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It was a fantastic night all around for the Cubs, who ripped the Cardinals early and then poured it on as the game went along. The night didn’t look quite as strong for Travis Wood, though he was not helped by his defense a couple times, and he also was not given a strike three call (on a pitch that was very in the zone) that immediately preceded a couple runs scoring with two outs. It was a bit of a tough luck outing in that regard.

Wood also got plunked by reliever Eric Fornataro, who was obviously throwing at him, on the first pitch Wood saw after a half inning in which he inadvertently hit two Cardinals batters. It was really embarrassing – especially because the pitch was high – for Fornataro or Mike Matheny, or both. It was just a stupid, unnecessary, dangerous thing to do. The Cubs didn’t retaliate in the conventional sense, but the did kick the shit out of the Cardinals on the scoresheet.

After Wood departed, the bullpen allowed nothing, and the bats just kept on hitting. Every single starter (and Ryan Kalish as a pinch hitter) had at least one hit, and MIKE OLT! and Junior Lake went deep. Emilio Bonifacio had four hits and a walk, which is as many times on base as he’d been in his previous eight games combined. Starlin Castro, Lake, and Darwin Barney all had three hits. Big nights all around.

It really turned into a laugher late, and I enjoyed it. Very much. Where’s  your voodoo now, Cardinals?

Also: I think Jeff Samardzija might kill someone tonight.

may 12 box

Full box score.

  • celebratelikeits1908

    I would love for the Cubs to be a successful team this year, but beating up and having a winning record against the Cardinals for the season would be a sweet consolation prize.

  • Politijim

    Like golf, just takes one good game to keep you coming back…. Must say though, spoiling a Cardinal homestand opener like this is especially sweet…

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    After tonight, I’d be shocked if they manage 4 hits tomorrow against Wainwright.

    Sweet win!

  • willis

    I’d love to see Vegas odds on the cubs scoring 17 runs the next three games. What a night at the dish. I really hope RR plays Lake and Olt tomorrow after their performances tonight. Fun times all around.

    • Noah_I

      Olt’s started the last 6 games, and about 80% of the last 12 games or so. To me, it looks like he’s plugged into the lineup at this point.

      And while I’m not a big Lake fan, if there’s any time to start him something like 80-90% of games it’s now with the Cubs already awful outfield so banged up. I don’t think that Lake will ever survive with his K and BB rates, but there’s no one better for the Cubs to run out there at this point, and at least Lake has the ability to have games where he’s a game changer at the plate. One interesting thing with Lake is that he’s been awful as a pinch hitter. While his K rate has been bad no matter where he’s playing, it’s been 81.8% as a pinch hitter.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      Their performance last night has no bearing on how they will perform tonight.

      • Edwin

        You don’t understand. The coin came up heads 4 times in a row, it has to be tails on the next flip!

  • Featherstone

    Man putting the boots to the Cardinals tonight was just swell. I loved the fact the ninth inning where Choate just couldn’t get out of the inning, was absolutely delicious. Man if the Cubs can just spoil the Cardinals all season long that may just make this season worth watching.

    • Funn Dave

      “I loved the fact the ninth inning where Choate just couldn’t get out of the inning, was absolutely delicious.”

      *grumble*

      -BN Grammar Douche

      • Featherstone

        Yeah, I started a thought and then went a different direction with it.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    That’s a lot of numbers.

  • Northside Neuman

    Can’t recall ever seeing a team scoring 17 runs yet only drawing one walk.

    • Diesel

      They were swinging pretty early. Dude gave up 9 runs and only threw 69 pitches in 4 innings.

    • Pepitones wig

      Somewhere, Dusty is smiling

  • Required

    Take that! Neck tattoo!!

  • Rebuilding

    That was a hell of an offensive breakout. Matheney is one of the few people I really despise in the game. Throwing at Wood like that was a complete bush league move and I have no doubt he ordered it

    • willis

      He’s such a dumb shit for doing so too, they had just battled back and that reopened the flood gates for the cubs. There are times to retaliate (I guess) but right after your team crawls back into the game…dumb. But, it turned the tide back into the cubs’ favor.

    • BlameHendry

      When La Russa retired, I was glowing. I didn’t think I could hate any manager more than that guy. Boy was I wrong. It would be so fitting for Yadier Molina to become the next Cards manager…

    • ssckelley

      Not sure Matheny ordered that though, the pitcher got coached up after that inning. It might have been the pitcher trying to score points with his team mates.

      • Funn Dave

        Or the coaching could have been for show.

        • ssckelley

          That is true, I would like to give Matheny the benefit of the doubt. If Matheny really ordered that pitch then he should be suspended. I thought the pitcher should have been ejected on the spot, that ball came close to hitting Wood in the head.

  • Diesel

    I was at the game and everything was hit extremely hard. I was with coworkers who are cardinal fans and they kept going on about how hard the cubs were crushing the pitching. By the end of the game the fans were heckling their own players.

  • Patrick G

    Nice to see Olt get out 4 times without striking out. Love seeing Rizzo and Castro staying consistent and Lake has been fairly solid. Although the record doesn’t show and they can have some frustrating days at the plate, this team has been more fun to watch from the previous 2 losing seasons

  • http://BN Sacko

    Way off topic but..watching the Donald Sterling interview..This guy sounds and reminds me of Jim Jones. Incredible..no shit! Sick very sick.

    • Medicos

      SACKO; You’re correct Don Sterling, a native Chicagoan, obviously has some psychological difficulties. My aunt owned an LA travel agency and booked a number of his trips.She had problems dealing with Sterling years ago. She informed me that despite his racial outbursts, he has still donated millions of philanthropic dollars to numerous organizations in the Los Angeles area. Last week he was scheduled to receive an award from the NAACP for his humanitarian generosity. Obviously the black NAACP leaders quickly decided not to present the award. Hopefully he’ll receive some help.

      • waittilthisyear

        to my trained eye, all of the casually racist shit you say is in no way intentional. typical “product of a different time” speak. i would advise, then, that you just avoid the subject of race, because someone is not going to be as understanding.

      • aa.

        Defending a billionaire on the basis of his philanthropic pursuits isn’t valid – when you have that much money, donating money is a necessity for the tax breaks.

        I’m not saying that means rich people never contribute out of the goodness of the hearts, but there are personal incentives, too.

  • Dave

    My math shows the Cubs’ OBP went from .297 to .302, SLG from .351 to .363. Team OPS went from .647 to .665. So from 3rd worst OPS in the NL to…3rd worst OPS in the NL pending the results of the Braves game.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Heh.

  • Kyle

    Knocking the Cardinals down below .500 is never going to get old. I hope we do it a bunch more times this year.

    • J. L.

      We could lose tomorrow and then win the day after tomorrow to have that taste again soon.

    • DarthHater

      Want the perfect ending to a great evening? Drop by @BestFansStLouis and enjoy the moaning of the mulleted multitudes.

      • Jason P

        Ironic how they can call their players a “pile of shit” on the same page where they’re claiming to be the best fans in baseball.

        • DarthHater

          No, it’s an anti-Cardinal page and the name is sarcastic. Silly.

          • http://waittilnextyear.net WTNYPodcast

            The guy that runs that page used to be much more active. Now he can go weeks without posting anything.

            Those are always a good read, though.

  • Funn Dave

    “It was a fantastic night all around for the Cubs….The night didn’t look quite as strong for Travis Wood”

    Woah, did T. Wood get traded? :P

  • 1ski

    Didnt get to see it but…SWEET!!!

  • Seth

    And the most amazing stat about tonight… only 4 strikeouts in 45 at-bats. Great to see.

    • Spoda17

      the strikeouts was a key stat I looked at as well… very happy with only 4…

      • Head and Heart

        Really? A key stat in a game where the Cubs scored 17 was the strikeouts? So if they had pounded out 17 runs but struck out 10 times that would have been troubling?

  • FortyFour

    Tonight was great for our team and its fans with all great hitting. Travis Wood is such a competitor and really shows his team how to go all out, even when he may not have his best stuff. The FO really scored in getting him away from the Reds before they realized what they had in him.

    I am very happy to see them win the opening game of the series just like they did against Wainwright and Cardinals at Wrigley. Leaving for St. Louis in the morning and I will be attending the game tomorrow night. Here’s hoping the Arietta can top Wainwright tomorrow night.

  • Espy

    And just like that we are down to a -4 run differential. We would be tied for best run differential in the AL East. That goes to show how tight many of the games have been.
    The 2nd half is going to be a lot of fun!

  • CubFanBob

    Two thoughts

    Is it me or did Harry and the other announcers do a 13 run betting pool back in the 80′s? Surprised Len and company could recall it during that conversation.

    Card fans having a mental breakdown across cardinal nation and I love it

  • 5412

    HI,

    If my math is right with the 17-5 score last night the Cubs are now 11 games under with a total run differential of -4. Most unusual to say the least.

    What it does is raise the question, how much better off would the be with just one or two guys who consistently hit in the .275 range. If they can’t pitch around Rizzo and Castro quite so easily it would make a world of difference.

    If Schierholtz were having a year like last year and hitting in the 5 spot, I would think it would sure help.

    regards,
    5412

    • ssckelley

      Just think at this time last year Schierholtz had a .299 .339 .533 line. I think the Cubs have a few extra wins if he was hitting that this year.

  • Tim

    .500 by the all star break, then here comes the playoff push!

  • Ivy Walls

    Interestingly Travis Wood has the highest wOBA on the club right now, Lake’s wOBA just jumped to .320 and Olt is stable at .313 wOBA (one, one thousandth short of the league average). As for Lake, he has got to hit the ball before strike two—period. His 43/4 K to BB rate at 97 plate appearances. Olt has a tad better K/BB rate of 32/7 which tells me to make certain you space out these two in the batting order but both need to be in the lineup at least four of six each week.

    • Noah_I

      Wood’s wOBA right now, though, would be really good for a first baseman. A pitcher getting on base in 33.3% of his PAs? That’s crazy, but tiny sample size. Wood is a really good hitting pitcher, and that definitely adds value. I’ll be curious to see what happens with Wood when his BABIP and LOB rate regress to the mean. I don’t think you’ll see a 3.11 like last season, but Wood’s peripherals are better than last year’s. Significantly more Ks, nominally less walks, more GBs, all while maintaining the low HR/FB rate. Wood is one of those pitchers (as a significant number of left handed fly ball pitchers are) where FIP is a better indicator of true talent than xFIP. He’s a 3 in a good rotation, but a good one.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    “I instantly came in here [the clubhouse] and gave Samardzija a hug and said ‘Sorry,’” Wood said after Monday’s game. “It’s tough for Jeff. He’s out there giving us everything he’s got, throwing outstanding baseball. We’re going to do everything we can to get him a win, for sure.”

    Yes, pitcher wins matter…to the guys who play the game.

    • ssckelley

      Is Samardzija this much of a head case to where team mates have to comfort him after a win? I have always said the only thing keeping Samardzija from being a TOR pitcher was his head.

      • Head and Heart

        So Wood went to Shark and gave him a hug and that makes Shark a head case??? That doesn’t really make sense.

        • ssckelley

          Ok “Head and Heart”, so explain to me why a starting pitcher has to apologize to another pitcher and give him a hug after a blow out win?

          • Billy

            If I had to guess I’d say it was a joke. Ribbing between teammates. They do that from time to time

            • ssckelley

              I did not hear the interview, so I don’t know the manner in which Wood made these statements but to me there was nothing jokey about it, “It’s tough for Jeff. He’s out there giving us everything he’s got, throwing outstanding baseball. We’re going to do everything we can to get him a win, for sure.”

              If Wood was giving Shark a good ribbing then it was odd for him to say that.

              • Head and Heart

                Do you know what Samardzija said to Wood in response? Did he thank him? Did he tell him to fuck off? Did he say, “don’t worry about It Woodsy I am just glad we got a W.”?? Did he decide that was the moment to offer his opinion that ‘The Shining’ is the greatest movie of all time? We don’t know. So let’s feel free to just assume stuff that fits with our already preconceived viewpoint? Okay. Cool.

                • ssckelley

                  There is no “preconceived viewpoint” coming from me. I cannot recall a single time where I have questioned this about Shark. I simply find it odd that a pitcher would feel compelled to go up to another after a blow out win and apologize.

                  Nolan Ryan was one of the top hard luck pitchers in the game, he lost 292 games in his career. At the age of 40 he went 8-16 in a year that he was probably the best pitcher and should of won the Cy Young. Never once do I remember a winning pitcher having to go up to Ryan and apologize.

                  • Head and Heart

                    There are so many things to get through here. First of all it’s a way different time and place. You have no idea what really happened in the locker room last night. Why Wood approached Shark. What was said. Why it happened. How Shark took it. How he has been handling himself. Nor do you know what Nolan Ryan was like. Plus it’s a modern twitter world. The coverage of something like that would have been vastly different 20 years ago. You also asked if Shark was “that much of a head case” and that “I have always said the only thing keeping Samardzija from being a TOR pitcher was his head.”

                    You said that he is a head case it is only a question of how MUCH of a headcase. You have a preconceived idea that Shark is mentally weak. And you THINK this situation backs that up. But you are guessing and assuming.

                    • ssckelley

                      I have answered your questions, obviously you disagree…got it. Yes, I am starting to wonder if Shark is mentally weak, I think this is the first time I have commented on it. I have been seeing frustrations expressed by Shark both on the field and off of it. If Shark is all that then explain to me why in the hell Wood would have to offer an apology and give him a hug after a blow out win? It does look odd, of course NONE of us are in the locker room, but that cannot be the qualifying factor to question something like this.

                    • SenorGato

                      Samardzija worked the better half a decade to get where he is in the sport. Mentally weak he is not. It would be devastating for anyone to work as hard as he has only to have his emergence coincide with his franchise’s purposeful tanking.

                    • Head and Heart

                      He has gotten better basically every year he has been in the major leagues. He is a fierce competitor who wants the ball in big games and big situations. According to BR Shark is at his best in high leverage situations.

                      He’s a little frustrated that he isn’t getting wins for his team. He wants to be an ace. So his buddy gave him a little pick me up. Whether he needed it or asked for it or not.

                      I think it’s a MASSIVE leap from Wood giving Shark a hug to Shark is mentally weak. Massive leap.

          • Head and Heart

            The Cubs scored more last night than in all of Shark’s starts combined. That’s got to be a little frustrating and I am sure a little funny too. I bet they laughed about it.

            But please, explain to me how Travis Wood feeling bad about all the run support he got says anything about Jeff Samardzija. It says lots about Travis Wood as a team mate. Nothing about Shark though. Literally nothing.

            • ssckelley

              “It’s tough for Jeff”, that does not sound like they are laughing about it.

              A pitcher should never feel bad for the run support he got. Outside of his own plate appearances a pitcher has very little control over the run support he gets.

              Bottom line is this, Samardzija needs to stop worrying about wins and losses and just go out every 5th game and pitch.

              • Edwin

                So far he has.

            • Chad

              I would say the fact that he felt he had to say “sorry” to Samardzija because his teammates are finally starting to look better at the plate says something. Samardzija should be happy his teammates are figuring it out, not frustrated that they scored 17 runs in a game that he didn’t pitch. Come on, if Shark truly felt that way, that’s selfish. period.

              • Head and Heart

                But again, how does Wood deciding to go talk to his buddy reflect on Jeff? Were you guys in the locker room? Was Shark pouting in the corner? Was he stomping around angrily grumbling about his lack of run support? All you know is that Wood felt like he wanted to go say something to his buddy and give him a hug. You have no idea if Shark was happy for his team mates or not. You have no clue if he was unhappy last night after the game. You are assuming an awful lot about Jeff Samardzija based on something Travis Wood did and said.

                • ssckelley

                  You have been answered twice now by 2 different people. The fact that Wood even feels compelled to apologize to Shark says it all.

                  • Head and Heart

                    No it really doesn’t. It says something. What does it say about Wood? Shark? The Cubs? Baseball? The Universe? That’s very much open to interpretation. There is a chance that it says what you think it does. There’s no doubt about that. But you are assuming. You didn’t hear the interview. You didn’t see the interaction. you don’t know how Samardzija felt about the exchange. There’s a lot we don’t know. So you are very much assuming and guessing.

                    • ssckelley

                      ohhhhhhh ok, never draw conclusions based on an interview. Gotcha…..they probably should just stop doing them then. LMAO, I guess the only ones qualified to comment about this are the ones actually in the locker room.

                    • Edwin

                      “ok, never draw conclusions based on an interview”

                      That’s actually not that bad an idea.

                    • ssckelley

                      I should not have said conclusions, I am not drawing any conclusions but I still find it odd that Wood feels the need to apologize to Shark.

                    • Head and Heart

                      Of all the odd things that I imagine go on in a MLB locker room a little example of the pitcher fraternity supporting each other doesn’t rate that highly for me.

                • Chad

                  We have no idea how it looked, but the cubs win by 12 runs and the cubs have guys apologizing to each other for it? That’s pathetic. If Shark is pouting that is bad. If Wood left it at I said sorry, who knows what that means, but the part about Shark being frustrated by run support cements this for me. I really don’t see how it can be taken another way with the context that we have been given.

                  • Head and Heart

                    Well I wasn’t in the room last night after the game. I’ve never been in the Cubs locker room. I could guess they were all in a pretty good mood. They had just crushed a team after all. The fact that Travis Wood went over to talk to Samardzija leads me to believe that Shark is a good team mate. They want to get a win for him. It also leads me to believe Wood is a good dude who despite winning was thinking of a teammate rather than him self. But those are guesses and assumptions. I can’t draw any conclusions based on so little evidence and virtually no context.

    • CubFan Paul

      “Yes, pitcher wins matter…to the guys who play the game”

      The ignored point in the “debate”

      • Head and Heart

        Wins matter. Pitchers want to be the guy when they are on the mound. So in some way I am sure they do “matter” to pitchers. But that doesn’t mean they should matter to anyone else.

        And whether or not they “matter” to people doesn’t change the fact that they are almost completely useless as a stat.

        • CubFan Paul

          “But that doesn’t mean they should matter to anyone else”

          Pitchers get paid for “Wins”, ‘anybody else’ doesn’t.

          “whether or not they “matter” to people doesn’t change the fact that they are almost completely useless as a stat”

          Yeah, because those are two different topic.

          • Chad

            Do they get paid on wins? I have never seen anyone say that because you won 20 games last year I will give you $20 million a year. They get paid on WAR or their actual value as a pitcher measured by other useful stats. I’d say King Felix did ok without ever getting to 20 wins.

            • Chad

              And Shark will get paid if he keeps pitching this way and ends up 0-10.

              • CubFan Paul

                “Do they get paid on wins?”

                Yes. Pitchers do have ‘win clauses’ in their contracts. That’s how guys get “annual raises”, as in, if they perform well (10 wins, 15 wins or 20) they get whatever they negotiated (anywhere from $50K – $5MM)

                • CubFan Paul

                  The Arbitration Process also considers pitcher’s wins in determining salary

                  • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

                    I would love to hear or see a source for players contract containing incentives based on performance. I had heard a long time ago that the union prevents any sort of performance based clauses, and that basically limits it to awards and playing time only. You are correct that the arbitration process is outdated and still relies on stats like wins, but that is the only time in the marketplace in which it is valued.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “I would love to hear or see a source for players contract containing incentives based on performance”

                      COTS. But I don’t have the time.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      Paul, it’s ok to admit when you’re wrong, it happens sometimes buddy

                    • Edwin

                      The incentives are either award based or playing time based. They’re not allowed to be based on things like wins, strikeouts, RBI, home runs.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “Paul, it’s ok to admit when you’re wrong”

                      I always do, & on this I will if research proves otherwise.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      I’ll believe Brett on this one. Also, I just did a little quick research, obviously not checking all pitcher contracts but Verlander, Greinke, Garza, Sabathia, Felix, Wainwright, Cliff Lee, Hamels, Beckett, and Cain all have clauses for bonuses based on awards voting, IPs, or GS, but none of them have anything based on wins, ERA, strikeouts, or any sort of performance based statistic.

                    • Edwin

                      Research has proved otherwise. Pitchers are not able to have Wins be an incentive in their contract.

                      However, they can have IP or have awards as an incentive.

                • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                  I believe it was Brett who said this, but pitchers can’t have performance incentives based on wins because they are a “team” statistic. They can only have incentives based on individual statistics or awards/recognitions (All-Star, MVP voting, etc.)

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    It’s more than that – incentives cannot be based on “stats” like you would think of them. Only things like games played, games finished, disabled list stuff, awards, etc.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      Ahhhh thanks for clearing that up!

                    • Chad

                      So what you’re saying is CFP is full of crap and spouted it off like it was fact. Imagine that ;)

                      Even then in arbitration even if Shark does not win a game this year but keeps his ERA under 2, or even 2.5 then he will get a huge raise.

              • Head and Heart

                I wish all the other teams made decisions on pitchers based on wins. And the Cubs didn’t. That would be a huge advantage.

  • Thiscantbegood

    Barney was 3-5 with an RBI, he looked like an All-Star last night. Do you see him getting the everyday nod at 2nd now? We could really use his bat in the 8th spot.

    • Chad

      I pray that this is sarcasm.

      • Thiscantbegood

        It was. No way would I be serious about Darwin Barney playing.

  • Thiscantbegood

    Is it just me or did you guys see Angels in the Outfield come to Busch Stadium last night??

  • Edwin

    That’s gonna mess with the early season pythag record.

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