James Russell… welcome to the Cubs rotation.
– James is making his first big-league start after starting the year in the bullpen (and pitching quite well)
– James is making an ‘emergency start’ for the Cubs… with a 50 pitch limit in place of the injured Cashner
– James is pitching against Houston in his home state of Texas in front of family and friends.
– Bourn welcomes Russell to the rotation with a bunt single, beating Russell to the bag
– Sanchez welcomes Russell to the rotation with a bunt single, beating Russell to the bag with an amazingly awkward headfirst dive into first (yes – back to back bunt singles to open the game)
– Pence singles (great piece of hitting). 1 run scores, Runners at 1st and 2nd.
– Lee strikes out, but requires 9 pitches (out of James’ 50 pitch limit).
– Michaels flies out.
– Hall singles to Soriano, who is charged with an error for momentarily losing the ball between his legs, but gets it back into the infield quickly in time to catch Hall in a rundown between 1st and 2nd… where Barney is charged with an error for missing the tag on Hall, who is safe at second. During the goofiness, another run scores.
– Johnson flies out. And Scene.
– Quintero doubles.
– The pitcher Myers singles to Colvin, who appeared to lose the ball in the lights. Quintero to third.
– Bourn hits a grounder that appeared to hit Russell, Castro gets the force at second. A Run scores.
– Bourn steals second base.
– Bourn steals third base.
– Sanchez pops out to Barney.
– Pence singles. Run scores.
– Samardjiza replaces Russell. And Scene.
55 pitches. 5 outs. 5 runs. 2 bunt singles. 2 Cub errors. 1 ball lost in the lights. 1 ball hit off the pitcher. 2 stolen bases. 1 botched rundown.
Number of asprin needed by James tonight: 4.
The Cubs Rotation: Abandon hope all ye who enter here.
Shake it off, Russell. You didn’t pitch all that poorly. It was just one of those days.
“There’ll be days like this my Mama said.”
It’s time to embrace the great city of Chicago’s secret weapon: our Qoaches.
It all started with that crafty Quenneville intimidating opponents with the stache while Toews, Hossa, Keith, Sharp and the boys muscled their way through the league to return home with Lord Stanley’s Cup.
And, while you got some much needed rest last night, Qhibodeau was plotting this year’s Running of the Bulls. Captain Rose, Noah, Boozer, Deng and a grizzly band of pirates are preparing to sink the fleets of King James and Admiral Hollywood, before the entire league sinks into the Maelstrom of Labour Disputes. Population Two.
Which brings us to the Quade. It’s been wacky so far, and I have no doubt it will continue. The most impressive two fifths of the rotation so far this year on the DL after just one turn through the rotation? Check. A second-base platoon with TWO hot-hitting right handed batters? Check and Check. Russell scheduled to get the start as the 5th man WITHOUT getting stretched out? Quade planning on 45 pitches from him and then rolling with the bullpen? Probably followed by newly promoted Stevens for a couple of innings? Yes!
He’s going to take a ton of heat for it, especially if it fails, but I love it. The fifth starter will probably be used three times this month. Russell doesn’t really have time to be properly stretched out, but he’s pitched well. The AAA season has just started, and there’s no sense screwing up the development plan for the Iowa starters this early – especially since Russell was the next best choice in Spring Training along with Coleman. If we need a longer term solution (cross your fingers for NO), the Iowa starters, Coleman and Russell will all have had a few starts, and the Q can make a decision. A three inning start is perfect to stretch him out, and move him into a starter’s routine. His next start, he should be ready to throw 80+ pitches. Heck, it beats a SIMULATED GAME. Bah-dum-bum. Tip your waitresses Cubs fans, I’ll be here all season.
Trust in the Q.
Also, if the Bears want to jump on the bandwagon, I would recommend:
No need for the White Sox to change anything. Ozzie is already crazy enough to be an honorary Q.