Game 151 Recap: Cubs 7, Reds 6

Game of the Year?

Box Score, Play by Play, Photos

W- Ohman (2-4), five-person infields, on-field celebrations, not backing in to a playoff spot, staying until the end L- Weathers (2-6), Protests, bad calls, leaving early Magic Number - 12 Things to Take from This Game 1. An Incredible Finish. If the Cubs don't make the playoffs, no one will remember this game. If the Cubs do, this will be one of those games people point to as proof of a "magical" season. Having squandered a few opportunities, suffering through bad calls and a mammoth HR that died instead at the top of the ivy, the Cubs rallied for three in the ninth off of Weathers, to win 7-6. Highlights were a Theriot leadoff walk, a Lee single, a Ramirez triple nearly robbed by a diving Hopper, and a Derosa infield single to win it. The dugout emptied onto the field, and the fans screamed along to Go, Cubs, Go!. 2. Another 5-hit game for Derosa. And two of the hits were huge - a home run to follow Floyd's two-run HR in the third, and then the game-winning single in the 9th. 3. Umps calls hurt Cubs. Reds Protest. The umps missed at least three calls that got under the Cubs skin - an unbelievably generous "neighborhood" call at 2nd base on a GIDP attempt where Phillips wasn't within three feet of the bag, a check swing strike on Soriano, and a safe call at first for Dunn, who was out by 4 inches or so. Yet it's the Reds who played the game under protest, on the grounds that Piniella first brought Soto and Eyre into the game, then (and we're talking a matter of a few seconds, here) informed the umpires that it was a double switch. A very strict interpretation of the rules might indicate that this didn't constitute "Immediate" notification, and that when Soto then came to bat, he was batting out of order. Can't imagine that this is anything even remotely worth worrying about. 4. Hill and Co. Hill looked really good early on. He was getting a ton of swinging strike threes on an unusually crisp fastball tonight. Ran into a bit of trouble, seemed to have a brief tweak of the leg, and couldn't get out of the fifth inning. But he struck out 7 and walked 1. Eyre, Hart and Ohman pitched 3.1 innings of scoreless ball - much like the B-team position players giving us a lift yesterday, the B-team relievers gave a huge assist, today. The thrilling, still-in-sole-possesion-of-first-place details, below. (And a recap of a parachat that might be one for the time capsule. Or the incinerator, I suppose.) Game Recap Inning 1
  • Ryan Theriot with a nice catch to his left on a line drive from Norris Hopper to start the game.
  • Jeff Keppinger smokes a stand-up triple into the right-field corner, first pitch.
  • Ken Griffey Jr. K's on a high fastball, 2nd out. Big strikeout for Hill.
  • Rich Hill's fastball has a lot of life, really crackling. After sitting at 92, K's Brandon Phillips, swinging, with the gun reading 94. No runs score.
  • Alfonso Soriano hits one to right-center, and it scoots away from Griffey, with Soriano taking second.
  • Theriot advances Soriano to third on a 4-3 ground out. Nice job reaching for a breaking ball well off the plate, punching it to the right side.
  • Bronson Arroyo hits Derrek Lee with a fastball to the left tricep.
  • Aramis Ramirez K's looking on a fastball on the outer third of the pitch. Tough to go down looking with a runner on third, there.
  • Cliff Floyd flies out to center. Piniella was jawing at the ump on the first called strike in the Floyd AB. Runner stranded at third.
Inning 2
  • Hill K's Adam Dunn, then Edwin Encarnacion on another blazing 94 MPH rising fastball. Very, very impressive. First pitch to Jorge Cantu is behind him. Heh. Response to Lee's plunking?
  • Cantu flies out, an easy inning for Hill
  • Mark Derosa with a single to right-center. Jacque Jones up, K's. Jason Kendall then singles to center, runners on 1 and 2.
  • Hill pops a bunt towards third, Encarnacion dives for it, but it pops out of the glove. The runners had to wait to see if it would be caught, and while Kendall makes it to third, Derosa is out at second. Hill replaces Derosa at first. So it sort of worked, sort of not.
  • Soriano then K's. Arroyo escapes, again.
Inning 3
  • David Ross doubles just inside the third-base bag. Arroyo gets the bunt down.
  • After Kendall comes out to visit, then Rothschild and Piniella come to check in on Hill. Injury Concern? Hill trying to shoo everyone away. BJB things he was flexing his left leg a bit. Yeah, he was being a bit gimpy after a pitch
  • Ross seems to have thought the swing was on, and Hopper swings away. This inadvertent hit-and-run leads to a bouncer, 6-3, run scores. 1-0.
  • Walk to Keppinger. Hill suddenly struggling a bunch, but K's Griffey swinging for a second time, to get out of it.
  • Theriot flies out, Lee strikes out swinging to begin the bottom of the third. Ramirez walks. Floyd fouls one off his left instep, is hobbling even more than usual, now.
  • Floyd lines one out to the seats in the right field well. Hobbles around for his 2-run HR. Just smoked a "flat slider" as BJB calls it.
  • and Derosa makes it back to back, crushing one to the back of the left-center bleachers. Looked like another hanging slider. Crowd totally into it.
  • Inning ends on Jones ground-out 4-3. 3-1 Cubs!
Inning 4
  • Phillips singles to center to start the 4th.
  • Dunn K's swingning on yet ANOTHER high fastball from Hill.
  • Encarnacion drilled in the butt by Hill. Runners on 1 and 2.
  • Cantu K's swinging on a low fastball away. 7 K's already. Ross flies out to end the threat.
  • Kendall leads off the Cubs half with a single to right.
  • Hill chops one to shortstop, and on the throw to Phillips at second, Brandon is a good three feet, a full stride to the 3B side of the bag. He's wide enough that Kendall slides in between him and the bag, without coming close to him. Still gets the "neighborhood" call, with Hill out at first. Bah. Cubs don't really protest
  • Now Soriano with a checked swing on a pitch he's backing away from, gets called strike three. Most likely he did in fact check his swing. Fans a bit chippy, now. Theriot K's swinging to end the inning.
Inning 5
  • Arroyo singles to start the fifth. Three straight leadoffmen have reached for Reds.
  • Hopper bunts to the right side, Derosa gets it while Lee retreats to the bag, makes the flip, which gets away from Lee. Arroyo goes to third, Hopper credited with a single. Difficult play all around, the flip to lee was going into the runner's path.
  • Keppinger hits one off the ivy in left-center, Arroyo scores, but it's just a single for Kepp. Odd inning. 1st and 2nd, no outs. 3-2.
  • Griffey flies out, deep, to Soriano.
  • Phillips singles in the hole past Theriot, Soriano fires home, high and offline, unable to get Hopper. Keppinger advances to third on the throw, lucky Phillips stayed at first. 3-3 game.
  • Dunn grounds to Theriot, who tries to turn the 4-6-3 to get out of the inning. Dunn called safe at first, Lee is pissed. Sort of goes all Moises-Alou-after-Bartman-Incident, and Lou comes out to argue. Replay shows Dunn was probably out by about 4 inches. But nope, safe, and the run scores from third, 4-3 Reds. Tough, tough luck on the calls tonight, for the Cubs.
  • Hill out, Wuertz in. Hill deserved much better.
  • Encarnacion immediately singles. Cantu K's swinging on a slider to end the inning.
  • Lee walks to start the bottom of the fifth
  • Ramirez hits a ball that everyone in the ballpark thinks is a huge HR to dead-center, but Hopper makes a leaping catch into the top of the ivy. No one can quite believe that ball stayed in the park, let alone got caught. Len claims there is "visible frustration" on the Cubs after this out, and the tough calls tonight.
  • Floyd pops out to second
  • Derosa singles through the hole, runners on 1 and 2, two outs for Jones.
  • Jones singles through the right-side hole. Griffey can't quite decide where to throw, finally goes to third. Derosa sort of held up within ten feet of third, BJB thinks he was trying to deke Encarnacion at third, somehow, (or Griffey, on the throw?) and the throw winds up hitting him in the leg. Safe at third. Tie game, 4-4.
  • Kendall pops out, ending inning.
Inning 6
  • Upon further review, I think Derosa was just trying to figure out how to get around Encarnacion to get to third base.
  • My mlb.tv feed keeps cutting out, at this point. Somehow, Arroyo gets to second with two outs. Keppinger hits one to Jones, who tries for a shoestring catch, can't make it, and Arroyo beats the throw home, with Keppinger taking second. 5-4 reds. 2 outs, runner on second.
  • Scott Eyre and Geovany Soto both come in, to try to close out the inning.
  • Griffey hits through the shift, singling to Floyd. Run scores, 6-4.
  • Phillips hits one off of Ramirez's glove. Aramis has really been struggling on bouncers hit to his glove-hand side, it seems.
  • Dunn grounds out to Theriot, playing on the 1B side of 2B, to end the inning. Mercifully.
  • Soto grounds to third.
  • Reds are playing the game under protest, on the grounds that when LouPa went to bring in Eyre and Soto as a double switch, he only alerted the umpire that it was a switch of the lineup after having motioned to bring in both players. Reds claiming that he needed to alert the umpire, before making those moves, and therefore, Soto was batting out of order. BJB and Len trying to find the relevant line in the rule book.
  • Soriano doubles to right.
  • Ok, BJB finds rule saying that notification of a double-switch must be "immediate". Reds saying notifying ump while halfway to mound doesn't count.
  • Gary Majewski in.
  • Soriano runs towards third on a Theriot ground ball to shortstop. Keppinger goes to third, and Soriano is out, easily.
Inning7
  • Kevin Hart in.
  • Encarnacion pops to shallow left. Theriot backpedals for it, as the wind pushes it further out to left. Soriano never calls Theriot off, and doesn't come in for it, and Theriot can't handle it in the wind. Drops in for a hit.
  • Joey Votto hits for Cantu.
  • GIDP to end the inning. My feed is kind of sketchy here, sorry.
  • After a Ramirez single, Mike Stanton comes in to face Floyd, who represents the tying run.
  • Craig Monroe in to PH for Floyd.
  • My feed cuts out just before a GIDP. My feed must be trying to protect me, but it's getting annoying. Derosa singles, Jones grounds out to Keppinger, who makes a nice backhanded play, to get the force at second, ending the 7th.
Inning 8
  • Buck Coats in to PH for Stanton. Bounces out to Soto, 2-3. Hopper bounces out to Lee, unassisted.
  • Monroe slides feet-first into the right field wall, by the bullpen mound, going after a foul ball. No dice.
  • Keppinger bounces to Theriot, who throws wide of Lee. Lee dives and sprawls to his right, manages to hold on to the throw and get the out to end the inning.
  • Mike Fontenot in to hit for Kevin Hart, Jared Burton (WHO!?!?!?!) in to pitch. Grounds to first. Soto flies to Hopper. Soriano flies to left, a very quiet inning
Inning 9
  • It's always a bad sign with Len and Bob start discussing William Taft stuck in the bathtub.
  • Will Ohman in. Len and Bob talking about 1910s fashion.
  • Ohman with an easy ninth. K's dunn to end it.
  • David Weathers in, Jason Ellison (WHO!?!?) in left.
  • Theriot walks on a full count, to lead off the inning. Nice work.
  • Lee, 1-19 career against weathers, singles to right field. 2-20. 1st and 2nd, no outs. Fans into it.
  • Lee, on replay, seems to have been very upset that Theriot didn't get to third on his single.
  • Ramirez lines one to right-center. Hopper, playing towards left-center, dives for it, seems to have misjudged the dive just a bit, and it gets passed him. Crowd goes berzerk, as both runners score, and Ramirez goes to third.
  • Sam Fuld in to pinch run for Ramirez, as the winning run, at third
  • Daryle Ward in to pinch hit, intentionally walked.
  • Norris Hopper being called in to play infield, as fifth infielder
  • Felix Pie to run for Ward.
  • Derosa hits one off Weathers glove, off of Phillips, finally dying in the grass just in front of Second Base. Fuld scores the winning run, and Wrigley Field goes absolutely bat-shit crazy bonkers. All the Cubs come on the field to celebrate an improbable victory. (assuming the Reds' protest fails.)
Parachat Recap Inning 1 NL MVP candidate rankings. Are we scared of Cincy's offense? Brewers game updates. Reacting to the Lee HBP. Old baseball chants. Inning 2 Effeminate alcoholic drinks. Jukin. Sexual orientation. The Matsuzaka hazing. Cultural expressions of sexual orientation. Napster. Ted Nugent crapping himself to avoid Vietnam. Inning 3 Suggestive parachat sounds. Brett Somers. Brewers game updates. Somers was a dude? Use of the word "fuck." Academic fucks are the best? (ed. note- damn straight they are.) Who's racist? Inning 4 Inventing new racial categories. "Crackasians prefer to be called Saltines."(Good grief, WBION!) etc. Wesley Willis, whoever the heck that is. Brewers updates. Mocking Oswalt for being a good family man. The ugly "Neighborhood" call at second. The babel fish. Inning 5 The complete travesty of the fan-sings-the-seventh competition. What a truly offensive antidote to the Kellie Pickler Incident. It's crackerjack, not crackerjacks. Less Vibrato, no show-tunes style, please. Catch-22. The bad call on the Dunn gronud ball. What are you reading? Baseball name puns. Corey Pavin. Spanish keyboards. What do spanish keyboards smell like? The Hopper catch. Win 98. The Derosa baserunning play. Journey, Air Supply, and Hall and Oats. Inning 6 About four different jokes about Englishmen in bars being told, simultaneously, none of them funny on their own, but hysterical when trying to read them fused into one. Live updates from Missouri on the interviews for the Girls of Mizzou swimsuit calendar. If we ever do a "This is Parachat" commercial, a la This Is Sportscenter, I nominate the last five minutes for the sketch. And the moment I'm done typing this, there's a joke about duck hunting, screwing the pooch and oral sex that I'm not going to dare elaborate on, for fear that God will smite my fingers. The Prince Fielder Stolen Base of Girlfriends. Inning 7 Playing the game under protest. Soriano's leg doesn't look healthy. Well, it does to Santo. (Thanks, Johann.) How many tools do you have? Screaming babies and mothers. Who's not wearing what? Reds, Santo, Cocaine and Whitney Spears. Watching this game is worse than..... (answers: a Pantyless Me, a Bowl Scraper, a dirty gyro, and much, much more.) Are Bowl Scrapers and Bowl Stainers synonymous? (ed. note - at this point, I should explain to new TCR readers that some parachats, we discuss French Existentialist philosophy, ancient history and quantum physics. Other parachats, we talk shit. Evidently, tonight is the latter....) Speaking of..... Now on to Bidets and french bathrooms. And now Turkish ones. Inning 8 Who would name their kid Buck? AAA fest, with Hart pitching to Soto and Coats hitting. Baby Ducks. Spoonerisms. Peeing on spark plugs. Rally Caps Rules. Inning 9 The Gay Avenger. (This really, really is not representative of the parachat recapper, humanity, or anything else, I swear.) Andy Dick. Playing with your palm pilot. The Cards comeback on the Phils. Absolute Pandemonium. A bunch of johnny-come-lately's, like Rob G, blockhead25, dave big lowitzki, and more, demand a shout-out on the specious reasoning that their last-second appearances had something to do with our win. Here's your shout out, are you happy now? Huh? Are you? Glory hogs. (love ya, guys.)
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Comments

I just bought tickets to the September 30th game in Cinci!!!!

I ate a lot of junk food watching tonight's game. I guess I was out of crack.

See? My Ron joke didn't ruin any karma.

Woohoo!!! I got a shout out!!!!

And I am damn happy.

You know who else was shouting out? Your mom when I was making HER happy. Oh snapples.

Oh dear god.

Johann???

dave: sends THUNDER

Just got back from the game. Incredible. Some of the Cubs threw their hats into the seats behind the home dugout after the game. I can't remember that happening much in the past. The Cubs celebrated like little leaguers. So did the crowd.

I'm really sorry I turned it off early. I'm more sorry I left Parachat pre-Spoonerisms. Bad decisions tonight. At least I didn't do meth.

We still love ya, WBION.

any chance of wuertz joining ohnooooo
on the sidelines?

Took the high road on the 6th inning parachat recap, huh Trans? Perhaps not honest journalism, but noble nonetheless.

Soriano had a couple of real brain cramps. Getting thrown out at third on a bouncer to short and his trying to throw a man out at home on a play he had no chance on. Allowed the other runner to go from second to third where he scored on the bad call on what should have been the Dunn doubleplay. Hopefully Soriano will hit a three run homer tomorrow and all will be forgotten.

High road nothing. I genuinely am afraid of burning in hell if I get any higher level of involvement with that joke. And that high road plunged below sea level, by the seventh, lol.

Good points, tbone. Also that ball that Theriot dropped seemed to be one Soriano should have came in on and called Theriot off. Weak game from Soriano.

Rally Rob strikes!!!!

Francis Coppola is about to make a ton of money off me. Bought a bottle of his merlot for dinner tonight and was enjoying it in the bottom of the ninth.

Now I'll have to keep the bar stocked...

I predict...the first two words in E-man's MRI report:

Oh, man...

Yeah, Trans. I'm not sure he's totally healthy but the mental mistakes can't be forgiven.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

Soto might get some more playing time...

"ed. note - at this point, I should explain to new TCR readers that some parachats, we discuss French Existentialist philosophy, ancient history and quantum physics. Other parachats, we talk shit. Evidently, tonight is the latter…."

*golf clap*

parachat has shown me that aside from gender and age, the demographic qualities of TCR is pretty f'n all over the place.

we got a weird mix of morals and ideologies in this community of sports fans that go beyond the proper use of matt murton.

Crunch? Umm... blumpkin. That's my ideology. Blumpkins for everyone.

I'm evidently still pumped by the win. Excuse my blumpkiness.

Is anyone concerned that this game is under protest? They could totally fuck us. Correct me if I'm wrong but it goes back to the spot of the disputed call. please tell me i'm wrong.

anyway,

"Soriano had a couple of real brain cramps. Getting thrown out at third on a bouncer "

actually a very smart baserunning move. there was one out. if he stays, 2 outs man on second. we lost one base on the play. YES, i get that we could have scored on a base hit, but not any base hit. he was limping and we needed a long single to score him. if its a bad throw we can open up a big inning. the rule is, don't make the first or third out at 3rd base. that was the second.

OH and I hated that we pinch hit for Floyd in the 7th as Stanton has worse splits against lefties than righties. Yes Monroe hit the ball hard but still.

i had a great time in the bleachers tonight. what a finish. i got a good feeling after seeing dunn strike out in the top of the 9th.

This was the most disturbing game of the season.
Glad they won...but...
All three outfielders made horrible mistakes, Soriano made three, if you count not calling for the ball, and a asinine base running blunder.
I don't care if Soriano hits the occasional homer, I would bench him untill his head and his body are in the game. Play Murton and lead off with Theriot.
And Sweet Lou...misusing pitchers again and again. Why was Hill yanked? Did he think Hill would be too upset after all the rotten plays by his teammates?
Lou is getting old and he never knew how to handle pitchers. He never did before this season. Check out his Cincy coaches for their comments on this.
If the Cubs are to win the divison, and I pray to God that they do, it may be because tonight's game shamed them and woke them up.

I didn't think Hill should be pulled there...but, he had given up a bunch of hits in the previous few innings, and was working pretty hard that last inning. I wanted him to stay as I fear short outings by Z and Lily, but I don't think it was that big of a deal in the scheme of things. Hill clearly wasn't pleased with his own performance after the game, so I'm guessing he didn't feel like he had it either.

As for Lou "misusing pitchers again and again"....yeah, in April and May, sure...but these past 10-12 days virtually every single pitching move he has made has paid off. He has found the order and usage of his relievers, both the "A" and "B" group, and he is sticking with a consistent plan.

"Lead off with Theriot". You mean the guy hitting about .150 over the last 20 games and with a bum ankle? He needs to be dropped to 7th in the order until he gets his stroke back.

I'm with you on the comments about Soriano. I'm not sure what his deal is. He just injured and off? Overly tired? pressing too hard in the stress of the tight race? Nice to see him getting a couple doubles, but he still has an all or nothing hack swing.

As for this game "shaming them". I don't know, they've had several duds lately..the 2nd game of DH in STL was very similiar as the team was making dumb errors, and the HOU loss was awful. This team is hanging by a thread, and hopefully we keep being that slightly-better-than-mediocre ability up for the rest of the season.

Chad, and anyone else concerned about the game being played under protest: looks like we're cool. From mlb.com game wrap:

"That is usually the case on the second trip to the pitcher," Reed said. "This was his first trip, and the first trip the manager has the option as long as he doesn't call a pitcher in and make that move first, he can make that double switch after he gets to the mound.

"We're covered by [umpire manual] Rule 3.5 -- 'There's no requirement that the manager or coach announce to the umpire a double switch before coming across the foul line,'" Reed said. "So that covers us."

"There's nothing to it," Piniella said of the protest. "I decided to double switch and told the umpire we were going to double switch, which is what you're supposed to do."

Are you kidding me?

I picked the wrong time to leave you Lucille.

For those following at home, I left around the time of the Gay Avenger discussion (top o' the 9th).

(sigh)

Bob:
If the Cubs are to win the divison, and I pray to God that they do, it may be because tonight’s game shamed them and woke them up.

Umm. I wouldn't use 'shame' to describe the on-field celebration after the game.

So I went to bed last night when the Cubs were down 6-4 in the 8th. I imagine they lost, no big deal though, we're still tied for 1st. We'll get em tonight.

I don’t care if Soriano hits the occasional homer, I would bench him untill his head and his body are in the game. Play Murton and lead off with Theriot.

Yeah, we should bench Soriano. Solid plan. He's been doing nothing for us lately with all those home runs and stuff at crucial moments.

One of the most encouraging things about Hill last night -- he absolutely blew away Griffey twice. Very impressive. His fastball seemed a little hotter than usual. But -- PLEASE -- somebody teach him how to bunt.

Also -- Theriot is in a serious slump at a bad time, but that was a terrific AB to get on base in the 9th.

Looks like the Brewers will benefit from the Oswalt family planning -- Astros are running out 2 clown pitchers the next 2 days. We will need the Braves to help us over the weekend, since the Brewers finish with 7 at home.

Well, kudos to Hendry for getting Derosa and Floyd, not to mention Lilly and Marquis. There was not much enthusiasm for the Derosa signing. Too much money, it was said. Well, he is turning out to be a bargain, with his hitting and versatility in terms of being able to play so much infield and outfield positions. Our bench and starting pitching is much, much better than last year. If this team makes the playoffs, we have all the elements in place to make a run.

Hey, I don't like Soriano and don't think we should be benching him at this point. Move him down? Yes. Bench him? No way.

generous “neighborhood” call

Not familiar with this. Is the "neighborhood" call common? Call me old-fashioned or whatever, but I think the guy should be on the base... every time.

Johann:
Hey, I don’t like Soriano and don’t think we should be benching him at this point. Move him down? Yes. Bench him? No way.

The way Soriano was running last night, I wouldn't be surprised to see him benched a couple games.

Not familiar with this. Is the “neighborhood” call common?

The "neighborhood" call gets called all the time. I wouldn't be surprised if over half of double plays turned at second base are in fact not outs at all because the middle infielder was not on the base when he had the ball.

Half may be exaggerating a bit, but there definitely is a significant number of times the ump gives the call to the defense when the runner should be called safe.

It's sort of like the travelling call in basketball. Everyone travels, and the refs never call it. If they wanted to start calling it, it'd have to be done at the beginning of the season after a unified offseason decision by the umps, but that would mean admitting mistakes in the past.

I for one have no problem with neighborhood calls--if you're gonna let the runner break up double plays with neighborhood slides, you ought to let the infielder protect himself.

Of course, you should actually be in the neighborhood.

I'm just picturing Prince Fielder in Mister Roger's sweater singing "Won't you be my neighbor" and it amuses the crap out of me.

Mark Cuban took in the game last night from....the right field bleachers.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/mariotti/56227...

Nice selling point game to be at.

Go CUBAN!!!

In the neighborhood-

Sandberg use to get away with murder.

The most memorable was a hot shot grounder where he tagged the runner with an empty glove and was throwing at the same time.

That's respect with a touch of bad umpiring.

Re: neighborhood calls, shouldn't the infielder be required to have their foot on the bag at some point, even if they pull off slightly before getting the ball? They can still protect themselves somewhat from the runner who's bearing down, but at least they have to consider the danger of being on the bag (not 3 feet from it) right before the guy slides in.

We're going to have to keep some cardiologists on call at Wrigley if this keeps up. I'll probably need one to make some housecalls as well if they keep playing games like that one - be nice to have some laughers once in awhile, but that's probably not the destiny for this team.

I was at the game last night and WOW that was amazing. Had a feeling we could come back against Weathers. Saw him warming up and his fastball was really flat. The Reds should have brought in 7 infielders - maybe that would have worked better.

If there were four divisions in the N. L. and no Wild Card:

N. L. NORTH:
CUBS
COL - 1.0 GB
MIL - 1.0 GB
STL - 8.0 GB

N. L. EAST:
NYM
PHI - 2.5 GB
WAS - 16.5 GB
PIT - 17.5 GB

N. L. SOUTH:
ATL
CIN - 9.0 GB
FLA - 12.0 GB
HOU - 12.0 GB

N. L. WEST:
AZ
SD - 1.0 GB
LA - 4.0 GB
SF - 16.5 GB

Wow, if I'm Atlanta, I need to start whispering sweet nothings in Selig's ear..... interesting stuff.

Of course... if the divisions changes, the schedules also change. Which would actually have probably benefited Atlanta even more.

Without looking at actual head to head records, I would say that Arizona wouldn't have really been impacted by not playing Col. as often, the Cubs wouldn't really be impacted by not playing Houston less, etc. But things still would look different if playing a different schedule.

But I do agree with Trans - Atlanta should REALLY want that division breakdown.

The way Soriano was running last night, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him benched a couple games.

Is the myth that he's a "fast healer" dead yet?

BTW... someone (Wes?), yesterday I believe, asked about what the Cubs' "high water" mark was in terms of games over .500.

The answer is 8 - which happened on August 1st. They are now 7 over .500

CUBSTER: MRI done early this am - Oh-Man!

Thanks again, amigo!

"There was not much enthusiasm for the Derosa signing." - by you, or MANNYTRILLO

"Too much money, it was said." - by you, or MANNYTRILLO

by you, or MANNYTRILLO

Actually, by the vast majority of TCR readers.

I know that I liked the idea of DeRosa as a Cub, but admittedly was concerned about guaranteeing the 2b job and the money/years.

So far I have been quite wrong.

They are now 7 over .500

There must be some mistake, I read here that the Cubs were just a .500 team.

There must be some mistake, I read here that the Cubs were just a .500 team.

Yea... some people are mistaken. Ironically those comments were made when the team was...

wait for it...

over .500.

The Cubs have been over .500 since July 1st.

is anyone else disturbed by rich hill's complete inability to field his position? or cover 1st while lee and derosa try to field hill's position? i have to believe that any/all playoff team advance scouts would suggest that everybody bunt on hill until he proves capable.

i am ashamed, but obligated, to admit i bailed after the monroe gidp last evening. glad the outcome didn't depend on personal participation.

soriano is an uber-talented knucklehead. it just won't change this year; maybe over the winter, maybe in s.t. '08, maybe never. embrace it. it will be here a while.

anybody go to the o-t-b last night and plunk down a hundred on will ohman as winning pitcher? me neither. woulda coulda shoulda.

soriano is an uber-talented knucklehead.

If Soriano strikes out twice with the bases loaded, and then hits a solo HR, he feels like strutting.

Wasn't Sosa the same way? (Just substitute hopping for strutting.)

is anyone else disturbed by rich hill’s complete inability to field his position? or cover 1st while lee and derosa try to field hill’s position? i have to believe that any/all playoff team advance scouts would suggest that everybody bunt on hill until he proves capable.

Hey, don't worry. We're not the only team with one of those. Almost everybody's got a tall, lanky, clumsy guy who can't really field because his mechanics put him in a horrible fielding position.

re: rich hill’s complete inability to field his position or cover 1st

Lucky for Hill, there aren't too many drag bunters left in the league.

Hill did look better last night holding runners on. He almost looked comfortable.

Apparently this is all new to Hill, since he used to strike everybody out in the minors.

I did not like the DeRosa signing. I didn't like the money, and I felt the Theriot was good enough for 2B at the time and money could've gone elsewhere.

Also, I have said the Cubs were "just a .500 ballclub" a few times this year, most recently a week or so ago after dropping 2 of 3 to the Pirates.

I love the Cubs, and I don't care if we are a .480 ballclub that wins a World Series, but the fact is this team has played like a .500 club for most the season.

Now I hope we go 8-3 MINIMUM to close out the season at a .540 clip; but history this year indicates a losing streak would follow soon if we played 180 games in the year.

E-Man:
"“There was not much enthusiasm for the Derosa signing.” - by you, or MANNYTRILLO

“Too much money, it was said.” - by you, or MANNYTRILLO"'

You have no fucking clue what you are talking about. Get over yourself and stop calling me, or whoever else, out for no fucking reason. Or at least get you fucking facts straight before you call someone out unprovoked. I'm tired of your constant bullshit clueless posts directed at me for no reason AND being INACCURATE. I said I was not happy with the DeRosa signing because I didn't think he should of been handed the everyday starting 2B job, but I liked him as a utility player. UNDERSTAND?

Go INTERNET!

the fact is this team has played like a .500 club for most the season.

Not really...

The Cubs have the best record in the NL since June 3, which is over half the season. They are 57-41 over that time period, which is a .581 winning %. That would be 94 wins.

The Cubs were a pretty bad team for the first third of the season. But since then they have been one of the best teams in baseball.

history this year indicates a losing streak would follow soon

The Cubs have only lost more than 2 games in a row twice since June 3rd (a span of 98 games) - both were 4 game losing streaks and came in the first half of August.

This is a really exiting time of the year for us Cubs fans (for a change). It's definitely OK to disagree and even argue, but please try and be civil and respectful, and don't bait other posters in a way where it results in a series of comments that tend to eventually go postal. Most of our readers aren't interested in comments that are just basically a rehash of a personal disagreement. If you want to have a feud, find a Cardinals or a White Sox blog and do it there.

dave, you said yourself the high-water mark was eight over on August 1. So the Cubs are under .500 since August 1.

They were pretty good for a few weeks in June and July--till that new catcher showed up!

Now a newer catcher showed up, so there's hope.

screw you phil...

arizona phil, that is...sigh.

They were pretty good for a few weeks in June and July–till that new catcher showed up!

Pretty good? First off, they were great all through June and July. Not a few weeks - more like 8 weeks or so.

Second, I would also say that they have been good for more than three months, with a bad ten days (losing 8 of ten) mixed in there.

AZ Phil, if this is an "exiting time of the year," then I'm leaving.

(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

but please try and be civil and respectful

Yup... no personal attacks.

Unless, of course, we are talking about Johann's mom.

Relax Manny! I was kidding!

When you put yourself out there freely as a Hendry basher before the 2007 season starts, and state that for $320 Million this team is a "joke", and we're in "the worst Division in baseball", as if the team should be 20 games in front. So, relax man!

You are setting yourself up for teasing.

Which is probably WHY you didn't post here from when the team got on their hot streak, until September. Well, maybe not, but it IS pretty interesting since you are the one who coined "Teflon Jim", etc. Just last week you stated , "The Cubs won't win a WS with Hendry".

And BTW, the "money" they spent for THIS year is more like $105MM.

Basically - we all want the same thing - a Cubs Championship.

but...the catcher.

btw...k.hill hit .163 in june/july playing in roughtly half the games.

that's 67 outs he contributed in between 4 doubles, 2 homers, and 7 singles.

the team needed a new catcher.

and no...im not gonna cheapen what the pitchers and hitters did by trying to link their success to a AAAA catcher.

Mommy and Daddy are fighting again.

damn you, ryan dempster!

Haha... this is awesome, from the stats.com blog talking about Pedroia:

And, obviously, there’s his greatest attribute, scrappiness, which is off the charts.

The Cubs were a pretty bad team for the first third of the season. But since then they have been one of the best teams in baseball.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Exactly, before June 3rd, they were 22-31 -- good for 4th best record in the DIVISION. So they aren't a .580 ballclub and they don't have 94 wins...

*****************************************************
The Cubs have only lost more than 2 games in a row twice since June 3rd (a span of 98 games) - both were 4 game losing streaks and came in the first half of August.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Two 4 game losing streaks, but we have also had "streaks" of losing 4 of 5, 3 of 4, etc... while having a record of 22-23 since Aug 1st (which included going 12-16 in August and 15-21 before the Cardinal game last Monday).

Look, the Cubs are playing good ball right now and they've played good ball since June 3rd; They just may be a better team than the April/May team; but you can't call out other posters on their comments based on half the information.

mmmm scrap.

heart > scrap > clutch > your mom.

So the Cubs are under .500 since August 1.

Oh No, here comes the dreaded wet blanket!! run for the hills!!

too late

On a positive note, the first place Cubs are 7-3 in their last ten. 11-7 in September. Have a two game lead in the all important win column and have two days off in the next week. Milwaukee has no days off and must play 4 against Atlanta who they have trouble with and 4 against San Diego who is still in the post season race.

The Cubs pythagoreans project them to be 80-71 (-1 game off) now and 86-76 by season's end. If the Cubs go 6-5 (7-4), Milwaukee must go 8-5(9-4) to tie.

The E-Man:
"Relax Manny! I was kidding!"

Well, I don't think it was meant as kidding. And you have done this more than a few times before and I didn't say anything.

"When you put yourself out there freely as a Hendry basher before the 2007 season starts, and state that for $320 Million this team is a “joke”, and we’re in “the worst Division in baseball”, as if the team should be 20 games in front. So, relax man!"

That has nothing to do with you making shit up and saying I said shit that I didn't say. And um, isn't this the worst division in baseball, isn't it? And shouldn't the Cubs be better that tied in the loss column considering all teh money they spent this offseason and how high their payroll is? And I was ananti-Hendry guy long before the start of the 2007 season.

"You are setting yourself up for teasing."

Again, I don't see it as teasing at all.

"Which is probably WHY you didn’t post here from when the team got on their hot streak, until September. "

It is called work. I posted very randomly, but I work for a professional baseball team and was working long hours and didn't have time to come on here and post in the heart of the season after my games and watching the Cubs games online. I even talked to Rob G. about it at one point as I was pissed I couldn't be around more while th team was finally doing good. If I was trying to duck the TCR crowd since the team was doing good, why would I come back right when my season ended and not wait to the Cubs were out of it for sure?

"you are the one who coined “Teflon Jim”"

Am I officially? NICE!!!!

"Just last week you stated , “The Cubs won’t win a WS with Hendry”."

And I wholeheartedly still believe that. But that doesn't stop me from rooting for the Cubs, just because Hendry is the GM, I hope I am wrong and they can win. And if they do I will be the first to stand up and give a HUGE shout out to Hendry giving him tons of props and admit I was 100% wrong. But it is my OPINION they can't. Remember, many a poster hear thought the Cubs couldn't win a WS with Dusty as the manager. No different with me, with Hendry.

"And BTW, the “money” they spent for THIS year is more like $105MM."

Yes, that is about right, but they had to spend like $350MM overall to get those players. They couldn't sign those players with 1 year deals.

"Basically - we all want the same thing - a Cubs Championship."

Finally, something I can 100% agree with you on.

GO CUBS!!!!!!!!

To echo and augment what AZ Phil says: If the Cubs keep this up, we can expect a good amount of new traffic here by fellow Cubs fans looking to follow the team more closely. Personally, I think it would be a good thing if they arrived and saw us putting our best foot forward.

CWTP:
"Have a two game lead in the all important win column"

The loss column is the important column, IMO. MIL can make up wins, they can't make up losses.

Which scenario would you rather have?

Scenario A:
CHC up 2 in win column, tied in loss column.

Scenario B:
CHC tied in win column, up to in loss column

I would clearly rather have B as the Cubs would control their own destiny. It is really nice to have a two win lead, but I would rather have a two loss lead.

I think 'new traffic' should find Manny Trillo's views on Dusty Baker. That's where they'll find the best Cubs blog content.

In Dusty We Trusty!!!!

Remember, many a poster hear(sic) thought the Cubs couldn’t win a WS with Dusty as the manager.

Really? Up until his meltdown at the end of the LCS in 2003 most Cub fans thought he was the second coming and Hendry was God the Father.

It has nothing to do with opinions, I think Dusty Baker pretty much proved he couldn't win jack. Teams sure haven't fallen all over themselves to hire him, have they?

“Have a two game lead in the all important win column”
The loss column is the important column,

Good grief, that was a joke! There's nothing more trite than the "all important loss column" adage.

sometimes this place is just hopeless

CWTP:
"Really? Up until his meltdown at the end of the LCS in 2003 most Cub fans thought he was the second coming"

So for less than a year, they thought he was the second coming. What about the 3 years after that? That is the time frame I was talking about.

dusty's gone...who cares...

now the team has another 4m overpriced babysitter who's elderly and 50+ lbs. overweight that's supposed to be a leader of athletes. whatever...

more concerned about the players added than who gives who another 50-100abs or who wont let a pitcher get his work in without pulling him...etc etc...

the biggest difference between 06 and 07 to me involves talent, bench, and SP...

some wanna say "Dusty would blah blah in 07 and cedeno would play everyday and izzy would be on his 600ab" and etc etc zzzzzzzz....who's the say he wouldnt move derosa to SS and theriot to 2nd? we can all play the "guess the reality that dont exist"

dusty's gone...poof. now we got a fat old white guy instead of a fat old black guy...both are getting what derosa is getting paid. what a crock.

FROM CRUNCH, 12/06

its not tension…ive just been reading a lot of single-sided hendry posts from manny that mirrors the 2+ years of pleas for reason and vocal slapbacks for anti-dusty rants that are reading almost mirror-imaged of the dusty rants.

its in the last post…ive just read a lotta it lately and brought it up.

i dont get it, but ultimately it doesnt matter. im sick of hearing about guys in suits, that’s nothing new. im just suprised the vigor of the anti-hendry stance from someone who railed against similar during the extremely maddning “dusty days” of non-stop piling of complaints.

"mannytrillo — December 29, 2006 @ 10:35 am
CWTP-
Easy man, we signed 1 top FA. The others (DeRosa, Lilly and Marquis) were typical Cubs mediocre Free Agents signings. It is nice to see the Cubs actually spend money, I just wish it would of been on better players, but with this weak FA class, we had slim pickings.

Ryno — December 29, 2006 @ 11:29 am
mannytrillo:
CWTP-
"Easy man, we signed 1 top FA. The others (DeRosa, Lilly and Marquis) were typical Cubs mediocre Free Agents signings. It is nice to see the Cubs actually spend money, I just wish it would of been on better players, but with this weak FA class, we had slim pickings."

The Cub’s signed the #1, #3, and #12 ranked free agents. I’d say that was a pretty good splash. You can’t forget Aramis Ramirez. He was as good as gone.

Regardless of what any of you think of the Soriano signing, having DLee, Soriano, and Ramirez on the same team will pay off dividends when the Cub’s need to sign free agents next year.

The loss column is the important column, IMO. MIL can make up wins, they can’t make up losses.

The being ahead column is my favorite column. Just sayin'.

So for less than a year...

Well, I can only speak for myself and friends. But we still thought highly of Dusty until he melted down again in 2004.
I mean, who were we supposed to believe, the Dusty-the-Great hype or our lying eyes??

He was a terrible manager, who only got worse with time. And the proof is, all the Dusty lovers who were sure he would be gobbled up when the Cubs let him go, were wrong.

remember that game a little while ago where lou suited up and hit that go ahead homer then pitched a perfect 9th for the win?

me either.

For some reason, mannytrillo, my reply to your comment about the all important win column went to moderation.

But I was joking. There's nothing more trite than talking about the all important loss column. Baseball is about winning. That's how you avoid trailing in the all important loss column.

Wow... manny, you're quite unstable.

CWTP:
"all the Dusty lovers who were sure he would be gobbled up when the Cubs let him go,"

May I ask, which Dusty lovers are you talking about? I really don't recall anyone thinking he was going to be signed with a new team this year, even though he got some interviews. Most people, if I recall correctly, who thought he would get another job was thinking more along the lines of 2008 season.

Wild Thing:
"Wow… manny, you’re quite unstable."

Thanks, I think I was a postman in a former life...:)

i thought dust would find a job, but he didnt even interview with TEX, FLA, or WAS and ended up dragging his feet talking about ESPN and broadcasting and time away and etc.

when he started talking about managing again in/with the press almost all the jobs were either spoken for. maybe no one wanted him, maybe his own indecisiveness cost him.

Trans-
"Personally, I think it would be a good thing if they arrived and saw us putting our best foot forward."

I have three words for you:

GAY

WITCH

CRAFT

~thunder~

wouldnt call myself a dusty-appologist, though..

a manager isnt as polarizing to me as it is to some...they're just overpriced lineup jockeys to me. i can take a step back from "picking a side" and just talk about it objectively.

put your "real" managers in A-AA-AAA where the kids need to be pushed, coached, and directed, imo.

as far as win column and loss column Wes is right. We are in the ahead column and from here on out the Brewers have to win three more games than us to just tie. Loss column is not really a factor. Yes it's better to be ahead in the loss column but the pressure is on milwuakee to out win us right now by three. Yes three as in if they win two more games than us for the rest of the season, there will be a playoff so they would have to win 3 more games than us.

as far as win column and loss column Wes is right....Loss column is not really a factor.

I guess it would have killed you to say I was right.

With the Cubs and Brew tied in the loss column the remainder of the season is the equivalent to the start of a 13 game mini season---a mini season in which we have jumped out to a 2-0 start while Milwaukee (0-0) has yet to play.

I never said you were wrong. I was saying that we are ahead and it doesn't matter how. If we were two games ahead in the loss column, that would great too.

But if MIL wins those two games they haven't played yet, we are tied, if we were up two in the loss column, it wouldn't matter if they won those two games as they would still be behind. We would have to lose two games. I would much rather be up in the loss over up in the win.

I guess it would have killed you to say I was right.

NOBODY LOVES ME!!!

I agree with Manny on this one. The fact of the matter is that BOTH the Cubs and Brewers have control of their own destiny. If both teams win the rest of their games they are tied for first. If my team wins more than loses I would rather be ahead in the loss column as we would control our own destiny and usually win more games. If however this was a .450% winning division, it would be better to have more wins as they are harder to come by.

"But if MIL wins those two games they haven’t played yet, we are tied,"

But the pressure is on them to win. We don't have to. They still have to win two more games than us. Yes, they control it themselves even but the Cubs aren't going to go undefeated the rest of the season.

"The Cubs were a pretty bad team for the first third of the season. But since then they have been one of the best teams in baseball."
If you are going to take out the 1st third of the season, then why not look at the other third seperately:
By 50 game chuncks:
22-28 (-6)
31-19 (+12)
25-25 (0)

We played poorly for 1/3rd, excellent for 1/3rd and mediocre for the last 1/3rd.

I really don't think we need to fool ourselves into thinking this is anything more than a slightly better than average team playing in a lower than average division.

If there were four divisions in the N. L. and no Wild Card:

I think you gotta flip Cincy and Colorado. Cincy belongs more in the North with some familiar rivals. I'd rather have one misplaced team in the Rockies than two in Rockies and Reds.

Geographically, I think Phil has it just right. Cinci is a southernish town, far more than a northernish.

Recently this team is unbeatable. Absolutely unbeatable.

From 9/17 to present, the Cubs have played 1.000 ball!

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