OSS: Cubs comeback squelched by a backbreaking TOOTBLAN
- Willson Contreras looked great in his first start as a Chicago Cub. He notched his second career RBI with a single in the third and nailed Matt Carpenter by a mile in a stolen base attempt in the top of the ninth. His receiving technique was reportedly a little shaky, though I missed most of the game JD said that he was moving around a little too much, but he’s got time to work on it.
- The Cubs may have lost but the play I’ll remember most was the Bryant-Russell-Contreras relay to gun down Alemdys Diaz in the top of the ninth. Perfectly executed by everyone involved.
- Albert Almora had the biggest WPA play of the day, doubling with one out against shaky Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal.
- Unfortunately, that double was erased by a backbreaking TOOTBLAN two batters later. I can understand why it happened – Rosenthal threw a wild pitch that looked like it should have gone straight to the backstop, but what Almora missed was that it hit the umpire and basically bounced back right next to Molina, who gunned him down. He still nearly beat the throw anyway, impressive considering it was Molina. There was maybe a smidge too much adrenaline to remember that he was already in scoring position. I get it, but definitely a bad idea by Almora.This play reminded me of something I’ve always wondered – is there an unwritten rule that catchers won’t fake not knowing where the ball is when it’s really right next to them? Clearly baserunners have very little to go on in these kinds of situations.
- That amazing relay play was set up by Clayton Richard doing Clayton Richard things. I only consider that PA a success for him because the ball stayed in the yard.
- It sucks to have this beanball bullshit start in the first game of the series, especially so when John Lackey is the guy involved. No other org in baseball would have a better sense of whether that was a purpose pitch, and only one or two other orgs would be just as likely to retaliate for it. I hate that shit.
Next up: The suddenly hittable Adam Wainwright faces off with the suddenly unhittable Jason Hammel, 7:05 PM CT