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April 2012

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COMMENTS

Game 18 – Soriano Snatches Series Win For Cubs

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Cardinals 2 @ Cubs 3 (10 innings)

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

Series Win: Perhaps the most important thing to come from this game – the Cubs finally won a series, and tomorrow they’ll aim for their first sweep of the season. It also marks 3 wins from the last 4 games. You could say they are surging.

Samardzija: He really had the splitter working tonight. When he can get that kind of action AND throw in the high 90s, it takes so much pressure off of his other pitches. He wasn’t nearly as sharp with his secondary stuff, but the action he had on the splitter had the Cardinals fooled most of the night. Nine strikeouts is great; 90 pitches through 6.2 IP is even better.

Soriano: He still needs to be jettisoned from the roster ASAP, but on this night he was integral to the win. He was fairly patient at the plate and it paid off with a 3-for-5 night and the GWRBI. His 4th inning double set the table for a big inning that never materialized – because even the win couldn’t keep the bottom third of the order from being terrible.

LaHair: His last two HRs have been opposite field bombs. Why should Baker EVER see the starting lineup at 1B again? Don’t overthink it, he shouldn’t.

DeJesus: This team needs all the help they can get, and DeJesus gave it to them in the form of taking a good look at a lot of pitches. DeJesus saw 27 pitches (he led off in four different innings), and I’m sure it’s just coincidence, but the 1-5 hitters combined for 9 hits and all 3 RBIs.

Stewart & Barney: The 4th inning at-bats from Stewart & Barney were horrible. If ‘lucky’ is being fortunate enough to face two complete idiots, then Wainwright was lucky. Stewart, for whatever reason, doesn’t like to swing at strikes. He struck out on 3 pitches; watched one strike and swung at two balls. Barney’s at-bat was, remarkably, worse. With first base open and Soto then Samardzija following him, Barney got a healthy diet of balls off the plate away. He apparently felt they were on the corner because he kept swinging and fouling them off. If Barney hadn’t moved the bat from his shoulder, he’d have been standing on first base (which is exactly what Soto then did before Samardzija popped out to end the threat).

Cardinals Griping: Manager Mike Matheny was not a happy man on this evening. From DeJesus’ slide to score the Cubs first run (he didn’t tag the plate, Molina didn’t tag him either – in fact if you watch the replay DeJesus is about to dive back for the plate just as the umpire calls him safe. DeJesus DID tag the plate on his way back to the dugout) to Campana’s ‘steal’ of 2B in the 10th, the Cards felt they got the shaft at important junctures. Campana was out, that’s not really up for debate. But after watching Molina smugly chastise the umps on both plays, I won’t shed a tear for their misfortune. Molina is a Dikembe Mutombo finger-wag away from unseating AJ Pierzynski as the guy I most enjoy watching get screwed by the umps.

Marmol: It couldn’t all be sunshine and lollipops. I’m still confused as to why Sveum yanked Dolis in the 8th with 2 out and one on. Marmol hasn’t even close to mastered the 3-out save, why reach for the 4-out save? If the answer is that Dolis didn’t look great…well, ok – but it wasn’t like we brought in someone who inspires confidence. I didn’t like the move and I doubt Sveum will make that mistake again anytime soon. Marmol gave up a go-ahead HR to the first batter he faced, and walked the next batter Beltran. In an attempt to pick off Beltran he launched the ball into the tarp behind first base. He came in with a one-run lead and a runner of first, before he recorded an out he had created a one-run deficit and a runner on third. Some closer.

  • Tom_C

    What was the fascination with Ian Stewart again?!?

    • Buddy

      My interest was as a stop-gap 3B who might be useful against RHP. So far, I have been wrong. 

  • Tom_C

    What was the fascination with Ian Stewart again?!?

    • Buddy

      My interest was as a stop-gap 3B who might be useful against RHP. So far, I have been wrong. 

  • Doug S.

    ….errrrrr, what’s going on here?
    I’ll take it, nice win for the guys!!!
    As for Marmol, how many times does he get to do this?
    Seriously!!!

  • Doug S.

    ….errrrrr, what’s going on here?
    I’ll take it, nice win for the guys!!!
    As for Marmol, how many times does he get to do this?
    Seriously!!!

  • BLPCB

    2 straight walk-offs over the Cardinals?

    As for Baker starting, right now it should only be if LaHair needs a day off. That’s about it.

    • Noah_I

      Or for Stewart at 3B.  DeJesus is not great against LHPs, so I would be fine with Mather in RF and Baker at 3B against RHPs.  But yes, barring needing a day off due to the back issues LaHair should be playing every day.

  • AC0000000

    2 straight walk-offs over the Cardinals?

    As for Baker starting, right now it should only be if LaHair needs a day off. That’s about it.

    • Noah_I

      Or for Stewart at 3B.  DeJesus is not great against LHPs, so I would be fine with Mather in RF and Baker at 3B against RHPs.  But yes, barring needing a day off due to the back issues LaHair should be playing every day.

  • BLPCB

    As for Marmol, let’s demote him to 8th inning duty to try to get his value back up.

  • AC0000000

    As for Marmol, let’s demote him to 8th inning duty to try to get his value back up.

  • Noah_I

    I’ve really enjoyed watching Bryan LaHair’s plate appearances.  I just love his approach.  Yes, he strikes out a ton.  But he also walks a lot and is not a guy that is going to turn ground balls to the left side into infield singles anyways.  His philosophy at the plate really seems to be that with less than two strikes he will keep the bat on my shoulder unless the pitcher gives him something he can drive.   He won’t be able to keep up this type of performance (he has a 1.180 OPS and .545 BABIP), but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s better than everyone expected.

    • Chuck

      Not to be a smartass, but isn’t that what you are supposed to do?  I teach my kids to be very selective with 0 to 1 strike and swing at anything close with 2 strikes.  I don’t mean bat-on-the-shoulder selective, but if it is in his “sweet spot” with 0 or 1 strike then drive it.  Otherwise, wait for another one.

  • Noah_I

    I’ve really enjoyed watching Bryan LaHair’s plate appearances.  I just love his approach.  Yes, he strikes out a ton.  But he also walks a lot and is not a guy that is going to turn ground balls to the left side into infield singles anyways.  His philosophy at the plate really seems to be that with less than two strikes he will keep the bat on my shoulder unless the pitcher gives him something he can drive.   He won’t be able to keep up this type of performance (he has a 1.180 OPS and .545 BABIP), but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s better than everyone expected.

    • Chuck

      Not to be a smartass, but isn’t that what you are supposed to do?  I teach my kids to be very selective with 0 to 1 strike and swing at anything close with 2 strikes.  I don’t mean bat-on-the-shoulder selective, but if it is in his “sweet spot” with 0 or 1 strike then drive it.  Otherwise, wait for another one.

  • Doc Raker

    LaHair raised his average to .375 and is slugging .700, Soriano went 3-5 and raised his average to .233 and is slugging a monstrous .250. Soto went 1-3 and raised his average to .140 while Ian Stewart keeps steady at .183, can Joe Mather play 3b? I would go Mather or Baker at 3b and Clevenger behind the dish if not for the trade value to increase if Soto starts hitting. Marmol is no longer a back of the bullpen kinda guy, he is sporting an era of 6.35 and has been consistently horrible. Call Baltimore immediately and get Marmol and Geo moved.

    • Jedi

      He’s been consistently unlucky, Doc. No way guys keep peppering the seats with that trash he’s rolling up there. *rolls eyes*

      • Norm Bothwell

        Marmol’s HR/FB rate is right in line with the rest of his career. No bad luck there.
        Also, his rate of K’s, BB’s, and ground ball rates are significantly worse than previous years.
        He’s pitching pretty horribly, unlike Wainwright.

      • Chetwest

        the problem with the Bakers, the Marmols, the Sotos is that we need to find trade partners so we get something back for these disasters.  By playing them we showcase them and the only problem with my theory is that none of them have played respectable ball in two years.  Hence their trade value is at rock bottom.  They needed to be traded two years ago, when they had value but showed all sorts of deficiences…..

      • Eddie Von White

        Except that two years ago they were prospects for our own success (Marmol and Soto that is).

      • Jedi

        You live in fantasyland.

    • Jeremiah Johnson

      Yes, Doc, Mather can play third.  Maybe not as well as Stewart, but at least as good as Baker.  I’m not yet settled on what his best position is–Dale seems to think it’s CF, and he might be right.  But our surplus of outfielders and dearth of quality infielders should open up more playing time for Mather around the bases.

  • Doc Raker

    LaHair raised his average to .375 and is slugging .700, Soriano went 3-5 and raised his average to .233 and is slugging a monstrous .250. Soto went 1-3 and raised his average to .140 while Ian Stewart keeps steady at .183, can Joe Mather play 3b? I would go Mather or Baker at 3b and Clevenger behind the dish if not for the trade value to increase if Soto starts hitting. Marmol is no longer a back of the bullpen kinda guy, he is sporting an era of 6.35 and has been consistently horrible. Call Baltimore immediately and get Marmol and Geo moved.

    • Jedi

      He’s been consistently unlucky, Doc. No way guys keep peppering the seats with that trash he’s rolling up there. *rolls eyes*

      • Norm Bothwell

        Marmol’s HR/FB rate is right in line with the rest of his career. No bad luck there.
        Also, his rate of K’s, BB’s, and ground ball rates are significantly worse than previous years.
        He’s pitching pretty horribly, unlike Wainwright.

      • Jedi

        You live in fantasyland.

    • Jeremiah Johnson

      Yes, Doc, Mather can play third.  Maybe not as well as Stewart, but at least as good as Baker.  I’m not yet settled on what his best position is–Dale seems to think it’s CF, and he might be right.  But our surplus of outfielders and dearth of quality infielders should open up more playing time for Mather around the bases.

  • RichBeckman

    Great game!!! Nice to see Soriano contribute with the bat. Great to see Samardzija have a strong outing.

  • RichBeckman

    Great game!!! Nice to see Soriano contribute with the bat. Great to see Samardzija have a strong outing.

  • Chetwest

    the problem with the Bakers, the Marmols, the Sotos is that we need to find trade partners so we get something back for these disasters.  By playing them we showcase them and the only problem with my theory is that none of them have played respectable ball in two years.  Hence their trade value is at rock bottom.  They needed to be traded two years ago, when they had value but showed all sorts of deficiences…..

    • Eddie Von White

      Except that two years ago they were prospects for our own success (Marmol and Soto that is).

  • Jedi

    One other thing I should’ve mentioned – the sheer number of opposite field hits we’re getting right now, especially in big spots is very encouraging.  All three run-scoring hits/outs last night were to the opposite field.  And Mather smoked up back up the middle two nights ago.  It’s evidence of a really good approach at the plate – at least in big spots.

  • Jedi

    One other thing I should’ve mentioned – the sheer number of opposite field hits we’re getting right now, especially in big spots is very encouraging.  All three run-scoring hits/outs last night were to the opposite field.  And Mather smoked up back up the middle two nights ago.  It’s evidence of a really good approach at the plate – at least in big spots.

  • Smitty

    As for all of the soriano bashing, I must agree the guy is over paid and is a burden on our budget, but lets be honest here. He isn’t the worst player we have. He delivers sometimes and last season had decent numbers. Admittedly he is no matt kemp, but reality is, we aren’t going to get someone in trade who puts up those numbers. Even if we do eat the contract, we are most likely getting another volstad out of the deal. I’d rather have soriano than volstad. At least he contributes to a win every once in a while. As for yesterdays game, a wins a win and I’ll take it. Samardjia is turning out to be a beast on the mound. Who knew, right?

    • Jedi

      Not really sure it’s bashing to say we want Soriano gone – he’s clearly not any part of a successful long-term future for the Cubs, so from that standpoint he needs to be sent elsewhere.  As for Samardzija being a beast on the mound – he’s averaging 6 IP with a 4.13 ERA in four starts.  He’s had two really good starts, and two deplorable starts.  He’s been a lot better than most of us thought our No. 3 starter would be this year – but he’s hardly been a beast.  If he can consistently churn out 6 innings and lower that ERA, I’ll be more inclined to agree.

      • Chuck

        I am fine with Soriano as long as he is not impeding the development of a younger player because he is, clearly, not part of the long-term plan.  We have to play somebody in LF and he is a good as anybody for now.
        I can see Shark as being one of those maddening guys who has a split personality.  Flip a coin.  Is it good Shark or bad Shark?  Who knows?  Good Shark can pitch a shutout while bad Shark will give up 6 in 3 innings.

    • Maybe Smitty was talking about Samardzija’s hair. That’s beastly for sure. And not in a good way.

  • Smitty

    As for all of the soriano bashing, I must agree the guy is over paid and is a burden on our budget, but lets be honest here. He isn’t the worst player we have. He delivers sometimes and last season had decent numbers. Admittedly he is no matt kemp, but reality is, we aren’t going to get someone in trade who puts up those numbers. Even if we do eat the contract, we are most likely getting another volstad out of the deal. I’d rather have soriano than volstad. At least he contributes to a win every once in a while. As for yesterdays game, a wins a win and I’ll take it. Samardjia is turning out to be a beast on the mound. Who knew, right?

    • Jedi

      Not really sure it’s bashing to say we want Soriano gone – he’s clearly not any part of a successful long-term future for the Cubs, so from that standpoint he needs to be sent elsewhere.  As for Samardzija being a beast on the mound – he’s averaging 6 IP with a 4.13 ERA in four starts.  He’s had two really good starts, and two deplorable starts.  He’s been a lot better than most of us thought our No. 3 starter would be this year – but he’s hardly been a beast.  If he can consistently churn out 6 innings and lower that ERA, I’ll be more inclined to agree.

      • Chuck

        I am fine with Soriano as long as he is not impeding the development of a younger player because he is, clearly, not part of the long-term plan.  We have to play somebody in LF and he is a good as anybody for now.
        I can see Shark as being one of those maddening guys who has a split personality.  Flip a coin.  Is it good Shark or bad Shark?  Who knows?  Good Shark can pitch a shutout while bad Shark will give up 6 in 3 innings.

    • Maybe Smitty was talking about Samardzija’s hair. That’s beastly for sure. And not in a good way.

  • Norm Bothwell

    Joe Mather belongs on the bench. He’s Aaron Miles.

    • You’re the Aaron Miles of player comparisons.  

  • Norm Bothwell

    Joe Mather belongs on the bench. He’s Aaron Miles.

    • You’re the Aaron Miles of player comparisons.  

  • Mather looked like he was swinging for the fences there in the 9th, and didn’t have a very good AB as the result. All he needed was a hit, I’d expect a guy like Mather to know that, especially after his great AB and game winning hit the previous night. Maybe he was just overly anxious with the chance to be the hero two nights in a row.

  • apikoros

    Mather looked like he was swinging for the fences there in the 9th, and didn’t have a very good AB as the result. All he needed was a hit, I’d expect a guy like Mather to know that, especially after his great AB and game winning hit the previous night. Maybe he was just overly anxious with the chance to be the hero two nights in a row.