Rough last 12 hours for Miguel Montero. The Cubs’ catcher gave up SEVEN stolen bases last night. Trea Turner swiped four bags, Michael Taylor got two, and Anthony Rendon had one. After the game, instead of putting his hand up saying “my bad” he blamed the Cubs pitchers for taking too long to the plate.
In Turner’s first steal, Arrieta got to the plate in 1.34 seconds. Montero made a shitty throw and his pop time on that throw was 2.06. Basically a good throw may have gotten him. On Turner’s next steal of second base, Arrieta was 1.35 to home, but Montero did not throw. Finally, on Turner’s last steal of third, Arrieta was again a 1.34 to home, but Turner had a big lead on second.
I’m not going to defend Montero exactly, but Arrieta didn’t do a great job holding runners on last night. And while a 1.34 to home isn’t a death sentence to the catcher, if the baserunner has the pitcher’s timing down, it makes it tougher. Now I was a catcher. I was once timed at a 1.84 pop time (NBD but KBD) so I get the feeling of Montero saying the pitchers weren’t giving him a chance. I used to get so pissed when I threw a strike to second and my dumbass shortstop missed the tag or something. But here’s the thing; a 2.06 pop time isn’t great. The MLB average for in game pop-times is around 1.95. A tenth of a second is a fucking ETERNITY when it comes to stealing bases. And Montero had one of the best and quickest taggers in Javy Baez playing short last night so if he just got it in the vicinity of the base before the runner got there, Baez would have slapped the tag down.
So what happens next? Montero airs out his pitchers and since the Cubs have Wilson Contreras and Montero is like 70 years old, he gets DFA’d. So the moral of the story is maybe just go to the mound and tell your pitcher to mix in a slide step every now and then instead of publicly calling out your pitchers. Oh yeah and fucking throw the ball when runners are stealing and be better.