Don’t get me wrong. It’s always nice to be at the beach and to be around family, but the Internet here is killing me. It’s choppy, weak, and slow. And there’s nowhere reasonably nearby that I can go work. Grumble.
- So, what was behind Jeff Samardzija’s suddenly resurgent start? According to him, elbow grease with pitching coach Chris Bosio, and according to Dale Sveum, it’s ditching the curveball. From Samardzija: “It’s about time, huh? I talked to [Bosio] after the game and I’m just really happy with how we worked between starts. Things like that happen throughout the season. You don’t have your best stuff and you have to go back to the drawing board and see what works. We definitely put in the elbow grease between starts to get this thing right.”
- And from Sveum on Samardzija: “That’s the learning curve of this starting stuff. If you’re a three-pitch pitcher, be a three-pitch pitcher and don’t all of a sudden think you’re going to get to a 1.00 ERA. Just like a .300 hitter, don’t try to be a .350 hitter and change things otherwise you’re going to go backward. But that’s the learning curve of starting sometimes.” Apparently Samardzija had been experimenting with a curveball of late, and last night he just stuck to his bread and butter.
- Anthony Rizzo says a play last night on which Starlin Castro looked like he screwed up (holding the ball too long on a grounder off the bat of Dan Uggla) was actually Rizzo’s fault. “Rizzo came to [Castro's] rescue right away,” Sveum said. “Rizzo told him to give him time to get to the bag. He got caught probably trying to get too much ground and telling [Castro] to take his time when he gets a ball deep in the hole. I apologized to Castro after. Not that I said anything, but Rizzo came to his rescue right away and said, ‘Skip, that was my fault. I told him to give me time.’ Obviously, on that kind of ball, you can’t take your time with it.” And from Rizzo: “It’s my fault, in my opinion. I told him before that to give me a little time. That’s just me not knowing Uggla’s speed. He just beat the throw.”
- The story on David DeJesus: he had a sore neck thanks to sleeping on it wrong (we’ve all been there), and when he came into the game late on Sunday, he felt it on a throw. So, he was pulled, and he got yesterday off. He could be back in the lineup tonight.
- Jeff Samardzija on the addition of Anthony Rizzo, which coincides with the Cubs’ winning ways (coincidence?): “It definitely hasn’t hurt. Any time you add a lefty bat to your lineup, it strengthens it big-time. He plays great defense at first. He’s definitely been a big part of it, no doubt. And he’s young, so he can play every day, and we expect big things out of him every day too. The best thing is he [expects it] out of himself.”
- Sahadev Sharma takes a deep look at Starlin Castro’s present and future, with some great quotes from scouts. A sense? Many in the industry think Castro can stick at shortstop for a long time, and most still believe that the power is coming (and that discipline is possible).