Game 33 Thread / Cubs @ Reds (2 of 3)
|SP||Carlos Zambrano||SP||Aaron Harang|
|4-1, 2.11, 35 K, 11 BB||1-4, 2.98, 41 K, 11 BB|
|LF||Alfonso Soriano||CF||Ryan Freel|
|SS||Ryan Theriot||RF||*Ken Griffey Jr.|
|1B||Derrek Lee||2B||Brandon Phillips|
|3B||Aramis Ramirez||1B||*Joey Votto|
|RF||*Kosuke Fukudome||3B||Edwin Encarnacion|
|C||Geovany Soto||LF||*Adam Dunn|
|2B||Ronny Cedeño||SS||Jeff Keppinger|
|CF||*Felix Pie||C||*Paul Bako|
|P||#Carlos Zambrano||P||Aaron Harang|
Aramis Ramirez returns to the Cub lineup, and Ronny Cedeño gets a start at second base.
In the pitching matchup, Carlos Zambrano, who was one horrendous Kerry Wood inning away from winning his fifth game of the season last time out against Milwaukee, goes up against curveball-flingin' Aaron Harang, Zambrano beat the Reds in the middle contest of their three-game visit to Wrigley Field a few weeks back; Harang started the series opener and got smacked around (6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER) en route to a 9-5 Cubs win.
"Cubs win"...those are two words that haven't been used very often around here lately.
Other Tuesday notes:
— Today is the 10th anniversary of Wood's 20-strikeout game against the Astros
— Geovany Soto is coming off a single-double-homer hitting performance Monday night, the third time this season he has come up just a triple short of the cycle; I don't know what he's waiting for.
— Felix Pie's homer-robbing catch off Ken Griffey was Monday's Play of the Day on ESPN, but it was Adam Dunn's 750-foot homer against Ryan Dempster that got John Kruk to giggling.
— Cubs.com reports that "the visiting clubhouse at Great American Ball Park has been
redecorated, partly because of the mess the Cubs made last September
when they celebrated clinching the NL Central there." I wonder if Marty Brennaman was required to shampoo all the champagne stains out of the carpet and that's why he and his kid have become so insufferable where the Cubs are concerned.
Meanwhile on the SouthSide
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?