Oswalt Loses Mind, Will Still Start Against Wells, Cubs

The Astros and Cubs meet in a 12:05 game at Wrigley following yesterday's washout.

The pitching matchup is a reset of what was scheduled Friday, with Roy Oswalt opposing Randy Wells. Oswalt (1-2) fell to the Cubs on Opening Night and didn't notch a win until his most recent and eighth start of the year, versus the Padres.

From mlb.com:

Oswalt, mainly a fastball-curveball pitcher, admitted he's using his
slider more, for no other reason than "I don't know what I'm doing
right now. I've kind of lost my mind."

Wells is coming off his first Major League start, in which he completed five scorless but event-filled innings against the Brewers. In his brief Major League career, spanning 5 games and 10 1/3 innings for the Blue Jays and Cubs, the 26-year-old righty is still unscored upon.

With Wells going today, Sean Marshall moves into the bullpen until Thursday, when he will go against the Cardinals.

About the Theriot story...I'm no great fan of Rick Telander, but I think he's dead on when he says that MLB owners and players have wrought a situation in which any and every player can find himself the subject of suspicion simply for displaying a sudden power surge or otherwise seemingly uncharacteristic jump in performance.

For the record, Telander said he was pretty sure that the notion was Theriot was a steroids-user was "ludicrous," but that's just the point: none of us, not the fans, not the reporters can be certain any more about anybody. And for that, we can thank Mr. Selig, the owners, Mr. Fehr, and the members of the players union who have opposed testing.

 

Comments

Besides RANDY WELLS' start today, if you're like me, you'll be interested in following the Orioles/Royals game featuring the return of RICH HILL and the Mariners/Red Sox game where GARRETT OLSON (0-0 2.57) gets a spot start.

BTW, after bouncing around MLB for awhile, DAVID AARDSMA (0-1 1.53) has taken over the closer role for the Mariners.

I'll never forget seeing Aardsma pitch in the bullpen one time, we had some really good bullpen seats. His fastball is wicked live. He had great stuff, his problem had always been control. Clearly he's solved those problems?

still is, he's walked 11 in 17.2 IP

What's way down is hits allowed --- only 9 so far this year.
That's great for a guy who normally gives up a hit per inning.

Cubnut - I agree with you about Tealander. I've never been a fan. Even so, like you, I agree with his take on the Theriot/steroids association. It's ridiculous, but unfortunately, everyone is a suspect now.

And you're right, the players only have themselves to blame. If someone would have had the nads to speak up and demand testing at a time when the Players Union was fighting testing, maybe this situation could have been avoided. Unfortunately, the players and the Union were more concerned with protecting their limited concept of privacy, which also meant protecting the PED offenders.

Lou,

Thanks for your thoughts.

I hate the fact that this discussion even has a place in a game and a pasttime that we all love so much, and I have mostly tuned it out. But I think Telander made a compelling point. It is just ouchy for many Cub fans because Theriot is one of our guys.

Theriot hit 0 HR in March, 0 HR in April. He started yanking them out only after Lou asked his healthy players to try to elevate the ball to fill the power gap resulting from injuries to UNCLE MILTY, DEPLETED LEE, and ARAM. To believe that Ryan Theriot is a roider you have to believe that all you have to do is pop 'em and the next day you turn into Sammy Sosa. Of course that's not how they work, but Telander went with it anyway.

What a jerk. His career and his loser newspaper cannot die soon enuf.

Yet, here we are talking about Wittenmyer's racism article and Tealander's Theroid article. Their shameful attempts at sensationalizing news to drum up more interest works.

meh...

"I agree with his take on the Theriot/steroids association. It's ridiculous"

You're pretty confused. Telander is the asshat who made up the Theriot/steroids association. Did you notice that the article Cubnut linked is by Paul Sullivan, not Telander?

My mistake. Link fixed.

Lemme just add this parting shot on Theriot's recent power surge. He's done it before!

2006 134 AB 17 XBH including 3 HR
2009 131 AB 13 XBH including 5 HR

I don't remember Telander accusing Theriot of roiding back in 06.

no one liked me calling theriot a "singles hitting little shit" based on that 06.

some people had him chalked up as a 15+hr guy.

stupid numbers.

It could be my imagination, but it looks like Lee isn't moving around very well. Just speculating, but I think he's playing through some neck stiffness still. Last couple plays at first he just didn't seem right.

Other than a couple of swings, DLee hasn't looked right all season, in the field or at the plate. His swings are late, his reactions at first base are late.

bob howry lite

thanks jeebus for LaTroy Hawkins...Scales would have been out by about 5-10 feet if Pence didn't airmail the throw home on the last play. Better to be lucky than good...

Or...maybe Mike Quade is so good that he knew Pence would airmail the throw.

Or, more likely, Scales is SO GOOD that he actually made Pence's throw fuck up in the middle of the air.

Bobby Scales = Baserunning Jedi.

Well that was way more exciting than it has to be but chalk it up as a W.

Gregg is that guy, he's either lights out or has nothing. Lets hope he goes back to being good the next time.

Randy Wells has been impressive working on a big scoreless streak to start his career.

Kevin Gregg might as well rename himself Mel Rojas. He fucking blows. Forget the Peavy talk, we need some help at the back of the pen!

I rather have Eric Greg close.

Raise your hand if you knew the game was over when they put Hawkins in.

ps...Heilman and Gregg must really not like Randy Wells.

Ohh! Mr. Kotter! Call on me! Call on me!!!

(raises both hands) me! me! me! oh! oh oh! oh! pleeeeze?!

Kevin Gregg owes Bobby Scales me.

Sincerely,

A Steak Dinner

Gregg owes Randy Wells, Angel, Carlos and Marshall

Sincerely,

A steak dinner

No steak for Soriano?

or for Latroy Hawkins?

Nice! You're right, Hawkins DEF deserves a steak dinner from Kevin Gregg STAT.

Unless Hawkins is a vegetarian.

Are there any other MLB vegetarians besides Fielder? Just curious.

hoff has 12Ks in 68ab.

way to f'n go, dude. small sample size, but he's making consistent contact.

I do not care that much right now.

Signed,

Small Sample Size (SSS)

Man, do I love Latoya!!! Poor Wells, he deserved a W. Gregg WTF was that???

High water mark...7 Games over.

Go Cubs!!

I really enjoyed your somewhat more extensive game recaps.

LOL

"Getting the deal completed before the end of the regular season in early October is still possible" - Reuters

http://www.reuters.com/article/mergersNews/idUSN16...

maybe in OCTOBER?!!

Are you really that suprised? I called it back when the Ricketts were chosen as would-be owners that the whole "by opening day" was nonsense. They've been talking about this for so long, before the Ricketts' name even came up. I'd be surprised if it's done by the end of the season, or even the end of the calendar year. It doesn't really matter except for:

1) it will be a convenient excuse to not make a deal at the trade deadline. Not that they would necessarily make a deal anyway, but that will be the excuse.

2) then we get to hear the tired line of "getting player x healthy in July will be like getting a new player but for free." *sigh*

At this point I don't know what to think. Even if the league finally approves the deal apparently it still needs a final okay from bankruptcy court. I think we were all led to believe that the Cubs weren't affected by the Trib bankruptcy so that's surprising.

How long can this deal drag on before the buyers get fed up (or go broke)?

There are so many factors that we haven't really been enlightened of, so it's a possibility that it could drag on to the point where the Ricketts don't even become the eventual owners. That is a very slim possibility and it's pure speculation, but I wouldn't be surprised a bit.

I usually don't pay alot of attention to the business side of things, but if this ownership situation screws up any deadline trades that will royally suck.

If we could somehow land a nice bullpen arm or two, get Rami back and Lee hitting decently, this team should win the division pretty easily.

navigator:
maybe in OCTOBER?!!

Possibly

Someone tell me again why Scott Eyre was sent packing last year? And Woody? Sheesh, nice contingency planning there, Hendry.

Scott Eyre was a free agent after last season anyway, so I am not really sure how that is relevant.

And Kerry Wood's 6.00 ERA would only be better than Cotts and Patton among those currently pitching out the bullpen, and his WHIP would be better than Cotts and Patton, and slightly better than Marmol and Gregg.

If Hendry had signed Wood, everyone around here would be bashing him for signing an oft-injured, inconsistent reliever to a big expensive contract.

I agree. Gregg sucks and Miles and Fontenot are, no surprise, being overexposed and thus taking away their asset as a solid bench contributor. But just because they suck doesn't automatically make their predecessors the better option. Hendry actually read the situation well with Woody and Derosa getting the most out of them, it's just unfortunate that their replacements are no better.

I agree with all of that except the part about Miles being a solid bench whatever it is you said. Miles is trash. He's Neifi in disguise.

It's not a very clever disguise.

Fun stat of the day -- Gregg gives up back-to-back homers and loads the bases with no outs, putting the tying run on 2nd and the go-ahead run on first, but Heilman gets the BS despite not being charged with a run. Gregg, who blew the lead, is not charged with a BS. That's the rule, I guess, but it seems odd.

Gregg has never been a lights-out closer, so we shouldn't expect him to become one now. But, still...that was ridiculous.

Yeah, I never understood that rule. A guy comes in to clean up with, say, bases loaded, one out, and a one run lead. Then gets the guy to fly out, gets a sac fly, and pitcher gets the blown save without allowing a base runner. You'd think that with all the quirky rule and scoring calls, ie, earned runs based on would-be scorers/outs/errors, etc., that they would give the BS to the guy who started the mess in the first place.

Wow, that is completely stupid that Heilman gets the BS.

Blown saves are frustrating. Gregg will blow more saves. Annoying, I know, but he's our closer and he's a damn good closer, so Cubdom, just your panties on and be thankful they won the game.

Yeah, Gregg could not have gotten a save, so he can't get a blown save either. If Heilmann had put out the fire, he would have gotten a save, so he blew that chance. But it certainly doesn't reflect who sucked the worst yesterday.

Gregg came in the game in a non save situation as the Cubs had a 4-run lead, so he could not get a BS or a save, only a loss. He is not a dominate closer, really he is not that good of a closer, but what would be a good setup man.

How would he make a good setup man but a bad closer?

Ask Latroy Hawkins.

Let me rephrase my question... how would Gregg make a good setup man, but not a good closer.

Latroy Hawkins proves to me it is a total different mindset to be a closer vs. a setup man. I think it might be the same with Gregg.

You didn't answer my question.

Kevin Gregg has had success as a closer. You claim that he cannot be a good closer, but he can be a good setup man.

But you refuse to answer why, other than to point out one isolated example in Latroy Hawkins.

As if Latroy Hawkins and Kevin Gregg are remotely similar pitchers.

"You didn't answer my question."

I believe I did answer your question, you just must not like the answer. I don't think Gregg has the mental makeup to be a very good closer. I believe there is a big difference from pitching in the 7th or 8th innings, versus coming in and closing games in the 9th, especially playing for the Cubs vs. Marlins.

"Kevin Gregg has had success as a closer. You claim that he cannot be a good closer, but he can be a good setup man."

He had success in 2007, but in 2008, Gregg was tied for the lead in all MLB in blown saves with 9. He only closed 29 games, so he had a 76% save rate last year. So far in 2009, Gregg has 1 blown save in 7 chances, so that is an 85.7% save rate, definitely improved, but it is a small sample size. I do hope he keeps it up, but I doubt he will. Of course that does not take into account his non save situations where he has been horrible this year. In fact his numbers for save situations have not been good either, but has has held on for saves for the most part

Also, IMO, saving games for the Cubs in front of a a packed house everyday is tougher than closing out games for the under the radar Marlins in front of 10,000 people. I think Gregg would be a fine setup man, but when it comes to a closer I think the Cubs have a better option (Marmol).

I hope that answers your question.

But instead of suposition supported by anedoctal evidence, you can just use facts.

For his career here's the opposing batters' OPS by situation:

High Leverage .688
Medium .690
Low .701

By inning:
7th .705
8th .674
9th .696

There's some cause and effect mixed in there, but Manny doesn't really have anything to stand on. Gregg pitches like he does regardless of the situation, which logically implies that 'pressure' doesn't bother him.

I remember Rob posting something when the Cubs signed Gregg as well that indicated the reason his save percentage went down in 2008 from 2007 is that he led the league in tough save situations last year. In other words, he pitched about the same in 07-08, but his save % went down because he was brought in more with closer leads and more men on base last year.

He was also hurt last year.

http://thecubreporter.com/2009/03/26/about-cubs-cl...

I'm not the biggest fan of Gregg, although nice to see his K/9 rate go up so far this year, but still don't think it matters much who pitches the 8th or 9th. Be nice if Lou would take a chance at just letting Marmol pitch against the better part of the lineup, whether it's the 8th or 9th, but don't see that happening.

"Thar she blows..."

from MLB rules and regulations for Saves and Holds.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 2 hours 25 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 2 hours 26 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 12 hours 7 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 15 hours 5 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 15 hours 17 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 15 hours 26 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 15 hours 32 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 15 hours 50 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 16 hours 26 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 16 hours 44 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 16 hours 46 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 17 hours 4 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 17 hours 11 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 18 hours 6 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 18 hours 24 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 18 hours 29 min ago view