New Lineup Fail

The Cubs drop the opener to the St. Louis Cardinals on a warm night in St. Looey. Before we get to the recap, it's a busy Saturday here at TCR, so be sure to check out the other stories on here today.

Mike Wellman's Recap from Iowa

Dr. Hecht Returns from China

Transmission Recaps Parachat Last Night

Why the Cubs Lost:  Give credit where credit is due, but Adam Wainwright was pretty brilliant for the first six innings and if Skip Shumaker doesn't make an error in the 7th, he may have been brilliant for seven. This three-game valley the Cubs have found themselves in has been against Johnny Cueto, Aaron Harang and Adam Wainwright, so at least it's not some Triple A scrubs.  Sometimes you just get beat and the Cubs were in all of these games. 

The new lineup - for one game at least - sure didn't work out though. A combined 2-13 with Ryan Theriot in the leadoff spot leaving 5 men on base. In the 7th, Theriot comes up with bases loaded and no outs and promptly grounds into a double play. I know I would have rather seen Soriano striking out there...at least it would have saved an out a the time.

But the big moment and why I never really minded Soriano batting leadoff came in the 9th. Milton Bradley walked as a pinch hitter with 2 outs and the Cubs down one run and Gathright pinch ran for him. That turned over the lineup and would normaly give Soriano a fifth chance to affect the game, but he was still two batters away. Instead Theriot is up and there was no way he was going to put the team ahead and pretty unlikely he could even tie it up unless Gathright stole second and that's not likely with Yadier Molina behind the plate. That means you're talking at least two more batters reaching just to tie the game (Theriot walk or single and hopefully Fukudome coming through). So when I say that I don't mind Soriano batting leadoff, last night's game was the perfect example. He may not be the prototypical leadoff hitter, but you are taking anywhere from 40-80 PA's a year from him by moving him down in the order depending on the slot (also, a little less since we're not talking a full year now).

Also, wanted to mention how damn good Albert Pujols is. I know I should be berating a Cardinal, but he flashed some fine defensive skills yesterday starting a nice 3-6-3 double play and then punked Carlos Marmol in the 8th after a single. I was on my drive home by that point, but the Cards radio announcer - former Sox announcer John Rooney I believe - noticed immediately that he had a huge lead and talked up how he already stole two bases on the homestand. Marmol apparently never looked over and Pujols practically had a running start for a crucial stolen base.

The Good: Dempster had a pretty nice outing I thought besides the 5th. I have nothing else.

Death Pool: It looks like Aramis Ramirez or Milton Bradley might be headed to the disabled list so the Cubs can call up someone to fill out the short bench. With 6 spots open on the 40-man, they can have their pick of the litter at Iowa but expect it to be someone who can play third base - possibly Bobby Scales.

Up Next: Sean Marshall vs. Mitchell Boggs in a Saturday afternoon tilt. Hopefully the Cubs offense can wake up against a lesser pitcher.

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Comments

Pujols is the best player in baseball, imo. It sucks that he is in our Division.

I'll reiterate my comment from parachat: The Cubs <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGvd-C7bw8g">new theme song</a>. (Link not safe for work)

Perhaps I'm in the minority as well, but I also like Soriano in the lead-off spot and for the same reasons, Rob. He's surely our most dangerous hitter, and it just makes sense to give him as many ABs as possible. And yes, I also agree that we don't need to feel the sky is falling. We faced three strong pitchers in a row, so I don't feel so terrible about coming up a little bit short in those games. However...a few more losses in the standings and on the field (i.e. Ramirez, Marmol) and I'll begin to get nervous. A win today would help. GO CUBS!

i'd like to see him get more RBIs than power hits, myself. 5hr, 4 doubles, 9 RBI in the leadoff spot is on par for his "more/similar xbase hits than RBIs" pace. the guy isn't even a 30+ SB threat anymore. he's been setting up .200 hitting DLee to knock him in...who, btw, has 9 RBIs.

Pujols does EVERY YEAR what D. Lee did in his career year...

Lineup from mlb gameday: Theriot, Fuky, Soriano, DLee, Fontenot (3B), RJohnson, Soto, Miles, Marshall vs. Ryan, Rasmus, Pujols, Ludwick, Molina, Duncan, Greene, Barden, Boggs

I think dropping the 3B backup role on an inexperienced Fontenot is hurting him at the plate. He was already under enough pressure trying to be the everyday second baseman. Pressure that started in spring training when Lou said he would have to compete with Miles for the job. And Miles was supposed to be the guy behind ARam on the depth chart---still there by the way (http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/team/depth_chart/index.jsp?c_id=chc). What a bust he's been so far.

Sullivan says, "An MRI on the left knee of Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol revealed no tear, and only a Grade 1 sprain." Cubs NOT going to call anyone up from AAA.

And...pause...Fuck you Fox. Fuck blackout rules. If the Yankee-Red Sox rivaly was a scrotum they'd lick it clean.

heard that.

Be lucky you are blacked out of games like that, not missing much.

FWIW... Fox doesn't make decisions based on things like east coast biases, or some perceived favoritism of the Red Sox/Yankees. Fox makes decisions based on ratings, and they must, historically, get better ratings for Red Sox/Yankees.

"Fox makes decisions based on ratings, and they must, historically, get better ratings for Red Sox/Yankees." You mean when they show the Red Sox game and not the Cubs game, more people watch the Red Sox?

No jackass... I mean that Fox has looked at historical ratings, and know that more people watch Yankees/Red Sox games than when they show other games.

I know what you meant, limpdick, I just was playing 'twist a pig's ear and make him squeel'. There is flawed logic in that way to choose games, by the way.

Flawed logic? Last I heard, Fox was in the business to make money. Better ratings lead to making more money. Sounds like good logic to me...

the first major eruption of Mt. Lou could follow today's game...thanks for the memories joey; we hardly knew ye - david patton, ditto...no sense keepin' that unscored upon journeyman veteran Vizcaino around when you've got an untested cherub fresh from single A waiting in the wings to get @ major league hitters like whathisname w/ the chain around his neck that plays for St. Louie

OK let's put an end to this "Soriano batting leadoff comes up with runners on base' nonsense once and for all. Twice now in two days it's been said. 2008 stats for runners on base/PA for guys with over 100. See if you can find the guys who batted leadoff last year. NAME ROB/PA Daryle Ward 0.97 Henry Blanco 0.84 Geovany Soto 0.74 Mark Derosa 0.73 Ronny Cedeno 0.71 Kosuke Fukudome 0.7 Reed Johnson 0.7 Aramis Ramirez 0.69 Mike Fontenot 0.68 Derrek Lee 0.65 Jim Edmonds 0.63 Alfonso Soriano 0.56 Ryan Theriot 0.54

<p> it was just an amusing antectdote from 2009, don't think anyone would think he'd keep getting those pportunities this year. </p> <p> &nbsp; </p>

I could be wrong, but I believe the Fox announcers also said that Soriano has zero RBI with RISP. That seems unbelievable to me, but I'd like to see what his actual numbers are WHEN he comes up with RISP.

Soriano has 2 RBI this year with RISP, with a line of .000/.188/.000

Recent comments

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  • "never been a fan of using closers in non-save situations." Tie game at home in the ninth, there can never be a save situation. So you're saying, don't use your best reliever today.
  • Sorry if this was covered in a different thread, but while I overall like this new design, the white type on the dark background is a killer. I may be in the minority on that. But again, nice job.
  • It was almost like Javy was saying, "see, O&B, same old Javy here." Guy's gotta learn you don't need to swing hard to knock a Chapman ball out of the park. Choke up, dude, follow Rizzo's lead.
  • The magic number is now 24.
  • Kershaw uses his 132nd pitch for his 15th K (Marlon Juice Byrd, with the tying run at 2nd), and the Dodgers sweep the Giants. Also, Pirates lose to the Brewers for the 5th straight time. So...with 30 to play, we are 6.5 up on SF (7 in loss column) and 8 up on the Nats, and still in contact (4.5 back) of the Pirates. Man, what a roller coaster the last 2 days -- fantastic stuff.
  • Schlitter still pitching for Iowa? Guess nobody wanted him?
  • JOHN B: Pierce Johnson and Rob Zastryzny were likely 2015 AFL candidates (I mentioned them as likely candidates to get assigned to the AFL in an article about the AFL last month) because they are starting pitchers who missed part of the season due to injuries and they need to accrue more innings.
  • I personally don't think managers use closers enough in tie games in the 9th. The mindset and adrenaline should be just like a save situation. You get the outs, you have a great chance of winning. You don't your team is screwed.
  • Also - what did Bosio say when we went to talk to Rondon? "OK, Hector, tie game, 9th inning, 2 outs, 2-0 count on the hottest hitter in the game. Let's try the ol' fastball right down the middle and see how that works, hmmm?" Terrible pitch. I've never been a fan of using closers in non-save situations -- they are used to pitching with adrenaline pumping and celebrating the last out of the inning. I realize it was a a swinging bunt and an error that caused the problem, but that may have been the worst pitch I have seen Rondon throw in a long time.
  • Ugly series save a few clutch Homeruns. 2 first inning Homeruns allowed. 2 complete innings (out of 27) with a lead (8th and 9th game 2). 6 Leads/Ties given up top half of the inning after scoring. 9 9th inning unearned runs. Brutal roadtrip coming up while SF plays 22 straight against teams with losing records. Like the Cubs odds, obviously, but long way to go.
  • No more f'n Pajama Parties, Joe! Losing a series at home to the Reds (who have a worse record than the Brewers) in September is not what we are looking for, gentlemen. 3 series losses in a row -- let's get that fixed immediately. Bad error by KB as Crunch describes -- almost like he was surprised the ball was hit to him. I think if he makes that play we win the game.
  • solid smack to him...right through his legs. he wasn't even in motion, totally stationary. no bad bounce, either. it was hit very hard, but also squarely wiffed...not even any glove contact. it happens...not a good time for it to happen with 2 outs, though. that was the inning ender, easy.
  • Can someone tell me about Bryant's error who saw the play? You cannot give the Reds (or most teams) 4 outs. In this case with Joey Votto coming up.
  • un...fucking...believable... tie a game in the bottom 8th, give up 3 runs in the top 9th...why the hell not. awesome.
  • DAT TIE THO.
  • Ugh Hammel...the new Haren. The 3-5 starters have imploded and killed yet another series.