Game 159 Recap: Cubs 4, Marlins 6

Flushed by the Fish

Box Score, Play by Play, Photos

W - Olsen (10-15) L - Trachsel (7-11), ridiculously high left-field scoreboards that convert homers into doubles. My efforts to will the Cubs to victory by wishful thinking. S- Gregg (31) Magic Number - 2 (Brewers have LOST 9-5) Things to Take from This Game 1. Weak Starts Olsen and Trachsel had quite similar performances - they couldn't finish off hitters with two strikes, struggled early, found something resembling "grooves" for a couple of innings before running into trouble again, and getting run from the game early. Trachsel's splitter actually got a lot of swings and misses, but nothing else was working. 2. Attempted Comeback The Cubs got a big lift in the sixth when Cabrera threw away what should have been an inning ending double play. It led to three runs. 3. Great relief work by Wood, Marlins Kerry Wood inherited a bases loaded, no outs jam from Eyre in the sixth. A strikeout and 5-3 double play later, and we were out of it with no runs scored. He hit 97 on the gun, and looked totally locked in. Provided a big lift to the dugout, but we couldn't translate it into any success against the Marlins bullpen. Pinto in particular looked very vulnerable, coming with two outs after Ramirez had doubled high off the left-field wall. He walked the first two batters faced to load the bases, but then struck out Jones. Dempster pitched a shakey eighth, giving up an insurance run. 4. Middling Infielders Derosa and Theriot went 0-9 with a run scored and ten (TEN!) combined left on base. We left a combined 19 on base - the Marlins left 16. No matter what happens tonight, we're going into game 160 in first place. The still-worrisome details, below. Game Recap Inning 1
  • Soriano rolls out to second, first out
  • 3-0 count on Theriot, Olsen comes back to 3-2 count. Finally, Theriot walks.
  • We're so going to win this game. Mark it down, now.
  • Told you so. Derrek Lee doubles inside the third-base bag. Runners at 2 and 3, one out for Ramirez.
  • Ramirez lines one over short stop, Theriot scores.
  • Derosa flies to medium left, Lee bluffs tagging from third, holds. Throw off line.
  • Soto K's swinging at what I think was a slider in the dirt.
  • I'm telling you, the Cubs are going to win this game.
  • Hanley Ramirez blasts one to that triangular area just left of center, where it goes out to 434 feet. Double. Most all other parks, it's a HR.
  • Full count to Uggla, he pops to Theriot. Theriot struggles with the sun, but brings it in. One out.
  • Trachsel and Soto crossed up on first pitch to Hermida. Soto expecting the 1, gets the 2. No harm done.
  • Trachsel blows an 85 MPH "fast"ball past Hermida for strike one. Egads.
  • 80 MPH splitter looks much better. Hermida waves through it for strike two.
  • Like Uggla, now a full count on Hermida.
  • Decent curve, Hermida lines it back to center. Ramirez held for just a moment, can't score from second base, instead staying at third. However, Jones sends the throw home from center on the fly, on a really high arc, allowing Hermida to jog into second. Really ill-advised throw byJones. 2 and 3, one out.
  • Cabrera IBB to load the bases. Left-handed Jacobs up to face right-handed Trachsel.
  • We're so going to win this game, it's not even funny.
  • Trachsel now hitting 90 against Jacobs. 0-2 count.
  • BJB observes the shadows from the flags atop the stadium are casting across home plate, as is Soto's shadow.
  • Jacobs hits a high fly to medium deep right. Sac fly scores Ramirez easily, Hermida goes to third. 1-1 game.
  • Trachsel's split actually looks pretty good. It's the curve that he's leaving up, and the fastball is a bit hit or miss. 0-2 to Linden after he waves at a split.
  • 30 pitches later, the first inning ends with Linden striking out swinging. 1-1 game
Inning 2
  • Monroe pops to Cabrera, even with the third base bag
  • Jones launches one to right-center, one-hops the fence for a double. Nice swing on the ball.
  • Trachsel with a nice AB, keeps spoiling pitches with two strikes. 8th pitch of the AB, he bounces 6-3, Jones has to hold at second.
  • Soriano up, runner on 2 with 2 outs.
  • Olsen also throwing a ton of pitches, can't put away Soriano with two strikes, either.
  • 9 or 10 pitch at bat, and Soriano walks. Great job battling back in the count, Olsen appears unable to put away hitters. Runners 1 and 2, two outs for Theriot.
  • 2-0 to Theriot. Next pitch will be Olsen's 50th, and he isn't through the second.
  • Theriot winds up sending a lazy fly ball to left. No runs score from the inning, 1-1 game.
  • Olivo singles back up the middle to start the bottom of the second
  • De Aza doubles, one-hopping the wall in left. Surprising opposite field power. Olivo scores, as the ball bounces off the rubber warning track then high up off the scoreboard.. 2-1 Marlins.
  • Olsen sac bunts to third. De Aza advances to third.
  • Kevin Hart warming up, infield coming in for H. Ramirez, with one out.
  • Ramirez sac flies to Monroe, medium-deep right field. 3-1 Marlins, 2 outs no one on.
  • What's weird is that Trachsel still is getting swings and misses on the splits. But everything else is pretty weak.
  • Uggla grounds to Ramirez, 5-3
Inning 3
  • It has taken 55 minutes to play 2 innings.
  • Lee grounds to Cabrera, who fields it behind third, at the foul line. Nice long throw to get Lee.
  • Ramirez breaks a bat, ball drops in, in from of De Aza. Single.
  • How many times can Derosa get caught looking on borderline strike three calls in one series? This is one over the plate, but perhaps low. Swing the bat, Derosa!
  • Soto lines sharply out to Linden in left, inning over. 67 Pitches through 3 for Olsen, he'll have trouble getting past the fifth at this rate.
  • Hermida strikes out swinging to start the third. Guess what the pitch was.
  • Cabrera with a soft liner to Jones. Trachsel gets past the two big bats in the order with ease, wow.
  • 0-2 count on Jacobs, who swings through another splitter. Strike three swinging on the splitter, a nice 1-2-3 inning for Trachsel going through the heart of the order.
Inning 4
  • Monroe flies to medium-deep center.
  • Jones grounds to center.
  • Trachsel soft liner to right. Olsen, like Trachsel, with a very easy half-inning.
  • Trachsel with a nice play fielding a bunted ball by Linden.
  • Jones with a nice diving catch, coming in and a bit to his left, on a sinking Olivo drive. A bit of an awkard half-dive and landing, seems to be smiling in pain as he gets up.
  • Don't look now, but Trachsel has retired the last nine batters as De Aza grounds out to second.
Inning 5
  • Soriano drives one down the right field line, lands at the base of the fence, foul three feet. Eventually K's swinging.
  • Theriot rolls to Uggla, makes a nice bare-handed play on it.
  • Lee K's swinging. Don't look now, but Olsen also has settled down.
  • After striking out Olsen, Hanley Ramirez crushes a ball to dead center for a Home Run. 4-1 Marlins. So much for 10 consecutive outs by Trachsel.
  • A person without my clairevoyance might be alarmed by the current situation, but I'm telling you, we're winning this game.
  • Uggla walks.
  • With Hermida coming up, LouPa goes to Ohman. Cubs fans booing Trachsel as he leaves.
  • Hermida flies out, deep. One step from the wall in right. 2 outs.
  • Kevin Hart in to face Cabrera. Cabrera waves through a great slider for strike one.
  • Not a great slider on the second pitch. Just does catch the foul line in short right field, for an RBI double. 5-1.
  • Ok, so maybe we're not going to win this game.
  • Lee very unhappy with the fair ball call. LouPa comes out to argue. Arms folded across his chest, seems to be pretty upset. Gets over it, and walks back.
  • Upon further review, I think that it was a fair ball. Run charged to Trachsel, gave up 5 in 4.1.
  • Eyre up. Jacobs Strikes out swinging. 5-1 after 5.
Inning 6
  • Aramis Ramirez with a broken-bat single, again, to center. Three for Three.
  • Derosa flies to left.
  • Soto bounces one just out of Cabrera's reach as he dives towards Short. 2 on, 1 out.
  • Monroe grounds sharply to Cabrera, just a couple feet off of third base. Instead of running to third, "which would actually require some physical activity by Miguel Cabrera" as BJB puts it, Cabrera throws low to second, botching the potential double play. Run scores, 5-2, runners 1 and 3
  • Jones chops one back up the middle, just out of reach, another run scores. 5-3
  • Did I mention that we're going to win this game?
  • Olsen comes out, Lindstrom in. It's Monroe on 2nd, Jones on first, and a pinch-hitter to replace Hart....
  • Murton in to hit. (Why not Floyd against the righty, Lindstrom?)
  • Murton K's swinging at a fastball. Two outs. Soriano up.
  • Soriano laces one high off the left-field wall. Monroe scores, Jones held at third. 5-4, runners on 2 and 3 with 2 outs for Theriot.
  • Theriot hits one to Uggla, who fields a tough short-hop and throw Theriot out. Theriot running very hard on the play, nearly beats what should be a routine play. Comes up hobbling a bit. 5-4 Marlins
  • Eyre in. Linden should have been called out on the same strike three pitch on the outside corner that was so prominent in game 1. It's called a ball, and he singles through the right-side hole on the next pitch.
  • Soto with a nice block on a slider in the dirt, keeps Linden at first. And then another.
  • And ball four to Olivo. 2 on to start the inning, really don't want to give back the runs we just scored.
  • De Aza up. Trying to bunt. After bunting through strike two, Soto throws behind the runner at second. Badly one-hops Theriot, who manages to grab it as he's falling down backwards on a big hop. Phew.
  • Aza now swings away with two strikes, singles solidly to right. Bases loaded. No Outs.
  • Kerry Wood in. Jason Wood to pinch hit. Biggest appearance of the year coming up for Kerry.
  • Foul, then foul tip on a rising 95 mph fastball. Strike 3 swinging on a 96 mph fastbal. Wood looks locked in, focused. Huge, huge out.
  • Ramirez up. Bases still loaded, one out. Wood doesn't seem to even be blinking.
  • Foul, strike one, 97 mph. Ball low, 94, 1-1.
  • Ramirez chops one to Aramis Ramirez, right next to third base bag. Steps on it, is deliberate in setting up for a strong throw to Lee. Double play ends the inning, no runs score. HUGE performance by Wood.
  • I'd LOVE to see the replay at first - Lee was so excited to catch the double play throw, he seemed to be leaving the bag and pumping his fist, jogging to the dugout, before he'd actually caught the throw.
  • Ok, he was on the bag. Just me worrying. Kerry and the rest of the dugout totally pumped up after the inning. High fives all over.
Inning 7
  • Lee swings through a slider that would have been ball 4. 1 out.
  • Miller really working quickly to Ramirez
  • Ramirez doubles high off that left-field wall, 4-4 today.
  • Derosa lunges for a slider, strikes out.
  • Floyd to pinch hit for Soto, and lefty Pinto in for righty Miller. Interesting call on the pinch-hitting.
  • 3-0 to Floyd. Ball four. Runners 1 and 2, two outs.
  • Pinto keeps throwing sliders and fastballs into the right-handed hitters batter's box. So far, no wild pitches. 3-1 on Monroe. Monroe walks.
  • Jones up. Pinto stays in due to the lefty-lefty matchup. Bases loaded, two outs.
  • Another slider in the righty batters box, ball 1. That's ten pitches, one strike, says Len. Jones takes all the way on the next pitch, for s atrike.
  • And then waves at another low and outside ball. Ugh. 1-2.
  • Crowd on its feet. Jones fends off what was probably a ball, on an emergency ugly swing, all wrists. Strikes out swinging on next pitch. Bases left loaded. 5-4 still
  • Blanco in to catch, Wood still in, and Uggla flies out to left.
  • Hermida softly lines one off of Wood's rightfoot, kicks towards Blanco. Wood gets there first, fires a rocket to Lee, but well late.
  • Cabrera lines one down the left field line, foul. Goes to a 3-2 count. Check swing on a slider, ball four, runners now on 1 and 2, one out.
  • Jacobs grounds into the 6-4-3, no harm done. Two nice innings by Wood.
Inning 8
  • Lights turned on for the eighth. Lee Gardner in to pitch. Game is being delayed until lights take full effect.
  • Fontenot in to hit for Wood.
  • Fontenot K's looking at a nice back door slider.
  • Soriano rolls one up the middle for a single. Hanley was way over in the hole, normally might get to that ball.
  • Theriot bounces sharply to Gardner, who very quickly turns and fires for the 1-6-3 DP. End of inning.
  • Dempster in to pitch the EIGHTH!
  • Dempster wild high with the fastball, walks Linden to start the inning.
  • Abercrombie to pinch-run
  • Olivo pops foul to Lee.
  • Ambercrombie runs, Blanco one-hops the throw just slightly. Theriot can't handle the hop, otherwise would have had Ambercrombie. Runner on 2, 1 out.
  • De Aza K's swinging on a very nice splitter.
  • Cody Ross pinch hits for Gardner. Looks like Kevin Gregg will make his first appearance in quite a while.
  • Ross clobbers one off the top of the huge left field wall, towards the 434 sign. Double, run scores. 6-4.
  • Ramirez grounds out to end the inning
Inning 9
  • Heart of the order will be up for the Cubs.
  • Gregg in.
  • 2-0 to Lee. Goes to full count.
  • Lee lines one hard to straight-away center. De Aza badly misplays it, and has to make an awkward against-his-body diving catch. Almost looked like he had trapped it, but no.
  • Ramirez bounces to Cabrera on the first pitch. 2 outs.
  • And Derosa flies to Hermida on the first pitch. Game over.
Parachat Recap Inning 1 My enthusiasm clearly isn't contagious, but I try to rally the parachatters. Get accused of having found the local meth lab. Is the WGN telecast too bright? How many dozens of people appear to be at the stadium? Soto/Kendall. Trachsel/Marshall. Can you smell what I'm cooking? (Meth Curry.) The Santo School of Broadcasting. Pat and Ron broadcast updates. Trachsel, Trachsel, Trachsel.... Inning 2 Greg Maddux and his gay witchcraft changeup. Craig Monroe. How to use your fantasy winnings. "Runts" and other halloween candy. Extensive discussion of childhood candies. The ridiculously long length of the first inning and a half. Don't taze me, bro. Freedom of the Press. (Or lack thereof.) Continued frustrations woth Trachsel. Inning 3 Trachsel/Marshall redux. Barry Bonds to Chicago, a completely unsubstantiated rumor. Wes's dog. Dogs with facebook pages. Bill Murray. If Pete Rose were Marlins manager, we could have Bill Murray bribe him. Entrance music for batters. Inning 4 TCR headline suggestions if the Cubs get swept. Revisiting Game 6 of 2003 NLCS (ugh, let it die, already.) That USC Cheerleader we all remember from the You Tubes. The episode of Oprah on today evidently is a good one. Cubs Trivia. Inning 5 David Hasselhoff, drunk and loving cheeseburgers. Sweden. Assuming things. The unfortunate continuation of the phrase "giving my guys a blow" to refer to a brief period of rest. Ex-cubs from the 80s and 90s we'd rather have pitching for us, today. Trachsel/Marshall Round 3. Why we're going to clinch the division tomorrow. Inning 6 Who plays where after we've acquired A-rod in the off-season? Cheering this ugly-looking comeback. Cheering Jacque. Is Murton the right guy to have pinch hitting? Cheering the rally. Pink Lady Apples. The Brewers/Padres game tonight. Further apple discussion. Amish. Bo Porter. What will Kerry Wood do in this appearance? Inning 7 Debating the Floyd pinch-hitting call. Monroe and Jones. Stressed parachatters. This game needs more beer. Inning 8 Can the Marlins broadcasters possibly be any worse? The Mom jokes intensify. Fontenot is so short.... jokes. Should Theriot be hitting second? Is he over-rated? Abercrombie and Brainiac. Frustration with Dempster. Inning 9 Depression.
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Comments

how come Rollins has 91 RBI's out of the leadoff spot and Soriano only has 66?

From last thread:

"5. Dempstery."

Made me laugh through the misery.

"Has there ever been a moment in which you were certain we would make it through to the playoffs?"

Yes, Sunday night (really).

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com...

just in case, Dbacks ticket info for a possible NLDS series

Team left 10 on base. Individuals left 19 on base, but I don't buy that stat, as the important thing is to get the run in during the inning, whether it's 0 outs, or 1 out.

Anyway, I'm not panicked (yet), but I am VERY dissapointed. After how incredible the Cubs played against the Pirates, this was just a flat out ugly series all around.

GO PADRES. As with yesterday, if the Brewers lose, all is still right in the world.

Pathetic.

i am taking as a small consolation the fact that the marlins will not be in the 2007 playoffs. had the marlins been in, and *if perchance somehow* the cubs were also in, the search for a series would have to wait until another year.

or century.

"what profit a club to gain the playoffs if they lose all their games to the marlins?"
the gospel of lou, chapter 41, verse 2007.

* * * * *

"let's go pa-dres"
clap, clap, clapclapclap

rooting for the cards and now the padres this week...

Rape showers for all of us after this weekend.

join the "we love the padres" chat if you wish

There are so many other, better metaphors to describe how I will cleanse myself after rooting for the cards and padres.

3-0 Pads!! wooooooo!!

THREE runs Padres in the 3rd...Hairston 3 Run Triple

4-0

Padres 3 Brewers 0

Not only are the Pads doing the Cubs a solid, it was a Hairston who brought the pain! Go figure.

oops 4-0, sorry, GameChannel was behind

just heard a pin drop in Miller Park

Weeks HR...4-1.

This team can score runs, i don't think 4 will be enough.

apologies for the "____ shower" comment earlier, cubs got me antsy.

not really funny in hindsight....

After a 10th consecutive defeat at the hands of the hapless Marlins, I have now moved on from denial to peaceful, blissful acceptance. My main fear is that my 10-year old son won't join me in my state of bliss -- he still actually believes this team will make the playoffs.

So, this will make the 3rd time in 5 years that the Cubs have replaced pending joy with doom, despair, and depression:

2003: An overachieving team somehow gets a 3-1 lead in the NLCS, only to be undone by a dorky fan, an error by the normally sure-handed shortstop, and a bullpen so lousy that the manager was afraid to replace exhausted and/or struggling starters in games 6 and 7. I attended both games, and will forever remember the batter-by-batter sequence in the fateful 8th inning, and the stomach clench when Gonzo booted the ball.

2004: The biggest team choke I have ever seen. Cubs rolling towards a wild-card berth, then an overworked LaTroy Hawkins gives up a 2-out, 3-run, 9th inning homer to the Mets' Diaz (Victor? Elmer?) to blow the game on the next to last Saturday, and then the lineup of Alou, Sosa, Nomar, Lee and Ramirez....completely...shuts...down.

2007: Splitting their 6 games with lousy teams gets them to the playoffs. They start the 2007 version of Steve Trachsel in one of those games. Umps start making weird calls. My son is scarred/branded for life. I'm so sorry...I could have saved you from this.

Thinking of cotton candy clouds...oooo, that one looks like a horsey. Yay.

Dale Sveum managing the Pads tonight...Yost serving a 1 game suspension....so he can't get thrown out tonight.

79 pitches for Gallardo thru 4

5-1

Mets down 3-0 in the 8th; the Phillies won.

Brewers have 4 errors already?

The Comedy Central is back!

Whoops-- Phillies are winning; haven't won yet.

I just will never get over the choice Lou Piniella made by starting Trax-Shit.

Was the prospect of Marshall or Hill worse than this rag-armed, end-of-the-line, crap-ass, long-in-the-tooth, piece of dreck pitcher?

I have enjoyed Lou throughout this season, and think he has done an excellent job going from worst to first. But not today.

we've got it tough, but consider exhibit A...the Mets

Just shut out by Joel Piniero at home, now tied with the Phils for the East, potentially 1 game behind in the Wild card (pending Phils, SD games)

Franceur HR, Phils still up 6-4 top 9

From a TCR post earlier today:

...no way Lou Piniella will let Trachsel anywhere near the fifth inning if he’s struggling.

Who's the stupid ass who wrote that?

Phils win...tied with the Muts

I just will never get over the choice Lou Piniella made by starting Trax-Shit.

Was the prospect of Marshall or Hill worse than this rag-armed, end-of-the-line, crap-ass, long-in-the-tooth, piece of dreck pitcher?

I have enjoyed Lou throughout this season, and think he has done an excellent job going from worst to first. But not today.

AMEN!!

Khalil Greene hits 5th for the Padres?

Crazy, man.

Mark my words. If they get into the playoffs, Dempster will blow a game, if he gets the chance.

I think the rape showers thing was amusing and people are too uptight about things. I'm mostly tactless and insensitive, too, though, FWIW.

at least we shouldnt have to put up with trashman anymore...i hope.

there's no excuse for him making a postseason roster pending a massive string of injuries.

Spurling pitching to Hairston, bags loaded, no outs 7th

FUMBLE Braun...6-2, bags still loaded

Sac Fly Yo Adrian...7-2

Wow, we get 3 straight games where the Cubs were blow out of the water before the ball even got to the bullpen, and we're still getting Dempster bashing?

really?

9-2, 2nd Fumble off Braun's glove

he shouda gone to Temple on Yom Kippur

actually neither of those were official errors to Braun (he got two errors on one play earlier though)...still, Santo in 1968 would have had those.

Thanks to SD for taking care of business. Wish we didn't need help.

we could be the Brewers, 5 errors in a "must-win" game.

9-2? Hard to imagine the magic number actually falling during that series with the Fish. *fingers crossed*

Stay classy, San Diego.

Any chance Braun lost ROY award with today's 3 errors?

Micah Owings for the Dbacks had 4 hits today (3 doubles) and pitched a shutout...hear that Z?

Weeks 2 run HR to CF, 9-4

The only reason we have any realistic chance of making the playoffs is because St. Louis beat the Brewers last night and the Padres are going to play these games very tough because they absolutely need them to make the playoffs. If the Brewers were playing at home against a team that was going nowhere, we'd be out.

He sure makes up for that glove with the bat, though. 9-5...

I think Braun got the ROY back

The only reason we have any realistic chance of making the playoffs is because St. Louis beat the Brewers last night and the Padres are going to play these games very tough because they absolutely need them to make the playoffs. If the Brewers were playing at home against a team that was going nowhere, we’d be out.

well the other reasons are the 150+ games we played before this series where the Cubs put themselves up 3.5 games in the Central.

Hey, Trachsel only had 77 pitches today, maybe Lou is thinking about bringing him back on 3 days rest to help marquis out on Monday, if needed. That would be fun...

Arm, you have got to be kidding me.
Do you not remember our 10-2 stretch that ended Sunday? Do you not remember our 18 game turnaround from the first week in June?

The Marlins series sucked. We played like shit, offense, defense and otherwise...but the Cubs played their butts off and got a 3.5 game lead, allowing them to have a really bad series. Pessimism is one thing, but ignoring the first 156 games and then claiming we are going to win just because the Padres are in contention is really silly.

Very true Adam, but it is VERY VERY VERY disappointing to see the team play so badly against a shit team when the games are sooooo meaningful. It amazes me they can play so bad.

It is incredibly dissapointing...no doubt. That was as ugly a series as I can remember because it was all facets of the game that sucked.

Geez, Manny...and I didn't think I could feel any worse than I did 4 hours ago..I may have to stock up on the liquor Sun. night.

Although, really, today's game was competitive despite Trachsel and all. Theriot gets on base with them loaded in the late innings (he grounded out) or D-Lee's smash to the gap drops instead of being grabbed on a nice recovery by the outfielder, and maybe the entire tone of the conversation changes. Maybe. Unfortunately, neither happened...

Gotta TCB in CIN.

Post 49 by blockhead is the Post of the thread. I am also going to add as Len and Bob mentioned in the telecast today 3 out of the 4 teams that have played in the World Series the last 2 years had horrible runs down the stretch and that over lets say the over the last 20 games the Cubs probably have the 3rd best record of the 7 teams competing for playoff spots right now in the NL. I swear if we had have swept them the chicken little crowd would be talking about how were too hot entering the playoffs. Breath people. Even if MIL comes back tonight they still need 5 out of 7 outcomes (if you include a game 163 to go there way to win the division and if lose then 6 have to go there way.

Weeks out 1-3. I'm going to watch Angels in the Outfield (original version with Paul Douglas and Janet Leigh from the 1950's) now that the Magic Number is:

TWO

cause we need all the help we can get!

it would be somewhat profound/cosmic if the Cubs clinch the division via a Greg Maddux win tomorrow

Tommrrow night at this time we will be celebrating a division championship boys.

Basically if we never got Trax and instead went with Marshall or Hart we'd probably have the division sewn up. We had decent offense today and with a decent pitching performance we could have won today.

Fortunately, Trax isn't going to pitch in the postseason. Unfortunately Marquis will and he hasn't pitched well since the second month of the season. Taking Marshall out of the rotation was one of the stupider things we could have done. He had three great months and was dropped because of one bad month which was still better then four of the months Trax had this year. Trax had two months with an ERA over 8. I still don't know what the hell Hendry was thinking of, and what Lou was thinking of continuing to use him.

But Lee is looking great, ARam has been overall good recently and Soriano was doing well. Plus, Soto! (though Lou is an idiot and wants to use Kendall for his veteran presence. Obviously, veteran=crappy).

kendall vs. soto and theriot vs. cedeno should be interesting for the remaining games.

kendall's had a week off of starting and theriot's starting to look like neifi perez with less power and more walks...though neifi's power was about as impressive as theriot's overall 48 walks.

The sounds of popping champagne corks will welcome most division winners this week-end.

The Cubs will be the sound of van backing up

"beep... beep.... beep....beep."

Rocks ahead 3-0, the west sure is tough

i also think marshall is a better choice,
what has happened is that marshall
has sat so much,he is considered
useless in playoffs,and will be trade bait
in offseason.

"Fortunately, Trax isn’t going to pitch in the postseason. "

Thank the heavens. What a crap-ass rag armed pitcher he is.

Some "insurance". I never want to meet that broker.

"Unfortunately Marquis will and he hasn’t pitched well since the second month of the season. "

Don't agree here completely. Just very erratic.

Saw him pitch a 2-hitter against the D-Backs. The only game the Cubs grabbed in Wrigley.

Basically if we never got Trax and instead went with Marshall or Hart we’d probably have the division sewn up. We had decent offense today and with a decent pitching performance we could have won today.

Hmmm... not so much. The Cubs are 1-3 in Trachsel's starts. You are assuming that the Cubs would have won 2 of those 3 losses on top of still winning the one game that Trachsel won. In one of those losses Trachsel gave up 3 runs in 6 ip.

The way Marshall pitched of late, I am pretty sure it is not safe to assume that the Cubs automatically win 3 of his 4 starts.

Don't get me wrong - I would have greatly preferred to keep Marshall in the rotation. But Marshall taking Trachsel's starts would not have meant that the Cubs would have clinched by now, or even "sewn up."

"Basically if we never got Trax and instead went with Marshall or Hart we’d probably have the division sewn up"

If Zambrano didn't suck for the month of August, we'd probably have the division sewn up.

If Soriano didn't suck in April and May, we'd probably have the division sewn up.

If our bullpen didn't suck for April and May, we'd probably have the division sewn up.

Every decision and blame for a couple specific people or events needs to be taken into the full context of the season. We can say the same thing about the Brewers too, had they not fallen apart in mid-summer, few of us would have given a hoot about Traschel throwing some games.

We are 2 up, with 3 to go....completely in the drivers seat. If we lose the division now, there will be PLENTY of blame to be spread out much further and wider than Traschel.

Brenley made some obvious, but good, points about the Cubs problems against the Marlins. "This is baseball" he said. I know most of us in here are stat junkies, looking at whip, lefty righty matchups, the power in our lineup, their record, whos managing ect ect ect. But as Brenley says, in the MLB any team can win at any point.

Nothing to freak out about fellas, our team is not any worse than they were last week. Curve balls got hit by FL when they didnt last week. We couldnt hit fast balls when we did last week. Bloops fell yesterday (against Lilly when they scored 4 in one inning) when they didnt the previous two weeks. Shit happens. Luckily Milwaukee has been losing too. Dare I say, to the playoffs we go?

To be clear...I think the Traschel trade was completely and utterly pointless and ended up complicating things more than needed. But if we go down, his 4 games ain't going to be the major reason.

blockhead: I disagree that it was pointless. If we have an injury in the starting staff he will be nice to have around. I do think that Marshall is better than Trachsel. ERA and Whip are much better than the "veteran presence" Steve Trachsel.

Since June 5th, Sean has had about 10 starts....like 7 of them have been 1-2 earned runs.....

July he had 4 starts with 2 or less runs....

Why are we babying this kid so much? He doesnt pitch deep into games because he has a pitch limit of like 75....all wierd to me.

fair enough Murda....How about "completely and utterly pointless to replace Marshall in the rotation"

I agree with that block. Seriously, someone tell me why he walked in and replaced a guy that came in and gave us 5-6 innings in like every start, and the only thing keeping that from being 6-7-8 innings (in the games where he was pitching effectively up to 5 inings) is the fact that he was on a strict pitch count....

just got me thinking...any possible chance of a minor lingering injury that we don't know about with Marshall?

After reading through this thread, I just have to throw up a post.

First of all, it's frustrating anytime the Cubs lose, and especially frustrating when they get swept by a bad team. I hate it too.

But please everybody, come on! The magic number is two with six Cubs/Brewers games left in the season. (And meanwhile the Brewers' magic number is six!)

This is the most exciting, exhilirating week to be a Cubs fan in years. And this sensation may not last more than a week; who knows what will happen when the playoffs start. So if you have searched for and found reasons to be upset, angry or pessimistic about the Cubs during this of all weeks, stop and ask yourself -- why are you even a fan? What joy do you get out of being a fan if you can't even enjoy the good parts?

A little perspective: when we wake up tomorrow, the magic number will be two. In 2003, when we woke up on the final Saturday the magic number was 3.

It's going to happen. We're going to the playoffs, where anything can happen....enjoy it!

Has Braun reached 100 RBIs yet?

433/Hillary '08? That's probably the greatest post I've ever read on TCR.

Seriously, why did Trachsel take Marshalls spot??

WHIP, OPPONENTS BA, ERA

Zambrano: 1.34 .234 4.08
Marshall: 1.39 .271 4.00
(by far the worst)Trachsel: 1.59 .287 4.90
(best) Lilly: 1.15 .238 3.86
Hill: 1.22 .240 4.05
Marquis:1.37 .252 4.43

BTW, for those of you who missed the game. I am sure you heard that Wood came in with the bases loaded and no outs and he got out of it.

But, did you see after he did it....he ran into the dugout, started screaming to pump up his team, threw (I seriously thought he was going to get hurt) about 5 extremely rough high fives and continued to clap and be pumped up for the rest of the inning. It was Kerrys moment...he, as of today, is back and dangerous as hell. Not worried about his arm falling off, not worried about anything, just loving the game and being great at what he does. It was great to see....

is something up with marshall...seriously?

i mean, he's started 1 game in sept after getting his slot skipped and relieved for 1.1ip before that.

hell, he's not worked in almost 2 weeks as it is.

I fucking love Kerry Wood.

good point guys, he has to be injured. I know Pinella talks about him wanting a veteran down the stretch, but on second thought...Marshall is injured (im telling you, it clicked for me, he has to be) so they picked up Trachsel and will trade Marshall in the offseason. Marshall is keeping hush because he wants a good contract. The cubs are hush because they want something in return.

(below is from cubs.com on August 1st!)

CHICAGO -- Coming off the best month of his brief big league career, Sean Marshall continues to shine this season and solidify a five-man Cubs rotation that can be counted on to deliver quality starts on most nights.
Marshall's 2.31 ERA over four starts in July was just a tad better than the 2.70 ERA he posted in May -- although that came in just two starts. But regardless of the month, the sophomore lefty is finding success that he hopes carries over down the stretch.

Full article:
http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...

yeah woods pitching today brought up
alot of old memories (good ones).

he would probally come back to cubs
next year for a very reasonable $$$$$$

august was horrible for marshall after a pretty nice july/july and partial may.

nothing jumped out at me in august that looked odd, though...dunno what's up or if anyone noticed anything.

another caveat to the trashell trade is he makes "only" 8m next year which would give hendry a little leverage if his gamble paid off. *cough* it didnt work out hendry.

june/july, that is...

I know, talk about love for the game. I was so happy to see him come in and pitch so great in his biggest game in 4 years....too bad our offense couldnt give him the win. Would love to see him stay healthy and stick around.....

i also agree that marshall will definately
be gone in offseason,
i really like the kid, hope they get someone
to play right field in return.

Crunch: August was not horrible for Marshall.
8/7, and 8/12 not good. lasted 5, and 5.1 innings and gave up 3 and 5 runs....

8/12, 8/18, 8/24, one, two, and three earned runs, team one 2 of 3.

Then got beat up on the 31st, but only 1 er. left in 3.2 innings.

Something weird happened.....

Murda, is that a player/team option or a guaranteed year?

sorry, team "won" 2 of 3....lol

perfect scenario saturday big lead
kerry wood closes it out is on the mound for the celebration.

not sure what marshalls contract situation is at all...

Even if he did get rocked in a couple starts this season, who on the Cubs staff has not had these peaks and valleys besides Lilly?

It just seems weird that they sweep him under the carpet and bring in a bad pitcher. Marshall has to be hurt....

I mean, Trachsel's contract. Marshall's probably an auto-renewal guy.

the trade was awful for these 2 reasons:

a) Trachsel sucks
b) Moore/Cherry still had option years left making them useful replacements, even if only for a 2 week DL stint.

that being said, the Brewers traded Linebrink for 3 guys, one of which has completely outpitched him this season and might have gotten one of their biggest outs of the season against them tonight.

Dumber trades have and will be made.

The bigger problem today is that Rich Hill should have been on the mound. There wasn't a single good reason to start Trax or Marshall or anyone else today.

Rockies are on quite the roll.

I wonder what the latest date in the season is, since the advent of the WC that no team in a league has clinched a playoff spot. This must be a first, 3 games left, no team locked into a spot, 7 teams still alive for 4 spots.

I also wonder what the lowest ranked team in a league was to make the playoffs. Cubs could end up with the only the 7th best record in the league, and still make the playoffs.

Padres to use Peavy on Sunday only if they need a win to clinch tie for playoff spot. Meaning if they are up 1 game going into Sunday, they'll save Peavy in case they need him for a 1 game playoff or first round of playoffs. Let's hope that Peavy is not needed, as that would likely mean Padres win tomorrow and Saturday.

"Crunch: August was not horrible for Marshall."

3 or 4 outta his 6 august starts were pretty bad depending on how you wanna handicap it.

horrible is objective and probably harsh...*shrug*

still, i think the more pressing issue is why the guy has had 4 innings of work in 2 outtings and none in 2 weeks.

go pads go
go pads go
san diego what d'ya say?
pads are gonna win today!

I thought Wood came up big today. He probably rose in Piniella's estimation, too, to somewhere around Howry's level. I think Lou likes Marmol best, then Howry, then Dempster.

Lou said the other day that setup guys are as important as closers. I know a lot of people here don't think he could possibly mean that, but I think he does. (Here's a good example: how hard is it to pitch the ninth inning against the Cubs? If they were ever going to score, it would be before the ninth.)

Soriano impressed me, too. That was a big hit, and if that damned wall in left ever ended it would have made the score 6-5 Cubs. Soriano hit it off a guy who had just struck out Murton throwing 98-99 (at least on the gun the Marlin crew was looking at). Soriano guessed curve on the second pitch, and just crushed it.

Monroe went back to sleep after hitting that one bomb on Tuesday.

Did the Cubs have the wrong hitting strategy and lineup against the Marlins down there? They tried to hit home runs, and they did hit several balls that would have left some parks, beginning with Floyd's two-out, ninth inning shot on Tuesday.

But the thing about the Marlins is that they have a big park and a terrible defensive infield. (I figured that out when I saw Cabrera try to throw a ball and Uggla try to catch it.) Maybe the Cubs should have gone with a speed lineup.

And somebody ought to tell Theriot that speedy singles hitters sometimes break out of slumps by laying down a bunt or two. I can't say that I've ever seen Theriot try to bunt for a hit. He's too proud or something: thinks it labels him a scratch hitter. But with Jones the tying run on third, Theriot almost beat out a routine grounder to second. He could easily have beaten out almost any bunt.

""Had a foul ball that went for a double and cost us a run," Trachsel said. "Other than that, they did a good job manufacturing [runs]."

ummm...Traschel, you got crushed.

More Traschel:

"My stuff was pretty good," he said. "I was strong early. A couple of sacrifice flies and a solo home run."

Was I watching a different game? He was strong early?

Why is it that some people here think Marshall is "definitely" gone next year? He's a young lefty who made a lot of quality starts this year and is not making a lot of money. They'd better get a lot for him if they move him because they'd be down to four starters without him and that's counting Marquis.

Prolly 3/44:

Tomorow (Friday) is the first possible day that the Cubs can clinch. GO PADRES!

Cubs win!
Padres win!

CUBS WIN THE DIVISION!!

“My stuff was pretty good,” he said. “I was strong early."

Does he mean early in his career?

CWTP:

Can you change your ID to CWTD for the weekend?

Speaking of Traschel, appears Lou wasn't a fan of the unbelievably overblown "shouting" incident.....
-------------------------------
"Trachsel's unprovoked postgame diatribe against the media Wednesday was not received well by Piniella and some of his staff."

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

"The bigger problem today is that Rich Hill should have been on the mound. There wasn’t a single good reason to start Trax or Marshall or anyone else today."

I pulled out several scorecards from earlier this year while at a stop light.

Rich Hill had 9K's against the BREW last week of August, when they were struggling for 1st. HE also out-dueled Looper in a 2-1 victory in August in a huge series.

WTF? What is it with Lou?

And we know, if this team does make it in, he'll have Marquis as the #3 instead of Hill. Because Marquis has a veteran presence.

And look how well Trax-shit did.

from the Sun-Times:

ESPN has picked up the Brewers' game at 7 tonight against the San Diego Padres, and the Cubs are on Comcast SportsNet at 6:10. And Fox-32 will show Game 3 of the four-game Brewers-Padres series at 2:55 p.m. Saturday -- the same time the Cubs play on Channel 9.

good idea!

Thanks for being open to it.

I just thought it appropriate.

Then, certainly revert to the old one, when...you know...

I'm chalking up the last three days as a very bad dream caused by ingesting some bad gamefish sushi. That helps a lot.

"Hey! We're up two with three games to go! That's good!"

"And we're not Met fans! That's better!"

Let's suck it up folks and get ready for perhaps the most exciting last weekend of the baseball regular season in memory. The continuing surge of the Rockies, Phillies and Padres keeps increasing the chances of there being a tie and a playoff game, perhaps multiple games. The BP Odds report had the Phillies passing the Mets in odds for the first time today, 50.3% to 49.7%. Stunning. And I am in favor of any development that minimizes the number of left-handed starting pitchers in the NL post-season.

And we know, if this team does make it in, he’ll have Marquis as the #3 instead of Hill. Because Marquis has a veteran presence.

I would bet on Hill being the #3 in the playoffs unless they play SD. Then it is up for grabs.

104- Sounds like 2004, except it sounds like the manager did something about it.

Two weeks ago, I said Trachsel should go on playoff roster instead of Wood.

BOY WAS I WRONG!!!

Kerry has proven alot, and Trachsel has proven what a whiny prick he his.

GO Cubs!~!

What I'd like to see from Lou in these last three games>>>

Z, Hill, and Lilly starting
check!

If healthy, Soriano LF, JJ CF, Floyd RF
No more Monroe.
NO MORE MONROE

Theriot batting eighth NOT SECOND. If Soriano is going to be your leadoff man, you need to put one of your best hitters in the two spot in front of Lee and Ramirez...toploading your lineup. That would not be Theriot.

Cedeno gets a start at SS batting eighth Cedeno has actually done well post All Star game and is hitting a ton from the eight spot in limited action. Psst! If Cedeno is hitting he's better than Theriot.

JJ batting second NOT EIGHTH. What's with batting JJ at the bottom of the order? Are you nuts?!! He's just about our best hitter right now. JJ has done well in the two spot. Has 3 of his 5 home runs there as well.

or, if you prefer DeRosa batting second. De Rosa has also performed well at two and has the kind of OBP and power ("some" as opposed to "none") you need behind Soriano.

Soto catching. duh! He can catch, he can throw, he can hit, he can hit for power.

i'm not sure, if i'm beating a dead horse on this board, but Hendry really needs to be the fall guy for this roster. He doesnt have a clue what he is doing. If he could draft and development players better, we would have 10 more wins. If he would stop signing players he falls in love with, like floyd, who he recruited to come to creighton 12 years ago.

Lets look at all the miscasted members of this roster:
Soriano as a CF
Isturis as a SS
Barret as a C
Theriot as a Utility Player
Bowen and Koye Hill over Soto
Fontenot was not invited to Spring Training
Neal Cotts as a ML Pitcher, actually thought could start.
Pie was ML ready?

Most of us are not in the business, and we can see these things, but Hendry cannot.

His draft record, pre-Tim Wilkin is worse!!

I would bet on Hill being the #3 in the playoffs unless they play SD. Then it is up for grabs.

Here's the schedule for the NLDS: Wed, Thurs, Sat, Sun, Tues

Since the series doesn't start until Wednesday, that would make it Z's normal throw day (another reason that it was a good idea to juggle the rotation to get him to throw today). So he'll be on normal rest for game 1. That would mean that Hill COULD throw on normal rest in Game #2.

You could also keep Hill back and throw him on six days rest in Game #3 if Lilly does not throw on Sunday. Lilly could pitch on short rest in Game #2 if he throws on Sunday, but I don't find that likely. If Lilly doesn't throw on Sunday, he will have 7 days rest.

If Lilly pitches on Sunday, I would imagine that Lou would go:
Z
Hill
Lilly
Marquis
Z.

If Lilly does not pitch, I would imagine he would flip-flop the two to give you
Z
Lilly
Hill
Marquis
Z

He COULD stick Marquis in Game #3 just so he could go R-L-R-L-R, but I personally don't think that's of a very high priority in the playoffs.

How funny would 433's post #72 look on a Mets blog a couple days ago...:)

I will enjoy it when they clinch, not when they are getting swept against one of the worst teams in the league when the Cubs have everything to play for.

What’s with batting JJ at the bottom of the order? Are you nuts?!! He’s just about our best hitter right now.

In September, Jock is hitting: .301/.342/.370

That is solid, but it is far from being the Cubs' best hitter.

Other Sept #'s:
Lee: .367/.436/.633
Soriano: .298/.336/.693
Soriano: .295/.374/.621
DeRosa: .308/.417/.440
Soto: .415/.457/.732
Floyd: .289/.438/.684
Ward: .333/.481/.619
Murton: .325/.400/.525

All have significantly higher OPS than Jones in September.

block:
"I also wonder what the lowest ranked team in a league was to make the playoffs. Cubs could end up with the only the 7th best record in the league, and still make the playoffs."

I was thinking the same thing...

Right now the Cubs are tied with the 6th best record in the NL. Like you said very possibly they could end up with the 7th best record. Even STL last year was the 5th best. But SD was 7th best in NL in 2005 when they won the West.

Most of us are not in the business, and we can see these things, but Hendry cannot.

Hmmm... I love when the Hendry bashers come out and bring up all the bad, but never the good.

The good from the current Cubs' roster:
Trading for, then extending Lee
Trading for, then signing ARam
Signing Lilly
Signing Marquis
Signing DeRosa
Signing Soriano
Signing Floyd (while somewhat disappointing, has been excellent of late)
Not trading Rich HIll (as many around here wanted him to)
Signing Jacque Jones to an affordable contract
Signing Dempster

Almost everyone of the decisions were related to role players. They one issues on there that were significant were the catcher position, and possibly Soriano in CF. But few of us were complaining about Soriano playing CF.

And Cotts? It was well worth the risk, and Hendry never got him to start this year. It may have been an option, but he sure as hell wasn't relying on Cotts.

And you say you can see the things that Hendy wasn't seeing? So you were asking why Fontenot wasn't invited to Spring Training? You thought that Soto would break out this year?

Oh... I forgot signing Howry and Eyre to the good list.
Howry has been excellent since the beginning of June (and was quite good last year) and Eyre has been very good since the ASG. Both are doing the jobs that they were brought here to do.

Hey Chicago whaddya' say??

Find me a fan base that is happy with their general manager, by the way. I just don't think it happens.

Trading for Lee and Ram were good moves, but if it wasnt for economics of FLA and Pit, they arent on the team. Marquis was a decent signing, but only because we didnt develop anybody in our farm system. Soriano was a stupid signing, when you factor in that Beltran got less, but maybe not hendry's fault, McFail and tribsters didn't want to pony up.

I love the Derosa signing and Lilly has been way better than expected.

What about overpaying for Zambrano? Last August Oswalt got 14.6/yr. He's way more accomplished than Z. Hendry should have signed him the next day, before the market shot up this past offseason.

Floyd and Jones are lousy signings. He couldnt give Jones away this offseason/season. Now he's playing a lot better now, but he's still not a middle of order hitter.

Hendry signed Neifi, Rusch to 2 year deals last year. Didnt fire Baker last year.

What evaulating his own talent. Barret couldnt catch. Izturis sucked. Cedeno sucks. Pie's swing was too long for MLB.

What the Florida trip proved is that it's hard to win when two of your three starters are Marquis and Trachsel.

I understand and share the dislike of Trachsel, but Marquis and Trachsel look like the same guy to me. (Trachsel probably has better stuff.) Their ERA was the same this year. Trachsel was 6-8 with a poor team, Marquis 12-9 with a decent team that gave him run support. Last year Trachsel pitched for a decent team and was 15-8.

Both are slow workers in the sense that if they ever get ahead 0 and 2, it's guaranteed that two of the next three pitches are in the dirt.

The Cubs got a decent return for Marquis this year. The problem, as usual, is that they already owe him $14 million for the next two, which makes him untradeable until winter '08/'09.

I think the braves, twins, a's, angels, indians, redsox, and tigers are happy with GMs.

I hope the new ownership, overpays for Schuerholz or Terry Ryan formerly of the twins.

ND, every one of the the "mistakes" you list about Hendry have been corrected, many in relatively short order. The job of a GM is to build a team that has a chance to win and Hendry did that this year. More importantly, the team offers a substantial amount of roster flexibility. The very fact that we could slide JJ over to CF, utilize DeRosa at 3B or RF when needed has been important. And signing DLee, ARam, and Z to affordable deals is huge for this team going-forward.

I think a lot of folks view Hendry through the prism of some of the personnel moves 2004-2006. But I attribute many of those to a dysfunctional relationship with Dusty, in which Hendry was limited to getting guys Dusty would play, even if those guys were bad, like Bynum, Holly and Neifi. Similarly, giving up on guys like Juan Cruz (who I still think will save 40 games one of these years) was related to the fact that Dusty would play the guys he wanted, regardless of what the numbers said. What Lou has shown us this year is that while he might have preferences, if the numbers bear it out, he will play the players that produce.

DC Tom:
"Lou has shown us this year is that while he might have preferences, if the numbers bear it out, he will play the players that produce."

I think Marshall and Soto would argue that point...

Trading for Lee and Ram were good moves, but if it wasnt for economics of FLA and Pit, they arent on the team.

What is your point? Hendry still had to be willing and able to make the deal. It is ludicrous that you are so hesitant to give Hendry credit for these moves.

Soriano was a stupid signing

You can argue that Soriano was overpaid. But I really couldn't care less how much money Soriano gets paid as long as it doesn't get in the way of paying other players. And we do not know that it will (or won't) at this time. Soriano (in my mind) has had a disappointing year, but not a bad year. And I would guess that he will have better years ahead of him.

I love the Derosa signing and Lilly has been way better than expected.

Did you love either of those deals when they happened? Because it is really easy to criticize decisions that went badly after the fact, but then you should acknowledge that you were probably wrong and Hendry was right about things too.

What about overpaying for Zambrano?

Not sure how you can say Z was overpaid when he almost assuredly would have received more money on the open market.

Hendry should have signed him the next day, before the market shot up this past offseason.

You act like that was an option. And how do you know that Z would have been willing to do that?

Hendry signed Neifi, Rusch to 2 year deals last year. Didnt fire Baker last year.

Agree on Rusch and Neifi. But he was also able to pawn Neifi off on someone else. And what good would firing Baker have done? It really didn't make a difference either way.

Cedeno sucks. Pie’s swing was too long for MLB.

Well... you are bashing Hendry for underrating Theriot/Fontenot. I would bet money that Pie and Cedeno have better careers than Theriot and Fontenot.

Oh... and some more good.

How about acquiring Fontenot and Hart for Corey and Freddy F'n Bynum?

Or about stealing Murton from the Red Sox in the Nomar deal?

ND wrote:

I hope the new ownership, overpays for Schuerholz or Terry Ryan formerly of the twins.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Are you talking about the Terry Ryan that *released* David Ortiz in 2002? The Terry Ryan who thinks that Jeff Cirillo is a DH? Who thinks Jason Kubel was ready for the major leagues? Who signed Rondell White two years ago? Who planned on having Nick Punto be an everyday 3B?

And Schuerholz isn't going anywhere, and he hasn't won anything without Drayton Moore.

And, yes, I'm cherrypicking. My point is that anyone can cherrypick factoids to criticize someone and say they're doing a bad job.

In 2004, I was hendry's biggest fan. Especially after he pulled that nomar deal, but after looking at the roster the last couple years, i have 180'd on him completely. He had a chance to mold this roster the last 3 of years and he has failed. We're better than last year, but thats cause he spent tons of money. A GM is judged on how develops a roster over time, with the farm system and putting the pieces together around the team.

We are too RH'd, we are still a low OBP Team, we dont score runs consistently.

If it werent for Lou this year, i think we would be 10 games worse.

Hendry did the right thing by signing Lou. I would have liked Girardi in 2006, if he would have fired Dusty before the season, which they should have done.

I think the braves, twins, a’s, angels, indians, redsox, and tigers are happy with GMs.

And I'll find you reasons against all of those just like you've provided for Hendry.

What the Florida trip proved is that it’s hard to win when two of your three starters are Marquis and Trachsel.

Well... the Cubs have a better record when Marquis starts then when any other Cubs pitcher starts.

I understand and share the dislike of Trachsel, but Marquis and Trachsel look like the same guy to me. (Trachsel probably has better stuff.) Their ERA was the same this year.

Marquis has a 4.43 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP, and an ERA+ of 103.
Trachsel has a 4.90 ERA, a 1.59 WHIP, and an ERA+ of 92.

Marquis has better numbers (and fairly significantly) in each category.

VA Phil, Trachsel and Marquis haven't been even vaguely the same pitchers this year. Let's ignore W&L, since they don't mean anything about how good a pitcher is (they tell you how good a team is).

Marquis - 191 IP, 186 H, 75 W, 107 K, 1.37 WHIP
Trachsel - 158 IP, 176 H, 76 W, 56 K, 1.59 WHIP

Those aren't the same pitchers at all.

Manny, point well-taken on Marshall. But Soto has started 8 of the last 12 games, batting sixth most times. Hard to change starting catchers at the end of a pennant race, but Lou has quietly turned this into a split of catching duties at a critical time of year.

I think Marshall and Soto would argue that point…

Well... Marshall struggled in August. He wasn't terrible, but he definitely struggled. And Trachsel came over after pitching very well in August. And pitched decently/good in 2 of his first 3 starts.

OK Let's get behind the Cubs for the last series! Let's do it!

We'll take additional help from San Diego too!

Go Cubs!

Marquis has a 4.43 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP, and an ERA+ of 103. Trachsel has a 4.90 ERA, a 1.59 WHIP, and an ERA+ of 92.

Trachsel's ERA with Baltimore, where he was in the regular rotation, was 4.48.

While you're fact checking, check your own. Fontenot was acquired for Sosa, not Patterson.

Trachsel’s ERA with Baltimore, where he was in the regular rotation, was 4.48.

What is your point? If you want to play that game, then Marquis's ERA through August was 4.26, compared to Trachsel's 4.48.

While you’re fact checking, check your own. Fontenot was acquired for Sosa, not Patterson.

You are correct - my mistake. But my point is still valid.

Well, I feel a whole lot better about the Cubs' chances of making the playoffs after last night, but I can't say that I feel good about their chances of going anywhere... It sure would be nice to have some momentum going into the playoffs...

I still can't understand the love affair LouPa has with Jason Kendall. I am sure he is a good reciever but he has a terrible arm and he is not the best at positioning his feet & body to stop balls in the dirt. At the plate the only thing that I see he does very well is take pitches he has no power and he can't hit consistently. I understand that experience is important but Soto should be playing more because he is all around a better hitter and catcher.

I think the most fitting outcome of this weekend would be the Cubs being swept, and the Brewers also being swept. That is what this feels like right now.

Spraying to all fields:

Trachsel turned out to be a mistake. I think most of us understand the rationale, but it just didn't work. It did give Hart some good opportunities to show he CAN pitch. Also, not only does Trachsel not make the playoff roster but Lou can send him home for the winter with a thanks, but no thanks.

Blockhead, some posts of the week....nice job.

I think the Cubs clinch tomorrow which saves Lilly for game 2 in AZ. Time for Z to 'man up' today.

Playoff roster: Piggy, Gallagher, Ohman, Fuld, and Blanco are definite No's. Marshall isn't needed to start (unless there's an injury) and hasn't been used out of the pen except once. I don't see what Monroe's bat brings that Cedeno's hasn't in the last 10 days plus they have enough OF's.

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

C -- Kendall, Soto

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

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

Marshall, Ohman, Piggy, Blanco, and Monroe can watch from the bench and see what they need for the NLCS.

Last, for those of us around in 1969 to suffer through that nightmare........Karma is a bitch, isn't it Mets fans? WOW, 8 1/2 games ahead on Sept. 12th and on their way to watching the Phillies in the playoffs. Now, THAT's an EPIC collapse.

Yeah, I really can't see the Cubs bringing Kendall back next year, after finding that Soto can perform like this. It feels kind of good to have the future catcher thing figured out... Now can we please do something about clearing up the outfield picture? Obviously that will have to wait until the offseason.

I still can’t understand the love affair LouPa has with Jason Kendall.

What love affair? Hasn't Soto started 8 of the last 12 games?

Well, Lou is saying Kendall's going to start the last few games because of his veteran presence. Hopefully he'll realize the error of his ways, because we desperately need the hitting. Plus, Soto will add 10 MPH onto every Zambrano pitch when he's not bringing democracy to Burma.

Sure, dave.

But Lou has said that Kendall will continue to start against righties. We just finished a crazy string of lefites. Kendall starts all 3 this weekend, I would imagine.

Well, Lou is saying Kendall’s going to start the last few games because of his veteran presence.

Well... Lou also supposedly said that Kendall was going to start last night and he did not. So I guess we will have to wait and see.

Plus, Soto will add 10 MPH onto every Zambrano pitch when he’s not bringing democracy to Burma.

Only 10 MPH? Man, he sucks. Where is Koyie Hill when we need him...

Has anyone checked out the schedule for the ALCS and NLCS? MLB is screwing with the integrity of the game for TV purposes! (shocking news, I know).

The 7 NLCS games would be played over 10 days, with days off scheduled after Game 2, Game 4 and Game 5. That means that a team's top 2 starters could start 5 of the 7 games, with short rest only coming into play once (in Game 4 for the Game 1 starter).

And in any case, a fourth starter wouldn't be needed at all even if it goes 7 games.

433,

Hopefully that will be to our benefit!

if Cubs clinch tongiht, then Z and Lilly wont start on Sat or Sunday i assume? then they are ready for the playoffs? if we clinch Saturday then Lilly is rested Sunday and starts game1 with Z in game 2? and if it goes to sunday then we have Hill or Marquis in game 1?

Yeah, 433, I saw that schedule about a week ago. Some of the teams that are in the playoff due in part to their depth at SP, and not necessarily due to one or two ace SP's are going to have more trouble than those with a couple of stud pitchers who had to fight for wins when their 3-5 starters were up. It really will change from the regular season.

Z throws tonight, ukcub. Game 1 would be his fifth day.

See post #114.

And while we're at it, the same silliness would apply to the NLDS if a team wanted to use its ace on short rest -- a team's top 2 pitchers could pitch 4 of the 5 games. A hypothetical example:

Game 1 (WED): Schlambrano
Game 2 (THU): Schmilly
Game 3 (SAT): Ritchell
Game 4 (SUN): Schlambrano (on 3 days rest)
Game 5 (TUE): Schmilly

In that example the manager would have to decide whether Schlambrano on 3 days' rest is better than the 4th starter, Schmarkee.

thanks, didnt see that

George Altman — September 28, 2007 @ 9:31 am

Playoff roster: Piggy, Gallagher, Ohman, Fuld, and Blanco are definite No’s. Marshall isn’t needed to start (unless there’s an injury) and hasn’t been used out of the pen except once. I don’t see what Monroe’s bat brings that Cedeno’s hasn’t in the last 10 days plus they have enough OF’s.

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

C — Kendall, Soto

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

OF — Soriano, Jones, Floyd, Murton, Pie

Marshall, Ohman, Piggy, Blanco, and Monroe can watch from the bench and see what they need for the NLCS.

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

GEORGE A: I agree with 96% of your projected roster.

Sean Gallagher is going to pitch in the AFL (Mesa Solar Sox), replacing Grant Johnson (shoulder).

Steve Trachsel and Sean Marshall will be the "ready-reserve" starters (so each will need to pitch simulated games about once a week throughout the post-season to stay "stretched-out"), and Will Ohman and Carmen Pignatiello will be the "ready-reserve" relievers,

Henry Blanco will almost certainly be the "ready-reserve" catcher, and Sam Fuld and Angel Pagan (and Craig Monroe, if he is replaced by Ronny Cedeno) will be the "ready-reserve" outfieders.

But if Cedeno is kept on the playoff roster instead of Monroe, here is the Cubs ready-reserve cadre available to replace an injured player during a post-season series:

PITCHERS:
Sean Marshall
Will Ohman
Carmen Pignatiello
Steve Trachsel

CATCHER:
Henry Blanco

INFIELDER:
NONE

OUTFIELDERS:
Sam Fuld
Craig Monroe
Angel Pagan (currently on DL rehab at Fitch Park)

SS Joe Simokaitis will be active throughout October playing in the AFL (Mesa Solar Sox), but he probably isn't quite ready for prime-time. Eric Patterson could probably "pass" as an infielder and he has been working out recently with Team USA in preparation for the Taiwan Tour in November, but I don't know if the Cubs would consider him as a replacement.

So Ronny Cedeno could make the post-season roster, but if he does, I would think he would replace Mike Fontenot, not Craig Monroe. The Cubs need to make sure to have a "ready-reserve" infielder available (preferably with the team) as a replacement if an infielder is injured during a post-season series, and I just don't think they would be comfortable with either Simokaitis or E-Pat.

So I believe Monroe definitely makes the post-season roster, and Cedeno only makes the roster if Fontenot is dropped.

Since June 1, here are Jason Marquis' numbers:

115.9 innings, 131 hits, 52 walks, 71 earned runs

ERA: 5.51
WHIP: 1.58

Last year with the Cardinals:

ERA: 6.02
WHIP: 1.52

And I have no qualms about throwing out Marquis' numbers for April and May. I learned that trick from Dave. He does it all the time with Fontenot.

AZ Phil,

I was hoping you would weigh in on this. I see what you mean about the ready reserve list. I would think Lou would keep Fontenot over Cedeno then.

So I believe Monroe definitely makes the post-season roster, and Cedeno only makes the roster if Fontenot is dropped.

So it would seem, Az Phil. Lou seems locked into the idea that Monroe fills some kind of lefty/righty hole we have in the lineup. But frankly, what does Monroe do that Pie can't equal?

cubswinthedivision — September 28, 2007 @ 10:33 am
So I believe Monroe definitely makes the post-season roster, and Cedeno only makes the roster if Fontenot is dropped.

So it would seem, Az Phil. Lou seems locked into the idea that Monroe fills some kind of lefty/righty hole we have in the lineup. But frankly, what does Monroe do that Pie can’t equal?

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

CWtD: I would think Piniella would use Monroe as he used him in the PIT and FLA series, starting him in CF against RHP starters and as a RHPH with XBH power when he does not start.

Pie would be used as a PR and late-inning defensive replacement in CF.

I would say Monroe more duplicates Murton than he does Pie.

And I have no qualms about throwing out Marquis’ numbers for April and May. I learned that trick from Dave. He does it all the time with Fontenot.

Since when has Fontenot had two good months?

"how come Rollins has 91 RBI’s out of the leadoff spot and Soriano only has 66?"

Could be because Rollins has 56 more ABs with RISP.

And I have no qualms about throwing out Marquis’ numbers for April and May. I learned that trick from Dave. He does it all the time with Fontenot.

Further... if you don't know how Fontenot's first month, as a rookie, is different than Marquis's first two months of this season, I am not really sure what to tell you.

Don't get me wrong - Marquis is not a very good pitcher. But he is, and has been, a solid pitcher this year with some inconsistency. And he has been far better than Steve Trachsel.

Since June 1, here are Jason Marquis’ numbers:

115.9 innings, 131 hits, 52 walks, 71 earned runs

ERA: 5.51
WHIP: 1.58

Well... not sure where you are getting your numbers from, because this is what I have:

IP: 120 1/3
ERA: 5.31
WHIP: 1.53

But close enough.

But okay... so lets continue the argument. Since 6/1, Trachsel's numbers are:

IP: 91 2/3
ERA: 5.99
WHIP: 1.82

So yea... still trying to figure out how Trachsel and Marquis are the same pitcher.

Not only do they have very different pitching styles, their numbers are not that close either.

Forgot to note that Rollins is only hitting .265 with RISP. Better than Fonzie's .242, but it's not like he's on fire in those situations.

VA Phil:
"Since June 1, here are Jason Marquis’ numbers:

115.9 innings, 131 hits, 52 walks, 71 earned runs

ERA: 5.51
WHIP: 1.58"

So whatever Rothschild saw and fixed for the first 2 months seems to have fallen apart the last 4 months. Unfortunately, I think this is more like the Marquis we can expect over the next couple years.

"Last, for those of us around in 1969 to suffer through that nightmare……..Karma is a bitch, isn’t it Mets fans?"

AMEN!!

Maybe the Cubs should pretend they are out of it, relax and just go for the numbers the way Albert Pujols and the rest of MLB's losers are. Here's some numbers for Cubs to chase:

1 more HR by Cliff Floyd for 10 on the season
2 more Saves by Ryan Dempster for 30
3 more Mark DeRosa RBI's for 75, his personal best ever
4 more Aramis Ramirez HR's to reach 30
5 shutout innings by Carlos Zambrano for a 3.98 ERA
6 more runs scored by Alfonso Soriano for 100

1 more HR by Cliff Floyd for 10 on the season

That is one sad milestone to be going for.

"1 more HR by Cliff Floyd for 10 on the season"

Who is he Mark Grace?!?!?

Forgive me changing the subject, but if I were Lou, I'd be a little frustrated that there is absolutely no clear answer as to who we would potentially match-up with in the first round.

Could be any one of the Dbacks, Padres, Rockies, Mets, or Phillies. And they may not know until Tuesday night if the tiebreakers fall the right way. Frustrating.

"2 more Saves by Ryan Dempster for 30"

I really hope that he doesn't get the chance. I hope we win the next three games by more than 3 runs each day. Better for my Cub induced ulcer that way.

Certainly frustrating not to know who you will play. But I would certainly take it if it means that the possible mini-playoffs on Monday and Tuesday wear out bullpens and starting staffs. The five-way tie possibility is out but there is a one-in-four chance of a three-way tie for the Wild Card, which would leave the playoff matchups up in the air through Tuesday. Crazy but fun.

So whatever Rothschild saw and fixed for the first 2 months seems to have fallen apart . . .

On the same subject, Manny, what has Rothschild ever fixed?

The following pitchers have been plagued with inconsistency this year:

Zambrano
Hill
Marquis
Marshall
Dempster
Wuertz
Eyre
Ohman

Lilly learned to pitch far away from Rothschild. Marmol was good from the gitgo, no credit to the coach. And Howry has such a simple formula that there's really no thought process when he pitches.

If the staff numbers are pretty good, well, those are pretty good arms. Wuertz and Eyre can both throw 93 on occasion, Dempster 94 or higher. It's really inexplicable why Wuertz isn't better than he is. He should have become a closer by now.

I wouldn't trade anyone in the pen (except maybe Ohman) before I gave a new pitching coach a crack at them.

Marmol was good from the gitgo, no credit to the coach.

Marmol was good last year?

re 168:

Wes, not knowing who we will (hopefully, of course) play in the playoffs is what we like to call 'a good problem'.

VA Phil:
"On the same subject, Manny, what has Rothschild ever fixed?"

He did something with Rich Hill to get him turned around.

But good point overall.

Also, supposedly Rothschild worked with Marquis in the offseason after Maddux recommended him to do so and Rothschild went to Hendry and told him he fixed whatever it was. At least that is how I recall the story went, but I could be wrong.

Marmol was good in relief last year not as a starter.

If Z, the $91.5 million dollar man, wants to be considered a true ace, it is games like today where he needs to step up and carry the team on his shoulders. Go out and pitch a gem!!!

new thread up

Marmol was good in relief last year not as a starter.

Marmol threw 9 innings in relief, and had a 6.75 ERA last in those limited situations.

I guess 2 new threads up

Rory:
"Marmol was good in relief last year not as a starter."

I will save Dave looking it up and typing it out, but Marmol was not good last year as a reliever.

His line: 9.1 IP, 0-1, 6.75 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.

Wes, not knowing who we will (hopefully, of course) play in the playoffs is what we like to call ‘a good problem’.

Well sure, Chad. It is a good problem to have. Could be rooting against the Cardinals in October again. But it is still a problem. Doesn't give you a lot of time to study your opponents, particularly if you don't learn who you play until Tuesday night.

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