View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Wednesday

28

June 2017

100

COMMENTS

Mad Max Prevails

Written by , Posted in General

Underway from Washington D.C. I’m watching on the MLB Network so I get Bob Costas and John Smoltz, I can live with that.

The top of the first starts in a promising fashion as Anthony Rizzo gets plunked for the 13th time on the year. The lineup is stacked with lefties so batting second is Tommy La Stella. Instead of getting Rizzo to second, La Stella is called out on a questionable third strike. Third place hitter Ian Happ popped out weakly to center bringing up tonight’s cleanup hitter, Kris Bryant. After a weak swing on a slider, Nationals starter Max Scherzer tried to go back there and left it just over the plate and Bryant made him pay with a triple off the wall in right-center. Cubs take a 1-0 lead. If this was 2015, I’d be feeling pretty good.

The bottom of the first will of course lead to runs for the opponents, this is the Cub’s staff. Lead-off man Trea Turner hit a grounder to second that LaStella didn’t play aggressively and Turner beat the play to first. With Jake Arrieta and Miguel Montero as the battery, you know that Turner won’t be at first for long. He is not. After a big jump, Turner steals second and Costas says that the throw wasn’t even close (and then added that it was a weak throw). He’s wrong as the throw was way closer than it should have been. I now don’t like Costas, no matter if some of the things he says are accurate.

Turner steals third and then scores on a ground ball from Brian Goodwin to Rizzo in which Arrieta was late covering first. 1-1, runner on first with nobody out. The only question is how many runs will be scored this inning. Goodwin doesn’t run while Bryce Harper is batting and luckily, Harper flies out to RF. Arrieta then strikes out Ryan Zimmerman and there is now hope of surviving the inning. Goodwin still doesn’t run, but Arrieta walks Daniel Murphy on four pitches. Anthony Rendon stands between triumph or tragedy. On a 2-2 count, Rendon rips a ball to third. Luckily Jeimer Candelario makes a nice play and beats Goodwin to third for the force out and ends the inning with the game tied 1-1.

Since I don’t want to make this a 2,500 word post, the remaining highlights will be done bullet point style.

  • La Stella costs the Cubs a run with a throwing error that “pulled” Rizzo off the bag in what would have been the third out. The Cubs challenged the play and I thought that Rizzo stayed on the bag but the call was not overturned. I stayed out of the discussion on La Stella during last year’s “if I can’t play I’ll take my ball and go home” spat. However, I don’t want to see him in any role for the Cubs besides as a pinch hitter.
  • Costas and Len would be wonderfully horrible together. Costas spent lots of time discussing the large President’s head race in the fourth inning. More Smoltz please.
  • I get that the Cubs want lefties in the lineup, but Montero can’t be Arrieta’s catcher. They have no chance of throwing out a baserunner between Arrieta’s slow delivery and Montero’s below average arm.
  • Arrieta and Montero implode in the fourth between more poor pitching and poor catching. The low point of the inning, Arrieta walks second place hitter Goodwin on four pitches to bring up Harper. After four innings it’s 4-1 Nationals and that seems like a win. Arrieta has five walks, 91 pitches, and given up seven steals through four innings.
  • Any chance to get back into the game is going to require getting into Washington’s bullpen. Scherzer has thrown 70 pitches as the fifth inning starts. A 25+ pitch inning would be beneficial. Nope, less than 15.
  • The Nationals lead off the fifth inning with another hit. Smoltz mentioned that the lead-off average against Jake is over .300, that is god awful. There was also lots of talk on how Jake is costing himself big $$ by showing that he’s an average pitcher now. Arrieta finishes with 4+ innings and 98 pitches (which includes six walks).
  •  Felix Pena comes on with two on and nobody out. After getting the first man to popup, Pena shows he might just be a AAAA pitcher. Pena also walked Goodwin on four straight pitches to get to Harper. “It’s a bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for them.”
  • The sixth inning starts as the Cubs trail 6-1. Will they rollover and die or show some fight? If that inning was an indication, rollover it is.
  • Pena throws a scoreless 6th and 7th, maybe he is AAAA+. I’d trust him over Hector Rondon right now even though Rondon threw a scoreless 8th inning.
  • Into the National bullpen! Oh, it’s the 8th inning, probably too late. Javier Baez shows he still can’t come close to hitting or laying off bad sliders. But man that defense.
  • Addison Russell once again throws a bat farther than he can hit the ball. I’m souring on Russell more and more every day. You could easily convince me to make him the headliner of a trade and I wouldn’t feel bad at all.
  • That’s all folks. Cubs lose 6-1.

Comment Bait

My last post had 48 comments, my new goal is 50, so here are some topics that might start some conversation.

  1. Len Kasper is a bit underrated as a quality announcer.
  2. The Red Sox-Yankees are the best rivalry in baseball.
  3. Jessica Mendoza is an asset for ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.
  4. Some team will be crazy enough to give Arrieta 6 yrs @ $25M per this off-season.
  5. Kris Bryant, Ian Happ, Javier Baez, and Eloy Jiminez are the only guys on my “no-trade list”. Subject to the usual caveat that a stupid offer for any of those players would be accepted, ie. Mike Trout for Ian Happ.

Let’s get those comments going!!

Around the League

  • Rays starter Alex Cobb had a no-hitter through six innings. His price in a potential trade just went up. Cobb went eight scoreless innings but lost the “W” as closer Alex Colome gives up two runs and then bogarts the win as the Rays win in 10. Another example of why the win is a meaningless stat for pitchers.
  • The Brewers lose again making the Cubs loss moot.
  • The Rangers Adrian Beltre hit his 450th career homer in the ninth inning off Indians closer Cody Allen to give the Rangers a 2-1 victory.

AAA: Iowa (34-43) – Iowa defeated New Orleans 7-6. To answer the question on everyone’s mind, no, Kyle Schwarber did not hit a homer. He did go 2-4 with a couple of singles though. Catcher Victor Caratini was 3-4 with a pair of doubles to raise his average to .343. I don’t know how strong he is defensively, but that is some great offense from the catching position.

AA: Tennessee (38-36) – No game on Tuesday. The Smokies host Jackson on Wednesday in the first game of a six game series.

H-A: Myrtle Beach (45-30) – The Pelicans defeated Potomac 4-2 on Tuesday evening. Starter Adbert Alzolay ran his record to 7-1 as he pitched 5 2/3 innings giving up just two runs while striking out seven. The recently promoted Zack Short led the offense as he went 3-3.

L-A: South Bend (40-35) – The Cubs dropped an exciting one, falling 11-10 to Fort Wayne. The Cubs scored twice in the ninth to take the lead but then surrendered two to get the loss. Obviously there were no pitching highlights on either side and the Cubs offense was pretty spread out with no significant performers. Kevonte Mitchell did hit his 8th homer on the season.

R: Eugene (7-5) – This game is on the west coast, I get tired. At bedtime, Eugene was defeating Hillsboro 4-1. Shortstop Aramis Ademan hit his second homer on the young season.

On Deck

The Cubs will try again tomorrow. They have another tough starter to face as Stephen Strasburg (8-2 3.57 era) takes the mound for the Nationals against John Lackey.

 

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    Not really a fan of Costas either. He’s like Joe Buck in that he announces far too many different sports, and doesn’t seem to do any of them very good.

    • Bryzzo1744

      I like him during the Olympics and that’s it.

  • Sherm

    I used to like Bob Costa – MANY years ago. Now I don’t. Too smug for me. Smoltz is good.

    “Len Kasper is a bit underrated as a quality announcer” – you are playing with fire here. I’m not touching that one.

    Jessica Mendoza? Dude. You are KILLING me this morning. I’m withholding two comments from today’s post no matter how pithy or timely. Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 bitcoin.

    Adbert continues to roll. Will he brush up against Kyle Schwarber going in different directions?

    Last night’s game flat out stunk. Montzero flat out stunk. Arietta’s ERA going into the game pitching to Contreras is 3.40, I think, and pitching to Montero? Closer to 6 now. Doesn’t Joe Maddon know that? Or is he really NOT paying attention? He’s managing this team like a lottery winner manages money.

    Dusty Baker could have had three stolen bases against the “Dubious Duo.” Jake may be slow to the plate, but Montero CANNOT throw. He’s HORRIBLE. He’s slow and has a terrible arm. AND Contreras DOESN”T need the rest.

    Scherzer fell behind to a lot of hitters (including LaStellAAA in the first) but the Cubs refuse to take 3-0 or 3-1, regardless of WHERE the pitch is. They had to swing at 6 or 7 BALL FOUR’S over the course of the game.

    LaStellAAA does not, ever, belong on the field. Never. He’s not good. Charge the ball, idiot.

    FP Santangelo used the tele-strator to show WHY Baez cannot hit the slider. Meanwhile, Len Kasper used an Etch-a-Sketch to draw Michael Stipe’s penis.

    Arrieta makes me want Brian Anderson back. Almost.

    I’m not enjoying baseball right now.

  • Bryzzo1744

    1. Len sucks. The end. I’ve shared his horrible calls and comments here enough
    2. Agreed. Especially now that I get to experience it live in Boston. Cubs-Cardinals is intense, but Yankees-Red Sox is another level
    3. Mendoza sucks
    4. You’re probably right
    5. Why is Rizzo not on that list?

    • Douglas Saye

      I didn’t include Rizzo mainly because of his position. If a trade was large (valuable) enough, the Cubs have some quality in-house options for first base. It would have to be a monster trade though.

  • Doug S.

    The only bait this fish will swim near is 2. I would rank the best rivalries in baseball as follows:
    1. Yankees Red Sox
    2. Dodgers Giants
    3. Cubs Cardinals

    • Seymour Butts

      Are you a different Doug than the one who wrote the top piece? I get confused as I thought you lived on the west (best) coast.
      Scorecards…

      • Doug S.

        I’ve been here since 2007 and live on the west coast. I think the writer of the top bit today lives in the St. Louis area.

      • Seymour Butts

        So Doug S and Doug Saye are different people.
        I see an opportunity for more creative screen names.
        I will let you in on a secret. Seymour Butts is not really my name. Shocking, right?

      • Doug S.

        Check. And you took a photo of your plumber’s butt for the profile pic, right?

      • Seymour Butts

        Well actually…

      • cap’n realist

        More like a way of life for you

      • Douglas Saye

        I made the concession to ‘Douglas’ since Doug S. was here first.

      • Doug S.

        Very sporting of you, thanks – butt my name is actually Seymour.

        Those of you watching this train wreck tonight may want to consider alternate plans.

      • Painful on many fronts.

      • Bryzzo1744

        MLB Network did for me

  • Eddie Von White

    I’m not taking any of the bait questions, but I will say Bob Costas is not a good announcer. He is Len Kasper with an arrogant, louder microphone. No thanks.

    I was listening to Pat and Ron during the LaStella at bat. After the inning break Ron said that Scherzer struck out LaStella without throwing a single strike to him.

  • Michael S.

    If Arrieta gets anything near 6yr/$150M this offseason, someone has lost their dang mind. I wouldn’t have given that after 2015, let alone after….whatever this year is for him. 6 years alone is insane, and that sort of money??

    Wait, he’s a Boras client, isn’t he?

    He’ll get it.

    • Bryzzo1744

      I think Boras will have Arrieta sign a 1 year pillow contract to rebuild his value so he can get his 200M next year. Unless Arrieta has one of those loss of value insurance policies. That would be a sweet account to write.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    Len is a very very poor mans Bob Costa. Both are terrible.

  • Bryzzo1744

    Today’s idiot of the day:
    Customer: Can you fax ID Cards to my work?
    Me: No problem. What’s the fax number?
    Customer: I don’t know

    • Michael S.

      It’s not even noon yet. Are you sure it can’t get worse?

      • Bryzzo1744

        We have a new idiot of the day:

        Agent: The insured wants to lower his liability and the policy renewed 4 days ago. Can we make it effective then?
        Me: When did he agree to it?
        Agent: Today.
        Me: Then we have to do it today.
        Agent: Why?
        Me: Because he agreed to it today. If something had happened 4 days ago, he would have made a claim on these higher limits.

      • STEM wins again.

      • Bryzzo1744

        That’s not math. It’s logic

      • you typed a ‘4’

    • I keep my work’s fax number in my rolodex next to my paper clip magnet thing and stapler remover.

      • cap’n realist

        check the binder where you keep the TPS reports.

      • Transactions Per Second.. too familiar. Oddly, I wrote some tooling and offloaded that crap to an intern last week.

      • Sherm

        Umm. Yeah.

    • Seymour Butts

      Much better customer answer: I don’t have one.

  • cap’n realist

    Quality announcers Bob Carpenter and FP Santengelo spent a good deal of time discussing Arrieta’s 2015 velocity of 97mph vs. the 91-92 he’s at now. 5mph is more than enough to cut the swing and miss percentage to about zero. They also shared that baserunners were 27 for 27 stealing bases with Arrieta on the mound THIS SEASON. After the game, that number was at 34-34. There is NO WAY ON PLANET EARTH that Montero, who can’t get his fat ass out of a crouch much less throw, and Arrieta, who can’t hold a runner or get a pitch to the plate in under 1.7 seconds, should ever be considered a battery on a big league club. Even dumb Dusty knew they could run wild…and they did. In that same vein, NOT. ONE. SINGLE. PITCHOUT. Not one. I’m shouting because I’m hoping that Bosio can hear me. When you have no hope to throw out a runner, even a bad little league coach would at least try a pitch out. Santangelo surmised that Arrieta might not be comfortable with pitching out, as Lester is ‘uncomfortable’ with throwing to bases. The players on this Cub team are TOO comfortable. It’s time for someone with some actual baseball sense to start making decisions for this team. I’m calling it today, Maddon’s ‘player manager’ label is killing this team’s chances. Did anyone see Baez take a big rip at a 3-0 pitch when the Cubs were LOSING 3-1? That’s just not major league baseball. It’s stupid. It’s the stuff you see at high school showcases. “ME” ball. Not baseball. Every hitter on this team is concerned with their own stats and not winning baseball games. While I was typing this, Rizzo pounded another 2 hopper into the shift. He’s leading the planet in 4-3 putouts. Santengelo went on to say that Joe Maddon looks confused and perplexed. “Why is he blowing on his hands? It’s not cold.”

    To calm myself, I started Ross’s book last night in my hot tub. Early on, he talks of spending the road trips in his last season with his family in a hotel suite for all the road trips. The suite upgrade was a retirement gift from Jason Heyward. For the entire season. Heyward’s stock has gone up immeasurably with me this year. The guy works hard and is a great teammate. He isn’t just showing up and taking the money. It shouldn’t be as refreshing as it is…but that’s where we’ve arrived. The Cubs need him back in the lineup and for him to take more of a leadership role. The loss of Ross and Fowler’s leadership is screaming right now.

    • Sherm
      • Bryzzo1744

        Krause: There’s no I in team
        Jordan: There is in win

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      The Cubs need to fire maddon and hire Ross. Ross seems capable of getting the guys to play baseball as opposed to the game of the day Maddon has them playing.

    • Junior Von White

      I’m still going to keep harping on how stupid this game of “musical baseball positions” is. How many different catcher-SS-2B-3B variations have we had this season? Seems like a thousand. I think that plays a factor into not throwing people out too. The best teams have one everyday player for each position, especially the infield because the best infields are incredibly synchronized.

      The only stability on this team is that Rizzo will be at 1B. Literally the ONLY stability. That’s not a recipe to repeat as champions.

  • Michael S.

    Starting to feel like we have a Carlos Zambrano/Derek Lee or Michael Barrett type situation brewing in the Cubs’ clubhouse.

    Montero falls in the first round to either Arrieta or Rizzo, though, so…

    • Bryzzo1744
      • Michael S.

        Pretty to-the-point there.

        Also seeing word on Twitter from Jesse Rogers that Montero is getting set to be DFA’d, and Caratini is on the way up.

      • Bryzzo1744

        DFA over his comments? That would be sending a message

      • Michael S.

        Until we get some sort of word from the Brain Trust, I guess…could be? Or maybe just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

        I’m guessing it will officially be the fact that he has thrown out fewer guys stealing than Jon Lester has pickoffs this year, just worded more nicely.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Just saw on ChiCitySports.com that he has been DFA

    • Douglas Saye

      Note that my article blamed both Jake and Miggy as opposed to just Miggy as he suggested with his comments. I’m starting to think VFTB isn’t on his reading list.

      • Eddie Von White

        We are. And Jed and Theo’s too. All the big brass read here first, then make their decisions.

  • Last night was sort of like a baseball video game.. Nationals figured out the game flaw and pounded on it for the win. Sad that the Cub flaw is basic, fundamental baseball. Arrieta is toast.

    • Michael S.

      Almost the same exact flaw I beat the crap out of when playing one of the (horrendously broken) MLB2K games on the 360. Literally *anyone* could run on Zach Duke and be halfway to the next base before the ball was on its way home.

  • Doc Raker

    Doug- your a dumbass.

    The Nationals set a club record for stolen bases by the 5th inning last night. Is anyone in the Cubs organization paying attention to this crap? I know Len and JD won’t tell the Cubs fans base any of these negative stats and trends that Santangelo has pointed out for us more intelligent listeners who want the truth.

    Doug- your a dumbass.

    • Douglas Saye

      Quit acting like Montero! We had a deal that we would keep our arguments behind closed doors. You know, me being a dumbass and your grammatical problems. Don’t get DFA’d.

      • cap’n realist

        Yeah Doc, your grammar is exasperating.

      • Douglas Saye

        Touche

      • Doc Raker

        What is wrong with my grammar!

    • Seymour Butts

      The contraction for “you are” is you’re. “Your” is a possessive pronoun.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        You expect an eye doctor to spell and have proper grammar. Why do you think their eye charts all have the letters mixed up?

      • Bryzzo1744

        A Ukrainian immigrant goes to the Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for a driver’s license.
        He has to take an eye test. The clerk shows him a card with the letters:
        C Z W I X N O S T A C Z
        “Can you read this?” the clerk asks.
        “Read it?” the Ukrainian replies, “I know the guy.”

  • Bryzzo1744

    And it’s official. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out Miguel.

  • Bring up Schwarbs…catching a few times a week might get his swagger back.

    • cap’n realist

      It will be Caratini. As bad as this team is coached, even THOSE morons know Schwarber doesn’t throw anyone out either.

    • Doug S.

      You forgot to put a 6. in front of that statement.

  • 50th comment. Way to go Doug!

    • Sherm

      He should thank Montero (nobody else will)

      • Seymour Butts

        You think anybody will want a back up catcher hitting .286 ( 2nd on the team) with an OPS over .800? The Cubs might.

      • cap’n realist

        Montero will fare better with a staff that has a pitching coach that’s worth a shit

      • Brad Lyerla

        Miggy will be hard to replace. But he has bitched about stuff before. It gets old to be in a locker room with a negative guy. He had to go.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Agreed. He went to the papers once before, he didn’t learn his lesson.

    • Douglas Saye

      Thanks. Though as Sherm points out, it took a Montero DFA to get there (as well as a bad day at the insurance office and a fight with Doc).

      • Sherm

        Yeah, but you know none of that matters, right? We could all be blowing up Twitter (which we kind of are) but you got us here and kept us here today…which is what it’s all about! Jessica Mendoza. Geeeeeez, Doug.

        Oh, and since you brought up Jake and Max’s? I have an idea. “The Montero” (new name for chopped liver.)

      • Douglas Saye

        I like the new sandwich. Not the idea of eating it, but the thought. Maybe add some pickled pigs feet since Migs seems to like to put them in his mouth.

      • cap’n realist

        And bad grammar

      • Michael S.

        First post I had get a significant number of comments, I think precisely 0 had anything to do with the article.

        Still a win in my book, as that all could have gone on the previous day’s post.

      • I bet I was doing my Pierce Johnson material.

      • Seymour Butts

        Sounds like a hard day.

      • Oh who knows. I’ve been trying to focus more on Trey McNutt lately. Like if I was calling a game and Trey was batting with a 2-1 count, I’d say something like “don’t know about the rest of you, but I wouldn’t mind seeing another ball here.” “Three and one on Trey McNutt.. now THAT’S more like it!”

      • Seymour Butts

        What do you do with an elephant who has 3 balls?

      • walk him and pitch to Harper

      • Bryzzo1744
      • Bryzzo1744

        I can just hear Lame Len saying 3 balls on Trey McNutt. The problem is he picks the low-hanging fruit.

      • Bryzzo1744

        It wasn’t a bad day, it’s just been a draining two weeks. I do service calls. In the last 2 weeks, in addition to today’s interaction with an agent, I have also had to tell an agent how to register a car in MA (it’s not as simple as going to the DMV with the title, you need insurance on the car, and a form which the insurance company has to sign and stamp), and I had to explain to an agent the difference between home insurance, a rental fire/dwelling, and renters insurance. In addition to explaining these things to agents, I deal with so many idiots from *ichigan. No cost to increase liability and they still say no.

  • Brad Lyerla

    Crying out loud. Don’t you guys ever get tired of ragging about the announcers?

    God, Bryant just tweaked his ankle handling a simple pop up. Oh nooooo.

    • Maybe he lost it in the sunset.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Thanks, Len!

    • Bryzzo1744

      No, because Len is awful and I’m not going to stop complaining until he’s gone.

    • Doc Raker

      Would you like to have better announcers? Have you tuned into a Nationals broadcast to see if you appreciate the difference?

      How is my grammar!

      • Brad Lyerla

        Of course, I would like better announcers.

        Brad
        312-510-6253 (mobile)

      • Seymour Butts

        I’m sure you thought posting your (you’re if you are Raker) cell number was a good idea. Give us a report in a week.

      • Brad Lyerla

        I am a social media klutz. On the other hand, because I use my real name, anyone can find my mobile number with a few keystrokes. Nonetheless, I will erase it.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I thought only the home phone number is on whitepages.com

      • Brad Lyerla

        I meant my professional bio and linkedin pages. My contact info is published there.
        What happened above is that I used the reply email function on the notification email I received from disqus telling me that Seymour had replied. I replied in email to his reply. But my reply included my automatic signature and mobile number. disqus then posted my reply into this string. It never occurred to me that might happen. Yet, it makes total sense in retrospect.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Testing

      • Bryzzo1744
      • Seymour Butts

        Wait… some of you are using your real names?
        If you have the pleasure, as I have, of meeting CAPS, you realize that moniker is easier than his real name..

      • Bryzzo1744

        When I met Sherm’s wife, she goes you’re CAPS, right? I wonder what everyone else hear has told their wives about me. At work customers think Bob, Carl, Doug, Barb etc when I say my name on the phone. I told the kids my name was Bob when I lifeguarded.

      • Doc Raker

        Your CAPS , right? Is what you meant, right?

      • Your HATS, write?

      • Eddie Von White

        I haven’t told my wife anything about you. She doesn’t even know that you exist – if you really do exist.