Damn Yankees--Yankees 11 Cubs 6

Brett Anderson struggled early. Anderson recorded a single out which tells you as much as you need to about this game. Brett Gardner led off with a double. Aaron Hicks hit the ball to Anderson, but an error allowed Gardner to score. Hicks wound up at second. Starlin Castro doubled to make it 2-0 Yankee lead. Anderson struck out Aaron Judge for his lone moment of brilliance. Gary Sanchez singled to make it 3-0. Didi Gregorius singled and a Chase Headley double ended Anderson night. It also spotted the Yankees a 5-0 lead before the second out of the game. Felix Pena was the first reliever and he recorded two quick outs to keep the Cubs somewhat in the game.

In the third inning Gary Sanchez led off the inning with a Gary Sanchez single. Gregorius single to give the Yanks two on with no out. Headley struck out with a harumph. Chris Carter reached on a fielder's choice and error making it a 6-0 game. A Jordan Montgomery grounded into a double play prevented the flood gates from opening at this point. The Yankees would hold onto this lead easily. The Yankees added in the fourth inning. Hicks had a one out double, and Castro blasted his sixth bomb of the season to make it 8-0.

The Cubs made it some sort of a game with an Albert Almora walk in the fifth inning. Javier Baez doubled to give the Cubs a shot. New relief pitcher Rob Zasryzny flied out, but a Jn Jay ground out got the Cubs on the board. Ben Zobrist reached on an error to make it a 8-2 game. The Cubs ended Jordan Montgomery's night in the seventh inning. Jay walked with two outs, and Zobrist triple drove in the Cubs third run.

Rob Refsnyder walked with one out in the eighth inning. Gardner singled and an Aaron Hicks bomb put this one out of reach at 11-3. Castro followed it up with a solid single, but a double play ended this inning. An Addison Russell triple added a slight hint of drama in the bottom half of the eighth. Contreras walked and was exchanged on an Albert Almora fielder's choice. Baex singled to make it a 11-4 game. Miguel Montero delivered a two run pinch hit single. The Federalist doubled, but Ben Zobrist could not make it a game with his swinging strike out. Montero pitched the ninth inning, and managed through some guile to keep it a 5 run deficit. The Cubs couldn't even muster a tease rally in the ninth, and the Yankees took the second game of the series with an all too easy win.


Source: FanGraphs

The Brett Anderson Experience
I liked the Brett Anderson signing. Anderson was a top pitching prospect once upon a time and has done well when able to stay on the field. Tonight represents yet another example of past history not always predicting the future. Anderson's ERA continues to sky rocket, and makes me feel more and more like an idiot proclaiming his only concern was health and not production. Anderson has shown flashes of the highly thought of lefty, but more often than not it has been a poor outing from the southpaw.

Bullpen Kudos
The plus was the two recent call ups of Felix Pena and Rob Zastryzny pitched 7.2 innings that prevented a tired bullpen from being overtaxed. Pena and Zastryzny both gave up runs in thier work, but at the end of the day the key guys in the bullpen received another day off. The Cubs have Lester going tomorrow. A quality start from Lester should result in a win. The Cubs backend bullpen relievers will be ready for tomorrow's night game.

Starlin Castro has had quite the start to a season. Castro continue that with a 3-4 night with a home run. Castro was not the catalyst but his performance was a big component of the easy Yanks win. Castro was always a controversial player in his time here. It seemed like no matter what I wrote about him here would result in one side feeling I was biased. I especially enjoyed the recaps where I got comments claiming that I was being both too hard and too easy on Castro. Those were my favorites. Still I can't be upset to see Castro reaching the full potential of his amazing bat to ball skills.

Random Reference
I'll admit it. I was trying to run an errand after the Yankees extended a 11-3 lead. I needed to return a DVD to the store before midnight, and thought I would make it while little drama occured in the game. Of course the Cubs started a rally, and that turned my trip into the endinng of Ferris Bueller trying to race home while the action was going on.

Three Stars of Game
Third Star-Jordan Montgomery (6.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 4 BB, 3 K)
Montgomery struggled with his command, but he did more than enough to hold onto the big league.

Second Star-Starlin Castro (3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI)
Rizzo playing Castro's walk up music makes me happy.

First Star-Aaron Hicks (4-5, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI)
Yesterday it was Brett Gardner delivering the key hit. Tonight Aaron Hicks was the player the Cubs couldn't keep off the bases. Hicks bomb turned out to be a back breaker with the late rally in the eighth inning.


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  • Eddie Butler tonight in Iowa: six innings, four hits, no walks, six K's, and no runs. On the season, he's sporting a dandy 1.17 ERA. My guess is we'll see him next Friday in St. Louis.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Great to hear Butler pitched well tonight, that eases my fears about the severity of his ankle injury. He is looking very good this year after mechanical tweaks and what appears to be a return of confidence. Many have thought he may be up later this year, but circumstances may alter that plan. I was hoping he could stay down a little longer to make sure that when he arrives he'd be ready to stick as far as options go, but if I'm following the rules correctly, he has a fourth option for 2017 only, meaning he can go up and down if necessary and is out of options next year regardless.

    With Lester pitching tomorrow, I'd like to see him, Arrieta, and Lackey go on regular rest in St. Louis next weekend. After that series and an off day the following Monday, we begin a stretch of 16 games without a day off, including a trip out West. We'll have to make a decision by then.

    Much like Anderson's last two starts, the Damn Yankees are a chapter in the mighty Motor City Madman's career I'd just as soon forget, so no lyrics for you tonight, Mike. :)

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    Great to hear Butler pitched so well tonight, that eases my fears about his ankle. In a perfect world I'd like to see him stay down until we're sure he's ready to come up for good, but circumstances may force the issue. I was worried about burning his last option, as he's already used three, but if I'm reading the rules correctly, his fourth option is only good for 2017, so we could send him back and forth if necessary, and he'll be out of options in 2018 regardless.

    With Leater going tomorrow, I'd like to see him, Arrieta, and Lackey pitch the weekend set in St. Louis on regular rest. After an off-day the following Monday, we play 16 in a row without an off-day, including a trip out west, so a decision will have to be made.

    Much like Anderson's last two starts, the Damn Yankees are a blemish on the Motor City Madman's career I'd just as soon forget, so no lyrics for you tonight, Mike. :)

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    I've been hoping for the success of Butler more than anyone but while I've kept hoping for his peripherals to catch up with his success they've actually gotten worse. His 4.01 K/9 and 20.3 FB rate could get him knocked around in Wrigley. So really despite the success I have really mixed feelings about bringing him up. It's looking like he really needs the year to work on some defincies. For me Montgomery is the 5th starter until the deadline where it's looking like they might need two pitchers.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I think Montgomery could be a good starting pitcher. But I feel like he's really needed in the bullpen, I also think it's smart to see what the team has in Butler before the trade deadline. And they don't need Butler to be great; they just need a decent #5.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    I'm ready for Butler too, but with days off he's not needed until the 21st. Lester (tonight) can go Friday in STL. I'm assuming Anderson goes to the DL so Grimm can be recalled early. Rob Z goes back down and probably TLS is recalled because a three man bench is dicey. Pena may stay but can't pitch for a couple days, only because Rollins and Rosscup aren't on the 40-man and they probably don't want to burn an option on Johnson. Everyone else at Iowa has a WHIP>2.00. Let Butler get two more starts in Iowa and pitch against the Brewers at home rather than the Cardinals away.

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    My comments are keeping the filter busy, but I agree. The Cubs should announce moves this morning, and anything other than what you mentioned (Zastryzny down, La Stella and Grimm up) would surprise me, for now. AZ Phil lists the 40-man at 39, so there is a touch of flexibility if they want to bring up Rosscup. I think Szczur is still listed as well, so that may open another spot as I don't see any deal for him returning someone who needs to be rostered immediately.

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    Thank you Brett Anderson for these really really crappy 2 starts this week. You almost single handely decimated our bullpen, and because of your pitching(if thats what you call it), we have now lost Matt Szczur forever.

    Poor guy is a casualty of collateral damage of our starting pitchers not being able to find the 7th inning in every game.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Or, he just needed to play better. Then he wouldn't have to rely on others to stay on the roster. Don't get me wrong, I'm as big of a fan of Matt Szczur as the next guy. Good ball player; and it appears he's an outstanding human being. Anderson has been bad the past few starts. But I think most of us here understood, and even liked the signing. It just hasn't worked out. I hope Szczur gets traded to a contender, and plays a big part on whatever team he lands on.

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    In reply to copinblue:

    Lets just say for the sake of argument that Szczur was "playing better"........who on the roster is gone? Someone had to go w the new bodies added w how tired the bullpen is. Almora or Edwards sent to AAA? I really don't like that.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Ah, who the hell needs a 9 man bullpen. Oh right, the answer is, Joe Maddon.

  • All I can say is if the starting pitching doesn't somehow do a 180, "it's not happening" this year. I agree with Jim O. Anderson's last 2 starts have pretty much decimated our bull pen. The only solace is that the ones that took the hill tonight are not part of the regular rotation so to them, tonight was a non-use night. I agree though with Cop in that Szczur needed to make the difficult decision harder to make than it was. If anything, I am hoping that tonight acts as a wake-up call for everyone on the team. There isn't one person who can't really improve their game at this point.

  • I've had the pleasure of seeing Anderson's last 2 starts in person. I thought tonight couldn't be worse than Monday. I was wrong. Liked the signing originally. Ready to see Butler or Montgomery get a shot.

  • In reply to North Side Pat:

    or grammaw or uncle al.

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    Last year our starters had more quality starts than any other staff. We also had the lowest ERA. Now we start in a whole and that means our pitchers are seeing more batters, throwing more pitches and running up the pitch counts. Sound familiar? This is exactly what we did to other teams last year. Now we're the ones looking up and seeing 80+ pitches in the 4th inning and our relievers are coming in then instead of the 6th or 7th.
    If Anderson goes then maybe Butler comes up. He pitched tonight and went 6 in and threw 92 pitches--not great but no walks either. If he's strong enough to do that then he can do it up here. Actually all our top pitchers in the minors did well today. I said before that we shouldn't get too peeved and that's true but it doesn't mean that we're complacent. Change has to come sometime, and btw, Candelario, who is only 23 (really?) has a slash line of 337 .449 .652 1.100. Somebody has to want a good defensive multi-positional young talent like that.
    Let's win one of these games!

  • Our starting pitching has been horrible but let's not give a free pass to half our regulars hitting around .230. Getting tired of Russell and all his supposed star in the making hype. .242 rookie year, .238 last year and .239 now. With his defense that's still a decent starting shortstop but future MVP, I don't think so.

  • In reply to ruby2626:

    Couldn't agree more. This slow start is not ALL on the Pitching staff. As you pointed out, you look up and down our lineup and (besides Bryant, Jay and Montero) and we see a lot of underperforming BAs. Rizzo looked horrible at the plate last night (and now hitting .227) and we have Schwarber below .200 and Contreras around .215, Addy at .237. Compare those numbers to the Yankees hitters and other teams like the Nationals and even the Reds, and one can see why the Cubs are stuggling right now.

    I would play Jay over Schwarber 5 out of 7 days right now and give Montero at least an extra start per week, to let Willson get his mind relaxed and back to what he was last year. Gota give Rizz a day off here while he is in one of his slumps.

    Bullpen usage is going to be problematic here very soon, if the starters can't get thru 7 consistenly.

    The upcoming schedule is'nt doing us any favors either, as I think this is one of the most brutal schedules to open a season I've seen in a while.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    I agree. I think both Contreras and Schwarber are trying to do too much. Neither has had a full season in the majors, they are young guys. They're more than capable of being great, but they need to slow it down. I don't think Miggy and Jay are every day players, but maybe for a week or two, they need to be every other day players while Contreras and Schwarber get their heads on straight.

  • In reply to Mom2futurecubs:

    With it being pretty early still in the season, I'm not sure how much of a factor it is that they haven't had a full season.

    It's true that they are young, and haven't made the adjustments to how the league has started pitching them.

  • Theo hasn't whiffed on many but it looks as if he did with Anderson.
    It's a long season.......but I'm still reserving judgements till we hit the 40 game mark.....now is still too much sss just as it is to think SF, KC and Toronto will play .333 ball all year.....

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I'm going to have to disagree on the Giants. It is not a small sample size. Since last year's ASG, they have the worst record in the league, and they've earned it. They are an aging, bad baseball team.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    The Giants really are awful and you pegged them from the beginning while I had them in the NLCS. Whoops. What I don't get is Cueto. Does thus guy have to be a winner to focus? I had thought him a possible July pickup but he's been stinky bad. At this point I doubt he'll even opt out which I had thought a foregone conclusion.

  • That was ugly. I could barely watch. There are going to be ugly games, last year I remember one game where Lester gave up a billion in the first inning or whatever. Lester didn't have two of those outings in a row though. Back or not, I feel done with Anderson. Cut him, put him in the bullpen or put him on the DL, just stop the madness.

    The entire starting staff has had a rough start. I don't know what it is. Where they all just playing way above average last year and this is what they were supposed to look like? Theo needs to get on the phone and find another starting pitcher or two, like yesterday.

    Let's try to find some positives. Miggy continues to hit when called upon. And apparently pitch when called upon too. Baez had another multi hit game. Jay played well enough to make Szczur expendable. I hope this allows Szczur to get a chance to start somewhere.

  • The best part of the whole game was the look on Miggy's face when he threw that pitch behind Chris Carter.

    Pat and Ron noted that all the hits in the first were down the line. Some opposite way and some pulled. That indicates a whole lotta luck for the Yanks. A few bounces the other way and this is a very different game.

    And I think that Anderson got hurt fielding the bunt so probably DL stint for him.

  • In reply to Gerald:

    Luck? Really? Did you see the ropes all over the field. There was no luck. It was their approach and squaring up batting practice level pitches.

  • Isn't it a tad early in the year for a team this talented to panic enough to DFA a guy they like. This makes make me think FO wanted to give Szczur an opportunity elsewhere. I think the signing of Jay sealed his fate.

    Plenty of guys underperforming. Even with Anderson's struggles, we don't need 9 bullpen arms. That is crazy. I've never heard of that. Once-upon-a-time 6 was the norm. And that number doesn't include Grimm who was already sent down. So really 10 this week.

    Perhaps Rizzo could have saved Szczur by not leaving 8 guys on baseball during that 13 inning game Thursday.

  • Dang it, last time Anderson pitched you guys talked me into putting my pitchfork and torch away for awhile. Now I gotta walk all the way back out to the barn...

  • In reply to NoDoubtAboutIt:


  • Kyle, Jon and Jake will be fine, even if Jake is only second half 2016-Jake as a #4/#5 type. I'm just not convinced Lackey can be counted on. That leaves a possible scenario where you only have 2 fairly reliable pitchers who can consistently hold the game until the 7th.

    I disagree that Butler only has to be good enough as a #5. I don't think even Cease will be ready until next year so it's quite possible Cubs are screwed even for the playoffs without either a major surprise/resurgence from Butler (our less likely Lackey) our a pretty aggressive trade.

    Our defense will stabilize and bats should wake up, which will cover up a lot of flaws, but the whole dynasty thing will be really hard without a major starting arm move and at least one of the farm kids breaking big ahs good. ( Yes, for me it's dynasty or else...lol)

  • and now that they've burned Montero, he can't pitch again for a few more days (lol). Did appreciate the comment by Anderson that when the back-up catcher gets more outs than you, not a good thing. Too late to bring Hammel back?

  • Perhaps we're the new even year team. As in, the 2017 Cubs won't even make the playoffs. But watch out for 2018...

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    Of course we're still the best in the division. Unfortunately that's tantamount to being the tallest Ewok.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    The division has a record over 500.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    You don't actually think that, do you? Either not smart or a White sox fan or a little of both.

  • I always feel good when we've got Lester pitching, but the pessimist in me thinks the outcome of this game will be determined not by Lester's talent but by Joe West's strike zone.

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    One doesnt simply give away a relatively cost controlled 25 year old with just under 1000 career hits and 3 all star appearances and live to tell about it.
    Joe just hadda have Zobrist. Starlin's 0-2 single off Strop in game one tells you everything you need to know about him. He takes professional at bats and knows what he pitcher is doing. Hes entering his prime while Javier Baez is still figuring out how to take a pitch.

    I also miss Soler but thats a story for another day.

  • In reply to Randall Clark:

    Yeah, I've been cursing that trade ever since Castro led the Yankees to the 2016 World Series title. Wait...

  • In reply to Randall Clark:

    Seriously, we're pining for Castro now? You dont really think he's going to keep up these numbers do you? He may have a good season, he's had them before, but in the end guy's perform to the numbers on the back of their baseball card. Castro had plenty of chances in Chicago and didn't get it done. I hope he does well but I think he's what his number say he is a 2-3 WAR player in his best years but only slightly above replacement level in others.

  • In reply to TC154:

    actually there have been a lot of cases of players putting it all together in there prime years. If keeps this up this would be his best season. You could say he is what his numbers says he is if he was 30 but that's not the case. He always had a ton of talent so maybe he is figuring it out.

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    In reply to TC154:

    If he was older maybe I would agree. He wont be 30 for 3 more years (when his contract ends). At his worst hes still a talent that shouldnt be traded for scraps. It was a terrible trade, theres no way around it. They could have even added Zobrist and kept castro for depth. He was making less last year than Jay is this year.

  • In reply to Randall Clark:

    Zobrist 2016 World Series MVP! Any questions? ;-)

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Yeah. When is he going to catch a ball in the outfield. He has been terrible out there. By the way in case you haven't noticed 2016 is over. What until Gleyber starts lighting up the major leagues in the next year or two.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Schwarber deserved it though. Castro has been the more productive offense player since the signing and trade, he plays a much better second base (especially when arm strength factors into turning a double play) and he costs the yankees a lot less money than the cubs.

    I like the gleyber trade though. At least there was something gained from that deal, even if it was short term. Its too sokn to tell if the cubs will regret letting chapman walk and trading soler for 1 year of davis...

    However, there was nothing gained from the castro trade...

  • In reply to Randall Clark:

    Trading Castro enabled the team to sign Zobrist who was instrumental in the Cubs winning the WS.
    2016 Fangraph WAR: Castro,1.1 Zobrist, 4.0
    So last year Zobrist's value was close to 4 times Castro's value.

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    In reply to John57:

    Theres the flaw in war as a statistic. if you actually think zobrist is 4 times more valuable than castro you are crazy.

    A .270 hitter is not instrumental in anything. He went 3/4 in the game one loss of the world series and hit sub .300 the rest of the way.

    Trading castro (7mill) for trash that cost about 2 mill saved the cubs nothing in the baseball world. If they were really so strapped for cash they coulda dumped Cahill... or god forbid not trade for that waste of an at bat Chris Coghlan... (3mil)

    Btw the guy they traded for coghlan -Alcantara- has matched Ben Zobrists 2017 WAR so far, in only 25 ABs

  • In reply to Randall Clark:

    WAR is not perfect but it is the best stat there is for value. That is why the baseball stat geeks created it and most use it. Do you have a better statistic that measures value of a player?

    And yes Zobrist was 4 times as valuable as Castro in 2016.

    Ben stays calm and performs best in the big games and is a fantastic role model for the younger players. That is the reason several teams were trying to sign Zobrist. Castro on the other hand has errors at the most critical times in the game, many times on an easy play. He drove Maddon crazy. Starlin is a good kid but I am glad we got Zobrist who hit the World Series game 7 winning hit.

  • In reply to Randall Clark:

    Baez will finish his career with more WAR than Castro and Soler combined, and is a much better fit on this Championship team for what will be a years-long run.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    We traded Castro, put Russell at SS, Zo or Baez at 2nd and won the WS. I don't care if Torres becomes a HOFer--good for him if he does, but at least we won! nuff said.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Thats because you arent looking at the big picture. Look no further than the 85 bears. 1 title with that much talent leaves much to be desired

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    In reply to Randall Clark:

    The big picture was 108 years. I understand your analogy though--the 1985 Bears were one of the youngest teams in the NFL that year and you're right, they only won 1 title. McMahon got hurt and they couldn't replace him and Buddy Ryan left and it is difficult to win. I said in 2015 that I thought in the next 5-8 years the Cubs would win at least 1 and probably more titles. Right now I can't see a position where I would replace a player (not including pitching). That might change in the next few years. I'm also not saying that if we could trade Almora for Trout I wouldn't do it but that's not going to happen.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Castro killing our favorite team some more tonight...
    Having him on this team instead of Jay (i picked him bc they are making similar amounts of money this year) or those i mentioned for 16 wouldnt hurt the cubs, it would help them.

    Winning a world series takes a ton of things going right in the playoffs. Having castro on last years team might have meant a 1 and done playoff appearance for all we know. But from a talent standpoint he is an upgrade talent wise.

    It was a stupid trade. Again. Dude had nearly 1000 hits at 25 and it he was traded for a broken rubber band and literally Brendan ryan...

  • I am curious how did the Cubs get Zastryzny and Pena to Wrigley from Iowa so quickly after Anderson got hurt?

  • In reply to John57:


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    HWGA (here we go again).

  • I'm starting to think that Madden's "you go, we go" was more of a directive to the lead-off position than to Fowler. So far, Schwarber is no "going", and neither is the team. I think it's time to move him down in the order, for the good of the team and to take some pressure off of him. He's trying to crush/pull everything. Watching his first at-bat tonight...just pulled a 98 mph fastball from Severino well foul. I remember some of his most impressive hits from 2015 were absolute rockets hit right back up the middle. Drop him down in the order, and encourage him to try to hit the ball back up the middle. If that happens, I think this team takes off again...

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    If Javy went down, do we see Happ, Young or LaStella?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I reluctantly say TLS, unless they expect to give all the at bats to Happ, but Happ can't back up third, SS or first. Maybe Candelario, shift Zo to second full time and put Bryant in the outfield as needed. I don't know, Javy is such a versatile infielder who is the primary backup to everyone.

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    In reply to Mom2futurecubs:

    Mom--thank you for being the Mom2fufurecubs. My mother was a huge Cubs fan and would always be watching Channel 9 when I got home and would also take me and my brothers to Wrigley Field. Unfortunately she didn't live to see the WS win like so many fans didn't. At least you did and I also look forward to your comments.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Dear Jonathan,

    This is a family-orientated site. I would appreciate it if you would not bring up such terrifying, traumatic topics.

    Thank you,

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I don't know what I was thinking!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    You're excused... this time. Just don't let it happen again.

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    We will never think of the belly flop by Schwarber again when regarding his fielding.
    This is The Catch!!

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    Maybe even calling it The Glove!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Now that was terrifying and traumatic... and exhilarating!

  • Joe bleepin West

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    In reply to TD40:

    Couldn't have said it better.
    I can't believe that at the start of the game the announcers (who I like) praised Joe West as one of the best umps in the game. I don't see it, and now with K zone we can see it, time and time again.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yea Joe wants to go home.......he jobbed Addy big

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    If anyone else is still watching, what happens if a team runs out of players? Can a team play with only 8 players or do they have to forfeit?
    C'mon Cubs!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    No, you have to field a full team or forfeit. With all the roster moves and bullpen mayhem we've had in the last week or so, this is the last thing we need, which makes this win all the more important. We can't do all this for nothing.

    Go Cubs!

  • Still here. Let's play 18.

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    Strop has the yips. Get out of the inning with only 1 run and we have good hitters up. We can score. Love that girl with the sign, can't stand the way West is calling the game.
    Also, let's give props to Rizzo and Baez. Both looked hurt and are still playing. Rizzo looks pained every time we see him. The unwritten rule is to not rub the area where you've been hit and he's constantly done it. Must be really hurting him.
    Now, Javy, take your time, take some pitches, let's win this.

  • With Castro in swing mode and two strikes, Strop threw one right in the middle of the zone. Up to Schwarbs and KB now.

  • Well, that sucks.

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