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In the early going Saturday, we got one hell of a pitching duel, as Edwin Jackson and Stephen Strasburg matched each other pitch for pitch. But the Cubs unloaded on Strasburg in the 5th, mostly with two outs, and he’d worked so hard that inning that his day was done.

Perhaps not wanting Strasburg to feel left out, Jackson let the wheels come off a bit in the 6th, and he couldn’t finish the inning after loading the bases (one of those runners scored after Jackson left). It was still Jackson’s best start of the year, but it could have been much better.

may 11 box

  • demz

    finally a game where the cubs capitalized on a mistake and then piled it on. If the cubs can hit decently with RISP they have a shot of winning more games.. they lead the NL by a large margin in XBH!

  • cas-castro

    Ryan Zimmerman has the yips. Steve Sax,anyone? __

    • John (the other one)

      zimmerman, unlike sax, has a bum shoulder.

      • cas-castro

        All seven of his errors are throwing errors. Bum shoulder or not the guy has the yips. _if he can’t physically make the throws he should not be playing. All I can say is I am glad the cubs could capitalize on an error for once.

        • Diesel

          Incorrect. He also had a fielding error where he let the ball go under his glove in this game.

          • cas-castro

            Then 7 of his 8 errors. I did not count his 2nd error of the game. Good catch.

        • Yohler

          There’s been a lot of talk about moving him to first base due to his bum arm and over thinking it when he throws now.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            I’m not sure that Zimmerman is “over-thinking” so much as he’s hurting when he throws. Keeping him at 3rd seems problematic because of this, especially with Rendon waiting in the wings. The problem is that hte Nats just resigned LaRoche for 2 more seasons: so, 1st is occupied, or they have to trade one of them (probably LaRoche).

  • 1ski

    Great game!…. hope it happen’s a lil more before the selloff.

  • jt

    Last 15 games Rizzo has had 47 ball in play at bats. His BAbip over that stretch has been 0.489.
    Man has that guy been lucky!

    • DarthHater

      His season BABIP is .323. His luck has been evening out in the recent games.

      • jt

        According to Fangraphs, Rizzo has had 23 hits in the period April 26 to May 10 (yesterday) with 60 PA’s and 53 AB’s or 50 ball in play at bats. 3 of those hits were HR’s and 4 were ground balls.
        Therefore, he got a weak ground ball hit that saw its way through the infield once in every 15 PA’s or once in every 13.25 AB. According to Doc, that is where most of the luck is to be found.
        1/13.25 = 0.075
        1/12.5 = 0.080
        *
        Of his 23 hits in the above period he had 8 doubles, 3 HR’s.
        That leaves 12 singles. 67% of those singles were either liners of FB’s. If you look at the log, you will see the word “liner” a lot.
        *
        The data is there. Every aspect of every play is noted. The degree of luck not need be extrapolated via statistical methods. Rather it is a problem whose solution lies in programming. Indeed, for those attempting to improve play, it is the only way to go.

        • Timothy Scarbrough

          When people are talking about statistics and luck, it generally means that an unlikely outcome occurred, and probability suggests that it isn’t likely for it to happen again. It just isn’t always worth the work of suggesting exactly where the unlikely outcome lies.

          • jt

            True 30 years ago.
            Now a program can search for relevant change in seconds.
            If there is a significant change in trajectory or location a ball is hit; if there is a change in contact rate or power; if these are accompanied by a significant indicator stat such as SLG, OBP, BAbip then there is a decent chance that something fundamental has changed. It may be physical, mechanical or mental. It may be the way in which the opposition plays against the player. Yes, it may be because of the way in which the stars are aligned. But if it is something other than the latter, it may be something that could be fixed or re-enforced.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              You still need sample sizes in the hundreds to demonstrate shifts in rates given the differences in frequencies that we every observe.

              • jt

                If you are defining the long term value of a player I’d agree.
                But the set, setting and stimuli is in constant flux. In the example of Rizzo he is now at 65 PA’s in the current hot streak. That does not define him as a hitter. But it is enough to define his hitting under a particular triad of set, setting and stimuli if the both the quantitative and qualitative indicators are strong enough. I guess you’d say a differential from the null?
                He will tire. His set will change. Pitchers will approach him differently. The setting will change. He may feel he has no need to continue to prove his worth and not practice as hard. The stimuli may change.
                But in this time period, under these conditions he has differed in contact, trajectory, location and results.
                In Fangraphs one can see where the called strikes were. If he has been taking, fouling or smacking different pitches. The list goes on and on. You can see if there has been a change in approach… or not. You can see if the opponent is also adjusting. It sounds complicated but if you graph this stuff you can see it in a glance.

                • Cub2014

                  I can’t remember who was complaining on
                  this blog about Rizzo a couple weeks ago;
                  hitting around .200 and that home runs and
                  Power weren’t enough. Well now he is hitting
                  .288 he is the biggest threat on this team. He is
                  Turning into a very solid hitter

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  No, it’s not. If a guy hits line drives at a certain rate, then the frequency of line drives he hits will fluctuate considerably over tiny sample sizes (e.g., 65 PAs) even if nothing about him changes. Ditto this for K’s, BB’s, FB, GB, etc.

                  And there is the kicker: the variance in those frequencies (really, the fluctuation in “successes,” which create frequencies as an artifact) simply does not deviate much from constant rates.

                  Before you go further, I want you to answer me this. Suppose a batter has 100 ABs a month and plays for 6 months. He is a constant 0.300 hitter. In how many months should his batting average be under 0.260? In how many months should his BA be over 0.340? (Here’s a hint: the answer is the same, and neither is zero.)

                  • jt

                    That has to do with Chebyshev.
                    I get that.
                    But you are saying that variance clusters in 16.5% bins of the whole. That happens with systemic, not random, error.

                  • jt

                    As you know, a pulled low and outside pitch often causes a roll-over wrist and a resultant ground out to 2nd for a LH batter or SS for a RH guy.
                    Rizzo grounded out to 2B 7 times in his first 8 games and had a single to RF once. That is a lot of roll-over and JD commented as to it.
                    In his last 8 games he grounded out to 2B 3 times. One of those scored Castro and another Castro was out at the plate. That is to say, that 2 of the 3 ground outs had purpose.
                    Before the hot streak he stated he began trying to take that pitch to left or left center. And yes, he is hitting the ball more often that way.
                    He was getting called out on the knee high pitch. Then he started to foul that pitch and had some long AB’s with it. Then pitchers would elevate to his shoulders and he’d K swinging. But in short order he learned to stay off that pitch. He is adjusting and you can see it in the stats
                    I agree, sometimes a guy just gets tired. Maybe he is a bit late in his swing or doesn’t get his hips around etc. But, again, that is not luck. That is a change in his set or that which he himself brings to the plate (literally). And yes, that will systemically, not randomly, cycle through bin clusters.

        • Ivy Walls

          Great analysis! Statistics in the aggregate and then compared to even larger aggregates offers merely an aggregate piece of information. Meaning on a large sample the idea of luck in this span and BABIP probably rings true…but like trying to apply individual medical advice to a patient using only the basis of aggregated population data is a mistake when not taking the entire individual’s data, and not merely one or a few days stats, but a large sample over years.

          In this case, since Rizzo and coaches found that he was finishing too high in his swing mechanics the results have been almost Ruthian—almost.

          Now if the club could make some form of adjustment on Castro where he driving the ball and not merely making contact and swinging like the reincarnate of Sanguin/Guerrero the club might begin scoring more runs.

          Want a bet this piece of jt’s review winds up on a Cubs broadcast?

          • jt

            My hope would be that folks remember your analysis not mine. That was what I was trying to say. You succeeded where I failed. Nice
            I asked for a glucose stress test for diabetic screening but was only allowed the erythrocyte C test. I was then told that I didn’t have the disease. 15 months later, after going back to a more normal diet, the erythrocyte C caught the disease. The stress test defines the disease. The erythrocyte C thing defines how well the disease is being managed.
            I understood the effects of diet and so was able to keep the effects at bay. But man, that kind of diet really sucks.

    • Rcleven

      Luck or not he has the best approach in the Cubs line-up. Will adjust his approach pitch by pitch. Has really been unlucky thru the first four weeks. He is the best hitter in on this team with power to boot.

      • jt

        Over the Apr 26 – May 10 period he cut his K rate to half what it was in the seasons previous games.
        I don’t feel the need, but a body so inclined could look to see if there was a change in the ground ball rate and also the rate hit to center field and left.
        Now he may lose a bit of concentration and the pitchers may change the way they toss to him. I would be amazed if he kept this pace.
        But luck does not explain the above.

  • curt

    I watched it and if you didn’t see it and just looked at the box score you might miss it , if Ryan Zimmerman makes a good throw the cubs get nothing that play just snowballed into a win but it was finally very nice to ss the cubs capitalize on someone else’s mistake.

  • Willrust

    Where was this game played, and how did Jackson pitch?

    • Dustin S

      It was in Washington, Jackson was not blowing people away but he did ok, better than some of his other starts. Defense helped him out a couple times. I’d give him a solid B today. I would have liked to see him go longer but it also looked very warm and humid there.

  • Die hard

    Wouldn’t be surprised if after game Castro demanded be lead off every game given 3 Ks which believe never happened leading off … He has demonstrated being most comfortable lead off ever since was tried… Wonder what his stats have been there vs other slots

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Castro’s numbers have been indistinguishable wherever he has batted.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Well, my one Cubs game of the year was a blast! Kudos for Strasburg for being able to hit Edwin Jackson’ bat: I mean, that was one ugly swing, even from the RF bleachers! (I don’t care that he got a double: ugh-lee…..)

    Rizzo’s catch was even more comical looking in person than it was on the replays: but that might have been because I knew what was going to happen on the replays.

    The Cubs actually looked pretty good against Strasburg: they often hit the ball much better on their outs than on their hits. Their rallies were fueled by a few grounders just out of players reaches: and although I’m sure that the announcers said that the Cubs “muscled” them through, they were just hit into the right spots. However, there were some torched foul liners and line drive outs.

    Thomas Jefferson tried to steal my son’s Cubs’ cap at one point. I told him that was why I voted for Adams……

    • waittilthisyear

      u federalist bastard…

  • Dustin S

    Not expecting any miracles, but they have seemed to have a little more of a fire under them since Monday when Sappelt was sent down and Loe was cut. The 2 games where they scored the most runs came this week, and I’m sure the SP have been feeling like they need to throw a shutout to win. So it was nice seeing them pile on some runs when today started out with Strasburg dealing.

  • Die hard

    Connecting dots –Ned Colletti- Cubs- player Ryne Sandberg- Los Angeles Dodgers-Ned Colletti-mgr Ryne Sandberg… With Mattingly losing command and Colletti very close to Sandberg and Phillies sticking with Manuel could Ryno be next mgr of Dodgers?

    • Edwin

      Yogi Berra, Lou Pinella, Bucky Dent, Billy Martin, Dallas Green, Dick Houser, Bill Virdon, Billy Martin, Scott Marrow, Billy Martin, Bob Lemmon, Billy Martin, Gene Michael, Buck Showalter

      • TWC

        DICK TIDROW!

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Three college catchers the Cubs should be looking at in the upcoming draft after getting some big time pitching in the 2 spot and at number 41.
    Zane Evans from Georgia Tech / big time power and plus defense
    Ryan Kinsella from Elon / power hitter from the left side with experience at first base.
    Joe Jackson from The Citadel / great,great,great, nephew of the immortal Joe Jackson and the Chicago Black Sox. He is quite the LH hitter with decent power and plus defense.
    Let’s hope our FO boys will be taking a look at hopefully 2 of these guys to replenish our woefully poor catching in th Cubs minor league system.

    • Dynastyin2017

      Kinsella and Joe Jackson? Isn’t that ‘Field of Dreams’?

    • Bilbo161

      I like Stewart Turner in the third round or later if there.

  • JulioZuleta

    Crazy that Strasburg is 1-5. I know pitcher wins mean nothing but still, that’s crazy.

    • Voice of Reason

      Pitcher wins mean nothing?

      While insignificant in many circumstances you cannot say that wins mean nothing, period.

      • JulioZuleta

        Since you said period that means you’re right so I won’t argue…

        • waittilthisyear

          he followed period with a . (period).

      • JulioZuleta

        Jason Hammel- 5-1 4.93 ERA 1.47 WHIP 6.4 k/9 1.78 K/BB
        Strasburg 1-5 3.1 ERA 1.18 ERA 9.35 K/9 3.4 K/BB

        • JulioZuleta

          Here’s a full season pair:
          Josh Johnson 8-14 3.81 ERA 1.28 WHIP
          Barry Zito 15-8 4.15 ERA 1.39 WHIP

          On an individual basis, a pitcher’s wins means nothing.

      • Cyranojoe

        Team wins mean everything. Pitcher wins mean nothing.

  • pete

    Anyone know what is up with Luis V leaving the game? If an injury, any significance?

    • Jp3

      I didn’t get to see the game at work today but it looks like a platoon thing to me… Louis V hit against Stras and Ransom hit against the lefty Duke..

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Valbuena got up a little funny after sliding into 3rd on his (over-exuberant and slightly costly) attempt to stretch a double. He might have jammed his shoulder or something.

        Hey, I never got to see a replay. The throw beat him by about 95 feet, but it looked like Zimmerman was very slow to get the tag down. Did Luis get around the tag?

        • Headscratchin

          No – he was easily out and jammed his pinky finger on the slide.

      • arta

        some say it’s his wrist.

      • arta

        sorry I meant thumb.

  • Headscratchin

    At least that was what the announcers said.

    • mudge

      He jammed his penis, and the announcers were using euphemisms.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Bsteady

    Luck may play a small part. Definitely not enough to try and keep up with it with numbers. Don’t know if any of you guys still play ball or not, but I play in a men’s wooden bat league where the guys throw anywhere from 70mpg to upper 80’s. And I can’t hit jack squat when it gets in the upper 80’s. Luck or not, if they’re getting hits, THEY’RE GETTING HITS!!

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    Typical Edwin Jackson. His team gives him an 8-1 lead and he starts walking guys. If Dale had left him in long enough, I’m sure he would have given up 6 or 7. Good offensive output! Great to see Rizzo stringing together some multi-hit games!

  • SenorGato

    I haven’t watched enough to become frustrated with Castro, but it has rarely been fun to check the box score. Still not worried about his long term but considering that he’s at least 1/3 of the reason I might watch the Cubs on a given day this year it would be convenient for him to kick ass.

    I can’t emphasize enough that I have zero doubts he will play up when this team starts fielding some high caliber starting talent rather than two guys and half dozen platoons.

  • RC

    I just enjoy watching baseball. I dont get all the crazy numbers, whip and all the stats. My father raised me in the old days to love baseball. I think so many of you are wrapped up in numbers I dont know how you enjoy game. I can see if a player is struggling or doing better. Its pretty obvious… I will leave all the management tools to the rest of you…
    Have a great day.

    • hansman1982

      Ya, but, but, but, I’m the bigger man…

      PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I am glad that you enjoy the game your way. Other folks enjoy the game – just as much – other ways. It doesn’t make any of us right or wrong. That’s something that’s always made baseball pretty special to me: there are so many layers to the game that you can enjoy.

      • hansman1982

        I like the way I said it better.

  • Cub2014

    Well said RC!

    • DarthHater

      Indeed. Excellent job of being needlessly opinionated and judgmental, RC!

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I don’t think he quite meant it like that.

      • JR

        I wasnt being judgemental at all. My apoligy if you took it that way. I just like to remember what it was like to watch a game in the 70’s adn 80’s without all the numbers… No harm either way … Its just my opinion sorry

  • Ivy Walls

    Interestingly after Hoyer went public with his frustration over the Cubs start where he specifically mentioned that the club was playing but losing most close games and not being on the good side of ‘laughers’ they have had two in a week.

    Here is their problem, let us start with the stars who should carry at least 75% of the offensive load. Meaning that the top five hitters in a lineup, who carry the most AB’s and with conceivably the most chances of producing runs where better hitters either follow or precede their AB’s should produce the lion share of the runs scored or driven in. Taking out RBI’s for HR’s as not to double count here is the Cubs Top Five

    DeJesus produces .764 per game
    Castro = .888
    Rizzo = 1.02
    Soriano = .617
    Schierholtz = .848

    Castillo/Navarro = .666
    Valbuenna/Ransom= ..694
    Barney = .363

    Anyone notice the problem here….

    Soriano needs to be moved in the BA until he produces, we are talking about over one run per series, and how many one run games have the Cubs lost?

    Here is where a manager is probably bumping up against the trade and front office strategy….Soriano is at best a 6/7, right now a 7th hitter. Move each hitter up one slot and the Cubs would be scoring more runs.

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