Tagged: w

Hot Takes: Game 2 NLDS

  • I learned my lesson from last night and have the booze ready to go before the first pitch tonight.
  • I may regret this later, but I have little to no fear of Jeff Samardzija in this game. It ain’t Shark Week.
  • It’s funny how things work out. I was upset when the Cubs traded Samardzija during his All Star season and then failed to re-sign him. Now, I’m glad those pieces came together like they did, adding Addison Russell and, indirectly, Aroldis Chapman.
  • Oh really, Bob Costas? The Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908? This is the first I’m hearing of it. Seriously though, this is why I hate ‘national broadcasts.’
  • I love Kyle Hendricks, but even I think the comparisons to Greg Maddux may be slightly premature
  • #YouGoWeGo!
  • 20+ pitches and a run in the first? Yeah, I’ll take it.
  • Hunter Pence has crazy eyes. I’m not sure he isn’t going to stab Anthony Rizzo when he’s standing on first.
  • Is there anything Kyle can’t do this season? ERA title, 2 RBI performance in the playoffs. This kid is good.
  • Uh oh. Looks like KB has found his stroke…
  • Samardzija has always reminded me of a cartoon coyote.
  •  When did Zobrist get new walkup music? I liked the old song, but “Bennie and the Jets” is fun too. I’m assuming it’s still being performed by his wife, Julianna.
  • Pretty pleased to be into the subpar Giants bullpen after only 2 innings.
  • Hoping it’s just a bruise on Kyle. This will be a scary few days until we get an official diagnosis.
  • TRAVIS WOOD!

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    Photo from the Chicago Tribune

  • I was unaware that Lee brand jeans were still a thing.
  • I don’t like Bumgarner coming in a pinch hitter. I like Kris Bryant making 2 errors on the play even less.
  • I think Costas may have just implied that literally anyone but the Giants and Red Sox would be an excellent World Series champ.
  • Javy Baez is, at this exact moment, the last guy the Cubs need to be hurt.
  • OK. I may be biased in this particular situation, but using replay to overturn a play where a baserunner is off the base for a fraction of a millisecond is ridiculous. I don’t know how to remedy this, but it’s definitely overkill.
  • That being said, Javy should have been running hard from the moment the ball was hit and it wouldn’t have been an issue.
  • Of the 8 top position players on the field, the Cubs and Giants are 4-4? I’ll admit that Posey is probably the superior catcher and that Crawford and Russell are pretty much even, but that’s about it. I’m very curious as to how John Smoltz justifies that.
  • Kelby Tomlinson looks like he was the last pick in a PE softball game, but one day will “make you pay for that…make you ALL pay.”
  • Literally inches from a Bryzzo Company souvenir.
  • How much longer until we can officially start stressing about Anthony’s bat?
  • Throwing at Javy? Don’t you idiot Giants know the Chicago way? Hit one of our guys, we hit 2 of yours. Be careful what you sow.
  • Sometimes I think it’s just not fair to send mere mortals to bat against Aroldis Chapman.
  • While the Giants bullpen was not nearly as bad as it has been throughout the season, I’m still confident with a lead in the later innings or even being down by a run or two.
  • Singing along to “Go Cubs Go” alone at home is not nearly as much fun as at Wrigley, but a lot more fun than not singing it after a game.
  • 3 RBI were from the pitchers tonight. Not a bad showing at all.
  • I was slightly more relaxed tonight as opposed to last night. I don’t think any domestic disturbance charges are headed my way any time soon. At least not until Monday night.

Cubs on Pace for 162-0!

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Let me make this clear. The Angels are my second favorite team in baseball. Most years I will root for them to go 162-0. This year, however, I was pulling for a 158-4 record and the first two games of the season were two of my anticipated and hoped for losses. And they try to tell me that dreams don’t come true.

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We arrived to Angel Stadium shortly before the gates opened and parked literally right next to the home plate entrance. The stadium lot is only $10 this season, either due to more parking now that the Amtrak station moved down the road or the fact that the Angels were tired of getting undercut by nearby businesses renting out spaces in their parking facilities. I was prepared to pay up to $20 due to my lack of mobility and discomfort walking the half mile from the outlying parking options, so to see the price at half of the cost to park at Disneyland, I was elated.

The aforementioned lack of mobility discouraged me from heading to the first base side of the ballpark, where the Cubs dugout was, to seek autographs or baseballs and Lauren and I headed straight to our seats above the bullpens. I spent much of the pre-game as close to the field as I could get, watching the Cubs take batting and fielding practice, watching Jon Lester warm up and chatting with fellow Cub fans.

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The interesting thing about the pre-game activity was the fact that Manny Ramirez was hanging out in left field with Jorge Soler and Kyle Schwarber and even shagging a few baseballs himself. No one called to him for autographs or baseballs, and I wonder if no one recognized him, or if people just didn’t care. I tend to think it was the former.

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While I didn’t notice any of the Cubs signing autographs at all during the pre-game, I later heard that Jake Arrieta was shagging baseballs in the outfield, pulling a pen from his back pocket, signing the ball and tossing it into the stands, which I happen to love. Post-game I saw the bullpen guys throw at least a half-dozen baseballs into the crowd, so the early reports of the Cubs being not so fan friendly on the road seem to me to be a few jilted autograph dealers upset that maybe the players weren’t signing a dozen baseballs for every fan who asked.

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While I was watching the Cubs get ready, Lauren did a reconnaissance mission of our seating area so that we could plan our food for the evening. I like nothing better than a basic hot dog at the ballpark, but sometimes it’s nice to branch out. We opted for the burger bites, which are essentially White Castle sliders, minus the onions. They were topped with a sweet “thousand island-esque” sauce that was fine, but really, I could take it or leave it. They were served in a bucket with fries that were average ballpark fries. Overall, I’d get them again.

In the same vein, later in the game we shared a sticky sweet strawberry “rum-a-rita” in a lurid shade of red and the basic Angel dog. Both items will easily be repeated as the season goes on.

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The game was great, as Jon Lester was dealing against an anemic Angel offense and the Cubs bats must have brought some of the heat of Las Vegas with them when the came to Anaheim. Home runs by Matt Szczur, Dexter Fowler and one-half of the Bryzzo Souvenir Company as well as a pure hustle double by David “Grandpa” Ross highlighted the offensive onslaught.

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There was a very curious moment in the top of the second inning when Angel pitcher, Andrew Heaney threw one pitch to Anthony Rizzo, stepped off the mound and disappeared into the dugout. I wasn’t sure whether he had been caught doing something illegal to the baseball, but I never saw the umpire gesture that he had been tossed from the game, and immediately jumping on Twitter, learned that he was dealing with a nosebleed. I don’t know if there is any correlation at all, but the Angels placed him on the disabled list today with a muscle strain. Not a good thing for a franchise that is already very thin in the pitching department.

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Lester pitched 7 strong innings and only allowed 4 hits, which marks a significantly better start than his first Cub start last season. Later, Trevor Cahill, Travis Wood and Pedro Strop all made appearances out of the bullpen and all looked very sharp.

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As I said, we were seated right above the bullpens, in an area with a few fairly vocal groups of Cub fans, including a drunk man in a Cubs onesie and two of my favorite people from work, Shaun and Arvin. I really want the Cubs hockey-style sweatshirt that Arvin was showing off.

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We left the game with little to no hassle and as we sat in the parking lot of the Big A I plugged in my iPhone and played “Go Cubs, Go” since the Angels didn’t have the common courtesy to play it for us after the “W.”

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Thank you Angels for the 2-0 start. You can start winning now. At least until you head out to Wrigley later this summer! As usual, a gallery of game photos can be found right here.

Until next time,

Keep Tripping Baseballs!