The Day After Tomorrow--Cubs 2 Diamondbacks 3

Today was the day after the horrific outfield collision and we received about the worst possible news. Kyle Schwarber is done for the, hopefully, magical 2016 season. The hope is that this is just a temporary setback for Kyle Schwarber’s development and an interesting plot point in the narrative of the year. Baseball is a cruel game in so many ways, but that there was no respite after the news is perhaps the cruelest.

The Cubs started off well in this bold, new era. Dexter Fowler continued his hot start with a lead off single, but the Cubs ended the inning before Anthony Rizzo even got to bat. Jean Segura began Jason Hammel‘s night with a scare as he drove the ball just below the yellow home run line in dead center. Segura motored into second were he would on an infield single by Socrates Brito. The Paul Goldschmidt fly out turned into a significant play when Dexter Fowler fired to second keeping Brito at first. David Peralta grounded into an inning ending double play to keep the game scoreless. Hammel settled in at that point retiring the next 8 batters.

Robbie Ray worked his way into trouble in the third inning. He walked Addison Russell and David Ross to start the inning. Jason Hammel bunted but too hard at Goldschmidt. He fired to third to nail Russell, but Ray walked Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward to drive in the first run of the game. Ben Zobrist hit a grounder for a force out at second but also the Cubs second run of the game. The inning would end without the Cubs registering a hit.

Some creative base running in both halves of the fifth inning left the score at 2-0, but Hammel would continue to work into trouble. Hammel walked three batters in the previous two innings, but the shutout remained in tact. Jean Segura singled to start the sixth though for the first Diamondback hit since the first inning. He stole second in Socrates Brito’s plate appearance and reached third on his fly out. Perennial Cub killer Paul Goldschmidt singled to put the Diamondbacks on the board. Hammel escaped with no further damage and a shaky quality start.

The Cubs held onto their 2-1 lead until the eighth inning. Jean Segura’s one out double meant trouble for Pedro Strop. Strop forced Socrates Brito to ground out, and the Cubs elected to pitch to Paul Goldschmidt with two outs. Strop made some quality pitches, but Goldschmidt won the battle hitting a single. Goldschmidt tried to advance to second but was gunned down by Fowler on a close call to end the inning. The damage was done with the game tied on a déjà vu scoring play.

The Diamondbacks won this in walk off fashion in the bottom of the ninth. Travis Wood retired David Peralta, but Maddon elected to bring on the former Diamondback Trevor Cahill to face the former Cub Welington Castillo. Beef Castle won the battle of players facing their former teams with a solid single. Beef Castle would be replaced for a pinch runner Chris Owings. Jake Lamb hit a ground ball to second, but with the runner in motion the Cubs could only get one out at first. Yasmany Tomas singled to left and Jorge Soler‘s throw was up the line. Owings scored easily dropping the Cubs from first place in the Central.

WPA CHART

Source: FanGraphs

It’s Hammel Time
Jason Hammel’s start was a Jekyll and Hyde performance. The final line on the night was solid. He registered the quality start going six innings with only one run allowed. He allowed seven base runners over those six innings, and there were many nail biting moments in this close game. The start of the game felt like Hammel might be more of second half Jason Hammel, but he settled in to retire eight in a row and striking out five in that stretch. Then Hammel lost the strike zone for a bit walking three of the next five batters he faced. He might have kept the shutout going despite that if not for Segura’s and Goldschmidt’s superhero performances.

Robbie Ray was even shakier, but the Cubs could not deliver the knock out blow despite the five free base runners granted in the third and fourth frame. Ray then settled in with the help of some interesting Cubs baserunner in the fifth. The Cubs only managed a single base runner after the double tootblan to end that frame.

Wild, Wacky Stuff on the Bases
I don’t even know how to describe that play. So here it is in gif form.

The Diamondbacks would return the favor in the bottom half of the inning. Nick Ahmed walked as Hammel looked on the brink of teetering. Hammel then threw an errant pick off attempt, but Ahmed was not content to take a single base. Anthony Rizzo fired a rocket across the field to nab the greedy Ahmed at third to end the fifth inning. Rizzo had his redemption.

Some Thoughts About the Post-Schwarber Cubs
The Cubs were finally held to under six runs in a ball game. It is tempting to draw big sweeping conclusions based on one game, but that is silly to do. Schwarber would have been the catcher in this game and he might have provided just a bit more offense than David Ross, but Graybeard had a solid day at the plate despite the 0 for 3 final batting line. The Cubs just could not get the big breakthrough hit despite many chances. Kris Bryant hit the ball hard with nothing to show for it. Heyward and Zobrist still look to be adjusting to their new team.

The defense was one aspect that really shone and particularly in the outfield. Jason Heyward made a few sparkling plays that shows why he is so valuable even when he is scuffling at the plate. Interestingly Jorge Soler was barely tested in the outfield. Only two balls were hit to him and those both occurred in the ninth inning. His one real change to affect the game on that side of the field was on the final play of the game. It would have taken a perfect throw to save the game, but it was far from that.

Random Reference
I wanted Munenori Kawasaki to make the Cubs. I wrote all the reasons why at another site even. I feel like I got a monkey paw wish today.

I didn’t want it to happen like this.

And if I wasn’t awful enough

Three Stars of Game
Third Star-Dexter Fowler (2-3)
Thank you Baltimore for not being willing to offer an opt out. That might have saved our season.

Second Star-Paul Goldschmidt (2-4, 2 RBI)
Paul Goldschmidt is really good. He is extra really good against the Cubs.

First Star-Jean Segura (3-4, 2 R)
Remember when Jean Segura was terrible and stole first base? Yeah, me neither.

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Tags: Dabynsky, Game Recap

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  • I'm still so mad about Maddon's blown 8th inning. I think he's brilliant in every facet of his managerial duties except for managing the bullpen. Definitely should've walked PG and then put Wood in. Always sucks to lose a game like this due to poor strategy rather than just human mistake. Well, hopefully we can at least go to town on Greinke tomorrow and begin the hunt for 161-1

  • This is the 3rd straight year that we have pitched to goldschmidt in critical late game situations and he's made us pay resulting in us losing these games. I understand the advanced stat arguments for not putting the winning run on 1st but how many times are we going to keep making this same mistake. Your challenging one of the 2-3 best hitters in the nl make peralta beat you even if you have to bring in the lefty

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    we never seem to learn. Goldy is a .370 career hitter against the Cubs, the best of any team in the majors, why we insist on pitching to him late in the game is a mystery.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I'd say because ".370 career hitter against the Cubs" is about as meaningless a statistic as you'll ever find. We're four games into the season (with a .750 winning percentage) and we've got people critical of Maddon already?

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    In reply to Cliff1969:

    How about Goldy single handily beating us 3 times last year. That history is not meaningless.

  • In reply to Geoff Shipp:

    Against which pitcher? Lefty or Righty? Throwing which pitch? Hitting his spots, or missing? Who was catching? What was the count? RISP, or no? Day game, or night? Home or away? Weather?

    I stand by my statement. How many times Goldy single handedly beat us in 2015 is meaningless in 2016. There are many other statistics for a manager to consider that are much more relevant to the game on the field.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    He hit a 2 run hr Off rondon last season with the Cubs up 2 runs with a man on 2nd which tied the game and resulted in a nick Ahmed game walk off hit later in the game. I was disgusted pitching to him in that situation and I don't remember the pitcher but the exact same situation and result happened in 2013 also. Enoighs enough he's a special player in the game today let's make their other guys beat us for a change

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I don't think anybody here or most of us would trade maddon for any other manager in the league but that doesn't mean he doesn't make mistakes. I think there's an argument made to pitching to goldschmidt there in
    terms of not putting the winning run on 1st plus peraltas pretty good. That said this guys been one of the biggest cub killers since theos been here and in the end your talking about arguably the best hitter in the game. I think it's perfectly fair to second guess this decision and I hope they learn from this mistake if we're in that position again with the game on the line

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Joe knows the stats and he knows the odds. 7 of 10 times that decision to pitch to Goldy works to the Cubs favor. The other 3 bring out all the people to point out Joe's "mistake." There's no such thing as a "cub killer."

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Perhaps the other six times he makes an out there's nothing on the line. I'd be interested in his stats vs the Cubs with RISP.

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    Ahmeds a beast at short. Rizzos baserunning was bad there, especially with a runner in front of him.

  • In reply to in theo we trust:

    He just fell asleep. He acted shocked that they would throw behind him.

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    Goldschmidt is like Yadier Molina, if there's a chance to beat us they do. Walk him and pitch to the next batter.
    I don't blame Soler, he's doing what he can, but the Cubs were playing with fire all game and finally got burnt by it, and the offense just couldn't do anything. They took pitches, and KB probably would have hit 2 HRs in another ball park, but it didn't work today. So, we're 3-1 and that's not too bad. There's always a game tomorrow (or, rather later today). Start a new winning streak.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yeah I hope that it didn't appear like I was laying any blame at the feet of Soler. I just found it interesting the one chance he had on defense was to use his one plus defensive attribute right now and it was that result.

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    If we keep up this pace we win 120 but pitching to Goldie in these situations is really getting old. Wise up, Joe.

  • I'm not liking Maddon's handling of the bullpen so far. They've had three blowouts this season and he's pitched Wood every game and Strop 3 of the last 4. Meanwhile Warren and Richard haven't pitched since March 30 and Ramirez since March 28. Don't pitch Wood in all three blowouts and you get one of those guy's some work. I don't pitch Strop there. Strop was hanging quite a few pitches that inning. I would've used someone else there. Now if it's a close game tomorrow you have two guy's who may be getting too much work and three guy's who haven't pitched in almost two weeks.

  • In reply to Teddy KGB:

    I usually try to stay away from the 2nd guessing about bullpen handling, but I'm not sure why he's used Wood in every game and not used Richards at all? Or Strop in 3 games and Ramirez not at all? Honestly, I think using Ramirez in Thursday night's game in lieu of Strop would have made sense and Richard in lieu of Wood. In other words, I have more of a problem with how Thursday night's bullpen was handled than last night's.

  • Cubs lost and the Cards won. We're out of first place and Schwarber's done for the year. I'm on the ledge. Maybe it's time to jump on the White Sox bangwagon.

  • Schwarber hangover game. They were flat.

  • After a major injury to a key player it is likely the Cubs would have a hang over game. I believe we scored 2 runs on no hits. If he hadn't walked the bases loaded we prolly wouldn't have scored.
    I can't believe zobrist didn't get credited for an error.
    Today's game will be great challange. Our number 5 vs their ace.

  • Ross was 0-3 as you said but also was 0-2 at throwing out runners. Where is the solid game you mentioned ?????

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Throwing out baserunners is not solely the responsibility of the catcher, and Ross hit the ball hard a couple of times with nothing to show for it. The one strikeout was on a borderline call that had been given to the hitter more than a few times on the night. I think it was a solid effort all things considered.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Ross lin ed out twice. Frankly, the Cybs were somewhat unlucky, Bryant hits a FOto the CF wall, lines out to 3b, Ross lines ouit twice. Rizzo hits a bullet at Goldy with 2 runners on. Lack of contact was onlyh an issue once.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Diamondback hitter crushed one off the center field wall in the first inning. Bryant's fly ball was barely to warning track. Guess he was unlucky too. Part of game.
    I think Cubs were lucky to score 2 runs on no hits.

  • We sure have seen Jean Segura's name a LOT in the last two games recaps. Maybe it's time to take another look at the advance scouting report on him!

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    I thought Soler should have sold out and gone for the catch in the 9th.

    Czesur, or Bryant might make that play.

  • Cubs lost and the Cards won. We're out of first place and Schwarber is done for the year. I'm on the ledge. Maybe it's time to jump on the White Sox bandwagon.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Apparently, you've got company. Don't forget, Joe Maddon can't handle a bullpen, either. This team is doomed...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Glad you got the sarcasm. I just had an urge to follow the negatively of the thread. Like you, I've been a die-hard for a long time. Yesterday definitely sucked, but this is still a whole lotta fun.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I don't get the sense anyone is headed for the ledge. I think most posters seem down about Schwarber. A couple of people didn't like pitching to Goldschmidt. A few more (myself included), wondered about some of the bullpen handling. People can question decisions. Doesn't mean they aren't enjoying the team or don't have faith in it. I love the start this year... it's the most fun I've had rooting for this team for a long, long time.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    I mentioned the ledge, in jest, partially due to my own disappointment in hearing the Schwarber news. You make some valid points about legitimate critique. As long as baseball is a business, us fans have as much value as any player, manager, or owner. Without us, these guys would be playing as a hobby on some backwoods sandlot. Every fan has a right to their opinion, and I'll always defend that point of view. Sorry if I was taken any other way.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    No worries, man. I was just trying to say that I didn't think it was overly maudelin yet or anything. I'm all for laughing at ledge jumpers this early in the season. Also, I think some of my own posts have maybe edged more towards the negative (bullpen, Zobrist below) which doesn't represent the totality of my feelings. I'm really excited (though still a little in shock about Schwarber). This year is gonna be fun as hell.

  • Definitely a monkey paw wish https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Monkey%27s_Paw

  • "Strop made some quality pitches, but Goldschmidt won the battle hitting a single." He did make quality pitches to get to two strikes, but then served up a meatball for the game tying hit. Certainly not the first time and won't be the last time Strop fails to execute in a high leverage situation. But its mostly on Joe for not at least unintentionally intentionally walking Goldy.

    Now we got Hendrix vs. Grienke, which is why we really needed last night's game. Ouch. Dang. Darn.

  • I've come to the conclusion that the Cubs should just set a tee up for Jean Segura rather than waste pitchers' energy throwing the ball to him. He is annoyingly effective vs this team. You expect it from beasts like Goldschmidt, but when more down to earth players have your team's number, it seems to add insult to injury.

  • I hope this doesn't sound like I'm singling him out, but Zobrist is scuffling with runners in scoring position. He's got to do a bit better. His strikeout with the bases loaded and no one out really shifted the dynamic of that inning.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Nobody can do it all the time. The Cubs simply won't be as good without Kyle. He lengthened that lineup. There is just something about Schwarber. He was the spark last year and I'm having trouble shaking the lost feeling of his absents. Cubs too.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Yeah, agreed. I know it's way early and it's a long season. I guess it's just that the whole narrative of Hayward and Zobrist helping the team get runners home was pushed throughout the offseason so I've been paying attention to that so far this year and Zobrist has struggled so far in that situation. I don't expect it will continue and it's a very, very small sample size. Just something I've noticed so far and something I hope turns around sooner rather than later.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    In the meantime, the Cubs have won three out of four on the west coast. I suspect starting on the west coast from spring training in Arizona levels the playing field a bit.

    I hope they don't have too much trouble adjusting to central time.

  • People need to chill out.
    -Even if they lose tonight, if they can win 3 out of 5 thorough the season they’ll finish with 97 wins.
    -While losing Schwarber for the season sucks, the Cubs are deep enough to the point where the impact should be minimal.
    -My Maddon complaint is the batting order…what is going on with that? Let’s see a line-up with balance…
    -Fowler, CF
    -Zobrist, 2B
    -Rizzo, 1B
    -Bryant, 3B
    -Heyward, RF
    -Soler/Szczur, LF
    -Montero, C
    -Russell, SS
    -Pitcher

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