View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Monday

24

July 2017

104

COMMENTS

Wacha Wacha Wacha!

Written by , Posted in General

Say that to any die-hard Cardinal fan today, and you’re liable to end up with at least a dirty look, and possibly the need for some dental work (it depends on how hardcore they consider themselves to be among the Best Fans in Baseball).  But, a good offensive showing against Michael Wacha–who ate all 5 of the Cubs runs–gives the Cubs the rubber game against the Cardinals for their 3rd straight series win out of the All-Star break.

Oh, and a share of first place, if you ignore digits beyond the thousandths in the winning percent maths.  If you don’t ignore those extra numbers, the Cubs are in first right now.

Jose Quintana gave the Cubs 6 fairly good innings–he gave up 3 runs himself, throwing just under 100 pitches in the process, yet struck out 7–and the bullpen did…pretty much the exact opposite of what they did on Friday.  Yes, the Cardinals got baserunners in the 7th, 8th, and 9th, but it didn’t feel as though there was a whole lot of drama through those innings.  Wade Davis continued to do Wade Davis things, closing out his 20th save of the year, still without a blown save all season.

Home runs played a pretty good part in the scoring for the Cubs today, with 3 of the 5 runs scored coming on Kyle Schwarber‘s solo moonshot and Willson Contreras‘ go-ahead 2-run shot, which concluded the scoring for the game.

About That Schwarber Dinger…

Schwarber’s 4th inning home run tied the game up again after the Cards had pulled ahead again in their half of the frame, but one thing did stand out looking at it again–the pitch he hit was a cutter, that was up in the zone a bit and in.  Which is an area that, before he was sent down to Iowa, pitchers seemed to be exploiting and he just couldn’t adequately get to.   Certainly anecdotal, as it is just one hit out of the at bats he’s had since the end of his exile, but if he’s gotten that hole patched up it is going to get a little harder for pitchers to beat him consistently.  His batting average is creeping back up toward .200 over recent days, a few multi-hit games would be great to see.

Welcome Back, Kyle (Hendricks Edition)

Kyle Hendricks is set to be activated for game one against the other team in town today, which means we should see a reliever (I’m guessing Felix Pena, called up Saturday to swap places with a suddenly cooperative Tommy La Stella) head back down before the game.  Nothing against Mike Montgomery or Quintana, but it will be good to have Hendricks back in the rotation, particularly if he can replicate the kind of performance he gave the Smokies during his rehab starts.  I don’t imagine, first start after the DL, he’ll get to throw too deep in the game (unless he is mega-efficient), but one would hope the bullpen can handle the White Sox who have lost 9 in a row and are rumored to be headed to Triple-A themselves next month.

Trade Deadline Looming

Today marks a week until the trade deadline, and it seems apparent that this season again, the Cubs are going to be buyers, even beyond the deal already made to acquire Quintana.  There has been talk of the Cubs being after the Tigers’ Alex Avila, the Rangers’ Jonathon Lucroy to bolster their catching depth (apologies to Victor Caratini, whose batting average makes this writer long for Koyie Hill again), as well as pitchers Yu Darvish, Chris Archer, Sonny Gray, Brad Hand, Justin Wilson, and Zach Britton, and probably others.  It seems most likely that the Cubs target a bullpen arm and a catcher for the short term, as these are more pressing needs for the team right now; the rotation is going to be best addressed in the offseason through free agency.  In the postseason, you really don’t need more than 4 starters, and you could do worse than a rotation of Quintana, Lester, Arrieta, and Hendricks–Lackey can watch October from home, if he’s got an issue.

  • Bryzzo1744

    I agree with you on the playoff rotation, but you need 5 starters to get you to October. Are you confident Lackey can help get us there? I’m ready to sweep the trash into the garbage where they belong. Hopefully on Thursday, they will have a 12-game losing streak, and the worst record in the American League will be the worst record in the majors.

    • Michael S.

      I’m more confident that the offense is going to be able to overcome Lackey, which certainly wasn’t the case earlier in the year.

      Besides, he gets too bad/mouthy, I’m sure he’ll end up back on the DL with a sprained gooch or some similar excuse for ‘bloated ERA’.

      • You can sprain that thing?

      • Michael S.

        You can sprain anything, if you try hard enough.

      • Sherm

        I paid more for an “anti-sprain” gooch. Well worth the extra dough.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I paid less for a pre-sprained gooch, once sprained you avoid the pain and have more cash.

      • Sherm

        Freakin’ genius! I didn’t even know you could buy used gooches. There’s a market for EVERYTHING these days!

      • You should look into this. Might be a good fit with your company.

      • Sherm

        I’ll put a team of people right on it. Determining whether manufacturing gooches overseas is a good long term play and studying the efficiency of doing so. So, are gooches one size fits all? Or do we need to make multiple sizes? Where will I find a gooch expert? Michael S. brought it up – he must know something about it. I’ll need specs. CAD drawings. I’m visualizing Gooches R Us stores popping up all over the US.

      • Size matters.

      • cap’n realist

        let me know if you need any gooch financing. I can reach out to a few lenders and have them put together some gooch risk matrices.

      • Michael S.

        I’m VTFB’s foremost authority on gooch-related matters. But I don’t think you can afford my rate.

      • Doug S.

        Another Boras client, great.

      • Seymour Butts

        I prefer players who don’t sprain their gooch.

      • A pulled gooch might be just as bad.

      • Michael S.

        Gooch lacerations are the worst.

      • Seymour Butts

        I’ve sewn a few of those up. Tedious work, but man are the patients appreciative.

      • Is that a some sort of package deal.. buy two heart stints, get some complimentary gooch work?

      • Michael S.

        I prefer to avoid activities that could result in injuries. Like pogo sticks, skateboarding, roller skating, etc.

        Sure, life is a bit more boring, and I’ll never be a YouTube star, but…it saves me money visiting the doctor for an embarrassing condition!

      • Bryzzo1744

        We still need a 5th starter to get us to October. Hammel didn’t do such a bad job of that. Basically someone to eat innings. I’d prefer the 5th starter be a piggyback of Lackey and Montgomery

      • Michael S.

        The Butler-Montgomery tandem, the couple (?) times it appeared, did pretty well…think I’d take that over Lackey and Monty. Heck, getting through any game with just 2 pitchers would be good to see.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Yes Butler! I totally forgot about him. We should piggyback the two of them as our 5th starter. Lackey can join in as well.

  • Eddie Von White

    Even when Hendricks was as healthy as a horse, mega-efficient, and the World Series on the line, Maddon wouldn’t let him pitch deep into any game. As long Maddon is the manager, I doubt Hendricks will ever see the 7th inning again as a Cub.

    • Bryzzo1744

      You’re probably right and for that reason he would be the odd man out instead of Lackey come October. We need a manager who is a hard ass and will say to Lackey you’re going to be in the bullpen in October and you’re going to like it, and if you don’t, then take your ass home.

      • Eddie Von White

        And Hendricks will sign with somebody who respects his pitching ability a little more.

      • Bryzzo1744

        It’s a shame really.

  • cap’n realist

    Apparently some Cards fans have a problem with Willson smooching his biceps after the two run homer last night. Cardinal fans know you’re not supposed to have any fun on a ball field against your most bitter rival. It’s the Cardinal way.

    • Bryzzo1744

      It was in tribute to his homeland. There’s a reason he wore 2 arm sleeves with the Venezuela flag instead of one.

      • cap’n realist

        if that’s the case, with his homeland in turmoil, food lines, no economy, senseless killings, filthy streets, and corrupt leadership run a muck, you’d think St. Louisans could relate to the guy.

      • Bryzzo1744

        EXACTLY! It wasn’t about him, it was about everyone back home.

    • Dork

      I thought he kissed his forearm… below the elbow not above it when I saw the video. Do I need an eye Dr?

  • Karen Hirsh

    I think the following are on the auction block: Happ, Almora and maybe Baez. If so, hopefully we get some first class pitchers. Lackey can go too.

    • cap’n realist

      nobody would take Lackey and the prorated portion of $16 mil. Not a chance.

      • Doc Raker

        I bet the Cubs would be willing to eat the money on Lackey’s contract if they got the players they wanted.

      • Bryzzo1744

        That’s what I was thinking too

      • Adam Peters

        Even not considering the money, who would give up any decent players for Lackey? Guys who can take the ball every 5th day and give up gopher ball after gopher ball are a dime a dozen. Just ask the Reds.

      • cap’n realist

        I’m not sure those Reds pitchers even have a gooch to sprain.

      • Bryzzo1744

        Plus Lackey has a big head and a bad attitude

    • Doc Raker

      I don’t think Happ or Baez are, maybe Almora and Schwarbs, but I would hate to see this core broken up.

      I think if Lackey is moved to the pen the Cubs are very close and if they get one more starting pitcher and move Lackey to the pen they are ready to roll in October.

    • Adam Peters

      I don’t see them trading Baez at this point. He’s going to be the full time starting second baseman in another season and a half when Zobrist’s contract is up.

      And speaking of Zo, Happ is him, but faster and with more power. I don’t see them trading him either–Happ that is.

      And Almora wouldn’t bring that much in return. Maybe him and Schwarber packaged together. But you’re not getting Chris Archer or Sonny Gray for them.

      • Sherm

        I was going to write basically the same thing…so, I concur. Neither Baez or Happ are going away anytime soon. Almora has upside, as does Schwarber, so I think adding a Candelario or Caratini could swing a deal for a controllable front line arm. That said? I wouldn’t trade for Gray. Too injury prone for me. Archer really isn’t available – the Rays are in it. If you are going to trade away serious talent? Why not make a run for Michael Fulmer? If the TIgers are selling? That’s a guy to buy…

  • Doc Raker

    Contreras is fun to watch, he has a lot of energy and he is raking right now. Did anyone catch what he said as he rounded first base and saw his go ahead jack leave the yard, he yelled “F*&$ Ya” at the first base coach. We got a kick out of that at our house when we saw him mouth that out in celebratory fashion.

    Not only is Contreras raking but the double play he started on the bunt right in front of home plate was awesome and a big emotional pick up for the Cubs, along with throwing out Molina on a steal. What was Molina doing? The very next pitch is hit for a home run which felt like a victory for the Cubs, a solo shot instead of a 2 run shot. Molina has no business stealing on Contreras, I wonder if it was a missed hit and run. Jessica or Boone did not mention a possible missed hit and run sign, Jessica was busy commenting on the players athletic bodies, except for Molina who looks like a fat convict.

    If Jimi pitches well Lackey must go to the pen or get traded. The Cubs would be better with Lackey in the pen. Lackey can throw strikes and if he is only pitching an inning can ramp up his velocity. If Lackey is too selfish to go to the pen than eat his salary and send him home.

    8-1 since the break, 1 bad inning or we would be 9-0.

    • Bryzzo1744

      I enjoyed that game on my brand new Roku TV I set up last night! And I hooked up MLB TV as well on it. It’s a real pain to set up technology and get it hooked up to everything, but once you do it, it’s so much fun to have the toy to play with.

      • You literally just have to plug two cords into those things .. (facepalm)

      • Bryzzo1744

        It’s not that. It’s the other things. Apps, hooking it up to wifi, hooking up the phone to it, logging in to the apps.

      • You’ve got to be kidding me.

      • Bryzzo1744

        It took me about an hour to do all that.

      • (Psssst. jswan. You’re forgetting. 2.5 GPA. And proud of it.)

  • Missed that last game too.. wiped out hard after playing a 96 degree baseball game. Nice surprise.. condensed game kicks ass.

  • Seymour Butts

    Prediction:
    Adios .500.

  • Doug S.

    Heyward batted first today!!……………..???

    • Bryzzo1744

      Since Friday actually.

      • Doug S.

        No shit?
        Guess I’ve been missing the start of games. I’ll climb back under my rock.

  • Bryzzo1744

    Why is a penis lonely?

    Because his neighbor is an asshole, and his 2 best friends are nuts.

    • cap’n realist

      that’s not why you’re lonely, CAPS.

      • Dork

        That is a much better punchline.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I know. I’m the asshole who is also a nut

  • The one time Kyle should have got the hook, Bosio sends him up there grooving fastballs.. tie game.

    • Seymour Butts

      That visit was right after HP ump Angel Hernandez missed his 38th call on a pitch ( would eventually miss 106) of the game. I was waiting for Bosio to give him hell, but no such scenario. Conversation likely went like this:
      Bosio: “Can you throw strikes now and then?”
      Hendricks: “Why, it seems to have little relationship to the reward today.”
      Contreras: No mierda, Angel chupa hoy.
      Bosio: I could use a chalupa.
      Hendricks: Chupa, not chalupa. Get an Ivy league education, will ya.

      • Bosio probably had a chalupa in his coat pocket.

      • Michael S.

        If Joe West were home plate ump, he’d have shared it for a few more called strikes.

      • cap’n realist

        UeneedahardhatonWaveland

  • CubbieBlue023

    I be damned. My most favorite pitcher of all time just gave up another home run. Pissed.

  • Dork

    Well first place did not last long. That was probably fairly predictable, but I still did not see it coming.

  • Brad Lyerla

    Check out the Tribune this morning. David Haugh says that Willson Contreras is the team MVP, and I have to agree. So far.

    • Sherm

      I’d have said Montero. They’ve been playing much better since he left.

      • Brad Lyerla

        Some people would look at it and say since Quintana arrived. Score one for the front office.

      • Doc Raker

        I would say they are playing well since resting and getting an extra solid arm in Q. I am sure the 4 day break away from the ball park helped energize them. #letthemrest if you recall my genius prior to the break

  • Doc Raker

    Cubs losing by 1 late in the game, they have men on 1st and second with no body out. The pitchers spot comes up and Maddon pinch hits with Happ who takes a K. Heyward then fly’s out which had we bunted would of brought home the tying run but without the bunt it is just 2 outs and men still on 1st and second.

    Late in the game down by 1 when a bunt can put a man on third for a sac fly situation I think you have to take that bunt, especially when the wind is blowing in which is was at the time. I know the saber dudes don’t like bunts but in this case I think it is the right play.

  • If the Cubs see more pitches, work counts, make solid throws, avoid swinging at bad pitches, be smart on the base paths, have patience at the plate, cleanly field balls, swing at strikes, drive the ball to gaps, and play fundamental baseball, they win that game.

    • Seymour Butts

      Unless, of course, the other team plays the same, but a little “harder”.

    • Michael S.

      Let’s get this guy a contract managing somewhere. This wisdom could take ANY team to the promised land. He could probably manage the Blackhawks to a World Series and they don’t even PLAY baseball.

      • I just think they should see more pithes, slide properly, hustle on the base paths, take solid routes, slide safely, work counts, and play winning baseball.

  • Figured it out.. if I keep the game on through a few commercial breaks, I start hearing commercials.. but no announcers. Game feed suckers! This is glorious.. Sox broadcasters are better than the dipshits, but not by a wide margin.

    • Doug S.

      Dipshits or Jessica?

      • Dipshits.. got bold and answered a text.. dipshit audio feed back on (facepalm)

  • Kyle

    2nd and 3rd one out. 2 Strikeouts, no runs.
    1st and 2nd no outs. 1 flyout, 2 strikeouts. no runs.
    Infuriating.

    • Doug S.

      The missed RISPs and LOBs yesterday and today are killer.

  • getting scrappy out here

  • Javy with K #5.. not even sure what you call that one

    • Bryzzo1744

      I saw this on baseball tonight a few years ago
      3 is a hat trick
      4 is a sombrero since it’s a bigger hat
      5 is a golden sombrero or Olympic Rings
      6 is a Horn since Sam Horn is the only player to K times in 9 innings

      • Seymour Butts

        I know I’m going to regret this, but a golden sombrero is 4 Ks in a game.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I looked it up, you’re correct. Golden sombrero is 4, 5 is a platinum sombrero or Olympic Rings.

      • You should let the Baseball Tonight guys they were wrong a few years ago.

      • Doc Raker

        I think you are confused with the Golden Shower that cost you 4k at Randy’s camp.

      • Seymour Butts

        Calling me Trump is low, even for you.

    • Doug S.

      Totally reaching and swinging at air. No reason to throw Javy a legit strike.

      • Doc Raker

        You just figure that out Meat?

    • Doc Raker

      During Javy’s 3rd K Ron Commer said, “Javy has swung for the fences on every swing today” after saying, “I would like to see Javy cut his swing down and look to take the pitch to right field.” Javy then swung and missed for his 3rd K and walked back to the dugout.

      Two more K’s for the day for a total of 5 K’s. That’s hard to do, The Platinum Sombrero!

      • So JD had the same insight on Baez but he had to couch it in a positive way of course. On AB #5 he said he doubts Baez will shorten up and try to put the ball in play because after four K’s he wants to hit a home run which will redeem his shitty day. (He didn’t say shitty, I took liberties.)

      • Meanwhile Len spent the afternoon wondering if people from Charlotte, NC would be called “charlatans.” JD didn’t get Len’s joke, so he said “no, I think they’d be called Charlottinians.” So Len laughed at his own pun, tried unsuccessfully to explain it, and many innings later this was still his chosen topic of conversation until he was able to confirm that they are Chatlotteans. Zero fucks given by anyone within earshot, especially, I’m assuming, those living in Charlotte.

      • Doc Raker

        Why does such a Great Nation as Cub Nation, a baseball passionate Nation, a baseball knowledgeable Nation, a Nation that loves the Cubs and baseball get stuck with such a broadcaster as Len who isn’t great, isn’t passionate about baseball, isn’t knowledgeable about baseball and doesn’t seem to love the Cubs. Why do we get Len? Why? Why? Why?

      • Doc Raker

        JD should of said the truth, “bAez won’t shorten up here, or ever, because he has the brain of a reptile and is programmed to do one thing, swing for fences, nothing else is programmed into that reptile sized brain.”

        For all the 2.5 GPA’s out there, a reptile brain is very small.

      • Seymour Butts

        So I walk out of a room into my office in time to see the WS pitcher drive in 2 runs. Len says “Sox up 2 to nothing”. I had just glanced at the screen and saw Cubs up 3 zip. After confirming the screen was right and Len was wrong, I thought of you immediately.

  • Doug S.

    Happy for the win today.
    —-
    RISP cash ins for the first 2 games = 5 for 30
    LOB = 25
    Wow.

    • Ben

      I’m shocked you guys aren’t talking about kb getting ejected. But that sombero is pretty bad though too

      • Correct move by KB in my opinion. I told the guys that I was surprised Joe didn’t get himself tossed so he could grab a tea.

      • Ben

        he didnt get ejected cause he doesnt care anymore any other managers prob wouldve been ejected as well. ie telling javy you cant swing for the fences for a month might increase his productivity lol

      • Doug S.

        At work and missed it. Arguing balls and strikes? If so, manager needs to step in.

      • Ben

        yeah ball was way outside kb argued it got ejected

      • Seymour Butts

        4 to 6 inches, let’s not get carried away.

      • Ben

        4 to six inches is a lot in baseball though at least I think so lol

      • I think he was on his third or fourth strikeout of the day by then, he was frustrated I’m sure. Unlike Baez who doesn’t appear to be frustrated no matter how many times he strikes out!

      • Doc Raker

        Reptile brains don’t get frustrated, they just keep hunting and hunting and swinging and swinging and missing and missing.