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Monday, October 16, 2017

Joe Maddon calls John Lackey, not Wade Davis | MLB.com

He’ll be well rested for game 3.

“I really just needed him for the save tonight,” Maddon said. “He had limited pitches. It was one inning only, and in these circumstances, you don’t get him up and then don’t get him in. So if we had caught the lead, he would have pitched. That’s it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2017 at 10:46 AM | 64 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, joe maddon

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   1. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:03 AM (#5554869)
Repeating from the chatter and gonfalon, I just have a real hard time caring about that particular decision because I felt zero hope for the Cubs scoring again. Losing in 11 innings leaves them in no different position than losing in regulation.

Pitching decision criticisms of Joe are nothing but a pass-the-time sideshow so long as the lineup continues to be so dormant.

Strasburg in particular was truly dominant - and I don't feel like anyone really touches him. Scherzer had some bad luck - and the Cubs capitalized. But it felt like the NLDS was just good pitching usually beating good hitting.

I feel like the Dodger pitching has been good - but not nearly so sharp as most of the Nats pitching. Just two games in, to be sure, but this one feels more like the Cubs' bats are doing a lot more to help the pitching than the last series.

Hey - if the hitters are going to flail away at neck-high fastballs, it's good pitching to just keep throwing neck-high fastballs; no need to start surgically dismantling the plate corners.... but this series feels like the offensive (lack of) results are more self-inflicted than the last. Maybe the Dodgers pitching adjusts if they don't and it's still 3 runs in 2 games, but at least then they just got beat by good pitching rather than helping likely good pitching look even better.
   2. Hank White Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:07 AM (#5554872)
Not using Davis was a mistake, but the bullpen is in shambles, the starters can't get through five innings, and the offense hasn't done ####. On the list of contributing factors to this loss, Maddon's decision making is towards the bottom.
   3. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:13 AM (#5554874)
Even the "starters can't go more than 5" is part of the feedback loop, though --

When it feels like runs are the rarest of gems, you're awfully loathe not to treat every Dodger scoring opportunity like it's the last nail in the coffin. If the lineup can get something going for 2-3 runs early off Darvish, I think it will do wonders for how deep into the game a SP goes.

The Cubs have 7 hits.... Lester and Quintana have two of them. That pretty much says it all.
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:20 AM (#5554880)
I just have a real hard time caring about that particular decision because I felt zero hope for the Cubs scoring again. Losing in 11 innings leaves them in no different position than losing in regulation.

Pitching decision criticisms of Joe are nothing but a pass-the-time sideshow so long as the lineup continues to be so dormant.
I understand feeling that way at the time as a fan, but isn't it irrelevant when discussing Maddon's strategies? He shouldn't be managing based on a superstition that his team will never score (If he literally thought that, he might as well have put a position player out there pitching).
   5. Batman Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:23 AM (#5554881)
If Lackey had held the Dodgers down in the 9th and the Cubs took the lead in the 10th, but then the Dodgers tied it against Davis in the save situation, Lackey wouldn't have been available for however many extra innings there were. Seven innings later, that's how Leonys Martin would have gotten his first win.

Justin Turner messed that whole plan up.
   6. Shredder Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5554883)
Don't know if this is the Scioscia influence, but this is exactly that usage pattern that Scioscia would have employed in this situation. Never use your designated closer on the road unless it's a save situation. Ever. I mean like really never-ever.
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:25 AM (#5554884)
I don't want to jinx it, but I'm deriving a lot of satisfaction from watching stuff blow up in Maddon's face. I hope it never ends.
   8. Lassus Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5554891)
I think this website is swinging a bit too far in the other direction. As pointed out in the other thread, Davis wasn't exactly a fresh daisy available for whatever was required.

Jose, #328 in Omnichatter:
Maddon messed up here. I don't think it's anywhere close to Showalter, Maddon didn't end his team's season, and the idea that it calls his judgment in general into question is just stupid. If Davis truly was available for one inning only I understand why Maddon did what he did. As others noted I'd rather give him the ball in the tie game and see what happens, maybe he has a 7 pitch inning and can go a second but at least there is some logic there. Showalter had a fresh pitcher and losing the game ended his season, that was a disaster.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:32 AM (#5554893)
Ever. I mean like really never-ever.
like really never-ever?
   10. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:33 AM (#5554897)
I understand feeling that way at the time as a fan, but isn't it irrelevant when discussing Maddon's strategies? He shouldn't be managing based on a superstition that his team will never score (If he literally thought that, he might as well have put a position player out there pitching).


Meh, discuss away -- and I'm sure Joe doesn't share my pessimism (and it's pessimism based on observable evidence, not silly curse woe-is-us-ism).

I'm just saying that mustering much more than an in-the-moment "I would have chosen differently" that passes like a fart in the wind requires the bats to do something a fair bit more effective than they've done. The bottom line is that they're down 0-2 regardless of what triggers Maddon pulls on the mound.

Frankly, my biggest Maddon criticism at this point is the Happless offense... as in, nobody else is really hitting - so the lack of Ian Happ is probably the biggest thing I'm hanging on Joe at the moment. Not saying things would be any different, just that it's at least one variable that feels like maybe it has a small flicker of mattering.
   11. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:36 AM (#5554901)
Don't know if this is the Scioscia influence, but this is exactly that usage pattern that Scioscia would have employed in this situation. Never use your designated closer on the road unless it's a save situation. Ever. I mean like really never-ever.

But Maddon isn't never ever. He said this last night, and said it was partly because they only thought Davis could go 1 inning because of how much he pitched in G5 of the NLDS.

I went through the thought process in more detail in my post in another thread, but if the Cubs really didn't think Davis could come to clean up the mess in the 9th and stay in the game, bringing in Lackey is a little more defensible. However, I still am more bothered by Lackey coming in with runners on, and pitching in back to back games in the first time in his career, than the decision to not bring in Davis. I'm also more bothered by his PH and batters playing time choices, though again, so much of that is only this big of a deal because the main bat are so, so lost right now.
   12. spycake Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:38 AM (#5554905)
My thoughts from the chatter:

The pitcher's spot was due up 2nd in the 10th. But they still had Schwarber and Happ on the bench. So they could have brought someone in for just one out with the plan to pinch-hit the next inning. But they probably want a little more length from their relievers in a tie game?

Double-switch like they did, and the pitcher's spot isn't likely to come up in the 10th and maybe not the 11th either, the way they have been hitting.

So it's hard to use a pitcher for 3-4 outs there, which is what he wanted from Davis. Seems like you either use a guy for 1 or for 7. Maybe the 1 could have been Rondon, vs the RHB Taylor and possibly Turner?
   13. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:43 AM (#5554908)
I don't want to jinx it, but I'm deriving a lot of satisfaction from watching stuff blow up in Maddon's face. I hope it never ends.

Well, it's now a tie between the number of Maddon's NLCS appearances and Kang's DUIs, so, at least you've got this going for you.
   14. McCoy Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5554915)
After the top of the 9th I went to bed. I said either cubs are going to blow it in the 9th or in extras. Makes no difference. The cub hitters look lost all series long and in some cases all playoffs long. Can't get a runner home from third with one out? Come on.

Bryant, heyward, contreras, and Baez look absolutely lost at the plate.
   15. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:55 AM (#5554920)
Well, it's now a tie between the number of Maddon's NLCS appearances and Kang's DUIs, so, at least you've got this going for you.


The fact that Kang is shitty doesn't mean that Maddon isn't also shitty. Plus, Kang already got his medicine from the visa denial, and Maddon pretty much got off scot-free for being a garbage human right after the game AND a miserable coward when he was confronted on it, so I'm not going to shed a tear to see the waters of bad karma rise up over his head and start filling his nose and mouth.

You're allowed to direct opprobrium at the bad people in your franchise, you know. You don't just have to root for laundry.
   16. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:57 AM (#5554921)
As much as I hate smallball, I'd also say that I'm almost ready to say that I think Joe needs to start doing nominally 'dumb' things like more hit-and-run, base stealing, and yes - maybe even the dreaded position player sac bunt.

Of course, looking at the game logs -- Jay opened the 1st with a hit, obviously - you don't have Bryant/Rizzo lay down a bunt.... but maybe start the runner?

Baez stole second after his walk -- and it felt like Rizzo was trying to do so off Jansen in the 9th, I guess. Lester obviously isn't going to be running.

I know such things are generally a good way to give away outs, but it just feels like the Cubs need to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to maybe spark a bad throw or something to get it going.
   17. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 16, 2017 at 11:59 AM (#5554923)
Fortunately for Maddon, I hear a WS ring can act as a SCUBA device...
   18. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 16, 2017 at 12:02 PM (#5554925)
My goodness, Lackey looked absolutely lost out there. Contreras came and talked with him twice, Lackey stepped off once or twice. His 8 pitches seemed to take forever.
   19. Lassus Posted: October 16, 2017 at 12:09 PM (#5554933)
Maddon pretty much got off scot-free for being a garbage human

Er, what?
   20. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 16, 2017 at 12:13 PM (#5554938)
The fact that Kang is shitty doesn't mean that Maddon isn't also shitty. Plus, Kang already got his medicine from the visa denial, and Maddon pretty much got off scot-free for being a garbage human right after the game AND a miserable coward when he was confronted on it, so I'm not going to shed a tear to see the waters of bad karma rise up over his head and start filling his nose and mouth.

The fact that you think this, while also thinking that losing in the NLCS, his 3rd straight, is somehow bad karma, well, that's very hollow satisfaction you're gleaming here.
   21. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 16, 2017 at 12:15 PM (#5554941)
Er, what?

It's a whole thing with him. He's been blowing it way out of proportion non-stop for going on almost 3 years now, and he mentions it in damn near every Maddon thread. It's kinda sad actually.
   22. Lassus Posted: October 16, 2017 at 12:17 PM (#5554945)
He's been blowing it way out of proportion

I'm sorry to be clueless, but I don't even know what the "it" is.
   23. DCA Posted: October 16, 2017 at 12:17 PM (#5554946)
I wasn't watching, but did Duensing have to come out?

There was only one runner on, and Taylor and Turner don't really have splits (Turner's actually been better against RHP for his career).

Duensing has splits, but he'd already pitched to three RHB in the inning (two with a runner on base) so that doesn't seem to be a concern here.

I think I'd have let Duensing pitch to Taylor at least.
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: October 16, 2017 at 12:22 PM (#5554954)
I'm sorry to be clueless, but I don't even know what the "it" is.

It had to do with Maddon's reaction to Chris Coghlan (I think) wiping out Kang at second in a game.

Frankly, while I wouldn't go as far as garbage human being, I've grown really tired of Maddon's act, most notably twice railing against perfectly good MLB rules (Utley and Buster) because they were called correctly against his team. He's been tappinig his inner TLR way too many times for my tastes.

   25. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 16, 2017 at 12:29 PM (#5554959)
Duensing has splits, but he'd already pitched to three RHB in the inning (two with a runner on base) so that doesn't seem to be a concern here.

I think I'd have let Duensing pitch to Taylor at least.


None of the 3 RHB were as good as Taylor or Turner (especially with Puig's weird reverse splits this year), and his control was clearly going (none of the 4 pitches to Puig were close, and Farmer did him a favor by chasing a few pitches outside the zone - unlike nearly every other Dodger hitter this series). It was an option, at least to Taylor, IMO.
   26. Satan Says Posted: October 16, 2017 at 12:38 PM (#5554965)

Er, what?

BBTF is way cheaper than therapy.
   27. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 16, 2017 at 12:39 PM (#5554966)
When Maddon brought in Lackey, I was shocked. My reaction was "why would you bring in a crappy starting pitcher who pitched yesterday into the game? Are you trying to give it away?" And then he did
   28. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 16, 2017 at 12:49 PM (#5554976)
Frankly, while I wouldn't go as far as garbage human being, I've grown really tired of Maddon's act, most notably twice railing against perfectly good MLB rules (Utley and Buster) because they were called correctly against his team. He's been tappinig his inner TLR way too many times for my tastes.

Sure, I can see that. He's let the success get to his head and he likes to hear himself talk. No one says you have to like him, and I'll tolerate him as long as the Cubs are still winning and developing players. Eventually it'll wear thin and he'll be gone.

For the rules, also agree. But when you hate a rule, one way to try to get it changed is to ##### openly about it.
   29. Satan Says Posted: October 16, 2017 at 12:56 PM (#5554980)
Maybe it's not Maddon's head three straight NLCS have gone to.

Thanks, Theo, for turning another lovably loser fanbase into entitled bores.
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: October 16, 2017 at 01:00 PM (#5554985)
But when you hate a rule, one way to try to get it changed is to ##### openly about it.


Sure, but I don't recall hearing about these firm objections to either until a call went against the Cubs. That's what's LaRussaesque (though, to my knowledge, without the extra Tony twist where his past statements actually contradicted his at-the-moment insistence of long-held convictions. But, that's one of the reasons TLR was a first ballot choice in the Hall of the Completely Insufferable. Only the best can pull that one off).



   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 01:01 PM (#5554986)
I'm sorry to be clueless, but I don't even know what the "it" is.


Coghlan slid into Kang at second and ###### up his knee. Well, I say "slid", but he made contact with the leg before his ass made contact with the ground, so it was more like a drop kick. He also went after the lead/plant leg instead of the trail leg, which is bad technique and dangerous because it puts all the force from the collision into bending that knee sideways. Opinions can reasonably vary about whether it was straight-up dirty or whether Coghlan was just never taught the right way to slide (he had blown up Aki Iwarmura's knee on a similar slide a couple of years before, when Maddon was Iwamura's manager).

Anyway, Kang's knee visibly bent in the direction that it wasn't supposed to bend, and he limped off the field with assistance, heavily favoring that leg. Members of the media naturally asked Maddon about the incident during the postgame press-conference, and instead of expressing any remorse or concern, Maddon cracked jokes about how Kang was fine, and just had a touch of "plantar fasciitis" (i.e. a reference to Maddon's belief that he should have bailed on the DP instead of planting his leg). Which is kind of a ######-up thing to say when you just ended a guy's season and career as a shortstop and he's in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. Then, when Pirates management heard about his comments and reacted negatively to them, Maddon made a weak-ass attempt to double down, saying that he had been told by a member of the Pirates' staff (whom he refused to name) that Kang was fine and that he literally had plantar fasciitis (an inflammation of the arch of the foot, which is obviously not what happens when you crash into a guy's ####### knee and it bends the wrong direction). So basically a transparent ####### lie that again made light of what his player had done to Kang, which was particularly classless after Kang and the Pirates went out of their way to publicly let Coghlan off the hook because he'd been getting death threats.

So anyway, that's why Maddon is both a garbage person and a gutless coward. The proverbial "weird wuss," as it were. And it's why, even though I don't have anything against any other member of the Cubs, I'll root for nothing but calamity for them until he's gone.
   32. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 16, 2017 at 01:06 PM (#5554993)
Thanks, Theo, for turning another lovably loser fanbase into entitled bores.


The jewelry, champagne, and memories are far better in the land of entitled bores than lovable losers.... so sure, no doubt - thanks Theo.
   33. Man o' Schwar Posted: October 16, 2017 at 01:07 PM (#5554996)
Man, life is too short to hold grudges like that. I could hate a bunch of people around baseball for doing #### over the last 40 years, but that's no way to go through life.

Except for Steve Garvey, of course.
   34. Satan Says Posted: October 16, 2017 at 01:13 PM (#5555003)
I understand getting pissed at your manager, however successful. But the way some Cubs fans still go after Dusty bugs me.

Maddon will eventually depart. Bet you miss him.
   35. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 16, 2017 at 01:19 PM (#5555011)
What is the deal with Rondon? Can he pitch? Doesn't seem like they consider him available.


   36. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 16, 2017 at 01:21 PM (#5555013)
What is the deal with Rondon? Can he pitch?

Is "effectively" implied at the end of your second question?
   37. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 16, 2017 at 01:23 PM (#5555021)
Entitled bores? I think we're quite interesting, thank you very much.

The word Perros is looking for is of course "boors," but such details are lost on the congenitally daft.
   38. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 16, 2017 at 01:24 PM (#5555022)
What is the deal with Rondon? Can he pitch? Doesn't seem like they consider him available.

He gave up the tiebreaking homer in game 1.
   39. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 16, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5555030)
My brain's defense mechanism blocked out the game 1 appearance. I'll shut up now.
   40. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 16, 2017 at 01:32 PM (#5555034)
That's Perros? No wonder I can't find the point of those comments.
   41. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 16, 2017 at 01:33 PM (#5555036)
[31] The two players he targeted were Kang and Iwamura? I see a pattern there.
   42. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 16, 2017 at 02:09 PM (#5555084)
Maddon will eventually depart. Bet you miss him.


Bet you a dollar I don't.
   43. Spahn Insane, stimulus-funded BurlyMan™ Posted: October 16, 2017 at 02:13 PM (#5555087)
My brain's defense mechanism blocked out the game 1 appearance. I'll shut up now.

It's an understandable oversight. One crap relief appearance has looked about the same as another lately.
   44. spycake Posted: October 16, 2017 at 02:17 PM (#5555094)
What is the deal with Rondon? Can he pitch? Doesn't seem like they consider him available.

He gave up the tiebreaking homer in game 1.


I forgot that too! Rondon served up that HR to Chris Taylor, so yeah, probably not a good option in Lackey's spot vs Taylor last night.
   45. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 16, 2017 at 02:28 PM (#5555107)
It was a dumb move to bring in Lackey, but ultimately, it just meant the Cubs lost in nine rather than extra innings.

I agree with whoever said the lack of offense against the Nationals seemed to be a matter of really good pitching from Washington. In the first two games against LA, the Cub hitters just look listless and confused, but I don't know if I chalk that up to great pitching. Kershaw was not sharp, but the Cubs couldn't make him pay. Hill looked good.

The at-bats against the Dodgers' pen, specifically Jansen, have been some of the sorriest at-bats I've seen from these guys. Yes, credit where it's due, but that Jansen inning was embarrassing. That was not a case of a guy just having nasty stuff. It was a case of Cub hitters swinging at literally everything that he tossed up there. The pitch that hit Rizzo's hand was closer to the zone than anything Contreras or Almora swung at.
   46. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 16, 2017 at 02:35 PM (#5555112)
Also, if there is anything in the world that can be accomplished, can Heyward take every pitch until he gets a strike? I am so friggin tired of seeing a weak swing on a ball to get him behind in the count.
   47. The Honorable Ardo Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:12 PM (#5555140)
Davis should've taken the ninth inning - get to the 10th alive, then worry about which of Rondon/Montgomery/Lackey should pitch.

Dave Cameron also made a good point that Leonys Martin needed to pinch-run for Rizzo after the HBP. One run wins the game, Martin would've had a great opportunity to steal second off of Jansen (with only one out), and Alex Avila could've replaced Rizzo at first base.

I'd like to see both Happ and La Stella in the Game 3 lineup, with Bryant playing left field.
   48. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:21 PM (#5555149)
Davis should've taken the ninth inning - get to the 10th alive, then worry about which of Rondon/Montgomery/Lackey should pitch.

The 9th was 7-8-9 in the order, so I understand sticking with Duensing and maybe planning for Davis in the 10th if it was 1-2-3 (not sure that was the plan, but it could have been one). Maddon just didn't have another backup plan for any of the bottom reaching besides Lackey.
   49. Zonk Tormundbane Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:24 PM (#5555151)
Meh- Rizzo ain't a Molina on the bases and by the looks of it, he was looking to run anyway. Contreras just flailed helpless - and quickly - at three neck-high fastballs (perfect pitches to throw out a would-be base stealer anyway), and Almora disposed of himself equally quickly - just by fouling off a couple of them first.

I think Happ pretty much has to start somewhere in game 3 -- nothing else is working. I could get behind La Stella/Bryant in LF - but Kris has made a few nice plays at 3B.

Against a RHP, I think Scwharber pretty much has to start - which means LF is out. I would assume Jay and Happ take the other two spots in whatever mix.

You could possibly make the case for La Stella giving Baez a day off - but with Kyle starting, I'm assuming it's Russell/Baez up the middle and it probably should be.
   50. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:32 PM (#5555155)
One of the many (many, many, many) reasons I'd make a bad manager is because I'd overreact to guys who are struggling at the plate. I have so far thought of suggesting Avila catch (with Willson in LF), putting Rizzo back at leadoff, sitting Baez, excommunicating Heyward, releasing Zobrist, etc, etc.

It'd be a lot to ask for Kyle to deal with an OF of Schwarber/Jay/Happ, but that might be the best offensive option for game 3.
   51. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 16, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5555159)
Dave Cameron also made a good point that Leonys Martin needed to pinch-run for Rizzo after the HBP. One run wins the game, Martin would've had a great opportunity to steal second off of Jansen (with only one out), and Alex Avila could've replaced Rizzo at first base.

Cameron also argued that Justin Wilson should have made the roster and be pitching more frequently, so...

I briefly thought of that PR option, but really, either Schwarber or Avila should have PH for Almora and that was a much worse decision.
   52. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:10 PM (#5555200)
Pinch running would've made sense if you thought Rizzo was going to have to come out because of the hand. I'd hate to lose a bat like that for a pinch runner that would've died at second base anyway.
   53. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:22 PM (#5555204)
John Lackey took 5 minutes to throw 6 pitches to Chris Taylor. He stepped off the mound 5 times, and it took him 2 minutes and 12 seconds to throw the 6th and final pitch.

Deadspin has sped up the video feed so you can see them all before you fall asleep watching it.
   54. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:36 PM (#5555213)
John Lackey took 5 minutes to throw 6 pitches to Chris Taylor. He stepped off the mound 5 times, and it took him 2 minutes and 12 seconds to throw the 6th and final pitch.

Why do you hate baseball???
   55. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 16, 2017 at 04:45 PM (#5555223)
I'd hate to lose a bat like that for a pinch runner that would've died at second base anyway.

Cubs 'pen would have had to shut out the Dodgers for 3 innings for Rizzo's bat to come into play again.

John Lackey took 5 minutes to throw 6 pitches to Chris Taylor. He stepped off the mound 5 times, and it took him 2 minutes and 12 seconds to throw the 6th and final pitch.

Ridiculous.
   56. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:01 PM (#5555228)
John Lackey took 5 minutes to throw 6 pitches to Chris Taylor. He stepped off the mound 5 times, and it took him 2 minutes and 12 seconds to throw the 6th and final pitch.


It was brutal. He made me miss Lester's relativly brisk 5 innings.
   57. Walt Davis Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:10 PM (#5555237)
He should have gone to Davis and it backfired ... but realistically, the odds aren't shifting that much. In the regular season, he's "always" saved the closer on the road for a save situation too but that's regular season.

Starters only going 5 -- that's part of the strategy, not so much the starters' fault. "No 3rd time through" is pretty clearly the strategy being employed by the "smart" teams ... or perhaps more correctly "no 3rd time through unless your guy is totally dominant, in which case you still think about removing him, or you have a big lead, in which case you think about removing him to save him for future use." Cub pitchers are nibbling way too much, racking up high pitch counts making Maddon's decisions there moot. But (a) if you're only going 20 batters anyway, it doesn't matter how many pitches you throw and (b) if your team can't score, you can't afford the other team to put up crooked numbers so you can't challenge their best hitters.

That's completely the wrong strategy for the Cubs to follow given the strength of their pitching is the starters and the last thing you want is your bullpen pitching 4 innings a game but so be it. "No 3rd time through" has become some sort of saber gospel -- you can't avoid it in the regular season but you can in the playoffs. And, in fairness, the Cubs have a solid staff but none of them are dominant Scherzer, Strasburg, Verlander, Kershaw level.

NLDS G1: Hendricks 7 IP, 27 BF, 106 pitches, 0 R

NLDS G2: Lester 6 IP, 22 BF, 86 pitches, 1 R, 1 ER (Lester PH with 2 outs, runner on 1st)

NLDS G3: Quintana 5.2 IP, 22 BF, 96 pitches, 1 R, 0 ER (Removed after Scwarber's error at 0-0, Strop gave up the tying hit to Zimmerman)

NLDS G4: Arrieta 4 IP, 20 BF, 90 pitchers, 1 R, 0 ER (Maddon had no choice with that pitch count)

NLDS G5: Hendrics 4 IP, 22 BF, 81 pitches, 4 R, 4 ER (one of the 10 worst starts of his career)

NLCS G1: Quintana 5 IP, 18 BF, 89 pitches, 2 R, 2 ER (just yanked; Rondon HR to his first batter)

NLCS G2: Lester 4.2 IP, 21 BF, 103 pitches, 1 R, 1 ER (again no choice)

That's 10 R, 8 ER in 36.1 so an ERA under 2. It's also just 152 BF, less than 22 per start. It's about 89 pitches so a bit over 4 per batter. We can lay some blame on Q and L for nearly 5 pitches per batter in the last two starts.

I'm almost expecting the Cubs to try a 3-game playoff rotation next year (if we make it) along the lines of Hendricks for 4, Monty for 2; Quintana for 4, Lackey for 2; Lester for 4, Arrieta for 2-3. (I know, Lackey definitely and Arrieta maybe not around next year but you get the idea).

But still -- score runs! Only 20 runs in 7 games, 9 of those in one game and we still don't know how they scored those 9 runs -- Dag pointed out they were 1-11 with runners in scoring position and hit no HR, yet scored 9 runs. Productive outs!
   58. Walt Davis Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:17 PM (#5555241)
One wonders if Lackey himself was thinking "WTF am I doing in this game?"
   59. Man o' Schwar Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:18 PM (#5555243)
John Lackey took 5 minutes to throw 6 pitches to Chris Taylor. He stepped off the mound 5 times, and it took him 2 minutes and 12 seconds to throw the 6th and final pitch.

And the best part was, after the 2 minutes and 12 seconds, he threw it right into the ground.

No one to blame but himself on that one. Even if it takes 2+ minutes to choose the perfect pitch for that situation, the pitcher still has to throw it someplace where the batter will swing at it.
   60. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:19 PM (#5555244)
Even if it takes 2+ minutes to choose the perfect pitch for that situation, the pitcher still has to throw it someplace where the batter will swing at it.


If you take 2+ minutes to pick a pitch I can't believe you are going to throw anything with confidence at that point.
   61. Man o' Schwar Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:22 PM (#5555245)
That Deadspin video is hilarious. There was a point, between pitch 3 and pitch 4, where he only took about 15 seconds. But the rest of the PA was a mix of step-offs and mound conferences and Lackey looking morosely around.
   62. Howie Menckel Posted: October 16, 2017 at 05:30 PM (#5555251)
John Lackey took 5 minutes to throw 6 pitches to Chris Taylor. He stepped off the mound 5 times, and it took him 2 minutes and 12 seconds to throw the 6th and final pitch.

if only.... well, you guys know the rest!
#resistanceisfutile
   63. Sweatpants Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:24 PM (#5555274)
Frankly, while I wouldn't go as far as garbage human being, I've grown really tired of Maddon's act, most notably twice railing against perfectly good MLB rules (Utley and Buster) because they were called correctly against his team. He's been tappinig his inner TLR way too many times for my tastes.
My favorite was when he whined about Davey Johnson having the umps check one of his pitchers for pine tar, which the hurler indeed had on his glove. A lot of people actually made fun of Johnson in that situation, in part because his choice of response was kind of weak ("weird wuss") but in part because people really like Joe Maddon.
   64. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 16, 2017 at 06:25 PM (#5555276)
But the rest of the PA was a mix of step-offs and mound conferences and Lackey looking morosely around.

With Lackey, can you really tell if he's stomping in frustration or trying to tell you what pitch he wants to throw?

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