— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Game 2 Feelings
Late night thoughts, as I wait for the NyQuil to kick in.
Things I liked, enjoyed, or that gave me hope
1. Schwarber, Schwarber, Schwarber. Is this real? Were I a neutral fan, I might start thinking this storyline is getting pounded into the ground. But it’s just so damn incredible. The entire postgame show was about whether or not he should play LF Friday, and how the Cubs are a different team with him. Yes, they are, but they were still really, really ####### good without him. Personally, as a fan, I say #### it, play him. The rational side of me says it’s crazy. He’s not going to be good out there, but it’s hard to target LF. The Indians supposedly are planning on starting Santana in LF, and that’s not exactly going to be a picnic for them. So I say, let’s go crazy.
2. Arrieta. Effectively wild. It helped that tonight’s zone was more favorable for both pitchers, but I think Jake benefited more (I will confirm whether I’m imagining that or not tomorrow).
3. Montgomery. Hold your horses on giving him a rotation spot, but he was just incredible yet again. I think if that’s the way the Cubs choose to go…who ####### cares, let’s talk about that in a month. Maybe his curveball isn’t exactly Rich Hill’s, as Smoltz said, but it was unhittable tonight.
4. Zobrist. Again, man, what a difference for the lineup when he’s making contact like that. He’s not a traditional cleanup hitter, and in a world with Schwarber healthy all year, he probably never gets the chance. But it just works.
5. Rizzo. He fouled off a ridiculous number of pitches (ed. note to self: put in this number tomorrow), and he’s absolutely clobbered the ball (multiple balls were 105mph+ that went foul). He’s hitting several homeruns back in Wrigley.
Win Bonus: Russell. Maybe Smoltz exaggerated about one little thing clicking for, but he didn’t look like the same hitter tonight as last night. Maybe that’s just the dropoff in pitcher quality, but he looked good again.
Things I didn’t like, didn’t enjoy, or that worried me
1. 13 LOB, after 9 LOB last night. Good news, they’re getting guys on. Bad news, they keep leaving the bases loaded. Got enough tonight, but let’s not have another game where we are ruing too many missed chances, especially missed chances to put the game away.
2. Arrieta. Wild, but effective. I think he really benefitted from the generous zone, and was kind of lucky to get out of the game relatively unscathed. Were I an Indians fan, I’d be talking about hitting the ball hard off him and looking forward to the next time he pitches (similar to our comments about Kershaw after game 2). He was lucky Maddon pulled him when he did.
3. Fowler. He got a hit late, but he’s really looked lost these games. 4 strikeouts in 9ABs, and not close on a bunch of pitches (he looked late on some hittable fastballs both nights).
4. RF. It’d be nice if the Cubs didn’t feel any extra pressure to force Schwarber into the lineup. But the Cubs have gotten nothing offensively from Heyward, Soler, Coghlan or Almora. If one of them were just slightly below useful at the plate, it’d be a lot easier to stick to the Schwarber DH/PH plan.
5. I love, love Contreras. He doesn’t need to try and break any of Yadi’s mound visit records though. Maybe it really just is his youth/inexperience that causes him and the pitchers to seem to be on different pages as often as they are, maybe I can see why certain veterans prefer throwing to other guys. On the other hand:
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