Game 28 Thread / Brewers @ Cubs (3 of 3)

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SP Yovani Gallardo SP Carlos Zambrano
  0-0, 0.64, 9 K, 5 BB
4-1, 2.21, 32 K, 9 BB
2B Rickie Weeks LF Alfonso Soriano
CF Mike Cameron SS Ryan Theriot
LF Ryan Braun 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Prince Fielder 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF Corey Hart RF *Kosuke Fukudome
3B Bill Hall 2B Mark DeRosa
SS *Craig Counsell C Geovany Soto
P Yovani Gallardo CF Reed Johnson
C Jason Kendall P #Carlos Zambrano




Fonzie returns to the lineup as the Cubs go for 2-of-3 against the Brewers and try to grab some momentum heading into big road series in Saint Loo and Cincinnati.

In the press conference following Wednesday night's slaughter, one of the reporters pointed out to Lou Piniella that the Cubs had won 17 games exactly one-sixth of the way through the season, which (all other things being equal) projects to 102 victories for the year.

"Well, that's a pretty good year, isn't it?" (Piniella) said. "I'm saying that in a kidding way, but 17 wins in the month of April is really, really nice, and it's a good way to get started."

Some other 2008 projections based on the first sixth of the season (and I also share these "in a kidding way"):

Derrek Lee -- 48 HR, 138 RBI

Ryan Theriot -- 30 CS

Ted Lilly -- 24 losses

Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano -- 24 wins

Kerry Wood -- 72 K, 12 BB

Carlos Marmol -- 84 games, 104 IP

Update: Matt Murton was sent down to make room for Soriano.


I would be OK with only 18 runs today. I'm not a greedy person.

Who got sent down?

Murton and his .214 average.

to see how the Cubs handle Gallardo today (hopefully not the other way around). He was pretty good against us last year and getting off on the right foot against him this year could be important for the season series.

Soriano is picking it up where he left off before the injury...

Marmol's fucking arm is going to come flying out of its socket one of these days.

Any time you want to make Marmol closer would be fine with me.

fuck you wood

i don't know about you but he makes me the most nervous in the 9th that I've been in a long time. I just have no confidence the game is over whatsoever. And I think the other teams are feeling the same way against him. He is just really really hittable.

Lets let him go back to starting. If he gets hurt then fine.

Deja vu from Opening Day -- Wood comes in, hits the first batter, and to all goes to hell.

What a waste of a beautifully pitched game.

What was his deal after hitting the guy? No control? No movement on pitches?

Cubs bullpen is now Marmol and a pile of crap.


Great outfield defense, too. Soriano was a real game-changer today in his triumphant return.

Am I the only one who thought before and still thinks that Soriano's really, really slow start would have validated a short rehab stint so to prove he can hit a little? Not like his defense makes up for his offensive slump any more than Murt's would. Might as well have started Cedeno at 2B and DeRosa in LF today.

Then, the bring in Pie as a defensive replacement for Johnson and leave Soriano and his 0-4 and bum legs to play defense in LF in a 3-1 game. If you bring Pie in for a defensive boost you might as well shift Johnson over to LF where he can help the team more than Alfonso on defense.

There is too much catering to Soriano's ego going on at the moment. When he starts helping the team again I'll stop complaining, but today it looked like Soriano was left in the game so as not to hurt his feelings and it might've cost the team.

last year was a f'n travesty having him back before he could even run...not fun fast, but run at all...and still hitting him 1st in the process.

at least he's in playing shape. but yeah, his bat could probably use seeing some live action.

Worst loss of the year. Bummer for the Cubs, huge lift for the Brewers.

How the hell do you hit Craig Counsell with nobody on and 2-run lead?

Thanks, Kerry -- you just ruined my day.

wood is either great or awful. painful.
I see him in the 8th inning very soon. We need pitching help.

We need pitching help.
Ascanio has been doing pretty well in AAA. Eyre should be back next week, according to RotoWorld (I'm not sure whether that will constitute help or not). I think Wuertz and Howry will come around, but as of right now our bullpen doesn't look nearly as good as advertised. I was a believer, but the numbers just aren't pretty right now. Say what you want about them having pitched too many innings, but the guy who's taken the brunt of that, and who's arm my fall off in July, is doing the best out of all of them (Marmol). I'm looking forward to his debut as a lefty reliever in 2010 following his season-ending amputation in 2008 and a year spent developing coordination in his left arm.



not to excuse Wood for his ineffectiveness, but Fukudome misjudging Braun's 2b, and Soriano's usual pathetic attempt at the other 2b didn't help matters either. Wood sucked but he had a lot of help in the 9th too.

Well, that sucked.

Was there a post game interview with Lou? I imagine he's rather displeased at the moment.

Wood now with 4 saves and 3 Blown saves.

Oh, for the days of Dempster....

now now Billy, You know save percentage is a crutch for people to use. Strikeouts and fastball velocity is Much more important than actual effectiveness.

Haven't seen the double by Kapler in the 9th yet, was it to the side of Soriano or over his head---in a 2-run lead late in the game no ball should ever be hit over an outfielders head---have to keep the tying run out of scoring position---always play NO DOUBLES!!!!

any ball over Soriano's head and/or near any wall = no catch

Fukudome took one step in and wound up inches over his outstretched glove as he tried to recover.

I blame the offense -- if they had scored 19 runs, Wood might have been able to protect the lead.

Shouldn't really be a surpise -- if we expected Kerry to suddenly become a consistent, reliable pitcher, then shame on us. He has never been one in his entire career.

Brewers now 4-2 at Wrigley.

This not only ruined my day, but may have ruined my whole weekend.

I liked April a lot better than what I have seen so far in May.

Not only ruined my whole weekend, but most likely the entire month of May.

Back away from the ledge, fella. It'll be alright.

It has ruined May, and possibly much of the summer.

So much good stuff ruined by Wood today -- Zambrano and Marmol's pitching, Fukky with 4 hits and an OF assist at home, Soto with a big hit....

Man. I am seriously bummed out.

The next time Kerry hits the leadoff man, get him out of the game immediately. It is, as they say, a harbinger of bad things to come.

agreed. this is awful.

FACT: the team is on pace to lose 29 games this month. this is absolutely unacceptable.

there is good news, though. theriot should hit 75 singles this month, minimum.

Presumably, no Marmol tomorrow.


Blech... should have "banked" some of last night's runs.

Boy that was a pickle surprise if I ever saw one.


Who got sent down?

Murton and his .214 average.

This seemed like a wonderful time to point out Soriano's .164 avg. :)~

Not that I support keeping Murton or anything, just hoping Soriano gets on one of his trademark hot streaks soon.

In all seriousness, does Lou shift Marmol to closer, or will he worry about hurting Wood's feelings (not that he has ever shown any inkling of being a diva, but he's a veteran).

This would drastically help protect Marmol's arm as well as he would presumably not be coming into games like last night when they were up by 100 runs.

Problem is...then Wood comes in today with men on 1st and 3rd and one out in the 7th....bad things will happen. Marmol will never get a chance for a save.

Ugh - know the situation before you complain about it.

He came in yesterday because he hadn't pitched in 5 days and you can't let him sit for too long.

pitching matchups dont look great for the weekend.

Is there another MLB closer who would be so clueless as to hit Craig Counsell with a 2-run lead in the 9th.

Unbelievably stupid pitching.

Nuke Laloosh Wood.

Is there another MLB closer who would be so clueless as to hit Craig Counsell with a 2-run lead in the 9th.

Yea... I am sure he meant it.

He really should stop trying to hit people.

billbybucks, I can't even comprehend your point. There is a difference between stupid pitching and bad pitching. Wood let one get away too far inside. That was surely not his intent or plan, so asking if any other pitcher would be dumb enough to tdo that is just odd.

OK - my point was no other closer would have such a total lack of command, and/or the foolishness, not to put a fastball over the plate and say "here it is, Craig, see how far you can hit it." I can understand missing that far inside to a good hitter....but Craig Counsel? No sense of how to handle the situation.

Counsel has ZERO HR and ONE RBI this season.

Throw the damn ball over the middle of the plate with a 2-run lead and nobody on base with a slap-hitter at the plate.

I realize he wasn't trying to hit him -- but he should never have been close.

Why let facts or common sense get in the way of rampant, jump-off-the-ledge negativity?

My thoughts, exactly.

As a starter, Wood would come in and get quickly frazzled and suffer control problems in the 1st. He'd then settle into the game after rough first innings.

I still don't understand what people saw that made them think he would be an effective relief pitcher where he wouldn't have time to settle in...add the pressure of being a closer, and you have a disaster waiting.

With that said, I think you have to keep him there now. Marmol is brilliant in the role he is in now, and I'd rather him be the stopper to get the game to Wood. If only Howry could actually pitch this year, there might be other options.

Umm... it could be worse, we could be wishing there were someone besides LaTroy Hawkins to close games.

Umm... it could be worse, we could be wishing there were someone besides LaTroy Hawkins to close games.

I agree about catering to Soriano. The thing is, I don't even get the impression that he is asking to be catered to.

I know we get random posters on here who assert that Soriano is selfish, blah, blah, blah, but when pressed for specific instances about how they come to that conclusion, they always come up empty.

I think it's more of an organizational mindset, probably tied into the contract. Who knows what the reason is, but Soriano hasn't given any indication that he's the type that would cause a problem if asked to go on a short rehab assignment or move out of the leadoff spot.

I agree. I see the catering, I'm not sure I see Soriano demanding it. He's even stated publicly that he'll hit wherever they tell him to and play wherever they tell him to. A rehab assignment or coming out late in the game for a defensive replacement would've helped today. But Lou really wants that power in the lineup, regardless of whether Soriano is actually going to get hits or get on base or not. I like Soriano; he is a valuable player when healthy and ready to go. But a leadoff man he is not, and so far this season he's looked like he could use some rehab time in AAA.

The Cubs have an EBM* problem.

EBM = Everybody but Marmol in the bullpen is horrible. Sure Soriano and Fuku could have done better on those flyballs but they were still hard hit and the Wood wasn't exactly dominating.

Since Soriano can't go back on balls and has admitted a fear of the bricks, why the fuck isn't he playing at the edge of the track in a situation like that? You can't let balls get hit over your head in that situation. And with the wind blowing out a gale in the ninth, Fukudome also should have been playing further back. It's like no one involved with the team had ever seen the wind change at Wrigley Field.

And Fukudome was safe at home earlier in the game. Kendall tagged him on the shoulder after his feet were on the plate. Bad, bad day.

Peoria and Kane County to play minor league game at Wrigley...Vitters might still be there, and Ryno.

I don't even know if Lou's comments can get this bullpen back on track. I'm sure Wood will probably be ok, but I'm not so optimistic about Howry and Wuertz and we are going to need at least 2 more decent arms if this is going to be a contending team.

This is for all the "Marmol for closer" supporters out there hitting the campaign trail this evening. Not that I'm opposed to such an argument, but I do have a question.

If Marmol is the closer, how do you reckon Lou gets from Zambrano to Marmol in the 9th today? I don't think we ever even get the chance for a save if anybody else comes into that jam in the 7th.

I'm not the only one who believes that the closer isn't the most important position in the bullpen. High profile? Sure. A little more pressure? Probably.

IMO, what Carlos Marmol has done (particularly in the strikeout department) makes him considerably more valuable in situations like the one he entered in today than starting the 9th with the bases empty.

I see the point about the closer not being the most important bullpen position. I'd like to see if there are some statistics that back that up. My point is, a) it sucks that Wood is blowing all these saves, and b) Marmol's elbow is going to explode by July if Lou keeps leaning on him in every game like he has.

If Marmol only comes in for save situations, he's not going to be going multiple innings and he'll only pitch in games when a save is on the line. I can't even imagine the gnashing of teeth on this site if Marmol goes down with an injury. I think that would singlehandedly turn the masses against Lou.

100% agreed

I totally agree that 'marmol for closer' isn't the answer here. Marmol/Wood hopefully will be ok. Its that 3rd and 4th member of the bullpen that is a problem right now.

imo wood hasnt been that bad and more than a few times come in, dominate, and go home.

hart's had control issues, but his stuff still looks good.

wuertz is getting hit a bit too much...3hr already given up...yow.

howry is pitching like total crap and looks bad in a variety of ways.

loober is loober and marmol is marmol.

i really didnt see a howry collapse coming and it's not good, but personally the pen isnt something i feel desperate about.

be nice to have 3 solid guys, that's ideal...i think 2 others could stabilize and join marmol outta that group.

Wood is still new to the closer role and has blown a few games now. It sucks, no doubt. Today especially hurt because it was against a division rival on a getaway day and it ruined a decent start by Z and a great hold by Marmol.

But it's early. Everyone should know by now the volatility of a major league bullpen and there are bound to be ups and downs. The key is continuity in roles. Let's not jump the gun and condemn the man 5 weeks into a lonnnng season.

Plus there really is no other viable option at this point. There just isn't. Marmol is perfect where he is and Howry is still building arm strength and velocity. And Kerry's workload has been sporadic.

If the pattern continues over the next month or so, then it may be time to reassess and shuffle a role or two. It also might be a good opportunity for Hendry to begin thinking about dealing for an established arm at deadline time.

But for now you stand pat and let them settle into their roles. A little patience (and a few blown games) now may pay dividends down the stretch.

The voice of reason

Yep -- I have now calmed down -- having seen the replays, a little OF defense would have gone a long way. Still think it was stupid to hit Counsel, though. It's like aiming down the middle of the fairway when there is water on the right -- if you tee up on the RH side of the tee and aim at the left side of the fairway, you reduce your risk.

I really felt that Wuertz/Howry/Marmol/Wood was going to be a big strength this year. Maybe they still will -- it'd be nice to get them going before too long.

If everybody knows Howry sucks in April/May because he is building velocity (?), there must be some way to deal with that. Have him start throwing earlier, keep him in EXST utnil he's ready, or something. Oh well -- I imagine this is his last year here, so it's too late now.

Yep -- I have now calmed down
Good. If it's any consolation, Lou apparently blew up after the game, too. Yahoo! Sports is telling me he jumped on a reporter:

Thar he blows!: So, a reporter asks Piniella, "Did you think about Johnson over in left?" Piniella responds, "You're damn right I thought about it. You think I'm stupid or something? God, darnit." Video of the exchange can be enjoyed at The presser ended with Piniella muttering unprintables under his breath out the door.

I didn't have a particularly great angle from the bleachers yesterday, but I did walk out of the park with the impression that both balls should have been caught by Soriano and Fukudome, respectively.

Soriano said the wind caught it, which may have been true. But, the hard step he talk in when the ball left the bat cost him the chance to catch it. Didn't look like Fukudome got a very good jump, either.

Since we're playing the blame game and all.....

If some one could just make sure he doesn't bring the gas can and matches with every other outing, that would be great.

"You know my life, this financial thing, is a very complicated issue. Obviously, when you make all that money, people think, 'OK, let's assume it is $35 million.' People have to understand that $35 million, you're paying the government 41 percent. That leaves you with about $17 or $18 million, not even. Then you're taking care of your whole family."

- jose canseco

Do you know how much steroids cost?

Filling up a Lamborgini?

I don't mind the, "Its Early" card.

We just need to remember that the Cubs won the Division by 2 games over the Brewers.

They appear hungrier.

The games dropped against Division opponents really, really sting. Considering the Brewers have won 4 of 6 in our own park - it sets a poor tone.

Any hungry contest vs. Fielder is an unfair fight.

for post of the month in may.

I presume his "vegetarian" diet is made up primarily of Twinkies and Nacho Cheese Doritos.

Not sure if any one else caught it, but Braun was jawing with 3-4 fans on the front row, immediately next to the on deck circle, as he was leaving the field in the middle of the ninth. One of the fans, casually but as plain as day gives him the finger. Not uncommon I know, but the fan was about 3 feet from Braun and it's clearly captured on WGN telecast. Funny.

There is too much catering to Soriano's ego going on at the moment. When he starts helping the team again I'll stop complaining, but today it looked like Soriano was left in the game so as not to hurt his feelings and it might've cost the team

At this rate Soriano will be killing babies in the Congo with his partner in crime Sosa with the way the bullshit mythology is being made up about Soriano. Give it a few months and soon this will be god given fact.

I sure do love the thoughts being flung around that Soriano shouldn't being playing cuz he aint hitting blah blah blah.

When has Soriano NOT put up a productive season in the major leagues? Huh? I am waiting? Can't find it? Ohh yeah thats right you can't, so calm the fuck down and come off the ledge. The very thought of benching your multi-million dollar superstar player because he has had a bad month is a knee jerk reaction and the reason why NONE of you are even remotely responsible for running a major league baseball franchise. If you were Zambrano's punk ass would have been traded last year.

I guess it's just easier to make up that Soriano is an egomaniac. Which is by all accounts the exact opposite of how he acts.

Well, your point is valid.

However, name one team Soriano was on that won a World Series?

I always have trouble with that "never won a championship" line of argument.

Luc Longely was a better basketball player than Charles Barkley or Reggie Miller?

Soriano was on one of the "great" Yankee teams.

IF you are gonna compare the above, that you have trouble with, the Indiana Pacer's squad or Barkley's Sixers or Suns teams were not in the same class (i.e. "expected to win it all"), with Soriano's Yankees teams.

In fact, IIRC, his PT in the World Series was limited as he was a defensive liability. Gee - some things never change...

Luke Longley was on a team with TWO of the NBA's 50 greatest players. Reggie and Barkley for the most part carried their teams fully.

Nice argument, though.

I was for Soriano signing with the Cubs, and was amazed - but I really didn't dream that he would perform like he has so far.

Soriano's HR off Schilling gave them the lead in Game 7 in 2001, if memory serves.

His 12th-inning single also won Game 5.

But I guess it was his fault he wasn't on a winning WS team.

Didn't Barkley's Suns have home-court advantage the NBA Finals?

Didn't Reggie's Pacers have the Bulls dead to rights in a Game 7 of the playoffs?

They played on teams that were good enough to win.

In fact, both Barkely's Suns and Reggie's Pacers made it to the NBA Finals.

Damn facts. They keep messing up a good argument.

Now we're really reaching to vilify Soriano.

Name one that Ernie Banks played on.

Name one that A-Rod has played on.

Name one that Griffey Jr. has played on.

Name one that Bonds played on.

Name one that Mattingly played on.


Are you kidding me?

Are you seriously trying to say that Soriano was to blame for the Yankees not winning the World Series?

What the hell does his team winning (or not winning) the world series have to do with Soriano specifically?

I guess Sandberg sucked and was selfish. And Alex Rodriguez sucks and is selfish. I really don't need to go on.

I see everyone took to heart my Parachat proclamation that yesterday was "Overreact to Every Soriano At-Bat Day"...well-done!!!!

Expect about 6.5 years of it.

Everything is amplified because of that contract (both the length and the total dollars). If Soriano goes on the DL a few times and has an extended slump, everyone thinks, "Holy shit, we're paying him $136 million and he's on the books for another 6 and a half years! We're doomed!!!!"

Like it or not, the amount of money and the length of the contract will turn the fans against Soriano. Everyone thought the Cubs were getting a 40-40 guy, and he's starting to look like AT BEST a 30-15 guy who can't stay on the field. While those numbers are still good, it's not worth an 8 year deal for $136 million. Obviously he should take all the money he can get, but if you're wondering why people are pissed that he can't stay healthy and strikes out more than Bobby Bonds, well that's why.

The problem I have with Soriano is his lack of scrappy-ness. If we had more grinders, more guys with Hearts and guts. Then we would have something.

Grit. More friggin' grit.

If Soriano will
A)stay healthy
B)Perform up to his reasonable career averages

Then the bitching will end.


Look at last year and people still bitched.

its still "early".

Soriano still has plenty of time to be NL MVP.

Enough blame to go around yesterday. Not just A-Fonz.

We'll see how these guys respond tonight.

I still can't figure out for the life of me wtf with Todd Wellemeyer. Its gotta be LaRussa.

He is a sorcerer.

Recent comments

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  • crunch 2 hours 11 min ago view
  • My guy Addy

    jacos 2 hours 11 min ago view
  • oh, another a.russell HR...whatever.

    crunch 2 hours 25 min ago view
  • Dylan Cease throwing gas tonight for the Emeralds. In first three innings, has hit 100 mph six times, averaging 98 mph

    Eric S 2 hours 44 min ago view
  • Can I get a gif of Joe West's jowls waving as he chews gum?

    /Asking for a friend

    jacos 3 hours 8 min ago view
  • my gawd...that castillo-to-bryant pickoff was a thing of beauty. the knock on him in the minors being slow out of the crouch is looking less like a thing.

    crunch 3 hours 20 min ago view
  • bless your heart. *pinches cheeks*

    crunch 8 hours 17 min ago view
  • real shame I missed this week's episode of The Crunch Reporter.

    It's highly unusual.

    It does matter a little.

    It matters much less than you think.



    Rob G. 8 hours 19 min ago view
  • four winds field is awesome. it's crazy how minor league parks have "grown up" since the 80s/90s and that park was one of the late-80s models that showed a low-capacity ballpark could look like you're at something other than a highschool baseball game.

    crunch 9 hours 24 min ago view
  • On another topic....I returned to South Bend last night for the 2nd time this season (still haven't tried either the deep-fried mac & cheese sandwich nor "The Porknado", as the drive home is over an hour and that could get ugly), and was pleasantly surprised to find D. Underwood pitching in a rehab start. He looked good -- although, to be fair, these are low-A hitters -- fastball consistently at 94-95 (if the SB scoreboard is to be believed -- several pitches were clocked in the 30s...) and with good location.

    billybucks 10 hours 33 min ago view
  • he gains nothing, no advantage, no saving of resources, nothing...there is not a cost/benefit tradeoff...him letting the running game go on around him for others to control isn't gaining him an advantage elsewhere. it's putting him at a disadvantage even if it's not cashed in with a run.

    crunch 13 hours 13 min ago view
  • And out of respect for the rest of TCR, I'm done on this. I'm sure I'm not the only one in the other camp, but time to let it go. (Until the next Lester start. I kid.)


    Tito 13 hours 16 min ago view
  • He is putting himself at a disadvanage. But how much of one relative to the rest of his game? He's not Justin Germano -- he's inarguably one of the best SPs in baseball, issue or not. It would be more of thing to discuss ad nauseum if it constantly caused him to give up runs and lose games. But it doesn't.


    Tito 13 hours 26 min ago view
  • shouting down my points about lester with "well, it didn't hurt" is like saying it doesn't matter if a guy starts out walking 3 guys every inning as long it's followed by a K and a double play.

    it's like elevating ERA and wins to a high level while ignoring what it took to get there.

    crunch 13 hours 32 min ago view
  • I'm asking how much it has hurt Lester and the Cubs this year. Do you have that answer?

    I legitimately don't recall you answering that quesion, apart from the condescending silliness you just posted. So if you did answer specifically about the impact of Lester's issue, I'd like to re-read it. Thanks.


    Tito 13 hours 45 min ago view
  • if runner = on base and pitcher = j.lester then lead = large

    if lead = large then probability of extra base on following hit > average of mean

    okay, enough of that silliness... can read more on the thread i copy/pasted this from the last time you decided you needed to talk to me about me.

    crunch 13 hours 51 min ago view