Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
Mets (3) @ Cubs (4)
W: Jon Lester (3-2)
L: Jacob deGrom (3-4)
S: Hector Rondon (7)
- BACK TO BACK JACKS - Our minds tell us that it will be a regular occurrence once this lineup of hitters gets a little more established, but when it happens, it’s fun to see. What better way to start off a series against a hot Mets team than to get your leadoff man on and then see Kris Bryant christen the LF bleachers with a two run shot and Anthony Rizzo follow it right up on the very next pitch with a solo shot to CF? That’s the way to rattle an young SP and get the fans excited about things. It’s going to be fun in the future watching this lineup. In the ideal projection, everyone up and down should have 15-20+ home run power. That is a crazy, scary good offense and one that I would be terrified to face if I were an opposing pitcher.
- THE BLEACHERS OPENED ON TIME…SORT OF – Last night saw the opening of the left field bleachers, “on schedule”, albeit a delayed on time. It’s going to be really cool when this whole renovation project is finished. Living in NC, I don’t get to Wrigley much, and I’ve not been there since they put the seating area in the batter’s eye. I’m going to wait until everything is complete before I get to the park so I can be completely overwhelmed by how different it looks. I remember taking the bus as a kid, buying tickets the day of the game for the bleachers, and eating at the hot dog place next door that we called “Yum Yum Donuts”. It will be crazy to see how much different it is when the whole Wrigley experience, hotel included, is complete.
- THE PITCHING – All I ask is that my # 1 and # 2 starters give me six innings of three run baseball with a start that produces seven innings every so often and then the back end and fill in the gaps. Jon Lester was able to give us just that, and really looked pretty good until a couple of solo shots in the 6th that also went back to back, courtesy of Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores. We’ve seen a drastic improvement from Lester the last few starts. He was 2-0 with an ERA of 1.80 in his three starts coming into the game, and he picked up another win (because we all know that it’s a stat that matters most) in the process of last night’s outing. That said, it was crazy nerve wracking to watch the bullpen, but they came in and got the job done. Justin Grimm pitched a pretty easy 7th inning and was brought back out in the 8th. I liked the move from Joe Maddon today. I didn’t like it with Pedro Strop due to his struggles and early season overuse, but with Grimm it was the right call. Unfortunately, while Maddon’s hook was longer than most managers, he was quick to pull Grimm after the leadoff man reached base on a single. Zac Russcup and Hector Rondon finished things up, despite the fact that I fell asleep in the bottom of the 8th and missed the 9th. Baby steps for the pen. Baby steps.
- STRIKE ZONE ISSUES IN THE 6TH – I despise the whole situation between Lester and the home plate umpire, Andy Fletcher, in the top of the 6th. While the calls being made by Fletcher on pitches that were borderline were not going Lester’s way, you have no place to show up and disrespect an umpire by shouting from the mound and clearly berating him. Fletcher would have had every right to toss Lester for showing him up, but he kept his head. The calls we bad and Lester’s response was bad. About the only thing commendable in the situation was Fletcher handling it with poise and not turning it into an ump show. He did a good job just ignoring things.
- FAILURE TO POUNCE – If I have to nitpick a little on a win, it would be toward Rizzo for failure to pounce on an already dazed Met’s team in the 4th. With the bases load and two outs, Rizzo had the chance to step on the throats a little and drive home a pair of runs at least. Instead, he not only grounded out to end the inning, but he did so right to the pitcher. Not good.
- The Cubs signed Pedro Feliciano prior to the game to a minor league contract. At this point, we are looking for trash to treasure type guys and hoping one sticks in an effort to address this bullpen situation.
- John Arguello posted a look at 10 players the Cubs could look at with the 9th pick in the upcoming June draft. Take a look at the piece.
- Crane Kenny visited the booth last night and discussed the new bleachers.
Game 2 of the 4 game series with the Mets tonight at 8:05p EDT. For the Mets, Noah Syndergaard, the top prospect in their system, makes his Major League debut. Syndergaard was 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA in five starts with Las Vegas this season. All that I’ve read is that he’s the real deal. He’ll be opposed by Jake Arrieta, who desperately needs a good start after struggling in his last few outings.
THIS DAY IN CUBS HISTORY
1955 – After walking the bases full in the bottom of the ninth, Cubs right-hander Sam ‘Toothpick’ Jones whiffs Dick Groat, Roberto Clemente and Frank Thomas to preserve his 4-0 no-hitter against the Pirates. Unfortunately, only 2,918 fans are on hand at Wrigley Field to witness the first no-hitter ever thrown by a black player and the ninth rookie to throw a hitless game.
1956 – At Ebbets Field, Carl Erskine tosses his second career no-hitter when he holds the crosstown rival Giants hitless in the Dodgers’ 3-0 victory. The right-handed ‘Oisk’ also threw a no-no against the Cubs in 1952.
1968 – The Mets play their 1000th game in franchise history, losing to Chicago at Wrigley Field in the first game of a doubleheader, 4-3. The Amazins have compiled a 332-664 record along with four games that ended in a tie during the span, but start their next 1000 games of match ups with a resounding 10-0 rout of the Cubs in the nightcap.
1970 – At Wrigley Field only 5,264 fans see Ernie Banks hit his 500th career home run, but on hand to witness the historic home run is Frank Secory, one of the umpires of the 1953 contest in which Mr. Cub hit his first round-tripper. The second-inning line drive, hit off Braves’ pitcher Pat Jarvis into the left-field bleachers, bounces back onto the field and is given to the Cub first baseman after the ball is retrieved by Atlanta outfielder Rico Carty.
1974 – In a 4-3 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field, Bronx native Ed Kranepool collects his 1000th major league hit. The James Monroe High School graduate, who will play his entire 18-year career with the Mets, retiring as the all-time franchise leader with 1,418 hits.
1998 – Mark Grace is the first player to have his home run ball land in the swimming pool, which is located 415 feet from home plate just behind the right-center field fence of the new Bank One Ballpark. The Cubs’ first baseman, who will become a fan favorite in Arizona after signing as a free agent with the club in 2000, will not accomplish the feat again during his three seasons of playing in the desert.
2004 – In one of the most remarkable at-bats in big league history, Alex Cora fouls off 14 consecutive pitches and then hits the 18th thrown to him by the Cubs’ Matt Clement over the right-field fence for a two-run home run which doubles LA’s lead to 4-0. The Dodger Stadium crowd cheered each foul ball as the total started to be displayed on the scoreboard.
2013 – The Cubs and Anthony Rizzo agree to a $41 million, seven-year contract in a deal that could reach $68 million over nine seasons. In January of 2012, Chicago acquired the 23 year-old first baseman and right-handed starting pitcher Zach Cates from the Padres in exchange for right-handed starter Andrew Cashner and outfielder Kyung-Min Na.
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