Game Post 5/27

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Series preview is here.

Watch/Listen

Sunday: 7:08 pm CT on ESPN2/670AM

Lineups

Giants

3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
4. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
6. Pablo Sandoval (S) 2B
7. Mac Williamson (R) LF
8. Nick Hundley (R) C
9. Ty Blach (R) P

Cubs

2. Javier Baez (R) 2B
3. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
6. Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
7. Addison Russell (R) SS
8. Jason Heyward (L) RF

Bullpen Usage

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via Baseball Press.

Opposing pitcher

Scouting Report from Brooks Baseball.

Ty BlachTy Blach has thrown 3,638 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system between 2016 and 2018, including pitches thrown in the MLB Regular Season, the MLB Postseason and Spring Training. In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (90mph) and Change (80mph), also mixing in a Curve (76mph). He also rarely throws a Slider (79mph).

His fourseam fastball has heavy sinking action, is a real worm killer that generates an extreme number of groundballs compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has essentially average velo and has slight armside run. His change generates a very high amount of groundballs compared to other pitchers' changeups, has slight armside fade, has slightly below average velo and has some natural sink to it. His curve is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers' curves, generates a very high amount of groundballs compared to other pitchers' curves and has a sharp downward bite. His slider has exceptional depth, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sliders and has below average velo.

Sean's Note: Blach is a pitch to contact guy with only a 10.4% strikeout rate. Unlike the first two Giants starters Blach induces a lot of ground balls. Both sides of the plate hit for a very high average against the lefty.

Final Thoughts: After a short outing from Jose Quintana, the Cubs could use a good performance from Tyler Chatwood. Chatwood finally had his wildness catch up to him against the Indians, he'll need to step it up tonight. Joe Maddon has three lefties starting against Blach, which makes sense given his similar numbers against left handed and right handed hitters. Still, I'm surprised to see Jason Heyward start. Heyward's numbers against lefties are dismal, with a .369 OPS. At this point Heyward should almost never start against a left handed pitcher.

Comments

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  • Brewers and cards both with comeback victories boy our division is really playing good baseball. A part of me feels like how can they possibly keep this up but a bigger part of me feels like there's going to be at least 2 teams that make the postseason coming out of this division. When you break down both teams they're flat out improved from last season and I can't say that we are. I'll never count our boys out though we know they can turn it on but I don't believe that we can turn it on as late as we did last year if we're going to reach our goals

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    On the bright side at least mikolas got hit a little for a change. I still see the Brewers as the biggest threat in the division but you've gotta respect the cards pitching infrastructure in general and their ability to find unheralded pitchers through the draft

  • .......Heyward, again............seriously?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Agreed treebeard I'm fine with getting heyward some ABs you've gotta keep guys in rhythm and I don't want to flat out give up on him when he has a history of success and he's still relatively youthful but when on earth are we going to make happ and Almora full time players? I'm perfectly fine with heyward getting more ABs then he deserves and I don't want to consider him a sunk cost but he needs to be a sub/super sub for the most part until he shows something. Our division isn't losing many games these days and the happ/Almora tandem gives us the best chance to win now that happs feeling better at the plate. Disapointed that heyward is still getting the bulk of the playing time you can still find him ABs without hurting the team. Making him a starter though and platooning Almora abd happ at this point just doesn't make sense to me though

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    And we're facing a lefty today when heywards been one of the worst hitters vs LHP in the majors. I think he needs to flat out sit against all lefties and he should be used against righties he matches up well against or when we're on the road in a ballpark with a large outfield which places more importance on defense. I just don't get it you can still find ways to utilize him and get him ABs without hurting the teams chances of winking ball games which is kinda important with the way our division is playing

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Happ and Almora should play every single game vs lefties to me though

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Exactly.......

  • All kinds of crazy going on tonight. A-Rod singing the stretch, a couple head-scratcher lefties in the lineup, and the Giants' infield. Holy cow, did you catch that? Pablo Sandoval, yes, Pablo Sandoval is starting at 2B. I think he's played there once in his ML career.

    Another hot and calm night at Wrigley. Something strange is going to happen. I think that something is an offensive eruption. For our guys. Cubs score 10+.

    Go Cubs!

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    Tonight I'm more concerned with Chatwood than Heyward. Everyone knows he has to reduce his walks, and I think he is trying to be too fine. Throw strikes, let your stuff play out within the strike zone, and with the defense the Cubs have let them catch the ball.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I think we all are on that point but not much we can do but be patient considering he's not going anywhere based off his contract at this point. I generally preach patience but hard to not be concerned until that fastball command gets somewhat resolved

  • I like how Maddon has moved Bryant down to 3rd. I know sabarmetrics and the number crunchers say your best hitter should bat 2nd. But, they don't know more than Maddon. Who cares if it won a world series for the Cubs.

    Also, I like Maddon's never giving up on Heyward. He has only been slumping for 2.5 seasons he'll pull out of it one day. I know Heyward is hitting .143 against lefties this year so you have to like this move.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Happ is hurt, so we need someone. Maybe Maddon saw that Panda was starting at 2B, and figured that J-Hey always hits the ball there, so it's worth a shot. We're testing his defensive prowess.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I think we see Sandoval boot a Heyward-special grounder to 2B, and it nets us at least one run.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I saw that after I made the post from Jonathan. You give Maddon to much credit, but I like it.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Not quite Ali-Frazier, but I'll be enthralled. With Heyward up and Sandoval waddling around 2B everyone knows what is about to happen. It should be interesting.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I always liked best hitter in 3 hole. So I don’t mind that. Tonight jason will ground out to SS twice.

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    I just read Carrie Muskat's tweet in which she says Happ was supposed to play but has a banged up shoulder that happened when he tried to catch that ball last night. If so, that's why Heyward is playing. That makes sense, but also shows why Albert A should have been in CF and Happ wouldn't be injured.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    That's fair and that explains heywards presence in the lineup. Hope happ us alright hate to see injuries to happ and darvish just as they finally started getting positive results

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Almora is replacing Happ. Heyward was playing anyway. The clue fairy will arrive eventually.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    I understand that happs injured wastrel but to me Almora would've played anyways vs a lefty and if he wasn't then count me as baffled by that. I've preached patience for a number of our struggling players like happ, schwarber Q darvish etc I'm a patient fan that doesn't believe in coming to conclusions after one bad month. But this has gone on for over 2 years he needs to be a part time player until he displays better form with the bat it really is getting baffling at this point I know the contract puts Joe in a bad spot but the reality is that Jason has shown absolutely nothing to warrant confidence moving forward whether he has a good game tonight or not

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    If I'm the team I think the time has come for us to stop letting do things his way and make him sit a couple weeks or so to overhaul his swing because his way isn't working. Then maybe find him ABs v RHP that are favorable matchups and hopefully he'll see results and start to build his confidence back. And if he starts playing well then slowly mix him into the lineup Moreso versus challenging matchups but to me he can still barely even compete up there on fastballs up and in on the hands and it's very clearly a mechanical issue that won't be resolved by jist finding him ABs he needs to try something different up there

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Prayerfully Happ will heal quickly, and only be out today; and God-willing Heyward was only an injury replacement for Happ............

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Zobrist!

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Didn't think of that Agreed then 2016 on that point zobrist seems to be feeling good from the right side of the plate. I respect joes philosophy of getting everyone ABs but at a certain point with 5-6 OFs to mix in the best players need to play. I think most people here would consider me a patient fan when it comes to evaluating the players but it's been over 2 years now if he hasn't turned it around yet then he needs to be a part time player

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Good point. I don’t know how he’s feeling or how many games in a row he’s played.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    The Cubs had Monday and Thursday off this week. But, like you said we don't know how he is feeling.

  • The cubs have the highest ob% in the NL and 2nd highest ob% in mlb

    But are 26th in mlb with risp. They get in scoring position plenty but then struggle to make contact/get hits. Patiene with the offense, just gotta live with the feast or famine until they are more consistent with risp.

    Every left handed player on this team besides rizzo,lester and deunsing sucks

  • In reply to bolla:

    2nd in ob% mlb with no runners on , 7th with runners on.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Maybe the batting practice pitchers can throw from the stretch? :-D

  • Kind of messed up the Cubs play the Sunday night game at home and then play the Pirates in Pittsburgh at 1:35 tomorrow afternoon.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    I know poor Cubs. I don't know how they will be able to adjust to being in a different time zone tomorrow morning. In the case, They prob shouldn't of had a sunday night game tonight w pretty much majority day games tomorrow, but we know how the players and owners love their money so something had to give.

    Thats why they sent Monty ahead of schedule so he will be in Pittsburgh ready.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    "Now look at them yo-yos.
    That's the way you do it.
    You play the guitar on the MTV."

  • Here we go again with walk machine chatwood

  • In reply to bolla:

    Bolla you know how I'm as patient with struggling players as any fan but he's not even coming close to hitting his spots with his FB ahd the reality is he's going to generally struggle or become prone to really bad outings until they clean this issue up despite the fact he's gotten okay results so far I think he's the biggest long term concern in the rotation unless darvish injuries affect him over the long term. It's early and the pitchers need to execute but I haven't been impressed with Jim hickey thus far

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Another day another focus related issue for these guys what is going on with these guys day to day focus this has been a recurring issue since 2016

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    It’s what happens when you have no positive leadership in the group and a manager who is more interested in his own ego than doing his job.

    It was more fun watching this team with the Joe Mathers and the Reed Johnson because they were maxing out their talent to make it to where they were.

    These players are continually in a comfort zone and nobody in the Cubs ownership or management has had the cojones to call them or Joe out for just coasting.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I've said this before but I'm honestly not concerned with darvish. He's had a rough start to his cubs career but he's shown flashes, just needs more consistency and hopefully longer outings. Chatwood is becoming scary because he has serious control issues that's 42 walks in 46 innings

  • In reply to bolla:

    I thought darvish was fine all along now my view is that he'll be fine as long as injuries don't affect him moving forward. But I don't think Lester is going to continue to pitch this well as his peripherals aren't good and chatwood is flat out bad unless he can figure out his fastball command which he appears nowhere close to doing. I just don't see an upper tier pitcher in this group unless darvish can get things going. That was a pretty impressive display vs the Reds where he had 5 no hit innings to close the game. I think darvish development is going to be huge for our future outlook

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I agree. Just gotta be patient

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    Really, again? Willison should just keep his glove loose because he had no idea where it’s going.
    This is probably eating Chatwood up. As much as we complain about him he’s most likely more critical of himself.
    Bad luck with that soft grounder. Now just throw strikes!!

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    Russell blew it. This is the season so far, just a tad late and things go wrong. Already almost 30 pitches too.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    This is the 1st time since 2014 where I actually wonder if our window is closing. I know that it's too early to jump to conclusions and I'm somewhat venting but I just don't see the type of starting pitching that's needed for any team to have a chance to compete. And I said this before the runs scored but I'm really starting to wonder if chatwood is an acceptable option and our hands our really tied because we inexplicably gave this guy 38 million. I know his results haven't been awful and the defense screwed him tonight thus far but you could see this type of streak coming with the alarming amount of walks.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Chatwood didn’t take his sweet time throwing panda out. He didn’t airmail a throw from RF to let another run score. He’ll figure his control out and go on a tremendous run. Or he won’t. Too soon to write him off, and regardless, the fifth starter isn’t the difference between this team competing for the division vs competing for the pennant. The window is as open as Harper or Machado allow it next offseason.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    I agree with what your saying Stubbs on the bad defense but at the same time My issue with chatwood goes beyond this start. UNLESS he can clean up these walks moving forward then he's going to struggle and I said that even when his numbers looked better and he just doesn't appear to be even close to finding his FB command. And frankly our lineup while inconsistent isn't the reason why we're not playing to our potential. Those guys are going to keep us competitive in general I get that but we're not going anywhere in the playoffs unless our starting pitching ESP the new guys have a drastic turnaround which is plausible don't get me wrong but not close at this time. But we've invested A TON long term on our new starters and we don't have many/any high end starting pitching prospects coming from the minors so at the end of the day were only going to go as far as these starters let us. I'm venting a bit right now don't get me wrong but I do think my points still valid that we need a major turnaround from the staffs ESP with Lester due for a bit of regression as well as he's been pitching. I still like Q and darvish but I think chatwood has to be a legit concern he's prone to short terrible outings like he's shown this week until he at least clean up the walks. In addition I don't like how erratic he is with his FB it screams to me major mechanical flaw of physical issue this isn't a minor problem at all that's just my viewpoint

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    My opinion is that Q is the major concern. Invested way too much for this level of production.

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    In reply to Stubbs:

    The window got slammed shut the day Theo made he horrible deal for Quintana. Start the rebuild NOW !!

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    The window is open indefinitely. :-)

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    Welcome back, Stubbs. That was a very observant comment. And you finished it off as only you can, by saying our season is screwed. Or are you implying the window will open even further with those additions? It's been a while, so I've lost my touch with judging your intentions.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Season is only as “screwed” as your expectations. I thought they could compete for the division, and if all goes insanely well - including big injuries around the league - maybe the NL pennant as well. So they’re about where I expected, and with the Dodgers and Nats general mediocrity, the league looks pretty open for the taking - by the brewers, Phillies, Braves, cards, Nats, LA, and yes, even the cubs. Someone will invariably earn the right to lose to NY or Houston. I was responding to the comment that the window is closing. If they strike out this offseason, it’s closing fast. Get Harper or Machado? Wide open.

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    Maybe that window hasn’t started closing. All of these balls have been very hard hit.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Our hitters will he's us viable we all know that but our SP isn't even close to where it needs to be for us to anything meaningful. Chatwood is flat out bad right now unless he cleans up the walks this goes beyond one start for me what he's doing even in some of his bad outings is unsustainable

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    It makes you realise how bad he is when you wish that Lackey or Hammel were on the mound...

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Some of his good outings is unsustainable I meant

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    That’s how you hit with RISP.

  • Rizzo killed double play
    KB wussed out on groundball
    Addi took forever
    Jhey throws ball to back stop
    2 walks.
    What a 1st inning.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    4 infield singles and game tied. Man I love this game.

  • This is concerning. If there is an "early-season" excuse, we're past that point. We need to play better baseball. Defense isn't supposed to slump, but ours is. Too many mental mistakes. That indicates a clubhouse issue to me, a lack of accountability. Someone needs to throw a fit. Leadership matters, and we seem to be lacking.

    All kinds of crazy tonight. I prefer tight, well-played ball, but I'll take a W any way we can get it.

    The pen is gonna get used, and we're expecting a "bullpen" game tomorrow. Sigh.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    In reality who can you see having that fit...?

    And if they did throw a fit at the moment it would be a passed ball or into the opposing dugout.

    There really is not anybody in there of the veterans aside from Lester who has performed well enough to stand up and say enough is enough.

    Rizzo and Heyward are batting appallingly and Zobrist has never really been a guy who is going to call out his teammates.

    Anything that comes needs to come from the management - and if Joe isn’t up to motivating his players maybe he needs to be scrutinized a lot closer.

  • In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    That's a good point. In general the pitchers and position players kind of patrol their own, so I wouldn't expect Lester to point out the miscues of the position players. But it needs to be addressed. The FO has even called it out in the media lately, criticizing the "attention-span" of the players on the field.

    We can debate the influence of a light-hitting backup catcher, but this is where Grandpa Rossy shined. That leadership cannot be measured.

    I obviously don't know anything about how these guys interact. It's nearly impossible to bring in an outside veteran and expect them to take charge. Someone needs to step up.

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    We need to get him out of there. This could be a critical innning and we can’t count on him anymore tonight.

  • Lol man please don't let this game be like chatwoods indians start. This is frightening

  • The Cubs should of called up a long reliever for this game just in case this happened.

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    Maybe Alex shouldn’t mention Roger Clemens as one of the great ones.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Why not? He was.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Whether or not he was is based upon your views of players cheating the game. Some fans are deeply offended by what A-Rod and Clemens did. I won't deny your right to defend them and enjoy their artificial domination, but other fans are offended by their disrespect of the game we love.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I am not defending what they did. Stats don’t lie. Nobody will ever know how much PEDs truly helps a pitcher or position player for that matter?

  • Been asking Tyler all day now I'm going to give him some credit for getting out of that jam. My concerns on him are still valid regardless of the result of this game but that doesn't mean I don't want to see the guy succeed

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    *bashing

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    I never knew a catcher with hops like that!

  • Thank goodness!!! get him out the game. Chatwood walked the freakin pitcher twice. The cubs bullpen will be spent by the 4th of july at this pace

  • Chatwood is awful. He is a disgrace of a big league pitcher. He arguably has the worst mechanics of any guy I have seen at the big league level. His little hesitation as he breaks his hands makes me want to vomit. It kills his timing where his arm is late. It is not repeatable. I can’t believe Hickey can’t fix this.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    That's what I see. He is fighting himself badly, and is all screwed up. He's talked for three weeks now about knowing a "simple fix" to straighten out his mechanics. As you've said before, there are too many voices in his head. He needs to figure it out.

    I'm still high on him, the stuff is there. But this is ridiculous. I think that unlike an injury or loss of stuff, though, these confidence issues can turn in a hurry. But maybe I'm just a drunk optimist.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    The stuff is electric. But ya gotta be able to get it in the zone at some point.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I know he's still your secret weapon come the postseason, but if Tyler Walkwood is starting in the playoffs for us, we are in big big trouble.

  • Does anybody know if Chatwood has any options. This guy needs to figure it out. Reminds me of Rick Ankie of the Cardinals. Was once a promising pitcher then lost it.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    he doesn't. I checked after the indians game

  • In reply to bolla:

    Chatwood has accrued 5 years mlb service time so he has the right to refuse an option and/or become a free agent if optioned. So basically he's here to stay unless theo wants to eat 30 whatever million is left on his contract.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Maybe he can play rf.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    LOL

  • Blach got the "Chatwoods" now.

  • Nice at bats. Awful. Schwarber takes one right down the middle.

    Russell is pathetic.

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    This team is pathetic top to bottom.

  • You can’t win in the NL with automatic outs at RF and SS with a pitcher hitting. We just have an awful mix.

    This is ground hog day for me. Feels too much like 2017.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    You have them making the NLCS for a 4th straight year then? That would be an incredible success.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    First half of 2017. A lot of mistakes and uninspiring baseball.

    They should be able to hang on to this one, but it doesn’t feel like an easy win.

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    Rich Ankiel switched to the outfield, maybe Chatwood could too.
    That inning was a snapshot of 2018. We have a very high .OBP as shown by our first 3 batters, and then out inability to hit with RISP. It wasn’t even getting hits though, it was the inability to get the ball in play. You never know what can happen, and 2 SO and a pop up doesn’t win games.

  • Oh mannnnnnnnn Rosario! Lol......this is a little league game tonight.....
    Talk about texting in the left turn lane after the arrow went green.

  • JAVY!!!!

  • Baez haters shhhhhhhhhhhh. That's the cubs best player whether you like it or not

  • In reply to bolla:

    Best sub .300 OBP player in baseball. LOL.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    That he def is, but as long as he's going up the middle and to RF, I can deal w the fact he's not walking, but at some point its going to matter.

    His plate coverage is amazing, his power to all fields is amazing, his concentration w RISP is amazing........yea i guess he's amazing.

  • I kinda like this little second-baseman we got. He looks pretty good. We should give him a nickname. What goes with Edner?

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I hate to be the spell check guy, BP but you were typing his name which is Ednel.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I was just coming back to apologize. Sorry Ednel.

    I still like the kid. He might have a future in this game!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    We should be able to keep a spot on the 40 man for him. LOL.

  • Good job tommy!!!

  • Nope.....AA can’t hit righties.....

  • When is Maddon going to realize Almora can NOT hit righties?

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    Al Fuego!!

  • Jess Mendoza on Albert: 'How do you keep this guy off the field?'
    Simple Jessica, just ask Joe Maddon. He give you a couple lame reasons. Theo needs to give Maddon some 'orders' about the lineup - relating to his job.

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    In reply to cubbustible:

    Just like Dumbrokski was sick n tired of Alex Cora hitting Hanley 3rd or 4th in the lineup, so he took him away from him forcing him to play Mitch Moreland (whose having the much better year)

    I still don't think they should have cut Hanley, because he's such a clutch player and such a big locker room guy for them, but if Cora was too scared to sit him / Hanley wouldn't be open to a PT player role (due to his plate appearances to kick in his 22 million 19' option) then his hands were tied and it had to be done.

  • ARE YOU WATCHING THIS MADDON?????? Offense, defense, baserunning. Almora solidifies the outfield. Everyone sees it but you.

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    Kudos to Theo and our FO for claiming Rosario off waivers and signing Duensing again this Jan. They stopped they momentum and have held SF scoreless. I liked Duensing last year and really like Rosario. He came in in a very high pressure situation (bases loaded) and did his job.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yeah, yeah. Blah, blah, blah. I just want us to score a couple more runs so my prediction could be right for once this season. Is that too much to ask?

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I hope so, because if you’re right we’re in extra innings!

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I am just Thankful Joe didn't use Morrow in the 9th like he did Friday.

    It was an awesome game from all angles. Even the announcers were more interesting then they usually are. ( Maybe because they were gripping the Cubs and Wrigley (yes I am a homer))

  • Hopefully we hang onto this game but what a nice job by our young kids staying poised after a frustrating start by chatwood. The reality is these kids give us a shit against anyone but our new/newish SP need to step it up and get things going ESP chatwood in my view I think despite being difficult to hit he's the most messed up mechanically with his FB command and I simply don't believe that we're going to go anywhere unless theme pitching steps it up ESP in an improving division. Shout out to Randy Rosario too I think he's the obvious 1st star of this game. Pretty nice stuff too for a guy we got off waivers nice pickup by the FO

  • W

  • Albert Almora is really creating a good problem for us. I'll be the 1st to admit that I was somewhat skeptical that he can be an everyday player vs RHP and it's still too early to jump to any conclusions but he's playing really well this season and I get irritated not seeing him in the lineup at this point. Give him credit he has a reputation of outstanding makeup and I think he's shown that with how much he's improved from even his minor league days over a pretty fast time span. he's making it really difficult to justify continuing to play heyward bc I think he needs to be in as long as he hits bc I think you can make a good argument that our defense falls us as much if not more with him sitting and happ starting in CF as opposed to The drop off from heyward to happ in RF assuming he plays cf. in my view happ isn't a very good CF but his defense plays a lot better in the corner OF spots given his good speed

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