Opening Day 2011 - Pirates @ Cubs

It's Christmas time for baseball fans and Santa's delivered the lowly Pirates to the Cubs. Of course, the Cubs went 5-10 against one of the worse teams I've ever seen play baseball last year, so the Cubs have that going for them. Don't forget to join the fun during our in-game chat. Folks come and go throughout the game so if you hang around for awhile, someone is usually sure to pop in.

LF Tabata RF *Fukudome
2B #Walker SS Castro
CF McCutchen CF Byrd
1B *Overbay 3B Ramirez
3B *Alvarez 1B *Pena
C #Doumit C Soto
RF *G. Jones LF Soriano
SS Cedeno 2B Barney
P Correia P Dempster

Undoubtedly Correia is going to throw a shutout today, but generally you have to laugh at a team employing a guy for Opening Day with a career 4.57 ERA and a 4.91 ERA over the last three years, the last two being in Petco Park.

My division predictions after the jump...


  1. Boston Red Sox
  2. New York Yankees
  3. Baltimore Orioles
  4. Tampa Bay Rays
  5. Toronto Blue Jays


  1. Minnesota Twins
  2. Detroit Tigers
  3. Chicago White Sox
  4. Kansas City Royals
  5. Cleveland Indians


  1. Oakland A's
  2. Anaheim Angels
  3. Texas Rangers
  4. Seattle Mariners



  1. Philadelpia Phillies
  2. Atlanta Braves
  3. Flordia Marlins
  4. New York Mets
  5. Washington Nationals


  1. Colorado Rockies
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. San Francisco Giants
  4. San Diego Padres
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks


  1. Milwaukee Brewers
  2. Cincinnati Reds
  3. Chicago Cubs - 85 wins
  4. St. Louis Cardinals
  5. Houston Astros
  6. Pittsburgh Pirates

WILD CARD: Atlanta Braves


Maybe starting Correia is the Pirates idea of an April Fool's joke.

happy new year!


I'll really be surprised if the Brewers with the division - they just don't have any depth. If one of seven guys is out for more than a couple of weeks, they're going to have trouble, and it's not like their farms system can provide replacements or guys to trade for reasonable proximity of any of their stars.

As a GM of the Brewers, going for it like he has in Weeks' and Fielder's FA year seems like it makes sense. I bet they have sold a lot of tickets, but no pun intended, that team seems like a house of cards.

Didn't Weeks sign an extension?

UPDATE: Weeks did sign an extension during ST. 4 years, $38.5 million, plus an option year. Signed through 2014.

That's a bargain. Weeks must like fried cheese curds.

My favorite picture of Rickie Weeks:

Safe for work

Not sure if I like it to tell you the truth, he's got a history of suckage and getting hurt.

Not saying it's a bad deal, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that way.

Trading your 2nd basemen of the future, I guess, limits your options.

They way he's gaining weight (HGH?? or eating? It looks more like a massive off-season muscle gain)...he looks like a future 1b.

WGN's new stat graphics look nice but the fonts are way too small, very difficult to read, even on an HDTV.

GameDay revamped pretty severely. Looks nice.


all of them...

consensus has it: Cubs 4th, White Sox 1st

elsewhere: Matt Holliday having appendectomy today

Barney hasn't really evolved as a base stealer. *rimshot

Commence eye rolling.

Barney needs to wear his purple dinosaur suit when he's on the bases, it will distract the pitcher.

You missed the irony of his first hit on the season.

I saw it, he slipped out of the box, then was thrown out stealing. I blame Tom Ricketts.

Yes, before the Nomaresque escape from the batter's box, he hit a soft liner in front of a foolishly deep playing right fielder, then was caught stealing. It was like an episode "Ghosts of Cubs Infielers Past".

LOL. Speaking of Nomar he was doing the Cards-Pads game for ESPN yesterday and got to criticize Theriot.

I'm not watching the game or listening to the radio broadcast, so yes, I probably missed it. I'm just following along on Yahoo!

Fair warning, though, I have several other eye-rollin' Darwin jokes to crack before the season is over.

darwin hits a single.
darwin grounds out in the infield.

there's 90% of what you can say about him. the other 10% can praise his D.

think we need astro-ivy for april games...

the vinny's beverage depot guess the attendance game may not be such a slam dunk this year...

If you're going to walk Cedeno at least drill him in the head.


WGN has a new microphone hanging over the field, you can hear the rocks in Cedeno's head rattling as he runs the bases.

And Dempster has lost his control.

Dammit Dempster.


Mark Riggins fault

dempster winless vs. bucs last year i think...neil walker?

0-3, 6.88 era vs Bucs last year.

Walker hit three HRs against Cubs last year, off Lilly, Mateo and Diamond. It was Walker's rookie season as a Cub killer.

Looks like Walker was 3-4 last year vs Dempster.

BR added pitcher stats by home plate umpire this year under their splits (unless I didn't notice that last year).

Quade leaves Dempster in, throwing mid-80's fastballs with no control. Take him out before the Pirates drive in that 5th run. Damn.

He walks Jones on 5 pitches. The only strike was an 84 mph fastball over the heart of the plate that Jones stared at. Now rocks for brains is up. Dempster throwing harder to Cedeno, knows this is his last batter. K's Cedeno, who promptly stares at Dempster while a random pigeon shits on Ronnie's head.

We'll be glad we had Carlos Pena defer half his salary once Dempster is on the 60 day DL!!!!!

I hate being a cubs fan. It's like being a Royals fan with deeper pockets and worse management.

Before the ab to Cedeno, the way Dempster was walking around behind the mound after most pitches the last two innings, and his decline in velocity, I was wondering if he's hurt.

Ah, the ol' Opening Day doom and gloom. I sense a Manny Trillo post in 3...2...1...

This game is a must-win.

Wait til the game is over, so he won't be proven wrong.

so much for the hike & group hug on top of camelback mountain in february...

So we've learned today that Mike Quade is either an idiot or blind. How the F##k! does he let Dempster come back out for the 7th? What's the goal here, to make sure we have no chance to come back in this game? Goal accomplished.

Why did Dumpster pitch the 7th? Were the last 2 innings of crap not enough of a sign that he was losing it?

Puzzling. Last year Quade seemed to have a quick hook for pitchers, taking them out at the first sign of trouble, which was refreshing compared to Lou having to be woken up to make pitching changes after the fact.

'you know steve, salazar spelled backwards is razzle-ass...'


114 PITCHES!?!

So... the honeymoon is over?

I can hear Ronnie now...."Oh Noooooooooo!"
btw Rob G. I am banned or something? wuzza?

banned from what?

if you mean Parachat, try another browser, I had issues getting in with Firefox 4, but Safari worked. Not sure what the problem is...

I figured it out. I am blaming:

4) Barrett

So the only thing I can guess from this game is that Quade bet the Pirates to win?

Shark walks two straight to load the bases with one you think Hendry had the 'Silva' conversation with Ricketts about Samardzija too?

Naw, Samardzija just walks back into the dugout after the inning-saving DP line-out and says, "Well, I did MY job!"

Game summary for home team: no power, no walks, pitching serves up multi-run homers.

Yep, sounds like the Cubs.

no XBH's today

impressive, most impressive

At least the game was reassuringly familiar, they're just easing us into the season

Agree - this was the archetype for all future Cubs games. I especially liked how Ramirez stretched to make contact with the ball in his last AB (tried to pull the low and away pitch to boot), virtually assuring that the ball would be weakly grounded to SS and end the game. Well done.

He was doing that last year too. Aren't hitter supposed to get smarter as they get older?

Depends on which teams they're playing for. I don't have stats for this though, so don't call me on it.

highlight doesn't look that low and away to me, looked more over the plate and down, but Hanahran does throw 97 with nice movement

Durn, slept through game one. Looks like the Cubs did too, so that's ok.

Go cubs. fart.

What an awful start to the season. I did laugh while driving home, though. Cedeno hit a weak pop fly to center to end the inning. Pat Hughes issued the closest thing he could to a bitch clap by saying (in a questioning tone), "Ronnie Cedeno, the number 8 hitter, swinging on 3-0 with two outs."

Yeah, seriously. He's on another team and still pissing me off by doing this weird shit like swinging on 3-0

Recent comments

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  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • 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.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    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:

    Some "Highlights"
    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.