BCB reader elgato suggested in the comments to the recap of last night's win that sometimes thrilling walkoff wins like that can energize a team.
So -- is that true?
Well -- sometimes. The homer that Aramis Ramirez hit last night was the fifth walkoff of his career. Perhaps the most memorable of those was the one he hit against the Brewers on June 29, 2007, bringing the Cubs all the way back from a 5-0 first-inning deficit to a 6-5 win.
Did that energize the team? Not the next day, when the Brewers beat them 13-4. But the day after that was July 1, the first day of a new month -- and the 2007 Cubs went 17-9 in July, gaining 6.5 games in the standings over the course of the month, and the next day, August 1, they moved into a first-place tie.
What about 2008, when A-Ram hit a walkoff on June 20 vs. the White Sox? That was a big win, because the Cubs had just come off getting swept in Tampa. The Cubs won three of their next four after that, but then cooled off and didn't really get going till the end of July.
And A-Ram's walkoff on April 18, 2009 vs. the Cardinals didn't seem to do much either; they won two more in a row, then lost seven out of nine.
So -- a division championship team in 2007 did get a boost from a walkoff, a division championship team in 2008 didn't, and a non-playoff team didn't. I realize that's walkoffs from only one player, but the results are inconclusive.
Incidentally, I mentioned this morning that last night's was A-Ram's fifth career walkoff -- but only four have been with the Cubs. The other one was August 12, 2001 with the Pirates over the Padres -- off an ex-Cub, Rodney Myers. In fact, no fewer than nine players in that game, including A-Ram, played for the Cubs at one time in their careers.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2010 - Carlos Silva||4-0||7||7||0||0||0||0||42.1||42||18||16||5||9||26||3.40||1.20|
|2010 - Jhoulys Chacin||2-1||4||3||0||0||0||0||20.1||13||6||6||2||6||19||2.66||.93|
Here is an interesting article from the Denver Post on how Jhoulys Chacin got his first name (and how to pronounce it -- "Yo-lease"). Oddly, even though he is seven years younger, Jhoulys is the uncle of Gustavo Chacin, a former Toronto pitcher now with the Astros -- per Wikipedia, Jhoulys' mother is a cousin of Gustavo's grandfather. Jhoulys made a relief appearance vs. the Cubs last August 9 in Denver and though he did not get the loss, he did allow what turned out to be the decisive run in a 6-5 Cubs win -- a home run to Kosuke Fukudome.
Carlos Silva has made five career relief appearances vs. the Rockies, all years ago when he was with the Phillies. The two Rockies he has faced the most are bench players he faced frequently in the AL -- Melvin Mora and Jason Giambi. With cool weather expected again tonight, he could have a nice night for his sinker to work.
Today's game is again on CSN Chicago and FSN Rocky Mountain. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Tonight's first pitch thread will be up at 7 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 8, 9 and 9:45 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.