Lightning Round Preview

This one is going to be quick as I gotta run, but since the Cubs have won 3 straight since I decided to moan about each day's starter, I can't mess with the streak. Z's having a nice year, 12-4 looks pretty and all, but he's had the benefit of tremendous run support and honestly hasn't looked all so hot since July. But hey, it's better to be lucky than good. It would be nice if he could be both though. Go Cubs. GAME ONE HUNDRED-THIRTEEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (48-64, (Div) 5th - 13.0 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 9.5 GB) AT MILWAUKEE BREWERS (52-60, (Div) 4th - 9.0 GB; (Wild Card) 8th - 5.5 GB) Miller Park, 7:05 pm CDT Weather: 79 degrees, Clear, Wind in from CF @ 9 mph TV: WGN, DirecTV 742 Radio: WGN, XM 184
Dave Bush, RHP 7-8, 4.74 ERA, 142.1 IP 117 K, 32 BB, 19 HR 261/316/438 againstCarlos Zambrano, RHP 12-4, 3.42 ERA, 158 IP 158 K, 85 BB, 17 HR 205/314/361 against

*Juan Pierre, CF #Cesar Izturis, SS Michael Barrett, C Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Jacque Jones, RF Phil Nevin, 1B Matt Murton, LF Ronny Cedeno, 2B #Carlos Zambrano, P Brady Clark, CF Tony Graffaninio, 2B *Prince Fielder, 1B *Gabe Gross, LF Bill Hall, SS *Geoff Jenkins, RF David Bell, 3B Damien Miller, C Dave Bush, P

Cubs vs Bush: Jacque Jones: 5-14, 357/357/714, 4 K, 0 BB, 2 2B, 1 HR Juan Pierre: 5-10, 500/500/900, 1 K, 0 BB, 1 2B, 1 HRBrewers vs. Zambrano: Geoff Jenkins: 8-32, 250/324/469, 8 K, 3 BB, 4 XBH Bill Hall: 5-23, 217/308/435, 12 K, 3 BB, 3 XBH Brady Clark: 4-17, 235/409/294, 4 K, 5 BB, 1 2B David Bell: 3-12, 250/308/250, 0 K, 1 BB Damien Miller: 3-11, 273/385/364, 4 K, 2 BB, 1 2B
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Comments

Wasn't Pierre's homerun against Bush a month ago?

I didn't even know Pierre had a homer this year, guess I missed hat game. Still when you have 10 career home runs and you find a pitcher he's hit one off of, I felt it was worth noting.

Yeah, I wasn't complaining about that, Rob; I was just surprised Pierre had a homerun against someone.

6 pitches in the first for Bush. I was starting to miss those Cubs....glad to see they still have it in them.

6 pitches in the first for Bush. I was starting to miss those Cubs....glad to see they still have it in them.

Well, that sucked.

Am I the only Cubs fan rooting for a no hitter against us? It just seems like the perfect defining moment for this wonderful season...it will really give us something to talk about.

Go no-hitter go.

Heck, maybe the Cubs and Sox can be no-hit on the same day....combined, they are half way there.

no blockhead, but keep on mentioning it to ruin the mojo. :)

Ugh -- two stinkers in a row from Big Z. I thought with C. Lee gone he would shut the Brew Crew out.

Too many innings?

or a bad play by barrett and a blown call by the ump....

But blaming Baker is fun...

2nd rough start in a row for Z. Maybe the hapless sack offense can muster up 6 runs over the next few innings and get him off of the hook.

I'd love to see Z get hot again and pick up the Cy Young.

Pierre ruined it-- both Cubs and Sox had been no-hit through 5. Big Unit has a no-no after 5. Might be worth watching.

I'm starting to like Barret less and less. He can qualify for the batting title race all he wants. He still needs to learn how to catch-literally. He's fricking brutal behind the plate.

I know Z was off his game tonight anyway, but that passed ball crap by Barret- his NINTH this year!!!- is the last straw. Because the Cubs are so unreliable as a team offense every year, they need his bat. What do the last 5 World Series champions have in common? Above average to great defensive catchers (some who can and can't hit)

2001- DBacks: Damian Miller
2002- Angels: Benji Molina
2003- Marlins: Pudge
2004- Red Sox: Varitek
2005- WSox: Pierzynski

I don't care what kind of offense you get out of your catcher- just give the team a solid glove, the ability to call a game, handle the pitching staff and throw out runners. I've had it with Hendry's pet Barret.

mark grace has discovered is soundboard has a special effects/noise-samples unit on it.

he's been umm..."entertaining"...the people with using it to death so far in this sf/arz game.

mark grace rules, but wow...he really does bring his own special brand of "awful-but-good" to the broadcast booth.

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS.

The Cubs have lost 64 games going into tonight, and Barrett's 9th passed ball is the last straw?

Lets come down off the ledge shall we?

9 passed balls give him one more than AJ and two more than Molina, who apparently great because their teams went to the world series.

Oh, what you want to use the same tired, Barrett can't work with pitchers or can't call a game? Maybe the Cubs just need to sign Roger Clemens then? After all Clemens praised Barrett - who was his personal catcher - during the WBC.

I'm not saying that Barrett is some great defensive catcher, but on the list of the Cubs problems hes not even close to the top.

varitek and aj? there's nothing average or great about them defensively.

but yeah barrett blew that play.

Looks like Farnsworth went back to his favorite Wrigleyville watering holes last night and today he gave us a glimpse of vintage "the Farns".

.2 IP, 3 hits (2 HR), 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

NYY are going to have a tough time winning with the head case trying to be setup for Rivera down the stretch.

Perhaps it's not their defensive prowess so much as it is their leadership on the field. Barret doesn't seem to have that- yet. He still may.

BCB-

I never said Barret's defensive liabilities are at the top of the list. But yeah, it is the last straw. Not so much because it's a passed ball, but just because you could almost script the subsequent homerun. It was a combination of Barret blowing it, Zambrano letting it get to him mentally, and Barret unable to quell his angst.

"Oh, what you want to use the same tired, Barrett can't work with pitchers or can't call a game?"

So because it's a repetitive occurrence and thus a repetitive complaint means it's not valid? It might be an old complaint, but it doesn't mean it's untrue. I like Barret, but damn, he just isn't a general on the field like a catcher should be. And like the Cubs certainly need him to be. And Clemens praised Barret during the WBC? Great. That sample size Clemens had with Barret is certainly reliable. Give him 30+ starts with him. Not to mention that a seasoned veteran and perennial Cy Young candidate doesn't need to rely on his catcher as much as this young Cubs staff does.

And yes, AJ and Molina are great leaders and it shouldn't be considered a coincidence that they were the catchers on World Series winning teams. Did their teams win the WS solely because of them? Of course not. But it is a necessary ingredient.

BCB, why are you so defensive about Barret anyway? He's a solid player and excellent hitter, but comes up short as a backstop. That's my point.

"varitek and aj? there's nothing average or great about them defensively."

So I guess Varitek's 2005 Gold Glove isn't worth anything.

Nazey,
The Cubs have a catcher like you describe. His name is Hank White and every time he plays you guys complain.

Walt-

Show me evidence of when I complained about Blanco catching. I'd take him as the everyday catcher if we could replace Barret's offense in some capacity.

So I guess Varitek's 2005 Gold Glove isn't worth anything.

in my opinion, no. he got it for his bat, like a number of gold gloves awarded in baseball.

if wood and prior were healthy the last 3 years, we wouldn't be having these discussions about Barrett, at least not to this extent.

dodgers finally lose, wilson betemit and I think Russ martin (whoever is #55 on the dodgers) executed one of the worst run downs I've ever seen.

raffy loves his gold glove. he's a very tallented man to show so much brilliance in such a small sample size. that's how you know you're really one of the good ones.

*cough*

Rob G.:
"if wood and prior were healthy the last 3 years, we wouldn't be having these discussions about Barrett, at least not to this extent."

The same can be said for Baker too...

and Hendry...

Rob G.:
"and Hendry..."

Well, that is only somewhat true with the difference being Barrett, nor Baker were responsible for building their team around them. Hendry, with his blinding ignorance of thinking they were going to be healthy the past 3 years, is the MAIN reason why we are in this mess.

While yes, if they were healthy, we most likely wouldn't be as bad as we are now, but it was obvious to many of us fans they were injury prone, but not to Hendry.

Right Manny, like people haven't had problems with Baker since 03. Besides, Baker had nothing to do with them being hurt. It's not like it was Prior's 1st full season and Wood hadn't already had arm porblems in the past, yet they were #1 and #2 in MLB in # of pitches in 03. Not including the playoffs. However many managers overcome injuries, in fact I can't really think of another manager that wines about them or young players like that pussy Dusty. Oh well Dusty will be gone as fast as they ran his overated ass out of SF. soon. It was well worth the 4 mil a year to find out he needs all the horses to win, and to stay healthy, and for the weather to be warm, but not too warm.

It's obvious how stupid it was for Hendry to rely on Prior and Wood, agreed 100% however, you can't tell me this team hasn't underperformed regardless and the recent play is an indication of that even without Big D Lee BIG TIME as duochebag would say.

Man, with all the deep ANGER and HATRID for Dusty that is vented by so many here on TCR, how great will be the day if Hendry reups Baker. I hope the server on TCR does not crash. I say we will get 500+ posts.

And then if he does not get reupped, will the focus finally turn to the real problem, Jim Hendry, and not his whipping boy Baker? I hope so.

Stay tuned......

is there anything that Dusty is responsible for Manny?

Dallas Green:
"you can't tell me this team hasn't underperformed regardless and the recent play is an indication of that even without Big D Lee BIG TIME as duochebag would say."

So if the team plays good now, it is Dusty's fault for not getting them to play that way all year. When they played bad, it is because he is not getting enough out of his players. Wow, I wish I was in that no win situation...

Rob G.:
"is there anything that Dusty is responsible for Manny?"

Dusty makes out the lineup.

This carries over nicely from the other thread. Prior was indeed overpitched in 2003. It is a fact. He wasn't ready for that kind of workload and Dusty was wreckless with both him and Wood.

"The same can be said for Baker too..."
-

If they'd both stayed healthy, Dusty still wouldn't put together a proper lineup or know when to pull a pitcher. He'd still take cheap shots at rookies when the Cubs lose and take credit for them when they play well. He'd still whine like a bitch about everything under the sun.

"So if the team plays good now, it is Dusty's fault for not getting them to play that way all year. When they played bad, it is because he is not getting enough out of his players. Wow, I wish I was in that no win situation..."

Manny-

I see more like Dusty being in a no-lose situation by his backers (like Hendry). According to their logic, it goes like this: 1) you can't blame Dusty for their struggles early on because they had so many injuries- read: you can't judge dusty when the chips are down. In other words, it's the players you have on the field that determine a team's success. 2) any success the Cubs have is because of Dusty's managerial skills- not just the players on the roster. Ultimately, the criteria Dusty is judged on works in his favor either way.

I'm not saying everyone buys into that; I just mean the Dusty defenders I've heard over the last several months. I think Hendry subscribes to that logic; otherwise he'd be fired by now.

No Nazey, the Cubs can't just make baseball decisions or Dusty would have been fired by now. However they are very much image aware and this I believe is a big reason why they didn't fire him. They just will make him go away in the end. It's alot cleaner than firing him. It would raise too many questions for them. Hendry might have bought too far into the Dusty hype but, alas he learned his lesson this year, and he will wash his hands soon of it. Hendry also didn't want to be the guy who fired Dusty, not after all the babbling he did about him in 03.

prior was overpitched in 03 and that's his problem? wood, too?

so why is it everyone who puts in these workloads arent dead if its such a direct thing?

why isnt Z retired with a dead arm yet? why isnt livan hernandez undergoing his 3rd arm transplant cuz his other 2 fell off? did anyone tell the pitchers who played the game prior to the late 80s any of this? someone put an astricks beside nolan ryan's name cuz he defied the laws of baseball stat physics...that's worse than roids.

can we just play baseball on a spreadsheet from now on and not worry about all that heat and dirt and $6 beers?

wood has been a mess since he came up...different things different years...elbow/should/elbow/shoulder.

prior's main issue until this season was running into 2nd basemen and taking comebacker off the elbow. he's had that "foot thing" a couple years ago during the prior-gate medical thing that does nothing to help his reputation for his durability. there's not much excuse for this year...he showed up in camp skinny as hell and never got out of the gate. whatever's he got going on i hope he shows up next march/april ready to at least be a top-middle rotation guy.

Talking about a pitcher with high pitch counts:

http://www.suntimes.com/output/sox/cst-spt-ss...

Garcia thinks he is going to be the Sox starter that is traded. Given his record in day games I think we should after him. I know his #'s have taken a hit in the last couple of years, but switching to the NL will help that.

Dusty has some esplaining to do-

Mitchell meeting with Dusty regarding Bonds and steroids.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/10/sports/base...

I picture Dusty walking into the room with a box full of his receipts.

Also LaRussa has(Canseco,McGuire) gotta be next if they are talking to Dusty.

Dusty may not come back even if asked ...(this is what Hendry gets for not firing him at the break)
"That's my attitude. Ö I have a choice too, you know. Both sides have a choice."

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14278128/

Did anyone else hear Len last night? He used the words "no hits" to describe what both pitchers had done so far (it was the third, I believe) and WITHIN MOMENTS, Carlos gave up the home run.

I like Len, but his worst failing as a broadcaster is disrespecting the no-hitter rules. Brenly was as quiet as the grave, but Len has to nibble around the words and taunt the baseball gods.

Not that Carlos was pitching no-hit stuff anyway, but it's the principle of the thing.

Dusty makes out the lineup.

And since (according to manny) the lineup doesn't matter, then I guess Dusty isn't responsible for anything of significance?

so why is it everyone who puts in these workloads arent dead if its such a direct thing?

Because risky behavior increases the risk of a negative outcome, it doesn't guarentee that the negative will happen.

Drunk Drivers increase their risk of causing a deadly car crash. It doesn't mean that every Drunk Driver will be involved in a deadly crash. Nor does it mean that every crash is caused by a drunk driver.

But when you've got someone with a significant drinking history behind the wheel, and people have been telling him he's going to kill someone if he keeps driving this way, and then he's involved in a crash on the way home from the bar, people are going to assume alcohol was involved.

Bleeding Blue:
"and since (according to manny) the lineup doesn't matter,"

And stats god Bill James...

I like Len, but his worst failing as a broadcaster is disrespecting the no-hitter rules.

Failing?!! He's failing by not being an idiot.
Who cares if the fans are talking about it.

The "no hitter rule" only applies to your teammates and people who can be heard in the dugout . It's not about luck, it's about not wanting to be the first person to bring it up and perhaps ruin your pitcher's concentration and rhythm.

Great. That sample size Clemens had with Barret is certainly reliable.

As far as Clemens goes, you're talking about a sure fire hall of famer who undoubtedly has thrown to far better and far worse catchers than Barrett. I'm sure it didn't take long for him to decide if he liked Barrett or not. If Barrett is half as bad as some people like to make him out to be, I have a hard time believing that Clemens would either allow Barrett to be his personal catcher, nor would he publicly praise him if he thought Barrett was the defensive trainwreck that some people on TCR want to make him out to be.

BTW - I'm not defensive about Barrett, I'm just sick of hearing the same old tired arguments, most of which just don't make a lot of sense, and are based on the belief that Barrett's catching skills are exactly the same today as they were in April 2004.

And stats god Bill James...

Fine, for the sake of the argument, the lineup doesn't matter.

If the lineup is the only thing that you could list when asked "What is Dusty responsible for?," and the lineup doesn't matter, then doesn't that pretty much say you believe he's not responsible for anything?

If not, what is he responsible for and/or what does Dusty do well?

Bleeding Blue:
"when asked "What is Dusty responsible for?"

Actually the question was "is there anything that Dusty is responsible for Manny?". There is a huge difference for your paraphrasing.

Why split hairs Manny. What is a manager responsible for, and of those things, what, if any, does Dusty do well, and what, if any, actually matter?

This is of course a very board question so feel free not to answer, but maybe if people understand better what makes up another points of view we will have fewer arguements (or at least new agruements :)

Typical Manny, he can't answer the question so he tries to start an argument about the symantics.

Manny, You've said Dusty's responsible for the lineup, but you've also said that the lineup doesn't matter.

So, other than the lineup which doesn't matter, is there anything that Dusty is resposible for?

And if so, what are those things and/or what does Dusty do well?

I have a feeling what Dusty does "well" as far as Manny is concerned is piss most of us off.

Manny-
I can't speak for anyone else on this site, and I won't try to do that, but I feel that someone has to say this, so here goes:

It is not all Dusty's fault. The 2006 Cubs were a flawed team from the beginning. They were depending on Wood/Prior to be healthy, which is laughable, and depending on Rusch/Williams at the back of the rotation.
Also, even though the Cubs knew that they would have 2 rookies in the lineup, they did not go and get another bat, which was stupid as well.

HOWEVER:
Do you expect us to believe that all Dusty Baker does is fill out the lineup card? He has no say on who makes the team? That is ludicrous!!!
The GM and manager work together to decide the roster.

The injury to Derrek Lee crippled the lineup, and it is Hendry's fault for not going out and getting a replacement right away, whether that replacement was Phil Nevin, or bringing up Micah Hoffpauir or Michael Restovich to play 1B, instead generally shifting Todd Walker to 1B, and playing Neifi Perez or Jerry Hairston at 2B.
For all of Neifi's "Gold Glove" heroics, he is not that great of a second baseman, and his bat was putrid:
April:.167/.189/.222
May:.230/.250/.295

Hairston? Even worse at .170/.220/.213 in May..Yikes!!
Why play a guy at 1B, who has played 9 total career games there, and put a non-bat into the lineup? Mabry was just awful in May...of course, he sat on the bench for the first 3 weeks after Lee's injury, but he had played 400 career games at 1B.
So why not play the experienced guy there?
Who knows??

I'll go into his man-crush of the flammable Roberto Novoa, his crazy-ass double switches, or the total lack of fundamentals if you like?

And Manny, the lineup does mattter if you insist on putting guys in the lineup who CANNOT HIT!

You can arrange the lineup any way you want with those 9 players, and say that theree is only a very small variance, but what happens when you take out a poor hitter, and add a better hitter?

Does that lineup get better??

Yesterday i posted that I thought Dusty would be back for one more year, but after reading the comments in the paper today I think that we will have a new manager next year.

Reading between the lines of what Dusty said in the paper, I think that he knows he wont be back next year. I am even wondering if Hendry has already told him and he is trying to save face. Dusty's biggest problem, from where i sit, is his ego. He doesn't want to admit that he is wrong or that he has made mistakes. I also think that hearing people getting excited about Giradi coming to Chicago has gotten under his skin. Dusty wants to be loved, and that is not going to happen in Chicago.

Love him or hate him, he has changed the attitude of the fan base. Cub fans expect a winner now and before 2003 I don't know that they did. I have been a cub fan for a long time now (a lot longer than I want to admit LOL) and this is the first time that I remember fans expecting a winning team every year. They are also more vocal about there disappointment than at any other time. Dusty isn't the only reason, but Dusty did bring an attitude about winning that wasn't here before. That in my mind is a good thing. Whoever is managing in 2007 better get off to a good start, or this fan base will turn on them fast.

"Dusty's biggest problem, from where i sit, is his ego. He doesn't want to admit that he is wrong or that he has made mistakes."

I disagree with this. Dusty, like all of us, doesn't like to be wrong, but to me at least it appears that he has made some changes in the way he manages. For example, young players are playing this season and young pitchers are not being ridden into the ground. Does Dusty continue to make mistakes, sure we all do, but he does appear to be changing just a little.

I think it has more to do with Hendry and Baker being given the most talented Cubs teams of the last 30 to 40 years and then watching them drive that talent into the ground.

Not to mention Cubs fans staring the down the barrell of the most infamous anniversary in sports history. 100 years between championships.

BJS:

"He wasn't ready for that kind of workload"

Thank you doctor for your very informed opinion. Cause I can tell that you have any idea of what you are talking about.

Dusty "made some changes...this season."

Too little too late?

And Manny, the lineup does mattter if you insist on putting guys in the lineup who CANNOT HIT!
-
How topical:
the B team on the field today...Prior deserves no less.

JJones against another lefty (Davis), Hank White in there to help Prior with his Spanish? Hoila! Our new SS-2B combo must be gassed and so it's time for...this?

Pierre
The Riot
ARam
Nevin
JJones
Pagan
Neifmeister
Blanco
Prior

Oy, that's one helluva lineup.

Ok, so now Murton is sitting for against Left handed pitching too?

Yeah, can someone please tell me what Dusty does well? Anyone?

Pagan instead of Murton is inexcuseable.

- Jones is in the lineup because he has had good success against Davis.

- Blanco is catching because it's a day game after a night game, and there's no off day tomorrow.

- The Cubs stunk in April & May because Lee was hurt (and the Cubs had no backup), Wood and Prior did nothing (or worse), and Pierre and A-Ram were awful. Dusty didn't help, but, when several key players fail to produce for an extended period of time, there's not a whole lot he could have done. Whether he is a good or bad manager is a separate question.

"Pagan instead of Murton is inexcuseable."

That is excuseable, Jones starting against a LHP with Murton OR Pagan on the bench is not.

I would like to hear one reporter ask Dusty how bad Jones has to hit against lefties before he will platoon him.

Can Pagan play CF? Why don't they ever sit Pierre?

Well it looks like the Milwaukee Brewers did well in that trade with the Toronto Moneyballers, they got Toronto to eat alot of Koskies' money, they've got an everyday regular in the future in Gabe Gross, they got Bush who you got to see again last night and they also have a l-handed starter in Zach Jackson who made a start vs the Cubs earlier this summer for Overbay who's a nice supplement to a lineup, thou void of big 1st basemans power.

"- Jones is in the lineup because he has had good success against Davis."

He has only had 5 ABs against Davis. Sample size comes to mind.

I've got 11 AB's RobR, 5-11....

Preview is up...

Paul,

I once heard he an interview with Kasper on MJH and he said it was his job to tell the fans what is going on in the game and as a Journalism major I agree with that. Kasper only suggesting a no hitter, is the same as Brian Williams or Charles Gibson leading off their respective newscasts tonights with "some people were arrested in Britain today for planning a terrorist attack" and then moving on to the next story.

Love him or hate him, he has changed the attitude of the fan base.

___________________

Someguy,

I agree, by signing a $16mil pennant-winning manager, the Trib definitely upped the ante for Cub fans. But I believe Dusty's biggest fault is that he has NOT displayed a winning attitude. His MO has been to pass blame and make excuses when things go wrong.

IMO, the primary reason Cub fans have gotten more vocal during the Dusty era is because his teams have not won at home. And not only do they lose a lot at home, they lose in spectacular fashion.

This has coincided with annual ticket price-hikes in 4 of the last 5 years.

"I've got 11 AB's RobR, 5-11...."

Your right he is 3-5 this season. This point remains the same.

Vorare:
"I have a feeling what Dusty does "well" as far as Manny is concerned is piss most of us off."

HA HA...very funny.

At least you didn't deny it...

You're very right, Vorare.

That also might explain why Manny is too cowardly to actually say what Dusty is responsible for or what he does well.

Chifan, is it possible for you to comment on anything without saying you're a journalism major? As one myself, albeit one with real-world experience, let me tell you it doesn't amount to jack squat (best said in Matt Foley voice) when you express an opinion "as a journalism major." Just a tip.

"Thank you doctor for your very informed opinion. "

Glad to oblige. Too many innings & obscene pitch counts for a guy in his first full season.

Based on what?

BASED ON NOTHING!!

Well..its in caps, so it must be right...

(based on nothing)

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance.
-- (Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens)
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