What Could Have Been and What Could Be

GAME NINETEEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] FLORIDA MARLINS (5-12, -6.0 GB, 5th) AT CHICAGO CUBS (11-7, - 1.5 GB, 4th) WRIGLEY FIELD, 7:05 CDT Weather: 43 degrees, Overcast, Wind Blowing In From CF @ 16 mph TV: CSN Chicago, DirecTV 739 Radio: WGN, XM 185
Sean Marshall, LHP 1-0, 6.28 ERA, 14.1 IP 8 K, 5 BB, 3 HRDontrelle Willis, LHP 1-0, 2.92 ERA, 24.2 IP
/td>Hanley Ramirez, SS Dan Uggla, 2B Miguel Cabrera, 3B Josh Willingham, LF Wes Helms, 1B Miguel Olivo, C Chris Aguila, RF Reggie Abercrombie, CF &nbsp&nbsp * Dontrelle Willis, P*Juan Pierre, CF Ronny Cedeno, SS *Todd Walker, 1B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Michael Barrett, C Matt Murton, LF *Jacque Jones, RF Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B * Sean Marshall, P
The D-Train rolls back into Wrigley for the fifth time. Want to impress your friends with small sample size goodness? Drop this one on them before gametime: Willis is 2-0 at Wrigley with a 1.01 ERA. In 27 2/3 innings, he's struck out 23 and hasn't given up a home run. Meanwhile, our young lefty (only seven months younger than Willis, actually) is being positively babied by Dusty Baker, a manager with a reputation for over-extending his young starters (when he actually plays them). And I'm not trying to re-open either the pitch-count argument or the Dusty-doesn't-play-kids argument, because I'm actually trying to draw attention to something he's doing that I agree with. Marshall has been extended in each of his starts, from 65 pitches to 79 to 86 in his last start. I expect him in the mid-90s tonight -- now he just needs to figure out how to make those pitches stretch over more than five innings. Is it too early for scoreboard watching? The Astros start their second fifth starter, Fernando Nieve, against Brad Penny & the Dodgers, while the Cardinals offer up Jeff Suppan to the Pirates and the Reds (how are they six games over .500?) try to suggest that Dave Williams is a major league starting pitcher. Good luck with that.


Bringing over from the non-baseball thread:

So yesterday Dusty (finally) put Murton in the 6th spot and Jones in the 7th.

The result, Murton gets on base 3 out of 4 times and has 2 RBI. Jones hits the game winning 3 Run HR.

So what does Dusty do the next day, with another Lefty on the mound? Puts Murton back in the 7th spot!

I know, its foolish of me to think the 4 million dollar idiot might have learned anything, but I can dream...

Gameday shows the following lineup:

Pierre CF
Cedeno SS
Walker 1B
Ramirez 3B
Barrett C
Murton LF
Jones RF
Hairston 2B
Marshall P

So looks like Murton is hitting 6th. I like Dusty's lineup like this, and hope he doesn't go changing it too much...even against righties I think its the right lineup with Jones hitting the way he is...

BTW, Wes Helms in at 1B and hitting 5th for the Fish.

your right about the lineup, that's what I get for reading the comments today :)

I'm confused, Murton is batting 6th right??

MLBTV is actually working today. knock on wood

Bleeding...in the scheme of things is that really what is going to make or break this team? Do you really think Murton got some RBI's because he was in the 6th and not 7th. Was he hitting under .100 in his previous 22 at bats because he was in the 7th spot and not 6th.

Remember something...we had one good offensive inning yesterday. I don't think one success one time through the order means that that proves that is the way the order should be. In the scheme of things Murton was just as cold as Jones...Murton just hads a hotter start in the first few games.

I dunno, I think there are much bigger things to be irked with Dusty about then who is batting 6th vs. 7th.

Can't we b impressed that Baker has rightly kept the top of the order stable since Lee went down and that Neifi isn't in the game?

Ok, so maybe the 4 million dollar idiot did manage to learn something.

Good Lineup - Bravo!

Maybe if Z isn't gonna learn from Maddux, he can learn from this kid

throwing strikes that is... spoke too soon

Aramis looks like he belongs in Ninja Gaiden!!!

No, its not a huge deal. I think Murton is and will be the better hitter, which is why he should be batting 6th. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter that much, and I wouldn't have even commented on it if he hadn't made a switch yesterday.

I think this is probably the best lineup Dusty can put on the field. Against lefties like tonight, I'd still prefer Jones to be benched with Hairston in RF. But with Lee out, that would put either Neifi or Mabry in the game - so its probably a wash.

Yes, I KNOW its a small sample size, but Jones has been good as of late (last 6 games), just a little bit whiny.

Wouldn't it be awesome if Sean Marshall was the son of Hollywood Squares icon Peter Marshall? Wait, thats Pete LaCock!

what the hell is up with these commercial breaks on MLBTV, i don't care if I'm in Cali, i wanna know whats on sale at Jewel!!!

pete LaCock, that's just an unfortunate name.

I'll say it again I love Mamu!!!


the walk, the sac, the base-knock. pretty good execution by the middle order id say.

oh, and i heard from a friend yesterday that yesterdays ESPN top 10 plays had our own todd walker in THREE of them...getting ROBBED every time!

lets get some runs!!

82 pitches through 6. I'd like to see Marshall come out and atleast start the 7th. His curve is really on tonight. Reminds me a little of Rich Hill only he locates and throws strikes consisently.

most everyone is in the parachat btw...

its interesting. nothing to argue about tonight...

Cublogger, you should head for the chat. I'd join them there, but my employer and websense have decided Parachat is not a productive use of my time.

where is that?? blog newbie here

Oh yeah, and Matt Murton is a god. At least he is on days where I don't have him starting on my fantasy team.

The days I do start him he is average at best.

Go back to TCR's homepage and look for the second line:


click the parachat link, and you are golden.

Wind blowing in, no HR. This is the type of game the Cubs couldn't score on last year.

Good job so far... here's to keeping that offense shut down.

Cubs Win!!

Ruz: I expect him in the mid-90s tonight ó now he just needs to figure out how to make those pitches stretch over more than five innings.
Seven innings, 96 pitches. Can't ask for much more than that. I like how he's progressing and love his poise.

Murton should bat 5th in our lineup, he's too good a hitter to waste lower in the order. Frankly, since he has some speed and Walker does not, I'd most prefer Murton 3rd and Walker 5th with Lee out, but I'll take small progress if Murt can at least get to 5 with Dusty at the helm.

Not a knock on Barrett btw, he's just not consistent enough of a run producer to be batting 5th, hot start notwithstanding.

Cubs are #1 in ESPN's RPI rankings...


Check out how many NL Central teams are in the top 11 of that list...

You're right! I just thought that was funny!

Hobart Mike,

Not only that, but the Cubs are also very high in their expected win%. Its early in the season, but the SOS and exp win% give me confidence our success thus far isn't strictly smoke and mirrors...

Yeah, the Cubs look like they can handle taking care of the teams that they are expected to beat so far this year. They struggled to do that last year.


Marshall is my player of the game tonight. I think TCR should award a POTG in the game summary posts and keep track of how many awards each player gets. That would be one way to say who is the MVP of the club this season.

Cubs are only 10 and 8 in expected wins (before today)...1 game off actual...not sure if that tells us much this early.

Anyway, Lidge just blew his second straight save, walking 3 in the 9th...I love to see that.

Ruz, are you going all Robert Plant on us? I saw the title and I started humming.

"Catch the wind, see us spin, sail away, leave today, way up high in the sky.
But the wind won't blow, you really shouldn't go, it only goes to show..."

lidge cant seal the deal once again, walking guys and wild-pitching his way out of the save. i love it.

i also dream of the late-inning matchup of joe borowski versus dave borkowski, but who doesn't.

Marshall looked great challenging hitters, moving the ball around the "pitchers portions" of the strike zone and showing the curve effectively.

I'm not so excited about Aramis looking baffled again with an 0-for. Hovering around .200 is not what this offense will need of him during the absence of D-Lee - or any time for that matter. He did get on base being selective and actually chugged around the bases with urgency to make a great slide on a key play of the game. I'm just anxious to see that Aramis that gets hot and carries the team for a stretch.

this is one of the best played games i have experienced in the 30 plus years as a cub fan. smart baseball. and some of the credit has to go to dusty. a very satisfying win. that first run, with barret sacrificing ramirez over to second, and then matt the batt delivering was beautiful. good baseball.

blockhead25: lidge cant seal the deal once again, walking guys and wild-pitching his way out of the save. i love it.

Any Stros loss is fun, but I remember The Sandman's start last year. Everyone was saying "what's wrong with Rivera?" "what's wrong with Rivera?" blah blah blah. It's a long freekin' season and it's just started. Lidge will come back around.

Hobart Mike: Cubs are #1 in ESPN's RPI rankings...

That's pretty cool (not that I put any stock into anything that comes from ESPN... but it's still fun to see the Cubs on the top of someone's list).

I know this has been beat to death already but Demp looks like a new pitcher this year. Where the hell did he find that 95 MPH fastball with pinpoint control?

Also, I know Howry allowed a run, but man, he was throwing some nasty shit, too.

Have I said lately that I love this bullpen?

Just got back from game...


An almost PERFECT game tonight for the boys in pinstripes. Some points from being at the game:

- Marshall was awesome, his curve looked deadly in person. I loved the fact he was able to go 7 IP and that Dusty had confidence in him and is slowly stretching him out and not putting him in too tough of situations.
- Murton had a great game, there is no question he has great pure hitting instincts.
- Gotta love the small ball Dusty played tonight. He knew against Willis 2-3 runs were golden. First he had Barrett bunt ARam over and Murton drove him in and then the 7th inning was all but classic. Jones (vs. LHP) sac bunted Murton to 3rd and then Baker flat out out managed Girardi with the squeeze. Baker outwaited Giradi as he blinked first by pitching out.
- Howry looked a little shaky, but Demp came in like normal and closed the door.

Even though it was cold, it was a great game to be at. The team is really showing me something to me. Dusty is squeezing every ounce from this team. Who would of thought this team would be 12-7 without Wood, Prior and Lee? AMAzing!!!

Guzman for the SWEEP tomorrow!!


and that suicide squeeze was effing awesome.

Howry looked a little shaky

Agree with you on all counts, but you should check out the TV replays on Howry's pitching. He was filthy. It was by dumb luck the Marlins were able to score on him.

Every step Marshall takes makes it easier and easier NOT to rely on the Prior/Wood thing. I still have hope Prior will be fine, Wood is another case. I always have been a fan but it's time to look forward. Whatever happens players were putting on the field like Marshall, Murton, and Cedeno have to make you happy we have young players who belong.

Still watching the Astros game here....3-3 top of the 14th. Runner on 3rd with 1 out...we'll see how long this blah-fest lasts.

The Astros win in the 14th inning as Preston Wilson hits the game-winning sacrifice to center field. It was the longest regular season game in Minute Maid Field History (the 18 inning game vs. Atlanta in last year's playoffs being the longest). Length of the game was 4:48

I firmly believe that Dusty manages to his teams abilities. And he showed it tonight. I really think that we can win many games this year and if we do, Dusty will win Manager of the Year. You guys would just die, wouldn't you?

TCR was built on the premise that when the cubs succeed, it's in spite of their manager, GM, owner, whipping boy neifi perez, etc etc.

when the cubs lose it's the fault of the aforementioned.

I firmly believe that Dusty manages to his teams abilities

Funny, I think he manages to his own ideas of how a team should be built and will force players into roles they are not suited for. He looks a lot better when he has less choices....

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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. 2 hours 45 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. 2 hours 51 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as 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. 2 hours 56 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. 3 hours 7 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 3 hours 19 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. 3 hours 44 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 4 hours 24 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 5 hours 36 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 5 hours 53 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 5 hours 57 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 6 hours 42 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

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

    Eric S 11 hours 33 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 12 hours 47 min ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 12 hours 50 min ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 14 hours 9 min ago view
  • cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.

    crunch 21 hours 21 min ago view