You couldn’t script a better Cubs/Astros September tilt than this one. Ugly plays, no offense. I guess you’d probably write in some additional pitching mistakes.

Anthony Rizzo left the game early after a scary collision at first base with Brett Wallace. More on him soon, but the gist is he’s expected to be OK after getting some time off.

The Cubs and Astros combined to use 11 pitchers, and not a single one gave up an earned run. Clearly, that means …

  • Stevie B

    23 combined strike outs? NO earned runs???

    This is reminiscent of Major League, where the owner suggests fining players for good play…

  • Melrosepad

    So, probably no fruit basket for the second base umpire. That stolen base by Maxwell was a joke. No clue how he couldn’t see the runner out of the baseline. It wasn’t like he was close enough to touch… wait, he was.

    • WGNstatic

      That was pretty crazy. Its really quite simple, if the runner is on grass, he is out.

      • wait til next year…..again

        I did not see the play and can’t say for sure, but simply stating if he is in the grass, he is out is not correct. Rule 7.08(a)(1) states that a runner is out if he runs three feet out of baseline. It is a common misconception that there is an imaginary line between first and second, and second and third. The rule is that a runner establishes their own baseline. If his line was a foot off of the grass, then he has the right to enter the grass by two feet. Again, I did not see the play last night and he may have clearly been out of baseline. I am just clarifying that it is not as simple as stating he was in the grass he is out.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Also, isn’t there a clause about the fielders not being able to force the runner out of the baseline?

          Throwing around baserunners was a problem for the Cubs last night, although in both cases the runner might very well have been safe had the Cubs thrower moved to get the runner out of his throwing line.

          All in all, it looked like neither team nor the umpiring crew nor the “crowd” were remotely interested in baseball last night. A former grad student of mine (big football fan, minor baseball fan) once asked in all seriousness why MLB didn’t simply cancel these sorts of games.

          • wait til next year…..again

            I am not sure about that. I know the runner gets more than three feet if he is avoiding a fielder trying to make a play on a batted ball.

            • Melrosepad

              Doc, the replay showed Castro moved to the side, so that he had a clear line of sight to receive the ball. Maxwell saw this and ran directly into the path so that he would get hit. Hard to throw around people when they purposely block the path. If Maxwell had continued to run straight he would have been an arms length away from Castro, so he wasn’t forced that way.

              • PJ

                Maxwell was out three times – once for being out of the baseline (even with rules as they are – he was), once for interference (he definitely swerved right in the path of the ball), and once because Barney actually got the tag on him in time (Barney’s awesome!). I think it should have just been called a triple play.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Actually, Barney should have come in front of the bag to catch the ball. If he had done that, then Maxwell would have been even more obviously out. Obviously, it was happening very quickly: but that is what would have been awesome.

                  As for the collision with Castro, yes, Castro swerved at the last second, but so did Maxwell. Baserunning is not supposed to be “chicken”: Castro wound up moving [em]at[/em] Maxwell because of Mather’s throw, and that is what set up the running onto the grass. Moreover, Castro threw himself back at Maxwell trying to catch the ball. Of course, it was not “intentional”: Mather threw the ball at Maxwell rather than Castro, and Starlin was just reflexively going for the ball.

                  I do not remember Maxwell ever deliberately getting in front of the ball. Mather’s throw that plunked him was heading straight at him from the start: that’s a big reason why Castro looked like he was trying to tackle Maxwell.

                  I think that the biggest mistake was Mather throwing to Castro (and at Maxwell) rather than to Barney. If Mather’s throw successfully gets to Castro, then Castro has a split second to tag Maxwell going in the opposite direction; if Castro misses, then Maxwell gets to 2nd before Castro can turn and throw the ball there.

  • fortyonenorth

    Twins and the Rox both lost, so we still have a tenuous hold on second place in the reverse standings. Go Cubs Go!

    • Brett

      Don’t forget the Indians, who also lost.

  • Sven-Erik312

    What was that about being promoted to your highest level of incompetence? Love the pain…
    Or was this a preview of the 7th Game of the World Series in 2017 when the Astros are in the American League? A year that my father would have been 100 years old had he lived.

  • JK

    25 runners left on base. Houston had 4 errors and we cannot eek out a run. Let’s go get that 2nd draft pick!!!

  • Kevin

    Ditto on the 2nd draft pick!

  • DarthHater
    • Noah

      Odds are fairly high Sandberg won’t be in a good situation there, though. Aging, expensive team, below average farm system. There are a good number of similarities between the 2012 Phillies and 2009 Cubs. With that said, the 2009 Cubs didn’t have Halladay, Lee and Hamels, but the five year outlook for the Phillies overall is not particularly positive.

    • Kevin

      Cubs should steal Sandberg for the 2nd time. Do you really think the Cubs will keep Dale Sveum?

  • Kevin

    Sandberg has earned his right to manage in the big leagues. The only negative I hear about Ryno is he doesn’t give the best interview. if this his only conceived flaw, then he’s far superior to Dale Sveum who can’t interview at all. All I can say to Theo & Jed is open your eyes!

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Ryno has a far bigger negative hung on him than interviews. (The “bad interview” thing is just media speculation, anyway.) Ryno is far, far too fond of small ball. That costs too many victories in the long haul.

    • TWC

      Yeah, clearly the only reason Ryno hasn’t received a manager’s position in the big leagues is because he gives a bad interview. Clearly.

      I has nothing to do with his coaching philosophy. Not at all.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I might be wrong, but is that sarcasm? ;P

        • TWC

          I don’t do sarcasm, kid!

  • Kevin

    Sarcasm doesn’t answer anything, i’ll leave it at that.

    • TWC

      i’ll leave it at that

      No, please, elaborate: how did Sandberg “[earn] his right to manage in the big leagues”? By being a coach for 6 years?

      See, here’s the thing about Ryno. He was a great ball player — one of the greatest of his era (I think). I thought his HOF acceptance speech was both moving and heartfelt, and it was a pointed indictment (from his point of view) of the MLB of the late 90’s/early 2000’s — folks not “playing the game the right way”. But the small ball/run everything out/be the best bunter on the team while hitting 40HRs and stealing 50 bases/try to move runners over crap… that’s not baseball anymore. That approach — while it might win over fans who like the reward of (perceiving) that a player is “playing the game the right way” — doesn’t win baseball games. And Sandberg hasn’t shown since then that he would approach an MLB coaching job any differently.

      • King Jeff

        Not that I disagree that he hasn’t “earned” a shot to manage in the majors, but he has a pretty good track record of turning teams around and helping in the development of big league players. I don’t know if that matters in the least when considering him for a major league job, but he has proven that he is capable of managing a young team, developing young players, and improving teams who played like crap when he took them over. I have also heard in interviews with some of his former players how much he helped them prepare to become major leaguers. I like Svuem and I don’t in any way think that he deserves to be fired(actually, I think he’s done a good job), while on the same hand I would love to see Sandberg get a shot in the bigs, even if it’s not with the Cubs.

        • Cubbie Blues

          I think you just described a good MiLB manager.

      • Stevie B

        Well I think you are wrong.

        Of course a team has to play to its strengths, but no matter the make up of your team, being able to execute a bunt in a crucial situation, and hustling ON EVERY SINGLE PLAY is absolutely paramount.
        I would take the 1982 Cardinal, or 1988 Dodger team over any crap you could put out there today.
        Give me the early 80’s Lakers or 76ers over any hand picked group of players from today and you get your @$$ skunked.
        In regards to “earning” a shot, if anyone earned it, it was Quade. He proved he was overmatched but he did earn his shot.

        Sorry TWC…I usually with most things you say..this one I do not.

  • Kevin

    Well said Jeff – Thank you!

  • Kevin

    and Stevie B too!