Unoffensive

GAME 41 PREVIEW CHICAGO WHITE SOX (31-12) at CHICAGO CUBS (18-22) Wrigley Field, 2.20pm CT, TV: WGN
SP Mark Prior SP Brandon McCarthy
LF *Scott Podsednik 2B Jerry Hairston
2B Tadahito Iguchi SS #Neifi Perez
CF Aaron Rowand 1B Derrek Lee
1B Paul Konerko RF *Jeromy Burnitz
C *AJ Pierzynski 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF Jermaine Dye
d>CF *Corey Patterson SS Juan Uribe LF Jason Dubois 3B Joe Crede C Henry Blanco Pitcher's spot Pitcher's spot The Cubs have managed just two runs total in the first six innings of their last four games. That simply isn't a recipe for winning a lot of games, and it puts a tremendous pressure upon the the pitching staff and the defence behind them. Zambrano yesterday was simply masterful, and given his seven shutout inning performance, the Cubs should have been in a position in the game where they could afford the odd defensive mistake. A lack of offence though and Corey Patterson's prematurely closed mitt, after fantastic hustle and pace to make the ball playable at all, cost the Cubs dear. These bats simply have to wake up if the Cubs are going to win a decent number of games. Either that, or Mark Prior and co will have to throw a perfect game. Either way, or both. Today the Cubs get to see a major league debutant on the mound for the Chicago White Sox. Brandon McCarthy was the minor league strikeout leader last year, having a fantastic campaign in the Southern League (Double-A). Though he hadn't quite been at his best so far this year in Triple-A, he did have a fantastic Spring Training with the Sox, looking so dominating that the White Sox seemed to have few qualms about inserting him into their rotation to start the year when it seemed Mark Buerhle would miss time. Buerhle's injury wasn't as serious as first feared though, so McCarthy's had to wait, but he now gets his shot while El Duque takes his annual trip to the disabled list. Hopefully those Cub bats can say "welcome to the big leagues, kid, we do things differently here". While the Cubs are labouring against the best team in baseball, the St Louis Cardinals are beating upon the worst, the Kansas City Royals, and the rest of their interleague schedule is undisputedly easier too. While with the way the Cubs are playing this year this probably will prove to be irrelevant, major league baseball really needs to look into ensuring a more balanced and fairer schedule in future. [ruz] I'm in Harrisburg PA right now, looking at houses (we found one!) so I've had to follow the Cubs solely online, here and at Exile in Wrigleyville. It hasn't been fun, but luckily Vince hasn't rubbed it in my face too much. There hasn't been a cross-town sweep since 1999, so hopefully Prior can prevent that!

Comments

Hey Ruz,

Didn't know you would possibly end up here in the East. I have tickets for the Aug 4 game in the CBP (supposedly MUCH better than Vets' Stadium).

Maybe you, and any other TCR regulars in the area could meet for a brew or two (I make my own homebrew, so tailgating is a great thing).

-Gary

One minor quibble: didn't the Cubs sweep the second series last year?

Ron, you're right -- what I meant to say is that the Cubs hadn't been swept in the crosstown series since '99...

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  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 5 hours 6 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 5 hours 26 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 5 hours 27 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 5 hours 29 min ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 5 hours 38 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 6 hours 5 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 6 hours 20 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 6 hours 51 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?

    7-8-9th

    jacos 7 hours 6 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 11 hours 22 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 12 hours 4 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 12 hours 8 min ago view
  • How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.

    videographer 14 hours 2 min ago view
  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 15 hours 50 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 16 hours 25 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 16 hours 38 min ago view