All Quiet on the Wednesday Front
Some day olds news for everyone...
- Hendry flew out to Arizona yesterday to interview Ryne Sandberg for the manager's job in 2011. I like to imagine that hiring the owners choice in Sandberg is the only way Hendry keeps his job, but I've been surprised before.
- Tyler Colvin is out of the hospital and back home in South Carolina after surviving the Flying Bat of Death.
- Tom Gorzelanny will pitch Friday against the Cardinals with Coleman and Samardzija pitching the other 2 games. Carlos Silva is still attempting to make one more start before the season ends. I hear the starting pitcher gets to go first for the post-game spread.
The always anticipated "Ask Paul" segment yields:
- A small criticism of Mike Quade for playing Nady, Fukudome and Hill over Hoffpauir, Snyder and Castillo.
- that Hendry will submit a list of top manager choices and Ricketts will go over the list with him and Sullivan then suggests Hendry should leave if Ricketts vetoes his choice. I will now be rooting for whomever the Ricketts want and hoping it's not who Hendry wants.
- depending on the manager for next year, talks about Rothschild or Trammell returning or not returning.
- suggestions of Adam Dunn or Aubrey Huff for first base next season.
- The Cubs minor league record was 374-316 on the year, second best in baseball behind the Cards.
- The Cubs have used 18 rookies this year, most since the 19 used in 2000.
- Marmol is on pace for 135 K's which would break Bruce Sutter's 1977 club record of 129 K's for a reliever.
- As AZ Phil mentioned in the comments, Soto and Colvin have been placed on the DL and Esmailin Caridad has been activated off the 60-day disabled list. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Cubs placed Mitch Atkins on waivers. He still has one club option left if he is claimed by another team. The last player I recall the Cubs placing on waivers this late in the season to make room on the 40-man roster was Casey McGehee at the end of 2008. By this impenetrable logic, we can only surmise that Mitch Atkins will go on to a fine major league career with another organization.
- Mark Potash takes a look at Carlos Zambrano who is 6-0 with a 1.42 ERA in 9 starts since returning to the rotation and makes the case the Cubs should seize the opportunity to move his contract this offseason or be sure he gets plenty of rest next season if they plan to keep him. He believes that the normal lack of innings is a big reason behind his successful September and cites a 9-3, 1.98 career mark when having 6-8 days rest.
- Also some more first base talk from Wittenmyer, mostly filling word counts about the possible return of Xavier Nady to play first base next season.
- Randy Wells vs. Jonathen Sanchez tonight as the Cubs get 6 more opportunities to affect the NL West and wild card races with 2 more against the Giants and another 4 in San Diego next week. The Cubs currently reside at the 8th spot of next year's draft, but just a game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers.
- Kevin Towers lands the D'Backs GM job, Brandon Webb to the Cubs watch starts now.
- Be sure to check out FJM day over at Deadspin, the most entertaining baseball related items you'll read all year.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.
With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined).
BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.
If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).
As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).
I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.
Just with the chanting thing it worked to rattle Cueto last year where he dropped a ball and gave up a HR next pitch so you can't really hate on the fans for trying it again in this important of a game.