The Beat(down) Goes On

GAME 29 Death Letter
Recap | Box Score | Play-by-play | Game Chart | Photos
W: Scott Cassidy (3-0) L: Bob Howry (2-1)
Tonight Cedeno and Murton were back in the line-up and acting as the speed guys, and it still didn't help. Neither did Jones' golden sombrero from the clean-up spot. Sean Marshall sees another fine outing wasted as the Cubs slip below .500 for the first time this season. Updating the unhappy totals: * One run in the last three games (again) * Two runs in the last five games: first time since June 15-20, 1968 * Four runs in the last six games: first time since June 16-22, 1968 * Six runs in the last eight games: first time ever (since 1901)
GAME TWENTY-NINE IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (14-14, 5th, 5.0 GB) AT SAN DIEGO PADRES (14-15, 3rd, 2.5 GB) Petco Park, 9:05 PM CDT Weather: It's always nice in America's Finest City TV: WGN Radio: WGN, XM 188
Jake Peavy, RHP 2-3, 4.58 ERA, 39 1/3 IP 28 K, 8 BB, 4 HRSean Marshall, LHP 2-0, 3.45 ERA, 28 2/3 IP 20 K, 8 BB, 3 HR
*Juan Pierre, CF Ronny Cedeno, SS *Todd Walker, 1B *Jacque Jones, RF Aramis Ramirez, 3B Matt Murton, LF Michael Barrett, C Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B *Sean Marshall, PEric Young, LF Mike Cameron, CF *Brian Giles, RF Mike Piazza, C #Mark Bellhorn, 1B Khalil Greene, SS Vinny Castilla, 3B Josh Barfield, 2B Jake Peavy, P

Cubs vs. Peavy: Juan Pierre: 2-15, 133/188/200, 1 BB, 2 K

Let's get some runs.



I am glad this good lineup with all our best hitters scored so many runs today...


well so much for getting some runs, again. this is just amazing. nothing at all is coming together here to such a degree that it boggles the mind.
just the homer from aram. thats it. thats all we get.
another display of excellent pitching, and yet another L to show for it.
at least we got somebody across home plate today eh?
im now going to go drive nails with my forehead.

another solid outing by the pitching staff wasted!

9h 3bb 10innings...2 extra base hits and oddly no one one on base when it happened.

given that the team has been single/walking everything they see when they're not grounding out or K'ing its almost impossible to believe. =p

1 order of power hitting, to go...thanks.

Let's keep losing so we can get David Price.

WTH is Jacque Jones doing batting cleanup?

Anybody have any idea what the hell is wrong with Murton? Didn't seem to want to swing the bat after that strike looking early in the game (his 2nd AB). Worked a walk then took three straight strikes to K looking. Weird.

jones...lefty...the hottest hitter on the team the past week+...vs. a righty with a .198 hitting aram and a murton struggling vs. righties as the other option...

is it really that hard to believe?

can anybody explain why the fuck this is happening?
do we envy pittsburgh that much?
what in gods name is fucking going on here?
just when the pitching has held up their end of the deal,
the hitters...
my lord this is driving me insane.
jesus almighty.
you guys think guzman is going to pitch a gem to follow those of Z and shawn so that we got a chance to win this one figuring we're only bound to score...uh, NO FUCKING RUNS?


Frustrated with this team!!!!! Fuck!!! Shit at least when I get frustrated with the wife I can head to the shower and polish one off.

This is it. I've never been negative in my life...but its is time to clean house. This team is not going anywhere. Jim Hendry should be fired...not signed to an extension....Mr. Jones in right field deserves all the booing he is many runners did he leave on tonight while striking out. Let's just clean house now. Get Wood and Prior back and pitching some innings before the all star break so trhat hopefully they have some trade value. Can we just cut jock jones? Pie should be in right. Play the kids. Let wood and prior get some stats before the break and trade them to contenders for GOOD prospects (that requires Hendry to BE FIRED...MCPhail too??)...rotation...Maddux, Marshall, Guzmann, Hill and Miller. Just release Jones.....Lee will be back soon get ready for next year....Ramierez needs to work on his swing, Barrett on throwing runners out, murton and cedeno are showing a lot of promise....this team reallyh lacks depth....if I were baker, I'd leave walker at 2nd and play mabry at 1st...can't be any worse that what's happening now. Baker isn't the problem,....he's stuck with the crappy choking loosers that Hendry provided him.

"Baker isn't the problem,...."

No Baker isn't the problem, but he is the manager, and as so, he needs to do everything in his poweer to get things straightned out. And as bad as some of these players are, they should be doing better than this. Now, I am not sure any manager could do better, but as manager Baker has to be held somewhat liable just as the players and hendry do. But I do agree the first finger should be pointed at Hendry.

I am sure he had a big smile of his fat face tonight knowing he dooped the Trib into giving him an extenstion. After smiling, he probally stuck 12 doughnuts in his face.


My first impression of Jacque Jones this March was that he was a headcase. There's something wrong with the guy beyond his obviously diminished skills. He seemed to already be melting down mentally in spring training. Getting into fights with fans. And. What can you say about a guy whose throws travel maybe twenty five feet before they hit the grass?

I have one thing to say, PIE in right.

Felix went 4 for 5 tonight and drove in 3 runs batting leadoff. He has 20 RBI, best on Iowa. And he can throw the ball further than 25 feet in the air. I've seen him.

What more do you need to know?

Pie in right? Why the hell not? What's can happen? It can't get any worse.

god bless j.p. he's a god!!
i love how he leaves runners on base!! he's awesome at that. i especially love how he goes o'fer after pretending to be a baseball player the night before.

What's can happen? It can't get any worse.

we can turn Felix into the next Korey, do we really want that? As I've said, I wouldnt have been mad if Jones was a one year stopgap, but three years is awful downright awful. Pie's numbers still arent to the point where he has to be promoted.

Anyways, gotta love small ball. 5 SBs in this game, and our one run was scored on a HR. Gotta love it.

IENPW, the Cubs did not TURN Corey Patterson into anything. Corey Patterson sucked/sucks/will suck. Cause he's a freaking headcase. He refused to adapt and major league pitchers have figured him out.

Cincinnati and Detroit have surprised majors with hot starts

[...Would it be far-fetched to envision the Cincinnati Reds and the Detroit Tigers in the World Series? Yes, it would, but in the first five weeks of the season, the Reds and the Tigers have been two of the best teams in the major leagues.

The Reds and the Tigers began Saturday with 20-10 records, second in their leagues by half a game. No one expects either team to sustain its impressive start, but no one expected the Reds and the Tigers to have these starts...

...For the first time in years, the Tigers are playing the game well. Only three years removed from an American League-record 119 losses, the Tigers have responded to the challenges of new manager Jim Leyland, who himself is reinvigorated after a self-imposed six-year sabbatical from managing.

"I see a different hop in his step," said Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers' president, who was also Leyland's boss in Florida when Leyland managed the Marlins to a World Series championship in 1997.

"He's one of the top managers in baseball. He's an experienced manager who can handle the veteran players and bring along the young guys. We needed somebody with his type of knowledge, ability, communications skills."...]

Sure baseball is 162 game season but you never hear of a WS champion losing this badly for this length of time. Great teams may lose 3 or 4 in row once during the year. There is nothing promising coming down the line that makes me believe that this is a single speed bump to a division championship. This is a weak team built around a pitching staff that everyone knew wouldn't be healthy until May at the earliest.

What happens when D Lee comes back and he isn't hitting .350 for the 1st month? This teams offense is built around protential. ARam has shown the potential to hit for a few months but not an entire year or let alone 2 years running. Murton, Cedeno are unknowns. The french men that patrol LF/CF are role players. Barrett is still developing. What possibly did we all really expect?

Of course I will hope that this team pulls their collective heads out of their asses but the reality is it probably won't be happening this year. I hope that October comes around and this team is playing in the WS but I'm not gonna hold my breath.

Memory fails Baker, as do Cubs' hitters

JP came up at least 3 times to leadoff the inning, and each time a weakly hit ball for an easy out. Jacques-strap ... what more can you say after a golden sombrero?

I thought Hairston would be a better alternative than Neifi at 2B. At least Neifi can lay down a bunt, and occasionally get the ball out of the infield. All I'm seeing from Hairston is weak and impotent. A successful suicide squeeze would have been a difference maker.

Unless Dusty goes for the previously mentioned Mabry-1B and Walker-2B, it looks like Neifi is the best option at 2B. With the Nats losing their 2B, maybe the Cubs could bundle Hairston and Hill for somebody to play OF or 1B - I just don't know who the Nats would have to offer.

Oh yeah ... even Brenly is in a slump. What was that crap about the Cubs' average for RISP with 2 outs not being a true reflection of how they are doing? "Well, Jones could hit it hard to someone and that number does not really reflect how well they are hitting the ball." Hunh? Either you score the man or you do what the Cubs have been doing and strand him.

His "miscall" on the Barrett groin-pull/cup relocation was downright funny. At least it gave me a chance to laugh through the tears.

[Watching Marshall pitch was great too. He got into trouble in the 6th when he got away from throwing first-pitch strikes and got behind too often.]

My calls:

Fire Baker
Fire Rothschild
Fire MacPhail
Fire Mannytrillo
Fire Chad
Fire my mother (her Giants gave us Dusty)
Fire me (I root for this group of losers every year)

Man, if feels bad to be a Cubs fan.

When do we start playing the role of "spoiler"?

And the award for the most embarrassing use of $100 million goes to....................

Jim Hendry and the Chicago Cubs. Congratulations, here is a 3 year extension.

Goodbye .500, it was nice knowing you

"What can you say about a guy whose throws travel maybe twenty five feet before they hit the grass?"

That JJ is promoting that damned Benchwarmers movie? Forget the golden sombaro (sp?) this guy needs a helmet with a strap.

Anybody have any idea what the hell is wrong with Murton?

Nothing is wrong with Murton.

He did an excellent job last year as a part-time player in his rookie season.

Now he is asked to repeat, or do even better, in his sophomore year on a full-time isn't going to happen.

Does any know the money value of Hendry's contract? I'm guessing it is in the 750K range per year.

Thank god for the Pirates. At least we won't be cellar dwellers.

#13 of 27: By cubswinthepennant (May 7, 2006 01:21 AM)
My first impression of Jacque Jones this March was that he was a headcase. There's something wrong with the guy beyond his obviously diminished skills. He seemed to already be melting down mentally in spring training. Getting into fights with fans. And. What can you say about a guy whose throws travel maybe twenty five feet before they hit the grass?

I have one thing to say, PIE in right.

Felix went 4 for 5 tonight and drove in 3 runs batting leadoff. He has 20 RBI, best on Iowa. And he can throw the ball further than 25 feet in the air. I've seen him.

What more do you need to know?

I know there is almost no chance that Felix Pie is going to be recalled and installed in RF right now, but just to add a few items to what CWtP wrote:

1. For those of you not aware of it, Felix Pie leads ALL of baseball (minor leagues AND major leagues) in outfield assists this season (five assists in 27 games). He also has made no errors in the field (so far). Pie not only has the speed to play CF, he also has the arm to play RF.


Johnny Defendis - 3
Ryan Harvey - 3
Matt Ciaramella - 2
Davy Gregg - 2
Nic Jackson - 2

2. Despite hitting lead-off, Pie is 3rd in the organization in RBI:

Micah Hoffpauir - 24
Ryan Harvey - 22
Jake Fox - 19
Michael Barrett - 18
Matt Murton - 17
Scott Moore - 15
Jesus Valdez - 15

3. No question Pie still strikes out too much, but the Cubs have a number of players in their organization who have struck out more frequently than Pie in '06:

Robinson Chirinos, Matt Ciaramella, Kevin Collins, Matt Craig, Jeff Culpepper, Mike Fontenot, Jake Fox, Alberto Garcia, Adam Greenberg, Davy Gregg, Ryan Harvey, Micah Hoffpauir, Nic Jackson, Dylan Johnston, Casey Kopitzke, Richard Lewis, Scott Moore, Justin Morgan, Jake Muyco, Ryan Norwood, Matt Padgett, Eric Patterson, Mark Reed, Kyle Reynolds, Tony Richie, Alan Rick, Issmael Salas, Joe Simokaitis, Brandon Sing, Geovany Soto, Jemel Spearman, and Chris Walker, plus Freddie Bynum, Jacque Jones, John Mabry, Angel Pagan, and Michael Resotovich on the big club. Only three position players at Peoria, two at Daytona, four at West Tenn, and four at Iowa have better K/PA rates than Pie.

4. Although he still needs to improve his plate discipline, Pie is taking a decent number of walks in '06. For instance, he has taken more walks than Juan Pierre (even though Pierre has more PAs), and Pie's OBP is 50 points higher than Pierre's. Here are the Cubs 2006 organization walks leaders through May 7th:

(*) player has worse K/PA rate than Pie

* Micah Hoffpauir - 16

* Matt Craig - 14

* Robinson Chirinos - 13
* Jake Fox - 13
Luis Montanez - 13
Aramis Ramirez - 13

Derrek Lee - 12
Matt Murton - 12

Sam Fuld - 11
* Geovany Soto - 11
* Chris Walker - 11

* Brandon Sing - 10
Todd Walker - 10

* Matt Ciaramella - 9
* Ryan Harvey - 9
* Dylan Johnston - 9
Casey McGehee - 9
* Scott Moore - 9
Nate Spears - 9

5. Felix Pie's splits vs LHP & RHP in 2006:

vs LHP: 300/382/567 - 949 OPS (34 PA)
vs. RHP: 289/333/382 - .715 OPS (84 PA)
TOTAL: 292/353/453 .806 OPS (118 PA)

vs LHP: 9-30 (.300), 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HBP
vs RHP: 22-76 (.289), 3 2B, 3 3B, 0 HR, 10 RBI, 6 BB, 15 K, 1 SF, 1 SH
TOTAL: 31-106 (.292), 6 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 20 RBI, 9 BB, 21 K, 1 HBP, 1 SF, 1 SH.

Pie is tied for the PCL league lead in triples.

So Pie has not only held his own vs LHP, he has (in fact) a higher OBP & SLG vs LHP than against RHP, and his BA is about exactly the same (.290-.300)against both LHP and RHP.

This morning I read the obligatory quote from Dusty "Dude, if I knew what was wrong, I'd fix it, dude."

You dumb shit, you just admitted you have no business managing this team or any other. You should be fired YESTERDAY. I don't care if half the team is injured--what kind of manager comes out and says stupid shit like this TIME AND TIME AGAIN? Leyland doesn't, that's for sure--plus, he knows when it's time to quit and go home. Dusty sure doesn't.

Neither does Hendry. I can't wait for 2.5 more years of Jockstrap Jones pushing for the record for Ks as a Cub hitter. And you all thought Sammy was bad. I bet Sosa could out hit Jones right now, roids or no roids--at least he had a better arm. I also can't wait for whatever pathetic trade or refuse-heap signing that Hendry will pull out of his sizable ass in an attempt to save the club, if in fact he ever gets around to making one. Carlos Pena? Puh-leaze.

I too am severely depressed by this past week.

3 years of JJones and his 25 foot throws form RF with 4K's per game. KPat looks like a hitter with a plan compared to this goof. I predict whatever booing Corey received will be trivial to the grief JJ will hear on the next homestand. When it comes to ex-Twins, JUST SAY NO.

If I ever see Jerry Hairston Jr on the field again it will be too soon. I'm tired of foul bunts, HR distance foul balls and trying to tag runners out at 2nd when standing 5 feet in front of 2B. He's gonna kill Todd Walker with sloppy throws from 2B. If he's faster than Todd at 2B, it's not a skill he harness' well.

Clumsy and Fast Freddy Bynum. Speed Kills. Why are we always getting crap for the 25th roster spot. I can't believe that Ryan Theriot or Buck Coates isn't a significant upgrade here. No options or not, he's got a clumsy glove and that's a bad thing.

When we had 3 thumpers in the lineup it wasn't crushing if one of them went down. Sosa's health and cork in 2003-4 were tolerable with Alou and ARam. DLee's loss means we have to rely on JJones for RBI's. I see why we can't score.

Rich Hill's losing trade value with every pitch he throws at this level

on the good side:

Cedeno and Murton are nice additions with continued upside as they get to see more MLB pitching

Bullpen upgrade is significant but no offense is a disease that puts too much pressure on the entire pitching staff burning them out in rapid fashion.

Sean Marshall is learning quickly and I see Greg Maddux's
influence is rubbing off on him. Go Sean Go.

Z's last outing was terrific. Hopefully he's back on track

Wood (and if we ever see Prior/Miller) will replace our #5 starter (currently Rich Hill), that can't be a bad thing

Felix went 4 for 5 tonight and drove in 3 runs batting leadoff.

How many runs did JPierre drive in batting leadoff last night?

Good point, AZ Phil.

also, pretty depressing watching STL kick the crap out of FLA's crappy AAA pitching staff who looked like a stable of Cy Young candidates against the hapless Cubs...

Yep, it is pretty depressing to be at only May 7th and to basically know that the season is already over. And before you flame me and say there is a lot baseball left yada, yada, yada, please be realistic. We are in the toughest division in the national league. There was pretty much no way we were gonna win the central even before the injury to Lee. Without him for two months, that extinguishes even the outside shot at the wildcard that we had.

I do think that in the long run the injury to Derrek may be a blessing in disguise. Look, we were going nowhere this year from the start. Pierre is past his prime. Jones needs to retire. ARAM cannot step up to the plate with Lee not in the line-up. Our kids are good but they cannot carry this club. What we have learned very clearly from the injury to Lee is just how thin this team is talent wise. The strategy for building a winner needs to be totally re-thought. Yes, it means not competing this year and probably next year.

But look, we have not won the big enchilada in about 100 years. What is a couple of more years if we can put a real team together? If Lee had played the whole year, we may have sort of competed for a wildcard spot through July and maybe into August. That would have left Hendry thinking the same old thing, let's just tinker with the offense a bit and pretty much keep the pitching status quo. We need a new way of thinking when it comes to building a club. Maybe now it will happen. We can only hope, right?

Hendry to the rescue?

Donít count on it Ö GM says deals just arenít there

[...Cubs general manager Jim Hendry caught up with his team Saturday.

Before the Cubs played the San Diego Padres, Hendry acknowledged the public pressure on him to ìdo somethingî with star first baseman Derrek Lee out with a broken arm and the teamís offense floundering.

Both offenses were quiet again Saturday, as the game was tied at 1-1 after seven innings.

ìYou always want to do something when things arenít going well,î Hendry said. ìUnfortunately, itís hard to do early in May. Most clubs certainly arenít going to give you (their) better players. Weíre not the only club going through some injury difficulty either.

ìSignificant deals are awfully hard to make the first 20 percent of the year. To be honest with you, when you struggle like we have, you always want to look to see if thereís something out there thatís going to immediately make you better when the reality is we really need a lot of our own guys to do a better job first and foremost.î...]

I love how the Cubs official website today headlines "Guzman to play stopper." Gimme a break. If they haven't noticed, Cubs starters have given up ONE RUN IN THE LAST TWO GAMES COMBINED. I'd say that is playing "stopper"- so if Guzman goes 8 ip, 0 runs, he'll still get a no decision.

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Recent comments

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  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on my Ted Abernathy imitation when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. So I'll always have a soft spot for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely. 

  • has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.

  • As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?

  • AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?

  • Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.

  • AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.

  • I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.

    But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.

  • Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.

    Jason deGrom -- oh, my.

  • Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.

    Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.

  • Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.

    Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.

  • that game sounds fun as hell.

  • I was just wondering the same thing. I'd rather not see it at all. If it's inaccurate, it's a bad viewer experience. If it's accurate, it shows some shitty calling by the umpire.