Two Outta Three Ain't Bad, Defensible Decisions, Bullpen Usage, and Other Bullets

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Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad, Defensible Decisions, Bullpen Usage, and Other Bullets

Analysis and Commentary, Chicago Cubs News

What’s the song that makes you emotional, even though the song is totally not that kind of song? For me, it’s ‘Margaritaville.” I know, it’s insane. Not sure why – just makes me feel all wistful and kinda sad every time I hear it.

  • I know it sucks from a “feel” perspective when the one loss comes on getaway day, but taking two of three in St. Louis is always a good outcome. Joe Maddon has it right:

  • Maddon is catching some heat for the 6th inning decision to go with Anthony Bass with two runners on base and nobody out, rather than going with Steve Cishek:

  • Maddon’s certainly right that Bass did what he was supposed to do (though, as the inning demonstrated, even groundballs can become problematic – strikeouts in those situations are always better). But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an odd-looking decision in the moment, given that Maddon has routinely gone to Cishek in those dangerous, messy middle innings, trying to keep a game from getting out of hand. I’m not really sure what the “the score was tied” part has to do with anything.
  • A couple additional defenses, though, that leave me feeling fine about Maddon’s decision: (1) yes, Cishek hasn’t pitched a ton lately, but he certainly has this season, and you’d like to see him getting more rest, especially with no off-days coming for a while; (2) the rotating fill-in relievers from AAA will have to be given opportunities like these to see what they can do in high-ish leverage moments, because you’ll want that information for later this year.
  • Bass, 30, is a guy who has experience in Japan, is earning his way back into the big leagues, and gets a ton of groundballs. I get why you’d want to know if he has the constitution to be this kind of middle-innings guy. Bass, moreover, has no minor league options left, so he can’t be bounced in and out like the other guys. That could also make you slightly more eager to know what you have in him sooner rather than later, because if you want him in the organization for the rest of the year, the commitment to him is going to have to be a little bit stronger.
  • As for that 6th inning, if Addison Russell throws to third on the chopper that loaded the bases, the Cubs might get out of that inning without giving up a run. It would have been a tough play for Kris Bryant to get to the base and get turned, but he appeared to be in position. And it isn’t the normal play there for a shortstop, whose typical instinct would have him thinking just get an out at first. Still, even Maddon conceded that the play there could have been at third and then maybe they get out of the inning (Cubs.com). It happens.
(Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
  • It’s crazy to me that this kind of thing is still true of the Cubs:

  • It feels like it’s been four years that the Cubs have had the youngest group of positional starters (it feels that way because it has been), and yet they haven’t naturally aged out of this kind of statistical lead ahead of FOUR rebuilding clubs!
  • The Fowlers appear to have deleted everything off of Twitter after another weekend of abuse from Cardinals fans. I get that big money free agents will always be subject to a heightened level of scrutiny by fans of their new team. And I get that Dexter Fowler’s performance this year has been especially disappointing. But the reaction has just been so awful. (Before the collective of Cubs fans get too smug, remember that not everyone has been kind to guys like Jason Heyward and Yu Darvish.)
  • Crazy to see Wrigley Field without the marquee, and with the outfield seating so different. But it’s still Wrigley:

  • I just don’t know how Blake Treinen so consistently throws pitches that leave me shaking my head about how it is possible to do such a thing:


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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.