Cueto Quiets Cubs: Reds Win at Wrigley, 3-0

Righthander Johnny Cueto dominated Cub hitters Wednesday night, and a strong outing by Ted Lilly (7 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, just 1 unearned run allowed) was wasted as Cincinnati ended the Cubs' three-game winning streak.

Why the Cubs lost: No O—the offense produced no runs and four hits against Cueto in his seven innings. Overall, the Cub bats delivered six measly singles, two each by Soriano and Lee, and one apiece from Fukudome and Ramirez. In both the first inning and the fourth, they managed to put two runners aboard, but failed to capitalize. In total, Cub hitters only had four opportunities to hit with men in scoring position.

Milton Bradley, who rejoined the starting lineup, fanned three times in four trips, and is now hitting .043 (1-for-23). He still appears to be suffering from the groin strain, both at the plate, where his swings seemed mostly flat-footed, and in the field, where he wasn't running down fly balls so much as shuffling after them.

Ted Lilly's only shortcoming tonight was his defense. He made two errors, and the first one—a wild throw following a bunt single by Alex Gonzalez in the fourth inning—led to the only run the Reds would need on yet another frosty spring evening at Wrigley Field.

Angel Guzman and Kevin Gregg were each tagged for a run over the last couple innings. As Bob Brenly pointed out on Comcast, Gregg's inability to throw his breaking ball for strikes reduced him to a one-pitch pitcher, and young Jay Bruce, who also homered Tuesday night, tagged one of those pitches for an opposite field home run in the ninth.

Speaking of the Cub bullpen and per Rob's post earlier this evening, don't run out and buy that Luis Vizcaino Cubs jersey you've had your eye on.

Lilly has been here before:  The Cub southpaw went 17-9 last season and four of the losses were to the Reds, three of them at Wrigley. On the other hand, the Cubs also abused Cueto in '08, defeating him three times in four starts.

On tap for Thursday: A little ace-on-ace action in the series' rubber game as Aaron Harang (1-2. 2.70) meets Carlos Zambrano (1-0, 5.21). Weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and highs approaching 70, which will be a nice change after two cold nights on the lakefront.

Comments

Well, Milton Bradley, I believe some of you were correct in picking that Hendry crapped-out at the table. This is a lot of money to pay for someone so totally useless now.

I never would have thought based on last year that Dome is really the valuable player now.

The boo-birds have started latching on as well, after Bradley's AB's. Small sample size, but big enough for me to see right now. Well, the Dodgers had Jones and made the NLCS, we will have Bradley.

Dude gets off to a slow start and now he's useless? I recall a couple years ago Rammy tearing up spring training and then started the season weak.

And you know who else got off to a slow start?

Jesus.

So, yeah.

That made me laugh so much I had to stifle it so I wouldn't get in trouble.

What? Are you in N. Korea?

'Round Eye' or 'American pig-spy' would be my guesses.

Good times. No, I was at work and I'm in constant visual contact with my boss.

I was in the right field bleachers at last nights game, and I must say the Cubs were really giving it to MB. I don't think they mind the 1-20 something start, so much as the lack of hustle on fly balls. At one point, when Jay Bruce made a running grab by the Reds bullpen, Cubs fans starting cheering and screaming that's how a RF makes a play and shows some effort.

It was bad last night, but it's going to get worse if he doesn't get better.

Fuck, man. Cubs fans are getting dumber and dumber. Some guys might hear boos and want to work harder and prove the fans wrong. I have a feeling Milton Bradley hears boos and says, "Fuck those assholes I'm not going to try anymore."

The other thing that's really starting to piss me off is how the fans boo every single ex-Cub this year. Booing Jerry Hairston is absolutely ridiculous. The guy was never supposed to be any good, and he lived up to those expectations for us. And to top it off, he's a local kid. Why boo him?

I feel like the retards going to games this year would boo Maddux if they saw him on a golf course in Vegas.

Bleachers are not all true Cub fans.
That is the one place in the park that's hard to defend "they are only there for the drinking" accusation.

Very true for the most part. Hard to find true fans out there.

A little ace-on-ace action

that's hot...

IF (big if) the Cubs do indeed just release Vizcaino after releasing Gaudin, Hendry and Crane Kenney can go blow each other. After feeding us the B.S. that the Cubs had a budget and needed to move DeRosa and Marquis to save money, they just blew $5.6M.

F them and apologies to all who sniffed this out long ago...

and F the mass media if they don't take them to task for it...

If it is Vizcaino, I don't get it. In 3.2 IP he has given up just 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 runs, and struck out 3. At least let a guy fail before you boot him. He had a bad season last year in Colorado, which is not surprising, but in the SIX years prior to that he had a 4.06 ERA, averaged 71 IP a year with nearly a K per inning, and a 1.2 WHIP.

Sure he cost too much, but you are already paying him and if you release him you don't save any money. The likelihood that both Patton and Guzman will put up better numbers this year is, in my opinion, pretty low.

"The likelihood that both Patton and Guzman will put up better numbers this year is, in my opinion, pretty low."

What's the logic of that emphasis on "this year"?

Patton and Guzman can't be optioned, so you're keeping them for this year and for subsequent years.

I would be surprised if one of those guys doesn't put up better numbers than Vizcaino.

The emphasis on this year is that I would like the team to win this year.

And I am not disagreeing with the fact that one might also outperform him. I just think that given the 3 pitchers, at the end of the season Hendry will not have jettisoned the worst of the 3.

why take Lilly out in the 8th?

96 pitches isn't all that much, I definitely think he could go to 110 and was cruising along just fine.

If they did manage to keep it 1-0 heading into the 8th, Soriano singled and you probably try running there or a hit and run. But down two, you don't risk it.

Also, can Angel Guzman learn to put away a hitter or an inning? 1-2 on Hairston and 0-2 on Votto and both get hits...bah.

Maybe, but David Weathers owns the Cubs. I'm cool with taking Lilly out there: they weren't going to score last night.

Just like me.

:(((

"A little ace-on-ace action"

I prefer Max on Max.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STYsEXiuruU&feature...

Let the record show that I thought of the headline on this post HOURS BEFORE this showed up at mlb.com.

Mr. Selig, you will be hearing from our attorneys in the morning.

screw that...you should take the TCR private jet down to MLB headquarters and bitch slap the fool.

They'll be making a big mistake on a small sample size with Vizcaino. Relievers are volatile and he had a solid track record before hitting Coors last year. Just stick him in the back of the pen and let him sort it out, for Pete's sake. It's like Lou just can't believe those lying eyes of his regarding Cotts.

Let him sort what out? That 0.00 ERA?

Yeah, this Samardzija stuff makes no fucking sense. I like the guy and he'll be good enough in the pen, but Vizcaino has been fine so far in the regular season. Exactly what is precipitating this move? Cotts and Gregg have sucked so far, but it's Vizcaino that gets booted? Brilliant. Why not just tell your pitchers to man up and stop throwing shit? Or put Gregg's ass on the DL to get his knee straight and then bring up help for the pen.

Even if you do want to get rid off Vizcaino, releasing him is going to cost you a pretty little sum, which won't make any fucking sense after Hendry cried poor this offseason. So, you gotta trade him, but leave it to the fucking Cubs to announce Samardzija's promotion BEFORE any trade actually takes place, absolutely killing any leverage you might have had with other teams in trading Vizcaino. Really, what's the point of announcing the fact Samardzija's getting called up an entire day before it happens? There's nothing gained by it.

All of this is not to mention that Samardzija is supposed to be our only starting pitching prospect of any worth. Yet, it's no surprise if the Cubs mis-manage this prospect too, burning option years for temporary bullpen help. It's as if they don't really understand the difference between starting and relief pitching, as if the two are interchangeable.

The past couple years being a Cubs fan hasn't been so bad, despite the fact that the front office has continually bungled roster moves like this one. I just don't understand either part of dumping Vizcaino (why even acquire him in the first place if you didn't want him?) or bringing up Samardzija. Perhaps it's just Hendry overly catering to his manager again, but if that's the case, I'm going to jump on the MannyTrillo bandwagon and call for his head. You're the boss, Jim, not Lou -- start fucking acting like it.

Completely concur.

Why on earth do you bring in your bullpen backup in April.

Chances are someone is going to get hurt, or becomes ineffective this year. Who comes up from AAA then? Ascaino or Wells? Seems really shortsighted.

Hendry's 40 man Roster management rears its ugly head again.

"why even acquire him in the first place if you didn't want him?"

There is an answer to that question.

The Cubs had zero interest in Vizcaino. The Rockies must have given the Cubs something like the following proposal:

We like Marquis but for $5 million, not the $10 million you're paying him. Either pay half his salary, or pay $1 million and take Vizcaino.

The Cubs saved $5 million by "trading" Marquis, with our without Vizcaino.

Also, you're not getting a return on the $1.3 million you're paying Samardzija when he's in Iowa.

that's true and all, but by dumping him now, they went from saving $5M to saving a little over $1M instead. Basically between Gaudin and Vizcaino (assuming a trade isn't worked out), they've could kept DeRosa.

I don't understand how dumping him now costs us $4 million. If he's replaced with a minor league guy (which is what's happend so far) it costs us an extra $400K. Only if he's replaced by another experienced big leaguer would we lose the savings we made on the Marquis deal... which is doubly confusing because I thought you said the exact same thing earlier today.

yeah, my fury is affecting my logic today. Nonetheless, $5.6M or so down the drain on pitchers lately.

and since it was Samardzija it didn't cost the Cubs anything extra since he was getting his $1.3M already.

Maybe that's part of the reason he was called up.

many job cuts announced at the Tribune yesterday including several well known sportswriters...Melissa Isaacson, John Mullin, Bob Sakamoto and Terry Bannon were all sacked (makes sense for a football writer like Mullin to be sacked, if Paul Sullivan or Phil Rogers was on this list you might say they were K'd...not as aesthetic if Sullivan wrote an article saying Felix Pie got sacked.)

The odd part is that it was announced in Craine's Chicago Business (but not in the Tribune or Sun-Times).

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=...

My friend Bob Sakamano was fired? That sucks.

Useless? The dude has a bum groin. Ever had one? It sucks. He shouldn't be back in the lineup yet, IMO. In all fairness to him, one of his punch-outs was very borderline. It's a shame for a guy with such a keen eye at the plate to be fucked by umpires because of being fiery. Give it time. Weather heats up, so will he and you'll eat some crow.

And the fact he has not swung a bat regulary in a week and a half.

Ditto.

Also Cotts should go on the DL to figure out why the loss of velocity in order to throw a strike.

No panic yet - Remember last year it took us until May to get over the first home series loss to the Brewers. BTW, have you seen their record? And the Pirates are beating up the Marlins!

Whatta world...watta world.

Video and rundown of some guys in Peoria

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/will-it-...

Good, thanks! I'm going to catch a game or two when the Chiefs come to Ft. Wayne.

Vitters just has that easy bat speed that you love. Agree with the guy's assessment (narrow sample size caveate) that Flaherty looks a lot like a 3rd basemen.

Why don't we just give Patton back to the Rockies?

I agree with Newport completely. To think that Patton will be a servicable pitcher all year is absurd. I don't have to go into his history, it pretty clear that spring training was a fluke. If Viscaino is the guy cut or traded for a PTBN or low level prospect, it would be the second vetern with a proven track record let go keep Patton. This will bit us in the ass. I'm not saying Vizcaino or Gaudin are or were good bets, but at least they had a track record and relievers rebound often.

Not to mention Wuertz.

Doing much of anything with the bullpen makes little sense to me at this point. Patton has not shown that Spring was a fluke at all. He has had three appearances total, two of which were pretty good. Doing anything with him would be premature.

patton hasn't pitched in a week.

his first 2 appearances were nice.

he worked 2 innings in a row and got pitched the very next day on his 3rd appearance for some reason, though...that one didn't go so smooth.

Hope this isn't 3/44 or Scott Eyre is broke-ish, but WSCR reporting Bradley out of the lineup until he "comes to Lou and tells him he's 100%". And when he comes back he won't be hitting cleanup. Probably 6th.

Also being urged by Lou & Hendry to talk to the media a little bit.

Strange. Why do they tell the press this stupid crap?

Oh. And who's going to break up our right-handed bats then? Nobody? I see. I hope Hoff gets some playing time (and makes some strides defensively).

"out of the lineup until he "comes to Lou and tells him he's 100%"

That's manager-eez for "he's not giving 100%"

Vizcaino officially DFAed.

According to ESPN.com, Chicago was trying to trade Vizcaino before bringing up Samardzija from Triple-A Iowa. But while general manager Jim Hendry attempted to work out a deal with other teams to save money -- including the Nationals -- the 34-year-old reliever will now be on waivers for up to 72 hours. After that, the Cubs will have seven days to release or trade him.

Freaking weird. It's almost got a Palmeiroish feel to it. Wonder what he did.

Yeah, this is just plain weird. It's gotta be a clubhouse issue...

I realize Vizcaino had yet to give up a run but I can't really be the only one who felt uncomfortable when he pitched those rolling sliders down the middle in every outing am I?

I distinctly remember his first outing of the year even Bob Brenly commented on how Vizcaino got away with several sliders that never broke.

He had the results so far but I just had the feeling of impending disaster every time he stepped out on the mound.

All that said, DFA'ing him is criminally stupid. Somebody somewhere would have probably been willing to take on at least part of his salary (or maybe give up a mid-level prospect if we paid for the whole thing) if they'd waited a while first.

There have certainly been some pitchers in the pen who have not consistently been getting results when put in the game. He was not one of them. Cotts, Guzman and even Gregg have looked shaky... But, I still wouldn't have done anything with any of them without at least a few more outings...

Like sands through an hourglass...

so are the days of our lives

Bradley is also out for not running out ground balls and balls in the OF.

You may want to believe its because of his injury, but this is just how Bradley plays baseball. He has done it on every team he has ever been on.

I am sure he lied his ass off to Lou that he was a 100% and ready to go only for Bradley to lay the abortion of a game he played last night.

Don't want to run? Don't want to hustle? Don't want to even give a shit? Fine your out of the game until your fully healed (if the Cubs were smart they would start running his DL time so that 3rd year doesn't kick in) and your being dropped in the order.

Fellas its going to get a whole lot worse with Milton "I got my 3 year deal" Bradley. His only goal in life is not getting 75 DL days. He can milk the shit out of his injuries without ever hitting the DL. He missed 36 games last year doing it. Don't think he won't do it in Chicago.

What a waste of a roster space, and money.

Recent comments

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  • If it was 2006 Hendry would be there w a Bible and a contract
    https://mobile.twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/77...

    jacos 29 min ago view
  • he subscribes to my twitter, he's beyond TCR. #yolo #swag

    crunch 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • Whoops. Maddon must have been reading TCR (for his daily crunch) and got confused.

    CTSteve 1 hour 9 min ago view
  • kuhl is a righty, not a lefty.

    i think maddon might think kuhl is a lefty, too. i wonder what the reasoning is for baez leading off vs a rightie.

    crunch 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • "trout's one of the best, and at this point should probably win over donaldson (and should have more MVPs in the past, too), but the defensive aspect of valuing WAR still needs more tweaking...imo."

    that's from my 1st post. there's no suck involved in that. maybe with a few less posts about bullshit that point would have jumped out more.

    crunch 2 hours 37 min ago view
  • crunch - you do know that, taking defense out of the equation, Trout has led the AL in wRC+ each of those years, right?

    And, if you want to complain about position adjustment (which would be serious #crunchsplaining), he's been in the top 3 in the AL in WC (not park/league/position adjusted). And the only players ahead of him (if there were any players ahead of him) in any of those years have been DHs or 1B that play lousy defense.

    But sure - Trout sucks (or at least isn't as good as WAR says). Because it factors in defense and position.

    big_lowitzki 3 hours 42 min ago view
  • early tim tebow stuff rolling in...

    ran a 6.7 60yd (above average)...shagging flies in RF and showed off a rather impressive arm a few times, but average-at best on most of his throws...hit a few over the fence (both fields), fouled or weak contact a few...he's got a touch of power

    it'll be interesting to see who bites on this project, if anyone. he probably projected himself out of RF and into LF/1st because of his arm, but unless he can make that power work on a steady basis it'll be hard for him to play himself up anyone's system.

    crunch 4 hours 27 min ago view
  • LHP Clayton Richard (released by the Cubs earlier this month) is pitching very well as a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres and could be a good candidate to get traded to a contender looking for a veteran SP before tomorrow night's post-season roster eligibility deadline.

    Because they released him, the Cubs are paying most of Richard's 2016 salary (the Cubs are on the hooks for $2M, minus the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary that is paid by the Padres).

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 14 min ago view
  • it is honestly awesome (for real) that anyone would even have a strong opinion on AZL playoffs. i guess if you invest enough time watching it, you want to see a fair/just playoff structure.

    plus, the kids deserve it.

    crunch 6 hours 15 min ago view
  • The AZL team with the best record over the course of the full 2016 AZL season and the only AZL team to play .600 ball (the AZL Dodgers) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, and the AZL East Division team with the best record over the course of the full season (the AZL Athletics) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, either. 

    That's because of the ridiculous "split season" schedule most of the minor leagues now play, a stupid system that rewards mediocrity at the expense of the worthy. 

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 21 min ago view
  • Despite good movement on his fastball, I think location kept him from getting Ks. Left some pitches up and away that got hammered up and away. Then of course Travis Wood gave up the 2-run double in the 7th, but both runs counted against Arrieta.

    Charlie 6 hours 58 min ago view
  • "i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date."

    This level of discourse is #charming.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 6 hours 58 min ago view
  • I would be having this discussion with anyone who (a) blathered on ad nauseum about the topic. (See, "Olt, Mike, not given an opportunity") or (b) responded directly to what I posted (which you did).

    Have a nice day.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 7 hours 1 min ago view
  • what would you do without me? aside from having your posting content here cut by 75%+?

    i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date.

    crunch 7 hours 4 min ago view
  • In this instance, yes, I care more about the result of this big thing that isn't really a big thing.

    #crunchsplaining

    #willlistentojeffsullivanmorethanyou

    #blessyourheart

    #hitler

    #tcrmartyr

    #billyhamiltonwar

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 7 hours 5 min ago view
  • Two things:

    Fangraphs WAR #s include baserunning and Hamilton is elite at that. He leads in SBs with the 54 and and has an 87% rate which is really good. I'm sure once he gets on base he's able to take the extra base quite often too. Both those things will up his overall WAR value.

    The differences between BR and FG WAR is pretty well documented online and thus If there are discrepancies it's fairly easy to figure out why. It's fairly well accepted that BR WAR is fine as a snapshot but FG is better at predicting future value.

    johann 7 hours 9 min ago view