Star of the Game – Derek Holland (.483 WPA)
No stranger to Cub losses, Jeff Baker helped hang the L flag again at Wrigley on Tuesday night – this time as a member of the opposing team. Baker’s run-scoring double to CF for the visiting Rangers created what felt like an insurmountable 1-0 lead.
Insurmountable because Rangers starter, Derek Holland was absolutely dealing. Seven innings, 2 hits, 6 Ks, no walks – really Holland’s only trouble was slight inefficiency (and that wasn’t even terrible, a pedestrian 108 pitches in 7 innings). He made Cub hitters look foolish all evening.
Dave Sappelt knows what it is to look foolish; this guy is not a major leaguer. Isn’t the point of a platoon to get a better matchup in the lineup? The other half of Sappelt’s platoon must be a blind midget. He looked uncomfortable, guessing at pitches all night. The Rangers threw him a steady diet of off-speed stuff that he seemed incapable of recognizing, let alone making contact with. He’s not even a great fielder, he just needs to be sent back down.
And with all the roster moves the Cubs made on Tuesday, it’s a minor miracle Sappelt wasn’t involved. Someone here made a crack when the Dodgers waived Kevin Gregg last week about his career being over. Only it wasn’t…at least not until he’s had another turn in the Cubs’ bullpen. The Cubs first signed him to a minor league deal, and then promoted him to the big league club on Tuesday. They also added reliever Kameron Loe to the bullpen;
putting DFA’ing Hisanori Takahashi on the DL and demoting Rafael Dolis.
They also DFA’d Spring Training sensation Brent Lillibridge. His replacement was a waiver pickup, Cody Ransom. As cubs.com put it, Ransom “can help at third base as the Cubs try to find a bat while Ian Stewart rehabs from a strained left quad.” Because the panacea for a team with right-handed role players who can’t hit is a left-handed role player who can’t hit.
Maybe this will tamp down Chuck’s exuberance at the current pace of 49 wins for the year. The Cubs sit at 4-9 right now. Last year after 13 games, the Cubs were merely 3-10. So for all this talk of underperforming and frustrating results, Dennis Green isn’t surprised.