Game 4 Thread / Astros @ Cubs (1 of 3)
|SP||Chris Sampson||SP||Rich Hill|
|(2007)||7-8, 4.59||(2007)||11-8, 3.92|
|CF||*Michael Bourn||LF||Alfonso Soriano|
|RF||Hunter Pence||SS||Ryan Theriot|
|1B||#Lance Berkman||1B||Derrek Lee|
|LF||Carlos Lee||3B||Aramis Ramirez|
|SS||Miguel Tejada||RF||*Kosuke Fukudome|
|3B||Ty Wigginton||2B||Mark DeRosa|
|2B||Mark Loretta||C||Geovany Soto|
|C||J.R. Towles||CF||*Felix Pie|
||Chris Sampson||P||*Rich Hill|
Profiling the Astros:
Record: 1-3 (6th in NL Central)
Team OPS: 630 (13th in NL)
Team ERA: 4.09 (11th in NL)
Record v. Cubs (2007): 7-8
Key additions since '07: Jose Valverde (RP), Darin Erstad (OF/1B), Miguel Tejada (SS), Kaz Matsui (2B; currently disabled), Michael Bourn (OF), Shawn Chacon (SP/RP)
Key departures since '07: Brad Lidge (RP), Jason Jennings (SP), Craig Biggio (2B), Chris Burke (2B), Mike Lamb (3B), Luke Scott (OF)
Manager: Cecil Cooper (2nd year: 16-19, .457)
Manager's Nickname: "Coop" (shared by White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper and every other American male whose last name is Cooper)
Reasons to Hate Them: Team introduced AstroTurf to Major League Baseball; team lent its name to "AstroTurf"; franchise was in bed with notorious corporate criminals, i.e., "Enron Field"; stupid Tal's Hill in centerfield at Minute-Maid Park--a crippling injury just waiting to happen; Craig Biggio's helmet--why couldn't the guy bother to grab a rag and wipe the pine tar off of it?; club failed to defeat White Sox in 2005 World Series; they continue to let Milo Hamilton announce their home games and in this case I'm using the word "announce" loosely.
You don't like the Astros very much, do you?: That's very perceptive of you. No, I don't. In fact, I'm disappointed they didn't sign Roger Clemens. It would have made them even easier to despise.
Baez still learning
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.
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.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
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.
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.
#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
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as 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.
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.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.