Game 32 Thread / Pirates @ Cubs (3 of 3)

Game Chat Paul Gurner Maholm vs. Carlos Zambrano Lineups:
Sanchez 2B Soriano LF
Bautista 3B Theriot SS
Bay LF Lee 1B
Doumit RF Ramirez 3B
Nady CF Murton RF
r> LaRoche 1B DeRosa 2B Paulino C Blanco C Wilson SS Pagan CF Maholm P Zambrano P The Cubs sent Felix Pie down to Iowa and recalled Angel Pagan. Pagan was hitting 250/310/414 but 273/314/576 vs lefties which should be about the only time he should see at-bats. Last year with the big club he hit 196/292/304 vs lefties in a little over 60 plate appearances but did walk 8 times to only 7 strikeouts. Without full minor league splits for his career, it's tough to deteremine whether he was overmatched or just unlucky last year. It's a shame to see Pie get sent down but 224/240/388 and 10 K's to 1 BB weren't exactly setting the world on fire and might as well let Pie get the consistent playing time he deserves down in Iowa while Pagan sits on the bench or gets the occasional centerfield start versus a lefty like today. With Pie up, Soriano fixed in left, 12 pitchers and only one middle infield reserve, Lou was basically stuck with either Jacque or Pie in center versus lefty starters and we saw how that worked out yesterday. Let's hope Angel can do a little better from the right-side in this major league stint.


Less Jack Wilson ABs vs Cubs = good.

Go Cubbies!

Pagan 8

Awww... 9 LOB too much for Lou's likings?

damn, Edwin Encarnacion sent down to AAA

Dang, whose going to flub the ball now when we play the Reds?

Oh, Dunn, nm.

Rob G.:
"Pagan was hitting 250/310/414 but 273/314/576 vs lefties"

Is this the best OF we can find to hit against LHP with basically a $120 million payroll???

No Manny, just the best CF. =)

Got to love that criticism without any positive suggestion. Players aren't cars, Manny, you can't just got to the dealer and pick up a 4 door with AC and a DVD Player in the back seat.

lowe/mitre are throwing gems today..0-0 top 8th. both doing good on pitch counts.

That's just manny being manny.


PAGAN injured his right side in spring training making a throw and was limited to only batting right handed --- not switch hitting. Since he was told that it was between him and Ronny CEDENO for the 25th man slot I can only conclude that he was still not recovered when PIE was brought up instead of him to fill in for SORIANO in CF.

Like I said in the previous thread....if it wasn't stuck in the review cue....Pagan wasn't exactly burning it up at Iowa, they had him batting 8th, perhaps because he only got 27 AB's in ST. Perhaps because he's still not right physically. Perhaps because he sucks.

Go Mitre, always liked him to be a back of the rotation guy.

lowe/mitre are throwing gems today..0-0 top 8th. both doing good on pitch counts.

Ever since Mitre's game against Roy Halliday I've been convinced he's the second coming of Brandon Webb. Of course that hasn't quite played out yet, but it might.

65 Ab's in the 1 spot, 18 in the 8 spot and some sprinklings in the 2,3,7 and 9 spots.

Sure did well with runners on at least. :)

and had been hitting well the last week....

316/435/684 in May

Wow...what does Fontenot have to do to get a shot somewhere?
.336/.372/.551, 4HR, 18 RBI..

Pagan was really the only option at AAA, a righty OF that is...maybe Chris Walker?

Pagan is very mediocre....

Angel Pagan...great name. Let's leave it at that. I'm disappointed to see Pie go down but it was probably the best long term decision. All that said, wish we could dump Jock for a serviceable CF and someone. I don't know. I'm just not convinced he's much of a plus to the lineup.

.247/.313/.329 against RHP
.273/.294/.576 against LHP


meattray and lowe are both throwing like 99.9999% sinkers this game. its crazy, no one's hitting them well.

meattray had his control going today. replaced in the 9th.

I see the Cubs OF in a state of flux until the trade deadline. Soriano - LF is the only given. Do they trade Jones? Murton? Kind of depends on who offers what I would imagine. But here's the deal on Pie......he needs to refine his hitting period, not learning how to bunt, take walks, etc. He's not going to hit leadoff for 7 years with the Cubs. More than likely E. Patterson or Theriot will continue to bat 2nd. This means for the foreseeable future, Pie would bat between 5-8th and you'd like to think your 'Top Prospect' would be a decent run-producer in addition to a solid, defensive outfielder. This tells me someone should be working with him on hitting all kinds RH and LH pitchers, driving the ball into gaps, hitting opposite field, and baserunning/stealing.

Unless someone thinks Pie is ready to play every day or they can deal for an OF better than Jones, I don't see Jacque going anywhere.

WSCR reported that Pie took the demotion well, walking around and shaking hands and saying goodbye to everyone, seemingly in good spirits.

I hope Soriano prefers LF to CF, otherwise that can of worms may be reopened, since Pie's call-up was the stated reason for Soriano being asked to move to LF.

Oh, and Lou said on the pregame show that the Cubs have been running the bases at times "like a bunch of wild Indians." Yikes.

Pagan is very mediocre….

what do you think Chris Walker is? It was a 40-man roster issue first and second a cf issue. And yeah there are some moves that could be made for the 40-man to get Fontenot or Walker up, but Fontenot can't play CF and Soriano looks like he'll never play another day in CF.

who are those splits for in #17 Dusty?

*drags out a dead horse*

hey, this is a dead horse i got here. ive been beating the hell outta it lately, but i feel the need to get aggro on it some more.

its name is "why cant soriano take a shot at RF since we got 2 LF'rs who are pretty by-the-book LF'rs and soriano's arm is better than the both of them anyway"

i just call him 'dusty' for short. he's a good horse even if he's dead.


29 other teams could have Fontenot this winter for the whopping price of $50,000. All 29 passed in all phases of the Rule V draft. We know the Cubs scouting department (an oxy-moron) could be wrong, but probably not every ML team's. Should tell you something about what Fontenot's future will be.

If you think Soriano is going to be batting leadoff at the age of 37 I have some bridges for sale. above comment wasnt a swipe at "dusty baylor" btw...

crunch, Soriano is only capable of hitting well when playing left field and batting leadoff.

fontenot is a 3'2" midget who's limited at SS and even more limited at 3rd...which makes him a 2nd baseman who's D at 2nd isnt exactly fluid.

still, he's run out of...well, he's being given a shot to expand his range in AAA playing more SS than he's played in years. he failed at 3rd last couple years showing he couldnt be a backup there.

hopefully someone will give him a shot...get him his pension...maybe have enough bat to stick around working some bench or more...

"crunch, Soriano is only capable of hitting well when playing left field and batting leadoff."

the world is also flat. beware of cruise liners losing passengers, i really know what's up with that...sailing too close to the edge.

The Cubs should try Soriano five games in RF, then five games at 2B. I think that would greatly increase the flexibility of my fantasy roster.

Or just let good enough be.

yow...walkoff homer willingham...3 run shot in the 9th off lowe.

Mr. Altman-
that may very well be his fate:a career AAA player.
He has middling power of course, and average speed.
His career #'s of .287/.364/.427 are not outstanding, but have some promise.

Christ, please excuse me for thinking that it's interesting that any team couldn't use a guy who hit .280-.290 at 2B...while the same banjo hitters gets time in the Bigs.
I wasn't suggesting that the Cubs brinig him up and get rid of Theriot and DeRosa.
sometimes, getting a shot is all about timing if you're not a stud player.

seriously, though...what about soriano and LF are a marriage made in heaven.

he's had 1 year there, not 10...he's played 2nd so its not like he's never seen hits off the bat on the right side of the field...he's got an obviously better arm than either floyd/murton...there's no one in AAA waiting to own that RF slot...lou seems to be dead set on using jones in CF lately...

i really dont see it as a radical move and its upside seems to make sense for years to come for the cubs...unless ryan harvey suddenly learns to hit with consistancy.

I took a quick look around at CF's and their splits vs lefties last year. Avoiding the big names, here are some trade options.

Alex Escobar 400/417/800 in 30 AB's
Nook Logan 350/409/700 in 20 AB's
Jason Repko 249/375/500 in 46 AB's
Tommy Murphy 318/318/545 in 20 AB's
Cory Sullivan 280/310/520 in 25 AB's
Dustan Mohr 250/323/500 in 28 AB's
Ryan Spillborghs 323/362/419 in 62 AB's

and I don't know anything about these guys D or situations, just a quick look at their numbers.

Maybe the Phils will take a bullpen guy and JJ for Rowand?

Aaron Rowand at 286/351/483 for career vs lefties.
282/336/438 vs righties

probably not and I'm not even sure it would help us, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

I'm glad Pie was sent down. I like him a lot, and I think he's going to have a good career, but right now, I think he needs to get his 4 AB's/day if he's going to be an asset at the plate. That's not going to happen with Jones on the roster and playing reasonably well (at least against righties).

Nook Logan is a good OF (like Pierre, flacid arm but he covers a ton of ground) and makes sense at a PR in late-games. I saw him play regularly with Detroit in 2005 and he might still be there if not for the emergence of Granderson. I imagine he's much less effective vs. righties but that's not the issue here.

Z looking sharp already...

Also should mention on Rowand, you also get the big plus of the deal eating some Sox fans' souls alive.

I'm guessing that Soriano in RF won't be approached until spring training.

Soriano seems to play better where he's comfortable and right now LF and leadoff is where's he comfortable. Of course that's not the only places he can ever play and be successful, but everything we've heard in the media from his is how he wants to stay in one spot. It's obviously something he craves even if it doesn't always make sense.

He also seems more than willing to move if you ask but he's obviously very hesitant and worried when he does. (see his comments about playing 2b the other day) It's his personality and it's Lou's job to work with it.

Wow. Is this the start of the game or is WGN showing batting practice?

Rob-those were the splits for Pagan from your link.
Of course, I also said "Pagan was really the only option at AAA." That doesn't mean I'm thrilled about it.
I'd take a chance on a guy who has hit .280 or better in each of his last 3 season, working up from A, to Hi-A, to AA, stealing 60,60, 50 bases.
He's hitting .306/.336/.411 this season, with 8 SB, 3HR, and 17 RBI.
You mean someone might claim the fabulous Angel Pagan if they outrighted him? Buck Coats? Transfer Mateo to the 60-day DL? Lol....

It's ugly out there so far today....

That's our ace.

Hey, an out! Good job, Carlos!

Re: #23 Was anyone beating down the Cubs' door trying to pry Ryan Theriot loose from us?

Scouts and MLB player development perps look at Theriot and Fontenot and see older little guys with more education than they have (both played college ball for LSU) and immediately stick them in the minor leagues forever file. In other words scouts are stooopid.

Page 16 of Moneyball: College position players are four times more likely to make it to the big leagues than the scouts' favorite targets--- high school pitchers.

"Go Mitre, always liked him to be a back of the rotation guy."

Way, w a y back. Like, 7th starter.

He never reached his potential with the Cubs. Was given chance, after chance...

I was AT the Halliday game CRUNCH. I thought the guy was gonna be lights out after that.

Nice dude though - California (San Diego) surfer dude...

Does Z have any options left?

(just kidding... mostly)


Nice description of Ryan Theriot.

Are you a scout?

If the Cubs offense makes the Buc's starting pitcher look like a Cy Young candidate (as they are accustomed to doing) this is going to be a hellishly long afternoon.

Guh....Big Z looks like shit today....not helping his own cause either...

Clearly Z is confused. With this being Whacking Day, Z apparently thinks he is supposed to be hitting bats instead of snakes.

Well, he only gave up three in the first. I guess we can call that progress?

Pirate hitters in the first inning today = 3 runs. Cub hitters the through 23 innings in the series = 4 runs.

Relax Matt, we have Angel Pagan in the lineup.

What was up with that popup-double for those of us without radio/tv access?

"Nice description of Ryan Theriot.
Are you a scout? "

that's not only not a theriot scouting report its not even close. there's never been an issue with fielding, something theriot's not had much issue with. fontenot also has more of a line drive stroke than a grounder/blooper/liner swing.

theriot's only issue has been his power and questions about how he'd handle steady breakers in the majors.

he's still a man without power...he's answered the critics on what he'll do when given a steady diet of breakers.

insted of a pissing match maybe you should take better notes about things i say.

Rob-those were the splits for Pagan from your link.

that's interestin, the splits in the post are from and are a bit different, that's what threw me off.

Robr!!!! (#49)

That is a great reference!!

Ok...i clicked on the link in #13, and those were Pagan's splits, right?

yeah there from minor league, you can also get splits from which is what I used in the post but they don't match and I'm not sure why.

One out in the 2nd and Z has already thrown 40 pitches....


You missed the point as usual. It's not surprising you don't like Fontenot, (1) you don't really know much about him and (2) just as you had nothing good to say about Ryan Theriot last March when I opined that he should make the team out of ST.

I think Fontenot deserves a shot. So, shoot me.

Z still throwing side-arm? Which arm slot is he favoring today?

Good thing Hill pitches after Z to save the bullpen.

what did Murton just do?

this is about the time when Maholm turns into a young steve carlton. walks and errors - the hallmark of all great teams, right?

He dropped a routine fly ball.

"(1) you don’t really know much about him"

actually i do. in fact...if you check a post from a few weeks ago you'll see where i noticed he was playing SS more for the first time in a long time.

if you look further you'll see the lament posts about how frustrating it was he couldnt latch onto 3rd base when given a shot the past couple years.

along with all that how about adding up everything ive said that's tangible about fontenot vs. what you've said.

like i said, insted of the pissing match how about taking better notes. the only thing you're remembering is how i didnt care if theriot was starting or not cuz of his low-power singles-hitting approach and questions about how he'd handle a selection of breakers and inside stuff. theriot showed he has the not blown away cuz well, its like being blown away by mark loretta...but hell, ive learned and moved on.

seriously, though...pick your pissing matches with a bit more thought if you just wanna pick a fight.

I think Fontenot deserves a shot---especially when you see what they replaced Pie with--- and said so in the last thread, crunch. You butchered Fontenot in this thread.

How do you figure ** I ** picked a fight??

You need a vacation.

Murton lost the ball in the sun, Dying Cub Fan. RF is not easy at Wrigley and the only guy who can be trusted to play it reasonably is JJ.

Steve Carlton it is.

Rob G,

Don't know if repeating this is a no-no. From BA's 2007 Prospect Handbook - Mike Fontenot #30 of Cubs Top 30 Prospects:

"While Theriot carved out a big league role for himself in 2006, Fontenot has become more of an afterthought.......He hits for average, draws walks, and has occasional power.....doesn't stand out athletically, and that's what hurts him. He's an average runner but isn't a basestealing threat and has just adequate range. Defensively, he's limited to second base because of his below-average arm. The Cubs tried to make him a utlityman in 2005, but it didn't take. If he got a chance in the majors, Fontenot could be a lesser version of another former LSU second baseman, Todd Walker, providing less pop but better defense."

well...picked a fight was just saying, if youre gonna say something as bold as "(1) you don’t really know much about him" at least dont pick a guy ive been speaking on for years, especially a guy who isnt even being brought up at the time.

a lotta people are really aware of fontenot for at least 2-3 seasons now.

Dear Carlos,




Why does Carlos blow? And how many DPs can one player (ARam) hit into? anytime there is a chance to hit into one, he manages to succeed in doing so.

we'll take a chance george....

but that pretty much sums up fontenot.

when 29 other teams pass up on you for the low, low cost of $50,000, there's not a lot to get real excited about there.

but it wouldn't kill me if he gets called up at some point to be a bench guy, at least he'd hold his own with the bat probably.

Dear Cubs Offense,

2 runs in your last 20 innings. Booooooooo!

Regretfully yours,


stick a fork in him, he's done.

107 pitches in 4.1 IP

Like Rob G, I miss the groundball Z

i wonder if zhl is considering changing his moniker to hlm?

Ahh... now *these* are the Cubbies I've grown up watching.

110 pitches thru 5 for Z, he has looked horrible, and Lou brings him back out for the 6th?

Paging, pitch count police....:)

why did Lou let Zambrano throw 121 pitches today?

If I can stick with WPZ until late April 2007, I can ride this one for awhile.

Smarmy CWTP: Yeah, Angel Pagan.

Give him a shot. Not a bad start here. But of course you would never admit this. Right?

Fontenot = not & NO

He's a AAA forever guy...

Cedeno, Izturis & Oh-Man! for Jack Wilson?

"...why did Lou let Zambrano throw 121 pitches today?"

Guess: LONG road trip. Exhausted bullpen. Z confirmed he was o.k.?

Oh, and can we throw the "Z pitches better with Blanco behind the plate" theory out the window?


smarmy? how classy

The fact is, you and I agree on almost everything. But for some reason you want to be confrontational.
Regarding Angel Pagan, I really like the guy and said so before the 2006 season even began. I have no doubt Angel may get off to a hot start.....banishment to Iowa is that depressing. Just ask Scott Moore and Buck Coats.

DLee comes through in the late innings again.....just one big late inning HR this year would be nice.

Zambrano can't handle the pressure of Opening Day, can't handle the pressure of pitching with an uncertain contact situation, and was absolutely brilliant last year after the Cubs were out of it.


what was Zambrano's velocity like today?

Zambrano coughed up the Cy Young award last year over his last two or three starts. Not sure how that plays into your pressure cooked theory.


Fits perfectly.

"Hey, Z, finish strong and you can win the Cy Young! It all comes down to these last few games! Pressure's on!" Then -- splat.

well at least Pagan looked quite comfortable vs a lefty. First AB he worked an 0-2 count into a full count and fouled off a bunch of pitches before finally being fooled by a big curve. Then the homer and a single.

The blame game falls squarely on Z and Murton though today.

Ryno had the "Ryne Sandberg game"... can we call this one the "Matt Murton game"?

the stretch between now & memorial day will be very telling for this club - no more jv games for awhile...

CWTP: Well, I'm as classy as most folks here ;-)

But we all just want the same thing.

I just found it a bit hasty to sort of pan Pagan (can you "pan a Pagan") before he had an AB.

As we see, the results for one day at least were more productive than JJones recent attempts. TBC.

Tough day at the office for Murton and Z.

$85MM for Zambrano?

Today in "Don't Believe Everything James Andrews Says", B.J. Ryan's elbow.

After Dr. Andrews said last month that there was no tear whatsoever in Ryan's UCL, he underwent Tommy John Surgery today to repair said ligament; he's expected to miss the whole year but he'll probably be in time to make Spring Training next year.

It's worthy of note that relievers usually take less rehab time as their arm doesn't need to be stretched out -- exempli gratia, Eddie Guardado had the surgery in September and he's already throwing breaking balls and close to returning to the Reds.

By the way, Cubs favorite Dr. Tim Kremcheck performed the surgery on Ryan's elbow.

did Andrews ever say that, or was it toronto announcing the results? riccardi already admitted he lied when he said ryan's back was hurt knowing it was the elbow. wouldn't put it past him to lie about the results, too.

No Rynox but I do remember the "Brant Brown" game a few years ago in Milwaukee...

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  • Yes!!!

    Thanks crunch!!

    It's mesmerizing

    jacos 2 hours 35 min ago view
  • 5 HR in his last 5 games (3, 1 run...1, 2 run)

    sure, 3 HR were in colorado, but 2 were in night games in SD. that evens out somehow.

    crunch 3 hours 24 min ago view
  • Good work!

    John Beasley 4 hours 57 min ago view
  • crunch 11 hours 35 min ago view
  • My guy Addy

    jacos 11 hours 35 min ago view
  • oh, another a.russell HR...whatever.

    crunch 11 hours 49 min ago view
  • Dylan Cease throwing gas tonight for the Emeralds. In first three innings, has hit 100 mph six times, averaging 98 mph

    Eric S 12 hours 8 min ago view
  • Can I get a gif of Joe West's jowls waving as he chews gum?

    /Asking for a friend

    jacos 12 hours 32 min ago view
  • my gawd...that castillo-to-bryant pickoff was a thing of beauty. the knock on him in the minors being slow out of the crouch is looking less like a thing.

    crunch 12 hours 44 min ago view
  • bless your heart. *pinches cheeks*

    crunch 17 hours 40 min ago view
  • real shame I missed this week's episode of The Crunch Reporter.

    It's highly unusual.

    It does matter a little.

    It matters much less than you think.



    Rob G. 17 hours 43 min ago view
  • four winds field is awesome. it's crazy how minor league parks have "grown up" since the 80s/90s and that park was one of the late-80s models that showed a low-capacity ballpark could look like you're at something other than a highschool baseball game.

    crunch 18 hours 48 min ago view
  • On another topic....I returned to South Bend last night for the 2nd time this season (still haven't tried either the deep-fried mac & cheese sandwich nor "The Porknado", as the drive home is over an hour and that could get ugly), and was pleasantly surprised to find D. Underwood pitching in a rehab start. He looked good -- although, to be fair, these are low-A hitters -- fastball consistently at 94-95 (if the SB scoreboard is to be believed -- several pitches were clocked in the 30s...) and with good location.

    billybucks 19 hours 57 min ago view
  • he gains nothing, no advantage, no saving of resources, nothing...there is not a cost/benefit tradeoff...him letting the running game go on around him for others to control isn't gaining him an advantage elsewhere. it's putting him at a disadvantage even if it's not cashed in with a run.

    crunch 22 hours 37 min ago view
  • And out of respect for the rest of TCR, I'm done on this. I'm sure I'm not the only one in the other camp, but time to let it go. (Until the next Lester start. I kid.)


    Tito 22 hours 40 min ago view
  • He is putting himself at a disadvanage. But how much of one relative to the rest of his game? He's not Justin Germano -- he's inarguably one of the best SPs in baseball, issue or not. It would be more of thing to discuss ad nauseum if it constantly caused him to give up runs and lose games. But it doesn't.


    Tito 22 hours 50 min ago view