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GAME SEVENTEEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (9-7, 4th, -2.5) AT ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (11-6, 2nd, -1.0) Busch Stadium, 1:15 PM CDT Weather: TV: WGN Radio: WGN, XM 187
Jason Marquis, RHP 3-0, 2.79 ERA, 19.1 IP 12 K, 4 BB, 1 HRGreg Maddux, RHP 3-0. 1.33 ERA, 20.1 IP 14 K, 4 BB, 1 HR
*Juan Pierre, CF Ronny Cedeno, SS *Todd Walker, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Michael Barrett, C *Jacque Jones, RF Matt Murton, LF #Neifi Perez, 2B Greg Maddux, PDavid Eckstein, SS Juan Encarnacion, RF Albert Pujols, 1B Scott Rolen, 3B *Jim Edmonds, CF *John Rodriguez, LF Yadier Molina, C #Aaron Miles, 2B *Jason Marquis, P

Cubs vs. Marquis Michael Barrett: 7-15, 467/529/800, 2 BB Juan Pierre: 3-15, 200/294/2002 BB,1 KCardinals vs. Maddux Albert Pujols: 10-27, 370/357/741, 3 HR, 3 K David Eckstein: 6-14, 429/429/571 Juan Encarnacion: 10-29, 345/387/483, 1HR, 1 BB Jim Edmonds: 7-28, 250/250/536, 2 HR, 5 K Scott Rolen: 15-58, 259/343/431, 2 HR, 7 BB, 10 K

This is the marquee (heh heh) pitching matchup of the day, as two of the five 3-0 NL pitchers hook up (there are also two 4-0 pitchers). Both of these guys are being extremely stingy in the earlygoing -- each of them has walked as many batters as Glendon Rusch did last night. Maddux is holding opponents to a 149/197/239 batting line, and Marquis' offensive numbers (200/200/300) are almost as good as the numbers of the batters who have faced him (214/257/314). In fact, Tony LaRussa has used Marquis as a pinch-hitter, which says as much about St. Louis' bench as it does about Marquis' batting prowess. It would be easy for the Cubs to justify a sweep at the hands of the Cardinals in the first series of the post-Lee era. I'm not going to talk about team character and junk like that -- even without Lee the Cubs have enough talent to win games -- but instead will simply say that a win today would be awfully nice, and right now there's no one besides Maddux I'd rather have on the hill. GO CUBS!!!
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Comments

There are unverified reports floating around stating Angel Guzman is with the team today as the new long reliever. Willams has supposedly been sent down.

Nice. That would be awesome!

guzman pitched 3 days ago...i guess this is day 4, though.

I said before the road trip that 5-4 was what I was looking for considering tough trips to LA and STL....so hopefully we will still get there and not limp back to Chicago. However, the homestand coming up will say a lot about us. Pit, Mil, Florida...we need 7-2 at home, and then we will buy some more time to stay near the top..until we get some arms back.

Looks like there's truth to the Guzman/Williams rumor:

http://www.wgnradio.com/weblog/cubsblog/index...

woohoo! This is great news...a fresh arm in the bullpen, hopefully with better control than williams/rusch. He'll probably make at least one start before Wood comes back too, so we can finally get a good look at Guzman's stuff.

Good idea. Change the subject around Cubdom away from stupid double switches to hope Angel Guzman will be the next coming...

*However, the homestand coming up will say a lot about us. Pit, Mil, Florida...we need 7-2 at home*

Here we go with the "if, if, if" bullsh!t again, already, only 16 games into the season.

The Cubs aren't gonna go 7-2 playing those teams--they can't even be counted on to reliably take series against Milwaukee and that was before their young players started hitting 5 homers per inning.

Dontrelle Willis--if he's scheduled during the FLA series--can always be counted on to win a game against the team that was stupid enough to let him go.

The Pirates will win at least one game--they always throw some crap pitcher at us who can't beat anyone else but us.

So there's AT LEAST three losses right there.

I hope they get swept and Dusty gets fired.

Who will Dusty take out today to put in Guzman?

I think it's ARam's turn.

Adam (Blockhead):we need 7-2 at home

Buddy, I hope you're not investing on this prediction. I think expecitng more than 8 victories over the 18 game stretch is a little wacky. Here's why:

1) The lineup will be doing the daily Dusty Dance. Hot lumber will be traded for whiffle ball bats at random.

2) His high-ness is all warmed up and ready to continue throwing down more puzzling in-game kung fu acrobatics. Think the crime-fighting gymanast kids in the Mr. T cartoon. I pity the fool that don't use the double switch.

3) Managerial call-outs of player incompetancy and public pessimism so quick after becoming Lee-less are a sign of the coming apoplectalypse. Expect a Beck Hansen soundtrack to the rest of our pre-all-star games. Somos unos perdadores. Most players will spend June in a Paxil Haze&#153.

One last prediction: TCR posters over this stretch to let loose on Dusty like McKinney on a Capital cop.

Oh the humanity.

you know what.. Go follow another god damn team if thats your attidude. I'm fucking sick of the nay say bullshit around here. You might as well stop following baseball if you have zero hope and so little faith.

I don't normally get upset at people's responses like that above. But its time to pull your cubs fan heads out of the sand and actually try to like the game and the team. If not, please stop coming round here and pissing on the rest of us.

The fact is that this is a talented team even without the players we need to be healthy. The question is can these players step up? Its time for Murton to show up. Its time for Ramirez to start hitting. Baseball is a sport. Its about human nature and human challenges. You watch because its exciting. Can a group of guys overcome those challenges and be victorious. We watch to find out the answer. Stop fortune telling and enjoy the game.

you know what.. Go follow another god damn team if thats your attidude. I'm fucking sick of the nay say bullshit around here. You might as well stop following baseball if you have zero hope and so little faith.

Admit it--you plagarized this from a post at Kauffman Confidential, didn't you?

there's some that think the season is over now that d.lee is gone, some that thought the season was gone even before then, and some that have never felt like the cubs have had a winning-calibre team in their lifetime...

they're in every fan base.

there hasnt even been 20 games played.

no one had any right to think almost any of the WS winners the past many years would have a legit shot this time of year...except the 120m rsox, maybe.

wsox 05/marlins 03/angels 02...not bad teams, but not teams anyone picked to do much of anything.

its not a "bright side looking" thing...but to pronounce a team dead when its tallent stacks up to over 1/2 the league at minimum is kinda...whatever...esp. with so few games actually determined.

The fact is that this is a talented team even without the players

I'm sorry to pick on your grrr-angry post twice, but this little snippet is funny.

You have no argument from me. The players not playing are friggin fantastic!

"they're in every fan base."

Crunch you keep forgetting that this fan base is 1.5 years from a ONE HUNDRED YEAR DROUGHT!

You love to condescend as if detractors are characatures who are cogs in an innevitable system of type cast characters. Well you are so full of shit it is not funny. This team has major organizational problems and those of us that harp are doing so for good reason and many of us are not complainers. You would have made a great Nazi apologist.

When are they going to change the name over there to Bill Heeter Confidential?

CWTP:When are they going to change the name over there to Bill Heeter Confidential?

When they change the name of the park to Bill Heeter Stadium. I don't think his blog is good enough to warrant the honor, though. No offense to Bill.

sj...i realize how long its been since the cubs have won.

i didnt call anyone clueless detractors.

etc etc

you know what...you're caught up in this whole side 1 vs. side 2 thing...if someone doesnt agree with you its a conspiracy or they're against you.

you apply broad logic to situations that dont even have anything to do with what's being talked about.

this is as stupid as liberal and conservatives who think politics is a team sport where you pick a side and stick to it til death.

judge me by what i say, not what category you want to stereotype me in.

poo holes asked the home plate umpire to check the ball maddux was about to pitch. I thought jeez..such an arrogant/ignorant (talented) whiny bitch. poo holes prolly was probably in diapers when maddux started to pitch. I dont know if its only me but do you guys think poo holes showcases an arrogant persona?? Show your chin to maddux when you perform consistently for that long (300+ career wins??)

Fun game to watch...especially against cards

nice

again... nice

Comments from Guzman

What was wrong at Iowa?

"I was missing my spots with my pitches," he said. "In Triple-A, there are a lot of experienced guys who can hit and they weren't missing. They were hitting me pretty good. Now it's time to make the adjustment here."

In Guzman's start against Albuquerque, he gave up three homers. He's served up four this season.

So, when are we going to start talking about Greg Maddux and a contract extension.

anyone else nervous about this guy starting wed??

What are Hill's #'s

I think Henrdy had to order new checks.. probably burned his checkbook the nigt of D Lee's Inury

7 ip, 76 pitches... fing rediculous

okay, 90'something, still pretty sweet

DId they say when Guzman might pitch?

I'll take it

Possibly starting wed.

"In Guzman's start against Albuquerque, he gave up three homers. He's served up four this season."

Keep in mind that Albuquerque has an altitude of over 5000 feet, so it's about as hitter friendly as Colorado.

Maddux lowered his ERA to 0.99. Don't know if that was mentioned during the game...

I've pulled on my asbestos suit, so I'm going to say something positive about Dusty: I never would have hit Cedeno in the 2-hole; but Dusty put him there, and and so far it's worked out pretty well.

OK, I'm ready: flame on!

*I dont know if its only me but do you guys think poo holes showcases an arrogant persona??*

No doubt LaRussa put him up to asking to have the ball checked. The Cubs should've asked Poo-hole to submit blood for testing about a week ago, bald 25-year old freak.

no. this is the only baseball blog i read. Therefore i get a little more irritated when I read the negative comments.

Hey, I'm a huge cubs fan. I am used to losing and am very guilty of negativity myself towards the cubs. My brother and I can kill an evening picking them apart.

I'm actually suprised by this years start. I really didn't think with our starting pitching that we could manage to be any number of games over 500. But there are suprises to be had ala Maddux.

It just bugs when one of the first things you read is a post bashing our team into the dirt for games they haven't even played yet. I recognize that there are the group 1 vs group 2. Its what makes this board click sometimes. But sometimes it can go too far and I, as a group 1, had to respond to the group 2 post.

Anyway, I'm amazed at Maddux. Its incredible to say the least.

Go Cubs!

Josh B,

I'm with you. It's not the criticism or expressions of frustration that bother me as much as it is the fans who always expect things to go badly, and almost seem to hope things go badly so they can complain. I think some posters were disappointed by D Lee's injury because they were hoping the Cubs would tank and Dusty would get fired and now they won't be able to take as much pleasure if the Cubs fall apart. There's a middle ground between the blind faith that let the Tribune company get away without winning and being constantly negative.

"The Cubs should've asked Poo-hole to submit blood for testing about a week ago, bald 25-year old freak"

I was very surprised to see none of the cubs pitchers throw a pitch or two at Pujol's chin. If he does get hit it would be funny if one of the infielders ask the home plate umpire to scrape some blood for testing. Seriously, maddux made pujols look completely clueless. Go maddux and go cubs

Albert Puljos always has a damned smirk on his face. Why? I don't know. I think its cause he knows that hes 25, the best player in baseball, makes/will make more money than he can ever spend.

None the less, after asking to have Maddux's ball checked nine times, there is no excuse for why a 95 mph Novoa fastball didn't end up in his back.

If Guzman is here to be a long man then this move is dumb. Couldn't Jwill be doing this. Rich Hill is terrible and the most overrated pitching prospect since the big 3 of the mets back in the mid 90's.

I'm with you Chad, why not plunk the guy. Don't hit him in his bald head, but come inside. There has to be someone on the Cubs to stand up for what is right. Maddux's fastball wouldn't scare too many major leaguers, but Novas ball had some bite on it. There has to be someone on the pitching staff that can stand up for Maddux cause he is saving the bullpen and making up for the other incompetent starters. Even Brenly was saying how if someone asked to see a ball, he'd show em a real good luck at the next pitch.

I agree it would be a mistake if Guzman is used as the long man, but I've got to think Guzman will get a couple of starts in JWill's spot before Wood comes back, esp with just one off day in the next 30+ days. If he does well he pushes Rusch into the bullpen, if not he goes back to Iowa when Wood comes back. If that's what they do, its a good risk to take IMHO.

J-Damn said -
"Here we go with the "if, if, if" bullsh!t again, already, only 16 games into the season.

The Cubs aren't gonna go 7-2 playing those teams--they can't even be counted on to reliably take series against Milwaukee and that was before their young players started hitting 5 homers per inning.
_________
jeez...chill out. I didn't put money on that, I didn't even predict it...I said that's what I thought the Cubs needed so they would by more time and stay up near or at the top.

Why are people so intent on proving me wrong before the games are even played? If you think they won't go 7-2 or don't need to go 7-2...fine, then let's talk about how they will do.

We are all trying to prove you wrong Block, cause frankly, we don't like your blatant association with Charlie Brown. Most of us are bigger fans of Lucy, Linus and yes, even Pig Pen. Sorry buddy.

Maddux is not some badass gang member who wants
revenge for being "disrespected". He can and does take care
of himself by mowing the Cardinals down at the plate.
You do not hit players for annoying you. Maddux has
been accussed of doctoring the ball before and seems to
find it amusing. You want to act like a jerk than be like
our old friend Matt " I hope he (Prior) gets in the head with
a line drive and never pitches again" Morris who got tossed
in the first inning today after hitting TWO batters in "revenge"
and being warned by the ump after the first.

First of all no one here ever advocated that Greg hit a Cardinal. We advocated that Novoa do it. Why? To stand up for Greg for being disrespected. The the HELL do they think they are accusing Maddog of doctoring. They are world class A-HOLES. Once Maddux did his job, some one else on the Cubs needs to send a message that you don't treat a first ballot hof'er like that. The other reason taht we did not advocate Greg hitting anyone, is the frankly, we don't think it would hurt.

Sorry to go all 'boy's club' on you but frankly there is a code of baseball conduct that I'm not sure you're aware of.

Yeah, I said it.

No it is NOT a code of baseball to hit someone
( with 95 MPH fastball no less) for "disrespecting " you.
That is in fact what got A- Hole Mesa starting the crap
that Morris was "finishing" today. He was mad that
Vizqual (sic) wrote bad things about him in a book so
he hits him in an earlier game. You hit guys ONLY when someone hits your guy, this is EXACTLY what Maddux did when he was kid in 87 that got him demoted to the minors ( not hitting the batter but being tossed from the game and not getting the win) I doubt anyone has more respect for the game than Maddux and I can't believe he would have wanted someone
hit because LaRussa has them question his pitches. LaRussa
is widely known for doing this kind of jackass thing but
it is not something you plunk someone for.
This becomes more like whose weanie is bigger.
This is NOT the NBA and if you start wanting hit people
with fastballs ( or any pitch) because they "disrespected"
you , not long before everyone is bringing their posses to
the game

I'd rather they just throw at LaRussa in the dugout, he's the bigget a-hole, but you're right,a poo holes plunking is far overdue

cmon, jessica, chad... can't we just get back to arguing about who sucks more, Rusch or Neifi

Um I actually like both of them, there I said it.

meh... figures

Guzman is listed on cubs.com as the probable starter for Wednesday's game against Florida.

what's the weirder sportscaster phraseology

A running back "Getting a blow" on the sideline or

a ball getting "Fisted Foul".

(yes, I know I'm opening myself and My Mom up for some pretty tasteless jokes)

Thoughts on the game, Cub Town style:

-- Overshadowed by the Maddux performance was Cedeno's great game. He's hitting .364, and showed his ability to move runners over twice. I hope this gives Dusty more confidence to keep him in the two-hole, as he certainly proved himself capable today, and hopefully will continue to do so. A year ago, did you really think you'd be asking yourself "boy, that Cedeno kid can hit major-league pitching, but when is his fielding going to catch up?"

-- Regarding Pujols: I only saw him ask to check the ball once, but if he asked anywhere close to the "nine times" another poster noted, Novoa should have certainly served him one 95 mph in the mid-back. Pujols certainly has a swagger to him, one of confidence bordering on arrogance. However, there's an inherent problem in trying to teach the best hitter of his generation a lesson: chances are, the next at-bat, it will be him teaching you a lesson. That's why I'm all for giving Pujols what Buster Olney called "The Bonds Treatment." Let Rolen and the deteriorating Edmonds hurt ya.

-- Once more on the topic of arrogance, this time of the unmerited breed, I really didn't like to see Jacque Jones flip his bat after his home run, especially for someone who is desperately trying to hit his way into Cubs fans' hearts. I'm watching the game in Missouri, and one of those in the Cardinals booth snidely noted "he must have been really excited to hit his second home run." Now, I'm not one for violence, but like Pujols, Jacque may have been another deserving of a high, hard one.

How about Todd Walkers league leading batting average? It nice to see two hot hitters hitting back to back.

I'm one of the opinion that Pujols is allowed to play games, because he has the stuff to back it up, consistantly. It's a long season, and we do something to hurt the best player in the league, we will end up getting killed in the long run. Sosa earned a right to be a cocky ass in the late 90's...Pujols earned the right to play some games now. From all accounts I have seen he is an all aroun good guy...it's a battle we won't win.

As for the Mesa situation...the guy should be suspended for a long time...hit the guy in the back once, call him all the names you want in the press...but to continue it over a 3 year period is riduclous.

Pujols went 0-4 today. Let him pout and complain to the umpire: Maddux clearly has gotten into his head. Why spoil a good thing by throwing at the guy?

Dusty didn't want anyone to hit Pujols because the Cards might retaliate by throwing at Neifi. Dusty's love of Neifi ruins everything.

John Koronka wins again; 3-1 with a 3.75 ERA.

Crazy baseball....

Sorry to tell you Jessica, but throwing at an opposing playing is one of the oldest tradtions in this game. Whether you like it or not doesn't mean much. It is most certainly part of the UNWRITTEN code of baseball. For you to ignore that fact, is well, ignorant.

Heck I think it is the WRITTEN code
It is not that you never throw at on opposing
player but you had better have a DAMN
good reason, either they hit your guy first
or took someone out on a dirty play etc.
You do NOT hit Pujols because he followed
his jackass managers orders to ask
the ump to look at the ball once.That is stupid
and how people can really get hurt over what
again is basically whose weanie is bigger. As
previously noted Maddux's beaning of Benito Santiago after Show's near decapitation of Dawson in 87 was essentially what made a struggling 21 year old pitcher with an ERA over 5, the talk of the league . I have NO problem with that (pussy Show ran out of the park, out to the hotel and was flown out of town lest he be ripped apart by the Wrigley Field faithful)
You don't compare that to LaRussa's stupid
mind games . What next bean Buhrlie
because he implied to paper ? the entire
Marlins team because they said it as well ?
Let Greg take care of it as he always does
with balls they CAN'T HIT not balls that hit
them

what if guzman is starting merely as a shopping experience for the trade to the marlins for m. cabrera? hah. wouldn't that be cool.

i liked koronka, but hey no use crying over spilt milk. ill just continue to hate on bynum instead. (freddie-b update: he still sucks)

poo-holes is a nemesis to be hated and feared, and we should all just enjoy that added dynamic of our relationship with the cards (who we own 4 games to 2 btw). regarding the plunking discussion, its like back when hawk got beaned by show and then maddux fanned 2 fools to get to santiago. the professor doesnt just plunk guys. you think novoa not drilling poo-hole was dusty's call? i bet it was somebody else..

regarding negative rhetoric vs positive: sometimes people just wanna vent, and rather than bemoan done deeds sometimes people may tend to predict further calamity instead. another thing is, i used to be a major pessimist as well, and one thing i used to do was vocalize a grim outlook with hopes that fate would go back-door on me and we would win to spite my negativity (which i no longer do). at any rate, its yin and yang. negativitiy isnt a good thing, but you cant have all rose-colored seeing posters either.

excuse a personal anecdote: the 2 inning J-Will shellacking started at 9am here in japan on saturday. i was at the park playing 2nd for my intramural baseball team, and picked up the cell phone to peek at the game score a half-dozen times but never checked for fear it would ruin my own mojo if things were bad. good thing i didnt. down 4 runs, bases drunk and 2 out, i stroked it into the left-center gap for 3rbi, later scored on a WP and base-hit to tie. we lost by a run, but i was stoked...until i picked up my cell phone around noon...

GO CUBS!!

(for the sake of honesty, i should mention that the pitch right before the bases-loaded double was a foul-tip into the catcher's mitt on a 2-2 count, that the catcher simply dropped to spare my ass :-)

You cannot throw at managers, so you throw at the players.

regarding negative rhetoric vs positive: sometimes people just wanna vent, and rather than bemoan done deeds sometimes people may tend to predict further calamity instead.

Venting is one thing, and it's fine. But if it's done over and over again with no letup or even a little humor it gets tiring. I used to think that Red Sox fans were the most obnoxius and bitchy in baseball, but I'm starting to think Cubs fans are the worst. Lighten up a little! If you have to scream, scream at your TV. Sure, it's been 100 years since a championship, but it's not like anyone here has experienced all of those years. There's a lot to enjoy this season. The rookies are finally playing, and playing well. Maddux has an ERA under 1.00. The offense, a big question mark, is on pace to score 800 runs. The pitching, without Wood or Prior, is on a pace to allow 705 runs, which is better than last year despite the crazy offensive explosion so far this year. Things could be far, far worse. Remember 0-14?

hey i agree. complaining about status-quo and predicting the worst is bad news.

for myself, sure, the cubs winning or losing plays a big part in my general mood, but i dont rely on them for happiness. i love our city, our mascot, our unis, our ballpark, our history (for better or worse), i just love rooting for this team like the rest of my family has all along.
truth be told though, a cubs win makes me a hundred-fold happier than a loss makes me un-happy (from years of "training" maybe? doh!)

Coincidentally John Koronka's ERA in Spring Training was 3.75 as well.

Cubby ( #64)
You sure Maddux struck out two guys
to get to Santiago? I don't think so.
I think Benito was the first guy up in
the inning. I don't the Maddux of 87 could
have struck out two guys back to back
to get to him and the reason his beaning
on Bentito was such a big deal was he
got tossed before the game went 5 despite
Sutcliff and others telling to wait and get
credit for the win to avoid being sent down
Well somebody can look this up. I am curious
and not able to to do much on crappy home
dial up dead computer

Jessica,

That was Steve Klein by the way that wished harm to Prior in 03 look it up.

http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B07070CHN1987.htm

PADRES 4TH: DAYETT STAYED IN GAME (PLAYING RF); Brown struck
out; Flannery struck out; Santiago was hit by a pitch; Maddux
ejected; SANDERSON REPLACED MADDUX (PITCHING); Santiago was
caught stealing second (catcher to shortstop); 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0
LOB. Padres 2, Cubs 5.

Maddux may have been sent down the next day but I highly doubt that one win was going to make the difference. Regardless, he gained something that day that some players never get, total respect from his team.

Jessica:

sutcliffes retelling is slightly embellished. maddux never made it to the 5th inning of that game. it's all right here:

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/B07070CHN1...

contrary to possible popular opinion, i like the factual events better than the anecdote. nailing the 1st guy up in spite of your ML future on the line is cool no doubt, but striking out the two guys standing in front of the one you want to nail (benny) is MUCH more legendary, IMHO.

So where is Wood & Prior? No news?

*sigh*

Probably already covered:

Muskat reporting on Dusty's mysterious ways:

Baker may be making some moves and double-switches in games that seem puzzling. It's out of necessity, he said.

"[The players] know what I'm doing," Baker said. "I told them in a meeting [Saturday] that I have to do some things in this situation that we have here that I might not ordinarily do in order to preserve this or in order to preserve that. Their job is not to like it, necessarily, but their job is to go along with it and understand it. That's part of being the boss."

That explains why Todd Walker, who is batting .391, was removed from the game after five innings on Saturday. The bullpen was short-handed, and Baker needed pitcher Scott Williamson to go deep.

{Except he DIDN'T, and Dusty hadn't accounted for this possibility, evidently. "To fail to plan is to plan to fail."}

I'm not terribly down and negative about this, nor the D Lee injury- I can be bitter without necessarily losing all of my rational hope that things will swing our way in the "long view" and over the course of an ENTIRE season, because we all know about hot months for players (even Neifi) and for teams. But for those who say, "well don't gripe, you havent been rooting for a hundred losing years," I say, well I've been rooting for a series appearance for FORTY years now (since kindergarten) and it seems pretty long to me.

And MikeC is probably right, I need to lighten up on Furcal because "stuff happens" in the course of legitimately playing a game, but then I guess others need to lighten up on Jessica because little piss-ant gestures like looking for scuffed ball don't really represent legitimately playing the game. Except for breaking his rhythm, I would think MadDog likes having the ball checked: "Hell no I don't need any junk to get you out, you loser!"

Except for breaking his rhythm, I would think MadDog likes having the ball checked: "Hell no I don't need any junk to get you out, you loser!"

No kidding. I can see how that would be very vindicating.

Maddux is just pitching like he wants another Cy.

Maddux ia a pitching god. We are being treated to seeing one of the top pitchers of all time regaining the form he had when he was in the prime of his career. It was simply rivetting watching the sea of red in the stands yesterday just sitting on their collective hands and making less noise than is made in church on a typical Sunday. I say let's sign Greg for a couple of more years. This guy clearly can still pitch. He got himself into shape over the off season and the results are clear. As for that idiot Larussa having the ball checked several times, did you see the grin on the umpire's face as he walked out to the mound the first time? The ump knew it was a complete joke. The look on his face was that he knew it was nothing. I just wish that, on the second request, he had told Edmonds, no, sorry, I am not checking the ball again.

I don't want to split hairs with you arm, because you are right, we are watching greatness, but the way he is pitching now is a little different from when he was in his prime. In his prime he could throw a lot harder and blow some pitches by guys. Now he is a 100% finess pitcher and he has a lot of finess.

I just wish that, on the second request, he had told Edmonds, no, sorry, I am not checking the ball again.

I was thinking about that, but in reality we don't know if the Cards asked to have the ball checked more after that. They might have and the ump just said no and we never knew about it. I like what Brenly said, if you don't like that ball, give him another one and he'll make it do funny things, too.

regarding Furcal bowling over DLEE,

(and if the Cubs don't sharpen their spikes and go into second base with their shoes up around his face the next time they see him, somethin's wrong)

The St. Louis Post Dispatch is obsessing over Lee's injury. For instance, today they're running a poll.

http://tinyurl.com/hjowm

"Iím not hitting, you know what I mean? I know what theyíre doing. Theyíre trying to walk me, but I wonít let them. Theyíre throwing everything in off the plate. Itís a ball. Theyíre trying to walk me. Theyíre just not throwing strikes."

--Cubs outfielder Jacque Jones, on his hitting struggles (Arlington Heights Daily Herald)

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Why again won't you just take the walk?

Why again won't you just take the walk?

If he took the walk, he'd just be clogging up those bases. Duh!

That's right, sorry I forgot.

FELIX PIE "threw a ball from medium center field so high and so far in the fifth inning that it hit halfway up the backstop netting, although it was not ruled an error." - Des Moines Register

It happened in yesterday's 15-4 Iowa cubs loss to Round Rock. The cubs gave up 22 hits, 8 doubles!

http://tinyurl.com/hrn3c

It was ruled and "Act of God"

If Jones really said that, he needs to be off this team faster than you can say Corey Patterson. Call the Orioles.

What kind of F'd-up attitude is that?He was saying all of spring trainging how he will walk more. Does he not understand that the more he walks the more strikes(read as hittable pitches) he will see later? What a moron.

On a side note-
Wouldn't it be great to see Maddux get his 300th and 400th victories with the Cubs?
"Dream a little dream...."

Instead of Guzman Wednesday, how about Augie Ojeda??

Augie Ojeda, 0.00 ERA, 1 Hit, 1 BB in 1.0 IP for Iowa

I read Jones' comment as self criticism as opposed to taking the attitude that he doesn't want to walk. At least he recognizes the problem, which is the first step....

I was in Philly for a bachelor party this weekend, and from most reports, it looks like I am glad I was. At least Maddux saved the day Sunday to salvage the series. I guess considering who we had pitching and Lee just getting hurt, we couldn't expect to take more than 1 game in STL.

Now we got some easier teams coming up, so hopefully we can stay a few games above .500.

Hopfully Guzman can pitch better than he was done in the minors for the next couple starts until Wood comes back.

For the next month, it is all about getting Wood/Prior back and tring to keep pace with the division leader.

"I read Jones' comment as self criticism as opposed to taking the attitude that he doesn't want to walk. At least he recognizes the problem, which is the first step...."

I think you are right Bluedog. It certainly makes more sense that way.

Hi, Jessica!

Sutcliffe's reason for telling Maddux to get through at least five wasn't the W, per se.

Maddux had been told that he was headed to the minors if he didn't make a good showing in that game, which included pitching at least five. #31 was immediately sent down, but Dawson never forgot what he had done for him. They never spoke about it, as far as I know, but after that Hawk never rested his aging knees when Maddux was pitching.

Of course, the end of the story is that the Dog got some good seasoning in the minors (and, I think, in Winter Ball after that) and started 1998 15-3 (at the All-Star break)! Since he went 3-5 the rest of the year, I think he learned he had to pace himself better in the future. And since then we've been seeing the consistency of the greatest pitcher who ever played the game. There can be arguments about who was the greatest hurler, but he's the greatest PITCHER, hands down.

I've thought for 2-3 years that some extra conditioning could put Maddux back in top form, or close. I don't think it was laziness that stopped him, though. For 20+ years, he's known what to do with his body to keep it starting around 35 games a season (plus playoffs) and pitch 200+ innings, give or take 2/3 IP. I believe he was hesitant to make big changes to that routine. But last year lit a fire under him, and here we are. I also think Clemens being discussed as the best player of his era, without giving Maddux his due, plus MLB not even ASKING him if he wanted to be in the WBC pissed him off--not that he'd ever tell!

It's early, but I sure hope it lasts!

Have you see this?

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...
Hilarious!

Ryno . . . in response to # 78, all I was saying in # 77 was that Greg has regained his "form." And I think that statement is correct. Sure, he is a different type of pitcher now, in the sense that he cannot throw a 93 mile an hour fast ball, but even in those days he basically was a control pitcher and that is what he is now, albeit with less of a difference of velocity between his fastball and off speed stuff. More to the point, generally speaking, his "form," ie, baffling batters, is back.

The way things are going, Greg already has established himself as a candidate to win 20 games this year. Clearly, clearly, he now is the ace of the Cubs' staff. Greg's performance on the field is way, way beyond anything we have seen from Z this year. Hate to say this but Greg is twice the pitcher Z is. Z has the promise but he is not living up to it, yet again. The guy cannot control his emotions on the field. I am tired of hearing Dusty say that he does not want Z to lose his fire yada, yada, yada. Got news for you Dusty. If Z does not learn to calm down a bit on the mound, he will be a has been before you know it.

Thanks for the more detailed info on the 87 Benito beaning
I love the fact that he did wait for Benito because those
two had one other VERY memorable incident in 87 which
even more than the beaning made Maddux a fan favorite
Maddux was hit in a rather sensitive area by a line drive
and though he finished the inning was taken out of the game.
Either the next day or the day after he was put in to pinch run
( yes children he did that often in those days) in the 9th
( or maybe 10th) of a tie game vs Padres. He scored the
winning run by bowling over Benito who was just waiting
for him at the plate. Basically this skinny kid ( and that is
what he was then) just knocked Benito over. Not good
at retro sheet so will one of you fellows see if this was
before or after the beaning? Either way they did not like
each other.
Also of note whan Maddux was sent down to Iowa he had
4 starts and went 3-0 with an ERA of .98 so there was not
much left for him to learn there even if he did struggle
all season in the bigs. Frankly I am kind of grateful the
Cubs were SO bad in 87 that they could keep a 21 year
old kid with an ERA near 6 on the roster nearly the whole season
FYI He did go to winter ball after the 87 season along and was helped a lot by his brother Mike and coach Dick Pole who were with him ( for trivia buffs Terry Francona was his roomate down there).
Personally I suspect Mike also helped him a lot this off season
Maddux is sensitive to the idea that just working out more
in the Winter had some revolutionary change and while I think
it surely helped, I do think working with Mike and kicking it up
a notch meant more than lifting weights etc

MAD DOG FOREVER

ìI donít want to embarrass myself by any means but I would rather pitch bad than not
pitch at allî
Greg Maddux when asked in 2003 if he considered retirement

on the whole pew-holes thing i think that on the play that he slid into first as neifi was running that was when neifi should have side stepped right on his damn shin.

Kewl blog you have. RyanX

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