View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Tuesday

6

June 2017

69

COMMENTS

No catchy title today!

Written by , Posted in General

The bad news is that the Cubs are 4 – 6 in their last ten games. The good news is that they are 4 – 0 in their last four games, so the west coast swoon could be a distant memory soon. Apparently a little home cooking was all they needed, as they won game one of the Marlin series last night in relatively uneventful fashion. It was a good game, don’t get me wrong…just kind of dull to watch. Last note on the west coast fail – as someone muttered during that debacle, “at least we know we won’t have to face the Padres in the playoffs.” See? Silver linings.

Wade Davis, fresh off his day off from having had to work TWO DAYS IN A ROW, is now on paternity leave. (Fun fact – did you know that Davis is the second-cousin of former Cub, Jody Davis?) I hope it is not too tiring for him.

Without Davis, and with several of the other professional athletes  having had to throw a baseball ten or twenty times the day before, the Cubs had VERY few options in the bullpen last night. Not sure if half of them even suited up. It’s exhausting having to pull on baseball pants and lace up cleats. But, I digress. With this depleted, and per Len, “short” bullpen, Maddon had his pregame wish come true…Butler to Montgomery to bed. It worked nicely. Butler went 5 and 2/3 and looked good. Hitting spots, and getting a huge 4-6-3 when he needed one. I felt he could have gone longer – he’d only thrown 66 pitches, but then perhaps he was just weary. Well, he did give up a couple of doubles, so there’s that, too. Montgomery came in and did the long save thing that he does, and finished the game – adding 3 and a third scoreless innings. Biggest stat to me? Between them? One walk. Nice job.

Dylan Floro has been called up to sit in Davis’ place in the bullpen, and more importantly, to be Brian Duensing’s dance partner should anyone homer. The most interesting thing about Dylan Floro? Other than a name that sounds like Froyo and makes me want a big cup of vanilla with crushed peanut butter cups and sprinkles and other yummy junk? He came up in the Ray’s organization (surprise!) and has played for the  Bowling Green Hot Rods, the Charlotte Stone Crabs, and the Montgomery Biscuits. Those are some great team names. I hope the Davis family has a happy, healthy baby, and that Wade can get back to work sooner rather than later.

Kris Bryant crushed a Dan Straily fastball into the strong wind, and also into the bleachers for an early 2 – 0 lead. This followed a leadoff double by Ben Zobrist, who had almost forgotten where first base was. Albert Almora (I won’t include Jr. because I’m fairly certain we all know that his Dad doesn’t play for the Cubs and won’t wonder “which one?”) also rifled a shot into those same bleachers in the fourth inning, and that was all the runs the Cubs would need. Which is good, because it was also all they would get. Had the wind been blowing any other way? Contreras and Heyward would have also gone yard. Sadly, Schwarber merely created more wind, again, and saw his average drop to .162. I’m thrilled he hit that grand slam the other day – don’t get me wrong – that was awesome, but this young player needs to go to Iowa to get his game back. Dylan Froyo can ride with him.

Baez started at short, because now we rotate.

Happ did not play, despite hitting two bombs the night before and having a hot bat, because Joe Maddon said he’d already made out the scorecard for this game a long time ago…BEFORE the two homer game. So, he also probably called “no take-backs” when he did it, or wrote it in pen, or something, because apparently you can’t change that shit. And apparently? He’s just mailing it in, because those Binny’s commercials just don’t make themselves. #Joeistoobusy

Willson Contreras caught for the Cubs. He had two hits, and a wannabe homer blown back in for an F7. And he picked a runner off first. Because he’s Contreras. #notMontero

J.T. Realmuto caught for the Marlins. If you are at all into the origin of names, does it make you wonder if there is a Fakemuto?

Note: the Astros are really good.

Oh, yeah, and the Cubs are back in first. Thanks to the Giants, and Jeff Samardzija for beating the Brewers, and the Cardinals for tanking another lead to the Reds. Special shout out to Dexter for dropping a fly ball to help the Reds.

Tonight, Jake Arrieta will try to channel his inner Arrieta and do Jake things like in 2015 and 2016. Scott Boras will be very upset otherwise.

Have a great day. Enjoy that coffee!

  • Eddie Von White

    Good job again, Sherm. We also have a Carl’s Jr. Jr. As Len would say, “we lead the league in Jrs.”

    • He’s so insightful that Len!

      • Eddie Von White

        But somehow we keep coming back for more.

      • Sherm

        In everyday life, I tend to find stupidity frustrating and tiring, but for whatever reason? I keep tuning in and find Len and JD – despite the idiotic banter – amusing. Maybe I just like groaning at what is said. Perhaps I take some sadistic pleasure in thinking that Raker might be listening and writhing in agony when Len wonders out loud if Radiohead is a perk that TV broadcasters don’t get.

      • Buddy was probably in a band named TVhead in college. You’re on fire today Sherm.

    • Dork

      The Marlins have 2 J.T.’s which must lead the league also.

      • Eddie Von White

        Yes. Len and JD were talking about that last night too. Good baseball chatter.

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    Good game, but I do agree it was a little boring. I think I watched more of the hockey game than I did the Cubs game. Seems like the 5th starter is now two people as this Butler/Montgomery combo has been used a few times so far. Makes me wonder if the Cubs might try it the other way around at some point.

    • Dork

      I watched my first hockey of the year last night about 10 minutes of the 2nd period. Turned it on right before the crazy sequence where the predators goalie is jumping back in the box to save a goal. Then saw the great breakaway goal. Then got busy with a 2 goal lead I could not stick with it. The blackhawks did not hang around long enough for me to get into it any more than that. Guess I am a bad hockey fan.

  • Dork

    Remember when Joe (our Joe) used to track number of pitches the bullpen pitchers threw in the last few days – sort of like a spreadsheet in the top of the posts. That would be usefull information now, because like you it did not seem like so many guys should be unavailable. It does however feel like a few guys have been ineffective (Rondon) maybe the terms got confused. self realization – I should not be so salty on a day that the cubs have won 4 in a row.

    • I think the saltiness, at least in my case, comes from the fact that they really should be 8-2 or at the very least 7-3 in the last ten games. And let’s face it, they didn’t really “beat” St Louis as much as St Louis lost. The Cubs should be so much better than this. That’s why I’m not terribly excited right now. On the other hand, a win is a win so that’s good!

      • Eddie Von White

        That is exactly where the saltiness comes from – that and the fact that last year left us with no disappointment whatsoever.

      • Seymour Butts

        Saltiness is really a result of water balance issues. If you are too salty, drink more water. Not water with stuff dissolved in it, water.

      • Eddie Von White

        I stand humbly corrected.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      leave it to Dork to spot the missing spreadsheet.

  • Dork

    For some reason I really like Almora and wish he would get a chance to play more.

    • Sherm

      Agree 100%

      They’re sticking with Schwarber to a point of ridiculousness and Almora (one of the best defenders we’ve ever had in CF) plays sparingly. I don’t get it, either. If he were hitting .162 he’d be playing long toss with Adbert.

      • Junior Von White

        Besides that, Schwarber does not contribute defensively. Right now he is a liability in the field, at the plate, and on the base paths. If he stays with the Cubs the only place he can contribute is at the plate, which means when he is slumping, he isn’t of any value. That isn’t good for us or for him. I think he’ll be great, but I am more than OK if he is great for another team outside the NL Central, as long we get something in return.

      • Sherm

        I think we ALL agree that we’d be happy if he were great in Iowa. Or Myrtle Beach (say hello to Adbert!)

        I’ve never seen – never (and I’m older than Senior Von White) a contending team stick with a struggling player as long as they have…and here’s the key part in my mind, JVW – at the DETERIORATION of his own confidence, and the detriment of the team, AND, AND, AND…stunting the growth and playing time of other young players. It’s a three way mistake, and all three ways are bad. Bad for Schwarber, bad for other players, and bad for the Cubs (short and long term.)

        At what point does Schwarber get to the park, and go up to the manager’s door to see the lineup thinking “Please don’t be on there…DAMMIT, I’m playing again” because at .162 and dropping? That day is coming.

        And upside be damned, right now who wants a kind fat guy who can’t even SEE the Mendoza line?

      • Junior Von White

        Agreed. He needs to go to Iowa, get his groove, and come back and have a week to a month of super MLB hitting, and then get dumped on a team like the Mets like a hot potato. But maybe I am delusional…

      • Sherm

        I’d trade him to the AL simply because he’ll have greater value as a DH than anywhere else. That said, Boone said on Sunday that his knee surgery really messed him up for about 18 months and that it takes a long time to get your timing back after missing what he missed. He felt the WS was a crazy, supernatural anomaly of sorts – Schwarber being able to hit so soon after coming back. He also worked his ass off during rehap to be sure he’d be ready. I don’t know that he did that all off-season (see Heyward, Jason) to make sure he STAYED there…

      • Junior Von White

        I almost wonder if Theo and Jed have set aside a couple years for Schwarber simply for that reason/recovery time. Moving him to DH would be great. He would be able to focus on hitting and hitting only. Right now he has to try and contribute in the outfield, not destroy his knee again, and relearn his timing at the plate.

      • Adam Peters

        It is starting to feel eerily familiar to Dusty playing Korey Patterson every day no matter what. And that ain’t good.

    • cap’n realist

      Muskat tweeted that he was asked if he would like to play more, and he answered perfectly: “if I say no I’m a liar, but it’s not about me, it’s about the Chicago Cubs.” Where last week, I didn’t believe they had a chance to repeat, seeing young players adopt this attitude gives me hope. Now if Maddon could only stop making it about HIM…

      • Sherm

        Spot on. Who does the line up days in advance and leaves off the guy with two dingers the day before? Why Happ doesn’t start in LF and Almora in CF is beyond me. That’s the hot hand – play it. Plus, it improves the defense a ton.

        Baez is heating up a bit, too, but I think it’s his day NOT to play shortstop, so he’ll probably sit.

        Meanwhile? Anthony Rizzo, unless my memory is off, has not missed a start all year.

      • Doug S.

        L-R, Happ, Almora, Heyward makes a lot of sense. This should be the starting lineup on a regular basis. Insert others as needed in game.

      • Sherm

        And why WOULDN’T it be? Even St. Louis sent their young buck Grichuk down for more work and fine tuning. You don’t work out your problems – at 23 with limited major league experience – on the major league squad unless the team flat out sucks and it doesn’t matter. On a team that is/was the odds on favorite to get to the WS? You play your best team ALL THE DAMN TIME. Why is that so hard to grasp?

      • Junior Von White

        One word: Player’s Manager.

        (I realize that’s two words, but I had written “one word” too far in advance to change it)

      • Eddie Von White

        Put a hyphen in there and you’re good.

      • That’s solid parental advice.

      • Eddie Von White

        It’s not easy trying to raise a genius.

      • Seymour Butts

        That’s what my parents told me.

      • Eddie Von White

        I knew I heard it from somewhere.

      • Junior Von White

        You must have siblings…

      • Junior Von White

        I rarely receive unsolid parental advice.

  • Dork

    Remember when Jake days were so very good? I miss those days.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    Just a thought would Scott Boreass ever drop a client? I would guess not because he seems to love his money too much.

    • Sherm

      Well, José Fernández, for one.

      What? Too soon?

      • Bryzzo1744

        ??

    • Bryzzo1744

      I remember Bozo fired him his contract year.

      • Sherm

        Not what he asked, though. He asked if Boras had dropped a client, not if a client had dropped Boras. Take your time. Read the whole question.

      • Seymour Butts

        Stickler.

  • Adam Peters

    Great post Sherm!

    I get why everyone is salty, or peppery, or Sriracha-y. But while it’s not exactly exciting to be leading such a crappy division, three years ago we would have been loving it. First place is first place. And though it seems ridiculous to consider, it’s not inconceivable that the Cubs could contend for the best record in the NL when it’s all said & done. You know, when they inevitably (right?) get their shit together.

    I agree about Schwarber. World Series hero or no, he needs to go to Iowa and get his groove back. And maybe not having him around could help Joe with his lineup making issues.

    And just because I know everyone is wondering, my Little League team won our league championship last night with a 14-10 extra inning win!

    • Seymour Butts

      You play little league?

      • Let me guess.. won the game by committing a three run error?

    • Brad Lyerla

      Congrats to the little leaguers. And I was wondering.

  • Doc Raker

    Maddon actually admitted to making the line up ‘days ago’? I wonder what the line up will be July 28.

    • Sherm

      He’s got Hendricks pitching the first 5 and a third that day.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      Does Joe use a magic eight ball to make these line-ups? Also how long is a magic eight ball prediction effective?

      • Eddie Von White

        Or to shorten up your question: How long is a magic 8 ball magic?

    • A Tuesday.

      • Doug S.

        3, 2, 1……

  • Junior Von White

    Another silver lining: the Cubs are 2016 World Series Champs. Seeing them struggle this year makes me all the more happy that they brought home the title last year. When they were down 3-1 I had already started hearing “there’s always next year” in the back of my mind, but they did it! Nothing is guaranteed, and you have to seize the opportunity when it is available. Last year it was available and they took it. I can’t imagine how much worse the frustration would be if they hadn’t won it all last year.

    • Eddie Von White

      Let’s bench our ace pitcher for the playoffs because he’s pitched too many innings this year: (See Nationals, Washington.)

      • Adam Peters

        If the Cubs had done that for Mark Prior…

        Just sayin’.

      • Eddie Von White

        We still would have lost in ’03.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Eddie Von Correction! That is three today you are on a roll.

      • Eddie Von White

        I hope Lizzie shares your enthusiasm.

      • Junior Von White

        Eddie von rollin’

      • Not if Donkey is leading off..

      • Sherm

        Donkey Hotee. Chasing windmills.

      • cap’n realist

        he’d have still likely broken down. Prior is the textbook example of muscle growth (likely through artificial means) overpowering ligament and tendon limitations. That’s what caused the tremendous drop off in velocity at a relatively young age. Some of that could be, I suppose, blamed on number of innings pitched, but in my opinion it’s mostly that HGH grows muscles and not tendons…

      • Junior Von White

        I’m sure Strasburg appreciated the extra rest when switching channels between playoff games the following season.

  • Doug S.

    I know some of you are wondering – how’s VFTB fav Dan Vogelbach doing in Seattle?

    About as good as he can from Tacoma with the Raniers after a 3 for 17 Mariners stint well south of the Jessica line. I don’t think we’ve heard the last from our buddy Dan.

    • Was that the chubby gentleman?

      • Doug S.

        I think Dan prefers the term full-figured.

      • Eddie Von White

        I think Dan prefers the term husky.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I think Dan prefers the terms Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

      • Junior Von White

        My favorite is “Heavy-Duty Dan”