View From The Bleachers

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Monday

14

August 2017

34

COMMENTS

Monday morning musings

Written by , Posted in General

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!

  • Doug S.

    Glad somebody else saw that. I too, took delight in seeing Chapman get torched by a left handed batter on a 103 MPH fastball. It was beautiful.

  • Dork

    SchwAAArbs I get the nickname now – maybe not so quick

    • Eddie Von White

      Maybe?

      • Dork

        I was giving myself the benefit of the doubt

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      Look at this way CAPS might still be trying to figure it out.

      • Bryzzo1744

        It should be SchwAAAArbs

      • Dork

        sadly, I get what your saying – better than AAA but not quite MLB level.

      • Bryzzo1744

        That’s exactly what I was getting at

      • Seymour Butts

        Yup, still figuring.

  • Eddie Von White

    Great post. I, as did every Cub fan, thought the same thing about Baez – why would they throw anywhere near the plate when he is up to bat?

    • Sherm

      Perhaps Baez is a genius. Maybe for pitchers? It’s so hard to miss by 2 feet, that their “mistakes” are up toward the plate because they worry about throwing the ball to the backstop.

  • Karen Hirsh

    Get rid of Schwarber. I don’t care where he goes. Baez just needs some discipline at the plate. Where is the batting coach?? What has happened to Rizzo? Needs to be moved down in the batting order for awhile. However, it was fun watching last night’s game.

    • Kyle

      Agreed, but what could we possibly get for him at this point? His stock has to be in the Schitter.

      • Sherm

        That’s why we need to trade him to Iowa for…

        Hey, minor league mavens! Who’s left in Iowa?

      • Kyle

        The only minor league name I’ve heard recently is Tim Tebow. And it pisses me off that his name is still getting mentioned. Can someone just tell him Jesus hated baseball?

      • Sherm

        But it’s not true – Jesus is a HUGE Angel fan…

      • Eddie Von White

        And so is God. The first sentence of the Bible states: “In the BIG INNING God created…”

      • Sherm

        It’s ALL OVER the bible –

        Ezekial 36:12 Yea, I will cause men to walk

        Job 30:8 They were children of fools, yea, children of base men

        Numbers 11:32 he that gathered least gathered ten homers

        Nothing about cricket. Locusts, yes. Cricket, no.

      • Eddie Von White

        Or soccer.

      • Michael S.

        Umm…no one that we would want up here. Least not hitter-wise.

        Or was that rhetorical?

      • Karen Hirsh

        Then send him to AAA or AA as someone suggested.

      • Doug S.

        Wasn’t Schwarbs called up the first time from TN? I think he was there when Dan V. was.
        Besides injury recovery, have MLB’rs been sent down 2 levels to work on their game or was that sarcasm?

      • Karen Hirsh

        Sorry that was sarcasm. Just want him to disappear. Thank goodness Bryant is doing so much better. However he still needs to learn how to hit a change up.

      • Sherm

        Could go all “Shane Stant*” on him, and wait for him to reset.

        *CAPS – google Jeff Gillooly and it’ll make sense.

      • Doc Raker

        You sound like JD, “He reminds me of WIllie Stargell. For you kids who don’t know Willie Stargell google him because my Lame side kick Len won’t get the connection either and can’t converse on the subject.”

      • Sherm

        Yeah, but I do it for only one reason (it’s funny to me) and JD does it to stay sane.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Sitting next to Len, I bet JD questions his career choice at least ten times a game.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I get it. The hitmen in the Harding-Kerrigan assualt

  • Doc Raker

    We got the Reds for 4 at Wrigley which historically fixes everyone back into Championship shape. I am looking forward to hearing some honest talk from the Brennamans.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      I don’t know about honest, but at least it will be about baseball, and not about something no one wants to know about.

  • Back from a phone-less long weekend with in-laws. No wrecks (aside from Contreras apparently) and a decent record to come back to. Plus musings.. love the musings.

    • cap’n realist

      I’m back from the Seqouia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The beauty of out National Parks is only surpassed by the beauty of last year’s World Series. I saw the 2nd half of yesterday’s game. Brenly’s bemused reaction to Baez getting a strike was fantastic. The back to back homeruns were both epic hangers. Jake Barrett should open a dry cleaners. I didn’t even hate Davis giving up the bomb to “Goldy”…at least they got him some work. Brenly referencing the DBack and Cub players by nickname is as bad as the Cubs putting them on the jerseys. Still better than Len and JD, but it was close. Nice to see Mark Grace on the DBacks postgame show, out of his pink jumpsuit and back in the booth. The Cubs should hire him away tomorrow.

    • Eddie Von White

      Do your in-laws live in a third world country – no phones?

  • Doc Raker

    Rizzo gathering some numbers- he loves Reds pitching. I bet he was pissed when Maddon took him out.