Kind of Predictable
I thought that the outcome of this game was pretty predictable after Jon Lester ran into trouble in the 7th inning. I’m not nearly as big of an anti-Maddon fan as many on this site, I’ve always thought that a manager could only really have a 4-5 game difference on a season, good or bad. Today might be one of the bad.
Living in the St. Louis area, I get to see the Mike Matheny style on a daily basis and I know that I would prefer Maddon 100 times out of 100 over Matheny. However, this isn’t last year where there is a cushy division lead which allows some players to work through their issues (Edwards, Schwarber, et al).
For those that weren’t able to watch the game as it was on TBS, Lester pitched a solid game, tired in the 7th inning, and the bullpen imploded (based on poor choices in my opinion). Cubs lose 9-4. The Rays finally helped out a bit, defeating the Brewers, so the Cubs head to the west coast still leading the division.
- Willson Contreras: Conteras should be getting a call on Monday letting him know that he was the NL player of the week. Another two homer game for Willson (though the bases were empty both times due to Rizzo double plays).
- Lester’s pitching: Lester actually threw a great game. I was hoping he could fight through seven innings but he couldn’t quite pull it off. I still take Lester as the ace come playoff time.
- Kyle Schwarber’s defense: This has been discussed in-depth by many of us already but he isn’t doing anyone a service by being in the outfield. Maybe get Rizzo a couple more off days and play some first but otherwise, I think he needs more time at Iowa.
- Anthony Rizzo’s offense: Rizzo tried a bunt for a hit in the first but went at it too hard and was thrown out. He followed that by hitting into two double plays. He did single in his final at-bat but I don’t remember the last big streak he has been on.
- Themed trips when not playing well: The Biker trip to CA does nothing for me. Looking at some of the pictures of the players, it looks like many of them are tired of these theme trips as well.
- Joe Maddon’s decision making: I’m not sure if anyone wasn’t available to pitch (Wade Davis comes to mind) but I agreed with Mike Montgomery coming in for Lester. I would have left him in after the cheap single to Bryce Harper but if I had to pull him, it would have been for Hector Rondon, not Edwards. If you insist with Edwards, no reason he should have stayed in after giving up the first hit and certainly shouldn’t have been left in after issuing an intentional walk.
- Carl Edwards Jr.: Edwards has been one of my favorite players over the past couple years but I think he needs a break. I would use the 10 day DL over a trip to Iowa.
Down on the Farm
AAA Iowa (53-58) 5, Fresno 4 – Eddie Butler couldn’t quite get through five innings so David Garner bogarted the win. Jake Leathersich threw another scoreless inning and may be looking at a promotion down the road, certainly by September. Dillon Maples picked up his third save for Iowa.
AA Tennessee (59-53) 6, Pensocola 5 – Rough start from Trevor Clifton (5 er in 3 2/3 IP) was overcome as Tennessee scored five runs in the fifth inning. Catcher Erick Castillo went 4-4 to lead the hitters.
H-A Myrtle Beach (59-54) 0, Salem 10 – Nothing to see here as Salem destroyed the Pelicans.
L-A South Bend (57-55) 4, Bowling Green 8 – Starter Jose Paulino threw three scoreless innings to start the game but it went downhill quickly after that. Paulino finished the day throwing four innings giving up six runs as South Bend falls to the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
R Eugene (27-22) 2, Spokane 3 – Catcher Miguel Amaya had three hits as Eugene lost to Spokane.
The Cubs travel to San Francisco for three games starting Monday night. Jake Arrieta (10-8 3.88 era) will face off against Matt Moore (3-11 5.80 era). An off-day on Thursday then on to Arizona for three games. A 3-3 trip would be welcome at this point.