Game 1 Thread / Brewers @ Cubs (1 of 3)

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SP Carlos Zambrano SP Ben Sheets
2007 Record 18-13, 3.95 ERA 2007 Record 12-5, 3.82 ERA
2B Rickie Weeks SS Ryan Theriot
CF *Tony Gwynn Jr. LF Alfonso Soriano
1B *Prince Fielder 1B Derrek Lee
LF Ryan Braun 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Bill Hall RF *Kosuke Fukudome
RF Corey Hart 2B Mark DeRosa
SS JJ Hardy C Geovany Soto
P Ben Sheets CF *Felix Pie
C
Jason Kendall P #Carlos Zambrano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening Day 2008 has arrived and the season starts off with a division rival tilt between our beloved Cubbies and those Brew Babies from up north. This will be Zambrano's fourth straight Opening Day start, he's 0-1 with an 8.16 ERA in the previous three. Maybe it's Mother Nature's way of calming his nerves with the impending rain delay.

Additionally...(from Cubnut)

The Cubs need to get off to a fast start and not just because it's no fun digging yourself out of the kind of hole Lou's boys escaped last year. Between now and the end of May, the Cubs have 33 home dates; the Brewers, just 25. (Six of those Cub home games are against Milwaukee.)

At the end of the season, the situation is reversed: in September, the Cubs play just 9 home games; the Brewers, 16...the final three when they host the Cubs.

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Comments

Anybody want 2 tickets for $50?

Ben Sheets batting eighth.

Ned Yost your manager of the year!!!

I wonder how many managers will be following LaRussa's lead on the pitcher-bats-8th-thing this season.

Kendall always seemed like a hard ass. I'll bet he feels emasculated.

I'm sure he's okay with it. Kendall is, or at least was, a leadoff man. Batting him ninth gives the Brewers two.

Kendall batting 9th? lol

How high in the order did Kendall get last year with the Cub's?

batting the pitcher 8th? What's the analysis, here?

most lineup analysis suggests putting your worst hitter in the 8 spot....

 

He got the idea from Larussa.

Know you know why Chicagoans do not have high opinions of people from WI and MO.

;-)

The analysis is the "two leadoff man" idea. It doesn't make sense to me but there it is.

No... not really. Well, that may be larussa's analysis, but the statistical analysis shows that teams score more runs with their worst hitting player batting 8th.

This is in large part because what it should do, in theory, is increase the opportunities with runners on base for the top of the order.

Very psyched that this game is on ESPN2 since Comcast has once again declined to pick up any of the HD games on the Extra Innings package.

Thunder just rolled here in south suburbs.

It's pouring here right now - about one hour before gametime. Do you have to play Soriano in this kind of stuff?

According to Accuweather's hourly forecast it looks like we'll get some dry patches between 3 and 4 pm and then from 5-8 pm. I sure would like some baseball today.

Any official word on the game status yet? I am about to take off to watch the game. Probably a wasted day if they aren't gonna play. Where could I find out?

Check the weather map link in the post, looks like it might clear up. Probably delayad, but I think they'll play it.

 

I wouldn't count on them starting anytime in the next 2-3 hours. There is a lot of yellow and orange approaching on the radar.

It's in Crane Kinney's hands now.

Don't know if Trib makes more money by having people come back tomorrow or playing it today.

generally rain-outs are bad for business. Might be a bit different for Opening Day as you'd expect they'd still fill the park...

I'll put up the results later, but three folks got all six answers correct. I'll let the suspense build...

"I'll read blogs now and then. You can get a good idea in many forms. It doesn't matter to me if it's someone who's a member of my coaching staff, my pro scouting staff, a member of the media, Joe Fan. If it's a good idea, it's still a good idea. It doesn't matter where it originated."
--Cashman

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?arti...

If any pitcher in the league should be batting 8th, it should be Zambrano with his 12 career home runs.

Yost and De Russa believe that you get better run production when you (1) have your biggest power hitters at the 2nd and 4th spots, rather than the traditional 3-4 and (2) you have the pitcher batting 8th. The theory is that a slightly better hitter in the 9th spot will give the high-average leadoff hitter a better chance at putting multiple runners on for the power hitter in the 2nd spot. Last year, for the last 2 months or so, the Cards followed this philosophy and they saw increases in run production (4.4 -> 4.6), team batting average (.270 -> .281), OBP (.334 -> .344), and slugging percentage (.399 -> .417). Now of course the lineups varied (Rick Ankiel was added after the switch, for example), but it makes sense and seems to produce.

Strange. I would expect team runs scored to go up, but rates like AVG, OBP, and SLG should stay the same. The idea with hitting a pitcher 8th is to get more runs from the SAME production. Rick Ankiel makes more sense as to why the rates changed than lineup configuration.

An increase in SLG makes sense, as you are giving better hitters (at the 1 and 2 spots mostly) more chances to hit with runners on. In all likelihood the increased production is a combination of the lineup changes, changes in personnel, and changes in the team mentality due to being eliminated from the playoff race fairly early in the year.

"An increase in SLG makes sense, as you are giving better hitters (at the 1 and 2 spots mostly) more chances to hit with runners on"

This doesn't make sense to me. I don't think players' SLG increases when men are on base.

I agree that the rest of the issues you listed are part of the more likely explanation.

From Joe Sheehan/Baseball Prospectus a few weeks ago...

"Elsewhere, Tony La Russa
is again considering batting his pitcher eighth in the regular season,
a tactic he employed in 1998 and again in 2007. Now, very smart people
have looked at this and determined that it makes some sense. I’ll quote
Dave Studeman quoting an unnamed contributor
in The Book by Tom Tango, Mitchell Lichtman, and Andy Dolphin (because
I’m in an airport bar in Indianapolis, 700 miles from my copy): “The
second leadoff hitter theory exists. You can put your pitcher in the
eighth slot and gain a couple of extra runs per year.” I’m of the
opinion that the models can’t account for the tactical disadvantages of
moving the pitcher up in the lineup. We know that the pitcher’s spot
drives decision-making—not strategy, but the kind of autoplay an
eight-year-old could master—in the NL. I have to think that the
negative effect on the #7 batter, and of pushing the possibility of
having to hit for the pitcher slightly earlier, would swamp the runs
that show up in the simulators."

The article is at http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7201

best part about the first week is the free EI package on DirecTV...

Is EI on cable still too?

as far as I know...yes

It is on Cox Cable for sure (I order as a birthday gift to myself each year)... Had to sweat it out last year.

Cool, free week for me too on Comcast!

In the event of a rainout, I imagine very slim chance of this game being played tomorrow?

It is not projected to rain tomorrow, so why not?

They're likely to get the game in come hell or high water, mostly due to the forecasts for rain and/or cold over the next week. I wonder if the Cubs couldn't have flip - flopped this series with the Brewers before the season started? Better to have that roof option this early in the season.

That'd make too much sense for MLB.

"They're likely to get the game in come hell or high water, mostly due to the forecasts for rain and/or cold over the next week."

They have a day off tomorrow in case of bad weather today. While I am sure they will make every effort to get this game in, if they must postpone it no big deal.

There's snow in the forecast tomorrow.

That would make for some pretty interesting baseball.

Corey, Keppinger, Griffey, Phillips, Dunn, Encarnacion, Hatteberg, Valentin, Harang

it'll be funnier when Alex Gonzalez comes back and takes over the 2 spot in the lineup.

I still think it's a matter of time before Neifi gets signed.

Meanwhile, Votto, Bruce and Bailey languish.

If you want to win now you got to play the Vets....

radar looks like the first storm is almost over...second one looming though.

1pm in the Loop -- rain has stopped, and was never really all that bad. Not nearly as bad as it looked on the radar.

If there's a rain delay and the threat of rain later -- do they still do the whole "introduce everybody" Opening Day bit?

Should they call up Murton to play LF in the wet grass?

Joe Guillen with a spectacular throw to nail the lumbering Ordonez at home.

for some reason he thought it would be a good idea to run on Jose Guillen with Magglio Ordonez...

Maggs didn't even get his hand down on the plate, poor slide.

For those of you without WGN tv, Len came on and said the proverbial window is from 2-6pm, enough time to get the game in, they hope, but it won't start before 2pm at the earliest.

There goes the tarp!

Dear Rain Gods:

Please provide a three and a half hour rain delay, so that I may leave my office hours, get home, watch the game, have fun in parachat and write a recap.

Love,

Trans.

tarp being removed

Tarp coming off...woot

Parachat folks...parachat!!!!!

parachat is giving an error message when I try to enter.

NFL just announced Bears at Colts to open next season on Sunday night. Man it looks like the Bears are gonna suck. I hope the Cubs have a good season to get us through next winter.

A BROAD AREA OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS CONTINUES TO MOVE TO THE NORTHEAST ACROSS MUCH OF NORTHERN ILLINOIS. THE STRONGER STORMS PRODUCING HEAVIER RAINFALL AND POSSIBLY SMALL HAIL WILL MOVE INTO DOWNTOWN CHICAGO WITHIN THE NEXT HOUR AND PERSIST THROUGH MID DAY. TRAVELERS USE CAUTION AS PONDING ON ROADS MAY OCCUR WITH THE STRONGER STORMS.

So?

"Ponding"? That's a verb?

Jacque Jones struck out in his first plate appearance as a Tiger.

I hate to say this because I know some people don't want to hear it, given some exchanges I had here last year, but it is really time for Z to be an ace -- a real ace.

That means no stupid flipping out over ball calls or errors behind him and no losing his focus. He needs to give this team a chance to win virtually every time out. He has the stuff. Does he have the head?

This is Z last year, and it is not good enough.

W L ERA GS IP H ER HR BB SO
18 13 3.95 34 216.1 187 95 23 101 177

This is Jake Peavy last year. That's an ace. Z was not in the same league. Time for Z to put up (and shut up).

19 6 2.54 34 223.1 169 63 13 68 240

Look, it would be great if Z duplicates his best season and is a top 5 starter this year. But if he's even a top 30 starter, he's a #1 pitcher, if not necessarily an ace.

But what are the consequences if Z isn't an "ace" this year? He wasn't "good enough" last year and the team made the playoffs.

I realize that it's not over a full season, but I was pondering the same thing yesterday, and I looked up what Z's cumulative numbers were after June 1 (post-Barrett meltdown, etc).

22 Starts, 13-8, 142.2 IP, 104 H, 67 BB, 126 K, 3.09 ERA, 1.20 WHIP. Not truly dominant, but verging on ace-land, at least in today's MLB.

Yankees postponed, Reds delayed, Cubs delayed.

Maybe all teams should open in Japan next year.

Just a random thought, Dodger Stadium will be third oldest MLB stadium after this year.

Followed, I believe, by the Metrodome.

National Anthem is being sung right now.

PLAY BALL!~!!!

Nice start for Fuku-studly.

Close to HR?

Close to HR?

Base of the wall in straight-away center.

Sportsline, in the "Bench players" section of the Game Center, lists the following:

Dopirak
Ward
Fontenot
Blanco
Johnson
Cedeno

No wonder they released him! So he could join the big club!

87-75, win division by 1 game.

Why didn't they start the game at 3:00 PM?

Now they lose Z for this game.

Stupid.

Yeah, but the Brewers could lose Sheets.

We can go to Lieber -- not sure who they go to.

Tough start for Buerhle in Cleveland -- KO'd in the 2nd inning -- a 7-spot for the Tribe.

1) Said he signed ALEX CINTRON to a minor league contract (Norfolk).
2) Said dumping Gibbons made room for SCOTT MOORE
3) Was asked what he's doing differently this year. Answered (a) Watching the waiver wire 24/7. Paying close, daily, attention to what's going on with their minor league teams.

I am here, I am cold.
Please update us on any delay talk or canceling the game.

Lou needs to pull Z now, to keep him fresh for next start.

;-)

Geez...how weak can you be.

For the "lead-off" guy, he is just doing nothing with Sheets.

Not that anyone else is, but, just GET ON BASE.

Hey, 2 K's for Pie!!! He's nothing if not predictable.

Right... what about DLee and his 2 Ks?

I think you may be just a bit premature, this being the first game of the season and all...

What just happened to Zambrano?

MLB says "injury timeout" and then said Z got removed.

Something with his finger. They were saying cramping, which I'm hoping was all it was. I saw Rothschild and someone else laughing on the mound with Zambrano when the trainers were out there though (Zambrano himself didn't laugh, but the others did) so hopefully it's nothing serious or painful.

Will somebody tell that knucklehead to drink some friggin' Gatorade when he pitches? What the hell are the trainers paid to do?? This is high school stuff.

Didn't Z say he didnt like water?

So they're playing? Why isn't it on f*ing ESPN 2 like it's supposed to be? Are they seriously blacking it out in my area (Ft. Wayne)? What the fucking fuck?

They must be, it's on ESPN2 here.

Fucking retarding blackout rules... old as shit, just like Bud Selig... hopefully he and his retarded blackout rules will curl up in a cozy corner somewhere and croak.

There, I feel better.

Wow, talk about bad luck. We get a break with a terribly thrown ball and it bounces off Soto and becomes an easy out.

What happened?

Pitched ball hits Soto - Dome stuck betw. 2nd and 3rd w/DeRo on 1B. Dead duck.

DWARD PH now.

Bottom 8.

Marmol must have been working on pitches during ST, because he was just lights out today.

The thunder you heard earlier today wasn't the storm, it was just Carlos "Zeus" Marmol unpacking.

Marmol is a hoss - looked terrific out there in the 8th.

UGH!!

Takes the first pitch at every AB.

ALL strikes.

What a weak #1 hitter.

You guys are right.

Woody will pitch the 9th.

2 friggin' hits for thhe Cubs. Both by our new Japanese player.

Not that it matters now, but the guy* who was supposed to be our leadoff man this year was 2/2 today.

Isn't the leadoff hitter supposed to take the first pitch?

Kerry Wood facing the first batter in his new role as closer --- HBP.

Classic.

for closer

Good job, Woody.

New closer blows first game of the season!

Even more classic....it had to be.

is why Lou went with Wood in a tie game in the 8th?

Isn't he the "closer"?

what exactly was he closing?

Woody=Trade bait...

:)

Cory Hart triple!!

And, this one's OV-AH!!

3-0 BREW

Great start for Kerry Wood

Too bad for Z and Marmol. They deserved better.

Opening day and the fans are booing already.

The more things change. . . .

Should have kept Prior and cut Wood.

Hilarious, if it weren't so sad.

So that's how you score runs with men on first and second!

deserve this one to this point. Have played excellent fundamental baseball to this point, including an excellent bunt by T Gwynn, Jr. with 2 strikes. It made the whole inning.

Kerry Wood disappoints against elevated expectations.

Sounds vaguely familiar.

3RUN HR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TIE GAME!!!

Un-freaking-believable!

K (HOLY) FUK

Talk about a debut. 3 run HR!

my Fukudome jersey all day.

He's 3-3

HAHAHA! LOL!

Clearly playing possum during spring training.

So much for his power not translating to the U.S.

(in my best japanese broadcast voice)
KOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! HOMMMMMMMMMMEEE RUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!

Fuku is god! Fuku is a Shinto god!

So I've been watching the game on the webcam that Carlos linked to earlier, by hitting refresh every couple of seconds. It's like watching tv with no sound, but you only see a still image every 5 seconds. I set up the camera so that it's essentially like the default view on a telecast - centerfield view where you can only see the pitcher and the batter. here's what just transpired...

Fuku's at bat with DLee and Aramis on base -- refresh -- Fuku's not swinging, I think they're balls -- refresh -- Image of fuku sprinting out of the box -- refresh -- gagne's looking toward the outfield, body language looks terrible, my hopes rise -- refresh -- gagne getting ball from ump, i still dont see any baserunners anywhere -- refresh -- I see Aramis crossing the plate -- YES!!! -- refresh -- DLee high fives -- Refresh -- FUKU!!!!

Oddly, almost more exciting watching it this way than on TV.

I'm addicted to watching that camera too. I noticed now that the tarp is not on the infield...checked the weather and it looks spotty...I know they don't have a game tomorrow so that must be why it's off...they probably don't want to kill the grass.

Looks like the tarp's going back on. Can learn a lot about the grounds crew workings. I like the two camera views inside. Again, this is awesome.

Kendall behind the plate, two outs, one run wins it, batter has no power.

Why the hell isn't Pie running? Too muddy?

Why isn't Pie running on Kendall? If Pie can't steal on Kendall, then he is truly useless.

Pie scores on an extra base hit.

Not the best strategy to get thrown out as the last out when "Flash" is on 2B.

I mean on 1B

have liked Murton PH instead of little Fonty grounding out to the 2B.

Righty or lefty - he can hit.

- sigh -

Was really hoping to end the game here.

XTRAS!

Wow... uh... those three runs would have been really cool if they hadn't given up three in the top of the inning.

Quote of the Afternoon:

"I suppose it's possible that he lost about 20 pounds this morning."

-Len Kasper on Eric Gagne's slobby, 3-sizes too large uniform as the home plate umpire ordered Gagne to tuck his jersey into his fat butt.

BOO!!!!

Great debut for Fukudome, nice opener for Big Z and Marmol, terrible day for Wood, Howry, and everyone in the lineup not from Japan.

So Cub - like(sigh).

shit

Well, I guess Wednesday is a "must win."

Also...the stat page isn't updated yet, but Fukkakedome leads the team in awesomeness (and everything else).

that was almost so awesome.

Let's get all of this shit out of our system now. Hopefully Theriot keeps sucking at the leadoff spot and Lou moves him out of there.

SORRY CUBSTER!

TOO MUCH CUBBERY!

And, I don't have Oh-Man! to kick around anymore.

Good:
- Great game by Z.
- Marmol looked NASTY.
- K-Fuk had an amazing day to put him in the good graces of Cubs fans no matter if he doesn't get another hit till May.

Bad:
- Fuck you Wood!!
- Theriot and Alf (#1/#2 in the lineup) went 0-10.
- Cubs lose 4-3 to the other best team in division and wasted an amazing come back.
- Oh yeah, fuck MLB.tv too for cutting out right before K-Fuk's HR.

Go Cubs!!!

Theriot and Alf (#1/#2 in the lineup) went 0-10.

Throw Lee and Ramirez into the mix and it's a combined 1 - 18.

Is it too early to panic?

Yep.

Any thoughts about whether Fukudome's performance today makes Lou rethink his lineup a little more quickly than expected?

Bob Brenly said that he thinks Fuku would be a great #2 hitter due to his high on-base percentage. I think he said that before the HR. He next tried to cover for Lou by saying that he'll (Lou) juggle with the lineup many times through the course of the year...nice try Bob. I like his (Bob's) honesty on the first broadcast of the season.

The unfortunate part of Wood's 9th inning is that he breaks Brauns bat that should have resulted in the 2nd out of the inning, then strikes out Hall---let's not panic and call for his removal from that role---why wasn't Pie at least attempting to steal with 2-outs in the 9th?---can really see why we may efforts to obtain Roberts, his switch hitting lead-off role is needed----let's get them on Wed

Wood has never been a first inning guy. He gets hit in the early parts of games and then settles down for 5 or 6 innings. I always thought he would make a terrible closer. He has never been a good early innings pitcher.

Sigh.

Howry sucked too.

I guess Marmol should be the guy.

161 games to go..... lets all come in from the ledge.

I'm surprised to see an intentional walk come back to bite the Cubbies in the ass. That never happens.

That was the correct move by Lou. This was not just a ny hitter. It was a left handed stud hitter.

maybe Lou is batting him leadoff to prove a point to Hendry?

I kid...

OK So I was a HUGE Dusty Critic and still am, but there are a few alarming things about this game:

1. Theriot is not a leadoff hitter
2. Why did we bring Woody in a tie game?
3. Why in the HELL was Pie not stealing 2nd with Kendall catching and fatass pitching? Fontenot is NOT a double hitter and Theriot was on deck.... By not sending Pie you then need 2 hits to win the game.

COME ON LOU!!!!!!!

Oh and FUk is the shit!

The Wood coming in tie I usually don't agree with, but being 9th and heart of the order you had to bring him in.

I watched the FBomb three times.

F'ing beautiful.

This will be a fun season.

How many times have we heard this from Z?
-----------------

Zambrano allowed three hits in 6 2-3 innings. He had problems with cramping last season, as well.

"I have to take care of myself," he said.

Oh, please. The dude throws 6 shut out innings and you gotta whine? Can't you at least provide a statistical reason to whine (let him miss the next 30 starts like Prior or something).

Unbelievable.

All the morning shows are going crazy over kosuke's debut, as can be expected. But there was major uproar over this sign that some fans were holding in the center bleachers that said 偶然だぞ, which means "you got lucky", or "that was a fluke". Apparently those fans meant to have signs that said something encouraging (though i cant imagine what) and they got a misinterpretation of whatever it was they meant to say. Needless to say though, those morons made for some top-notch irony when every time he reached base (which was every time) theyre waving these signs calling it a fluke! Watching the replay (again) my wife walks in and her surprise over his heroics turns to instant incredulity when as the ball goes rocketing into the bleachers and you see these exuberant fans waving signs saying "that was a fluke!" I suspect though that it was totally on purpose. A few very skeptical fans way of telling him not to get too cocky just in case he performed?? I'm still puzzled.

Oh well, a great debut for our new RFer, SHODDY performance by the rest, especially the top of the order, and Woddy coming off as the goat in this one. More bitter than sweet for sure.

Interesting perspective. Thanks Cubby. Keep the updates coming.

What does your signature say?

Okay, another news source says those fans had meant to say "this is your chance!" to kosuke, but got an inappropriate interpretation of the word "chance". they needed a word meaning chance as in "oppurtunity" and not chance as in "that was just by chance". oh well. its pretty hilarious though. i wonder what his reaction was.

Kosuke while rounding the bases: "Jesus christ I'm 1.000 in average and OBP with a single, double walk and game tying 3-run dinger and they're mocking me? These fans ARE fucking fanatical! ...Fuck it im taking a curtain call anyway! Whoo!"

oh, and my signature says:
"Holy Cow! Cubs win!"

A few very skeptical fans way of telling him not to get too cocky just in case he performed??

I doubt that was the intention; it just doesn't seem likely on opening day. If anything, people probably thought the signs said "good luck" or "best of luck" but they were badly translated.

If it was Jack Jones, the signs on his first day would have said, "you suck, mutha fucking n...."

My guess is something like Sox fans who know Japanese messing with us. "Hey guys, these signs say GO FUKU!"

Funny thing is, I was watching the game, seeing all those signs and wondering if something like that would happen.

"I'm really, really having trouble with the fastball.
Please don't throw me any fastballs -- I can't hit them!"

Pure genius.

Looks like Mr. Sanchez ain't too happy about the loss.

Safe for work, it's a comic strip.

I think my comment went into moderation...

LNL........word. Plenty of baseball left to be pushing any panic buttons (BillyBucks, come back from the ledge).

Whoever the Cubs trainer is needs to hand Z a water bottle (or Gatorade, Vitamin water, etc.) when he comes in after every inning and watch him drink half the bottle. This with Lou's instructions that if Z doesn't, he can go in the clubhouse and get these fluids intravenously. He was lights out today, averaged 13 pitches/inning the first 5 innings and could have gone deep into the 8th/9th inning.

Back from the edge???

Don't you realize we're 0-1 in one run games???

That Ryan Theriot and Soriano had trouble getting hits against Ben Sheets??

All is lost!!

At least, until Wednesday.

Still think you run with Pie vs. Kendall. It's not like Gagne has a killer move to first, and I wasn't holding my breath for a Fonty XBH. Even with a pitchout, I like Pie's chances against Gagne/Kendall. It's how the Red Sox came back from the dead against the Yankees a few years ago -- good enough for me.

my only guess is that Pie isn't a good mudder... 

Mariotti's weighed in already. He compliments Fukudome and whines about everything else Cub.
http://www.suntimes.com/sports/mariotti/870326,mar...

Sucks to see Murton and Marshall the odd men out and getting sent down today. Hope Marshall continues to keep his head and goes down there and pitches good so if/when Demspter/Lieber/Marquis struggle he can finally be given a legit shot. I guess the same can be said with Murton if Pie or K-Fuk struggle mightily.

Anybody watching Pads/Astros on ESPN2? Candy Maldonado is one of the analysts! He's, um...Joe-Carter-esque.

one ten millionth of Alf's salary to subscribe. I'm pissed as hell.

Rob G. is right about 'not being a mudder'. Lou Brock couldn't have stolen a base today against Kendall. The infield dirt looked like a mosh pit by the time Pie got on base. Check out what happened to Victor Martinez today in the White Sox game......definitely tweaked a hamstring running in that slop.

Also, Ben Sheets has made a lot of real good hitters look bad when he has his good stuff (which he did today).

I noticed at least one post that mentioned this, but we can't be the only two!

I saw Fuku bat at least twenty times with my DVR, and i never saw him hit a ball as hard as he did today in all of those ST ABs. And he did it twice in two clutch at bats. In fact, i can't think of one time he hit any ball hard in ST (except via AZ Phil's BP reports!).

Therefore, I really think he was playing cat & mouse in ST. His first at bat vs. Sheets is the perfect example. The scouting report would obviously be "he doesn't swing at the first pitch ever, let alone the next two. Get ahead of him early."

First pitch as a Cub/MLB player, double off the center field wall off Sheets. And Sheets' fastball is no joke, even assuming the above is true.

Long story short, Kosuke would be a great poker player. I think he would've swung for a double in the 9th if it was a tie score.

Could he be that good?!? The jersey on my back thinks so.

Should be a fun year, fellas. Can't wait to use your guy's wisdom with my friends and pretend like it's my own!

Pardon the rant. I'm actually more excited about the season after today and don't care that we lost. Don't see our bullpen blowing many like they did today. GO CUBS GO...

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