Cubs Recap for April 15, 2012
And I'm back from the high seas...
@Cardinals 10 - Cubs 3; Maholm is gonna look like the goat in this game and he certainly didn't pitch particularly well, but he also wasn't helped out one tad bit by his manager or his defense. Sveum puts out the B-squad against the right-hander Jake Westbrook including Jeff Baker, Joe Mather, Reed Johnson and Blake DeWitt with the team having an off-day anyway tomorrow. Then in the second I counted three plays that in my humble opinion a better second basemen would have turned into more outs. The first run scoring single by Matt Carpenter looked like a makeable play for a more rangey second basemen, let's call him Darwin Barney. The next a ground ball to Castro that looked like two, but DeWitt couldn't turn. And then another groundball to DeWitt that he fumbled out of the glove costing yet another double play. Nonetheless, Sveum was essentially giving this one away with the lineup he put out there as is. Good news is that the farm system should look great over over the next few seasons with all the losses the major league team is going to accumulate.
@Round Rock 11 - Iowa 10 (13 innings); The Iowa offense pounds out 22 hits, but loses in extra innings. Let's start with the bad and that means their starting pitcher Randy Wells who goes 2.1 IP and gives up 8 ER including one long ball. Ryan-Rowland Smith gave up 2 in his 2.2 innings of work, but Caridad and Maine combine for 5 shutout innings to keep the game alive. Corpas had to go 2.1, presumambly to save some arms and got saddled with a loss that he probably didn't deserve. All the starters managed a hit on the offensive side with Amezaga managing a 5/7. Others with multi-hit games included Campana (3/4), Rizzo (3/7), Valbuena (2/4), Cardenas (4/7), and Tolbert (2/5). Campana, Valbuena and Lalli each took one over the fence. Campana stole his 6th base but also got caught for the 2nd time this year. Brett Jackson still walking(2) and still striking out (3).
@Huntsville 5 - Tennessee 4; Elliot Soto with the only multi-hit game, both doubles, although he was also caught stealing. Watkins reached base in all 4 of his plate appearances including 3 walks and stole a base, but did commit an error. Nick Struck goes 5 IP and gives up 2 ER on 3 H, 4 BB and 1 K. M. Hatley gets the dunce cap and the loss giving up 3 ER in 2 innings of work.
@Dunedin 2 - Daytona 1 (12 innings); Rubi Silva and John Andreoli manage the only multi-hit games for Daytona in the loss. Szczur managed the only successful stolen base of the night while 3 Cubs get nabbed (Silva, Andreoli and Eliessar Bonne). Solid pitching though as Austin Kirk goes 7 innings giving up just a run and 4 H, 1 BB and 1 K. A.J. Morris(0.2 IP) and C. Harman combine for 3 scoreless innings. L. Suarez gets the loss with 1.1 IP, but 5 hits allowed and giving up the deciding run in extras.
Peoria 5 - @Wisconsin 3 (11 innings); Devoss gets on-base three times including a triple. Oliver Zapata with the other multi-hit game including a long ball in the 11th to win it. Willengton Cruz starts and goes 5.2 IP with 5 K, 4 H, 3 BB and 3 ER. Luis Liria, A. McKirahan and Yao-Lin Wang combine for 5.1 innings of scoreless ball and Wang gets the win and saves it for himself.
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.