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I Don't Feel Like Staying, I Just Want Something to Do: Cubs 2, Giants 0

I Don't Feel Like Staying, I Just Want Something to Do: Cubs 2, Giants 0

Oh look! John was able to post the minors recap well before this one came to an end! Luckily, it's a requirement for all Cubs Den writers to suffer from insomnia!

I have to admit that I was a bit worried about getting the recap finished, as I had a coed softball game tonight (we lost). Luckily, I missed a whole lot o' nothin' as the rain came and caused a roughly 17-hour delay (more about that later). Still we got yet another respectable outing from Tsuyoshi Wada, and Anthony Rizzo seems to be heating up again. Let's get to it, shall we?

The Very Last Time That I Saw Riz...He Said that He Was Trying to Find Himself
So this is the fifth recap that I've written, and it's the first time that I've really said much about the Cubs' slugging first baseman. He'd been in a bit of a slump, and Starlin Castro's hot August was easier to talk about. Well, Rizzo has had multi-hit games in each of the past two days, and looks like he is finding his stroke again. Especially pleasing is that he is driving the ball again. All four of his hits in the past two games have gone for extra bases, and both home runs have given the Cubs the lead. It goes without saying that Rizzo has likely been the Cubs' MVP this season, as he sits at second in the league in home runs, leads the team in OBP, and looks to have become a leader in the clubhouse. There's a lot to like about this guy.

You're despicable, inexplicable, and you're meaningless to me
So outside of the Rizzo blast, the biggest story of the night was the grounds crew covering, or not covering, the field with the tarp in a timely manner. If you were watching the Giants' broadcast, that meant that you were treated to the conspiracy theories and general whining of Mike Krukow. First they were "taking their sweet time" because the Cubs were up 2-0 in an official game. Never mind that they couldn't cover the field until the umpires asked them to drag the tarp out. Plus, if you look at the replay, they are waiting for Giants ball players to leave the field before they could get moving. Then, never mind the windy conditions and downpour, the crew was INTENTIONALLY putting the tarp on crooked to waste further time in hopes that they wouldn't be able to get the field back into playing shape. Said Krukow,"You cannot tell me that this is not intentionally premeditated." HOW DARE THEY DO THIS WHEN THEY KNOW HOW MUCH THIS GAME MEANS TO THE GIANTS! It was ridiculous, and yes, the crew should have done a better job, but seriously? You think they intentionally made themselves look like buffoons so that the Cubs could pick up an easy win? If so, Cub fans should be on the alert. Theo doesn't care about draft position, and is trying to squeeze every single win he can out of this season. Also, if the game means that much to your team, don't get shutout by a 33 year-old rookie.

Three Stars of the Game
#3 - Tsuyoshi Wada - the surprising performances continue, as Wada threw 5 shutout innings while scattering 6 hits

#2 - Anthony Rizzo - his blast on to Sheffield gave the Cubs the lead early.

#1 - The Grounds Crew - clearly the reason why the Cubs came out on top in this one

The Cubs take on the Giants again tomorrow, same bat time, same bat channel. Something will have to give, as Edwin Jackson (6-13) faces Jake Peavy (2-12). Bleah. This one could get ugly.

Onwards...

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    As always the real winner is the fans.

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    I was waiting for them to continue playing at 2 AM! Had my jersey on and keys in my hand ready to start driving as soon as they announced they were continuing. A little disappointed, would have been cool to be inside of Wrigley at 3 AM

  • In reply to Gus Medina:

    I finished writing the recap at 11, and waited up to see if they would finish. Ended up falling asleep with the tv on. Woke up, saw it was called, and hit "publish." It was a long night...can't Imagine what it might have been like if they'd tried to finish.

  • Admiral Ackbar ... nice, Sinister! One of my favorite tweets during the delay was from Gordon Wittenmyer. "Rizzo just poked head out of dugout. Went back in. Think that means 6 more weeks of delay." :)

  • Tell me again why there are still questions about protecting Tusoyoshi Wada this winter and pencilling him into the 2015 rotation???

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    What do you mean protecting him? He's on the 40 man roster and the team controls his rights for two more years. I have not been a big supporter of him, but I have to admit he is pitching well right now. His stuff has definitely sharpened up since the beginning of the year and he is certainly proving that he deserves to be here. If he is not pitching for the Cubs next year he will be pitching for another MLB team.

    The issue with Wada that I see moving forward is that he is by far the oldest starting pitcher the team has (Jackson is close but I don't really count him anymore) and I am not sold on the fact that Wada can consistently make it through an mlb lineup a third time. 5 shutout innings, while impressive, does nothing to lessen that doubt in my mind. Which means he is basically a 5th starter, and an older 5th starter at that. They have younger options that the team can build around that we can take a look at in the rotation next year like Turner and Doubront.

    I don't think anyone is saying he should just be released. But the Cubs have about a dozen starting pitchers under contract for next season already and some of them are going to have to go, especially if the team does land a frontline guy in the offseason. I think the only guys assured a spot in the rotation next April are Arrieta and Hendricks. Everything else is fluid. And if the Cubs are going to be trading a couple of pitchers in the offseason, the older guy with little upside seems to make a lot of sense as one of the guys that will be packing his bags.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    I agree, Wada looks like he really wants to be in the starting rotation! It never hurts to have an abundance of starting pitchers, I say we accept his option next year if nothing else but to add depth.

  • In reply to Jeff Wilson:

    And international fans. A Japanese station was streaming the game last night 'cause Wada was pitching.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Even IF he isn't really the far better than decent 'crafty lefty veteran' starter he seems to be in this year's sample of starts,... How could you NOT think that the Cubs are really interested in keeping him around as at least a Lefty swing-man, and emergency starter?

    Wada may indeed be a bit past his prime from his Japanese League best,.... but he's still the 3rd best starter on the current Cubs roster and extremely reasonable in cost to keep around.

    Wada as a #4/#5 starter type on next year's team? Sure - he's gotta be better than Jackson.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Or Chris Rusin. Or Brooks Raley.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Exactly mb.

  • Rizzo may have found his swing but they are still looking for that ball. Wow!

  • I lived in Sacramento for 10 years and listened to Kuiper/Krukow broadcasts and their morning shows all the time. I thought they were two of the best as far as the games went, Kuiper very good with play-by-play, and Krukow a good analyst, especially with pitching. But, yeah - Krukow can be a whiner.

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    The Cubs have one of the top grounds crew farm systems, it may be time to call up Johnny "TarpMan" Thompson!

  • In reply to Jeff Wilson:

    Is he cost controlled?

  • In reply to xhooper:

    He's arbitration eligible, but most say he's a "grinder"...max effort type of tarpman.

  • In reply to copinblue:

    Hysterical. Well done boys.

  • In reply to xhooper:

    LOL.

  • Isn't that the truth? Rizzo has really launched his last two. The only question was whether it'd ever come back to earth.

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    It was great to see Baez work a walk before the Rizzo blast.

  • Rizzo has gotten really strong this year, but is still lite in his feet on the bases and around the bag.

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    Thanks for the morning chuckle using Ackabr !

  • One of the oddest games I've been to in my 50+ years of following the Cubs.

    The 2 hits the Giants got in the 2nd were amazing. Arias took what looked like a half swing and hit a pop up down the LF line that landed just fair for a double. Crawford followed with a ground ball deep in the hole that Castro fielded but dropped.

    Pagan's double and Pence's double were crushed. Sandoval nearly hit a 2 run HR in the 3rd to tie the game.

    Both ABs for Rizzo were astonishingly loud. I lost the ball off the bat on his HR. The double was absolutely scorched down the RF line.

    The 8 pitch walk to Baez was encouraging. He took a number of pitches out of the zone, fouled off a few 'toughies,' and accepted the walk. His strikeout... no biggie. He got beat and knew it.

    Wada is a head scratcher to be sure. 6 hits, 3 Ks, and no walks in 5 innings. You hear the loud contact and wonder how he doesn't get killed... but he doesn't. Amazing.

  • I've been looking everywhere. Is there a video clip of Baez's walk I can watch?

    I kid...

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    Yes, you kid. But I would argue that clip should be in the highlights.

    All my life, the plays I want to see have never been in the highlights.

  • We bring up a couple pitchers and both are throwing better than Edwin Jackson. Time to bring up another pitcher or give Turner a start and move EJ to the bullpen. Perhaps EJ would thrive there and have some value in the long run?

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Ha. Good one Skidmore

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    In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Not much value to create in pen if he's not the closer.

    Plus, one look at his first inning numbers as well as his numbers w runners on or in high leverage situations would be the Axe to that idea w the quickness.

    Although I would really like to see Turner get at least 2 starts in September.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    It would only be as a closer, ala Dennis Eckersly. I agree on his first inning problems, but maybe if he only had to think about throwing an inning or two, he would just come in and bring it? He sure isn't succeeding as a starter.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    In the BP, he has a chance to cost us the game every other day vs every 5 days. No thanks!

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    absolutely not. EJ could single-handedly guarantee us from slipping out of the top 10 draft picks, allowing us to sign Lester, etc. There's no reason to risk that.

  • In reply to cubsdude74:

    Lester is FA without compensation, so whatever Jackson does has no impact on the cubs ability to obtain Lester w/o compensation.

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Maybe the "bull" part............................

  • In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    Seems to me they have also been better than Travis as well. Why no love lost for Travis?

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    In reply to Roe Skidmore:

    is it possible yhat ejax could be another eckersly? I remember he failed as a cub starter but someone else signed him and made a relief pitcher star out of him.he was always good the first time thru the lineup but then they caught up to him.Guess I ansewred my own Q ejax isnt always good thru the first time thru the lineup but seems like the 5th inning is his worse.

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    I am glad w the Cubs win as It completed a bird for me. With the way the Giants were not fooled by Wada, it was probably a matter of time until they broke through.

    Sad thing is the message boards in my two fantasy leagues ( one in week 1 of playoffs, the other in last week w no divisions clinched yet) are blowing up, how is Wada getting CGSHO for a 5 inning performance? Just one of those rain shorted baseball rules many are not familiar with. Funny thing is vogelsong got a CG too.

    A couple other blogs are blaming the shortage of crew last night on the cubs shortage of money/ Ricketts penny pinching. I know things are tight, but could they ever be that right ? I highly doubt it.

    Tonight's game could become really fun for offense ESP if the wind decides to blow out !!!

  • Anyone catch the video of Baker playing the guitar and Rizzo singing in the dug out during the rain delay?

    Baker has already been earning praise for his leadership and locker room presence. His play on the field as well. Now this? Just one more reason to like the guy. I have to admit, I was not a fan in April when the Mendoza line looked like an unattainable goal. But he has won me over.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I would love to see the Cubs hold onto Baker - he's not completely terrible offensively, can work a count and draw a BB fairly well, and calls and plays a solid defensive game. And chances are - he can be signed for a very reasonable contract price.

    He had a couple of decent years playing with the Marlins when he was more or less a regular. As back up catchers go - the Cubs could do far worse.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Baker still needs help on catching pitches that are directionally deficient. Doesn't block balls very well, goes for the backhand too much and drops more than his share of strikes.

  • In reply to stix:

    I can live with that better than I can the .095% CS rate... He's never been a stud back there, so I doubt (at age 33) he ever will be... But he's slowly won me over so that I don't cringe when RR has him in the starting line-up...

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    In reply to stix:

    He's got leadership skills and pitchers seem comfortable with him. My biggest criticism of JB is that he takes soooo long to get up out of the crouch and release the ball.

  • Nice read on Mike Olt and the adjustments he's made at AAA:

    http://thegamechicago.com/2014/08/19/sahadev-sharma-mike-olt-adjusting-in-minors/#axzz3Awjuo8iH

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Nice article,.... and what appears to be a great kid.

    Would love to see him open up next season as the 3B guy - until Bryant pushes him out, or gets established in the OF.

    Still think that IF Olt gets it together - he has the makings of a solid ML-level Corner IF/OF guy with some punch, but also with a lot of swing & miss to his game.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    He gives us options for sure. I still think he's going to be good enough to be an everyday 3B. If he proves that, he will bring back more value to us than he would have as a bench/utility player.

    Though I think we'll have to be blown away to move him before Soler & Bryant are established at the MLB level.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Great read - thanks for the link. Wouldn't it be great if Olt turned out to be the guy we were all hoping the Cubs could get, before we knew who Kris Bryant was?

  • It seems like it has been a long time since I've seen the tarp rolled out. I feel like MLB today is much slower to call a rain delay than they were many years ago.

    And yes, the wind was blowing and the rain was a deluge, but that rolling out of the tarp was executed like they had never done it before. Going off at an angle? Easily seen while still easily corrected, but ignored.

    In my old memory, as the tarp is rolled out and the cylinder gets lighter, guys peel off and run back to start the pulling of the tarp (or at least get into position). I don't think anyone stopped pushing the cylinder until the last three or four feet. Then, suddenly, only one guy was needed to push it clear.

    I do think the umpire should have checked the radar at the break and acted, but the grounds crew really botched that roll out.

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    The radar showed it wasn't going to rain for long. I live a couple miles from Wrigley and it rained hard for 10 minutes tops, and then stopped for good.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    All the more reason to call the tarp out. The delay would have been, what, thirty minutes?

    Did he check the radar? Did the radar not show that the intensity of rain was likely to increase significantly? Did the radar indicate that the intense rain had a chance of hitting Wrigley?

    Are they not allowed to preemptively halt play? It was already raining so the "preemptively" would have been subjective anyways.

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    It started to rain in the top of the 5th with 2 outs. It's common to finish up an inning before calling a delay.

    This is 100% on the groundcrew. The umpires didn't screw anything up. If they did their job properly the 5 hour delay wouldn't have happened.

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    Yes, they should have finished the inning. And in the break, the ump should have checked the radar. There was plenty of time to do that, call for the tarp and then get the tarp out before the deluge hit.

    The inning finished, the tv commercials aired, a batter came to the plate and then the ump called for the tarp.

    The ground crew was absurd. But it seems to me the ump could have done better (unless the radar was completely misleading). Hence, I ask the questions.

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    We can't assume he didn't check the radar.

    There wouldn't have been plenty of time either, did you see how long it took them to get it on in the first place?

  • In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    "We can't assume he didn't check the radar."

    I have not assumed it. I have asked if he did.

  • The Tarp video is hilarious!

    Of course this does make the Cubs grounds crew and organization look really incompetent, but the true fault lies with the umpiring crew for failure to call for the tarp earlier in the inning.

    Good recap on the game!

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    The field was still playable when they called it. They couldn't have anticipated a total blunder by the grounds crew. It should have never taken 30 minutes to cover the field.

  • Im wondering if Crackjaw might have been talking the same smack if HIS team had been ahead. I SERIOUSLY doubt it.

  • Best part of the whole article "Also, if the game means that much to your team, don't get shutout by a 33 year-old rookie." LOL exactly!

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    With regards to the Mike Olt talk a few posts up...

    Wouldn't it be something if Olt established himself as the thirdbaseman? Imagine the thump coming from a line up of:

    Alcantara CF
    Castro SS (he's had a lot of success in the 2 spot)
    Soler RF (with his advanced approach, best fit for 3 hole)
    Rizzo 1B (lefty breaking up RH power bats in the middle)
    Bryant LF (could hit 3, 4 or 5)
    Baez 2B
    Olt 3B
    Beef C

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Olt is going to be phased out soon.

    He'll be back up in September so that leaves little time to make his imprint on the rest of this season. He's probably not going to even play everyday.

    Next year he'll have a couple weeks in a platoon until Bryant takes over for good. And the front office has said they want Bryant at 3rd for now.

    With Soler/Alcantara in RF/CF, the best he could do is fight for playing time in that 5th OF spot against Ruggiano/Cog, or be phased out of the OF if the Cubs sign an everyday LF.

    His only hope is to get to the big leagues and go on a huge tear. The Cubs have a brutal final month schedule-wise, that coupled with the inconsistent playing time he'll be getting leads me to believe he's done with the Cubs in a significant role.

    He's going to take over the Brett Jackson role of "If he can turn it around he can be a valuable trade piece" talk.

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    In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    I agree. I think they will trade him if he recoups any trade value. There are just too many right handed swing and miss types in the lineup and in the future w Bryant and Soler coming up.

    Unless they plan on trading one of the big chips for that pitcher/left handed bat, I don't see a spot for Mr. Olt. I really believe they want to keep Bryant at 3rd to start his career, and then move him off if Russell comes up and pushes everyone around or Bryant shows he can't man the position,

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    It would help greatly if he could do that at the Major League level.

    What we really need is 3-4 high OBP guys who can get on base in front of all the thumpers. Then the runs would be coming in droves.

  • Fortunately, the Cubs have some great grounds crew members in AAA that should contribute in a year or two.

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    In reply to bzalisko:

    +1

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    In reply to bzalisko:

    Lol! Let's hope some of them actually contribute at the ML level.

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    In reply to bzalisko:

    Lol! Let's hope some of them live up to their advance billing.

  • In reply to bzalisko:

    I heard they've really been raking it in Iowa this year.

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    In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    *groan*

  • My understanding is that the Giants protested the game and MLB agreed with them and the game will be completed tomorrow at, I think, 4:00.

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    Wow I am surprised.

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