Big Bad Cole--Cubs 10 Rockies 1

There are times where a true ace just puts a team on his back and carries them to a win. Jon Lester has been noted for this ability over time. So much so that many call him Big Bad Jon or maybe some other more profane nickname when he dominates as a stopper. This afternoon in Colorado Cole Hamels was not just Cole Freaking Hamels but Big Bad Cole. The Cubs handsome southpaw struck out nine hitters through seven shutout innings. He also drove in four runs and scored a run too. The veteran was wobbly in the first inning loading the bases with just one out, but was able to wiggle out of that and other jams through the first three innings. Big Bad Cole then locked in to pitch deep into the game to end the Cubs road losing skid.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

Kyle Schwarber struck out swinging to start the game, but David Bote hit a ball up the middle for a single. Anthony Rizzo hit a flyball for the second out. Then Javy Báez continued the noted tradition of the athletic, power-hitting Cub shortstop enticed to swing at the eye high fastball. Javy's swinging K completed the fearful symmetry of the first inning.

Charlie Blackmon is so hot right now. He hit a clean single to start the Rockies first and best rally. Trevor Story struck out, but the sweet swinging David Dahl pulled another single. Cole Hamels lost Nolan Arenado on a changeup to load the bases, and the feeling was certainly here we go again. But Ian Desmond bounced the ball right to Javy who fired a strike for the force out at home. Mark Reynolds then watched a cutter nip the bottom corner to keep the score level at zero.

The Cubs hitters finally recalled that Coors has traditionally been a hitter friendly ballpark in the second. Carlos González revenge tour kicked off with a clean single to start it and Victor Caratini followed that up with a double. Jason Heyward looks to be heating back up and singled up the middle to drive in the pair thanks in part to the play of Ian Desmond. Cole Hamels then floated a single to keep the line moving. Addison Russell flew out to break up the streak of Cubs hit. Kyle Schwarber though learned his lesson from his first at bat and pounced all over the first pitch. It was a majestic homer that extended the Cubs lead to 5-0. Senzatela got Bote and Rizzo to pull easy groundball outs to end a standard Coors Field inning.

Brendan Rodgers grounded out to Javy to start the bottom half of the inning. Tony Wolters singled with one out to prevent Hamels from getting too comfortable, but Senzatela popped up the sacrifice bunt attempt that the Victory Carrot made a diving catch in foul territory well worth a second or third watch. Cole Hamels then struck out Blackmon for that much needed shutdown inning.

Javy worked the count and was able to deliver a lead off single in the third inning. CarGo worked the count full before earning the free pass. Caratini hit a bouncer right back up the middle that took Story right to the bag at second before he fired for the twin killing. Heyward was given the free pass to face Hamels who obliged with another groundball out to end the inning.

Hamels retired the first hitter in the bottom half of the frame, but Dahl hit a double for the Rockies first extra base hit of the game. Cole Hamels then decided to drill Nolan Arenado for all the times the Cubs star third sacker had been pummeled in Colorado. Ian Desmond bounced the ball to Bote who attempted to start an around the horn double play that was merely a fielder's choice. Mark Reynolds did the same to allow Hamels to wiggle out of another jam.

Senzatela threatened to give me an easy inning to reconstruct with two quick outs, but then he decided to throw three fastballs well inside to today's Cub third baseman David Bote. None came particularly close to striking Bote but none were anywhere near the strikezone either. The timing was suspicious since this was Bote's first plate appearance following the Arenado beanball but it was from a pitcher who was wild throughout the afternoon. It didn't matter much as Rizzo hit right into the shift for the final out. Cole Hamels helped me out though with a very quick 1-2-3 inning to send it to the fifth with the Cubs still holding a five run lead.

Arenado was pulled from the game to start the fifth due to being struck on the arm from Hamels earlier. Javy hit a ground ball right to second baseman Brendan Rodgers who misplayed it in every conceivable way to allow Báez to reach. CarGo hit a sky high floater that found the smallest patch of fair ground deep down the left field line. Javy read the play perfectly and was nearly to third by the time the ball landed. Senzatela lost any sense of the strike zone walking Caratini on four straight not particularly close pitches which ended Senzatela's afternoon. Bud Black brought in the lefty Jake McGee to face Heyward.

The fact that I am starting a new paragraph now should indicate to you about the efficacy of this move. The kryptonite that is left handed pitching to Heyward created a foul out to start, but Hamels helped his own cause once again with a two run single. Addison Russell reloaded the bases with a walk, and Kyle Schwarber hit the ball well enough to earn his fourth RBI on a sac fly to right. David Bote then struck out looking, and it appeared like only he, the umpire and Brian Butterfield was aware that was the final out of the inning for 60 seconds. Eventually the Rockies accepted that they had indeed finally achieved the requisite three outs to earn another opportunity to bat. An opportunity for David Dahl to rack up another hit it turned out, but Hamels cruised through another scoreless inning. McGee was able to do Hamels better with a quick 1-2-3 of his own in the sixth.

The game settled into a pitchers duel with Hamels matching McGee in the bottom of the sixth. The only drama Bryan Shaw faced in the seventh is the did he or didn't he mean to hit Cole Hamels with two outs. The pitch struck Hamels feet and for my money was not intentional. But the moment passed quickly and the game headed to the home half. Big Bad Cole worked around Chris Iannetta's pinch hit single in the seventh while remaining under a hundred pitches.

Real Deal Phillip Diehl was tossed back into the fire following Iannetta's insertion into the game. For the second game in a row, the Rockies one upped the Cubs catching tandem by moving Wolters from behind the dish to the keystone. Wolters made a nice reaction snag on David Bote's hard hit rocket for the second out. Diehl plunked Anthony Rizzo with the bases open which resulted in warnings finally being issued. The pitch looked the most like an intent pitch from the Rockies but seemed odd. Rizzo took second base for the best revenge legally available to him. It turned out to only save him 90 feet of trotting as Javy obliterated Diehl's low pitch to make it an even 10-0 lead. The Real Deal really did complete the eighth, but not before Javy's very loud exclamation point capped the victory.

The ten run lead provided a soft landing spot for two struggling relievers to get some work in. Or at least as soft of a landing spot as Coors Fields can provide. Kyle Ryan benefited from a Rockies team in a hurry to get this one over. A one pitch grounder back to the pitcher started the eighth. Ryan punched out McMahon but Desmond floated a single into shallow center to keep the inning alive. Reynolds hit the groundball Ryan was hunting for to send the game to the ninth. Caratini hit an impressive upper deck foul ball before rolling the ball under Story's glove to start the ninth. Jason Heyward photocopied it to bring Albert Almora Jr. to the plate with two on, but Almora bounced into a double play as he is wont to do. Russell kept things moving with his own ground out.

Brad Brach struck out Rodgers to start the ninth. Brach then hit Wolters on an 0-2 pitch and was thankfully not given the automatic ejection that usually occurs once warnings are issued. Wolters pulled a Rizzo by taking second and then third as well. He scored on a groundout to break up the shutout, but Brach struck out Ramiel Tapia to end the Cubs road woes.

Random Reference

Steve Cishek was injured on the field before the start of the game today. The yeoman reliever was struck in the lower leg by a baseball, but the news seems encouraging that it is merely a bruise. NBC Chicago showed some very grainy footage of that freak incident. That led Len and JD to quip about it being like the Zapruder film which gives me the flimsiest of excuses to use this from spring training.

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  • Does anyone have any data as to when defensive indifference leads to that runner scoring versus the defense preventing subsequent hitters from scoring? I Know almost everything is tracked but I doubt if such a statistic exists.

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    In reply to stix:

    Are we talking about fielders not trying hard as "defensive indifference" or when the catcher and infielders ignore a base-stealer in a game with the outcome no longer seen as in doubt?

    If you want "lackadaisical" defense then I don't know that someone keeps track of that as it would have to be a judgment call.

    If you want the 2nd (and I am suspicious that is what you want), then I don't know where that stat is listed but it wouldn't be hard. The official scorer record defensive indifference so it is something already known. So someone would simply have to tally up the number that score/the number of defensive indifference calls.

    As for the part about subsequent hitters scoring I think that this is actually pretty rare. Recall most innings have no runs scored. Innings with "crooked numbers" are even more rare. In a blowout not all batters are trying particularly hard. Often everyone just wants to go home (including some fans). Also, if subsequent batters score then the runner who advanced on defensive indiffference also would have scored even if the defense was trying. Wouldn't they?

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Thanks. My thoughts are why does defensive indifference occur? All it does is possibly allow a run in a situation where the run doesn’t need to score. I realize the result of the games aren’t affected by DI runners scoring but it does have an impact on pitchers stats.

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    In reply to stix:

    Yes it does. But a single run won't significantly affect the pitcher's stats unless the sample size is too small to use for significant evaluation anyway. This is also why I prefer stats like FIP over ERA since it, by definition, only includes BB, SO, HR. If the runner was aboard via BB then why did the pitcher walk him. Even with a lead...ESPECIALLY with a lead, I don't want the pitcher walking anyone.

    As for why does DI occur that is a slightly different question. A simple--and likely oversimplified--answer is "laziness." Why exert the effort? But I think these guys are more professional than that. So they are fundamentally saying, "If this run scores we don't care" ("indifference"). Generally the batter only advances 1 base. If the catcher throws and there is an error the runner may advance another base. If being at 2B is a problem, presumably being at 3B is an even bigger problem. There is also a small chance of injury, likely minor, from something like being "spiked," even if unintentional. In short, the downsides outweigh the upside in the team's calculation. Yes, errors and injury are rare. If the outcome is in doubt the risk is well worth taking. But if bad things, regardless how unlikely, can happen and little positive can come out of it then why not let them go?

    I can see your point about "contest everything" and it is a valid point. I am sure there are some teams that DI more than other teams--that might be an interesting "fact" to find sometime. Though I call it a "fact" because it would be "true" but I wouldn't use it to evaluate anything. It would be a "fact." Like BA on days beginning with a T (Tuesday and Thursday), west of the Mississippi River, North of 38 degrees latitude with the temperature between 81.5-85.1 degrees Fehrenheit. It is a fact. It is true. I don't consider it an important factor when evaluating things. You may disagree and are welcome to figure it out. Again, I'd be curious to find if it DOES affect pitchers stats in a significant way AND/OR if some teams use DI more often than others (correcting for teams that might simply be in more games where DI is "appropriate" so I would want a percentage). IF you can show that some teams use it more often than others (by percentage, not just quantity) AND it affects pitcher's stats--which play an ever more important role in salary and evaluations--you might be onto something. To me THAT would be a stat I'm interested in. Maybe I am just lazy and have an intuition that it doesn't really affect things in a meaningful way. So I have never looked. It wouldn't be the first time I brushed something aside as irrelevant that someone went through the effort and showed it DID make a difference, and a meaningful difference at that.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    That’s for the response.

  • Arenado promises a “spicy” series if these teams meet in playoffs. If not, I guess we’ll have to wait for next year for more fireworks.

  • In reply to stix:

    Cubs in the playoffs, Rockies certainly not. Rockies have one player w/ a road OPS north of .800. Arenado with .850. This is a mediocre team which plays home ball in a helium shoebox.

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    In reply to stix:

    Arenado isnt in reality. They hit Bryant 3 times and he has the nerve to say that? Sorry Nolan the Cubs are not worried at all:)

  • In reply to Jeff Deornellas:

    Bryant would get thrown inside less, but it seems to work somewhat. He appears to be a little gun shy since that head shot last year. Idk. Pitchers might need to have his back more. If the umpires don't handle it and not sure that they can, the team must.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    I agree 100%, Bryant does seem timid at times, thats what it looks like anyway. He is also just laid back, regardless I would love to see our pitchers back him up more. Also agree this was a must win game. 4 games in LA, including kershaw, buheler, and ryu. Wow! thats tough. It will be a chance for our hitters to see those guys before th e playoffs though. But i am very worried. GO CUBS!!!

  • In reply to Jeff Deornellas:

    Back in the day Hall of Fame ss Ernie Banks was mild mannered tough competitor. He took one to the face and the pitchers made sure that it never happened again. Discard the DH-problem solved!!

  • In reply to stix:

    I saw that quote. This escalated quickly. I like it. I don’t want to see anyone get hurt but chips/spicy baseball is good baseball.
    Do we play Colorado anymore?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    None scheduled for this year.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I also like spicy baseball, but thats when guys get hurt. What if someone breaks Rizzos hand? or Baez? We cant lose those guys for 2 months.

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    In reply to Jeff Deornellas:

    Also, Arenado is a baby, they hit Bryant in face, then 3 more times and he is crying? Come on.

  • In reply to Jeff Deornellas:

    I wonder if Arenado reacted that way on purpose? If he wanted to get Cole rattled or bait him into a fight so he’d get tossed??

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Great point, i didnt think of that.

  • In reply to Jeff Deornellas:

    I don’t understand why Bryant has been hit by them so frequently. If it is just coincidence or what? KB is a quiet mellow type of player.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Maybe they find that throwing inside to him gives them the best chance to get him out. Maybe they simply have more trouble controlling inside pitches than other teams. Maybe they are miffed that the Cubs took Bryant 1 spot ahead of them in 2013 and they are taking it out on him ;).

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    :) :) :)

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I’ve already had issues with the Colorado Rockies before this series. They’ve hit Bryant a bunch of times in the past. I remember be got hit in the face last year and their was some beaning going back and forth. And with teams like Colorado if you get retribution bud black is one school and they’ll be throwing at you for the rest of the game. Clint hurdle with the pirates also has this twisted mindset. I think sometimes when the umps aren’t protecting your players, then the pitchers have to take things into their own hands. Colorado in my eyes have taken things too far in the past on more than one week occasion. At least now they understand next time that if they’re gonna keep throwing at our players, then we’re throwing at their players.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Bud black is old school

  • This was a big win, because the road trip was starting to get ugly. The Colorockies are hard to beat at home and they were on a hot streak. Hamels stepped up as he and Lester/Hendricks take turns playing stopper. Nice defense today especially Javy and Victor. Good job Cubs!

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Huge W and honestly hamels isn’t getting enough credit for his cubs tenure. Honestly can they even afford to let him walk at this point given darvish and Qs overall underperformance relative to their career norms? To me he’s still pitching like a TOR starter and that’s been the case from the moment he put on a cub uniform. Huge win against a rockie team that had won 10 straight at home, and frankly we should’ve won 2/3. Big upcoming series against the dodgers 4 best starters. Hopefully with no seager the cubs have more of an advantage. Kudos to maddon for getting willson and KB needed days off. I think in general he’s doing a good job giving willson extra rest as he maybe going through some midseason fatigue during this long stretch of games

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I’d love to have Hamels back. He just pitches so great at Wrigley, he’s a huge plus there, and even if he’s not on, he’s gonna battle and still give us 5 innings.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    That's exactly what I was thinking, Langer. He is such a great veteran pro. I don't know if he hit Arenado intentionally, but I hope he did and I suspect he did. It's about time someone stud up for our key guys getting hit and to hit their best guy was just perfect -- especially right after Javy had one throw right at his head. I had had enough and so did Cole. Good for him.

    But beyond that, he just knows how to pitch. I hope Theo brings him back on a two or three year deal. Little doubt he will remain very effective for three more, through his age 38 season -- when he'll get his 3,000th K.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    On the brighter side KK, I got to take exception to your statement "given darvish and Qs overall underperformance relative to their career norms". Both pitchers in the previous 2 games could have pitched more innings and maybe we would have had different results. The losses were not their fault.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I’m moreso referring to their bodies of work with the cubs overall. Clark I’ve defended darvish and Quintana a lot on this forum in general. I argued just yesterday that darvish is clearly progressing and Quintana hasn’t gotten any run support all year. But I’ve watched both guys pitch since their ranger and white Sox days. Both of them are clearly not pitching to the same level as they did with their previous teams and their stats reflect that. Now Quintana still has value and darvish is recently finding his form again to me. But to me both guys ERAs with their overall ability should be under 4 if not under 3.50. I thought Q was outstanding in April but got no run support and has regressed a little lately into cubs version nibbling W at times, and I hope he turns that around this Sunday. In contrast I thought darvish pitched poorly early on coming off a serious injury leading the league in walks heading into May. But I think he’s gonna have better days ahead of he’s figured out his uncharacteristic walk problem, as he has lately. My only point is both guys track records show pitchers capable of much better production, and I even think both pitchers would admit the same. The main point is both guys aren’t pitching like the TOR guys that we hoped we were getting. I think because of that the team may need to consider retaining hamels, while hoping one of the 2 returns to top form before the playoffs

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    *cubs version nibbling Q

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Chill KK. This was in no way meant to put you down. I just wanted to cheer up your dismal post a little. That is why I said "On the brighter side". I am perfectly happy with the 5 pitchers we have and my guess is you probably are also.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I gotcha Clark I’m not down on the starting rotation by any means I think it’s as loaded as any. I for one think Quintana is still an asset, and don’t think darvish is doomed at all unlike most cubs fans. I just want to see them keep their stud starters, because this team isn’t a team built on its pen

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    They have to get younger in the rotation next year. As much as I love Quintana if they declined his option (or picked it up and traded him) and let Hamels go they could actually compete for Gerrit Cole as they would save $30 mil with those two salaries. Then you plug Alzolay in at 5.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I also think Quintana maybe a trade chip TC. Like you said they have to get younger down the line and I think he’d have decent trade value given his mostly team friendly deal. I think plenty of pitching coaches would like to get their hands on him given his long track record of success. We’ll see what happens this year but the cubs version of Q is frankly replaceable. I also think he would fetch something in a deal and he’s a guy that the cubs don’t control much longer anyways. I’m still interested though in a short term deal for hamels if he continues to dominate with the cubs. The facts are his current production can’t easily be replaced, and he’s been such a nice veteran presence in this locker room. Side benefit too is he seems to be one of the more mild mannered darvishs closer friends on the team

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    Cole Hamels, your table is ready.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Let's eat!

    I was working today with a group of people and couldn't even listen. I got to a watering hole (and finally got the attention of the self-absorbed bartender taking selfies with the bar fan blowing her hair in just a certain way for 15 minutes) just in time to see Rizzo get drilled in the behind. That looked intentional to me, and Rizzo agreed. He stole 2B on the very next pitch, and attempted to steal 3B on the next pitch Javy fouled off. You don't do that with an 8-0 lead on the road in the late innings. That was an obvious F-you move by Rizzo, and Javy gave a death stare towards the mound a couple pitches later after his golf shot bomb.

    Big Bad Cole. We needed this going into LA. This is going to be a tough series, especially with Cishek being questionable.

    Great recap by dabs, as usual. I hate to say we take him for granted, but I think we kinda do. I find his recaps tremendously entertaining, win or lose. Mike is a genius. Thank you, Mike.

    Dabs title made me think of an old Jim Croce song that I've previously linked to KB. "Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown" should be KB's walk-up song, IMO. Except for the last part, when bad 'ol Leroy don't fair do well. Not trying to jinx anybody, but this verse is one of my all-time favorites:

    "Well the two men took to fighting,
    And when they pulled them off the floor.
    Leroy looked like a jigsaw puzzle
    With a couple of pieces gone."

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Definitely a team effort today. I watched most of the game but didn’t see Rizzo getting hit, his stolen base or Javy’s bomb. I hope this gets Javy going, he’s been off for a week or so but then he’ll get hot and carry us for a few weeks.
    It’s such a pleasure to watch Lester and Hamels pitch. Two older, experienced veterans who know how to pitch and how to persevere through a bad inning or when they don’t have their best stuff. It’s the same as when Zo gets 2 strikes and it’s a big game and it doesn’t faze him. All of them have been there before and personify what Joe meant when he says “Don’t let the pressure exceed the Pleasure.”
    I miss Zo and wish him well.
    Why do they call them “watering holes” now? I’ll bet not a lot of water is served. No cattle drives taking a break these days.
    Go Cubs!!

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Everything can change, of course, between now and October, but I like Hendricks, Lester, and Hamels top-3 with Q #4 as necessary. Which means we will play Russell at 2B to make up for our lack of K pitchers, and what role will Yu play?

    I'm weird in many ways, but one of them is that I want to know the origin of commonly-used phrases. What is getting "stumped", and why do kids sing "Ring around the Rosie"? As for the watering hole question, I think it simply means a place in nature where living creatures gather to hydrate, and intermingle. In fact, John said from the beginning that is wanted to create: a place for Cubs fans to gather and feel like we were at a friendly pub. Pull up a stool, have a drink, and talk baseball.

    I think he did well.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Love it! Watering hole are like the old time taverns. Not really restaurants except maybe a hard boiled egg or pickle, possibly a slice of liverworst on rye with mustard. Those were real bars.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    There are still some left. You typically won't find them in the burbs however.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Does Cole have a standing (or is it, sitting) reservation?

  • Brennan Davis after an 0-4 game in the 1st of a double header is now 2-2 with an rbi single and a 3 run home run and 4 total RBIs. He’s also getting on base and accepting his walks at a very impressive clip. I keep saying it isn’t too early to get excited about that kid

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    In the 2nd inning only I might add

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    He’s got to be the most promising prospect playing right now (with Nico still injured.) the way he’s playing he’ll have to be promoted at some point this season and then who knows? If he didn’t get on base that first game it will be the first time this season he didn’t get on base in a game.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    His on base streak was unfortunately broken but the sizable gap between his avg and obp are still impressive. I’d still be patient with him just because I want to see if pitchers can avoid hard contact from Davis as they adjust to his game (his K rate is starting to increase a bit over a small recent sample after he barely punched out at all early on). But the overall in game hitting and power he’s displayed so far are easily above what I expected this year. Frankly I thought he was destined for Eugene for sure so what do I know. The cubs development staff does a nice job teaching a patient opposite field approach in addition to launch angle, as we saw with the developments of at the time raw prospects in javy and Contreras. I still think he can use some work on his Lower half and his swing in general. That’s what’s exciting to me he’s still pretty raw and has a lot of development in front of him, unlike some of the college 1st rd bats they’ve drafted

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    That said for him to be raking already with all the natural physical tools and athleticism that he was born with makes him pretty intriguing. He’s one of the few potential 5 tool guys that the team has

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    He rebounded in the 2nd game by going 2-3 with 4 RBI. Pretty good day.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    OK for a teenager.

  • Was in the first person at the game. Picture perfect weather, 72 sunny and little wind. Heyward's clutch hit showed something again like the team took the game more seriously than last night. Schwarber's blast was just one section to our right and a few rows below as myself and my college best friend both from IU yelled incoming. as we could see the ball bend our way like a good hook off a golf club.

    The beanball. Denver has hit Bryant four times over the last two years, twice in the last week so this is an ongoing issue. especially after they decked Baez. So sitting with a transplant Rox fan who really is a Sox fan, he said there is bad blood. Then Arenado gets beaned. We both concurred that Rizzo was next, but that was after Hamels foot attack. Then Baez took it out in the 8th. Talking to patrons who had close in seats after the game at Giordano's, which was filled with fans from the game practically everyone one donning some form of Cubs gear, they said they could hear Baez yelling at the 2 days up rookie Diehl as he sauntered around the bases.

    Hamels was the real story but so was Schwarber, Heyward, Caratini and finally Baez.

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    In reply to rnemanich:

    Thanks for the info. Glad Hamel decided to make sure that Colorado understood that the cubs were not going to allow the hitting of Bryant three times and the head hide knock down of Baez go without payback Like Hamel more time he pitches. Gutsy veteran

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    Hamels is the ultimate veteran, no way he lets them hit our guys and do nothing. And look at the awesome start he had, even with all the distractions. Love him.

  • In reply to rnemanich:

    Thanks for the in-person update! I'm glad Hamels (and Joe) and protecting Cubs players. The Cubs have enough hard-throwers to keep them honest.

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    Milw won in the 14th so we’re still 1/2 a game back.

  • I wish Q would take some lessons from Hamels.

  • Actually not a bad idea by the Rox to poke the bear before the cubs start a 4-game set with LA. That said, boy I was fired up watching yesterday. I love those kind of games. Javy bombs are the best bombs.

  • Hamels and Lester are crafty old veterans, and ones that can pitch a decent game even when they don't have their best 'stuff'. Yes - they are both more than a bit on the wrong side of 30 - but those dudes can still carry their team when they need to.

    Weakest link on the SP side is Darvish - and even he looks solid when he does manage to not walk people.

    Now on to LA,... hope they remember to pack the offense with them to LAX

  • Defensive indifference will occur in situations where the runner advancing a base will not affect the outcome of a game. For example, tie score, bottom of the ninth, runners on the corners. If the runner on first attempts to advance to second, the defenders will just let him go: that runner moving into scoring position cannot affect the outcome of the game, and attempting to throw him out could result in an error that lets the runner on third score.

    Last night's game was something similar: given that it was a blowout, it was the bottom of the ninth, and there were two outs, that runner scoring would not, in all likelihood, affect the outcome of the game. Yes, in theory, the team should contest every run; but in this case, they felt that it just wasn't worth it.

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