636 Reasons for Cub Fans to be Thankful in 2008
In a special, Thanksgiving edition of his Stat of the Week, John Dewan chronicles the Cubs' aversion to taking walks from 2003 through '07.
Here is how the Cubs hitters ranked among NL clubs in BB:
2003 14th of 16 teams
2004 14th of 16 teams
2005 16th of 16 teams
2006 16th of 16 teams
2007 15th of 16 teams
Last year was a different story.
The Cubs led the NL with 636 walks--the league average was 551--and, as Dewan points out, "the Cubs increased their run production by over 100 runs...leading the 2008 NL in runs scored with 855."
Based on the individual player stats at FanGraphs, here is how the key figures in the Cub lineup aided the cause and how their willingness to walk in 2008 compared to 2007 and the rest of their careers:
|Player|| '08 BB%
||'07 BB %
||Career BB %
Geovany Soto (just 79 career AB's before last year) and Kosuke Fukudome aren't listed because they had no MLB track record to compare to, but both wore their walking shoes last season: Soto walked 11.2% of the time (2nd among NL catchers) and Fukudome finished at 13.9%, a higher BB rate than all but three other regular NL outfielders, Adam Dunn (19.1%), Pat Burrell (16.0%), and Atlanta's Gregor Blanco (14.7%). As much as Fukudome appeared to be overmatched for much of the season, his patience at the plate, at least early in the year, seemed to set the stage for the Cubs' overall offensive approach in 2008.
Everytime I recall Szcur's bne marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.