Saturday, April 23, 2011
Posted: 12:43 p.m. Updated: 3:42 p.m.
By Patrick Mooney
Mike Quade rarely veers this far off script. The Cubs manager usually sits in the interview room and stays on his positive message.
But after Fridays 12-2 loss, Quade took a question about his starting pitcher (Casey Coleman) and went in an entirely different direction, wondering why the Los Angeles Dodgers would be running with a seven-run lead.
A.J. Ellis got thrown out at second base in the fifth inning of an 8-1 game. The next morning there was Dodgers manager Don Mattingly talking with Quade during batting practice.
We figured they were going to be irritated, Mattingly said Saturday. We missed the sign.
Mattingly indicated that third-base coach Tim Wallach put the sign on by mistake and then motioned to call it off. Ellis is a 6-foot-2-inch, 224-pound catcher with zero career stolen bases.
I definitely wouldnt run A.J, Mattingly said.
Mattingly also pointed out that Wrigley Field is unpredictable and that the other night his team gave up eight runs in the ninth inning of a 10-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. You play to win the game.
Quade downplayed a similar incident on April 9 in Milwaukee, where Brewers speedster Carlos Gomez stole second and third with a 5-0 lead. If that violation of baseball code bothered Quade, he didnt let it show too much publicly.
There wasnt much restraint on Friday it definitely burned Quade. It will be fun to watch the manager if he reveals his sarcastic side more often as he grows into the job.
I do think that I probably need a copy of the Milwaukee and L.A. unwritten rules books, Quade said. I dont know if they missed a sign (or) if it was a hit-and-run. I got to brush up on my unwritten rules. There might be an L.A. and Milwaukee version I need to read.
How many runs are too many?
Oh, I dont know, I was just curious, Quade said. I guess 15.
The Cubs are leaning toward giving James Russell a third spot start rather than promoting someone from the minors for Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies.
Russell has lasted 5 23 innings in his two starts, giving up nine runs on 14 hits. The 25-year-old left-handers future is in the bullpen, but hes stretched out to around 70 pitches and apparently the Cubs arent overly impressed by the options within their system.
This time the Cubs are going to try to avoid using Russell out of the bullpen in between starts, hoping that will make him more effective.
Jeff Stevens took the bullet and went 3 13 innings in relief of Coleman on Friday, which essentially made him unavailable for the rest of the weekend. So the Cubs optioned him to Triple-A Iowa on Saturday and recalled right-hander Justin Berg to give them another fresh arm in the bullpen.
Patrick Mooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. Follow Patrick on Twitter @CSNMooney for up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.