National League Division Series Game 2: Cubs 4, Diamondbacks 8

0-for-Arizona

Box Score, Play by Play, Photos

W - Davis, getting the heck out of Arizona. L - Lilly, 8 hours of sleep. Series stands 2-0 Diamondbacks Things to Take from This Game 1. Body Snatchers Davis pitched like Lilly, and Lilly pitched like Davis. Lilly didn't have command of anything, was continually battling back from behind in the count, while Davis was getting ahead (with some help from the Cubs batters) and racking up a lot of strikeouts. Just pretty clear, pretty early, which pitcher was going to have the easier time of it. 2. Trading Homers in the 2nd Soto gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead on a home run, but Chris Young came back with a bomb of a 3-run home run in the bottom half of the inning. Byrnes also tripled in a run that inning. 3. Augie Ojeda vs. the World. Ojeda is threatening to outhit Soriano, Lee and Ramirez combined. Two more hits, including an RBI single that also took Eyre out of the game with an owwie finger. 4. Need Coffee. I think this game must have set some sort of record for 3-2 counts. Wood finally came in and threw strikes, gets some quick outs. Dempster also pitched a quick inning. But wow, other than that, lots of long at bats and base-runners all night. Not much to analyze with this game. Lilly got hit hard, and while the Cubs had a runner on base every inning, the hitters repeatedly failed to convert them into sustained rallies. But it's a best of five series, not a best of 3, and we have at least one more game to enjoy. The time-for-bed details, below. Game Recap Inning 1 - Top
  • TNT interrupts "A Time to Kill" in order to bring us another cheesey promo for game 2 of the series. I'd rather watch A Time to Kill.
  • And we get to hear the broadcasters do the second-guessing Lou game.
  • Davis throws strike one called to Soriano.
  • Soriano rips a fastball directly back to the screen, foul, 0-2. Didn't fool him.
  • Wow, does Davis have a deliberate motion from the windup.
  • Soriano K's swinging at a big curve in the dirt. Ball gets away, thrown out at first. Soriano with terrible pitch selection on that one.
  • Theriot lines a 1-2 pitch into left for a single. Sinker that got elevated just a bit.
  • Can hear the Cubs starting a "let's go cubbies" chant, and the AZ organ starts up a beat to get the fans to respond with "let's go D-backs."
  • Davis working hard to keep Theriot close to first.
  • Lee hits a slow roller to Ojeda, who shovels to Drew (just as Theriot is running past Ojeda) for the force. Drew's throw back to first is high, causing Jackson to have to leap off the bag. Lee safe at first, now 2 outs.
  • Ramirez K's swinging.
Inning 1 - Bottom
  • 3-1 count on Young. Lilly loses him with a fastball that's two feet high.
  • Lilly comes back to K Drew on the hard curve. Haven't really seen the Lillyhammer yet.
  • Lilly really has Young fooled at first over his legkick.
  • The graphic that TBS/TNT uses to show gradations in leads off from first, from not stealing to stealing, is ridiculous. The outer third of their lead off range is so far off of first base, I don't think I've ever seen a runner stray that far from the bag on their normal lead
  • Bizarre non-play. 3-2 count, Young tries to steal. It's called ball four, but Young recognizes that Soto's throw down to the bag would have him dead to rights, and so he hit the breaks and was running back to first, thinking it was a strikeout. Upshot is, runners on 1 and 2, 1 out, Lilly struggling with command.
  • Jackson hits a chopper to Derosa, who gets a high bounce, does a slightly awkward shovel to Theriot, throwing off the timing. Theriot's throw is just a bit low, getting to Lee's glove at almost the exact moment that it also hits the dirt. Lee can't quite handle it, dropping it, and Jackson safe at first. Young to third. Two outs.
  • Reynolds up. Goes to a full count, as Lilly continues to struggle wtih the fastball. He also still seems to be avoiding the big slow curve, favoring the hard one instead.
  • NEARLY gets a strikeout on the slow curve, Reynolds just does get a piece of it.
  • Gets Reynolds swinging at a fastball, 2 stranded, 26 pitches for Lilly in the first. But no harm done.
  • Just saw the full LouPa Aquafina commercial for the first time. It's great.
Inning 2 - Top
  • Murton chops a slow curve towards shallow third. Reynolds tries for the bare-hand, can't make it. Murton would have been safe, anyways. Leadoff single.
  • Soto hits a pretty lame fastball down the middle, gets it into the first or second row in left field. 2-run HR. Can hear the fans cheering. On the radio, Santo is screaming and hollering like there's no tomorrow. The TBS broadcasters are acting like we've gone a week without getting a base hit, until this.
  • Derosa K's looking
  • Nice AB by Jones, a 4 pitch walk.
  • Two foul bunts from Soto.
  • Lilly K's on another foul bunt. Not happy with himself, he really does take his ABs seriously.
  • Soriano K's swinging. Yet Again. 2-0 Cubs
Inning 2 - Bottom
  • Snyder singles back up the middle.
  • Full count, Upton walks.
  • Ojeda K's looking at a slider on the outside corner.
  • Davis bunts towards third, the ball gets under Lilly's glove, as he came in too far and couldn't readjust. Ramirez comes in and gets Davis at first, Derosa covering. Runners move up to 2 and 3, two outs for Young.
  • 3-2 fastball to Chris Young, middle to outer third and up in the zone. Young hits it out maybe 20 rows up into the left field stands. 3 run HR, 3-2 D-backs. Lilly whips his glove into the ground, in disgust.
  • Drew hits one up the middle, just to the right of second base. Theriot gets to it, gets a bad hop, juggles it, off-balance throw, Drew easily safe.
  • Lilly really hasn't found the command of any of his pitches.
  • Is the home plate ump mic'ed up? Can hear him yell "ball that's outside."
  • Lilly gets another fastball up and over the plate, and Byrnes hits it off of the top of the left field wall. Soriano leapt for it, misjudging and missing, and the ball then hops over Jones who was backing up perhaps too closely. Jones throws it in, airmailing home plate, but Byrnes stays at third. Drew scores, 4-2
  • Kevin Hart warming up.
  • Jackson given a 3-0 green light, swings, and grounds out 5-3. Odd call, there.
Inning 3 - Top
  • This game isn't going to be over until way past my bedtime.
  • Theriot grounds a high fastball to Ojeda at second, one out.
  • Lee flails at a fastball on the outside corner for strike 2. How are we making this chump look so... adequate?
  • This chump bounces a breaking pitch about 10 feet in front of the plate. (Lee doesn't swing.)
  • Lee takes a curve outside for a walk.
  • After looping a liner foul that Jackson couldn't get to, Ramirez pops another one foul. This time, Jackson sort of gives up on it to let Ojeda take it, but Ojeda overruns it, tries to slide to stop his momentum and reach back for it, but fails. Ramirez stays alive.
  • Ramirez lines out to Drew at short. Tries to double off Lee, but Lee gets back.
  • Murton chops to third, force at second.
Inning 3 - Bottom
  • Reynolds gets jammed by a fastball, fights it off for a single to right.
  • Snyder hits a sharp two-hopper to Theriot's right, he makes a very nice scoop, a jump-twist-throw to Derosa, who grabs the slightly low throw, and passes it on to first for a very impressive 6-4-3.
  • And Soto with a nice backhanded catch of a popup foul, by the protective screen. Really needed that inning.
Inning 4 - Top
  • Soto K's swinging at a slow curve from Davis.
  • Derosa reaches for another slow curve on an 0-2 count, hits it sharply up the middle. Drew sort of dives early for it, the ball rolls into his already-dived (doven?) outstretched glove, he gets up and throws out Derosa.
  • And now Jones grounds one to Drew, it bounces off his glove, and Jones gets an infield hit.
  • Lilly up, and is showing bunt! Two outs, he tries to sort of drag bunt. Not much to recommend his effort.
  • Another slow curve, for strike 3 called. That's 7 K's on the game for Davis so far, and he's winning the battle of the slow curves.
Inning 4 - Bottom
  • Ojeda pushes a bunt up the first base line. Lee has to come in for it, and lunges for Ojeda as he's running up the line. Ojeda dives head-first for the bag, but as he does so, takes a couple of steps outside of the second chalk line, the one to the right of the foul line. Lee can't reach him (Lee's body is clearly in the middle of the base lane, and so when Ojeda moves himself out of Lee's reach, it pretty much has to be proof that he's gone beyond the lane.) Lou comes out to object, briefly, but Ojeda stays at first. Lee comes up from the play a bit shaken up, but stays in the game
  • Davis strikes out, whiffing on the bunt attempt
  • Why does TBS think it's a good idea to interview Lou in the middle of an inning in the middle of a game that his team is losing? Good grief.
  • Young walks. 4 walks by Lilly, and when he's missing, he's missing by wide margins.
  • Runners on 1 and 2 for Drew. Hart warming up, again.
  • Rothschild finally comes out for a visit.
  • 2-2 count after Drew guesses fastball and gets something offspeed, but next pitch Drew lines into the right field corner. Stand-up triple. 6-2 D-backs
  • Kevin Hart in.
  • 3-0 to Byrnes, battles back to 3-2 count. Strikes Byrnes out swinging on a fastball.
  • Another 3-2 count, and Jackson K's looking at a slider on the outsider corner. Or at least in the proximity of the outside corner. Nice work by Hart to leave a runner on third when coming in with one out.
Inning 5 - Top
  • Soriano one-hops one off the wall in left. A hard hit ball, and Byrnes makes a nice play, and with Soriano's legs, and a four run deficit, he makes a wide turn at first but holds.
  • From 1-2, Theriot battles back to 3-2.
  • Theriot lines one to deep left, Byrnes catches it on the warning track. I thought it was getting out. Nuts.
  • 2-0 count to Lee, and he pops to very shallow center, where Drew catches it. Davis is sharp, for Davis, but we're making him look even better.
  • 3-1 count to Ramirez, Davis now starting to regularly get behind in the count
  • And Ramirez winds up striking out reaching for a curve. Good grief.
Inning 5 - Bottom
  • Hart walks Reynolds on a 3-2 count. This game must be on pace to break a record for 3-2 counts.
  • Snyder flies to Murton. God, this game is taking forever. I have school tomorrow.
  • Wild pitch, Reynolds takes second. Just only a couple of feet away from Soto, who actually made a nice block on it.
  • Upton Walks.
  • Hart comes out, Eyre in.
  • Eyre gets ahead of Ojeda 0-2, Ojeda battles back, and lines a shot past Eyre, who tries to bare-hand it, just knicking him. Gets through to center, for an RBI, runners on 1 and 3. Augie F'ing Ojeda. 7-2.
  • Eyre appears to have hurt a finger from trying to grab the Ojeda single.
  • Wuertz in.
  • Davis with a great bunt, maybe 12 feet in front of home plate. Lee is right on top of it, shovels to Soto, but Soto is out in front of the plate, and Upton would have scored either way. Not sure if Lee had a play at first on Davis - as hard as he was charging, it would have been a tough turn around and throw. 8-2
  • Young K's, and Drew grounds out, and we're out of the inning. Mercifully.
Inning 6 - Top
  • Murton flies to right
  • Soto hits a nice long shot to right-center, Upton catches it at the warning track, maybe 15 feet to the right of the (right-centerish) 413 sign. Nice running catch.
  • Derosa gets a walk. We've had a baserunner ever inning.
  • And Jones walks on a 3-2 curve. Two on, two outs.
  • Cedeno in to pinch hit for Wuertz
  • Cruz in.
  • Ward now in to hit for Cedeno.
  • Full count, Ward lines one off the very bottom of the wall in center, just to the right of the (other, more left-centerish) 413 sign. Two runs score on the double. 8-4
  • Multiple Choice: Soriano...
    • K's swinging
    • K's flailing
    • K's to end the inning
    • All of the above
Inning 6 - Bottom
  • Wood in.
  • Wood K's Byrnes, 96 mph on the corner. 97 on the previous (Prior?) pitch.
  • Murton makes a nice running catch on a line drive by Jackson.
  • Reynolds flies softly to Murton. Mercifully, it's a quick half inning for a change.
Inning 7 - top
  • Theriot grounds to Clark, who just came into the game at first, 3-1.
  • Lee singles to center.
  • Ramirez bounces into a 6-4-3.
Inning 7 - Bottom
  • Snyder grounds to short, Upton bloops one into left-center.
  • Ojeda up. Wood gets the 6-4-3 from Augie.
Inning 8 - Top
  • Lyon in.
  • Murton grounds one to the left side hole, Drew makes a very nice play to get to the ball and throw Murton out.
  • Soto walks.
  • Derosa called out looking, outside corner.
Inning 8 - Bottom
  • Dempster comes in to get some work in a non-save situation. Can any good possibly come from this?
  • Maybe so. Clark and Young both K swinging. Drew grounds to first to end an easy inning for Dempster. Hooray for very thin silver linings.
Inning 9 - Top
  • Valverde in. Fontenot in to hit for Dempster. K's swinging
  • Soriano singles back up the middle.
  • Theriot hits one back up the middle as well, and Drew makes a nice sliding stop. He might have tried to make the double play himself, but shovels to Ojeda. Ojeda doesn't have his eye quite on the ball, perhaps thinking that Drew will take it himself, and he bobbles it, with it bouncing off of his head. Everybody is safe.
  • Lee up with two runners on and one out, down by 4
  • Lee blows a low fastball past Lee for strike 3.
  • Snyder lets a fastball get by him, runners advance a base. Just seemed to whiff at a fastball.
  • Ramirez also can't catch up to the strike-two fastball.
  • Or the strike-three fastball. Inning, game over.
Parachat Recap Inning 1 Ex-Cub Factor Costume night in Parachat. Ted Lilly Fan Club answers everything we want to know about Ted Lilly, and more. Where the heck is our Cubs game, TBS or TNT? Broken Nipple Clamps. Revisiting Dusty. Lots of nice color selections in parachat. What are you a prisoner to? Does Brandon Webb look like Guy Smiley? Hannah Montana got scalped. The first base lead-off graphic. Zeno's Paradox. Premature dolphin sounds. Inning 2 If the Cubs drink Mexican water, will they get some runs? (Blame Carlos for that joke.) The word "turgid." Going bananas after the Soto HR, declaring all sorts of things we'd do for or to Soto, after that. Extensive conversation about Alyssa Milano. Mocking the Playoff commercials. (Did you know there's only one October? ONLY ONE!!!) Obsessions with Grady Sizemore. Assuming genders. Gender identities of team names. Assigning personal names to team names. Disgust with the HR. Just how long is this game going to take, and where is Rothschild? Inning 3 Breaking out the consolation booze. Coaxing a walk. (Here, walk walk walk walk walk... want some candy?) Ojeda's ex-cubbery. Debate over whether it's too early for the doom and gloom talk. Cell phones in class. Tests of clothing. More reasons why TCR is superior to newspaper coverage. Inning 4 Kenny Lofton. Lilly's attempts to bunt, hit. Drew's fielding. Should we have pinch-hit for Lilly? Annoyance with TBS interviewing Lou in the middle of the inning. Lots of frustration as D-backs score. Who would quit watching a Cubs playoff game, even if we're losing? The Hart Foundation. Hart to Hart. Baseball IQ? We'd settle for Reporting IQ. Inning 5 Should Soriano have made second? Frustration with Cubs ABs. The Desert. Austin, TX. Weather Preferences. What are we drinking. Sinead O'Connor, Britney Spears, and Oprah. Mocking the TBS announcers. Which was worse, 1984 or 2003? Parachat begings to cannibalize itself. Predictions for next year. Inning 6 Rally "ignores" Who and what are you ignoring? Fat jokes about Ward. Cheering for Ward. Frustration with Soriano. Cubs-inspired Yoga positions. Wood to return to the rotation some day? Like Game 4? Should the Cubs stick with Prior? Inning 7 Any chance the new ownership moves the Cubs? Parachat Cage Matches. 1-800 Collect and those other collect call numbers, where did they go? Politics and religion chatter. Inning 8 More politics. An awesome prediction that Derosa will watch a called strike three and complain about the call. Inning 9 Attentions evenly divided between arguing about the war and following the end of the game.
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Comments

Yay, another summer of my life wasted watching this piece of crap franchise.

when Soriano, Lee and Ramirez are 4 for 27 (and batting .148) in the first 2 games then you KNOW the Cubs are in big trouble...can't afford the big 3 bats to be this unproductive (especially when the pitching isn't totally reliable).

If you count it a wasted summer whenever the Cubs don't win the World Series....

So we lost. We're still alive, and it's still been a good year.

Let's go out and get a win on Saturday. Until we actually lose the series. It ain't over.

If we get a win in game 3 with Rich Hill on the mound (bless his little heart) we're going to have a whole lot more hope. So I ain't counting us out yet.

I'll say this though. Ted Lilly picked a bad time to throw his worst pitch of the year. That fastball to Young was so teed up it was sick.

Sigh. Signing of from the West Coast. I'm glad it's already tomorrow in Chicago.

fyi, the in-game interviews are done between innings. Check out the background next time, you'll see the players switching sides and running onto the field. They just run them during the inning and play it off like it's live.

[Censor] You Jay Mariotti! [Censoring] windsock.

Here's a good reason to root for the Rockies:
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3...

Interesting to compare payrolls vs. production with these two squads.

Experience factor?

Lilly after a loss?

Augie Ojeda?

You know it is not your year when Augie Ojeda is feasting off your pitchers.

I am glad that they improved 19 games - but am just utterly disappointed in the Cubs performance.

No more Mariotti, please. The man is a menace. Watching these games is bad enough without being aware of his imbecilic rantings. (Apparently now the Cubs are a $400M team, I suppose because of Zambrano's contract. What a dunce.)

The same Jay Mariotti that told me after the Dallas-Bears game: "The agony is over. A man has taken over the position." And then said after the Lions-Bears game: "I tried very hard last week to see the positives in Griese, only to realize quickly that he's just an older, weaker-armed, thicker-sideburned version of the pitiful Rex Grossman."

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/mariotti/58229...

Ummm, ya think?

So him calling the Cubs 'chokers' might actually be good news, in a way. David Broder, who hasn't been right about one effing thing EVA saying the Cubs will make a 'quick exit'? That is great news.

http://www.sacbee.com/debate/story/413268.html

Mariotti is a VISIONARY! Mariotti after Bears-Cowboys and Griese getting the job:

"The agony is over. A man has taken over."

Mariotti after Bears-Lions: "I tried very hard last week to see the positives in Griese, only to realize quickly that he's just an older, weaker-armed, thicker-sideburned version of the pitiful Rex Grossman"

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/mariotti/58229...

Umm, ya think? If Mariotti sez 'down', we going up, baby!!!

Well, I guess that's a better way of looking at it, IowaCub.

I should also point out that the more enlightened scribes at BP were right about one thing: the Cubs have no excuse for losing.

[...] Livin’ the Moment wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptNational League Division Series Game 2: Cubs 4, Diamondbacks 8 0-for-Arizona Box Score, Play by Play, Photos W - Davis, getting the heck out of Arizona. L - Lilly, 8 hours of sleep. Series stands 2-0 Diamondbacks Things to Take from This Game 1. Body Snatchers Davis pitched like Lilly, and Lilly pitched like Davis. Lilly didn’t have command of anything, w… Read the full post from The Cub Reporter Tags: Game Recaps, Playoffs via Blogdigger blog search for yoga. [...]

...okay, on second thought, that was pretty harsh. Webb was filthy, and last night was just one bad game. The Cubs really need to improve their mindset and plate approach, though, and I truly hope that playing a home game will help them do that.

No real surprise -- this team has played great for stretches (usually against bad teams) and lousy for stretches (usually against good teams -- Mets, Phils, D-Backs, Padres). This has been one short, lousy stretch against a good team. It fits.

Soriano sets the tone -- and he is pretty much an all-or-nothing guy. But, he's our guy, and I look forward to rooting for him, DLee, Ram, Z and Lilly et al for the next several years.

Tough night for Lilly -- it happens. If there is somehow a Game 5 -- I will be glad to have him on the mound.

Late Night with Dick Stockton -- ugh.

Agreed, iowaCub...if Mariotti says "zig", expect a "zag". Now I'm optimistic again after reading his column!

I don't care what anyone says about this team. It was a great summer--not wasted at all. No such thing as a wasted season if you're watching and following baseball. And this summer far more rewarding than last year.

One day at a time..

dear cubs,
please leave the 3-and-outs to the bears.
your pal,
dc

Dear Alfonso, Aramis, and Derrek;
Please feel free to, you know, get some hits and stuff in big spots. We still love you, but you're making it hard to.
Your pal,
JJ

It is not over, though probably close to over, but it is fair to say that Arizona is exposing the weaknesses that have been inherent in this team all season. Too often there is a lack of timely hitting. Too often we strike out in bunches. Soriano has looked absolutely clueless and terrible at the plate. And now we learn that Lou has little or no confidence in more than three of our starting pitchers! Marquis is not a world beater but I kind of wonder what he is thinking now after being left off the playoff roster last year by St. Louis. He is as good as left off the playoff roster this year, too. If we only have three starting pitchers that Lou trusts, then obviously we need more starting pitchers.

Neil Diamond - Cubs On The Rocks

Cubs on the rocks ain't no surprise
Pour me a drink,
Cause they'll tell you some lies
Their gonna lose,
So you just sing the blues, all the time

Gave you my heart, gave you my soul
You left me alone here
With nothing to hold
Yesterday's gone
Now all I want is a smile

First they say they want you
How they really need you
Suddenly you find you're out there
Walking in a storm

When they know they have you
Then they really have you
Nothing you can do or say,
You've got to leave, just get away
We all know the song

You need what you need
You can say what you want
Not much you can do
When the feeling is gone
May be blue skies above,
But it's cool
When your love's on the rocks

First they say they want you
How they really need you
Suddenly you find you're out there
Walking in a storm

And when they know they have you
Then they really have you
Nothing you can do or say
You got to leave, just get away
We all know the song

Cubs on the rocks ain't no surprise
Pour me a drink,
Cause they'll tell you some lies
Their gonna lose,
So you just sing the blues, all the time
Yesterday 's gone
Now all I want is a smile.....

For the Love of Harry.. and the Ivy win 1 at home

Does Geovany Soto remind anyone of Dave Navarro from Jane's Addiction? At least they both wear the same amount of eye makeup

Anyone got a good shot of Lilly spiking his glove?

Chermo - I'm not sure Dave Navarro, off a tee, could hit it past the pitcher's mound. And as far as I know Soto isn't psychotic. Otherwise, ya, sort of see the resemblence.

Is everyone still excited about an 85 win team?

This team is full of chokers.

They choked in April
They choked in August when they turned it around
They choked in Florida last week
And they are choking now!!

I'm glad Rob Bowen, Koye Hill got all those ABs when Soto could have been given a shot to play.

Hendry cannot GM!!

Build a team to win 95 games, not sneak in a bad division.

I think Soto looks alot like Pudge Rodriquez

Dave Navarro has Ojeda-like power... He was a very underrated part of MTV Rock and Jock Softball...

If the Cubs, winning 85 games are "basically a 500 team" like so many have said, what is the cutoff? Were the 03 or 04 teams that won just 3/4 more games "basically 500 teams?" Are the DBacks, who won just 5 more games "basically a 500 team?" Remember, the Cubs stayed above the 500 mark for the vast majority of the second half of the season.

This team pretty much met our expectations. Most of us thought the team was capable of winning 85ish games, with a small minority bitching if anyone even suggested the team could do better than a 500 record. What's encouraging is that this team met the high end of our expectation, even though Zambrano had the worst year of his career, and Lee, Ramirez, and Soriano all performed as individuals far lower than expectations. The cubs also got a lot less production that expected out of CF, RF, and C this year. Despite all those disappointments, and a horrible start to the season, the team rallied together and came back to win the division!

I know there's a group of "Cub fans" whose just become so bitter that they basically cheer for losses, who back in April and May wanted so desparately to be able to say they were the first to write off the 07 Cubs, who couldn't wait to call out the "Low Water Mark" after every Cubs loss. I don't know if its bitterness, or agendas, or what, but its really sad. What's even more amazing is that the same people who were trying so hard to write off this team in April and May as one with no chance at the post season are now still the same people who are most loudly complaining about how disappointing this season was.

The playoffs can suck, and when you've got 3 offensive stars who can't hit the ball in 2 games of a 5 game set, and the most reliable starter of the season gets shelled in a must win game, it is disappointing. Its also pretty difficult to call this season a success without a post season title. But I for one am not going to be bitching and moaning about how bad the 2007 Cubs were because they were "only" able to go from the worst team in the NL, to hold of a very talented Brewers teams, and win the Central Division and make the playoffs.

ND, you have a very interesting definition of the word "choking." Which dictionary are you using?

That said, the last two days definitely fit the bill.

Disagree about ARAM. I don't think he performed "far below" expectations this season. Below? Maybe. Far below? No. And Soriano, if he cannot show a bit more plate disclipline, even 5% more discipline, don't look for his numbers to change much in the future as he continues to get older.

When I lance an infected boil, that oozy yellow disgusting stuff which oozes out, is called mariotti. STFU man.

ND, you have a very interesting definition of the word “choking.” Which dictionary are you using?

ND's Unabridged Dictionary:

Choke (chōk) (v): The act of struggling early in the season, turning it around to play like one of the best teams in baseball, and ending up making the playoffs.

bleeding blue,
you make several good ponts.

this cub team also enjoyed remarkable good health, most noticeably in the starting rotation. those types of years come around rarely.
more should have been achieved, and maybe it yet will be.
it's too soon to say this season was a success or failure; it's not quite done.

only 1 opinion.

#25: They choked in April

No. They did not play well in April, but they won the division. Therefore, they did not choke.

They choked in August when they turned it around

I don't get this. They won the division.

They choked in Florida last week

No. They won the division. Are you a White Sox fan?

And they are choking now!!...Build a team to win 95 games, not sneak in a bad division.

They are playing poorly. I agree that roster construction seemed sort of made-up-as-it-went-along this year, and I agree that it would be much better to have a consistently powerful, balanced team. However, those kinds of teams can lose in the playoffs too (the 1990s Braves, for example).

Get A-Rod and this team will be a lot better.

Lilly's childish reaction to Young's 2nd inning bomb sent a clear message to the D-Backs: "We're afraid we're going to lose".

I have seen pitchers slam their glove in the dugout, after they were out of the game, but never on the mound. Should have gone to bed right then -- it was a clear sign that they are more afraid of losing than they are excited about winning.

This series reminds me of the 2000 ALDS where the White Sox got swept by an inferior Mariners team. Ordonez, Thomas and Konerko went 0 for the series.

Our big boppers have been totally absent. It'll be tough, but I still think we can come back and win this thing. Just think how many 4 game series go two for one team and then 2 for the other team. And then it's just a one-game playoff.

[...] impressionist I’ve ever seen — if you’ve been watching the MLB playoffs (AKA, the Cubs getting spanked) you know what I mean. Here is a video with a bunch of his impressions… Incredible, [...]

Lilly’s childish reaction to Young’s 2nd inning bomb sent a clear message to the D-Backs: “We’re afraid we’re going to lose”.

It is kinda' funny to me.

A lot of people (not saying you are one of them) have complained about the Cubs' "lack of emotion" this year, and now people are complaining about Lilly's emotion on the mound?

Lilly's emotion really didn't bother me - it showed me he was pissed, that he hates to lose, that he was disappointed with himself.

Was it "appropriate?" Probably not, but it still didn't really bother me.

Was Lilly's reaction much worse than Davis' reaction to Soto's hr?

I'll say this about Lilly's reaction: If it had been Zambrano who'd done the same thing, it would be the number one talking point on every sports show in america today.

it would be the number one talking point on every sports show in america today.

Yea... I agree about that.

I agree the Braves of the 90's choked in the playoffs. But I feel if the GM puts a roster together that wins 95 games a year, its up to the players to come through in the playoffs. If the team wins 85, 88, 89 games, its really only slightly better than .500.

Winning in the playoffs is a crapshoot. Nobody can predict it, its up to indivuals coming through in the clutch. But if the roster is not good enough to win 95 games, than do they have enough talent to win in the playoffs either.

Say what you will about Lilly's temper tantrum, but it does set a tone. This is a veteran pitcher on a veteran-laden team pitching in the biggest game of the year. If he'd just been his mild-mannered, show-no-emotion self and gotten a fresh baseball from the umpire, then there'd be a sense of, "you got me that time, but I'm confident I'll be shutting you down from here." Ditto for the Cubs big stars slamming their bats down after striking out or popping up. Enough childish displays. Man up and show the rest of the team you're confident enough that you'll get it done next time.

But if the roster is not good enough to win 95 games, than do they have enough talent to win in the playoffs either.

Yup... the Cardinals and their 83 win team sure didn't have enough talent to win in the playoffs.

Winning in the playoffs is a crapshoot... ...But if the roster is not good enough to win 95 games, than do they have enough talent to win in the playoffs either.

Let me get this straight, The playoffs are a crapshoot, which by definition means they are totally dependent on luck.

Yet, you need to win 95 games in the regular season to have enough "talent" to win?

So how exactly can you need a certain amount of talent to get lucky?

What i mean, is if you have enough talent to win 95 games, than your chances of winning in the playoffs are higher.

The playoffs are a crapshoot, in that you dont know if the players will come through during those 3 weeks in October.

Nobody knew Jeff Weaver and Jeff Suppan would be lights out in the playoffs. Or Becket would be in 03' or Derrick Lowe would be in 04'. Nobody knows until you get there. If you have a 95 win TEAM, then they have the talent to win, its still up to the individual players to come through.

Maybe if our GM would have built a team that could win 91 games, we would have Home Field, and these last 2 games play out differently.

I feel Hendry is a lousy GM, given his player personnel decisions in 05-07 and the farm system the last 5 years.

He's done good things, but his negatives are worse.

Any GM can go out and buy a bunch of players.

Teams that are used to winning -- Red Sox and Yankees, say -- don't seem to have temper tantrums in the 2nd inning of big games. Clemens can be a maniac on the mound, but it's "I'm going to kick your ass!", not "Oh No! We're Gonna Lose!!"

Fine line between thinking about winning and being afraid of losing -- to me, it was just a clear sign that Lilly was afraid of losing. Like a golfer who thinks "don't hit it in the water" instead of "knock it on the green". Same goal, different mindset, and usually a different result.

Good thing the Cubs are famous for October comebacks.

They keep playing Van Halen's "Jump" playing in Arizona's stadium throughout the games. Perhaps the baseball gods will smite them with a 1984 role-reversed redux.

ND-

I disagree. Hendry's signings this year all played out pretty well.

Not sure the teams that signed Zito or Schmidt can say that.

I feel Hendry is a lousy GM, given his player personnel decisions in 05-07 and the farm system the last 5 years.

What poor player personnel decisions did Hendry make for '07?

And the farm system? The farm system brought ARam, Lee, Murton, Theriot, Marmol, Hill, Marshall, Soto, Wuertz, Hart, etc... to this team.

Hendry signings were a direct result of his inability to develop players in our own farm system which can play at the ML level or could be bartered for established players. Lilly, Derosa, and Soriano to an extent are good signings. Marquis was decent.
But he's just covering for his failures.

Hendry cannot evaluate his own talent.

-Soriano in CF
-Izturis at SS
-Barret at C
-Bowen/Koye Hill opposed to Soto
-Pie being ML ready (which we were told he was close, and remember would have been brought up in 05', if he didnt have an injury)

Aramis and DLee were acquired due to economics of Florida and Pittsburgh. Not because of Bobby Hill and Hee Seop Choi.

Dave - hold on

Aram - came from the priates
Lee- came from the Marlins
Murton - came over in the Nomar trade
Wuertz - blows

"What poor player personnel decisions did Hendry make for ‘07?

And the farm system? The farm system brought ARam, Lee, Murton, Theriot, Marmol, Hill, Marshall, Soto, Wuertz, Hart, etc… to this team."

i wouldnt have Wuertz as a good example of what our farm system has brought. he has been throughly unspectacular

"Dave - hold on

Aram - came from the priates
Lee- came from the Marlins
Murton - came over in the Nomar trade
Wuertz - blows"

i think he meant the farm system got us those players

I'll basically drink to what Bleeding Blue says.

~drink~

Was anyone furious when the DBacks runner advanced from first to second on a ball in the dirt, Soto threw, but was late...the next inning Soriano was ACTUALLY ON BASE, ball in the dirt, walks back to first...

This is an example of the different mindsets. Someone pointed it out earlier...we are out there not to lose while the Diamondbacks are out there trying to find a way to win. If someone tries to say he didn't run because he isn't 100%, than it is even dumber that he is hitting 1st. If he strikes out this much, can't take a walk, and can't run...wow, great lead off man! I won't except the injury argument. There have been plenty of examples of professional atletes playing hurt, yet playing their hardest to win

"If you count it a wasted summer whenever the Cubs don’t win the World Series…."

Here's the problem with this kind of thinking, which has dominated most of the sentiments of Cubs fans over the past 40 years - it's the hallmark of diminished expectations. The whole gestalt of "gosh, we didn't win it all this year, but hey, what a great time we had anyway, blah, blah, blah."

Say what you will about McDonough, but he firmly stated that nothing less than a WS win would be considered acceptable this year - and that's the mindset I want for this organization for the future. Isn't that the point about playing the games in the first place? Sorry, but after watching repeated failings over my lifetime from this team (beginning with the '69 season), nothing less than winning the WS will be acceptable.

Loathe the Yankees and the Braves all you want (and I do), but you'll never hear anyone from those organizations expressing sentiments like that - everyone knows what's expected of them every year, and that's a WS championship.

Choking implies vertigo: you get close to the prize and then you get nervous or scared. You can't choke if you only had the lead for about ten minutes in the second inning of one of the games.

Mariotti is like Soriano, he swings at everything.

I liked Mike Nadel's take on the second-guessing of a manager.

Piniella:

"How many people have wanted me to close with Marmol? I bring in Marmol, it's like the goat left his grave, right?"

"You manage a ballgame for 2 1/2 hours ... and it takes you almost that long to explain what the hell you do. That's the way it is. I understand it. I don't get upset about it. But it doesn't mean that I'm gonna change what I do."

I posted this on a previous thread, and JP does a great job posting the Baseball America Top 20's over at Road to Wrigley, but some of you might be interested in how the Cubs prospects rank at the AA and AAA levels (BA uses unterviews with scouts and rival managers to deytermine their Top 20's).

Here are the Baseball America Top 20 from the PCL and SL. (They are not available on-line yet):

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE:

1. Yovani Galladro, RHP (MIL)
2. Adam Jones, OF (SEA)
3. Billy Butler, OF-1B (KC)
4. Andy LaRoche, 3B (LAD)
5. Ian Stewart, 3B (COL)
6. Felix Pie, OF (CUBS)
7. Carlos Gomez, OF (NYM)
8. James Loney,1B (LAD)
9. Brandon Wood, 3B-SS (LAA)
10. Luke Hochevar, RHP (KC)
11. Jeff Clement, C (SEA)
12. Mike Pelfrey, RHP (NYM)
13. Edison Volquez, RHP (TEX)
14. Wladimir Balentien, OF (SEA)
15. Troy Patton, LHP (HOU)
16. Eric Hurley, RHP (TEX)
17. Billy Buckner, RHP (KC)
18. Chin-Lung Hu , SS (LAD)
19. Daric Barton, 1B (OAK)
20. Geovany Soto, C (CUBS)

SOUTHERN LEAGUE

1. Justin Upton, OF (AZ)
2. Evan Longoria, 3B (TB)
3. Wade Davis, RHP (TB)
4. Johnny Cueto, RHP (CIN)
5. Brandon Jones, OF (ATL)
6. Reid Brignac, SS (TB)
7. Tyler Colvin, OF (CUBS)
8. Manny Parra, LHP (MIL)
9. Gio Gonzalez, LHP (PHI)
10. Carlos Gonzalez, OF (AZ)
11. Mark Reynolds, 3B (AZ)
12. Chin-Lung Hu, SS (LAD)
13. Brent Lillibridge, SS (ATL)
14. Jonathan Meloan, RHP (LAD)
15. Max Scherzer, RHP (AZ)
16. Jo Jo Reyes, LHP (ATL)
17. Diory Hernandez, SS (ATL)
18. James McDonald, RHP (LAD)
19. Gaby Hernandez, RHP (FLA)
20. Alcides Escobar, SS (MIL)

While Hendry shares some culpability, the inability of the Cubs' farm system to develop quality position players for the big club certainly pre-dates big Jim. Over the past 25 years, they've produced two position players who went on to have some sustained success on the big club -- Grace and Dunston. To call that output dismal is an insult to the word dismal.

If anyone wonders why the Cubs have 9 post-season victories (6 coming in one campaign) in the past 62 seasons, look no further than that inability to discover and develop high-caliber MLB talent. Yes, they produced the obvious big names in the 50s and 60s, but the cupboard has been bare for some time now. Will guys like Soto, Pie, Colvin and Vitters buck that trend, or will their names be lumped in with Kieschnick, Harvey, Dopirak, Kelton, Griffin, Cunningham, Cline, etc.

Certainly, my biggest issue with Hendry and the amateur ranks is his obsession with products of Notre Dame and his old high school. Loyalty is nice, obsession not so much.

Pie is ranked 6th, but cant hit a lick in the ML's, but Soto can, but he's ranked 20th, go figure!!

We CLEARLY have the talent to win this series. But our talent is not performing. top 5 batters in the order 5 for 35 with 13K's....a quality pitcher having a playoff meltdown. Hendry can not and should not be blamed for the inability of veteran players to perform under pressure. 2005 & 2006 I certainly blamed Hendry for sucking. This year, he did his job and brought in talent good enough to win. The talent hasn't performed these 2 games. Players fault, not Hendry's.

Agreed ND. Soto plays at a position where there is a scarcity of offensive talent--there is only one other C on that AAA list and no catchers on the A list. That alone should bump him up significantly.

I don't think that Baseball America takes into account positional scarcity in their rankings. They should. It always seems to me that their rankings are overly weighted with flashy shortstops, fast outfielders, and strikeout pitchers. I agree with the latter but not the first two.

Hendry has to take some blame, but he did play a part in getting us here. he shouldn't be blamed for what has happened the last two nights-that's on sweet lou and the big 3.

That was Soto's 30th home run this year, in only 445 at-bats.

Woe is us, we're in the playoffs and lost 2 games. All is lost.

Our hitters aren't hitting so far and Lilly laid an egg last night. That's basically the entire roundup right there. Would anyone really want to switch Doug Davis with Ted Lilly?

Honestly our approach has been pretty good, we're working counts and getting decent swings. They all seem to be landing in their gloves though. Whether that's the Dbacks defensive talent or just poor luck I'm not sure.

Augie Ojeda and Stephen Drew are beating us and I guess Chris Young. It's as much luck as anything.

btw new thread...

Would anyone really want to switch Doug Davis with Ted Lilly?

Well... several people in parachat last night all of a sudden think that Lilly sucks and can't be trusted to pitch a game 5 if one were to be necessary.

I don't get it, but I guess to each their own, right?

Great words, Bleeding Blue. This season was fun as hell to watch (particularly after June 2nd), and if the Cubs don't come back to win this series I won't consider the season a total waste. Will I be upset? Sure. But for once this team's success doesn't look like a fluke. I fully expect them to be back in the playoffs next year and the year after that.

As for all the Hendry-bashers, get the fuck over it. The guy went out and signed every guy he wanted this past offseason, and just as importantly, didn't trade away vital cogs from the farm system. How big was refusing to trade Hill? I'd say that was pretty important.

And can people please the fuck stop using the argument that Hendry didn't do anything good in getting Lee and ARam because their old teams couldnt pay them? That may be true, but every other goddamn GM in the league had the same shot to get those guys and didn't. It's not like Hendry has the right of first refusal with the Pirates and Marlins. He went out and made some really smart moves when other GMs couldn't. So shut the fuck up already.

Censor that.

Grooving a fastball to Young isn't luck. Young has a lot of power if a piss poor eye and can hit those HRs, so it's not like it's David Eckstein hitting one out or anything.

There has definitely been a lot of bad luck on some hard hits to defenders, but there's also some very bad at bats by Soriano and Aram and some bad pitching by Lilly and Marmol. The at bats especially aren't bad luck, but rather players that look extremely tense and lost at the plate swinging at everything. Also, the Diamondbacks are hustling every time, as opposed to Soriano's single where he watched the ball expecting it to go out. So, while we are having bad luck, we are also creating some of it.

"I don’t think that Baseball America takes into account positional scarcity in their rankings."

they do, but its more important that you got your total package in order.

soto making #20 on that list is a hell of a compliment...#19 is d.barton. that's a hell of a compliment.

pie is ranked #6 cuz well...he's got a soriano-fast swing and killer D (with a good arm) even if he hasnt developed his power stroke yet. he may flame out, he may be a soriano clone. right now he's a very young guy with some heavy upside not matched by many. unfortunately, upside wont help the cubs in 07 and it may not in 08, either.

either way...he may remind some of c.patterson a bit too much right now, but his projected upside destroys what patterson's was cuz of how fast he can get that bat off his shoulder and put it through the strikezone. now he just needs to do a better job of where that bat ends up once it gets off his shoulder.

In the midst of all the wailing and moaning, I'll add this to the mix:

In Game 1, we got VERY unlucky with some line drives that were out and out SHELLED that happened to go right at someone. Zambrano's liner with the bases loaded being the biggest example. Last night was ugly, and you've got to put a lot of the blame on Lilly. But Game 1 easily could have gone another way. It was just a tough ballgame. So I can't call it Cubbery.

Another thing I'll say, is that there has been some absolutely awesome defense on the Cubs' part in this series. The DP that Theriot and Derosa turned last night was incredible. Aram also made a really nice play on Davis's first bunt.

I have one message for the haters: have some pride in your team. These guys have worked their butts off to get here and they deserve our respect.

Peace out!

speaking of minors, Colvin made Team USA that will play in the 2007 World Cup.

Bleeding Blue and Doug D, I agree 100%. This year was great. Even if I hated April and May. This team will pretty much be back in tact next year and I expect great things. I saw them play in Texas this year (unfortunately my only time seeing them live) and even then I realized they were a year away.

Hendry has a team that has come together and will excel next year. I expect nothing less than 90 wins and a trip deep in to October. The bummer about the Divisional Series is 5 games. If this was a 7 game series I am sure the Cubs would win. Its still not impossible they wont but either way 07 was a good year.

If your not happy with things as they are now find another team. I hear there is still room on the Rockies bandwagon.

Thats so low expectations. happy with 85 wins?!?

*I saw them play in Texas this year (unfortunately my only time seeing them live) and even then I realized they were a year away.*

Or a century away, whichever the case may be.

*The bummer about the Divisional Series is 5 games. If this was a 7 game series I am sure the Cubs would win*

On what do you base this? The Cubs can't beat Webb or Davis.

*I have one message for the haters: have some pride in your team. These guys have worked their butts off to get here and they deserve our respect.*

I think the major frustration is the fact that in 100 years, dozens of other teams have won the whole enchilada but the Cubs--due to stupidity, mismanagement, dumb luck, curses, whatever--can't seem to get it done.

And if the johnny-come-lately D'backs end up winning ANOTHER title it will be similar to losing to the Marlins in '03. Same thing if the Rockies win. Entire franchises come and go and the Cubs STILL can't win.

anything can happen in the short series...all a team can do is get there.

its a place where wild card teams win and david eckstein gets to be a MVP.

vegas HATES baseball playoffs...

*A lot of people (not saying you are one of them) have complained about the Cubs’ “lack of emotion” this year, and now people are complaining about Lilly’s emotion on the mound?

Lilly’s emotion really didn’t bother me - it showed me he was pissed, that he hates to lose, that he was disappointed with himself.*

He should've saved that anger and stuck it in the next batter's ear.

And before you say that's childish, hey, he'd just be following Lou's example. Isn't that what sent the Cubs on their run this summer--a childish display of temper?

well losing this series certainly would suck major [censored], cause I don't like this Dback team at all. But yeah for 5 game series.

Hendry in an XM radio series said that if they go to 7, they should shorten the season. And he's not the first to mention it. Citing games going into November and getting snowed out, tired arms, etc.

Of course I assume they'd go to 154 and you'd only add 2 potential games. The math is a little off on that one for me. But that seems to be the growing buzz out there.

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