Early Morning Dabs: Micromégas

The First Hundred

Micromégas was a novella written by Voltaire in the middle of the 18th century. It is considered one of the earliest works of science fiction and deals with an alien called Micromégas coming to Earth. The name of the creature literally means small large. That concept of small and large is central to baseball. The game is fundamentally based around the batter-pitcher confrontation that occurred over 4 million times between 2007 and 2018. The vast majority blend into nothingness but any given one might have been the decisive moment in a key game. Baseball is a game that allows us analysis of both the macro and micro.

The Fifth

An example of those moments that matter so much occurred in the fifth inning yesterday. Martin Maldonado showed the value of a veteran defensive catcher. Maldonado has always received high praise for his defense, and you can see why with some of those simple little things he did. Alec Mills' performance was strong and Maldonado certainly contributed to it.

Joey Votto struck out looking, and that is something that does not happen a lot. Mills completely fooled Votto with his pitch selection and that rests a lot with Maldonado. The pitch selection was also exemplary against Eugenio Suarez following the first inning homer. Suarez then took a called strike well off the plate. Mills hit the spot and got the call. But that also could have been a strike stolen by Maldonado.

The Cubs will lose offense with Maldonado in the lineup. The Cubs can't really afford another black hole at the plate, but it is going to be tempting to pencil in Maldonado for his glove more.

 Whammy!

The Cubs have hit a bunch of homers this year.  They are on pace to break their single season record as a team by a wide margin. The contributions have come throughout the lineup, but most noticeable has been Jason Heyward's power surge. Heyward has already surpassed his Cubs single season total, and that has been a large part of his offensive resurgence.

The larger context is that baseball appears to be suffering from another bout of super-jackrabbit ball the likes of which hasn't been seen since 1930. That could be a factor in Heyward's renaissance, but there has to be more to it. The ball has been juiced for a while and Heyward was among the worst offensive players in baseball. I don't know what to make of it to be honest, but it does seem like a factor that has to be considered when discussing the rebirth of Heyward's bat.

Cubs Common Denominator Lineup

Apparently I've been making these way too easy lately. My lineup became sadly appropriate with the passing of former Justice John Paul Stevens yesterday, but here is the key to yesterday's lineup.

Supreme Court Justice Name Position
John Jay Jon Jay LF
Henry Billings Brown Tommy Brown SS
James Wilson Hack Wilson CF
Byron White Rondell White RF
Charles Evans Hughes Terry Hughes 3B
John Marshall Jim Marshall 1B
John Blair Footsie Blair 2B
Samuel Freeman Miller Damian Miller C
John Paul Stevens Jeff Stevens Pitcher

Here is your puzzle for today.

CCDL #14 Name Position AVG OBP SLG HR SB
1 Juan Pierre CF 0.292 0.330 0.388 3 58
2 Monte Irvin LF 0.271 0.346 0.460 15 1
3 Ricky Gutierrez SS 0.284 0.359 0.401 21 12
4 Luis Valbuena 3B 0.232 0.330 0.394 32 2
5 Eddie Stanky 2B 0.245 0.360 0.280 0 5
6 Benito Santiago C 0.249 0.313 0.377 7 1
7 Pete LaCock 1B 0.221 0.320 0.341 15 2
8 Ken Henderson RF 0.215 0.347 0.319 4 0
9 Greg Maddux Pitcher 3.61 ERA 1305 K 547 BB 133 Wins 112 Losses

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  • Good points with Maldonado. Catching is really a defensive position. And much is asked of them and you pointed out some of those nuances, and why baseball stands alone in world of professional sports. Offense is important as well, but defense wins games too.

  • Ken Henderson not Hernández? At first I thought BB with Stanky. Then Giants, this one has got me stumped.

  • In reply to d0a0v0e:

    Boxing related?

  • In reply to d0a0v0e:

    Yes it was Henderson. Late night and not sure how I transposed that.

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