Gallagher's Dirty Dozen
The season here in Des Moines has had a hard time getting started this year. Bad weather, bad team and bad schedule; you're out!
Yesterday was an exception.
Sean Gallagher served up a tasty lunch in a nooner matinee at Principal Park on one of the very few days so far when the elements didn't cross-up the schedule makers.
After seven innings Gallagher had thrown 86 pitches, allowing one run on three hits with no walks and 12 strikeouts. All 12 K's were swinging, most of them on a nasty breaking ball.
His pitch counts by inning were as follows: 11, 13,13, 14, 16, 9 and 10.
They trotted him back out for the eighth, the only frame when he failed to fan anybody. He walked the leadoff man, erased him on a DP grounder, gave up a base hit and called it a day after 101 mostly carveaceous, to coin a word, pitches.
The lone run he allowed came on a 3-1 fastball that Chris Shelton swatted into the parking lot in the fourth [you might remember Shelton; the erstwhile Tiger who briefly led the majors in homers a couple of Aprils ago].
Gallagher's foils were the Oklahoma Redhawks, apprentices of the Texas Rangers. They came into the game with a record of 15-4.
Nelson Cruz, to name one, had been tearing it up and only been whiffed six times in nineteen games. Gallagher popped him up in the first, then fanned him in the fourth and seventh without ever throwing him a fastball.
He struck out two in every inning from the 4th through the 7th
The scoreboard gun had his curveball in the low 70's and his fastball topping out between 91-93, but a Cleveland scout behind the plate said his readings were 2-3 MPH faster. By the way, another scout told me he works for Baltimore, but was only there because his routine territory is the PCL.
CRUMBS: Eric Patterson played CF on Monday night. Yesterday he was at 2B and already had two hits when he left in the third after pulling up lame on the basepaths with what was described afterwards as a strained hamstring; no prognosis yet...Sam Fuld is listed as active but hasn't played on this homestand due to a bad right thumb. He's only had 20 AB's in 18 games...no one around here expects Micah Hoffpauir back any sooner than 2-3 more weeks. They claim he's in Arizona rehabbing...Jose Ascanio looks good as a closer-in-training. Yesterday he notched his fifth save. He's fanned 11 and walked just two in 10 innings while holding batters to a BAA of .179...Sidney Ponson beat the I-Cubs on Monday night with a nifty seven innings of work...don't yet know why, but the whole team wears their pants tucked up under the knee, a la Reed Johnson; the team looks better than it is...MW
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I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.