Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Game Recap: Cubs 6, Astros 3

Cubs 6, Astros 3
It's odd, but I've read multiple recaps about the game and nowhere have I seen a mention of the passed balls capitalized on by the Cubs. 

Regardless, Reed Johnson's big day was emphasized by scoring not once but twice on passed balls.  But probably more impressive was Reed's 3-run triple in the 1st inning and Aramis Ramirez's homerun in the 7th, giving the Cubs all the offense they'd need to beat a putrid Astros team. 

On the mound Rich Harden pitched 7 splendid innings of 1-run ball; unfortunately Lou elected to dip from the well once too often and left Harden in there to be hammered in the 8th.  But then Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg - both of whom will be the subject of an afternoon post if I can remember it - stepped in and closed out the game for a Cubs win.

Overall the Cubs collected 8 hits and 4 walks, and the only two members of the Questionable Quartet to start today - Bradley and Soto - combined to go 1 for 8 with a walk and 2 runs scored.  Not exactly splendid by any means.

Talent In, Garbage Out
Although we Cub fans appear to be brimming with common sense, Hendrinella did not release Neal Cotts yesterday and designate Angel Guzman as the defacto LOOGY, but they did smartly demote the struggling Jeff Samardzija while promoting an Iowan Fox - only not the right one for the job.

Chad Fox - rather than the ball-crushing Jake Fox - has been called up.  Fox apparently enjoys the taste of pain, otherwise he'd be retired by now.  Presently in 11.1 innings of Iowan work he has an ERA of 1.59, but I ask again - why do the Cubs need 7 relievers?

The other Fox presently has a .393 AVG in 89 at bats along with 12 homeruns.  And did we mention that before this season he's played 274 games at catcher, 119 games at first, 4 games at third, and 99 games in the outfield?  Isn't that kind of versatility valuable? 

Cubs play for the mini-sweep today.

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If by "versatility" you mean

If by "versatility" you mean "inability to play any of those four positions particularly well," then... no.

The numbers are staggering, though. He appears to have totally earned himself a big league job.

I'm personally pretty excited to see Jake Fox succeeding along with Randy Wells. I actually worked one summer during college as an intern for the Daytona Cubs while Wells and Fox were there. Both really cool guys. At that point, Brian Dopirak was all the rage... Oops.

Teams tend to have two types

Teams tend to have two types of bench guys, in theory...

There's the so-called "defensive specialist" who can play many positions well but can't hit water if he falls out of a boat. See - theoretically - Neifi Perez.

Then there's the "offensive masher with versatility" who can hit tons of homers AND plays defense adequate enough to justify a role as a back-up, but not a starter. See Darryle Ward, Micah Hoffpauir, and Fox.

Rarely do we have the "offensive masher with defensive specialist versatility." That was Mark DeRosa.

Jake Fox

Totally agree... I'm not saying Jake Fox shouldn't be in the big leagues... he's certainly got a big league bat. But his defensive versatility is, well, questionable.

Remember his cup of coffee in '07? He was playing RF out in San Francisco with a frying pan for a glove and with what appeared to be an equilibrium issue. I wish I could find a website that tracked minor league UZR, but I'm going to speculate his isn't very good.

I'm guessing Chad Fox won't last any longer than Zambrano's stint on the DL. I can see the Cubs carrying around extra bullpen with him on the shelf.

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