Browsing posts from May, 2012
Some call it the ‘yips’. Golfers call it the ‘shanks’. Baseball players refer to it simply as ‘The Thing’.
Whatever you call it, Matt Garza is suffering from it—his inability to make the simplest of fielding throws.
Another pitcher, Rick Ankiel, famously suffered from the yips with the Cardinals. He eventually coped by converting to an outfielder.
Yankees second baseman Chuck Knoblauch was so riddled by the shanks he too switched to the outfield, and eventually had to become a DH.
Roy McAvoy…that’s another story.
Garza’s case, thankfully, hasn’t reached such extremes. But his two throwing mishaps during Wednesday’s game left me wondering…how much worse will Garza get?
I’ve had few frustrations with Dale Sveum through the first 36 games.
For the most part he’s pressing the right buttons, has the team hustling and seems to be getting the most from a team struggling to be relevant in the standings (15-21).
However, Sveums insistence on pitching to Yadier Molina, instead of around him, continues to pain me.
In this installment of ‘Name that Molina’ I’m talking about Bengie, Jose, Yadier Molina, the Cubs killer who’s a lifetime .281 hitter with 9 HR and 48 RBI through 101 games vs. Chicago.
This year alone he’s batting .346 with 1 HR & 9 RBI against the Cubs. Certainly numbers the Chicago coaching staff are aware of.
But with all due respect to Sveum and his staff, I don’t understand why the Cubs keep pitching to Molina, especially in clutch hitting situations?
Ryan Dempster staked to a 4-0 lead through five innings felt like money in the bank. Who wouldn’t bet he’d get that elusive first win?
Demps was cruising along needing just 27 pitches to retire 10 of 11 Cardinal batters from the second through fifth innings.
It was all the makings of a streak buster, a winless drought spanning 14 starts (now 15) without Dempster (0-1) earning a victory.
Go figure he’d allow four runs an inning later and leave his 300th career start with a no-decision.
All things considered, it was another strong start from the right-hander whose ERA jumped from 1.02 to 1.74. I mean, seriously. 1.74!
Has 3 HR in his last 9 starts.
Driven in a run in 6 of his last 15 games.
Batting .385 in Late/Close situations.
His 11 walks are all against right-handers.
Made 21-straight starts without committing an error.
Name that Cub!
It’s time the Cubs removed Chris Volstad from the starting rotation and replaced him with Travis Wood.
Wood’s lone outing this season, a quality six inning start of 3-runs on 3-hits during last Sunday’s 4-3 win against Los Angeles, is better than anything Volstad has accomplished this season.
Meanwhile, Volstad’s inability to pitch out of trouble and avoid the big inning was in full effect Saturday afternoon as he allowed six earned runs in six innings, five of which scored in the sixth inning.
More to the point, it was exactly the kind of poor performance the Cubs didn’t need in the aftermath of Friday’s brutal 8-7 loss in 13-innings. But Volstad, as has been the case all season, failed to deliver.
Brutal loss Friday night/Saturday morning in Milwaukee. It’s just too painful to relive all the details.
The saving grace is Game 2 starts at noon today. No sense stirring over all the woulda, coulda and should haves from the 8-7, 13-inning loss–and there were many.
I’ve been asked several times this week both in person and via Twitter if Kerry Wood should call it a career and retire from baseball?
Hot-hitting Steve Clevenger, off to a 11-for-22 start at the plate, was on the brink of becoming Dale Sveum’s everyday catcher before suffering tightness in his right side.
The injury forced Clevenger to the 15-day DL on April 30, which doesn’t expire until next Tuesday.
But even from the training table Clevenger appears to have the upper hand on Geovany Soto, whose season-long slump has dropped his batting average to .152, ranking 29th among major league back stoppers.