Archive - May 4, 2006

GAME TWENTY-SEVEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (14-12, 5th, 4 GB) AT ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (15-13, 2nd, 1 GB) Chase Field, 8:40 PM CDT Weather: Still Hot!!! TV: WCIU Radio: WGN, XM 188
Juan Cruz, RHP 0-0, 2.65 ERA, 17 IP 17 K, 10 BB, 2 HRRich Hill, LHP (2006 AAA) 1-0. 1.44 ERA, 25 IP 33 K, 7 BB, 1 HR
*Juan Pierre, CF Ronny Cedeno, SS Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Todd Walker, 1B Matt Murton, LF *Jacque Jones, RF *Freddie Bynum, 2B Henry Blanco, C *Rich Hill, PEric Byrnes, CF #Orlando Hudson, 2B *Chad Tracy, 3B Conor Jackson, 1B *Shawn Green, RF Damion Easley, SS #Johnny Estrada, C Andy Green, LF Juan Cruz, P

It'll be a battle for Hill to win over some fans after his disappointing debut last season. "One-pitch" Hill did little to impress as he relied almost exclusively on that 12-6 curveball and straight as can be fastball. He's always had a changeup and cutter, but aparently didn't feel confident enough in them to use them against major league hitters. Things have supposedly changed and he's got a slider in the repertoire as well now and hopefully remains his focused self as he did at the end of spring training and his first month in AAA ball. Personally, I hope Hill has found the way cause the potential of two dominating lefties in our rotation is quite tasty, plus I feel he's gotten a bit of a bum wrap around here as if it's impossible for him to adjust or improve upon his game from his less than stellar debut last year. Hell look at John Koronka, the guy finds a slider to go with his fastball/changeup and he's suddenly mowing down major league batters. On the mound for the D-Backs is ex-Cub Juan Cruz who gets his second start of the season. I'm guessing he's going to be pretty amped up to face his old team and it would be wise for the Cubs to take a few and let the guy get himself into some trouble. Of course that doesn't jive with our offensive game plan of swing early, swing often. The Cubs need to find some offense and find it quick. When things go wrong on the northside, there seems to be an automatic reflex of blame Dusty, but not a manager in baseball is going get runs out of a team who has 3 positions unable to top the new Mendoza line of a 300 OBP and their cleanup hitter not even slugging 400. Dusty can juggle it all you want, these guys just aren't producing right now and it's up to this offense to start hitting. I do like the small switch of Walker behind Ramirez as hopefully Ramirez will actually see some pitches near the strike zone. Of course, that small change is probably negated by having Blanco and Bynum in the lineup. Speaking of lineups, that's an interesting one that Bob Melvin is putting out there today. Andy Green? Is Davanon hurt or something? And Hudson batting second? The guy is hitting 220/277/336 from the right side for his career. I was always curious as to why a hitter who is just horrible from one side of the plate, just doesn't scrap switch-hitting. Of course Hudson does have a 281/343/438 line as a righty this year (in 32 Ab's) versus a 194/280/239 line as a lefty(67 AB's) but I'll guess that those numbers trend towards his career line by the time the year is up. Let's get a win Cubbies and GO HILL!!!

About a month into the season, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some stats, meaningless as they are. The Cubs are 4th in Team Defensive Efficiency The Cubs are 10th in Team ERA, the relievers are 7th, but 6th in Total Runs Allowed. The Cubs are 2nd to last in Total Runs Scored and are only 2 runs above the Marlins despite playing one more game then them. The Cubs are 2nd to last in Team Slugging, only the Padres trail. The Cubs are 3rd to last in Team OBP, only the Padres & Pirates trail. Cubs as a team versus lefties: 192/273/279 Cubs as a team versus righties: 284/337/441 Individually by position, I'll use GPA (Gross Production Average), a better measure than OPS as it weighs on-base percentage as 1.8 times more important than slugging percentage, divides the whole thing by four to make it look like a batting average and adjusts for ballpark factors. Michael Barrett: .298 (about 6th among those catchers who play regularly) Ronny Cedeno: .278 (4th, well ahead of the struggling Rafael Furcal) Aramis Ramirez: .243 (9th ahead of only Vinny Castilla, David Bell & Pedro Feliz) Matt Murton: .275 (9th) Juan Pierre: .213 (2nd to last only ahead of Chris Duffy) Jacque Jones: .248 (11th if he qualified, ahead of Jose Guillen, Jeromy Burnitz, Juan Encarnacion and Jeff Franceour) Todd Walker: .312 (2nd if he was a second baseman, 6th for 1st baseman) As for starting pitching (25 IP cutoff): Greg Maddux is 5th in PRC (Pitching Runs Created), 6th in ERA, 4th in VORP Carlos Zambrano is 50th in VORP Sean Marshall is 24th in VORP And the relievers: Ryan Dempster is tied for 7th in saves, 6th in BP.com's WXLR (Reliever Expected Wins Added) Bobby Howry is 21st in WXLR
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