Cubs 2, Brewers 1 (5/18/16)

In Commentary And Analysis by berselius

OSS: Against all odds, Travis Wood saves the day.

Three up:

  1. Travis Wood Houdini-ed himself out of an impossible jam in the twelfth inning. He inherited two runners from Rondon, who was working in his second inning, then walked Santana to load the bases with nobody out. The Cubs brought an outfielder for the extra shot at the force at home but didn’t really need it – Wood miraculously induced three pop-ups/shallow flies to get out of the inning. He then drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the next inning to give the Cubs the lead. It was that kind of game.
  2. The Cubs only got to extras thanks to a ninth inning rally against Brewers closer Jeremy Jeffress. Addison Russell got the game-tying RBI on a fielder’s choice and the Cubs might have been able to close this out earlier if a few things had been different.
  3. David Ross gunned down four baserunners in this game. Between this, the highly-correlated TOOTBLANs, the seemingly 14 double plays in this game, and the Cubs hitting into roughly 37 (by my count) line drive outs it was just a really strange game.

Three down

  1. An absolutely brutal day on offense for Jason Heyward, who posted a whopping -.421 WPA. He got one hit, but struck out twice and hit into a double play. His other time on base might have been another double play if Gennett had been able to turn it, but he was caught stealing in one of many TOOTBLANs in general on the night for both teams.
  2. I normally like that Joe is far more aggressive than most managers with using his bench but it burned him today, most notably in losing Rizzo from the ninth inning on and finding himself forced to use Tim Federowicz in a key at bat in the ninth. FedEx’s whiffs were so powerful that the wind knocked over my lawn chairs, 5 or 6 states away. At the very least Maddon should have let Ross get IBB’d (or hit for himself) and then used Montero to pinch hit for the pitcher in the ninth.
  3. I can empathize Brewers fans, as that extra inning performance was vintage Cubes. No runs scored out of a bases loaded, no-out situation, followed by walking in the go-ahead run with a pitcher at the plate, followed by again failing to knock in the tying run from third with less than two outs is a triple gut punch.

Next game: Hammel v Guerra, 12:40 PM CT. These two guys might be the only ones awake in tomorrow’s starting lineups. I’m guessing we see FedEx since both Ross and Montero saw time behind the plate today.

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