Gameday Open Thread / Cubs @ Padres

More drama with another Mark Prior start today...snore. Greg Maddux takes the hill for the Padres. Rich Hill set to relieve Prior, supposedly after four innings but I'd start warming up early if I was Hill.


poor Hee-Seop, reassigned after a 3 for 19 spring...

Just posted on the last thread, but Len says rain shouldn't be a problem.

I'm heading to the chat if you want radio's on XM today.

Murton "the butcher" guns down the runner at the plate.

Prior looks like shit.


he's hitting 90 fairly consistently...

word is he was low 80's in the first....hitting 90 now in the 2nd

nice inning by prior...

seems he woke up....Padres announcers said he threw some nice sliders and even a change or two

He's playing with our hearts... someone give me a can to chew on.

that was easily the best he's looked all spring.

He was clocked at 79 MPH in the 1st. Barrett was almost returning the ball as hard as Prior was throwing it. He did look better in the 2nd, changing speeds on a couple hitters. I question whether those fastballs were 90 MPH though.

"Goat — March 22, 2007 @ 2:38 pm

He’s playing with our hearts… someone give me a can to chew on."

That was laugh out-loud funny.

"i saw prior in his prime"...padres announcer.

hehe...remember back in 1948 when prior was just a young kid trying to get his 300 innings in?

I'm watching on and Prior was consistantly hitting 90 - 91 in the 2nd. His breaking pitches looked sharp too.

Anyone else notice that Murton's batting stance has changed? Looks like quite a difference.


Seriously, though. Prior gives me more intestinal cramps than scrap metal.

And all control has disappeared in the third.

And of course I spoke too soon.

93 mph K

93 MPH!

he threw spicoli a nice curveball, and finished him off with 93 mph inside fastball. very nice.

That was definitely the old dominant-pitch-hop of old from Prior after striking out Greene on that 93mph fastball.

I'm very impressed with the progress Prior has made today.

Regardless of what the stat line says at the end of the day, the velocity is coming back (all the way to 93 there in the 3rd), and the slider looks a thousand times better. Very tight and a good sharp break to it. Looks like he's still over-throwing the cheese a little bit and it's causing him to get a little wild, but still, he has shown dramatic improvment.

He;ll be back. Some time this year we will see old mark prior again.

By the way, the calves look good.

I was not expecting him to even go out there for the 4th inning. To make it through 4 with 1 ER is WAY better than I was expecting for today...

Wow, four innings and we're all optimistic again.

I never was one to call Prior "done" but, hey, it's four innings. Let's wait and see.

I don't want to pull out the old Jump to Conclusions Mat here Team, but if he can maintain this level of pitching, I wouldn't rule him out right now.

If he can run the heater up at 91-93 consistently (be nice if he could pick a couple more mph's, but I'm not picky) and throw the breaking ball as well as he has today, I'd take him over Wade Miller for the #5 right now. I an aware all of that is a rather large if.

A goat complimenting calves? Is there an inerspecies romance brewing?

as I mentioned in the chat, the outing seemed encouraging but he should spend all of April in Iowa, show up every 5 days to pitch, dominate...then we talk.

Well said Rob, but can I still do a happy dance.

What's the difference between a 4 inning game and a 5 inning game? Len keeps referring to the fact that it's an "official" game because they've completed 5 innings. Does he think they are going to reschedule a game called after 4 innings or less that gets rained out?

AZ Phil, did you get soaked?

How does Ryan Theriot look this Spring? Do you think he will see much playing time this year. From what I read it looks as he will be used as a kind of super-utility player at 2nd, ss, 3rd and even the outfield. He played well after being called up last year and he's got some speed.

Is Dansy still here?

big john stud:

Prior looks like shit.

IMO, Prior looked great. Even in the 1st inning. See you in May, Mark.

so, heres the thing I want to ask the stat heads.

In the prime of maddux and martinez career, how hard were they throwing?

I think late in their careers, hitting 90 was an achievement right?

If so, then who gives a shit how hard he is throwing. Its more can he "pitch"? A mid 80 fastball with movement is just as damn hard to hit as a 99mph heater.

I am really not concerned with his speed. Its location and movement. Throw in the 80's. I don't care. Just don't get shelled doing it.


If it didn't go 5, it would have a cancelled game and not official. This game now counts in ST stats and records.

Sam Malone -

Theriot --- Let me tell you - this kid is a playa'....gets on base, plays a gritty, gritty style of baseball. ...he's a perfect 2nd hitter behind D.Lee. Don't be surprised if DeRosa becomes the utility player to backup Theriot / Murton / Jacque.

Give that kid a budweiser...

"In the prime of maddux and martinez career, how hard were they throwing?

I think late in their careers, hitting 90 was an achievement right?"

Pedro in his prime threw real hard. Mid 90's.

Also, I don't want my comments to be miscontstrued as Prior being magically healed and everything's fine and we can set the rotation and he'll win 20 games and win the Cy Young and we'll win the World Series. w00t!!!!!!1111!!eleventy!!!

Let me provide a little context:

Today was far and away his best outing. I said last week that if he didn't show some improvment by today's outing, he should be shelved. This was about the longest that the team could wait for his velocity to return. He got a big bump of about 8-10 mph. I'd expect that the next couple of times out, he could gain another 2-3 and get back to typical Prior velocity. With all of that said, one good 4 inning outing a pitcher does not make, as the old saying goes. He's still got some more work to do.

A couple more outings similar to this, however, will be just about the all convincing I would need to believe that he's healthy. Last time I saw him on TV, I thought he looked like he was pitching through pain and he was tentative. I saw none of that today. He looked pain free, very sharp, and very sound mechanically. I thought the arm angle was still a little bit lower than I'm used to seeing, but I suppose I can't gripe about that.

There was some joy in Cubville--the Mighty Prior (actually) struck a few out.

a rotoworld blurb says it's between edwin jackson and jp howell for the 5th spot in tampa...jae-kuk ryu may still make the team out of the pen.

I think everybody knows, or soon will--the fantasy players sure know it--that Hill is the Cubs' no. 2 behind Z. The business about Lilly being #2 and Marquis #3 is a fiction based on their free-agency winnings. Lilly looks to me like a decent #4, and Marquis--well, he'll always be back there competing with three other guys for the 5 spot.

To be a good team, we just need a good #3. Since Prior started out better than that, it's not asking that much to have him be a little better than Lilly. Prior just has to take care of his arm.

"a rotoworld blurb says it’s between edwin jackson and jp howell for the 5th spot in tampa…jae-kuk ryu may still make the team out of the pen."

Anything on Mitre?


Last I had heard E-Man, Nolasco was going to open as Florida's #4 and Mitre was in a 2 or 3 way battle for the #5.

This game now counts in ST stats and records.
Somewhere in a dusty old hard drive lives the spring training stats from the 1955 Cubs. I sure am glad this game will count as much as those stats, otherwise nobody will believe us when we tell them we saw Mark Prior pitch well in 2007.

"IMO, Prior looked great. Even in the 1st inning. See you in May, Mark."


There's no opinion needed. Prior was wild, throwing 79 MPH and everyone was hitting the ball with authority in the 1st. It's a fact - he simply looked like shit.

He looked like an entirely different pitcher in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

'Prior was wild, throwing 79 MPH and everyone was hitting the ball with authority in the 1st.'

They just invented this pitch called 'a change up', sounds pretty nifty.

big john stud:

There’s no opinion needed. Prior was wild, throwing 79 MPH and everyone was hitting the ball with authority in the 1st. It’s a fact - he simply looked like shit.

I am most certainly entitled to an opinion, asshole. Further, I don't call a single skimming by Theriot hitting with "authority". And by the way, the radar gun at Hoho blows, so careful calling those facts.

79 might be an exaggeration of what he did in the 1st on whole, but prior's 1st was marked by wildness and a lack of velocity. in the 2nd he found the 3rd/4th he was "effectively wild" but flashed the velocity.

in the 1st he supposedly didnt touch 90 so the next 3 innings of 87-91mph (up to 93mph) was a nice surprise.

I watched the game.
The 79 MPH was on a high, wild fastball.

"I am most certainly entitled to an opinion, asshole."

Mark Prior looked Mexican, in my opinion. Even though it spits in the face of the facts. Everyone was hitting the ball hard off Prior in the 1st inning.

BTW, the radar gun seemed to be working completely fine when Maddux was on the mound.

"79 might be an exaggeration of what he did in the 1st on whole, but prior’s 1st was marked by wildness and a lack of velocity."

Thank you. He looked like he was lobbing the ball to start the game. 79 looked about right. He was releasing high and looked like he was afraid to finish his delivery.

Mark Prior looked Mexican, in my opinion.


Guess I'm puzzled by the intended meaning, as well. I saw very little Mexico in the first inning.

I saw a guy who was dropping the arm a bit too much and looked like he wasn't completely warm out of the bullpen.

I think he means that he is entitled to an opinion....

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.

  • I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.

  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • 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 both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart 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.