Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

kyle hendricks cubs featureGonna be a nice pitching matchup today, with Jon Lester facing Gerrit Cole. Won’t be 21 runs scored this afternoon … right?

  • Now that the fun of the crazy ending has died down a bit, we can take a step back and look at yesterday’s game objectively. For one thing, I always like to remind folks (including myself, because I need to force myself to hear it) that one game is just one game. Baseball is beautiful, in part, because crazy things can happen in any given one game. For our purposes, that includes not only the ending, but also the fact that the Cubs’ pitching was so rough yesterday. When I review everything, though, I’m not sure how much this tells us about the pitching. Kyle Hendricks was so close to finishing that sixth inning unscathed. Justin Grimm couldn’t record an out after looking fantastic since coming off of the DL. Jason Motte couldn’t record an out, either, and he has struggled. Pedro Strop lost his command again after a few really nice outings. Hector Rondon looked good, but gave up a couple ill-timed hits.
  • In the aggregate, it makes for a really bad day, but are there any concerns that didn’t exist long before yesterday’s game? Nah, not really. I suppose that’s both a good and bad thing. I still think the Cubs will need to add to the bullpen at some point, and I also hope Neil Ramirez is back, healthy and effective, soon. And, of course, the back of the rotation requires continued monitoring.

  • At least Zac Rosscup and James Russell had nice outings. Phil Coke, whose role seems to be diminishing, is the only reliever who didn’t get into the game yesterday, so you can bet the Cubs are hoping Lester goes deep today.
  • How about this: Joe Maddon tells that Starlin Castro was going to be sent again in the 12th inning if Gregory Polanco had caught Matt Szczur’s pop up – one that was even shallower than the first one where Castro was nailed at the plate by 15 feet. Maddon agreed with the decision to send Castro the first time, and, given the game context – the pitcher spot was up next, with only David Ross left on the bench – I think I agree. Yes, it was an easy play for Polanco, but even an easy play like that, how many times do we see an inaccurate throw from the outfield? 1 in 2? I think I agree with taking a 50/50 shot there, and probably again in the 12th. We’ll never know how that one would have played out.
  • David Ross says he’s feeling fine after leaving Thursday’s game with abdominal tightness (Daily Herald, Ross did not appear in yesterday’s marathon game, but he’s expected to be ready to play today – presumably starting behind the plate with Jon Lester on the mound.

  • If you reach base five times in a game, your OBP will get a bump. Such was the case for Starlin Castro and Jorge Soler yesterday. Castro’s OBP rose from .292 to .311. Soler’s OBP rose from .327 to .344.
  • Also: Addison Russell has gone 11 straight plate appearances without striking out, dropping his strikeout rate to 36.8%.
  • Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo work on their rally bucket caps.

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