Red Dawn

Baseball should be back tonight from its two-day unscheduled and scheduled hiatus, as the Cubs start a stretch of 20 straight. Rich Harden gets the nod and says it's the best he's felt in a long time. We'll see how good he's feeling after pitching in 30 degree temperatures and a light drizzle, although that's probably picnic weather in Victoria, B.C. It's also the first night game of the year for the Cubs, where they went 20-8 last season.

Milton Bradley will sit again, bad weather and a bad groin never being a good mixture. The lineup from Wittenmyer's twitter feed is Soriano, Fukudome, Lee, Hoffpauir, Ramirez, Fontenot, Soto, Theriot and Harden. They'll oppose Micah Owings and the 7-5 Reds (5-2 on the road) and of course, thy former Cubs manager - sir Dusty Baker.

To hold you over until game time, some fancy plate disclipline trend charts from Harry at Cubs F/x. I also wanted to mention the "Cubs' Bullpen Usage" table on the right sidebar below the first ad, a nifty little shorthand to see who might be available out of the pen each night and a countdown to Carlos Marmol's inevitable arm injury.

Comments

I don't see how they can play this game tonight...I was just outside in the Loop and it's raining (nearly sleeting).

got me...muskat said earlier they were going to try and get it in...

http://tinyurl.com/c699la

weather shows it not clearing up until about midnight...

muskat said earlier they were going to try and get it in...

*snicker*

If they play, I'd be alright with it if they sat Fonzy, Ramirez, and Bradley. Weather looks like crap.

Bruce says they plan to still play tonight...

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/1836

As long as the new field drains as well as they say it does the game should go on. It's not raining hard at all (my windshield wipers were fine on the slowest possible setting).

Thanks for the updates on the game conditions.

I really like the usage chart. Is that an original TCR idea, or shamelessly lifted from some other blog?

I would have given credit to the blog if I lifted it....somewhat original idea except that John Hill use to do them in the game previews once upon a time.

although I'm sure some site somewhere is doing something similar...

All of 2008 they only canceled one game. The Astros that "gave us the Division."

They even played when lightning was striking nearby on another occasion until Berkman ran into the dugout.

Berkman realized he's ehhh... a big target?

I think he also screamed like a little girl.

CSN brilliantly comparing the popularity of the Chicago sports teams. I think it's just trendy to kick Cub's fans. Eff them.

Douchebag 1: "If I can't interview him after the game, he's not an athlete."

Douchebag 2: "You can't interview Fukudome."

"If I can't interview him after the game, he's not an athlete."

brilliant. god knows it's all about the writer/journalist, not the players.

...and give douchebag #2 a high-5 for the reply.

I'm barely paying attention, so I don't know the context, but something tells me I'm better off not knowing.

The fact is the Cubs are a national obsession and probably top 3 in terms of number of fans. A. people can watch them on WGN, and b. people like to root for the underdog. It also helps to have a history of likable players like Sandberg and Sammy. When the Cubs finally do go all the way, and after the initial buzz, you'll see a profound dropoff in interest among some of the more casual fans.

I hope you're right

"Could have first Micah v Micah matchup in baseball history tonight..."

Nope. Micah Bowie faced Micah Owings April 5, 2007, when
Arizona visited Washington Nats.

Mike MacDougal DFA'ed... someone will pick him up.

Michael McDonald has been DFA'ed...someone will pick him up. That's what a fool believes!

game time delayed by 10 minutes, 7:15 CST Start...

Man, Soriano is so fucking maddening often. Bases juiced and of course k's.

He's got a case of the Sosa with the bases loaded.

Soriano's numbers with the bases loaded over the past three seasons:

304/333/522 in 23 ABs with 3 walks and 5 strike outs.

Soriano's numbers in 2009 with the bases loaded.

000/200/200 2 K's and a walk in 5 PA's.

Runners in scoring position:

0/9 with 3 BB's

Sosa's career numbers with the bases loaded:

301/342/566 in 193 PA

His total career line was: 273/344/534

Who has the major league record for most bases loaded PA's to start their career without a grand slam?

Sosa. What's your point?

My point is that Sosa was overanxious and chased pitches outside of the strike zone whenever he came up with the bases loaded for the first 9 years (without looking it up) of his career. Soriano is doing the exact same thing.

It wasn't really that obtuse a point.

You act like those 9 at-bats with RISP, and the 5 at-bats with the bases loaded, are relevant and meaningful...

No, I act like when I watch him with the bases loaded he is over anxious and chasing pitches 18 inches outside of the strike zone.

Which, of course, has very little/nothing to do with your ridiculously small sample sized stats that you posted above as if they were relevant.

I is all the fault of the dickpole

Did I forget where the parachat link was?

Hoffpower just tags the fucking thing every time out

GOOD OMEN! Tan & white cat runs left field, and they dump it in the Bartman seats. Cubs take the lead and we need a hold.

This is my official announcement, even if they win it all, I'll still watch next year.

Ahhh...the Neal Cotts Experience!

Did that "feel" like Neil Cott's last chance to not walk a batter to anyone else besides me?

Nice to see Cubs olde prospect LOU MONTANEZ up with Orioles tonight extend his personal hitting streak to thirty games going back to last year with an RBI double against the WSox.

Meanwhile FELIX P, who bumped LM down to AAA, is zero for his last 19.

Everytime I see Baseball Tonight's segment on the nasty pitches of the night, I see Felix Pie. But it's not the pitches that are nasty.

mark grace @ARZ...calling the game from the pool tonight.

some between-inning promotion where some fan tries to catch 3 balls shagged into the OF...dude misses the first 2.

mark grace climbs down the OF wall and "ejects" the fan and catches the 3rd ball for him...wearing a hawaiian shirt and shorts...

i miss mark grace.

You know what I hate? I see @ARZ and I immediately think that's Mark Grace's twitter. I'm going to go kill myself now.

You know what? It's your own fault for knowing anything about Twitter. I had to use my own deductive reasoning skills to interpret what your comment meant. Ignorance is never a virtue, except in the case of Twitter.

@MisterWhipple: Wasn't that the night there was a funnel cloud spotted in Logan Square? That storm was craaazzzy.

I do believe that's correct. That was the weirdest weather I've seen in Chicago. Branches and even entire trees fell on cars all over the place.

Recent comments

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  • 2nd in defensive WAR, NL.

    6th in NL in RBI

    Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.

    The E-Man 4 hours 2 min ago view
  • Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.

    billybucks 5 hours 17 min ago view
  • Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.

    billybucks 6 hours 1 min ago view
  • There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!

    billybucks 6 hours 2 min ago view
  • Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.

    billybucks 6 hours 3 min ago view
  • Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.

    Jackstraw 6 hours 6 min ago view
  • Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.

    Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.

    billybucks 6 hours 7 min ago view
  • Baez still learning

    jacos 6 hours 35 min ago view
  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 7 hours 38 min ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 8 hours 44 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 9 hours 33 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 14 hours 4 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 1 day 5 hours ago view