Cancellation Controversy, New Lineup, and More
Well, it was fun to see an opposing team’s pitcher struggle in the first inning for once! 🙂
After a productive first inning, the Cubs cruised to a 13-6 win over the Milwaukee Brewers who lead the National League Central. Jake Arrieta had a great outing, allowing only one run over six innings. It is refreshing to have some solid starting pitching! But, it was a bummer to see five runs given up in the final inning by newbie Dylan Floro. I suppose if he’s going to work out some kinks, that’s the way to do it.
The Different Lineup Pays Off
The Cubs’ lineup looked a bit different on Sunday afternoon, and it paid off immediately. They put the versatile Ben Zobrist at the top of the card, bumping the ox-man Kyle Schwarber down to second, Kris Bryant to third, and Anthony Rizzo to fourth. Addison Russell has been struggling, so he was slotted in the eighth spot just in front of Arrieta.
Zobrist led off the game with a homer, Bryant hit his ninth and tenth home runs of the year, and Rizzo hit one in the eighth just for good measure.
Cubs Benefit From Productive First Inning
It’s so much fun when the Cubs score in the first inning. They nearly batted around in the first on Sunday afternoon.
Zobrist, new(ish) to the leadoff role, began the game with a solo home run halfway up the right-center bleachers. It was a no-doubter from the moment it left the bat.
Following him, Schwarber walked, Bryant blooped into right-center, Ian Happ doubled off of the bottom of the outfield net in right-center scoring Schwarber, Heyward walked, and Contreras sacrificed to right field, scoring Bryant before Russell ended the inning with the third out.
The three-run first inning took some of the pressure off of Arrieta’s shoulders from the get-go.
Was Saturday’s Game Postponed So Joe Maddon Could Nap?
Friday, the Cubs and Brewers played through some April-like weather to the tune of a two-hour rain delay and a barely-completed game. They wanted to make the game work because the forecast for Saturday didn’t look a lot more promising. Saturday morning was filled with rain, and the Cubs decided to postpone Saturday’s game before noon, citing a discouraging forecast the rest of the day.
Saturday afternoon turned out to be quite pleasant, and Sunday morning, the Brewers’ brass expressed some confusion regarding the Cubs’ decision, hinting at potential conspiracy. Tony Andracki reports the comments of Brewers’ GM David Stearns for CSN Chicago:
“Clearly the Cubs were looking at a weather forecast that made them think it was going to rain,” Stearns said. “I think we were a little surprised that the game was called as early as it was. I’m sure they had their reasons to do it. Obviously it didn’t rain. From our standpoint, we would have preferred to play yesterday.
“I talked to some guys over at the Cubs. They know how we felt. They told us that their weather forecast indicated our game was not going to be able to be played. Our weather forecast did not indicate that. There was some other weather forecasts that did not indicate that. Ultimately, it was the Cubs’ call.
Joe Maddon said he enjoyed the afternoon off and that he took a couple of naps. Because of course he did.
What do you guys think? In the last month or so, when the Cubs have gone through some stretches of late nights, long games, and rainouts, Maddon has expressed his concern with the inconsistency of the schedule and what effect it may be having on the players.
Were there shenanigans at play yesterday? Did Maddon have a say in canceling the game? I doubt it, but it’s fun to talk about anyway.
Coming up, the Cubs finish their homestand by hosting the San Francisco Giants for a three-game series. Then, the club heads out to the west coast to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres.
AAA – Iowa Cubs (19-23) Lost 8 to 7
SP – Aaron Brooks – 6.2 IP, 11 H, 8 R, 0 BB, 7 K
LF – Mark Zagunis – 3 for 5, 2 2B, HR
AA – Tennessee Smokies (25-19) Won 7 to 1
SP – James Pugliese – 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K
3B – Jason Vosler – 3 for 4, RBI
AA – Tennessee Smokies (25-19) Lost 4 to 2
SP – Duane Underwood – 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 3 K
SS – Andrew Ely – 2 for 3, 2B
A-Adv – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (23-21) Won 5 to 1
SP – Adbert Alzolay – 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K
RF – Eddy Martinez – 1 for 2, HR
A – South Bend Cubs (26-16) Lost 5 to 3
SP – Bryan Hudson – 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K
2B – Zack Short – 1 for 2, 2B, BB