View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



May 2017



Double Header Review and Notes

Written by , Posted in General


Not the distraction from work I was looking for. Started out alright but went downhill in the third. The Cubs got out to an early one nothing lead with plenty of chances to add more, but a not so crisp Jake Arrieta couldn’t silence the deep and powerful Rockies lineup. Arrieta was chased after just 3.2 innings in which he gave up 9 runs (5 earned). The cubs squandered chances in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th and 9th (8 LOB, 2 for 14 W/RISP). Dylan Floro, acquired from the padres for Matt Szczur (sad), deserves recognition for his 4.1 quality innings of relief in which he struck out five, walked zero, and gave up both an inherited run and one of his own.


If your ace is your stopper, then call John Lackey the ace. I don’t think the logic really works that way, but nonetheless was brilliant. He got the scoring started with a single in the second. The Cubs would go up 5-0 by the end of the inning and didn’t look back. Javier Baez and Kris Bryant would add runs in the 8th and 9th on homeruns (not the hardest hit balls, but anything to spark this offense is fine by me. Denver altitude do your thing). The Rockies would break the shutout off Felix Pena on a two base “error” by Jon Jay in left (a play that will surely be changed upon review).

These two games were an example of how random the game is and how quickly things can change. It’s time for a winning streak, especially with division games on the horizon. Let’s hope for Kyle Hendricks can continue the way he has been trending in his last few starts. And the offense figures it out with runners on. The bullpen has been making strides, they just seem a little worn out from the lack of starters going deep. If momentum is the next days starting pitcher, and the Cubs have typically played negatively into that narrative so far this season.

Other news and notes

  • What do Lackey and Pedro Martinez have in common? They are the only players, ever, with 7 plus innings and double digit strike outs at Coors Field.
  • The Cubs traded Szczur to the Padres for pitcher Justin Hancock. They will still have to replace injured Brett Anderson in the starting rotation. I’m note a betting man, but I would put my money on Eddie Butler to get a shot to prove himself at the Major League level. Are there odds on stuff like that? Anyone know a top-rated sportsbook I could check?
  • Jeimer Candelario has the poise of someone who is ready for the big leagues. His success is welcome for a team looking to add starting pitching. I won’t try and put together any sort of trade scenario, but I also don’t think it takes an insider to see what teams would ask for. An infielder blocked by Kris Bryant seems to be a viable option for a trade package (The Ian Happ situation seems a little more convoluted, but that remains to be seen). During a segment on Comcast Sports Net, Dave Kaplan, argued that end of the Championship drought marks the time for Chicago’s interleague rivals to get real about the Quintana situation. While I still see a trade as a long shot, I agree with Kaplan’s logic for his argument.
  • I want to rearticulate a point I tried to make in my May Preview post. The 2015 Chicago Cubs won 97 games for the third best record in Major League Baseball. This team was not considered “real” by most until a four-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants in early August. They had to settle for a wildcard spot because the central was so deep. The beginning of the 2016 season was nothing short of magic. Their win percentage and run differential prompted comparisons to some of the greatest teams of all time. With many players under performing, and a division “winnability” more like 2016 than 2015, this team has more reasons to stay relaxed than to worry. However, if things don’t turn around soon, it could get late early.

AAA – Iowa Cubs (14-17) Won 3 to 1

SP – Jake Buchanan – 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

1B – Victor Caratini – 4 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI

AA – Tennessee Smokies (20-12) Won 8 to 0

SP – Trevor Clifton – 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

RF – Jeffrey Baez – 3 for 5, HR, RBI

A – South Bend Cubs (20-11) Won 9 to 0

SP – Duncan Robinson – 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

C – Alberto Mineo – 3 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI

  • Adam Peters

    Nice of Lackey to become a badass again and help the Cubs avoid Rocky (Mtn) Horror. Seriously, if they dropped that second game things would have looked pretty grim. Now if Hendricks can follow suit and we get a series win headed to St. Louis things aren’t looking so bad.

    • Dork

      Of all places for Lackey to do that – coors field – baseball is such a weird sport. The rockies did not have their best lineup in that game fortunately, no Gonzalez or Blackmon.

      • Eddie Von White

        Or as they call him on the Rockie’s broadcast: CarGo.

  • Doc Raker

    Arrieta made progress by not imploding until the 3rd inning.

    This feel like 1985 to me.

  • Dork

    We need to develop the Sherm attitude of just get to the playoffs – this team has looked bad for the last 20 games but still has a 93% chance of making the playoffs according to Fangraphs.

    • Buddy

      The Cubs’ starting pitchers have a combined 4.62 ERA so far this year. I really don’t think that will continue. The bullpen has actually been pretty good. And on offense, they’re 3rd in runs scored with Contreras, Russell, Schwarber, Zobrist and Rizzo not doing much so far. I am still very optimistic about the regular season.

    • Doc Raker

      That was the attitude in 2004, just get to the playoffs where anything can happen and anyone can get hot. Unfortunately if you don’t pitch and have good AB’s with situational hitting you ain’t going to make the playoffs. We got guys swinging out of their ass when a simple opposite field base hit will win a game. We have ‘ace’ pitchers giving up crooked numbers like it is slow pitch softball. That’s not an approach that will get you to the playoffs.

      • Dork

        I’m totally with both of you. Yep the cubs cannot continue to be this bad with all of the talent and it is hard to hold on to that idea when your eyes see what they are seeing. I’m still trying to stick with Sherm on the just get in the playoffs attitude.

      • Bryzzo1744

        The difference between 2004 and this year is the wild card has an extra round to play and you have to burn your ace in that game. The Cubs were forced to play for the wild card in 2004 when Aramis got hurt, missed a week, we lost 5 games in a row, the Cardinals won 5 in a row, opened up a 10-game lead with no head to head left after July.

      • Dork

        Plus if is a totally different team

      • Sherm

        That. And 13 years.

  • Dork

    Dylan Floro was a waiver claim in the offseason – They guy they got for Szczur (who according to Buddy is probably a good guy but not an impact talent when it comes to baseball) is Justin Hancock (who is also probably a good guy because Jed drafted him when he ran the Padres) who I think will head to Tenn to hopefully try to learn how to pitch.

    • It’s hard to keep these boxes of baseballs straight.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Let’s be thankful that they are not broken bats.

      • Sherm

        I like Froyo.

        I can’t decide to go with Froyo or Flojo jokes. Both have potential. I guess if he pitches like a track star or a big cup of soft serve…

  • Doug S.

    Game 1.
    I didn’t quite get, nor did I have an announcer’s take on the Bryant and Rizzo substitutions.
    Yes it’s a double header and you want them in game 2 but why not let them bat first?
    School me, VFTBers.

    • Bryzzo1744

      The game was out of reach in Maddon’s opinion. That’s my only theory.

    • Cap’n airing of grievances

      They were sleepy from the overnight pajama party on the plane…

      • Wiped out from pillow fight.

      • Doug S.

        Exactly the type of baseball insight I come here for.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Maddon said fatigue is the reason for their poor start.

    • Doc Raker

      Len and JD were busy talking about banquet bands they love while drinking banquet beer in the Rocky Mountains so we have no announcer’s take on it either.

  • Doug S.
  • Doug S.

    Tarp coming off to the theme song from 2001.
    Corny as hell.
    2 pm start.

    • Eddie Von White

      Looks like a sellout.

  • Bryzzo1744

    Who was sent down to make room for Candelario?

  • Buddy

    Getting no-hit in Colorado would be especially embarrassing.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Not since they installed the humidor

  • Doc Raker

    Why isn’t Schwarbs playing 1b if Rizzo is out?

    • Doc Raker

      Oh, maybe trying to showcase Candelario for a trade for pitching, makes sense now. Carry on.

      • cap’n tractor story

        Nice showcase. 0-4 with 2 whiffs. Frighteningly, that could probably woo a GM into sending the Cubs some pitching upgrades.

      • Candelario for McNutt… Sign my petition.

      • Doc Raker

        Let’s hope he tears it up so we can get a quality arm