View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



May 2017



Cancellation Controversy, New Lineup, and More

Written by , Posted in General

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.

Looking Ahead

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

  • Well, two things on the rainout.
    1. The game absolutely could have been played. And all morning long you could tell that the game was going to be able to be played by a quick glance at the radar and how it was moving. I was shocked when I turned it on only to find it was cancelled. It wouldn’t have even needed a delay.
    2. But you can’t ask Maddon what he did once the game was cancelled then presume that’s why they cancelled it. Conditional logic does not apply here.

  • Eddie Von White

    I was just bummed the game was cancelled. If there were politics involved, so be it. Politics are involved in everything. I wish they would have brought Carl’s Jr. out to pitch either the eighth or ninth. He’s fun to watch.

    • He might be my favorite Cub right now.

      • Eddie Von White

        He is definitely mine.

  • Jack F

    Did anyone look to see if the playing field / outfield was okay?

  • Dork

    I do think that Maddon does not like getting off schedule with delays either to start the game or in the middle. Where I was (north) I was not surprised by the postponement because it was nasty.

    • Eddie Von White

      And Maddon is starting to get up there in age. An afternoon nap is necessary.

      • cap’n realist

        Eddie Von Winkle

      • Bryzzo1744

        Hell I’m a young grump and I get crabby without an afternoon nap on the weekends.

      • Same goes for my 3 y/o.

      • Sherm

        I call them children

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Up here the weather was bad all day, and yes I did take a nap. But at least I have the excuse of fighting off a cold.

  • Doc Raker

    We are at 4 lead off hitters for the year, Schwarbs, Zo, Ceasar and who else I forget Almora? The over under on different leadoff hitters in 2017 is………………………………………….KAPS

    OK, with the rain out you get a day of rest now but lose a day of rest in July. I don’t see the advantage of intentionally canceling a game that doesn’t need to be canceled.

    • Speaking of which, anybody get pelted with trash this weekend?

      • Sherm

        I went drinking with some animal skins. Ended up getting trashed with pelts.

    • Bryzzo1744

      I told you yesterday the 4th was Jhay. You’re the one who set the line

      • Doc Raker


  • Bryzzo1744

    So next week is our meetup in SD. What are some budget friendly things I can do while I am in SD aside from Coronado, which I have done before

    • cap’n realist

      sit in the outfield. Mouth off to Padre fans. Get pelted with California garbage.

      • Eddie Von White

        Call your uncle, make amends, and ask if you can stay at his place.

      • Bryzzo1744

        That’s not an option. I don’t have an issue with my uncle and grandma. They’re collateral damage for my parents.

      • Remember.. he’s showing his parents how serious he is this time.

        About a trip or something.

      • Bryzzo1744

        No. When I couldn’t get the time off for DC approved, and my alternate plan of going to Cooperstown cost even more, I made the decision to go to SD.

      • Doug S.

        Take the trolley to the border and walk across to Tijuana.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Doc said Tijuana is a craphole.

      • Doug S.

        But it’s a budget friendly craphole.

      • Seymour Butts

        The Bride and the Burro!

      • A budget-friendly donkey show sounds a little sketchy.

      • cap’n realist

        really, an expensive donkey show is likely just as sketchy, and potentially worse.

      • Looks like the best bet is a mid-tier donkey show, CAPS.

      • cap’n realist

        Eddie Von Prudence

      • Plus if someone pelts you with a hotdog, that’s a free hotdog.

    • Doug S.

      If you call a place that accepts folded dollar bills – budget, consult Seymour.

    • Doc Raker

      Actually, the lobster village south of Tijuana is suppose to be inexpensive and fun, if you like lobster. Just driving into Mexico is sketchy. You need special insurance and you will spend a few hours sitting in traffic at the border coming and going.

      Go to Mission Beach and hang at the beach with your shirt on.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I don’t plan to drive to Mexico, and I am aware of needing special insurance. I get that call a lot at work actually. Canada and Mexico. I tell people Mexico no, Canada yes, but you need a special card which I send them. I do like lobster. I was looking to get a tour package to go to Mexico. What’s special about Mission Beach? Is it near Torrey Pines/Del Marr? That’s where my uncle lives.

  • cap’n realist

    While I don’t LOVE Zo hitting leadoff, with the current personnel, he has to be the guy. He’s the only one with the skill set and adaptability. Leave him there. For a month. If Joe can keep a plodding power hitter hitting $1.82 there for a month and a half, he can give a professional switch hitter that long to settle in to the job.
    Happ’s ball off the bottom of the basket was the most impressive ball I’ve seen hit in a long time. A ball has to be hit unbelievably well for that to Happen. The Cubs sending pouting LaStella to Iowa tells me Happ is there to stay as long as he keeps hitting. Schwarber and Rizzo need to bunt to beat that shift. Rizzo has a golden opportunity with runners on 1st and 2nd and no out. They still shifted. A medium to bad bunt and it’s bases loaded and no outs there. Turns out they scored plenty. Froyo is not good. That’s not a big leaguer.

    • Dylan Von Florio and Dunce-ing could be platoon mates. The later guy is lights out with an eight run differential.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Platoon mates? Who shoots who in the back first?

  • Doug S.

    It’s nice of our bullpen to make sure the fans are entertained right to the very end of the game no matter how big the lead is.

    • Eddie Von White

      They are a very generous bunch.

  • Buddy

    “New Lineup” could be an article headline almost every day. Much like in years past, Maddon has used 32 different lineups in 42 games so far this year, not counting pitchers.

  • Sherm

    Can’t believe I’m the only one who cares, but it’s nice to see that Adbert had ANOTHER quality start for the Pelicans.

    I was traveling and missed the non-weather non-game, but I’ll only care about it if they lose the makeup game. Still traveling, but caught some of the game on my phone yesterday…unfortunately it was toward the end.

    • Doug S.

      Can’t believe you laid off the budget burro comments.

      • Sherm

        It was such low hanging fruit. Wait, not a good expression in this case. Scratch that. Wait. Don’t scratch anything. Where were we? Oh, yeah – budget things to do in the area that don’t include crossing the border or donkey shows.

        Round of golf at Torrey Pines is always fun. One of my favorite courses. Getting blitzed at Jake’s on the beach in Del Mar is a good time. Oh, this is for KAPS? LegoLand in Carlsbad? San Diego Zoo is always nice. The Prado in Balboa Park is great – and not expensive…museums, etc. Ah, screw it, go watch Eeyore get it on with a fat chick.

  • Doc Raker

    Happ is the real deal. Zo has good AB’s so let him leadoff. That home run he hit was a high fastball, Schwarber doesn’t hit that. Schwarbs seems to have a large hole in his swing above his belly and the opposition is exploiting that hole. This hole was not figured into the 83 jack analysis just to prove advanced saber metrics can be garbage in and garbage out.

    • Sherm

      Cap’n discussed the hole in Schwarber’s swing near the end of the 2015 season…and we haven’t seen Schwarber – or the Cub’s hitting instructors – do anything to fill that hole. Sure, pitchers have hit his bat, and it’s a ton of fun (for us) when they do, but he MUST adjust to it if he’s going to be an impact player at this level.

      • Doc Raker

        I have come to respect a lot of what the Cap’n says, puke.

      • Eddie Von White

        How come we haven’t seen the Cap’n talk to Schwarber about this?

      • Sherm

        Schwarber unfriended him

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Looks like Schwarbs needs to read this blog.