Game 54 Recap: Cubs 10, Braves 1

And now, for something entirely different...

Game Center, Play by Play, Box Score, Photos, Recap

W - Marshall (1-2), peace, tranquility, serenity and harmony

L - Cormier (0-1), discord, strife, turmoil and conflict

Things to take from the game:

1. No ejections, fights, ugly fan behavior, beanings, plague, pestilence, blown calls, or anything. Nothing.

2. The first inning

The Cubs half of the first featured a couple of typical Cubs plays. On a base hit to ride, Quade held Pie at third instead of testing Francouer's arm, which seemed unfortunate when Francouer then bobbled the ball. Then, Jones hit a bouncer that appeard headed for right field and an RBI, when the ball bounced into Aramis as he attempted to hurdle it. There's one we haven't seen yet, this year. Dead ball, Aramis out, Pie has to stay at third.

Any other day, this would have been another wasted inning. Today, however, DeRosa picks us up with a two-out Grand Slam. By the third inning, we were on the good side of a blowout.

3. Marshall continues to pitch well

Very well. Lots of first-pitch strikes, a sharp curve, good fastball, and really no trouble at all until the seventh, his final inning. 8 K and 1 BB.

4. The top of the order

Soriano had a homer and a triple. Pie went 2 for 5, including an all-speed double. Lee went 3 for 5 with a HR. Between then, they scored 7 runs. Ramirez and Jones also had a couple of hits, to boot.
All the happy details, below.

  • Pie's first AB, he hits a ball back up the middle, just to the left of second base. Nice piece of hitting.
  • Pie advances to second on a Lee single, and then on an Aramis opposite-field single, Quade holds Pie up at third, not wanting to test Francouer's arm. But Francouer bobbles it, and Pie would have been able to score easily thanks to the bobble. Instead, Pie limps a little bit back to third, after having put on the hard brakes.
  • and here's something we haven't yet seen in the season... Jones hits a ground ball that looks like it'll get through to right field, until.... it hits Aramis Ramirez, who was jumping to get out of the way. Dead ball. Ramirez is out, Jones gets first base and is credited with a hit, and Pie stays at third. Bases now loaded. Two lost chances to score Pie...
  • And in the single most improbable event of the season, to date, DeRosa comes through with a 2 out grand slam to save what looked to be yet another disasterously incompetent inning. 4 run lead to start the game for the Cubs.
  • Marshall looks pretty sharp, early on. Nice 1-6-3 to end the top of the second, and some sharp curveballs for strikes.
  • Soriano hits a HR into the LF-well basket. It pops up, out of the basket and onto the field. Froeming doesn't see it, (Brenley correctly notes he wasn't exactly hustling to get out and see the play as it developed) and calls it an in-play ball, for a double. Trammel asks Froeming to confer with the other umps, and they reverse the call, correctly calling in a HR. 5-0 cubs after 2.
  • it's a HR-per-inning pace, as Lee hits one into the right-center baskets. Thank you, wind.
  • Marshall still looks great, striking Renteria out on an inside fastball. Curve still looks sharp, too, through four.
  • Soriano triples in the fifth, when Jones doesn't get back to the warning track in time to make the catch, and slightly misplays it. After he misses, he gets tangled in the vines, and overthrows the cutoffmen to third. Soriano with a triple. More importantly, it looked like he was running well, all the way.
  • Pie up next, and he hits a broken bat single that scores Soriano, then stretches it into a double as he runs on Francouer. A fun play to watch, Pie's speed and Francouer's fielding and arm... 7-0 cubs. A few patters later, Jones singles in Pie, and it's 8-0. Nice AB for Jones as he lines the ball into left. and DeRosa hits a sac fly to scoree Lee, who had singled earlier in the inning. 9-0 through 5, and DeRosa with 5 RBI.
  • Hendry appears in public, for an interview with Len and Bob. Convienient, it's a 9-0 lead. highlights include him saying he doesn't want finger-pointing and blaming people (how convienient, since so much of it is directed at him) and mentions that he has faith in guys like Howry turning it around. (Interstingly, he doesn't mention Eyre.) Plays down the fight, and the Lou'splosion. Says Pie is here for the rest of the year. Says the draft is Tim Wilken's responsibility, exclusively.
  • Interview ends as Lee grabs a ball hit down the line, then races to first for the out, as Marshall forgot to cover the bag. Keep pitching like this, and we'll forgive you, Sean.
  • Marshall just demolished Andruw Jones's bat. Jones popped the ball up to short, with the barrel of the bat sailing into the stands, where Some Big Dude caught it.
  • With hits for Renteria, McCann and Diaz, Marshall is chased from the game in the 7th with a 9-1 lead.
  • Pie with an AB against lefty McKay McBride. Battles, but strikes out.
  • Saltalamacchia in at first, and has struggled with it. Kicked around a ground ball for awhile, before fielding it unassisted, and now throws one away to second, resulting in another Run scoring.
  • you can tell the game is over when Len and Bob start talking about mending pants. that's pretty much the conversation in the bottom of the 8th.
  • Bases loaded for Pie in the 8th, and he has a good AB before getting called out on a strike 3 that seemed to be off of the plate.

Parachat Recap

Inning 1

Meaningless phrases like "Commitment to excellence" and "Dedicated to winning." Typhoons and other cool whether phenomena. Disbelief. Trammel for manager.

Inning 2

Alan Trammel campagin slogans. What's Lou doing right now? Evaluating the celebrity batkids: are they either celebrities, or kids? Bob Patterson. The AA Braves manager's ejection antics. For whom can we trade Froeming?

Inning 3

The Yankees (wtf!?!). More on Froeming: he is a large man. Brenley's over-use of the word byproduct. Michael Barrett and Lou Piniella dance-moves. Fontenot Worship. Bad Contracts.

Inning 4

Who an what is over/underrated. (Answer: everything) More What Is Lou Doing Now thoughts... Golden Girls fetishes. Charles Nelson Reilly reminiscences.

Inning 5

Sean Marshall is good. More on CNR. More on the match game. How long can we talk about CNR? Flaming celebrities.

Inning 6

Hendry interview in the WGN booth. Signs of the apocalypse.
Inning 7

The stretch. Ron Santo interviewing himself. When to pull Marshall. Proof of having a pulse. If we traded for Salt(alamacchia), to join Pie and Cherry. Creative misspellings of Saltalamacchia.
Inning 8

"What is the demographic overlap between Cubs baseball and 'Moesha'?" - courtesy of O_Julius. More potential names for Len's next garage band. Pasty old women in canoes. Crap on a stick. Googling "crap on a stick" and finding Jesus. Pants. If the Cubs were a pro-wrestling federation.
Inning 9

Those attrocious DQ adds with the ice cream and waffle cone. Winning.


Todays formula-

More Pie, Less Lou.


If Marshall throws the deuce like that every time out, he's going to have a great rest of the year.

If you didn't notice, the scout is to go after his curve if you see it, because it rarely misses your bat.

Today was the best I've ever seen him throw the hook. In a related story, he was striking out everybody.

Just my opinion, but if the ball doesn't hit Ramirez in the 1st, it looked like the second baseman was ready to start a double play on JJ's ground ball. JJ got to hit into a double play his next time up though.

I'm sorry, I'm just tired of that guy. He's hard to pull for, and this goes back to his paranoid attitude from last year.

Olney was just on ESPN Radio's Baseball Show implying that there is some infighting (outside of Barrett and the mental midget) in the clubhouse right now, alluding to some unnamed vetertan players not being happy with the way Piniella has been running the club. Mainly the finger pointing and not taking responsibility for his own decisions/moves. I suppose this really shouldn't come as a surprise. Same criticisms during his days in TB.

The chat was fun and so was winning!

Though, these kind of blowout wins are one of the reasons are stats are skewed. I will be happy when I see a couple in a row.

Still though, Guzman, Marshall and Hill are a nice set of young arms. With them, Pie, Theriot and Pagan, there's some hope for 4 or 5 years down the road too.

reasons our stats* The chat has ruined my grammar forever.

His paranoid attitude from last year?

You mean him not liking being booed during the first week of the season last year, or his dislike for having bleacher "fans" yelling racial slurs at him during games?

Jones is pretty much the definition of an average ballplayer, yet for some reason he seems to be thought of only in extremes, both good and bad depending upon the week, by a large number of Cub fans. Its been that way since he was signed, and I really never have understood it.

2 questions...

what were people chanting when JJ was batting his last time?

and why is it pie seems to be by himself a lot in the dugout? i mean, almost every shot of him in the dugout from today's game he was just by himself.

Yes, the thin skin that he carried with him throughout the season. He was interviewed in the offseason when he thought he would be traded and he sounded thrilled at the prospect of getting out.

Again, I said he's hard to pull for (to me). That means that I try to pull for him. I agree that he is average.

Just my thoughts. I guess I was the only person who thought that he'd probably ground into a double play to kill the momentum started by Pie, Lee and Ramirez in the 1st inning. And it looked like that was going to happen until Ramirez got in the way of it.

Jones did have a nice hit and rbi later in the game.

Hey, I hope the Cubs turn it around in Milwaukee.

If you'll remember Jones recieved some racial hate mail. But it wasn't until a former teammate on the
Twins told the media about it did he even comment on it. Then Dusty commented too.

He appears to be a great guy, but too sensative for the spotlight. He has played especially bad this season. But he is far from the only Cub to be terrible so far. I just think he has been unfairly picked out as the fall guy. That said, I would have called up Pie 7-10 days ago and benched or traded JJ.

#4 bogey-
olney stated the same things on friday's version of "baseball tonight", but the message seemed to get lost amongst all the gory details of the "slugout in the dugout".
i think lou bails during the all-star break. with dissension below him in the ranks, and the inability from above (hendry) to turn over the roster some more, lou will simply go away. he doesn't need the money, he already has a couple of world series rings, and he sure doesn't need the hassle.

if his suspension is long enough, and his absence actually triggers some life into the club, maybe hendry and mcdonough will just fire him. on the theory that it is much easier to can the manager than to can the roster.

Sign of the Apocalypse?!

From today's box score:
HR - Alfonso Soriano (6, Cormier), Derrek Lee (6, Cormier), Mark DeRosa (6, Cormier)

and i wonder if transmission is going into the prediction business? are the cubs scheduled to beat the brrewers 10-1 in game 55? lemme know now, so i can get some serious coin down on the brewers plus 8 at the o-t-b.

Despite JJ's "thin skin" for disliking being singled out with racial comments and hate mail, he somehow managed to hit near career highs pretty much across the board last year.

no predictions from me, other than this: anyone who wagers based upon my analysis/prognostications, is destined to lose more than they gain.

Good point, Bleeding Blue.

I've met Jacque a couple of times through a former coach of mine who played with him down on the farm with the Twins. Very nice guy.

Problem is, being a nice guy does not help you stop hitting into to double plays or help you learn how to hit a backfoot slider.

your headline says game 55 recap. today, cubs played game 54.
just bustin your rocks; such a rare opportunity, like a cub victory, ought not to go un-taken.

Rocks sufficiently busted.

And corrected, thanks.

I'm with Hobart Mike--if that hard grounder by JJ in the first doesn't hit ARam, it could have been an inning-ending DP.

Which makes me wonder what the rule is on that...if an ump rules that a runner intentionally interfered with a ground ball to prevent a DP, surely he couldn't call two outs on the dead ball? Not that ARam wasn't doing his best to get out of the way.

If the ump ruled it intentional, it could be 2 outs.

Andy/CT, yes 100% if the UMP rules intentional interference it's 2 outs. Same as trying to breakup a DP and sliding outside of the base to take out a player.

What I think is stupid is that Jones gets a basehit for that. I think it should be scored a fielders choice.

Edited for brevity:

"What I think is stupid is ... Jones ... should be ... a ... choice."

Did anybody else hear the boo-birds after JJ's second AB? Geez, the Cubs are up 6(?)-0, and they're still hounding the guy. I agree that he is an average outfielder and I hope he can bring in some other players on a trade, but it's not like he's dogging it.

What I liked seeing today was many of the Cubs working the count and not first-pitch swinging. Cormier seemed to groove a flat fastball when the count was full, and several Cubs took advantage of him, particularly DeRosa. Let's see if they can keep this up in Milwaukee.


Jones = 25 HRs, 20 of which, probably didn't matter.

The Cub's will do okay in Milwaukee if they keep up their incomprehensible domination of Bill Hall. How do they do it? Then guys like Preston Freaking Wilson light them up.

I don't get this team the last few years.

and why is it pie seems to be by himself a lot in the dugout? i mean, almost every shot of him in the dugout from today’s game he was just by himself.

I'd sit alone in the Cubs dugout too...dangerous place to be . You never know when a fight might break out.

another thing to remember about JJ last season: he played most of it with a ruined shoulder, and still ended up being a bright spot on the team statistically...

Also, "Jones = 25 hrs, 20 of which, probably didn't matter"...Did you watch last season? He could have hit 75 hrs, and the Cubs still would have blown. JJ was not why the cubs were a mess last season, it was the injuries.

Also, exciting to know Pie will be up for the rest of the season. Looks like Pinella sent him down to AAA specifically to work on becoming a two hitter...I think this may lead to a more consistent line up, with RF being a disaster of platooning until someone gets a) traded or b) hurt.

Wonderful 10-1 rout, and chat dries up; I guess we ARE fear-mongering nattering nay-bobs of negativism.

I'm just sayin

Personally, I take full responsibility for the win, since I didn't watch it all but watched the score mount on the scoreboard of Victory Field (AAA Indy Indians, Pirates affiliate of the International League). Seems like whenever I log on...its a maybe its me. :(

btw since when did they stop doing HR dollar bills in the minor leagues, or is it just everything below AAA? Also, Craig Wilson still sucks (charlotte now) and caught looking twice, yammering at the ump


Fully agree on JJ -- my 10-year old son and I met all the players at this year's "Have a Ball" Cubs Care event. Most seemed like good guys, particularly with kids (Zambrano excepted - he clearly didn't want to be there). Jacque was a soft-spoken, very polite young man, who actually thanked us for coming.

But, being a good guy doesn't help the team if you don't perform, and he clearly isn't.

Jones = 25 hrs, 20 of which, probably didn’t matter

Hmmm... revisionist history maybe?

Jock - 2006:
May: .310/.343/.510 OPS - .853 5 HR
June: .337/.358/.538 OPS - .896 4 HR

So basically... Derek Lee got injured last year, and Jock Jones stepped up.

But maybe you don't think that his production mattered when he was the only one of the team hitting after Lee went down.

JJ was not booed his first week with the team. He didnt start getting booed until he mouthed off about the Cubs fans not being like the Twins fans.

No way do I defend the racial stuff thats for morons. But for bad play and wishing he was still with a small market team they can boo him until he 100 dps , bounce 800 throws to the relay man and get double off on three fly balls in one week until the cows come home.

The vets complaining about Lou, imo-


Ship them both out.

i heard that report from olney, about the problems in the cub clubhouse, and i have to wonder if this is a case of the players who had been somewhat comfortable with dusty's not holding them accountable being not so much comfortable with lou's holding them accountable, and not countenancing their sometimes amateurish performances. i mean this shit has to change. and i believe that lou is trying to change it. i have issues with some of lou's moves, but i love his attitude, and his telling it like it is in the press conferences. i am effing tired of losing, and if it takes a season of this shit to right the ship, then so be it. the whole culture of this franchise needs to change, from OBP to base running, from petulant venezuelan pitchers to dumbass pugilistic catchers who is to johnny bench as gw bush is to abraham lincoln.

Jones had a great April and May last season.
He had a solid year last year, and is a good temporary solution in RF.
He is not a long term solution, a building block on a good team. He is average defensively, he cannot hit LHP, and is an average OF bat. If I thought that he would equal last season's numbers of .285/.334/.499, I might cut more slack.
He is a fairly inexpensive option in who is 32, and who is not going to get any better. A 3 year deal for him was silly.

All this aside, the best OF the Cubs can currently field is Soriano, Pie, and Jones against RHP, and Soriano, Pagan, Murton against LHP.

I mean May-June...

Murton is doing the same or slightly better against righties now though. .352 OBP vs .314 OPB. Same OPS at .668 and .669.

Also, I wouldn't say the chat dried up. It was pretty fun today.

No you guys didn't just try to make a case for JJ being clutch!


Look, I think he's a great guy and everything, and I'm embarrassed when I hear Cub fans boo him, but come on... with the game on the line and guys on base, who do you want at the plate?

Not Jones.

"if this is a case of the players who had been somewhat comfortable with dusty’s not holding them accountable being not so much comfortable with lou’s holding them accountable"


No you guys didn’t just try to make a case for JJ being clutch!

No... just proving you wrong when you make a ridiculous assertion that Jock's homeruns never matter.

I am not sure if you could have a more important time to step up your play than when your best hitter goes down.

Interesting bit in July '07's Baseball Digest from Larussa about clutch hitting:

"It's all about distractions," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "Some guys can't hit in a blowout game. Some guys are not clutch hitters. It's about distractions. They're distracted by the consequences -- the game is over and we lose if you don't get a hit. Part of how you become a clutch hitter is you learn how to clean out distractions and concentrate on the process."

Many players and managers believe that the ability to perform when pressure is at its highest is not an innate talent, but a learned skill.

It's not a skill you can't learn if you're willing to keep an open mind and learn," La Russa said. "Guys who are good hitters can be clutch hitters if they care enough about being the go-to guy."

A drunk, sure, but definitely the best manager still managing today.

No… just proving you wrong when you make a ridiculous assertion that Jock’s homeruns never matter.

dave... I know this is a huge mistake, because you can't reason with... well, nevermind, but what the hell. I'll bite.

The Cub's will be playing the crew in Milwaukee next... say the next game you're in the 8th, 1 out, bases loaded. Milwaukee has a 1-run lead and they bring in Turnbow. Who do you pinch hit... here's your remaining bench:

Ward, Pagan, Jones, Blanco, Izturis

Personally, I wouldn't touch Jones w/a 10-foot pole in a 1-run game. Same goes for Izzy. Sorry, that's just me.

ward and blanco are on the dl, how about z or marquis?

Pagan, ward, blanco, jones, izzy in that order

pagan because contact matters in that situation and ward because a deep fly also scores.

Wow! Now A-rod... that's clutch. Just hit a 1-run shot in the 8th off Papelbon... was a tie game... now the skanks lead 6-5.

The most telling comment from Lou's post game interview after Z/Barrett Pts 1 & 2 was, "'s about time we start playing like Major Leaguers. We need to start catching the damn ball and running the bases properly or get some players in here who can."

It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Eyre, Barrett, DeRosa, and Murton are at the top of Lou's shit list. Floyd and Jones aren't too far off the list especially if they're the 'veterans' complaining about Lou's distribution of playing time. One thing I love about Lou is that he doesn't give a crap about their feelings.

i'm so tired of veterans. Give me a team thats young and fun to watch. These veterans think they earned the right to sit around and suck. Hey, it was ok with Dusty. Its obviously not ok with Lou. And pretty much all of us agree.

Dear veterans, perform or don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

cry babies

"We need to start catching the damn ball and running the bases properly or get some players in here who can.”
I read that statement not only as a kick in the pants to those on George's list but a demand to get Pie back in CF, just to show that he meant business.

oh. And damn the cubs for making me like Steinbrenner. At least he doesn't put up with this shit.

its amazing that lou's a great manager because of his when's he gonna start working that magic pixie dust on the field and in the win/loss column?

amazing what an elderly fat man can do.

josh b — June 3, 2007 @ 10:12 pm

i’m so tired of veterans. Give me a team thats young and fun to watch. These veterans think they earned the right to sit around and suck. Hey, it was ok with Dusty. Its obviously not ok with Lou. And pretty much all of us agree.

Dear veterans, perform or don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

cry babies

We've got plenty of good seats available for the rest of the season, so come out and see our young, fun to watch players. Just stay away from that Dukes fellow.

Wow... Dukes, Delmon Young... that almost sounds as rowdy as the Cub's clubhouse.

And damn the cubs for making me like Steinbrenner. At least he doesn’t put up with this shit.

He doesn't? Then why hasn't he made any changes this year? His team has played some of the worst baseball in the league, and Steinbrenner hasn't done a thing. And the Yankees are still six games below .500.

Who do you pinch hit… here’s your remaining bench:

Ward, Pagan, Jones, Blanco, Izturis

I would take them in the exact same order that you have right now.

But that is not what you said. You said 20 of 25 of Jones home runs would not matter, and I called BS. So instead of responding to what I said, you changed the argument.

Jones came through numerous times last year in the "clutch." He had some huge hits that won games. And he was the Cubs best hitter in May and June, when the Cubs were starting to tailspin. He was the only hitter in the lineup that was doing something to try and win.

Oh... and Steinbrenner doesn't "put up with this shit?" I am not what "shit" you are referring to, but Steinbrenner is the one that told LouPa a long time ago that if you are going to get tossed out of a game, put on a show.

Steinbrenner would never put up with a drug abuser like Steve Howe or an admitted steroid abuser like Giambi. Never!

Strawberry, Gooden

Mattingly kicked puppies on the sidewalk.


I told you to shave those sideburns!!!!!

It's about time that Hendry realizes that Soriano is settled in at Left Field. What does that mean???

1) Murton has no place in the cubs organization for the next 7 years. He has to be traded.
2) We have a battle for right field amongst guys who are not good defensive right fielders, - 2 lefties (Jacque and Floyd), 1 switch hitter (Pagan) and 1 righty (De Rosa)
3). Floyd will be traded at the trade deadline for a prospect. he has no position to play on the cubs. this leaves DeRosa, Jacque, Pagan platoon, with DeRosa also getting time at 2b.

Hendry needs to take the bull by the horns and trade for a right fielder - i'm sure the Angels would be willing to part with a guy like Juan Rivera or Garrett Anderson. Or the Devil Rays with one of their young outfielders.....or even the Yankees with Abreu.

Our trade bait lies in our left handed relief pitching --- as well as a guy like Murton.

Oh, and we need to sign or trade for a REAL catcher as well.

Trading for a D-Ray outfielder might not be a bad long as it's Dukes or Baldelli and not Gomes. I don't think they'll trade us Upton, Crawford, or Delmon Young.
Um...Garret Anderson in RF....that's not a great idea. He's injury prone, and needs that time at DH, for 30-60 games a year, to ease the wear and tear.
He's 35, and in decline. He's a nice player, but not really who the Cubs should be looking for, yeah? .280/.323/.433 last season soesn't really do much for me.
Isn't Juan Rivera still healing from a broken leg?
Abreu has a huge contract, is also sucking it up this season, and his power is declining rapidly.
These type of moves would be so Cub it isn't funny.

Why cant Soriano settle into RIGHTFIELD?

Sorry Dusty - i'm aware of Rivera's leg - i believe he gets healthy in the next month.

abreau may be bought cheap - if it's for the likes of Dempster and Eyre, i 'd do it. (assuming the cubs have an endless supply of cash --- ) i believe this transaction would net the cubs out and additional $8m or so to the annual payroll.
--is abreau done -- or is he just slumping???

--I agree somewhat on Garrett---he's probably done

---But I would like the cubs to pursue Rocco -- although injury prone - the kid is a player.

Hello! Good Site! Thanks you! lozyhgfade

Recent comments

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  • I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.

    Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.

  • The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.

  • Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".

  • KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.

  • Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?

    It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.

    In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.

    I hope Maddon can keep it going.

  • (It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)

  • Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.

    Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).

  • Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.

  • Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.

  • BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left. 

  • K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A. 

  • His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.

    He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.

  • "KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?

  • Baez is looking like a pretty special player.

  • Hey AZPhil,

    Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.

  • bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...

    felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size

    13ip 4h 3bb 20K

    remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.

    this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.