Game 4 Thread / Astros @ Cubs (1 of 3)

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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)


RS: 12


Team OPS
: 630 (13th in NL)

Team ERA:
4.09 (11th in NL)

Record v. Cubs (2007):
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)

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.




I forgot Cecil Cooper was the Houston manager.

I guess Pie's wrist is okay from getting plunked.

said it had a bad bruise and would evaluate today...must be fine.

how many starts do you give a struggling pitcher before pulling the plug? I'm really worried about Hill. Him and the strike zone are having relationship issues. Of course I'm only seeing gameday. To me it looks like the Astros are bailing him out by swinging away.

Well... first of all, he has given up 2 runs in 5 innings against a pretty good offensive team.

Second, when you pitched as well as Hill did last year, you have earned the right to pitch through some struggles.

This whole taking the day off when Rich Hill pitches routine the offense likes to do is really getting old.

NOTE: do not try to hit HRs when wind is blowing in. Focus on singles/doubles.


Would that explain all of the "flied out to center" descriptions I keep reading in Yahoo Sports?

While I'm on the topic, wouldn't the correct term be flew out to center?

Many would argue that flied isn't a word and that it should be always flew, but you can find flied in dictionaries etc. and baseball seems to be unique in that it often uses flied.

I think it's to distinguish it from what would happen if the batter grew wings or hopped a plane and made his way to centerfield, in which case he would indeed have "flew out to center."

lol, perhaps. So the ball flew out to center but the batter flied out to center - makes sense to me.

Great start to our season!!!!!!!!

dominated by Chris Sampson and defense lets us down...


Add in more great defense...stir....and Voila....a craptacular start to the season.

Pie sucks. The sooner the Cubs get this through their heads the better off everyone will be.

Soriano's hitting .059. Aramis is hitting .154. Soto's hitting .167. Riot and Lee are hitting .222.

Seems like blaming Pie for being the lone source of our problem is probably a mistake.

I'm not blaming Pie. I'm just saying that he sucks. ARam and Lee are in mini slumps and will come around. Why? Because they are talented major leaguers. Pie will not come around. Why? Because he is a bad baseball player. It would be better if Cubs would realize that fact sooner rather than waiting until after he's made about 450 outs for our club.

I realize I could be way off about this. It's just that I don't think I am.

This team seems absolutely determined to once again make this season very hard on themselves. Countdown to Lou losing game I'm thinking, if they don't win, it might be Lee Elia II.

So how many more games till Lou moves the lineup around again? Definitely a disappointing start since we basically healthy and supposedly Lou knows his players this year. Oswalt on the mound against us tomorrow, ugh!!

i would have no issue hitting fuku 2nd, personally...its one of the 3 slots he's supposedly gonna play in the past month anyway.

Pie sucks. The sooner the Cubs get this through their heads the better off everyone will be.

Wow, more in depth commentary at the Reporter. Nice post. I assume you're a scout, right? You must know something we don't after 5 games.

This team seems absolutely determined to once again make this season very hard on themselves. Countdown to Lou losing game I'm thinking, if they don't win, it might be Lee Elia II.

WE'RE 5 GAMES INTO THE SEASON GUYS, CHILL OUT. The team has looked pretty good so far and has shown no big weakness. The hitting will come around, this lineup is too good...including Pie.

Yeah, but according to the media last year, the team only came alive after Sweet Lou's tantrum. Let's just go ahead and get it out of the way and we can play like champions the rest of the season.

Any objections?

"I assume you're a scout, right? You must know something we don't after 5 games."

Firstly, we have only played 4 games. Secondly, Pie has played in many more than that. I am not yet ready to say he sucks, but I don't think he is going to be anywhere as good some thought. I think he is going to be another CPat.

And you're right, he very well may be Korey part deux. He certainly has looked like it from some of his poor swings and poor pitch recognition. But the point is that it's time to find out. Pie has nothing left to prove in AAA and it's time to find out if he's going to be a major league hitter or not. I'm willing to give him a season to figure that out if he continues to play great defense. I would also bat him 7th rather than 8th so that you can give him some better pitches to hit. Bat Theriot 8th and he'll have a chance to run or be bunted over if he gets on.

I find guys are on base hitting when we get to soto. Then he is our only hope and pie/pitcher effectively end the inning. To me this means fuku - 2nd, lee, aram, derosa, soto. At least then we have two possible hitters to known people in.

that, or, put pie on the bench.

maybe MIL is so good cause they use players who are not latin hiters and they can deal with weather outside of 85 degrees.

Agreed on Fbomb hitting second, and soto 6th

Soto leads the Cubs in RBI's with 4, although you wouldn't guess that reading some of the comments on TCR.

This team just needs another bat. Otherwise, I think we're going to be scraping for runs every game. Unfortunately, there's not much place to add one other than at SS or CF.

Marshall worked just three innings in the Triple-A start, but retired all nine he faced with 6 K's.


pie is not getting a fair shot he needs to
be in 7 hole with theriot in the 8th

maybe MIL is so good cause they use players who are not latin hiters and they can deal with weather outside of 85 degrees.

Utter nonsense.

Pie has had 192 Major League AB's and is 23 years old...... I'm not ready to throw in the towel on him yet.

I don't have a problem with Pie at this point - if the rest of the team was producing, it wouldn't be noticeable. Not happy about his missing the cut - off man a few days ago, but that throw was on the money and just a hairbreadths of a second late.

Recent comments

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  • That's a hell of a first impression by Montgomery. Brian Cashman having a good laugh on that debut.

    Eric S 10 hours 40 min ago view
  • ...and it's a 3 run homer.

    hey, vogelbomb had a HR on his 1st game with SEA AAA, too!

    crunch 11 hours 19 sec ago view
  • montgomery comes on with men on 1st/2nd, 2 out, in the 8th.

    crunch 11 hours 2 min ago view
  • from rotoworld...

    "Tommy Stokke of FanRag Sports reports Chris Sale was sent home from U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday after cutting up throwback jerseys that he did not want to wear.

    crunch 11 hours 9 min ago view
  • I thought the same. It'd be great luck to face these non-contenders after the trade deadline.

    Charlie 12 hours 52 min ago view
  • ...why isn't j.lucroy playing for TEX yet?


    2r HR on a 12-pitch AB.

    crunch 13 hours 26 min ago view
  • nathan to join the cubs tomorrow.

    crunch 14 hours 35 sec ago view
  • Wow in deed.

    Rob Richardson 14 hours 4 min ago view
  • FOX Sports @MLBONFOX
    Chris Sale was scratched from tonight's scheduled start due to a clubhouse incident before the game

    he was sent home by the team, too. the wsox released a press statement and everything. they stated it was non-physical in nature.

    crunch 14 hours 9 min ago view
  • He was scratched from his start today. No reason given.

    Rob Richardson 14 hours 14 min ago view
  • At the start of the season the book was that he was trying to pitch to more contact so he could stay in the game longer and it seems to be working so far. Contact against is 77.5% this year and it was 70.2% the year before. He averaged 6.7 IP/game last year and so far it's 7 IP/game. His actual pitches per game are only down to 106.1/game from 107.2/game last year but if he's able to go a bit farther into games without throwing more pitches and without giving up more runs that is a good thing.

    johann 15 hours 18 min ago view
  • sale's skills and insane value makes it almost too hard to have a market for the guy...he's got 3/38m owed to him over 3 seasons (2 team options). he could easily pull in 30m/yr if he was on the market as a FA.

    he's throwing a bit differently this season, especially with more sliders and less changeups like earlier in his career, but all his stuff still looks great even if the HRs are a little elevated and the Ks are down.

    crunch 17 hours 13 min ago view
  • Torres, Happ, McKinney, Jimenez, and Candelario for Sale. Deal or no deal?

    "The White Sox are reportedly asking for “five top prospects” for Chris Sale, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports."

    John Beasley 17 hours 26 min ago view
  • Unless he develops 30+ HR power and keeps his walk rate close to his K rate at the MLB level, he's not going to turn into Prince Fielder. And even if he does turn into Prince Fielder, he's gonna have a short prime. His very limited athleticism is likely to also detract some value from his ability to reach base--I don't buy making an out as being preferable to base clogging, but you'd certainly prefer just about any base runner other than Vogelbach, David Ortiz, etc.

    Charlie 17 hours 57 min ago view
  • seeing as arod has played a total of 27.1 innings of D at 1st/3rd and somehow managed a -0.5 dWAR with his 1 error at 1st and an overall positive total zone rating...he might end up even more in the shitter via the characteristics/flaws/whatever of how some sites determine various WAR values. dWAR doesn't directly lead to a WAR value, but the 2 main entities pushing the most popular variations of WAR sometimes lead to some interesting discrepancies in value.

    crunch 18 hours 12 min ago view
  • I have a lot of faith in Baez that he's going to turn into a more consistent, solid player. It looks like it took him about a half season or so of futility at the plate to figure out he was not talented enough to get away with the crazy approach he had. I think his running game will eventually have a more measured aggression.

    Charlie 22 hours 6 min ago view