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   1. Jerry Mumphrey Posted: October 10, 2016 at 01:21 PM (#5319784)
1. Javy. It really speaks to how far he’s come all the ways he’s making an impact. Sure, I’d love for him to run out of the box sprinting every time (more on that late)

Since you left us hanging, I'll offer some more: Not only does he pimp his deep fly balls, he makes a point to not even look up at it while it is still in the air. It would actually be an improvement if he stood at home plate to admire it, because then he would have a clue to start running a little earlier. Did he not get a lecture about this after game 1?! I guess not, and as a result he likely cost the Cubs a run in game 2 and forced an appearance from Chapman.
   2. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 01:21 PM (#5319785)
I've seen a couple people suggest Almora in RF tonight. That would definitely keep the defensive part mostly in tact. Maybe he's a little more likely than Heyward to make contact, but it can't be by much, can it?
   3. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 01:34 PM (#5319802)
I, uh, don't remember what I was going to say.

Probably was going to ##### about instant replay. Now, I've always been 100% in favor of replay, and think a good system is implementable. There are pieces of the various major sport systems that make sense, but all of them have obvious issues. I thought MLB had said that the purpose of replays on those reviews isn't to look for a sliver of space on holding the bag, but Javy's slide wasn't the first this playoffs to be overturned that never, ever would have happened in the past. I always was not convinced he was clearly off the bag, so that should have been one of those upheld call situations.

I'm fine with Joe's approach on this. Javy knows better, and said as much. He's not the only guy that does this - last night Donaldson didn't run right away and he always made the play closer at 2nd than needed. I don't think any sort of public shaming or punishment does anything.

I think Champan would have still pitched in a 4 run game, (irrelevant, especially in the playoff) save rule be damned.
   4. zonk Posted: October 10, 2016 at 01:57 PM (#5319826)
I struggle to get too worked up over Javy's big fly admirations... he most certainly said the right things, but he's human.

I'm looking forward to tonight because it feels like the TCoB at home makes it gravy.

The one thing you get with Heyward that you might not with an alternate lineup -- a few more pitches seen. Obviously, Bumgarner's PC tonight is infinity -- so I'm not sure an extra 5-6-7+ pitches with Heyward in matters with those PAs inevitably concluding with weak grounders and popups, but if good Jake shows up - it might make a difference regarding a 1-1 or scoreless 9th/10th/etc.

   5. Man o' Schwar Posted: October 10, 2016 at 02:06 PM (#5319831)
I think Champan would have still pitched in a 4 run game, (irrelevant, especially in the playoff) save rule be damned.

Agreed. With the day off on Sunday, I think Maddon would have brought him in barring a major rally that left that Cubs up something like 9-2.

I think Bumgarner is due for a little hiccup - it won't be much, but it could be enough for the Cubs to take advantage and knock across 2-3 runs in an inning. It's going to be on Arietta to determine whether that's going to be enough.

Weather in San Francisco - it was crazy foggy this AM in the city, and there's rain coming later this week. If it had been over the weekend, it was pretty warm, and I suspect the park would have been pretty hitter-friendly. Now, if the wall of fog rolls into tonight, probably a little harder to get one out.
   6. Scott Lange Posted: October 10, 2016 at 02:14 PM (#5319842)
Did he not get a lecture about this after game 1?!


This is what I can't figure. The non-trot on the homer in G1 was very nearly an epic blunder, but the gods and Javy's exit velocity were kind enough to give a reprieve. But surely, surely Joe talked to him after that, right? And if he did talk, then surely, surely he wouldn't do the exact same thing in the very next game, right? And yet, one of those two things didn't happen.

I think managers should reserve public shaming and/or punishments for the most dire, intractable situations, but the way you avoid that without sacrificing results is through effective private communication. Somehow, that didn't happen. It cost the Cubs a run, an unnecessary Chapman appearance, and for a minute I thought it had resulted in a concussion as Javy slid in to second. I would desperately prefer it to not happen again.
   7. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 10, 2016 at 02:20 PM (#5319846)
It's not a good night to have three lefty hitters in the starting lineup; despite Fowler's terrible record against Bumgarner, I think Heyward is the odd man out.

   8. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 02:40 PM (#5319862)
The one thing you get with Heyward that you might not with an alternate lineup -- a few more pitches seen.

It came up during the Mets/Giants WC game; the Mets clearly had a gameplan of trying to hit Bumgarner early, and so he really was able to keep his pitch count down. The Cubs have had games throughout the year where they've had a bunch of guys swing early, but usually the 2nd time through they'd be back to their normal pitch taking ways. I'm curious how they choose to go at him tonight.

I think managers should reserve public shaming and/or punishments for the most dire, intractable situations, but the way you avoid that without sacrificing results is through effective private communication. Somehow, that didn't happen. It cost the Cubs a run, an unnecessary Chapman appearance, and for a minute I thought it had resulted in a concussion as Javy slid in to second. I would desperately prefer it to not happen again.

I don't know why we should assume Joe (or some other veteran) didn't talk to him. He's still human, but you'd think it happening again would be a pretty big deterrent. Again, I maintain Chapman still would have pitched, and I see no reason to be concerned with the number of his appearances at this point of the season.

Assuming Javy starts again - and I think he should - hopefully he gets that chance to prove he learned tonight, because it'll mean he crushed the ball again.
   9. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 02:43 PM (#5319864)
It's not a good night to have three lefty hitters in the starting lineup; despite Fowler's terrible record against Bumgarner, I think Heyward is the odd man out.

Well, Fowler can also hit righty. But yes, as I've been saying, they can't start both Montero and Heyward. We probably haven't considered the possibility of a Ross start enough, he at least would add something behind the plate to help with Jake's inability to keep runners close.

I really wish Jake would be ok with Contreras catching; I've jokingly said it's a mental thing with him, but he really has seemed less good/confident with Willson back there.
   10. Ardo Posted: October 10, 2016 at 02:59 PM (#5319879)
It's not much of a gut check with a 2-up lead in the series.

Therefore, I say Joe can start Montero and Heyward, as long as he pinch-hits for them in a high-leverage spot (assuming MadBum is still in the game). Then he can bring in Almora and maintain a strong OF defense.

   11. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 03:05 PM (#5319886)
Oh, we gut checking me and our feelings on the game. I'm not trying to say anything about the Cubs, who I'm starting to convince myself that they'll win tonight. I'm also starting to suspect my wavering feelings don't seem to be having any affect on the team.
   12. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 10, 2016 at 03:23 PM (#5319903)
I've seen a couple people suggest Almora in RF tonight. That would definitely keep the defensive part mostly in tact. Maybe he's a little more likely than Heyward to make contact, but it can't be by much, can it?


I think this is what I would do. I'm not sure you lose anything defensively w/ Almora. And, sure, the batting gap has to be pretty huge if we believe that Heyward's "true talent" right now is what he's shown in 2016. Granting that we're dealing entirely with very small samples, Almora out-OPS+'d Heyward this season 102-70. That's not nothing. And Heyward's putrid .635 OPS was even putridier vs. LHP - .586. While Almora's .763 overall OPS included an OPS of .827 vs. LHP. Regress those all you want and, unless you think Heyward's 2016 season was just a complete fluke, I don't see how Heyward wins the comparison.
   13. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 03:30 PM (#5319907)
I found this piece on Champman and his (lack of) command very interesting. It was something Smoltz talked about during the game. Chapman seemed more off-target in game 1, but that probably wasn't true as much as guys like Nunez and Posey seem to be able to hit him/wait for their pitches better than most.
   14. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 03:31 PM (#5319909)
I think this is what I would do.

Fowler/Bryant/Rizzo/Zobrist/Russell/Montero/Baez/Almora? Writing it down, there really isn't a great way to do the 6-8 hitters. Hell, do you have Jake 8th even?
   15. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 10, 2016 at 03:36 PM (#5319914)
Writing it down, there really isn't a great way to do the 6-8 hitters.


I don't see how Heyward would make it easier/better - I mean, I guess it's easier in that you'd want to split the lefties, but meh

Hell, do you have Jake 8th even?


Maybe. How about Baez-Montero-Arrieta-Almora?
   16. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 10, 2016 at 03:43 PM (#5319915)
Small sample size, of course, but Russell is 0-7 with 7 Ks against Bumgarner. Wouldn't be surprised to see Baez at SS with Soler or Contreras in LF (Zobs at 2B).

   17. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 03:48 PM (#5319920)
Hmmm, I think Russell's reverse platoon split went away the 2nd half, but I think I'd be shocked if Russell sat. I gladly extol Baez's defensive tools at every opportunity, and even bring it up unprovoked, but I think that would be weakening 3 defensive spots for not a lot of potential offensive gain (for now, I still say Russell>Baez at SS just because he's currently playing there every day and is less likely to boot one, though it's really, really close).
   18. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 10, 2016 at 03:48 PM (#5319921)
Small sample size, of course, but Russell is 0-7 with 7 Ks


As you say, small sample size. But "never put the ball in play" would seem to require a smaller sample size to at least be suggestive. I'd be cool w/ a Soler-Fowler-Almora OF and a Bryant-Baez-Zobrist-Rizzo IF and plan to bring Heyward in for late-inning defense (pinch run for Soler if he gets on in the 7th inning or later - flip Almora and Heyward) - maybe do the same w/ Russell (replace Zobrist, move Baez to 2B).
   19. zonk Posted: October 10, 2016 at 03:50 PM (#5319923)
I think I'd probably say that if the Cubs are going to sacrifice a little D in any given matchup to try get more lumber in the lineup, Jake on the mound is obvious place to do it.

Either Jake's gonna be K-tastic, weak contact, on -- or -- he's gonna walk the ballpark and then give up some rockets. With Lester/Hendricks/Lackey - I'd trot out my optimal gloves (especially since you don't lose THAT much offensively). With Jake - I'd prefer to see Soler and maybe even Contreras (depending on where you wanna play Baez).

I suspect Zo plays RF and Soler in LF.
   20. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 03:54 PM (#5319925)
Remember this Heyward catch in SF? I don't think Maddon punts defense in both OF corners, but he can totally do it in LF tonight.
   21. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 04:06 PM (#5319933)
More I meant to complain about -

Why can't FSN/MLBN leave the kzone thing on screen all the time? Every other channel does it, I'm even used to ESPN's constantly floating box. And how come when they would show the kzone, it was some fuzzy looking footage? Do they think it was more accurate by slowing it down so much? I prefer the CF angle they're using, but it still felt like it was higher than ones from during the season.

I think the zone was consistent both nights and didn't favor one team over the other. However, Cueto did benefit a little more because he faced more lefties and it was the outside corner there that was wide; both Zobrist and Fowler took multiple pitches that were clear balls out there. Then again, we don't see the location of all the pitches - and the height is hard to tell from the angle.
   22. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 04:37 PM (#5319968)
I'm not sure which of these two is *more* predictive, but obviously they both are definitely predictive:

Christopher Kamka ‏@ckamka 3m3 minutes ago
Kris Bryant 2016 in Arrieta starts (30 games):
.413/.497/.777, 32 Runs, 11 HR, 37 RBI
#Cubs


Christopher Kamka ‏@ckamka 2h2 hours ago
#Cubs 6-0 in Jake Arrieta last 6 starts in the state of California:
0.20 ERA, 45.0 IP, 15 Hits, 1 ER, 9 BB, 44 K, 0 HR, 0.533 WHIP
   23. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 05:04 PM (#5319990)
Mark Gonzales ‏@MDGonzales 7s8 seconds ago
Soler in LF, Zobrist in RF, Montero C


Good call, zonk.

Full lineup:

Mark Gonzales ‏@MDGonzales 2m2 minutes ago
Fowler cf, Bryant 3b, Rizzo 1b, Soler lf, Zobrist rf, Russell ss, Baez 2b, Montero c, Arrieta p
   24. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 05:12 PM (#5320000)
BTW, I am thrilled that Heyward is sitting today. I mean, I wish he were better, but this is 100%, absolutely the right call. I have always said I trust Maddon to make the right decisions, and repeated that mantra through many moves in Aug/Sept that would have likely been different were it October. Now it's October, and he's making those different moves.

I'm sure it wasn't easy, but I bet Heyward knew this was coming. I do expect to see Heyward late tonight, especially once Bumgarner is out of the game (due to Cubs leading or it being tied). Hell, if it's the 6th inning and Soler reaches, I'm PRing Heyward right then.
   25. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 10, 2016 at 05:14 PM (#5320004)
I approve of Soler getting the start. And whatever significance they hold, Arrieta's California numbers are obscene. 3 hits per 9?
   26. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 10, 2016 at 05:16 PM (#5320008)
I really like that lineup, actually, if we assume Jake's more likely to pitch well with Montero behind the plate than with Contreras (which I'm ill-equipped to argue against).
   27. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 10, 2016 at 05:36 PM (#5320015)
Montero only had 40PAs against lefties this year, and they weren't pretty: .189/.250/.189. He got hit twice (and only once against a righty), so I'm rooting for him to hit by a pitch, I guess...
   28. Man o' Schwar Posted: October 10, 2016 at 05:48 PM (#5320023)
Soler hitting cleanup. That's confidence in him.
   29. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 10, 2016 at 07:30 PM (#5320109)
Well, Fowler can also hit righty.

Yeah, that was me conflating his horrible career record against Bumgarner (in not that many PAs) with the platoon situation.

I am happy with Soler playing and Heyward sitting. If Arrieta chose Montero, then sure, go with that, and bat him eighth, which is what Maddon is doing.
   30. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 11, 2016 at 09:27 AM (#5321200)
Thoughts on last night's game:

1. Arrieta's performance was a distillation of his season. Overall quite good, but with rough spots. He mostly had his command but erred here and there, mostly in the strike zone. And of course he hit a 3-run HR off the guy who is supposed to be the great hitter. The end result was not good, but that was a huge game with fairly low expectations, and he got the job done.

2. Chapman is a concern. The article Moses linked in 13 is interesting, but it belies the fact that he essentially has no slider at all right now. He didn't throw any until he faced Crawford, and did not throw one for a strike. In Chicago he also looked like he had zero command of it. I guess if you're only going to throw a four-seam fastball, Chapman's is the one you want to have, but this is not a good thing day after day to the same team.

3. It was made worse by the circumstances, but Maddon put himself in a difficult situation burning so much bench before the ninth inning. In the meantime, Bochy locked in the rudder and had a big advantage in the extra innings. Hopefully Maddon noticed that.
   31. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 11, 2016 at 10:28 AM (#5321259)
Completely agree on Chapman. It's a little concerning, because he did throw a bunch of pitches and it's now 3 games. Maybe it's just the Giants; they have the best approach against him of anyone I've seen this year. Plus they've been able to square up his fastball; most specifically foul off enough pitches until they get they timing right.

I really don't think I have any criticism of how Maddon handled last night, with a couple of minor exceptions*. I don't think the comp to Bochy really says much, because the Giants bench and pen is a drop off from the starters (not to take anything from how well the pen has been this series). IOW, it makes sense for Maddon to more aggressively chase the matchups, which I think he's done.

*He could have brought Chapman in to start the inning instead of going Wood/Rondon; I understand why he didn't. I also think Rondon was pulled after one batter simply because he didn't have any control; I assume the plan was for him to face Posey and Pence. If he was going to bring in Heyward as a defensive replacement, Heyward should have PR for Soler (the flip side was double switching Heyward into the 9th spot, but that didn't have to happen).

Rizzo needs to hit, he looks lost. I think other guys are having decent at-bats, but he specifically has been headfucked.

Games like last night happen, they suck, but Cubs can finish it off tonight. I like their chances against Moore.
   32. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 11, 2016 at 10:38 AM (#5321267)
Chapman's heater looks awfully hittable for being 103 MPH.
   33. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 11, 2016 at 10:43 AM (#5321271)
Why can't FS1 just put their K-zone up full time like EVERY other station? How do local stations have this, but they don't? I think it was a very odd strikezone last night - it was like a T; high outside/inside corner out of the zone was a strike, low corners in the zone weren't. I think it was consistent for both teams, but there were multiple pitches that were clear strikes called as balls.
   34. zonk Posted: October 11, 2016 at 10:58 AM (#5321292)
The one upside I'll keep repeating -- despite running through the whole pen (except CJ, but he warmed up several times), only Monty (who is probably done for the series) and Chapman threw more than 8 pitches.

On the other side -- two of Bochy's three best relievers (Law and Romo) threw two inning with PCs to match. The other - Strickland - also threw a full inning.

It sucks that one got away from us. Bless Fowler and Bryant for getting us to extras, Montgomery (and Almora) for keeping hope alive longer than we had any reasonable right to hope, and Baez for continuing to play pretty well.

I, too, like our chances tonight... and like everyone else, I always thought it would be Cubs in 4.

Now, let's please get it down tonight fellas... because I'm 9 innings away from a freakout.
   35. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 11, 2016 at 11:47 AM (#5321353)
On the other side -- two of Bochy's three best relievers (Law and Romo) threw two inning with PCs to match. The other - Strickland - also threw a full inning.


Bochy seems to like Blach a lot, who also threw 2 IP last night (28 P).

I feel good about Lackey, I feel good about the bullpen - just need the bats to wake up.
   36. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 11, 2016 at 12:16 PM (#5321390)
#### that Law guy. If FS1 focuses on his overbite again last night like they did yesterday...
   37. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 11, 2016 at 01:03 PM (#5321435)
Ok, no more looking at stories about the game. All this the Giants won't die, can't be stopped bullshit.
   38. Meatwad Posted: October 11, 2016 at 01:29 PM (#5321451)
All this the Giants won't die, can't be stopped bullshit.

Agreed, let's hope it ends tonight.
   39. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 11, 2016 at 02:50 PM (#5321527)
It was made worse by the circumstances, but Maddon put himself in a difficult situation burning so much bench before the ninth inning. In the meantime, Bochy locked in the rudder and had a big advantage in the extra innings. Hopefully Maddon noticed that.


I really can't find fault with Maddon. Your left-handed lockdown closer giving up a 2-run triple to a left-handed hitter isn't on the manager; that's a favorable matchup 100 times out of 100. He ran out of pitchers in regulation because he was trying to win the game in regulation. I don't really see any of those moves that didn't make sense at the time. Maybe in retrospect, let Strop finish the 7th and have Rondon open the 8th, so Wood's still available, but that's retrospective nitpicking based on knowing that Chapman would blow the game.

And for all of that, he left himself with his best bullpen option for just grinding through extra innings until hopefully his team can score.

At some point, you have to score a run to win an extra-inning game. In retrospect, okay, he left Montgomery in one inning too long, but if he goes to C.J. in the bottom of the 13th and the Cubs don't score in the top of the 14th, then you're looking at David Ross, playoff pitcher. This one's 95% on Chapman and 5% on the offense.
   40. Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: October 11, 2016 at 02:58 PM (#5321533)
This one's 95% on Chapman and 5% on the offense.

Yeah, I think that's about fair. Maybe a little on Wood/Rondon for putting those guys on, but if Rondon is hurt (I dunno about hurt now, as much as just not sharp; the stuff/velocity is there, the control isn't, or was the other day and wasn't last night).

---

So opinions/guesses on the lineup tonight? I don't want to see 3 lefties (so no to both of Heyward/Montero). I'd love to see Contreras behind the plate, but if Montero gets the call (I do like his chances against a lefty better than Heyward), the rest of last night's lineup would be fine. I think Almora had a couple decent ABs, so he could also go to RF. I really like Soler against Moore though...
   41. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 11, 2016 at 06:29 PM (#5321733)
Not a guess:

Fowler, CF
Bryant, 3B
Rizzo, 1B
Zobrist, LF
Russell, SS
Heyward, RF
Baez, 2B
Ross, C
Lester, P
   42. Ardo Posted: October 12, 2016 at 12:31 AM (#5322451)
Gut completely upended but still intact!

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