Game Preview: Pirates (26-50) vs. Cubs (33-43)

First, the lineups...

Tabata, LaRoche, McCutchen, Jones, Milledge, Alvarez, Doumit, Cedeno, Karstens


Fukudome, Theriot, Lee, Ramirez, Colvin, Soriano, Hill, Castro, Lilly.

Now, the news...

- Z gets sent to the corner with his dunce cap and Grab-Ass to the disabled list with a sprained knee. Miles says Grab-Ass should be out 3-4 weeks. Jeff Stevens and James Russell get the call-ups with Tom Gorzelanny scheduled to start tomorrow.

- Jon Morosi of Fox Sports  says that the Red Sox and Cubs discussed a deal for Mike Fontenot before the Red Sox grabbed Eric Patterson after he was DFA'd by the A's. Morosi also says that the Cubs are "halfway" to sell mode...half-assing it as always.

- The Smokies landed 9 on the Southern League All-Star team after taking the first half division title. They are:

OF Tony Campana

C Robinson Chirinos

C Steve Clevenger

1B Blake Lalli

OF Ty Wright

RHP Austin Bibens-Dirx

RHP David Cales

LHP Ryan Buchter

RHP Hung-Wen Chen

Andrew Cashner and Starlin Castro were also early contributors to their run.

- Bruce Levine put this piece of info out there in his chat today.

The reasons Hendry was enabled to sign people to long-term deals was Sam Zell's insistence that they build up the product so he can get a higher buyout from the Ricketts family. Hendry was on an airplane when the Soriano deal was done by other team executives. Jim has to take his share of blame, but let's not start with revisionist history.

As one of our readers pointed out, Zell hadn't even bought the team by that point (wasn't until April of 2007), so Levine seems to just be shoveling whatever B.S. Hendry is feeding him...or just made an honest mistake about the timeline of ownership.

Cubs try to solve the Pirates puzzle today...recommended for ages 4-5, but does require adult supervision.


From Miles: "Lou said John Grabow will be out three weeks to a month with something more than a mild sprain of his left knee."

heh, just modified the post to add that.

Miles also been pimping Soriano back to the leadoff spot. hope crunch doesn't read that.

soriano was already wasted...we can't get those years back.

good to see him back hitting 6th. go aram.

Didn't we make the playoffs in those years?

The Cubs also scored a lot more runs per game.

Other than those 2 minor things, it kind of sucked.

Well, I can't get on board with that correlation = causation thing, but unless the idea is that batting someone else leadoff in the '07 and '08 playoff would have made us win, what's the point?

"Well, I can't get on board with that correlation = causation thing"

me either.

when you got a guy who hits more or nearly more xbase hits than he has RBIs that says a lot more to me before we even get to the parts where he kept leading off while he had to windmill his legs just to run more than a jogging pace.

Well, he has not hit lead off this year and that hasn't changed. He has 37 XBH and 38 RBI.

he ॰ight as well have the 8th hitter and pitcher hitting in front of him, thway lee and aram are hitting.

yeah, what he said.

the 2 guys in front of him are struggling to hit .200 combined all season...and the ob% isn't getting much better.

it's july...c'mon lou. move some guys. may is over.

today's lineup aram finally moves out of the 4 slot...where dlee takes his place...and aram is 5th...and soriano is 6th.

"finally moves out of the 4 slot"

A-Ram's batted 5th almost as often this year as he's batted 4th.

the point being, as has always been my point is that the Cubs did just fine when Soriano was hitting like he should be hitting in the leadoff spot because a)the Cubs don't have a much better option for the leadoff spot b)the increased number of PA's outweighs or at least equalizes the less than ideal lineup construction. Not like they're running much with Theriot or Fukudome up there.

now when Soriano was hitting like he did in 2009, he had no business up there or anywhere but 8th or on the bench.

Moving him down in the order has literally solved nothing and if anything made the Cubs worse, even if just coincidentally.

personally being up 1-0 in the 1st is kind of neat too...and just kind of wondering out loud, I'd be curious to know what the Cubs record was when he hit a leadoff HR? versus when he hits a HR in a non-leadoff spot since being moved?

"even if just coincidentally"

well empirically, it doesn't make any team better giving Theriot the 120 PA's that Soriano was getting.

In case you didn't see it in our Twitter feed...

At no time this year, over 86 2/3 IP, has Ted Lilly been on the mound with a lead of more than two runs.

For Lilly's sake, I hope he ends this season with a much better team than the one he's pitching for right now. He's earned it.

They said last night the Cubs have yet to score four runs in any of his starts.

And in other news, the Cubs won a nice game today, with the exception of another overall poor offensive performance. Nice to see Soriano generate some offense though, and great start by Lilly.

Thomas Diamond in a 0-0 game after 4 ip, Shark comes in bottom of 5th and this happened...

New Orleans Bottom 5th
Pitcher Change: Jeff Samardzija replaces Thomas Diamond, batting 9th.
Offensive Substitution: Pinch hitter Scott Cousins replaces Brian Lawrence. Scott Cousins walks.
Cameron Maybin strikes out swinging.
Danny Richar singles on a line drive to left fielder Bryan LaHair. Scott Cousins to 3rd. Danny Richar advances to 2nd, on throwing error by left fielder Bryan LaHair.
Jeff Samardzija intentionally walks Logan Morrison.
Hector Luna hits a grand slam (14) to left field. Scott Cousins scores. Danny Richar scores. Logan Morrison scores.
Donnie Murphy walks.
Coaching visit to mound.
Bryan Petersen walks. Donnie Murphy to 2nd.
On-field Delay.
Brad Davis called out on strikes.
Mark Saccomanno homers (1) on a fly ball to left field. Donnie Murphy scores. Bryan Petersen scores.
Scott Cousins grounds out to first baseman Micah Hoffpauir.

Game called after 5, rain. Final 7-0.

Time to reinvent him as a catcher?

... or football?

... for Green Bay?


joe migrane just on wscr.
said he was talking to lou at xmas party last year and lou was fed up wih z then. also said there were more issues wih z that were not made public in the past.

I am firmly convinced that Soriano should be traded as soon as possible while he still appears to have trade value and as long as the receiving team pays nearly all of his contract. He might be clobbering the ball now, but this is not a contract we want to be under for another 4 years.

I doubt any team would be willing to pay nearly all of $72 million for Soriano over the next 4 years.

Check again in two years, when the money is sorta managable. He's no Manny Ramirez but Ramirez went from untradeable to a guy people wanted to give up prospects for as his contract got closer to expiration.


He was put on waivers and not claimed twice.

Ramirez was traded with 2 months left on his contract and the Red Sox paid all that was remaining. If the Cubs paid all of Soriano's salary they would probably get a few prospects back as well.

The Red Sox also got Jason Bay on a below-market contract in that trade... they did essentially wind up paying $12 million and two C+ prospects for 2/5ths of a season for Bay, though.

But even if the Cubs find a taker for him, Soriano has a "no trade" and there is no indication he wants to leave.

True, but there's not much to stay for, either.

The nightlife.

And the line of young latin boys provided by the Cubs farm system.


Recent comments

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  • Agree. It could not be more perfect that we beat the Cardinals in this ascendant season of all seasons, and in the first postseason series we ever saw them in.

  • I think all we can say is, "Okay, let's go on to the next series and see what happens." And how indescribably awesome is it to be able to say that on this date in this year.

  • Thanks, O&B. So funny about our age. Let's just say- I have always wondered why Durocher didn't give Hundley a few days off when he had Gene Oliver and John Boccabella on the bench.

  • Strop K'ing Peralta to start the 8th, given their history -- what a fantastic moment! And Javy bouncing back -- big time -- form yesterday's games.

    Contributions from literally everyone in this series -- Soler and Schwarber were off the charts -- Miggy's pick-off was awesome.

    This team is just so much damn fun.

  • Wish I knew how to post a pic. Both CUBSTER & I in attendance. I finally feel like some demons have been vanquished, and there is some magic here.

    Joe Maddon is far and away the best manager I have seen work for my team.

  • pretty much this. also, a magician.

  • Madden brought it in some lions and sharks to Wrigley Field and let them eat people

  • What did I miss?

  • I think Strop deserves a very special mention. He had so many struggles against the Cardinals but pitched two successful and very high pressure innings the last two games against them and looked nasty doing so.

  • How about this, the Cubs are 10-1 over the last 3 weeks.

  • I was thinking about it earlier that the Cubs are 101-66 and the Cards 101-65...but, does anyone outside of the two of us ever calculate records including post season? Don't think I've seen that ever before.

  • With today's victory,  the Cubs are just 1/2 game behind (0.5 GB) the Cardinals for the best record in MLB in 2015. 

    If they win the LCS and the World Series and go no worse than 8-4 in the process, the Cubs will be World Champions AND they will have the best record in MLB in 2015 (CUBS 109-70 .6089 versus STL 101-65 .6084). 

  • Well, I can say this...Cardinals fans certainly hate the Cubs right now...about as much as Pirates fans.

    Our bullpen was friggin brilliant this series...even if their ERA doesn't look good.

  • Not sure who I want...Kershaw/Greinke is scary, but I almost worry more about the Mets ability to score in bunches like us.

    Do like the fact that if it is the Dodgers, Kershaw can't go until Game 2 and Greinke until Game 3.

  • I agree with you, but I hate them both. I hate Stephen Piscotty. I hate Tommy Pham. I hate Yadier Molina. I hate Kolten Wong. I hate Jon Jay. And that's just off the 2015 version of the Cardinals.

    Sorry, I'm a hateful person :(

  • The Cardinals themselves are fine and a tough opponent, it's really just their cocky, hick fans I can't stand.