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April 2012

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Game 19: No Sweep For You

Written by , Posted in General

Cardinals 5 @ Cubs 1

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

Admit it, there was some part of you that thought that maybe, just maybe, the Cubs would get a sweep of this series. I won’t laugh at you. I recorded the game on DVR and was pretty excited to watch when I got home. I’m a big believer that when you record a game, you avoid any chance of seeing the score so you can watch the game with no knowledge of what to expect. Unfortunately, there are times that you are made aware of the results in some form, and for me, that spoils it. Today, that didn’t happen, and it probably would have been nice if I’d have seen the score. It would have saved me from watching the last half.

Chris Volstad made start number four and really looked fairly decent through the first five innings. After that, the wheels just seemed to fall off. Through four outings he’s sporting an 0-3 record with a very ugly 6.14 ERA. He’s just not been very good. Of the five guys in the rotation right now, he’s the one I have the least amount of confidence in when he takes the mound. I think you still run him out there a little more to see if he can figure things out because of the fact that no one has really shown anything to say they deserve a shot to replace him, but the question on when to make the change begins to be discussed and it gets louder with each failed outing.

Offensively, we really couldn’t do much on offense, but the inning that bothered me the most was the 5th. If you’ve read my posts, you should know that I’m not a fan of “smallball”. I don’t like the play for one run approach. I want the big inning. I want the crooked numbers. Because of that, I saw no point in Tony Campana bunting with one out and a runner on 1st and 3rd. The game is tied at one at the time and you’ve got a great chance and really doing some damage in the inning with the 2,3,4 hitters due up. At the very least, if Campana makes contact, because of his speed, you’re almost assured that he’ll stay out of the double play which should produce a run. The bunt doesn’t make sense. Even if he gets it down, which he didn’t, odds are that the runner on third stays put. Now you have runners on 2nd and 3rd, but two outs. I hate hate hate bunting, but especially in an instance like that.

Carlos Marmol came in to pitch the 9th and continued to look less than impressive. He didn’t allow a run, but the pitches he throws just don’t seem to have a purpose. I honestly believe that when he releases the ball, he’s not 100% certain it will go anywhere close to where it’s designed to go. When you watch him through it just looks like he rears back and throws with no regard to control or strategy in terms of setting hitters up.

Overall, not the best game to watch, but you really can’t complain about a series win against what may be the best team in the division. A sweep would have been nice, but I’ll take a series win any day.

  • Another rough outing for Volstad, but he looked good early on. It’s something to build off of at least.

  • apikoros

    Another rough outing for Volstad, but he looked good early on. It’s something to build off of at least.

  • BLPCB

    Joe, are you not a fan of bunting in any situation? How about if you need 1 run to win in the bottom of the 9th or extras? Or the suicide squeeze?

    I also like being able not to be told of the result when I DVR a game before I watch it. I managed to do that for game 7 of the NBA Finals in 2010. And I was so happy bc the Lakers won.

    • Joe Aiello

      You are given 27 outs. Why would you ever want to give one away? Pitchers are not good hitters, generally, but they’re still athletes. They still get hits on occasion, most at least one out of every ten times. I always let them try. I just hate bunting. Show me all the math about how at times it increases your chance of a run in that inning. That’s fine. I agree that’s the case. I don’t dispute that. I don’t like playing for one run. I like my numbers curvy.

      • Norm Bothwell

        I pretty much agree…there are few times when a bunt makes sense, this was not one of them.

      • I would agree with this wholeheartedly for any team other than ours. LOL. It seems this team (heck, the past three years’ teams) are incapable of putting the round numbers we so desire. So I’m ok with trying something (ANYTHING) else.

      • Jedi

        I realize Campana wasn’t bunting for a hit yesterday – but he has the requisite speed to make a drag bunt nearly an automatic single ala Brett Butler.  I’d love to see him become more adept at it – there was a period there where the Dodgers basically started the game with a guy on first.

        When most players lay down a sac bunt, they are just giving up an out.  But with Campana’s speed, I bet even when he’s asked to sacrifice he’s trying to bunt himself on base.

    • The only bunting with which I take issue is done to break up no-hitters in Little League.  Even Little Leaguers can be Bush League.  

      • BLPCB

        I guess winning the game is Bush League? Because the 2nd time I did that we won. How about when Ben Davis broke up Schilling’s perfect game with a bunt? It was a 2-0 game. He brought the tying run to the plate.

      • (the unpublished fourth verse of Glory Days)

      • AC0000000

        I guess winning the game is Bush League? Because the 2nd time I did that we won. How about when Ben Davis broke up Schilling’s perfect game with a bunt? It was a 2-0 game. He brought the tying run to the plate. I’m not going to lay down and give it to them. If he wants it that badly, then throw me out at first. The guy should have punched his 1B, not me. (Or at least tried to, he was unaware I knew taekwondo)

      • (the unpublished fourth verse of Glory Days)

  • AC0000000

    Joe, are you not a fan of bunting in any situation? How about if you need 1 run to win in the bottom of the 9th or extras? Or the suicide squeeze?

    I also like being able not to be told of the result when I DVR a game before I watch it. I managed to do that for game 7 of the NBA Finals in 2010. And I was so happy bc the Lakers won.

    • Joe Aiello

      You are given 27 outs. Why would you ever want to give one away? Pitchers are not good hitters, generally, but they’re still athletes. They still get hits on occasion, most at least one out of every ten times. I always let them try. I just hate bunting. Show me all the math about how at times it increases your chance of a run in that inning. That’s fine. I agree that’s the case. I don’t dispute that. I don’t like playing for one run. I like my numbers curvy.

      • Norm Bothwell

        I pretty much agree…there are few times when a bunt makes sense, this was not one of them.

      • Jedi

        I realize Campana wasn’t bunting for a hit yesterday – but he has the requisite speed to make a drag bunt nearly an automatic single ala Brett Butler.  I’d love to see him become more adept at it – there was a period there where the Dodgers basically started the game with a guy on first.

        When most players lay down a sac bunt, they are just giving up an out.  But with Campana’s speed, I bet even when he’s asked to sacrifice he’s trying to bunt himself on base.

  • Chetwest

    I am probably one of the few on here that likes Campana.  I like the extra dimension he brings as his speed is valuable.  I don’t like the idea of forcing the bunt though.  With two strikes just swing away.  Plus, he has actually hit the ball this year, he had something like 7 base hits in his first 13 at bats.     

    • Norm Bothwell

      Unfortunately, speed is his ONLY dimension.

  • Chetwest

    I am probably one of the few on here that likes Campana.  I like the extra dimension he brings as his speed is valuable.  I don’t like the idea of forcing the bunt though.  With two strikes just swing away.  Plus, he has actually hit the ball this year, he had something like 7 base hits in his first 13 at bats.     

  • Doug S.

    I’m in favor of my starting pitcher bunting to advance a runner. Don’t really want him standing around on the basepaths anyway. Bunting in most other situations? Not so much. Really dislike the bunt attempt on 2 strikes.

  • Doug S.

    I’m in favor of my starting pitcher bunting to advance a runner. Don’t really want him standing around on the basepaths anyway. Bunting in most other situations? Not so much. Really dislike the bunt attempt on 2 strikes.

  • Eddie Von White

    Joe – I’m sure bunting hates you too.

    I like Campana.

    I like to know if the Cubs won before I watch the game back. Life is short and watching the Cubs lose is not something I choose to do if I can help it. But sometimes I just can’t help it.

  • Doc Raker

     Len and Bob mentioned how LaHair looks good vs lefties but he still may get pulled for Baker when a lefty is pitching because Baker hits lefties so well. This confuses me because Ian Stewart does not deserve to hit against lefties, or righties for that matter, and Baker or Mather can hit lefties so why not platoon Stewart and Baker at 3b and leave LaHair in the line up? Why does Stewart stay in the line up and LaHair doesn’t when you have Baker who can play either position and hit lefties? This is the kind of short sighted stupidity that drives me crazy.

  • Doc Raker

    The word ’emotionless’ is tossed around with this team but Len is emotionless in his broadcast. This guy hardly gets excited with a walkoff win, he calls the game like it bores him. Len is one of the worst announcers in the game. Example, he calls plays before they finish. A ground ball to short is called an out before the play ends so if there is a misplay or the runner is hustling and it is a close play he fails to convey the drama within that play because he calls it a routine out prematurely. Len is terrible.

    • Eddie Von White

       Shouldn’t that be “Len The Terrible”?

      • Doc Raker

        Len the Terrible is as bland as oatmeal, hence I will refer to him simply as Oatmeal.

  • Doc Raker

    The word ’emotionless’ is tossed around with this team but Len is emotionless in his broadcast. This guy hardly gets excited with a walkoff win, he calls the game like it bores him. Len is one of the worst announcers in the game. Example, he calls plays before they finish. A ground ball to short is called an out before the play ends so if there is a misplay or the runner is hustling and it is a close play he fails to convey the drama within that play because he calls it a routine out prematurely. Len is terrible.

    • Eddie Von White

       Shouldn’t that be “Len The Terrible”?

      • Doc Raker

        Len the Terrible is as bland as oatmeal, hence I will refer to him simply as Oatmeal.

  • Seymour Butts

    I DVR game to watch later as well at times. However I want to know the score before I watch it. If my team loses, I don’t bother to watch it. I can also skip the remainder of the game when I know the scoring is done. I guess it depends on what else you have for an option in the time spending departments.

  • Seymour Butts

    I DVR game to watch later as well at times. However I want to know the score before I watch it. If my team loses, I don’t bother to watch it. I can also skip the remainder of the game when I know the scoring is done. I guess it depends on what else you have for an option in the time spending departments.

  • Gymjok

    Joe-have to disagree. If Tony chooses the correct type of bunt ,and executes, the odds are very high the runner scores from third.
    As a lead-off- switch hitter-speed guy myself, I had 5 different type bunts I used to get hits.
    It was a huge and very effective weapon in my arsenal. 
    The correct type for Tony in that situation would be the drag bunt between 1st and the pitcher- past the mound.
    The reason for that type bunt and why the odds are high for the run scoring- is it is a very difficult throw to home for the pitcher, first or second basemen-whoever fields the bunt.
    If successful you now have 1 run in and men on 1st and 2nd.
    Even if he gets thrown out at 1st- the WORST you have is 1 run in and a runner in scoring position for your best hitter-Castro.
    P.S.- Tony does have 1 correction with his footwork to make on that type of bunt.
    Right now he’s flat-footed- where his momentum should be going forward when making contact on that type of bunt.

    • Doc Raker

      Some players can and should bunt. I would like to see a great bunter bunt with 2 strikes at times. Think about this, with 2 strikes the 3rd baseman is back and a simple bunt down the 3rd base line is an automatic hit for Campana. The question then becomes what are the better odds, laying down a bunt that doesn’t roll foul or getting a hit with 2 strikes. Also, if successful at some point 3rd baseman won’t drop back with 2 strikes giving said potential bunter higher odds at getting a hit on a slap hit. Take a guy like Korey Patterson who hit -.056 with 2 strikes and had speed, I always thought a 2 strike bunt could raise his BA and OBP.

  • Gymjok

    Joe-have to disagree. If Tony chooses the correct type of bunt ,and executes, the odds are very high the runner scores from third.
    As a lead-off- switch hitter-speed guy myself, I had 5 different type bunts I used to get hits.
    It was a huge and very effective weapon in my arsenal. 
    The correct type for Tony in that situation would be the drag bunt between 1st and the pitcher- past the mound.
    The reason for that type bunt and why the odds are high for the run scoring- is it is a very difficult throw to home for the pitcher, first or second basemen-whoever fields the bunt.
    If successful you now have 1 run in and men on 1st and 2nd.
    Even if he gets thrown out at 1st- the WORST you have is 1 run in and a runner in scoring position for your best hitter-Castro.
    P.S.- Tony does have 1 correction with his footwork to make on that type of bunt.
    Right now he’s flat-footed- where his momentum should be going forward when making contact on that type of bunt.

    • Doc Raker

      Some players can and should bunt. I would like to see a great bunter bunt with 2 strikes at times. Think about this, with 2 strikes the 3rd baseman is back and a simple bunt down the 3rd base line is an automatic hit for Campana. The question then becomes what are the better odds, laying down a bunt that doesn’t roll foul or getting a hit with 2 strikes. Also, if successful at some point 3rd baseman won’t drop back with 2 strikes giving said potential bunter higher odds at getting a hit on a slap hit. Take a guy like Korey Patterson who hit -.056 with 2 strikes and had speed, I always thought a 2 strike bunt could raise his BA and OBP.