Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Fill In The Blanks
2006-04-27 07:17
by Derek Smart

I've got nothing right now, folks. I was indisposed for yesterday's game, so I've not seen any of the lowlights, but from what I can glean from the boxscore, we learned the following things yesterday:

  1. Angel Guzman is wild, yet not effectively so
  2. Perhaps trading Ricky Nolasco wasn't such a good idea
  3. Matt Murton is a clutch god
  4. Given the chance, Dusty Baker would double-switch your mama

Anything to add, particularly items based on actual knowledge of the contest (fact-free bits are handled above, thank you very much), fire away below.

2006-04-27 07:25:17
1.   JMan
Bruce Froemming really dislikes the Cubs. One item that was nice to hear for once was Pierre nor Mabry not making excuses for their miscues in the OF.
2006-04-27 07:43:55
2.   rynox
Barring the first inning fiasco, I thought Guzman was very impressive hitting 96 on the gun regularly and keeping his location pretty close. One thing on the home run Guzman gave up to Willingham in the top of the 4th:

Guzman got him into an advantagous count (I'll have to check out the Tivo replay to see what the count was exactly) and threw him an absolutely beautiful breaking ball that started about belt high. The bottom literally dropped out of it and ended up at Willingham's ankles. Willingham proceeded to knock it out. It really says more about the quality hitter Willingham is than the quality of pitching.

Goes to show you how goofy baseball is sometimes where the first inning, Guzman's worst pitched inning, the Marlin's scored 0 and in the 4th inning, one of Guzman's best pitched innnings, they scored 2.

One thing that continues to plague Cubs pitchers is the amount of walks they give up. Example, 6 of the 7 runs the Marlins scored were guys that walked to first. That's insane.

It didn't help that Williamson didn't look comfortable on the mound yesterday at all. He continuously looked "wrong" on his landing. Brenly said something about it in passing, but his landing just looked terrible the entire inning. His pitches were really nasty, but no where close to his intended locations. He'll be ok, that splitter is just filthy, but he'll need to spend some time on the Wrigley mound learning where to plant that left foot.

2006-04-27 07:51:45
3.   JMan
Was Williamson's confort level start from the beginning of the inning or was it more pronounced after the balk. Since he walked 2 batters after the balk call it sure seemed like he wasn't able to regain his focus. Regardless, the bullpen has been excellent so I can't fault a guy for having a bad outing. it wouldn't even have been an issue had Mabry made the catch.

I'm waiting for Walker to break out and really go on a tear. Walker seems to be seeing the ball well and hitting it hard but right at someone.

Pierre was also caught stealing for the first time this year. Here's to hoping his 7:1 steals/caught steals ratio keeps up for the remainder of the year.

2006-04-27 08:01:25
4.   rynox
Nah, he never was right. Mama said there'd be days like this.
2006-04-27 09:07:32
5.   Doug
Murton's line with Runners in scoring position: .471/.526/.824 for a 1.350 OPS. 28 at-bats with 10 hits and 14 RBIs and only 3 strikeouts.

Just take a look at these splits this year:

At the risk of aggravating the small sample size police, I'll say this guy was born and bred for the heart of the order. His worst stats come when nobody's on or there's a runner only at first base. The more outs there are and the more men on base, the better he hits.

I wasn't able to watch the game (just listened to it), so what is the honest opinion on Williamson's balk? I'm well aware of Froemming's history with the Cubs. The comments from Williamson and Walker regarding Froemming's refusal to tell them how Williamson balked only support my preconceived notion that the guy will use any excuse to screw this team.

2006-04-27 09:44:05
6.   Tommy at VFTB
Before we anoint the next Ernie Banks, Murton's sp;its also include a subpar road avg. But you're right. The Wrigley numbers are impressive.
2006-04-27 10:11:40
7.   rynox
I don't know what the umps were talking about on the balk call. What are the rules on a balk?

Brenly said he jerked his front leg slightly and both the plate ump and first base ump called the balk at the same time.

2006-04-27 10:43:51
8.   Doug the home plate umpire called a balk, too? That's important info that Pat & Ron neglected to convey to the WGN listener. Thanks, rynox.

It seems every couple of years, the "major" baseball writers bring out their "What's the Point of the Balk Rule?" articles and slam it for being vague, and then slam the umpires for being inconsistent in interpreting and applying it.

2006-04-27 11:46:12
9.   Sandus
Had Jerry Hairston had the name "Cedeno" on his back during yesterday's game, he'd be eating breakfast in Iowa. I've never seen such a braindead performance by a veteran player.

Who swings at the first two pitches after a guy walks the bases loaded? Then steals 3rd with two outs?

That's only one inning worth of the things that drove me insane. I was never a Hairston fan, and now I can see why Dusty loves him so much.

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