View From The Bleachers

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Tuesday

15

August 2017

39

COMMENTS

Take The Ones You Can Get

Written by , Posted in General

Cubs versus Reds…the worst of the worst division in baseball this year (wasn’t the NL Central pretty close to a division leader under .500 at one point?).  These are the games you’ve gotta win.  Heck, when the schedule the rest of the way has a combined winning percentage under .500, you should win most of the rest of the way.

And then you get to the pitching matchup for the first game on Monday: Jose Quintana for the good guys, Asher Wojciechowski (hereafter “Cheap Seats”)–four-plus ERA, 6 starts on the year–for the other guys.  A dream matchup, even with an offense that was basically the Kris Bryant show in Arizona, or at least felt that way.

Then the Cubs do some first-inning damage for once, and then apparently sent Brett Anderson out to the mound in a Jose Quintana uniform to pitch, and we were treated to what seemed to be a genuine look of confusion (or constipation) on Chris Bosio‘s face on his way out to the mound.  Decidedly, this wass not the guy we gave up Eloy Jimenez for, and I’m starting to wonder if somehow we might have gotten hosed on that deal.  Regardless, game tied, pitch count up, it felt like it was going to be one of those nights.

The first 5 innings of this game were agonizingly slow.  Maybe my perception is off, but it seemed like both Quintana and Cheap Seats were taking as long as the possibly could between pitches, and I may have only missed an out or two when I decided to take a run to the gas station.  We passed the 2-hour mark before the top of the 5th was over.  Perhaps a cattle prod would be a better way to get things moving along?

The feel-good story of the night, Jon Jay flirting with a cycle (and a natural cycle at that), got effectively short circuited by Bryan Price electing to give him first in the 7th.  My TI-83 is a bit rusty, but with 5 outs, that made it pretty unlikely that he was going to get another chance to get it (he did get a chance, against Scooter Gennett–3rd Reds pitcher of the night with a goofy name–but, no dice).  I get them walking him, from a baseball standpoint; get the double play in order, and avoid pitching to the guy who has beaten up your pitching all night.  Same time, though, chances to tick a box like that off the bucket list don’t happen every day…walking a guy there is about as bad as walking a guy with a hitting streak on the line but is 0-3 on the night–especially when you’re down big late.

Reds manager Bryan Price seems to want the crown for Worst Pitching Management from Joe Maddon; to start, he left Cheap Seats in for 4 consecutive 2-out hits in the 4th before bringing in Rusty Kevin Shackelford, and again forgot he can make pitching changes in the 7th when he let Drew Storen twist in the wind while the Reds pretended it was the Little League World Series at Wrigley.

K-Streak Over!

Kyle Schwarber ended his multi-game Uranium Sombrero run by…getting hit by a pitch.  It counts?  He legitimately worked a walk later, and took another ‘hit’ by pitch later on, before finally hitting through the shift (ish) on his second chance in the 7th.  Ok, so he’s getting on base, but by and large not by virtue of his own bat.  He’s swinging the bat like the Hulk with 20/100 vision while attending the Anthony Rizzo school of getting on base, but only absorbing the wrong lessons.  One way or the other, he needs to end up in Iowa, or he’s gonna end up on the DL with another blown out knee.

Help Wanted: Infielders Apply Inside at 1060 W. Addison

Addison Russell is on the DL, and in an interview today, indicated that he’s not going to be rushed back.  Ben Zobrist was scratched with a sore neck.  Ian Happ is honestly a better outfielder than infielder.  And without Eloy Jimenez down at Iowa, the roster of AAA infielders is looking…rather sparse.  Figure in that none of those guys are on the 40-man roster right now, and…well, suffice to say any more injuries, particularly up the middle, will make Tommy La Stella an everyday player.

Somewhat related, if they’re not going to rush Russell back from this ‘foot injury’ (I’ve not seen a more specific diagnosis on it), I’d bet that Willson Contreras‘ return is going to be handled with care as well.  If he’s back much before the postseason (if, there is to be any postseason play in 2017), I’d be a bit surprised.

Scoreboard Watching

A couple of nights ago, the Cardinals fans started crawling out of the woodwork over a briefly-lived tie in the NL Central race.  Not long ago, they were mired in a 3rd place tie with Pittsburgh, and things felt relatively good.  But, it’s a good reminder that, while being ahead is better, a good run of good play combined with a stumble by the leading team can flip flop those standings quickly, and this year there is no wild card to sneak the Cubs in.  I wouldn’t think I’d be this unsure of being in the postseason, in mid-August, right after winning the whole enchilada, but…these are odd times.

 

  • Brad Lyerla

    Strange days, indeed. At least, Kris Bryant is playing great baseball again. And I am not thinking about the HRs. He plays beautiful ball and it is a joy to watch.

    Kyle is a mess right now. I still like the young man. He knows better than anyone that he is not performing. He needs help. Joe, where are you?

    I did not see Quintana’s struggles last night. I turned the game on when he was almost done. But I have seen him pitch for the White Sox a number of times. He is a good pitcher. Before this is over, we’ll be glad we have him.

    Gotta run . . .

  • Kyle

    Great game. Most everyone contributed. Now let’s not follow that up with a donut.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Unless there’s a 1 in front of it. Or two of them are stacked on top of each other. Mmmmmmm…donuts.

    • That’s exactly what Bosio said.

  • Doc Raker

    Bryant has been going to right field, something he would not do prior to the hand injury. He has now learned he can take the outside pitch to right for a hit and not just sit and wait for something to turn on. I believe the hand injury has made Bryant a better hitter. Maybe we should break one of Rizzo’s fingers.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      When do we notify Vito?

    • Brad Lyerla

      I agree about Bryant, Doc.

  • Adam Peters

    When I turned on the game it was tied 2-2, Heyward had just singled and there were no outs. Then Javy Baez came up and logged what, even for him, was a dreadful at bat. I was messing around with my new dog and missed strike one, but then he took a fastball right down Broadway for strike two and then swung at a slider that was about 3 feet outside for the K. Then Quintana looked utterly bemused at the prospect of bunting–showed bunt on strike one, then didn’t on strike 2, then bunted foul for strike three. At this point I thought, “boy, nothing has changed.”

    But then Jay ripped an 0-2 hanger down the line for a triple. Bryant took another hanger off of the scoreboard in left, and Rizzo put a high fastball out onto Sheffield.

    During the ensuing pitching change I figured it wasn’t going to get any better than what I just saw, so I turned the TV off and went to bed.

  • Michael S.

    Oh god, I’m an idiot. Why did I ever think Eloy was in Iowa?

    I’m honestly not sure who I was thinking about there.

    • Seymour Butts

      Don’t feel too bad, someone in the top part thinks he’s an infielder.

      • Michael S.

        Ok, y’all can just take me out back any time now.

    • Doc Raker

      You have already proven that in the sudden death post.

  • cap’n realist

    Baez made another ridiculous swipe tag on a short hop from Avila. Mortal man doesn’t realize how friggin hard it is to catch a ball going down as it’s traveling up. Beyond next level. So much physical talent there, so little mentally.

    • Doc Raker

      Len said that is a song, “So much physical talent, so little Mentally” a country song, at the end of the song you will want to be drunk.

      • Adam Peters

        Sounds like you’ll want to be drunk before it starts.

  • SouthCarolinaCubFan1991

    I am sooooooooo glad I was not taking a sip of my water when I read “Uranium Sombrero” as I would have possibly ruined my computer monitor and/or keyboard here at work, hilarious.

    • Seymour Butts

      Plutonium-239, the isotope found in the spent nuclear fuel, is much more radioactive than the depleted Uranium-238 in the fuel. So it appears accurate to say that he is less toxic today that yesterday.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        It is amazing what a little single can do for you.

      • cap’n realist

        Did you catch how fast SchwAAArbs ran to first on the hit by pitch? A sure sign of a guy that doesn’t want to be up there.

      • Bryzzo1744

        What about uranium-236? That’s the radioactive isotope for uranium.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I thought you had no use for Science.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I don’t need it for my job, but I still know it.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        But you did find a use for science in this blog, therefore your statement about science having no use is wrong. Also regardless of which radioactive isotope you favor, they all degrade and thus they are all less radioactive then the first time you measure them.

  • Allan Birmantas

    Sloppy game. Glad they won, but don’t let the score fool you.

    • Doug S.

      What usually happens the day after a one-sided victory like this? Usually it isn’t good for us.

      • Sherm

        Good call

      • Kyle

        At least they avoided the donut this time…

      • L = L donut or dozen.

  • Doug S.

    Quintana’s toss to home reminded me of a Lester toss to 1st. Yes, he struggled, just hoping he’s the guy we saw in his first Cubs outing.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      I agree he had one great outing and the rest have ranked between OK and very so-so. At least he has not had any horrible outings.

  • Seymour Butts

    Talking about a “natural” cycle implies that doing so out of order is somewhat “unnatural”. I think it’s just that nobody creative set their mind to describing an “ordered” cycle (single, double, triple, HR in that order).
    Any takers?

    • Bryzzo1744

      A cycle is a cycle. I don’t care the order in which it’s achieved. I think the term natural cycle came into play to indicate a player didn’t deliberately stop at a base to get the cycle. Say they needed a double to complete it, they hit a ball where they could try for 3, but they stop at 2nd in order to get the cycle. That’s my only theory.

    • Michael S.

      How about an ‘ascending’ cycle (H->2B->3B->HR)? Ordered…just sounds weird.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Not if you call for it before the game.

  • Doc Raker

    Cubs lost a good baseball game and blew a great pitching effort by Jimi. Last year they win this game, this year they strike out with the bases loaded, and then strike out again, and then the guys we just had to have at the deadline give up a run out of the bullpen and then strike out looking on a hanging slider right down Addison Street. This team doesn’t know how to win. On the bright side Kyle SchwAAArber got a single, I can’t remember the last time I saw him get a single, home run ya, double ya, single- I think it was Nov 2 2016.

    • A Tuesday.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        A Very Very Happy Tuesday.

      • Doug S.

        Your medication is better than mine.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I was looking at the date in Doc’s post, which I assume is the date Jswan is commenting on. Yesterday, I would just like to forget.