Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

Because I didn’t get to watch any of the Diamondbacks series, Tuesday night was the first baseball game I’d watched in almost two weeks. Since I have to be awake early in the morning now, it’s tough for me to stay up late to watch the game if it doesn’t appear worth my time. Looking at the graph above, it’s not too hard to figure out where I checked out for the night. Nonetheless, I did have some thoughts on what I watched.

Travis Wood – He tossed a bit of a clunker last night, which disappointed me, but you had to know it was coming. Despite the fact that in the previous seven starts he had gone 4-2 with a 1.99 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP, he’s still a back of the rotation starter. He’s not going to be a number 1 or 2 guy in the rotation and probably won’t even amount to a number 3. That said, you have to expect some duds, but when you look at his logs over this season he’s really only had two rough outings and both came at Wrigley with the wind blowing out. Hopefully that can be of some encouragement when you wake up after digesting what you saw last night. I like Wood a lot. He’s one of my favorite Cubs right now. I like his athleticism on the field and the approach he has on the mound. You just have to try not to over expect things from him that he really has no business delivering on a nightly basis.

Jeff Baker – If you wont make fun of me, I’ll tell you a secret. Promise? Ok, here it is. I actually like the fact that Jeff Baker is on this team. Hey, you said you weren’t going to make fun. Baker fills a role on this team and it’s a vital one. He provides versatility and a little bit of power off the bench. He’s a poor man’s Mark DeRosa that, aside from this season, has a nice role as a platoon guy against lefties. In his career, including this year’s numbers, he’s hitting .305 / .354 / .522. What people fail to remember is that every team, even championship ones, has guys that aren’t that great or have major warts. That’s what makes them bench players. Where the Cubs have gone wrong is using Baker too often against the righties. Use him in the platoon and he has value. Use him to block someone like Bryan LaHair when we’re trying to see what we have with him, and he doesn’t. If used properly, Baker can help this team.

Bullpen Usage – Before the game, Doug Padilla tweeting that before the game, due to lack of usage, Rafael Dolis and Jairo Asencio had to toss simulated games to get their work in. Maybe it’s nothing, but wouldn’t that mean that they got loose, tossed X amount of pitches in the game and then should have been done for the day? Instead, both then pitched in the game, which means they would have then had to get loose again and throw pitches that counted. Asencio even tossed two innings. Maybe it’s nothing, but that just seems odd to me.

Notable Performances Down on the Farm

July 17, 2012

Luis Acosta, DSL Cubs2: 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI
David Bote, AZL Cubs: 2-3, 2B, BB, R
Michael Burgess, Tennessee: 0-1, 3 BB
Edwin Contreras, DSL Cubs2: 1-2, 2 BB, R
Shawon Dunston, AZL Cubs: 2-4, BB, R
Kelvin Encarnacion, DSL Cubs2: 2-2, HBP, RBI
Darien Martin, Boise: 3-3, HR, SB, 2 BB, R, RBI
Carlos Penalver, AZL Cubs: 2-4, BB, RBI
Roderick Shoulders, Boise: 2-3, BB
Elliot Soto, Daytona: 1-2, 2B, BB, 2 R
Matthew Szczur, Daytona: 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI
Shamil Ubiera, DSL Cubs2: 2-4, 2B, HBP, RBI
Daniel Vogelbach, AZL Cubs: 2-5, 3B, HR, R, 3 RBI
Logan Watkins, Tennessee: 2-5, 3B, R
Matthew Loosen:, Daytona: 7.3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, ER, 6 K, 3 BB
Chad Martin:, AZL Cubs: 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 3 K
James Pugliese:, Boise: 5.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 5 K, 2 BB

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail