The Battle of the Bulge

GAME SIXTEEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (9-6, 4th, -1.5) AT ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (10-6, 3rd, -1.0) Busch Stadium, 1:15 PM CDT Weather: 77 degrees, Cloudy, Wind 7 mph left to right TV: WGN, DirecTV 735 Radio: WGN, XM 187
Sydney Ponson, RHP 1-0, 3.97 ERA, 11.1 IP 5 K, 1 BB, 2 HRGlendon Rusch, LHP 1-2. 6.60 ERA, 15 IP
HR*Juan Pierre, CF Ronny Cedeno, SS *Todd Walker, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B *John Mabry, 1B *Jacque Jones, RF Matt Murton, LF Henry Blanco, C *Glendon Rusch, PDavid Eckstein, SS Hector Luna, 2B Albert Pujols, 1B Scott Rolen, 3B *Jim Edmonds, CF Juan Encarnacion, RF Yadier Molina, C So Taguchi, LF Sidney Ponson, P
Cubs vs. Ponson Jacque Jones: 5-26, 192/267/308, 3 BB, 5 K Todd Walker: 6-18, 333/368/389, 1 BB, 1 KCardinals vs. Rusch Albert Pujols: 13-38, 342/419/737, 3 HR, 6 2B Jim Edmonds: 13-49 265/308/327, 3 BB, 12 K Scott Rolen: 8-26, 308/455/577, 2 HR, 6 BB, 7 K Juan Encarnacion: 5-14, 357/438/429, 2 BB, 2 K So Taguchi: 4-18 222/263/222, 1BB, 1 K
Let's just forget about last night's game, all I have to say is that Jacque Jones should probably not be in there versus lefty pitchers, especially those of the quality of Mark Mulder. Granted, options are limited, but Restovich can play right field and wastiing 3-4 at-bats a game doesn't seem like the best use of your talent. Today it's Butterball Rusch versus another out of shape pitcher, Sydney Ponson. If the game gets out of hand, I say they settle the score in a sumo match. Rusch should make all efforts to avoid pitching to Pujols and Rolen today as he has a lot better luck versus Edmonds. GO CUBS!!!


Cedeno #2? OK with me. Please Rusch, don't suck today. Please.

well it's certainly better than Henry Blanco in the #2 spot...

Cedeno at #2 is better than Neifi batting anywhere

I know it's only two games into the post-Lee lineups, but whatever happened to all those predictions that Dusty was itching for an excuse to get Neifi 500 ABs? And one of the young players that "Dusty doesn't play" batting in the two hole....

Damn Walker...

re: neifi and use of bench

injuries matter.

proper injury replacements matter.

everyone will play on the 25-man under dusty, but if you dont give a manager something worthy of a replacement you have the option of crap vs. slightly less crappy depending on where you lay your importance of what makes a player...which is a whole lot of nothing to bitch about when it comes down to it.


don't know if you were responding to my post about Neifi, but unlike a lot of people on TCR I don't mind Neifi getting a start or two a week off the bench. I just find it amusing that so many folks automatically assumed that it was a given that Dusty would jump at the first opportunity to have Neifi in the lineup every day.

yeah i was...

all im saying about neifi is, unfortunately, a lot of his use last year was due to injury, not cuz he has some hardon for the guy.

we've seen a lot of injury/rest replacements in 04/05 because when the regulars they back up are injured (or the injury replacement is injured) you got the option of crap vs. crap or total radical realignment of roles on the club.

a lotta bitching has taken place about why crap player 1 isnt playing over crap player 2...all that aside when push comes to shove and you look at the difference of what each player can do...its just a bunch nothing.

I'm sure it's been said here before, but it's getting tiresome to hear Joe Buck's call of the southsiders' WS victory every slapping time I log into

Someone please explain that double switch to me...why neuter an already-hurting lineup by bringing Neifi in for Walker? Williamson pitched ~18 hours ago...he's not going to give more than one good inning anyway...

Steve...there is no explanation other Dusty making a TERRIBLE decision.

williamson pretty much would pitch today anyway after getting such a light touch of work yesterday.

the warming up williamson did was bigger than the workload he got.

Crunch: I have much less of a problem with Williamson pitching than I do with Walker being pulled for Neifi, especially since we're now down 3-1. At least move Walker to first and pull Mabry, or bring in Hairston if you're dying to get Walker out of the game...I just don't get it.

Neifi in for Walker now batting 3rd.

Does anyone want to retract their post?

Actually I believe Neifi is batting in the 9-hole and the pitcher's spot is third, due to the double switch. Not really much better though.

crunch...i don't think anyone really has an issue with williamson coming in. The issue is with the double switch.

a double switch for walker when you're only picking up 3 spots in the batting order....and now you're gonna have crappy hitters right in the middle of the lineup the rest of the day...all that to get neifi into the lineup.

that's inexcusable. no reason to double switch for the 3 hitter. dusty just doesn't understand why they're useful. atrocious.

At least bring Hairston in - at least the guy can get on base.

Does anyone else think that part of the reason the cubs offense has so much trouble scoring runs is because of Dusty's penchant for playing musical chairs with the lineup in the middle of games every other day?

Somebody needs to explain to him (preferably slowly, in speech peppered with "dude") that this is not little league and he doesn't need to make sure that everyone has had a chance to play...

since inning 4.2 the problem with the club hasnt been neifi or walker or etc...its been rusch, williamson, and hopefully not whoever's next.

And now Bynum in for Murton!?!?!

Stop the freakin' insanity...

Someone shoot this man.

Bynum for Murton...

Why don't we just skip the preamble and bring Restovich in for Ramirez. I bet it would be fun to have Hairston come in to play CF too.

I will now drink whisky.

You know it's bad when Brenly comments about Walker and Murton being gone.

Dusty, for God's sake put your Dugout Dice away.

LaRussa must be laughing his ass off...

Uh oh, Brenly is getting into Steve Stone territory with that kind of injurious rhetoric.

Crunch: I agree that the pitching has just fallen apart, and I am making no excuses for Rusch or Williamson. Unfortunately that doesn't change the fact that the Cubs are now losing 4-1 -- it's ridiculous to pull some of our most effective offensive players just to gain a couple of lineup spots in the next inning when we need runs to even have a chance at winning this game.

I try not to be a mindless Dusty-basher, but days like today just leave me scratching my head.

let's double switch in the two worst hitters on the team! for two of the best hitters left! on a day when we're already losing! and lee is hurt! YAY!!!
f u dusty. defend this, manny. we need offense. dustbag is taking it out.

If double switches were runs the Cubs might have a chance. Otherwise, wtf.

sorry crunch, Dusty's lineup insanity is a problem. Like I said the other day, my biggest fear about D-Lee being out of the lineup is how confused Dusty would be.

Are the Cubs the first team in recent memory to do a double switch with their #3 hole hitter?

big john...uh what?

i dunno what game you're watching...but given neither guy everyone is bitching about hasnt even come up to the plate...the problem so far has been 2 other guys since inning 4.2...rusch/williamson.

that's all i said.

Crunch: Neifi grounded out lamely to third...more proof that he is the king of useless groundouts.


C'mon, that's ridiculous. Neifi's groundouts are extremely useful if you're the opposing pitcher with a runner on 1st and less than 2 outs.

hehe...thanks, I needed some humor. In all seriousness, it's pretty sad when the manager reduces the fans of his club to snark-filled sarcasm on a near-daily basis...but then again, what else are we left with?

steve, why tell me that?

look people...

if someone makes a "who cares" or "pro dusty" or whatever you wanna call it statement.

you gotta at least stay on topic to the statement if you wanna take digs at someone.

this is not politics...this isnt some team 1 vs. team 2 just cant make it black/white and try to categorize people on "sides"

Crunch: I brought up Neifi's groundout to combat your statement that the rest of us were jumping the gun in criticizing the double-switches because neither Neifi nor Bynum had appeared at the plate.

I don't understand the rationale that says it's silly to criticize the double-switches because the pitching has been bad. In my view, that's exactly the reason to criticize them -- with pitching this bad, why put the game completely out of reach by double-switching away two of your most effective bats?

well, that wasnt my criticism.

nor was that my statement.

...and Bynum strikes out swinging on a high, outside fastball. Can we now say that the double-switches were a bad idea?

I think I figured out a little trick with the I too was a little annoyed by listening to the St. Louis call. If you get to the game by going to the Cubs official website, then clicking on the MLB.TV link under the pictures of the starting pitchers, you will got the Len & Bob feed. Not that it's a whole lot better, but....

i have no "hidden agenda" behind that. its what i mean. the pitching really let this crap get out of hand.

i dont agree to the bynum move and i have no idea what made the walker switch only guess that makes sense is rest. i haven't even offered an opinion til now, but since its a topic i might as well share it at this point.

if you wanna argue with me, argue about whether you think its rest or not...i dont need to be treated like i made the move or i'm all about it, though.


Not to continue the debate, but my problem with the double switches is that the game wasn't out of hand. A 4-1 game with 4 innings to play against a weak bullpen is winnable, even without your best hitter. However, its much less winnnable when you also lose your hottest hitter and one of your best on base talents to seemingly pointless double switches.

Dusty's moves certainly didn't cost us the game today, but i'd argue they hindered our chances at making a comeback.

Now, there may be a reason he did it such as fatigue... but without getting one i'm left to conclude he's just overmanaging today.

It's not my intention to start a flame-war. I agree that you did not explicitly state that the double-switches were OK, but the tone of your writing strongly implied that the rest of us were wrong and/or premature in our criticism of the double-switches, which is what started to pull the thread off-topic in the first place.

Moving on -- I don't believe the double-switches were for rest, as the Cubs just had an off-day. I believe Dusty places too much importance on who is coming up immediately in the next inning and doesn't stop to think about how a double-switch will affect his lineup for the rest of the game, especially in a game where the Cubs are trailing and need offense.


Never mind my last comment... i think i see what the problem in this non-debate debate is. And, yes i agree with you - our starting pitching has been awful in this series.

Wholeheartedly agreed with Crunch & Shawn...the pitching has been postively awful.

yeah, a lotta people had problem with the double switch, i dont doubt it.

i also didnt say anything about it...sometimes stuff gets ignored on the way to exploding about other things.

also, there's a lot of jumping on people about things they didnt even say, cover, or mention if there's a scent of pro-dusty or who-cares about a dusty move.

about the rest thing...the only reason the walker/rest move makes sense is cuz he took his glove out 2 innings early. that pretty much equals a "rest move"...


The pitching wasn't that terrible. Rush pitched great through 4+, and made a few mistakes.

Williamson came in and did what he needed to do - he got a ground ball that was just hit in the place to get through the infield.

Don't get me wrong - Rusch and Williamson were not great. But they were not terrible either.

You have to blame the offense for this one - one run against a crappy pitcher who gave the Cubs sevearal opportunities to score. They just couldn't capitalize.

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  • video of Maddon.

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 6 hours 53 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 6 hours 58 min ago view

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 7 hours 3 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 7 hours 15 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 7 hours 26 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 7 hours 51 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 8 hours 32 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 9 hours 44 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 10 hours 1 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 10 hours 5 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 10 hours 50 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 15 hours 40 min ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 16 hours 54 min ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 16 hours 58 min ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 18 hours 16 min ago view
  • cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.

    crunch 1 day 1 hour ago view