View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



August 2017



Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.

Written by , Posted in General

Was it bad mojo that Alex Avila wore his Detroit Tiger catchers gear in the game Wednesday night?  Maybe, maybe not.  Perhaps the team was distressed that I had to stay up watching this game because I signed up for August 3rd’s a.m. post when I meant to sign up for the a.m. post following August 3rd’s game.  (a.k.a. August 4th’s a.m. post)  Whatever the cause it did seem like the Cubs just could never quite get the wind into their sails in this game.

It started off promising enough.  The top of the first went strikeout, Baez-esque play by Ben Zobrist at second (Whaaaaaa?), strikeout.  Then Zobrist led off the bottom of the inning with a single, and things were looking good.  But then Kris Bryant grounded into a double play, and Anthony Rizzo popped out to left field and that was that.  Ugh.

Jake set the Diamondbacks down 1-2-3 in the top of the 2nd, and Kyle Schwarber BUNTED against the shift for a single to lead off the bottom of the inning.  At this point I thought something good had to happen.  And two batters later Addison Russell roped a ball into left field.  But then Jason Heyward lined out and Jon Jay did a very convincing impersonation of Kyle Schwarber, striking out on a ball that bounced in front of him and that was that.  (Incidentally, Russell’s hit would be the Cubs last of the game).

Later in the inning, in what unfortunately would be the highlight of the night for me, while looking at a fan in the bleachers sporting his giveaway headwear, J.D. declared it was “Judge Smails look alike night.”  As in, “That’s the worst looking hat I ever saw.  I bet when you buy a hat like that you get a free bowl of soup.”  Captain Oblivious, Len Kasper, made no comment whatsoever to this, and dead air ruled the airwaves for a while.  Then about 3 minutes later Len proclaimed, “Excellent giveaway tonight, the fedoras.”

Honestly, what the hell is wrong with those two?

The bottom of the second was not a total loss, however, as we learned that the Cubs new catcher’s name is pronounced AH-vee-la, and not Ah-VEE-la.  Good to know, but however it’s pronounced, for God’s sake have the equipment manager get him some red, white and royal blue catchers gear, and pronto!

Arrieta allowed only one batter to reach base through five innings, but in the sixth David Peralta led off the inning with a single.  Then A.J. Pollock was safe when Addison Russell made a throwing error on a routine grounder.  Peralta took third on the play and then Pollock stole second when Russell couldn’t hang on to Avila’s throw.  Both runners would then score on Jake Lamb’s double.

Honestly, from that point on it seemed like everyone was sleep walking through the game.  Justin Wilson made his Cubs debut and gave up one run, but it wouldn’t really matter as the Cubs never got anything going offensively.  As if to illustrate that point, the Cubs power trio of Bryant-Rizzo and Schwarber went out with a whimper in the bottom of the ninth against former Cub Fernando Rodney.

Sorry I couldn’t make more of a silk purse out of this sow’s ear of a game, but I’m just not feeling it tonight, and clearly the Cubs weren’t either.

  • Brad Lyerla

    Jake pitched well making our poor offense even more disappointing. But the worst was our defense.

    1. Russell’s poor throw was inexplicable, but Rizzo’s failure to bail him out was just as bad. Low throw, but a bounce that a competent major leaguer expects to glove at first.

    2. They ran wild in the top of the sixth against Avila. I wonder how that inning would have gone with Contreras catching?

    3. Some of the blame for the run that Wilson yielded in his half inning has to go to our oafish left fielder. It happened right in front of me. Yes, I was there last night. As bad as Schwarber’s defense looks on TV, it is far worse to see it in person.

    Was a crummy weather night too.

    • Adam Peters

      Did you get a Fedora, Brad?

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        More important, did he get the free bowl of soup?

      • Brad Lyerla

        No. Just as well. Donna would not have let me wear it outside the house anyway.

      • you could wear it indoors.. oh wait

  • Doug S.

    In Denver, watched the Rox-Mets last night and will again this aft. While live baseball is great, something is missing when it’s not the Cubs. Was scoreboard watching-phone checking last night. 0-0 for so long it seemed. 3 crummy hits……Greinke today. We’ve got to this guy before, need to do it again.

  • Doc Raker

    “How does a team score 15 runs one day and zero runs the next day, I just don’t understand” Harry Carey.

    The term, Bad Mojo, has been copy righted by the Bad Mojo Softball Club. Please send royalties to Bad Mojo Softball Club, 666 Bad Mojo Lane, Huntington Beach CA 92648.

  • Doc Raker

    1) Russell can’t throw and Rizzo can’t bail him out. That’s 2 games in a row that Russell bounced one to Rizzo and ‘Platinum Glover’ cough choke cough couldn’t scoop it up.

    2) Why did we need to trade fora ‘backup catcher’ that can’t throw anyone out and hits .190. Caratini is better than Avila.

    3) Right after Coomer was gushing about how much tSchwarbs has improved hid defense in left field tSchwarbs kicks one away to give up a run. Len and JD were said to have paid no attention to tSchwarbs misplay because they are paid to sugar coat any deficiencies within tCub Confines.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      I am beginning to think that JD watches the game feed and Len is watching some other monitor with a feed from some alien planet.

      • Doug S.

        Planet MTV

      • Michael S.

        That can’t be, MTV hasn’t shown actual music in what, a decade?

      • Doug S.

        Are you saying Len talks about actual music?

    • Sherm

      They agreed with the call (a double – insert massive EYE ROLL here) when it was clearly a single and a sliding kick. I’m tiring of JD, too. Probably not his fault – he’s been teamed with a guy that makes his job impossible and apparently idiocy is contagious.

      That would have been a good game to rest Bryant. Considering that every fly ball – even those that were crushed, and the one Descalso hit in the second WAS mashed, weren’t going anywhere – and since Bryant admittedly is TRYING to only hit fly balls (or roll over on outside fastballs. God forbid he go to right) why not play small ball with someone else. Schwarber’s bunt was a great idea, and why NO ONE else tried that? I have no idea. The D-Backs won the game on a ground single, an error, and a ground double. Meanwhile, the Cubs are swinging for the fences on every pitch, save for that bunt single.

      Defensively, the D-Backs also made the plays and the Cubs didn’t…so there is that.

      Godley was a giveaway in the Miguel Montero deal. Miggy is now on the DL in Toronto. Does that mean he needs to wait in line to GET medical care or is it different for ballplayers? Just curious. He also just released a country song called “He couldn’t hold a runner, and I couldn’t hold my tongue.” Anyway – Godley is good. I know that Godley was in that deal, because Len mentioned in eleven times.

      They (Cub broadcasting duo) also had a grand time with Justin Wilson pitching to Willson Contreras because, hey, that’s got nothing to do with baseball but kills time. And brain cells. Wilson to Willson. Ha Ha. Oh, it is to laugh. Plus, we were entertained with a graphic showing other potential batteries with that hilarious name thing going on. They DIDN’T happen, but it sure would have been knee-slappingly riotous if they had. RIght? WRONG.

      Not to rag on Schwarber TOO much, but in that second inning, he mis-read a ball that eluded the catcher, and SHOULD have gotten to second, but hesitated and was lucky not to get thrown out at first. THEN, on what should have been a double by Russell, “Wheels” Kyle ended up at second. If that inning goes like it SHOULD have? Russell’s DOUBLE drives in a run.

      If I am not mistaken, our own fearless leader and consumer of Rum Chata, Joe, was at the game on the 1st. Brad was at the game on the second. Joe = 16 runs. Brad = 0. Brad? You are grounded from games until further notice. Joe? You are moving back to Chicago.

      I was not impressed with the play of Avila, but it’s one game. His throw to second was on time and on target, so he’s already better defensively than the aforementioned Montero. There is already talk about him becoming Arrieta’s personal catcher. Please DON’T do that. Also, I think for some odd reason, the Cubs are trying to corner the market on players with the initials, AA. (Could that be an odd subliminal message regarding the sponsorship of Binny’s? Hmmmm. Remember – buzzed coaching is drunk coaching.)

      I don’t think they got enough for Jeimer. Just going on record with that NOW.

      • Doug S.

        Good – Sherm’s post made me think I had watched the game.
        Bad – I listened to Len and JD

      • Brad Lyerla

        Bryant’s balls were not going to leave the yard, even if there was no wind. Plus, the wind kept changing. It was not a factor.
        Bryant is being pitched differently. He sees almost nothing but breaking balls low and away, inside and down or hard stuff up. His adjustment to the low breaking stuff is starting to work, at least in making more contact. But it sacrifices some power.
        Plus, he is not coming to bat with men on base as frequently as last year, or so it seems to me (candidly, I have not checked the stats).
        As for my attending games, I have tix for another five or so between now and the end of the regular season. So you can put those losses in the books… YES!

      • cap’n realist

        I went on record that the Cubs didn’t get enough for Jeimer several days ago.

      • Sherm

        Let me know when it comes out on CD

      • cap’n realist

        It’s already been released as an an MP3.

    • Sherm

      Oh – and someone tell Rizzo that he isn’t supposed to WEAR the platinum glove…

  • Don’t ever force yourself to stay awake for a recap Adam. Don’t tell Big Toe Joe or he might fire me but back when I used to do recaps I wrote many without watching the games. While that might be part of the reason why my recaps aren’t in high demand, LOL, all you really need to do it start conversation.

    • Sherm

      Totally disagree. No one should ever miss a minute of any game if they are writing the recap. But, if you do…

      There are some sure-fire go to phrases to use when you sack out early. Check the line score – it’s all you need.

      They won big? Homers happened!

      They got shut out? Swinging at bad pitches, and taking first pitch strikes.

      They won small? Good pitching and the bullpen was lights out.

      They lost small? Wasted a good effort by “insert pitcher name here” because of poor situational hitting

      They lost big? Go with bullpen mismanagement. Safe bet.

      If all else fails, here are some ideas to cut and paste that will keep things moving:

      It was a Tuesday

      I confused them with the Giants (this is new, but it’ll catch on)

      Place a random small case t in front of a proper noun, i.e. tRizzo, or tBurger King

      Ask CAPS how work was

      Make up something totally stupid and say that Len Kasper said it. No one will question it and it’ll spark conversation.

      Mention Adbert Alzolay

      Mention any player on the planet whose name could be a slangonym (slang synonym. See? I just made that up) for any body part. That is sure to get play on THIS site. #seymour

      Irish Whiskey. Mention it. Drink it. Whatever.

      That’s a start. You’re welcome.

      • See? Sherm has never watched a game but writes some of the best stuff here.

      • cap’n realist

        and I have never watched the Simpsons, but write some of the best stuff here.

      • Karen Hirsh

        I have been watching the games with the opposing team’s broadcasters. Forget JD and Len. Useless just like Schwarber. I think Russell is better away from Chicago.

    • Adam Peters

      Yeah, Liz, but if I did that I might have missed that stirring exchange between Len & J.D. regarding the fedoras. And that would have been a shame. As I said, it ended up being the highlight of the night.

      • Good point. What was I thinking!

      • cap’n realist

        I think this place is restricted Wang, so don’t tell them you’re Jewish ok? ok?

  • Junior Von White

    Felt like the Cubs of 2016. Excellent pitching patiently waiting for the offense to explode; Always anticipating a big inning and surprised when it doesn’t happen. The game was theirs to win, but you can’t win em all. I’m back to expecting wins, not hoping for them, and that’s nice.

  • Pre-GirlieView disclaimer: I wrote it before last night’s snoozer.