Game 156 Recap: Cubs 8, Pirates 0

Fall Blowout Special

Box Score, Play by Play, Photos

W- Zambrano (17-13), getting your playoff tickets early, exchanging temporary-farewell gifts between players and fans, streaking into the playoffs. L- Gorzelanny (14-9), pessimism. Magic Number - 4 (Brewers lost today.) Things to Take from This Game 1. A fitting end to the regular-season at Wrigley A beautiful day, Cubs chasing down a division title, and a dominant performance by the Cubs pitchers and offense. The grounds crew does a fine job with the Stretch, and the fans are cheering every moment. Let's do it again in October 2. Dominant Performance by the Ace Zambrano had his A+ stuff going today. The fastball wasn't just alive, Z also spotted it very well throughout the game. The only concern is that after running hard on a double and then scoring on a single in the sixth, Z left the game after trying to go out for his warmup pitches in the 7th. Initial report is cramps. Wood pitched two even more dominating innings to follow him up, with impecable command of both the fastball and the sharp, biting slider. 3. Ronny Cedeno, playoff-chasing Hero. Filling in for Theriot, Cedeno had a couple of scratch hits, one for an RBI, and then a real lined shot of a two-run HR to put the game away at 8-0. 4. Lee stays hot. Two hits, three RBIs, including a two-run HR that barely gets out to right-center. He also pulled a double down the line, seems to be hitting the ball with power to all fields, now. 5. One of two things is going to happen. With six games to play and a magic number of 4, either the Cubs are going to the playoffs on the strength of a terrific September, or they're going to give us a new line in our history of epic tragedies. I'm banking on the former. Your rapid response, no-one-has-left-Wrigley-at-the-publishing-of-this-recap details, below Game Recap Inning 1
  • Z comes out throwing bullets in the first, striking out the side on a fastball that looks to have both a lot of life on it, and with good control. Z pumps the fist and spins as he comes off the field
  • Soriano bounces out to third, then Derosa dumps one down the left-field line for a double. Lee hits a hard liner out to right, caught, Derosa has to scamper back to the bag. Two outs, runner on 2 for Ramirez.
  • Ramirez K's swinging, big cut
Inning 2
  • 4 K's to start the game, as LaRoche whiffs at yet another good fastball, this one low and away. Z seems to have great command of the fastball early on.
  • Nady dumps one down the right field line by the bullpen, for a single. Murton fumbles with it a bit, but Nady stays at first.
  • Nady steals second on what seemed like a busted hit and run. The throw is way offline towards right field, but Derosa tags him out. However, Tim McClellan can't see the tag too well due to the odd position it's coming in from, and calls him safe.
  • And Ball Four to Bay, runners on 1 and 2 wiht one out.
  • Tap back to Zambrano, Z can only get Paulino at first, runners advance.
  • Z gets Izturis to bounce back to him, underhands it to first to get out of the inning. Nice work getting out of one of those innings that looked like it held the potential for a couple of cheap runs to score...
  • Murton leads off the bottom of the second with a double to the left-center warning track on a fastball down the middle.
  • Soto drops a ball into right, Murton has to hold up and can only make it to third.
  • Monroe also hits a floater into right, this one shallower and with more loft, and Bay catches it. No hope of tagging.
  • Cedeno fights one off into shallow right-center for a single, Murton scores. 1-0 Cubs
  • Zambrano lays down a nice bunt towards third, but Gorzelanny, being a left, is facing towards thirds and gets the force there. Runners at 1 and 2, two outs.
  • After airing it out on a couple of swinging strikes, Soriano eventually gets caught looking at a slider over the outside corner. Swings the bat at the air in disgust, as he walks away. Inning over. 1-0 Cubs.
Inning 3
  • Z starts the inning with his fifth K, Gorzelanny on another fastball on the outside corner
  • Nyger Morgan sneaks a bouncer just through, back up the middle.
  • Morgan runs on a 1-2 breaking pitch (a real hanger, glad Bautista was letting Morgan steal) and Soto throws an absolute bullet of a strike to catch Morgan.
  • Bautista walks, Sanchez flies out to end it
  • Lee walks with one out in the bottom of the third. Ramirez swings through a fastball for another K.
  • Murton doubles off the left-field wall. Bay bobbles it a bit, and Lee is sent from first. He's thrown out on the relay, by a pretty decent amount. Lee went for a slide around the catcher, trying to reach the plate with his arm. Didn't work so well. Inning over with no runs scoring.
Inning 4
  • Soriano with a leaping grab near the ivy in left, on a drive off LaRoche's bat.
  • Nady pops to Ramirez. Bay goes 6-3, easy inning for Z.
  • Soto K's looking to start the Cubs' 4th.
  • Monroe K's on a foul tip. Gorzelanny seems to be settling in.
  • Cedeno with a well-placed bounced up the middle for an infield hit.
  • Z reaches down for one, flies out to the warning track in center to end the inning
Inning 5
  • Paulino K's swinging to start the inning, and Izturis immediately is down 0-2 before lining out to Soriano. Soriano even does the Hop when having to time a running catch on a liner. Almost misjudges it, having to reach back across his face to grab it.
  • Ugh, Z walks Gorgelanny with two outs. Morgan bounces to Lee, unassisted, to end it.
  • Soriano reaches for a pitch near the ankles, sneaks it through the left-side hole to lead off the Cubs half of the fifth.
  • Interesting play. Soriano runs, Derosa swings, foul tips it. Ball pops out of Paulino's glove, but umpire rules that it was dropped in the motion of throwing. That means that it's a strike out, Soriano keeps second. Had it been ruled a dropped foul tip, Derosa would still be hitting with Soriano on first.
  • Lee doubles to the left-center gap on a high inside fastball. Soriano scores, 2-0.
  • Ramirez intentionally walked, Murton scratches one towards third, and is able to beat it out. Bases loaded, one out.
  • Soto sac fly to medium-deep straight-away left, Lee scores. 3-0. 2 outs, runners on 1 and 2 for Monroe. Fouls out, inning over.
Inning 6
  • Bautista flies to Soriano, Sanchez grounds to Derosa. BJB observes that Carlos went with a nearly straight over the top arm-angle to one pitch to Sanchez, before dropping way down sidearm for the next two.
  • LaRoche squibs one to third. Ramirez, playing deep, comes in to bare-hand it. Throw sends Lee sprawling to get it with his foot on the bag, close play, called safe.
  • 6-4 force ends the inning.
  • Cedeno flies out to start the inning
  • Z lines one opposite-field to the right-field corner, for a double. Crowd is digging it.
  • Soriano flies to Morgan, Z stays put.
  • Derosa drops one in to shallow center, Z is really hauling butt around third base and scores without a play. 4-0.
  • Lee lines one to right-center that just barely crawls over the basket for a two-run homer. Len was totally surprised, took him a second or three to grasp that the ball got out. 6-0 Cubs!
  • Osoria(who?!?!) in, Ramirez pops out to catcher on first pitch.
Inning 7
  • Oh crap. Before the inning starts, the trainer comes out to check on Z, and he leaves the game. Z gets a big hand from the crowd as he exits.
  • Wood will be coming in.
  • During Fan Cam, they show Soriano, Pie and Murton pointing to the scoreboard as it shows the Braves putting up 4 to take the lead in the 7th. Hear the crowd erupt as it's posted.
  • Wood K's Bay to start the inning. Wood, when he's right, seems to take a similar approach to Howry - lots of low fastballs on the corners sitting at 92-94 MPH. Paulino grounds to Lee, 3 unassisted.
  • Z leaves due to cramping, according to media relations.
  • Izturis grounds out to Cedeno, easy, quick inning for Wood, great to Z
  • Hooray for the Grounds Crew, doing the final Stretch of the year. In typical grounds crew fashion, they are out there, assembled, ready to sing in front of the microphone within a few seconds of the inning ending.
  • Romulo Sanchez (who?!?!) in for the bottom of the seventh. Murton K's swinging. Soto lines a single to left. Pie pops out.
  • Cedeno hits a line drive out to left, several rows up into the bleachers. Crowd loves it, 8-0.
  • Wood hits for himself, K's.
Inning 8
  • As the scoreboard shows two more for the Braves in the 8th, fans start doing the tomahawk chop.
  • Fuld joins Pie and Soriano in the OF
  • McLouth pinch hits for the pitcher, walks to start the8th.
  • Morgan chops to Lee, unassisted, McLouth to second.
  • Would with a particularly good breaking ball, either a hard curve or soft slider, with 12-6 movement, to Bautista for strike two. Gets him swinging at another sharp slider for strike three. A couple of very encouraging pitches right there.
  • Kata batting for Sanchez. Another great slider for a called first strike.
  • Crowd standing, chanting Kerry, as Wood strikes out Kata on another terrific breaking pitch. (Of course, the moment I comment on Wood seeming to go with a howry-like approach, he decides to bust out a string of spectacular breaking pitches. Heh.)
  • Soriano flies to center, one out.
  • Standing O in wrigley during Derosa's AB, as they show the Braves' victory. Fans continue to do the chop and now a smattering of the braves' war-chant.
  • Derosa walks. Takes second on a passed ball
  • Bautista makes a nice diving stop through the shadows at third, to snag Lee's bouncer and get him at first.
  • Another one gets away from Paulino, Derosa to third.
  • Ramirez goes down swinging, yet again. End of inning.
Inning 9
  • Wuertz in. LaRoche K's, Nady does too, on a nice slider.
  • Pearce in to pinch-hit. Crowd up, just roaring throughout the AB. Wuertz strikes out the side, making Steve Pearce your last regular-season hitter at Wrigley this year.
Parachat Recap Inning 1 Z. Brewers Game. Inning 2 The missed Caught Stealing call. Recognizing Izturis by the ears. Who's a dollar millionaire? What is Soto's real height? Cheering Cedeno. Wow, here's one I thought I'd never see - wishing we had Jones in the starting lineup. The dirt on Paulino's glove. Soriano. % of time spent sucking. Inning 3 Brewers' updates. Royce Ring. Susan Poontong? Kendall confused at Soto and this caught stealing notion. Continued obsession with Cubs' employee Ms. Poontong. Potential husband: Nick Punto. Gorzelanny jokes. Inning 4 Failing the Internetz. The Soriano hop. Cub-wide hopping. Elevator innuendo. Scheming to get Pat Hughes to say Poontong on the air. Inning 5 Ed Lynch. Roving Catching Instructors. Is this game boring? Or the broadcast? Or both, or neither? Len and Bob line-dancing. Or with accordians and funny hats. Santo with a monkey. Fucking, Austria. Denise Richards. The Jeri Ryan and Alan Keyes connection. Alicia Keyes, furry boobs. (Don't look at me, I just report it, I don't think it up.) Inning 6 Continuation of the furry discussion. Smokey the bear. Steelers' game. TCR awards. Steely McBeam. Cheering on the Braves' rally. What is it that the Cubs are smelling? A huge amount of "sent sound: thunder" as Lee homers. And that causes some sort of man-logic response, perhaps really beyond logic and instead indicates some primordial urge in our deep evolutionary past, inspires most of parachat to start entering symbols arranged to resemble a phallus. Others speculate what would happen if Alou peed on Matsui. Yours truly stays above the fray. (This is why we can't have nice things.... ~sigh~) Inning 7 Fan-cam. Arkansas. The oddity of seeing Kerry Wood come in to relieve an injured pitcher. Another thunderstorm over the Cedeno HR. Inning 8 Following the Brewers' game. Cedeno's future. Tony Gwynn's high and nasal voice. Cedeno compared to Theriot. Cheering the Braves' victory. Still discussing Cedeno. Inning 9 Slumpbusting, the 700 Club and Pat Robertson (oh my...) Wood now looks like a guy who "works on trucks." (Good call, Crunch.) Our ethnicities. Major party as we win.


"What is Soto’s real height?"

yeah, soto's 6'1"...and david ortiz is 230lbs...

...btw...will someone grab lou by the throat and make him take care of himself before he drops dead?

dude is winded and flush just from a shower and a trip to the media room. not the first time...

btw...ive never heard the croud so loudly/clearly so long after the game at a press conference...there's still gotta be at least 20K people is loud downstairs.

i'm sure like everyone here, I was switching back and forth between the cubs and braves games. I'm no fan of our announcers but Carey and Gwynn are downright dull. And I liked Carey when he announced for us. Other thing I really noted was how bored the crowd seemed even when they pulled ahead.

I sure get frustrated at our team at times during the years but I have never felt sorry about being a Cubs fan. Our crowds make me proud to be a fan. Nobody wanting to leave after the game is just classic. 2000 or so people watching Trachsel throw a simulated game? Man either we are really loyal or they kept serving beer.


anyone see theriot and fontenot running around in the OF?

oh sorry, that was theriot's kid, not fontenot.

*oh snap*

Great win today, I can taste the playoffs already. But in other news, has anyone else read this?

A-Rod to potentially become Cubs player, owner.


Um ... as SS? Cuz we have a pretty good 3B as is.

And a 10-year extension to make him SS is um.... well...

Let's just say I checked to see if it was an Onion article.

Retrofade, interesting indeed.

And Trans, could pessimism ever really *be* a winner?

ESPN has an article up right now saying Boras is neogating with the main bidders for the Cubs on a deal for Arod, which include him getting an ownership stake in team after he retires:

I doubt the authniticity of this, as it cites no sources and is to opinated for the straight news story their playing it off as. I think we will find out later some hacker cub fan hacked into ESPN's server.

It came from the Post orginally I think, which is a hack paper and Boras is one of the biggest liars ever when it comes to driving up bidding for his client.

Part ownership is a very cheap way we could get ARod next year. Let me just state that i don't see this happening AT ALL! For the record, I give 0% credence to this.

Smells like bullshit to me.

Anybody hear them announce the playoff announcers? Bob Brenly, Tony Gwynn and Chip Caray... awful. Where's Steve Stone when you need him...

Milton Bradley just TOTALLY melted down. Standing on first base he got into it with umpire Mike Winters. Bradley asked Winters a question, Winters seemed to politely and good naturedly answer, then Bradley lost it. He wouldn't stop badgering Winters. Then he charged him and got tossed. Then his coach? wrestled him to the ground and Bradley grabbed his leg as though it had been badly injured. Finally two Padres assisted him off the field.

One batter later Padres manager Bud Black gets ejected.....long distance by the 3rd base ump.

Earlier: SAN DIEGO (AP) -Padres center fielder Mike Cameron left Sunday's game against the Colorado Rockies after he had his right hand stepped on by left fielder Milton Bradley.

The two fielders converged on Atkins' fly ball in left-center. Cameron made a sliding attempt to catch the ball but missed, and Bradley tried to jump over Cameron to avoid a collision. In the process Bradley's left foot spiked Cameron's right hand. Atkins rounded the bases for his first career inside-the-park home run, giving Colorado a 6-1 lead.

I think that Arod story would go against every rule of tampering in the books if they were talking right now.

Dream with me for a moment:

ARod and Mark Cuban get together and make that deal? that would be fun.

mark cuban being allowed to own a team would need a dream, first.

even the press is kinda treating him like a sideshow when they cover him without really going into the specifics of why he probably isnt much of a candidate aside from he can afford it.

Where do you play ARod? SS? No thanks... he seems too fast/old/slow.

Woot! GO CUBS!

Re ARod rumor...I believe it would be an extreme violation of the CBA for ARod and a team to negotiate a contract while ARod is still under contract with the Yankees, and the Yankees could file a grievance for tampering. But would that prevent Boras from negotiating with potential *future* owners of the Cubs? That technically may not violate the CBA but certainly violates the spirit of it. And given that the league has to approve any new owners, I cannot imagine any of the bidders being that stupid to tamper like that.

But who cares right now? We are three up in the loss column with six to go!

i honestly dont know where the belief a guy who's 32 years old, 6'4" and away from SS for 4 years is gonna slide right back into the position.

all that aside...the espn article is irresponsibly awful and no one there seems to be willing to put their name as author on what would otherwise be a really nice scoop.

smells of screwing over "fans" for readership, but that's a bit of a conspiracy i'd rather not get into. bottom line is its a logistical nightmare of an article and no one seems to want to put their name on it for credit.

Cubs have six left ... Brewers have 7 ... and we need 4 of 13 to go our way. Heck, even if the Brewers win out, we should be able to clinch at this point.

Is nice.

Very, very, very excited for the second season.

The best part about this will be rubbing it in the journalists faces, all the guys who predicted the Cub's in 3rd & 4th place (I truely hope someone was keeping track at the beginning of the year). Of course none of them will own up to it saying things like "we knew it all along" or "when you spend $x million dollars you would hope you make it to the playoffs".


Sports journalism is utter shit.

Hooray for blogs.

ah...looks like the famed publication "a new york magazine" actually broke the story.

nice piece ESPN...dont even reference it.

Oh yeah, there is no question that we 'could' move ARod to left and Soriano to right. Easily done. Don't get caught up in the 'where would he play' bullshit. That's the last thing that matters. you get a bat like that and you figure it out.

Part ownership is a very cheap way we could get ARod next year.

The thing ESPN said was that he'd sign a 10/$300 deal (!), and then could buy in to the team at the end of his deal.

Which I find EVEN MORE unlikely than him being part-owner.

2nd paragraph of the ESPN piece crunch...

New York Magazine reported on Sunday that the Yankees third baseman could end up with the Chicago Cubs next season with a blockbuster contract that includes an ownership stake in the team.

ah…looks like the famed publication “a new york magazine” actually broke the story.

nice piece ESPN…dont even reference it.

Crunch... the second sentence says this:

New York Magazine reported on Sunday that the Yankees third baseman could end up with the Chicago Cubs next season with a blockbuster contract that includes an ownership stake in the team.

Pretty sure that they reference where they are getting the story.

nonetheless, the tampering issues this would bring up is all anyone needs to know about the legitimacy of it.

guess I should have read the whole article the first time...

"It's a silly story, and we don't believe it," he told's Buster Olney on Sunday evening. "However, if it was true, it would be grounds to disqualify the applicant even before he went through the process, because it would demonstrate a disregard for major league rules and procedures, and we're confident the commissioner would feel the same way.",

he=Yanks executive Randy Levine btw

Has a player ever owned a part of his own club? I vaguely recall that Rogers Hornsby at one time owned a sliver of the Cardinals but was forced to sell it. I don't even know if it's allowed any more. AZ Phil, is that the case?

"Pretty sure that they reference where they are getting the story."

doh. dur. and thanks.

as you can tell, i dont respect capital letters enough as it is. sigh...

I'm sure it isn't allowed, the proposition that he could buy into the team after his deal is done would seem more plausible even though this is all a made up story by some chump at NY Magazine.


I checked the NYM website and they dont have a Sports section and I could not find that article on it.

I know for a fact that the NBA doesn't allow it. Magic Johnson has to sell his share of the Lakers to make his comeback. I assume that it's the same in MLB.


The article sounds like it would be a 300/10 deal with part of the money defered until after the contract and then Arod would have the choice to use that money to buy a chunk of the team or just get the money.
Inside A-Rod’s Endgame

hehe, actually written by Deadspin's Will Leitch

so confused

The team that observers believe has the best shot is the Cubs. They’re up for sale, but a source with knowledge of the situation says Boras knows which group is most likely to be awarded the team. (That’s not loudmouth Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, by the way; he has no chance.) The source says Boras has already been in touch with that group about the possibility of a contract that could reach $30 million a year over the next ten years while deferring a certain portion of money toward an eventual stake in the franchise. It would be another historically huge deal. Rodriguez would be 42 years old at the end of it; Cal Ripken Jr., the Iron Man, retired at 41.

This might also be a story planted by Boras to drive up A-Rod's price and to get the Yankees on the phone about a very generous extension.

Funny Chicago baseball reference on Simpsons tonight. Mr. Burns and Homer walking around Chicago ... three of the sites are "Soldier Field: Home of the Chicago Bears," "Wrigley Field: Home of the Chicago Cubs," and "Wherever the White Sox Play."


What's the bears chat address?

So I think it's been interesting to follow the Percentage Chance that each team has of making the playoffs that ESPN has been recording on their Hunt for October page ( Apparently it is some statistic that has created based on schedule, past performance and statistics (a variation of Bill James' Pythagorean Theorem), and historical playoff apperances. After today's victory and Brewer's loss the Cub's POFF is 91.1%.

Interestingly on their website they call the coin flip method of probablity the "Dumb Mode" and say that "This method isn't too realistic, but it usually gives Chicago teams a better shot at the division." A clear shot at our less than stories history.

However, at this point using simple statistics if we give each game a 1/2 chance of going the Cubs way (either a Cubs win or a Brewers loss) then the chance of getting at least 4 of the remaining 13 games to go the Cub's way is .8472, or roughly 85%.

So it looks like recent performances, and the late season matchups of the Brewers and Cubs are providing a significant statistical edge (over 6%) to the Cubs. It's probably something we've all felt, especially with a tough Padres series for the Brewers to finish off the season - but cool (at least I think) to see it in the numbers as well.

Arod rebuttal by Boras calling it nonsense

Damn - sounds like a helluva parachat I missed. Dollar Menunaire? Check. Fucking, Austria? Awesome. Susan Poontong? Are you kidding me?

Does Kendall play at all anymore? Haven't been able to see the actual games, but all I ever see is Soto hits, sac flies, HRs and CSs. Has someone figured out how Soto gets on the postseason roster?

Looking forward to the Defending World Champion Chicago Cubs adding A-Rod next year.

this Milton Bradley stuff is going to be interesting if we ever get to hear what the Ump really said to him. At least the first base coach (Bobby Meacham) says the ump goaded Bradley. The players assn vs the Umps?

from Rotowire's site...

Bradley feels he was baited by umpire Mike Winters, and the Padres are standing behind him. "It's terrible. And now, because of him, my knee's hurt," Bradley said. "If this costs me my season because of that, he needs to be reprimanded. I'm taking some action. I'm not going to stand pat and accept this because I didn't do nothing wrong." Well, it looked like he intended to do bodily harm to Winters, which we'd say qualfies as wrong. However, Padres first base coach Bobby Meachan said Bradley had every right to be angry. "In 26 years of baseball, I can honestly say that's the most disconcerting conversation I have ever heard from an umpire to a player," Meacham said. "It was almost like he wanted to agitate the whole thing."

Re: ARod--I thought I heard a rumor that we signed him for 30/440? Is that right? When the intarweb collapses upon itself from overuse, you will regret deeply having wasted its precious resources on this conversation.

Re: Cubs--there's a whole lot to be excited about: from the way the team is playing as a whole to the way Sweet Lou seems to be getting the most out of the bench to the way the bullpen has been dealing and in conrtol. Z's start was terrific--we'll need him to pitch with that much control in the post season to get anywhere. That we've found our bats finally and are at last hitting long balls is great. That Soto looks to be the real deal for now and into the future is wonderful. Catcher is a tough position to get offensive production from. There's a lot to be excited about.

Re: Milton Bradley--It sounds like the ump needs to be reprimanded or dismissed. It also sounds like that hot headed jerk Bradley got the injury he deserved. In what other workplace would violently charging an authority figure--regardless of how much of an insulting loud mouth they are--be acceptable? I don't care if he cursed Milton Bradley's mother that she be condemned to forever work as a waitress at Yakov Smirnov's club in Branson, Missouri (well can you think of a worse curse?), there's no good reason to need to be physically restrained from attacking an ump.

Re: Rerun--Boy could he dance.

#47: I don’t care if he cursed Milton Bradley’s mother that she be condemned to forever work as a waitress at Yakov Smirnov’s club in Branson, Missouri (well can you think of a worse curse?)

In Russia, umpire kicks dirt on you!

The umpires are completely shitty and horrible this year. It's not good for the game. They need to be accountable for doing a shitty job somehow.

Bears lose, shit-talking cowboys fans invade WCG. I must come over to The Cub Reporter to get a better vibe.

Cubs win, Brewers lose - ahhh ... I feel better already.

SD is in a neck/neck race for the wildcard.

it was pretty f'n irresponsible of bradley to flip out like that to begin with. him getting injured is just unreal bad luck following up that crap.

a lot of things went wrong there and SD fans may have to pay for it.

thursday cubs clinching day!

steve trachsel winning pitcher wow

*…btw…will someone grab lou by the throat and make him take care of himself before he drops dead?

dude is winded and flush just from a shower and a trip to the media room. not the first time…*

Yeah, because you absolutely know nothing else happened between Lou heading to the showers and hitting the media room. No way he could have been giving the guys a pep talk, drinking a few brews with some of the dudes, smoking some cigars, nope, he's just so fat he can't make it from one place to the next.

And for whomever up there is defending Milton F'n Bradley, um, GOOD SIR*, please...dude is a repeat offender to everything decent and/or holy in the game. I don't believe him for a second. Ump probably said "Hey, enjoying this weather or what?" and Bradley heard it as "Yeah, I BESMIRCHED* your mother".

*edited for taste by whimsy of management.

It may be safe enough to ask this. Does anyone have pictures of the 2003 walls when they were turning red? I've scoured the internet, but can't really find any. It would be a good motivation...

Bradley didn't attack that ump he just tried to get in his face. Regardless he needs to get into a 'Serenity Now' anger management group. It was hard to see who started that argument from the replay, but I would guess it was Bradley. Hopefully that first base coach or Helton will say what was said so we can get one or both of the parties supsended.

Looking at the pre and post Dusty BB rates for the hitters... it doesn't look good Dusty Fans (aka Manny). Of course, maybe I should expand it to include hitting coaches...

On Mike & Mike this morning they said the first base coach said the umpire called Bradley a piece of ____.

Worth noting that the Cubs only have to go 3-3 on the final road trip to notch a 20-game improvement from last year, which is quite incredible, $300+ million notwithstanding.

But all would agree, more importantly, the Brewers would only have to lose 1 of the next 7.

There's no emoticon for what I'm feeling...

And LOL@ Yakov Pell Mell

My forecast for Cubs Playoff Roster:

P -- Z, Lilly, Marquis, Hill, Dempster, Howry, Marmol, Eyre, Wuertz, Wood, Hart

C -- Kendall, Soto

IF -- Lee, DeRosa, Ramirez, Theriot, Fontenot, Ward, Cedeno

OF -- Soriano, Jones, Floyd, Pie, Murton

Rationale: Marshall, Gallagher and Trachsel more suited to starting not relieving. Ohman ineffective and Piggy too new. Blanco doesn't appear 100% healthy and Soto has outplayed him. Monroe hasn't shown the RH power bat or PH expertise vs. LHP he was supposed to provide. Fuld too new.

Today's Trivia Question:

Which NL Division leader has the biggest lead?

Nice to see Fonzie, DLee and Rammy finally get their schedules coordinated.

Lefty starters? We don't fear no stinking lefty starters!

I don't like Nate Silver. Opinions on Bonds aside, this is BS:

In yesterday’s entry on Barry Bonds I wrote the following:

“But the thing is, why on earth would Barry Bonds want to play in Texas? It’s hard to imagine two cities that are more opposite than Dallas and San Francisco from a cultural standpoint; from his point of view he’d go from playing before a sympathetic California crowd to a bunch of red-state rednecks.”

The phrase “red-state rednecks” was qualified by “from his point of view”; it was meant to reflect the way that Bonds might see things, not I. Nevertheless I apologize to anyone that I offended.

So in other words, no, I'm not a racist and you shouldn't think that of me, but you should think that Barry Bonds is.

Link here.

Oops...the quote didn't get italicized like I meant. P 1, 5, 6 are mine; P. 2, 3, 4 are his.

I was tailgating at Soldier Field yesterday from 3:00 pm on. All the radios were blaring the Cubs game, and when the game was over a cheer went up from the parking lot.

That was cool.

Even though Wrigley has all the bars around, fan to fan the Bears fans are the biggest drinker(I include myself). They stumble into the game.

Good times until second half.


I was tailgating at Soldier Field yesterday from 3:00 pm on. All the radios were blaring the Cubs game, and when the game was over a cheer went up from the parking lot.

That was cool.

"I was tailgating at Soldier Field yesterday from 3:00 pm on. All the radios were blaring the Cubs game, and when the game was over a cheer went up from the parking lot.

That was cool."

Sadly, the Bears couldn't get a cheer like that last night. I wonder how long Lovie is going to stick with Grossman.

Back to baseball, GO CUBS!!! Go Hendry!! Go Lou!! Go Players!!

The division race is all but over. It is so nice as now Lou can get his rotation is the order he wants. I really hope AZ wins the West, so we can play then instead of SD. SD scares me more especially in a short series wit the pitching staff.

Man, I wish I was in Chicago this year, missing out on all the buzz in the city. Hopefully I will make it back for the NLCS or WS if they make it, no NLDS unfortunately. I am closing on my new house here in CT on October 1st and the movers are doing their thing on October 5th. The wife would kill me if I was in Chicago that first weekend. But I did get the green light for the rest of the playoffs. The cable guy just better get his job done so I can see the Cubs in HD.

Magic Number is ... 4. GO STL!!!

*On Mike & Mike this morning they said the first base coach said the umpire called Bradley a piece of ____.*

And according to most evidence we have seen, the ump was/is right.

No doubt. It's also the very point of having professional umpires to overlook their biases for or against players, to not let their fan-dom affect outcomes of games. Heaven help us all if the Umps decide to start telling Z what they think of him, in the playoffs.

An ump calling a guy known for anger-management issues a "piece of shit" is looking to eject someone from a ballgame, one that happened to have playoff implications.

Funny game, this baseball.

May 29, 2007: Boston 14.5 games over Yankees; Cubs 6 behind Milwaukee. What odds would I have gotten if I had bet then that by on September 24, the Cubs magic number over the Brewers would be lower than the Red Sox magic number over the Yankees?

Manny, I agree, I would rather face Arizona than San Diego. I don't want to face a steady dose of Peavy and Chris Young in the playoffs. Although I am a bit worried that San Diego may implode this week after the Bradley and Cameron injuries, which would open the door for the Phillies to get the Wild Card, which would mean a match-up against the Mets (and Tom Glavine and Oliver Perez...eew)

If its true that the umpire called Bradley that, he should be suspended and maybe even fired. It doesn't matter that the player had a history like Bradley or that the game had playoff implications. The most important part of their job is objectivity--in fact, that is their job.

Agreed DC place for that in umpiring....he should be fired immediately.

I think it's just about time that Milton Bradley stopped ruining teams. Recall that this ain't his rodeo, cowboys. There's absolutely no place for exploding to the tune of your manager having to COME OUT AND HOGTIE YOU TO THE GROUND. Absolutely no place for it. Especially when your team is doing it's best to let the Phillies have their playoff spot. You're the only guy in that lineups that's actually hitting for power, and you made your skipper injure you while you went batshit crazy.

I'm sure the umpire did something and he should be punished for that, too. But I don't care if he said what you say he said, don't make the manager injure you by tackling you.

The NLDS begins on Wednesday 10/3, so to insure that either Zambrano or Lilly have at least four days rest for Game #1 (and the guy who pitches Game #1 would be in-line to pitch either Game #5 on five days rest or Game #4 on three days rest), Zambrano absolutely needs to pitch Friday night at Cincinnati, NOT Saturday.

Whether Rich Hill is moved up to Thursday afternoon at Florida and Steve Trachsel pitches Saturday, or Trachsel pitches Thursday afternoon at Florida and Hill is held back until Saturday, Zambrano MUST pitch no later than Friday.

And the advantage of pitching Hill on Thursday and Trachsel on Saturday (instead of the other way around) is IF a Game #163 tie-breaker needs to be played next Monday, if Hill pitches Thursday instead of Saturday, he would be available to work long-relief on Monday (he would have three days rest) in case Marquis struggles.

And of course if the Cubs have clinched prior to Sunday, Lilly's last regular season start can be skipped completely so that he can pitch Game #1 of the NLDS (and also Game #5, or even Game #4 on three days rest if necessary), and then Z can start Game #2, which would mean he would be available to either start Game #5 on four days rest (if Lilly needs to pitch Game #4 on three days rest), or else be available to throw out of the bullpen in NLDS Game #5 (if necessary) if Lilly starts Game #5.

A lot of people have been clamoring for David Wright to win the MVP. So let me present some numbers for you:

A: 153 Games - .321/.415/.551 - 30 HR, 105 RBI
B: 127 Games - .312/.369/.559 - 26 HR, 100 RBI

Player B is A-Ram. Player A is Wright.

Now... Wright does have better Win share and Runs Created numbers, but those both come largely due to more games played. And lets be honest - the baseball writers don't vote on things like win shares and runs created.

Interestingly, A-Ram has more defensive win shares than Wright even in less games.

So why isn't A-Ram getting more MVP attention?

DAVE: I would say you're absolutely right about Aramis Ramirez being at least as deserving of MVP consideration as David Wright, but I also would not consider Ramirez or Wright in my top five for N. L. MVP.

If I had to rank the candidates 1-10, I'd do it this way:

1. Chipper Jones
2. Prince Fielder
3. Matt Holliday
4. Ryan Howard
5. Jimmy Rollins
6. Albert Pujols
7. Aramis Ramirez
8. David Wright
9. Hanley Ramirez
10. Jose Reyes

"So why isn’t A-Ram getting more MVP attention?"

I think he should be now getting some attention, good point!! But the reason I think he wasn't was heading into September he only had 18 HR's and 80 RBI's. While that is on pace for a nice season, those are not on pace for MVP numbers in this day and age. He has 8 HR's and 20 RBI's thus far is Sept., thus vaulting him into MVP consideration. I still think he is third behind Wright and Gielder, but he definitely deserves to now be a part of the conversation.

If Ramirez ranks ahead of Wright, doesn't Chase Utley rank ahead of both of them?

126 games, .335/.414/.571, 21 HR, 47 doubles, 100 RBI, 100 Runs

Interestingly, A-Ram has more defensive win shares than Wright even in less games.

1. Wins share is crap. Any formulat that starts out with the premise 1 = wins/162 is going to be wrong.

What's the EQA of those two players? How about park adjusting those numbers? What about baserunning, other than the stolen base descrepancy? I haven't looked but how does Aram compare in other defensive #'s besides win shares- I know he has a low error total but he also is not what I would call 'rangy' down there... unless Ron Cey had range.

Had Aram stayed healthy, he most likely would have been a good candidate for the MVP debate, but he wasn't, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Wright can also run -- 34/39 in SB.

Wow -- looking at his 2005-2007 stats -- amazing consistency in hits, doubles and HRs.

And, he's 24 years old.

A-Ram has a better RF, ZR, RZR, and FP, but a much lower OOZ. Real Neal... I would argue that A-Ram has greatly increased his range this year, and not just because of the stats. He has become a very good third baseman.

And yea - kinda' forgot about how well Wright runs. That gives him the advantage right there.

Don't get me wrong - Wright is really good. I just think that A-Ram should be included in some MVP discussions as well. Of course, the MVP vote is almost always a joke (Pujols over Lee, anyone?), so it is not like it really matters.

Milton Bradley postgame press conference

I've been a Ramirez fan since he came over and the coaching staff fixed his weird slide step on grounders and his double clutching on throws. He keeps getting better as a third baseman, and he's got cat like reflexes on screaming liners. My only negative comment is that he sometimes lets the ball play him on grounders. Instead of charging the ball on the more softly hit jobs, he tends to back up a bit. But I ain't complaining. It hardly ever hurts, and he makes so many other great plays it doesn't matter.

Bradley quote: "I get a hit and I go to first base, and I asked him [Winters] 'Did you tell him I threw my bat at him? (in the 5th inning)'," Bradley said. "He said, 'Yeah, you did.'"

If you watch the replay of the Padres 5th inning, Francis strikes out Bradley. Bradley remains standing in the batters box with the bat under his left arm and starts removing one of his batting gloves. The camera then switches to a tight shot of Francis walking off the mound.
Then back in close where Bradley is still at the plate removing his other batting glove. The camera pans back and there is the bat, firmly tucked between Bradley's legs.

Bradley out for season and part of next it seems. Torn ACL.

Selig needs to take care of this now. Someone wake him up.

"The cable guy just better get his job done so I can see the Cubs in HD."

Good luck with that, since frigging TBS is broadcasting the playoffs, and I don't believe they even have an HD channel (if they do, Comcast in Chicago doesn't pick it up).

Doug D.:
"Good luck with that, since frigging TBS is broadcasting the playoffs, and I don’t believe they even have an HD channel (if they do, Comcast in Chicago doesn’t pick it up)."

Well back in June Time Warner said TBS was going HD in September. Has anyone heard anything official?,...

Time Warner: TBS HD For 6 More Cities
The channel will air this year's baseball playoffs.
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (September 20, 2007) -- Time Warner today said TBS HD will be added to at least six more markets by October. reported this morning that Time Warner subscribers in the Winston Salem, North Carolina area would get TBS HD on October 1.

Mark Harrad, a Time Warner spokesman, told this afternoon that the channel has already been been added in TW markets Austin, Texas and Waco, Texas.

He added that it will be added next month in Columbia, South Carolina, San Antonio, Albany, New York and Portland, Maine.

Anyone else notice that with DeRosa's recent surge we now have 4 hitters in the top 20 in BA in the NL - Lee 10th at .319; Ramirez 13th at .312; Soriano 19th at .296; and DeRosa 20th at .295.

No other team has more than 2

Re: Bradley and ump Winters. There is going to be an investigation. Winters, known for being confrontational, standing behind Bradley, yelled out, "You're a *^** piece of sh--."

so TBS has exclusive rights to the NLDS right? And they don't have secondary channe to go to I believe (well maybe TNT). That means if one games bleeds into the other, everyone's going to miss the 2nd game until the first one ends?

Can't wait...

what about that classic movie channel no one watches that anyway?

I have to disagree with the assesments of Ramirez's greatly improved range. I've seen at least half a dozen balls go by him this year that other thirdbasemen would have made plays on. I am not saying he's not much better than he was when he arrived in 2003, but I can still think of 10 guys I would rather have than him manning third when a hot shot is hit down the line.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Reports this morning that Marlins' pitching ace Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident - just horrible news.

    Eric S 38 min 38 sec ago view
  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs


    Arizona Phil 12 hours 53 min ago view
  • soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*

    crunch 18 hours 10 min ago view
  • Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.

    Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh

    Eric S 18 hours 11 min ago view
  • that runner scores on a single...

    The E-Man 18 hours 23 min ago view
  • So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?

    jacos 18 hours 24 min ago view
  • And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??

    The E-Man 18 hours 24 min ago view
  • Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...

    The E-Man 18 hours 32 min ago view
  • Such is the life of a fatted calf...

    JoePepitone 18 hours 45 min ago view
  • fowler with a triple in the 4th...he's a HR away from a "natural" cycle

    crunch 19 hours 18 min ago view
  • ...and contreras takes one off the hand and he's in obvious pain. sigh.

    he's staying in the game, though he's wringing his hand out during breaks in the action. aside from that he seems to have no issue giving signs or tossing back to the pitcher.

    ...and he's batting in the cubs half of the following inning. sweet.

    crunch 19 hours 22 min ago view
  • his collapse started on august 21st this it's a slight improvement.

    but wow, what a collapse since then...only 2 out of 7 can be considered good/decent.

    crunch 19 hours 34 min ago view
  • I'm really going to enjoy watching Hammel watch the playoffs.

    Jackstraw 19 hours 53 min ago view
  • The always combustible Jason Hammel

    jacos 20 hours 13 min ago view
  • Hammel :(

    Charlie 20 hours 15 min ago view
  • That was fun.

    Charlie 23 hours 14 min ago view