Star of the Game – Giancarlo Stanton – .471 (WPA)
Coming into the series, the Cubs and Marlins have met for a four game set seven times. None of those were won by a sweep. This weekend’s series continued that trend as the Marlins salvaged a game thanks to a hint of offense, something they hadn’t gotten much of all series.
It’s a little frustrating to not come away with a series sweep, but a series win is a start. Carlos Villanueva, who was outstanding coming into the game, tossed is first so so start, but still managed to get through six innings while allowing just four runs and left with his team down just a run. He kept it close, which is what you want from your starter. Unfortunately, this year we need the starter to either go the distance or be supported by a plethora of runs to the extent that the bullpen can’t give it away. It didn’t happen and we saw a loss because of it. Not much other major things to report, so we’ll end with some minor notes and noticings from the game.
- Anthony Rizzo continues to hit the ball hard and I believe he’s going to have a huge series against the Padres. He has a chance to tie Alfonso Soriano for most home runs by a Cub in April. The record is 10 and he stands at eight.
- Through the first two games of the series, the Cubs really did a good job minimizing Stanton. When you look at their lineup, he’s essentially a one man show. I was amazed at how few players on that team that I knew. Next time you get discouraged by our rebuilding process and the lack of talent, watch a Marlins game and be encouraged.
- The centerfield camera is really good for alignment with the plate. It’s almost completely straight away.
Jim Joyce had the plate on Sunday. You might remember him from such games as the Gallaraga “perfect game” that wasn’t. What made me laugh is that the Marlins broadcast crew raved about Joyce and said he was one of the most accurate in the game. When you’re a broadcaster, apparently you can say whatever you want without looking up the numbers to make sure they support your claim. A quick look at the data since 2009 shows that Joyce ranks 40th for correct call rate behind the plate. An 82.7% correct call rate was what he put up today, which equates to a below average day behind the plate. His strike zone was quite accurately vertically. It was horizontally that he got a little crazy. The outside pitches were particularly generous to the pitchers.