Game 90 Thread / Astros @ Cubs (3 of 3)

Game Chat Wandy Rodriguez vs. Jason Marquis Lineups:
Burke 2B Theriot SS
Pence CF Fontenot 2B
Berkman 1B Lee 1B
Lee LF Ramirez 3B
Loretta SS Soriano LF
td>Lamb 3B DeRosa RF Scott RF Soto C Ausmus C Pagan CF Rodriguez P Marquis P Wandy with a 1.81 ERA at home, 6.60 on the road.


Just as I thought, Lou getting Soriano some mid order time for DLee suspension.

Bravo, Lou.


Michael Barrett since being traded to the Pods

.264 .264 .321 0 HR

19 SB's against (4 CS) with 12 game starts at catcher

When Derrek is suspended, Ward will probably hit fifth, behind Ramirez and Soriano. DeRosa wll follow him in the lineup

Today's lineup is 2 kids followed by the 4 vets followed by 2 more kids

i like Pagan in front of marquis. we can manufacture a run perhaps there. little bunt steal hit. that would be nice.

Okay... does anyone think that this move of Soriano to 5th is permanent? I would love it if it was...

Okay… does anyone think that this move of Soriano to 5th is permanent? I would love it if it was…

I hate it. Soriano will be running up Aram's ass. Better to move DLee to second unitl he's suspended and bat Soriano 3rd where his combined power and speed make sense.

I doubt the move is permanent, becuase Soriano is a better career leadoff hitter than middle of the order, at least with aveage. Also, we don't know that Theriot will always be in the lineup. I guess he will have to be so he can leadoff if Soriano hits lower in the lineup

I hear you about Soriano running up Aram's ass, but given that Lee's run production has fallen off a bit, it would be nice to have Soriano's dingers mean a little more... I actually think that the best spot for Soriano might be hitting 2nd... Still sees the benefit of having Lee and Ramirez hitting behind him, but also has a possibility of there being someone on base when he steps up...

19sb against? yow.

think he gave up 3-4 on the night maddux pitched, one of them anyway...always one of barrett's weaknesses.

maddux (and a lot of braves that came through the system, marquis isnt immune, himself (remlinger was awful about it, too)) just dont check its not all barrett.

I'm an if it ain't broke kinda guy. I also like having a sparkplug leadoff. It's far more important to have men on base as we are clearly better when we play small ball. This "let's hope we have men on when maybe sori hits it out of the park" doesn't seem to sit well with me.

Exactly, mark, let's have people on base, which is why having two players in Theriot and Fontenot who are hitting well but without power in the top 2 spots can be good. They will get on base for Lee, ARam and Soriano. Also, Theriot is even better at stealing then Soriano.

Think I agree Crunch. Mad dog has a pretty slow approach to the plate.

You might be right Johann. I just think sori will get on base more than theriot will over the course of a few games and will therefore be driven home more.

What makes you think theriot is a better base stealer?

this looks about as close to the best lineup the cubs can produce.

just took a look at AAA team totals...using the "magic" .340 ob% mark (somehow .330-.339 isnt good, but the .340 ob% seems to be the magic mark of "good")...

no one who's been on the team all year receiving more than 100ab's is under that mark except for 3 players...pagan (116/.310), a.richie(103/.313), c.walker (157/.220).

everyone else is well into the .346 (k.hill) to .437 (f.pie) area.

weak hitting middle IF'rs and line drive hitters? except for hoffpauir (true power hitter) they're all hitting like they are power hitters (cedeno, coats, patterson, etc.) showing off the doubles/homers.

totally missed bo hart being a cub...19 games of failure.

btw...the kicker...

iowa has a 50-43 record and is in 2nd place...

not that Barrett is any good at throwing out runners but Padres were the worst team at throwing out runners before Barrett got there. Their pitchers don't care. They've also allowed less runs than any team in the NL, by 60 runs over the Cubs. Petco isn't good for a 60 run difference.

1st place nashville...4 hitters abover .340 ob%...a majority of the team they field everyday hitting below the mark.

great bullpen and power hitting seems to be carrying them.

my god...nashville's first baseman is andy abad!!!

i didnt know he still existed. good for him.

he's like...35.

"Also, Theriot is even better at stealing then Soriano. "

When Theriot steal 40 we can talk.

Fine, but he steals at a better rate then Soriano. I'd rather have someone steal less and better then more and worse. Soriano got caught 17 times last year, which isn't very good.

its always percentages with you isn't it?

Experiment watch... so far so bad.

also, marquis catching too much of the plate.

What a team!!

The Cubs offense is impressive today...Gotta love D. Lee hitting that BIG HR to help the Cubs come back...the momentum has shifted and the Cubs can sweep this series.

My goodness... even The Riot has a dinger. Wild.

Soto have a nice arm

and soriano is 0-3. Why is he mentally disabled when it comes to not batting leadoff?

I can't believe Wuertz escaped that half-inning successfully. Didn't look like he could find the plate to save his life.

Good win! Man, this is fun. Weee!


Go Cubs!!
What happen to all the negative posters?

Time for the freak show to come in town.

Experiment watch… so far so bad.

Right... because one game is enough to come to a conclusion on something like a good or bad batting order?


Pie still the master of AAA pitching

He and Moore each had two home runs today and three hits

its always percentages with you isn’t it?

Yep! And how about that Theriot!?

soriano hitting lower in the order? not a hard sell to too many i'd imagine. at least understandable.

only problem i have is putting him behind a guy who's not running 100% and wasnt that fast to begin with. yeah, soriano's power is nice but speed is also a part of his game and he applies it for a lot more than just stealing a base.

Fun fact: the Cubs have only 20 games remaining against teams that are over .500. That's right, 52 of the remaining 72 games are against sub-.500 teams.

By contrast, 42 of the 90 games to date have been against teams that are now over .500.

As of today, in 2007 the Cubs will play only 62 games against over-.500 competition, and 42 of those games are already in the books.

Seems hard to believe, but by this measure, the Cubs are through the most difficult part of their schedule.

Stay 3.5 GB of Brewers and are now 3 GB of SD in WC pending SD/ARZ game.

wow...that close in the WC?

not that 3 games is exactly close, but its a lot closer than i thought.

The Cubs are 3.5 back of the best record in the NL. They have scored more runs, and allowed less runs, than the Mets who have the same record as the Brewers, and are in 1st place. They've allowed the third least runs (377) in the NL, just two shy of the Dodgers (374 - still playing), and a good bit short of the Padres (311).

Sorry dave, but I just don't like the experiment. I would like to see sori leading us off and us trading for a legitimate outfield bat who hits in the five slot.

Reasons why in my opinion sori should lead off:

- he is more comfortable there;
- he gets more ABs there;
- noone holds him up if he wants to steal;
- he puts opposing pitchers off their game early.

While theriot is bound to get on base too, the upside imo is less compelling.

So how legitimate is Junior and will Lou go out of his way to try to make that happen?

Nohit, we discussed Junior before. Rob G thinks it would have to be an expensive package to get him. Chad thinks he'll come albeit no through a different channel.

There's talk of Lofton being on the trading block and I'd like to see him back here. He'd be cheaper to get and I think Soriano, Lofton, Lee, Ramirez, would be a tough top-4.

Lofton? Oh god no more please.

BTW... Dave Pinto has a great post looking at how OBP and SLG impact run scoring, specially in relation to the leadoff spot (i.e. people like Soriano).

Johann... you really aren't interesting in this:

.309/.391/.446 OPS: .837
20 SB, 4 CS

And that is in 278 at-bats, which is not exactly a small sample size.

Lofton can definitely still produce.

Wait yes, I am very tired and was thinking of Pierre. I love Lofton and would like him on a team potentially competing for a World Series.

yeah, soriano’s power is nice but speed is also a part of his game and he applies it for a lot more than just stealing a base.

This is an interesting piece of baseball convention that probably should be analyzed, because I think it may be a crock. Think about it, how often is AramRam going to be on first when Soriano hits a ball to that could be a double, but AramRam isn't able to move up two bases on? At maxiumum, it would probably be 3 times a year. Now (not to be viscious, just pointing it out), who bats in front of Soriano normally? The pitcher or bouncing baby Ward. How often are those guys are going 1st to 3rd? And if you say 'well they are not on base as much as AramRam' - that's the whole point, isn't it?

I looked at the Soriano batting leadoff and having better stats earlier this year- turns out that was a load of crap as well. Keep in mind, the first rule of analysis: correlation is not causation.

"Chad thinks he’ll come albeit no through a different channel."

I was saying that he will pass through waivers very easily. I don't think he'll come that cheap, but I have been saying that he'll be moved (likely to us) after 7/31.

I hope that's true - Rob is correct, the Red's GM usually asks for the moon whenever possible trades are discussed. The guy is likely to be asking for the ridiculous when clubs inquire about Adam Dunn as well.

Josh B:
Soriano struggling down in the order has everything to do with him not being able to hit off spead pitches. Leadoff you see a lot of fastballs, whereas down in the order (especially if runners are on) you see way more off-speed pitches--which Soriano really cant hit. He is a fastball hitter. If you dont believe me, than ask Stoney, because I am paraphrasing what he said a few months ago on The Score.

In 2004 Soriano had his highest BA and OBP batting 4th.

In 2005 his higest OPS was batting 5th.

Just because he had his best two seasons batting first - doesn't mean that he had his two best seasons because he was batting first, it's just a coincidence.

Or Neal, maybe its that he had his best two seasons batting first because he likes batting first.

Or Neal, maybe its that he had his best two seasons batting first because he likes batting first.

But in 2004 and 2005 he liked hitting 3rd (not 4th) and 5th better?

And I could care less if he "likes" hitting leadoff better. His preference shouldn't matter.

Now this something to be said for seeing different pitches in teh leadoff spot than in the 5th spot. But that is the case, bat him 3rd (with Lee 2nd) and have him hit in front of A-Ram.

Oh god the stupid Soriano should be hitting lower in the lineup arguement.

But ummm Real Neal your stats quoting is wrong. In 2004 according to and CBS Sportsline he didnt have a single AB in the 4th slot. He spent most of the year hitting #3 and put up a .280 BA, and a .328 OBP.

In 2005 his highest OPS was hitting 5th but he only hit .268 with a .315 OBP.

You say its a load of crap he doesnt bat batter in the leadoff spot as opposed to other spots in the lineup? His 3 year averages....

#1 706 AB, .289 BA, .354 OBP, .928 OPS
#3 557 AB, .264 BA, .315 OBP, .773 OPS
#5 573 AB, .272 BA, .317 OBP, .839 OPS

Ohhhh but you might discount it cuz its only 3 year averages. So lets do for his career!

#1 2379 AB, .295 BA, .343 OBP, .889 OPS
#3 630 AB, .260 BA, .310 OBP, .762 OPS
#5 575 AB, .271 BA, .316 OBP, .836 OPS

Ummm yeahhhh so your arguement is a load of crap, sorry. I will take a Soriano hitting leadoff and near .300 than Soriano hitting #3 or #5 hitting between .260 and .270.

And i have to point out the #1 reason (Again) you dont want Soriano lower in the order. He doesnt do well with RISP. 916 career AB's and he hits .254 in those situations. Thats why his average is much lower hitting lower in the lineup, he isnt very good with RISP. And forget 2 outs and RISP his average dips to .234 for his career.

I don't know why this is so hard for people to get their head around. Observationally and statistically, Soriano is better in the leadoff spot. This much seems clear. If anyone is interested, I have a theory that may explain why.

There is a well documented, curvilinear relationship between anxiety and performance. This means that different people perform at different capacities under duress.

MikeC makes an excellent point in regards to Soriano's performance with RISP. It is not hard to imagine that some players perform better under greater pressure to perform in "clutch" situations while others do not. Playing baseball at a professional level is a job whose demands increase and decrease situationally and in all work environments, some pressure enhances a person's job performance, while too much pressure diminishes performance. This threshold of "too much" pressure differs from one person to another. This would then explain why some players are clutch--they perform better when the pressure is on--and some players perform poorly in higher stress situations.

It seems very plausible that Soriano does not perform as well in situations where expectations are greater for him to build on others' offensive production. That being the case, the general theories of run production that would indicate that someone with Soriano's stats would produce more runs in a different place in the lineup miss the possibility that his stats might change fairly dramatically if his role changes.

I'll leave the exploration of role theory and its potential impact on performance to another discussion.

Soriano is one of our better hitters, give him as many AB's as you can.

End o' subject...

I kid, I kid but the article Dave pointed out was a good one.

"There is a well documented, curvilinear relationship between anxiety and performance. This means that different people perform at different capacities under duress."

No way! There is no such thing as pressure or clutch or situational hitting. ITs all stats. That's what i've learned here.

By the way, the grape TCR Kool-aid is Grrrrrrrreat!

The Real Neal got punk'd by Dave. Good work Dave.

Like I said, he sucks with RISP because he doesnt see a steady diet of fastballs.

sorry, Mike C actually did the punking with his statistical evidence....

ok you can have the credit c murda, lol.

Observationally, I'm inclined to agree with the fastball/offspeed evidence. Mostly based on his 2 ABs that I saw yesterday.

Is 2 a good sample size?

I digress: Qualls fed him low sliders, and Soriano looked like a girl at the plate.

End o' story

Or if you, I don't know, thought about it maybe he batted leadoff in these situations:

Batting infront of Derrek Jeter and Bernie Williams.
Playing for a big Free agent contract.

Big freaking suprise he had some of his best seaons batting in those situations.

Or maybe we could look at this:

Or maybe you can think out of the box instead of having people spoonfeed you your whole lives - whatever.

The sample sizesa aren't big enough. And when I talk about sample size I am talking about seasons- not at bats. I am not arguing that he feels more comfortable batting leadoff and that contributes to his success. What I am arguing is that that doesn't necessarily have to be that way for his whole career.

Just as an aside, you're more likely to see fastballs with runners on than with the bases empty. Soriano has trouble handling good fastballs too, he's a mistake hitter.

Recent comments

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  • Stockpiling young talent isn't only for trading for someone like Chapman though. Even with an elite closer winning the World Series is basically a crap shoot so the key is to get to the playoffs as much as possible and not just mortgage everything on one year. Once you get there an elite bullpen certainly helps but the playoffs can be won by one hitter or starting pitcher getting hot (Murphy, Molina, Baumgardner) and a closer might not be able to stop that.

    johann 3 min 47 sec ago view
  • I'm also not crazy about press convictions. As the police report noted, there were no marks on the lady in question. There's a TMZ link (of course) to her police pictures, as well.

    I think the only way this trade goes real bad is if Cubbery intervenes and Chapman is suddenly bad for some reason.

    Old and Blue 7 min 8 sec ago view
  • I am right there with you closing in on 60.

    I don't care that much about "mortgaging" one player who is not only blocked by two guys, but is not ready to hit the majors for at least a couple years.

    There is no reason why this team, this year, can't have a real shot at something NONE of us have experienced.

    Further, I don't feel that even if they fall short that they have ruined their farm system.

    I have made my opinion clear here, with others, Warren was shit on the Cubs save one spot start.

    The E-Man 1 hour 36 min ago view
  • Trading for Warren, Warren sucking, getting Warren back for Chapman plus 3 prospects, sounds like Revenge of The Yankees on the former Boston executive. Old rivalries never die.

    I pray to the heavens above Chapman doesn't suck for some reason, or he'll be booed out of town faster than a Todd Hundley revival meeting.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 44 min ago view
  • I'm kind of nostalgic for the Schwarber-for-Miller rumors.

    Brick 1 hour 56 min ago view
  • This offseason, after some ridiculous playoff run and Chapman saving every game from here until the end of the postseason striking out 27/9innings, I welcome anyone to quote this thread and call me a dummy: I hate this trade, and my hate is 2 parts Chapman makes this team less likeable and 1 part that's a ridiculous overpay for 30 regular season innings and, at tops, 10 postseason innings. Already hoping they don't extend him.

    Charlie 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.

    Cubster 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.

    Cubster 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.

    billybucks 2 hours 29 min ago view
  • Here are some possible corresponding minor league moves we might see in the aftermath  of the Chapman trade: 

    SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: OF Donnie Dewees and INF Bryant Flete  

    EUGENE to SOUTH BEND: OF Robert Garcia and INF Vimael Machin 

    There is really no reason to replace Billy McKinney at Tennessee because both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler are doing their rehab at Tennessee.  

    And there are plenty of pitchers at Iowa. No need to replace Warren at AAA. .  

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 49 min ago view
  • I am 70 years old. The Cubs last played in the World Series in 1945. I was born in 1946. I hate to lose a prospect like Torres, but when the opportunity is there to get that World Series ring, you go for it. This was the idea in stock piling all this young talent. I would like to see Reddick added now and the Cubbies should be done.

    Hagsag 3 hours 20 min ago view
  • I would expect Richard to accept an optional assignment because based on how he's played this season, there is a decent chance that he won't find work elsewhere. Rather stay and potentially get a ring. Same goes for Coghlan since he's struggled mightily this year.

    Edwards should not go down. He's pitched very well and Maddon is very impressed with him. I would expect Grimm to go down for Cahill so he can get back on track (he's pitched better in July, but he's not getting enough appearances).

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 23 min ago view
  • chitownmvp01: Indeed Clayton Richard would seem to be odd man out once Chapman reports, but Richard might accept a minor league assignment if he is promised a return to Chicago on 9/1 when MLB Active List rosters expand (Richard has minor league ioptions left).

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 26 min ago view
  • The only player in the deal that would cause me a second thought is Gleyber Torres.

    McKinney and Crawford are decent prospects but both are redundant/replaceable in the system and Warren was really only a middle-reliever or #6 starter, so to me it's really just Torres for Chapman.

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 47 min ago view
  • There is no Comp pick for players traded mid-season. 2+ months of Chapman is it.

    mbauer 3 hours 49 min ago view
  • to get one of the best you have to give up one/some of your best...but it's a bit painful to watch the system's best prospect walk for any 2-3 month rental, especially one that's not an everyday player.

    crunch 3 hours 51 min ago view