Monday morning musings
A series win on the west coast has been a rare feat – so it was a very nice thing to accomplish in Arizona this weekend. Special thanks to Jake Barrett for throwing Javy Baez a pitch he could get the bat on. The AZ broadcasters were stunned that he (or anyone, for that matter) would EVER throw Baez a strike. Javy gets the nonexistent award for the guy who can look the worst and the best – in the same at bat. He hit the ball a Stanton-esque 463 feet.
With the Baez bomb (which was a 3-run shot) the game final of 7-2 does not indicate what a close game it was. Zack Godley is a good pitcher (who they got from the Cubs) and he really held the Cubs down most of the game. Bryant and Jay figured into the early scoring (the Cubs led 2 – 1 through seven) with three opposite field hits. Bryant would end up with three hits, including a long home run to wrap up a series in which he was as hot as the Arizona air. He’s been hitting .350 since the finger injury. His homer in the ninth was only his second since the injury – which makes me wonder if he’s gripping the bat a little more lightly and trying to simply make contact. Hey, what a great idea! Contact. More hits. Opposite field. Making things happen. Maybe that will catch on! Nah….
Bryant also made things happen with his legs, scoring from second base on a strike three wild pitch. I enjoy watching Kris Bryant play baseball. He’s one of the few who bring the same je na sais quoi to the ballpark as those little leaguers who are so much fun to watch.
Bob Brenly said the funniest thing of the night. When Maddon brought in Almora to ph for Schwarber in the 8th, Brenly said “The applause you heard when Almora was announced as a pinch hitter came from Kyle Schwarber.” In case you didn’t know – Schwarber is being fitted for a plutonium sombrero. He’s at 7 consecutive strike outs and counting. He must be still playing everyday because of his defense. Wait. What?
Back to Baez. He whiffs a lot, too. But he brings so many other things to the party that I get playing him everyday.
Back to Schwarber. Back to AAA. Please
Back to everyone else. Jake Arrieta couldn’t have timed his rebound any better. His stock is again rising. 6 innings, and one earned run. 91 pitches – I felt he could have easily gone seven, but the bullpen was good again. Edwards and Strop pitched clean innings and handed the ball to Duensing to finish the game with a nice lead. Wait. He struck out one batter, and in an effort to help make games longer, Joe Maddon replaced him with Wade “Rusty” Davis, who did Wade Davis things. Gave up a homer and two walks but didn’t lose.
Ian Happ also hit a home run – of back to back AND pinch hit variety, immediately after Baez did. I think Happ’s was on way out before Baez’s landed. I like Ian Happ. But they should quit giving him shit sandwiches before each game. If he’s having fun? Someone tell his face.
Victor Caratini. Had some good at bats in what finished as a 1 – 5. I like this guy. Switch hitter. Plays hard and catches a very good game. I hope he gets more of the spotlight in Contreras’ absence.
Biggest news is that the Cardinals fell to earth (hopefully on Matheny’s head) and finally lost a game, so the Cubs re-gained the division lead by a game.
Non Cub news, since I don’t give a shit about the minors and it’s my post:
Bryce Harper’s injury was terrible and unnecessary. I think Scott Boras is suing the base. Or something. Probably. I’m glad it’s not as bad as it looked. Even in that awkward, flying, horrible moment? His hair is awesome. Baseball is not a game meant to be played in the rain.
I watched the Red Sox and the Yankees last night. (Note “watched” as I tried not to listen to any Mendoza lines. Get it?) What a great game that was. The 20 year old kid Devers takes Chapman deep in the ninth to tie the game and the Red Sox win in the tenth. Always good to see the Yankees lose. Even better to see Chapman blow saves. But how come the Red Sox can have so many guys with such incredible plate discipline? Why can’t the Cubs have some? Devers is 20. Swings at nothing out of the zone. Benintendi, too. They really make pitchers sweat. Well, that and the heat, but you get the point. Every time I see that, I think “wow…if someone can teach Javy Baez that kind of plate discipline? He’s an MVP waiting to happen.”
Sorry for the long post – I let myself ramble today. Feel free to comment early and often. Or not. It’s up to you!