Cashner Sails Against the Wind
My wife and I went to the I-Cub game tonight with friends. Free general admission for a donation to an organization that provides those in need with the "basic essentials." We got in for a can of shaving cream, a couple bars of soap, a toothbrush and a disposable razor.
It was a beautiful night with a breeze whipping out of the south @ 20-25 mph. A misty spray from the grounds crew hosing down the infield carried all the way to our seats behind the Iowa bullpen down the third baseline. My buddy and I agreed that a slugfest was in store.
I was surprised when Andrew Cashner came out and started throwing long toss. He was supposed to start tomorrow with an extra day of rest as a result of the team's off day earlier in the week. I didn't have a notebook or a pen or anything to make notes with plus I felt sorry for anybody having to pitch in the hitter-friendly conditions.
Well, Iowa won 1-0 in the Madduxian time of 1:52, the team's 11th win in 12 tries! The game proceeded so briskly that an extended intermission was required before the post-game fireworks show could launch - it wasn't dark enough yet!
Cashner retired the first 13 hitters he faced. He left after seven innings, 95 pitches, no walks, seven strikeouts and one hit batsman. He's now won all three of his Triple A starts and sports a glittering ERA of 0.95.
His fastball was at the knees or lower all night and clocking in the mid-90's.
Why did he pitch tonight? Maybe Oneri Fleita can answer that one. I thought I saw him on the field walking toward the team's clubhouse after the game ended. No doubt he was on his way to filing a glowing report on what he'd just seen in Des Moines.
I've seen headshots of Cashner before and watched him throw a couple of innings on TV in spring training. But in person he reminded me some of Jeff Weaver - blonde and lanky; hard-throwing.
In the managerial department the Iowa skipper ran the team out of a possible insurance run that wasn't needed after all when he wheeled Matt Camp around third with one out in the bottom of the 8th to try and score on Jim Adduci's single to center. Camp was out before he could even consider whether or not to slide. Adduci, by the way, made the play of the game when he leaped at the wall to snag a blast with the tying run on base and two outs in the top of the 7th. He also fielded the first hit off Cashner in the 5th when it came off the wall in left-center and held the hitter to a single. Those were the only two hard hit balls by either team all night.
Now I can go to a couple of graduation parties tomorrow afternoon instead of the ballpark. I may have just come from one tonight.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.