Game 20 Thread / Mets @ Cubs (2 of 2)

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SP Nelson Figueroa SP *Ted Lilly
  1-0, 3.60, 14 K, 5 BB
0-3, 9.16, 14 K, 7 BB
SS #Jose Reyes LF Reed Johnson
RF #Angel Pagan CF *Felix Pie
3B David Wright 1B Derrek Lee
CF #Carlos Beltran 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B *Carlos Delgado RF *Kosuke Fukudome
2B Damion Easley 2B Mark DeRosa
LF Brady Clark SS Ronny Cedeno
C #Raul Casanova C Henry Blanco
Nelson Figueroa P *Ted Lilly












Normally you'd feel confident about a Ted Lilly vs Nelson Figueuroa match-up, but Lilly's fastball never made the flight from Arizona. And the Mets offense usually isn't too forgiving for someone trying to "figure it out".

I was shut-off from the Internet yesterday and had to rely on desperate measure to follow the cellphone. By the 8th inning I figured out how to follow the game through MLB's gameday for your phone. I literally tuned in during Cedeno's at-bat and the screen kept refreshing with foul ball after foul ball, I figured it would eventually end with a breaking ball in the dirt and Ronny swinging. Imagine my surprise when I saw "Ball in Play, run(s) scored". And then Felix Pie with the cherry on top home run. Let's get the sweep!

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He didn't show any velocity in Arizona either.

So, what do we do with Lilly if he doesn't turn it around soon?

Wade Miller style back spasms?

That's probably what would happen...

I mean the playoffs last year :)

great retort, rob g


I heard the Ted Lilly Super Computer got a reboot. Hopefully that fixes the problem today. That and if Chad could wear a dress for good luck, we'll be in great shape.

We rebooted it, oiled it up, and fed it two pounds of TCBY Frogurt as a reward for acting so good at the doctors office. The prediction,

5 IP, 3 K's, 5 H, 2ER (0-1, RBI (Sac Fly, Deep Center)) . . . and Ted's first Win.

I"m only gay late in games when we are tied or behind.

So you're only "Rally Gay?" Does that mean you might still want a date with Johan's mom some other time?

I am surprised to see Pie hitting second.

I do appreciate that Lou has rewarded Felix for (apparently) listening to coaching. Maybe showing a little confidence in him will help.

Fair enough, but I don't see Pie as a top of the order hitter at this part of his career.

I don't see Pagan as a top of the order hitter either.

or Corey Patterson for that matter

Ha. Norris Hopper on the bench, Jay Bruce in the minors and Corey Patterson in the leadoff spot.

Thank god it's not us anymore.

Isn't Pie wearing Corey's old number?

Yeah, but at least he's likely to see a ton of fastballs ahead of DLee and Ramirez.

No matter who is hitting behind him, Pie will only see fastballs if shows that he can either hit breaking pitches or not swing at them.

Umm... what?

Pie has always been a very good fastball hitter. The only reason Pie should ever see fastballs is if a pitcher cannot locate his breaking stuff, and in turn they are afraid to walk Pie because of who is behind them.

Come on Hank....

Re HAnk:

Not too hard to see why this guy has a career .224 BA

What a god-awful GIDP with bases loaded and 0 outs - with TEd "Babe-Ruth" Lilly on deck.

Total freakin' waste.

Get hit by a pitch or anything else!

Way to get out of it Lilly.

Could it be that the winter ball and AAA Ronnie Cedeno has finally made it to Chicago!

Great to see Cedeno lining it up the middle and going opposite field the last couple of days.

This is how it's going right now. The little things are going right for the Cubs.

0 runs so far... but how does Ted Lilly LOOK? Anyone watching?

Not been watching on TV but Gameday says his fastball got up to 90 mph in the fourth inning. Good to see his velocity continues to improve.

Have to imagine Lilly is coming out now (after the 6th).

To anyone watching/listening: who is warming up in the pen?

He looks great. Good control. Moving the ball in-and-out, up-and-down. Changing speeds. His velocity is not as good as it has been, and he got flustered a few times, especially with runners on base. But vintage Lilly, a few K's mixed in with lots of flyouts.

Howry is warming up.

Thanks Wisconsin.

Where was Lee's third out (in the 6th) hit?

MLB Gameday had Beltran catching it in the front row of the bleachers.

Beltran was on the run and did a little jump up agains the wall and caught it. Just missed.

Also, Howry looks great today. A lineout to Cedeno on a reach for an outside fastball, then two topped groundouts to DeRosa and swings that looked pretty bad. He bounced one curve on an 0-2 count, but everything else seemed to be right on the blac.

Gagne blew another save.

Gagne should have been out of it, got Pujols to ground into a double play, but Weeks threw the relay into the ground and Fielder couldn't save it....had plenty of time.

I guess the Brewer's defense has cost them again.

Has Murton hit one out of the infield yet this season?


He's really Picked up a screwed up dead leg flatfooted swing. No weight transfer.

What a slug.

It is nice to see Pie have a multiple hit game.

2 hits today for Felix!! Keep it up.

Way to go, Cedeno, ruining a Wood save chance. :)

Can't forget Cedeno!

Never thought I'd live to see it.

13 RBI for RC.

So who sits on the bench until Cedeno gives the Cubs a reason not to play him? Everyone is swinging a hot bat except Fontenot! Even the bench is producing. Even BLANCO is hitting!

I'd be tempted to leave Cedeno in at SS until he starts having bad plate appearances again, if that happens. Let DeRo play LF some days when you play Theriot at 2B.

Hey, Soriano, no rush coming back. I like the lineup better without your .175 batting average anyway. When you come back, learn to hit 6th, behind Fukie.

Cubs face lefties tomorrow, Friday and Saturday (not sure about Sunday yet).

while I think Cedeno is the better defensive SS, he'll probably play 2b if Theriot is healthy. 

Think it's a bit much saying we don't need Alfonso to hurry back Charlie.

But it's not too much to hope he's far away from the 1 and 2 spots in the lineup? I'll take that.

I love Soriano's power, but he was stinking it up to the tune of a .528 OPS and looked lost at the plate before he got hurt. I'd like to see him play some rehab games and not be activated until he's shown he's got his timing and his swing. Getting back a Soriano that's going to hit will help the team, regardless of how hot the Cedeno, Theriot, DeRosa, or Reed Johnson is that has to take the bench for him. However, getting back a Soriano that is going to hit .175 is not going to help the team.

It's a slump, dude. Back off the ledge a little.

I bet every player on our roster will go through a 50 AB stretch where they hit like crap. It happens. In fact, the same thing happened to Fonzie out of Mesa last season, too.

I'm not saying I don't want him back at all. I'm saying don't rush him back without getting him some ABs. We need back a Soriano that is hitting. Soriano's slumps don't usually just come from hitting into bad luck, they usually come from having terrible ABs.

Meanwhile, I'm not on the ledge at all. I'm loving how great the team looks even without their most expensive player.

Also, my not wanting Soriano at the top of the order has nothing to do with the slump. I truly believe Soriano would overcome his psychological block on hitting with runners in scoring position if he spent the whole season in the 5th or 6th spot. I'd like to see his usual .280+ average and 30+ homers somewhere that they could do more good, especially since his OBP is typically not that great.

I wonder if The Riot's back is feeling better.

It looks like Lou is going to have a number of those good kinds of decisions to make soon.

Len and Bob were talking about Theriot. Apparently has some sort of condition since birth where one of his vertabrae moves on him. He's always going to deal with it and when it happens he has to take a day or two off. So nothing to worry about, but then again it will probably always happen occasionally.

to ensure that it isnt a problem for him going forward. Let me be the first to suggest that he moves to a utility role. For the good of his back and all.

Sounds like a quaint old-fashioned exclamation.

"Sweet wandering vertebrae! A two-game sweep of the Mets!"

how about that backing acting up whenever Ronny feels hot?
or, do we say it doesn't act up when Ronny feels tired and needs a day off?

you can tell the physical tool difference between these two. I do hope this is a turning point for Ronny.

Len and Bob were talking about Theriot. Apparently has some sort of condition since birth where one of his vertabrae moves on him. He's always going to deal with it and when it happens he has to take a day or two off. So nothing to worry about, but then again it will probably always happen occasionally.

Theriot has a condition called Spondylolysis. The docs usually call this a "spondy". Basically, there is a weak spot in some of the bone that makes up the posterior bony connections in the lower lumbar spine (between the facet joints known as the pars interarticularis). It usually develops as a teenager. It's most common at the two lower lumbar levels, either L4-5 or L5-S1. If the area where there is fibrous tissue that creates a weak spot gets stretched, the vertebrae in front can slip and lead to a more problematic condition called spondlolisthesis. Apparently The-Riot has the former and not the latter.

Spondylolysis usually responds to rest which is why Theriot has missed a few games. Expect this to act up from time to time since apparently he's had this flare up in that pattern from his teen years. Often the treatment includes NSAID's (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory med, like Motrin or Naprosyn). It has to be pretty unresponsive to conservative measures to be treated with surgery, but if that is done it's usually a fusion at the level of involvement, if it's unilateral (only on one side) it can sometimes be treated with an attempt to repair the weak spot. Surgery for this sounds pretty unlikely.

Here's a link with some diagrams of the anatomy.

Thanks Doc!

woo hoo. love seeing them beat good teams. ronny cedeno, take a bow.


Rob G - meant to say thanks for making TCR mobile (cell-phone) friendly. Helps me not miss a beat. Just one thing though, is it possible to make the comments appear in the same format? I simply get an "View Comments if enabled" prompt and when I click on this, can't see anything. Do you know how to enable or can we shift the comments to the new format?

sure...I actually had to get rid of the automatic redirect, so be sure to bookmark

As for the comments, I've been able to click on View Comments and it loads a stripped down version of the site and the comments. A little harder to navigate than the stories, but you should be able to read them

But for the time being, I don't know of anyway to improve on that. When I have some time (and some funds built up), I'll try and look into a more full-featured mobile site.

I looked around a bit and I can output an RSS feed for just the comments and then have that on the mobile site. It wouldn't be ideal, but you could read them.

I'll try and test it out sometime in the next week.

You are a legend mate. Thanks.

in his own mind?

had to play there after Izturis got injured. 9 more times and my fantasy team sure would be happy. :)

41-9 over the last 4 games.

67-28 over the homestand....

Incredible. We're not drinking the kool aid though, are we?

Water+sugar+Blue= shake it up, you get Cubbie Drank!

Blah blah blah The Cubs beat up on the Pirates. Blah blah blah let's see what happens when they play a real team.

I'm thrilled that the Cubs made a NY team look identical to the Pirates in the box score. I mean, wow. Both games, though, looked close until late innings. Still, 8-1, 7-1. I love it.

Cedeno, Pie, Fuku...who are these guys? :-)

Sean Gallagher struck out 12 in 7 and 2/3 this afternoon.

MacPhail is thinking, I knew those guys (Gallagher, Cedeno) were good. Why didn't I pull the trigger?

Maybe MacFail will take Theriot!

To paraphrase an old saw, Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make with Andy MacPhail.

Well wait a minute, much as I love that Ronny Cedeno is tearing it up, isn't this, in some world, a boosting of their trade value? Brian Roberts would still look very, very good at the top of this lineup and now that some of the guys originally mentioned in the trade are playing really well, I wonder if the deal will be reconsidered.

Well if you can get a cheaper younger version in Ronny, i'd rather take the gamble than going for a more proven commodity in Roberts. Especially now that the Cubs are playing so well and the youngsters are starting to show signs of life.

Hopefully Hendry has realized by now that the Cubs don't need another second baseman, they need a solid shortstop and they need improve their starting pitching if they can. Ronny and Gallagher (and Marshall) could fit the bill for those roles, Roberts can't. I personally think Hendry should save all the trade bait until around the deadline and see if there are any top of the rotation starters available. Most times there aren't, occasionally there are. I don't see any position players available that are so good that we just have to get them. Roberts is a good player, but we've got DeRosa and Theriot who can both fill his position, and maybe Patterson takes a step forward this year. No point in trading off a guy who could be a very solid SS (and might not be, but we don't know which yet) and a 22-year-old starting pitcher who has done everything the organization could ask for him, unless you are getting something you absolutely can't turn down.

the Brewers unloaded Gabe Gross on the Rays (for a single-A pitcher) in preparation for Mike Cameron's suspension coming to an end.


New team=down grade.

New city=major upgrade!

Hey Mets, let's do this again sometime....

maybe in October.

this team is freaking sweet right now. if they stay this patient as a team they will win 100 games. they have the power/speed to compliment it, and the patience seems to be contagious. it is in many ways a mindset. pumped to see them all three this weekend in DC!

I go to Vegas for a few days and look what happens!!!

Keep going.

I might start to back off on Cedeno now.

Ryan Pipp?

Go Cubs!!

Cedeno 4-5 this year with bases loaded 11 rbi's.

He's Pat Tabler reincarnated, who I believe was .635 with bases loaded.

Cedeno was 0-11 lifetime with bases loaded before that however.

Number two record in baseball:

.736 - Arizona DBacks
.700 - Chicago Cubs
.682 - Boston Red Sox

Really the offense has been amazing. I hope it's a sign that D Lee is back to '05 form. Can you imagine '05 D Lee in the middle of a good lineup? Insane.

Fukudome has had an affect on the lineup top-to-bottom, too.

And I've busted Pie's balls a lot the past few years, but I really liked what I saw the last couple days. He's shortened his swing (he still has the goofy flair at the end, but I can live with that). By compacting it he can wait just moments longer before he decides to commit to a pitch. That slight moment could be the difference in correctly reading a big league slider. The surprising thing is even with the shortened swing, he still has power. I would have bet money he'd become a singles batter with a shorter swing.

"I've busted Pie's balls a lot the past few years"

So thats why he needed that surgery?

Poor choice of words. Your welcome for setting you up. ;)

Did anyone catch Z in the dugout? After Fukudome scored the first run, Z high fives him in the dugout then gives him a funny Japanese bow ala Mr. Miyagi.

Hahahha... that's great.

Theriot's current OPS is .893 and his career OPS is .720 which I don't find the debacle many posters on this board rag on. Especially given Theriot is a middle infielder without power.

If DeRosa, Theriot, and Cedeno continue to perform close to their April numbers, I can't see the upside of giving up Gallagher, Cedeno and 1-2 other prospects for Roberts.

Don't worry, Ryan Theriot has no chance in hell of an OPS over .800 if he plays most of the year.

DeRosa and Cedeno, would both need all kinds of breaks, but do have outside shots at OPS above .800 I'd say... 

Dueling bloggers:

"Don't worry, Ryan Theriot has no chance in hell of an OPS over .800 if he plays most of the year."

- Rob G.

"Theriot had four hits and a walk today. I know, I know. He's not this good. Yes, I know. He's not going to hit .340. But would any of you -- even those of you who have devoted a ton of time to statistical "proof" that Theriot can never, ever improve and that he's a terrible hitter, etc. etc. admit that maybe, possibly, he might have a career year this year? That maybe he can push his game to a higher level? I heard today that Theriot spent quite a bit of time in the weight room in the offseason. We are seeing the results already -- he's now hit five doubles in eighteen games, and the ball seems to come off his bat with much more authority than it did a year ago. When I say there are things that cannot be measured on a stat sheet, that's one of them. Stats can only tell you what has occurred, and project what might occur in the future -- not tell you with 100% certainty what will occur in the future.

At least admit that it's possible. Deal?"

- Bleed Cubbie Blue

Someone needs to teach Al about sample sizes.

And someone also needs to show where anyone used statistical proof saying Theriot would "never, ever improve."

Maybe you can admit that Theriot has talent, though. I believe you actually once said he had none.

I don't believe that I have ever said that Theriot had no talent, and if I did say that, I was wrong. You can't get to the big leagues without talent.

But Theriot does not have A LOT of talent. And he is less talented than most of his colleagues at the big league level.

Once again, for the millionth time, I don't hate Ryan Theriot. At all. I actually kinda' like him. I just don't think he is that good, and I think that he was, overall, pretty awful offensively last year.

And I also think that Cedeno has MORE talent, and will end up having a better career.

An OPS of .800 would be a career year for Ryan Theriot...

for reference, Eckstein's highest was .758

I'd be thrilled if Theriot hit around .300 with a .350 to .360 OBP.  I can't see his SLG ever topping .400 though.

I would agree Rob, I just thought the contrast was interesting.

Everyone just take a breath, enjoy the ride, and don't get too far ahead of yourselves. It's about the 1/6 point of the season, there are 5 months and a week left before October begins. I love what I'm seeing out of this team, but really, let's not go nuts here.

I don't like Soriano either overall, but when the team begins to come down to Earth (hopefully it'll be June/July by then), he'll fit in nicely, right ahead of DeRo and Soto.

Just enjoy the ride and don't waste space thinking about things post-All-Star break just yet.

I cannot believe no one is talking about our pitching. We held a solid and healthy lineup to 2 runs, but I guess that shows you how good our offense has been since Pie and Cedeno are surprising all of us.

Going nuts is part of the fun of winning 14 games out of 20.

You're right that the pitching was great this series. I think, though, we'd be talking about the pitching more if we weren't all so pleasantly surprised by the offense from Cedeno and Pie. We expect Z to pitch well, and before the his first 3 starts, we mostly expected Lilly to pitch well. Still, they actually deserve most of the credit for these wins. Those late innings would've probably looked a lot different if the Cubs hadn't already had narrow leads.

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