Late-Inning (What’s The Opposite of Heroics?)

While much of the focus has been on the Cubs bullpen blowing these extra-inning and close games, there has been another culprit. Cubs Offense Innings 1-6: .290/.333/.459 66 Runs National League Average: 258/330/404 56 Runs Top Performers: Aramis Ramirez: 429/457/810 Derrek Lee: 400/492/520 Michael Barrett: 308/370/641 Ryan Theriot: 467/467/533 Mark Derosa: 244/279/634 Cubs Offense from the 7th Inning on: 212/299/288 21 Runs National League Average: 247/331/382 26 Runs Note: Only the Giants have a worse offense from the 7th inning on in terms of OPS. The Cubs have the 7th most plate appearances from the 7th inning on but the third least amount of runs scored. Top Performers: Jacque Jones: 368/478/421 Bottom Feeders: Michael Barrett: 200/273/200 Aramis Ramirez: 150/227/150 Ryan Theriot: 150/227/150 Floyd, Murton, Izturis and Soriano all have OPS' under .600 after the 7th inning as well. The bullpen is 0-6 this year, 7th in ERA and 4th in innings pitched and tied for 2nd worst with three blown saves (none by Ryan Dempster though who has curbed his walks to 3 in 11 innings pitched so far). While the bullpen has certainly not been spectacular and Scott Eyre has been particularly awful, as a whole they've been forced to do more than they should thanks to an anemic late-game offense that cannot muster any runs in our 3 extra-inning losses, nor has done much of anything to pad our leads.
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Well the easy but simple minded thing (for me) to say might be, is this coaching-related? You'd expect oppo pitchers/catchers to be mixing things up later in the game on their third/fourth time through the lineup, but is this as simple as 'they go after Cubs batters early [but cubs can handle it] but they get cagey and throw junk later in the game, and Cubs batters are too nervous to lay off that pitch-in-the-dirt? And is that nervousness related to consistently being down in the score, having blown leads? Apologies for simple mindedness

Rob G.:
"Late-Inning (What’s The Opposite of Heroics?)"

Late inning Cubstitude (instead of sucktitude)?

Simple minded, maybe, but I don't think it's far off the mark.
I'm bored. Does anyone know when Prior's surgery was supposed to take place today?

Blech. Those are ugly.

At least our stopper goes tonight.

I'm not in Chicago but it looks like it will rain there tonight and tomorrow. True? Please say it isn't. This team is maddening enough without waiting through rain delays just to watch flail away.

here is your hourly Chicago forcast link...
10% showers by gametime (7pm)
40% showers by 9pm

http://tinyurl.com/36kd2w

The rain isn't supposed to hit here until late tonight, so the game should be safe. Tomorrow might be a different story, though.

The Stopper. ...I think the Cubs have outscored their opponents 19-3 in Hill's three starts.

Which reminds me, whatever happened to St. LouisTowel?

here is your doppler weather map for Chicago...

http://tinyurl.com/3davvk

I'm bringing an umbrella so it won't rain...

17 inning scoreless streak for Hill right now...

also 24 GB/27 FB so far....

by Game Score, has the 6th and 8th best pitched games this year in the NL, Lohse's gem against us is #2.

I'm nervous... I'm making the drive up tomorrow to sit in the bleachers. Let's just say I'm not exactly brimming with optimism.

Steve Stone is raving AGAIN about Eric Patterson... He really thinks he is a bona fide 2B prospect.

Thanks for the weather update. Win tonight and it can rain buckets for all I care.

" Lohse’s gem against us is #2."

With that strike zone, I think I could have struck out 6, and I think I can run it up there @70 -75 with my fastball and 50 on my curve.

E-pat in AAA right now

240/296/280 4 BB/13 K 3 SB/ 1 CS

overwhelmed I am...

Let's just say that E-pat has some work to do.

Also just on WSCR Boers and Bernstein they are wondering what's up with Lou.

It was the first time in 20 years a Cub manager did not address the press after a game.

I was at the game, but I guess Lou was tearing Rothschild a new one in the dugout.

And Boers "people with the Cubs" say that no one respects Rothschild.

Just reporting what I heard.

whatever Boers...

pitchers buy what he's saying for the most part, Hendry certainly likes him and Lou certainly liked him enough to bring him back. Remember all the coaches were let go at the end of the year, it's was Lou's call to bring him back although I'm sure Hendry vouched for him.

They never showed Lou yelling at Roths during the broadcast. The idea that he isn't respected is BS; you don't make it through multiple house cleanings if nobody respects you.

"here is your doppler weather map for Chicago…"

How sad. People are reduced to talking about rain now.

So - who will remain as a Cub in 2008?

I think looking towards next year has some merit, too.

Will the team ever pull the trigger on a bonafide SS?

A-Rod?

Will Big Z sign after 2007 - or during the season.

Since the team hasn't had a real SS since Dunston - isn't it time it shored up the most important position?

Itz-TURD-is is not it.

if lou yelled at roths he could write his own ticket out of town.

this is a man who turned down 500K+ from detroit per year in a multi-year offer to be their pitching coach to stay put. the guy most likely has an investment in not only knowing what's here, but what might be coming up and what they need work on.

hell, coaches/managers arent the Gods of baseball that make/break already tallents ballplayers...but they are a good second pair of eyes watching what the players are doing...the good ones can help those that want help better themselves.

That's funny e-man, cause Dunston's career numbers are very similar to Izturis'. Except Izturis is an excellent defender.

A carry over from the last thread ....

Here's why I don't go for blaming the umps. Call me naive, but I don't believe umps as collective target particular teams for bad calls. Bad calls will even out over the course of a season. We tend to gloss over their going in our favor.

Second, control what you can control and don't worry about things you can't. That's good advice outside of baseball, too....

Jimmy Dugan gave me some great advice on a baseball when I was a kid. He wrote "avoid the clap". I still adhere to that advice to this day.

"I owe him a lot. Nobody would know how good I was at digging balls out of the dirt if it wasn't for him and all those bad throws." - mark grace on dunston

oh man, he's a BAD announcer, but like some people like to hear harry/ron...i like grace. *shrug*

Each year the Cub team reminds me of that old Johnny Cash song "One Piece at a Time" where Johnny takes automobile parts home from his factory job, one at time in his lunch pail to built a mismatched car of dubious value. The Cubs have some good parts but nothing matches up with huge holes in key positions. No manager can win with this mess. MacFailure is gone but Lumpy needs to be the next to go.

Anyone know whose doing color for the Tigers-Angles game?

Angels, that is...

usually Rex Hudler

Oh. All that talk of Grace, made me notice how annoying this guy is. He just said that a lot of I-Rod's talent is genetics.

My FoxSports/Ben Maller feed has this heading:

"Prior's future with Cubs in doubt?"

You think?

Vorare:
"The idea that he isn’t respected is BS; you don’t make it through multiple house cleanings if nobody respects you."

No, it means you got really good pictures on somebody really high up.

AZ Phil will correct me on this, but didn't the Cubs buy themselves an extra year of Prior watch by sending him down this year to start the year? As long as he stays on the 40-man I suppose. Now if they call him up and transfer him to the 60 day to free up a 40-man spot, I would guess they'd lose that year. Too much info for me to process, someone signal the bat light and get AZ phil in here. :)

But I imagine the Cubs will go through this again next spring with Prior unless he has unrealistic contract demands.

Carroll's Mark Prior take...

Mark Prior will have an exploratory arthroscopy of his pitching shoulder on Tuesday. Jim Andrews will not only look around inside to see what, if anything, is going on, but has authorization from Prior (not the team, as has been reported--the team has no say in medical procedures) to fix whatever he sees. Don't be surprised then if there's a more serious procedure than a "poke and peek," as some refer to an exploratory procedure. Andrews diagnosed Prior last offseason with shoulder laxity, making that the likeliest possibility for a necessary repair. It's quite likely that Prior may be done for the season, but at least there's going to be some certainty one way or the other about him. I'll "Unfilter" the early reports once I get more information, but expect some sort of capsular repair.

What in the name of Wade Miller, Chad Fox , Kerry Wood, Scott Williamson would you want with Mark Prior any more?-

Interesting scoop on Prior's surgery... but what does it mean? Cubster?

"That’s funny e-man, cause Dunston’s career numbers are very similar to Izturis’. Except Izturis is an excellent defender."

No, its FUNNIER, that Its-TURD-is couldn't hold Dunston's jock strap!

18 MLB seasons
2 All Star Games
.275 BA in 27 Post Season AB's, incl. 4 NLCS
BA of OVER .300 in 7 of the 18 seasons
668 Total RBI
Strongest arm I have EVER seen for an IF.
Are you old enough to have even seen him play, CHAD?

You think your "BOY" Izzy, will ever come close to the above milestones for his FUCKING CAREER?

Think again, CHAD!

other than the trauma he causes us fans, it's taking a waiver on a guy with huge upside. Every team does it every year. It really depends on what Prior asks for in arbitration though and what the surgery today discovers. If it's just labrum fraying, that's not really a long-term death sentence. If they do go try and fix that shoulder looseness, then yeah, much bigger problems.

Since I think the Cubs will have absolutely no money next off-season to do anything as they'll be stuck in sale limbo, it'll probably be the biggest decision we have all off-season.

Jeez, I really think some people on this site need to relax. I do understand getting worked up in the moments just after a painful loss. I don't understand how nasty some people get just talking baseball. How can you get so angry at someone talking about shortstops?

Dunston and Izturis have similar career BA (.269/.259) and OBP (.296/.295) numbers, showing neither met a pitch they didn't like to swing at. But the big difference is power (.416 vs. .336 career SLG). Shawn whacked 17 homers in 1990 compared to Cesar's high thus far of 4 (11 in his entire career). Not perfect comparisons because Shawn played a lot more seasons than Cesar has, but I think it paints an accurate picture at the plate.

Dunston had an absolute howitzer arm, not that it was always accurate, but he'd make up for the occasional SCUD by making absolutely amazing plays that no one else in the game could have made.

He was a definite fan favorite, and you never knew what was going to happen when he was in the field or at the plate--it could be great, or it could be horrible. Still, being a Cub fan at that time, the fact that greatness was an option was the important thing.

Andrews diagnosed Prior last offseason with shoulder laxity ...

Interesting scoop on Prior’s surgery… but what does it mean?

Prunes?

Funny you mentioned it jacos, Scott Williamson headed to the DL today. Tightness in a tendon in his pitching triceps.

http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/news/press_r...

Yeah, LC. I agree. I also remember sitting in the left field bleachers during batting practice. Dunston regularly hit as many into the seats as Dawson did. His arm really jumped out at you when at the park. I never really felt like it was that noticeable on TV.

kjk, that's exactly what went through my head! What the hell is shoulder laxity?

I believe that going to arbitration means that the offer by the team cannot be below a certain % (20%?) of the prior year contract. If that is true and Arizona Phil can clarify this, Prior will be gone next year because the Cubs are not going to pay him 80% of this years salary.

18 MLB seasons
2 All Star Games
.275 BA in 27 Post Season AB’s, incl. 4 NLCS
BA of OVER .300 in 7 of the 18 seasons
668 Total RBI
Strongest arm I have EVER seen for an IF.

Dunston: .269 .296 .416
Izturis: .258 .294 .335

Dunstons hit .300 twice. The other times, he didn't even play 100 games. You cannot count that.

Dunston's arm? Means nothing. If you throw a 110 mph ball from deep in the hole that lands in the 10 row, it don't matter.

18 major league seasons 2 all star games. Izturis 1 all star game 7 mlb seasons. And 1 Gold Glove to boot.

Dunston: 668 Total RBI = 37/year not that impressive. His best RBI year - 69 rbi's. Itzuris' 62.

Am I old enough to have seen The Shawon-o-Meter play? My friend, my first game (that i can remember) featured Larry Bowa at short and Bill Buckner at 1st. Playing second that day? Some guy named Sandberg. But who the hell knew who he was. Just some young kid.

"Steve Stone is raving AGAIN about Eric Patterson… He really thinks he is a bona fide 2B prospect."

This is the same guy who says Felix Pie should be sent back down.

I've never figured out why so many Cubs fans cream in their pants every time this guy speaks. He knows pitching, but whenever he talks about other stuff he just makes me glad he's not the GM.

Not that I'm thrilled with the guy who is.

Nick Swisher out with a hammy injury. Looked pretty serious from the replay.

I believe that going to arbitration means that the offer by the team cannot be below a certain % (20%?) of the prior year contract. If that is true and Arizona Phil can clarify this, Prior will be gone next year because the Cubs are not going to pay him 80% of this years salary.

Well, I would bet that the Cubs just don't offer him arbitration because there's no way he gets that kind of money in the open market right now. (I think)

Chances are if they do decide to try and keep him, they'd non-tender him and sign him at a far lower rate. It just depends if a) the cubs want to keep him b) Prior wants to try to get the best deal out there and/or c) Prior would take a paycut for us after paying all his medical bills the last few years.

What kind of shoulder surgery did Clemens have back in 1984/1985?

How about they both suck at the plate? You've got six of one and half a dozen of the other. Does that solve our debate here?

Dunston played in a different era. A lot of folks talk to me about how good hitting of a shortstop he was until I point them in the direction of the aforementioned statistics. They're shocked that his numbers aren't better. Izturis is not a good hitting shortstop for the time he plays in, even though their numbers are very similar.

Ask Ozzie Smith about hitting: 262/337/328. Never had a season with an OPS higher than 775, yet he's considered the best shortstop ever by most baseball fans over the age of 15. Different era. Now everybody wants to score runs all the time and settle for somebody who is less gifted defensively. And when a guy with a great glove and can't hit comes up (Izzy, Neifi), now he's just a late inning replacement.

WSCR says Pie is starting tonight batting second

I really wish that they would pick a spot in the order for Pie, and leave him there.

Pie won't bat leadoff with Soriano there.

Chances are #2 vs righties, #8 vs lefties if he plays.

He only batted leadoff because Soriano was hurt.

"Ask Ozzie Smith about hitting: 262/337/328. Never had a season with an OPS higher than 775, yet he’s considered the best shortstop ever by most baseball fans over the age of 15."

mostly cuz theyre basing that on the position he played...he didnt have to swing a bat while fielding.

talk about the "old era"...hell, the new era has a lotta people treating everyone like a DH.

I know that he can't be in leadoff with Soriano in the lineup. Everything I have heard suggests that, if Pie is going to stay up with the club, he is going to be in the 8th slot, so that he has less pressure on him while he learns to hit in the majors. If that's the case, then put him 8th and leave him there! Isn't Theriot a better fit as a 2-slot hitter anyway?

btw, for myself...vizquel is the best SS ive ever seen. been in too many damn viz vs. ozz vs. etc. arguments over it, though.

I really wish that they would pick a regular lineup to trot out there and leave it alone.

Well I'm watching Neifi right now. It makes me feel so good watching him suck on some other team. He looks like a little leaguer swinging the bat--it's awesome.

I was actually fooled by Neifi for a little while, when he was playing for the Rockies. Playing at Coors, he didn't look too bad as hitter. He had an unbelievable split between his home and away BA.

brewers lineup:

2B Rickie Weeks
SS J.J. Hardy
1B Prince Fielder
CF Bill Hall
LF Kevin Mench
RF Corey Hart
C Damian Miller
2B Tony Graffanino

http://www.jsonline.com/watch/?watch=2&date=4...
RHP Jeff Suppan

If that’s the case, then put [Pie] 8th and leave him there! Isn’t Theriot a better fit as a 2-slot hitter anyway?

Lou likes to have a lefty hitter second, so if they bring in a lefty to pitch to him, they have to change pitchers again for Lee and Aramis, and then again for Jones/Floyd.

anoyne have the Cubs lineup or just Pie batting 2nd?

Yeah, I mean it was nice and all to know the Brewers' lineup (zzzz). Rob - I see you haven't even posted a guess... Is that from me jumping on you about it yesterday?

no more guesses....

you weren't the only one.

Soriano
Pie
Lee
Ram
Barrett
Jones
DeRosa
Izturis
HIll

From MLB.com:

Soriano
Pie
Lee
Ramirez
Barrett
Jones
DeRosa
Izturis
Hill

Sorry if that's already been posted.

There you go....

"His [Dunston's] arm really jumped out at you when at the park. I never really felt like it was that noticeable on TV.

============

That's how I felt about Pie's arm when I watched him in Round Rock a year ago. I live in Austin and caught a game of the Express versus I-Cubs. And Pie's arm was just sick. Even "soft-tossing" between innings in the outfield, the ball lazered out of his hand.

Detroit vs Angels... wow, what a game.

As an old Cub fan that has seen every shortstop going back to Ernie Banks, I feel I can comment on Dunston. I believe he had more raw potential than any Cub in fifty years but because he was so difficult to coach and undesciplined he never became more than a very average player. Just a classic waste of talent.

Sounds a lot like K-Pat.

Rob G. — April 24, 2007 @ 2:38 pm
AZ Phil will correct me on this, but didn’t the Cubs buy themselves an extra year of Prior watch by sending him down this year to start the year? As long as he stays on the 40-man I suppose. Now if they call him up and transfer him to the 60 day to free up a 40-man spot, I would guess they’d lose that year. Too much info for me to process, someone signal the bat light and get AZ phil in here. :)

But I imagine the Cubs will go through this again next spring with Prior unless he has unrealistic contract demands.

... I would bet that the Cubs just don’t offer him arbitration because there’s no way he gets that kind of money in the open market right now. (I think)

Chances are if they do decide to try and keep him, they’d non-tender him and sign him at a far lower rate. It just depends if a) the cubs want to keep him b) Prior wants to try to get the best deal out there and/or c) Prior would take a paycut for us after paying all his medical bills the last few years.

===========================

ROB G: Exactly right.

As long as Prior's spot on the 40-man roster isn't needed for another player anytime before August 20th, remaining on the Iowa roster (which would include Iowa's DL) for at least 141 days (through August 19th) would keep Prior from being a FA after the 2008 season as had been expected.

Not having at least five years of MLB service time going into ST 2008 (and he won't have at least five years of MLB ST if he isn't recalled prior to August 20th) would also mean the Cubs could option him to the minors again in 2008 (that would be his last minor league option) and then he could conceivabably have his free-agency delayed until after the 2010 season.

However, to keep control of Prior, the Cubs would have to offer him at least 80% of his 2007 salary for 2008, and that would mean at least $2.86M--MINIMUM--and even that could be subject to an arbitration hearing if Prior thinks he deserves more than that.

So I believe it is VERY likely that whether he remains on the Iowa DL for the rest of the season (so that the Cubs would buy another year of Prior toward free-agency), or whether the Cubs end up recalling him from his optional assignment at some point prior to August 20th and place him on the 60-day DL (like if they they need his spot on the 40-man roster for somebody else), that the Cubs will--in either case--just non-tender Prior in December (making him a free-agent), and then offer him him a contract with a low base salary (with incentives) for 2008, as they did with Kerry Wood and Wade Miller after last season.

However, if Prior were to sign a one-year contract with a low base (plus incentives) for 2008, he will NOT be a FA again until after 2009 (that's as long as he remains at Iowa through August 19th). He also would be in a position where he could get optioned to the minors again next season (players with less than five years of MLB ST cannot refuse an optional assignment to the minors), especially if he has a low base salary that wouldn't cost his club that much financially to have him at AAA for most of the season. He still would need six-years of MLB ST to be a FA under MLB CBA Article XX. (Or of course he could get non-tendered again after the 2008 season).

So if he does sign a 2008 contract after getting non-tendered, he will probably want a two-year deal with some type of option that will allow him to go to arbitration (player option) after the 2008 season in case he has a sterling "comeback" year, while giving him the "safety-net" of at least a low base (with incentives) for 2009 if he doesn't come back anywhere close to decent in '08. And then he could be an MLB Type XX FA after the 2009 season.

Eric Patterson is a good ballplayer. Steve Stone is right. It's just that the Cubs want to finish in last place with a 8 million dollar per year infield (Izturis/DeRosa) rather than the league min infield (Theriot/Patterson).

E-Man,

No love for Izturis? What happened in the last 19 games that's caused you to change your tune?

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