Game Preview: Cubs (19-23) @ Rangers (24-18)

First things first:

Earlier this afternoon, the Cubs officially signed 36-year-old Bob Howry, demoted Justin Berg to Iowa, and designated David Patton for assignment.

Howry has been well analyzed here and elsewhere, but just in case you've missed it...

The now-ex-former-Cub appeared in 14 games for the Diamondbacks before his recent release, was scored upon in 8, and was cut loose by the D-Backs with an ERA of 10.67 and 6 home runs allowed in just 14 1/3 innings pitched. He was coming off a decent season last year in San Francisco, where he had a 3.39 ERA, a 2:1 K/BB ratio, and allowed fewer home runs in 63 IP (5) than he did in just a few weeks this season in Arizona. (Park effects at work, both ways, maybe?)

As for the game tonight...

The Cubs open the interleague portion of their 2010 schedule—which matches them with teams from the A.L West in addition to the home-and-home series with the White Sox—in Arlington, Texas against the AL West-leading Rangers. A coming home for Marlon Byrd and Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.

The teams have met six times before, with the Rangers winning four of the six.
Since interleague play began 13 years ago, the Cubs are 90-97 against AL clubs. They have not had a winning interleague record since '07.

Cubs Lineup:
Fukudome 9, Theriot 4, Lee 3, Soriano 7, Byrd 8, Fontenot 5, Nady DH, Soto 2, Castro 6 

Aramis Ramirez sits again, and if I'm reading correctly, Soriano is hitting clean-up for the first time ever as a Cub.

Rangers Lineup:
Andrus 6, Young 5, Kinsler 4, Guerrero DH, Hamilton 8, Cruz 9, Murphy 7, Smoak 3, M. Ramirez 2

Ted Lilly (1-3, 4.65) v. Colby Lewis (3-2, 3.68)

Lewis is winless in his last four starts, though mixed in there was a damn impressive ND against Cliff Lee and the Mariners, in which Lewis blanked Seattle for 9 innings in a game the Rangers ultimately won in 12 innings, 2-0. Overall, Lewis has gotten Cub-like support from his mates, who have scored just four runs for him in his last 27 innings pitched.

Lilly is coming off an ND against the Pirates (7IP, 6H, 3ER). He last pitched against the Rangers when the Cubs were in Texas back on June 21, 2007. In that game, Lilly spotted the Rangers a 5-0 lead but the Cubs came back to tie the game at 5-5 with a rally of their own. Lilly wound up with an ND and the Cubs wound up with a loss when Frank Catalanotto smacked a run-scoring, game-winning, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth against...

Bob Howry.


Good history:

Among Cub regulars, only Marlon Byrd (4 AB's) and Alfonso Soriano (7 AB's) have ever faced Lewis. Soriano is 4-for-7 against him with three singles and a double, all when Fonsie was a Yankee.

The Rangers haven't seen much of Lilly either. Vlad Guerrero is 3-for-11 with 3K's (though 2 HR) against the Cub lefty and Ian Kinsler is just 2-for-9.

Bad history:
The Rangers have won six in a row at home and are 11-1 in Arlington in the month of May. The Cubs have lost 11 of the last 12 games they've played on AL fields. 


I hate this lineup...

little cubster predicting...Colby Lewis, 21 K's tonight, nice if he's a fantasy league acquisition

from curry muskrat's twooter feed...

rf fuke, 2b riot, 1b lee, lf sori, cf byrd, 3b font, dh nady, c soto, ss castro

what's that...guys in RBI slots who can produce RBIs? excellent...

Aramis thumb hurting him apparently and has been for awhile, alhough I can't see how that's making him swing at fucking everything.

Is poor pitch recognition a communicable disease?

how the fuck is Tyler Colvin not starting tonight with a lefty going tomorrow?

fuck you lou!

you figure baker will be at third tomorrow .

Which lefty will lou be foced to start or does he just let Welles hit?

From, it looks like this is the first time Soriano has ever hit clean-up for the Cubs.

0-5, 5Ks, and he'll spend most of his AB's curled up in the fetal position at the plate because he is physically unable to hit anywhere but 1st or 6th.

bad move...bad idea...

Howry? Yes!... *fist pump*


"Braves prospects Gerardo Rodriguez, Yoel Campusano and Amadeo Zazueta were all suspended for 50 games Friday after testing positive for amphetamines."

yow...all 3 were on the same A-ball team, too.

i wonder if they have to keep all 3 on the roster during the suspension. i'm not sure how that works in the minors.

chad gaudin released by the A's...we have a plan-B in case howry falls apart in the next couple weeks! sigh...


damn, you're optimisic.

anyone got video of Howry taking out that fan?

his best Cub moment.

1:10 mark.

...and from an article asking howry about it...

"He said, 'What are you doing?'" Howry said. "I'm out here trying to give up home runs -- what do you think? He didn't deserve a response."


thanks, note to folks who tape things off TV, please don't narrate

guess I misremembered it, Howry just didn't back down, it was the security guard with the awesome takedown.

Using a camcorder to record what's on TV, no less. Does that guy record every game in hopes of something cool happening, of which he can narrate then post online? WTF? Someone show him a VCR.

in order to keep MLB from pulling footage people camcorder it.

im not sure how this grey-area works...having commentary over it might make it fair use.

either way, these cam shots tend to stay on public video boards while direct TV rips tend to get pulled over copyright violations.

as crunch said, for whatever reason if you record your TV screen it's safe from copyright laws (at least at the moment) and youtube won't pull it.

I would guess he DVR'd it and then played it back so we could all be witness to his biting humor.

It'll be awesome one day when everyone goes back to realizing that they're not special.

We're all special. Generation x. Woo!

The damn thing doesn't even play for me. blah

Well, anyhow...what the fuck for? Question still stands, why did he feel the need to record it?

Remember that... good times.

Maybe Rothschild sees something he thinks he can turn around.

Howry is a pretty simple pitcher to understand. It's basically fastballs and location. He has a dinky slider, but nothing really offspeed. If he no longer has the velocity needed to be effective, the Cubs should be able to find that out pretty quickly, and then move on to Plan C (or whatever it is they're up to).

he's already won coach of the year, MVP, cy young, ROY, comeback player of the year, the hank aaron award, and about 10 others for his impact on c.silva.

i think he's been nominated for a nobel peace prize in kicking-ass, too.

I agree. I think we should put Larry in a room with Chavez, Putin, Ahmadinejad, Castro, bin Laden and Kim Jong Il and have him straighten them out. Then he could go to work on healthcare, Northern Ireland, climate control and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He should also be Obama's supreme court nominee instead of Kagan. Better yet, we could have a Constitutional amendment scrapping our current system of government and giving him virtually dictatorial powers.

between rothschild and andre dawson all that could get done in an afternoon.

Maybe Rothschild sees something he thinks he can turn around.

Howry just needs Koyie's magic fastball accelerating powers catching him.

It only works on slider-happy relievers, which doesn't describe Howry.

Speaking of catchers not nicknamed Geo, Castillo seems to be having a breakout season at Iowa, with six HRs. Chirinos has seven at Tennessee.

Oswalt requests trade before July deadline

not sure why the WSux beat writer got this story out

he's good friends with Peavy and WSox have liked him in the past...maybe how he got the scoop.

Oswalt said he'll only go to a solid contender and prefers the South, with braves, rangers and cardinals being some of his preferred destinations.

Dodgers could use him desperately, otherwise I think Rangers have the most to offer and will surely need a pitcher to fill-in for Rich Harden soon.

"and prefers the South"

screw you NYY/BOS...not like BOS has much of a need.

Oswalt may be out of luck. St. Louis is pretty happy with their rotation and they are saving their pennies so they can afford Pujols after next year.

The Rangers ownership situation will probably prevent them from trading for him. It's my understanding the MLB is paying Tom Hicks bills until the new owner can be approved.

The Braves were crying poor earlier this year, although a Derek Lowe for Oswalt trade may be to their liking (Of course, why would Houston do that deal?)

The Dodgers are a possibility. I wonder what impact the McCourt's divorce will have on adding $16 million a year to the team payroll.

I don't know if he would go to either Arizona or San Diego, but I don't think either would be in a position to pay his contract. Ditto with the two Florida teams.

That about exhausts all of the Southern teams.

D Lee is really on his game. If you throw him anything but a slider, fastball, curve or changeup, you're likely to get hurt.

Rangers announcers still have a hard on for Byrd and Jarmarillo.

psst Lou (Soto doesn't need to be pinch hit for, especially when we're only down one run.(

psst Starlin, the sign is "hit".

I know it wouldn't have matter, but would it have been crazy to start Colvin in LF and dh'd Soriano?

I assume Colvin would have made the play that Soriano didn't... so yes, I think it would have mattered a lot.

Building's across the street from Wrigley:

Wow. Lou really believes in the platoon. Not one lefty in the lineup tonight vs. LHP Holland, despite the DH.

And is Aramis really more of a defensive liability at third right now than Nady is in RF?

I kind of hate this team right now. Good thing I have plenty of distractions this summer.

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Hey Lester is left handed!

    johann 22 min 55 sec ago view
  • Probably a good idea to give Rizz a couple of days off (slumps happen to the best -- Harper just broke a 4-for-33 with a HR yesterday). Never been a big fan of an all-RH lineup. The pitcher has the same look and same target for every hitter. At least, as a mediocre HS pitcher, facing a mixture of LH/RH hitters messed me up. A lack of talent and weak-ass stuff may have also been contributing factors.

    billybucks 49 min 9 sec ago view
  • Would you say Brooks doesn't have any upside going forward? Seems like he could be one of those hybrid starter reliever types maddon seems to like having in his bullpen. But I haven't seen a ton of him, and he got hit around pretty good last year in mlb

    Koyies Bansaw 50 min 44 sec ago view
  • Thanks, Phil!

    Charlie 1 hour 24 min ago view
  • Well executed!

    I've been wracking my brain to work a "Room With a View" reference in there but I just haven't gotten it to work.

    JoePepitone 2 hours 43 min ago view
  • Bryant might be playing SS during an infield shift, no? Usually he is moved to 2B but it could happen.

    Cubster 2 hours 54 min ago view
  • I won't really be happy until I see Bryant at shortstop.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 56 min ago view
  • Yeah, Underwood impresses the internet scouts more than the opposing hitters. Blackburn and Williams have pitched well but they would be more interesting if they missed more bats.

    Myrtle Beach has a couple of guys--Trevor Clifton and Jake Stinnett--worth keeping an eye on.

    South Bend has the best record in the Midwest League but it's more about their bats than their starting pitching.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 47 min ago view
  • Thanks Steve, I always forget about that.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 50 min ago view
  • Maddon spins the wheel-o-lineups and Bryant is playing 1B.

    The line-ups, by the way, appear in the Twitter box on the left and usually very soon after they are made available.

    CTSteve 3 hours 53 min ago view
  • Looks like no Heyward or Rizzo in the lineup today.

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 9 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Kevonte Mitchell has shown some improvement in 2016. He takes a lot of walks, shows occasional power, and he's an athletic defender capable of making the big play in the OF.

    However, he strikes out way too much, he doesn't always take the most-direct-route to get to balls hit into the air, and he sometimes runs himself into outs on the bases. He is still very raw.  

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 10 min ago view
  • E-MAN: I don't think Dallas Beeler has a long-term future with the Cubs, but (when healthy) he has gotten the call over the past couple of years as the "26th man" when the Cubs needed an extra starter in a doubleheader. 

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 25 min ago view
  • PHIL: Thanks for the wrap. A 2010 early-ish round Hendry draft pick, why do you surmise the new management team just doesn't cut bait on Beeler? Not shown that much as a starter. Does he have a power arm when right? Is he another Schlitter? Or, is he rosyer filler while the org waits out the lower-level arms to surpass him?

    The E-Man 5 hours 10 min ago view
  • Ryan Kellogg is still a fringy prospect despite being very old for low-A. He's putting up very good numbers no matter who he's facihg.

    John Beasley 8 hours 28 min ago view
  • Great article on Yosh and Nobe. Thanks for including it Trans.

    Hagsag 8 hours 45 min ago view