Game 132 Thread / Pirates @ Cubs (2 of 3)

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SP Carlos Zambrano SP Ian Snell
13-5, 3.29, 111 K, 57 BB, 164 IP
5-10, 5.60, 108 K, 74 BB, 133.1 IP
LF Alfonso Soriano LF *Nyjer Morgan
SS Ryan Theriot CF *Nate McLouth
1B Derrek Lee C #Ryan Doumit
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adam LaRoche
CF *Jim Edmonds RF *Brandon Moss
2B Mark DeRosa 3B *Doug Mientkiewicz
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 2B Freddy Sanchez
C Geovany Soto SS Jack Wilson
P #Carlos Zambrano P Ian Snell


It's always nice when the league lets the Cubs use a designated hitter. Zambrano's .972 OPS is not only the best for tonight's starters, but would be second only to Milton Bradley among the regular DH's of the game. His hitting prowess has also helped the Cubs put up a .597 OPS out of the number nine spot in the order. That's good for 14th in baseball and better than the A's, Royals and Orioles have been able to manage (thanks to reader "nohit" for the tip). 

 The quest to the playoffs continues...


Finally, a new thread. Now about Obama's citizenship...

Time for big Z to throw a perfect game. Remember, I called it first.

That, or you jinxed him after McClouth hits a donger.

Maybe, but I usually jinx the Cubs simply by watching, so at least I'm actively participating this time.

I Snell victory today.

Somehow you managed to jinx my entire fantasy team.

(via rotoworld)

doubtful the Cubs would win the waiver claim even if they put one in though.

Hopefully Cardinals put one in before Brewers.

Worst case scenario I'd think he goes to the Mets. Definitely won't get to the Brewers or Cubs.

who's gonna give up the high end talent to get him and is he really worth it at this point?

wonder what class of FA he's projected to fall in...

I'm sure he's a Type A and I'm sure the Dodgers or Dbacks would get claims in before the Cards, Mets or Brewers. And the Phils would definitely put a claim in to block the Mets.

Doubtful he gets moved because of the cost... 

Anyone else have a feeling that a replay homer will effect the Cubs good or bad before the season is over?

This lineup sss...uhhh...I can't even say it!

7 lefties for the Pirates? Interesting.

Is it just me, or does it look like Derek Lee and Aramis are about to play "I crush your head" with Ryan Doumit?

Or maybe this link, I am bad with this...

Interesting 1st inning for Mr. Z

wild pitch on strike 3 (batter makes first safely)
error on pitcher
3 hits
3 runs

Focus, man

Z. still isn't right. Let's hope Ian doesn't repeat his performance against the Cards last week.

Zambrano has demonstrated that he can be great. I hope Zambrano returns to some kind of form. Any kind of form other than what he's displayed since...well, since he has been sucking. However long this has been going on. I can't stomach looking it up right now.

I wish his dumb ass would would gain some sense of control. He throws a wild pitch, commits an error and generally pitches like shit. He then proceeds to go into the dug out and act like a little bitch. I watch all of that and find myself thinking "grow up you fucking dumb ass". Actually I could care less about his acting like a little's doing it after he pitches like a chump ass that really grates on me. The "look-at-me-knock-shit-over-and-throw-things" just is an extra irritant.

That's the end of my little sissy whine session.

Soto declogs bases. 4-3 Cubs.

Random Stat:

Cubs have 111 GIDP this year. Cardinals have 115. Brewers have only 75.

that's the pitching GIDP you linked to...


What say we all pitch in for the holidays and buy Z a 2009 calendar that has 2 Julys and no August.

Can we get Stevie Eyre back? Looks like Cotts hit his expiration date when he served up the granny to the Nats.

Has anyone else noticed that Z went to off-speed stuff the last two innings?
What happened to his fastball? Never saw the gun read over 92 MPH. Cause for concern?

Was Soriano's error as bad as the one he made against Pittsburgh back in May?

Timmer - I guess the answer is it depends. The one earlier this season, it looked like he lost it in the sun as soon as it came off the bat. Ugly, but that happens ... just so happened at a crucial part of the game. Tonight's error he had all the ball all the way but lost focus right at the end and it popped out of his glove at the top of his hop ...

I was in the stands on that side, so it was in front of me, and yes it was just as bad or worse. The deafening "OH!" of dismay from the crowd was an indication of the predominance of cubs fans (at least three-fourths) and really brought to life the minority of Pirates fans.

So help me, if I see that damned 8/136 hop ONE MORE TIME, I'm going to go to sniper school.

Ugly win, but it counts.

Zambrano is Mr. Clutchiness! We have Mr. Clutchiness and Mr. Scrappiness on the same team. All we need now is Mr. Heartiness and Mr. BigGameiness and we would have a Joe Morgan special.

"Geovany Soto's had a good week, tonight."

--Bob Brenly (8th inning)

I've figured it out. Geo's not hitting in the 8 hole. He's actually hitting second cleanup.

It's kind of like Hobbits having second breakfast. And Geo was hungry tonight...

Oh yeah, and that 8th inning was pure Buccery.

Geo is an absolute freak.

Great to see Geo driving the ball to RF.

In celebration of his success, here's a nice Soto article from back in July.

I do so love a second breakfast.


Got to be tough to be a Pirates fan. Or manager.

Yee-ouch: Brewers tack on 7 in the 9th, now lead 12-0.

That TLR, he's a genius. He'll figure out something.

St Louis with a singularly uninspired effort tonight, down 12-0 bottom 9th. If they lose tonight, as seems likely, they will be 10 down in the loss column to the Cubs, 5 down to the Brewers. Another loss tomorrow by them would likely put their playoff chances on life support.

Gooz at Iowa tonight:

2IP, 1BB, 5K.

Is it allowable to have FOUR Nasty Boys?

only Chad can answer that...


...or possibly Johann's mom...

Only 13 runs behind the Rangers, with one fewer game played, for the MLB lead in Runs Scored after tonight's 'bru ha'. Unfortunately the pitching's team rank is moving in the wrong direction.

Is that four or five bad starts in a row now from Zambrano?

I am looking forward to his book "How to go from a Well Known Sports Journalist to Just Another Idiot who Argues on the Internet in One Day".

Awesome, that just made my day!

What's next? Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies? Rivers and seas boiling? Forty years of darkness? Earthquakes, volcanoes? The dead rising from the grave? Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria?

Maybe just the Cubs ending the hundred year drought.

Guess who had another meltdown in the dugout?

It was another adventuresome night for Carlos Zambrano, who Tuesday night became the unofficial league-leader in water cooler tossing, extended his RBI streak to eight games and failed to last five innings for the second time in August.

Zambrano allowed three runs before attacking the Gatorade container and kicking items around in the dugout. It was vintage Zambrano, who previously this year had tossed a gum tray in Washington and a couple of water coolers in Los Angeles, broke a bat over his knee and punched a hole in a wall near his locker at Wrigley Field.

A gum tray?

It may seem like a meaningless act to beat up this menagerie of chewy delights, but we all know how the gum got its revenge on Carlos. Lesson: do not anger the gum tray.

I am starting to think they may be building Sam-me Sosa V 2.0 with Carlos. Once or twice a year, OK, but seriously get a grip.

Anyone else think we may have found our power-hitting, rifle-armed new right fielder in Carlos Zambrano?

Hey, if Ankiel can do it...

If my calculations are correct, at 32 games over .500 the Cubs have now matched the season high of 1984 set on September 15th. They were also 32 games over .500 in 1969 at one point (9/2). The last time they were 33 games over was sometime in 1945 when they were 42 games over at the end of September.

The Iowa Cubs have clinched the Pacific Coast League's 2008 American North Division pennant and will begin post-season play next week. The club has announced that playoff tickets will be priced the same as regular season games [ah, the minor leagues...]. First round opponent: Oklahoma Redhawks. Carlos Zambrano may be called down to pitch a fit, er, the opener for Iowa...

Zambrano has had three bad starts out of his last four (and some thought his one-run-over-seven start last time was also not good). Four bad starts out of his last 10 (5-2 over that span).

With Sept Callups coming next week. I am not opposed to Z skipping a start. 10 days off should be enough to recharge the arm/back and get him back in a groove.

From last night:

Pitcher 1
4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 3 K

Pitcher 2
4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

1 is Z, 2 is Webb.

Now, Webb is a better pitcher and hasn't struggled of late like Z has. But the larger point is, it happens to the best (and the Padres aren't exactly an offensive powerhouse).

Of course... as has already been mentioned, Z has done it 3 times in his last 4 starts.

Webb has not.

"Of course"...the new "Uh..."?

Z has had three bad starts out of four. Yes. We've established that. But check out his previous six. One bad one in there, yet a bunch of hand-wringing over these poor ones. I guess that's all I was trying to say...I don't get the hand-wringing.

Especially since he had a similar crap run in '07, then finished with by giving up six runs in 32.1 innings going into the playoffs. We're not talking about some rookie who we're counting on heavily. The guy's got a pretty good track record.

Then you throw in the other facts.

In Z's 'good start' of this bad streak, he actually didn't pitch that well, he just had some batted ball luck (4BB, 4K, 1 HR in 7 innings) as well as in the 5 inning start before his streak started (2 K's in 5 innings with 3:11 GB/FB ratio). This bad run started after he threw 243 pitches over two starts, which is midly arbitrary but it's the highest two-start pitch count he had all year. I didn't watch last night's game, but someone said his fastball was 92 MPH. He's missed time this year with a shoulder problem.

So is there reason to worry? Yes. Is there anything that can be done about it? Well if he goes on the DL, Lieber or Marshall replace him in the regular season rotation and we probably go with a 3 man playoff rotation. The dropoff from Z to Lilly right now is pretty negligible. Actually the drop-off from Z to Marshall or Leiber right now is negligbile. He's not pitching well, for whatever the reason.

Fact: Z gave up one run in seven innings.

Your opinion on whether he should've given up more runs is not a fact.

You want to say, "Well, if he keeps pitching like that day, it'll catch up to him"? Fair enough. I'll stick to the results, and if he gives up one run in seven innings in a playoff game, I'll take it.

Good thinking Tito. You must have been really excited about the Trachsel signing last year. That's roughly what we have in Z right now.

Did Trachsel go on to give up six runs in 32 innings in September? Did Trachsel give up one run in the NLDS? Was Trachsel ever as good as Z?

Again, if you or anyone else disagrees with me, fine. Maybe Z is toast. I'll be happy to admit it if it happens (well, not happy, actually). But at least try to make some sense when you do so.

Trachsel had an ERA of 2.37 over 38 innings in August of last year. Pretty much he was a Cy Young calibre pitcher. He also had an 18/8 BB to K ratio. Eventually that stuff catches up to you, just like it's caught up to Zambrano.

It's possible to throw a CG shutout with a 3/1 BB to K ratio - just not very likely. I am all for Z returning to his All-Star, strikeout pitching, groundball throwing form. He's just not in it right now.

"He's just not in it right now."

Yeah, no one can dispute that. We'll just have to see how this gets resolved.

Fact: Z gave up one run in seven innings.

Fact: That doesn't mean that he pitched well.

Nice to have a win in last night's softball contest at Gage Park - but it sure was painful to watch Z go nuts again on the mound. Can anyone here with knowledge of pitching mechanics chime in with their thoughts? Is he just missing his spots, or is his velocity down noticeably?

Submitted by Rob G. on Tue, 08/26/2008 - 4:19pm.

Fuentes put on waivers (via rotoworld) doubtful the Cubs would win the waiver claim even if they put one in though


ROB G: Presuming Brian Fuentes was put on waivers because the Rockies thought they were out of contention and not just as a matter of routine, I wonder if they might be re-thinking the idea of trading him, now that they are on a roll and only six games out of 1st in the N. L. West, and with both the D-backs and the Dodgers playing poorly. Especially given the way the team played in September last year.

If anything, I would think Colorado might be buyers right now. The Rockies have the worst record of the N. L. clubs still in contention, so they would be able to take their pick and make successful waiver claims on any N. L. player of value who might be put on Trade Assignment Waivers this week, as well as getting first crack at any American League player placed on Trade Waivers this week who isn't claimed by an A. L. contender.

only in that Wild Wild NL West

not sure if this has already been posted but: Minor Leaguers Justin Berg, Rocky Roquet, Donald Veal, Darwin Barney, Nate Spears and Tyler Colvin have been selected to represent the Cubs organization in the 2008 Arizona Fall League.

That is not exactly a who's-who of the Cubs top prospect list....
Donnie Veal and Colvin have certainly been mentioned before, but neither seem to be panning out... I thought being named to this league was usually something doen to give extra recognition to those that seem to be going places... Is that not the case?

It's not generally extra recognition, but it the idea is for guys you think can be fast tracked to the majors. You typically won't see guys who have had good AAA seasons there, because the feeling those guys are ready for their shot already. It seems like it's also for American players, rather than the ones from Latin America who can get more experience in winter ball.

Name 6 guys in the Cubs organization between high A and AA that should be fast tracked? Hard to do. You also have to work with the other clubs that form your AFL team to come up with a complete roster.

Veal has bad overall numbers but he still pitches occasional gems, like this recent one (8/21):

7 ip, 4 h, 1 r, 1 bb, 8 k, 1 hr.

Colvin couldn't get his BA above .240 for a while but his .258 today is not quite as much a red flag. He is one shy of 80 RBI and his HRs and triples add up to 24. I could get used to a Cub CFer who drives the ball to right center. It's his second full pro season, right? Tim Wilken still loves him.

Barney's a bit of surprise there. He's followed up his mediocre first season with a mediocre second season. He probably should have been in Peoria this year. I can't remember who made the claim at the time of the draft (havign watched the CWS) but I don't think he's going to be the next Jeter. I know we don't have any SS prospects, but it's surprising our AFL partners couldn't come up with someone more deserving.

Did Donald Veal miss any time this season? I can't believe they're sending him to Arizona to rack up even more innings. Same question goes for Berg...

Recent comments

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  • The media has linked Cueto and the Cubs approximately zero times this winter. I'm thinking there's just not a lot of interest there on the Cubs' part. It seems unlikely.

    If the Cubs miss on Price, Grienke, and Zimmerman, they will aim for a mid-rotation starter via free agency or trade. However, I think this scenario also significantly boosts the odds that they extend Arrieta.

  • The Tigers are going after Zimmermann and the Red Sox will be throwing money at Price. Bringing Cueto back to the NL with the Cubs is looking like a serious possibility. Thoughts?

  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe in the financial impact to the Red Sox for not signing Jon Lester early in the free agent process:

    It will be interesting to ultimately add up the cost of letting Jon Lester go.

    The Red Sox botched up their negotiations with Lester in during spring training of 2014, making an initial offer of $70 million that was roughly $40 million short of what it should have been. Talks broke down and Lester was traded in July.

  •'re flip-flopping again?!

    Is this legal? What is the rule here on opining definitively and then changing your mind?

    I am not only surprised at your declaration, but Cutler's better 2015 showing. I don't get it - he went through Martz, Turner, Trestman, Kromer, and now Gase...and he is still here! And. he'll be here mext year too.

  • Happ signs w Jays

    Morsi saying Price won't be a Jay

  • needs more d.beeler and e.jokisch

  • As an Illinois tax payer I appreciate what they r doing

  • + Bankruptcy Court

  • +Price

  • Rondon 2.0!!

  • 2 spots left on the 40-man...wonder if they're going to play around in the rule-5 market...

  • A special after day after Thanksgiving thanks to AZ for his insanely detailed posts on all things roster. I don't know how you keep track of all that stuff - I suspect a chip implant, but whatever it is, it's cool.

  • ...the wrong half.

  • there's nothing like crapping out of the playoffs with a strong/young cheap team after pinching pennies for years then having theo talk about having to be creative with money to make things work for 2016...but hey, baseball isn't baseball without a farmer's market and beer garden plaza with ice rinks.

    they can do both...then again, if you want to look at it from a business point of view, they don't have to do both because the team is expected to be competitive and the merch+tickets+eyes-on-team are going to be at a peak unless they fail badly.

  • Really ?

    They are trying to bring the facility to the 20th century.
    I think they know what they are doing.

  • With the Cubs adding Pierce Johnson to their roster and not exposing/losing him to the Rule 5 Draft keeps the trade ancestry tree alive that started in 1999 with Tom Gordon and undrafted Adam Morrissey and includes 17 players, the trade tree progressed to involve the Hee Sop Choi for Derrek Lee deal and the famous Aramis Ramirez/Kenny Lofton deal..Pierce Johnson is the compensation pick for Aramis Ramirez in 2012