National League Division Series Game 1: Cubs 1, Diamondbacks 3

What Ifs Box Score, Play-by-Play, Photos W- Webb, well-played playoff baseball, second-guessers L- Marmol, dreams of 9th inning heroics. S - Valverde Series stands at 1-0 D-backs Things to Take from This Game 1. As Good as Advertised Webb and Zambrano were both pleasures to watch in this game. While each one gave up some baserunners, they also both managed to pitch out of modest, recurring trouble with ease. Z, remarkably, had better control than Webb, walking just one to Webb's three. 2. Plenty of chances to Second Guess There are at least three big points in the game where managerial decisions stood out. First, the decision to have Z. swing away with a runner on second and zero out in the fifth. Had he successfully bunted the runner over, Soriano's fly ball to center would have created a run. Second, the decision not to take down Theriot for a pinch-hitter (Ward, I would hope) with the bases loaded in the sixth. Theriot hit a chopper for an infield hit and RBI, who knows what Ward would have done. The most important decision, however, was 3. Pulling Z after 85 pitches Other than a mammoth HR to Drew, Z looked like he was having an easy time dispatching with the D-backs, but he got pulled after 6 innings, with 85 pitches, a walk, a run, and eight K's to his name. The rationale, which certainly is reasonable, being that Z needs to come back on three days rest, you have Marmol available in the bullpen, and Z has had a recent of history of cramps and here we are on a hot Arizona evening. Problem is, however, that.... 4. Marmol Struggles Marmol didn't have control of his breaking stuff, and when he got behind to Reynolds, had to come in with a low fastball, and Reynolds hit it out to left to break the 1-1 tie. He continued to struggle, eventually giving up a sacrifice fly to Conor Jackson. (A fly that featured the strongest throw from Jacque Jones that we've seen in two years.) The D-backs score 2 runs in the inning after Z. leaves, for a 3-1 lead. Lyon and Valverde hold the lead in the 8th and 9th, although Lyon gave up a couple of warning-track shots to Ramirez and Floyd, and Valverde walked Ward to bring Soriano up as the tying run. Soriano finished the game, and an 0-5 night, with a 6-4 forceout. Your we-need-to-win-three-out-of-four details, below. Game Recap Pregame TBS... let's see..... they mispronounce "Soto," and give us an puerile playoff-preview promotion about how the two teams are as different as their cities. I already miss WGN. Some TBS reporter discussing D-backs' plan to flash "beat the cubs" on the scoreboard to counter-act any "Let's go cubs" chants that might arise. Inning 1 - Top

  • First pitch, Soriano hits a one-hopper to Reynolds at third.
  • Jones walks on five pitches.
  • Lee takes a big rip at the first pitch, an inside fastball, and misses.
  • Lee K's swinging on what appears to have been a changeup that dove almost straight down. Nice pitch, whatever it was.
  • Ramirez rolls one to Ojeda at second. Augie gets the third out of the inning
Inning 1 - Bottom
  • Chris Young singles one sharply back up the middle, hitting off the front of the mound and scooting on through. Single on the first pitch.
  • Young steals on the second pitch. Got a good jump, and Soto's throw was a bit high and wide. Would have been tough to get him anyways. Runner on 2nd, no outs to Drew.
  • Drew K's looking at a fastball right down the middle
  • And for some bizarre reason, the D-backs stadium is playing Van Halen's "Jump," which still clearly is a Cubs song. I mean, clearly.
  • Z goes 3-0 count to Byrnes. Fastball down the middle for strike 1.
  • Z shatters Byrnes' bat, grounds out to Theriot with the runner on 2nd able to advance on the slow roller. 2 outs, runner on third for Tony Clark
  • Remember when Tony Clark was a hot young prospect? Naw, I didn't think so.
  • 3-1 count to Young, Z gets the strike call on a borderline inside pitch. I didn't see Montague's strike call, and winced at I thought was a walk. Further review indicates it was inside
  • Clark then K's swinging at a splitter (!!) in the dirt. Inning over without a score, although Z had to work for it.
Inning 2 - Top
  • Floyd K's swinging at a sinker. Lots and lots of downward movement on it.
  • Derosa with the first Cubs hit, a single to right.
  • Webb seems to be getting a ridiculous amount of movement on the sinker.
  • Goes 3-0 to Soto. 3-1
  • Derosa runs, and keeps Cubs out of a DP as Soto grounds out to third.
  • Theriot grounds to shortstop, Drew makes a decent play shallow and towards the hole. Inning over.
Inning 2 - Bottom
  • Reynolds rolls out to Derosa.
  • Z falls behind 3-1 on Salazar. Ball 4. Stockton, saying Z doesn't look sharp yet, basically contradicts Darling's claim from moments earlier that both pitchers look locked in.
  • Snyder up. Hits a "tailor-made" 6-4-3 GIDP. Hooray for Tailors.
Inning 3 - Top
  • Z up, lines one opposite field that scoots past Byrnes, who is playing a bit shallow on what might have been a cut-offable ball. Byrnes then bobbles it at the wall. A double for Z.
  • Don't cramp yourself running, Z.
  • Soriano K's swinging on a slow curve.
  • Jones battles, but eventually strikes out on a change up that sunk straight down. Webb is just getting great movement on everything. Lee up, Z at 2, two outs
  • And Webb strikes out the side when Lee goes down looking at a fastball on the outside corner.
Inning 3 - Bottom
  • Mohammed Ali is in attendance. I haven't seen him in quite a while, and he's looking so much more frail and unalert than what I remember. Happy to see him, but also very tough to see him.
  • Ojeda grounds to Derosa
  • Webb K's looking at a slider.
  • Young waves at a Z fastball. Nice, easier inning for Z. 41 pitches, a hit, walk, four K's through 3.
Inning 4 - Top
  • Ramirez flies to the warning track in right.
  • Floyd K's on another sinker with wild movement. He sort of check swings while bending backwards, and Montague again gives a generous strike call on the insider corner.
  • Derosa gets hit by a moving sinker. Moved right into his left elbow. Glancing blow.
  • Soto hits one hard to Drew's right. He sort of slide-dives, sort of stumbles into a nice catch of the grounder, rights himself, and easily throws out Soto. Inning over.
Inning 4 - Bottom
  • Stephen Drew absolutely demolishes a ball to just right of center. It lands in the pavillion above the left edge of the bullpens. Fastball down the middle.
  • Byrnes hits a hard liner to left, Soriano runs in to get it. Was hobbling in doing so.
  • Interestingly, it appears Soriano was unable to do a hop-catch on that liner.
  • Z jams Clark, flies to Soriano. This time, with the hop.
  • Reynolds does what he does best, and strikes out swinging. 1-0 after 4
Inning 5 - top
  • A Lou Piniella commercial debuts. I missed most of it, but it seems to involve him doing a classic managerial tirade on an ump, while drinking Aquafina.
  • Theriot bounces to Reynolds, who is backing up as he grabs it. He plants, winds up, and you could sort of see it coming - he airmails first base with a very strong, and very high throw. Theriot to second to start the inning, Z up.
  • Z isn't bunting, swings away and lines a soft looper straight at the leaping Drew, Theriot has to dive back to the bag. Stockton sells it as a lined shot.
  • Soriano hits a nice liner to center, backing Young up, but he catches it. Theriot has to go back to second. Given that he'd score easily if it gets over Young's head, he perhaps should have already been back at the bag. Not sure he could have made third, however, even if he had gotten back immediately. (Had Z bunted and succeeded, this would be a run-scoring sacrifice fly....)
  • Jones bounces to Clark, unassisted.
Inning 5 - Bottom
  • Really nice play by Derosa on a liner up the middle by Salazar. Backhands it on the nice first hop, and quickly throws across his body for the out.
  • Snyder K's swinging.
  • Ojeda hits one off of Zambrano's glove, Theriot races in to bare-hand it, but Ojeda beats the throw.
  • Z gets Webb looking at a fastball on the corner. 5 IP, 70 pitches, a walk and 7 K for z.
Inning 6 - Top
  • Lee singles through the left side hole, leadoff single.
  • For as dominating as both Z and Webb have been, there's been a baserunner just about every inning. Stockton points out that we've had the leadoff man aboard in three of the first four innings, just as I type it.
  • Ramirez K's on three pitches, third one swinging at a change up wild pitch. Lee takes second. Ramirez stands there, sort of looks at it, starts running to first a bit, then stops. No need to run in that situation, Rammy.
  • Floyd lines out to right field on a well hit ball. Lee has to hold at second
  • Derosa up with two outs and a RISP.
  • Derosa walks.
  • 3-0 on Soto. Webb suddenly laboring.
  • Walk on four pitches
  • It's certainly not conventional, but why not pinch hit for Theriot here with Ward? I mean, we did put Cedeno on the roster for a reason....
  • Strike one to Theriot.
  • 1-1 count, Theriot hits a chopper deep into the SS hole. Drew comes up with it, keeping a second run from scoring, but everyone is safe. Bases still loaded, 1-1, Z up with 2 outs.
  • Z strikes out swinging. Don' t hurt yourself, Z.
Inning 6 - Bottom
  • Z K's Young looking.
  • Marmol up.
  • Drew singles to left, nice swing on an outside fastball.
  • Byrnes pops to Floyd in shallow right.
  • Clark rolls to Theriot. Z. with 84 pitches through 6, a walk and 8 K. Webb at 79 pitches.
Inning 7 - Top
  • Looks like Z is being taken out after 6. Remember, the plan is for him to come back on three days rest, he's pitching in Arizona and has the cramp history.
  • Soriano grounds back to Webb. Pretty weak night for Soriano
  • Jones grounds to Clark, unassisted
  • Lee K's swinging at a pitch in the dirt. More incredible downward movement. Throws the bat away, then realize the ball has gotten further away than the bat, and jogs to first. Still out.
Inning 7 - Bottom
  • Marmol's first pitch to Reynolds: 95 on the outside corner.
  • Next two, however, are way, way outside.
  • Reynolds hits the 2-1 pitch way out to left. Solo HR on a fastball over the plate.
  • Ouch, that hurts. 2-1 D-backs.
  • Salazar K's looking.
  • Snyder walks. Marmol is leaving a lot of pitches way outside to the right-handers. Mostly his breaking stuff, I think.
  • Ojeda up, and Conor Jackson comes on deck to hit for Webb, should Ojeda keep the inning alive.
  • Augie F'ing Ojeda doubles down the line in Right. Floyd manages to hobble over to cut it off before it gets to the wall, and throw it back in, keeping Snyder at third. He looked really gimpy doing it, but major credit to Floyd getting his decrepit body over to that ball.
  • Jackson in to hit for Webb.
  • Jackson flies to Center. Jones makes a surprisingly strong, accurate throw to home, but Snyder still scores. 3-1.
  • Upton K's on a check-swing.
Inning 8 - Top
  • Brandon Lyon in to face Ramirez
  • Again, Ramirez flies to the warning track in right.
  • Floyd flies to the warning track in right, as well.
  • Derosa hits a shallow grounder to third, Reynolds makes a nice charging play. Lyon with a very fast and easy 8th.
Inning 8 - Bottom
  • Howry in.
  • Drew K's swinging at a low, 95 mph fastball.
  • According to the radar gun and the audible hiss coming over the TV, sounds and looks like Howry has an extra mile or two per hour on the fastball. Byrnes K's flailing at one.
  • Clark flies to Soriano
Inning 9 - Top
  • Valverde in to face Soto, Theriot, and Howry. (Pinch-hitter)
  • Soto flies to center. You can here him utter some one-syllable exclamation after he hits it.
  • Theriot up. Again we get a strike one fastball from Valverde.
  • There is some sort of neon circular sign that is flashing behind the plexiglass directly behind home plate. It appears to be some scout or some sort of thing. The umps catch it, and tell him to cut it out. Very weird. It almost made me think of the guy with the white hat who did the radar gun at Dodgers Stadium, except instead of a radar gun, it's a neon space death ray.
  • Theriot K's swinging at an unhittable low-outside-corner fastball
  • Ward in to pinch hit
  • 3-0 to Ward. Soriano on deck represents the tying run. 3-1.
  • Ball 4. Soriano, who's had a really feeble night, is the tying run.
  • Cedeno runs for Ward
  • Everyone in the building is shocked as Soriano takes a first pitch fastball for a strike
  • Soriano with a good rip at a low fastball, fouls it over the home dugout. 0-2 count.
  • Soriano bounces out, 6-4 force at second.
Parachat Recap Inning 1 We already hate the TBS crew. Do any of these guys know any Cubs players beyond Z, Barrett and Soriano? Replacing every curse word in parachat with "Carlos." "Dick Stockton and Ron Darling, WTF?!?" Play-by-play etiquette rules in Parachat. Augie sounds for Parachat. What we hope Z was doing before the game (Meditating, Hydrating) How many will we get in Parachat tonight? Problems with the TBS HD feed. Ken Harrelson-isms Verboten in parachat. Troy Palamalu's long, flowing hair. The ethnic assumptions behind the "Zambrano is an emotional pitcher" narrative. Inning 2 What is Z's repertoire of pitches? Annoying commercials. How long does it take Kendall to dye the salt out of his salt and pepper beard? Attempting to get a parachat version of "The Wave" going. The pointlessness of the "there is only one October" advertisements. Surfer-looking guys on the D-backs. Inning 3 How does your girlfriend react to your parachatting? Afterparties. Rejected MLB Playoffs slogans. Serious professions of faith that Jones will get the runner in from second. Different forms of fantastic movement. Is Bill James related to Rick James? What's the cool phrase all the kids are saying these days? Frank Calliendo is another D-list celebrity we hate. More rejected slogans. Inning 4 Beers we're drinking. Urinals. The old Disney cartoon Duck Tales. Can Ron Darling be any more of a cliche-generating automaton? Sucking beer off the countertop. Comparing Soriano with the guy from Boston Legal who has asberger's syndrome. Asberger. Hehhee. Yeah, you heard me. Asberger. Asberger! Inning 5 Positive reactions to the Piniella commercial. Hannah Montana tickets. (Let's see how much traffic TCR gets from people googling for THAT!) Fun Facts about John Couger Mellencamp. Should Z have been bunting? Who would we rather have broadcasting these games than Stockton and Darling? The Wilson, Isringhausen and Pulsipher trio. Inning 6 Rules on strike three wild pitches. Floyd's fictitious pre-game good luck routines. Interesting parachat rally effort of typing nothing but SOTO for as long as possible. Phony/silly "fun fact" and "interesting trivia" claims. Maybe the dumbest pro-Cubs sign we've ever seen in a ballpark. Who has less facial hair, Drew or Fontenot? TBS programming sucks. Inning 7 A Brittney Spears conversation breaks out. Eww. Z coming out of game. Pat Hughes' fantastic ability to subtly mock opposing fans who need to be told to cheer. Crying over the Reynolds HR. A very low crazy/inning ration for Z. tonight. Grease. Debating the decision to pull Z. Praising Jones' throw. Inning 8 Courtesy of Wrigley's Believe It or Not, we get this nice bit of narrative prose: "Rob G's nervous eyes meant Trans from across the room. They each knew what the other was thinking. "Dude, WHO invited all these people?" The fridge was completely void of drinks. The pizza was long gone. Some had brought their own beer and were starting to grow irate. Trans envisioned someone falling through the coffee table. "Fuck," Rob said. "These must be Phil's friends."" Who misses Trachsel? Inning 9 Massive cheering effort to try to inspire a ninth-inning rally. Mounting frustration. Game over.
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Comments

we all knew Webb would be tough so its not really that surprising we lost

This broadcast was the worst ive ever seen, TBS did a lousy job in my opinon.

You want a chat recap? Everytime I peeked in it was a bunch of evidently twelve year-old dorks typing the batters name over.

And over.
And over.
And over.

What fun.

Puke.

Ohh, someone didn't like my chat recap?

cubs vs. lefties the first 4 months: the suck

cubs vs. lefties the last 2 months: the awesome

time to bring it. i'm confidant lilly will, just need to hit some of those hard ones not right at people like tonight and over a fence or three.

I wish Marquis weren't the fourth pitcher so we actually could have allowed Z to keep pitching. As it is, he pretty much has to pitch the fourth game.

Arizona won the game it had to, as I cant see Non-Webb pitchers beating us twice. Tomorrow is our game to win because it will be hard to win 3 straight, especially having to face Webb in game 5 on the road. As for pulling Z my problem with that was if you werent going to use him more than 6, then Lou should have pinch hit for him in the 6th with the bases loaded and Webb struggling.

Man the Cubs have made me some precogniscient lately. Anyway, I guess Dempster is not going to be replaced by Marmol anytime soon.

What TBS needs to do is instead of putting hodgepodge teams together, is get the 3 best local TV pairings in MLB to do the DS games along with their "A" team of Chip and Gwynn. Throne and Palmer, Krukow and Kuiper, Kalas and Sarge and Len and Bob would have been my suggestions. Also the networks need to tell Stockton its time to retire. He was horrible with memorzing stats and player names both with this game and the Lions and Bears on Sunday.

I did want to say that I can't imagine cramping should have been much of an issue. The stadium is indoors afterall with plenty of A/C.

The main reason it was OK to lift Z for Marmol in the 7th: based on past performance, there was no legitimate reason to believe that Marmol would underperform what Z would have done in the 7th inning. None.

And Howry was going to pitch the 8th either way.

So, since the 7th inning decision was essentially a wash, why not err on the side of additional rest for Z for Sunday?

One argument I haven't heard, but which makes some sense: using Marmol in the 7th makes him unavailable in the 9th or 10th, when we might need him. But other than that, I don't know why it was such a bad decision other than some variation of "well Marmol gave up 2 runs, of course it was a bad decision!!".

"Replacing every curse word in parachat with “Carlos.”"

Carlos yeah, carlosfucker!

Meh, that was supposed to be "mothercarlos."

I like to Carlos Carlos' mother.

what is TBS? over her in the Uk i get to watch games broadcast by ESPN, fox on a saturday and then local networks like FSN and WGN, is TBS an amalgamation of all these local stations? they only show the postseason? seemed strange watching the Philly/Rocks game with the Red Sox commentator

In '84 Frey decided not to go with Sutcliffe in game four so he could have Sutcliffe or Trout start the first game of the World Series if the Cubs were able to win in four. It's tough to line up your pitching for postseason games that may never take place. I hope Lou's gamble pays off better than Frey's. Would have been great to steal that game last night. Let's get some runs!

Fear does not exist in this dojo, does it!??

Defeat, in Game 2, with Lilly pitching, DOES NOT EXIST, in this dojo, does it!??

I thought the roof was open for the game? Pat said something about "91 degrees" but maybe that was outside the building.

Best chat line:
Someone: Where's Rubi?
Someone else: Not with his mother!

I just don't like the whole "Z's coming back on 3 days rest so we need to save him" excuse because it seems like you're almost conceding Game 1. Maybe you leave him in and get the win and with favorable matchups the next two games you don't have a Game 4. If you do you worry about it then. It would have been one thing to pinch hit in the 6th for him , but if you don't do that I think the thing to do is let him start the 7th and if he put's someone on or gets to 100 pitches then take him down. The other thing I wonder about is if Wood would have been a better choice than Marmol in that spot. I think I'd rather see Marmol get his first playoff action out of the way in a lower pressure spot if possible. I don't know if it was nerves that hurt him, but Woody has been there before.

One last thing: did I see that Webb only threw about 85 pitches as well? Can he come back for a Game 4 now?

Yeah roof was open and game time temp was 91.

The stadium is indoors afterall with plenty of A/C.

The roof was open last night.

Roof was indeed open last night. 90 degrees at game time. My thoughts on this are as follows:

1. I would have pulled him too if I had Marmol sitting down there. I understand that playing to win Game #1 is more important than playing to win Game #4, but the kid is the best reliever in baseball. Since when is going to Carlos Marmol throwing in the towel? Why does bringing him in mean your mangaging not to lose instead of managing to win?

2. I understand the pitch count was low. But with the cramping problems, I think it was a preventative measure.

3. How long do you really think we could have played tied at 1 until some other member of our bullpen shat its pants? You'd have to go to Eyre, Wood, Wuertz, or Dempster eventually. That doesn't exactly smell like getting to the 13th allowing only one to me. It wasn't like we were thinking about getting a run across any time soon.

"The roof was open last night."

Doesn't matter if it's open or shut. The d-backs have always run the A/C.

I seem to remember season ticket holders in season 1 of the franchise complaining about it being too hot so they began running the climate control open or shut.

Z looked sweaty last night.

The only thing I question, was letting Z swing away with Theriot on second. Should have bunted in that situation.

Webb was good but also a bit wild, and some of the outs we had were hit pretty good.

Hopefully Marmol got the butterflies out and will be fine.

Still a very winable series.

Microcosm of the season last night.

The ace is very good, but lacks, pardon the pun, intenstinal fortitude. Real kick ass aces (see Josh Beckett, etc). don't come out of that game. He was matching Webb all the way and then just disappeared, literally.

Lack of clutch hitting. Two lead off doubles (counting the two base error, and the runner never even got to third. Contrast DBacks, who score the insurance run with (gasp!) a sac fly. These are the things that win close playoff games. Cubs have not done them well all year.

Inappropiate leadoff hitter. See above. In both instances, Soriano came up and his job should have been to move the runner along. Oh no. Try to hit a home run. I can't blame him. I blame Lou. Wrong spot for Soriano. The leadoff homers just don't make up for this, in my humble opinion.

As I said quite some time ago, there is a reason this was barely a .500 team. They aren't that good. They could get hot, but if they don't, these are the kinds of games they lose, regularly, to good, or even fairly good, teams.

Here's hoping that they get hot and that the DBacks don't.

Piniella pulling Z just gives something for sports talk radio guys to scream about. Marmol has been unhittable, and there was no reason to believe that was going to change last night (I'm sure anyone would have bet a significant sum of money that Augie Ojeda doesn't get an extra base hit off of him).
I'm sure this has been addressed before in the game chat, but Stockton was absolutely awful last night. I had the sound off for half the game.

Here's a little something for those who love Ronnie Woo Woo.

The only thing more painful that sitting near him at a baseball diamond would be sitting near him on an airplane.

http://www.wearethepostmen.com/2007/10/04/ron...

The ace is very good, but lacks, pardon the pun, intenstinal fortitude. Real kick ass aces (see Josh Beckett, etc). don’t come out of that game.

What? You think that Z took himself out? You have to be kidding me...

Lack of clutch hitting.

The Cubs were among the league leaders in batting average with RISP.

The Cubs were among the league leaders in batting average with RISP.

Not last night.

Not last night.

I didn't say they were last night. I simply responded to Mike saying that it was a pattern all year.

I checked in here and figured the reaction to last night's game (the Z decision, in particular) was going to be hysterical (and I don't mean in the funny way). A pleasant surprise to read otherwise.

What was Parachat like?

Dick Stockton is the WORST and has been for quite some time. I never knew we got Kendall from the Padres.

I guess I don't mind the non-bunt as much as some. Z doubled in his first at-bat and Soriano had looked awful in both his at-bats. Even with a successful sac bunt there's a good chance Sori K's or hits a groundball.

The only thing I question is if Z was coming out after 6 anyway, why not pinch hit for him with the bases loaded. Either PH Ward then or let Z at least start the 7th.

Dave:

I know we are both speculating, but how hard do you think Z pushed to stay in? This is the guy who went out twice this season in important games because he said he had cramps from not drinking enough water, something he then said he would try to think about in the future when he pitched. HELLO?!

As I said last night in the heat of the moment, I think he might be a pussy. (I think that's a defined term in the Bill James lexicon).

I know we are both speculating, but how hard do you think Z pushed to stay in?

"He told me that that was enough," Zambrano said. "I wasn't surprised. I did my job. Let the bullpen do their job also. … I said, 'Let me pitch one more inning,' but he's the manager."

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

I know we are both speculating, but how hard do you think Z pushed to stay in?

I have no idea, and neither do you, but I would be shocked if he wanted to come out. Lou also said that he was the one who took Z out because he wanted him fresh for game 4. So I really don't know where you are trying to go with this.

As I said last night in the heat of the moment, I think he might be a pussy.

Misogyny is fun. And making ignorant claims about something that you really don't know about is fun too. Zambrano has been a workhorse his entire year, and has taken the ball every fifth day with very few exceptions. He also has been more than willing to to throw well over 100 pitches in most starts.

To claim that Z coming out of the game was his idea is a few things:
1 - Complete speculation
2 - Contrary to what Lou said after the game
3 - Contrary to Z's past performances

Calling someone a pussy isn't being a misogynist. Saying, "Women are dumb" is being a misogynist.

Now, calling Z a pussy is really just stupid more than anything.

Ditto Tito above -- nice to read sober reflections on a tough loss. TBS coverage is really grim - - random identification of pitches and absolutely no analysis of how two great pitchers attacked a bunch of dangerous hitters.

Let's hope this game was the sacrificial lamb to Marmol's first playoff jitters. Kudos to Soto on a game well defended. Tip of the cap to Webb on neutralizing our long-ballers.

Anyone else nearly faint when Theriot threw late on the liner Zambrano batted down? Those are rookie plays that will get you in the long run. Anyone else notice Drew's failure to even attempt to double off Theriot on Zambrano's sharp liner? Almost like he forgot the baserunner. D'Backs look eminently beatable . . . just a question whether the guys who got us here can carry us any further. Not last night.

Z's a pussy?

I wish we had a team of pussies like him.

That's possibly the dumbest statement made on this board in a long while.

And if he questions Lou about going back in, what is it then "Crazy Z not being a team player."

Please.

Anyone else nearly faint when Theriot threw late on the liner Zambrano batted down?

What? You are saying that play was Theriot's fault? What was he supposed to do?

I don't know if this story hit all the news sources yet...but saw on WGN morning news showed that apparently someone hung a skinned, dead goat and hung it from the Harry Caray statue last night. Yeesh.

Anyone else nearly faint when Theriot threw late on the liner Zambrano batted down?

What? You are saying that play was Theriot’s fault? What was he supposed to do?
===================================

My guess is he's saying "eat it" don't risk throwing it into the stands or something like that. At least that's what I was yelling at the TV. But I didn't almost faint.

Also speaking of announcers, what ever happened to Al Leiter? I thought he was great at it.

I'm just confused. I mean, I wanted us to win as bad as anybody, but I don't see why everybody thought we were going to come out and shove it up Brandon Webb's ass. Nobody does that. I'm not particularly startled. However, now is the time that we win. We've got Lilly and Hill left, and they've got Davis and Livan. There's no reason to not win those games.

AND more important, Lou has forced Melvin's hand when we take care of business. When we have Game #4 at home and we're up 2-1 in the series, he has to come back to Webb on 3 days because we're coming back to Z on 3 days. I don't think Melvin is very comfortable with that. I can't believe he'd trust Owings in a must-win. If he does that, then Davis is the only bullet he's got left in the chamber in a possible game five against Lilly.

Ah never mind I see he's working for the YES network

One can be a bully, which Z certainly is, and immature, which Z certainly is, and a great pitcher, which Z certainly is, and still not be tough in the sense that he can withstand intense pressure and deliver the highest quality performance. That's what real aces do.

I find it shocking that people are shocked that I am suggesting Z has to deliver before we can annoint him an ace, a stud, a workhorse, or whatever non-pussy title you might prefer. I may have missed it, but when did he become Bob Gibson?

NLCS tix on same in 20 minutes. Does anyone remember the trick for opening multiple browser windows in the "Virtual Waiting Room"?

I think it's as simple as Ctrl N (opening up new windows), but last time I tried that, it busted me for having multiple windows open.

I find it shocking that people are shocked that I am suggesting Z has to deliver ...

Umm... he DID deliver.

How difficult is it to understand that it was Lou's decision to take him out, not Z's?

Wes even gave you a quote to show it.

Did Z not "deliver" last night? If not, what game were you watching?

433 -- I once used three different browsers to get three windows on, um, Windows. I think untabbed browsing also works. Disable cookies if needed.

Man, I agree that Stockton wasn't very capable last night, but would you rather have Buck and McCarver calling tonight's game? Those guys talk incessantly throughout the entire game, but still give you idiot observations all the same. Pick your poison - I would've preferred to have Stoney back there, but TBS probably figured that charges of favoritism would've occurred.

TBS probably figured that charges of favoritism would’ve occurred.

It sure seemed like the crew last night was dying to praise the D-Backs at every turn.

NLCS tix on same in 20 minutes. Does anyone remember the trick for opening multiple browser windows in the “Virtual Waiting Room”?

There is a url that you can use to paste in the url box.

Open new windows, and then paste this link in the url bar:

http://frontline.purchasenow2.tickets.com/buy...

"Best chat line:
Someone: Where’s Rubi?
Someone else: Not with his mother!"

Someone else = Johann.

Great line, though.

I would definitely rather have Buck and McCarver than to be subjected to Stockton again. He is pathetic on football and even worse on baseball.

Mike-

You called him a pussy.

Know one said he was Bob Gibson.

You were questioning his toughness.

With a team based on waiting on Wood and Prior for two years, you called the most reliable and toughest pitcher we had a pussy.

"You'll see that today if we have a nice lead, he'll throw 100-105 pitches and then we'll go to our bullpen," - Lou Piniella, prior to Game 1

The idea that Zambrano would (hopefully) be able to start a Game #4 (if there even is a Game #4) is a good plan, but it shouldn't have a been a reason to pull Zambrano pre-emptively in a tie game after only six innings and 85 pitches, when 100-105 pitches was the orginal plan. It's not like Zambrano was gassed.

Piniella just got too far ahead of himself, and was thinking too much about a possible Game #4. He second-guessed himself.

The only thing that bugs me about pulling Z is that Lou didn't pinch hit for him when the bases were loaded, if he was coming out anyways.

The only thing that bugs me about pulling Z is that Lou didn’t pinch hit for him when the bases were loaded, if he was coming out anyways.

That was the inning before, but yea, I do understand what you mean. If you are going to just let him pitch one more inning, why not pinch hit right there.

A lot of the second guessing here is plain bollocks, especially in the Theriot-on-second-with-Z-batting scenario.

A) Were you actually WATCHING the game? Z hit the ball hard, and unfortunately lined out to the SS on a great catch. He also doubled in his first AB.

B) Assuming Z advances Theriot with a sac bunt... don't you think Webb, an intelligent pitcher by all accounts, pitches differently to Soriano - i.e., he pitches around him or goes for the K/groundout, rather than a flyout.

We got beat by Webb - big deal. Most people were expecting that. You tip your hat to him (and their BP), and go on.

BTW, the fair-weather D'backs fans have arrived at Chase Field and are acting like they've been around all year. They still need to be told when to cheer and when to make noise. What a joke.

I agree the TBS broadcast was terrible. Except, I did like the occasional in-between inning chats with Frank Thomas and Cal Ripken. Not because of their broadcasting skills, which need work, but just because it was a reprieve from the annoying commercials for Frank TV.

Ugh... that Frank TV shit was the worst, mattofamerica. Did anyone actually think, "Wow, that show looks intriguing" after seeing those commercials?

I don't know about you guys, but I just can't get enough of Dane Cook in those commercials.

ACTOBER!!!

dave said: That was the inning before, but yea, I do understand what you mean. If you are going to just let him pitch one more inning, why not pinch hit right there.

Well, first of all, I'm not sure that Jedi (#33) and Tipsy (#58) realize that the Cubs were on the road last night and that after Z made the third out in the sixth, it became the bottom of the sixth. He went out and pitched.

As for pinch hitting for Z in the sixth and then looking for someone (besides Marmol) to pitch the bottom of the inning . . .

Lou doesn't do that. What's the point of criticizing him for doing what he does, and not doing what he doesn't do?

In close games, Lou likes the starter to get the ball to Marmol in the seventh, not in the sixth and not in the eighth. He has Howry for the eighth, and nobody in particular for the sixth. That's emergency duty.

And Lou has said that he doesn't like to give up a hitter's at bat by bunting when he's behind or tied. He likes to bunt when he's ahead, to tack on to the lead. Those are his words. A pitcher might bunt at any time, but Z is not a pitcher when he has a bat in his hands.

Just like for NLDS tix, I'm in the waiting room, the browser window starts to change to a purchasing screen, then I'm kicked back. Different computer, too.

Well... I have yet to even see a purchasing screen, so you are getting further than I am getting.

Marmol can go two innings. Also if necessary Wood and Wuertz aren't bad options.

I'm not saying it was a slam-dunk obviously wrong decision, but if you know he's only going one more inning, I feel you take the chance that another pitcher can give you an inning and you put Ward up there with the bases loaded.

Z batted .247 this year with an OBP of .247. He should have been bunting there. Webb was dealing and the Cubs had to try and manufacture a run. Lou decided to try and wait for the 3 run HR that never came.

Last night could have been a case of over-managing. Tweaking the lineup at the last minute, pulling Z, etc. Bottom line is the bats could not come through w/ runners on base. Not going to win many games w/ 4 hits.

Virutal waiting room is such a cock tease.

Whore.

Lou decided to try and wait for the 3 run HR that never came.

Not really... a single (or any other hit) probably scores a run also. Theriot wasn't on first, he was on second.

I got in using the multiple browser window trick -- 4 tix for Game 5...!

[CENSORED] the virtual waiting room.

Where and how much?

433- Do you mean Home Game #3?? We don't know yet which games would be at Wrigley.

Prices are listed here. Scroll towards bottom of page...

Yeah home game #3. Is there a scenario where the Cubs have home field for the NLCS? If so I guess it would be Game 6.

Section 228, Row 14, $55/ea.

Yeah home game #3. Is there a scenario where the Cubs have home field for the NLCS? If so I guess it would be Game 6.

Yes... I believe that if the Cubs and Colorado both win, the Cubs will have home field advantage.

ok -- I thought it went by win total

433-
Yeah, if the Cubs play COL they would have home field advantage since COL is the WC.

You will be sitting close to me, I'll be in Section 233, Row 10.

I'll wait until we win tonight to get excited about it, but it's nice to see the VWR actually works once in a while.

You will be sitting close to me, I’ll be in Section 233, Row 10.

Yea... looking you will be close to me too. I will about 3 miles north... :(

We could have a TCR contest to see who goes with me!

Stage 1: identify your 100 favorite posts by 433, in order, with a one paragraph explanation summarizing what you liked best about each one.

And only singles available for games 1 & 2.

Only scattered singles left for Home Game 1 and 2.

That's "scatterd" singles.

don't you mean "scatterd" tickets?

Re: Marmol

Another thing that sucks about his performance last night, besides obviously giving up those 2 runs, is that he now AZ has confidence they can hit him. Before he had a little air of dominance because of his nasty numbers, but that is all out the window. It will be interesting to see if Lou comes back with him today.

I wonder if that means Home Game 3 is sold out, or that there are still pairs for Home Game 3?

They will say when the game is sold out

It'll say, "Gaame 3 iz sould ouut."

TRANS wrote: "There is some sort of neon circular sign that is flashing behind the plexiglass directly behind home plate. It appears to be some scout or some sort of thing. The umps catch it, and tell him to cut it out. Very weird. It almost made me think of the guy with the white hat who did the radar gun at Dodgers Stadium, except instead of a radar gun, it’s a neon space death ray."

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

TRANS: It was a Cubs fan sitting behind home plate who was flashing the lights on a Cubs clock at Jose Valverde.

Jeez, another fan flashing a neon Cubs clock at Jose Valverde? That's getting so old.

man... these game 3 tickets are lasting a while, but i still can't buy them!!!

Game 1 and 2 are gone...

I have 41 windows open, no bites. Good thing there is no censorship in my house.

There has got to be a better system for this. I have no idea what it could possibly be, but this system was created by [censored] [censored]s who practice [censored] religion.

NO MORE TICKETS. :-(

All Sold Ou!!!

Well, no luck for me in the VWR and I had 5 windows up. Congrats 433!! My two seasons will have to do.

Trying to stay positive for tonight, and also decide whether or not to tape the game while I'm at work and watch tomorrow, or follow it half-arsed from the office.

I'm not so sure Davis is a great matchup for the Cubbies. Our big boppers--Lee and Ramirez--are a combined 9 for 44 against him.

Here's a picture of the goat that was hung on the Harry statue last night. Nasty.

It's no more disgusting than the meat counter at your local grocer.

It’s no more disgusting than the meat counter at your local grocer.

Which is also nasty... :)

Goat meat in the butcher is not inappropriate. Goat meat hung on a statue IS inappropriate, and nasty, unless you are in the habit of eating roadkill and such.

Let's shake it off guys, come back fresh tonight. Maybe I'll take a nap before the game, try not to be "angry drunk" by first pitch. I'll be positive, promise.

It helps that I'm "watching" these games the same way as all year, MLB audio feed, and TCR chat. This way, I don't have to suffer from all the manufactured, hyper-pressurized crap of televised playoff baseball. Or the ads.

See you all later, if not during the two other games.

The goat on the statue is so wrong on so many levels.

Thanks, Phil. It would have been so much more fun if it was an alien death ray. But yeah, I can see how that would have been a clock....

A clock, with a secret Alien Death Ray setting, methinks....

new thread up

Our big boppers–Lee and Ramirez–are a combined 9 for 44 against [Davis].

We started to do better against lefties with Murton and Soto in the lineup. You don't need a whole new lineup to change the equation, just a couple of guys. Murton had those three home runs against lefties (Capuano, Trevor Miller, Mulder) beginning 8/30.

Will Lou start Kendall?

just asking.

jacos:
"Will Lou start Kendall?"

I think he will. Kendall is batting .313/.450 vs Davis in 16 AB's. He might start game 3 too as he is .355/.394 vs Hernandez.

Also, Murton will be surely starting in RF as he is .400/.462 vs Davis.

Lou already said Murton would start today. My guess on a lineup

Soriano, Theriot, Lee, Ramirez, Murton, Dero, Kendall, JJ, Lilly

maybe he'll flip theriot and kendall. Without Monroe on the roster, JJ will definitely get the start. He's actually hitting 295/353/410 this year vs lefties (yeah I know) and Davis isn't particularly tough vs lefties.

Thanks for the splits, Manny.

As a Cubs fan, I'd like to know who this jackass was behind home with the flashing clock. There was speculation from the announcers on TBS (ugh) that he was a worker? Why didn't they throw him out of the park? What a tool, thanks for doing tons for the concept of Cubs' sportsmanship, moron.

Re that Cub fan guy. I kid you not when I say that it took me a while before I realized that it wasn't my cousin. I really really really thought it was my cousin.

it wasn't

Let's say Z pitches one more inning. Let's also assume he doesn't give up any runs in that inning. Who's coming in to pitch the 8th? Marmol. Lou said that Marmol was going to be his first guy out of the bullpen. Given that he was so pumped up for his first postseason appearance and didn't have control over his slider, he probably would have given up a run or two in the 8th. Meanwhile, the Cubs could not score any runs against Webb or the pen. Same result, but you have Z less rested for Game 4.

Lou's plan could have easily worked out if Marmol was his normal dominating self. He would have pitched probably 2 innings if he shut down the D'backs. Howry would have pitched one or possibly 2. Wood would have pitched one or two, and you still have Dempster available if/when the Cubs finally break through against the Dbacks lesser relievers.

I find it really hard to fault a manager for going to his top reliever (1.43 ERA and ridiculous K/9 numbers).

Lou was playing to win the series. He figures the Cubs have the upper hand in the starting pitching matchups for the next 2 games, and with Z relatively fresh for Game 4, he likes that matchup too. If things go to plan (big if), the Cubs maybe take Game 1, and then have to win 2 of 3 to avoid facing Webb. Or if they lose Game 1, they have the advantage in the next 3 games, so can win those to avoid Webb. If they lose one of those and are forced to Game 5, they have Lilly on regular rest to face Webb with a rested bullpen (day off before game 5). Not a guaranteed win, but Lou likes his chances. Also, if they take the next 3, they have Lilly ready to go in Game 1 of the NLCS.

I get trying to win the game at hand first, but you're facing the other team's ace (by FAR) on the road. Steal that game if you can, but you have to think that's the game you're going to lose. So don't kill your chances to win the series by beating your head against the brick wall in Game 1.

The questionable call to me was not bunting Theriot over to third with Z. With the way Webb was pitching, you have to score anyway you can. I know Z hit a double and another line drive, but Soriano is on deck, so give him an easy RBI instead of forcing him to get a hit to drive in the run from second. Z isn't a great bunter, but let him take 2 shots before swinging away.

not sure we have an advantage over the next 3 games, Owings is scheduled to start but after 89 pitches I'll lay decent money that Webb is going in Game 4.

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