NLDS Game 1 Recap: Cubs 2, Dodgers 7

Gyeh.

 

W - Lowe (1-0)
L - Dempster (0-1)

 

 

Things to Take from This Game

1.  Cubs out to an early lead

DeRosa lofted a home run down the right field foul line for a two-run homer in the second.  His first swing in a week.

2.  Dempster's wildness catches up to him

Dempster looked really sharp in the first, but the Dodgers didn't chase the splitter out of the zone, the umpire didn't call fastballs just off the corners, and Dempster lost progressively greater command of his fastball.  Seven walks by Dempster alone, three of them in the fifth inning, and after nearly, nearly, nearly escaping with a near-strike out of Loney on a foul tip, Loney lined a grand slam out to center.
 
3.  Not much good to report from there
Manny Ramirez hit a remarkable home run on a pitch at his shoelaces, and Martin also hit a shot into the basket.  Wrigley was quiet most of the second half of the game, save when a few fans found the energy to boo.
 

The worrisome details, below...

Game Recap:

Pregame:
  • Wrigley looks gorgeous for the playoffs, from blimp-cam
  • A cool 54 degrees, wind blowing in.
Inning 1 - Top
  • Strike one looking, strike two fouled back to Furcal.
  • a couple breaking pitches in the dirt, Furcal doesn't chase, 2-2 count.
  • Third straight pitch in dirt, Furcal swings this time, whiffs.  Throw down to first to complete the K.
  • Splitter is biting, early tonight.
  • Curve dropped in for strike, 1-2 count on Martin
  • Second borderline fastball called a ball, now a 3-2 count.  Crowd groans
  • and Walks on a checked swing.  Tough calls.
  • And we get the first "what's with the glove movement?" explanation.
  • Ramirez with an easy roller to Theriot close to the bag, underhand flip to DeRosa, easy turn for the DP at first.  Inning over.  Dempster looks sharp, but Dodgers also mostly holding off on the breaking stuff, and squeezed a bit on the fastball by the Ump.   14 pitches for Dempster even with the full-count walk
Inning 1 - Bottom
  •  Strike looking to start off Soriano.  Fastball just off outside corner for a ball, big swing at a slider for strike 2.  And waves at another slider low and in the dirt for strike three, gyeh.
  • 3-2 on Fukudome.  Rolls to first, Loney unassisted
  • From behind in the count, Lee works it to another 3-2 count.
  • Low and away, Lee walks
  • 2-0 to Ramirez.  Finally, outside corner is called, 2-1 count.  Ramirez
    then bounces into a 5-4 force, inning over.  Lowe at 20 pitches
Inning 2 - Top
  •  3-1 count, ball 4 outside to Ethier.  It's a consistent strike zone, so far, just not especially expansive.
  • Fastball looking, fastball swinging and it's 0-2 on Loney.  Swings at a shoulder-high fastball, pops it up to DeRosa near second base.
  • Kemp jammed, eazy fly to Fukudome in right. 
  • 0-2 on DeWitt, crowd on feet.  No-go on the check-swing.  Lazy fly to center on next pitch, Dempster gets around the leadoff walk.  29 pitches total
Inning 2 - Bottom
  •  Soto rolls out to Furcal
  • Edmonds lines one just over the leaping Furcal's glove.  tough pitch low and outside, real nice hitting. 
  • DeRosa skies a fly ball down the right field foul line.  It really just sort of hangs there, floating out towards right, as I say to myself "hey, that's kind of getting deep..."  Lands in the right field well, first row, just a few feet from the foul pole for a 2-run home run.  2-0 Cubs
  • Lowe expresses his frustration a bit with thetight strike zone.  2-2 on Theriot.
  • Wow, finally calls a fastball on a corner for a strike.  Theriot K's looking.
  • Dempster lines one out of Furcal's reach for a single.Outside fastball that caught just a bit too much of the corner.
  • Soriano flies into shallow right, Furcal goes out to catch it.  Inning over.  Lowe at 38 pitches

Inning 3 - Top
  •  Blake pops a foul down the right field line.  Fukudome goes over the pitchers' mound, which trips him up a bit, awkwardly extending both his legs.  He stretches his glove hand out behind him as he staggers, and makes a nice catch.  Seems to be OK.
  • Count goes full to Lowe after a check-swing ball, then walks Lowe.  Gyeh.  Third walk by Dempster already
  • Furcal waves through a pitch trying to bunt for a single.
  • 3-2 to Furcal, Dempster missing high.
  • And missing outside, ball four.  Fourth walk.  Lowe to second.
  • Martin leans over plate to bunt, is almost hit by a pitch not that far inside.
  • 1-2 on Martin.  2-2, fouling pitches off.  Dempster pitch count suddenly over 50.
  • Martin lines one into the left field well, but Soriano is on it and makes a running catch just short of the ivy.  Scary second out.
  • Dick Stockton tells us that Joe Torre won't let Manny Ramirez beat him.  Uhh..
  • Manny grounds one into the hole.  Theriot makes a nice diving stop, slips a bit on the grass trying to get to his feet.  Manny is hustling (yes, hustling) down the line, beats the throw.  Bases loaded.  Two outs. Ethier up.
  • 1-2 to Ethier, ball 2 on a splitter in the dirt.  Soto getting a good workout already, but is keeping everything in front of him.
  • another splitter, again lays off, again Soto blocks it. 3-2 count
  • Ethier swings through another splitter, this one up a bit (as in, not quite in the dirt), striking out.  Dempster at 61 pitches, but no runs score.
Inning 3 - Bottom
  •  Fukudome fouls off a bunt attempt.  2-2 count.  Hits a sharp grounder to DeWitt, out at first.
  • 3-1 on Lee. fouls it over cubs dugout, 3-2.  Then a sharp liner into left for a single.  Some sort of breaking pitch that catches the middle of the plate.
  • Ramirez bounces to Furcal, who backs up on a tough hop.  Manages to turn the 6-4-3 without much difficulty.  Inning Over.  Lowe at 51 pitches.
Inning 4 - Top
  • Ball  One to Loney, gyeh.
  • Loney with a lazy fly down the shallow left field line.  Soriano with the leaping catch.
  • Kemp with an easy bouncer to third, 5-3
  • DeWitt loops one over Theriot, in front of Edmonds for a single.
  • Blake inside-outs a line-drive right at Lee, who catches it on one knee.  Dempster at 75 pitches.

Inning 4 - Bottom
  •  Soto with a sharp liner, but right at Kemp in center.
  • Check-swing strike three on Edmonds.
  • DeRosa wtih a single back up the middle.  Another fastball that just barely tailed back over the outside corner.
  • Theriot with a sharp opposite-field liner into right.  DeRosa to second, two outs for Dempster.
  • Dempster tries to sneak a bunt, fouls it off.  Then waves at a slider way outside.  Again, strike three, inning over.  Lowe at 68 pitches
Inning 5 - Top
  •  Lowe grounds out to Theriot.
  • 3-0 on Furcal, gets a high strike for 3-1.  Outside, ball four, walk number five.
  • 3-0 on Martin.  Strike down the middle, taking all the way in front of Manny.  3-1.
  • Phew.  Martin with a lazy fly to Fukudome in shallow right.
  • 0-2 on Manny, as he waves through a splitter low and a fastball that got a lot higher and a lot more of the plate than intended.  Doesn't chase the next deliberately high fastball.  2-2 after another high fastball take.  And again, 3-2.
  • Ramirez finally walks on an inside fastball..  If nothing else, it looks like the game-plan is to pitch Manny inside.  Runners on 1 and 2, two outs.
  • Soto with yet another good stop on a pitch in the dirt to start off Ethier.  1-0 count.
  • 3-1 to Ethier.  Rothschild on the phone to the bullpen, now consulting with Lou.  Soto sets up outside, Dempster misses inside, three walks in the inning, bases loaded for Loney.  2outs
  • Rothschild to the mound.   7 walks so far.  Samardzija and Marshall warming up.  102 pitches so far for Dempster
  • Loney gifts us a swing at pitch one, strike.
  • And another gift as he waves through a splitter
  • Crowd gets up and cheers.
  • Loney just, just, just JUST barely gets a bit of a splitter, Soto can't hang on, crowd cheers and groans
  • High fastball, Soto has to reach way up for it.  Egads.  1-2 count
  • Loney hits a line drive out for a grand slam.  Into maybe the third row of the bleachers just left of the center field clearing.  4-2 dodgers.  A splitter or change that rolled in the middle of the zone.
  • Kemp lines a double that rolls to the wall in left center.  Hearing a few boos.
  • Marshall in to pitch.
  • K's DeWitt swinging at a curve.
Inning 5 - Bottom
  •  Soriano chases a series of sliders, K's.  Soriano looking way over-aggressive so far.
  • Fukudome rips a hanging slider to third.  It clangs off Blake, rolls towards teh Cubs dugout.  Ruled an error, TBS correctly calls it a "tough error"
  • Pitchout to start off Lee.  Odd.
  • And throws over to first. 
  • 2-2 on Lee.  Lee bounces up the middle, Furcal steps on the bag, 6-3 GIDP.  Inning Over.  Lowe at 80 through 5
Inning 6 - Top
  •  Marshall stays in.
  • DeWitt grounds sharply to Lee down the line, 3 unassisted.
  • Ron Darling just pronounced it "Jim Toe-MAY"  Oh dear god.
  • 3-0 count on Lowe.  Walks on the next pitch.  Fans boo.
  • 1-0 on Furcal.  2-0.  Marquis warming up.
  • Sarcastic cheers for a called strike.  But now 3-1.
  • Hey, a called strike on the outside corner, for once.  3-2 count on Furcal.  Then strikes out swinging on a breaking pitch, low and inside
  • Ump suddenly calling the low outside corner...  1-1 on Martin.  Soto with yet another block on a pitch in the dirt, 2-1 count. 
  • Martin lines one to left, Soriano with another nice running catch.
Inning 6 - Bottom
  •  Ramirez lines a double one-hopping the center field wall, leadoff double.
  • 2-0 on Soto, now 2-1.  Another take, 2-2 count.  Soto misses a low slider, strike three.
  • 2-0 on Edmonds.  2-1, pulls a grounder to second.  4-3 force.  Ramirez to third, two outs for DeRosa
  • DeRosa with another fly down the right-field line, but not as deep as he had to reach down and outside for the pitch.  Flies out, ending the inning.  Lowe at 94 pitches

Inning 7 - Top
  •  Marshall still pitching
  • Manny fighting off a series of 0-2 pitches
  • reaches down for a curveball, a pretty nice pitch actually, but launches it deep into the left-center bleachers.  5-2 Dodgers.  Incredibly impressive home run by Manny. Vlad-esque.
  • Ethier pops out to DeRosa
  • Loney K's swinging.
  • Kemp looks at a curve on the suddenly-called outside corner.  Strike one.
  • Kemp K's swinging at a curve, inning over.

Inning 7 - Bottom
  •  Cory Wade (WHO!?!?!) relieves Lowe.
  • Theriot inside-outs a roll-out to Loney at first, unassisted
  • Fontenot hits for Marshall, promptly lines a single tocenter
  • A quick 0-2 on Soriano
  • Jammed, pops out to DeWitt in shallow right.
  • From 2-0 on Fukudome, a K swinging.  Gyeh.  Will have to do this against Broxton and Saito.

Inning 8 - Top
  •  Samardzija in
  • DeWitt lines a double over Edmonds head.  A bobble, and DeWitt, who was running all the way, makes it to third.
  • Blake grounds a 3-2 pitch right back up the middle for a single, 6-2 dodgers.
  • Jeff Kent with a guest appearnace pinch-hitting for Wade
  • Kent with a slow bouncer to DeRosa, who fields it right in front of Blake.  Blake hits the ground, so DeRosa throws to first.  Lee throws back to second, where Theriot applies the tag.  Double play
  • Furcal flies out to deep left center, Soriano grabs it
Inning 8 - Bottom
  •  Broxton in.
  • 2-2 pitch, Lee grounds sharply, right at DeWitt. 4-3
  • Ramirez flies to Ethier down the right field line.
  • Soto coaxes a walk.
  • Edmonds lines one down the left field line, lands maybe one inch foul.  Nuts
  • Edmonds with a sharp liner to center. Kemp catches it on the warning track.  Double Nuts.

Inning 9 - Top
  •  Marquis in to pitch
  • and Martin lines a home run into the left-center basket.  Good grief.  7-2 dodgers. Just a fastball down the middle
  • Marquis K's Manny swinging on a slider
  • Ethier with a fly out to deep center.
  • and Loney rolls out to DeRosa.
Inning 9 - Bottom
  •  Greg Maddux, Salt, enter Game, Wounds.
  • From 0-2 to 3-2 on DeRosa, rolls out to Furcal.
  • Theriot lines one, Loney makes a leaping stretch for it, just off his glove.  It rolls away, Loneywith the long shovel to Maddux.  Theriot safe at first, he gets there just as Maddux does, but MAddux actually misses the bag with his foot.  Maddux, being Maddux, then tags Theriot past the bag, in hopes Theriot had strayed into fair territory
  • Ward hits for Marquis.  Theriot takes second uncontested
  • Ward grounds up the first base line.  Loney unassisted, Theriot to third.
  • Soriano jammed, loops out to Loney to end the game.  A few stray boos can be heard as the game ends.  

Parachat Recap:

Inning 1
  • Nervous?
    • No.
  • Predictions?
    • Cubs win series in the second inning.
  • What are you drinking?
    • Leftover bloody mary from the thermos of it that I smuggled in to a brutal six hour meeting yesterday.  Because the Sigg bottle of martini I smuggled to the meeting I had already finished.
  • Cheering the GIDP to end the top of the first
  • Catholic strippers.
  • First calls to Fire Lou and Blame Barrett.  Both were already long overdue.
  •  "i think gwynn swallowed  a kazoo during one of his binges and it got stuck in his throat" - The Joe
Inning 2
  •  Complimenting the Dodgers lineup.
  • Where was passion invented?
    • Mongolia - nohit
  • Porno, Passion and Bees In My Pants
  • Parachat goes nuts on the home run
  • Half-way to last year's total number of XBH by the Cubs in the playoffs.  (2 then, 1 so far this year.)
Inning 3
  • The lame playoff-baseball ad. 
  • This Old Cub.  eh.
  • McCain jokes.
  • "Cubs 4-0 during Democratic Convention, 0-3 during Republican convention.  Tha'ts all the politics we need to know" - Blockhead 25
  • Getting antsy with Dempster.
  • Sarah Palin
  • Relieved with Soriano's fine catch.
  • Reprising, once more, the Theriot Defense Debate.
  • Tensely following the Ethier AB
  • Loving and Knowing, Biblically.
Inning 4
  •  The playoff roster
  • Mo Vaughn jokes.  How oddly retro.
  • "Ron Darling.  Doc Gooden's cocaine caddy" - nohit
  • Other 1980s Mets we hate.
Inning 5
  • How many pitches will Dempster throw tonight?
  • Oh dear god.
  • Parachatters we wish were here.
  • The tight strike zone.
  • Manny's AB
  • Splitter!
    • But I barely know her.
  • Who is first out of the pen?
    • Aaron B with the frank castillio shout-out
  • Sad Parachat.
  • Stupid debates about who should have started tonight.
Inning 6
  •  Mocking the importance of "playoff experience"
  • H. Vaughn suggests electro-shock collars for the pitching staff.
  • Where's Carlos?
  • Blaming Barrett, Dusty.
  • Ryno with the random "Heathers" reference.  wow.
  • Aaron comes back with "Not Without My Daughter."  Double-wow.
  • Night Court
  • Night Court or Cheers?
    • Night Court, and it's not even a debate.
  • Our fond childhood memories of Markie Post on Night Court
  • GAY WITCHCRAFT NIGHT COURT MARKIE POST SARAH PALIN RALLY ARABIC RALLY CAPS RALLY!
  • nuts.
Inning 7
  •  Rally Beers
  • I feel slightly better
  • But parachat still is stressed.
  • Mr. Whipple fucks me.
  • Carlos arrives.  No one notices.

Inning 8

Inning 9
  •  Trannies, Deaf-muts, and Bobos.
  • BOBOS!!!!!!!!!
  • Bobos.
  • Mrs. Butterworth's bobos.
  • Chad thinks he could hit Maddux.
  • Pleading for a bobo-fueled rally.
  • Nope.
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Comments

Well that sucked.

- D. Lowe grounded out to shortstop
- R. Furcal walked
- R. Martin flied out to right
- M. Ramirez walked, R. Furcal to second
- A. Ethier walked, R. Furcal to third, M. Ramirez to second
- J. Loney homered to deep center, M. Ramirez, R. Furcal and A. Ethier scored
- M. Kemp doubled to deep left center
- S. Marshall relieved R. Dempster

...bleh

4 of Dempsters walks werre after 0-2 or 1-2 counts. Grandslam on 1-2 count. He just simply couldn't get them to chase off the plate, or take down the middle. Trying to be too cute, or just too amp'd to have control?

but...we'll look back at this game and say "dempster sucked"....but our offense didn't do shit either.

Need 9/14 Z tomorrow.

4 of Dempsters walks werre after 0-2 or 1-2 counts.

Also, 2 of them were to Derek Lowe. Ye gods.

Can anyone tell me what Dempster was trying to throw with those 90-mph flutters high and inside to righties? It was like he couldn't follow through with his back and every single one sailed high -- consistent but all too high. A four-seamer or some kind of cutter he couldn't snap through? His main heater was right on -- low and hard -- but all his breaking pitches were untrustworthy and he couldn't bring down that high heat.

FWIW... Marshall pitched quite well.

Even the home run to Manny was a fine pitch, and Manny just did what Manny does.

So props to Marshall, when Dempster, Samardzija, and Marquis sure don't deserve any.

i hate my self and i want to die

- Kurt Cobain

Just leave something for me in your will.

AZ Phil......what happenned at instructs today? Didn't they play Oakland in Phoenix?

That was a lovely recap. Shitty game, but lovely recap.

You forgot people being 'outed' as non-Jews, but you can't write everything.

This game sucked. Really really sucked. It, in one excruciating long fell swoop, destroyed my optimism.

Joe, there's a difference between a shaygetz and a non-Jew. It's like the difference between a prostitute and Johann's mom or a Cubs victory and that bowel spasming bout of Cubbery we had to sit through tonight.

We still love you. But the guy with a cross in his sig was never honestly mistaken for a Jew.

People? I only remember one person being 'outed' ...

Well...I didn't want to toot my own non-Jew horn. My favorite person is Jewish, though.

I'm confused, what is the difference between those things you mentioned.

And no, there's really not much of difference between a shaygetz and a non-Jew. Both are unclean, considering it's impossible to be 'clean' from a Jewish sense without trying to be clean. Anyway, don't know much about modern Judaism, so you can split hairs if you like...but it's still a derogatory term for a Gentile.

"My favorite person is Jewish, though."

I knew you like me!

You know it!

i was there and I feel sick

$1,000 dollars later and an 0-3 record in NLDS games. the madness has to end.

Man what a buzz kill...

After a great regular season, I hope we don't see another embarrassing postseason.

Soriano is a choke artist...

Z holds the fate of the season in his crazy hands. Scary...

Carlos arrives. No one notices.

My ass. You did notice.

Sorry to everyone at Parachat tonight. I was a little racist-bitchy-drunk, so cut me some slack if only for tonight.

And what about the previous 161 games?

Sigh - yet another epic mountain of suckitude. Dempster was lucky to get out of the multitude of jams he put himself in, just a matter of time. Lou's gotta be pulling his hair out, they've done nothing but emphasize all season not walking guys, no matter what.

Not on the ledge, but the window's open at this point.

What's interesting is that Dempster actually lost his confidence AFTER getting the 2-0 lead.

What's more interesting is that Lou has every right to pull his hair out because any frickin manager who doesn't pull a guy who walks 7 guys in 4 2/3 innings of an all important 1st game in a short series is asking for a god d%mned grand slam. He's as responsible as Dempster. I could tell he didn't have it in the 3rd inning . . . everyone could.

In two big NLDS game ones (Arizona and tonight) I give lou some bad marks.

Also I think once again we see the difference between a good pitcher and a stud ace. Good pitchers (Dempster) can get nervous and panic. Stud Ace pitchers seize the moment.

I guess tomorrow we'll see what Zambrano is made of.

- Jimmer

How do you know that Dempster lost his confidence after getting the lead?

Dempster had no command from the beginning of the game.

well obviously I don't KNOW.

But he had allowed two base runners and had thrown more strikes than balls in the first two innings. Then after DeRo's HR he immediately seemed to get more wild OR the Dodgers got more patient. I feel Dempster got tighter with the lead and did the old Kerry Wood deal where you pick around the plate instead of challenging. And then Challenging at the wrong time (after you've loaded the frickin' bases - when the ump knows your wild and everyone you face becomes a .400 hitter).

Either way my main point is that I agree with you and if it was that obvious to us fans that Dempster didn't have it then why was he still in there after walking the bases loaded?

very frustrating to watch wouldn't you say.

He was still in there because it was only the 5th inning and our middle relievers suck balls. And oh yeah, he struck out Loney and Soto couldn't hold on to it. Not really Soto's fault, but if Chad still wants to argue that luck doesn't play a part in a short series then please just take a look at that AB.

Lucky Break Cubs: Soto squeezes 1 psi tighter and we're out of the inning up 2-0.

Lucky Break Dodgers: The ball squirts out of Soto's glove and Loney all but ends the Cubs' season in one swing.

The 5 game series is the complete opposite of what baseball is all about. A team wins more consistently for 6 straight months, and that can all mean jack shit because of a few fucking unlucky breaks or running into the wrong team at the wrong time.

I am too drained now to look this up, but the one glaring hole to me in Soto's game is hanging on the the foul tip. I do not know if he is better or worse than "average", but I am wondering if a Molina makes that play, or Martin, or Pudge? As you say, that one little thing was one thing added to woeful offense, Derek Lowe, Soriano's 3 K's, MAnny, etc., that caused us to lose the game.

A couple players mentioned that, "We may have ben pressing a bit too much."

Frankly, I am tired of hearing this shit. I don't want to hear it. So - the other team is NOT tight?

We win tomorrow or its done. Again.

Harden V. Kuroda in Game 3 is a lock for us and Lilly has been our best pitcher in the last month and will be pitching in a park tailored made for him. Also home teams winning percentage in games of decision in is like in the area of 70% so I dont think a loss tomorrow (which I doubt will happen) is a death sentance.

Cubs + playoffs = no such thing as a "lock"

You can call it Cubbery or luck but Ron Darling pretty much called Loney's shot before he hit it. He said, "The problem with throwing three, four, five splitters in a row is that eventually you're going to leave one of them up," which is exactly what happened.

Before the home run, the announcing crew was also talking about Dempster's failure to challenge Dodger hitters. That's code for not having the nerve to throw fastballs for strikes.

Since Rothschild went to the mound right before Loney's at bat, I guess we have a basic disagreement here about pitching philosophy. This is not Cubbery or luck, it's pure Rothschild. His philosophy, as I've said many times before, seems to be: don't trust your fastball; and keep throwing the same offspeed pitch until they hit it.

As I feared, and posted, Derek Lowe is a beast.

This is not the same Dodgers team we handled with ease during the regular season.

Sitting in the upper deck, I was so hoping Lou would pull Dempster prior to Loney. Times like that he is so Dusty. Why? He walked batters 6 and 7, and even with a base hit, we're still in it.

I was so furious. For them to win 3 of 4 is going to be a tall task.

One other thing, someone said it, Soriano is pathetic in the post-season.

I do think losing this game is devestating...but we caqn only look one game at a time. We win tomorrow, we just need 2 of 3. Win the next game and we need 1 of 2.

it's the only bright side their is right now.

It appears that in the national league teams are 3-23 when losing the first game of short series.

BUT

in the American League teams that lose the first game are 14-12.

how weird!

from MLB.com:

"Teams that won Game 1 of the NLDS have gone 23-3 in the Wild Card era. The number for the American League Division Series is 12-14, bringing the cumulative number to 36-16 in favor of the team that won Game 1."

sheesh. that's some bad Math!!

I had thought that the Cubs walk ratio had gone up dramatically in September. Including today, in the last 10 games or so, Cubs have given up 3 grandslams following walking 2+ guys to load the bases.

September: 102 BBs, 216 Innings Pitched (4.3BBs/9IP)
August: 80BB/252IP (2.9BB/9)
July: 82BB/232IP (3.2BB/9)
June: 93BB/235IP (3.6BB/9)
May: 95BB/264IP (3.2BB/9)
April: 94BB/240IP (3.5BB/9)

from the Tribune:

"I don't know if I was trying to be too fine or what," Dempster said.

ummm . . . you don't KNOW? Ryan? Really?

i guess we will see if big Z can earn his money tomorrow,

we have seen how well soriano has earned his money
away away away 3 strikes why throw anything over the plate.

also

can we see fontenot at 2nd and batting second
derosa in right tomorrow please.

joe hopefully those are proper sentences.

Fukudome is not the issue with this offense. He is fine as a number 8 hitter (where he should hit) given how great he is on defense. Given how gimpy Dero is suppose to be I doubt we see him start in the OF.

Not too many right fielders bat eighth. Not too many number-eight hitters make $48 million in four years. If all they wanted was defense, they could have put Sam Fuld in right for free.

Fuld would not increase marketability in Japan.

Honestly, what's the better option than playing Fuki in right and batting him 8th at this point? DeRo apparently isn't healthy enough to play the outfield. Maybe you would rather see Johnson start in RF against righties? I'm not sure that would be a big difference.

My problem isn't so much batting Fuku eighth as it is batting him second like last night. The dude just cannot hit. It's a waste to put him in front of your big RBI guys. On top of that, having Theriot bat 8th is even more of a waste, given his propensity to get on base via BB or single.

If DeRo gets on in front of Theriot, there's no chance he's going to score. Theriot will get a walk or single, moving DeRo to second, maybe third. Then the pitcher's spot comes up and it's inning over. Kind of a dumb move on Lou's part to stick Theriot down in the order while the Japanese Black Hole waste's the two spot.

I don't agree that DeRosa's health was a consideration. Fukudome is a proven veteran (unfortunately just not proven in the majors) and they hoped he would rise to the occasion, play like his reputation when they signed him, even though we've never really seen that guy. So he played instead of Fontenot, who actually has the best hitting numbers on the team.

I have sympathy for Piniella here. Sam Zell and Crane Kenney see Fukudome, they see dollar signs, and they notice if he's not playing, and they know Jim Hendry's phone number.

I don't agree that DeRosa's health was a consideration.

Good for you, but Lou already said he didn't want to play DeRosa in RF because of the injury, not some magical money trail theory that you seemed to have concocted.

You really think Lou gives a rat's ass if anyone disagrees with his lineups at this point of his life. 

You miss the point. I didn't say Zell or Kenney would disagree, as Cub fans, with Lou benching Fukudome. I said they would notice that the highly remunerated guy with the translator in his entourage was on the bench and a guy making the ML minimum had replaced him.

Hendry hired the scouts, read the reports and signed the contract. Lou is loyal to Hendry and gives a rat's ass about showing him up.

Lou is loyal to Hendry and gives a rat's ass about showing him up.

The only reason DeRosa started at 2b instead of RF was because of DeRosa's leg injury and concerns he'd reinjure himself or not be able to cover right field. Lou had already benched Fukudome for most of September and there was no missive or suggestion from Hendry that Lou should play Fukudome because of his contract.

You can come up with as many tinfoil theories as you want to help yourself sleep at night, but you're only fooling yourself.

It's a theory, just like your injury theory. Tinfoil is uncalled for, but whatever helps your mood.

I probably don't see as many news items as you do but I didn't see Piniella mentioning DeRosa's calf in talking about why Fukudome was playing. Here is what Paul Sullivan had yesterday:

Kosuke Fukudome may get a second chance to prove himself in the postseason because Cubs manager Lou Piniella said before Game 1 he would like to start Fukudome in every game of the National League Division Series.

"I'd like to stay just the way we are," Piniella said. "Fukudome is very capable of having a nice postseason, so let's see. With the wind blowing and everything else, we went with good defense in the outfield."

Fukudome started in right field and batted second Wednesday night but went 0-for-4 in the 7-2 loss to the Dodgers, which may cause Piniella to change his mind Thursday.

"I'm not sure," he said afterward. "Let's wait until [Thursday] and see."

Doesn't sound like "the only reason DeRosa started at 2b instead of RF was because of DeRosa's leg injury," but I guess it does to you.

The so-called offense last night was pretty much what I feared. So much though, for my small ball theory. I really hope that this team can beat LA. Phili? Not a chance.

I know the ownership situation may cause this to be only wishful thinking, but if the Cubs collapse in the post-season that may be the impetus to go ahead and sign a guy like Sabathia for whatever the fuck he wants.

You can't win without a true ace. Every great team needs that one guy who you have 100% confidence in every time he takes the mound. The Cubs do not have that guy, and haven't since 2003 Mark Prior.

If the Dodgers can somehow sign Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, and Nomar Garciaparra, and still have enough left over to get Manny Ramirez, then the fucking Cubs can scrounge up enough money to get Sabathia. I don't care if he wants $150 million for 8 years, he's worth it.

completely agree.

and also you might want to see how CC "I had a 10.13 ERA in the playoffs last year" Sabathia pitches tomorrow before you call him a big game pitcher. Also I remember that "big game" pitcher Mark Prior crapping his pants pretty good in the biggest game of his life in 03 and getting knocked around good by Mississippi State in a CWS final in his USC days.

CC is a monster. I completely disagree. The guy wants the ball and knows what to do with it. He matured this year into THE MAN. He's already proved himself in my mind.

The only reason I WOULDN'T want him is that The Brewers know they can't pay him next year so they are pitching him to the limit shamelessly. So next year he could be a little fragile injury wise.

big game prior 7.1 1 run baseball is great. not his fault dusty didn't pull him

Dusty should have pulled Prior in game two. That's when the series was lost, The Cubs had a huge lead and Dusty kept sending him out there for two-plus extra innings until he finally had to be removed from the mound in the 8th. Dumb beyond belief.

I was at game 6 and remember shots being hit for outs in the 7th, turning to a friend and wondering why no one was up in the pen. The rest, as they say, is Cub history.

my point is this:

In the biggest game of his life Prior gave us a great effort. Baker froze and cost us the series.

you realize how toasty the pen was going into that series?

a lot of guys retired, were never the same, or got surgery in the offseason.

sucked.

If memory serves me, a couple of our starting pitchers were never the same after that season as well.

yeah, let me get this straight...MIL burns out his arm, and then we pay him 150M?

i dont care if he wants 210 mil for 8 years. its not my money, make it happen ASAP

This sucked tonight. I do think the Cubs can come back but I have to say it's not likely. The truth is the only way they don't see Lowe again is run the next three games and it's possible that they see Lowe anyway on Sunday in Dodger Stadium. Nevertheless, I hold out hope. Zambrano needs to show he's an ace tomorrow night and when the Cubs win that game, Harden needs to show something on Saturday. Win that game and the Cubs will be the favorites to win the series once again.

On the personal side, this probably guarantees that I will be seeing two Cubs games at Dodger Stadium this weekend. Hopefully, they can clinch on Sunday.

I was at the game and could barely look at the field from the grand slam on. It just sucked and, except for the Edmonds warning track shot, the crowd was lifeless. In our section there was a crazed drunk woman screaming about how insane it was to bat Fukudome 2nd, some asshole who kept turning back and urging us to our feet every other fucking Dodger batter and the usual smattering of realists/pessimists who shouted somewhat clever things. I related to all of them.

Now Zambrano pitches. it's like handing the Titanic's keys to a guy who stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. He's nuts. Now, about five percent of the time, like when you need a guy to charge the machine gun nest with nothing but a knife, things work out - he miraculously kills everyone and the overall battle is eventually won. But for the most part, the crazy guy screws up, gets himself killed and brings the whole operation to the brink of failure. I'll be in the bleachers tomorrow rooting with all my heart for the crazy guy to defy the odds.

HA!
I was in section 229, row 12. I have to say, I agree with the crazy lady.

I was in 229 a few rows back. No doubt the same crazy lady. And I say crazy only in that she was loud and drunk. Everything she said made sense.

Chad to Z in a very low whisper:

"Go the distance"

use that any way you like.

Chad whispering to a strong Latin man. This sounds like the start of a story!

A prediction and a strategy.

In a perfect world I would rather throw Harden tomorrow than Zambrano. Here's why:

Harden is an automaton of sorts. An unemotional and reliable pitcher. Zambrano could very well absorb the tension tomorrow and self destruct. I'll go on record and predict that he will suck tomorrow. I hope I am wrong.

Ideally Harden (an unemotional pitcher) would pitch tomorrow (and I would extend him to 7 innings if possible) and the home fans and pressure would not come into play as much. I think it did-in Dempster today. Plus the Dodgers are not as familiar with Harden.

Then throwing Zambrano in a pitchers' park like Dodger Stadium would diffuse all of Z's emotional pressure. He should throw free and easy in a mellow atmosphere like L.A. and also knowing that the park does not offer up the long ball very easily.

I am afraid the way the rotation is set up now does not favor the Cubs or Zambrano.

ideally harden would be healthy, too.

whatever's been wrong with him i hope it's better or at least improved by the time he takes the mound again.

be nice to see him working in the low 90s with regularity rather than hitting 90 one or two times a game.

agreed. all this is assuming harden and zambrano are healthy. I am not convinced that either is 100%.

And balancing sharpness with too much rest. man this is more complicated than the bailout!!

Superjimmer -

Agreed. And even though the Dodgers hit lefties much better than righties, I wonder if Lilly should not be inserted between Harden and Z. The bullpen is usually brought into play in a Harden start and if Z is his September self minus his no-hitter, the bullpen will also be worked hard. Lilly's recent history tells you he's got the best shot of going seven or eight.

yeah. very tough on Lilly . . . he's been our hottest pitcher. hard to know what to do with him. I hope he gets a start!!

Anyone who thinks this is on our pitching isn't paying attention.

Yes, Dempster had a bad game, but he might be our fourth best pitcher stuff wise pitching against one of the most prolific postseason starters of our era. If there was a game the Dodgers would be favored in, it would have been this one. Its just unfortunate that its going to repeat itself in a potential deciding game.

This, however, is entirely on our offense. Lee, sans his power lost after his broken wrist, is more appropriate for a #2 hitter then a #3 and Theroit and Soto simply aren't the same hitters right now they were most of the season. What this team really lacks is a true #3 hitter.

While Soriano is dynamic, its what his signing SHOULD have been. We would be able to bat Fukudome/Theriot 1/2 (pick your order) and would actually have a formidable middle of our lineup as opposed to what we throw out there right now.

Anyone who thinks this is on our pitching isn't paying attention.

Huh? You at least cannot take away blame from the pitching. Dempster was bad. 7 walks. Let me repeat that. 7 walks.

Yes, Dempster had a bad game, but he might be our fourth best pitcher stuff wise

Huh? First, "stuff" matters less than production. Second, Dempster has been the Cubs best pitcher this year.

pitching against one of the most prolific postseason starters of our era.

Not so sure about that.

and would actually have a formidable middle of our lineup as opposed to what we throw out there right now.

Huh?

Lee, ARam, and Soto are not formidable?

The team that outscored every team in the league is not formidable?

Where do people get this stuff from?

I think we all can agree that the team looked dead out there from the 4th inning on - whether that was because of superior Dodger pitching, bad Cub pitching and/or our offense sucking, tonight's basically the series. If Z wants to earn his paycheck, this is the time to do it.

At the game last night with my son. I agree with previous comments about the crowd. It seemed to turn and get ugly far too quickly for me. Perhaps it was only a few people, but there was lot of vocal displeasure, swearing, etc.

We need patience and optimism here. It's one game. Granted it's a five game series and we need to right the thing quickly, but we need to be positive. I thought Piniella was great after the game: we need to put it past us and go them the next game. That's reminiscent of what Grant said to Sherman following the first day of the battle of Shiloh and it's absolutely the right advice.

Our seats were far from the plate and my view of Dempster was obscured by a pole (who needs nice seats when you're at Wrigley, after all?), but when he missed he seemed to miss by a lot. I think he had one ball four that could be charitably described as borderline, but the others didn't look close to me. He was laboring badly. You don't win by walking 7 in 4 and 2/3.

We need to win at least one of the next two and two of the next three. We can do that.

While I understand those sentiments, it's hard to fault fans for behaving in that manner - if you're over 45 years old, you've seen this movie wayyy too many times before. I don't think the Cub fans are any worse than what you typically find in NYC and Philly - in fact, they look like they graduated from the Emily Post Charm School by comparison in most cases. If the players start whining about it like they have in the past, then they only have themselves to blame. They're supposed to be the professionals in this scenario - give the fans something to cheer about, and put a sock in it.

I still remember Larry Bowa giving a fan (in the box seats behind home plate) that was on him all game the finger, after he hit a crucial double in a critical game during the '84 season. THAT's how you deal with booing and heckling from your own fans.

I'm just 45, but I remember a lot of pain. We're not there yet. We've been through worse. I also am not seeing any players whining. Stay positive. Encourage them to play better than last night, sure, but we need all the good karma we can get.

I agree with Dmac the fans are uptight, rightfully so, and they want to see the team perform.

Dempster crapped the bed.

Soriano flailing at sliders outside the zone.

Leadoff double wasted.

Some ticky tack things, some big things.

Dick Stockton started on fans not same as Cell, well Dick it was not a do or die game and it was the first game of the playoffs.

Either way I believe the only way Cub fans will be happy is if they sweep every series by a collective score of 110-0.

And then still sweat the morning newpaper the day after winning it to see if Selig stripped Cubs of title for some reason.

We have seen alot, been through alot and hurt alot but we need to chill out and try to enjoy the game. Easier said than being done I know.

Go Cubs.

The best part about going to the game tonight is not having to put up with Stockton. I couldn't believe that horseshit he started about the crowd vs. the Sox crowd, then he brought it again later.

I want to know who he's blackmailing to keep getting jobs.

I've found that the Delay on my XM is 9 second more than the delay for the Sat Dish. I hit pause on the DVR for 9 seconds, and then I can have my pick of Pat and Ron or Jon Miller and Rick Sutcliff calling the game in perfect sync with the pictures.

Its so much better than trying to tolerate Stockton.

Dick Stockton is the best basketball announcer from the 80's doing baseball broadcasting today.

He HAS to be bargain-basement priced. I'm sorry to say it - even McCarver/Buck are an upgrade.

I have to call shenanigans there. Len and Bob are an upgrade from McCarver/Buck. Hell Joe Carter/Skip Caray are an upgrade from those two.

Agreed. Anyone but McCarver.

Well, except for maybe Harrelson and that "he gone" nonsense.

i agree, harrelson is the worst. not living in chicago, or being around any sox fans, do they even like his broke ass? he's annoying and doesn't know anything...

isnt he teamed with dierdorf for nfl games also?

i lost it when he started talking about cubs
manager joe torre.

I guess I'm in the minority in that I don't mind Joe Buck that much. Stockton oftentimes just doesn't even make sense...like the English language is not his native tongue.

This is fitting based on last night:

http://www.sadtrombone.com/

That game needed more bobos. It clearly just didn't have enough bobos. With more bobos tonight (and with me unable to watch) I envision an evening (insert lame heteronym joke) of the series.

Bobos.

Soriano is now hitting .128 (5/39) with just one double over the last 10 games.

For someone who is such a streaky hitter, this is a real bad time to get into a slump.

The worst part is that he looked like a .128 hitter last night. Standing back outside the box and not putting much effort into reaching the outside pitch. He reminded me of 2004 Sammy Sosa when Dusty finally moved him off the cleanup spot. He is pulling off of everything right now.

Yes, the best team in the NL would have NO chance to beat the Phillies.

This Mike Vail's pessimism is as annoying as Herman Franks found the real Mike Vail.

It's funny to listen to the media or idiot Cub fans who insist "THIS IS THE YEAR." (And trust me, I'm NOT including the people in this forum.) The Braves made the playoffs 14 years in a row and eeked out one title. The Cardinals seemed to make it every other or every third season for the past 26 years and they won one title. Recent Oakland teams had trouble getting out of the first round. It took the Red Sox many post-seasons before they broke through. The Cubs make it to the post-season two lousy years in a row and the World Series is ours??

They're a dismal 9-20 in post-season games in my lifetime. They've dropped 7 in a row. They crap their pants every post-season and Dempster set the tone last night, pitching like a frightened child. Painful to watch, for sure, but to be expected. Right now I'd settle for one win before the Dodgers close it out and we can shift our focus to a terrible Bears team.

Of course, I'd be perfectly happy to eat crow ad infinitum if the Cubs prove me wrong.

Just got some roof top tix tonight.

I know I won't be able to see the game, but I will be getting shit faced and stuffed with food if they lose.

nothing will ever be as bad as 84 for me that was
the first i had ever seen the cubs in playoffs thankfully
it was also the first year i could go to the bar and watch
them play and lose to pads.

The market's down ↓303↓ on the heels of the Cubs loss.

The Cubs averaged under 3 runs per game against the Dodgers during the season, and that was when Fukudome was hitting. Their lack of production last night shouldn't have been a surprise. For me, the surprise was Dempster losing hitters that he had in 0-2 and 1-2 holes.

Its easier to read than it is to watch, but it still sucks.

check it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwhPTJMzzBc

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