Cubs Lay Gooz Egg

Matt Brown crushed a bases-loaded double to turn a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 lead, as the Angels rallied to defeat the Cubs 6-4 at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park this afternoon, in a game many of you probably watched on WGN-TV.

box score

Aaron Heilman got the start for the Cubs, and was hit hard, allowing five hits, including two singles, two doubles, and a triple (and a walk plus a strikeout), in just two innings of work (26 pitches - 19 strikes, 0/4 GO/FO). But thanks to a timely Paul Bako pick-off of Chone Figgins at 2nd base in the top of the 1st, Heilman allowed just one run, produced by a two-out RBI single sliced to LF by Joe Saunders (who as an American League pitcher, almost never hits in a game) in the top of the 2nd inning.

Carlos Marmol returned to action with the Cubs after his meltdown versus Team Netherlands in the WBC earlier in the week, and he had a bit of a rough and tumble outing in the top of the 3rd (24 pitches - only 13 strikes), allowing a lead-off triple to Maicer Izturis (a hit that would probably have been just a double if Milton Bradley could have somehow bent his 75-year old body over far enough to cut the ball off in the gap) and hitting two batters to load the bases with one out, before rallying himself to strike out the final two hitters of the inning (Terry Evans and Peter Bourjos) to leave the bases drunk and the Angels (once more) frustrated. 

Meanwhile the Cubs weren't doing much offensively, although Bradley did lead-off the bottom of the 2nd with a ringing double to the fence that he (for some misguided reason) decided to try and stretch into a triple (ignoring 3rd base coach Mike Quade's stop sign), but got thrown out instead. Apparently MB is not familiar with the old baseball axiom, that you never make the first or last out of an inning at 3rd base. This could be a very long year...

Kevin Gregg worked an 11-pitch 4th inning, and had an easy 1-2-3 inning (two fly outs after striking out pitcher Joe Saunders), David Patton worked a 1-2-3 nine-pitch 5th (two pop ups and a GO), and Randy Wells struck out the side (Matt Brown, Terry Evans, and Peter Boujos - all looking) in the top of the 6th (as the Cubs bullpen retired 11 batters in a row at one point mid-game).

Down 1-0, the Cubs mounted a four-run rally in the bottom of the 6th against Angels reliever Matt Palmer. Bobby Scales walked to lead-off the inning, and then Alfonso Soriano ripped a double down the LF line to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Andres Blanco sliced an RBI single to left to score Scales and send Soriano to 3rd, and then Derrek Lee roped a line-drive single to center to score Soriano and send Blanco to 3rd. Milton Bradley reached base on an E-5 RBI bobble, and after Aramis Ramirez flied out to left, Reed Johnson lined a single to LF to re-load the bases. THen PH Micah Hoffpauir plated the final run of the inning on an RBI ground out dribbler to 1st. 

Protecting a 4-1 Cub lead, Angel Guzman entered the game in the top of the 7th, and had a dreadful 30-pitch inning,.He loaded the bases on a single and two walks with one out in the inning, but then got a big bases-loaded strikeout (Adam Pakovich) that gave him a chance to get out of the inning unscathed. But Gooz apparently had spent his stuff to get the clutch punch-out, as Matt Trumbo lined an RBI single and Matt Brown crushed a three-run two-out double to give the Angels a 5-4 lead.

Esmailin Cardidad worked the 8th, striking out two, but also allowing an unearned run on a double and an infield single + E-6 throwing error by Andres Blanco, before stranding a runner in scoring position to end the inning.

Neal Cotts worked a quick eight-pitch 9th, allowing a lead-off single before closing the inning out with a pop up and a nifty 3-6-1 DP.

But the Cubs could not produce any more offense after the four-run 6th, and the Angels left the park with a 6-4 victory.

It appears that with Heilman's mediocre two-inning outing today, Sean Marshall has solidified his tenatative spot in the starting rotation. 

And Angel Guzman certainly didn't do himself any favors this afternoon, laboring through an interminable inning where he could not hold a three-run lead, while landing off-balance with almost every delivery. I know the Cubs don't want to lose Guzman (he is out of minor league options), but he has been clearly outpitched (so far) by Jose Ascanio, Randy Wells, David Patton, and Esmailin Caridad (among others). Gooz will have to step it up the last three weeks of Spring Training, or he will likely follow Michael Wuertz and Rich Hill out of town.

The Cubs next three games are all on the road. They travel to Tucson Electric Park tomorrow, where they will play the Arizona Diamondbacks.



USA loses 11-1

Watch them take out the mercy rule after the first round in 2013...

AZ Phil's shortest writeup ever!

Soto (DH) 0-2, 2 walks, 2 runs

Peavy bombed 2 IP, 6 runs
DeRosa 0-3, 2K's, 5 LOB
Pudge 3-4...making his case.


How 'bout we trade Guzman and Gaudin for a used infield rake?

Nice one, Crunch.

I almost didn't click on that because I was sure it would lead me to Rick Astley.

I am not sure what was worse, watching the game, or listening to the announcing. When they were talking about Soto, the conversation went like this.

Play-by-play (not sure who): "It's hard to believe that in the long, storied history of the Cubs they have only had 5 Rookies of the Year."
Harold Reynolds: "Let's see, Jared Williams."
PbP: "Jared Williams?"
HR: "Yeah, Jared Williams, or, wait, Jerome Williams."
PbP: "Jerome Walton"
HR: "Oh yeah, I knew it was J W - ha ha"
PbP: "Jerome Walton, three homeruns on opening day."
HR: "Walton hit three home runs in one game?"
PbP: "Yes sir, on opening day."
HR: "No wait, that was that lefty guy, what was his name, Rhodes."
PbP: "Tuffy Rhodes, yes I think you are right. The four other winners besides Soto were Billy Williams, Ken Hubbs, Jerome Walton, and Kerry Wood."

Besides the stupidity of the discussion, the Cubs have won 1/12th of the NL RoY awards given out, which seems about right given the number of the teams in the league and the terrible level of play by the franchise since the award was given out in 1947.

From my untrained eye watching WGN today -

- the Angels have talent. And, should win the AL West going away again.

- Time to part with Gooz. Enough. Can't say "he wasn't given a chance" with him.

- Andres Blanco - can't we do any better for a bu?

- Hoff has chops at 1B, and I hope he's able to get 100 AB's in 2009

- Milton needs to get his head in the game and pick up signs

- Cotts seems to have figured it out - at least in ST, and Lou is properly using him (mostly)

- Heilman is an upgrade from Gaudin who's done. As AZ PHIL states, maybe Hendry can spin him into something worthwhile.

- I am hoping Marshall can remember what he did in AZ when he's up as a 5th starter. If so, he could be a nice upgrade over Marquis. How many staffs in the division would be this deep? Really?

- Jake who?

An injured Daryle Ward got 119 PA's last year, so Hoffpauir should be a cinch for that if he's on the roster and stays healthy.

Guzman was pretty going pretty good when he got injured, and was pretty sharp last year, aside from two bad outings.

Unless something really changes over the next two weeks, I gotta think Patton has earned himself a job. Why would you want to lose him in favor of keeping someone like Guzman or Gaudin?

Sounds like the Luis Rivas Era is over, thankfully. Esteban German Era will be short-lived, too. Maybe Hendry can spin some of the worthless trifecta of Guzman, Gaudin and Vizcaino into a useful reserve infielder.

You know, if Lou would just pull his head out of his ass and move Lee down in his lineup, his announced lineup idea would be pretty sweet. Move Aramis up to 3 (where he belongs), Soto up to 5 (where his superior SLG will be put to good use) and drop Lee to 7 behind FonteGod. Of course, Lou will never do it, but Lee DID hit 6th and 7th with the Marlins and still managed to put some decent numbers on the board. In fact, as bad as Lee was in the 2nd half last year, I'd be GRATEFUL for one of his 270/370, 20 HR 80 RBI Marlins-type seasons at this point.

Hickman: Lou is old school in too many ways. Giving a vet his "spot" for past successes, has bit him in the ass in crucial situations. Mark my words though, if we consistently see DP Lee for a long stretch, he will get moved in season.

gets the 2nd base job, will bat 6th

What's this mean, though?

Aaron Miles becomes the backup against left-handed pitchers and also will fill in at shortstop and third, with Piniella saying both would get about 350 at-bats.

I would think a regular 2B man would get more than 350 bats in a year. This sounds more like a platoon situation.

There's a video clip of an interview with Lou Pinella at that plays automatically when you open the website's main page. A funny little exchange goes on between the attractive, young female reporter and Lou about 0:44 into the videoclip:

Interviewer Hazel Mae: Well, you've been around for decades and I don't want to date you, sir...

Lou: (laughing) Ha ha, date me? Go on...

Lou sounded like he was really saying "Date me? Go ahead -- be my guest..."

Hazel Mae is a dog...but funny exchange w/ Lou nonetheless.

That's funny stuff Pepi, I missed it the first time. That interview was from the mlb network show 30/30 covering all 30 teams during spring training.

Shows how they are using mlb network for cross promotion with the mlb websites. Should be cool watching when the season starts as they are promoting the special camera's they've set up at all the ballparks for in game coverage. Like sports center on steroids...oops maybe that's not what Bud Selig had in mind.
Hazel Mae is one of the two women reporters on the new mlb network. She had been on NESN with the red sox telecasts last year.

The other in Trenni Kusnierek who came from Fox Sports Net/Wisconsin and was with the brewers broadcasts last year.

Good fantasy draft, yesterday, by the by. Yahoo's new draft room, while a bit cluttered at first glance, is pretty awesome. It's much much faster. And now, it's totally on like hot wax. is webcasting the Japan-Cuba game in HD right now for Premium subscribers. It's outstanding.

You'll need to download NexDef though in order to get it.

Also on ESPN2

Hoffpauir goes yard off of Webb, 3-0 Cubs.

it is VERY surreal to see ESPN2 interviewing castro's son about team Cuba (he's the team doctor)...reporter even asked a question about the option of more Cuban players in the US if the embargo is lifted (reply: roughly, they would welcome more opportunities for their players...not much said beyond that, nor did the question shock/anger/frustrate castro).

Keeping their athletes hostage is a response to the trade embargo? What would they do if the US had blockaded them, just kill their ballplayers?


Fukudome looks absolutely lost at the plate today. 2/2 both K's

So Kosuke comes to the plate for the third time and the graphic on the screen says he was THE 2008 Rookie of the Year in the National League.

How was he 2 for 2 if he had 2 k's?

He finished the game 3/4 as in 3 K's sandwiched around a weak tapper to first base they ruled a hit....somehow.

11ab 3h 4bb 5k total (3 singles)


Who says 3 for 4 if a player k's three times?

Wouldn't that be 1 for 4? in HD sample:

It's beautiful; well worth the premium subscription.

Snyder and Fontenot go back to back, followed by a So Taguchi double and a Wellington Castillo HR.

7-4 Cubs, 2 outs/top 8th...pitching change.



that's 2010, i think...if he's not trade bait by then. heh...


There are two "Ls", however, in Castillo.

Will Castillo be the first player in big league history named "Wellington"? Are his parents aristocrats or what?

*drops his monocle into his tea*


Wellington Douglas Devonshire III, was a player who played for the Cubs having come to the U.S. from England to escape WWI. Unfortunately, he never overcame infection from trenchfoot from the war, so while rounding 3rd one game, he just collapsed, and that was it.

All made up, but fun for me.

I nominate this for post of the month. Excellent use of a WWI malady for comic effect.

A family walks into a talent agents office, a father, mother, son and and daughter. The agent says "No family acts."

The father says "Wait we're different". They proceed to take their clothes off......


After a two hours the agent says "MY God what do you call that!?!?!"

The father said "The Aristocrats!"

I nominate this for f$ck you.

and that was it.
Waiving Wendell's fault?

... ultimately, he didn't have a leg to stand on.

I believe that was the first use of trenchfoot here on TCR. It won't be the last.

Figured there would be a parachat contingent for this USA v Holland game. I'll hang out a little bit.

Holy shit... Cubs still need a backup catcher?

Well... how scary can a mob of dutch really be?

They look like someone stepped on their tulips or something.


Dang, Adam Dunn with a bit of the Caroyln Kennedy Syndrome...

"You know.. you know.. you know.. you know.."

lol... LaTroy Hawkins pouring ice water down Dunn's back during the ESPN interview.

McCann in left field...


dan roan on wgn tonite "hoffpauer is a cinch to make roster"

maybe we can trade gaudan for Ian Stewart (colorado)

He means the Iowa roster.

Stewart is a pretty hot commodity, maybe we could trade Soto for him.

Actually, I think he means the major league roster.

Lou seems pretty intent on going with Hoffpauir and Gathright:

"Hoffpauir's fine," Piniella said. "We're going to use him to rest Derrek [Lee] at first base and also use him some in the corner [outfield spots]. Another reason for an extra outfielder, too, is when you rest an outfielder, you need somebody to pick up Hoffpauir [for defense] late in the game."

He also says in the article that you pretty much have to go with 12 pitchers. So as of now the only competition is for back-up catcher it would seem, with Miles backing up all 3 IF spots. And of course the bullpen needs to be sorted out.

looks like it's between Gathright and a yet-to-be determined infielder for the final spot...

aka, it's gathright.

Stewart isn't the one they'd give up. They'd part with Baker LONG before Stewart's name came up.

Or maybe we could get Murton. Ha.

The latest in breaking Chuck Norris news:

Chuck Norris sues publisher over claim that his tears cure cancer. Seriously.

The case will be thrown out, because as we all know...

Chuck Norris never cries.

it's all fun and games til chuck norris has a mortgage payment to make in a lax economy.

I have Gooz., Deeds, Scales, Bako (my wish)

How short-sighted not to sign Hank White.

Sometimes Hendry, I just gotta say: Fuck You!

I gotta tell ya, whoever wins the back-up catcher race isn't going to make me lose any sleep. Nor would I be all that much happier with Henry.

The difference between Henry's 65 OPS+ and Gabor's 62 OPS+ does not make me feel the need to wax poetic about arm tattoos and greasy mullets.

Hey, if Bako is good enough to be Greg Maddux's personal catcher, then he's fine being the backup catcher on my team.

EDIT: Although, Henry was Maddux's personal catcher in 2003 with the Braves, too, I guess.

a crazy amount of Internet blood has been spilled for Henry Blanco 83 OPS+ from last season in 128 PA's.

Sweet Jesus, it's Henry Blanco folks...everyone hated the signing when we first acquired him and then re-upped him again.

Internet blood has been's Henry Blanco folks...
I thought it was Hank White? You're telling me he's Hank Red?

Recent comments

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  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.

  • Wrigley was electric tonite
    Not many card fans
    Video board was great, they played "there goes my hero" by foos over ryno highlights before he came out. Spectacular

    Good times hopefully they win tomorrow but think Lester will beat poopy pants on Wednesday.

    Happy 4th anniversary of Theo's signing

    Go Cubs !

  • Yeah. "Goodbye!" is a lame HR call.

    I miss Len and JD -- although, driving home from a friend's, WBBM played all 6 HR calls in a row -- and Len got to call the Bryant/Rizzo back-to-back. Very fun.

  • Lackey has been a beast against us. His stats on 3 days rest, however, not as nice. There is plenty of hope.

  • And, no dreadlocks grown yet.

  • Captain Obvious Strikes Again!!!

  • Amen, brother.

  • In the wild card game he mentioned that aram started with the Pirates, then played for the Brewers, and now he's back with the Pirates. Uhhhh, missed a step there, guy.

  • i like ron darling the person, the interview, and the studio desk guy...but him calling a game can lead to some really stupid stuff coming out of his mouth.

  • If you think these announcers are bad ,the ones doing the Mets vs Dodgers (Ron Darling ,Cal Ripken and someone else)
    are worse they did the wildcard game I never knew Joe Jackson and Derrick Fowler played for the Cubs this year you
    would think there would be research by them.

  • daaaaaayam.

  • Soler's OPS in the NLDS? 3.750.

  • ...and HRs are good.

  • Theo: "So, let's see...should we put Soler on the post-season roster? Ummmm, yeah, I mean what the hell."

    Wow -- if he can bring that focus and plate discipline next year -- yowza! Seems like Manny has really helped him.

  • 2-1 series!

    1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason. woo.