Saturday, May 19, 2012

TinCaps Tidbits and the End of an Era

Some notes from the Fort Wayne series, in which Lansing won two of three games:


The Lugs stole five bases in nine attempts (56%) in the three games against Fort Wayne.  However, Lansing is 77-for-90 in the stolen base department this year. They are successful 86% of the time… that is insane.

Javier Avendano and Brandon Berl are the two best arms out of Lansing’s bullpen.

The offense hit .279 in the series.  Some of the guys out in front…

*  Jon Berti reached 9 times in the three-game set
*  Andy Burns scored four runs and drove in three
*  Kevin Pillar had seven hits and a walk for good measure. (Fun Note: In the first two games of the series, Pillar reached safely in his final three at-bats.)
*  Chris Shaeffer hits the ball hard -- every time! He also knocked down a number of tough curveballs in the dirt and none of them trickled more than a foot or two away from him.
*  Shane Opitz has received very limited playing time, but when he is on the field his glove looks good and he looks comfortable at the plate.

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Quote of the Blog:
Me: Marcus [Walden] what kind of advice do you have for people who want to grow out a mustache like you?
Walden: If it’s blonde like mine… dye it.

Apparently the guys make fun of the blondeness of his ‘stach.


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A chapter of my Cubs fandom came to a close on Friday when Kerry Wood announced his retirement after a third of an inning out of the bullpen.

I was eight years old when KerryWood tossed what is arguably the most dominant pitching performance in MLB history.

Wood’s line when he set the National League and rookie strikeout record in 1998:  9 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 20 K, 1 HBP.

The only base hit he allowed was an infield single on a 1-2 pitch to Brad Ausmus in the third inning.

The only other base runner was Craig Biggio, who was hit by a pitch -- but COME ON, that barely counts!  Everybody hit Biggio, who used to hang over the plate with that big elbow pad of his.

"Kid K" was the most iconic Cubbie during my time as a Cubs fan and he got what he deserved Friday afternoon:  A great day with his son under the sun, capped by a strikeout, a standing “O” and a curtain call.  His career epitomized what it feels like to be a Cubs fan.



It is as sweet as can be when the team has low expectations (Chicago had won just 94 games in 1997 and was just 16-15 before Wood’s 20-K game in ‘98). As a kid, that game came out of nowhere. I didn’t expect the Cubs to go on and win Game 163 that year over the Giants to advance to the playoffs.


It is also terribly bitter when the team pumps hope into you and falls short…


Bitter Memory: Game 7 NLCS vs Marlins. Wood:  L, 5 2/3 IP, 7H, 7ER, 4BB, 6K

See Game 7 NLCS above.


(For further reading see 2008 season when Chicago had the best record in the NL and were swept by the Dodgers in the NLDS)


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Kerry Wood struck out the final batter he faced on Friday, but the Cubs lost to the White Sox.


That final day, just like his career and Cubs fandom, was bittersweet. 

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