View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



May 2017



Things You Should Know – The Butler Did It

Written by , Posted in General

The worst thing about having MLB Extra Innings in Oklahoma is not being able to watch the St. Louis Cardinals.  I could give two craps about the Cardinals…but when they play against the Cubs, I have to abide by the blackout rules.  I can watch the Royals and the Rangers with no problems.  What I don’t get is that St. Louis is 2 hours further than the two mentioned but they have no blackout restrictions.  So with that being stated…this is be a post in which I didn’t actually view the game.  Apologies.

Homers Reign

Maybe Willson Contreras was feeling threatened by Miguel Montero drinking from the fountain of youth the past few weeks.  On Friday, Contreras provided 2/3 of the Cubs runs by hitting two solo home runs…the first off Mike Leake in the 2nd and the second off Leake in the 4th.  Contreras has been struggling a bit at the plate with a sub .230 average.  You have to think that with Montero providing somewhat of a sparkle for our offense, Contreras may be pressing at the plate.  Hopefully these two bombs (and a nice pick at first) will rejuvenate him to make more of an impact for our offense that has been definitely struggling.  Contreras provided all the runs (and a close heart attack in the 9th) we needed to beat St. Louis 3-2.

The Butler

Thank you, Eddie Butler.  Thank you.  For a pitching staff that has not been getting the same results as our championship run last year, Butler stepped up in a huge way on Friday night.  He provided the Cubs with 6 IP, giving up no runs, 2 hits, and striking out 5.  Brett Anderson started the season as the number 5 starter for the staff.  He lived on that cloud for his first couple of starts in which he made few of us think that he would solidify the back of the rotation, but then has come crashing down which inevitably landed him on the DL….again.  Butler has been tearing up the AAA hitters and has been waiting for his shot in the Cubs rotation.  Once a highly regarded prospect in the Colorado Rockies organization, maybe, just maybe, he will bloom into what many people projected him as.  That being a solid but not overpowering major league pitcher.  Right now we need someone to be consistent.  He has wanted his chance.  He is getting his chance.  Sometimes you have to find the player that is hungry to be here.  Thank you for your effort Friday night, Eddie.

We Blink-Season Gone

The sky is not falling.  Yes, we still have a lot of season left.  But at some point soon those phrases will not be able to be used any longer and we will be sitting at the end of September wondering where the days went.  With that being said, we all know that the Cubs need to put a run together…soon.  They put together multiple 4-5 game winning streaks last year that helped build the divisional lead.  Up to this point, we have not had the win streak to even get excited about.  This St. Louis series is huge.  Yes, it is only May 12th.  But at some point we have to start clicking on all cylinders and put W’s on the board in succession.  If not, September will be here and it will be too late.


The Cubs and Cardinals will play game two of the three game series Saturday afternoon at 3:05 CT in St. Louis.  Jon Lester (1-1, 3.27 ERA) will face Carlos Martinez (2-3, 3.86 ERA).

AAA – Iowa Cubs (14-19) – Lost 13 to 11

SP – Alec Mills – 3 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K

2B – Ian Happ – 3 for 5, 2B, RBI

AA – Tennessee Smokies (22-12) – Won 7 to 2

SP – Zach Hedges – 7 IP, 7 h, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

LF – Jeffrey Baez – 3 for 4, 2B, 2 R

A-Adv – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (19-16) – Lost 3 to 1

SP – Justin Steele – 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K

LF – Daniel Spingola – 1 for 3, 2B, R

A – South Bend Cubs (22-12) – Won 4 to 3

SP – Dylan Cease – 3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

DH – Alberto Mineo – 2 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI

  • Doug S.

    Nice W.
    The Contreras HRs surprised me a bit, I didn’t think either was going to go out, same with LaStella’s. Contreras’ misfire in the 9th had an ominous feel to it, but we escaped.
    The St Louis broadcast team were good. They let the game be the focus, stuck to baseball talk and we’re not too homery.

    • Adam Peters

      That was not Contreras’s misfire! It hit Rizzo in the mitt and he didn’t catch it. Could Willson have taken a little off of it given the situation. Sure. But Rizz ought to be used to Willson gunning it down to him by now and, at any rate, IT HIT HIS MITT. And it wasn’t like Rizzo leapt up in the air and just got a little glove on it. He was trotting in to first, casually stuck his mitt up, it bounced off the webbing, and went past him. That was 100% on Rizzo and his platinum glove. Fortunately, Davis, professional that he is, stayed focused and whiffed Adams on 3 pitches to end it.

      • Brad Lyerla

        I am not totally sold on Rizzo as an exceptional defensive player. But I am sold on him. If you don’t live in Chicago and see the Chicago media every day, you may not be aware of all that Rizzo does for the City. He is an exceptionally generous human being and one of the best people in our entire community. I thank God he is a Cub all of the time. He is a great role model.

      • cap’n realist

        I’m a little concerned that all he is doing for the community and his focus on blended name marketing is causing a lack of focus on what’s important, playing baseball. I can see where guys like Contreras, Schwarber, and Bryant would be out trying to make a buck, but Rizzo has already gotten his pay day contract. Might be time to get back to the business of baseball for Rizzo. He doesn’t seem like the same guy on the field, and while I agree that he’s a swell human and all, lately he’s been a pretty crappy ball player.

      • And of course many of us remember a few years back when he was kicking small children and signing autographs with swear words, if we were to believe the jealous b*tch posting about him here.

      • cap’n realist

        I thought that was Vogelbach…

      • No. No one would have given a shit if he was an ass. Lol.

      • Sherm

        Vogelbach is a jealous bitch?

      • Brad Lyerla

        I missed that. Do I need to reevaluate?

      • Absolutely not!!! Some gal came around trying to tell us how awful Rizzo was to the fans in Iowa. We didn’t believe her then and we certainly don’t believe her now.

      • Brad Lyerla

        Could be related. But Walter Payton was a saint and very active in the community and I never noticed it affecting him. Different game, of course.

      • Sherm

        Walter Payton was great. And, he probably catches that ball because it was NOT a bad throw, despite what Raker, or anyone else, says.

        Platinum Glove = best fielder in the league = catches that ball. Enough about that.

      • Adam Peters

        I adore Rizzo. Lester & him got me through chemo & radiation. He just made a bad play there.

      • cap’n realist

        I love Rizzo as much as the next fan, he’s just been making a LOT of bad plays lately and looks lost at the plate, which has me wondering about his off field schedule.

      • Sherm

        It’s rampant – starting at the top. Maddon pimping Binny’s Beverage Depot, Bryzzo, Javy doing Toyota commercials, and so on. At what point will they focus and get back to basics? It seems obvious…to me, anyway, that they didn’t focus on basics in spring training because they can’t bunt, don’t play solid situational baseball, don’t move runners, don’t field their positions well…

        Enough with the marketing. Please focus on playing better baseball.

      • Doc Raker

        But bAez made the championship game in the WBC and made a really swell tag that made the highlights so that had to e better than boring spring training

      • Doc Raker

        Platinum glove my ass

      • Doug S.

        OK, thanks for the correction.

      • Sherm

        Agree 100%

  • Doc Raker

    Jim Edmonds sin the broadcast booth for St Louis, he is pretty good but isn’t a genius.

    Bottom of the 9th- 3-1 , score with 2 out -man on first and the dude steals second. Contreras tries to throw him out and he says “Why is Contreras trying to throw him out? The run doesn’t mean anything” Hey Jim- THE OUT WOULD MEAN SOMETHING, it would end the game, why wouldn’t Contreras try and get him out?

    The Contreras throwing error was poorly played by both Rizzo and Contreras, it was a poor throw by Contreras and it was a poor effort by Rizzo- give them both 1/2 and error.

    • Eddie Von White

      Rizzo gets 100% for lackluster play. CAPS could have caught that throw in Little League.

      • Sherm

        2016 – BLOCKBUSTER

        2017 – LACKLUSTER

        You nailed it.

      • Doc Raker


  • Adam Peters

    Great game. Good win despite Maddon starting Jay batting in the 2 hole because he apparently lacks the brainpower to come up with a new batting order on the fly, so he just stuck him where Bryant (stomach ailment) had been, so he had 3 lefties in a row at the top. Then Jay came out of the game in the 2nd (back) and we had Tommy LaStella batting second, and Zobrist in right, bookending Schwarber in a pretty damn big outfield, for the rest of the game. LaStella did come through with the home run, but that doesn’t change the duncery of Maddon’s moves. Gee, it would have been nice to have Matt Szczur to put out there when Jay got hurt. Fortunately no tough balls found Zobrist out there.

    On the plus side, Butler looked really good. After getting two quick outs in the first he walked 2, which felt like he was getting up to the same tricks as our other starters, but then he got Molina to ground into a FC. Butler went 6, then Edwards, Rondon, Uehara & Davis finished it off without too much drama

    • Joe Aiello

      Maddon didn’t start Jay there. It was Kris Bryant there originally and it was switched right before 1st pitch. Even the announcers were a little confused. At that point in the situation you go with it. Lineups don’t make THAT big of a difference on the small scale.

      • Brad Lyerla

        ‘Abdominal issue’ reminds me of the old “flu-like symptoms” which, I am told, was baseball code for a hangover.

      • cap’n realist

        or what my grandfather called ‘the old green apple 2 step’

  • Brad Lyerla

    My day job has been eating me alive this spring. So, I have not posted much and I miss it.

    That said, I was able to catch the final few innings on the Score last night. Pat Hughes’ call on the LaStella HR was a small, but very nice moment. Pat paused for the briefest moment. Then described that the fence is low where the ball crossed and he had to pause to see if there had been a play on it. In a few words, he painted a picture of the physical field of play, the unsuccessful defensive play and commented (apologized, really) on his own call. It was great. No apology required.

  • Doug S.

    Ian Happ called up. Zobrist not playing today.

    • Sherm

      Happ seemed pretty cool under the circumstance.

      Strop? Not so much. But it was St. Louis and he is always bad there.

      Lester actually threw a ball – OVERHAND – to a base. Once I was revived, I’d missed a few batters, but remembered that.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Maybe he read that chapter on fielding.

      • Sherm

        If I’m his manager? I say to him, “Look. Here’s the deal. I don’t give a flying fuck if you throw every ball into right field from now until the end of time – you are going to throw to first base every time someone takes a STUPID lead. Period. END OF DISCUSSION. If I have to call pick off moves from the bench? I will. Just do it.”

        Of course, I’m not his manager. His manager is busy arranging silly shorts day.

  • Doc Raker

    Pat could not hide his disgust when bAez swung at the first pitch of the 9th inning down 2 runs. “One pitch one out. The Cubs need a base runner to bring the tying run to the plate. Not how you want to start the inning.”