Cubs 3, Cardinals 2

In Postgame by berselius121 Comments

OSS: An excellent pitchers' duel turns into a wild finish.

Three up:

  1. Jon Lester was fantastic today, taking a perfect game into the sixth until Wainwright poked a single through the left side to break it up. He continued to cruise until he ran out of steam in the eighth, giving up back to back solo shots to Grichuk and DeJong*, but an amazing start nonetheless. His final line on the day was 8 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 10 SO.
  2. Bionic Human Kris Bryant was the WPA leader on the day, somehow notching two hits when most folks though he would not even play this weekend. Zobryzzo combined for all three of the Cubs runs batted in during their late rally. Matheny took a page from Joe's playbook when he let Wainwright bat for himself in the eighth.
  3. Rizzo had the other big hit of the day in what was a quiet day for both offenses. It is great to see him getting XBHs against lefties again.

Three down:

  1. Wainwright has had a rough year, but his curveball was wicked tonight. All the Cubs had issues with it, but it felt like Kyle Schwarber felt it the most. Though he only struck out once. In fact somehow the Cubs only struck out three times in this game.
  2. Wade Davis made things a little more ineteresting than anyone would have liked, walking two batters before getting the final out.
  3. The Cubs could have blown things open even more in the eighth, but Joe put on a strange double steal with Schwarber at the plate, maybe hoping that with a base open the Cardinals would want to walk War Bear in the middle of a lefty on lefty matchup? I'm not so sure of that logic. But still, it was a strange move.

Next up: Jose Qunitana takes on Michael Wacha on Sunday Night Baseball. Quintana was great in his last outing, here's hoping for another one.

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  1. SK

    Wasn’t that strange double steal a failed hit and run*? LenJD also said the same about opening up a base to induce a walk to Schwarber, but ISTR Schwarber flailing at the pitch.

    *Equally bad idea with Schwarber at the plate.

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  2. Berselius is too lazy to login

    SK,

    I haven’t checked the schedule for make-up games, but my first guess is that they play a lot of games in a dome.

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  3. Rice Cube

    Re the game-winning play, it seemed like the Cardinals were playing no-doubles which is why that bloop even had a chance of scoring Bryant. I think it lands in front of a traditional defense anyway, but Bryant only gets to 3B. As it was, he made the risky but correct decision to force a perfect throw. That throw was a lot better than, say, Cardinals fans gave Dex credit for given initial positioning.

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  4. dmick89

    The Cubs could have blown things open even more in the eighth, but Joe put on a strange double steal with Schwarber at the plate, maybe hoping that with a base open the Cardinals would want to walk War Bear in the middle of a lefty on lefty matchup? I’m not so sure of that logic. But still, it was a strange move.

    I’m choosing to believe that both runners missed a sign because if Joe would run in that situation to try to force a walk, he has no faith in Schwarber to do anything. That’s a bad thing and if the Cubs are intent on being buyers at the deadline, that’s something that should be addressed. If Joe ran to try to force a walk, that is.

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  5. Rizzo the Rat

    The simplest explanation for why the runners were going was that they were trying to get an extra base so as to be in a better position to score. I don’t know why people are trying to come up with more complex explanations, honestly. Rizzo has tried the double steal when on second base several times before. It probably wasn’t the best move with two outs and Yadi behind the plate, but if it worked it would have been cool.

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  6. Rizzo the Rat

    Also, Dex’s throw was fine, but the Caridnals fans’ complaints about how Fowler’s center field defense is hurting the team may be justified if the advanced metrics are any indication.

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  7. Perkins

    Rizzo the Rat,

    I haven’t looked into it as much, but Busch has a pretty big CF, right? I remember a lot was made of his positioning himself deeper when he got to the Cubs, but Wrigley also has a much smaller CF than the cavernous ones at Coors and Minute Maid. It could be partly that he’s making fewer plays because he doesn’t play half his games at Wrigley anymore.

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  8. cerulean

    Jen-Ho Tseng and Michael Rucker are starting to look like good quality pitching depth. Tseng is already at AAA looking like a decent option for a fifth-starter, and while Rucker is only at A+, he is really fooling batters without abandoning control. I would not be surprised to see him in AA soon. He looks like one of those latter-round college arms that just gets how to pitch.

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  9. cerulean

    Is everyone excited about Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN? In-game interviews! Clichéd narratives! What’s not to love?

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  10. dmick89

    It looks like they just moved Rucker into the rotation in early June. Considering how well he’s pitched, he could probably handle AA, but the Cubs may want to wait until the final few weeks of the minor league season.

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  11. dmick89

    Rice Cube,

    I don’t know. Bryant has good speed for someone his size, but he’s still not a guy you’d consider to be fast. If Yadi holds onto the ball, he might be out, but Bryant shouldn’t be able to score on what is usually just a single. I’m not sure where Dexter was playing since I haven’t even watched a replay, but it’s either terrible positioning or poor fielding. I know I’d feel that way if a similar play happened to the Cubs.

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  12. Rice Cube

    dmick89,

    I think he’d be playing about where he usually did as a Cub if the Cards weren’t playing no-doubles. I think also that he was probably surprised that Bryant even busted it like that. Yadi also appeared to block the plate with his foot, I think Bryant’s foot slammed into his leg before the ball got away and he was able to touch the plate. Game of inches…

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  13. cerulean

    dmick89,

    I expect him to jump onto the prospect charts very soon. It isn’t like he is just getting lucky—he is missing bats while not giving up walks. I think there is plenty of room for regression in his HR/FB rate, but that is less worrisome if no one is on base. I can see him in a Montgomery-like role (though a flyball righty) as early as the next summer slog.

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  14. Berselius is too lazy to login

    A rare good observation from Coomer – it was great to see Heyward turning around on a 95 mph fastball. That probably would not have happened a year ago.

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  15. cerulean

    Damn—Schwarber’s homerun had a hangtime of 6.9 seconds. I don’t think I have ever seen a hangtime of 7 seconds in the statcast era. Judge or Stanton probably have done it, though.

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  16. cerulean

    Contreras had the hardest throw by a catcher this year to start that DP on the bunt earlier in the game—89 mph. As fast as Hendricks’ fastest fastball off the mound.

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  17. Berselius is too lazy to login

    Hold on to your butts. Or don’t. I can’t tell you what to do.

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  18. SK

    Berselius is too lazy to login,

    Coom makes decent comments more often than that, it’s just that for every good insight he matches it with two dull platitudes. I’m actually getting a little tired of Pat Hughes (I think he’s getting tired of the grind too) so even though Coomer measures minus 40 on the personality scale, sometimes he sounds fresh next to Pat.

    (Hey I love(d) Pat as much as the next guy, but I do think he’s a little burned out.)

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  19. Berselius is too lazy to login

    To-day’s base ball squadron

    RF Heyward
    3B Bionic Man
    1B Rizzo
    C Contreras
    LF War Bear
    2B Zobrist
    CF Jay
    SS Baez
    P Cyle

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