Game 71 – Bullpen Suckage
Cubs 4, Yankees 10
What Went Right
- Randy Wells – If you look at the box score, it’s hard to put Wells in this spot, but if you watched the game it may be different. I came away a little encouraged. After giving up a run in the top of the 1st on a homerun to Brett Gardner on an 0-2 pitch, he settled in a little until the 4th. He finished the day giving up four runs, but I felt like he pitched better than that. Maybe I’m crazy.
- Aramis Ramirez – He didn’t really have a game of a cleanup hitter from a run production standpoint, but he had three hits, including an infield hit (how often do we ever type those words with Ramirez), and made a really nice diving play at third. Good effort by Rammy tonight.
- Alfonso Soriano – He came into the game with good numbers against CC Sabathia and he didn’t fail to disappoint by putting the Cubs up three runs early with a three run bomb in the 3rd. At that point, it was looking like a series win for sure.
What Went Wrong
- Starlin Castro’s Fielding – It didn’t make a difference in the grand sceme of things, but Castro was not on his game. There was a play on a Cano grounder that had potential double play, but not sure double play written on it. Castro rushed it, took his foot off the bad too early and didn’t get any outs. Later, he forced a throw to Jeff Baker at first that got by him. It was ruled a hit, but it was one of those balls you need to put in your pocket and not make the throw. He’s a kid, so I’m going to continue to give him slack, but I wanna see improvement in the field.
- Bullpen – If you can summarize in one word: UGLY. Chris Carpenter came into the game in a big situation, we’ll get into that later, and promptly gave up the farm with the three run homerun to Nick Swisher. The 9th inning was more of the same with James Russell and Rodrigo Lopez both giving up runs to turn the game into a laugher.
- I really like the pitch counter for the pitchers. It’s something that I usually track myself batter by batter to know where a starting pitcher is in the game. ESPN does it for me, which makes the job so much easier. It’s a simple addition that I think needs to be in every broadcast.
- Brett Gardner showed bunt in at least two at bats. Why don’t more hitters, especially speedy ones, do this more often? It automatically forces the infield to respect it, especially if you actually lay it down every once in a while.
I had my hopes up for this one and instead came away with two things. First, I’m not sure why Rodrigo Lopez and James Russell are in the bullpen. When Kerry Wood comes back, one of them must go. Second, I am beginning to question Mike Quade’s ability as a manager. I can’t stand his lineup choices, today hitting Jeff Baker in the 3rd spot, and I hate that he doesn’t have the balls to go to his best reliever in a pinch. Last night Chris Carpenter had no business being out there in that type of situation on national television. That was a spot, with the game tied, that you bring in Carlos Marmol. I don’t care if it’s the 9th inning. You bring Marmol in to put out the fire. If he gets out of that inning, the game is still within reach. I’m done with Mike Quade.
Stars of the Game
Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)
1st Star – Nick Swisher (.356 WPA)
2nd Star – Alfonso Soriano (.251 WPA)
3rd Star – Robinson Cano (.161 WPA)
Cubs Hitting: -.085 WPA
Cubs Pitching: -.415 WPA