Game 118 Thread / Reds @ Cubs (1 of 3)

Game Chat Aaron Harang vs. Carlos Zambrano Lineups:
Hamilton CF Theriot SS
Keppinger SS Jones CF
Griffey Jr. RF Lee 1B
Phillips 2B Ramirez 3B
Dunn LF Ward RF
Hatteberg 1B DeRosa 2B
Valentin C Murton LF
Encarnacion 3B Kendall C
Harang P Zambrano P
As discussed earlier today, the Cubs have optioned Sean Gallagher and Eric Patterson back to Iowa and called up Illinois-native Carmen Pignatiello along with Jake Fox. Henry Blanco was moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Pignatiello on the 40-man roster.
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Its good to see Ward in the lineup, although I agree with Chifan (from the last thread) in that I'd like to see someone (Ward or Jake Fox) giving Lee a day off.

Lee's had a day. Not sure he needs two days. Plus, we are so much weaker defensively without him. Wish he'd start hitting again though.

Any news on Sori anyone? I have ludicrous visions of him healing miraculously and being back in two weeks.

How Dusty and Lou differ From a Bruce Miles article...

Infielder Ryan Theriot never could get on the right side of Baker, no matter how hard Theriot tried or how hard he played.

If he made a baserunning mistake, Baker would point to Theriot’s status as a “young player,” spitting out the words as if they were sour milk. This year, Theriot won over Piniella, as well as infield coach Alan Trammell and hitting coach Gerald Perry. Theriot’s solid play forced a trade of former Gold Glove shortstop Cesar Izturis to Pittsburgh.

“Last year, during the season, I felt like I had done enough to get a good look, not to play every day, but to get a good look and get a fair shot,” Theriot said. “That’s all you can ask for. Whether it would have happened with the previous coaching staff or not, I don’t know. Luckily, Alan and Lou and Gerald really were fair in that regard.

“People get stuck in ruts. They’re comfortable with certain guys, certain players, and all of a sudden it really doesn’t matter what you do at that point because it’s a comfort level.”

During spring training, Piniella instructed Theriot to relax, that he had made the team. In April, the manager came to the player again.

“It’s funny because I didn’t play any shortstop during spring training,” Theriot said. “A couple weeks into the season, he asked me if I could play shortstop. I said ‘yeah.’ He said, ‘Can you play shortstop every day?’ I said, ‘Of course. I’d love to. I’m positive. I feel better playing there than anywhere.’ He was like, ‘OK.’ That was it.

Its just funny how Theriot says he basically would never have a shot if Baker was still around. Izturis would still be starting and sucking and god knows what crappy middle infielder Hendry would have picked up just to keep Baker content with having his vets.

Theriot clearly didnt like old Dustbag and he certainly didnt feel the way they evaluated who should play was fair either.

now if we could just clean up lou's follies and shortcomings we'd have nothing to complain about but players.


do we replace "Schmidt 3/44" with just "MikeC"? :)

Yet another advertisement? Now for a crappy movie?

I wish we would go back to one new posting a day on TCR...this 3-4 posts a day crap is to hard to keep up with, lol.

I wonder who the backstabbing culprit will be once Lou is outta town?


God this lack of power is going to kill us.

Jacque hit that ball so far.


God this lack of power is going to kill us.

Are you watching the game?

Yeah, I think the problem today might be giving up over 15 hits to the Reds. That Brandon Phillips guy is pretty good, by the way.

Z gives up 5 runs on 12 hits, getting killed by the top of the order...we are only down 2, and Lou sends out Z for the 7th inning....I don't even remotely understand that, especially after an off day.

weathers, how can we not hit him?

thanks for the great effort tonight, Carlos. 100MM contract my arse...

We hit him...just 10 feet too short.

Carlos you really let us down today. There is no way in hell that when this team scores 5 runs that we should ever lose when Z starts.

a week like this after a month like "that"

talk about a hard crash.

Its just funny how Theriot says he basically would never have a shot if Baker was still around. Izturis would still be starting and sucking and god knows what crappy middle infielder Hendry would have picked up just to keep Baker content with having his vets.

We don't have to speculate. The crappy middle infielder Hendry picked up to keep Baker happy was FREDDIE BYNUM. Theriot was cut to make room for Bynum on the last day of Spring Training last year...

LAS VEGAS (03/31/06)-- The Cubs put the final touches on their 25-man roster on Friday by acquiring utility player Freddie Bynum from the A's in a three-team trade. Chicago sent left-handed pitcher John Koronka and a player to be named later to Texas in the deal, and optioned infielder Ryan Theriot to Triple-A Iowa. //The arrival of Bynum, who can play both middle infield positions and all three outfield spots, made Theriot expendable.

Hendry went on to talk about how "athletic" Bynum was, and "versatile." Last year was all about getting more 'athletic." Of course it was the Cubs brainrust who labelled Theriot as 'unathletic' and only suited for second base in order to explain this bizarre last minute trade for someone else's AAA utility man.

Hendry described the Bynum trade at the time as a "gamble" as if it might really pay off if only he were lucky.

And lest we forget, only a few of us thought the trade stunk at the time. In general, Hendry got rave reviews.

It's amazing that the Cubs will still only be 1.5 games back. Cubs take care of business, beat the Cards, beat the Brewers...we still win th division. But, I just don't see us having the tools to go on the type of winning streak we need now. With Z pitching like this, our starters are mediocre, our relief corp is mediocre (at best) and our hitting still leaves a lot to be desired. The Cardinals must be drooling at the prospect of coming to Wrigley this week while the Cubs are playing as poorly as they are.

It's all my fault.

My 10-year old son and I had a 1-5 record at Wrigley this year, so I picked a Zambrano start against a crap team to change our luck.

Alas, the Cubs heard about my plan, and slipped Juan Mateo into Z's jersey for tonight's game.

The 0-2 pitch that he hit Phillips with was possibly the worst pitch ever thrown by a major league pitcher -- it looked like someone tossing a ball to a 3-year old. And that was the winning run.

If the Cubs were truly a team of destiny, Fontenot's ball is either off the wall or in the basket. Instead,
it's a long out, followed by a horrible scream of twisted pain from me, causing my son to say "Dad, it's just a game. Relax."

I can't believe the freakin' Cardinals are going to win the division again. That really sucks.

Well, it was a fun run while it lasted.

well in my eyes good old jim should have been
looking for a pitcher a long man / starter i do believe kansas city had one dont remember name
as in typical fashion here comes the hitting,
there goes the pitching.

Eh, I'm happier that Lee looked really good, Marmol got out of a big jam, Murton hit again, ARam is back and hit a HR, Fontenot is maybe hitting again and Jones is hitting.

Let's face it, Z was not going to be as good as he's been for a while. He's simply reverting back to his mean, which is a second tier ace behind the likes of Santana and Peavy. Very good pitcher with a mid to high 3 ERA. Also, there is not a team in baseball that was going to have 5 pitchers with sub 4 ERAs, so I'm not too stressed out that we're having some pitching difficulties.

If ARam and Lee can stay healthy and keep hitting HRs at the same time with DeRosa, Floyd and Murton all hitting well and Theriot getting on base, I think we can pretty consistently score 4 or 5 runs, and our pitching for the most part can win with that kind of run support.

I also like our bullpen, though I think having Howry close is idiotic, but Marmol, Dempster, Howry and Wuertz are all good pitchers. Bullpens are eminently fragile things and there is almost no reliever in baseball who can consistently go out and give you a good outing. The pitcher with the most relief outings in baseball right now is Heath Bell, and if you look at his #s, he's pitched very well, but has also had major blow ups.

That's why spending lots of money on your bullpen is a losing proposition. Developing guys like Marmol and hopefully having Wood turn out to be good is such a better plan.

It's almost stupid how we are keeping pace w/ the brew crew. Someone needs to slip some poison into the bird feeders, but not until Thursday.

By the way -- I hereby pledge not to return to Wrigley this year.

"If the Cubs were truly a team of destiny"

seriously what a retarded comment, a more proper comment would be if the Cubs were truly a team of destiny, Ward wouldnt have been playing in left field. When things are going well the ball finds the basket, when things arent they just miss.

Maybe the real destiny question should be, if the cubs werent a team of destiny, the Brewers would have a 10 game lead on us but they dont. of course destiny and the cubs dont go together.

"There is no way in hell that when this team scores 5 runs that we should ever lose when Z starts."

It happens

BILLYBUCKS: I was there too. You may have heard me screaming from the Upper Deck boxes. The 6th run the Reds got just should not have been. I was really scratching my head why Lou did not lift a melting down Carlos with the warmed up lefty Piggy (I was sitting next to his Aunt and Uncle and cousins - we all wanted him to pitch and THAT was the spot with a left up).

I am getting really sick of hearing or saying, "The Brewers lost tonight!" I just don't care that much until this Cubs team starts getting on a roll again.

Lou really blew this game. Z batting for himself in the 6th? If a batter gets on base before Jones' dong, we have a 1 run game. Z clearly has nothing, but pitches the 7th. What do you know, we are down another run. Shoulda coulda woulda won this one.

I am getting really sick of hearing or saying, “The Brewers lost tonight!”

would you rather be saying the Brewers won tonight and pulled another game further away?

Oh - btw - they told me the daily per diem rate is $128!

That is better than most per diems for Upper Management at Fortune 100 companies, I think.

I think I could manage 3 "squares" handily for that even in NYC.

"would you rather be saying the Brewers won tonight and pulled another game further away?"

Actually, it is what the team is "earning" right now.

One of the major flaws of Lou is he's completely stupid when it comes to pitcher usage. That's simply something that is going to come with whatever good qualities he has. I truly feel sorry for our bullpen guys and I'm personally very impressed they've done as well as they have with all the yanking around they've endured.


Thanks for the "retarded" comment.

By the way, Ward was playing RF, not LF as you acerbically indicate.



I was in the upper boxes as well -- presumably, our screams crossed paths.

Still trying to figure out what that pitch was that Carlos threw to hit Phillips. Bizarre.

As bad as Z's night was, it could have been much worse -- the Reds had 3 guys thrown out on the bases, including Griffey trying for a triple with no outs. Ump-teen hits, and no strikeouts. Yuck.

Joey: Ryan Theriot on a 3-1 pops out on ball four, down four runs. Dumb shit. TAKE THE BASE, MAN!

What happens? JJones with a huge solo shot to right, next batter up. That run was huge - esp. comb. with the aformentioned Cinci single to drive in a runner on second that Z should not have faced.

These things were going the right way for them in June/July. Somehow, they have to right this ship now before its too late.

BILLY: "As bad as Z’s night was, it could have been much worse — the Reds had 3 guys thrown out on the bases, including Griffey trying for a triple with no outs."

I suppose - we were saying for a while when Heranng was really dealing, that even though the Cubs had 2 runs, the "actually" had not gotten a "runner on" until De Rosa got hit.

So, five runs on 6 hits? They scratched hard and were not able to get a W. - Sigh -

"the" = "they actually"

i made a mistake if stating where Ward who shouldnt ever step on the outfield grass was playing tonight

saying a team isint a team of destiny because of one play in mid august really is retarded. Could i say the cubs were a team of destiny when Aram hit hte walkoff against the Brewers in or the Cubs coming back against Rockies and Nationals, sweeping the White Sox ect ect ect. Technically the same thing, one play that won or lost a game

Swept by the Astros, and now a loss at home to the Reds -- that's 4 straight against teams with losing records. Suddenly, that September schedule doesn't look so easy.

Did like Marmol's fire tonight -- bases loaded, no outs, and still his body language was "not tonight".
The kid is nasty, and he is still learning to pitch.

JJ keeps swinging the bat -- he may be our RF next year.


"ect ect ect" ? Is that some sort of tribal chant?

Unless, of course, you mean "etc. etc. etc."

The "destiny" comment was made in frustration, after attending yet another home loss to a lousy team. I hereby withdraw the comment, and replace it with "crap. 5 more feet and we win."

I was impressed with the Reds LH hitting Corps - and at this point, comparing them with what we meekly offer from the LHers, was really clicking with RISP tonight against a bad Z. What did they throw at us? 5? 6 Left handers?

But we shoulda scored TEN off David Fucking Weathers! He was NEVER that good with the Cubs. How has this guy stuck around?

die hard cubs fan here but there done i was screaming for hendry to get another bat to put behind rameriz and now with everyone hurt were hung. and i have no idea whats wrong with Z his stuff hasent been there in over a month and this is the time we need him to step up im scared

Only mentioned by one, Z had no strikeouts.

That means one thing to me, Z is hurt. Pitchers like Z don't go 6 innings W/O a strikeout. It just doesn't happen - ask Curt Schilling.

Remember when he came out of his last win with a calf crmap - Well!

Z's main problem was probably that Hill wasn't catching. Z's got it in his head that he needs Hill to catch, and since there is litle room in there for anything else he forgot how to strike people out.


It's actually sort of a "Ni. Ni. Ni." thing...

Z's main problem was that Hill wasn't catching? z's main problem is that as the ace he's had two chances to stop the bleeding and he's failed both times. He gave up two runs when two were out in two different innings. Blame that on Kendall if you want, he should be able to stop a bad team from scoring with two outs. Not to mention just keeping players off the bases ona bad team.

Actually, I think Neal was blaming Z, not Kendall, for being a mental midget with the emotional capabilities of a teenager. Of course, I could just be putting words in Neal's mouth;-)

[i]saying a team isint a team of destiny because of one play in mid august really is retarded.[/]

Kevin, why make such a big deal about a comment like that? Comments like that come from being a sports fan and is not meant to be a deep technical analysis of the game.

I find this amusing (not the circumstance, of course) from the AP game notes in the recap.

"SS Alex Gonzalez was not with the Cubs, remaining home to attend to his 10-month-old son, who is ill."

Did we make a trade before the game?
(on a serious note, I hope everything is ok with his son...that sounds a little scary).

Any news on Vitters?

Jose Offerman attacks pitcher and catcher with a bat

Hope that is okay with "no" that it isn't Cubs related.

Makes me wonder if baseball writers have a brain, but I keep reading that the Cubs are hurting with Soriano out and Murton and Jones manning the corners. But here's what they've done so far in August:

Murton .324 .359 .595 3 HR 6 RBI
Jones .396 .431 .646 2 HR 11 RBI

THEY are not the reason we're losing. .

So what is up with K. Hill? Someone posted an article on here a few days ago where it basically said Hill was only around because of Z at this point. Well, if he is not catching Z, call up Soto.

See, here's what bothers me. Everybody thinks Lou is burning through this bullpen and all the guys down there not named Wuertz is going to have dead arm by Labor Day. If you can't think you can get one more inning out of your ace when he just rolled through the top of the order the last inning you've got a problem.

Now while Z didn't have his good stuff last night, we were down 5-3 at the time he sent Z out for the seventh frame. He had just worked an 11 pitch sixth inning to have his pitch count at only 98 pitches (the other day it was "why does lou pull pitchers when they don't have 100 pitches, wtf?)
I understand the game situation, but Z wasn't 'melting down'. Leadoff 1B, Kendall's got a baby arm, and then a base a hit.

Plus, if you bring Piggy in to face Dunn, he then has to face the righty Hatteberg, which is who drove the run in anyway. So, sure, bring the rookie in and let him pitch to Dunn. But then do you leave him in? I don't think you can. That's not the situation I want him facing his first right-hander.

Kendall’s got a baby arm

Not on that play. Kendall may have made the only good throw he will make all year, and Theriot just dropped it.

What's up with K. Hill? I think 2/21 is what's up.

BTW-- Hill has only appeared in 2 games this month and only one was a start by Z.

I was speaking in generalities, dave. My mistake. Didn't see the play. Can't blame me for assuming that, can you? :)

Plus, if you bring Piggy in to face Dunn, he then has to face the righty Hatteberg

Isn't Hatteberg a lefty as well?

Didn’t see the play.

Don't know if people know this, but with a $14.95 yearly subscription to MLB AUDIO, you can WATCH all the games an hour or two after they're played. Not only watch, but you can go directly to the half inning you want if you're looking for a specific play.

Hatteberg hits lefty, but throws righty. FWIW

Isn’t Hatteberg a lefty as well?


Well then that point is moot. My apologies. Forgot he platoons with Conine.

Still, 98 pitches. 11 pitch 6th inning. I'm sticking with him.

Wes - Z really didn't look good all game. It really isn't about the number of pitches, but about how he looked. And it wasn't pretty.

I saw how he looked. I saw the first 6 innings or so.

"Still, 98 pitches. 11 pitch 6th inning. I’m sticking with him."


He was spent - we all could see it. Done. Toast. Finito. Not able to do shit all night save for an inning and a half. Key two out hits numerous times by the Reds.

LH pitcher all warmed up. You pull him and then your lefty faces two LHers.

Also, as stated above, Kendall makes his one and only nice throw and Theriot flat out f'ing drops it.

Lou tends to leave starters in long enough to get a win, espy Z and Lily, who have a shot at significant win totals.

Re Koyie Hill: the Cubs may be thinking of him as a backup to Soto next season. Hill would be a useful backup to a rookie catcher. I think I remember AZ Phil saying that Hill is out of options; but in any case, Kendall is the starter this month and next whether Soto is up or not, so you may as well let Soto get his 100 RBI in AAA.

If the Cubs consider Hill anything other than a AAA ballplayer they need to get their heads checked. He sucked when he came up, he sucked in June and he sucks in August. Guess what's going to happen next year? Yep, he's going to suck. The thought that they're afraid to send him to the minors because they're going to lose him is ludicrous. They should want to lose him.

My ask Paul Sullivan question:

If the Cubs were to trade for Sammy Sosa to play in right, could they then assign Koyie Hill as Sosa's designated clubhouse flunky, so that he serves some purpose?

St. Louis Cardinals 3.5 games back.

The who are the what?

Can't find anything about Vitters on the net, but Kevin Goldstein and Paul Sullivan are doing chats at 1 and 12 respectively.

OK. E-Man.. You're the expert, big guy.

Think you could give me some tips on how I can get my two seamer to ride back out over the plate a little more?

On the Giants signing their two guys (Highschoolers!?!) and BP is saying that Portello got $7 million from the Tigers.

Come on Wes... we really don't need to bring out the "I played baseball professionally" line (it was clearly implied).

E-Man wasn't the only one wondering why Z came back out out pitch the 7th.

It is easy to criticize it in hindsight. And I see why decision was made to bring him back. But I wasn't a huge fan of it when it happened last night, as he simply didn't have his good, or really even decent, stuff.

But oh well... one game. Lets hope that Lilly can keep showing why he deserved the contract that he got.

The Cubs are 16-8 in games that Hill has caught, 9-12 in games where Kendall has started.

It's probably a coincidence, but maybe not. Obviously, the Cubs don't think it's an accident, otherwise Hill wouldn't be taking up a coveted roster spot.

He's a major-league catcher defensively. That's what you would be looking for in a backup to a rookie starter.

I don't really feel like defending a guy who's hitting .159, but the question was, why is he still around?

Obviously, the Cubs don’t think it’s an accident, otherwise Hill wouldn’t be taking up a coveted roster spot.

Obviously they do, or he would have have started more than twice this month.

I think the Cubs fate will be decided by their young left-handers -- both Hill and Marshall have only won 1 game in July/August. I know, not much run support, but, still....

Last night was just another enrty in the list of "Well, that's Carlos.." nights -- the slow-pitch softball toss that hit Phillips on an 0-2 pitch (Phillips basically headed the ball, like he was playing soccer) showed that Carlos' brain was elsewhere last night. That happens with him -- but he (and Lilly) should be fine, Marquis will be on and off -- the young lefties need to find a way to get some W's !

I think Z is pitching with a dead arm right now.

If memory serves correct he struggles in August and then bounces back in September.

Don't have the stats.

Z has an ERA of 3.63 in August in his career, which is his second worst month (behind April).

What is discouraging for me after following Z since he's made it to the bigs, is that when adversity strikes, he has a real difficulty dealing with it.

Can't buckle down often.

It seems as if the "upper echelon" pitchers have the uncanny skill of being able to "right the ship" in the midst of a bad inning/game with much greater frequency than our "Ace".

Does anyone else feel this way?

Well, we've had three or four theories about why Zambrano didn't pitch well last night.

1. Dead Arm
2. Kendall cant call a game like Hill can
3. Zambrano thinks Kendall can't call a game like Hill can
4. Zambrano has a dead arm
5. Zambrano just didn't have 'his good stuff'
6. Zambrano can't 'knuckle down'

This leads me to the conclusion that no one knows.

Obviously they do, or he would have have started more than twice this month.

There's a GM and a manager. One guys fills the roster spots and plans for next year, the other guy plans for tonight.

Kendall cant call a game like Hill can

Not much difference between the game Kendall called last night and the one Hill did Aug 8. Z got murdered.

he would have have started more than twice this month.

Worse, those two starts are the only games he's appeared in. Soto would at least give Lou a PH option off the bench.

we’ve had three or four theories

And then you list six?

The Real Neal — August 15, 2007 @ 12:18 pm
Well, we’ve had three or four theories about why Zambrano didn’t pitch well last night.

1. Dead Arm
2. Kendall cant call a game like Hill can
3. Zambrano thinks Kendall can’t call a game like Hill can
4. Zambrano has a dead arm
5. Zambrano just didn’t have ‘his good stuff’
6. Zambrano can’t ‘knuckle down’

This leads me to the conclusion that no one knows.


REAL NEAL: I don't know if it was the reason Zambrano didn't pitch well, but I'd say #3 is probably an issue with Carlos.

Did you see what Zambrano did when Kendall came out to talk to him at the mound?

Zambrano was looking in for the sign, bent over with his glove hand on his knee and the ball behind his back, when Kendall asked for "time" and jogged out to the mound.

"Z" then remained in that exact postion for the entire time Kendall was at the mound and stayed in that same pose until Kendall returned to the catcher's box.

What a prima donna.

I didn't watch the game.

Piniella should have gotten Gallagher up and taken Zambrano out.

Piniella should have gotten Gallagher up and taken Zambrano out.

That would been a bit tough, being that Gallagher wasn't on the 25 man roster.

That would been a bit tough

Before anyone corrects my typo...

That would HAVE been a bit tough... :)

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