Sunday, May 9, 2010

5/8/10 Chicago Cubs 2, Cincinnati Reds 14

Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, OH
Game 2 of 3

The second game of the infamous "lopsided series" of May 2010, always remembered and otherwise known as the "Starlin Castro debut series." The first game of the series shocked all but a handful of Cubs fans (and some Reds fans also), this game provided nearly as many surprises, but not nearly enough to the Cubs' benefit.

CHC 2 12 2
CIN 14 15 0

So this was really a nearly-evenly matched pitching duel, just looking at the SP lines:
Aaron Harang (CIN) 6.2IP, 7H, 2ER, BB, 9K, WP, 27 total batters faced
Tom Gorzellany (CHC) 6IP, 9H, 3ER, BB, 9K, HR, 27 total batters faced

Harang had a slight edge over Gorzelanny. As Len Kasper and Bob Brenly would comment during the next game, this was a very close game until the Cubs bullpen had the door shown to them by the Cubs defense. Yes, two routine ground balls, two back-to-back errors (one of them Starlin Castro's first MLB error), two Reds on base and IT hits the fan. When the brick dust settles, 4 Cubs pitchers face the entire Reds lineup twice in 2 consecutive innings, 11 runs scored by the Reds (only 6 of those earned) on 6 hits. Can't throw a phone book at all of them at once.

Rather than go further into game detail, I want to officially unload on the Fox Sports Ohio broadcasting team of Chris Welsh and Thom Brennaman. I've been unreasonably forced to watch baseball games on this channel, as it is my local sports affiliate (things have been better since MLB Network came along)'s bad enough they are Reds games, better when they are Cubs/Reds games, but sometimes nothing can disguise the smell of manure.

In a way very different than the dream team of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan, Welsh and Brennaman continue to demonstrate consistently their own brand of incompetency. Where Miller and Morgan (mostly Morgan) were inspired by egotism and a personalized and unsightly view of the game (as it relates or not to the game you are watching), these bozos are usually barely entertaining in their gaffes behind the mic.

Factoring out forgetfulness...I mean, we loved it when Ron used to forget who was up next, and Pat would tease him about it, it was part of their banter. When Welsh says the pitcher's spot is due up at the top of the next inning and you know without looking at your scoresheet that the pitcher was the last batter of the last inning, I guess that happens. Blame it on your scorebook, Welsh, as you always do. But what follows are example from this game of things these two boobs do all the time.

When Carlos Zambrano is entering the game out of the bullpen, after the obligatory discourse over his controversial assignment to the bullpen and anger management issues, the pitcher's stats appear onscreen and Welsh attempts to let all of us know what to expect.
WELSH: So here we get a look at Carlos Zambrano...the thing about Zambrano here, you know, we've seen him so many times as a starter, but take a look at the number of innings pitched...

There is a pause as K/BB numbers are circled on the screen graphic:

WELSH: ...and the number of striekouts. He's got 11 strikeouts in 24 innings, that's 4 and a half, bases...or, uh...4 and a half bases on balls per 9 innings, he's walking a lotta guys is what I'm saying...

Well, Chris Welsh, at this point even fans of the Reds don't know what the hell you're saying, I had trouble following it, and you obviously didn't even understand the graphic in front of you that you were circling as you were speaking...if you don't have a clue just don't even go there. It's apparent that up to this point he had 30 strikeouts in just over 24 innings, which means over 1 strikeout per inning, and a walk every other inning. This makes a little more sense than the oatmeal you were trying to squish through your teeth. Stay away from the stats, leave that for Joe Morgan. The punch line: right after this Brennaman says "All I know is the Reds need at least one more run." Well said, Charlie...

Welsh and Brennaman make it worse by trying to say Zambrano's 2.99 ERA is deceiving, again, with more random stat analysis. All in defense of Harang as a great pitcher, of course.

One of their typical 'baseball strategy' quotes also appeared in this game, as Jay Bruce gets a complement on defensive play, grabbing a big fly ball on the warning track:
WELSH: well, you know, when you think about right field, you don't think defense, I mean you think first of all, that right fielder is gonna give you plenty of pop at the plate...

WHAT?!? So if a guy is a big hitter, and lousy at defense, he's suitable for right field? This is why Welsh isn't a manager, I guess.

The rubber match is tomorrow, on WGN though. I can't stand Fox Sports Ohio.

I scored this game on 2/27/11.

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