View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



August 2017



Chicago Cubs 8, Arizona Diamondbacks 3

Written by , Posted in General

PHOENIX, Arizona — The Chicago Cubs (60-54) continued their final West Coast road trip of the year with a visit to Phoenix for a 3-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks (64-51), their first visit to Arizona since April of 2016.  Some may remember that trip as the one where LF Kyle Schwarber’s 2016 season was effectively ended very early in the season.  Friday’s game also marked their first game since Willson Contreras was placed on the 10-Day Disabled List with a hamstring injury, for which he is expected to be sidelined for at least a month.  Before the game, C Victor Caratini was recalled from Iowa to take his roster spot; Alex Avila started in Contreras’ place Friday night.

The Cubs got to work early in the first, getting runners to first and third on singles by Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist, and a Kyle Schwarber walk would load the bases and prompt a first inning visit to the mound by the Arizona pitching coach.  The chat didn’t seem to help Arizona starter Taijuan Walker settle in, as he walked Alex Avila to force in a run.  A passed ball charged to Chris Herrmann would give the Cubs their second run of the inning.  In the Diamondbacks’ first, Cubs starter John Lackey got into a bit of trouble, walking two batters to bring up Paul Goldschmidt with runners on first and second.  He was able to induce a double play and avoid any damage in the frame.

The Cubs seemed poised to add on in the second, after a Jon Jay hit-by-pitch and steal set up Kris Bryant with a man on 2nd and 2 out; Bryant would single to shallow left to bring Jay around, but would be thrown out trying to stretch his hit to a double to end the inning.

The Diamondbacks wouldn’t get to Lackey until the 5th inning, when David Peralta launched a 2-run home run to bring them within a run.  Kyle Schwarber would get that run back with a no-doubt home run in the Cubs’ 6th, which was followed by an Alex Avila home run off the batter’s eye in center to give the Cubs a 3-run cushion.

Overall, Lackey would leave the game with one out in the 6th (after a Goldschmidt home run), allowing 4 hits (2 home runs) and 3 walks, combined with 7 strikeouts, and was charged with 3 runs (all earned).  Walker would leave after 5-plus, facing Schwarber and Avila in the 6th, allowing 5 hits (2 home runs) and 3 walks, striking out only two; he was charges with 5 runs (4 earned).

The bullpens would keep things quiet until the 8th, when the Cubs would grab 3 insurance runs, all scoring with 2 out in the inning, on singles by Javier Baez, Ian Happ, and Jon Jay, depriving closer Wade Davis of a save chance; the Diamondbacks were unable to muster anything resembling a rally, finishing the game with a series of groundouts in the 9th.

With the victory, the Cubs maintain a 1-game lead in the National League Central over the surging St. Louis Cardinals.

The series continues tomorrow night, with the game starting at 7:10 P.M. Central time.

  • Eddie Von White

    Now it is getting personal – the Cardinals are nipping at our heels.

  • Doug S.

    Lackey reminding everyone “that ship has sailed”

  • Karen Hirsh

    Thank goodness Theo got a veteran catcher. I thought Lackey did better than usual last night. We will miss Contreras a lot!!!!!!!!!!! Hope the boys continue to step up. Need Rizzo!!

    • Doug S.

      Yeah, after Miggy’s departure we were a little thin.

    • Doc Raker

      I remember a time when Rizzo got hits, some actually left the yard. I remember it was fun.

      • Eddie Von White

        That was ugly.

      • Sherm

        I’m enjoying the LLWS – it’s great to see solid fundamental baseball, players who care, humility, sportsmanship…and a backstop without constantly changing advertisements.

      • Karen Hirsh

        Three men on base and Rizzo couldn’t deliver. Horrible. Needs to stop trying for home runs.

      • Sherm

        He hit that ball pretty well – he also hit a rocket that the CF made an incredible (and lucky…because the ball beat him) catch, so you can’t hang it all on RIzzo. Lack of offense is a team weakness, not an individual one.

        Again – if we are pointing fingers? I point mine at Joe Maddon (and a little bit at Theo, because a big right handed bat went down and there is on LUMBER in the system to replace him.) Why Maddon? Happy to tell you:

        1. Schwarber in the lineup vs Corbin. Grossly overmatched. Everyone knows that Jay has better at bats against lefties than Schwarber.

        2. Avila catching. Pure lefty vs Corbin. Caratini needed to start. Of course, Lester needs blah blah blah. Don’t give a shit. Don’t want to hear it. He hasn’t pitched to EITHER of them.

        3. Zobrist hitting 4 – especially against a lefty. You want more production from Rizzo? Give him some protection. Zobrist is hitting about .180 from the right side with one home run. Surely Maddon must KNOW that.

        4. Ian Happ – needs to go back to AAA for more at bats and fine tuning. He had a nice start, and has shown that he’ll be a player. Now let him develop before you ruin him like you did Schwarber.

        5. Schwarber, Almora, Zobrist. A slower outfield has NEVER existed. Maybe, maybe on SOME beer league softball teams…but I doubt it. At least Almora is a good outfield with tremendous instincts, but holy hell. What’s the expression? Two thirds of the earth is covered by water and NONE of it is covered by Zobrist or Schwarber. Maybe I have it wrong. Maybe now.

        Hear the breathing? It’s the Cardinals. TAKING the division away.

      • Pat and Ron had a laughable conversation yesterday about how the Nationals and Dodgers have their divisions wrapped up so the Wild Card race would be between AZ, CO, StL, Mil, and the Cubs. That’s when I started laughing. AZ and CO are the wild cards. They’re both trending a good four or five wins above the entire NLC. If the Cubs don’t win the division they’re going home. (I know this has been mentioned here plenty of times, I just had to laugh because Pat seemed to think they’d actually be in the wildcard race!)

      • Doug S.

        Hoo-boy – Pat & Ron are good homers but on this they’re way off base.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I can see their argument. Only 5 games out, a run could be made to have both in play, but I do agree with you, they’re probably going home if they don’t win the division.

      • Karen Hirsh

        I agree with almost everything you said. However Rizzo has not been the player we are use to this year. I don’t think Maddon cares about this year. They let good players go and now just interested in making money.

      • Doc Raker

        Rizzo, Zobrist, Arrieta, Hendricks, Lester, Schwarbs and Rondon to name a few others that are not the player we were used to or expected.

        I agree with Sherm in that Maddon could do a better job in putting players in situations that could be more successful for them. Avila should not be playing against lefties no matter who is pitching. Give the the switch hitting Tini a chance against lefty pitchers no matter who are pitchers are. I am curious to know who will put up better numbers, Avila or the TIni. In other words, did we really need to trade for a veteran catcher?

  • Bryzzo1744

    Here’s what needs to happen in 2018. 2017 is a lost cause at this point as far as I am concerned.

    1. Stop the musical chairs at the top of the order. Almora was our 10th leadoff hitter this year
    2. Stop hitting Bryant and Rizzo 2-3.
    3. It’s too bad the NL doesn’t have the DH. It’s time to trade Schwarber

    This should be the lineup in 2018:

    1. Happ LF
    2. Almora CF
    3. Bryant 3B
    4. Rizzo 1B
    5. Contreras C
    6. Russell SS
    7. Baez 2B
    8. Heyward RF
    9. Pitcher

  • Bryzzo1744

    Bryant and Rizzo are hitting 3-4 today. Proof that Maddon will listen to this blog.

  • Doc Raker

    I remember when our pitchers got a lot of people out with good defense behind them. I remember it was fun.

    • Eddie Von White

      Now it is ugly.

    • Bryzzo1744

      And the offense got clutch hits. You could feel it when they were trailing late that they would rally and win the game and most of the time they would.

  • Eddie Von White

    Now that’s pretty – times two!

    • Doug S.

      A little insurance for what we all knew would be Goldschmidt going yard.

  • Bryzzo1744

    I learned today Jessica Mendoza is a Packers fan. She’s still an awful broadcaster.

    • cap’n realist

      What does Packer fan have to do with it? You and I are both Cub fans. One of us provides brilliant commentary here. The other one is a Simpsons fan.