Game 30 Thread / Cubs @ Cardinals (2 of 3)

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SP *Ted Lilly SP Kyle Lohse
  1-4, 6.46, 25 K, 13 BB
3-0, 2.36, 14 K, 8 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano LF *Skip Schumaker
SS Ryan Theriot 2B Brendan Ryan
1B Derrek Lee 1B Albert Pujols
RF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Ryan Ludwick
3B Mark DeRosa 3B Troy Glaus
C Geovany Soto CF *Rick Ankiel
2B *Mike Fontenot C Yadier Molina
CF Reed Johnson P Kyle Lohse
P *Ted Lilly SS #Cesar Izturis

 

 

 








 

Breaking News: The Cubs have demoted Rich Hill to AAA Iowa and replaced him on the roster with Sean Gallagher, who will be available to pitch this afternoon in St. Louis.

Of the now departed Hill and his one-inning, four-walk effort last night in St. Louis, Cubs manager Lou Piniella said:


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

About this afternoon's game: With the stink of last night's loss still in the air, the Cubs try to square their series against the Cardinals. The Cards have won three in a row and five of six; the Cubs have lost six of eight. Still, the Cubs have MLB's third-best record, while the Cardinals, who better get to work if they're going to see that 90-loss season so many of us were planning for them, have the game's second-best mark at 19-11. (The D-backs lead the way at 20-9).

Ted Lilly is coming off a loss last Sunday at Washington, in which he gave up just 2 ER over 6 innings and struck out a season-high 7 men. After another busy night for the Cub bullpen last evening, Lilly, who's averaging just a little over 5 IP per start this year, could do Lou Piniella and the relievers a big favor by gobbling up some innings.

Kyle Lohse was one of the abandoned orphans of the 2008 Free Agent Class, not signing with the Cards--and only getting a one-year deal in the process--until mid-March. Regardless, he is 3-0 with a terrific ERA and has won 7 decisions in a row, dating back to late last July. He's 1-1 lifetime against the Cubs, including a dazzling 8 IP, 12 K performance last April in Wrigley when Lohse was a Redleg.

Aramis Ramirez is not in the starting lineup after getting plunked on the wrist last night. X-rays showed no fractures, and Ramirez is on "ice and pain-killers," which could make for a helluva bar drink with the right merchandising. (Note to fellow TCR staffers: we need to get to work on this.)

Finally, my compliments to Bob Brenly, who didn't hold anything back in his criticism last night of Alfonso Soriano and the fact that he is trying to get his game back together on the Major League stage instead of in Iowa or Tennessee. That said, I shudder at the thought of the imbeciles who will greet Soriano with all sorts of insane rage and hostility when he next plays in Wrigley Field, unless he significantly turns his fortunes around on the remainder of the road trip.

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Comments

This is funny - Lou's stupid comment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ3wTqClhQg

I followed the link and then spent 20 minutes watching the Derek Lee vs. Chris Young fight from 8 different angles. Man, I loved that fight. Len Kasper's call just makes it even better. That and Lou's tirade at third base were two of the best moments from last season.

So, uh, what sort of favors does Cedeno have to do to get in a lineup? He has the exact same number of ABs as Fontenot and has more hits, total bases, walks, runs scored, and runs batted in. Handedness again?

Did anybody see the graphics across the top of the screen as Fontenot came up to bat? At the time, the score was 3-0 Cubs with runners on 2nd & 3rd. The graphics then flashed "Homerun" and showed the bases empty and the score as 6-0 as Fontenot dug in and took the first pitch for a ball. The graphics then corrected and showed the 1-0 count on Fontenot and the correct 3-0 score. Immediately on the next pitch, Fontenot cranked a homerun over the right field fence, clearing the bases and giving the Cubs a 6-0 lead.

Do FOX graphics have ESP or what? And did anyone else notice this?

I didn't catch that one.

But I do like the primary camera angle that appears to be from straight-away center field--as opposed to the usual angle that shades from left/center. Much better angle to watch a left-hander's pitch trajectory.

Rigged?

I also noticed the Home Run thing with no men on base, but didn't notice the 6-0. I assumed it was because whoever was doing the graphics incorrectly thought Soto's was a HR because it ended up over the fence. Maybe the dude just didn't see it bounce or something.

But yeah, that was kind of eerie.

No it definitely wasn't them thinking Soto hit a HR- the score had the Cubs with 6, if they thought Soto had hit a HR, they woulda put it at 5.

I too saw that and thought it was weirrrd.

I didn't catch it JP but Fox does a delay of about 20 seconds...I know this because I listened to Pat/Ron on WGN so I knew what was coming...maybe so did the graphics people!

Either that or Pat/Ron are also clairvoyant...well maybe just Pat

I thought about the delay, but the graphic showed up well before hearing Fontenot hit the ball on the radio broadcast, so there must be something else in the mix going on there.

I think you're onto something there about the broadcast delay being involved but it would be more of a delay than the difference between the radio and FOX broadcasts. Then, if the radio is on a 5 second delay and FOX is on a 10 second delay, how would the graphics guys punch up the "HR" graphic in real time before both the radio and TV delays kick in without the graphic also being subject to the delay? Thinking about this starts to screw with my mind....

I did notice that and told everyone at Parachat. They probably were a little bit behind on the feed, and the graphics intern flashed the special homerun animations a little early.

The delay really is there to give the graphics guys the proper time to make them. I mean how do you think they produce relevant graphics and stats so fast? Carlos is right in that the guy made a mistake by putting it up too early.

Umm, that was not a catch by Ludwick in right. Fucking Buck and McCarver. Such homers.

So, Lou is trying to wear Marmol's arm out as quickly as possible, right? I can't figure this out.

I'm guessing because he didn't throw at all on Friday and every one else did, he got the full duty. He'll be off limits for sure on Sunday. Hopefully he can avoid seein action on Monday too.

I figure that is the line of reasoning, but Marmol has also pitched more innings than anyone else in the pen. In fact, he's pitched more innings than Rich Hill too. In addition, Marshall had pitched to only one batter the day before, and Gallagher should be fresh. My concern is that Lou doesn't seem to care when he uses Marmol, just that he gets to use him a lot. I hope he eases up on the innings soon. Nobody pitches 100+ innings out of the bullpen anymore, and Marmol is on pace to pitch well over 100. Using him in games where difference in runs is over 3 just doesn't make sense to me unless you have absolutely no other options.

Also, when does Ascanio get called up? He's been pitching well and makes more sense in relief than Gallagher. Gally is a starter and I don't see how this time in the bullpen is going to help him develop.

Scott Shields

Most MLB starters get their feet wet in the bullpen. Santana, Zambrano, etc.

Gally got his feet wet last year. I'd be all for giving him Hill's spot in the rotation until Hill gets his stuff together, but sitting in the bullpen and being called on rarely isn't going to help the young guy get better.

I was just gonna post re Marmol.

WTF?!

The polar opposite to Buck/Carver is Eric KArros/KEnnedy.

KArros is a Cub fan/Bud Man. He said he's stickin' with his pick of the Cubs winning it.

Buck has turned homerism to an art as he is constantly working little digs in. Marmol strikes out Pujols and he brings up how tough it must have been for his dear Albert with the ball coming out of the shadows. Fukudome hits a ball to the gap - not a line drive by any means but not just out of the reach of the shortstop either - and Buck calls it a flare. It's just a few little things like that each game that add up to Buck being a jive sounding homer of the worst order.

both announcers threw parity out the window on the trap-catch they didnt talk about or show more than 1 rerun of which showed the trap to begin with.

this is a national game, i thought...not a team game.

They really are obnoxious on Cardinal broadcasts.

I think Buck/McCarver shouldn't do Cardinals games as much as possible. I think Fox is wrong for letting them do the games, but I doubt anything will change. I guess the best bet if you can is sync up your DVR and pat and ron and watch that way if it really gets to you.

saw this from a link on baseball prospectus...

Zambrano's HR Friday night tied him with Fergie Jenkins on the Cubs all time leader list for pitcher-HR's (13).

He's now 37th on the all time MLB list.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/shareit/yyfV

After one month...

C Zambrano, 5/20, 1 HR, 250/250/450
A Soriano, 12/71, 3 HR, 169/224/324

Yeah, that's right, it wouldn't make any less sense to bat Carlos Zambrano lead-off.

Charlie:
So, Lou is trying to wear Marmol's arm out as quickly as possible, right? I can't figure this out.

Well... if you're the only guy getting guys out consistently, I guess you'll get used a lot. I'd do the same damn thing.

After nine more runs Saturday, I'm wondering when Hendry found religion when it came to offense.

Sure, it's easy to say he threw money at a problem to make it go away, e.g. Fukudome, but even when he traded for Kendall last season (a "meh" move if there ever was one), he talked about Kendall's career OBP as an attractive point. So at least he gets it.

Plus, Hendry also got DeRosa, and I thought DeRosa was a one-year wonder in Texas, and he's proven me wrong. And this organization developed Soto, who gets it, and that goes in Hendry's column. Ramirez, Cedeno, Theriot and Reed Johnson are all getting the OBP fever to one extent or another at the exact same time, and that seems to argue in favor organizational philosophy.

For all those people who went after Sarge and Gene Clines during the Dusty years, it's time to heap kudos on Gerald Perry.

This is the Cubs' best offensive team since 1984. I'd be stunned if we didn't win at least 90 games.

If this OBP renaissance lasts in Chicago, Gerald Perry gets all the credit--well, he'll have to share it with the guys who actually swing the bats, but you know what I mean. But we didn't see much difference in OBP last year from what we had seen in 2006, so as of right now I'm looking at it as a hot month and a change in on-the-field personnel. Foyd-Fukudome, Barrett/Blanco/K.Hill-Soto/Blanco: These two changes have made a huge difference so far.

If Theriot, Cedeno, A-Ram, and Johnson continue to get on base at high rates, that's when Perry really gets some credit, since none of those guys have been much for taking walks in the past (though Theriot was acceptable at it).

When will Perry teach Soriano to identify which pitches are going to bounce and which won't?

. Foyd-Fukudome, Barrett/Blanco/K.Hill-Soto/Blanco: These two changes have made a huge difference so far.

Fukudome is more patient than Floyd, but not to where it makes a significant difference on the team. Floyd had a .373 OBP last year. The Cubs RF - combined - had a .375 OBP last year.

The Soto difference is huge, but so is ARam's newfound patience. Cedeno has also showed much more patience than he has in the past, and Reed Johnson has helped a lot too.

It isn't just the upgrade at C and RF.

How about giving Lou some love?

"The whole thing is that, if you want selective, patient hitters that
look for a base on balls, you sign that type of player over the winter,
and now you got it You're not going to change what hitters do during
the course of a year at the end of a season just because it makes a
little more sense."

there's your big difference...

Besides Aramis so far this year, haven't seen anyone really out-performing themselves in the patient dept. Someone mentioned that patience and walks can be kind of contagious on a team, I also see some truth to that. 

 

Eh, Lou. Whatever. But you're right, it's got to be an organizational thing--one guy doesn't make all the difference.

I can see walks being contagious in two ways:

1. Remember that game where DeRo and Soto overswung with the bases loaded and then Ronny came up, fought off pitches and finally hit a line drive up the middle? After the game he told the press he saw Soto and DeRo swing to hard and decided he'd better just try to stay up the middle. Smart players observe their teammates' ABs and figure what the pitcher is doing and what is working against them. So when smart players see Fukie, Lee, and Soto seeing a lot of pitches and thus getting on base a lot, they may go up to the plate thinking patience rather than attack the first thing I can reach.

2. Lots of pitches wear out pitchers, and walks frustrate them. Tired+Frustrated often equals Wild. This can result in more walks, or it can result in pitches that get too much of the strike zone. Both happen to increase OBP either through walks or hits.

So yeah, the OBP being contagious isn't just a fun thing to say to reporters to keep them busy (like "base clogging" or "hitterish"), it also makes some sense.

Cubs.com says that Lieber will take the rotation spot, Marshall will go into a long relief role, Gallagher will be in the bullpen (likely used as Kevin Hart was).

When Eyre comes back I wonder what the roster move will be. Gallagher out, Eyre in. When Hill comes back, I guess Lieber goes back to the pen and Marshall back to AAA.

I wish that Howry could take a "DL" stint and get his shit figured out. Weurtz isn't slidering his way out of jams like we're used to. Wood will continue to have some inconsistency. Our pen is really turning into a disaster outside of Marmol.

We'll be really fucked if Eyre pitches like the first half of last season.

I'm a bit worried about Marmol too. Right now he is on pace to throw about 1800 pitches on the year, compared to 1158 last year. And his pitches per inning rates are virtually identical. It all stems from more appearances.

I didn't realize that Lilly got his 1,000 career K last night. Also, ESPN reports that Mateo declined his demotion and became a free agent.

It's a theme that's already been played to death at this point, but Fuku really is a smart hitter. You rarely see the guy overswing and/or be fooled on any pitch more than one plate appearance. I've also seen him try to deke baserunners from taking the extra base on singles to the outfield, he nonchalants the ball in a manner that suggests he's got it all the way, then it suddenly drops in front of him. Doesn't always work, but the guy's always thinking out there.

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