Game 154 Thread/Pirates @ Cubs (1 of 3)

Game Chat : BR Preview : Game Notes Paul Maholm vs. Jason Marquis Lineups:
Morgan CF Soriano LF
McLouth LF DeRosa 2B
Sanchez 2B Lee 1B
LaRoche 1B Ramirez 3B
Nady RF Murton RF
Bautista 3B Soto C
Paulino C Monroe CF
Izturis SS Theriot SS
Maholm P Marquis P
Welcome, everyone, to Jeff Bennett Day at The Cub Reporter! In their 2007 annual, the Baseball Prospectus gang describes Pirates starter Paul Maholm as "a pitch-to-contact, ground-ball lefty." Sounds like Cub Kryptonite to me. The fact is, however, despite having lost to Maholm twice already this season, the Cubs have hit him hard--8 earned runs in 14 1/3 innings, including homers by Ramirez, Pagan, and a catcher who is now dead to us in a losing cause back on May 10th. Maholm, who has struggled with some back problems this season, is coming off the worst start of his Major League career, a 15-3 loss to the Astros, in which he was scorched for 10 runs and 11 hits in just 2 2/3 innings. Overall, Maholm allows lots of hits, but balances that by inducing plenty of double-plays and picking off more than his share of baserunners. Marquis takes the mound fresh off the honor of being named probable starter in a game that millions of Cub fans are praying we never have to play. He had two terrific outings, a week apart, against the Bucs in May, before they abused him in early July in a start against Maholm. Personally, I am happy for the return to day baseball. It allows us to focus all of our attention on the Cubs game and save the scoreboard-watching and ill-wishing for the evening, when the Brewers are playing and if we weren't fixated on MLB Gameday, we would have nothing better to do than spend quality time with our families.


Weird -- all year long (and for several years) I have waited and hoped for the last games of the season to be meaningful -- and now I'm afraid to watch.

"if we weren’t fixated on MLB Gameday, we would have nothing better to do than spend quality time with our families."


Stone and Brenly will be part of the TBS crew doing the playoffs.

Soriano 7
DeRosa 4
Lee 3
Ramirez 5
Murton 9
Soto 2
Monroe 8
Theriot 4

Morgan 8
McLouth 7
Sanchez 4
LaRoche 3
Nady 9
Bautista 5
Paulino 2
Izzy! 6
Maholm 1

if Marquis cares to throw another 9 inning shutout against the Pirates like he did earlier in the year, that would be aces with me.

CHAD: Izturis in the lineup against his former team. should we be worried? Should we be afraid?

9 inning shutout? can he get that done in 70-85 pitches before he's pulled?

the wind should be blowing out a LOT today

i say the cubs hit 5 homers today.

hello mr soto

"should we be worried? Should we be afraid?"

Be afraid, be very afraid

No Bay, no Wilson. cool

Although the Cubs line-up is complete crap.

did an up die or retire or something?


Nice to see DeRosa and Soto moved up in the order and Monroe and Theriot moved down where they both belong right now.

hope Lou sticks with a consistent lineup the next 5 days. It seems to me even though you might be putting a lineup together that should be good against lefties, it's still tough to get going when you haven't played consistently. 4-5 straight starts for Murton/Monroe would be nice, help them get their timing down. Soto wouldn't be bad too but I'm guessing Kendall gets in there for a few games.

"Although the Cubs line-up is complete crap."
Aside from Monroe, what's the problem? Theriot has been awful at the plate the last month, so I'm glad to see him at the back of the order.

re: 15

i think that was one of those "TCR-isms" from a while back where dissing the lineup during the streak was leading to wins.

btw, i hear the cubs have an offer on the table for, but the years/$$ are a bit unclear.

whats crappy about our line-up besides monroe? i'd go with everyone else.

see crunch's explaination

Article about guy trying to buy cubs-

As a fellow Memphian I can't help but pull for Maholm.............. starting tomorrow

From jacos' link:Mandler is one of the few willing to talk publicly about his dream. He is doing so with hopes that Cubs fans will realize he's not some corporate suit;

He's also hoping fans won't realize he's just another weasel lawyer suffering from terminal ego bloatation.

^ sup Memphis buddy

"Kick your feet up, Ron" seems kind of insensitive, no?

Yeez, Marquis.

Anyone know where the fire extinguisher is?

Man, it would be nice to actually have someone on when Soraino hits his HR's. But he can't hit anywhere but leadoff...

Wow... That should make Marquis a little more comfortable...

Like ARAM!!!!!!!!!!! Woo!!!

ARAM 3-run HR. Cubs up 4-1!!!!!!

Hell yeah!!!!!!!!!!!

5 homer game?
we might get 5 homers in the first inning!

Gameday puts Aram's shot in Andersonville somewhere.

Was it that monstrous?

Boy, I just A-Ram would hustle.

"Was it that monstrous?"

It was a bomb. Len said it was the farthest ball ARAm has hit this year and it looked like it went down Kenmore Street.

Marquis may be in for a rough day

This looks like it is going to be an old fashioned Wrigley Field wind blown shoot out. Double digits here we come!!

Cubs 4-2 thru mid 2.

Izzy helping out the Cubs with that error.. Cubs 5-2

Nice slide by Lee!!!!

ata boy Neifizzy!

Feck. What sort of lead do we have to get?

Okay, I'm done talking.

They booing in Wrigley, out of curiosity?

Well, now I'm booing in my cubicle.

That's right, Julie in Accounting, I'm pissed about my team! Mind your own business.

The PITCHER just singles on a bunt? Wow...

Ohman and Marquis.

Wow. Bad . . .

Without seeing the play, can we really fault Ohman for giving up a bunt single?

It's still early. 7 won't be enough.

Len & Bob pretending to enjoy this...

The bunt single was just luck. Maholm popped the ball up directly behind the mound and it fell in.

WTF is up with Quade? moron

All right Cedeño.

But how are all these singles moving the runners up one base at a time?

With Marquis and now Ohman out...could the Cubs use Trachsel as a long-man today to get through the 4th, 5th, 6th? Or is he scheduled to start soon?

That would give new meaning to "long man."

Again, the Pirates catcher walks off the field after two outs and Quade doesn't send our runner in to score.

Seriously, I'm happy we're tied, but just 2 runs out of THAT inning?

ESPN is all over the cubs sale today

Two things you don't want to see with men on base:

a) Soriano hitting

b) Quade coaching

well, we haven't had a shoot out like this in a long time.

Marquis' performance sure gives me confidence about the playoff game.

Hmm... wonder if they're gonna keep Hart in another inning.

Despite Marshall's bad September, he still has a better ERA then Marquis, especially after this game.

Marshall's bad September? Can you have a bad month if you only have one start?

What do you guys think of Sam Fuld? Maybe somebody who has seen him before he got to Chicago? I'm interested to know if any of you think he might have a shot at (eventually) sticking. He's only 25, younger than Theriot and Fontenot by a couple of years.

BTW, he just got screwed on that out the past half inning.

Sorry if anybody discussed this at length at some point in the past. I don't always get to check the comments section so I might have missed it. Just curious what the rest of your opinions were.

I'm really loving what Soto has been doing and man do we need this one...


Another A BOMB from ARAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aram Home Runs good, calling them A-Bombs, not so much.

Its almost as grating as 'putting it on the board' yes?

wow that was a wind blown homer by Soto...nice!

Man, get any ball up in the air and its gone. Theriots popup almost went out the other inning. AMAZING!!! Go Soto!!! Kendall who?

Introducing the 2008 starting catcher for YOUR Chicago Cubs ....

How was Kata's ball a hit? It went right thru Lee's legs and he didn't even have to move.

"Another A BOMB from ARAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Pat should start saying it so when he passes we can can piss off some NYY fans by saying how he created it since they believe Rizzuto came up with holy cow.

Hey man, check out the crazy offense

Lefty's hitting .158 against Kerry Wood. Who needs Will Ohman?

Hmm... maybe Soto outta be batting a little higher in the order?

introducing your starting catcher for game 1 of the NLDS

Can Dempster hold a six run lead? I hope Lou is just trying to keep him sharp after missing Wednesday. How much bullpen do we have left for the weekend?

Demp might get a save out of this yet.

I'm convinced he's as good as he ever was

Fkn dempster?

Go Braves!

CUBS WIN! Nice to see the offense lay it on thick for a change.

"Demp might get a save out of this yet"
A pitcher can't create his own save opportunity through's based on when he comes into the game.

Demp hadn't pitched since Sunday..he struggled earlier in the year when he wasn't getting regular work, so I'm glad Demp got in there, and am not worried about the 1 HR

Overall, the bullpen was brilliant today.


A pitcher can’t create his own save opportunity through suckage…it’s based on when he comes into the game.

Little joke, little joke. Go Cubs!

Go Braves!!

With a little help from the Braves, maybe the race for the central division will be largely over after Sunday.

I may be the only one who didn't realize this, but I just noticed the MIL/ATL game is on ESPN tonight. Sweet.

someone mentioned this in the chat, Bill Murray doing the Cubs game.

check out around 5 minutes when he does the lineups..

"Herman Winningham, you're gonna be afraid of a guy named Herman Winningham"

umps wearing Cubbies gear too, I think they lost their unis in transit

Could be worse than wearing Cub gear.

They could be Pink Hat Green Shirt Guy.

game time in 20 minutes if anyone wants to chat about the Brewers/Braves

Giants announced they will not resign Bonds for next year.

Doe he go to the American League and DH to finish career?

Lou Piniella was asked about Geovany Soto after the game.(the talk in the room was about how Soto looks like the complete deal) So Lou says,

"yeah, it's tough
... long ;pause

it's tough to come to the ballpark and not pencil his name in"

that's about his only hope, depends if he's willing to slum down to the $10 million range though, maybe a ton of incentives.

Just can't think of many teams willing to take on that sort of internal headache even with his production. Bjays, A's, maybe Rangers, Yanks about it.

Boston might, but Ortiz has DH covered.

"They could be Pink Hat Green Shirt Guy."

As I said in that chat room:

I have know that man since I was in Kindergarten. I went to school with his kids. I know that family very very well.

The Cubs should sign Bonds.

Why the hell would they want to do that? --you ask.

Well, he does two things the Cubs haven't done much of this year-----hits home runs and takes a lot of walks. We could bat Soriano, Lee, Bonds, Ramirez, and Soto all in a row. And, most importantly, it would give the Cubs an airtight excuse to move Soriano to RF where he belongs...I hope.

One year of Bonds would also allow us the luxury of giving Pie another 200-300 PA's in center.

bonds cant be counted on to play in the field too much. he's outta the NL race unless some want to hand him $$.

No Bonds, I would have to stop watching the team if we had him. He would help our team certainly, but the team would at least lose me.

anyone else having problems getting into parachat?

That's a funny story (#82), CWTP, thanks for sharing.

These old managers are birds of a feather. I was thinking this morning, what would Dusty do, with Pittsburgh coming to town? He would play Kendall, of course, so as not to embarrass him in front of his former team, Pirate fans, etc.

Obviously, Lou thinks the same way. "It's tough [playing Soto]." Fortunately, Lou played him, tough or not. But we'll have to see what he does the next two days.

i just turned my tv back on and it's on CSN Chicago. the anchorwoman said

"At the conclusion of our cubs telecast this afternoon, our network aired a song that contained lyrics that several of our viewers found insensitive and offensive. We deeply apologize to our viewers. The lyrics in question run counter to our belief in, and commitment to, diversity and excellence in our broadcasting. We regret this lapse in judgment, and this song will never again be played on our air."

The only songs I remember at the end of the game were "Go Cubs Go" and "Dying Cub Fan's Last Request".

Anyone know what the hell she's talking about?

Cubs are too PR-conscious to take on Bonds.

Do you really know the pink hat green shirt?

I see every game, his favorite thing to yell is "Brutal" when home plat ump makes a bad call.

bonds in the NL?

seriously, all "bonds being bonds" aside he's just too old and too broken to be counted on to play the field well.

following that up, you cant really count on him to play the field regularly.

someone can pay him to play 100-120 games in the field and pinchhit/rest the rest or he can go play occasional LF in the AL and DH the rest of time.

he could end up in the NL, but he's a guy who's fielding is barely adequate at this point (he's not gonna run too hard after much and lets too much stuff fall in front of him) and he's not shown his body will let him play without many days off a season.

I've been thinking a lot about the rotation for the final weekend, and it dawned on me today that Lilly really shouldn't be the starter on Sunday, unless we are one game behind the Brewers that morning. Here's why.

If the Cubs are 2 or more games ahead, he should be skipped and saved for the playoffs.

If the Cubs are one game ahead, that game will be exactly like a sixth game of a 7 game series where the Cubs are up 3-2. That is, the Cubs will be in a position where they need to win 1 of the next 2 games, and if they win the first the second game won't be necessary. (Actually, it would be even better than that, because a Brewers loss on Sunday would also clinch). So, Lilly should be scheduled to start Monday (the "Game 7") and Marquis (or whomever) on Sunday (the "Game 6").

Why is this important? Because if the Monday game isn't necessary, he could be available to pitch Game 1 or Game 2 of the NLDS, which means he would be available for Game 5 (or maybe even Game 4).

The same logic applies if the Cubs are going into Sunday even with the Brewers, actually. The Cubs will need to win either one or both of the next two games, and the order wouldn't matter.

If the Cubs are down a game going into Sunday, however, it's a "must win" and Lilly needs to pitch. That's the only situation where he should be the starter.

It seems counterintuitive at first, but when you think it through it makes sense. I don't get the sense that Lou is thinking this way though.

What do you guys think?

There is a line in "dying Cub fan's last request" that refers to "dope"...

Obviously, Lou thinks the same way. “It’s tough [playing Soto].” Fortunately, Lou played him, tough or not. But we’ll have to see what he does the next two days.

What? Did you read the story?

He said it was tough not to write him in the lineup.

433, I agree, except that since the last game will be the 6th in a row, no starter will be on full rest except Lilly (and whichever of Trachsel/Marshall didn't start on Thursday in Florida, but I'm guessing we'd rather avoid Trachsel starting if we can help it).

Also, if we're tied, I'm not so sure. In that scenario, it's fairly likely that a tiebreaker will be necessary, in which case pitching Lilly on Sunday would get him into the playoff rotation sooner, as well as allow us to pull out all the bullpen stops for the tiebreaker game without cutting a Lilly stop short.

Braves were winning 3-1 against St. Louis (when they were still right in the think of things) up 5 straight hits in the 7th, Cards win.

Braves winning 1-0 against up 3 straight hits (after 2 scorched outs). Brewers win.
He had nothing in the tank in the 8th, and the ball was being pounded...he seems to tire quickly.

Nothing has been easy for the Cubs all year, why should we expect it to be easy now?

433 -
If the Cubs are tied going into the last day, there may not be a "game 7" so to speak. If the Cubs lose, Brewers win...season is over.

Even with a 1 game lead, you absolutely must play to win today...and worry about tomorrow (Playoffs) later. Cubs give up that 1 game lead on Sunday, anything can happen in a one game playoff. We should know from experience (2003) that when you have a chance to ice a series (or division) you do it the first chance you get.

I think it would be certifiably nuts to save Lilly on Sunday if Cubs haven't clinched already.

Fair point DP -- starting Lilly on Sunday would give him a one day head start for the playoff rotation -- if Monday's game is necessary. However, at the same time there's a chance that the Cubs win and Brewers lose on Sunday, which would leave him ready for Game 1 or 2.

Blockhead -- that's what I used to think, and it's baseball tradition, but it doesn't make logical sense. Again, Sunday would be the same as a Game 6 of a 7 game series where the Cubs are up 3-2. Monday's game is an "if necessary" just like a Game 7 in that scenario.

You use Lilly on Monday because (1) he's your best pitcher and you want him in that Game 7 situation, not the Game 6; (2) you'd rather see him against the Brewers, not Marquis, and (3) if Marquis wins Sunday, Lilly is ready for Game 1 of the NLDS.

Cubs up 3-2 in the NLCS, do you sit your best pitcher down and wait to see if you need a game 7, so the best pitcher can start game 1 of the WS if you win? No, absolutely positively, 100% not. You do anything you can to win game 6 so you can avoid game 7.

The same exact theory applies here. 30 of 30 managers start their best pitcher (if he is on regular rest) in game 162 with a 1-game lead, because you need to do everything you can to wrap it up in 162 and avoid the season coming down to 1 game, where a bad bounce can change the outcome of the entire season.

But, this is exactly why we should root hard for the Cubs to clinch by next Saturday...then we obviously get the best of both worlds.

"You use Lilly on Monday because (1) he’s your best pitcher and you want him in that Game 7 situation, not the Game 6; (2) you’d rather see him against the Brewers, not Marquis, and (3) if Marquis wins Sunday, Lilly is ready for Game 1 of the NLDS."

I really don't know what to say here...aside from that makes absolutely, positively, no sense. When you have a chance to win in Game 6, you put your best foot forward...always, 100% of the time, without question.

If it's tied after game 161, it's not even a remote question that you start your best pitcher available. You lose that game, it's likely there is no "game 7". So that's just crazy talk so that's not really an issue.

But if you are up 1 do everything you can to win it without risking putting your whole season on the line in 1 game. It has absolutely nothing to do with "Baseball tradition". It has to do with very simplisitc, and fundamental, baseball logic.

If Lou held out Lilly with a 1 game lead next sunday, he should be fired on Monday, no matter the outcome.

It's a good point about luck and the season coming down to one game, when anything can happen. The anti-choke thing cant be ignored and should be avoided, especially with the Cubs. And I agree that most managers would probably disagree with me.

But at the same time, the logic is undeniable. You have 2 games to play, and have to win 1. The goal isn't to win the division/series TODAY; the goal is just to win it, period. My little plan gives you the best chance to do that, while giving your best guy a chance to start Game 1 of the next series.

Nah, the logic is there Block. Even with the Cubs & Brewers tied on Sunday. It doesn't mean it's absolutely, positively the right thing to do (I just thought of this tonight after all).

Here's why it's logically sound. If the Cubs & Brewers are tied on Sunday morning, one of two things will happen to the Brewers:

BREWERS WIN. In this case, you need to win both Sunday and Monday, period. Doesn't really matter who starts which game; they are both must-win games. And in this case saving Lilly makes sense for the reasons I mentioned before.

BREWERS LOSE. In this case, you need to win only once: either Sunday or Monday. Doesn't matter which game you win as long as you win one of them. And again, saving Lilly has those advantages; if you get the Sunday win, Lilly can start Game 1 of the next series, and you get your best pitcher against the Brewers when the chips are down.

This isn't accepted baseball thinking, and you don't have to agree with it. But to say that its illogical, "makes no sense" and is "crazy talk" is, well, illogical.

"But at the same time, the logic is undeniable. You have 2 games to play, and have to win 1. The goal isn’t to win the division/series TODAY; the goal is just to win it, period. My little plan gives you the best chance to do that, while giving your best guy a chance to start Game 1 of the next series."

Seriously, I don't know what to say to that. "The logic is undeniable". Yup, 433, you are obviously smarter than every single other baseball executive that has ever played the game.

ANY team can beat any other team on any given day. It could be the Cubs versus Pittsburgh or the Cubs versus do not, ever, risk putting your season on the line in one game. You don't risk losing game 6 ever, just for a better shot in game 7.

I'll say it again, with emphasis. If Lou goes into Sunday's game with a 1 game lead (or tied), and he sits Lilly and waits for game 7, he should be fired immediately, as it would be one of the most boneheaded managerial moves in the history of baseball.

Yikes Block, didn't mean to piss you off.

"This isn’t accepted baseball thinking, and you don’t have to agree with it. But to say that its illogical, “makes no sense” and is “crazy talk” is, well, illogical."

Why isn't this accepted baseball thinking? Why is it that not one single manager would put themselves in the position you want to put them in. Because it completely lacks logic.

And yes, withholding your best pitcher with the season on the line needing a win to have a chance to clinch the division after being tied on the last day of the season is, indeed "crazy talk" and absolutely positively, nuts.

433, I like you and I like what you post here...and I would never, ever claim to be a baseball expert in any sense of the word. But this is a 100% slam dunk, that I have no problem calling your "logic" here "crazy" at the risk of offending you.

433...sorry, I've been home sick with a fever most of the day, so I'm a little grumpy...I just get riled up when something is so crystal clear to me, I can't even comprehend someone's thought process.

One thing that we can both agree on....Let's hope it doesn't come down to needing to make this decision. Let's hope they clinch on Saturday at the latest.

We're agreed on that!

My idea's just an idea anyway. I thought TCR would be a good place to bat it around a little bit -- that's why I opened with "What do you guys think?" So, I know what you think, but I'm curious whether others see the logic that I think I see.

It may not be the right answer, but I don't think it's meritless and indefensible like you seem to.

"What do you guys think?”
I don't think it would be in the Cubs best interest.

That better? :-)

you play to win today
tomorrow is tomorrow

i think thursday is the day race is over

Realistically, I think the Cubs will clinch on the Saturday. With the Brewers playing at home against the worthless Cardinals, they can extend it a bit even if the Cubs keep on a role.

The whole key is, the Cubs need to gain 1 more game this weekend to make things more comfortable, considering Milwaukee is heading home for their final 7.

i agree with that duke and gorzelaney have
not been easy for us for the most part

Why isn’t this accepted baseball thinking? Why is it that not one single manager would put themselves in the position you want to put them in. Because it completely lacks logic.

Because it goes against tradition. It's always better to follow tradition, even if it gives you a worse chance to win, because nobody questions you afterwards.

433 makes a fair amount of sense. The last game of the season is not more subject to luck than the second-to-last game. All other things being equal, if Lilly has a 60% chance to win a game, that doesn't change if it's game 6 or game 7 in a series. Pitching the weaker pitcher first increases the odds of a series going 7 games, but has no effect on your chances of winning the series, none.

Now, this case is different than the usual 7 game series as Milwaukee is a more formidable opponent than Cincinnati. That's the main reason to play to minimize the odds of a playoff.

Pitching the weaker pitcher first increases the odds of a series going 7 games, but has no effect on your chances of winning the series, none."

Mathematically incorrect. If you win game 6, you have a 100% chance of winning the series, so by having a better chance in that game, you increase your overall chance of winning the series.

IF you needed to win both games, then yes, it would be the same...but not if you only need to win 1. In that case, statistically you have a better chance of winning a series by increasing your chances in game 6, and decreasing your chances in game 7....because there is less of a chance there will be a game 7.

A decision that critical doesn't just happen because of "tradition". It happens because, without question, it's the right thing to do statistically, logically, or otherwise.

We just won the division* !!!

* -- based on a 154 game season

I don't know if it was mentioned but I hate what Cox did to Hudson. He let Hudson allow the go ahead run on base and took him out of the game. I am a big believer that in a sitaution like that, if Braun gets on, Hudson goes. You don't let your pitcher get a loss with another pitcher on the mound.

That's how I manage.


Managing to better favorite players' statistics has already been pattened by one Dusty Baker.

Yeah Chad, I thought he stuck with him a little too long as well. Pitch count was good, and he still had the shutout going. But for them, every game is a must-win. And Bobby didn't play that one like it was a must-win last night.

One other thing of note, since I was catching crap about Soto in Parachat yesterday. I said multiple times that the problem I was going to have was how well Soto handled the pitching staff. Sully drops this knowledge this morning (emphasis mine):

Piniella allows Soto to call the pitches, and the staff seldom shakes him off. Soto at first was reluctant to go to the mound to settle down his starters, but things are beginning to change.

Which really eases my worry about the whole thing.

Mathematically incorrect. If you win game 6, you have a 100% chance of winning the series, so by having a better chance in that game, you increase your overall chance of winning the series.

No, because the same goes for game 7.

Let's say Marquis wins 50% of the time and Lilly wins 60% of the time.

If you pitch Marquis, Lilly, your odds of losing both games are 50% x 40% or 20%

If you pitch Lilly, Marquis, your odds of losing both games are 40% x 50% or 20%.

The second order decreases the odds of a game 7, but does not affect the chance of losing both games.

Scott's right, and he put it better than I ever did. Mathematically and logically it's the same either way, which is why I like the idea of saving Lilly in case Marquis can win the game 6.

Block -- do we at least agree that if the Cubs have to win on BOTH Sunday and Monday to get into the playoffs, the order of Marquis/Lilly doesn't matter?

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  • 2nd in defensive WAR, NL.

    6th in NL in RBI

    Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.

    The E-Man 3 hours 54 min ago view
  • Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.

    billybucks 5 hours 10 min ago view
  • Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.

    billybucks 5 hours 53 min ago view
  • There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!

    billybucks 5 hours 54 min ago view
  • Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.

    billybucks 5 hours 56 min ago view
  • Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.

    Jackstraw 5 hours 59 min ago view
  • Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.

    Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.

    billybucks 5 hours 59 min ago view
  • Baez still learning

    jacos 6 hours 27 min ago view
  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 7 hours 31 min ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 8 hours 37 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 9 hours 26 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 13 hours 56 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view