Cubs 6, Royals 4
WHAT WENT RIGHT
The Three Hole – I was pleased to see Aramis Ramirez in the 3rd spot of the lineup and not stupid Jeff Baker. I don’t have a problem with Baker as a baseball player, but in that spot in the order, he’s referred to as stupid Jeff Baker. Instead, Baker was placed in the cleanup hitter spot. Ugh, not we need to gripe about that.
Lots of Offense – Lots of hits for the team seems to be the general theme of the season. This game was not a deviation from the norm as the Cubs put up 15 hits. Tonight, they actually turned those into some offense for a change by filling the scoreboard with six runs.
Quality Bullpen – I really like Chris Carpenter. It seems like this town has been the beneficiary of the wrong guy with the right name for the last few years. It started with Alex Gonzalez. There were two of them in baseball. The Marlins had one and we had one. The Marlins had the right one and we had the wrong one. In the NFL, we had Adrian Peterson, but it was the bad Adrian Peterson. Now we have Chris Carpenter and it appears like maybe, for once, we have a decent counterpart with the same name. The kid hits 100 on the radar. I like him a lot in that end of the game role. I almost wonder if he could replace Marmol if the Cubs would be willing to maximize returns on Marmol while his value is high.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Bad Baserunning – I didn’t run the official count, but I saw so much bad baserunning that my head wanted to explode. We saw Starlin Castro get thrown out trying to steal third with a horrible jump on the pitcher. We saw Ramirez hit a ball to the wall only to get thrown out easily at second base because he was loafing. Why don’t these guys learn when it happens over and over and over again?
FIRE MIKE QUADE FILES
I’m starting a new section in my recaps. It’s the fire Mike Quade files. In it, we’ll highlight evidence that Hendry needs to rethink his confidence in Quade. In case you missed it, Hendry came out with this quote before the game on Quade:
“I’m very happy with him,” Hendry said. “Look, he’s still in a tough spot (without Marlon Byrd and Darwin Barney). Those are two guys you miss still that you can’t quite make it look perfect every night, one through nine, how you might want to line it up. He has had to mix and match three-hole guys. … Some nights you’re not going to put up the runs you’d like. That’s why when you get 5-6-7 runs, you have to win those.”
So, apparently Hendry needs help pointing out the obvious so here is evidence from last night.
- In response to Hendry, Quade has not had to mix and match three hole hitters. He’s chosen to mix it up with odd choices for the role when Ramirez has been available for the spot all year long. Last night was another example that his lineup choices suck. Blake DeWitt, Jeff Baker, etc, etc are not middle of the order hitters and never will be. #FireMikeQuade
- With the score tied 4-4 in the 9th, Soriano started the inning with a strike out, but then Tony Campana got on base via speed and suddenly the Cubs had something cooking with just one out. Campana advanced to third on a nice piece of hitting by DJ LeMahieu and it was runners on 1st and 3rd with one out. It was almost a lock for a run. The only thing that could have prevented the run was if Fukudome hit into a double play. A sure fire way to prevent that is to send LeMahieu on a straight steal. There is no way that the Royals throw through to second base to try to stop him with Campana’s speed coming down the line on a delayed steal of home plate. It’s a win win. Even if LeMahieu is thrown out, we’ve got a 5-4 lead to give to Marmol. Instead, Fukudome hits a ground ball tailor made for an inning ending double play. The only thing that prevented it was poor fielding on the part of the Royals. If they make that play, the inning is over and the game could have had a completely different outcome. It’s the manager’s job to make sure we’re not in that situation and he dropped the ball. #FireMikeQuade
Stars of the Game
Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)
1st Star– Kosuke Fukudome (.172 WPA)
2nd Star – DJ LeMahieu (.146 WPA)
3rd Star – Carlos Pena (.128 WPA)
Cubs Hitting: +.378 WPA
Cubs Pitching: +.122 WPA