Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 1, Mets 3 – July 7, 2012

I reckon Jeff Samardzija wishes he had two pitches back, especially a two-strike breaking ball that didn’t break to Ike Davis. If he had them back, he might’ve shut the Mets out. As it was, he gave up a couple bombs, and they accounted for the Mets’ only runs of the game.

The Cubs scored only one run of their own, thanks in large part to another Luis Valbuena extra-base hit. What was more amazing was that he also had a single today.

But that’s not the enhancement…

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

68 responses to “Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 1, Mets 3 – July 7, 2012”

  1. Spencer

    My fav part was how the last three pitches in the game were in the exact same spot but were called differently each time. Trying to spice the game up, I guess.

    1. João Lucas

      I think the umpire didn’t want to get booed one more time (for making the right call).

    2. MoneyBoy

      DAMN … least I wasn’t the only one throwing shi .. err, stuff, at the TV!! Clev … you got screwed!! Freakin’ pathetic.

  2. Mysterious4th

    If valbuena plays like he has been I have a feeling stewart will be a non tender and the cubs will bring him back cheaper to work off the bench until (or if he proves the surgery worked) and I think stewart will come back on a cheap one year since he knows he has a ton to prove.

    And let me say rizzo needs to be in next years home run derby. I think just by sneezing he can hit a ball out of the marlins new ballpark, jus’ sayin!

    Oh in the umpires contracts they should make them have several eye exams a season to make sure they are seeing correctly and not just guessing if the pitch is a ball or strike….if I want guessing I will turn on the weather channel!

  3. Mr.Boring

    Did WGN forget how to cut a mic when you have two obnoxious fans screaming the entire game? How annoying was that? BTW, Dave Campbell is a great color guy in my mind. I have enjoyed having him work this week.

    1. Carew

      I noticed too. The woman was getting increasingly angry and the Cubs fan was mocking her haha

    2. Patrick G

      They had the same thing on SNY(mets channel)

    3. Ron Swanson

      I have enjoyed Campbell too. Hollandsworth not so much.

    4. MI6

      When does Wally Pip return for the play-by-play?

  4. someday...2015?

    Good game by Samardzija. One bad pitch away from this game being a different story. Oh well thats baseball for you. Rizzo great again. Good call Brett, Castro needs to stop stealing with a hit machine behind him. Can’t wait to see Demp go out tomorrow and continue his streak. Gm’s that backed off Demp will be calling the Cubs after tomorrows dominating performance.

    1. Spencer

      I wouldn’t mind hit and runs, though. Rizzo has been a good contact hitter so far.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        Yeah, hitting and running is a good thing.  I’d particularly like to see the Cubs do that with the pitchers like Shark who can make contact.  But doing it once in a while with Rizzo is not a bad idea, either.

        1. Dan Fredrickson

          On the other hand, if Castro steals successfully and then Rizzo gets a hit, then the manager looks like a genius. And even if it’s a bad idea for Castro to steal with Rizzo at the plate (and yeah, maybe you’re right, maybe it is a bad idea), perhaps there’s an advantage to sending Castro from time to time anyway, to keep the defense honest, so that they don’t get too secure in Castro’s predictability in staying at first.

          1. Pat

            The problem is that Castro is not very good at stealing bases. You need to be successful around 75% of the time for the attempt to have a positive expected value. Castro is closer to 60% both this year, and for his career.

            1. Dan Fredrickson

              Okay. I looked it up. This year he’s 16 for 26 (62%). In his career, he’s 48 for 74 (65%). So, yes, I see what you mean. He probably shouldn’t try to steal unless something about the pitcher’s delivery (or the catcher’s) is making him especially confident.

              1. Pat

                I’m not saying he should never attempt it, but I don’t think he should make it a major part of his game. Especially now that he actually has some decent production behind him.

                Also, base running is one of the things I believe actually can be taught. Not the speed part, obviously. But timing your jump, first step push off, can be worked on. So it’s possible he could get better at it over time.

                1. Scotti

                  Coming into this year Castro was right at 67%. If he were to steal 4 of 4 he’d be right at 67% again. Given that he’s still only in his second full MLB season (and this season and next are not about winning percentage anyway) it is too early to shut his running game down. There are times when an ability to steal a base is crucial in a close and late game.

                  Plus you have the fact that even Rizzo will make far more outs than hits and you have the next guy up. In addition, the extra pitch-outs (balls), fastballs and errors are all adventageous to the batter/offense.

            2. Scotti

              Pat, there are two figures used–67% and 75%. Neither take game situations in context but, rather, seek to judge based on what situation helps a team score more overall runs. Simply put, sometimes more overall runs is less important than a single run against this certain pitcher with this certain batter/offense given this certain set of circustances (team is or isn’t scoring/winning).

              Broad range stats like accepable SB% or draft risks (HS, college) often change over short periods of time. For instance, the 67% figure dates to pre-steriod periods and the 75% figure came up in the steriod period. Now that we are post steriod that figure has certainly dropped again.

              1. Pat

                I’m aware of how the numbers are determined, and understand that once you put a filter on a data set thresholds will change based on the smaller/different sample. The point being that in neither case (67% vs 75%) is he actually helping the team by attempting to steal. In one instance he is having no effect, and in the other it is a negative effect. I also pointed out above that I’m not saying he should never attempt it. There are situations that would make a 67% success rate attempt return a higher expected value than staying on first. But it’s a small percentage of the times he reaches base.

                1. Scotti

                  The amount that he attempt in any situation are only a small fraction of times that he reaches base. As you say, the game situations where the risk is even more acceptable are even smaller, however like bringing in a closer or a pinch hitter, those situations have a disproportionate effect on winning or losing a game.

                  To get a base runner like Castro to be good enough to be one of the guys that you would send close and late you have to let him practice (both early in his career and through a given season). This way a manager can see if a runner is in a slump and choose to avoid running or if he is running well and go ahead and go.

  5. DocPeterWimsey

    That is a good observation, Brett.  A caught stealing in front of a good hitter is worth more than 2 successful steals, simply because Castro (or any other runner) increases his chance of scoring much less when doing it in front of Rizzo than when doing it against Joe Average.

    (And much though I hate to make conclusions based on tiny sample sizes, I think that Rizzo is just  a bit better than Joe Average hitter…..)

    1. art

      i think he’s better then any one felt he’d be. looks like he was born to hit and the guy plays good D.

    2. MoneyBoy

      Doc … the screamer he hit in the 9th looked like something out of a freakin’ cannon!! Campbell raved about the short swing – and the ball FLEW off his bat!!

  6. AP

    Well, back to last place. It was fun while it lasted, but don’t get too comfortable, astros, we’re comin’ for you.

  7. Dustin S

    I watch every game, but sometimes I’ll be getting some other things done while the game is on. It’s been a while since the Cubs have had a player where I make sure to stop whatever I’m doing and catch his at bat when he’s up, but Rizzo is already like that.

  8. MichCubFan

    The “enhanced” part of this box score is right on….no reason to run yourself out of outs.

  9. coal

    I’ve been waiting for the sample size on Rizzo’s MLB AB’s increases to make any big judgments on him, but having seen him play live 3 times already I have to say that the ball jumps off his bat in a way that is extremely rare for Cubs hitters, and actually MLB hitters in general. He’s making incredibly good contact and his bat seem to have legitimate “pop.”

    1. Cubs Dude

      Yeah that guy is the real deal for sure. The thing i have been so surprised about is his swagger. He knows he’s good and better than most mlb players and has the confidence to do hit and play d. I love it..

      1. JP

        Rizzo is impressive. But rookies do have some ups and downs. I don’t think he is going to keep this pace up, but I do expect him to play well for this year and rest of his long 14 year career with the Cubs. Given the ups and downs we expect this year, where do we think his offensive performance will end up compared to other 1Bs this year? How do you see Rizzo perform compared to:
        A Gonzalez
        B Butler

        I’m trying to get a comparable in my head for the rest of 2012.

  10. Assman22

    Cubs agree to terms with Almora.  Must pass physical first before deal is completed and will do some on Tues or Wed.  Deal to be announced after All-Star break due to MLB rules regarding team announcements during the break.

    1. ShootTheGoat


      1. MichiganGoat

        I can’t find anything that confirms this

        1. TWC

          Yeah, but Assman22 (since that’s the name he’s committed to), has been pretty close to spot on for some time now.

          1. MichiganGoat

            Yes he has been on top of his rumors and I hope he is right.

            1. Jeremy

              There won’t be a link yet but a deal has been agreed too. Just waiting on the physical.

              1. MichiganGoat

                Curious where everyone hears this insider information? I’m not questioning anybody, I just wonder where everyone gets all there information.

    2. Spencer

      Someone tell Shelby.

  11. Kevin

    I certainly hope the Cubs paid slot and not a penny more for Almora. People like Boras are very selfish and only care about themselves. Boras is pricing the ordinary fan from going to the game.

    1. Assman22

      I’d almost guarantee Boras got Almora overslot. Boras knows the Cubs are pulling out all the stops on prospects and money is not an issue, plus I believe they had an extra $276k+ leftover even after signing their top 18 picks (not counting Almora). 8 of the latter picks are unlikely to sign anyway, so it will most likely be overslot for Almora but not by an inordinate amount.

      1. ShootTheGoat

        Hey, post a link so we can all take a look. Can’t wait!

  12. Kevin

    I guess if the Cubs paid $6M for Concepcion a little more above slot for Almora is expected.

    1. Assman22

      Right, so the slot for Almora at #6 was $3.25 mil. Cubs are $276k or so under budget with 8 guys that probably won’t sign and one guy failed a physical as well. Given that, Boras may have been able to get him as high as $3.5-$3.7. Nothing more than that though, Cubs would not risk the penalties under the new CBA for going over budget imo. And like you said, compared to what they gave Concepcion and Soler, it’s pennies on the dollar.

  13. someday.

    If what assman said is true I couldn’t be happier! I believe the guy is going to be a Ryan Braun type player and I can’t wait to see what he can do in the Cubs organization. I think Rizzo is a Votto/Hamilton type player. Castro is Castro, top SS in the league for years to come. These 3 guys are going to be leading the parade when the Cubs win the world series… Hopefully Soler too.

    1. Assman22

      Cubs have been building a nice core of young promising prospects of all ages. It will be exciting to see who makes it up and who becomes a bust. The next 24 days will hopefully be full of trades and they’ll stock up on some pitching to go with all these great position players. Throw Baez into your post as well, exciting stuff!

  14. Kevin

    Agree 100%.

  15. someday...2015?

    Yeah im interested to see Candelario and Baez fight for that 3rd base spot. I think both will be real good big league ball players. One of those guys could be involved in a big trade down the line if a big time pitcher comes along that the Cubs are interested in.

    1. Jeremy

      Thing is both have glove issues right now so Candleario could move to LF if he pans out and Baez could play 2B if he pans out.

  16. someday...2015?

    But thats only if both turn out and one becomes expendable, which I think will happen.

  17. someday...2015?

    Well assuming this rumors true(about the dumbest thing to do) this makes the farm system very strong. Baez, Almora, Soler, Candelario, Conception, Underwood and Johnson, Lake, Maples, Vitters, and Mcnutt who i think will be a future bullpen star. A lot of talent and its only the beginning. This list will be added to when Demp, Garza, LaHair, and Soriano are moved. Gotta love it!!

  18. someday...2015?

    wow I forgot Brett Jackson…. Yikes, the guy better stop striking out so much.

  19. Kbreezy

    I really hope that the Cubs wait to trade Demp until after the start following tomorrow. I’m going to the game kicking off the second half and want to see him start! Can’t wait to see Rizzo play in person as well.

  20. Ben

    The pitching in the system is still way below-average. Cubs have to address that issue or the back of the rotation will be abysmal in a few years

    1. Luke

      The Cubs have all kinds of potential back of the rotation starters in the minors. It’s the guys at the front of the rotation that could be a problem.

      1. someday...2015?

        That’s where packaging Garza and Russel together and Demp and Lahair together comes in. I think for the Garza package you could get Cody Buckel and Martin Perez + a high upside prospect. The Dempster package I see bringing in Zach Lee and other high upside prospects from the dodgers. That’s 3 top rotation pitchers right their… Maybe.

        1. Serious Cubs Fan

          Dodgers aren’t giving up zach Lee with out getting garza in return. They won’t give him up for a package of demp and lahair. Just wont happen theyd be getting screwed in the deal. If they are giving up zach lee in a deal it would be for zach grienke or cole hamels before they would think about giving him up for dempster

          1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            It is funny how people have been overvaluing our players. People are going to be severely disappointed by what what we get in return for both players. Problem is, they will probably be great trades.

            1. Ben

              I doubt the Dodgers would part with Lee for Dempster….Look at the commitment they gave him to keep him from going to play QB for LSU. I only think it would be possible to obtain him in a Garza deal. I hope we are talking about getting Lee for Demp though, cause I would be thrilled

          2. Andrew

            You know this for a fact Serious? You must be in the room with theo I take it. I find it hilarious when people make statements like this thinking they are some kinda insider or right hand man of the gm. You have absolutely no clue what the dodgers are willing to give up. So enough with the matter of fact/bold statements where you think your a MLB gm. What the dodgers are willing to give up for demp I have no clue but I know damn sure they are consulting with a cubs message board blowhard.

            1. Serious Cubs Fan

              Andrew: Chill out. If honestly genuinely think you can get Zach Lee for Demp you need a reality check. Don’t get me wrong I would love for that trade to happen but there is about 1% chance that happens. I’m just saying don’t get your hopes up. I’m no insider, I’m just a realist. Just think about, maybe in the CBA that trade would be a little bit more realistic. but not now. I’m not trying put demp down I’m just saying a Chris Reed for Demp trade would be a win for us and Chris Reed and zach Lee are a different level of prospect from each other

              1. Jim L

                I think getting Lee for Dempster is over-reaching but remember Ned Colletti is still the Dodgers GM.

              2. Bric

                I heard a night with McCourt’s wife was (is) part of the deal but due to the divorce proceedings and bancrupcy thing that one might be off the table. Just speculating.

  21. someday...2015?

    The dodgers haven’t been linked to Garza and have been linked to both Dempster and Lahair… If the dodgers wanted both of em the deal would have to include Zach Lee. Its very possible seeing as the Phillies and Brewers want waaaay more then the dodgers can offer. Lee’s numbers haven’t been great and with new management wanting to win now they would do this deal if nothing better comes along in a heart-beat. A seasoned vet and a left handed power bat helps out a contender in almost every way. The thome and C.Lee deals helped the Cubs out nicely in this case.

  22. someday...2015?

    The Cubs need to be creative in finding young front line starting pitchers. Garza alone… I don’t think you’ll get what you think your gonna get but if you throw In a James Russel or Darwin Barney you will get plenty of value back. Young value. Same with Demp. Him alone, not much trade value… But you throw in LaHair and I think you potentially set yourself up for a big time deal… The one thing im certain… The Cubs will make a package deal to get more in return. BOOK IT.

  23. Ben

    The biggest value question for me is LaHair. Is he worth giving up for the return? I ask that because I literally have no way to know his value. The new CBA changed everything