Tigers Throw the Cubs a Double-U – Cubs 4, Tigers 3

Game Sixty-One – Cubs 4, Tigers 3
WP – Carlos Marmol (1-2) LP – Phil Coke (1-3) Save – Shawn Camp (1)

wflag.jpgThe Cubs were patient at the plate for one of the few times this season and ended their 12-game losing streak in one-run ballgames (7-16). The Cubs worked seven walks and four of those came around to score.

The Cubs scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth on two miscues from Jhonny Peralta. Peralta was charged with throwing errors on back-to-back plays with two outs that allowed the Cubs to load the bases then take the lead.

With runners on first and second and two outs, Tony Campana (2-for-5 with three stolen bases) hit a grounder to Peralta at short. Peralta’s throw to second sailed and Ramon Santiago could not stay on the bag. Starlin Castro hit another grounder to Peralta. Peralta’s throw to first was on the right field side of the bag and pulled Prince Fielder off the base. Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with a double, a walk, three RBI, a stolen base and a run scored) capped off his big night by scoring the go ahead run.

The Cubs won back-to-back games for the first time since the end of May.

The Cubs offense did just enough early in the game but were not able to tack on to their lead (1-for-14 with runners in scoring position, 11 left on base). The Tigers outhit the Cubs (8-7) but the Cubs worked seven free passes while the Tigers walked twice. Darwin Barney led the way Tuesday night. Barney drove in the Cubs’ first run with a fielder’s choice ground out in the second inning then gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead in the sixth with a two-out, two-run double. Steve Clevenger (1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored), Bryan LaHair (0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) and Reed Johnson (1-for-1) also contributed to Tuesday’s win.

Paul Maholm put together his best start in a month. Maholm left the game with two on and no out in the sixth and the Cubs up 3-0. Casey Coleman could not hold the lead and Maholm received a no decision after being charged with two runs on six hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in six-plus innings (88 pitches, 58 strikes). Maholm struck out four of the first seven batters he faced and set a season-high with seven strikeouts Tuesday night. Maholm’s seven strikeouts were three short of his career-mark (10) set on August 8, 2008 against the Phillies.

James Russell bailed out Casey Coleman in the seventh and ended up throwing a scoreless inning (two outs in the seventh, one in the eighth) with two strikeouts. Carlos Marmol retired both of the batters he faced in the eighth and Shawn Camp picked up his first save in a Cubs’ uniform with a perfect ninth.

The wind helped Cubs’ pitching on Tuesday night and kept at least four balls from leaving the old ballpark. Delmon Young, Jhonny Peralta, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder would have added to their home run total on any other day.

With Tuesday’s win, the Cubs improved to 21-40 on the season …

Paul Maholm struck out two of the three batters he faced in the first inning. Maholm threw 14 pitches, seven for strikes, and the two strikeouts were both on 3-2 pitches … one to Brennan Boesch the other to Miguel Cabrera.

Tony Campana tried to bunt his way on to start the bottom of the first. Danny Worth picked the ball up and made a quick toss to fielder to just get Campana for the first out. Starlin Castro grounded out to Fielder for the second out.

David DeJesus ripped a 1-2 pitch into left center. The ball one-hopped the ivy and DeJesus ended up at second with a two-out double. After a wild pitch advanced DeJesus to third, Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging to end the inning.

Prince Fielder blooped a 0-2 pitch into left for a single to start the second. Delmon Young crushed Maholm’s first pitch. The wind kept the ball in the park and Campana hauled it in for the first out. Jhonny Peralta foul-tipped a 2-2 pitch into Clevenger’s glove and Gerald Laird looked at a 2-2 pitch to end the inning. Maholm threw 30 pitches in the first two innings, 19 for strikes.

Max Scherzer could not find the strike zone in the second inning. Bryan LaHair walked on four pitches to start the inning. Steve Clevenger got ahead in the count 3-1 before tapping a 3-2 pitch toward third. Miguel Cabrera fielded the ball but had no play at first. The Cubs had runners on first and second with no outs.

A 0-1 pitch to Darwin Barney got past Gerald Laird. LaHair and Clevenger moved up ninety feet on Scherzer’s second wild pitch of the game. Jim Leyland left his infield back. Darwin Barney hit a 2-2 pitch to short. Peralta fielded and threw him out at first as LaHair crossed the plate. The Cubs took a 1-0 lead. Ian Stewart walked to put runners on first and second with one out.

Paul Maholm could not get the bunt down and struck out (bunted through) on a 1-2 pitch. Tony Campana hit the first pitch he saw to Fielder to end the inning.

After two, the Cubs had a slim 1-0 lead.

Danny Worth led off the third with a single to left (2-2 pitch). Max Scherzer dropped down a bunt on Maholm’s first pitch and advanced Worth into scoring position. Maholm struck out Austin Jackson and retired Boesch on a pop out to Castro to end the inning. Maholm threw 41 pitches in three innings, 23 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the third. Scherzer tossed 54 pitches in first three innings, 30 for strikes.

Miguel Cabrera led off the fourth with a single to right center (1-2 pitch). Maholm continued throwing strikes and was able to induce a grounder off the bat of Prince Fielder toward first. Bryan LaHair fielded the ball, threw to first and then took the return throw from Castro for the 3-6-3 double play. Delmon Young ripped a 2-0 pitch back up the middle. Barney was in the shift and kept the ball on the infield but Young reached on the Tigers’ second hit of the inning. Jhonny Peralta flied out to right to end the inning … 56 pitches for Maholm after four, 37 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the fourth.

Paul Maholm set down the Tigers in order in the fifth. Maholm struck out another batter and after five Maholm had thrown 67 pitches, 44 for strikes.

Max Scherzer struck out Ian Stewart and Paul Maholm to start the Cubs’ fifth. Tony Campana reached on a bunt single toward third. Cabrera tried a barehand pickup but would not have had a chance. Campana swiped second with Castro at the dish. Starlin Castro struck out swinging to end the inning.

Paul Maholm stayed sharp in the sixth … with a lot of help from the wind and Alfonso Soriano. Maholm struck out Austin Jackson looking to start the inning. Brennan Boesch reached on a one-out single to left. Miguel Cabrera launched a 0-2 pitch into left center. Tony Campana lost the ball, Alfonso Soriano showed off his range and caught the ball has he collided with Campana. Prince Fielder then hit a deep fly to left center … that on any other day would have been long gone.

David DeJesus led off the sixth and quickly fell behind Scherzer 0-2 but ended up working the count back full and then walked to start the inning. Alfonso Soriano shattered his bat on a 3-2 pitch but was able to muscle the ball over Fielder’s head and into right. DeJesus was running with the pitch and advanced to third easily.

Before a 1-1 pitch to Bryan LaHair, Max Scherzer pulled the ole third to first pickoff move … and it worked. Scherzer picked off Soriano for the first out of the inning. With DeJesus still at third, LaHair struck out swinging on a 1-2 pitch for the second out. Steve Clevenger worked the second walk of the inning and Barney stepped in with runners on first and third with two outs.

Darwin Barney pulled the first pitch from Scherzer into left field. DeJesus and Clevenger scored and the Cubs took a 3-0 lead. Scherzer intentionally walked Stewart to face Maholm.

Barney swiped third but Stewart did not follow. Maholm ripped a 2-2 pitch back up the middle that Worth fielded behind the second base bag and tossed to Peralta to force Stewart for the third out.

After six, the Cubs led 3-0.

Delmon Young lined a 3-1 pitch over Soriano’s head in left. Soriano misplayed the ball but played it off the ivy perfectly and threw a strike toward second. Darwin Barney applied the tag but the umpire missed the call. Paul Maholm did not get the call on a 2-2 offering to Jhonny Peralta and ended up walking him to put runners on first and second with no outs.

Dale Sveum made his way to the mound and brought in Casey Coleman to face Gerald Laird.

Coleman started pitching from behind. Laird lined out to left for the first out. Coleman ended up walking pinch-hitter Quintin Berry to load the bases.

Ramon Santiago hit for Scherzer and ripped a 1-0 pitch into left center. Delmon Young trotted home with the Tigers’ first run. With the bases still loaded and one down, Austin Jackson lined Coleman’s first pitch into left. Peralta and Berry scored … and just like that the Tigers tied the game at three.

Dale Sveum made the slow walk again and brought in James Russell to face Brennan Boesch with runners on first and second with one out. Russell struck out Boesch swinging on a 2-2 pitch for the second out.

Miguel Cabrera hit a routine grounder to Ian Stewart on a 3-2 pitch. LaHair picked the low throw to end the inning.

Lefty Phil Coke took over for Scherzer in the seventh with the game tied at three. Tony Campana reached on a miscue by Prince Fielder to start the inning. On a 1-2 pitch to Castro, Campana took off for second and slid in feet first with the would-be go ahead run. Castro swung and missed a 2-2 pitch for the first out. David DeJesus fouled out to Cabrera and Coke intentionally walked Alfonso Soriano.

Campana swiped third on the first pitch to LaHair. Coke ended up striking out LaHair swinging on three pitches to end the inning.

The Tigers did nothing against James Russell and Carlos Marmol in the eighth. Russell struck out Fielder looking (1-2 pitch) and Marmol retired Young on a liner to short. The wind kept a deep fly ball off the bat of Jhonny Peralta in the park to end the inning (deep fly out to the track in right center).

Phil Coke stayed in and started the eighth. Coke caught Clevenger looking at a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Darwin Barney walked (Cubs’ seventh free pass of the game) but Ian Stewart tipped a 1-2 pitch into Gerald Laird’s glove for the second out.

Reed Johnson hit for Carlos Marmol and reached on a swinging bunt to third. Barney held at second with two down.

Tony Campana hit a routine grounder to Jhonny Peralta (maybe a step or two toward the hole). Peralta fielded the ball but his throw sailed and Santiago could not keep his foot on the bag. Johnson was called safe and the Cubs had the bases loaded with two down.

Starlin Castro hit a 2-1 pitch toward the hole at short. Peralta fielded the ball but short armed his throw to first. Peralta’s throw was to the right field side of first and pulled Fielder off the bag. Barney scored and the Cubs took a 4-3 lead. David DeJesus grounded out to first to end the inning.

The Cubs took a 4-3 lead into the ninth …

Shawn Camp set down the bottom of the Tigers lineup in order for his first save in a Cubs’ uniform.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Matt Garza is scheduled to face Rick Porcello on Tuesday night.

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Quote of the Day

"What scares me is what scares you. We're all afraid of the same things." - John Carpenter

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  • bpot92

    Was at the game and man, it definitely seemed like there were more tiger fans than cubs fans. All we could hear was here we go tigers chants. Good game overall to be at though

    • paulcatanese

      I think those Tiger fans were in a large part due to Fielder as he was a favorite from his day’s with the Brewers.
      I like Detroit also, love the insignia on the uniforms, but not enough to win against the Cubs.

  • Dorasaga

    Campana would have been out and the inning over if the 2nd base umpire saw the fielder, Santiago’s toe on the bag. Replay shows that Prince Fielder still had his foot on the bag, so Castro should have been out and the inning over. A big error by the umpire followed immediately by a bad call by another umpire. Continuous mistakes!

    The Cubs got the benefit of the doubt, and as a purist who rather enjoy authentic records, I’m feeling uneasy on this. I don’t like this kind of win. It’s like fixing games. I’m leaning towards giving every manager three chances to call for an instant replay on more possible forms of play as possible (though not on balls-n-strikes), even to the extent of hiring a fourth umpire in the video room to go over the play and speed up the process.

    • Brp921

      I agree with you on the missed calls Dorasaga, but they go both ways and it seems like when things are going bad, which they oviously are this year for the Cubs, that those calls always go against you, so I will take the victory and be very happy.

      • Dorasaga

        Yeah, the Cubs won because they didn’t give up, from their plate approach to their baserunning. We all want to see more of these. I usually mention the bad calls during Live game here on CCO, regardless of which team was favored.

        But my point through this one game is what a microscopic slice is to the bigger picture: Major League umpires can be wrong continuously, and these bad calls decided the win-loss of the game.

        We still want umpires to call all plays, because they have been part of the game. It’s also great athleticism to have exceptionally good eyes on the field. But don’t you think the teams should be given a chance to challenge when the situation is at stake? A World Series ring of a controversial Game 7 play? A play that’ll separate the team be out of the postseason or becomes the Division pennant?

        With all the high-def. cameras and HDTV, nothing went escaped. Instant replay is necessary. It’ll help umpires and the game to become better, not the other way around.

        • Teluton

          I wish baseball would experiment and use K-zone in Spring training next season. Maholm got squeezed at the plate and maybe on the play at second. I agree that the Tigers had 2 bad ones also. I’m tired hearing from purists about the ‘human element’.

          Technology is not going away.With several camera views and radio contact with the umps, a quick ruling could be made,as long as the evidence is irrefutable, which would go along way to curtail arguments.

          • Ripsnorter1

            It would be nice to have a perfect umpiring system.

          • Calicub

            i get the purist not wanting strikes and balls being replay, as an umpires strikezone is one of the great nuanes of the game. At the same time I am quite hesitant about giving managers the ability to challenge, especially three times in a game.

            Think about football, even with a system that has been in place for years and years, the delay in waiting for the final pronouncement takes away from the quality of the game itself. I for think commercial ball i mean football is far overrated as a sport, moving on.

            However, there is no reason imo that the league couldn’t use the same technology used in tennis to determine fair/foul down the 1st and 3rd base line, see the no-hitter on i believe the dodgers, but dont hold me to that its early, replay showed a hit down the 3rd base line was indeed fair and would have broken up the no hit bid, however, missed call.

            In all, despite being wary of it i would be in favor of a challenges system, but i would hope it would be much more efficient than that of football. Baseballs already losing ground to other sports, and any prolongment of wht many people see as a slow boring outdated game will only serve to weaken baseball’s standing to future generations

        • Brp921

          I have mixed feelings on instant replay. First of all, I can’t count the times I’ve come out of my chair, using language I’m ashamed of, thinking theres been a bad call, only to realize after watching the replay that the umpire made the right call. They are right probably 99% of the time. Calls like the one at first base that cost the guy (I can’t think of his name at the moment) a perfect game are a real travesty, but a very small exception. As far as ball and strike calls go, the umpires are never going to have exactly the same strike zones, but the players get to know them and the individual umpires  are for the most part very consistant. With instant replay I can envision clever managers stopping the game  by requesting a replay as strategy to stop momentum or try to get to a rain delay…ect. We have all witnessed the long delays in football because of looking at plays from every  possible camera angle and still coming up with inconclusive shots. I think those kind of delays in baseball would be bad for the game. I am satisfied with the way things are and even wish they would take away the homerun replay. Umpires are for the most part fair and unbiased in my opinion and when they get out of hand they are dealt with, we just never hear about it. I really think instant replay would change the game and not for the better.

          • Calicub

            armondo gallaraga. that man was robbed a place in n the history books

          • Calicub

            i agree with your fair and unbiased view, but unfortunately, umps are human and get caught up in the emotion of the game. Two years ago when Halladay threw his perfect game, espn went through and analyzed all the called strikes and fond that as the game went on and his no hitter continued, the umpires strikezone expanded from where it was in the begining of the game to where it was at the end. Not to say there should be balls and strikes called by k zone, but it is possible for umps to get caught up ad miss a call

          • Brp921

            True, and I have to say I couldn’t have handled it with the class that he did. That was about as impressive as his pitching performance.

          • Brp921

            I was replying above to your first comment Calicub. I didn’t see the Halladay game nor ESPN’s review, but you are sure right about the human factor. That’s why I have mixed feelings about replay. I just think we should be careful what we wish for, we might open a whole new can of worms. Though it would have been nice to have K-zone for Pappas’s perfect game back in the day lol.

          • paulcatanese

             I agree, because where do you start? Their are so many calls in a game that could be questioned that how could a manager know which one to challenge?
            The first base bang, bang call, the first baseman coming off the bag with the throw(many do it). The quick call on the stolen base(actually all quick tags)
            tagging someone high(foot or hand in).
            The classic phantom tag at second base with the foot on double plays.
            The end call at home plate same as the other tags.
            Most of these turn out to be correct calls after replay for the fans, but still, with the naked eye would be challenged.
            The K zone is the most violated by umpires.
            Every umpire knows what the strike zone is and there lies the difference.
            All and I mean all have a preference on a zone that they lean too, whether it’s low pitches, outside corners,inside,
            up or down.
            It’s ok (not really) as long as they are consistant with the zone they prefer.
            Also the rules that are not enforced, has anyone seen a ball called on a pitcher for taking too much time between ptiches, I havent.
            The other classic, runners from home plate not in the double white line, actually inside of it and getting hit with the throw from behind and not called?
            Point being unless there were 27 swinging strikeouts in a perfect game, at any time the challenge could come in to play.
            Instant replay would be a wonderful thing to have, it would be a perfect game. But the only way to achomplish that would be to have the entire game decided by cameras, no human element at all, just a buzzer or light that goes off,safe-out-ball strike.
            But would fans enjoy that kind of game?  I dont think so.

          • Dorasaga

            Paul, I’m not going to change anyone’s opinion, but recently I found instant replay an enhancement to the human element. Actually, umpires had been recommended for years by MLB officials to double check the replays and Pitch f/x (aka Kzone for espn, which uses the f/x system and made it looks better on TV broadcast).

            Umpires be ware, they improve. They know what’s wrong and right when they see the replay and f/x stats. Nothing more. It’s a tool to help the umpire knows where to improve. It took nothing away from the game,

          • Dorasaga

            I’m probably not satisfied, because I have a different take on this, especially with biases and how managers probably will handle it, detailed below RE Paul.

        • bpot92

          Im just glad the Cubs were hustling enough to force those close calls. THe tigers fans were furious all around us and at the game they kept cutting off the replay for the 50/50 raffle so the fans could not see it. Sounds like they had a right to be angry but in person it looked like the Umps made the correct call from where I was sitting on the Prince Fielder One. The second base one was questionable but i could see the throw was high. Tough calls to make 

          • Dorasaga

            I agree now that the first call was almost impossible to revoke (even if given a challenge). When I watched the replay LIVE, it looked like a bad call, but I thought about it, the angle from the back (from outfield) of the bag, it was ambiguous. The toe was there behind the bag, but we can’t see if it had contact with the bag.

            But I like the idea that a challenge would have cleared their heads, at least of some fans.

    • paulcatanese

      I also watched the replay of both,the play at second with Johnson sliding and a hurried throw , knowing he could not get Campana at first was split second too fast for the umpire to make the correct call. It had to be slowed down over and over to see a toe, and I mean a toe slightly touch the bag. Instant replay would not overturned that play as it requires all doubt removed from the call. The timing on that was minisucle.
      Fielder and his foot on the bag, not sure on that one, I think it was off the bag, but a lot easier for instant replay to get right.

      • Dorasaga

        I don’t think a replay will overturn the call, but at least the manager would be given a fair chance to make his players feel justice–if he thought about it, I’ll get to that now.

        Most managers probably would not challenge that call, so when some purists (not you or I) claim that replays on more items (other than HR) will slow down the game, I don’t see that. The game overall is not slowed because of a replay. It’s slowed when either lineups like the Yankees and Red Sox grinds and makes pitchers work (and they walked a lot, no balls in play), or when pitchers lost command and tried to get back to the game.

        Pitchers have habits like excessive throwing to first (hold the runner, but most of the time those throws became unnecessary), doing little things like cleaning the rubber or playing his hat, plus throwing too many balls.

        And you know, when the Cubs are winning, I don’t mind a pitching duel. But when the Cubs be no-hit, I think the game is slow. Such is the nature of fan perception. We have biases. I hope instant replays (and perhaps an additional umpire watching the video all the time) cancel out some of these.

  • paulcatanese

    I think most will agree that if Campana were to be in the lineup every day he would be in the middle to high 30’s with stolen bases.

    • Calicub

      seriously! 21 sb in 24 attempts in only 118 ab’s its quite impressive. If only there were a stat for stealing 3rd, a much more challenging feat than second, which campana seems to do with ease.

      Dee Gordon of the Dogers and emilio Bonifacio are the closest with 20 but each has significantly more ABs.

    • Brp921

      At the very least Paul.

  • Aaron

    I didn’t have time to comment yesterday, but the Rudy firing was clearly expected.

    I understood the hiring at the time, especially after they had let Perry go, then went with Joshua on the interim…they needed a “name” guy, and they got the most popular hitting coach in the game.

    Unfortunately, what they didn’t realize is Rudy was very different from Perry (who had the unfortunate distinction of being a hitting coach under the clueless Jim Hendry, which led to a disastrous signing of Bradley…which ended up getting nearly everyone fired…in fact, Perry might still be the coach today if it weren’t for that ill-fated signing where Hendry should’ve gone after Dunn or even Abreu instead…but I digress).

    Perry preached “Moneyball”. He lived and breathed the OBP, grinding AB’s, etc. Rudy’s approach couldn’t have been more different. He believed that you should almost always swing at the first pitch, because a pitcher would be looking to groove a fastball for a first pitch strike. 

    If you look back at tape, you would see very ugly swings sometimes at first pitches. Why? Because nearly every hitter was taught to swing first pitch, and look fastball by Rudy….at least that’s what I’ve been reading…and again, if you look at tape, you’d see that’s pretty accurate.

    If everyone remembers back to Perry, you would see guys in 2007 and 2008 letting one, two, or even three pitches go by before even offering at a pitch. If the pitcher happened to be in the zone, you’d see them foul off a ton of pitches in a row until they got one they liked.What that does is not only forces the pitcher to throw strikes, but it also sets up the following hitters to see more of his pitches, thus increasing the likelihood they see one that they can drive.

    Conversely, with Rudy’s approach, you had guys that were swinging first pitch, and they’d hit weak grounders, or weak pop-ups, and it’d snowball from there, because the starting pitcher was fresh from not throwing many pitches, and furthermore, the guys hitting behind would be doing the same thing, so nobody really saw many pitches, except for your one guy…DeJesus…and earlier in the season LaHair (before Rudy convinced him to seemingly swing at everything).

    The thing with Rudy is, veteran guys that are selective hitters will always be selective, but younger guys that are more impressionable will follow his approach, and you see the damaging effects it’s started having on LaHair, Stewart, Barney, Castro, Campana, etc.

    Just look from 2010 to now.

    Remember what I said about veterans that are already selective will remain selective?

    2010-Fukudome led the team with a .371 OBP
    *this was the year he couldn’t get the struggling Lee and ARAM to buy into his system

    2011-Fukudome led the team again with a .374 OBP; next was ARAM who was in his walk year with a .361 OBP, then Pena, who was always an OBP guy with a .357 OBP

    2012-LaHair breaks the mold of veterans leading with OBP at .388 (though I should note he gave HUGE kudos to Joshua for helping him turn around his career…then, as we’ve seen, under Rudy’s tutelage, he’s gone from being a patient hitter, grinding at bats, to swinging at nearly everything near the zone); DeJesus follows with a .371 OBP. Next closest, just FYI, is Soriano with a .325 OBP

    I was fully on the Rudy bandwagon because of his work ethic, and how he got guys to develop power, but he has absolutely no idea how to help guys improve their OBP, which more and more stats have shown a direct correlation to wins.

    • DWalker

      It may have been just me, but having the game on last night and half paying attention, but it seemed like everyone I saw was laying off the first pitch all night, even when it looked like a decent pitch. I wonder if they were told, everyone, tonight lay off the first pitch no matter what. rudy’s gone, get the new mindest its ok to see pitches.

      • Cloycub13

        Have to agree, I noticed a much more methodical approach to AB’s last night.

    • Dorasaga

      We are definitely getting somewhere. I went back to the Cubs players 2007-2010, if we look at younger guys like Soto and Theriot, they really batted differently pre and post Rudy. I don’t think it’s the first-pitch strikes (which according to fangraphs, really did not differ that much, but the swinging strikes overall.

      Theriot, 2007-2010, swg-str.:
      3.1%
      3.2%
      –Rudy came in–
      5.6 %
      4.2% with the Cubs
      3.4% with the Giants

      Soto:
      10.6%
      –Rudy—
      8.8%
      8.8%

      As we can tell, Rudy made Ryan Theriot a worse player, who swung and missed under thelast hitting coach. Soto, on the other hand, actually batted a lot better. And the numbers became consistent throughout the career. Ryan left the Cubs then both his swinging-strike% and his first-pitch strike% went down and closer to his career norm (pre Rudy as well). Soto, on the other hand, was a more patient hitter with Rudy. He suffered shoulder injury, had surgery September 2010, then never became the same.

      I wonder if Rudy was better with power bats instead of little guys who rely on contact.

      Hitters like Theriot need to put balls in play, regardless of the strength of his contact, instead of trying to knock one with authority and drive someone in. Two different cases, each to his own.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree, and it’s not beyond the realm of Sveum to have guys take the first strike. If thats what it takes, more power to him.
        Pretty silly to think that Major Leaguers cannot think of that for themselves, but we all know better.
        Sometimes a hitter must be forced to swing at the first strike and I think that Sveum(also being a hitting mentor) recognizes that.
        I look for improvement with the hitting style of the Cubs.
        Sveum will get the most out of what he has on the roster.

        • Dorasaga

          Force himself to swing away first pitch he saw? That’s an interesting thought. Are there situations when the hitter should?

      • SuzyS

        Yes, I remember when Theriot hit a few home runs and started trying for them all the time. I actually yelled at the tv one time to stay within his game…after he ko’d going for the fence.

      • paulcatanese

        To expand a little, I have said Rudy should have taken Campana and have him bunt at least 100 times a day.

        But I also know that Tony has improved his swing over last year, but what I dont know if it was due to his time in AAA before he was called back up or Rudy.
        Since they brought in the hitting coordinator from the minors I would assume the changes were made there.

        I do think though that he hurt LaHair more than he helped..

      • John_CC

        Theriot’s .387 OBP and .307 BA in 2008 was impressive.  In ’09 they both dropped but still sported an OBP of .347, since 2010 his OBP is a solid .320 each season.

        Of course all this tells us it that 2008 was the exception.  But it is still interesting.

        • paulcatanese

          Also interesting but disturbing is the way Theriot continually destroys the Cubs with his bat. Wasn’t it Zambrano that said he can’t hit a fastball? Yet Cub pitchers never listen.

  • paulcatanese

    Good post Neil, not able to get comcast out here, and have to watch
    ESPN play by play to figure it out. Appreciate the down time between games on WGN by looking at you’re posts, more than fills the void.

  • Marvin Ferguson

    Luck was on the side of the Cubs in the 9th with some pass balls by the Tigers to take advantage of a win situation. The Cubs needed that. Go Cubs Go!

  • CubsForever

    Poll question of the Day….

    Who was the greatest Tigers ballplayer since 1976?

    A – Mark Fidych
    B – Alan Trammell
    C – Kirk Gibson
    D – Jack Morris
    E – Justin Verlander
     

  • Ripsnorter1

    Outstanding–as per usual–write up, Neil. Always right on the money. Very thorough and excellent work.

  • J Daniel

    Agreed!  I can not watch, read your summary, and know exactly what is going on!  Hard to read some of the posts, though.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

     Thanks man

  • Dorasaga

    This one game, I don’t think Neil tells us the whole story. Please read my comment below.