Imanaga Time Shortened By Rain

Today’s game had a three hour rain delay which stole a win away from Shota Imanaga who only pitched 4 innings as a result of the aforementioned rain delay. The Cubs were leading 6-0 when the rain delay started and would end up winning 8-1.

There has been a lot of discussion in online communities and on the radio over the last few months about various rules that have changes since the start of the 2020 season and following the lockout. However, today’s game got me thinking about a couple rules that have never changed and likely never will. Yency Almonte got the win over pitching one inning in relief of Imanaga following the rain delay and then Daniel Palencia got the save pitching three innings to end the game.

Let’s start with Shota losing out on a win because of the rain. There is a fine line here but shouldn’t a rain delay that knocks the starting pitcher out of the game be an exception to the rule that they have to pitch five innings and leave the game with a lead to qualify for the win? There is no reason what so ever a relieved who threw one inning after the rain delay should be getting a win in a game such as today’s Cubs game.

The same discussion should be had about Palencia’s save. The Cubs were up 8-0 when he came into the game. To qualify for a save the pitcher must enter the game with a lead of no more than 3 runs and pitch at least one inning. Palencia should not have been credited with a save.

Here’s the thing folks: In cases like the Cubs-Dodgers game today the reliever who pitches the longest after the rain delay should be getting the win and no save should be awarded.

Other Thoughts

On opening day before the Cubs home opener President of Business Operations Crane Kenny and President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer were interviewed by David Kaplan and Johnathan Hood on their ESPN morning show (click their name to hear the interview with them). Both were asked about the slow winter.

My take away from listening to both interviews is that while the Cubs are not affected as much as team like the Milwaukee Brewers and Seattle Mariners this past off-season was just the tip of the iceberg. One thing Kenny pointed out when discussing the Regional Sports Network (RSN) bankruptcies is that over the last fifteen years all world series champions had a top five farm system prior to winning the world series. His point here being that baseball is becoming of a younger mans game again.

Also, they both made it crystal clear in their opening day interviews that thanks to the RSN bankruptcies many teams simply do not have the money available in their budgets to go out signing players to long term contracts for massive amounts of money. These two interviews with league insiders just go to show that while the Cubs do have the money to spend on being and staying competitive they are being careful.

That said: many fans, including me, feel they are being too careful. Take for example the pitching injuries they have had to deal with during the first ten games of the season specifically Justin Steele pulling his hamstring against the Texas Rangers. Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery were long gone by then having both signed with the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks respectively. Leaving the Cubs no option but to turn to their minor league system while Steele works his way back over the next month.

With that… it’s time for the Cubs first trip out west of the season.

If you cannot play with them, then root for them.

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