Can't Stand the Way You Tease--Angels 6 Cubs 5

All good things must come to end. Unfortunately for the 2019 Cubs that has come after just two games. This had the feeling of a team loss as the offense sprung to life late and wound up falling short in the end. Kyle Hendricks pitched a decent but not spectacular game. The bullpen gave the world to the opposition and the defense was leaky at times.

At the end of the day the focus is going to lay on the bullpen walking in the winning runs, but I can't help but focus on that oh so familiar feeling of the dreaded tease rally. The Cubs placed the winning run in scoring position with less than two outs, but the tying run remained planted at third as the twenty-seventh out was recorded.

I feel a bit like Barley Pop with the only thing in my mind is a song. I am not sure he would approve of a little Soft Cell, but as Willson Contreras whiffed with Javier Báez on third the only thing I could hear was the title of the recap.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

The Angels struck first in the second inning. Three straight singles put Los Angeles ahead without an out being recorded, and then the line continued to move with Tommy La Stella doing what he does best in earning a catcher's interference. Zack Cozart singled to make it a 2-0 game with still no outs recorded and not really any balls truly squared up hard. Hendricks was able to get his counterpart to ground into a double play, but it drove in the third run of the game. Kole Calhoun popped out to short to end the threat finally. The professor avoided any further damage in his outing, but he left the game trailing after just five innings.

The Cubs at least kept Chris Stratton from earning a win. Kyle Hendricks was able to return the favor from the second inning by leading off with a single. Daniel Descalso advanced Hendricks into scoring position with a ground out and Javier Báez ripped a double to drive him in. The Cubs had a chance for a big inning with the bases loaded but Willson Contreras struck out swinging.

The Cubs got closer in the fifth inning. Descalso continues to swing a hot bat with a single to start the frame, but was thrown out when Ben Zobrist swung through a hit and run play. Anthony Rizzo drew a walk and then scored on Báez's second double of the afternoon. That chased Stratton from the game, but Ty Buttery was able to vulture a win by recording the final out of the fifth inning.

Brad Brach was given the sixth inning and he started out strong inducing a flyball from Jonathan Lucroy. But Brian Goodwin singled next and then Brach walked three of the next four batters. That meant he got the second out of the inning, but the fifth run was forced in without a swing of the bat. Randy Rosario was called upon next but he kept the carousel moving by walking in the fifth Angels run.

Tim Collins took over in the seventh and put up a zero on the board. You can't blame Joe Maddon for getting greedy and trying to get another frame out of Tim Collins. Tommy La Stella reached for the fourth time to start the inning and then Zack Cozart singled to put runners on the corners with no outs. Brad Kintzler was summoned and Peter Bourjos hit a sacrifice fly for what turned out to be the winning run. Kintzler recorded another two outs and the Cubs relievers started another scoreless streak with a clean ninth inning from Kyle Ryan.

The 6-2 lead would stand up but not without a little drama first. Jason Heyward continues to look like the batter the Cubs thought they signed with a one out double and the Cubs loaded the bases with two outs. Mark Zagunis delivered a pinch hit single to pull the Cubs within two, but Descalso struck out to head to the ninth inning down 6-4.

Cody Allen retired Descalso and went back out in the ninth for the four out save. Zobrist flew out, but then things got interesting with Rizzo's second walk of the afternoon. Báez doubled for a third time to put the tying run in scoring position. Jason Heyward hit a flyball into left and once again the opposition biffed it allowing Rizzo to score making it a 6-5 game. The Brian Goodwin error also meant the go ahead run was now standing on second with just one out. Cody Allen then struck out Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber swinging to end the tease rally and the game.

Winning is fun and losing is not.

Random Reference
As I said from the outset, I feel a bit like Barley Pop. So here is what I couldn't help but think about this as the Cubs failed to close the deal late.

Source: FanGraphs

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    Cubs didn't give up, but a badly played game and it just left me disappointed.

  • I'm honored and humbled by the mentions, dabs. I again apologize for skipping out without notice. I am sorry.

    I have a couple ideas running through my head on this Saturday night. If the alcohol doesn't get to overwhelming, I will share. If it does, well, I'll share anyway.

    Damn, we should have won this game.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Everyone understands life happens. I've been absent basically until the season started. You're more than welcome to pen some thoughts when you feel up to it but if not I will just enjoy your comments.

  • Taking out Hendricks early felt like the largest contribution to the loss.......

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Treebeard:

    Yep this is becoming my biggest gripe with Maddon. Our pen is not good let the starters go longer. I really don't understand why he rushes to it. I get Hendricks wasn't great but he had settled in let him go one more or at least start it with the pen up and then go from there. Instead hes pulled and predictably the pen can't throw strikes and 2 runs score after we just cut it to one. Also that abysmal strike call on Zobrist cost us at least one run and probably two.

  • ............although, that check swing call was pretty terrible.......

  • This loss stank. We walked too many batters and gave away too many runs. I don't mind getting beat by better play, but this is one we gave away.

    Did you see Schwarber go down the line? That's a bad boy. Bad in a good way. I don't know if anyone knows his off-field life, but his family is military and law enforcement. He spends his off time blasting off hundreds of rounds at the range, and dressing up as Uncle Sam to visit the children whose fathers are away at war. I wouldn't want to mess with him. Glad Javy got him before he broke that ump.

    Don't know what else to say, and the weather is moving in. Don't know if we play tomorrow. Ugh...

  • I did like Joe using Zagunis to pinch hit instead of Bryant, which may have been a more popular/standard choice............

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Probablly since Bryant hasn't had a critical hit yet this season, your grandfather would be as good.

  • In reply to veteran:

    That's very possible on both fronts.
    My grandfather played in the NBA for 12 years after winning a gold medal in the '60 Olympics, and he was a very good athlete. I know he played baseball in high school, and was pretty good; he just grew 6 inches between his senior year of high school and freshman year of college at Cal, which made him decide to choose basketball.......

  • Am surprised no one mentioned the fan who just had to have that all important baseball......Baez would have caught that ball and that play actually did cost a run......

  • In reply to Wickdipper:

    I've seen it mentioned but I didn't want to Bartman the guy. Still if there is one thing we as Cubs fans should know to do by now...

  • Today’s game postponed, I can’t believe it’s snowing outside. It’s mid April smh!!

  • In reply to bolla:

    And then people get mad as if I’m referring to politics when I recently said I’ve been noticing unusual weather the past 2 years in April. I’ve been saying it for a while it feels like winter has been going into later months in the past few years. Now we’re seeing more snowed out April games then ever. Mlb needs to closely monitor this because as much as they want to look past it the reschedulings influenced the NL central last year even if they may have deserved to lose anyways. FYI all I’m not referring to politics at all any political replies will be ignored some misinterpreted my comment last time.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I agree that the weather has been very odd. It has felt like very warm Decembers and then the cold/snow seems to last longer into the new year the past couple of years.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    Agreed mike that’s exactly as I put it also. From a baseball perspective it definitely seems like we’re getting more unusual weather in April. And like you said it feels like December is getting Warner so winter weather Is occurring later then ever. Just look at this week just on a 6 game home stand we had 3/6 games that were at risk of postponement.

  • Heywards #’s are insane! very happy with his production.and he was pitched around yesterday to load the bases for Contreras

    I gave up on heyward so it’s a pleasant surprise to see him mashing so far

    That check swing by Schwarber was borderline but not an egregious call. It could of went both ways tough loss with the cubs threatening.

  • Jeez don’t mean to sound like a retrospective thinker but watching the white Sox a little todat I wish the cubs signed someone like kelvin Herrera or at least someone similar price range wise like Cody Allen or jeurys familia maybe. Herrera only got about 2 years/$18 mill and I know he wasn’t great after being traded to the nats last season but this is a really consistently above avg to dominant reliever. A guy with a great arm (something the cubs lack) that’s had a lot of sustained success in the regular season and the playoffs. I also feel like he may have taken a small discount to join the cubs figure way 2/15-16 million vs a non contending team like the white Sox. Again don’t mean to sound like a retrospective thinker it’s just even after the season I thought there were a number of reasonably priced relievers with strong pedigrees like Cody Allen or Herrera who I think would’ve made a big difference for the cubs without the price tags of elite closers like Chapman, wade Davis or kenley. This was a pretty darn good relief market and it’s just shocking to me how complacent the organization is to sign none of them. You’d think with the farms issues they’d be in the market for some 2nd tier free agent relievers

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    The Cubs high payroll was pretty much already spent. They weren't complacent. They didn't have any additional money to spend right now.

  • In reply to John57:

    The payroll is what the ricketts say it is. Unlike other high payroll teams that are trying to get under the luxury tax threshold to avoid the harsher penalties, the cubs haven't been over the tax in recent years. And with $60+ million off the books next year and $100+ million over the next 2 years, they really were in a position to add a nice relief piece if ownership approved.

    Theo has to take responsibility for not doing a good job of allocating resources since 2016-17, but despite what he says I think he likely thought he had more flexibility this offseason. Don't mean to sound entitled, this is the most well run cubs team that many of us have seen. That being said it's hard for me not to have a level of resentment towards the organization when resources aren't used for a roster that is a few pieces away from being a high end contender. And when you really analyze the teams window, I strongly believe it's an incredible waste of talent not to try to win during hamels and Jon Lester's final prime years in their long, successful careers. In my eyes those 2 are arguably still their 1-2 starters despite their ages. Bullpens had a huge role in the majority of their losses

  • Darvish to pitch tomorrow. Yesterday, I heard Eno Sarris on the radio analyzing Darvish. He said Darvish has never had good fastball control, but that didn't matter when he was throwing 94. He is now down to 93, and that one MPH allows hitters to catch. He seemed to imply that Darvish will never live up to his contract. Conversely, he said Quintana has great control and he expects he is going to do well.

  • fb_avatar

    Has anyone seen the footage of Javy batting lefthanded? His swing is amazingly very good. Plus he has the same power as batting righthanded. Imo, he has a less violent, smoother swing from the left side.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I have, and I posted a link to the video during Saturday's game post just to poke at Cubber:

    https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/cubs/awesome-incontrovertible-proof-javy-baez-el-mago-absolute-freak-athlete-wrigley-field-batting-practice-power

    I agree that swing is pretty and, obviously, powerful. We all know by now that Javy is naturally left-handed, which helps explain some of the amazing tags, swim-slides, and other magical acts he displays on the diamond. But with that in mind, I've always wondered why he isn't a switch-hitter. I've done some pretty exhaustive research on him and don't recall his reasoning why not.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Could be a degree of dominance thing. My mother was one of those left handed trained to be right handed type of people who developed the various odd switching of sides based on activity. But I'm just guessing here.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    That's probably true. I'm naturally right-handed but have made the conscious decision throughout my life to do tasks with my left side, including throwing a baseball in the mid-60's from the left side in my younger days. I believe it has made my right side even stronger.

    But why, with his unearthly abilities, would Javy have not been a switch-hitter? Hitting from his natural left side would be an obvious boon to his goals of baseball domination. As I've said, I've probably studied El Mago more than I've studied any other player, and I don't remember ever hearing him explain that decision. If anyone has, I'd be grateful if you could point me to it.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I think we tend to underestimate just how hard it is to maintain two baseball swings. Now why he choose the obvious disadvantages of being a right handed bat versus left handed is something only he could explain.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    True again. Don't quote me, but I seem to recall Baez mentioning access to only right-handed baseball gloves in his childhood days in Puerto Rico as a partial reason for the fielding and throwing decision. I'd love to hear, from him, the decision to hit exclusively right-handed.

    OT, as I am wont to do, I'm watching with a heavy heart as Notre-Dame de Paris burns to the ground. So much history is being lost. What a shame.

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