Cubs and White Sox both win despite bullpen isues


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In the Cubs 5-4 win over the Padres, the Cubs bullpen was again less than stellar, while Javy Baez padded his MVP resume.  The Cubs again got a good performance from starter, Jose Quintana.  Jose had excellent bounce back performance, going six innings, and allowing only one run.  Joe Maddon pulled him after Quintana had thrown 94 pitches.  I suspect Jose might have had another inning in the tank.  Regardless, Quintana left with a 3-1 lead.

All bullpen hands on deck

After an Anthony Rizzo homer put the Cubs up 4-1, things got a little too interesting for comfort.  The Padres scored a run after putting together a couple of hits off Carl Edwards Jr., and an error by Steve Cishek, who followed Edwards to the mound.  Brandon Kintzler ultimately got the final out in the Padres eighth.

After an Ian Happ sacrifice fly drove home Javy Baez, who had tripled, the Cubs carried a 5-2 lead into the ninth.  Pedro Strop came on in the ninth and held on to the lead, despite giving up two runs and raising thousands of blood pressures in Cubs Nation.

More Javy and call of Bote

In addition to his triple, Javy Baez homered to start the Cubs scoring.  Ben Zobrist drove in two runs to again play a key role in a Cubs win.

The Cubs also came up big in the field.  In the Padres eighth, Javy Baez cut down a Padres runner at the plate with an excellent throw.  David Bote did the same thing in the ninth inning after coming as a defensive replacement at third base.  Bote just looks like he belongs in the majors. That’s been the case since day one.  He looks like a guy that will help you win in a number of ways.

Rinse and repeat

The White Sox rang up their second victory in a row.  This time it was a 3-2 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field.  They use the same formula in both of their wins.  Get a great start, let the bullpen blow the lead, and then come back and score, then hang on for dear life.

Lucas Giolito pitched, perhaps his best game with the Sox, going 7+ innings and allowing only two hits.  If left with a 2-0 lead and a runner on second.  After the Sox bullpen was through, the game was tied 2-2 at the end of eight.

Jace Fry came in, faced one hitter, gave up a run scoring hit and was followed to the mound by Juan Minaya.  Minaya managed to give up the lead in the 0.2 innings he pitched. Luis Avilan managed to get the last out in the eighth.

After a scoreless top of the ninth, Avilan got two outs in the bottom of the ninth before getting into a jam.  Tyler Danish got the last out in the ninth, striking out Jesus Sucre.

There’s still a good player in there

In the top of the tenth, the Sox pushed across a run on two out doubles by Nicky Delmonico and Yoan Moncada.  Moncada’s game winning RBI came after a particularly rough stretch for him.  It also came from his hitting right-handed.  Moncada has some real ability but he’s sometimes entirely too passive at the plate.  He makes Gandhi look like Attila the Hun.

Hector Santiago made the run hold up by pitching a scoreless tenth.  The game ended on a double play that went Anderson to Moncada to Abreu.

Nice to see Abreu back

Jose Abreu had a particularly strong game, accounting for the first two Sox runs with a line shot into the left field bleachers.  He also made two outstanding plays in the field, making diving stops on smashes to his right and then throwing to the pitcher to record outs.

Anderson gets defensive

Tm Anderson also had a nice game defensively, making a great play on a ball hit into the hole and also making a nice play as the middle man on a double play.  If Anderson can maintain that level of defense, the Sox will show improvement.

Limited options

I sometimes get irritated at the way Ricky Renteria manages his bullpen, but in fairness, he doesn’t have much to work with.  The Sox don’t have a real closer or even a real setup guy at the moment.  That’s because every year they have the annual neutering of the pen, trading off any guy of value for prospects.

I thought Jace Fry might be a useful part, but lately he’s been Jace ‘Burnt” Fry.  Juan Minaya lacks command and has poor mound presence.  Last night he reminded me of the kid in high school who would walk around with a “Kick Me” sign on his back.  There were some encouraging trends last night, however.

Hector Lives!  (Longmire reference)

Luis Avilan is at least a major league reliever, maybe not a great one, but at least he belongs in a big league pen.  Also, based on what is left, Hector Santiago should get a shot as the Sox closer.  He’s done the job years ago, not particularly well, but he’s probably the Sox best option currently.







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