Game 34 Recap: Cubs 7, Phillies 11

Game Center Play-by-Play Box Score Game Chart Photos

W - Alfonseca (2-1) L - Howry (0-3), Humanity Important things to take from this game: 1. Guzman's return. Other than the second inning, Guzman basically pitched well. He only walked one, struck out six, and had a few dominating innings. Still, he needs to work quite a bit on his command. 2. Soriano's running: On a play at the plate where he was tagged out, Soriano either lolligagged around the bases (if you believe Tim McCarver and Pat Hughes) or was limping a bit, perhaps from a tweaked hamstring (if you believe most of Parachat). The trainer came to check with Soriano in the dugout after he was called out at home, and Soriano also seemed to be going half speed in the OF on a Nunez triple, a few innings later. Stay tuned. 3. The Cubs Comeback. Down 5-1 and looking totally out of it, the Cubs rallied in the top of the 7th, led by a 3-run, pinch-hit HR by Matt Murton and super-clutch go-ahead double by Jacque Jones. 4. The weather. With the Cubs rallying and Geoff Geary struggling, the rain came down in buckets, delaying the game. The Cubs continued their rally after the return, but the rain then came down again in the ninth, when the Cubs again were trying to mount a rally. 5. The "relief" corps: Eyre couldn't strand the runner he inherited from Guzman. In the bottom of the seventh Ohman got the first two outs, before giving up hits to Rowand and Utley. Howry couldn't get Burrell or the Unstoppable Greg Dobbs out, or noted slugger Carlos Ruiz. With two outs, the relievers let in six runs. That made for a seventh inning where each team scored six runs. Game over.
Below is my more extensive run-down, written as the game progressed.
  • Burrell continued his hot hitting with a double in the second inning, advanced to third on a single to center (a runner held against the vaunted throwing arm of Jones!) and scored on a ground out to second.
  • Guzman had further trouble in the inning, giving up a double to Carlos Ruiz, but with the runner, Nunez, thrown out at home on a nice relay throw from Jones to DeRosa to Barret. (An assist for Jones!) Freddy Garcia followed it up with a shot off the right field wall, scoring Ruiz.
  • Impressively, Guzman bounced back to get Rowand with a pop-out, Utley and Burrell on strikeouts, in the following inning. It looks like he still has the stuff to dominate ML hitters, but his ability to locate both the fastball and curve came and went from inning to inning, or even batter to batter. But over the course of the rest of his outing, Guzman managed to pitch quite well. FOX had Guzman at 15 first-pitch strikes through 18 batters. Other than a leadoff sixth inning HR to Utley, he pitched well the rest of the way. He left with 5.1 IP, a BB and 6 K, and a runner on second, which Eyre promptly let score on a triple by Nunez. He then scored on an excellent squeeze play.
  • Cubs had a good scoring opportunity in the 3rd, with Izturis singling and advancing to second on a wild pitch, before Guzman struck out. Soriano wound up taking the base on balls, and Floyd popped out to shortstop, to end the threat.
  • The Cubs didn't have many scoring opportunities, the next one didn't occur until the sixth. With Soriano on second, Lee singled to center. Soriano ran with the crack of the bat, but seemed to be hobbling as he rounded third. (McCarver claimed it was lack of hustle, fwiw. Pat Hughes also mentioned it.) Victorino gunned him down at the plate for the second out, with Lee advancing on the throw. Happily, at least Ramirez then knocked in Lee with a single. Barrett then singled, and a wild pitch advanced the runners to 2nd and 3rd.
  • With two outs and runners at 2nd and 3rd, down by 1, Jacque Jones then had one of the defining ABs in the game. To cut to the chase: he struck out. I know there are a lot of Jones haters out there, and sadly, they'll get to spew venom at him for a few more days.
  • The other great scoring opportunity came in teh 7th. DeRosa walked, Izturis doubled on a ball that glanced off of Victorino's glove, just out of reach. With runners at 2nd and 3rd and no outs, Murton pinch-hit.
  • And Murton hit a 3-run HR. Granted, it was probably wind-aided, but we'll take it! 5-4 game. Singles by Soriano, Lee and Ramirez tied up the game at 5, with one out in the 7th, when the game was delayed due to rain. Upon return, the Six-finger Slinger entered to pitch. He promptly gives up a go-ahead double to Jones! Eat that, Jones-haters.
  • Utley's double to right in the disasterous bottom of the seventh featured Murton struggling with the ball in the RF corner, and then a throw to no one in the middle of the infield. Ultimately, it pales in comparison to his pinch-hit HR or to the bullpen's implosion, but it also wasn't encouraging.
  • In other news, Pat Burrell is very, very slow.
  • There have been a ton of plays at the plate today. The most dramatic being Victorino trying to score on Utley's double in the 8th. This time, Murton makes a fine relay throw, and Barrett blocks the plate well. Victorino would have been safe had he slid, but he just ran right in to Barrett. Barrett held on to the ball, survived a jarring colision, and Victorino was out. Barrett gave Victorino a friendly pat on the helmet, afterwards. No fighting.
Now, Let's see how the game played in Parachat: Inning 1: a discussion about Nacho Nazis and Frying Hawaiians, triple negatives, big words, small TVs, and things to do to your TV in protest of the FOX broadcasters. Also, admiration for the wicked curve Guzman threw to Utley for called strike 3, ending the inning. Inning 2: Are all fat people jolly? Jewish Mexicans, Beer, Pat Burrell's sex appeal, why Barrett is the source of all that's wrong in the world. Inning 3: What makes an inch "real"? What's that look on Charlie Manuel's face? Inning 4: Team OBP, Bizarro Fantasy Leagues, Natural Cycles Inning 5: If the Chicago Cubs were a fantasy team, they'd be renamed the _______, who should start at SS/trading for Rollins, Jack Cust, Inning 6: Foreign/Domestic Cars, religious dogma, the 2000 recount, What The Hell Is McCarver Talking About? Marion Jones or Star Jones as your pinch-hitter. "Lou has to pull a Cox and yank Jones, right now." Mike Quade and the guy from Midnight Oil's dad: separated at birth? Inning 7: Finding the perfect match for Chad, Rain Delay Theatre, writing on people who are passed out. "Lou looks like he saw a UFO piloted by a unicorn." Inning 8: Why NASCAR sucks, as well as its fans. Mamograms. MadTV. Inning 9: Fire Yosh, take away the Cubs' fabric softener, and put pepper juice in their jock straps. Starting up a J J chant.


OK I take this as a dig for those of us looking for some amusement (as opposed to a hardcore sports fix) on parachat. After a few more games like this, you won't have me to kick around any more....


? No one is more amused by parachat than me. Please stick around! You can kick me, instead!

for the record Ohman did get Rollins and Victorino out, Rowand and Utley not so much...

I stand corrected. There were so many people Not Making Outs, that I lost count.

The inning by inning rundown of Parachat=awesomeness, heaps, mounds and truckloads of awesomeness. This should be a regular feature in the game recaps whenever humanly possible. Very well done, sir!

Why is it that our LH hitters wet their pants vs. LH pitchers, but OH-NO!-man can't get lefties out?

The false hope of the 6-3 run against the Pirates and Nats has been replaced with the reality that Lou will have to deal with an 0-7 roadtrip, followed by a Sox sweep. Should be entertaining.

2 outs, nobody on, and OH-MY-GOD!-man and Howry give up 6 runs -- after many years , Ihave come to the inescapeable conclusionthat the Cubs are a government-sponsored practical joke.

"...I have come to the inescapeable conclusion that the Cubs are a government-sponsored practical joke."

No. This is the private sector at work.

Lou needs to purge the team of losers -- namely, Ohman, Howry and Eyre must go. These pieces of crap should not be allowed to cost the Cubs one more game -- it's not like this is new news.

I've got to believe Lou has about had it with OH-NO!-man. The guy should be ashamed to cash his paycheck -- he is stealing the money.

Alas -- by Memorial Day, this will be yet another lost season. It really, really, really sucks to be a Cub fan.

"by Memorial Day, this will be yet another lost season".

True that.

Ohman got beat by Chase Utley, not Jacque Jones. Perspective.

Bob Howry was pretty putrid on other hand. Of course he had a 2.60 ERA and 7 straight appearances without giving up a run going into today.

It would be nice if this team could get just about everyone going at the same time.

As disappointing as Howry was today, he hasn't been bad. Ohman and Eyre certainly have, but Eyre was a complete surprises to me how bad he was this year.

Still, good relief is hard to come by. We could potentially move Guzman back to the pen and have Marshall as our 5th guy.

In general though we haven't lost a lot of high scoring affairs (outside of Z starts). We've generally been losing the low scoring games, which says more about our offense.

Today we got hits, but 3 of them were from the black hole of suck Izturis, which we shouldn't expect will continue.

I think we could make something of our offense but we need some extra help. Jones is streaky but should come back, DeRosa doesn't hit much (I didn't realize his sort of respectable OBP till Rob posted it, but he also strikes out a lot), Barrett will most likely improve, Murton could be quite good if he is allowed to start, Floyd hasn't been horrible but is bound to regress and is fairly limited, Barrett should also improve, especially his OBP, A-Ram will definitely improve.

We certainly need help at SS or 2B. Theriot is probably the answer at one spot, but we need help at the other spot.

Teams just aren't getting by anymore without at least decent hitters at every position. SS too is becoming a spot where players have to hit.

THE DIVISION is over for 2007.

It is fucked, but just how its worked out.

Getting into the Wild Card picture will be difficult dealing with NL West + the loser between Mets and Braves.

Very sad. Very disappointing another year is wait 'til next year.

I still tink the team will finish "around .500" which will be an improvement, but not Championship caliber.

I expect the team to go on a winning streak during the summer - but it will be too little, too late.

- sigh -

Why the fuck do I follow this crap???

Very frustrating turn of events ladies and gentlemen. Eight games back means the chances we can win this is are becoming more and more remote but it isn't over yet.

The Brewers are bound to swoon at some point and the Cubs need to be poised to take advantage. I say they try to keep it within five games going into August and then make a run. It's going to be tough but the Cubs need to concentrate on playing as good of baseball as possible and try to keep up with the Brew Crew. They can't continue to win at this rate the Cubs need to keep it close.

It isn't over yet. Yeah, I'm an optimist.

The Parachat synopsis is hilarious, but you know it made perfect sense at the time to those of us who were there...


A SIMPLE math lesson:


So we have to make 1 game in the standings every 16 games we play. This race isnt over. Yes we have to play better and close out games, but tough losses like today should not cloud the overall picture.

Howry has lost a couple of mph off his fastball and is just learning to throw a breaking ball. The pitch that Ruiz hit out was 91 on the broadcast's radar. That doesn't cut it for a guy who has always been a power pitcher.

Howry should go to Iowa for a while and try to put together a package that gets people out; otherwise, hang it up after a solid career.

The team's four veteran relievers are all deficient in some way or other. It's the team's weak area right now. We'll see how far Lou takes this idea of continuing to play his veterans and "treat them with respect," a faintly Dusty-ish concept. There are a bunch of hungry pitchers on the farm. The Cubs' top three farm teams have winning records and they're doing it with their arms.

As frustrating as today was, I'm still not really seeing the relief needs.

Howry had an ERA of 2.7 before today, Wuertz has an ERA of 1.62 and Cotts has an ERA of 1.98. Those are all good numbers. 3 good relief pitchers is something many teams dream of.

Howry had a bad day, but he certainly hasn't had a bad season so far.

Parachat = awesome.

Felix Pie 3/5 with a triple to raise his average at Iowa to .460
Fontenot 2/4 to raise his average to .353 and his RBI total to 25.
Sean Marshall had trouble with his control tonight, walking four but did well otherwiste and lasted 5.1 . He gave up 2 earned runs while in there but left in the sixth with one out and a man on....who later scored.

"You're all worthless and weak! Now drop and give me twenty!"
... new Cub manager Doug Niedermeyer

The cubs should bring up Ben Howard from the I-Cubs for today's game. He'll fit right in as he gave up six runs yesterday too.

We certainly need help at SS or 2B. Theriot is probably the answer at one spot, but we need help at the other spot.

Teams just aren’t getting by anymore without at least decent hitters at every position.

Ah... short sightedness. DeRosa is not a decent hitter? Rob G already posted information on the last thread. This is what he said:

DeRosa has an OBP 100 pts higher than his BA and is 3rd or 4th in P/PA in the NL.

He’s hardly an automatic out and if he gets his batting average into the 270 range, you’re going to have one heckuva middle infielder.

But even 242/339/453 for a 2b is at least average and I expect him to be better than a 240 hitter.

Rob is right... DeRosa is at least average, and I would bet money that he does not finish the year with a batting average as low as .240.

Let me guess... you think Jones is not a decent hitter also?

JJones finally gets a huge hit putting the Cubs ahead by two.

So, what happens? Bullpen!

That is SO Cub.

Good for you JJ. I'm tippin' my hat to you for yesterday in that AB.

CWTP--that Fontenot RBI number (25) is pretty good.

Here are two other good RBI numbers:

Hoffpauir, who has been in a hitting funk for about three weeks, is still driving in runs, to the tune of 33 RBI with 34 hits. The only guy in the PCL with more RBI than Hoffpauir is hitting .340 to H's .286. So H must drive in every guy he ever sees in scoring position.

Is that a skill the Cubs could use?

Meanwhile Tyler Colvin has 28 RBI, third in the FSL.

If Colvin makes it to AA any time soon, he'll be in a place where the Cubs can reach down and grab him in case anything happens to Jones (trade) and Floyd (injury or prolonged benching).

Eric Patterson started slowly (he was injured) but now has over 100 at-bats and is hitting 333/376/491.

The major-league Cubs are getting old, old, old. Has anyone else noticed that Derrek Lee can't run any longer?

As suspected, Soriano did feel a twinge in his hamstring...

said he's operaing a 85-90 percent.

His 20 game hi streak is the longest Cubs hi streak since Walton in '89.

t button must not be working for me too well.

that's hit streak, or maybe he's overly jovial.

The Victorinio hit on Barrett was vicious and was not needed (McCarver was right for once). I'm not a big "need to fire up the team" team, but maybe this will light a fire a little bit, maybe a little retaliation for Victorino.

You can accuse Soriano of many failings but "lack of hustle" cannot be one of them. The guy works hard, plays hard and shows up ready everyday. Not surprised to hear that he is still not 100% and that clearly explains his "hobble".

This is exactly the team many of us envisioned in the offseason and into ST. They have the talent to put together good stretches (like winning 8 of 9 recently), but are way too inconsistent to put together sustained stretches.

I had mentioned awhile ago, that this stretch is going to be a great gauge of how this season is going to go. It is all great to beat up on PITT and WASH, but you got to beat some good teams too. If things don't get straightened out by the end of this month, the only chance the Cubs will have to make the playoffs is a MIL collapse.

I was at the game and Guzman looked nervous and fidgety early, even during pre-game warmups. I saw him arguing with Barrett about some of the warmup throws. I think he was a bit on edge early, but he settled down okay as the game went on.

Let me guess… you think Jones is not a decent hitter also?

I think Jones lifetime is hittng .279 with a .786 OPS and DeRosa is hitting .272 (skewed upwards with a Neifi Perez like year last year) with a .739 OPS.

I'm not in love with Jones, but I will take him, especially realizing he's pretty streaky and will get hot. He has more power and more speed then DeRosa with a slightly bettter bat.

But we can't have a lot of players like that in a lineup. We need more players who can consistently get on base. Granted, as I already said, DeRosa's OBP was higher then I thought, but from a career stand point, I wouldn't expect those numbers to improve.

So the question then becomes, how do you improve an offense that needs improving? To me, the worst spots in our lineup right now are Izturis and DeRosa (and Barrett, but he should get better, and there are no catchers out there anyway).

Even with my dislike of DeRosa though, if we could consistently start Theriot and DeRosa, we'd be far better off. In general too, we need stop this platooning crap which basically prevents anyone from getting comfortable hitting.

Why, oh why, do our LH hitters wet their pants vs. LH pitchers, but Eyre and Ohman can't get lefties out?

Brutal, energy-sapping loss -- the offense finally comes to life, but to no avail.

Better stop the streak at 3 -- don't want things to get out of hand in NY and vs. the Sox.

Its really sad to see how wind-swayed the comments around here have become.

Howry has one bad outing, after not giving up a run in 7 appearances, and he needs to go back to Iowa or retire.

Fontenot is doing what 4A players do, beat up on AAA competition, but some people think he's the next savior of the team. The Cubs are stupid for not making him a starter. The fact that no other team in baseball thinks he is a major league baseball player, be damned.

And we've still got people who are just looking for their chance to be the first to write off this team, yet thankfully, they had really been quite for most of the last week

Its a long long season folks. This is not a great Cubs team, and they are facing an uphill battle to catch a good Brewers team. But I'll tell you one thing, I'm certainly not going to crown anyone a champion on May 13th.

derosa hitting, ob% aside...

seriously, people seen him field 2nd/3rd/RF/etc?

that arm, that footwork (if you dont think its important you're out of touch for a starter in the middle IF)...

go to a minor league how many 2nd/SS just "dont get it done" even if they look decent turning plays, especially double plays. it really is about fractions of seconds and how quickly they can shave them. it really is about a guy who's head will put them ahead of the play their body is about to make.

we can argue all day whether that's important or not, but sit around and watch enough of those plays not happening even when it looks like it should have happened adds up. it just comes out more in the minors thanks to guys like...well, im not gonna name names because it'll probably turn into an ob% discussion again.

"When I first got here, I told my general manager (Jim Hendry), 'I came here to win.' Now, I'm looking just to survive."

If you guys discussed this above USA Today article, excuse me.

The Cubs bullpen currently is ranked 16th, however they have an OPS of .719 and a save percentage of 54%, making them 3rd worst in all of baseball. Dempster, has 7 saves, only one blown.

The relievers have a Win-Loss record of freaking 2-9! That is TERRIBLE Bleeding BLUE! 46 BB in 105 innings. This means an average of a walk an inning?

Sorry, you can deny these if you want but HOWRY, Eyre and Oh-Man! are clearly responsible for this. They are getting paid serious money and Lou was COUNTING on THEM. considering the Cubs starters are 7th in baseball, right behind the Sox - the facts bear out that Howry, Eyre and Ohman are big contibutors in the teams losses.

"The relievers have a Win-Loss record of freaking 2-9! That is TERRIBLE Bleeding BLUE! 46 BB in 105 innings. This means an average of a walk an inning?"


"t button must not be working for me too well.

that’s hit streak, or maybe he’s overly jovial."

That seriously made me LOL.

46 BB in 105 innings. This means an average of a walk an inning?

I hope you are kidding, you know windows comes with a calculator, right?

I hate to be the realist here, but to overcome an 8 game lead, with a bullpen performing such as it is, and a late-inning BA of around
.200, it is just a LOT of ground to make up.

Last year, the team was out of it in May.

This year, it is looking that way again.

Shit, I really hope not.


Due to the Tribune's recent policies of acquiring newpapers and then laying off and "re-structuring" these papers, maybe any their corporate good karma has been destroyed permanently?

"I hope you are kidding, you know windows comes with a calculator, right?"

Well, you are right. I can't even balance my own checkbook.

I can't help my 15 y.o. daughter with math...

I do plenty of other things well, though!


Sorry, you can deny these if you want but HOWRY, Eyre and Oh-Man! are clearly responsible for this. They are getting paid serious money and Lou was COUNTING on THEM. considering the Cubs starters are 7th in baseball, right behind the Sox - the facts bear out that Howry, Eyre and Ohman are big contibutors in the teams losses.

Another example of how we agree on everything E-Man.

Fontenot is doing what 4A players do, beat up on AAA competition, but some people think he’s the next savior of the team. The Cubs are stupid for not making him a starter.

Just to be clear, I'm not one of those people. I'd like to see him up as our 25th man Bleeding Blue because, LIKE YOU, I think we need another infielder on the active roster.

But more importantly, with Eric Patterson already starting for Iowa and doing pretty well, we need to FREE FONTENOT because he's nowhere in the Cubs' plans and he sure deserves a shot with someone.

bobby hill wants to come, too.

Recent comments

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  • Imagine if Lester would just pitch nine innings every start.

  • Now that's funny coming from the board martyr.

    You made a comment about Lester not pitching deep enough into games, Rob and others dispute it, and then it devolves into more of you acting like you're being unfairly singled out.

    Classic Crunch.

  • "Therefore, the Cubs have not had ONE pitcher in the last five years that is a TOR starter waiting in the wings ..."

    It's a little scary, especially when you look over at the Mets, the one team around the league that worries me, maybe because I have clear recollections of 1969.

    Actually, the only Cub draftee since 2012 when McLeod and the new FO took over the draft who has thrown a pitch in the majors is Zack Godley. So it's not just TOR starters that we're not seeing.

  • We've got a David-Goliath type situation tonight, but you never know. In matchups like this, I always remember that Sergio Mitre v. Roy Halladay game the Cubs won at home several years ago.

  • I am going tonight, so I am not ok with that.

    But, maybe Hendrix will give his patented solid 5 before Richard or Wood comes in...

    One can hope.

  • if you save the lumber from your constant trips to the cross you can build your very own safe space to view my posts.

  • @billybucks you speak the truth and it's precisely what me and others have been saying for over a year. It's an unfortunate hitch in his game, one that seems correctable, but so far has not been corrected. Also a hitch that is going over 3 seasons now and no one has been able to truly exploit in any meaningful way (except sort of the Royals in that Wild Card game although they stole plenty of bases off the other pitchers in that game and the rest of the playoff teams the rest of that run).

  • AZBOBBOP: Nothing new on Oscar de la Cruz. Still shut down with elbow issues.

  • I nominate Sean Rodriguez.

  • who's this guy being all reasonable and stuff?

    pick someone on the board who's literally worse than hitler and start screaming about it. cubs 2016!

  • It's not pathetic -- it's what we've been waiting for!

  • Yikes -- I was off the site for a short while and it blew up.

    Gentlemen -- it is apparent that Lester has a weakness in his game. Everybody knows about it. He has, apparently, tried to work on it, but without success. Fortunately, he is talented enough that he is able to largely overcome his shortcoming.

    I am amazed that other teams don't try to bunt on him, but, as has been said, bunting is not a skill many players have.

  • Interesting that Hendricks is going tomorrow -- so, he wasn't really "skipped", just moved back a few days so Jake and Lester could deal against the Pirates. I'm OK with that.

  • PHIL: Thanks for your updates.

    One thing that we are seeing come to bear is that Theo's obvious strategy has been to stockpile young, power arms in the lower levels while owning bats that are much nearer to MLB ready - then, buying the arms the org needs in order to be highly competitive.

  • It's fun to watch the cards shit the bed anytime of the year

  • I really thought he would be the one getting the call-up. This must be a favor to the player from Theo.