Cubs Pitching Rotation Down The Stretch

A quick look at how the rotation might shake out the rest of the season.

August 20th vs. Reds - Ted Lilly 
August 21st vs. Reds - Carlos Zambrano
August 22nd vs. Nationals - Jason Marquis
August 23rd vs. Nationals - Ryan Dempster
August 24th vs. Nationals - Rich Harden
August 25th @ Pirates - Ted Lilly
August 26th @ Pirates - Carlos Zambrano
August 27th @ Pirates - Jason Marquis
August 28th vs. Phillies - Ryan Dempster
August 29th vs. Phillies - Rich Harden
August 30th vs. Phillies - Ted Lilly
August 31st vs. Phillies - Carlos Zambrano
Septemeber 1st vs. Astros - Jason Marquis
September 2nd vs. Astros - Ryan Dempster
September 3rd vs. Astros - Rich Harden
September 4th - Off Day
September 5th @ Reds - Ted Lilly
September 6th @ Reds - Carlos Zambrano
September 7th @ Reds - Jason Marquis
September 8th - Off Day
September 9th @ Cardinals- Ryan Dempster
September 10th @ Cardinals- Rich Harden
September 11th @ Cardinals- Ted Lilly
September 12th @ Astros- Carlos Zambrano
September 13th @ Astros- Jason Marquis
September 14th @ Astros- Ryan Dempster
September 15th - Off Day
September 16th vs. Brewers - Rich Harden
September 17th vs. Brewers - Ted Lilly
September 18th vs. Brewers- Carlos Zambrano
September 19th vs. Cardinals - Jason Marquis
September 20th vs. Cardinals - Ryan Dempster
September 21th vs. Cardinals - Rich Harden
September 22nd @ Mets - Ted Lilly
September 23rd @ Mets - Carlos Zambrano
September 24th @ Mets - Jason Marquis
September 25th @ Mets - Ryan Dempster
September 26th @ Brewers - Rich Harden
September 27th @ Brewers - Ted Lilly
September 28th @ Brewers - Carlos Zambrano

That is of course assuming no rainouts or injuries or Lou shuffling the rotation. He can always throw Sean Marshall a spot start in there to move things around. You have to admit it does work out quite nicely for us if the last series ends up meaning anything. Even the series at home versus the Brewers gets us two of our big three and they'd miss Marquis. If it does shake down just like that, it means eight more starts for Lilly and Zambrano and seven more for the rest. Their games started totals if that happens:

Lilly -34
Dempster - 33
Zambrano - 32
Marquis - 29
Harden - 14 (as a Cub), 27 total

The Cubs magic number is 28 for a playoff spot and 31 for the division. 

EDIT: Messed up the Mets and Brewers series at the end there and thought it was a 4-game set versus the Brewers, as opposed to a 4-game set versus the Mets. It should be fixed now and it would set up the Cubs to have Harden, Lilly and Zambrano against the Brewers in both series in September. 


woo...hairston, who was rushed back before he was ready to be a 4th OF that wasn't even able to play the OF much, is back on the DL.

CIN back to 3 OF'rs on the roster unless they make another move.

duncan's handling of the roster personnel, especially post-griff, has been atrocious.

not that it matters besides the quality of the team they march on the field at this point, though...dont see a playoff in their future.

Who is Duncan and why is he handling Cincinnati's roster personnel affairs?

I assume you mean Jocketty...

speaking of Griffey Jr...if you had Game 14 as a White Sox for his first extra base hit, you were correct.

Entered the game hitting .207/291/207 as Pale Hose. Is having a nice day today though. 



I would think that Z will be slated to start Game 1 of the playoffs. Especially if the cubs wrap up before the 28th.


They'll also want Harden for Game 3 since there's no way he'd come back on 3 days rest. It'll be interesting if they do go with a 3 or 4-man rotation in the first round. It'll probably depend on how soon we clinch (assuming we do) and how the other team fares vs. lefties.


If Cubs have the best record in the NL this year, they will get the choice of starting the playoff series on Tuesday or wednesday. I would think that would only really matter against the Dbacks if WWebb needs to pitch during the final weekend of the year, but it could give the Cubs a better ability to set the staff exactly how they want.

Dempter and Harden have been the most consistant. Big Z needs to put his ego aside.

Get ready for a CenturyPeat !

Harden is pretty much a guarantee to go Game 3 in the first round since I can't see anyway they'd consider bringing him back on short rest. As for Game 1, if Lou has his choice I'm sure it'll go to whoever finishes the season the strongest. Until his last 2 starts, Dempster and Z were pretty much neck and neck for the best starter this year.

Harden doesn't give up any runs. How can you not make him your !?

Because if he can't come back on short rest, there is little point to pitching him in Game 1.

a few reasons, depends on when his last start was and because you can't bring him back on short rest for Game 4 if you wanted too.

This is the same logic as saving Big Z for game 4 in the playofs last year. Harden could come back they are just watching him during the season.

Either way they are winning it this year. CenturyPeat!!!

It's always something with H(GH)airston. He had a miraculous recovery from a "broken thumb" earlier this year. Only two weeks on the DL. Wow, who needs PED's if you heal that fast?! Now it's supposed to be a chronic hamstring problem.

Early last week Dusty said he was thinking about putting Jerry on the DL,--he didn't. Then Tuesday he said Hairston wasn't quite ready to play centerfield yet even though he wanted to. Two days later he was his starting shortstop. Makes you think that Hairston was managing Dusty, not the other way around.

hairston's issue he cleared up this year was his back that's limited him for years.

if hairston wasn't so needed...actually, an OF'r needed...he would probably be properly healed and playing by now.

injuries to the reds OF and trades netted no OF player returns for the reds that are mlb-ready. this is a team that's gone about 2 months without a game-ready 4th OF'r. the minors OF prospects...which the reds were once flush with...are now pretty bare.

i dunno if jocketty is more interested in gutting the team and bringing up the gems to showcase or actually fielding a team. going into the season they had a relatively solid as hell team (on paper). how they've responded to injuries has been worse than their already shakey defense.

 this is a team that's gone about 2 months without a game-ready 4th OF'r

Dude...Corey Patterson...oh, you said game-ready.


patterson's been a starter because of all this.

i wasn't gonna go into that, but well...yeah. he fell into the doghouse long ago. he played most of april...a little less of may...then fell into spot start/bench duty until the injuries and trades-without-replacements showed.

on a healthy/stocked team he'd probably still be working his way toward 175-200abs rather than passing 250abs with not much of an end in sight.

maybe by last 2 months you meant last 3 weeks.

He had 3 starts in July before they moved Griffey. But since , he has started in CF most of the time with Bruce moving to RF. Freel and Hopper have been hurt. Don't know about their minor league system. I'm guessing they were hoping Hairston was going to be back and didn't want to make a move. Can't see any good reason to spend an extra $100K on someone anyway if your in the Reds position. They certainly should call up someone if there is someone to call up.

We have 4 OF at IOWA that would upgrade the Cincy OF. Pie, Torres, DuBois, and Kroger. ANY of them would be starting over Patterson or the other guy (not Jay Bruce).

5 if you count Hoffpauir.

9/25 @ Mets (not Brewers)

I expect Lou will change things up at some point, if for no other reason than just to change things up. But, it does look good for the last 2 weeks.

Astros getting killed by Walks today against MIL

thanks for the catch...

I'll bring the conversation up here...

Astros load it up with 0 outs and then fuck it up. Pence hit into some sort of double play at home plate and Newhan ended the innng. 

Gagne gets out of bases loaded no out jam with 2 pitches.

According to, divisional series behin on Wed. 10/1....and according to other things I have read, the best team in the NL gets to choose the "A" or "B" schedule for the first round. If I remember correctly, I believe meaning the Cubs could start on Thu 10/2

Either way, even if Harden is needed on Friday 9/26, he could still start game 1 on regular rest.

The issue isn't game 1... it is game 4 and 5. You want to be able to have the option of having your top starters pitching 2 games in the series. If Harden can't come back on short rest, it doesn't make sense to pitch him in the first 2 games of the series.

it's not about starting Game 1 on short rest, it's about who would start game four or game 5. Z and Dempster you think about bringing back on three days rest, you don't even consider it with Harden. They might decide to go with a 4-man rotation and then it wouldn't matter. But that'll probably depend on how the opponent has fared versus lefties and how Lilly is pitching heading into the playoffs..

oops, my bad.

But if the "Cubs chooses the schedule starting on day 1, wouldn't that allow Harden to pitch game 4 on regular rest with 2 off days early in the series?

*shrug* I guess, I haven't seen where the playoff schedule is listed, nor have I ever heard of letting a team decide. Not doubting you, just don't know any of the details. I always figured the TV folks decided.


Last year the Red Sox got to choose their playoff schedule.
I'll try to find links on that.

s.marshall, j.lieber, or some sept. callup fodder can start the game if the cubs got it wrapped up by then.

Way to jinx the Cubs.

Can you predict the World Series rotation too?


You all need to line up so I can smack all of you! WTF are you doing talking about the playoffs???

According to a news release posted on the Boise Hawks’ official website Sunday, Pawelek has been shut down for the remainder of the season.
The release suggests – though does not state outright – that Pawelek may have been "shut down" because of passport issues after he did not accompany the team to Vancouver for a recent five-game series.

When reached by phone, Pawelek denied that anything was amiss with his arm, or anything else pertaining to a physical nature. He declined to comment on why he was shut down.

But one team source told that the Cubs were furious with Pawelek over the passport issue, and that they told him to “just go home.”

The Cubs did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

Goes on to say that is the player responsibility to secure a passport although they are reminded weeks and/or months in advance.


at the very least his agent...the guy he gives 5-10%+ of his f'n paycheck to...should have gotten his ass to take care of that.

guess a september callup is out of the question =p

may not be that bad of a thing for him to miss his last 2 starts anyway. not a great way to part ways for the season, though.

His agent is the great Scott Boras.

I think that might be the swan song for Pawelek's Cub career.

i wouldn't go that far with it.

at most he ended his season missing 1-2 starts...1 of which he wouldn't be able to pitch because he didn't get his travel docs taken care of.

Actually, he misses 0 starts because he isn't a starter. Wasn't a starter this year, wasn't a starter last year. In his second and third years in shortseason ball. And he hasn't even been a good reliever in shortseason ball.

There are other "attitude" questions surrounding him [and rumblings of more that haven't made it to the media], I think this was basically a case of the Cubs being fed up with him.

i thought he was on a "game starting" few IP stretch at this point.

wonder what the plan is for the kid. either way there's about a week and 1/2 of the year left anyway.

fwiw, credited with 2 games started this year and 12 in 2006 for Boise. A bunch in the Arizona League in 2005 as well, but those certainly don't count.

The 2 starts this year were his first 2 games with Boise and he got shelled. He ranges from 1-3 innings on most of his outings.


Yeah, I was refering to 2007 and 2008. He was starting in 2005 in the AZL after being drafted and while started his first full season in the system in the NWL. He put up good numbers and looked like a good prospect. Then the bottom fell out. He started two games this season and looked horrid. Then he went into that piggybacking "reliever who gets starter innings" that so many AZL/NWL guys are on and was horrid and since then, his innings have dropped. It was the same thing last year when he repeated the NWL.

I don't get it. All he needs to get into Canada is a driver's license and a birth certificate.

that changed this year.

you need a passport though to re-enter the USA. Also - and I could be wrong about this one - the ID and birth certificate only work if going by land or sea. If they took a plane, still might need a passport. Not sure about that one though.

I was in Canada last year on an Alaska cruise, but I forgot, Pawelek was going up there to work so he has more hoops to jump through. He needed more than just a passport.

Wow - if that's true, then he could be in deep doo - doo next year. Sounds like something else could be behind this.

Of course there is more. If Josh Vitters or Jose Ceda forgot his passport, I doubt they would tell him to go home. To tell that to a player, it's clearly the "last straw". Unless they bury the hatchet in the off season, he is probably done as a Cub. If he had a future, they would have dealt with it when they got back from Canada.

Does anyone have more on the attitude issues?

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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 4 hours 23 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 7 hours 21 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 7 hours 33 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 7 hours 42 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 7 hours 47 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 8 hours 6 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 8 hours 42 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 8 hours 59 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 9 hours 1 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 9 hours 19 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 9 hours 26 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 10 hours 22 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 10 hours 40 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 10 hours 44 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 11 hours 54 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here:

    QuietMan 12 hours 33 min ago view