Game 138 Thread / Astros @ Cubs (1 of 3)

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SP Roy Oswalt SP Jason Marquis

12-9, 4.11, 135 K, 41 BB, 160.2 IP
9-7, 4.52, 74 K, 52 BB, 141.1 IP
2B #Bill Doran CF Bob Dernier
RF *Terry Puhl 2B Ryne Sandberg
1B *Denny Walling LF Gary Matthews
LF *Jose Cruz 1B Leon Durham
CF #Jerry Mumphrey RF Keith Moreland
3B Phil Garner 3B Ron Cey
C #Mark Bailey C Jody Davis
SS *Craig Reynolds SS #Larry Bowa
P Nolan Ryan P Dick Ruthven


Unfortunately I have to take off before the lineups are posted, so Marquis and Oswalt will have to face off against the 1984 lineups.

As for the modern day Cubs, all the warm glowing feelings of a seven game win streak are gone after dropping two straight games and two starting pitchers. Three straight losses looms as well with the red-hot Astros (27-15 since the break) and Oswalt's 2.51 August ERA coming to town.

Go Mets!


1. D Erstad, CF .292 3 26 2
2. T Wigginton, LF .303 21 52 4
3. M Tejada, SS .281 12 55 7
4. L Berkman, 1B .335 27 94 15
5. G Blum, 3B .242 13 44 1
6. H Pence, RF .263 20 69 8
7. J Castillo, 2B .000 0 0 0
8. B Ausmus, C .225 2 20 0
9. R Oswalt, P .173 0 2 0

1. A Soriano, LF .288 23 63 17
2. K Fukudome, RF .265 9 54 11
3. D Lee, 1B .293 18 77 8
4. A Ramirez, 3B .280 24 100 2
5. M DeRosa, 2B .293 18 79 6
6. J Edmonds, CF .257 15 43 0
7. G Soto, C .291 20 79 0
8. R Theriot, SS .311 1 34 21
9. J Marquis, P .196 0 4 0

I like Theriot down there in his rightful position.

Is so lame. How about a cheap shot at Fontenot while you're at it?

Theriot bashing is so 2007.
Get over it.

Ben Sheets left his start against the Mets with tightness in his left groin.

He has two groins?

Theriot OPS .756
Fukudome OPS .754

Theriot BA .311
Fukudome BA .265

Theriot OBP .391
Fukudome OBP .366

I think Fukudome is the one who needs to start batting 8th, he is the weakest bat on the team unless he proves otherwise over the course of a couple months.

BA Per month for Theriot

BA per month for Fuku

Theriot remains consistent and Fuku keeps getting worse as the league has figured out a slider away can easily get Fuku out.

I completely agreed before I read this comment based on season performance and Fukudome's recent struggles, but I had no idea his average declined so consistently. Its quite concerning when you present it like that. Right? OK, now is a good time for someone argue how this is normal as a player adjusts to a new league...please

Not only the average, but everything else was bad in August. In 99 PA's Kosuke threw up the Neifi-esque 193/293/253 for the highly coveted 546 OPS. That doesn't need to be hitting second.

At the same time, Theriot's OPS did drop over 100 points from July to August, and August was his lowest month of the season at 686. But, the OBP was still there at 384.

Absolutely Theriot is better than Fukudome at this point by far.

Cubs fans are having a hard time coming tot he realization of how bad Kosuke is struggling. If it was any other player there would be lots of booing.

It's not what you have done, it's what you are likely to do, that's important, and I'll take Fukudome's likely to do at the top of the order over Theriot's.

Yup, Theriot is far more likely to get a hit than Fukudome be any reasonable and objective analysis of their stats this year.

It would be one thing if Fukudome just had a bad month...he's simply had a bad year based on 4 months of pitchers adjusting to him and him not adjusting to the league.

What you are likely going to do versus what you have done?
How does one determine what a player is "Likely" going to do? Typically you look at their stats and past history.

So let's see, who is more likely to hit well...someone who has been in a 4 month slump batting around .200 and not getting on base...or someone who all year long is hitting above .300 and getting on base 4/10 times they are at the plate.

By a long shot, I expect far more out of Theriot for the rest of this season than Fukudome....and I think bueying him in the 8th spot is kinda nuts.

Anybody have Jacques Jones' cell number?

Watching 3+ more years of Fukudome hitting weak grounders because he bails out on EVERY PITCH will be very, very frustrating. He must be the worst (offensive) starting OF in baseball right now.

Come home, Jacques!

Could you please describe what you believe Fukudome and Theriot are likely to do for the remainder of this season?

I guess I just don't follow the argument.


Theriot is more likely to be a bad basestealer and baserunner, ground into double plays at a ferocious rate and never drive anyone in from first base.

I'd expect him to hit about .280 .360 .305 for the rest of the way.

Fukudome is more likely to be a competent basestealer and base runner, seldom ground into double plays and occasionally drive in someone from first.

I'd expect him to hit .275 .350 .400 the rest of the way.

Then there is also the advantage of not stacking 4 right-handed bats at the top of the lineup, and the fact that Fukudome sees more pitches than Theriot, which can be helpful following Soriano's one and done at bats.

Despite having more play time, Theriot has created fewer runs than Fukudome on the season, and that doesn't count his getting thrown out at third on GB to short, and standing on third during wild pitches antics.

I could be wrong, but I don't give that much credence to the 'MLB pitchers have figured him out theory'. I don't think MLB pitchers and advance scouts are any more clever than those in Japan, and with some mechanical adjustments and refreshed approach, Fukudome is going to be decent from here on out.

2008 Runs Created (stats from THT)

Theriot 68
Fukudome 72

Advantage Fukudome

2008 Runs Created (stats from ESPN)

Theriot 72.8
Fukudome 70.5

Post All-Star Game Runs Created

Theriot 22.4
Fukudome 15.6

Read the fine print. THT uses a version of the formula which takes into account hitting w/ runners in scoring position and park factors. Definitely more accurate than the ESPN formula. In either case the numbers are close enough to say that they have both contributed on a similar level to the success of the team.

Okay. What does THT say about RC post All-Star game?

The problem with Fukudome is after an auspicious start the pilot light has gone out on his bat.

Well, you also expected Theriot to suck all season and he hasn't, so I am not sure why we should all of a sudden start believing your predictions now.

But let me get this correct. You basically expect Theriot to completely tank, hitting 25 points less than he has on the year, getting on base 30 percentage points lower, and slugging SIXTY points lower. And at the same time you expect Fukudome to magically hit 45 points higher than his average over the last 3 months?!?!? Well, I guess if you truly believe that, then sure, Fukudome should hit second. The chances of that happening, though, are slim to none.

Even over the last week (7 games) where Theriot has hit an abyssmal .202, Fukodome has still managed to do WORSE, hitting a whopping .150.

I don't recall saying that Theriot was going to suck all season. When did I say that?

I expect Theriot to do what Theriot does, have a decent OBP with no power, and vastly overrated baserunning skills. Now that his SB numbers are more in line with his actual ability level, you'll notice that a lot of people aren't so happy about his overall base running skills.

I also predicted that Fukudome would have around a .360 OBP and slug somewhere in the low .400's.

But I certainly don't expect you to believe anything.

"The chances of that happening, though, are slim to none."

OK, Mr Smart pants, slim to none. What's that like 1%? I'll give you twice those odds, $100 bucks against your $5000 (or whatever you can afford to lose), two Cubs tickets against 100 etc. Deal?

Since we're picking arbitrary ranges of numbers, I am going to use the last 9 days.

Kosuke had hit .280 .400 .440 and Theriot has 'hit' .233 .343 .343.

Not to go all crunch on you, but the point is that you have to look past the numbers. And when I do that, I see Fukudome being the more useful offensive player, not counting his ancilliary benefits.

if you gave someone theriot or fuku...toss the $$ out the window...and say "you can keep 1 for 3 years"...personally, i'd take fuku cuz his upside is way larger.

ask me who i trust this last month of the year given what's going on so far...i'd take theriot.

unfortunately...or fortunately...the cubs have both. there's no "real" RF backup and theriot hasn't played inconsistently enough to have cedeno take his spot (not like cedeno is some slam-dunk-in-waiting).

to add another tangent to give a choice of cedeno or theriot over the next 3 years and you'd have some people picking cedeno because of his upside.

theriot at his peak is damn useful, but his peak pretty much involves not finding gloves while chopping the ball past infielders.

...while Fukudome's post-April peak involves bailing out with his entire body on every pitch, even from RH pitchers, so all he can do is slap a weak ground ball someplace.

Did anyone really expect him to hit the ball with authority in the 9th yesterday, despite the righty/lefty matchup?

This isn't a slump -- this is what that type of hitting style will get you after the league has seen you a bit.

you pitch fuku down/in or up/ get him out or you get weak grounders which may or may not go for a hit.

he's got issues wide/wide-low, too.

so basically a pitcher has both sides of the plate to "aim" their stuff to find a vulnerability.

he HAS to reclaim one of these zones (or start murdering the mistakes). right now the pitchers got fuku swaying in the box (im not talking about his funky swing) with 2 "good" parts of the plate for the pitcher to go to.

I can agree with that. Based on long term potential, I'd see more of an upside with Fuku if he takes the off season to figure out what the problem is.

As for the remainder of this year...I'd certianly take Theriot over Fuku.

Yeah, sure, like I'd take that bet. You just said when you look beyond the numbers you see Fukudome being more useful. So basically, you will always think you are right and will always think you won. But you know what, I'll keep track of their stats from tonight (9/2) on, and after the last day of the season we can compare who was more useful to the team over the lsat month.

Also, for the record, Theriot's SB% is over 60% and is only like 10% below Fukudome, who barely ever even attemps a steal. They both go first to third and second to home equally well. And while Theriot has the edge in double plays, it's probably due in part to the fact that he actually makes contact. Fukudome is almost at 100Ks

Theriot's SB% is over 60%

Over 60%? Huh? That doesn't mean that it is good.

Theriot has been awful on the bases all year.

My point was that he is not that much worse than Fukudome. The cutoff is pretty arbitrary. If Theriot steals 4-5 bases this month without getting caught then he is concidered "good"? If Fukudome gets caught twice this month without adding a SB he is then "bad."

I don't think he has been awful all year. He had a bad stretch where he got thrown out a lot early on. Maybe he wasn't reading the pitchers well for that month or so. It happens. He's only been CS 5 times since the end of May.

The cutoff isn't arbitrary, it has statistical support backing it up. The more potent your team is, the more costly a failed stolen base is(or a double play or a turning a groundout to short into a FC).

Hey, don't get mad at me because your money isn't where your mouth is. Let's just make it simple start of September. That way you get Fukudome's 0-4 and Theriot's 1-3 with an infield hit on a dropped ball and a GIDP with a wild throw that turned into just a FC.

My money isn't where my mouth his? I don't have extra money to bet, are you trying to make something of that fact? Does my income level mean that I don't believe in my argument as much as you do? If you are so sure you are going to win the bet, you should offer to give me the money if you lose and simply accept the pride of victory if(when) you win.

But you see what you just did? You decided rather than to rely on statistics you would describe all of the plays of the game for some reason. So basically, you will always think you won. Are we going to descriptively account for every single offensive and defensive play for the two players for the month? Even if I had money to bet, I wouldn't take that bet since there is absolutely no way to verify a winner.

But for the sake of argument.

Right now for September they are:

Theriot - .429 - .500 - .571 - 1.071

Fukudome - .200 - .333 - .200 - .533

8 Ks for marquis.

april 22, 2005 last time he had 8 (unless i missed a start after that which he did).

Real Neal - "It's not what you have done...."

Probably the dumbest reason ever to argue against Theriot. Much less any arguement on this site ever.

Why don't we just bring up Pie and insert him as our #4 hitter based on the "Real Neal Logic" of "It's not what you have done, it's what you are likely to do."

Yeah, we should have benched Derrek Lee when Hoffpauir came up and hit .400 for 30 at bats, MikeC. God you're smart.

I said it in Parachat and I'll say it again:

Nothing but nothing beats the "over/under .500" rant by Cubfan circa 2005 for TCR stupidity. My boy's wicked dumb.

I don't know.

That's a good one, but I still hedge my bet with Koyie Hill's fastball improving superpowers.

yeah, i was there in 05 and Cubfan definitely takes the hall of fame trophy. there have been other doozies ever since but usually John Hill shot them down with those thesis long posts supported with a truckload of numbers. of course, we could always resurrect why Hendry should be fired or why Dusty was such a good manager or perhaps why Murton should get more playing time?

The offensive output of late is going to make folks (the media) start talking about late season swoon...

Oswalt had the perfect game plan for the way the wind was blowing. Throw strikes outside and let the guys swing away and loft it into the wind in right.

That was a tough pitching matchup on paper, the Brewers lost, so considering not a big deal.
They need to get it going tomorrow. 8 home games left.

Anybody have stats on Cubs hitting over the last 10 day games? Seems like they really have struggled in the daytime recently. 3pm start vs. Oswalt doesn't help.

Brewers, Cards and Phils all lost (Nats have won 7 straight!), so division and playoff magic numbers go down.

Show a little faith, there's magic in the night....

is both our magic numbers went down...

The biggest mistake the Cubs have made recently is Soriano. If we truely are a big market, big money team we can buy ourselves around it.

This is probably 3/44, but in Muskett's latest letterbag thing she actually provided me some useful information. All the NL divisional playoffs are happening on the same days, so there's none of this 'choose your schedule' thing that other had mentioned - I guess the Red Sox or someone got to do last year.

schedule "tentatively" is

Game 1 - Oct 1st, Game 2 - Oct 2nd, Game 3 - Oct 4th, Game 4 - Oct 5th, Game 5 - Oct 7th 

with the extra day off between game 4 and game 5 I think I'd like to see: Z or Dempster (whoever is pitching better down the stretch), Harden, Z or Dempster (whoever didn't pitch Game 1), Lilly or Game 1 starter on 3 days rest, Harden


the ultimate 3/44 news

Jason Schmidt will be shut down for the rest of the season.
Torre said Brad Penny continues to throw on flat ground but not yet off a mound, so his return isn't imminent. But at least it's still a possibility, which isn't the case with Jason Schmidt, who Torre said has been shut down for the rest of the season. Schmidt, unable to return from shoulder surgery performed 15 months ago, was not available to discuss his options, which might include another operation.

one more year on 3/44's contract to go (thru 2009)

Wow that is nearly as bad as the Mike Hampton Contract. At least Hampton... oh never mind.

The probables show he is, just wondering if anyone has heard differently.

I think that's what Len & Bob said yesterday. Z tonight, Demp tomorrow.

This article seems to confirm that and also Harden getting skipped a turn.

Z tonite.

Also Sun Times reporting Lou and Coaches had meeting after game yesterday to discuss "shaking up the line up" part of it would Fuku batting second, even though he did already yesterday.

seems he was discussed as part of the Sosa deal...

I'm sure lots of players are discussed in lots of deals, but always an interesting case of what-could-have-been.

While I freely admit that defensively Sori is one of the worst in the NL, he truly can carry a team - which is hard to do in baseball - when he is on a "good" streak, w/his bat.

I think I recall clearly that a very high percentage of this board were awestruck, or genuinely shocked, that Hendry would/could sign a player of Sori's stature at the time. It NEVER HAPPENED to US! OF course, he signed him at his career's apex coming from the Nats. So he bought "high". He also has bought "low" this year and made out pretty well, we'd have to agree. Also, the baseball gods protected Hendry from signing players during Winter '07 which many of us wanted to be in Cubbie Blue: 3/44, Padilla, Meche, Furcal, Nomar, ZITO, Bedard, et. al.

Personally. I was floored b/c John McD's mantra of "we don't want to just compete, etc...We want to win the World Series now." was acted upon tangibly.

I hope with all the optimism I can offer, that he can bring it in the post-season. If he does - just once in his career - it will all be worth it, imo.

"While I freely admit that defensively Sori is one of the worst in the NL"

Horrible call. Good speed, good arm. That makes up for short comings. Gold Glove, no. But a butcher he is not.

Musta had him confused with Adam Dunn. It's a common mistake.

Player A: .311 .365 .384 .749
Player B: .312 .391 .365 .756

A: Ichiro
B: Theriot

As soon as Theriot runs the bases like Ichiro (who is 40 of 44 in SBs, btw), or plays defense like Ichiro, come back and talk to us.

Ryan Theriot cannot even dream about being as good as Ichiro.

And, FWIW... their OPS+:
Ichiro: 103
Theriot: 98

Ichiro... in his worst year of his career, is still having a better year than Theriot, even if you only look at their hitting.

You were supposed to guess, not look it up.

I did guess... and then looked up more to show how silly and foolish the comparison is.


Runs Created:
Ichiro: 90
Theriot: 68

Ichiro: 32.5
Theriot: 26.7

Do you want me to keep going?

I am really not sure how Ichiro is relevant to this conversation in the first place, but I think it is pretty clear that Ryan Theriot is not anywhere close to the player that Ichiro is.

and here I thought BA/OBP/SLG/OPS were relevant stats.

Who said that they were not relevant?

But they still need to be understood in their context.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee?


Speaking of Tweedledum and TweedleDeeLee

Since the All-Star Break

Theriot       .293 .383 .357 .740
Derrek Lee .255 .335 .354 .689

Woo! Go arbitrary time periods and small sample sizes!

While I certainly would not argue that Theriot is better than Lee, I do think 25% of a season is a reasonable sample size to imply that Lee is mirred in an extended slump...particularly when it comes to power numbers.

Sure... it is enough to call it a "slump," but that is about it.

It is surely not enough to make any kind of judgment about how good of a player Lee or Theriot are in relation to each other.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Illuminati.

  • May the best team win, and subsequently humiliate the Cardinals.

  • I love arriving here first thing in the morning, adding a few moronic posts (moranic for any Cardinals fans who may be trolling), and reading the sage posts of all you guys. Most knowledgeable fans on any forum, by far. So post like crazy today and help give TCR some visibility!

    I told my wife last night that I'm going to need a support system for tonight's game. Tonight is going to be a lot harder on me than it is going to be on these rookie bad asses.

  • James Russell elected free agency.

  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead