Just walking in the Rain. Tralfazz 1 Cubs 0

Just walking in the Rain. Tralfazz 1 Cubs 0

Anthony Rizzo hustled down the first baseline where he collided with the leg of a jumping outstretched Brett Wallace, who was jumping for an errant throw. Rizzo went flying into the air and landed awkwardly on the ground. He lay on the ground but eventually got up and was helped off the field. And as he went off he apparently took any chance the Cubs had of winning their 5th straight game. After 4 semi-respectable games, the Cubs returned to their losing ways- goofy fielding, lack of attention on the base paths, and hacking away at 6 unimpressive Astro pitchers in losing 1-0. A Justin Maxwell sacrifice fly was the entire scoring of the game. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have things to discuss. Let’s breakdown, go ahead and give it to me.

 

AND JUSTIN FOR ALL.

 

Justin Germano continued his long man filling in the rotation because there’s nobody else to pitch charade tonight. And he did just fine. 5 innings, 3 hits, that one silly run walking two and striking out an eye-popping 8 Astros. The key was using his curveball early and often. It’s clearly his best pitch. He used it to set up his fastball, which is pretty much a double caffeinated change up. There’s a role in the bullpen for him next year I would think. But someone has to cut the hair as they say. Kudos to the bullpen for throwing 4 shutout innings, albeit against a glorified Sugar land Skeeters lineup.

 

OKAY, MAYBE ARGUELLO ISN’T GORKED OUT OF HIS MIND ON SCOTCH.

 

So, while it was the Astros, this is the first game where Alberto Cabrera matched the hype we’ve been reading about in Arguello’s minor league reports. You finally see where this kid could break out of the Roberto Novoa-Jeff Stevens-Esmailin Caridad malaise. Both pitches were dominant. The fastball was mean. And the slider was downright filthy. True, we need to see it against buckets 3,4, and 5 of the grand prize game. But dominant is dominant, and today, Alberto Cabrera was dominant.

 

STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES, SIR.

 

Boy we’re there some screaming stupidity in tonight’s game. Top of the 6th inning. Runners on second and third. One out. Darwin Barney lofts a ball to center field, plenty deep enough to score the tying run. But Dave Sappelt, who doubled earlier, decides to tag up and go to third, where he’s easily gunned down before Starlin Castro can score. D’oh!. Double D’oh!  There was also the return of the “we’ve never done a proper run down” rundown. This allowed clueless 2B umpire Doug Eddings to be hopelessly out of position to not only see the runner was out of the baseline but that he was actually tagged out. Things were going so well. Wha’ happened?

 

The good news is Anthony Rizzo is apparently okay and that tomorrow is the last game we’ll see these two play for a long time. The Astros are headed for the American league West. Where they will suck for a very, very long time. Travis Wood goes for the Cubs who try to end this road trip with 5 out of 6. Seems possible so why not, right?

 

Box Score.

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  • I had another softball game tonight, so I didn't get to watch. It's probably for the better, considering the quality of play. I tuned in with 2 outs in the ninth inning. Wow...losing to a team that matched the number of hits they had with errors....bleah.

    On a side note, I think they are filming the sequel to the Lonely Guy at Minute Maid Park. I am almost positive I saw a Gene Hackman cardboard cutout in the stands last night. They've got to make it look like SOME people showed up for the games, after all.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Ha! It was pretty sparse. One thing that despite the small crowed, they were annoying to me was that they were trying to be as loud as possible but at inappropriate moments. Maybe they had one of those "make some noise" graphics on the scoreboard.

    And that place has all the acoustics of an indoor swimming pool.

  • That FB was filthy today, up to 96 with all kinds of movement. Astros hitters had no chance. That's the guy I saw in AA and AAA this year.

  • That "play" by Sappelt was almost enough for me just to want to cut him right then and there. Big time lack of situational awareness. Ugh.

    Also, let's play guess the player:

    Player A's slash line (from 2010): .214/.254/.298
    Player B's slash line (this year): .211/.274/.292

    Did you guess Koyie Hill (Player A) and Steve Clevenger (Player B)??

    Is there any way that we could find a back-up catcher that doesn't just make you want to change the channel whenever he's at bat? Dear Lord, I never thought I'd see another Koyie Hill after they waived him only to realize we've got another (younger!) one on our roster already! Weeeeee!!!

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    I don't know that the problem is that Clevenger is our back-up catcher, I think the problem is that our back-up has played so many games. I can deal with the second catcher hitting .211 if he is only playing 30-35 games a season. Hopefully Castillo will prove to be a guy that can start 120+ games per year, and we won't have to worry about it for a while.

    To be honest, though, I agree. Clevenger is a fringe major leaguer at best. I'm about ready to see what Recker can do in that role, even if he doesn't hit lefty. He at least looks like he can drive the ball a bit...

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Yes, to clarify, I suppose it's not so much the average, but the mediocre OB skills in general (low OBP) and almost complete lack of power. He's also got a fringy arm behind the plate and teams don't seem scared to run on him... at all. It makes me long for the days of Henry Blanco who was the perfect back-up... he could control the running game, hit some taters, and call a good game. He also might hit .210, but if you missed your spots, he made you pay.

    Anyway, I agree. If we're gonna have a sucky back-up then we need to play him far, far less. I also hope Castillo can start 120+ games. He seems to have a decent bat.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Clev is a LH batter..... we'll be lucky if Sveum plays him less. I for one am not counting on it. I'd rather they sign a vet b/u catcher that can help Castillo improve his receiving skills. If they stick with Clev, then lets sign Koyie as a bullpen catcher and he can work with Castillo at practice & pre-game.

  • Hate to break it to you, Felzz, but the Astros visit the Cubs to close out the 2012 season 1-3 October. So we get to see them again, soon. Hope you can bear the anticipation.

  • Well last time in Houston anyway.

    I didn't think Clevenger's line had gotten that low. post olique has really been tough. It's not that he can't be a good backup. I think he can. But he shouldn't be a back-up here where our #1 is young and could really use a mentor. I PREDICT....( Saying it like I mean it....) that Jose Molina is signed in the off season to be the backup. ( i think he's a free agent. if not someone jose Molina-ish)

  • In reply to felzz:

    Remember when Clevenger and Super Joe were owning spring training? Ahhh spring, when our biggest concern was whether we should flip Garza for three elite prospects or keep him for a title run in 2014. We were so young and idealistic back then.

  • In reply to baseballet:

    They were great this spring -- and Clevenger actually hit well in the regular season before his injury too and a lot of people thought he should have started over Soto. Turns out Soto needed to be replaced, but not by Clevenger.

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    It's been already pointed out but I can't help repeating it: Sappelt's play was the most idiotic play of the year. I just couldn't believe Dale Sveum even let him stay in the game after that. I mean, Castro's frequent mistakes are obviously exasperating, but those are simply the product of a lack of focus, and not of incredibly stupid decisions like the one Sappelt made tonight.

    Am I overreacting here?

  • In reply to João Lucas:

    For me, the real question here is was he sent or did he go on his own? I saw the highlight, but not the actual game. For some reason that local station that televised it isn't in my local channel package on directv in NW IN, yet I'm considered in the local area for mlb.tv black-out restrictions....

    I agree it was a bad decision, whoever's it was. I've liked what I've seen from Sappelt in 2011 with the Reds and this year. I think he's a 4th/5th OF'r, and he's still technically a rookie so let's not get too carried away....

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    It was Sappelt's decision. Sveum admitted it after the game and said that Listach didn't send him... it was Sappelt's (really, really bad) decision.

    Sappelt actually looks like a serviceable 4th/5th OFer, but that was uuuuuugly, especially in that situation. Let's hope that they work with him and he doesn't make that kind of blunder again.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Yep, Sappelt did that on his own. It's too bad because he was starting to play well and he's in the mix for a reserve OF spot. He can't make those kinds of bad decisions right now.

  • In reply to João Lucas:

    Without the Cubs feed last night and the Astros announcers were all over Castro and glossed right over the fact that Sappelt had no business tagging at 2B with the tying run about to score from 3B if he just stays put. Little league play, and Castro wasn't the villain though some want to portray his as such.

  • "True, we need to see it against buckets 3,4, and 5 of the grand prize game."

    And then Bozo will give him a shiny new bike! Yea!!

  • In reply to eaton53:

    I used to walk home 2 blocks from school and watch that show at lunch time.

  • Me too, and I was in my 30s.....

    Two things I remember best:
    1) At one point, the ticket list was so long, you had to reserve a ticket for Bozo's Circus before your kid was even born.
    2) The kid who said, "Cram it, Boze !".

  • "True, we need to see it against buckets 3,4, and 5 of the grand prize game."

    Really entertaining recap Felzz!

  • Glad you liked it.

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    I did enjoy how, once again, Starlin Castro took the brunt of the blame on that Darwin Barney runner tagging play. CSN kept talking about how Castro slowed up before crossing the plate and he continuosly has problems staying focused. What player doesn't let up there? How many players think the moron on first base will run when he has negative 100% chance of making it? How is it Castro's fault that Dave is dumb? The Castro bashing is getting untolerable.

  • In reply to Demarrer:

    Agreed 100% and I just wrote about that same thing in a new piece. We all know Castro makes mistakes, but at least hold him accountable his OWN mistakes and 2) don't single him out for things that many other players do all the time too.

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