior Von White

      It’s a shame gerritt Cole is not 0-4. I wish every time he pitched a gem he and the pirates would lose. Because after all, the bucs “are not the best team in baseball.”

      • Sherm

        Not even the best team in Pennsylvania

  • theguz7

    Agree. Schwarber graded out better than Zobrist among LFers in some of the FanGraphs defensive metrics. Zo has had 2 yrs to decline since then. The numbers are borne out with what we are seeing; I don’t believe he is an upgrade over Schwarbs.

    • Ben

      I wonder what maddons reasoning is? Something to think about for the day

      • Sherm

        Joe Maddon is a wizard who methods are far too ingenius for the rest of the, a.k.a. “the great unwashed” to understand. That said, I think I’ve figured out the key to his brilliance: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bba9371f616a76618ef9278f4b4621eb7b6586749e8917aac286965f57720703.jpg

      • Ben

        I think I should become manager with a magic 8 ball like that lol

      • Sherm

        Rumor has it that the 8-ball has a sense of humor. Joe used it in the playoffs. It said “Use Chapman for really long save opportunities” and then Joe set it down…and it continued on “JUST KIDDING, JOE, JUST KIDDING…” but he didn’t see that. Obviously.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        This is still better than Dusty Baker’s, I had a dream last night that Nefi would score the winning run reason.

      • theguz7

        No shock here: Maddon’s reasoning has little to do with numbers. More specifics from Schwarber’s 2015 in LF. He played 295.2 innings out there. There were 58 other LF with 250+. Here’s where he ranked (FanGraphs):

        DRS: 39/59 (Zobrist 48)
        UZR/150: 34/59
        DEF: 28/59 (Zobrist 43)

      • theguz7

        Schwarber’s numbers in ’15 didn’t have much to do with his eye test tonight. His wrong move fwd on the HR was bad; just got worse from there. The after-the-fact flailing–on a ball that shoulda been caught–was particularly precious.

  • Dork

    Joe on the Organizational graphic why are all the leagues shown below the team except for Iowa which just says “triple A baseball” does the PCL not have a logo or if that is the PCL logo they need a new one.

    Never got out of sesame street i guess “Which one of these things is not like the other?”

  • Doc Raker

    No leverage graph? How do I know what happened.

    Cesar, JJ or Almora belong in left field for defensive replacement. You are platooning to center fielders, the one that is on the bench that day is by definition your best available outfielder.

    Joe- Please refrain from mentioning tingling loins around Seymour.

  • Sherm

    If JSwan ever re-surfaces, he’ll be happy to see that Jhonny Pereda is doing well for the South Bend Cubs.

    • Doc Raker

      Speaking of resurfacing, where is Seymour?

      • Seymour Butts

        Checking in occasionally, but bizarrely busy the last month.

      • Eddie Von White

        All that plaque build up in the arteries after a long winter of unhealthy eating, I presume.

      • Doug S.

        Eddie Von Secondopinion.