Archive - May 9, 2006

GAME THIRTY-TWO IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (14-17, 5th, 6.5 GB) AT SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (15-17, 4th, 4.5 GB) Telephone Company Park, 7:15 PM CDT Weather: 56 degrees, clear, Wind Out to RF @ 20 mph TV: WGN, DirecTV 745 Radio: WGN, XM 189
Jason Schmidt, RHP 2-2, 3.77 ERA, 43 IP 33 K, 18 BB, 4 HRRich Hill, LHP 0-1, 11.25 ERA, 4 IP 1 K, 2 BB, 2 HR
*Juan Pierre, CF Ronny Cedeno, SS *Todd Walker, 1B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Michael Barrett, C *Jacque Jones, RF Matt Murton, LF #Neifi Perez, 2B *Rich Hill, P*Randy Winn, RF #Omar Vizquel, SS *Lance Niekro, 1B *Satan, LF Pedro Feliz, 3B *Steve Finley, CF Mike Matheny, C #Jose Vizcaino, 2B Jason Schmidt, P

Cubs vs. Schmidt: Neifi Perez: 6-20 300/391/450 1 HR, 3 BB, 2 K Michael Barrett: 4-20 200/200/350 1 HR, 0 BB, 2 K Aramis Ramirez: 5-18 278/350/611 1 HR, 3 2B, 1 BB, 1 K Juan Pierre: 5-17 294/333/412 1BB, 3 K John Mabry: 1-16 063/063/063 0 BB, 8 K Todd Walker: 4-14 286/412/286 3 BB, 1 K &nbsp&nbsp&nbspGiants vs. Hill:

The rematch we've all been waiting for, who could forget the epic duel between Hill and Schmidt last year on July 25th. In his first major league start, Hill labored through 5 innings, but held the Giants to merely two runs while striking out five. The veteran Schmidt though was up to the task, hurling seven strong innings, his only blemish - a Michael Barrett dinger. The Cubs offense persisted though, scratching a run off of Boo-Bird Hawkins in the eight, and then finally pushing through in the ninth off Tyler Walker. Cedeno leads off with a single, was moved over on a sacrifice bunt by Hairston, a sharp single to right by Todd Walker advanced Cedeno to third and that was followed up by the easiest decision ever made in baseball, an intentional walk to Derrek Lee. That set the stage for the one and only Jeromy Burnitz, who promptly flied out to centerfield, deep enough for the young Cedeno to scamper home with the winning run. 3-2, Cubs Win, Cubs Win!!!! Why did I write just write in such great detail about a meaningless game last July? Because it's a lot more exciting than the drivel the Cubs have produced over the last week or so. One other quick note from the game last year, Omar Vizquel stole 3 bases in the game, 2 off the Hill/Barrett combo that we'll see tonight. With Randy Winn now on the team, Hill's inability to hold runners and Barrett's well-known throwing deficiencies, I expect a track meet out there. Of course we stole five bases off Piazza over the weekend and scored one run off a Ramirez home run, so it probably won't matter much. The Cubs seven game losing streak though will take a backseat (at least on a national level) to the Barry Bonds pursuit of Babe's home run total. A mere two home runs from becoming the second greatest home run hitter of all-time, it will be up to the Cubs pitching staff to try and stave off the celebration until a later date. With Alou out at least 2 weeks (and likely more), I don't see any good reason to pitch to Mr. Bonds with anybody on base. Normally I abhor the "Walk Bonds" approach, because telling your pitchers that you don't think they're good enough to get Bonds out isn't the way to inspire future confidence when they do need to get a good hitter out. But in this case, I'd rather not watch that buffoon celebrate while I'm trying to watch the game. He may possibly be the greatest baseball player ever and I could care less, chemically enhanced or not, he's a jerk, a creep, and I hope he never even sniffs Aaron's record. If I was a major league pitcher, if I ever reached a three ball count on him, I'd just throw at his armguard every single time. Heck with George Mitchell's steroid witchhunt, go find out how much his home run rate went up once he started setting up half an inch off the plate with 2 feet of body armor covering his "tender" elbow. (On a sidenote, he is a free agent next year, man we could use a bat like that, Any takers? Anyone?........kidding) The Cubs are in desperate need of some offense, some defense, some kind of spark, a bench-clearing brawl, who knows. I suggest drilling Bonds each time, see what happens. Win a freakin' game!!!

In last week's Week Ahead, I said:
Hi Carlos! How are you? Have you remembered that you are very good yet?
And:
As of today the Cubs' next three opponents are a combined 28-47 (.373). With or without Wood, Prior, and Lee, these are games the Cubs need to win.
If you're scoring at home (or even if you're alone), that would be one yes and one no, which is a .500 percentage, which is something the Cubs are now three games away from. Bleah. San Francisco Giants Know Your Enemy: McCovey Chronicles, El Lefty Malo, Only Baseball Matters Tuesday, 9:15: Rich Hill vs. Jason Schmidt Wednesday, 9:15: Carlos Zambrano vs. Matt Cain Thursday, 2:35: Sean Marshall vs. Jamey Wright It looks like the Cubs will get a second chance to be party to a slugger passing Babe Ruth, as Barry Bonds sits on 713 home runs with the Cubs on their way to the Phone Booth in The City by the Bay. Did you know that legendary San Francisco newspaper columnist Herb Caen used to refer to San Francisco as "Baghdad by the Bay"? I'm sure it was a compliment when he said it, but I doubt any city wants to be compared to Baghdad right now. This oughtta be a barn-burner of a series. Rank in the NL in key offensive categories: Runs: Giants 11th, Cubs 16th Home Runs: Giants 11th, Cubs 15th Average: Giants 9th, Cubs 14th OBP: Giants 11th, Cubs 15th Slugging: Giants 13th, Cubs 15th Of course, the Padres rank below the Giants in all those categories and they just waxed the Cubs for four straight. On the bright side, the Cubs scored 6 runs over the last two games, as many as they had scored in the previous eight. Bleah. San Diego Padres Know Your Enemy: Ducksnorts, Gaslamp Ball Friday, 1:20: Woody Williams vs. Angel Guzman Saturday, 1:20: Greg Maddux vs. Chris Young Sunday, 1:20: Rich Hill vs. Clay Hensley Padres.com has a TBA scheduled for Friday, with Williams pushed back to Saturday -- not sure why. Also, Dusty has not officially named Angel Guzman as the starter for that game. It doesn't seem like there's any chance that the Cubs will activate Kerry Wood, though, so the only other option seems to be bringing Glendon Rusch back to the rotation. Of course, Dusty says that will "probably not" happen, but what are the other alternatives? Bringing back Jerome Williams? Bleah. If the Cubs really don't want Guzman in the rotation for another start, how about calling up Les Walrond for one start? He's a minor-league journeyman (29 years old, 8 major league innings) who is off to a 4-1, 2.12 start at Iowa. He's not a long-term solution, but it might be nice to reward him for what he's done over the ifrst month. He's not on the 40-man, so they would need to make room for him, but do they really need to keep Mike Restovich on the 40-man roster? Bleah. [UPDATE:] As mentioned in the comments, Restovich was outrighted to Iowa because he is out of options. So, he's off the 40-man and there is a spot open.
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