Game 128 Thread / Nationals @ Cubs (1 of 3)

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SP *John Lannan SP Jason Marquis
  6-12, 3.81, 89 K, 54 W, 141.2 IP
8-7, 4.67, 68 K, 49 W, 129 IP
2B #Emilio Bonificio LF Alfonso Soriano
SS #Cristian Guzman SS Ryan Theriot
3B Ryan Zimmerman 1B Derrek Lee
CF Lastings Milledge 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B Ronnie Belliard CF Reed Johnson
RF *Ryan Langerhans C Geovany Soto
LF *Willie Harris RF Mark DeRosa
C Wil Nieves 2B Ronny Cedeno
P *John Lannan P *Jason Marquis

Weather note: As of 12:40, it's pouring in the western suburbs, with storms on their way to the city. Could be a rain delay in our future.

The Cubs advance to the next course in the all-meatball buffet, following their series against the Reds with three against the 45-83 Nationals starting today, before moving on to Pittsburgh.

The Nats flew to Chicago following a Thursday night game in Philadelphia, so on top of being awful, they're surely tired. However, as the cliche goes, the most dangerous animal is a desperate one, so maybe the Cubs should beware. That said, Nick Zaccardi (Carrie Muskat's new nom de plume?) assures us the Cubs aren't taking anything for granted this weekend, so forget what I said about being beware—the Cubs should hammer these guys.

The home team is a perfect 7-0, averaging nearly 8 runs per game, in their last 7 games against southpaw starters. Lannan, however, dominated the Cubs (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER) in a game Washington won when the teams met in D.C. in late April. Marquis hasn't pitched in nine days, last opening the DH at Atlanta with a winning, 5.1 IP, 2 ER effort against the Braves.

The Cubs begin play with a 5 1/2-game lead over the Brewers.

Finally, one more derogatory note about the Nationals, per the Tribune: with Cristian Guzman recovering from an injury to his left thumb, Washington has started seven different shortstops in the last 22 days.

Focus. We need to focus.



So let us get fat on said meatballs. 6 - 3 is acceptable but a sweep would be grand.

A four pitch strike out by Soriano
A flare single to right by The Riot
Another DP from Lee?
I'd surely buy it

Reed's single will follow
AramRam's loud out to center
A line out double play by Soto
Well send me on a bender

So, let's ponder DeRosa
Walking ahead of a fielder's choice by Cedeno
Will a Marquis K drive me to drugs
Or will I be able to 'just say no'?

This poem sucks.

A poetic scouting report. Love it.

Mmmmmmm, Meatballs......

Interesting SI article mostly on Samardzija:

Obviously he has been good for us. Is it too late though to make him a starter next year? He has just the one pitch, but the majors is not the place to work on your secondary offerings.

Then again, Harden is basically fastball/changeup only, so maybe Samardzija can still start later on.

the 2nd time I've read this on here from someone that Samardzija is a one-pitch pitcher. I've actually seen most of his outings and he has that 2-seamer that comes back across the plate to a lefty that he can throw mid-nineties, another fastball with more downard movement in the mid 90's and a changeup/splitter that's been pretty useful. He has a slider too, which I haven't seen, but no reason to use it if he's relieving.

Am I missing something? 

he has 2 fastballs unique enough to be considered different pitches.

right, that's what I've seen and I know I've seen his change/splitter quite a bit too. He doesn't throw it nearly as much as his fastballs, but he shouldn't.


Just because he doesn't throw an offspeed pitch or a slider or curve does not mean he is a one pitch pitcher

Yeah, he mixes it up quite well from what I have seen with him. Also, I've watched most games and I think I've seen 2 sliders so far from him, at least I thought too much side-to-side movement to be his split finger. Overall though, I've been impressed.

Half hour til game time and the tarp is on the field. Can't tell how hard/if it's raining.

It's looks pretty rainy out there.

And it don't look like big midwest-over-in-an-hour-storm

pretty gray

Weatherunderground leads me to believe they'll start playing soon.

You don't need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Cory Provis (or whatever the hell his name is) on WGN says a "bit of a delayed start" today, with light rain falling the past 20 minutes or so.

Also, radar looks like this thing is blowing off to the NE and will clear up in the next, oh, 30 minutes.

I maintain that this is a better lineup than the Reds lineup. Not saying that it's good by any means, I'm just saying the Reds lineup was wretched.

With a win today, the Cubs will ensure themselves of not ending the year with the worst record in the NL. Silly, pointless, stat...but kinda cool when you think about the fact that it's only 8/22.

Kosuke Fukudome had elbow surgery in the off season last year. Anyone else think that maybe he has a barking elbow at this point in the season? That, and it doesn't look like he's made many adjustments in his approach at the plate. Theories anyone?

He's a Japanese player who came to the US and MLB has multiple examples of players who couldn't make the switch. No one should be surprised or anything.

I have theories about everything, cooked to order.

I would give Fukudome the benefit of the doubt and just say that he's really a rookie and he's hit a wall. He has never broken out of a slump in the major leagues and he's not convinced he can.

Something similar happened to Fontenot last year, and he didn't start hitting again till spring training.

If Fukudome keeps getting at-bats, he'll break out of it.

I'm trying to think what might prevent Fukudome from getting at bats. Lou doesn't seem to want to compromise the defense with DeRosa in right and Fontenot at second, although that could happen. I'm starting to wonder if Tyler Colvin might get called up, who could play right field. Lou might get intrigued by Colvin's HR and triple power.

Hah! Morgana. Forgot about that...

2:20 start now?

Yea... WGN said a couple of minutes ago that the game would start "in nine minutes."

Cubs first run -- double steal?

F that!



burn the place

What's the problem? This is p-p from Yahoo!

- A. Soriano walked
- R. Theriot struck out swinging, A. Soriano stole second
- D. Lee singled to center, A. Soriano to third
- A. Ramirez struck out swinging, A. Soriano stole home, D. Lee stole second
- R. Johnson grounded out to shortstop

The part that confuses me is... "A. Ramirez struck out swinging, A. Soriano stole home, D. Lee stole second". What? Wild pitch? Passed ball?

Lee stole second and on the throw to second, Fonzie took off from third and beat the throw back from second to home. Safe all around except for Aramis striking out.

Very risky play though, considering how often catchers pump fake the throw to second with a man on third. There was absolutely no hesitation before Soriano took off for home. It looked pretty awesome, but could have very easily resulted in being picked off third base.

Lee took off for second on the third strike pitch to Ramirez. When the catcher threw to second, Soriano broke for home and scored.

Edit -- sorry, DD beat me to it.

I was seems if the Cubs don't beat the Nats 36-0, yet manage a close win in there in a well-pitched game, some folks won't be happy.

I was also kidding, based on "no excuses for not beating the Reds" et al...

There is no excuse for not beating this team 72-0 by now.

If you liked the first that much, you're probably just loving this 2nd inning.

2 Leadoff Walks
Ronny Cedeno strikes out looking, does not swing ONCE during the AB.
Marquis pops out first pitch.
Soriano grounds out.

UGH! I have heard something like 75% of leadoff walks score.....what is the percentage when you get 2 leadoff walks?

DeRosa has been a dominant walker this month it seems.

You can't stop him, you can only hope to walk him.



I TOTALLY KNEW THAT WOULD HAPPEN. You know why? On the last thread there was an exchange about how D Lee doesn't have power anymore. So naturally, he hits a home run today. Thanks to all who helped out with this. Navigator, dfc... thank you all.

If you did, you would be concerned.
Wind blowing out.
Pitch right in his wheel-house.
Times it right. Full extension. Squares it up. Hits it flush.

Reaches the first row back of the basket.

We'll take it but, Sorry, we're still waiting for DLee's power to return.

DeRo with another jack. I'm loving it.

And then implosion.

Grand Slam Willie Harris.
well that sucked.

"Boy, that Marquis is a great #5 starter."

Nothing like walking 2 guys on a terrible team with a 4-0 lead to get things going.


Nothing like the National House of Crap scoring 6 in one inning to take the lead.


walking Guzman? yuck.

walking Zimmerman? gonna happen sometimes

double to Belliard? yuck

let's not forget the shit Neal Cotts brought in with him though or Howry 

Marshall certainly couldn't give us that...

Oh, goodie! Home-run Howry in the game!

Have any decent relievers cleared waivers?

This is shaping up to be one lousy way to start the weekend.

How many times can we skip Marqis for the rest of the year? With his ERA now at 4.76, can we PLEASE stop all the ridiculous talk about him being a decent starting pitcher?

he's a bit below average ERA-wise this year...worse now with this outing. I'll bee happy when he's gone, but if you think Marquis is the problem you need to watch some of the other teams in the league.


nothing that helps a shitty team more than pitchers that can't find the strikezone. Yeah, everyone was raving about Marquis in chat and how great he was. No, there is no excuse for walking 2 guys on 5 pitches each with a 4 run lead.

I'm sure Lou and Rothschild are thrilled with Marquis outing.

What the hell? No one in parachat said Marquis was great.

"That was a quick hook by Lou"
"He was cruising"
"He's a great #5"
"Think he'll pich a CG shut out"

I didn't say anyone said anything about Marquis being a cy young candidate...but people, including you, were raving about his performance today, when people, inclding me, were ripping him for walking those 2 guys on 10 total pitches with a 4 run lead.

But, on another matter....
The inning before Marquis completely lost it, Theriot, Lee and Aram went down on a total of 4 pitches. I wonder if that can screw with Marquis when he doesn't even get 2 minutes to sit between innings. Not saying that's an execuse, but I do wonder if that could have had anything to do with him completely losing control in the top of the following inning.


It needs to be noted that the bullpen didn't help Marquis there. It was impossible for him to do any worse than Cotts did.

On the season, going into yesterday the bullpen had saved approximately 2.75 runs for Marquis on the year (2 for Dempster, 3 for Zambrano, even for Lilly, 1 for Harden and cost Gallagher a run), so that will drop a little bit once they count yesterday's blowup.

Cotts had been pitching well, so I can't blame Lou too much for using him there - but I asked it at the time in Parachat: What the hell was Howry warming up for? Should have been Marmol or Gaudin then.

Willie Harris? F that....

come on offense...

Not happy

Just really, really happy that I went to yesterday's game and not today's.

Are you kidding me?

No seriously, let's burn the place!!!

recipe for disaster in top of 6th: 9 batters, 7 first pitch balls, 1 first pitch strike, 1 hit in play...6 runs scored.

You can't stop Willie Harris. You can only hope to contain him.

Just get this over with for the love of god

Wait, I think the Nationals have loaded the bases again

Well, at least it wasn't another loss in a low scoring game.

[que in the cricket and bullfrog noises]

For some reason, this team seems to play over the heads vs. the Cubs.

apparently we are what we eat


Seriously, When was the last time a Wrigley Field crowd walked out on them like they did today?

Well, that will hurt the 'ol Run Differential.

The team with the best record loses to the team with the worst record by 8 runs, in a sport where scoring 4 runs per game is the norm. What a bizarre sport.

Hopefully, the Nats got it all out of their system.

Hopefully, we can win the next 2 and split the season series with these tough Nats. That would be quite an accomplishment.

Last year, it was the Marlins -- a terrible team that gave the Cubs fits. Weird, man.

Some people forget, that indeed the Nats are shit. But to them, playing the Cubs is like playing in the World Series for them. For the entire year, this Cubs team plays to the level of their competition. I expect them to win the next 2.

Cubs have played to the level of their competition?
Cubs are 39-18 against NL teams under .500.

How long is lou gonna put up with Howry and Cotts wizardry ? Has any middle relievers cleared waivers? Cmon Hendry , spend some of the fans money and bail Lou out. Probably need another outfielder that can clutch hit too!

Panic much? Cubs have won 18 of 24, best offense in the league and one of the best pitching staffs.

Before today, Cotts had given up 4 runs in the past 18 innings or so.

More clutchieness!!!

Less scrapieness!!!

Abortions for some, little American flags for others!!!

If you can think of a better way of exchanging long protein strands, I'd like to hear it.

Not panicking, but I hate that kind of loss most of all -- somehow more aggravating than the 2-1 job vs. Cincy during the week. I don't know why, but I'm more at peace with getting shut down by mediocre pitching than I am with giving up salamis to the Willie Harrises of the world.

Super-ultra-mega-masta-blasta-pickin'-up-the-Shasta hoping for a nice rebound by Demp & the offense today, as I will be in the bleachers.

"Abortions for some, little American flags for others!!!"

HA! Still one of my favorite episodes.

Recent comments

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  • Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.

    While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.

    billybucks 8 min 30 sec ago view
  • jacos 8 min 51 sec ago view
  • It is remarkable how my mood has become uplifted with one game against the Cards.

    That is sick.

    But, I have been an addict for a long time.

    A W tomorrow and it will be a .500 road trip.

    Also, to keep the losses in perspective, if the Cubs were to lose 10 games a month - a lot at this current pace - they still end up 102-60. Six months of the ride!

    The E-Man 18 min 45 sec ago view
  • So, the Mesa Cubs should be solid this summer in the AZL Rookie League?

    And, I like the, "But did you know" lead in there. Something a little different.

    I can tell really like this group of hitters in AZ right now.

    What pitchers out there, other than Cease, should we be excited about?

    Thanks as always for the info.

    Childersb3 58 min 4 sec ago view
  • back on the Run Differential hunt... (aka The Hunt for Blue October)

    Cubster 1 hour 26 min ago view
  • These are the 2016 Cubs I know and love. Also digging that Cardinals OF (lack of) defense.

    Charlie 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • Another day, another eight runs

    jacos 1 hour 58 min ago view
  • I'm not sure there was another team in baseball that would flip a Dansby Swanson type of prospect (plus Inciarte, plus Toussaint) for Miller.  That trade was just comically bad from the start, and getting worse... 

    Transmission 2 hours 13 sec ago view
  • Zobrist just keeps squaring up - and Soler goes yard!

    Eric S 2 hours 26 sec ago view
  • Pirates jumping all over Shelby Miller tonight - so glad the Cubs didn't flip a Dansby Swanson type prospect to the Braves for him. Two years of Lackey looking like a good alternative.

    Eric S 2 hours 5 min ago view
  • 3rd inning...soler walked twice in the game...first time since aug 4th last year in the regular season (2 times in the playoffs, amazingly).

    crunch 2 hours 31 min ago view
  • Good gravy, was that a much-appreciated top of the first.

    Transmission 2 hours 59 min ago view
  • That's a good analogy, bb...  Nice to see tonight's game start with a 104 yard kickoff return TD.

    Transmission 3 hours 2 min ago view
  • Grichuk won the game last night but a decent CF would have caught that drive by Ross. Good Cubbery!

    Cubster 3 hours 2 min ago view
  • this game is WAY better than last night.

    6 run 1st for the cubs...

    crunch 3 hours 4 min ago view
  • Very bizarre game -- as you say, both Cubs pitchers were dominant until the one fatal pitch. It was like watching the Bears defense shut down a team, and then lose on 2 punt returns. Some better hitting with RISP would be a good idea, too.

    billybucks 4 hours 32 min ago view