Game #64 Preview: A's @ Cubs

The A's make their second-ever visit to Wrigley Field—the Cubs are the only National League never to have played in Oakland—having been swept this past weekend in San Francisco.

The weather forecast is not promising, with saying there is a 100% chance of precipitation through the shank of the evening. Is there a rainout-forced doubleheader in these teams' immediate future? If there's anything better than interleague play, it's an interleague doubleheader made necessary by the screwy MLB schedule...which became infinitely screwier when MLB adopted interleague play.

The A's come in Foxless, having DFA's former Cub Jake Fox yesterday. Earlier today, the A's picked up first-baseman/left fielder Conor Jackson from the Diamondbacks. Jackson is not in the A's starting lineup; not sure if he will be in uniform tonight at all.

Speaking of the lineups...

A's vs. Carlos Zambrano (2-4, 6.05; 1-0, 1.35 vs. A's)
Davis 8, Barton 3, Sweeney 9, Suzuki 2, Kouzmanoff 5, Cust 7, Ellis 4, Pennington 6, Cahill 1

Cubs vs. Trevor Cahill (5-2, 2.91; first start vs. Cubs)
Theriot 4, Castro 6, Byrd 8, Lee 3, Colvin 9, Soriano 7, Tracy 5, Hill 2, Zambrano 1

Zambrano is making his third start since returning to the rotation. Last time out, he survived five walks over five innings to beat the Brewers. A's starter Trevor Cahill is coming off one of the best starts of his career, an eight-inning, one-run effort against the Angels. He has been successful recently by keeping the ball down in the strike zone and avoiding the longball—just one HR allowed over the past 33 innings.

Things you learn about the A's and Cubs from spending way too much time on

Greatest former Cub who wound up playing for the A's: Billy Williams.

Winningest former Cub pitcher who wound up playing for the A's: Kenny Holtzman, who went 80-81 for the Cubs before joining the A's in 1972 and going 77-55 in four seasons.

Most petulant player who wore both Cub and Athletic uniforms: you might rush to say Milton Bradley. But I'm going to go with Dave Kingman, who was well on his way to the Jerk Hall of Fame before Milton had even played his first Little League Game.

Note: doesn't rank players by petulance. That one is my call.

This one's for you, Kong.


third basemen Conor Jackson?

I fixed that one.

link for Jerk Hall of Fame goes to Fox story, that one I can't fix.

Changed the Kingman link.

that Easter buffet looks fantastic...and what a price!!!

Sadly the offer expired 30 years ago.

Gordo Witt says some similar (maybe smart?) things to what I was ranting about in the thumb article. Basically, this team would be better mid-term to semi-blow it up now (although he mentions Ramy, who I think I'd keep).

But he's worried how the fans would take it....

Strasburg gets SI cover over Blackhawks, although Hawks cover will go out locally.

lol...americans and hockey...

izzo staying at michigan state, cavs not having a coach has to in someway help bulls in lebron chase.

To hell with the Yankees and their complicated shoes.

First pitch expected for 8:45pm CT:

Only thru 4 but...

Suppan working on Cy Young:

4ip, 4hits, 1 run, 4 k's

Leading 3-1

Only blemish...solo HR M Bradley

Z struggling in the first again.

When Ramirez comes back I thought I saw whereif Tracy goes down to Iowa
he would have to clear waivers?

oh no!!!

Submitted by rokfish on Tue, 06/15/2010 - 8:06pm.
When Ramirez comes back I thought I saw whereif Tracy goes down to Iowa
he would have to clear waivers?


ROKFISH: Chad Tracy is NOT out of options, but he does have to give his permission before he can be assigned to the minors (by optional or outright assignment) because he has accrued 5+ years of MLB Service Time. As a player with 5+ years of MLB ST, Tracy could opt to be a free-agent (and be paid his entire remaining salary as termination pay) if he is sent to the minors without his approval. While he did agree to the Optional Assignment when the Cubs sent him to Iowa in May (most players with 5+ MLB ST would have refused), he might not be as amenable to the idea this time.

Because the anniversary date of his debut on an MLB 25-man Active List was more than three years ago, Tracy would first have had to clear Optional Assignment Waivers when he was optioned to Iowa in May, but Optional Waivers (once secured) are good for the balance of the waiver period (which ends on July 31st), so the Cubs would not have to put him back on Optional Waivers before he can be optioned to the minors again (at least until the end of the current waiver period on July 31st). But again, even with waivers secured, he would have to agree to accept the assignment each time he is optioned to the minors.

I believe the article you read is the same one I saw, and I got the impression that the writer confused Tracy's status with that of Jeff Baker, who (unlike Tracy) is out of options, so that Baker would have to clear Outright Assignmment Waivers (which are irrevocable) before he can be outrighted to the minors. And because he has 3+ years of MLB Service Time, Baker can be a free-agent if he is outrighted to the minors (he can be a FA immediately and if he does he gets no termination pay, or he can accept the Outright Assignment, continue to be paid his $150K+ monthly salary in AAA, and defer free-agency until the end of the MLB regular season, unless he is added back to a 40-man roster by that time, in which case he cannot be a FA).

Tracy might be a good fit for the Angels. Or Twins.

At the gam behind home plate.. Two beers in... Cahills shit is wikis. Cubs ain't hitting this shit

*wikid. Dumb iPhone

Oh iPhone. I though it was a reflection of the Wrigley beer!

This is probably incredibly uncool to say, but I don't care... when I go to Wrigley, I enjoy the Old Style. Reminds me of being a kid... at my cousins house having Cubs baseball on TV in the afternoon... and the smell of my drunk uncle...

That drunk uncle part brought a sentimental tear to my eye.

Can you even get Old Style outside of the park? It's really not good. I don't mind drinking crap beer if it's what's available, but paying a lot for a crap beer just rubs me the wrong way.

Hells yeah you can get it!

Did Lee really have two errors in a row that caused runs?

he sure did.

muffed a grounder and then just didn't catch a ball thrown by castro.

Did Z gather his latin posse and fight the the rest of the team through song and dance a la west side story?

well-played Mauer.


lol farts.

Sharks vs Jets...You throw the records out when those two teams get together.


how much f'n cubbery can you fit into a game...2 wild pitches with 2 runs...bases loaded and error marathons...triples with errors? WHAT THE HELL?

and what was up with Z hitting for himself in the rally inning with a man on 2nd and 2 outs?

8-4...holy crap.

in honor of the Cubs new walk-up intros

Lou needs to adopt this management style for players who commit errors, wild pitches and other stoopid stuff...

wow...wrigley emptied out really quick after that 7th.

it's a ghost town.

the rain thinned the initial crowd, but this looks like a PIT game.

that colvin HR hit a lot of empty seats in the bleachers.

Yeah what the f=== was up with Zambrano hitting then coming out of game, I am all for seeing more ghost towns.
Seems the only reason i watch is to watch the three C's and laugh at how piss poor the rest of team plays.

the game plan would be to get the ball to Colvin.

Foolishly I was holding out hope that Lou would unload in the post-game press conference and give vent to just a fraction of the frustration that all Cub fans are feeling right now. Instead, it was just the same, old, mealy-mouthed nonsense. "Just one of those games," "Zambrano deserved better," "Gotta go out tomorrow and play better."

You tell 'em, Lou.

Where has Jim Hendry been lately have not seen any quotes from him recently.

preparing his resume.

Hendry's resume is much more attractive the team he's put together for 2010, which I suspect is what (unfortunately for him) future employers will remember most.

From Bruce Miles blog:

As I blogged earlier in the day, I've got to believe Theriot is a non-tender this fall if the Cubs don't trade him first.

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 06/15/2010 - 22:27

Many of us were thinking the same thing. But it's nice to see a beat guy say it.

Don't look now, but Samardzija is quietly having a good season at Iowa.

Coleman and Archer dominated yesterday. Coleman "retired the last 21 batters he faced, not allowing a man to reach base after the second batter of the game." His line: 7 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 8 strikeouts.

Archer (Daytona) had no walks and 10 K's in 5.1.

If anyone brings up the 2007 start I will come over to their house and pour a bucket of sour milk on to their computer.

At my own risk, I will bring it up. On June 16, 2007 the Cubs were 31-35, and the won the division with 85 wins, just 8 games over .500. Today they are 28-36, and the Reds and Cardinals are already 7 games over .500, on pace for 90 wins. And the 2007 was actually good. It ain't happening this year.

now I have to drive around with a gallon of milk in my trunk for a week.

That was the most dispiriting game I've seen in quite some time. The team looked absolutely horrible.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely. 

  • has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.

  • As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?

  • AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?

  • Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.

  • AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.

  • I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.

    But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.

  • Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.

    Jason deGrom -- oh, my.

  • Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.

    Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.

  • Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.

    Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.

  • that game sounds fun as hell.

  • I was just wondering the same thing. I'd rather not see it at all. If it's inaccurate, it's a bad viewer experience. If it's accurate, it shows some shitty calling by the umpire.