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Cubs Forget How To Work Count

By bullpenbrian at 09.07.2011 1 comment.

The Cubs gave a glowing example of yesterday’s post–Cubs Win With Patience–during its 4-2 loss against Cincinnati on Tuesday night.

Chicago’s lack of plate patience allowed Reds starter Mike Leake to reach a single game career-high of nine innings pitched, doing so on just 91 pitches.

The Cubs, impatient as usual, were first strike swingers all the way. Leake never tired, of course, and set the Cubs down one by one, inning after inning.

Leake needed a touch over 80-pitches to reach the eighth inning unscathed with the exception of Alfonso Soriano’s second inning single. Otherwise, Chicago never threatened offensively.

Until pinch-hitter Bryan LaHair reached the plate in the bottom of the ninth, the Cubs had hardly worked Leake into a hitter’s count all night.

Lo and behold, after Castro reached on a weak infield single, LaHair got ahead 2-0 before crushing his game-tying 2-R HR deep into the right field bleachers, ruining Leake’s bid for his first career shutout, and sending the game into extra innings.

If only the Cubs would learn to work the count sooner…

+++

I’ve got as much confidence in John Grabow as I did when Bob Howry was wrapping up his career with the Cubs in 2010–Zero.

So there was little surprise on my end when Grabow allowed the eventual game-winning runs to score in the top of the 13th-inning Tuesday night.

How Grabow hoodwinked Jim Hendry into a 2-yr, $7.5M dollar deal I’ll never understand.

Since joining Chicago mid-way through the 2009 season, Grabow is an unimpressive (4-4) with an ERA roughly around 5.00.

In addition to missing a significant amount of time recovering from a knee injury, Grabow has been less than serviceable as the always coveted left-handed reliever, which is exactly why I believe Hendry settled to resign him in the first place.

Left-handed or not, removing Grabow off the roster this offseason is a no-brainer.

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