August 26th, 2007
| W – E. Gonzalez (6-2) L – J. Marquis (10-8) S – J. Valverde (40)
Homeruns: D. Lee (15) C. Floyd (5) C. Young (27 & 28)
There is no reason to Hit & Run
Most of the time, I don’t second guess Lou Piniella and his moves. I don’t harp on his frequent changes in the lineup or theory of playing the hot hand. For the most part, Lou has pushed the right buttons this year, but today I’ve got to say something. With the first two hitters reaching base in the 9th and the Cubs down a run, Jason Kendall came to the plate. After trying to get a bunt down in the early part of the at bat, Lou decided to put the hit and run on with two strikes for three straight pitches. The third pitch was a swinging strike by Kendall to strike out and allow Mike Fontenot to be thrown out at third base for the second out, completing the double play. Kendall was the number nine hitter in the order, which means that the top of the order was due up. I can understand the idea that Kendall is a good contact hitter, but when all you need is a single to tie the game, why put the hit and run on? I’m not saying this was the reason we lost the game, because it wasn’t, but it certainly didn’t help.
The return of Soriano
The biggest news out of this weekend was the announcement that not only would Alfonso Soriano return to the leadoff role when he came back, but that his return was slated for this Tuesday night against the Brewers. While I’m thrilled that he’ll be back in this lineup with his big bat, I’m scared out of my mind that he’ll push himself too hard and aggravate that injury. If he strains it again, we’ve pretty much lost him for the season. I know it’s a big series against the Brewers, but I’d really just like to see him wait until after Labor Day to return. That was the original plan of action and I think it was a better one. What are your thoughts? Should Alfonso Soriano be coming back on Tuesday? Are you worried about re-injury? Do we need him to beat a struggling Brewers team?
Why was Craig Monroe playing today?
I don’t mean to be hard toward are new acquisition, but did no one inform Lou Piniella that Craig Monroe doesn’t hit well against the righties? He’s hitting just .221 this season against them and a measly .249 in his career. He was brought here one reason and one reason only, to hit against lefties. He shouldn’t be in there for any other reason. Why not give Felix Pie a start today and let Jacque shift over to right field? Let’s not forget that this is not the savior. When you can’t hit righthanders, it doesn’t make you that valuable. There is a reason Detroit designated him for assignment. I just hope the Cubs don’t try to rely too much on him down the stretch, because I’m afraid they’ll find themselves to be very disappointed with the results.
Most exciting play in baseball?
Len Kasper referred to Derrek Lee’s inside the park homerun as perhaps the most exciting play in baseball. Lee’s didn’t look as pretty as one by someone like Carl Crawford or Ichiro, but it counted just the same. My question to you is this. What are other nominees for the most exciting play in baseball? The ones I could think of was a play at the plate in a clutch situation.
On a side note, the last Cub to hit an inside the park homerun was Sammy Sosa on October 6th, 2001 against the Pirates (box score).
Cliff Floyd is a beast!!!
When Cliff hits a homerun, you always seem to know he got all of it. He hasn’t hit many of them this year, which has been a disappointment, but when we has, they have been “no-doubt-about-it” type homeruns. He hit one again today and as soon as he made contact I found myself wishing I was in Arizona so I could watch that ball majestically sail past that right field wall.
STARS OF THE GAME – All based on WPA