Game 160 – The Kids Aren't Alright
Cubs 0, Padres 2
What Went Right
Casey Coleman – kind of a raw deal for Coleman tonight. He’s pitching a great game, shutout through 5; then he breaks up Mat Latos’ no-hitter in the top of the sixth with a one-out triple! In the process he tweaked something (it seemed to be in his leg/ankle). He gave up two runs and only got two outs in the sixth before being removed.
What Went Wrong
Mike Quade – was there any doubt he’d be here? Remember when we traded Fukudome and EVERYONE said the lion’s share of playing time in RF would go to Tyler Colvin. Here we sit, two months later and Tyler Colvin has 27 starts to his name since that day. No, Colvin hasn’t been tearing it up – but by the same token he’s only once started as many as five games in a row during the last two months. Colvin has been stuck on the Mike Quade yo-yo, especially in September.
Likewise, John Gaub was called up during the first week of September. Why? So he could pitch in four games. The Cubs brought up Steve Clevenger and Rafael Dolis when the AA season ended…a week ago. Both made their MLB debut in the 160th game of the year.
It’s embarrassing that we had 3 baserunners all night and our pitcher had the only extra base hit. But even more embarrassing is that after glancing at the schedule, Quade would decide to finally use most of the call-ups in perhaps the baseball’s best pitcher’s park. It’s the equivalent of giving a pitcher his MLB debut at Coors Field in Colorado.
These “kids” should have been getting more regular starts & appearances over the last three weeks so that when they got to the best pitcher’s park in the league they weren’t short on confidence and/or battling nerves. It was simply too easy for Latos and the Padres; the Cubs’ “kids” were overmatched in nearly every facet of the game.
Quade’s defining characteristic as manager has been a remarkable ability to set his players up for failure, repeatedly.
(As an aside, Aramis Ramirez is a career .299 hitter with 5 HRs at Petco Park…in just 24 games – for Petco, those are MVP-like numbers. I’m all for playing the “kids”, but a PH appearance for Ramirez would’ve been a welcome sight. Instead, Aramis sat on the bench all night.)
Wild Card Indeed I’m not a big fan of this usually (it IS a Cubs’ blog after all), but the Cubs’ game was a complete dog and the action around baseball was quite exciting.
First, baseball’s anti-hero Ozzie Guillen was “traded” to the Marlins. As I write this the details are still a bit sketchy. But the basic story is that Guillen wanted to be something other than a lame-duck when next season started; that means he needed an extension. The White Sox were unwilling, so he asked to be let go and put them on notice that he was quitting a couple of games early. They hastily arranged some sort of deal with the Marlins – where Jack McKeon was busy announcing his 174th retirement from baseball. More details to come on this I’m sure.
Then the Braves were battered around by division foe and the potential postseason kingmaker Philadelphia Phillies. On cue, the Cardinals tied their game in Houston and it looked like a mortal lock to have a tie atop the NL Wild Card with 2 games to go. Only the AAAAstros fought back in the bottom of the 10th and rallied to keep the spread at 1 game.
And while Joe Girardi spent far too much time whining and moaning about how the postseason schedule was affecting the use of his bullpen (what a problem!), the Rays beat the Yankees while the Cubs’ farm team in Baltimore was able to defeat the Red Sox and create a tie in the AL Wild Card standings.
Stars of the Game
Base on Win Probability Added (WPA)
1st Star – Mat Latos (.382 WPA)
2nd Star – Will Venable (.153 WPA)
3rd Star – Casey Coleman, hitting (.114 WPA)