View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



October 2017



NLDS Game 1 – Cubs Strike(out) First

Written by , Posted in General

I went to sleep a happy Cub fan last night, despite multiple points early where I slapped the couch in anger with all the strike outs. In the end, all that matters is the result, and that result means a 1-0 lead in the series for the Cubs.

Joe’s Notes

  • Kyle Hendricks deserved the game one pitching assignment and showed without a doubt why he’s the best pitcher on this staff right now. The big game pressure has not gotten to him. We saw him pitch a big game against the Dodgers last year to clinch the World Series birth and we saw him on the mound in game 7 against the Indians. He’s been clutch each time. I’ll admit that I was nervous about the matchup, especially when it looked like Stephen Strasburg was going to throw a no-hitter. I actually had that thought that he’d throw one when I watched our hitters swing at anything and everything early on. You would think that would have put a little pressure on Kyle, and if it did you couldn’t tell, but he kept tossing zeros each inning and left with the lead. Without a doubt the MVP of game one has to go to Hendricks.
  • The lineup that included Kyle Schwarber in left and Ben Zobrist in RF is concerning to me from a defensive standpoint, but I get why it was there. Schwarber has been insane in the playoffs and Zobrist is a veteran that has been with Joe Maddon for a long time. He knows how to get things done. However, both looked off their game last night. Zobrist was not taking pitches out of the leadoff hole and Schwarber just didn’t have it. I’d like to see Maddon go with John Jay in CF tonight and keep Schwarber in LF. Move Jason Heyward back to RF and let Jay lead off.
  • The bullpen was clutch and got the job done. I was a little surprised that Maddon brought Carl Edwards Jr in for the 8th when he had already had Pedro Strop warming up the inning before. I’m not a fan of guys getting up and then not getting in the game, but it worked.

Sounds of the Game

  • Eddie Von White

    Joe’s confidence in Carl’s Jr. really paid off last night. He must have thought the game was too close to take a chance on Pedro. Feeling pretty relaxed this morning.

    • Adam Peters

      CE, Jr!!!!!!!

      I like Carl better there. Pedro walks to many, and you can’t open the door for the Nationals there when they couldn’t open it themselves.

  • Adam Peters

    The Professor was tremendous yesterday. I’m so glad I hacked Maddon’s iPad and put him in there.

    Strasburg is a big strikeout pitcher, and the Cubs are a big strikeout team. But they kept at it and when a tiny opening was created by the Rendon error, they plowed through it.

    Building on my perfect prediction from yesterday 🙂 I agree Joe. You’ve got to sit Schwarber against the lefty Gonzalez. Jay’s good against lefties, so he’s the man to lead off tonight. And, obviously, that improves the Cubs outfield defense tremendously, and that’s a pretty big outfield in D.C. Joe rolled the dice yesterday with that OF D, and got away with it, but he shouldn’t tempt fate again.

    • Doc Raker

      With a lefty pitcher going for the Nats I would like to see Almora in CF, JJ in LF and Heyward in RF or Zo in RF. I think JJ and ALmora should be in the line up before Heyward to Zo.

      Zo’s failure to move JJ over from 2b to 3rd in the 8th was a really poor AB. Your leadoff hitter has to make contact or lay down the bunt and move him over. Luckily Rizzo picked him up but Zo did not look good in his AB’s.

      Jimi is an artist, he just keeps that back door cutter or changeup coming until he nips the outside corner with it. He threw 3 straight to Werth and after Werth watched 2 unhittable strikes go by he had to swing at the 3rd and made weak contact to the infield, a Jimi specialty. This guy is fun to watch out pitching these big ace arms like Strasburg.

      • Seymour Butts

        I’d like to see that outfield line up against a pitcher of any handedness. Lefty, righty, or centrist ((NY Giants tried one in 1912 – look it up) everyone but CAPS don’t bother, I made it up). It’s just our best players available for the job.

  • Karen Hirsh

    Great pitching from Hendricks and Edwards. Love them both. Pedro is good at times. Not sure about rest of them but hoping for the best. Rizzo came through which I was so happy about. Baez needs to get hitting instruction this winter. Schwarber needs to sit out. Never liked him. Can’t hit most of the time and terrible defensive player. Jay , Almora and Happ belong in the outfield along with Heyward.

    • Seymour Butts

      If you really NEVER liked Schwarber, you need to pay more attention.

      • cap’n realist

        I liked him during the series last year. This year I only really liked him from June 22 through the All-Star break.

      • Karen Hirsh

        I watch every Cubs game. If you know baseball then you must realize Schwarber belongs in the American League. Go Cubs!!!

    • Classic Karen.

    • Doc Raker

      Did you see 2015 Schwarber and 2015 playoff Schwarber and 2016 World Series Schwarber? You had to like him then, and he is great on that commercial

  • Christer Young

    I can’t trust Strop. He always makes me nervous.

  • Karen Hirsh

    Great line up tonight. No Schwarber thank goodness so hope Almora and Happ can get things going tonight.

  • Brad Lyerla

    Hendricks was the star last night.

    But the best offensive play and the best defensive play were Bryant’s: 1) when he took second on Harper’s throw to the plate trying to get Baez, and 2) the barehand pick and throw to Rizzo. Good stuff.

  • Seymour Butts

    Top of the 8th… feeling greedy.

    • Doc Raker

      Feeling shitty

      • Bryzzo1744

        I had a bad feeling about it when Maddon pulled Lester in the top of the 7th