6/5 A second-guessers’ delight
Mike Quade knows his decision to not intentionally walk Albert Pujols in the 12th inning Saturday was a “second-guessers’ delight.” Did the Cubs manager get any sleep after the game, which Pujols won with a walkoff homer?
“No sleep — first time in a long time,” Quade said Sunday. “You put things to bed, so to speak, no pun intended, and I spent a lot of time here thinking about everything. It never went away too good. It’s a new day.
“For some of the tough ones we’ve had, that was a lot worse than the two in Cincinnati for me and I didn’t think that would be the case. To have one guy do that to you and the Cubs-Cardinals thing and all the rest of it [it was tough].”
And next time? Quade told Jeff Samardzija to be careful. Next time, he’ll make sure he’s more specific with the pitcher and catcher on what approach they want.
“That’s something I learned yesterday,” he said.
Pujols had hit two home runs in May, but now has three in the first five days of June, and all have come against the Cubs in this series.
“It’s a second-guessers’ delight,” Quade said. “Do you walk the guy with the bases empty and two outs? This guy is going to have 650 at-bats and have 35 home runs. If it’s a damage situation, like when we walked him to load the bases [in the 10th], I’m not interested in that guy beating me there. But that predicament late in the game [in the 12th] with two outs and nobody on the bases is a different deal.
“I’d like to think we’ll do a better job attacking him in those situations so it doesn’t happen. He can hit a double there. We have to keep him in the ballpark and we didn’t.”
The Cubs will have to face Pujols one more time Sunday, and then Cincinnati’s Joey Votto and Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard this week.
“For me to walk a guy with two outs and nobody on, I don’t think you’ll see that happen very often,” Quade said, “and you may not see it happen with [Pujols], especially if there’s protection behind him because he’s not the only one who can do damage with this club. There’s a lot of things you take into consideration.”
Lance Berkman was waiting on deck in the 12th and he’s had tremendous success against the Cubs.
“If we walk Pujols and he doesn’t beat us with a home run, you still ponder the situation and the decision but you probably get some sleep,” Quade said. “It’s a second-guessers’ delight and I understand that. Those situations are going to present themselves again and we’ll have to see where we go with it.”
– Carrie Muskat