Game 99 Thread / Cubs @ Diamondbacks (1 of 3)

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SP Rich Harden SP *Randy Johnson
(NL & AL) 5-1, 2.48 ERA, 102 K, 34 BB, 82.3 IP
6-7, 5.23, 95 K, 28 BB, 98 IP
SS Ryan Theriot SS *Stephen Drew
LF Reed Johnson LF Conor Jackson
1B Derrek Lee 2B #Orlando Hudson
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Chad Tracy
C Geovany Soto 3B Mark Reynolds
RF Mark DeRosa CF Chris Young
CF *Jim Edmonds C Chris Snyder
2B Ronny Cedeno  RF *Alex Romero
P *Rich Harden P *Randy Johnson

The Cubs return to their personal Crystal Lake as they take on the Diamondbacks for the first time since the horrors of last October. Hopefully there will be less bloodshed this time around as they'll miss Brandon Webb and Dan Haren in this series. Of course, the Cubs missed Roy Oswalt the last series and look at the good that gone and did them. Wednesday's game will be the much anticpated Ted Lilly vs Doug Davis rematch though, sure to be carried on all major media outlets.

So while the Brewers and Cardinals beat up on each other in a four-game set, the Cubs get a chance to improve on their 22-8 record versus the NL West and a struggling Diamondbacks club, albeit a first-place club.


Off topic and probably 3/44, but Baseball Prospectus premium articles (normally paid subscription required) are free all week through July 27th ...

Harden bats lefty - just nit picking here

I wish he (and Zambrano) didn't hit lefty. It's scary watching their right arms exposed to 90+ mph fastballs.

I actually don't mind Z doing it since he generates most of his power from the left side and he helps himself a lot with his offense. Harden on the other hand hits like most pitchers and has no business hitting lefty (or righty for that matter).

Harden would probably like more run support. That is all.

Saw Harden hit 101MPH on the radar gun. I'm watching the FSN Arizona broadcast on the free Extra Innings preview this week.

101? Wow. I know the gun might be a little fast, but thats lighting it up.

Wow, Cubbieland better wake their butts up for this one.

Losing a 1-hitter would suck balls.

He hit two more home runs tonight (23) and drove in 6 (76) for Dunedin in the Florida State League.

Randy Johnson has been the luckiest pitcher I've ever seen tonight. The Cubs have been smoking line drives and deep fly balls all over the field, and they've all been caught. Ridiculous.

I guess it is better to be lucky than good. He has been pretty damn awesome for a long time now, and consider his pitch count tonight. The Big Unit threw 86 pitches in 7 innings. He could very easily have gone out for a complete game at that rate.

That said, I am happy and sad that The Guy Who Stole Rothschild's Number tossed 112 in 7 innings. Happy that he was comfortable enough to throw 112 pitches... although I am not thrilled that he threw that many pitches.

I am torn... torn like an old sweater...

Yeah -- every ballpark should have 368-foot power alleys, with baskets that catch balls that don't go quite that far. Edmonds' ball was a basket HR at Wrigley.

Well, at least the AZ outfielders should be tired for tonight's game. Unit had 15 fly ball outs (most were hit hard and chased down) and 2 ground ball outs.

Hey, Rich Harden -- how do you like Cubbery so far? 0.73 ERA in 2 starts, 0-1 record.

Brewers have some mojo workin' -- I think that's 4 straight on the road for them, including wins over Cain and Lincicum in SF.

I'm thinking maybe the best thing is a Brewers' sweep, with the Cards then getting swept in NY this weekend -- rather hace a 2-team race than a 3-way (race, that is).

I found a good ironic laugh over at Fire Joe Morgan (I needed it after tonight's offensive futility). Commenting on the Josh Hamilton HR Derby thing--

"Not only did Erin Andrews snub Justin Morneau for Hamilton immediately post-Derby, but during the trophy presentation she clearly pronounces his name as "Mar-neau," Executive Vice President of MLB Rob Manfred goes with something like "Myrrh-neau," and Boys and Girls Club Giant Check Giver Guy just flat out insults him with "Jason." We get it, guys: Morneau didn't do heroin. So he's bo-ring!

The lesson, as always: it's better to do heroin and then stop doing heroin and then lose the Home Run Derby after an impressive first round than it is to not do heroin and then keep not doing heroin and then win the Home Run Derby after a pedestrian first round."

sounds like they forgot to tell the MLB offices that they signed someone before he started playing.

I wonder if Arizona Phil will be somehow implicated.

Don't worry, Phil—if you end up doing time, we'll figure out how to get you a special set of prison greys with the TCR logo stenciled on the back.

In addition, he can do some advance scouting of any athletes in the weight room, with Fleita and Wilken just a phone call away.

AZ Phil: "The Cubs need to take a serious look at this Ugueth Urbina guy."

Chances are Teflon Tim won't answer...

Voice messages left for scouting director Tim Wilken and general manager Jim Hendry were not returned

--Gordon Wittenmeyer

Most depressing loss in a least since Saturday.

Happened to hear part of the Brewers game on WTMJ tonight. Uecker said the Brewers will be "platooning" their #5 starters, having McClung start strictly on the road and having Bush start strictly at Miller Park.


I know I'm caught up in the moment, having seen Lee and Ramirez look so bad lately, especially in the 9th inning tonight, but the 1-2 punch of Braun/Fielder vs. the 1-2 punch of Lee/Ramirez looks like a no-contest.

Yeah, Yost announced that shortly after they got CC. Bush has a 2.49 ERA at home this year, but is 1-6 with an ERA of almost 7.00 on the road. McClung is 4.95 at home and 3.32 on the road. So rather than move one to the pen permanently, Yost said he would simply see where the 5th starter slot fell - home or road - and start the appropriate pitcher. It will take some advance calendar watching an some creative ways to keep them fresh and sharp between starts, but if their splits are legit and hold up the rest of the way their 5th starter slot will be solid.

Thanks for filling in the details. I looked at those splits after hearing Uecker, and saw the discrepancy, but it still seems goofy to conclude that Bush is the inferior choice in any other park besides Miller or that McClung is better everywhere else except at Miller Park. What kind of confidence will Bush bring to the game if he is forced to pitch in relief on the road? Same with McClung in Milwaukee. Not to mention this judgment has been made based on relatively small samples.

I guess that's for Yost and the Brewers and Brewer fans to kick around. Here in Chicago, we have other things to worry about, like how we're going to work our way into third place.

Alfonso Soriano took pre-game BP with the position player starters at Chase Field last night, and he hit hard line drives and several towering long flies over the fence, including one to dead center. He was REALLY attacking the ball. He didn't show any signs that he was babying his hand.  

From my observation of Soriano yesterday in the AZL game in Peoria and then the 5 PM pre-game BP later at Chase Field, Soriano has not lost his power. It's not like when D-Lee came back from his broken wrist.

But his timing was a bit off at Peoria facing the AZL Padres kid pitcher, so he probably will need at least one AAA game (possibly two) before he gets reactivated.


After the Astros series, I looked up this unbelievable stat - the Cubs at Houston:


What a great road team!

What's unbelievable about it? We're talking the Cubs here. They couldn't win at the old Astrodome so they hunkered down and went with plan B --- wait til they tear it down.


Man, I remember some ugly Cub losses there to on b&w WGN. Jimmy Winn (Wynn) - he killed us. They called him "The Pocket Cannon", or "Toy Cannon"

And then - JR Richard and company.

Unfortunately, they have to play there again this year in a Division race.

Yea... heard that.

It doesn't make any sense to me.

This has to be a flip. I know the Tigers were thinking about him and I think (not really sure) Dombrowski and Towers dont like each other so maybe Dombrowski is using Wade as a middle man. Though Wade is dumb and McClane always thinks that team can make a post ASGB run because of what they did in 04 and 05. Shawn Chacon must be a hero in Philly cause of idotic Wade ran that team.

to the Astros is done for minor league pitcher Chad Reineke

that they finalized the Red Wings/Hawks game for New Year's Day @ Wrigley, right?

I've called every single rooftop owner about tickets and haven't heard back from one damn single one of 'em yet. Grrrrr.....

to the DBacks according to a Rotoworld blurb...go grab Ayala or Rivera in your fantasy leagues and pray you get the right one.

Joel Hanrahan is probably in the mix as well.

2b "prospect" Emilo Bonifacio goes to the Nationals

Finally Bowden steals from someone who isnt a 16 year old Latin American kid. Rauch is just a blah pitcher having a good year and Bonifacio was a pre-season top 10 prospect in a loaded D-backs system. I imagine Hanaran has to be the Nats CL the rest of the way, as he is better and younger than Rivera and Ayala. Can the Diamondbacks beat the T'wolves in basketball now?

Yanks looking at Jarrod Washburn

Rays looking at Casey Blake

Fuentes being looked at by Marlins, Yanks, Mets, Rays, Cardinals, Red Sox and Phillies

Brewers to sign Jay Gibbons to minor league deal

Isnt Johnny Gomes better than Casey Blake? I dont know why Maddon hates him as much as Lou did Murton. If they are going to get a big bat like Holliday, Bay, or Nady thats one thing, I dont get why a team with alot of good prospects and a limited payroll would risk some prospects on a marginal upgrade.

Hope Jimbo doesn't sneak in there and offer what's left of the farm system for Fuentes. I mean, one of either Eyre or Wuertz should be able to step it up during the second half -right?

(crickets chirping)

btw...lansford wasn't fasttracked to AA...he's there to play 3rd so they could get matt "AARP" craig out of there.

i wouldnt be worried about the career of a 6th rounder with a light bat, personally...or what some guy says to the press when asked a question by a reporter looking to make his/her story.

the wilken thing is really weird, btw.


neat...matt craig is doing pretty well in limited (a good chunk of pinch hit) ABs for iowa, too...

7g 18ab 7h 2double 2hr 4bb 5k

Wilken : Navigator :: Hendry : mannytrillo

someone aced their ACT

I don't know how many of you remember last year at draft time, when I kept going on and on about how the Cubs should draft this guy, just so it would be easier for me to follow his progress. Well, the Yankees drafted him last year, which really pissed me off. Then, he went back to school, which made me happy. Then, THE YANKEES drafted him again!!! Anyway, he is through the first month of pro ball in short season, and is the team's closer, and is still a switch pitcher. I wonder how far he will make before they make him pick a side... A very interesting story, though...


ive been wondering what his 6-finger glove looked like. article has a nice pic.

Yeah, the glove is pretty neat. I am sure that it would pretty hard to replace. I also like the discussion of what happens when he faces a switch hitter... He's doing well so far!

Submitted by crunch on Tue, 07/22/2008 - 5:14pm.

btw...lansford wasn't fasttracked to AA...he's there to play 3rd so they could get matt "AARP" craig out of there.


CRUNCH: Matt Craig really hasn't played much 3B this year. The Cubs had him playing 1B at Tennessee.

Prior to Lansford's promotion, Kyle Reynolds was the #1 3B at Tennessee, but the Cubs have Reynolds playing both 3B and 1B now.

Lansford got promoted mainly so that the Cubs could open up 3B for Marquez Smith at Daytona, which also allows Jovan Rosa to play 3B (instead of 1B) at Peoria. .

ah, i was told otherwise, but if craig wasnt even playing 3rd that pretty much nullifies it anyway. thnx.

Winner of the STFU award:

“I thought we hit the ball well,” said Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee, who grounded into his major-league leading 20th double play with two on and nobody out in the ninth inning. “We just didn’t have anything to show for it.”

How is Derrek Lee related to the Southern Tenant Farmers Union?

Jeez, that's just a bit harsh, don't you think? So he's not doing so well with men on base, he's still a better 1st bagger than most of what else is out there.

Nope, don't think it's harsh at all. When you're not getting it done in key situations, don't tell us how well you're hitting the ball. Just shut up and start getting the job done.

This isn't just one bad game. If this pace continues, he'll hit into 32 DPs this season. Ron Cey thinks that's insane. Hell, Jim Rice thinks that's insane.

Notice Lee said "we" though. There were quite a few gappers that were scalded but run down last night.

Rice had a four year stretch where he hit into 131 DP's, so he probably wouldn't label that 'insane'.

Cal Ripken once grounded into 32 double plays and he was only 24 at the time. Pujols hit into 27 last year.

Once Soriano and his .300 ISO OBP gets back, that should help ease the double play problem for Lee to some degree. If Theriot stole bases as sucessfully as he did last season, that would help as well.

But, I agree, mostly Lee needs to quit hitting grounders with men on base.

Taking advantage of BP's free week you can see that Lee is only the 14th most likely guy to hit into a GIDP this year (300+ PAs). Theriot is 10th.

Recent comments

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  • I think Jones held up part of your sentence at third while the rest ran through the sign.

    Jackstraw 6 min 12 sec ago view
  • has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?”

    crunch 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • I agree -- I think if you are a soft-tosser, you need a track record before you are taken seriously. If Kyle posts sub-3.00 ERA consistently and wins 15+ games a few times (and pitches more innings), he may have a shot at the award in a few years. Hopefully, he gets in the top 5 this year -- would be deserved and a nice boost for his confidence.

    billybucks 1 hour 31 min ago view
  • It's also possible that the Cubs have no intention of recalling Spencer Patton. Perhaps Maddon has seen enough of him, and Patton will eventually be one of the players cut to make room for others who will be added to the 40 in September.

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 33 min ago view
  • I doesn't know what your talking about.

    Sonicwind75 1 hour 37 min ago view
  • Maybe it's to get him some game action. He's only pitched for the Cubs once in the last 10 days. I don't really care much about him going down since he's sucked when up here.

    I really want Rivero to be called up.

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • CHITOWNMVP01: It is indeed odd that the Cubs did not just wait one more day to recall LaStella.

    As far as Spencer Patton is concerned...

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 51 min ago view
  • Why didn't they wait until tomorrow to call up TLS? Don't they have to wait 10 days to bring Patton back up now?

    chitownmvp01 2 hours 12 min ago view
  • Cubs assigned to Mesa Solar Sox (AFL):

    Victor Caratini, C
    James Farris, RHRP
    Ian Happ, 2B-OF
    Eloy Jimenez, OF
    Ryan McNeil, RHRP
    Steve Perakslis, RHRP
    Duane Underwood Jr, RHSP

    Brian Lawrence, Pitching Coach

    Jimenez, Happ, Caratini and Underwood are among the Cubs Top 10 Prospects, and playing in the AFL should help speed their development.

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 45 min ago view
  • Outstanding.

    Jackstraw 2 hours 58 min ago view
  • So presuming he remains on the MLB Active List for the balance of the MLB regular season, Tommy LaStella will be at 2+102 MLB Service Time at the end of the season, far short of what he would have needed to accrue to have a chance at "Super Two" status post-2016. (Even if he had remained on the MLB Active List for the entire season and finished at 2+124 MLB Service Time, he still would have only been "on the bubble" for possible "Super Two" status post-2016).

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 34 min ago view
  • I don't know about the defensive part of the equation, the fact all the Cubs pitchers are so ahead of their FIP makes me think it's a lot more defense than anything special Hendricks is doing.

    Rob G. 3 hours 38 min ago view
  • Thanks, jacos! I love a good Alice Cooper group performance video -- especially when it corresponds with a shrinking, division-clinching magic number!

    JoePepitone 3 hours 38 min ago view
  • TLS up and playing second today. Spencer Patton to Iowa to make room.

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 12 min ago view
  • Yeah that article describes what I said in my other post about WAR. BR WAR is fine as a snapshot but FG is a better predictor of future performance.

    I also get what you mean by FIP being independent of luck but my point is all the soft contact Hendricks gives up negates a lot of that luck and defense aspect. In other words I believe he could pitch in front of any defense and have similar #s because for the most part he isn't giving up the screaming liners or hard hit liners to the gap.

    johann 4 hours 16 min ago view
  • Down on the farm:

    "Dealin'" Cease with another good outing for Eugene. Last 4 outings: 16IP, 1ER 29K. But, 10BB. Throw strikes, kid.

    Candelario is killing it at Iowa after struggling at AA: .320/.406/.941 in 241AB. At age 22. Where the heck to put him next year?

    billybucks 5 hours 19 min ago view