Star of the Game – Jay Bruce (.507 WPA)
If you know anything about me, you know that I’m a whiny little girl when it comes to staying up late to watch a game. I like day baseball and I like my sleep. With the Cubs headed to Cincy and a game time at 7:10pm EDT, I thought I was in business by scheduling myself to recap last night’s game. Little did I know that the dreaded extra inning bug would rear it’s ugly head and I’d get stuck recapping a 13 inning affair. Let’s take a look at the notes.
Coming into the game, you could pinpoint four major issues for this Cubs team that have led to the record and the product on the field that we’ve seen. The Cubs have had major struggles with games on the road, games where the bullpen needs to be involved, games that involve runners in scoring position, and games where they are required to field the baseball. So, basically every game. Monday’s game continued the struggles in three of those four areas, with fielding being the only spot that was improved. In fact, it was the Reds that looked minor-leaguesque late in the game with three almost costly errors.
- Travis Wood and Mike Leake both looked really good, yet neither were able to factor into the decision. For Wood, he continues to battle with Carlos Villanueva for the title of most valuable starter so far this year. It’s very frustrating to watch him go out there day in and day out and pitch like his hair is on fire only to leave the game with either a loss or a no decision. If it’s frustrating to me, I can’t even imagine how he feels with the lack of run support.
- Starlin Castro extended his hit streak to a career high, 14 games. It’s actually a little surprising that his streak history is not greater than that, considering he led the NL in hits one season.
- Carlos Marmol pitched not one, but two innings of shutout ball in critical, high leverage, situations. I give Dale a lot of props for bringing him out there for the 2nd inning of work. I went on Twitter and polled fans and the overwhelming majority thought it was the wrong call. I disagree and I said it before the move. He capped it all off with a strikeout of Joey Votto to end the inning.
- Want to watch a game more pissed off than you normally would be just by watching Cubs baseball? Watch the Reds broadcast for the entire game and listen to the hate dripping from Thom Brennaman the entire game. From the first pitch till the last out, he continually rips the Cubs and their history. He brings up every negative stat he can get his hands on. He continually brings up the same things each and every time the Cubs and Reds meet. It’s complete bushleague announcing.
Yesterday’s home plate umpire was Jerry Meals, who put up a correct call rate of 85.6% on pitches taken by the hitter. Here is a look at his heat maps for strike zone and correct call rate.