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April 2012

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COMMENTS

Game 17: Patience Pays Off (Bigtime!)

Written by , Posted in General

Cardinals 2 @ Cubs 3

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

What Went Right:

  • Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro both reached base on infield hits in the 1st inning, and Barney scored on a sacrifice fly from Alfonso Soriano.
  • Matt Garza was his usual, solid self for six of the seven innings he pitched.  In the 1st through 3rd and the 5th through 7th, he was stellar, holding the Cardinals to two singles and a walk, along with five strikeouts.  If not for the fourth inning, this would have been a career start for Garza.
  • Tony Campana stole two bases in one at-bat.
  • The Cubs came up against Cardinal closer Jason Motte in the bottom of the 9th, down a run and not showing many signs of life.  Soriano struck out swinging to lead off the inning, and the Bryan LaHair pinch hit for Jeff Baker.  LaHair’s patient at-bat was spectacular.  He saw twelve total pitches, including six straight foul balls after the count was full.  And then…
  • Before I go on, I want to stress how game-changing LaHair’s walk really was.  I’m not sure I can overstate its importance.  Seriously–it was the kind of at-bat opposing hitters usually have against the Cubs.  You know the ones, where it feels like we might be able to hold on, but then you can feel it slipping away with every foul ball.  When the batter is totally locked in and he refuses to miss anything.  Those at-bats are infuriating if your team’s in the field.  I wish I could have watched it unfold in a room full of Cardinals fans.
  • Anyway, back to the bottom of the 9th.  Geovany Soto came up to bat after LaHair, and drew another quick walk from Motte.  Then Steve Clevenger pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot and grounded to first, moving both runners over.  And then Joe Mather, who already had a hit and a walk on the night, and who may have descended from the same super-utility bloodlines as Mark DeRosa, smacked a single up the middle into centerfield and punched a couple million (roughly) Cardinals fans in the gut.

What Went Wrong:

  • LaHair’s patience in his lone at-bat was particularly uncharacteristic for the Cubs tonight, who freely swung at everything Jaime Garcia had to offer.  A staggering 61 of his 85 pitches were strikes, and he threw first pitch strikes to 21 of the 28 batters he faced.  Garcia looked good tonight, and the Cubs were happy to help.
  • So, about that sub-par 4th inning for Garza.  Here’s how it unfolded: IF single, double, run-scoring groundout, hit-by-pitch, run-scoring sacrifice fly, walk, wild pitch (both runners advanced), walk, fly out.  Not what you’d call vintage Garza.  Fortunately for him, LaHair, Mather, and Co. found a way to bail him out.
  • Buddy

    This just in…only swinging at strikes is a good thing for hitters to do!

    • timothy

       Somebody should tell the Cubs, quick!

  • Buddy

    This just in…only swinging at strikes is a good thing for hitters to do!

    • timothy

       Somebody should tell the Cubs, quick!

  • Seymour Butts

    The 2012 definition of a successful series is one in which we don’t get swept. So, congrats on yet another successful series.

  • Seymour Butts

    The 2012 definition of a successful series is one in which we don’t get swept. So, congrats on yet another successful series.

  • Chuck

    To me, sucess this season resides in the minors and clearing bloated contracts from the big club.

    • Doug S.

      Yeah, I’ll take that. Some nice surprise wins along the way, like last night, would be great to have too.

      • BLPCB

        Me 3. Messing up some rivals along the way would be nice too.

  • Chuck

    To me, sucess this season resides in the minors and clearing bloated contracts from the big club.

    • Doug S.

      Yeah, I’ll take that. Some nice surprise wins along the way, like last night, would be great to have too.

      • AC0000000

        Me 3. Messing up some rivals along the way would be nice too.

  • Doug Bagley

    This one was sweeet!

  • Doug Bagley

    This one was sweeet!

  • flyslinger2

    I’m going to key in on just one paragraph that Jeremiah wrote: THE ONE IN ALL ITALICS.   Why? Because that is where the “Cubs nation” is at.  The team, coaches, front office, farm system and fans are all in this at an emotional level.  One player, in his perseverance at the plate, demonstrated to all that against the odds, statistics, naysayers, etc. you can win.  I hope the rest of the Cubs Nation can catch that same fever and exceed expectations. Would have loved to have watched this game.

  • flyslinger2

    I’m going to key in on just one paragraph that Jeremiah wrote: THE ONE IN ALL ITALICS.   Why? Because that is where the “Cubs nation” is at.  The team, coaches, front office, farm system and fans are all in this at an emotional level.  One player, in his perseverance at the plate, demonstrated to all that against the odds, statistics, naysayers, etc. you can win.  I hope the rest of the Cubs Nation can catch that same fever and exceed expectations. Would have loved to have watched this game.

  • Norm Bothwell

    Man, who knew a lowly walk could be so important!

    • Seymour Butts

      LaHair knew.

      • Eddie Von White

        And so does Fly.

    • Jedi

      The 2-run walk, we should employ that play more often.

    • BLPCB

      Not the Dust Bag. If he was still the manager, he’d be like, “Son, you got to stop taking walks! You’re just clogging up the bases for Tony here.”

      Then LaHair says, “How does a walk clog the bases, but a single doesn’t? And how come if taking walks is a bad thing, why is giving them up also bad?”

      *Dusty gets on the phone with the GM*: “You’ve been sent down to AAA”

  • Norm Bothwell

    Man, who knew a lowly walk could be so important!

    • Seymour Butts

      LaHair knew.

      • Eddie Von White

        And so does Fly.

    • Jedi

      The 2-run walk, we should employ that play more often.

    • AC0000000

      Not the Dust Bag. If he was still the manager, he’d be like, “Son, you got to stop taking walks! You’re just clogging up the bases for Tony here.”

      Then LaHair says, “How does a walk clog the bases, but a single doesn’t? And how come if taking walks is a bad thing, why is giving them up also bad?”

      *Dusty gets on the phone with the GM*: “You’ve been sent down to AAA”

  • Great win.  Go Cubs.  

    • Seymour Butts

      What no wisecrack? Too much diaper duty?

      • Eddie Von White

         He’s too busy with butt-crack.

      • I was still on an endorphin rush from listening to the finale of last night’s game.  I’ll crack wise soon enough…

  • Great win.  Go Cubs.  

    • Seymour Butts

      What no wisecrack? Too much diaper duty?

      • Eddie Von White

         He’s too busy with butt-crack.

      • I was still on an endorphin rush from listening to the finale of last night’s game.  I’ll crack wise soon enough…

  • Doc Raker

    Good job on the come back win and the recap. Have I mentioned I like LaHair’s approach since he first came up in 2011? This is what we need, more hungry greenhorns  like LaHair, Mather and Clevenger to turn this club around.

  • Doc Raker

    Good job on the come back win and the recap. Have I mentioned I like LaHair’s approach since he first came up in 2011? This is what we need, more hungry greenhorns  like LaHair, Mather and Clevenger to turn this club around.

  • Jedi

    Baker & Johnson saw 16 pitches in 6 at-bats combined on the evening.  Their “replacements” LaHair and Clevenger saw 16 pitches in 2 at-bats combined.  A part of me doesn’t even care about the outcome of those at-bats, LaHair and Clevenger have a far better approach.  If the best Baker can do is 0-for-3 on 8 pitches…I’d rather see LaHair out there going 0-for-3 on 20 pitches.

    • Doc Raker

      For sure Jedi. I see no value in Baker now that Mather and LaHair are proving they can hit. I still see value in RJ as long as Soriano is still around needing to be benched at some point.

  • Jedi

    Baker & Johnson saw 16 pitches in 6 at-bats combined on the evening.  Their “replacements” LaHair and Clevenger saw 16 pitches in 2 at-bats combined.  A part of me doesn’t even care about the outcome of those at-bats, LaHair and Clevenger have a far better approach.  If the best Baker can do is 0-for-3 on 8 pitches…I’d rather see LaHair out there going 0-for-3 on 20 pitches.

    • Doc Raker

      For sure Jedi. I see no value in Baker now that Mather and LaHair are proving they can hit. I still see value in RJ as long as Soriano is still around needing to be benched at some point.

  • RichBeckman

    It is amazing how the good is almost always Castro, Barney, LaHair, Clevenger, and/or Mather. These are peaks at the future.

    On the other hand, Geo scored the winning run. Does that raise his trade value?

    • Chetwest

      I wouldn’t mind seeing all these guys start a game together this year.  I would like to see the output with all five of them getting four or so at bats. Has it happened yet? If not, paging Mr. Sveum! 

    • Buddy

      I must have missed the good Barney. 

      • RichBeckman

        He’s hitting .311 with a .364 on base %.

        Geez, what does a guy have to do?

      • Buddy

        I know. I was just being difficult. 

  • RichBeckman

    It is amazing how the good is almost always Castro, Barney, LaHair, Clevenger, and/or Mather. These are peaks at the future.

    On the other hand, Geo scored the winning run. Does that raise his trade value?

    • Buddy

      I must have missed the good Barney. 

      • RichBeckman

        He’s hitting .311 with a .364 on base %.

        Geez, what does a guy have to do?

      • Buddy

        I know. I was just being difficult. 

  • Jedi

    Check out the BR page on Baker this year – he’s absolutely tearing up ‘?HP’ – where can we find a team with more of those ‘amphibians’ for him to face.
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=bakerje03&year=2012&t=b 

  • Jedi

    Check out the BR page on Baker this year – he’s absolutely tearing up ‘?HP’ – where can we find a team with more of those ‘amphibians’ for him to face.
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=bakerje03&year=2012&t=b