View From The Bleachers

May 1, 2013

Game 26 – An Offensive Display

Filed under: Featured,General — Jeremiah Johnson @ 12:40 am

Padres 13, Cubs 7

Box Score / Highlights

The Good  I said almost a week ago that if this Cubs team could heat up at the plate, they’d be a fun group to watch. And lo and behold, this last week has been pretty fun. The Cubs’ bats stayed hot Tuesday night, with several hitter contributing to the cause. Luis Valbuena, Starlin Castro, David DeJesus, and Cody Ransom all hit homeruns. Anthony Rizzo couldn’t manage to get one over the wall, but he did hit three doubles on the evening, along with one apiece for Welington Castillo and Darwin Barney. It wasn’t necessarily an offensive explosion, but it was a productive night for a lineup that’s short on fireworks. On most nights we’d be celebrating how they walked away with the win. However…

The Bad  It was the pitchers’ night to light the dumpster fire. Edwin Jackson went from shaky in the 2nd and 3rd innings to downright horrific in the 5th. Kameron Loe and Hector Rondon weren’t much better out of the bullpen, with only Shawn Camp working a clean, albeit meaningless 9th inning. Put it this way–the Blackhawks dropped the puck on the playoffs around the time Jackson threw his first pitch, and the pervasive ineffectiveness of the pitching staff made my viewing choice easy for most of the evening.

The Ugly  Just a short word about unexpected pick off plays. The Cubs recorded two errors tonight–both of them on errant throws to Rizzo in an attempt to pick off a runner on first. Castillo threw one down the first base line in the 3rd and Jackson tried to throw one into the visitors’ dugout the following inning. I think the snap throw to first has become a little like the thundering collision in football, in that guys occasionally betray some basic fundamentals for the sake of a highlight-reel play. So far I’ve been fairly impressed with Castillo’s defense, but he’s got to know the blind throw to first from behind a left-handed hitter has poor hope for success, especially when he’s betting on Rizzo to win the surprise footrace back to the bag. While the circumstances were different, the same basic principle applies to Jackson–it won’t ever work if the one you’re surprising is your firstbaseman.

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  • LVCubFan

    Move over Miami Heat, the Kameron Loe Streak continues! 10 IP, 10 HRs! People should stop complaining about Weathermen/women keeping their jobs after ineffectiveness and look at the Talented Mr. Loe.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    Good thing Karlos Loe only gets the ball once another Carlos has put a win out of reach. Carlos Jackson pretty much sealed last night’s fate.

  • BLPCB

    The Cubs contributed 28 cents to Joe’s Tough Mudder run last night.

  • Cap’n Obvious

    In general, even at lower levels of baseball, there are verbal and/or visual cues between infielders, catchers, and pitchers to communicate back-picks. I’m guessing that the timing was screwed up on these plays, and really hoping that no one was “surprised”. My philosophy as a coach has always been “be at least 75% sure you have the guy out before attempting a back pick”…because there is always the risk of chucking it into the dugout or RF corner…

  • Chuck

    I love it when my son goads pitchers and catchers into throwing pickoff throws. Sooner or later, that ball will be at the fence and he will be taking at least one base for free. The risk/reward ratio in youth baseball is clearly skewed towards not making the throw unless the baserunner is clearly not paying attention.

  • BLPCB

    That happened to me a couple times. Once they had me, but the throw airmailed the 1B, and I took 2nd. In my youth leagues, they only let you take 1 base on a throwing error, and you couldn’t score from 3rd. If you were trying to steal 2B and the throw went into CF, you weren’t allowed to take 3rd.

  • verncrowe5

    That would sure bug me if I had to play in your youth league. Couldn’t score from 3rd? Now that’s harsh

  • BLPCB

    The first league I played in, no leadoffs, no stealing bases unless there’s a wild pitch.
    I mean not scoring from 3rd on a stolen base/pickoff attempt error. A ball in play or a bases loaded walk of course you can score.

  • verncrowe5

    That’s quite a stingy league. We may have had no leadoffs in my league. I cant remember that far back. It would be tough to sit on 3rd waiting for a hit for sure.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    I’m aware of the verbal/visual cues. Last night it seemed like they weren’t using them.

  • Jedi

    My favorite Carlos – Carlos Feldman – takes the hill tonight. The intrigue – he’s made an error in 3 of his 4 starts; 4 out of 5 anyone?

  • Jedi

    Rizzo has a facial tic that can be difficult to interpret.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    Coincidentally, the facial tic is the traditional Dominican signal for a pickoff play.

  • Jedi

    Yeah, but in Venezuela it’s an insult to one’s grandparents. I can’t even translate into Canadian on a family website like this.

  • http://pinterest.com/j0s1395/ Josephine (D)

    Is it too early to condemn Edwin Jackson’s pitching and to petition for him to be traded?

  • Seymour Butts

    I think the reason they couldn’t score from 3rd on an overthrow had more to do with childhood obesity than rules.

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    It’s not too early, but I doubt we’d get much more than a sack of used baseballs for him at this point. Granted that’s an improvement over the sack of used jockstraps we’d get if we traded Carlos Marmol.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    And we wonder why there are so many batters being thrown at.

  • BLPCB

    I wasn’t fat!

  • BLPCB

    What about Cuban?
    This sounds like Ozzie almost. I wish he would have gone to the Blue Jays, because that’s just an international incident waiting to happen. An American-Canadian-Cuban-Venezuelan disaster

  • Seymour Butts

    I’m guessing half the league was, and in order to remove as much competition as possible for little league, parents who failed as athletes would make such a bone head rule as that.

  • BLPCB

    I might be the 2nd youngest regular here, but my Little League days were from 1998-2001. It wasn’t like that in every league, that’s how it was in a couple of the leagues I played in.

  • Dusty Baylor

    Little Leagues currently will generally have the rule in place that there is “a wall at third,” until age 10 or 11.
    Their reasoning is to 1-keep the pace of play going and 2-not turn the game into a merry-go-round of overthrows

  • BLPCB

    All the years I played there was no stealing home, no advancing to home on a wild pitch, and no scoring on a throwing error on a pickoff/steal attempt. The trail runners were allowed to advance though. Say you have runners at the corners and the pickoff throw to 3rd is errant, the runner at 1st could take 2nd.

    The first year I played Little League, there were no leadoffs, no stolen bases, only advancing on a wild pitch, can’t take 3rd if the throw goes into CF when trying to advance to 2nd on a wild pitch, no dropped 3rd strike, and you can’t bat 2x in the same inning, the most you can do is bat around.

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