I don’t want to get all “conspiracy theory”, but the game was called over 6 hours before the first pitch was scheduled and there are several strange coincidences at play here.
1. The whole mess with the bathroom situation at Wrigley Field.
2. Delaying the game until a later date helps ensure that uber-prospect Kris Bryant will be available for the Cubs when this game is made up.
3. If the game is delayed past the All-Star break, it may also mean the Cubs get their other uber-prospect, Addison Russell, available for that game.
With more rain in the Chicago area today, I wouldn’t doubt this afternoon’s game being called as well. It certainly would be welcome news for the Cubs – buying them time to improve their field and the product that they put on it.
* * *
Watched the Brewers / Rockies game last night. Matt Garza looked pretty decent early on, keeping hitters off-balance with a mix of a breaking ball and low-to-mid 90s fastball that seemed to catch hitters unaware.
But in the 4th inning the breaking stuff was flat. Curves were hanging, sliders weren’t sliding… It was a mess.
A 3-run Rockies’ 4th ensued and the Brewers fell 5-2.
Garza went 5 innings, which is better than the 3.1 innings that Kyle Lohse went on Opening Day.
The early part of the season has a lot of off days packed in, which is good for Milwaukee because their bullpen is being taxed so far.
In good news for the now 0-2 Milwaukee Brewers, Ryan Braun’s MRI revealed nothing significant going on with his ribs, so he is expected back soon.
* * *
Looking at where the Pirates were in their lineup when they trailed 2-0 in Cincinnati heading into the 8th inning (eventually tying it on a 2-run homer by Andrew McCutchen against Kevin Gregg), I was struck by how this was a perfect opportunity to explain the concept of “high leverage” situations and exploit the obsession with the save statistic as being a very flawed one.
Well, Mike Petriello over at Fangraphs just took care of that for me.
My original thought was that it might have been a good case for using stud closer Aroldis Chapman in the 8th and somebody else in the 9th. Sometimes the game is won or lost in the 8th inning and it’s better to use your star reliever in that situation rather than saving him for the 9th just so he can collect a save.
But Petriello points out that, with the Reds having Tuesday off, there’s no reason to not use Chapman for two innings. (What is it, 1985?!)
And, yes, I know, this can all fall under the topic of “hindsight is 20/20” and it’s plenty easy to criticize the decision after it’s already happened.
But we can agree that the Reds were facing a tough spot (pinch hitter followed by the top of the order) and that they were more likely to face lesser hitting in the 9th. The game was on the line at that moment and they chose Gregg instead of Chapman.
Thankfully for them, Todd Frazier’s 3-run blast in the bottom of the inning would change things. But it was still a strange decision.
|1-0||St. Louis||Lynn (0-0, -)|
|0-1||Chicago||Arrieta (0-0, -)|
|1:20 PM CT|
|0-1||Pittsburgh||Cole (0-0, -)|
|1-0||Cincinnati||Leake (0-0, -)|
|6:10 PM CT|
|2-0||Colorado||Butler (0-0, -)|
|0-2||Milwaukee||Peralta, W (0-0, -)|
|7:10 PM CT|