Cubs Youngsters Drop One to A’s

The Cubs took a 3-1 run lead early, scoring two runs in the first inning and one in the second, but were unable to hold the lead, as the Oakland A's Arizona Instructional League team rallied to defeat the Cubs Arizona Instructional League team 6-4 this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa. After Cubs starter Chris Siegfried surrendered an RBI double in the top of the 1st, the Cubs responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. Tony Thomas drew a lead-off walk, and advanced to third on a stolen base and a ground out. Steve Clevenger laced a single back up through the middle to score Thomas, and after Kyler Burke walked, Brandon Guyer lined a single to CF to drive-in Clevenger. The Cubs added another run in the bottom of the second, as Jovan Rosa walked to lead off the inning, advancing to third base on a ground-rule double sliced into the LF corner by Cliff Andersen. Mark Reed then followed with a line-drive sac fly to RF to score Rosa. Today marked the Cubs debut of Marcos Mateo, the pitcher the Cubs acquired from the Cincinnati Reds as the PTBNL in the Buck Coats deal. Mateo looked OK, pitching two innings of shutout ball and getting ground ball after ground ball with a hard-driving sinker, although he did surrender three ground singles along the way. 18-year old lefty Marco Tovar entered the game in the top of the 5th with the Cubs leading 3-1, but couldn't hold the lead, as the A's nailed the youngster for three runs. Tovar, one of three pitchers recently signed by the Cubs out of Tijuana in the Mexican League (Rafael Cova and Alan Guerrero being the other two), struggled with his command throughout his two innings of work. Trailing 6-3, the Cubs rallied in the bottom of the 8th. With one out, Reed doubled and Thomas reached on an error by the A's 3rd baseman. Jonathan Wyatt then came through with a line single to right-center to knock-in Reed, with Thomas hot-footing it to third. Welington Castillo worked a walk to load the bases, but the bases were left loaded as Burke was called out on strikes on a 3-2 pitch and Guyer popped out to the A's 1st baseman in foul territory to end the threat. Lead-off hitter Tony Thomas had an active day, reaching base three times on a walk, a bunt single, and an error. The Cubs 2007 3rd round pick out of Florida State also had a stolen base, as well as being picked-off once. He is real instigator at the top of the lineup. On defense, Darwin Barney made a couple of nice plays at SS (including a pinpoint relay throw to nab a runner trying to stretch a double into a triple), and Clevenger and Castillo each had one CS. Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only) LINEUP: 1. Tony Thomas, 2B (1-3, R, BB, SB, PO) 2. Jonathan Wyatt, CF (1-4, RBI) 3-A. Steve Clevenger, C (1-2, R, RBI) 3-B. Welington Castillo, C (1-1, BB) 4. Kyler Burke, RF (0-3. BB, 2 K) 5. Brandon Guyer, LF (1-4, RBI) 6. Josh Vitters, DH #1 (0-2, 2 BB) 7. Darwin Barney, SS (1-4, 2 K, GIDP) 8. Jovan Rosa, 3B (0-3, R, BB, K) 9. Cliff Andersen, DH #2 (1-3, 2B, K) 10. Mark Reed, 1B (1-2, 2B, R, SF-RBI) NOTE: The AZ Instructional League uses two DHs and a ten-man batting order PITCHERS: 1. Chris Siegfried - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K (26 pitches) 2. Marcos Mateo - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (26 pitches) 3. Marco Tovar - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP (39 pitches) 4. Stephen Vento - 2.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K (41 pitches) 5. Matt Maradeo - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (17 pitches) NO ERRORS CATCHERS DEFENSE: Clevenger 1-2 CS Castillo 1-2 CS, 1 PB OUTFIELD ASSIST: Wyatt (runner thrown out at third-base 8-6-5 trying to stretch a double into a triple). Attendance: 13 (estimated), including Oneri Fleita "Welcome to the Cubs. Our job is to get you to Wrigley Field. Be patient, relax, and have fun." - Oneri Fleita, speaking through a Korean translator to new Cubs pitcher Dae-Eun Rhee at Fitch Park today. (Rhee's family is in town and has been attending the games).
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Comments

13 fans? It's a sellout!

This postseason thing..it's hardly a sure thing. The Brewers are capable of running the table at home and are off to a scary start against the Cardinals. 4-0 Brewers with nobody out and a man on 3rd at this moment. Wainwright is the worst pitcher in the world right now.

On another note, I'm thinking there is a distinct possibility that Cedeno could edge out Fontentot for a playoff spot. The fact he can play short or second and hits right handed are the reasons.

If the Cubs make the playoffs, I would think the roster would look something like this:

Zambrano
Lilly
Hill
Marquis
Trachsel
Dempster
Howry
Marmol
Wood
Eyre
Wuertz
Hart

Lee
DeRosa
Theriot
Ramirez
Soto
Soriano
Jones
Murton

Ward
Kendall
Floyd
Pie
Cedeno

Lots to debate but I think Pie makes it because of his defense (over Monroe) and Cedeno over Fontentot because of what I mentioned earlier.

Give me your thoughts.

Monroe has shown us nothing. zip

Pie still looks awful at the plate EXCEPT his bunting has been pretty good.

Fontenot has not been chopped liver lately. 6/20 .300 so far in September, with 2 pinch hits and two nice starts.

I would definitely like to see Kevin Hart on that postseason roster, if the Cubs qualify.

Dear Cardinals:

thanks so much for the EXTRA suckage tonight. *~sarcastic sneer~* Looking forward to booing you EXTRA hard next year.

Hey, OK. 3 up with 6 left. We can do this. Best they can do is tie if we play .500 baseball. Just have to keep talking myself into it.

Nice job, as always, AZ Phil.

13 fans? Heck, 20 more fannies in the seats and it could have been a Marlins game.

Hope this isn't 3/44:

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070925/D8RS...

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Federal authorities announced the largest crackdown on illegal steroids in the nation's history Monday, arresting more than 120 people and raiding dozens of labs that manufactured growth hormone for sale on the black market.

Agents seized 56 labs, many of which were located in dirty basements, and recovered 11.4 million doses of steroids, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"We were a little bit stunned at the amount of labs we found as a result of this investigation," DEA spokesman Garrison Courtney said in Washington. "It's not something that's on a scale that we've ever seen."

The announcement follows a growing number of scandals in the sports world over steroids, but authorities said the probe was focused on distributors, not users, and that no professional athletes were directly involved in the investigation...

Damn, thanks for nothing, St. Louis. I needed a big fantasy night from Braun, but that's ridiculous.

Better plan to sweep in Florida.

This will be the Cardinals' tenth consecutive road loss.

Stop the Madness!

cwtp, yes, it's not a sure thing.

Lou seems pretty good at getting across the psychology part of this game to his players. He understands, too, that the only thing that matters right now is winning. If the Cubs win tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, they'll be fine.

And if they don't, then so it goes.

I hate to say this, but the Brewers look like the team to beat for the next several years.

It would be nice if we could sneak off with this division while we've kind of got in our hands, cuz next year, and several more after, are gonna be tough.

No reason for 12 pitchers with the off days. I go with Z, Lilly, Hill, Marquis as the starters; Dempster, Howry, Marmol, Eyre, Wuertz, Wood, and Hart as the relief corps; might not even need Hart, although he can probably go longer than any of the others. Could think about Marshall instead for another lefty. Absolutely no need for Trachsel.

C: Soto, Kendall
IF: Lee, DeRosa, Theriot, Ramirez
OF: Soriano, Jones, Floyd
Leaving 5 bench spots for Ward, Murton, and then 3 of Cedeno, Fontenot, Monroe, Pie.

Of that bunch I think I cut Monroe. Blech. How many left-handers might we really face? The DBacks have one lefty starter (Davis) and it doesn't seem like he has much of a platoon split. Plus only one lefty in the pen, and we can pinch hit and then play Pie in CF if we really need to. Or just take 'em all and go with 10 pitchers.

cwtp, I've always hated the deadbirds.

Rob called it: Dave Bush sucks in the 7th inning. Unfortunately, he wasn't allowed to suck for long enough (and it would have required an extended period of sucking) to make this one close.

With Looper and Pineiro going, Cards can win a game in the next two...if they can score a few runs.

i agree with the 11 pitchers
no monroe
yes to hart
no to trachsel and marshall

oh yeah clincher is thursday

Don't look for any help from the Cardinals this week. What a waste. In a recent St. Louis Dispatch poll, they asked the players their drug of choice:

8% weed
78% HGH or other PED
14% "No thanks, just booze"

I don't know who's worse, the cards, their fans, or their beat writers.

How did Tovar look, apart from the ugly line?

The Padres are looking awfully weak again tonight. Giants are kicking them around. 9-4 in the seventh as I write.

Looks like we need to win four games. No help on the way.

AZ Phil--
Got a question about the pitching term command as used in your report, compared to the term control:

Tovar ... struggled with his command throughout his two innings of work

When I hear baseball announcers use the words command and control, they seem to be synonymous terms for the ability to throw strikes and not walk people, or sometimes, the ability to throw a pitch to a specific spot (as opposed to aiming for the middle of the plate belt high and hoping it stays somewhere within the strike zone). However, I have also heard these terms used as if they described two different things (e.g., a color announcer discussing a pitcher's speed, command, and control of the various pitches in his repertoire) but I don't recall anyone clearly defining how the terms differ from each other.

My own speculation has been that command should refer to a pitcher's ability to get the pitch to behave or move consistently in a certain way. That is, his slider will consistently dive down and away from a RH batter; his four-seamer will consistently 'rise'; his curve will consistently do a 12-to-6 and not just come spinning in just below the letters with "hit me" written all over it.

On the other hand, control should mean throwing the pitch where you want it to go, as a separate matter from how the pitch behaves as it gets there.

For me (sitting by myself, typing away in a small room in the corner of my mom's basement), this is the way it seems the world should be. How does this compare to the actual usage of these terms in the baseball world? What should the "best practices" standard be for using them? Any input on this would be welcome.

I predict a Brewers sleep actually, as the Cards have nothing. They won't sweep the Padres though, and we can easily play .500 ball or better, making it all a moot point. Right now I'm more worried about Z's condition.

Both Cameron and Bradley are out for the season. The Brewers could not be sitting prettier if they had the three game lead.

*I hate to say this, but the Brewers look like the team to beat for the next several years.*

Well, the Cubs were supposed to be ruling the world as of 2003 with their kick-ass team anchored by a couple of phenom pitchers too, so don't hoist the next six central division flags over Miller Park just yet. Baseball is a funny game.

Anything could happen--like his pop, Prince Fielder could get too fat to play.

Or A-Rod could sign a brazillion dollar contract and play SS for the Cubs next year.

You never know.

*Both Cameron and Bradley are out for the season. The Brewers could not be sitting prettier if they had the three game lead.*

The Brewers are 0-3 against San Diego this year. They averaged 3 runs per game in that series.

They are the only team that the Brewers haven't beaten.

Peavy shut them out. Don't think he'll see action in the series though.

"The Brewers could not be sitting prettier if they had the three game lead."

hahaha....no.

That's like saying Lincoln couldn't be sitting prettier if he hadn't been shot.

What's the difference between a parakeet and a St. Louis Cardinal?

You can't teach a parakeet to rollover.

That was it, that was the Cards' ace. Looks like the Cubs are going to have to win at least three games and probably 4 to clinch. No way we clinch by Thursday.

Say it ain't so. The Cubs have to go 3-3 or 4-2 against two rotten teams? If they can't do that they have no one to blame but themselves. And don't be surprised to see Looper beat the Brewers.

This stat says something about the consistency of the starters. Does it say something about Lou/Larry?

a stat I like (from todays tribune):

the bullpen has pitched the third-fewest innings among NL teams (470 1/3 ) after throwing a franchise-record 562 innings in '06, the second most in the majors.

also on Cliff Floyd:

He's well below the 100 starts or 425 plate appearances necessary to guarantee his '08 option.

and the TBS announcer teams (it's been mentioned previously but the Stone part is somewhat clearer, isn't Stockton deceased (poor BB, doing color commentary with a cardboard cutout of Stockton)?):

Caray will team with analyst Tony Gwynn on one of four TBS pairings for the division series, and Stone will provide color commentary with Ted Robinson. Cubs analyst Bob Brenly will team with Dick Stockton on one of the other TBS crews.

In the National League Championship Series, Brenly will join the Caray-Gwynn team.

The pessimistic comments here are clinical evidence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (I'm only half-joking: 2003, 1984, and on and on) We're so used to Cubbery that we are fretting about our 3 game lead with 6 games to go. I count myself in that group as well. I was thinking these exact thoughts after I saw the Brewers score and heard the Padres loss (and injury report) this morning, even before I saw the comments. A win today will make me feel a lot better.

Baseball America's Jim Callis in a brief piece on the contribution of the Cubs' farm system this year.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/askba/26...

I don't think we have much to worry about. ESPN reported that in the last 50 years only 2 teams have tanked the division with a 3.5 game lead and a week to play - 87 BlueJays I think and some team in the late 1950s. Can't remember if I read this online or heard it on BBT or SC. Maybe someone else can track it down.

The Cubs need to just take care of business themselves. Don't count on St. Louis for anything. The Cards are not losing games to the Brewers to spite the Cubs. The Cards have been terrible for weeks. This is nothing new. The Padres, well, that will be a different story. The Pads are going to need those games and so don't look for the Brewers to sweep that series. In any event, we need to go into Miami with the goal of winning the series. If we take two out of three, I think this thing will be close to being over.

Looking at the Padre rotation going into the weekend, it does make me appreciate a little more the gamble Lou took last week with the Traschel spot start and the three-day rest for Lilly and Z. Lou was clearly thinking ahead toward having the rotation he wanted in place for this week, the last week of the season.

As the Padre rotation stands now, the four starters to face the Brewers would be Jack Cassel (rookie with only three starts this year, 4.00 ERA and 1.67 WHIP, no HRs in 18 innings), Maddux, Chris Young, and Brett Tomko for the closer. Both Cassel and Tomko are recent insertions into the Padre rotation, Tomko has been in and out of the rotation, doing poorly some tomes and OK other times. If Sunday is a must-win for the Friars, do you really want to throw out Tomko? If that Sunday game matters, I bet we see Peavy on three days rest (a condition he does not pitch well under, but Black would have no choice).

It didn't have to be that way. Once the division and wild card races became tight at the beginning of the month, Bud Black had to know that the last four game set in Milwaukee would be crucial. But he mucked up his rotation. Peavy has been poor on three days rest the few times he has done it in his career. He pitched on three days rest on Sept 5 and gave up 8 runs in loss to Arizona. The Pads had an off-day the following day. Had the Padres not made that move, Peavy would have pitched on Sep 7, 12, 17, 22, and 27, the first Milwaukee game--the same number of starts. Then, the rotation for the the Milwaukee series, with all pitchers on regular rest, would be

Thurs: Peavy
Friday: Cassel/Germano/Wells/Tomko (at the beginning of the month when Black started Peavy on 3-days rest, this rotation slot was not settled; Tomko was signed Sep 4)
Saturday: Maddux
Sunday: Chris Young

I know Black didn't have full information at the beginning of the month as to whether Wells, Germano, Tomko or Cassel would amount to anything. But with three weeks to go, in a tight race and when you have three top starters, the plan has got to be to get those guys on the mound for the last weekend on regular rest. And at that, Black failed.

Jim Callis:
"So while the Cubs appear headed for the playoffs, I wouldn't say it's because of major contributions from farmhands who weren't highly regarded. Their nearly $300 million spending spree in the offseason has been much more of a factor."

Agreed.

WiscGrad, please, please, please, let us not mention that ESPN "blowing at a 3.5 game lead with one week to go rarely happens statistic." Remember the Principal Corollary to the Rule of Cubbery.

As for the Cardinals...well, if there were only one week left to play, the Cardinals were leading the Brewers by three games, the Cubs were playing the Brewers, and the Cubs were well out of the race...Well, I wouldn't mind if we tanked a couple games, just to put Cardinal fans in misery.

Interesting news out of Florida too. Rick Kranitz, who was Cub minor league pitching coach for over 20 years, has left the team and will not be in the dugout this week. He apparently left of his own volition, the team wanted him to stay. I wonder if he did not want to sit on the bench and coach against his Cubbies when they are about to secure a division title?

Payback time.

Don't think that not only does our beloved Blue want to get into the post season, but the Marlins also swept them early in the year and I'd think they would do what they can to repeat the favor.

I could easily see a sweep or at the least 2 of 3 in Miami.

And, we KNOW there will be more Cubs fans than Fish.

In fact, I am gonna call my 87 y.o. dad today and make sure he takes his girlfriend to at least one of them.

AZ Phil, how did Maradeo look in his inning of work?

Jim Callis, no kidding einstein! Thou they have good contributions from most of their prospects this month, led by Soto, Hart and Fuld to some degree.

The Cubs would not be in first place without Soriano, Lilly, Marquis, Floyd and Ward, they would also not be in first place without contribution from Theriot, Hill, Marshall, Fontenot, Marmol....

It's both. With a healthy Soriano, the Cubs probably wouldn't have had to scratch so hard to get to first...

This occured to me the other day and brought a smile to my face. Imagine how much closer this race would be if the White Sox had even managed a split with us.

Seriously, though - they ain't chickens yet. Just eggs. And I have no idea how many there are. You hear that, Baseball Gods? I HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY EGGS THERE ARE.

The way Callis worded his blurb made it hard to really argue against his point, since many of the Cub farmhands have been in the bigs off and on over the last few years; however, I'm just glad that we are able to talk about Cub farmhands making a positive impact on the team. And while many aren't fresh faces (i.e. brand new this year), at least there are a lot of them getting it done who came off the farm not too long ago. Very promising sign. Without the farmhands, the $300 million would not have gone nearly as far as it has.

And even if the farmhands were crap, at least they would be cheap crap, as opposed to the old Cub standard of buying expensive free agents that were known to be crap. Much easier to splurge on top free agent talent when you can fill in the other spots from the farm. Yeah Farmers!

I'm not sure where this team would be without Marmol and Hill. But its obvious that the signings of Lilly, Soriano and Marquis have been crucial. I would say that another reason for the improvement has been its rather good luck in staying healthy. Amazing what a healthy, effective starting rotation can do for you.

The quick turn-around this year for the team indicates that the Cubs, with their payroll, should never, ever, ever "give up" and be a seller at the trade deadline. Where would this team be if we had Maddux in the rotation instead of Marshall/Traschel and not traded him last year to the Dodgers? Yes, I'm sure Maddux was happy to pitch in a pennant race and the playoffs and he was a free agent. But perhaps someone could have sat down with Maddux in July and said, "We want you back, we're going to spend $300M this offseason and if you stay we'll make it $310M. Look at the rest of the division, it's there for the taking." In the Age of the Wild Card, a team like the Cubs should be planning and acting like it is in contention each and every season, even when it is in last place.

Where would this team be if we had Maddux in the rotation instead of Marshall

Well... considering that Maddux has a 4.61 ERA away from Petco, I am not sure that he would have been much better than Marshall.

Or A-Rod could sign a brazillion dollar contract and play SS for the Cubs next year.

Does brazillion mean there won't be any hair?

dave,

And Maddux's career ERA in Wrigley is 3.45, much better than his career ERA at Petco of 3.90. So I'd say it's a wash. My point remains, we still did not need to dump him for trash at the trade deadline, the lesson of this year is that in Wild Card era with three divisions, this team should *always* be able to build a contending team each offseason.

Stanley, "brazillon" means that the contract would involve a healthy, lifetime supply of ladies undergarmets.

And Maddux’s career ERA in Wrigley is 3.45, much better than his career ERA at Petco of 3.90.

And Maddux isn't nearly the pitcher now that he has been in his career. Maddux's career numbers are not that relevant in looking at how he will/would perform this year.

Are the free agents mostly responsible for the Cubs success, of course they are!

Pretty much all of the players that Hendry brought in have performed superbly. Ted Lilly has been an anchor in the rotation. Marquis has been a solid back of the rotation arm who takes the ball every 5th day. DeRosa has provided good, versitile defense and a solid bat. And of course, Soriano and Ramirez have been offensive leaders.

You can't dismiss the contributions of those players, especially when many of those signings were criticised as being typical Cubs overpaying for mediocrity type moves.

But you also can't dismiss the role of players like Theriot, who forced his way into the everyday lineup, Soto, who has certainly made the most of his late season opportunity, and Marmol who has arguably been one of the best relievers in the NL this year. Those players can easily have made the difference in the handful of games that separate the Cubs from the Brewers.

ERA is fantastic, but I'd still take Maddux over Marshall or Trax. He finds ways to win.

The thing is, I think Maddux lives in SD and wants to play there, so it's moot.

Theriot has been a huge part of this team at the top of the order, and Fontenot partially carried us at the beginning of the year when almost no one was hitting. Plus, as other people mentioned, Marmol has saved so many close games (not in th stat save, but in the idea save). Also, let's not forget the great season Marshall had as a 5th starter.

I would say our farm system has been a huge part of this season, equal to our acquisitions.

And Maddux’s career ERA in Wrigley is 3.45, much better than his career ERA at Petco of 3.90. So I’d say it’s a wash. My point remains, we still did not need to dump him for trash at the trade deadline, the lesson of this year is that in Wild Card era with three divisions, this team should *always* be able to build a contending team each offseason.

And PETCO's only been open a few years i.e. the decline phase of Maddux's career and the majority of his PETCO stats probably come from the past year and a half. What's his Wrigley ERA in the timeframe PETCO's been open.

Also, the Cubs still could've resigned him if they want. If anything I think it'd be more incentive. "Hey we traded you to a pennant race. Now we'll have a competitive team and want you back"

Maddux bashers need to take another look. The Cubs hired him to be the #4 or #5 starter. He wound up as a workhorse---- #1 or #2 in games started.

Same thing has happened in San Diego. He leads the staff in starts with 33 and second behind Peavy with 193 innings pitched.

Carlos Rubi — September 24, 2007 @ 10:28 pm
How did Tovar look, apart from the ugly line?

=============================

CARLOS: Tovar did not look good. Of course, this was his first game with the Cubs and he's only 18, so maybe he will improve. But he had a LOT of difficulty throwing strikes, and when he did throw strikes, he was hit hard.

Maddux bashers need to take another look. The Cubs hired him to be the #4 or #5 starter. He wound up as a workhorse—- #1 or #2 in games started.

I am not bashing... I am just not sure that he would have made that much of a difference this year.

And Marshall gets bashed for not going deep into games.

Marshall's IP/Start is 5.24. Maddux's IP/Start is 5.8.

So not a big difference - both have average starts that don't make it through the 6th.

Again - I am a huge fan of Maddux, and I greatly respect what he is doing at his age. I just don't see him making a significant difference on this team.

downthepike — September 25, 2007 @ 8:02 am
AZ Phil, how did Maradeo look in his inning of work?

============================

DOWN-THE-PIKE: Maradeo looked fine in his one inning. He works fast, and of course he is a right-handed side-slinger, so he is very tough on right-handed hitters. The one problem he has had in the past is sometimes he loses command of his fastball and has difficulty throwing strikes, but that wasn't a problem yesterday.

I'm not bashing Maddux, just disputing cherry-picked stats. Consistent innings-eating league average pitching is very very valuable in baseball these days.

HE IS WHO WE THOUGHT HE WAS. MADDUX IS WHO WE THOUGHT HE WAS. IF YOU WANT TO CROWN HIS ASS GO AHEAD, BUT HE IS WHO WE THOUGHT HE WAS

I really just wanted an excuse to type that.

Well, Petco Park has undoubtedly helped Maddux keep the ball in the yard this year, but if you count these outings as "quality starts"

5.2 IP 0 Runs
5.0 IP 0 Runs
5.1 IP 1 Runs

then Gregg Maddux has had 20 quality starts so far.

Theriot has been a huge part of hitting 269/329/358 since the All-Star Break, although his steals alleviate that. Fontenot is 'good' for 225/317/275 over the same period. Both have season lines that are nothing special. Hendry screwed around with Koyie Hill while Soto tore up Iowa, so while he's definitely contributed, it hasn't really been that significant.

Lee has a 400 OBP, Ramirez has a 940 OPS, Zambrano and Lilly have combined for 400 innings of 3.85 pitching. The contributions of these two groups really aren't of the same caliber.

AZ Phil–
Got a question about the pitching term command as used in your report, compared to the term control:

When I hear baseball announcers use the words command and control, they seem to be synonymous terms for the ability to throw strikes and not walk people, or sometimes, the ability to throw a pitch to a specific spot (as opposed to aiming for the middle of the plate belt high and hoping it stays somewhere within the strike zone). However, I have also heard these terms used as if they described two different things (e.g., a color announcer discussing a pitcher’s speed, command, and control of the various pitches in his repertoire) but I don’t recall anyone clearly defining how the terms differ from each other.

=============================

JOE: To me, "command" is the ability to make your pitches do what they are supposed to do. That is, being able to keep a two-seamer down in the zone and get ground balls, throwing a four-seamer with maximum velocity and movement, a breaking ball with good bite, or a change-up with proper deception.

For instance, when Jason Marquis has "command" of his fasball, his two-seamer crosses the plate at the batter's knees, and when he doesn't have "command," he overthrows his two-seamer and it comes in thigh-high or belt-high and gets crushed.

Carlos Marmol's slider is sometimes fairly wildand he may not always know where it's going, but when he mixes it with his fastball, he gets a lot of swings-and-misses because the slider is still doing what it's supposed to do, even though it's not necessarily in the strike zone. .

To me, "control" is more a matter of precision and accuracy, throwing lots of strikes and not walking people (like Greg Maddux). A pitcher could have command of his pitches without necessarily being a "control pitcher."

For instance, Bruce Sutter's splitter was frequently not in the strike zone, but when he had command of the pitch, it LOOKED like a strike to the hitter and so he got lot of swings and misses. But I wouldn't say Sutter was a "control" pitcher, because usually "control pitchers" (like Maddux) intentionally "pitch to contact" to keep the pitch count low, so then he has to count on his fielders to make plays.

In the case of Marco Tovar, he had difficulty throwing strikes AND he was unable to get his pitches to do what they were supposed to do, so he will need to improve both his control AND his command.

Yes it's been the big money guys.

But without Marmol on this team, WE'RE three back today.

Jim Callis's top ten Cub prospects for 2007:

1. Felix Pie, of
2. Donald Veal, lhp
3. Jeff Samardzija, rhp
4. Tyler Colvin, of
5. Sean Gallagher, rhp
6. Eric Patterson, 2b
7. Scott Moore, 3b
8. Ryan Harvey, of
9. Chris Huseby, rhp
10. Mark Pawelek, lhp

Sam Fuld, with one big catch in an important game, has done more for the Cubs this year than any of Callis's top ten, including Pie.

Not to mention the contributions of Theriot, Marmol and Fontenot and more recently Soto, Hart and Cedeno.

Plus Jerry Blevins was traded for Kendall and has made four creditable appearances with the A's this month and looks like he'll be on their staff next season. Where is Blevins on the prospect list?

If Blevins had been more highly touted by the "experts," maybe Hendry would have believed his own eyes and held on to him.

Callis would have to be pretty smart to predict the emergence of players like Marmol, Blevins, Fontenot and Soto. So okay, fine, he's no smarter than anybody else.

Depending on when the Cubs clinch, Fontenot may or may not get six or eight more at-bats this season. His current numbers are 286/343/415.

Reading TCR, one would think he was a .225 hitter.

A pretty weak interview with JIM HENDRY
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/newssun/sp...

But Hendry does say he regrets not bringing back Moises Alou for one more year.

Callis would have to be pretty smart to predict the emergence of players like Marmol, Blevins, Fontenot and Soto. So okay, fine, he’s no smarter than anybody else.

Just because they contributed this year does not mean that they should be higher ranked as prospects.

Some, like Marmol and Soto, have surprised everyone. But someone like Fontenot still probably wouldn't be ranked as a top 10 prospect. Top ten prospects don't project to be backups. Fontenot still probably projects to be a backup.

Depending on when the Cubs clinch, Fontenot may or may not get six or eight more at-bats this season. His current numbers are 286/343/415.

He had one good month. And two really bad months. And this month he hasn't really played. One good month does not make a prospect.

Ron Galt:
"The contributions of these two groups really aren’t of the same caliber."

Can't agree more. The "youngsters" have done OK, but besides Marmol and R. Hill, nobody has done anything special or been around enough to make any real difference.

Reading TCR, one would think he was a .225 hitter.

And since the beginning of July, he HAS been a .225 hitter.

Since 7/1: .222/.301/.264

Az Phil, Have you heard whether Angel Guzman had TJ surgery? Also, have the Cubs cut ties with Sammy Baez or is he still injured?

Stanley - I think you meant to use the masculine "Bro-zillion", although some prefer "man-zeire-illion"

Az Phil, Have you heard whether Angel Guzman had TJ surgery?

A few days ago AZ Phil answered this, saying no, he is not aware of TJ surgery for Guzman.

help

is todays game on wciu local chicago onl

there is no listing for comcast or wgn.

is todays game on wciu local chicago onl

Yup... WCIU tonight.

Cubs.com always has what channel the game will be on.

Theriot may not be special, but he's done a good job at SS for the Cubs.
Even more so, when you consider who he replaced.
Izturis:
.255/.302/.312, 7 errors and 28 DP's in 60 games at SS.
Theriot:
.273/.333/.356, 8 errors and 54 DP's in 103 games at SS.

Not great numbers, but substantially better than Izturis.

As dave said:

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/schedule/index.js...

You can see the entire broadcast schedule there.

And since the beginning of July, he HAS been a .225 hitter.

Derrek Lee hit .253 in July and August.

Aramis in '06: .253 for April, May and June.

Soriano: .262 in July and August of this year.

Soriano last year: .207 in June, .200 in September. In each of those months, he had a dozen fewer at bats than Fontenot has since 7/1. And Soriano got to play every day and work his way out of his slump(s).

I don't care about any of this, but this is what it's like to get in a quibbling match with Dave.

I think the Cubs' Weapon of Mass Destruction, heading towards the final sprint, is the BLT. The key to our team's success is definitely the BLT.

thanks guys

pat and ron it is then

Theriot hasn't been special, he's just been ok. As in he's just performed nearly identically to that other SS who Hendry was ripped to shreds for not signing to a long term mega-dollar deal before last season.

Not great numbers, but substantially better than Izturis.

Here are a couple of excellent Theriot numbers: 28/4, SB/CS.

Next in SBs is Soriano with 19, but he may have stopped running for this season. Then Pie with 7. We needed Theriot's speed in the lineup.

That doesn't mean that it's excusable for those players, VA Phil. Does it?

What is your point exactly? That Fontenot could come back and post Soriano, Lee, or Ramirez #'s if Lou let him?

Dusty Baylor:
"Theriot may not be special, but he’s done a good job at SS for the Cubs.
Even more so, when you consider who he replaced.
Izturis:
.255/.302/.312, 7 errors and 28 DP’s in 60 games at SS.
Theriot:
.273/.333/.356, 8 errors and 54 DP’s in 103 games at SS.

Not great numbers, but substantially better than Izturis."

I really don't care if he is better than Izturis, as it was clear to most of us that Izturis should never have been our starting SS, let alone traded for. Upgrading Izzy to Theriot is like upgrading a 2 legged greyhound to a 3 leggged greyhound for racing. Theriot is a nice guy to root for as he hustles and plays hard, but he is nothing special and saying he has done a good job, is even pushing it, IMO. He is below average SS offensively.

Can’t agree more. The “youngsters” have done OK, but besides Marmol and R. Hill, nobody has done anything special or been around enough to make any real difference.

not this shit again (eyes rolling)

Let's examine the production of our (position player) "youngsters" using the Pierre Principle. Compare with Pierre.

Pierre played in all 162 games for the Cubs last year.
699 AB 3 HR 87 Runs 40 RBI

We paid him $5,750,000 Then he put himself on the market as a free agent and the Dodgers signed him to 5/$44.

First Cub group (equivalent to one Pierre)....not quite farmhands These two are among the top 8 Cubs hitters based on number of ABs. Theriot+Murton

741 AB's so far this year 10 HR 112 Runs 65 RBI

Not bad compared to Pierre.

Second Cub group (equivalent to one Pierre)....serious demotions who returned, upanddown farmhands and outright rookies. They rank 9th or lower in ABs. Cedeno+Fontenot+Fox+Fuld +K Hill+ Pagan+Pie+Soto

759 AB's so far 17 HR 106 Runs 101 RBI

Whoa!

People who claim our youngsters haven't contributed this year DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT!

I don’t care about any of this, but this is what it’s like to get in a quibbling match with Dave.

Not sure why you make it about me.

And I really don't get the comparisons. Fontenot is not the player that Lee, ARam, or Soriano are.

And I notice that conveniently ignore other numbers.

In July and August:

Fontenot: .208/.291/.248 OPS: 537
Lee: .258/.362/.467 OPS: 829
Soriano: .264/.286/.412 OPS: 698

Even in Lee and Soriano's bad stretch, they were still significantly better than Fontenot was.

Somehow those are similar?

And A-Ram in April-Jun last year: .259/.318/.486 OPS: 804. Yup - still a little better than Fontenot's 537 OPS.

And Soriano got to play every day and work his way out of his slump(s).

That is because Soriano is better than Fontenot. He has a track record of success. He also does more than hit for average. As in, he hits for home runs. As soon as Fontenot hits 12 home runs in a month let me know, and then we can start comparing the two.

Maybe I'm confused, and feel free to correct me if I am, but isn't 8 guys equaling 1 Pierre a bad thing to have?

"Sam Fuld, with one big catch in an important game, has done more for the Cubs this year than any of Callis’s top ten, including Pie."

sam fuld is 4'2" without power. he's a polished up adam greenberg without vertigo and a LOT better D.

"If Blevins had been more highly touted by the “experts,” maybe Hendry would have believed his own eyes and held on to him."

anyone watching hendry trade the past...oh...since he got here can see hendry listens to his scouts and values those "under the radar" types like blev...

that's a weak attack to say he's got men scouring other team's A ball crews but has no idea what's in his own system.

may not like the trade, i dont...but ya dont need to turn the man into an idiot under a false assumption to explain the trade.

almost everyone contributed except 200abs of izzy and an unpolished pie, a few innings of milller/trash/gallagher, and will ohman.

small list?

yeah, first place team. when your replacement talent shows up talented it helps.

damn i hate TCR's spam-guard, crunch-guard, whatever-guard.

CWTP:
"Compare with Pierre."

Why?? Because he is horrible offensively? Sorry, but I don't see how that makes any sense to compare our youngsters playing different positions to one of the worst CF's offensively in baseball when he doesn't even play on the team anymore.

CWTP:
"People who claim our youngsters haven’t contributed this year DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT!"

And who said they haven't contributed????

Is anyone really anxious? I am very nervous and I am having trouble sitting still. I don't fear impending doom. I'm actually quite positive and optimistic, but it's not making game time come any sooner. Idea day: Cubs win Brewers lose. Duh! But if that happens i will feel 1,000,000 times better.

I hate WCIU and CSN+. I miss out on two of the last six games. SUCK

Good point Manny.

Except, it is kind of important to have a starting SS, one who hit very well in stretches in the # 1 and #2 spots in the lineup. Who should the Cubs have had at SS intstead? It sure looked like, until Theriot started producing, that they were ready to stick with Izzy.

Since there has been discussion here of the one subject
I know best : Maddux I will come out of my lurker pose.
I won't get into the would he have been better than Marshall or Traschel argument ( um but yes ) but don't fret about it because he never, ever would have re-signed.

He wanted to go West to a contender. You could have told him you were gonna sign Glavine and Smoltz and trade for Chipper and I expect he still would have gone. He knows he has very few years left and he was not taking any more chances on the Cubs especially when the two teams he was best suited for were basically both willing to sign him. Even if the Cubs offered him more than the 10 million he is getting, it would not have mattered. Hendry traded him as a gesture of respect and courtesy because he was miserable and never going to re-sign. True they would have gotten an "A" draft pick if they forced to stay through the season but some guys have earned enough respect for them not be kept as a chip and Maddux is one of them. Convincing him to come back to the Cubs and the brilliant way he handled it was one of Hendry's finest moments. I believe Maddux has a genuine soft spot for the Cubs and Chicago but that only goes so far.

He was never coming back after last year ( well maybe in my dreams as a manager some day) so it is pointless to argue if he would have helped us know. Let's just hope he does his usual act on the Brewers (he generally owns them but he is alas semi-injured). I know he takes pleasure in besting big brother Mike.

Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE

Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 1001

"Theriot is a nice guy to root for as he hustles and plays hard, but he is nothing special and saying he has done a good job, is even pushing it, IMO. He is below average SS offensively."

This is a little harsh. Most of the local baseball broadcasters and writers would disagree with you on the above. Personally, I would rather have Theriot now than any shortstop the team has had in a long time - which isn't saying that much - but he brings energy to the vets, decent obp and low K totals -

This will do until Barney is MLB ready.

http://mvn.com/mlb-brewers/2007/09/25/attenti...

we've been called out by the brewers fans. Have fun.

So I guess our farm system should adopt a new slogan: "Cub Farmhands: Just As Good As Juan Pierre".

juan pierre's worth doesnt work in a vacuum anyway...guys with his skills (speed, singles hitting) are the type of guys that heavily compliment the guys behind him. tie up pitchers and take away some of their motion and/or concentration.

no, he's not worth what he's getting paid, but everyone in MLB knows you cant sure-thing attack him with a pitch to get him out and when he's on base you either give up the steal and pitch your pitches or you adjust.

he's putting up slightly worse number this year...10 less doubles, no homers, 5 less triples...yet 7 more runs.

once again he'll either be on 2nd or 3rd with his speed 100+ times a year. that's part of his value that dont show up in the #s.

"Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE

Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 1001"

Umm... why post your address? Or bring politics into it?

Also, are you a Maddux stalker? Seriously... it's a little creepy.

"Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE"

Who gives a fuck?

Jessica - the answer to the question that no one asked

GO BACK TO BCB!!!!

Dusty Baylor:
"Who should the Cubs have had at SS intstead? It sure looked like, until Theriot started producing, that they were ready to stick with Izzy."

I have no problem with Theriot playing SS. I am just not fooling myself into thinking he is anything more than he really is. I think Hendry thought Izzy was going to turn back into what he was in 2004 (which wasn't all that good anyways), and it didn't happen.

attack someone for offering up info about them selves.

hey, i like puppies. wanna scream at me?

Are they liberal puppies, crunch?

"i like puppies"

*blood pressure goes up*

i have a political belief about puppies that doesnt match yours...therefore go away. sorry, i mean...GO AWAY.

when i see things i dont like i shoo them away so i dont have to deal with differing opinions.

Post 101 & 102...

:)

crunch, this is a Cubs/baseball blog.

Compare with Pierre because (1) it rhymes (2) he played every game and took every AB he could cram into the 2006 season 3) after compiling those stats in 2006 he got an 80% raise 4) it was more fun than saying the Cubs "youngsters" beat the NL averages for 759 AB's this year of 98 RBI and 103 Runs.

But I think we had this discussion on TCR last year about when is average better than average? Answer...when it's your youngsters performing at that level. And filling the equivalent of 2/8 positions in the order as well.

"crunch, this is a Cubs/baseball blog."

and puppies...

crunch - thanks for giving a perfect example of the concept of a "straw man" argument - I give it a 10/10!

lollzers crunch. ur pups iz democratz.

im in ur blog dropkikn ur pups 4 bloo st8 beeleefz.

the gist of the whole post was about maddux.

there was a couple lines at the end...and if that's insulting to anyone, wow.

it wasnt "PROUD MEMBER OF A BLUE STATE AND IF YOU DONT LIKE IT YOU CAN SOD OFF!"

it was just a simple statement that only applies to the person speaking it and the article homegirl wrote is more important than her personal message at the end.

inflammatory statements are one thing, but that's pretty f'n harmless and not really warrenting a "go away!" post, imo.

re: 111

see: 113

This is a little harsh. Most of the local baseball broadcasters and writers would disagree with you on the above.

Who are these "local baseball broadcasters?"

And Theriot is 10th of 14 qualified NL shortstops in OPS.

Here are some of his other ranks (out of 14)
BA: 9th
OBP: 8th
SLUG: 11th
SB: 4th
Runs Created: 10th
RC/G: 10th
Win Shares: 11th (13th in hitting only WS)

His VORP isn't among the top 15 SS's in the NL by my count.

I would say it is pretty clear that he is below average offensively among NL ss's.

yeah the BLUE STATE ending had to be the weirdest sign-off to a post since "In Dusty we trusty"...

Chad just doesn't like women, especially when they are talking about sports.

And Jessica was correct in what she said about Maddux, btw. Everyone is ignoring that.

crunch:
"there was a couple lines at the end…and if that’s insulting to anyone, wow."

Wasn't insulting to me, but 100% absolutely unneeded. And she has done similar things before on here about politics. I think moderators have made it very clear to stay away from that stuff.

re: 114

I never told her to go away (that was Chad), I simply pointed out that it was socially bizarre and somewhat creepy to a) post with such stalker-ish authority regarding the inner thoughts of one Gregory Maddux, and b) to include your work address (maybe she wants Maddux to stalk her in return?) along with some unwarranted political statement.

Now, when you post something like "Proud resident of a BLUE STATE" (thanks for the caps, btw), you gotta expect some sort of return smack talk, but that's effectively what you've just written.

"dave — September 25, 2007 @ 12:42 pm

Chad just doesn’t like women, especially when they are talking about sports.

And Jessica was correct in what she said about Maddux, btw. Everyone is ignoring that."

Bullshit dave! Don't say shit about me that isn't true. I don't hate women at all. And I don't appreciate the characterization. My problem is the Jessica has this "Maddux Radar" and feels the need to lay some Maddux truth on us whenever the topic comes up. No on asked her opinion and yet she feels the need to swoop in and lay some heavy knowledge on us. She's smug and obnoxious and I don't care for it.

Chad
12345 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046

and I am not proud that I live in the BLUEST FUCKING STATE IN THE UNION

"Since there has been discussion here of the one subject
I know best : Maddux I will come out of my lurker pose."

Just in case you missed it.

For all you other STH's, I got my playoff tickets in the mail today. There was a "play-in" game ticket included, but it looks like we won't be charged for it unless the game actually gets played. Man, getting those tickets really make it feel real. Wish I could make it to the NLDS games, but I am finally moving into my new house. At least I got good money for them...

Man, do we need a game around here.

Say, that matchup for game 3 vs. the Fish is one that I certainly wouldn't have expected at the beginning of this year:

CHC RHP Steve Trachsel (1-2, 7.62 ERA)
vs.
FLA LHP Scott Olsen (9-15, 5.88 ERA)

I thought Trachsel would be continuing to toil away in Baltimore, if anywhere; and I thought Olsen would have Milton-Bradleyed himself long ago. Weird.

Bullshit dave! Don’t say shit about me that isn’t true. I don’t hate women at all.

You have said numerous times you hate when women talk about sports.

No on asked her opinion and yet she feels the need to swoop in and lay some heavy knowledge on us.

Well... if you want to play games like that, no one asked your opinion on what Jessica said. Nice double standard though.

She’s smug and obnoxious and I don’t care for it.

Than ignore it.

*Say it ain’t so. The Cubs have to go 3-3 or 4-2 against two rotten teams? If they can’t do that they have no one to blame but themselves.*

[INSERTS COIN INTO TIME MACHINE]

Say it ain't so. The Cubs have to win one of two games with Prior and Wood pitching against some crappy recent expansion team?

I'm sending her a letter.

Looking at the Padre rotation going into the weekend, it does make me appreciate a little more the gamble Lou took last week with the Traschel spot start and the three-day rest for Lilly and Z. Lou was clearly thinking ahead toward having the rotation he wanted in place for this week, the last week of the season.

Better to lose a game today than win a game tomorrow? I don't understand - pitch Zambrano or Peavy on three days rest, what difference does it make whether it is game 149 or 162? Seems like the Padres are better set up, because Peavy will be pitching on 5 or 6 days rest if they make the playoffs before game 162 as opposed to 6 or 7 for Zambrano.

Lee has a 400 OBP, Ramirez has a 940 OPS, Zambrano and Lilly have combined for 400 innings of 3.85 pitching. The contributions of these two groups really aren’t of the same caliber.

Of course, the farm system, not free agency produced 3 of those 4 players.

That is because Soriano is better than Fontenot. He has a track record of success.

Thank you, Dusty.

almost everyone contributed except 200abs of izzy and an unpolished pie

Except Pie has contributed, he's contributed as a defensive replacement (upgrading both CF and RF when he comes in), just like Marmol has contributed by striking people out with the lead.

Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE

I don't even know what a Blue State means - hopefully she means Cubby Blue as opposed to Cardinal Red.

we’ve been called out by the brewers fans. Have fun.

That's what I am talking about.

*I don’t think we have much to worry about.*

WHAT? Are you new here? I mean, to this planet? These are the Cubs we're talking about. This franchise specializes in worry.

I'd worry even if they had won the World Series and had yet to raise the banner and hand out the rings! MLB might find some rule they violated! The world may end! Earth may careen off its orbit and hit the Sun before the following season's opening home game! What do you mean there's not much to worry about?!

On a lighter note, your probables for the rest of this week:

Tonight: Lilly v. Dontrelle
Wed. Marquis v. Dan Barone
Thurs: Traschel v. Scott Olsen

Fri: Hill v. Arroyo
Sat. Z v. Harang
Sun. Lilly. v Reds super prospy Homer Bailey

"Who are these “local baseball broadcasters?”

Well, let's start with WSCR, within this hour.

Jesse Rodgers reporting from Miami, on Mike Murphy's show stated that it was Lou Piniella's move after he had been told that "Ryan Theriot is not a shortstop" - to give the kid a chance. And, they believe it is ONE OF THE KEYS as to the success of the team this year.

You asked "Who"? Also, The local WMVP Carmen DiFalco (a Sox fan) and Bruce Levine have also stated the same thing.

Their opinions are equally valid or more so than yours.

And mine.

So, feel free to "stat away". I'm doing the "see what I see" from the guy when I am actually at the games -

He is not Derek Jeter, but he has made a difference.

Wes asked: What is your point exactly? That Fontenot could come back and post Soriano, Lee, or Ramirez #’s if Lou let him?

That Fontenot is not a .225 hitter and never was--that that's not what the record shows, even though a TCR regular never misses an opportunity to claim that Fontenot's real MLB career began on July 1.

More generally, that month-by-month season splitting is quibbling. Hitters are streaky.

Even more generally, that it's bad karma to dump on Cub rookies. It's like a crocodile eating its children.

post #127 for president

"Chad just doesn’t like women, especially when they are talking about sports."

please read the first part of your statement.

And I'm going to call out smug and obnoxious people.

As far as a double standard. NOT EVEN CLOSE. Apples and oranges.

Actually, I interpreted the addition of a political reference plus a full name and address to be the inadvertent, innocent and mistaken addition of an automatic signature file to a notepad document that Jessica did not catch. And I am surprised that not everyone else saw it that way.

Regarding her point, and as the person who brought Maddux up, I think folks are missing what I am trying to say. Why was Maddux miserable here and would not sign again? Because of the losing and the apparent acceptance of that situation last year by McPhail and Hendry. If the Cubs had fired Dusty at the ASB in 2006 and publicly said that they were now looking to trade or sign Soriano, perhaps his attitude would have been different. I don't know. All I am saying is that management gave up on this team last year and that drove Maddux away. And there is absolutely no reason for that to have happened. In the way MLB does the playoffs now, we *always* should consider ourselves to be in contention or one year away from contention.

dave, nobody asked for your opinion of Chad's opinion of Jessica's opinion...

Just ignore it!

fontenot being streaky is one thing, but you take away his first month and you got a guy with 4 doubles, 1 triple, and 0 homers in 120ab's.

the guy who showed up to hit 6 doubles, 3 triples, and 3hr in 78abs (june) is now getting a steady stream of low and low/outside. dlee's been hating on that stuff all season, too, but dlee does more with it.

trivia question up, I'm shutting this thread down. We're 3 games up in the race and we're arguing about blue states. Let's move on...

Wild Thing, I want to know your opinion of Dave's opinion of Chad's opinion of Jessica's opinion of BLT's. I'd like to know whether two countries should go to war over a sandwich.

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