Game #72 Preview: Cubs (31-40) @ Mariners (30-41)

In the time it took John Isner to beat Nicolas Mahut, the Cubs scored once, lost twice, fanned 17 times while walking three times, dropped nine games behind the NL Central-leading Cardinals, fell a season-worst nine games below .500, and went 1-for-16 with RISP. Oh, yeah—that one hit was a double by Alfonso Soriano which came with Geovany Soto on second base but only got Soto as far as third.

Ted Lilly starts today in place of Carlos Silva (tight hamstring) as the Cubs try to avoid being party to the longest Mariners winning streak (7 games) since July of '07. Lilly, who got tatooed last time out by the Angels, is opposed by King Felix Hernandez, who is 10-4, 2.89 in 18 lifetime starts against NL clubs and has given up two runs or fewer in four of his last five starts.

In other words, just what the doctor didn't order.

Here's the Cubs lineup vs. Hernandez (5-5, 3.39; first-ever appearance vs. Cubs): Fukudome 9, Theriot 4, Byrd DH, Lee 3, Colvin 8, Nady 7, Fontenot 6, Tracy 5, Hill 2.

Finally, if you didn't get a chance to see the excruciating way the Dodgers lost to the Angels last night, take a look right here, and check out FanGraphs' analysis right here. Pretty Cubbery stuff, down to the fact that former Cub Reed Johnson played a central role.

Comments

More of the same old crap from Hendry, only this time he said it to a reporter in Des Moines, so I guess that makes it different.

http://bit.ly/hendrysays

Says he is NOT in Iowa to look in on his future manager, that "Lou has done a great job for us."

How about someone start asking about our future GM rather than manager?

I can't be the only one in the world that believes letting Hendry hire a 3rd manager goes beyond the standards of absurd and ridiculous.

I think Manny MIGHT agree with you.

Manny thought Hendry should be fired as GM in 2001.

No i think that was me, Manny was a diehard Hendry lover for years. He only recently converted. Though Hendry wasn't GM till 2002.

The not liking Hendry came from the way McPhail ran the team. Making Jim Hendry the GM changed nothing in the organization. It was a Starlin Castro lets make a move to make it look like we are doing something. It was meant to seem like the organization was heading in a new direction after MacPhail's failed promise of winning a WS in 5 years. And like lemmings people were like lets give Jim some time to see what he can do. It was just to buy time.

Player development still sucked, drafting sucked, the same scouts still sucked, the same coaches and player development people still sucked, free agent negotiation was still horrible, contract negotiation was still horrible. Everything Jim Hendry learned about running a franchise he learned from MacPhail and MacPhail got all of his success by winning some WS with some other guys players in Minn.

Think about this for a moment, Jim Hendry was director of player development from 1995 to 2002 and GM since then. The guy has had about 15 years in the thick of the Cubs organization in getting and developing his type of players and the entire system along with the major league club is a fucking train wreck. The only thing that saved his ass was Sam Zell wanting to spend like a drunken sailor to improve the sale price of the franchise.

Jim Hendry wasn't a good GM because he learned from Andy MacPhail and was nothing more than a front man for doing the same thing that MacPhail was doing.

I mean geez look what Andy is doing in Baltimore, he is picking up all of Hendry's little projects because Hendry was his brightest pupil and best talent evaluator. They are both idiots.

There is a lot of gray area in the world, feel free to come on over, there is plenty of room.

Not everything is either awesome or sucks. Jeez.

Just to make one point. Drafting and player development "suck" - but yet Soto, Theriot, Castro, McGehee, Colvin, Marmol, Zambrano, Wells, Cashner, Marshall, etc. are all homegrown and have made contributions to the major league team over the past few years. Not to mention the 40-50 prospects (e.g. Bobby Hill, Choi, Gallagher) traded by Hendry over the last 7 years that netted the Cubs a number of key major league players. You can see those, along with all of the other transactions Hendry has made, on the Wiklifield page I created here:

http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Jim_Hend...

Are they the best franchise in the majors in drafting and developing players? No, I would say not. But are they the worst? No, not by far. And it has improved a lot in the past 5 years.

Do note I mainly talk about positional talent in regards to player development, talent, and drafting.

Every organization i believe has churned out that "it" player at least once in the last 20 years on the hitting side. Have we? Mark Grace is the last one, and he wasn't what you say star caliber.

Even by sheer accident it should have happened by now but it hasn't.

And 15 out of those 20 years Hendry has been the head of player development for the Cubs. Someone isn't doing their job.

Define "star caliber" and by the way, the year is 2010.

There are two types of people in the world, those who recognize gray area and those who don't.

Didn't our new owner say back in April he thought the front office was "awesome" or some such thing?

"Hi, I'm the new owner of the Chicago Cubs...everyone who works here sucks at their job. I'm going to fire them after this season."

Or...

"We've got some smart people here who have had some success, but our goal is to build a champion here and at the end of the season, we'll take a hard look at how we're doing to make sure we're still on the right track."

There's a lot of room between #7 and "awesome" and whatever superlative he offered. That's my point.

Fair enough.

This is what P.K. Ricketts told Al Yellon,

so we (Ricketts) went in saying we have a proven track record here (the last few years) that despite a weak showing last year, we’re going to keep going with the guys we have. Since we’ve gotten in, I spent a week in the team meetings and spent a week down in the Dominican, spent time with not only Jim but all of his staff. I’ve been very impressed and I think that they have, that Jim has a very good organization, and you probably know better than anyone that they’re some of the best in the business. And I’ve also been sitting in on the organizational meetings where you see the coaches and the scouts discuss players, which on some teams doesn’t happen. And I think Jim runs a good organization, I really do. And I was very impressed with the Dominican organization. Oneri down there with those guys that cover that market, I think they’re doing a good job.

I can only conclude that Ricketts is delusional. When you buy the Cubs you are buying a bad, incredibly bad, organization. That is a given. And anyone who thinks Jim Hendry and crew are some of the best in the business doesn't know a damn thing about business. Maybe he'll figure this out eventually..., but meanwhile...we're doomed.

when they get rid of lou and hendry, wait til you see the huge HELP WANTED sign they put up in rf bleachers!

How do you maintain such optimism all of the time.

Jim has a very good organization

The Cubs culture requires that you redefine your idea of "good". You really have to downgrade what you think of as "good" and then it becomes a way of life. You see Fontenot and think "ooh, good". Etc, etc.

Theriot at 2nd with Fontenot at SS. Interesting.

holy shit, didn't notice that.

someone nudge Lou and wake him.

It makes perfect sense. You don't want to mess with Theriot and that zone he's in right now at the plate.

Yup... Z sucked early on because he wasn't fat enough.

He's still avoiding all the water he can, I'm sure. Evil spirits and such.

I was at the game the other day. We left our expensive seats early to go sit in the bleachers because there was a really obnoxious conversation going on among the M's fans behind us. The dude directly behind me stopped drinking diet soda because he doesn't want the calories.

There was an interesting article about Silva in the Seattle paper. He said that one of the reasons he's comfortable in Chicago is because they don't talk about his weight. In spring training they just talked about what he needs to do to pitch well (he's using a lot less fastballs this year), but in Seattle, they obsessed about his weight. Also, people claimed he was a bad influence on Felix.

every year there's a silva article talking about how "some thing" has happened and he feels like he's turned a corner...and it's something different ever year.

the only difference this season is people are asking him in june rather than stopping asking him in april because he's actually doing something this season.

it's a new pitch, new teammates, new offseason regimen, etc etc...

whatever works.

...and how is silva a bad influence on anyone? he's supposed to be really nice and laid-back without being loud.

That was the same question he asked. He said Felix needs a bad influence if it leads him to 17 wins.

It's only June, Z can still put on 25 lbs of muscle if he would only talk to Tyler.

TALK TO TYLER!

God, Fontenot at SS now... I still hate this team. Time to trade someone else. Keep trading until I enjoy watching the Cubs.

For fuck's sake.

I thought you had a great idea. Just eat all of Fukudome's contract for 2010 and maybe someone would take him off our hands. but...

The Cubs already are shopping benched outfielder Kosuke Fukudome and the $20 million-plus left on his contract. A National League scout said Wednesday night that even if the Cubs ate this year's remaining $7 million or so, plus half of next year's $13.5 million, it's probably not enough for a lot of teams.

''He might not be worth $4 [million],'' he said.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

it just takes one team, no one thought Bradley was movable either.

benching him doesn't help much especially with his hitting coach back in town.

think he has a 15-team NTC as well...

I'd be surprised if he used his NTC.

How about to the Hanshin Tigers for Matt Murton.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/mariner...

in regards to Twins being front-runner for Cliff Lee, but don't count out the Mets.

But the Mets have some pretty good young players of their own. Not catchers, mind you, but if the rumors coming out of New York are true, the M's might have to ship Lee off to the Big Apple.

That's because the rumors -- and they are only rumors, but with some logic -- say the Mets might offer top pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia (photo above) and current major league outfielder Angel Pagan in a Lee swap. Wow, that one would be tough to decline.

the twins actually going out and getting an impact player at the trade deadline would be a weird change that should have been investigated about 3-4 times over the past decade.

"Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins are working out a minor league deal with veteran reliever Armando Benitez."

lol wut?

E 3 D Lee

fuku, when you're getting reduced playing time you need to run out those hits to an infielder...especially when they end up bobbling it and you're still thrown out by 4-5 steps.

A weird thing is happening in this game. I can only assume it is because Lou is more comfortable managing without worrying about the pitcher coming to the plate, but he is using his bullpen intelligently. I figured for sure he was just going to pitch Cashner for one inning, and that he was going to save Marmol for a save. I know it's just a brief moment, but it's nice to see he's making some lucid decisions for a change.

leave in the 8th, come back home for the 11th...nice.

i'll take it.

cubs leading the league in OF dives.

just picked up their 172th of the season. 128 are byrd's.

CUUUUUUBS!

...howry seems to be the only guy up in the pen.

2 outs, gives up a single...gorz in...c'mon gorz...

Howry denied!
Gorz coming in to try for his first career save attempt

mark prior warming in the pen?

woo.

4hr 2m

wow what a depressing bunch of comments. But everyone who visits this site predicted this crap if I remember right. I guess one surprise is Aram and DLee totally tanking, especially Aram, but this wasn't a very good team from the beginning and if the owner thinks it was he needs to read more in quality baseball forums.

My hunch, though, is that Hendry is primed to leave, and Ricketts is just doing what owners do -- false vote of confidence.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 46 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 48 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 58 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 3 hours 41 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 8 hours 26 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 8 hours 27 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 18 hours 8 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 21 hours 6 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 21 hours 19 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 21 hours 27 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 21 hours 33 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 21 hours 51 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 22 hours 27 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 22 hours 45 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 22 hours 47 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 23 hours 5 min ago view