Game 8 Thread / Cubs @ Pirates (2 of 3)

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SP Ryan Dempster SP *Zach Duke
  1-0, 1.50, 5 K, 2 BB 0-0, 3.18, 1 K, 1 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF *Nate McLouth
CF Reed Johnson 2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Derrek Lee LF Jason Bay
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adam LaRoche
RF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Xavier Nady
2B Mark DeRosa C #Ryan Doumit
C Geovany Soto 3B Jose Bautista
SS Ronny Cedeno SS Brian Bixler
P
Ryan Dempster P *Zach Duke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's true--the Cubs are unbeaten this season in games started by Ryan Dempster and Jason Marquis. (I know, we're talking about two games, but still, I'm pleasantly surprised.)

Soriano (13 PA's, 1.056 OPS), Lee (20 PA, 1.050), Ramirez (22 PA, 1.031), and even little Ronny Cedeno (16 PA, .876) have all had success against Duke in the past. Still, the Pittsburgh lefty is 4-2, 2.10 in eight lifetime starts against the Cubs. Maybe Lou can just go with a four-man batting order.

Dempster returns after a strong outing against the Brewers (1 ER in 6 IP) and his first victory as a starter since April 16, 2005, when he beat the Pirates, 4-3. In that game, Neifi Perez (two hits) and LaTroy Hawkins (save) played key roles.

We've come a long way, baby.

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Comments

Is Theriot hurt? He's not starting against a second straight lefty. If Theriot isn't going to play against lefties, there's no reason for him to be on this team.

Lou said he'd go w/ the same lineup that scored him 10 the day before versus a lefty. And as Cubnut noted, Cedeno's had some luck versus Duke.

Plus Theriot on the bench is exactly what we should be wanting... 

I believe he tweaked his wrist on a check swing on Saturday. I think he played through it on Sunday, but maybe he's still a little sore. Dunno.

crowd at this game is virtually non-existant...you'd think it was a KC@TB game.

parachat, btw...

ouch...Bay finally wakes up...tie game

I guess Dempster now knows how it feels.

What was the count on the Bay homer (goddammit!)?

2-1

I know it may be rash this early but anyone think that The Riot should be at Iowa with Murton on the bench. Murton could be a clutch hitter in these extra inning games. Theroit can't get it done with the stick. Could even spell Fukudome if needed. Heck, let Fukudome play some center and put Pie's arse on the pine. Cedeno looks like he wants that SS stop.

in the 11th, gets a Bartman ball, but nobody's in the seats and he makes the catch.

Man, this team really sucks in extra innings.

Aramis!!! 2 run HR!!

Nice jack by Aramis. But he's still doing his patented stand - at - the - plate - forever while admiring the trajectory of the ball. I know, this type of thang is common now, but can he show some class once in awhile and act like he's been there before? Jeez, if I were on the mound, I'd be planning on plunking him the next chance I got.

I take it all back. Nobody wants to win this game.

He serves it up to a guy who'd gone 2 for his last 27? I can't watch this anymore.

of the same shit.

All will be forgotten if they can come back and win what we need is more Evan Meek :)

Pie and The Riot with hits in the same inning? Wow.

How 'bout a nice piece of Pie? 2 run, 2 out bases loaded single (Here I go again, tempting fate...).

Let's see if we can hold it this time, christ these 4 hour + games are killing.

In other news, Sisco undergoing TJ surgery...

Although they given up some unfortunate hits, the pen has kinda impressed me tonight. They're not really walking anybody and the hits have been solid ones. The Cubs' pen may be struggling but they're not giving it to the Pirates. I know this one isn't over yet (2 outs to go) but I get the feeling that this is a game that last year's club would have lost.

Was the Rivas flyout where Gameday showed it to be -- on the warning track at the angle, a good 400 feet from home plate?

yeah, just short of the warning track at the 410 sign in the gap.

Yikes. So the Bucs were a few feet short of a third last-minute comeback? Wow.

CPatt is 3-5 with a homerun and a pair of RBI tonight. Heck, he even has a base on balls and zerio K's.

Cubs win!!! (Yeesh!)

Wow, Dempster throws seven innings of one-hit, shutout ball. 2 BB, 5 Ks and is now sporting a 0.69 ERA. (Kevin from The Office would love that number.)

Two blown saves and a win. Yay!

Pie's hit wasn't a cheap one. Looks like he lined an off-speed pitch solidly into left-center. Ron would say "that'll give him some confidence. Maybe that will start to turn him around." Which is usually the kiss of death.

dumatrait fooled him on the first breaking pitch low and away...then left one over the plate. at least pie took advantage of it...

accepting members to the dempster fan club our second best starter

Sean Marshall out of the bullpen with a 2 run lead in the 15th? It's a good thing only if you're a cardiologist.

ugh... i can't take 150+ more games of this.

I'd like to make a prediction: The Cubs will lead the majors in innings pitched this season. Or at least they'll lead the league in innings pitched against the Pirates.

I'm just glad we didn't lose. Would have been all my fault on the Kevin Hart jinx. I know better than that, too.

What a horrible outing from me in parachat tonight. Didn't have my good stuff. Just couldn't execute. Didn't have it when the game was on the line. It was awful.

It's okay, Wes. Can't begrudge you if your skills just don't translate all that well at this level. You showed a lot heart out there today, and you've displayed your grit on many the occasion before. You've got a spot in this club for as long as you want one, big guy.

So Wes is now the Ryan Theriot of Parachat?

You cut me real deep. Real deep.

I'm just glad Chad is gay! Thanks for that, Chad!

Of all the days for Trans not to have a write up.

No kidding. That was possibly the most absurd Parachat meme yet. I guess it will have to keep going until it makes its way into a write up.

Todd Wellemeyer has a 2.25 ERA as a starter for the Redbirds.

AND - Will Oh-Man! has a 0.00 ERA with the Braves in 6 games.

However, Omar Infante, is apparently not on the roster.

TODD FREAKIN' WELLEMEYER!!

Dave Duncan and Leo Mazone are witches I tell you, witches!

They should be burn...what now? How's that?

Dave Duncan is a witch and Leo Mazone's witch powers still linger in Atlanta!!!!!!! DOUBLE WITCH!!!!!

angel pagan isnt doing too bad, himself.

Don't forget Korey!

And if he starts getting shelled, apparently they can transform him into a power-hitting outfielder.

Todd Wellemeyer has a 2.25 ERA as a starter for the Redbirds.

If that doesn't tell you that it is April 10th, nothing will.

That, plus Dempster's 0.69 ERA.

As an avowed Dempster non-supporter, non-hater, the issue I always had with the guy has been BB's.

Grudgingly, to this point in the young season, he is doing remarkably well. I have to say all of his hard work seems to have turned him into our #2 starter as of now. So I guess we'll re evaluate this come June 1.

What is bothering me the most is that Ted Lilly has plain-out sucked.

This shit now goes back to Game 2 of the NLDS.

Yeah, three whole games. Man, what a stretch of sucking!

I'm wondering how Navigator feels today.

Pie looked like he may have learned something - after missing the first breaking ball, he stayed right on the next one, didn't pull his head out, didn't try to pull it, and dumped it into LF for the game-winner. Looked like a big-league hitter with the ability to learn and adjust, at least for one at-bat.

Thank goodness for Michael Wuertz.

Kerry blew the lead, but not the game -- he has never been flawless, precise or consistent, so fasten your seat belts.

I was wondering at the time, why he didn't throw him a slider instead of another fastball. I know it is easy to second guess, but there have been a few batters already this season that Kerry seems to have decided to just throw the ball past them. As hard as he is throwing, that slider is an even better weapon.

Pie's swing on the long foul ball looked great. I hope that they continue to work with him, I think that he could be a very special player. Of course, I thought that about CPat too, so what do I know?

Lou was quoted as saying about Pie, "that's what we've been telling he has to do."

When did Dempster start doing that hide the ball thing? I don't remember him doing that as a closer.

Pie has shown the ability to hit AAA pitching. Now all we need is for him to be facing AAA scrubs like Phil Dumtrait every time he bats from here on out. Then he can live up to all the impossible hype.

What impossible hype?

How many people are projecting Pie to be anything other than a good fielding mediocre hitting center fielder this season?

There is a reason they picked up Reed Johnson.

The constant Pie nut hugging that has went on since oh 2003. Expectatons are just starting to be tempered now that he is coming off a .215 season in 07.

Not left handed pitching, he hasn't.

Read and weep,
http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?pl...

Nice game by DAMN!ster. But those fast balls sure look pretty straight.

Brenly was all over Pie in his second from last at bat when he K'd. Saying he hits the ball good with the short swing and looks lost when he goes with the long swing.

I signed off in the 7th in parachat to watch the "Waterhorse" with my family. After the movie was over I turned on the highlights to see hart give up the homer LIVE.

WOW.

Gonna need a defibulator for this season.

Sorry but that's been 3/44 for Cubs fans for decades now.

Roy Oswalt's fastballs look straight, too.

Jason Marquis in...Hill pushed to Friday...if Marquis is recovered from the flu. Lou says the Pirates hit lefties better and hoping to duplicate Marquis' early success last year vs the Buccos.

Two more lefties in Philly this weekend...more Reed and Cedeno probably. Should probably give Kosuke a day off vs Hamels imo...

Against Hamels-Derosa in right and Theriot at second?

Ugh... I would rather have Fukudome than Theriot, even against a tough lefty.

Matt Murton would be nice in that situation...

Big win last night.

The last two games were the type of games we lost early on last season.

Time for a sweep.

LNL:
"Big win last night.

The last two games were the type of games we lost early on last season."

Perfectly said, that was a big win and one the Cubs usually lose. I had a home game last night, but still got to watch the end of the game when I got home. NICE!!

Both pitchers and hitters have either been really good or really bad for the most part, just need to get a little more consistent, but it is early, and I like the 5-3 start. Sweep tonight would be sweet!!

Billy Bucks:
Kerry blew the lead, but not the game -- he has never been flawless, precise or consistent, so fasten your seat belts.

Based on the way he has been throwing this year, he'll come into most save situations and plow through the ninth inning making it look easy.

I'm not worried about his two bad games because he's been pitching well, if that makes any sense.

I worry more about our game hero, Pie. Dude's swing is crap.

Back on March 10th:

Ryno:
He'll continue to struggle at the plate until he shortens his swing, which he doesn't appear to be doing at all.

...

I guess if fans & the club can tolerate this guy hitting .230/5-10 HR, he'll give them A+ defense all year.

At this rate, after many years of mediocrity, we'll end up with a good-throwing Jacque Jones when he's older.

A strong-armed Jock Jones would be pretty valuable.

I'm loving the new feature of MLB gameday that gives you instant video replays of keys things that just happened in the game. pretty cool!

I agree completely 10man. That feature is very cool.

I agree Manny about the 5-3 start. We have been very inconsistent and have had multiple "big-name" players struggling.

This team has shown it can find a way to win while playing some pretty ugly baseball. That's not something we have been able to say about Cubs teams very often.

We have been very inconsistent and have had multiple "big-name" players struggling.

But we have also had other people playing over their heads, people like Lee and Fukudome, and even Dempster.

Dempster won't have an ERA under 1.00 all year, and Fukudome and Lee will almost assuredly not have an OPS over 1100 all year. The hot players have balanced out the struggling players, which is good to see. But Soriano and ARam will get one at some point, and Fukudome and Lee will get cold at some point.

Is this the ugliest 4-game winning streak in the history of sport, or what?

We'll take it, though. It's usually a good sign when you are complaining about the quality of your team's wins rather than the quantity of them.

At this rate, after many years of mediocrity, we'll end up with a good-throwing Jacque Jones when he's older.

Jones' numbers coming from a bonafied center fielder? I'll take that in a heart beat.

last night zambrano pinch hit for howry. he bunted. he did not swing away.

my question is: why waste a player? maybe zambrano would be needed later in the inning/game to hit a sac fly? is howry that inept?

there was no pat/ron discussion of this.

did lou overthink this, or is it me?
thanks for any enlightment.

While it was a small thing, I agree Z should not have been brought in there to bunt. Lilly should have been used as he was the starting pitcher the day before and would never have been used to pitch and is not a good hitter at all, so wouldn't have been used down the road to really PH. Maybe Lou felt Z was a better bunter than Lilly, but I can't think of a reason why ML pitchers can't lay down a bunt. So it should have been Lilly since they wanted a bunt, IMO.

I can't think of a reason either, manny. But, that still doesn't mean they can do it. How many times have we banged our collective heads against the wall when a pitcher doesn't get the bunt down? I know I did it at least 5 times with Lilly alone last year.

In that situation, you're trying to score a run and win the ballgame. Which of your pitchers gives you the best chance to win the ballgame? It's Z. If I've got a pitcher on the bench that I know can lay the bunt down if I ask him to, I'm going to use him. People talk like taking the bat of Z's hands is some kind of stupid, ridiculous decision.

I actually didn't have a problem with Z up there at all, for a few reasons.

First, Z has 29 Sac Bunts in his career, compared to Lilly's 7. And due to Lilly's time in the AL he has not had many opportunties and is overall atrocious with the bat. His BA is more than 100 points less than Z's. So if you want the bunt to get down, Z is a far better bet than Lilly.

Also, Z was on deck warming up before the runner reached first. So because the runner reached and it's now a bunting situation, Lou would have had to grab Lilly who has been sitting in his jacket in the cold for 4 hours and get him on the on deck circle to get loose and lay down a crucial bunt. The chances decrease even further of him succeeding.

Finally, what if it gets to 2 strikes and the bunt is off? Or Lou sees the infielders charging to hard and calls for a swing away? Z has a much higher probability of succeeding than Lilly in either scenario.

My point is, I am not sure Z is any better of a bunter than Lilly. Lou would know that better than I, so I would definitely defer to him there, but if they were anywhere close, Lilly should have been used IMO. But it was small move overall, not a big deal.

Sure, if they're close. That makes sense. But, they aren't really that close, imo. I think Z (and Marquis) are far superior bunters to the Ted.

It really wouldn't have mattered if Marquis wasn't dying back at the hotel. Could have him lay down the bunt and then had Z left to hit later if you wanted. Or vice versa.

i probably stated my original question poorly:
why use anybody other than howry? unless lou knows he is useless as a bunter; that i could understand.

but it seemed at least like it deserved a bit of talk between pat and ron. nuttin'. hence my inquiry.

dc:

Howry has had two at bats in 10 years as a MLB relief pitcher. As a relief pitcher, I don't know that he ever even practices bunting much less is called on to do it in a game situation. So I'm guessing the issue didn't even make it onto Pat & Ron's radar.

thanks. makes perfect sense now. not a good risk to run with howry.

Lilly, but I can't think of a reason why ML pitchers can't lay down a bunt. So it should have been Lilly since they wanted a bunt

How about this: American League pitchers don't bat. Lilly has very little experience bunting and it shows.

After someone here pointed it out the other day, I could not help but shout at the TV every time Theriot buckled his knees and bent over to get a real good view of a hittable strike as it found leather. I'm not sure why he absolutely insists on taking at least one good strike in the middle of an at-bat. He takes a walk now and then, but it seems like one of every two at bats, he's watching a strike come in. I like the guy, but that act is getting very old.

Agree completely that this game is one that we would have lost a year ago. These guys aren't going to win any awards the way they're playing, but they are hanging in, and that's a good sign.

I could not help but shout at the TV every time Theriot buckled his knees and bent over to get a real good view of a hittable strike as it found leather. I'm not sure why he absolutely insists on taking at least one good strike in the middle of an at-bat. He takes a walk now and then, but it seems like one of every two at bats, he's watching a strike come in. I like the guy, but that act is getting very old.

Never thought I'd see the day when Theriot would be criticized for actually showing some plate patience.

I was thinking the exact same thing as I was watching his 13th-inning AB last night. There's not a pitcher in the major leagues who needs to pitch around him, yet Theriot watches fat pitch after fat pitch whiz by. Which is why he's an awful leadoff AND number 8 hitter. Pitchers are just not going to let him walk.

That was me who pointed the "lean over and watch a strike go by".

I don't think we're talking about "patience", Wes. At least I'm not.

You watch. He takes the 1st pitch on every AB. Even those right down the center of the plate. IF I know this, you think a MLB pitcher does not? Its as if he's "praying" for the pitch to be called a ball so he doesn't have to swing.

Now, maybe I don't have a problem with this as much for a utility guy, who is coming in later in the game. But to be down 0-1, or 0-2 in the count without getting the bat off the shoulder, and then hitting the patented grounder to the 2B, or a K, for a starter following (usually) Soriano - an automatic out for the most part - is just not good. Shit, I think Izturis, the "former Gold Glove winner", is outhitting him for Pete's sake!

If Cedeno wasn't as dumb as a fucking post, its obvious that that kid has much more talent than the "scrappy-ness" of a Ryan Theriot, who would not be starting for the majority of the MLB teams.

Let's hope he picks his offensive game up.

Joking, big fella. Relax. Didn't mean to start an argument. I was just making a wise crack.

On a more serious note, last year everybody got on the kid because he'd ground out on the 1st or 2nd pitch of the AB. I recall them saying "I wish he'd just take a pitch once in a while," or "if you're going to hit him second, especially behind free-swinging Soriano, at least look at a few!" Now everybody's on him because he watches that pitch go by and then grounds out on the 4th or 5th pitch. Now you're saying "Swing at the first one!" The conclusion I've reached is that I don't think it matters what pitch he swings at. You're probably going to get the same result from him.

I do agree about Ronny. If he'd just hit a litle bit for an extended period of time, he'd probably take the job from him.

It seems obvious that Lilly's past ineptness with the bat caused Lou to go with Z in that situation - he was trying to put the game away, so I liked his agressiveness in that position. Brenly mentioned that Marquis probably would have gotten the call instead of Z, but wasn't available.

exactly, I see no possible way that the cubs risk 100 Million dollars in future financial commitment to win an april game in Pittsburgh. Lou would have had Cindy Sandberg in that game pitching before Z.

Apparenty, Cindy Sandberg is always willing to take the ball (s)

Did anyone hear if Fukudome is playing center tonight?

Why? Why wouldn't Pie play in CF?

I caught the end of Stone on WSCR today, and he was talking about Fukudome playing CF at PNC.

He could have been just speculating.

This is why I love Lou. He isnt afraid to admit mistakes or make changes that are needed. He knows that he has a 300/370/500 MLB corner OFer down in Des Moines. He knows that if KFuk can handle Cf that his club will be all the better for it. He isnt worried about covering for some farm director or carnival barker that promised us Prospect A would save the day. Uncle Lou just wants to win. And he is willing to put the club in the best position to do so. What more can you ask for as a fan?

So it is April 10th and we are benching Pie? If he does not start tonight, it does appear that way. Amazing, that was a quick hook to that youngster. Why the hell did we just not trade him this offseason (maybe in the supposed Roberts deal) before his value fell more, if you were ready to give him this quick of a hook? Sometimes I just never understand this organization!!!

He looks lost at the plate. Who wants to lose games for the sake of saving a prospects trade value? Pie might put his tools to good use one day. Unfortunately he just looks lost up to this point when he is facing MLB pitching. People wanted Ronny Cedeno shot with a deer rifle when he struggled at 23. Yet Felix Pie doesnt get the same criticism.

Well, when you say people, I know you are not talking about me. You can't just keep yanking these guys around. If you are going to make a commitment, you gotta play him, if not get rid of him. He does you no good hitting .320 in AAA, if you are not going to stick him out there for at least a few months this year. He has proven all he can down in the minors. Throw him in CF and see what shakes out at the All-Star Break. Man if Dusty did this shit, many Cubs fans would be ape shit, but Lou does it and he is smart and a good manager because he is willing to make changes. I do love the spin...

Pie really hasnt done anything overly incredible at any level. His OPS in his 3 FULL ML seasons were

734
799
792

His 973 Last year in 229 at bats arent any more impressive than the 959 that Ronny Cedeno put up in 287 at bats. Any Minor leaguer with tools can be pumped up as a star when people Cherry pick their hot months.

And no, am am not trying to single anyone out or discount people's opinions. I am just stating that sometimes peoples views get a little out of whack over certain players.

aaronb:
"And no, am am not trying to single anyone out or discount people's opinions. I am just stating that sometimes peoples views get a little out of whack over certain players."

I can agree with that with Ryan Theriot being prime example #1. The guy is a well below average baseball player but many Cubs fans and media love him. He sucks!!!!!

we agree. Although I do think that Ryan Theriot has a place in MLB. It just happens to be as a utility IFer/25 man. Not as your starting SS/Leadoff hitter.

Manny,

How long will it be before you give up the "If Dusty did this, he'd be crucified" routine?

Will you continue to do it after Lou quits/gets fired and a new manager takes over?

Or is this just a vendetta against Lou, and all future managers will get a reprieve from being compared to St. Dusty, Patron Saint of Veterans and Clogged Bases.

Just looking for some consistency from Cubs fans.

Lou was pondering either Pie in CF and giving Fontentot a start at 2b or moving Fukudome to CF and Ward in RF.

I say reward the kid for the game-winning hit.

fwiw, looked at the replay at cubs.com and the catcher set-up low and outside again, but Dumatrait missed right over the inside of the plate. The gun said 81mph and it looked like a change-up.

 

It kinda looked like Pie took a huge inside-out swing. You know the kind where you're jammed but still swing for the fences.

lol

According to Sullivan, Hill to start after all. Marquis to go tomorrow.

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/spor...

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