Game 9 Recap: Cubs 8, Reds 1
W - Hammel (1-0), Augie Ojeda tribute videos. Harry singing the Stretch
L - Iglesias (1-1), pseudonymous middle-relievers, throwing to unoccupied bases
Things to Take from This Game
1. Hammel pitches around some walks
Hammel was reasonably sharp, pitching out of a couple of instances of mild-to-moderate trouble. 4 hits, 4 walks, 3 Ks in 6 IP with no runs allowed, and a booming RBI double at a point when the game still was awkwardly close.
2. Bryant heats up
Kris Bryant hit his second home run in as many days, going 2 for 3 with a walk overall. Fowler also had another big night, with a fine defensive play in CF thrown in, as well.
3. Best Team in Baseball
The first team to 8 wins played an errorless game with really no blemishes of any sort to speak of, other than a bit of wildness from Hammel and Grimm getting into some utterly inconsequential trouble in the 9th that he soon got out of. The consensus in Parachat was that the game was a sure thing by the time we were up 3-0.
1. Do we ever get to learn what the pointing downward thing is all about?
2. Do we approve of Hammel's beard?
3. Presumably, this nine-game stretch isn't representative of our true talent level for the rest of the year. Given that, just how good are we?
Top of 1st
- Hamilton leads off, and the crowd looks like it still if filing in. Count goes full when a slider doesn't quite catch the corner, and a fastball misses outside. Game begins with a walk to Billy F'ing Hamilton. Fantastic.
- Suarez promptly pops to Zobrist.
- Hammel catches Hamilton leaning the wrong way, and picks him off pretty easily.
- Votto pokes one between La Stella and third base. La Stella was playing quite wide, a great piece of hitting as Bryant hustles over to the line to limit Votto to a single.
- Phillips with a lazy fly to center.
Bottom of 1st
- Iglesias starts Fowler 2-0, and the next pitch is right down the middle. Fowler singles it through the 4-3 hole.
- Heyward works a full count. Fowler runs, pulling the SS over to cover. Heyward hits it a bit behind the SS, but Suarez recovers to field it, and gets Heyward at 1st. Running keeps the Cubs out of the double play.
- First three batters all started with Ball 1. Now 3-0 to Zobrist. A generous strike call on 3-0, and again on 3-1. Zobrist should have walked twice already, instead it's 3-2.
- Zobrist eventually lines one to Bruce in Right, who doubles Fowler off at second. Fowler must have thought it was going to drop short of Bruce, but he caught it quite easily. Bad read by Fowler.
Top of 2nd
- Cubs' sideline reporter tells us that Schwarber is sitting in on the Pitcher/Catcher meetins with Hammel for his starts, in order to continue learning the trade while he's injured. Hammel gives a glowing report on Schwarber's progress as a catcher in the off-season.
- Fowler seems to have gotten dirt in his eye, sliding back to second. Replay indicates he may have forgotten how many outs there were.
- Meanwhile, Bruce flies to Bryant and Duvall K's.
- Pacheco lines one between La Stella and 3rd, for a double.
- Hammel challenges Barnhart with the pitcher up next, and gets him to line to Zobrist, ending the inning.
Bottom of 2nd
- Rizzo starts with a 2-0 count, but pops to Duvall in Left.
- Ball 1 to Bryant. I am detecting a theme.
- Iglesias hangs a breaking ball and Bryant lines it into the first row of the left field bleachers. Just as Len and JD discuss how today marks Bryant's 160th game and his body of work so far amounts to near-MVP quality. 1-0 Cubs.
- La Stella turns on an inside 2-2 pitch and flies out to Bruce.
- Iglesias ties up Montero with a called strike three inside.
Top of 3rd
- Iglesias grounds to Zobrist.
- Hamilton also grounds to Zobrist.
- JD notices Hammel's beard. Len calls it the "mini-Arrieta."
- Hammel makes short work of Suarez, K-ing him swinging.
Bottom of 3rd
- Russell starts with ball one. On a 3-1 count, he grounds out to Short.
- Hammel awkwardly inside-outs a roller up the middle. Phillips tries to backhand it, and it hits the heel of his glove. It looked to me like the ball may have had some funky side-spin, but sitll a bad error. Hammel reaches.
- Fowler lays down a surprise bunt up the third base line. Iglesias makes a nice barehand and a completely unproductive off-balance throw to first. Runners on 1 and 2 with 1 out for Heyward.
- Heyward chops one to Phillips at about the same time that Fowler is racing past. Fowler avoids the tag and slides into second. Suarez has to hurdle him and lands on hands-and-knees, but there's no challenge to the slide. Clean slide. Heyward safe at first, making it 1st and 3rd with 2 outs.
- Zobrist walks on four straight, loading the bases.
- Rizzo eventual K's swinging over a tough slider down and in.
Top of 4th
- 3-0 count on Votto, Hammel gets a borderline call for 3-1. Walks after a full count.
- As JD points out how aggresive Phillips is at the plate, he pops up on the first pitch.
- A big curve just misses inside on Bruce; it's a full count. Ball four.
- Duvall hits a slow roller to Russell who manages to get the force at second. 1st and 3rd wtih 2 outs for Pacheco
- 1-2 count, a fastball high and away leads to a lazy fly to Fowler, threat over.
Bottom of 4th
- Bryant gets jammed on an inside fastball, but muscles it into left for a broken-bat single.
- La Stella lines to left.
- Bryant TOOTBLANs his way back to the dugout on an attempted steal of second.
- Montero rolls out to Phillips.
Top of 5th
- Barnhart smokes one back up the middle past Hammel for a single.
- Iglesias bunts it hard to Rizzo who makes a nice throw to second for the force. Iglesias runs hard down the line to prevent a double play.
- Hamilton walks. Again.
- Suarez skies one down the line in left, for an easy out.
- Votto lines to Rizzo to end the inning. Votto-Rizzo is fun to type.
Bottom of 5th
- Russell singles up the middle
- Hammel gets a fastball down the middle and laces it over Bruce's head in right. Russell reads it correctly and scores from 1st. 2-0 Cubs
- Fowler works a walk
- Heyward grounds to second. Phillips gets the ball stuck a bit in his glove, and just goes to first. 1 out and runners on 2 and 3.
- Zobrist hits a fastball to deep straight-away center, and Hammel easily scores on the sacrifice fly. Fowler to third. 3-0 Cubs
- 0-2 to Rizzo, he fouls off the same slider he struck out on with the bases loaded, earlier in the game. Instead, grounds out to Suarez playing on the second baseman's side of second.
Top of 6th
- Phillips grounds to Russell.
- Bruce serves a high and away fastball down the left field line. Bryant does a nice job cutting it off from the caromb off the side wall, but it's still a double.
- The idiots behind home plate are trying to start the wave.
- Duvall with a lazy fly to left-center. Bryant gets out of Fowler's way.
- Pacheco strikes out swinging at a pitch in the dirt.
Bottom of 6th
- Blake Wood (who?!?!) pitching.
- La Stella rolls one out to Phillips.
- Montero nicely serves one inside-out down the third base line, with the third baseman playing very wide of the bag.
- Russell pulls a fastball into left for a single.
- Szczur hits for Hammel, and flies out to center.
Top of 7th
- Travis Wood in. Szczur in left, Bryant to 3rd, La Stella out.
- Barnhart K's
- Tyler Holt (WHO??!?) pinch hits for Blake Wood.
- Holt Lines one to deep center, and Fowler makes a very nice running, leaping, over-the-shoulder catch.
- Harry Caray sings the stretch!!!
Bottom of 7th
- Caleb Cotham is in. At this point, I think the Reds are just using people with fake names. There is no such thing as a Caleb Cotham.
- Fowler is angry at himself for striking out swinging. I would be, too, if I got K'd by someone with as fake of a name as Caleb Cotham.
- We have a report that the Reds broadcast is showing NLCS 2003 Game 6 "highlights" in this broadcast. Because Marty Brennenman is horrible.
- Heyward pops to third.
- Zobrist with a lazy fly to left. This is the first 1-2-3 inning for the Cubs?!? huh.
Top of 8th
- Strop in. Suarez hits a hopper to Bryant's left that he easily fields.
- Route efficiency on Fowler's catch is a 95.4%. No one in the booth has any idea if that number is especially good, but we sorta presume so...
- Votto grounds to second.
- Strop quick-pitches Phillips on the second pitch, and it seems to surprise him. He then swings over... something.... really nasty that's burrowing down and in on him toward his feet, inning over.
Bottom of 8th
- J.J. Hoover in to pitch
- Rizzo flies to left.
- Bryant getting pitched away by Hoover, this seems to be the plan after the HR on the middle-in fastball earlier. Walks.
- Soler hits for the pitcher (who had been double-switched into the six spot) Battles his way to a 3-2 count by checking his swing on one of those down and away sliders, and walks on a high and away fastball. A very encouraging AB for Soler.
- Montero fists a popup over Phillips' head and in front of Bruce. Runners can only advance a base, and the bases are loaded.
- Russell takes the first pitch and goes the other way with it, over Phillips' head for a single. 4-0 Cubs.
- Szczur is getting pitched low and away, and walks on four pitches. 5-0 Cubs.
- 2-1 count to Fowler, and he sneaks one between the 4-3 hole. 2 runs score. Runners on 1st and 3rd. 7-0 Cubs.
- Jumbo Diaz in. He gets Fowler to fly into shallow right-center and Bruce makes a fine sliding catch. He then tries to throw it to first base to double off Szczur, who is loafing back to the bag. He's loafing back because no one is playing behind him on first and the ball sails toward the Reds dugout. Run scores. 8-0 Cubs.
- Zobrist lofts one down the left field foul line. Pacheco almost makes a great sliding over the shoulder catch, but it drops foul. Kawasaki is on deck to pinch hit for Rizzo, and the fans start chanting his name. Zobrist K's swinging.
Top of 9th
- Grimm in, Bruce bounces one through the 4-3 hole.
- Duval lines one off of the top of the wall in the left field well. Runners to 2nd and 3rd.
- Pacheco flies to shallow center, runners hold.
- Barnhart rolls out to Russell, and a run scores. 8-1 Cubs
- Scott Schebler hits for Jumbo Diaz. Clearly, these are names being pulled out of a Jonathan Franzen novel. He K's looking, ending the game.
- What we're eating for dinner.
- The smells wafting out of my office.
- Super Jelly?!?
- The Cubs Clubhouse.
- Vegas Nightclubs.
- More on the luxurious clubhouse.
- Ricketts: very bad at secretly plotting against politicians.
- Is playing OF hurting Bryant's offense? (no. Small Sample Size.)
- Immigrant fries.
- Mister Whipple shows up. Bryant hits a home run. Coincidence? (No. Whipple has magic powers.)
- 50 pitch innings.
- Crunch gives us weird characters.
- Straddling a volcano
- Mentally incompotent.
- Where's Carlos when we need him? (Hiding in the cupboard.)
- Hammel's beard.
- Jamie Moyer's decency.
- Chip Caray, Drunk
- Pearl Jam
- Whipple-aided HRs.
- Things that are loaded:
- Ryno's wife's questions
- Oven fries worth shouting over.
- Neon Guy behind home plate, the Human Highlighter
- How slow of a news day is it when Jarrod Saltalamacchia is trending on Facebook?
- Dewees Nuts.
- Ryno discovers the stunning coincidence that I, and a guy he knows on Facebook, have the same name for our cats.
- Ryno discovers that I am that guy he knows on Facebook.
- I discover that Ryno is a guy I know on Facebook.
- Plans for Ryno's and my ballpark date: matching neon outfits!
- How much we hate high school reunions and hanger-onners on Facebook that can't let go of their high school friendships. We really hate this, evidently.
- We get a top secret you-tube link from Crunch that shows how he spent the 90s.
- Steffani Serriff doesn't know what she's talking about. (On GMOs.)
- Neither does healthyfoodgirl
- PhDs in Google.
- Politics and Complexity, Ambiguity, and Empathy.
- Press Your Luck.
- Our religious and political evolutions.
- How we respond to people who get angry/yell
- At the start of this night, I was a __________
- Wearing squares on your head
- A pretty darn substantive discussion of personal transitions in our approaches to faith. Woah.
- The luxury of having a Cubs team that's so good that none of us have any doubt we're going to win a 3-0 game, and can just talk substantive matters of faith, instead.
- Just A Girl reminds us that there are no good men left. They/we are all pretty awful. I can't disagree with this.
- Talking about JAG's troubles is better than religion.
- Still discussing JAG's problems
- And who we will and won't use real names around.
- Crunch's deep anonymity.
- Small midwestern towns
- Marty Brennenman is worse than Hitler.
- Bury Steve Stone and Hawk Harrelson together in "one big coffin of self-loathing, world-hating, complaint-filled angst."
- What's this off-speed pitch Strop is throwing? (Consensus is maybe a splitter.)
- Neon Guy is back. Where had he gone?
- Under what circumstances would we get up from our seats, if we had Neon Guy's seats? (Terrorist attacks and, for some of us, nachos.)
- Winning by 3-0 isn't sufficient for our expectations.
- Comparing Soler's and Sosa's heads. I am very confused.
- Sosa's pigmentation
- Odds of going 161-1.
- We love the sound of car-horn3.
- Now winning by a score that meets our expectations.
- Laughing at Bruce's throw.
- Levels of (dis)comfort with the Kawasaki phenomenon
- Things That Make Me Go Hmm.
- C & C Music Factory
- Fond reminiscences for Augie Ojeda. Come Back, Augie, All Is Forgiven.