Game 46 Recap: Cubs 8, Dodgers 9

Elegia

Game Center, Play by Play, Photos, Box Score

W -Seanez (2-0), Fate

L - Ohman (0-2), faith in a benevolent creator

S - Saito (15)

Things to take from this game:

1. The Magnificent Seventh

It isn't just that we came back from a 5-1 deficit with a seven run outburst. It's how we did it. Seemingly every hit this inning was opposite-field on controlled swings and purposefull at-bats. It was easily the most enjoyable half inning of Cubs offense all year.

 

2. The Execrable Eighth.

It was followed by the most frustrating inning all year. Wuertz got pulled after a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh, for Howry. Howry gave up three straight line drives, and looked pretty frustrated with himself upon exiting for Ohman. Ohman faced one batter, gave up a hit, and in came Guzman who gave up the lead. Five straight hits, total, to start the inning.

 

3. Take Jeff Kent. Please.

Kent had four RBIs off of Lilly, and also arguably the hardest hit ball, all night, which wound up being just a fly out to the center field wall in the heavy LA night. At least he flubbed an easy double play attempt.

 

4. Picked.

It's sort of a small thing to focus on, but Derrek Lee got picked off of second, the play after doubling in the tying run in the seventh. Without that, we would have had one more run, and, conceivably, a tie game after nine

5. Soriano feeling better?

He misplayed a ball in the outfield, but at least Soriano looked like an offensive force, today. He took third on the throw after an RBI double, and seemed to look good doing it. Three hits, two RBI and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot.

The details, in all their triumph and tragedy, follow.

 

  • Derrek Lee's wrist survived Furcal's first AB, but the second Dodger batter of the game, Pierre, hits a swinging bunt right down the first base line. Lilly does a shovel-pass from his glove to Lee's, but the toss is low, into the baseline, with Pierre charging. Lee caught it, and got his glove hand out of the way with almost inhuman speed. No broken wrists, yet.
  • Next batter, Soriano gets caught betwen playing the ball and playing the first hop on a hit down the left field line, and the ball escapes him to roll around the corner. Called a double, then a single and an error, then reverses the call back to a double.
  • Martin lines a loopy slow curve back up the middle, a pitch after watching one of these Lillyhammers drop in for a strike. Garciaparra comes around to score, and Jones, after double-pumping, "throws" the ball in, way off target. At least no one advanced on the throw. 1-0 end of the 1st.
  • With the game on WGN for me, this is a nice excuse to listen to Vin Scully through mlb.audio. I only really heard Vin Scully for the first time, as an active listening fan, last year. He's every bit as good as everyone says he is. I'd listen to him read the phone book.
  • Scully reports that he hears that Lou is very mad with the whole Cubs situation, that he wouldn't have joined the team had he known it'd be like this.
  • Damnit, now Scully is also telling me that the Cubs claim it's not a 1005-1005 organizational tie, thatit's 1005-1004 cubs. Scully with TMI
  • Blargh. Kent crushes a two-out pitch into the left field bleachers. At least we picked off Pierre, earlier in the inning, making it only a 2-run HR.
  • Cubs half of the fifth, one on, and Jones hits an easy 4-6-3 ball to Kent, who flubs the glove-to-hand exchange as he's fielding it. Everybody safe.
  • Kent with a two-run double in the fifth. He's killing us. Marmol in, weneed four innings of relief from the pen.
  • A Soriano single, steal, and Lee double, and we have a run. Lowe seems to be unsettled or uncomfortable on the mound right now, shuffling around, quibbling with the ump, and just generally out-Loweing himself, right now..
  • Jacques Jones steals in the seventh, down 5-1. Surprising, but got a good jump and made it.
  • And now, Murton walks. 5-1 game and wee're into the bullpen, really need to get back into the game before Saito comes in.
  • I haven't had a chance to watch as closely as I'd like, but there have been a bunch of parachat complaints, and at least a few actual-player-complaints, about the strike zone tonight.
  • How about that. Soriano drives in some runs, with a double into the left field corner off of Brazoban.. The second run, Murton, scores easily, with Soriano taking third on the floor. Some aggressive baserunning from him, even! 5-3 in the seventh.
  • And a very nice piece of hitting by DeRosa, serving a pitch into right-center for a double, scoring Soriano. 5-4. Way to score before getting to Broxton and Saito.
  • Broxton in, but Lee doubles off of him. Classic Lee swing, smoking an inside fastball wtih a nice compact swing. Very good to see. 5-5.
  • And before another pitch, Lee is picked off of second. That really hurts, losing the go-ahead run from second base, with one out, now two. Ramirez up.
  • and Ramirez with a nice line drive single the opposite way, it would have scored Lee. Lee certainly recognizes what his mistake has cost us, as they show him in the dugout.
  • and Floyd ropes one into the right-center gap, but in a very good, and easily overlooked play, Ethier makes a running, sliding effort to keep the ball from getting to the wall, leaping to his feat, and keeping Ramirez at third. Seven of Eight runners have reached base so far in the inning.
  • and another good piece of hitting, as Barrett also goes the other way, with a single to score Aramis. The Dodgers announcers describe it as "a wheelbarrow full of bad sliders this inning." What's really impressive, especially after the problems in San Diego, is how seemingly EVERYONE is avoiding the over-swing, and going opposite field on outside pitches.
  • more opposite field hitting. Jones doubles inside the third base line, Floyd scores. Someone needs to look up how many of these hits were opposite field. It has to be a majority, at least. 7-5
  • Wheels coming off. For the other team. Seanez in, Izturis grounds one to third. Tony Abreu double-clutches to avoid Jones, who has just sort of stopped running and jogged off to the side a step, in order to avoid being tagged. It screws Abreu up, who throws low to first. Error, Izzy safe, Barrett scores.
  • Murton finally ends the inning. Seven runs score, and it's 8-5
  • And Dodgers go very quickly in the bottom half of the seventh, Wuertz pitching.
  • Howry on in the 8th, first two hitters reach, and tying run comes up in Tony Abreu.
  • And he reaches. Bases loaded, no outs, go-ahead run at the plate.
  • Ohman in, and we get Saenz as the pinch-hitter.
  • Saenz hits one right back up the middle. Run in, bases still loaded, 8-6. Dodger stadium was absolutely dead after the seventh, most Dodger fans went home. Those that are left are trying to make some noise. Failing.
  • Guzman in to face Andy LaRoche with the bases loaded, no outs in the eighth inning of a two-run game. Welcome to relief ace-dom, kid.
  • Welcome to Cubs-dom, kid. First pitch is a wild pitch, scoring a run and moving the go-ahead run to second. Still no outs. (Barrett could have blocked it, arguably) Quickly followed by ball four.
  • Furcal ties the game up again, with a single. 8-8
  • Pierre hits one about as far as he can, to medium CF, for the go-ahead sac fly. End the disaster with a GIDP, after that. So much for our amazing comeback.
  • Brenley: "Reminds me of a bad case of food poisioning."

 

Parachat Recap

Inning 1:

"Monster Pig," yuppie hillbillies, game predictions, Baseball Tonight. Jeff Kent is old. Vin Scully. X can throw better than Jones.

Inning 2:

Our free-swinging ways, no-name vs. name-brand managers, the McGriff effect. The Onion. Larry King. If your neighbor looked like Ted Lilly

Inning 3:

How best to threaten Dick's Sporting Goods over their obnoxious mlb.tv commercial. Sex-changing chickens and fish. What's in the in-laws cupboards? Bloody cockscombs. We really don't like Jeff Kent. Other games.

Inning 4:

What are we doing here, and what are we doing over the weekend? Fantasy misery. Step-fathers. Does Aramis look like a turtle? More fantasy ball.

Inning 5:

Beers. L.A. people. Zima. Mocking Kent. Zebra jokes. Impersonating parachatters. Pierre. Anti-science. Debating Jeff Kent's skills at sexual harassment. Cliff Bartosh autographed baseball hat as booby prize. More Kent hating. Funny-looking athletes and more booby prizes.

Inning 6:

Kangaroos on Noah's ark. Tourist attractions of Janesville, WI. Clowns and clownholes, and Juan Pierre. Bad umpires and Old Style. The Brewers. More Match Game efforts.

Inning 7:

Pat Sajak is a terrorist. Marmol as the smallest catcher ever. Heliocentric hotties hiding from me. Keith Richards as a pirate, and the longest ball ever hit by Izturis. Bob Dole's personal stash. The interest of all of the above, in Asian women. At this point, parachat descends to a new, undiscovered level of Dante's Hell. Daryle Ward has + 20 Lady Lumps. Pokemon. Is this baseball or water polo? Neologism: Leerections - arrousal inspired by Derrek Lee doing something good. Mia Hamm. God's sense of humor. Comeback ecstacy. What is Tommy Lasorda doing, during this comeback? Memories of children's bible-song records.

 

Inning 8:

Christian songs about donkeys. More on the umpire. Was Amy Grant hot? Checking your WGN. Yoda impersonations. Plot-spoilers to classic TV shows. Agony. Calling on the spirit of other bad Cubs relievers

Inning 9:

Finger-pointing.

 

 

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Comments

The Chicago Cubs

stealing a loss from the jaws of victory since 1909

What a absolultey disgusting showing by the bullpen, namely Howry.

he had a huge role in the Phillies comeback as well.

fire someone, please. anyone

This isint the Lou Pinella we were hoping to get.

"An unusually sedate Piniella said he was "happy" his team had fought back before the bullpen coughed it back up.

"Everything was OK for seven innings, and then it got a little out of hand there in the eighth," he said. "What are you going to do? We scored off their bullpen. They scored off ours."

What are you going to do? MAKE BIG CHANGES, If the shitpen didnt blow 12 games so far, the Cubs would be in FIrst place. If they only blew half those games, we would be right there with Milwaukee who is slumping big time right now.

Seriously what a joke, it sounds just like a certain manager the cubs had last year.

Perhaps he's given up. I would if I were him.

JACE: "The bullpen is not that bad."

Would you like to FINALLY retract this pearl of wisdom?

Honestly, what on earth is Derrek Lee trying to steal 3rd for? Why can't MF'ers just STAY ON THEIR DAMN BASES? Steals count in fantasy baseball, but they don't count for much in real life. It always seems to be some bonehead play that ends up sinking us.

And Barrett truly is the worst catcher in the NL. He gives up a base per game - this time it was the tying run. Nice going, Mike. The biggest proof of Hendry's stupidity is that he keeps guys like Bellhorn and Barrett one year past their sell-by dates because he can't understand the concept of a "career year."

And can we just fire Howry? God bless him the guy should quit baseball. Just leave Wuertz in there. There's no rule that says you have to change pitchers every inning.

Damn it. Worst loss I've seen in a long time. The Cubs keep one-upping themselves in that department this year. Each one is worse than the last. I guess I could look on the bright side, the logical end of this is a crushing defeat in game 7 of the World Series. At least they get there, right?!?!

Derrek Lee getting picked off wasant the play that sunk the Cubs. They still took the lead by 3 runs despite the mistake.

This was a bad loss, but nowhere near as bad as giving up the game to a AAAA mets team or scoring 7 runs in philly just to give that exact number right back.

Good teams find ways to win, bad teams find ways to lose

really bad teams find the ways to lose and continue to do it spectacularly

Cubs Relievers in 128.1 innings have given up 58 runs, 57 earned.

Cubs starters have Given up 131 runs, 126 earned in 286 innings (which is inflated because of Zambrano)

Cubs Relievers have walked 61

Cubs starters have walked 99

BTW
guess which 2 losers have the worst WHIP/ERA

there is no more glaring weakness on this team than the bullpen and none worse than the 2 getting paid the most. Thanks Jim Hendry for singing them and getting rid of 3 young pitchers for slappy

>>The biggest proof of Hendry’s stupidity is that he keeps guys like Bellhorn and Barrett one year past their sell-by dates because he can’t understand the concept of a “career year.”

?? So Horatio, I guess this means you're a multimillionaire by your presumed ability to make perfectly timed market plays and stock picks, too.
;-)

Damn that hindsight, isn't it aggravating!

My hindsight today: sure am glad I didn't stay up to watch this gutwrenching fiasco. Notice I didn't say "heartbreaking." My heart was broken in 1984 NLCS Game 5. Ever since, the Cubs are like the Ex who shows up for sex once in a while and tries to wheedle back into your life for a free meal or some pity. Gaaagh.

Smart move, Dave. I knew I should've left after the 1-2-3 Bottom 7th. Instead, I stayed up just long enough for Guzman's WP. Cubs were still leading then, but you knew.

I can't believe I stayed up for this game.

Zambrano is due for a good game, no? I guess that means it's time for our offense to shut down.

What are the odds Lou uses the same order..?

If Lou felt compelled to yank Wuertz after one inning, the call should have gone to Dempster. (Brenly made this point on the broadcast.) Howry has no place on the field, certainly not at the point where he was brought in and could do nothing but kill our momentum and allow the Dodgers to undo the big Cub rally.

no.... Brenly did not say Dempster should have started the 8th. He said Dempster should have been ready to come in when Guzman did.

Why would you bring Dempster in to start the 8th when you are up by 3?

was any reason given at all for lifting wuertz? w/o actually needing to pinch-hit for him?

also- how does howry escape any scarlet letters in the box score when he put the most gasoline on the fire? all 3 of his batters reach and score, but ohman gets the "l" and gooz gets the "bs".

as yakoff smirnoff used to say, "what a country!"

anybody else get the feeling lou will leave at the all-star break, and quade will be the next manager?

and how would anybody rationally explain the fact that this club is in 2nd place in their division, rather than 5th or 6th? "3 cheers for mediocrity !!"

Dave,

Unfortunately my portfolio would tell another story. Still, when a 31 -32 y.o. suddenly has a breakout year the first thing that should go through a GM's mind is "who can I trade him to?" Bellhorn was a bit different as he was a little younger, but I do remember being very surprised that he was kept on the next year as some kind of "answer."

This team seems snake bit. Too often, when we get good starting pitching, we get little offense. And when we get good offense, too often our atrocious bull pen makes it all for naught.

I have no remote control after throwing it against the wall several times this week.

And the first "day games are hurting us" excuse comes in today courtesy of Aram.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

I think Guzzy was just a touch on the nervous side when Uncle Lou brought him last night/very early this morning.

I really think the kid will work out down there. The first time that a pitcher has to walk into a mess from the bullpen typically does not pan out very well.

ARAM's comment make no sense. He says they get more time to rest in between night games on the road? Come again? Yeah, I guess sometimes the Cubs have day games at home after night games at home but does that happen all that often? And when they are playing day game after day game, isn't there just as much time in between games from one day to the next as there is when a team is playing all night games? I thought there were 24 hours in a day regardless of what time the games are played.

Also, by ARAM's logic, the Cubs should then play well on the road when they are playing all night games. The problem is that the Cubs are a mediocre team, at best, on the road, aren't they?

These guys just need to step it up, put it on their shoulders and play good baseball and drop the lame excuses.

Howry needs to be added into the managers doghouse which right now already includes Eyre and Ohman.

Meaning:
1-by now everyone sees that he blows chunks of key runs every other outing. Even his first win was the game he almost blew by giving a HR to Konerko

2-As they are stuck with him because of the 3 yr contract, at a minimum he needs a VERY SHORT LEASH. No game tying situations and pull him after any walks or two baserunners in an inning. Someone needs to be warming up when he's in the game, but that is going to kill the pen even more in the long run.

3-Given that Eyre and to a lesser extent Ohman seem to be given the doghouse treatment above, somebody has to realize how crippled the bullpen is right now. Lou's promise for big changes was pretty lame so far. It seems the simplist move is to put Wuertz in the Howry role ( for more than one game), using Marmol/Guzman in the 6-7th and pray that they don't need 3 pitchers in an inning except for LOOGY situations. Howry, Eyre and Ohman short leash and LOOGY only uses just might hold things together better until the above 3 show more consistency (which might not happen this year).

God, I hated the LaTroy Hawkins 1985 season, but this is that history repeating itself.

Lou's about as bad with his bullpen as Dusty was with rookies.

He gives them no room for mistakes, no confidence in them to get out of their messes or get themselves straight.

And bringing in Ohman yesterday was just dumb. It was obvious Saenz would come into pinch-hit and he mashes lefties.

3 yr splits vs lefties
.315/.393/.618
.385/.500/.923 (2007 after last night)

..and something's wrong with Howry's arm, that's my take. The loss of velocity that Hendry noted last week and the poor results are frightening warning signs to say the least.

Cubster's plan in #3 is a good route. Go with a plan for a week or so, some set roles and see what happens. Lou trying to play the hot-hand and the matchups has been an unmitigated disaster so far.

of course so have Eyre and Howry....

Bryan:
"fire someone, please. anyone"

They got rid of Dusty, that was suppose to add like 10 wins this year...:)

as for lifting Wuertz, it was a quick inning but Nomar and Kent crushed two baseballs. One right at the CF for a deep flyout, the other only saved by the night air of Los Angeles from going out.

Both were probably hit harder than anything Howry gave up.

Dempster should have come in instead of Guzman with the bases loaded. Team needed some ground balls there and Dempster's your guy for that. Who cares what freaking inning it is?

If you examine that photo I included, there appears to be a very large, red "C" logo on it. For my life, it looks like a Cubs logo.

Mark it down. We're going to win today.

Kevin:
"Seriously what a joke, it sounds just like a certain manager the cubs had last year."

I said in the offseason, Lou wasn't going to be all that different from Dusty. They are both old school managers, and I think we are seeing many of the same managerial things. I never understood the idea from some people that Lou was going to come in here and things were all of a sudden going to change and we were going to win.

This team needs an almost total purging and fresh start. New Owner, New GM, New manager, no Wood or Prior, etc. Of course players like Lee and ARam, need to be kept, but I think you all know what I mean.

DC:
"anybody else get the feeling lou will leave at the all-star break, and quade will be the next manager?"

I can totally see with the new owner coming in after the season and Hendry hopefully FINALLY being fired, Lou would step down due to "health issues" and then the team can start totally fresh. I don't see it happening at the AS break though.

How is this Piniella's fault? What is problematic about bringing Howry in with a 3-run lead? Ok, I can see why Dempster could have been a better choice than Guzman. But Piniella can't pitch for these guys, and he has limited options. It's not his fault that Howry has turned into Hawkins, serving up straight 90-mile fastballs down the middle. It's not his fault that Eyre is done and, as a result, Piniella doesn't have a full bullpen compliment because he's justifiably afraid to use Eyre.

..and something’s wrong with Howry’s arm, that’s my take. The loss of velocity that Hendry noted last week and the poor results are frightening warning signs to say the least.

Wasn't it you who took my head off for suggesting the same thing some time ago?? Howry's loss of velocity is not news!! It never showed up this year. Same for Eyre.

I don't recall that cwtp, but if I did, my deepest apologies.

Well, THAT was fun.

Fun in a lets roll around in broken glass and then get hosed off with rubbing alcohol sort of way.

Bobby Howry has become Latroy Hawkins--laser-straight fastballs. As soon as the hitter picks the ball up he knows it will still be right there once it gets to the plate.

Carlos Zambrano can single-handedly pick up the entire team today. He just needs to pitch like an ace. Eight innings of 3-hit, no walk ball ought to about do it. Go out from the very beginning and f'ing dominate so that the Dodgers go "uh oh" and the Cubs say "if we get one today, we're going to win". I remember games where after watching him pitch one inning I thought I should stick around to maybe see a no-hitter.

That was 2004 and 2005, I think.

Jackstraw
This team is going to need more than one game, if last saturday wasant enough to pick this team up, nothing short of a perfect game will do.

Did anyone else notice the quick shot of Howry in the bullpen last night? He threw a pitch, looked disgusted, and snapped his glove in frustration at the reurn throw.
He knew something that the bullpen coach should have seen.

I was there, ugghhhh, pity me, reminded yet again what it is like to be a Cubs fan.

Here's a situation involving relief pitchers that the Cubs can remedy quickly.

At Iowa, the Cubs have a guy named Corey Bailey who pitched for KC for a while and is 36 years old. He's pitching pretty well and in fact he's the closer, although Rapada gets a lot of work as a 9th-inning loogy. If the Cubs like Bailey and think he's going to turn into something at this late date, fine: put him on a train to Chicago.

Otherwise he's just another one of these veterans who is in the way of younger, maybe better guys. Cherry and Pignatiello are not "back-end" relievers in Iowa's scheme right now. Why not? Pignatiello has an ERA of 1.32 to Rapada's 4.15. If the Cubs are serious about Rapada--and I hope they're not--fine, put him on a train and give the return ticket to Eyre or Ohman. Otherwise, get Rapada the hell out of there.

All this is significant because the Cubs have three lights-out relievers at AA Tennessee. Their names are Geoff Jones, Jim Henderson and Jerry Blevins. Jones is a submarining righty. He's the closer. He's given up 1 ER and one BB against 23 Ks in 14.1 innings. Blevins is the 6-6 lefty who just came up from Daytona. Henderson is either lefty or righty (?) and has given up 2 ER on 14 hits in 23 innings, with 9 walks and 23 strikeouts.

Hitters get called up from double A all the time. I don't know how it is with pitchers. But at least move a couple of these guys to Iowa--and push aside the 36-year-old and the loogy.

VA PHIL: I believe Rocky Cherry should have been with the Cubs all year. He doesn't belong in AAA. He has a closer's mentality, and his slider is too good to leave him in Des Moines.

As for Carmen Pignatiello, I saw a lot him in ST and in the AFL last year. I don't know what he's throwing now, but at that time he was throwing his slider on almost every pitch, whether versus a right-handed or left-handed hitter. But it's not a hard slider. It's more of a low 80's fastball with a bend in it, and he keeps it down and consistently throws it for strikes.

Clay Rapada is showing himself to be a true Mike Myers/Brian Shouse-type side-armin' LOOGY. Nothing wrong with that but extreme LOOGYs aren't particulary useful in MLB except against left-handed hitters, and they take up a spot in the pen that might be better utilized with a pitcher who can pitch an entire inning.

Last time I saw Geoff Jones at Fitch, he was throwing left-handed. The Cubs signed him as a minor league FA, and he's basically a career AA reliever. He's the closer at Tennesee primarily by default, although I'm a little bit surprised that he hasn't been promoted to Iowa since he's pitching light's out at AA. I guess the Cubs player development people believe Jones best serves the organization as the closer at AA instead of as a lefty middle-reliever at AAA.

Jim Henderson is a RHP the Cubs selected from the Washington Nationals in the AAA phase of last December's Rule 5 Draft. When I saw him in ST, he looked OK, but nothing special.

Jerry Blevins has had MAJOR command issues in his recent past. And when his mechanics get out of whack, they get WAY out of whack. It will be interesting to see how he throws at AA.

Cory Bailey is a Joe Borowski-type guy, in that he is an itinerant pitcher with a lot of experience just about everywhere (major leagues, minor leagues, Japan, and independent pro leagues). He must love to play baseball, because most guys his age would have retired by now.

AZ Phil, sorry about the Jones lefty-righty mixup. I thought I looked it up.

How can Rocky Cherry walk four guys out of five? I think of him as a control pitcher. Is it possible his arm his bothering him, coming off TJ surgery? Maybe that's why they sent him down.

By the way, Petrick seems to be throwing pretty well at Tennessee; also Grant Johnson at Daytona.

Virginia Phil — May 27, 2007 @ 1:48 pm
AZ Phil, sorry about the Jones lefty-righty mixup. I thought I looked it up.

How can Rocky Cherry walk four guys out of five? I think of him as a control pitcher. Is it possible his arm his bothering him, coming off TJ surgery? Maybe that’s why they sent him down.

By the way, Petrick seems to be throwing pretty well at Tennessee; also Grant Johnson at Daytona.

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

VA PHIL: I wouldn't be surprised if there's not something wrong with Cherry's arm. To walk four out of five guys in the 9th inning of a blow-out means either his arm is hurting or his mechanics are messed up big time. He didn't look right in his last outing with the Cubs (before he got optioned to Iowa), either.

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