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

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • probably saturday depending on what they do with hammel (assuming friday for ham).

    crunch 9 min 24 sec ago view
  • Lester is going to get one more start, right? It sure would be nice to see him get a shot at 20 wins.

    Charlie 40 min 14 sec ago view
  • Nicely done! I think in my 10-14 games I went .500 or a little over. Strangely, I went to the Cards games they mostly lost (incl Saturday) and the one SF game they lost, plus a couple Brewers games they lost, too. I should have gone to just Reds games. But still - saw mostly very good baseball on the North Side this year. Regardless of what happens come October - the Cubs are positioned for some good times in the next 3-5 years.

    The E-Man 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 2 hours 57 min ago view
  • First Cub victory at home this year for me!
    Saw all four starters this year

    jacos 4 hours 21 min ago view
  • RIP Arnie. We could use a lot more like you -- a man who succeeded and failed on his own terms, a true original, and, finally, a remarkable example of graciousness towards others.

    billybucks 12 hours 16 min ago view
  • Cubs finish 33 over at home. I was, personally, one game over at 3-2, which was one of my better years in a while.

    I do hope that's the last time we see the Cardinals this year. A lot of power, which is dangerous, particularly in a short series, and they have really shut down KB all year.

    Oh, and Jon Lester? Damn!

    billybucks 12 hours 28 min ago view
  • Yes. Boating accident at 3AM. Very sad, but stupid. Young men do stupid things.

    billybucks 13 hours 24 min ago view
  • lester puts 2 on and is taken out at 96 pitches. oh well.

    edwards in.

    crunch 14 hours 8 min ago view
  • 2 out in the 7th, lester at 84 pitches, ross taken out for the standing O.

    it's possible contreras will catch lester for another inning+.

    crunch 14 hours 14 min ago view
  • What a weird day.  Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer, but then Scully and, on a much more modest level, Ross....

    Transmission 14 hours 48 min ago view
  • d.ross gets his 2nd standing O on the night (last home game of the season)...hits HR #10...curtain call. baseball.

    crunch 14 hours 50 min ago view
  • as a fan, he only "owes" us the game on the field and not getting in the way of others on his team being ready to play (imo).

    it's exponentially worse to his family and friends, but this dude most likely had 15+ years of play left and even though he just turned 24 a couple months ago he had already established himself as a top guy in the game.

    crunch 18 hours 12 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]

    Updated #Cubs probs vs Pirates: Mon, Hendricks vs Kuhl; Tue, Lackey vs Vogelsong; Wed, Arrieta vs Taillon; Thu, Zastryzny vs Nova

    crunch 18 hours 35 min ago view
  • I know what you're trying to say, Charlie, that none of us feels what his loved ones must be feeling.

    On the other hand, what makes a death like this tragic is precisely the loss, based on Fernandez's youth and brilliance, to the baseball world.

    So, for example, we can say that Princess Diana's death meant more, in aggregate, to millions of admirers who didn't know her personally than to her loved ones.

    VirginiaPhil 18 hours 36 min ago view
  • boston pitching snags a couple of mlb team records...

    "Over nine innings of play, Boston's staff struck out 11 straight Tampa Bay Rays hitters Sunday, breaking the major-league record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game.

    The previous record was held by former New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver, who struck out 10 straight hitters in 1970.

    Not only that, but with a strikeout to end the ninth, sending the game into extras, Boston's staff also struck out an MLB-record 21 batters over nine innings."

    crunch 19 hours 41 sec ago view