Sunday, August 14, 2011

8/14/11 Chicago Cubs 6, Atlanta Braves 5

Turner Field, Atlanta, GA
Game 3 of 3

Brandon Beachy is a GREAT pitcher!He’s also the only professional baseball player that I know of whose alma mater is the same as my own…so WORD, Brandon Beachy!!

The ‘rubber match’ of the strangest Cubs series of the season could only end on a stranger note than the way it started, so let’s recap with a quick game of “Cubs: TOAD or HERO?”

Game 1: TOAD = Carlos Zambrano
Game 2: HERO = Randy Wells
Game 3: HERO = Carlos Pena With one swing of his bat, he makes a 2-run HR difference between the Cubs winning and the Cubs losing.

Beachy strikes out 8 Cubs; the entire Braves pitching staff strikes out a whopping 18 Cubs total, my goodness. No Cubs walk, at all.

In his end-of-the-year ”Strange stuff…in 2011 regular season” article on, Jayson Stark lists this game as one of his “Five strangest but truest games of the year”:
”Only the Cubs could win an Aug. 14 game against Atlanta in which they struck out 18 times, drew no walks and committed four errors. How many other teams in modern history have won a game in which they did all that? None, of course. But remember, they're the Cubs!

Cubs fans are well-accustomed to this type of notoriety, and while it’s true that it’s been a long time since the Cubs were really this weird, in retrospect I’m glad that I not only watched this game, but committed it to record with my scoresheet…if neither had happened, I wouldn’t appreciate the events of this game quite as much.

Beyond the weirdness alluded to in Stark’s article, there is more!

Brandon Beachy (see above) really is amazing. In a weird way.

Dan Uggla’s hitting streak ENDS at 33 games; in his 3rd plate appearance Darwin Barney robs him of a clean base hit in a brilliant defensive play at which he had no real shot at making…thereby making him the most unpopular man in the entire state of Georgia.

The Cubs fail to successfully execute one of my favorite “rundown” plays ever: the less-than-traditional “6-5-plunk Jose Constanza in the back-6” play.

Those 4 errors in the game? All throwing errors.

Atlanta does not get any extra base hits.

The Cubs win 11 of their last 14 games, and they win their 4th consecutive series.

Last, but not least, Jose Constanza (who was discussed in my Game 2 post) is finally caught on camera licking his bat after getting a piece of a fastball.

First he gets a whiff of the wood, something many batters do…Then, there goes his tongue…YES, his tongue…as he gets a taste!A different angle…Can you believe this??

SCOREKEEPER’S NOTE: You read my dissertation in the Game 2 post regarding Chipper Jones being charged with an error, then seeing it vanish into thin air after the fact…in this game, the Official Scorer apparently learned the hard way that “you don’t charge Chipper with an error and get away with it,” as Chipper once again fails to make a routine throw to first in the top of the 9th, allowing Aramis Ramirez to reach 1B safely with 2 outs. Yes, the home field Official Scorer would rather give Ramirez credit for a base hit as well as open up the possibility for Craig Kimbrel to end up with at least 1 earned run, should anybody score in this inning, rather than go through the headache of charging Jones with an E and having to answer for it later on. Due to the game situation, I concur with the Official Scorer’s ruling this time around and don’t charge an E against Jones.

Why, you ask?

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