Joe Maddon says Braves-Cubs game should not have been played
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Baseball wasn’t meant to be played on cold, rainy days, and manager Joe Maddon didn’t even think the Cubs should’ve been on the field for their 14-10 comeback victory Saturday.
“I give both teams a lot of credit under the circumstances,” Maddon said, “because that game should not have been played.”
The three-hour, 43-minute game started at 1:22 p.m. with 38-degree weather, a 28-degree wind chill and winds gusting out of the northeast at 24 mph.
The temperature dropped to 37 degrees in the fourth inning with the wind chill at 25.
Pitchers suffered the most from the conditions. The teams combined for 18 walks, four wild pitches and two hit batters. There were also four errors.
“I had an idea of where the ball was gonna go but no real pinpoint control,” Cubs reliever Eddie Butler said. “So I just ended up attacking the zone as much as possible and trying to let them get themselves out.”
Maddon said the conditions were the worst he has managed in.
“I thought the 2008 World Series was the worst weather game I ever participated in,” he said. “I think it just got surpassed. That’s not baseball weather. The elements were horrific to play baseball. It’s not conducive.
“We’ll do what we’re asked or told to, but those were the worst elements I’ve ever experienced in a game. Ever. And I’ve been in some pretty bad stuff.”
Jose Quintana was used to getting no-decisions after quality starts with the White Sox.
Against Atlanta, his luck tilted in the other direction for a change. Quintana didn’t factor in the decision despite allowing seven runs in 2„ innings.
“That’s lucky,” Quintana said. “It was a very special game for us. Everybody knows it was a tough game for me with the weather. But I need to do my job.
“It was a tough day. But it’s not about me, and I’m excited we got the ‘W’ after that.”
The Cubs’ starting pitchers haven’t lived up to expectations, and they’ve especially struggled in the last week.
Jon Lester allowed four runs in five innings Wednesday, and Yu Darvish melted down after 4‰ innings Friday.
“We haven’t gotten any depth,” Maddon said. “And I look at that and we’re surviving, so I look at that as a positive. These guys are so good, they’re going to turn it on and get on a nice little roll.”
Albert Almora Jr. was a late addition to the lineup after missing the game Friday with an illness.
He immediately made his presence felt with a diving catch in center field in the first inning that saved at least one run. Then Almora tied the score 1-1 by blasting a home run in the bottom of the inning.
Victor Caratini was originally slated to start the game at first base, with Ian Happ in center and Ben Zobrist in left. Instead, Almora came in to bat second, Zobrist moved to first, Happ moved to left and Caratini came out of the lineup.
The homer was Almora’s first of the season.