View From The Bleachers

May 27, 2010

Game 48: Cubs edge Dodgers, take series

Filed under: Featured,General — Mark Strickler @ 5:54 pm

First Star – Ted Lilly (.448 WPA)
Second Star – Mike Fontenot (.217 WPA)
Third Star – Tyler Colvin (.163 WPA)

Today the Cubs didn’t score much, but they did score once and that’s all it took to give Sean Marshall the win. Marshall now has a 1.83 ERA in his new role as late inning setup man. Carlos Marmol came in and struck out the side in the ninth to give the Cubs a 2-1 series edge against the Dodgers on a day when the wind was blowing in. Ted Lilly was effective and threw seven innings of no run baseball and the Cub pitchers combined to hold the Dodgers to just five hits.

Today’s highlights were as noteworthy for what didn’t happen as much as what did:

  • Xavier Paul made an outstanding catch in the Dodger’s bullpen in the bottom of the third. That in no way made up for a miscue on a double that turned into a triple hit by Fontenot in the eighth.  Later that inning he also played a ball wrong off the wall that was ruled a double and an E9 – that miscue resulted in the only Cubs run, scored by Fontenot.
  • Both starting pitchers were effective and tended to get ahead in their counts.
  • Derrek Lee did a great job of hitting the ball where it was pitched in the bottom of the fourth. At the time of the double he was 7 out of 9 for the series with two walks.  Lee is emerging from the funk that has characterized the start of his 2010 campaign. Despite the lack of timely hitting, Lee still sports a .343 on base percentage.  The inning ended when Fukudome was robbed of an RBI by a shoestring catch in left by former Cub Reed Johnson.
  • Lilly got in trouble in the fifth when he loaded the bases, but he kept his composure and got Paul to pop out to Castro to end the inning.
  • Theriot made a great over the shoulder catch in the Dodger bullpen to get the Cubs out of the sixth. Since Castro has taken over at short, Theriot has been nothing less than superb at second. He’s playing as though it were his natural position (and perhaps it is.)
  • The Cubs made a couple of bad baserunning plays, beginning with what appeared to be a blown hit and run in the 7th.  Lee was looking at home the whole way and was thrown out by a mile by Martin. Either Lee read the sign wrong or Byrd missed the sign.  Later in the 8th, an aborted squeeze resulted in a pop out by Ryan Theriot to the right side of the infield. Colvin was glued to third base and fortunately this kept the Cubs out of a double play, which is what would have happened had Colvin started for home.
  • The eighth inning was where the Cubs cashed in their victory – Colvin got the game-winning RBI knocking in Fontenot.  Colvin had previously come in in the top of the 8th as a defensive replacement for Nady who is now hitting .228.  I’m starting to wonder if Colvin should be given more opportunities against left-handed pitchers. He looks like a totally different hitter than the one I saw in San Francisco last year.
  • Marmol did his normal thing in the 9th. He struck out the side, but also showed signs of wildness.  From what I’ve seen, Carlos should be used exclusively in the 9th with bases empty – he doesn’t do as well when he inherits runners.

It was a good Cubs win.  Today I decided to watch the Dodger’s feed and I believe Eric Collins did the play by play. The color guy was definitely Steve Lyons.  They were interesting to listen to and showed on video how Ted Lilly pitches from the first base side of the rubber against lefties. Lilly lines up on the third base side of the rubber against right-handed hitters.  I believe this makes him more effective against lefties because of arm angle, which enables him to use the inside part of the plate more effectively against righties.  Tomorrow the Cubs begin a three game home stand against the Cardinals. It will be televised beginning at 1:20 on WGN.  A sweep could put the Cubs back in the mix of things.

Update: In injury news, Jeff Baker was pulled out of the game inexplicably. It has also been reported that Carlos Zambrano has been taken to the hospital with possible appendicitis.  It looks like Gorzelanny’s return to the pen may be postponed; The Iowa Cubs are now using Cashner out of the bullpen. Think what you will with that.

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  • jswanson

    I had the game on WGN Radio, so couldn’t see any of the glove work today. I think you nailed your wrap-up Mark, with the exception of the Colvin item. I think he should be getting looks, period. Player development on top of Nady’s lack output makes that a no-brainer for me.

    FWIW, I’m up in the air as to who’s game reviews are the best. Hat’s off to all of you…

  • Glenn Fayard

    Apparently, Jeff Baker had no vision in one eye.

  • lizzie

    In BTS news, the past three games did a number on most everyone’s streaks, but a few of our faithfuls have already begun the rebuilding. :-) Here are the standings after today’s game:
    2 – dat_cubfan_daver
    2 – Rich Beckman
    These folks have 1:
    Andrew Oden
    Brian Leach
    Brian Moline
    Doug Bagley
    Doug S.
    jerry gross
    Jim Foley
    Nick Mitchell
    Everyone else = 0. Good time to rebuild! Make your daily pick here!

  • Chet West

    I think we see Cashner by the end of June at the latest….out of the pen.

  • Big Bob

    Great pitching and great win…Kudos to Lilly on a marvelous game. Too bad he couldn’t get the win. The kid who pitched against him looks to become another top home grown pitcher for the Dodgers…Would you believe the game was tape delayed over here in Japan so I got to see it, even though I already knew the outcome. That’s OK because I could sit watching the game on TV very relaxed, and not getting hyper like I usually do. Even though the bunt didn’t work in the 8th, I would like to see the Cubs try and pull off squeeze or safety squeeze bunts more often. With their lack of run production, it could give them a game or two…I’ve got my fingers crossed that the Cubs can take two out of three from the Cardinals; a sweep would be a lot to ask…One final comment or question to ask of you writers. Are the Cincinnati Reds for real???

  • Terrelle Pryor 2

    I don’t think the Reds are for real. They will fall back to Earth as soon as Dusty blows out his pitcher’s arms. Great game by the Cubs, and hopefully we can win the series vs. the Cardinals. It ain’t over yet. We got plenty of head-to-head with the Cardinals.

  • Tommy

    Gone all week but back now. While I was away the Cubs did play! Maybe I should leave more often.

  • Jesse

    Nice to see the Cubs take another series… Who else loves seeing ManRam strike out in the 9th? I know it always makes me smile. Anyways, let’s keep it rolling. We got some time to make the gap in the NL Central up (and TP is right, there is no way Cincy keeps this up… we all know that game with Dusty).

  • Ryno

    Huge win. I have to admit I was worried, but the bench/bullpen came through. They didn’t score an error on Fontenot’s triple, did they? I thought Paul’s error was on Colvin’s double and the error gave him third base. Anyway, ManRam’s K was awesome. That last slider didn’t even start in the strike zone. Marmol made him look silly. Going to the game tomorrow to see Batman. Probable pitcher for the Cards is still TBA. Any idea who it would be? Hopefully not Wainwright. Oh, and Cincy is definitely a pretender.

  • Terrelle Pryor 2

    Tommy – But then if you did that, you wouldn’t get to enjoy it. I used to feel whenever I watched the Cubs play, they lost and when I didn’t they always won. So my friends were like stop watching. My counter is I don’t get to enjoy the win then

  • Tommy

    Terrelle Pryor (TP)
    But doesn’t the end justify the means? Thanks for caring, buddy. I’m watching today and Wells just gave up 5 to the birds without an out.

  • Terrelle Pryor 2

    If you don’t get to enjoy the wins, I don’t think so.

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