TCR Game 2 Roundtable

Our [censored] Game 2 thoughts... ----------- Cubnut: If I had to condense last night's game into a single, telling snapshot, it would be the image of Ted Lilly slamming his glove to the ground after throwing Chris Young that 3-2 meatball in the second inning. That moment captured Lilly's dismal performance, lack of poise, and the frustration of watching them. It appeared to me as though Lilly couldn't spot his curveball and was determined to compensate by trying to throw his fastball 130 mph, thus all the wild-high pitches. Rob G: It seemed pretty obvious from the beginning that Lilly didn't have "it" tonight, that "it" mostly being his control. He was ever so close from escaping the second before throwing such a lousy 3-2 pitch to Young that I'm pretty sure 5 of 6 TCR Writers could have hit out. The 4-2 lead still seemed within reach but apparently this is Stephen Drew's coming out party. I'm thrilled to have been invited. If I had known beforehand I would have suggested postponing it until the spring...of 2008. Christian: Well, this time around we don't have managerial decisions to question...this was a failure of execution, plain and simple. Ted Lilly's diabolical plan to confuse the Diamondbacks by throwing them high batting-practice fastballs didn't work, and he apparently didn't have a plan B. Instead of dissecting Lilly's performance and the 0-2 hole the Cubs are in, can we talk about whether or not AUGIE Ojeda should have been out for avoiding Lee's tag on his bunt? I vote yes. Rob G: The bunt play that Augie reached on was suspicious on a number of accounts. Not only did he clearly step outside the second white line to avoid the tag but for whatever reason the first base umpire steadfastly refused to ask the home plate ump. Now I'm not sure on the specifics of the rule and procedures on that sort of play, but I do know it's the home plate umps call if a ball is fair or not on a bunt, why wouldn't it be the his call on the baserunner as well? Cubnut: Our big hitters look completely lost. In the third inning, Ron Santo pointed out on the radio broadcast that Aramis Ramirez was taking baby steps forward in the batter's box in the middle of Doug Davis's delivery so as to counteract the off-speed pitches. "The opposition notices that, you can be sure of it," Santo said. To me, it sounds like a desperate hitter who has been stripped of his confidence; Ramirez's performance last night was consistent with that. Rob G: Some food for thought: Augie Ojeda batting .571 in the series Aramis Ramirez batting .000 Cubnut: Sorry, I can't get past the fact that this is AUGIE OJEDA we're getting beaten by. Transmission: I seem to remember some funny, handsome TCR blogger who warned at the start of this that Augie was having a nice little renaissance in Arizona... I wonder who that guy was who warned that? He'd probably be a fun guy to have a beer with... Cubnut: I just figured he had an Augie obsession and that we should try to arrange some form of intervention. Cubnut: Moving on there were some positives: --We have two home games in which to regain our bearings and if we get to Game 4, our ace will be reasonably rested. --Looks like Jim Hendry, et al have actually produced a big league catcher. --Kerry Wood looked like KERRY WOOD. --And some of the spring seems to have returned to Ryan Theriot's spikes. The double-play that he and DeRosa turned on Chris Snyder's hard-hit grounder was pretty slick, so much so that I thought it might perk up our hitters. If only... Rob G: Let's take a look at my 3 keys of the game from earlier: Solve the Rubik's cube: Nope, Davis pretty much took care of business and a rare case of his linescore looking worse than he pitched. TLFC Super Computer better be right: Nope, someone give it a kick, it seems to be on the fritz. Spy vs Spy the Rematch! Not much of a factor, but Hart got tagged for 2 runs and their bullpen remains mostly perfect although Juan Cruz gave up 2 inherited runs. Cubnut: Finally, the obligatory commentator commentary: At 9:38pm, I officially swore off Dick Stockton and ordered the WGN audio/TBS video Combination Plate. I heartily recommend it, even though the sync was off by a second or two. Santo was the perfect mouthpiece for my frustration and showed some genuine insight (like the Ramirez observation above). It wasn't until the sixth or seventh inning that Pat & Ron went into one of their comedy riffs, in this case about how Santo called Juan Cruz, "Jose," during his entire time with the Cubs and Cruz never corrected him. I actually thought it was kind of funny. And last night I was grateful for the diversion. Rob G: I unfortunately was stuck at work and ended up watching most of the game via our adopted son, Tivo. While normally I appreciate everything Tivo does for the family, playoff baseball should not be watched this way. As soon as any tense moment arose, I was compelled to fast forward to see what happened. While I was able to resist the urge for the most part, by the time the Cubs went down 6-2, I just ended up skipping through most of the rest of the game stopping on any action moments. The good news though is I didn't have to listen to Stockton and Darling. I did catch a clip of Santo's call after Young's home on XM radio this morning: "I said not to challenge him." Gold. AZ PHil: I was at the game last night and the fair-weather D'backs fans who come out of the woodwork on Opening Day and whenever the Diamondbacks have been in the post-season are just plain obnoxious. All copy cat stuff. Nothing original. And they have to be told by the scoreboard when to "GET LOUD!" or "MAKE NOISE!" or when to yell "BEAT DA CUBS!" They're just like the fair-weather Padres fans who came out from the cracks in the sidewalk in the '84 NLCS. And speaking of 1984, that season the Cubs had the best record in the N. L. and had a losing record against only one N. L. team... the last-place Pirates. Sometimes certain teams have your number, and it would seem that the Marlins and D'backs are in that category this season. The bottom line is, the Cubs big three (Soriano, D-Lee, and Ramirez) need to get H-O-T this weekend (like they were the last homestand versus CIN and PIT a couple of weeks ago). If those three can get hot, I believe the Cubs will win the two at Wrigley, and then they can go back to Phoenix on Tuesday and take their chances in a one-game winner-take-all.


To my fellow TCR Writers:

If you added anything from about 8am PST, I can't access my email. You'll have to edit it in yourself.

My apologies.

1 question: which tcr writer couldn't hit that pitch out?

Indeed, Ron drives me crazy with his bumbling sometimes. But, last night, the words just left his mouth, "You got first base open, and a LH coming up. Don't challenge him..."


I am glad to see all of this veteran leadership is shining in the Playoffs. Which ones of you predicted a Sweep? Did you actually call WHICH team was sweeping? I don't remember.

Maybe ya'll can clear this up. ;-)

Spring Training is just around the corner.

scouting reports say AZ Phil is a little slow on the fastball. :)

Pirates having a press conference around 3 EST to discuss Jim Tracy's future, looks like he'll be fired.

well Rockies better hope they sweep, Redman is going Game 4.

As I expected (and I'm sure others), Melvin saying he may go with Webb for Game 4.

Eyre tore a fingernail, day to day.

last but not least:

I was on Outsider Radio yesterday, day old news but if you wish:

how many times did stockton say lilly would go on three days rest in game 5, which is wrong? i think it was 5 times.

also, how many names did he screw up over two games? rodrigo ramirez, ryan theriot with a soft th, felix PIE, many other wrong first names. what an awful announcer.

but the best was definitely the quote that the sac bunt was the key to an inning where there was a three run homer from the next hitter.

"As I expected (and I’m sure others), Melvin saying he may go with Webb for Game 4."

WHAT Game 4, ROB G.?

I'd love to know what the BABIP for the D backs and Cubs in this series. I'd estimate about .580 for the Dbacks and .215 for the Cubs.

Green -

I agree on the sac bunt comment. I caught that too. The dude literally picked the most meaningless play of the entire inning and called it the key play.

If I have to hear about how "scrappy" Augie Ojeda is again, I might explode.

I’d love to know what the BABIP for the D backs and Cubs in this series. I’d estimate about .580 for the Dbacks and .215 for the Cubs.

Here you go, from my quick calculations:

Cubs: .256

Diamondbacks: .353

The question is, which righthanded Cub slugger wouldn't have crushed that Lilly fastball?


1) Derrek Lee
2) DeRosa

DeRosa had 1 (one) HR against lefties this year. His BA was lower against lefties (.283) than righties (.297) and he may in fact be a weak link in the Cub lineup against southpaws.

The pitch also looked a little high for Soriano. I can imagine him swinging under it and missing. But you never know what Soriano is going to hit and why.

Soriano's BA drops to .254 against lefties, his OBP to .301. Another weak link?

"also, how many names did he screw up over two games? rodrigo ramirez, ryan theriot with a soft th, felix PIE, many other wrong first names. what an awful announcer."

He also butchered Mike Quade's name too. Kept on calling him Quaid in game one and then last night was called out on it and call him (IIRC) KAH-dee

"but the best was definitely the quote that the sac bunt was the key to an inning where there was a three run homer from the next hitter."

Not to mention that with first base open and a three two count, Lilly could have thrown a ball and given him an unintentional intentional walk. (Which he should have done) The bunt allowed that to happen. Stockton is a moron.

Melvin saying he may go with Webb for Game 4.

If there is a game 4, and Melvin goes with Webb, maybe the other side will choke for a change.

Which do we want to see, Zambrano against Webb at home, or Lilly versus Webb in Arizona?

"Which do we want to see, Zambrano against Webb at home, or Lilly versus Webb in Arizona?"

I'll take the latter as it means we have won games three and four.

Virginia Phil — October 5, 2007 @ 11:51 am
Melvin saying he may go with Webb for Game 4.

If there is a game 4, and Melvin goes with Webb, maybe the other side will choke for a change.

Which do we want to see, Zambrano against Webb at home, or Lilly versus Webb in Arizona?


VA Phil: I would MUCH rather see the Cubs face Brandon Webb at Wrigley Field on thee days rest than at Chase Field on five days rest. .

In fact, if Melvin starts his beloved "Webby" in Game #4, I believe the Cubs will have a decent chance to win three straight. Is Melvin that stupid?

Chad — October 5, 2007 @ 11:58 am
“Which do we want to see, Zambrano against Webb at home, or Lilly versus Webb in Arizona?”

I’ll take the latter as it means we have won games three and four.


CHAD: Very true,. Can I change my answer?

Which do we want to see, Zambrano against Webb at home, or Lilly versus Webb in Arizona?

Of the two, I'd want to see Lilly v. Webb in Arizona because that means that we've won two in a row and that there is a Game 5!

I think the decision to use Webb in Game 4 says more about how Melvin feels about Doug Davis (and Micah Owings) than he does about Webb. If he pitches Webb in Game 4, that means he's confident Davis will do the job in Game 5. I'm not sure why he doesn't pitch Owings (and I'm glad he isn't...).

Geez Tom your post was soooo 3/44

(just kidding)


The Cubs will play in Toronto June 13-15, for anyone keeping track of the schedule.

How about the Yankees? I'd be surprised if they didn't play at New York in its final season.

So, we need to win three in a row. Well, it's not like we're not capable. Hey, we swept the Rockies back in June! We've had streaks of three or more wins eleven times--- at least once every month this season---even when we stunk.

Looks like our October streak starts Saturday.

Go Cubbies!

Thanks for that bit of optimism, cwtp.

If Melvin throws Webb in game 4 and I know there will be a game 4, (I am pretty sure that even they way Sorinao is swinging the bat he can hit Livan Hernandez) Webb will not have the same stuff he did. Despite they bitching/moaning about Lou pulling Zambrano after 6 he only threw 85 pitches. He will be strong. I don't think Webb will be.

Not to be the naysayer, Bleacher, but Webb only threw 6 more pitches than Zambrano, and as a sinkerballer, I would think he would handle the 3 days rest better.

As a Cubs fan in AZ, we should be more worried about Owings' hitting in Wrigley for game 4 - he has looked more impressive than Ramirez lately...

Despite they bitching/moaning about Lou pulling Zambrano after 6 he only threw 85 pitches. He will be strong. I don’t think Webb will be.

Um... Webb only through 89 pitches.

Webb only through 89 pitches...not sure there is a big difference there.

BUT, If the Cubs can win the 5 game series, I feel like there is a better chance facing Webb in game 4 with Z on the mound, then Webb in game 5 with Lilly on the mound. If we can steal a Webb pitched game (which we obviously need to do), and we get it out of the way in game 4, then the team will be feeling really good heading back to AZ, and the Dbacks will be very worried.

But in the scheme of things it doesn't matter. If we are to win this series, we are going to have to beat Webb whether it is game 4 or game 5.

Right now I'm viewing this as individual 1 game playoffs. Each win brings a new day and new chances. If we win game 3, anything can happen in game 4. We win game 4, anything can happen in game 5.

Assuming that we have to beat Webb once to win this series, and we do, I would rather take a shot Game 4 in Wrigley on short rest than Game 5 at Arizona. Of course we all want to see a Game 5, but there's no extra prize for losing in 5 games instead of 4. Better to face their toughest weapon with a maximum of advantages pointing our way.

Anyone who ever heard Dick Stockon do NBA games knows he a) never played the game at a competitive level, and b) merely parrots what he's heard other people say. Not an original thought in his head.

At least we don't have Curt Gowdy inflicted upon us anymore. Or Joe Morgan for now.

The Cubs may go down this series; they've still exceeded the predictions of Towel. That alone is pleasing.

I still think the Cubs are gonna win 11 in a row to end the season.


Stockton might be a terrrible announcer (and at this stage in his life he is bad, very bad) but he comforts himself each night by snuggling next to Lesley Visser.

I hope the Cubs are looking at this situation the same way NBA teams do in the playoffs where home teams usually have a tremendous advantage. That's certainly true in the case of the Cubs ( .630 winning percentage at home since they turned things around in early June) and Diamondbacks (.617 at home, under .500 on the road). So right from the beginning, the winning formula for the Cubs was 'win your two games at home and steal one from the D-Backs in Arizona.'

We can still do that. All we have to do is defend our house. I hope we see a lot of "NOT IN OUR HOUSE" signs in the stands Saturday. Two wins at home and we've got the momentum heading back to Phoenix.

Go Cubbies!

The only thing I had to add to this chat, that's sitting in your inaccessible email, is that I seem to recall some funny, handsome, TCR writer who warned at the start of this series that Augie was experiencing something of a Renaissance in AZ....

Whoever that guy was, someone should buy him a beer.

I agree with the props for Leslie Visser.

And yeah, ultimately we're not sunk yet. Win at home. Then win at home again. No biggie, there. Worry about Game 5 heartbreak later, but what's immediately in front of us ain't exactly impossible....

Whoever that guy was, someone should buy him a beer.

Trans... iI would buy you a beer if you didn't live in the middle of nowhere, in a county where you can't even buy beer...

That's exactly why I need you to buy me a beer!

But thanks anyways! :)

I think the Cubs can win two at home, but Saturday will be tough, because Arizona is going to come out roaring.

If by the sixth or seventh inning the Cubs are ahead, and the Diamondbacks are starting to feel that things are not going their way, and that tomorrow they'll have their hands full with Zambrano in his house on a Sunday--the mood of the series will change.

Yet another reason Lou warms the cockles of my heart: "I've had bad games as a manager," he said. "But I've been doing this a hell of a long time, so I've had a lot more good games than bad games."

In other words, (at least to my hearing) "my life does not begin or end with the chicago cubs." and for some reason this makes me feel better. Perspective, I guess.

I added a brief Cubnut/Transmission exchange to the post and AZ Phil appended something on the end if anyone hasn't seen those.

Anyone care to chart the Pirates plans from here on?

The Indians traded everybody who wasn't under club control and took a 7 yr rebuild plan (or so). They got helped out by the Expos contraction talk in that Colon for Sizemore/Lee deal. Brandon Phillips was in there too but he didn't work out for the Expos.

Is everyone going to be up for the sale when they stop being affordable?

Of course they don't have too many of those but Jason Bay probably and he's still pretty cheap.

GIve me a break! Lesley Visser is 54 years old. No, not done with life but hardly a reason to envy Dick Stockton at this point. On top of that, she looks as though he is giving Joan Rivers a run for her money with the plastic surgery. Visser looks like an alien in recent shots.

Talking about fair-weather fans, I attended Game 4 of the 2003 playoffs in Miami. Have also attended a dozen other Cub vs. Marlin games down there since I moved to Florida. Look up "fair-weather fan" in the dictionary and you're likely to find a guy wearing a Marlins cap.

Sorry, meant to say that SHE looks like she is giving Joan Rivers a run for her money with the plastic surgery at this point, Visser, that is.

"And speaking of 1984, that season the Cubs had the best record in the N. L. and had a losing record against only one N. L. team… the last-place Pirates."

We had losing records this year against AZ, PHI, NYM, SD, LAD, ATL...basically we had a losing season against virtually all the over .500 teams with the only excpetions being the Brewers and Rockies.

Maybe this team really is just average after all. When all was said and done, we beat the bad teams, lost to the good teams.

The older the grape, the sweeter the wine. 54 ain't too old, my friend.

I wonder what plastic surgery can do for an old grape?

Jim Duquette quit the Orioles GM post as well, not sure if McPhail is taking over or what.

Here's what it can do:


(not an oh-man reference)

Several Cub fans among Washington pundits. This was on the Post's op-ed page yesterday.

I had forgotten about Reagan's Des Moines connection. Because of that connection, many TCR folks have always thought of Reagan as AAAA, not a major leaguer.

let me hear ya...

buy me some popcorn and applejacks

For anyone interested (and hopeful) game 5 tickets go on sale tomorrow morning at 9 AZ time

By the way, for those of you keeping score at home, the Cubs have concluded the last 4 post-season campaigns ('84, '89, '98, '03) by losing the last three games. Says a lot about franchise's fortune when it perpetually slides off the cliff to end its season. Maybe this will be the year that searingly painful trend ends. Or, maybe not.

"Anyone care to chart the Pirates plans from here on?"


If I were Hunington the first thing I would do is call Colletti and try to take advantage of the Cripts (vets) and the Bloods (rooks) warfare there and try to do a Kemp or a Either and Hu deal for Bay. Same offensive production and a lower cost by getting 1 or 2 quality pre-arb guys for an arb guy.

Are the schedules for the playoff games all set in stone, or would they move up if series are short. For example, If the ALCS and NLCS were both 4-game sweeps and wrapped up on Oct. 16, would they still wait until Oct. 24 to start the World Series?

I would assume they would move it up but it doesn't say anything about it on the playoff schedule page.

no they're set

that would be a smart move on the Pirates part although I thought Bay signed some deal for most of his arbitration years. And Bay's not nearly ancient enough for the Dodgers.

"Is every [Pirate] going to be up for the sale when they stop being affordable?"

Neal Huntington said that payroll would increase as the situation merits -- that is, the Pirates are going to be really freaking awful in 2008, so there's not much point in spending an extra $20 million on not making the playoffs. But as homegrown players near free agency, the resources will allegedly be available to retain them -- I'm guessing that'd signal an eventual payroll in the $60-70m range, maybe as soon as 2009.

"Of course they don’t have too many of those but Jason Bay probably and he’s still pretty cheap."

You (and Huntington) are right: Most of the legit Pirates -- i.e. Snell, Gorzelanny, Capps -- are still green and cheap. Obviously long-term planning needs to be done, but they're not an immediate concern.

Bay, Sanchez, LaRoche and Nady all will reach free agency in 2010. That's the group that'll be interesting to watch. The Pirates could make an effort to lock them all up, or they could trade two or three of them away this off-season. Neither route would surprise me at this point.


"that would be a smart move on the Pirates part although I thought Bay signed some deal for most of his arbitration years."

Bay signed a deal before the 2006 season that'll keep him in Pittsburgh through 2009. (He'll make something like $6m in 2008 and $7.5m in 2009.)

LaRoche, Sanchez and Nady are all arb-eligible and, as of now, would all reach FA the same year as Bay.

Excuse me, I must be this the pirates blog?

Trib blog says Kendall will start Game 3....

" the Cubs have concluded the last 4 post-season campaigns (’84, ‘89, ‘98, ‘03) by losing the last three games."

Pure coincidence.

Jesus Christ.

Sometimes the 2003 Tigers win two games in a row.

Sometimes the better team doesn't win the playoff series.

Agonizing over Augie Ojeda's OBP through two games in the playoffs doesn't reall speak well to your mental stability.

It could be that the Cubs get swept. It could be that they can come back and win three straight. It's baseball, it's not Tennis or Jai Lai or American Football, the very best teams lose one out of three and never go a season where they don't lose three out of five.

"mental stability"

Neil, you mean "mental ABILITY", not stability

and I meant, Neal, not Neil

Chip Carey just used the word "pregidisitation" for Petitte's close - out of the Indians in the 6th. Gah - glad we don't have to listen to Chipper anymore.

Kendall starts Game 3?

Is he playing 1st, 3rd, or RF?

Hard not to like Dempster after that story...

as if dempster needs more balls going over the OF fence...


neat story..and it didnt end up like that horrible and harmless overprotective yuppie mom thing in BOS with the NYY signature...neat.

just in case you missed this earlier (from the sun times):

PHOENIX -- For the first time since 2001, the Cubs will open the season at Wrigley Field in a National League Central showdown against the Milwaukee Brewers, according to a tentative 2008 schedule released by the Brewers.

The Cubs and Brewers also are tentatively scheduled to close the season against each other

If the Cubs don't win the world series I want the Yanks to do it if for nothing else so that Doug Man-cave-itch can possibly catch the final out and keep that ball hostage too.

Anybody else find it funny Aramis is featured on the front page at as a candidate for "clutch performer of the year"?

From a Jays fan, this is one of the things that was maddening about Lilly when he was underachieving with us. One night he would be amazing and shut down the Yanks and then the next would come out without his best stuff for the first three innings and start shaking the catcher off, lose his composure, and overthrow clubbable fastballs getting himself into a big hold until he calmed down and was lights out again. At least he hasn't started experimenting with throwing sidearm and/or his knuckleball with a 7-run lead yet...

Nothing like watching playoff games between two GOOD teams to realize just how good the Cubs AREN'T. I say this as a lifelong Cubs fan; honestly, the Cubs are nowhere NEAR as good as ANY of the AL teams.

Each of those teams has only one or two league-average-or-worse position players; we have, by my count, five: Jones, Murton, Kendall, Theriot and probably DeRosa. As much as I like Murton and Theriot, it's time for Cubs fans to stop being sentimental, and adjust our player expectations a little higher.

Pitching-wise, the Cubs are OK, but as of this year we lack the guy the other team hates to face, e.g., the Sabathia, Carmona, Beckett, Papelbon, KRod. Marmol is probably our only guy near that category. He needs to take on a larger role. Perhaps as the closer?

So maybe this ISN'T the year. But we're getting closer. One hopes the new Cubs owners won't be afraid to keep up the player-acquisition momentum and get us another impact player or two next year.

"the Cubs are nowhere NEAR as good as ANY of the AL teams..."

I do not agree.

If you refer to PLAYOFF teams, then yes.

If not, Cubs went 5-1 against the White Sox and beat the Mariners 2 of 3.

I hope they are getting closer - but keep in mind that this team isn't exactly the Cleveland Indians, which appear to have an average age of around 25 years old. We do have some potentially good young players, but we have to hope that Lee is not on the downside of his career, and that Lilly's year was not an anomoly, etc.

I give Hendry credit for making the trades he did over the past winter, but their lack of position players developed from within is quite glaring in comparison with most of the other playoff teams this year.

If you refer to PLAYOFF teams, then yes.

Yes, my bad. I was referring to the AL teams curerntly in the playoffs.

why don't you guys leave ted lilly alone the poor guy is already in a bad mood why don't you guys torcher somebody else for a change and leave the cubs alone.

[...] The Cub Reporter - “Game Two Roundtable“ [...]

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  • 2nd in defensive WAR, NL.

    6th in NL in RBI

    Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.

    The E-Man 4 hours 43 sec ago view
  • Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.

    billybucks 5 hours 16 min ago view
  • Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.

    billybucks 5 hours 59 min ago view
  • There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!

    billybucks 6 hours 36 sec ago view
  • Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.

    billybucks 6 hours 1 min ago view
  • Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.

    Jackstraw 6 hours 5 min ago view
  • Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.

    Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.

    billybucks 6 hours 5 min ago view
  • Baez still learning

    jacos 6 hours 33 min ago view
  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 7 hours 37 min ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 8 hours 43 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 9 hours 32 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 14 hours 2 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view