Game 29 Thread / Cubs @ Cardinals (1 of 3)

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SP *Rich Hill SP Adam Wainwright
  1-0, 3.79, 14 K, 14 BB
3-1, 2.79, 28 K, 9 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano LF Brian Barton
SS Ryan Theriot CF *Rick Ankiel
1B Derrek Lee 1B Albert Pujols
3B Aramis Ramirez 3B Trou Glaus
RF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Ryan Ludwick
2B Mark DeRosa C Yadier Molina
C Geovany Soto SS #Cesar Izturis
CF *Felix Pie C Adam Wainwright
P *Rich Hill 2B Brendan Ryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First place is on the line this weekend in St. Louis, as the rivals battle each other for the first time this year. The Cards expected to struggle, particularly early on in the season while their pitching staff got healthy, are on top of the division. Mostly thanks to a patient offense (lead the NL in walks) and a surprising pitching staff, particularly from Todd Wellemeyer and Kyle Lohse.

The Cardinals patience might be the worst thing going for tonight's Cubs starter Rich Hill, who hasn't seen the mound for over a week and has been struggling with his control since spring training. We'll soon learn how much the layoff affected him.

For the Cards, it's their new ace Adam Wainwright, whom the Cubs have battered for a 7.50 career ERA against. Theriot, Soriano and Ramirez all have at least 10 PA's against him and an OPS over 1000.

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Comments

Dear Rich Hill,

Please don't pitch to Pujols.

Thank you,
Ryan

Long the laughing stock of the AL East, Tampa Bay is showing signs it won't be the doormat this year.

Dear Yahoo! Sports,

Yes they will.

Thank you,
Ryan

Wow...Gallardo actually did seriously injury himself yesterday and continue to pitch. The Brewers doctors are denying that he might have made the injury worse by continuing.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AkMoHqP8bqVc...

That could have changed the complexity of that game if he had came out.

cubs/soriano must share the same doc...

Wow, Lou ain't happy tonight. Hill may find himself at Iowa very soon.

michael throwing knockwuertz in the 2nd

i think lou has seen enough of hill for awhile

good thing he is untouchable in trade talks

Can Rich Hill be converted to an outfielder?

i am ready for a neil cotts sighting

Lieber's throwing strikes...his next start is Wednesday in Cincy.

lieber starts
hill to iowa
need a lefty
cotts is up

wow a pie double

This is not what we all thought would happen, but Lieber has definitely earned himself a spot on the rotation. And Rich Hill? Well, let's hope he finds himself soon (in Iowa) cos we are still going to need him in the long run.

Soriano blows.

This is not just any slump. Something is seriously wrong with Fonzie. Last year he started out slow but never hit below .200 and he was out of it by the 3rd week of April and never looked back. His timing is just way way off. Pre-spring training like.

He needed a rehab start. That much is obvious. This was a terrible game. And now he is grimacing again after landing awkwardly with the error.

Hendry can really evaluate talent.

Nice swing Soriano!!

Pie is ready too Hendry!!

Sell the freakin team, so they can fire Hendry and Oneri Fleita ASAP.

This is where someone normally tells you to back off the ledge, buddy. Or we could push you...

Whatta Joke Soriano!!

Looks like Fonzie gets the last laugh! Another meltdown by Izzie this year.

sad part is that it wouldn't surprise me if Soriano refused a stint in Iowa which is where any rational thinking GM would've sent his sorry ass coming off a 2 week DL stint.

The sad part is that you have absolutely nothing to support such an assertion.

Can't afford to lose Aram to a broken wrist ... Hopefully the xrays come out negative

Can't afford to lose Aram to a broken wrist ... Hopefully the xrays come out negative

Are there any rich cub fans that can buy Kenny Lofton and deliver him to Wrigley?

Guys, I know its one game and its early, but these player personnel decisions are killing this team from becoming really really really good.

Soriano is a typical latin lolly gagger that thinks hitting HRs when it doesnt matter mean more than doing the little things to win games. He doesnt even sprint for flyballs in the gap. Hendry and the scouts should have known, instead of just looking at his stats for a last place team (Nats)

I don't know which is the worst part of this post. The racial overtones or the sheer stupidity.

they aren't mutually exclusive, vince.

in addition to the '07 HR numbers below, here are his '08 home runs have come in the following situations:

2 while trailing. both tied the game.

1 while tied. that untied the game.

ok, but were they hit in a scrappy, white guy unselfish way? I highly doubt it...

ATTENTION: We have a racist moron alert!!

No Ram and Soriano tomorrow?

Theriot
Reed
Fuku
DLee
Derosa
Soto
Cedeno
Pie

I guess I have to eat it a little. Soriano came through in a big spot. He's supposed to.

"Home runs only mean anything if they're in the bottom of the ninth! How dare players score runs when their teammates were unable to get on base or they're batting in the fifth inning!"
. . .
"Welllll, okay he hit a MEANINGFUL homer, but he should still come up to bat in the bottom of the ninth in a two-run game with a runner on first more often!"

For those not watching, A-Ram is in the dugout, Lou went up and asked him if he was ok and Ramirez said he was fine. Probably just a bruise.

for all you soriano haters.....that's why you don't bench you allstar player just cuz he is in a bit of a rough patch

now soriano is a Latin lolly gagger.....the demonization of his character continues.
the only joke these days are the people making shit up on this subject.

Of Soriano's 33 home runs in 2007, here is how they break down:

1. He hit 13 with the score tied, surely a function of his many leadoff homers. But on each of the 13, he gave the Cubs the lead. Do those "matter"?

2. He hit seven while the Cubs were behind. Of those, two tied the game and two put the Cubs ahead. Do those "matter"?

3. He hit 13 while the Cubs were ahead. Of those, five came with the Cubs up by one run and another five came with the Cubs ahead by two runs. Presumably, the extra runs provided by Soriano's homers were not needed and do not "matter"?

Boy Soriano sure does suck. Hendry is the only GM in the world who would ever sign such a worthless player.

"You just pitched a scoreless inning, Mr. Fox! Do you have anything to say to your grandchildren?"
"I made poop!"

Welcome back to the Big Leauges, Chad Fox. LOSS!

Cubs are 17-12. Fire everyone! It's early, folks.

i think bringing fox up is grasping at straws they probally have a agreement
that if he did not get a call up by a certain time the cubs would release him
he probally has a couple more chances with cubs but my god he cant be a
long term answer.
neil cotts has been in minors for over a year we need to see if he can
get outs him being in minors is useless at this point send hill down
he has earned it even if he is untouchable in a trade bring cotts up.
lieber has eaerned the chance to start next wednesday.

is almost done with his rehab and will get a call-up in the next week, probably tomrrow. Oh by the way look at Cott's career numbers and he is not any better option than Fox.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/cottsne01.shtml

Cotts had one great year in 05 and been bad ever since, definitely an enigma. I wouldn't be surprised to see him this year though.

Wow, Friday nights brings out the crazies I guess. "Hendryisclueless" please lose our URL address.

LouPa on Hill:

''Hill can't start like this in the big leagues, come on,'' Piniella said. ''Every time he pitches, it's an adventure. He's doing his best, but we have no bullpen. I mean, I don't know what the solution is, but I can't start him anymore until this thing gets taken care of.''

notes on Ramirez:

Aramis Ramirez was hit on the wrist by a pitch in the sixth and left the game a half-inning later to have X-rays, which determined there was no break. Still, the wrist was swollen and sore enough that he's at least doubtful for today's afternoon game.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/92998...

Ummm, LouPa... isn't it possible that not pitching Hill for over week contributed to today's control problems?

no because he still had his side sessions. these guys do actually play ball when they aren't in the game.

Not to mention, he hasn't been able to find the strike zone all year.

Any pitcher will tell you that there is a big difference between pitching in a side session and pitching in a real game.

Soriano must have the goods on LouPa:

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/92986...

You don't tug on Superman's cape. You don't pull the mask off the Lone Ranger. And you don't take Alfonso Soriano out late in a game for defensive purposes.

And you should know that.

That's why Cubs manager Lou Piniella snapped Thursday when asked about whether he considered replacing Soriano with Reed Johnson, Piniella said Friday -- well, that and the fact the Cubs had just blown a two-run lead in the ninth and lost.

''The guy that asked it knew the answer before I had to answer,'' Piniella said, referring to WSCR-AM's Jesse Rogers. ''Why ask it? Why can't he just report the news instead of try to create news? That's why I told him, obviously I knew. I'm not going to take Soriano out for defense. [Rogers] knows it, you know it, and unless it's a double switch -- that's the only way he's going to come out of a ballgame. Everybody knows that. You don't take superstar players out of the lineup. You don't do it.

''It's a long, long season. I have confidence in Soriano, and yesterday when I was asked a question, I probably should have answered it a little different, but I was a little hot under the collar. And if you can't get hot under the collar as a major-league manager losing a two-run lead against a division rival that you're competing with for a championship, well, then you shouldn't be managing.''

I was pretty pleased with how Fox threw the ball in his first inning of work.

His second inning... not so much so.

Frustrating night, but here's an attempt to keep things in perspective:

(1) Of the main concerns and question marks coming in to this season, many have turned out OK or better so far (Soto, Dempster, Theriot, Lee's power, Wood (mostly), even Marquis).

(2) Of those that haven't worked well, most are addressable in some way through a Plan B that will mitigate the damage (Pie: share time w/ Johnson; Hill: replace w/ Lieber).

(3) And, there are some outright positive surprises that make this team a little better than expected (Fukudome, Cedeno, Dempster, maybe Soto).

(4) Even with the recent suckiness this team is on pace for 95 wins. Yet, the team and Lou are frustrated and hungry and fighting to turn it around.

This is obviously an optimistic slant on things, but these are facts. The breaks have started to even out a bit, but although the Cubs have "regressed to the mean" in many ways they are on a 95 win pace.

Of the main concerns and question marks coming in to this season, many have turned out OK or better so far ... Wood

Wood has been ok/good? 3 blown saves already? And another blown game? If Dempster had done that everyone would be calling for his head.

Hill: replace w/ Lieber

Am I the only one who does not believe that Lieber will be any better than Hill as a starter? Don't get me wrong - I am finally admitting that there is something wrong with Hill, but that does not mean that I am confident in Lieber being able to be much better.

I agree that I would like to keep Lieber in the pen because he is the only reliever whose surname does not start with M that has been relaible and Gallagher has been dominating the PCL. At the moment my rotation would be:

1. Z
2. Demp
3. Lilly
4. Gallagher
5. Marquis

Gallagher has been dominating the PCL

A 2-2 record and 3.10 ERA is good, but it's not dominating. Take a look at Salt Lake's Nick Adenhart. He's 4-0 with an 0.87 ERA. That's dominating.

Gallagher: 2-2, 3.10 ERA, 29 IP, 30 K, 9 BB, 2 HR

 9.31 K/9, 3.33 K:BB, .62 HR/9

Adenhart: 4-0, 0.87 ERA, 31 IP, 19 K, 15 BB, 0 HR

 5.52 K/9, 1.27K:BB, 0 HR/9

Gallagher looks a lot better to me.

Sure, it's another frustrating loss, but those reaching for the Ipiac should note the comparison with this year's start vs. 2007. Whether Fonzie needs some rehab starts or not, at least this year they have capable replacements in the wings, at least for the short - term. Still a good club that's done what they needed to do this year, due to the preponderance of home games in April and May.

Well, the one good thing about Lieber as a starter is that there would almost certainly be less walks.

Hill is not going to the pen. I assume he get send down to work things out. So if you move Leiber to the rotation, who do you move up to the bullpent? I think Lou and Jim are probably weighing that right now. Which would be better, Leiber starting and Gallagher or someone else in the bullpent, or Gallagher starting and Leiber remaining in the pen?

Personally, I'd like to see Gallagher in the rotation as well. Rather than make him pitch in a position he is not used, let's see what he can do getting the ball every 5th day for a few turns.

Of the Cubs losses, there have only been a couple of games in which they didn't really give themselves a chance. Otherwise, they've been in most games, which can be frustrating when they lose, but in reality is a good sign.

Sure, they've had their moments of pure Cubbery, whether it's misguided baserunning, defensive lapses or bullpen implosions, but for the most part they've kept those things (which happen to every team) to a minimum.

And, although he drives me (and many others) nuts a lot of times, I think Soriano will end up doing more good than harm on balance this season. Will he ever "live up" to the fat paycheck? Of course not. Anyone who thought he was an elite, $136 million dollar man is off his nut to begin with. But hopefully we get some payoff (multiple post-season appearances) before the inevitable rapid decline/albatross period sets in.

The bigger concern for me is the rotation. Hill is certainly not the only question mark. While Dempster's record and era are a pleasant surprise, they really mask some troubling peripherals. His walks are still an issue and he's been able to keep the ball in the park, but how long will that last as the warm weather (hopefully) arrives? I think BP also pointed out his BABIP is like a ridiculously (and unsustainably) low .187 or something. Once he regresses to the norm -- like Marquis last season -- then his era will be back in the 4.5 zone somewhere. With Lilly underperforming, Hill regressing to early '06 form, and Marquis being Marquis, the offense and bullpen may have to carry the load for awhile.

While I'm encouraged by the good start, they have a lot of work to do.

Even with those strikeout and walk numbers, I'm not sure you can say Gallagher is "a lot better." Just "better," maybe.

Gallagher also has a slightly better WHIP. So how do you explain the huge difference in ERA? It's not just average against, because those are resonably close: .170 for Adenhart and .196 for Gallagher. My guess, because I don't know anything about him, is that Adenhart is a ground ball pitcher and that's why the walks aren't hurting him. We know Gallagher gives up a lot of flyballs, and he's given up 2 HRs to 0 for Adenhart.

Gallagher's Ks are nice, but games are decided by runs scored. Adenhart's ERA is just too good, and too much better than Gallagher's, not to give the former the nod.

So how do you explain the huge difference in ERA?

Luck.

We are talking about 30 innings. That isn't really a significant sample size.

But Gallagher's peripherals look MUCH better. Chances are Adenhart will not be able to maintain his numbers with ihs mediocre peripheral numbers.

I don't feel like looking it up again, but I believe their GO/FO ratios were similar for this year. Going into the season, Adenhart was the better prospect, but I really believe we're seeing a better Gallagher this year. He's developed a slider this reason (on the advice of Rothschild) and he's missing bats this year, along with some good control.

 

 

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