Star of the Game – Gio Gonzalez – .448 (WPA)
At the beginning of the series, I had three thoughts. First, I was frustrated because I had planned to go to this series, but forgot it was so early in the year and it crept up on me. Before I knew it, it was here and I hadn’t made the arrangements to attend. That led to the second thought, which was that I was pretty sure I was not going to be able to see any of the games as MASN is not a channel I get on my lineup and I’m blacked out on MLB.tv due to proximity (5 hours) to Washington. Thankfully, two of the games were on WGN. Finally, I had a thought that if we could get out of the series with at least one win, I’d consider it a success. Instead, we leave with a series win after dropping the first game on Friday. Not a bad way to finish the weekend.
Normally, this is where I would rave about the job that Scott Feldman had done, but we’ll just mention that, once again, he looked really good. Definitely someone who should be a part of this rotation, but we’ll get to that in a little more detail later today when I step on my soapbox. Remember to check back around 2pm for that. Instead, we’d be doing a disservice to you the reader if we didn’t mention the job Gio Gonzalez did today in his limited amount of work. He was perfect through five innings and saw the perfecto broken up in the 6th by Dioner Navarro. He’d leave after seven innings of work, allowing just two hits and striking out six. The curious part about the day for Gonzalez was the length. He had cruised through the 7th and had tossed just 86 pitches. He could have easily come out for the 8th inning, but instead Davey Johnson elected to lift him in favor of the pinch hitter in the bottom half of the inning. It was curious at the time and it may have been the move that cost the Nats the series. It’s easy to say it was a mistake with the benefit of hindsight, but at the time, I questioned it as did Len Kasper. Johnson wanted to put up an insurance run, but there really was no reason to think that the one run they already had would not already be enough based on the day Gio was having. In the end, the Cubs plated a run in the 8th and then again in the 9th on some seeing eye singles and ended the day with a perfect inning save by Kevin Gregg.
- Shawn Camp was warming up in the bullpen, and while he didn’t make it into the game, he had two nice outings in this series. He’s running out of guys ahead of him that can be optioned or designated for assignment when Matt Garza comes off the DL so he better be pitching like his hair is on fire the next week or so.
- Luis Valbuena missed the game with an injured finger, which is fine with me. I’m not a Valbuena guy.
- Teddy Roosevelt won the presidents race. It was his first win of the year and comes on the heels of William Howard Taft picking up his first win of his career on Saturday.
During each of my game recaps this season, we take a look at the night turned in by the home plate umpire. In 2012, the league average for correct calls on pitches taken was 87.1%. Today’s man in blue was John Tumpane, who put together an 83.1% correct call rate and really made no friends with right handed hitters, especially Kurt Suzuki late in the game. Take a look at his accuracy by zone and his called strike rate against the righties.
CORRECT CALL RATE
CALLED STRIKE RATE VS RIGHTIES