I don’t think you guys honestly want the grisly details of every run scored, so I’m just going to give you a meandering jumble of my thoughts on this game, Larry King style.
- Luke Weaver - not sharp and was definitely giving up tons of hard contact and missing his locations. On the other hand, umpire Jeff Nelson was not really calling the corners and damn near every ball was finding a gap. Was he pitching well? Absolutely not. Was he give-up-six-runs-over-four-innings bad? Nah. Sometimes you eat the BABIP; sometimes the BABIP eats you. Final line 4 IP, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 9 H.
- The Cardinals run in the first came via the “Harrison Bader can’t believe his luck” method - Bader was HBP, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error, scored on a wild pitch.
- John Rooney, paraphrased: “Sometimes a team just has a player’s number, and maybe that’s the case with the Cubs and Weaver. Anyway, it’s a total of eleven innings, so I definitely feel comfortable suggesting this is a possibility.”
- The Cubs make absolutely no effort to get out of the way of baseballs, and frankly it’s a crock that the umpires don’t call them on it. Going into this game, the Cubs are getting HBPs in 2.7% of their plate appearances. Only one other team is above 2.0% (the White Sox), and the third place team (Royals) is all the way back at 1.68%. The league average is 1.1%. When Bryant was hit by a Matt Bowman pitch in the 6th, I cannot see how he made any effort to move out of the way, and that’s the MO for the Cubs over the last couple years.
- Tommy Pham’s groin was okay enough to allow him to pinch hit against Steve Cishek in the 7th inning, although he flew out to 8th to end the inning.
- On the brighter side, the 7th inning yielded a number of other riches: Paul DeJong walked in a run (first time that has ever happened), Kolten Wong was HBP which scored Francisco Pena, two runs would score on a FC by Dexter Fowler that Javy Baez threw away. At the end of the inning, the Cards only trailed 8-5...just enough to give a faint (but ultimately crushingly meaningless) glimmer of hope.
- Cardinals fans got their first glimpse of Tyler O’Neill’s considerable mass of manflesh. He was brought it to pinch hit in the 5th inning and ultimately struck out swinging, after which I’m sure he went to go squat press a Ford Festiva in frustration.
- Jedd Gyorko, on base all 4 times! You go, Jedd Gyorko!
- The weather today, on January 108th, was predictably cold and dumb. Now is the winter of our discontent; made grim spring by this sun of Chicago, etc etc.
- Two RBIs apiece for Chicago from Bryant, Jason Heyward, and this guy
Cardinals start another series against the Reds tomorrow at Busch Stadium.