8/11 Making contact

The Cubs set a franchise record with 44 strikeouts in three games against the Rays Friday through Sunday, and struck out nine times against the Brewers on Monday. No. 8 came in the ninth when Francisco Rodriguez out-dueled Anthony Rizzo in a 13-pitch at-bat.

“I just wanted to put him away,” Rodriguez said. “I was, ‘Here, hit it as hard as you can.’ He put up a battle. That’s what I expected. He’s a really good, young hitter.”

The at-bat was so long, Rodriguez said, he even invented a cutter, which he had never thrown before.

“I was just trying to get him to put the ball in play,” Rodriguez said. “It was like, ‘Oh, wow. This can be a long inning.’ So I gave him something out over [the plate] so he could put it in play. He just kept missing it.”

One other head-scratching stat: The Cubs have drawn two walks in the last four games.

“They’re chasing balls out of the zone a little bit,” manager Rick Renteria said. “They’re facing guys who have pretty good stuff — [Yovani] Gallardo is no slouch, and the relief corps is pretty good.”

— Carrie Muskat


The wisdom of Renteria continues to amaze me as he seems totally lost in this job. He does not understand the attributes of a 2 hole hitter nor the value of protecting Rizzo and Castro with a 5 hole hitter. Hate to see the minor league talent eventually playing under his management.
Strikeouts to walk ratio is sad for major leaguers. Should be going deeper into counts and cutting down on big swings.

I’m not sure about Renteria’s options for a 5 hole hitter capable of protecting ANYBODY, who on the roster would you bat 5 in order to afford Rizzo and Castro protection? Renteria may not have that luxury until September (Soler?) or even next season when some of the rookies such as Baez, Soler and Bryant have cut their teeth a little bit in the big leagues. Baez in the two hole is more than likely a temporary spot for him and is more for his benefit than him being an ideal two hole hitter. Things are evolving and Renteria can certainly be given some wriggle room when it comes to the line up considering his lack of options. His wisdom will be tested more next year than ever before.

I would not be batting Baez second. I would keep Coghlan at leadoff, because he is doing a great job. Alcantara seems to have dropped off since the arrival of Baez and being dropped in the order.
I would try, for a few games: Coghlan, Alcantara, Baez, Rizzo, Castro.
Or switch Castro and Baez.

Pingback: The Daily CCO: Cubs Keep Chasing and Other News and Notes - Chicago Cubs Online

I like that J.J. Maybe switching Alcantara to one hole,Coghlan to the two hole to try to get Alcantara going. One thing about being in last place is it can not get worse. Rizzo is in a funk too,now is the time to try scenarios,it can not hurt and may improve on a draft selection,it is all about moving forward yet building confidence within the organization. Much Much more enthusiastic about were the team is now than last year at this time.

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