Archive - May 2007

Luis Aparicio. Dave Concepcion. Manny Trillo. Ozzie Guillen. Magglio Ordonez. Bobby Abreu. Omar Vizquel. Carlos Zambrano. Miguel Cabrera. Ramon Hernandez. Johan Santana. Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez. Victor Martinez. Melvin Mora. Felix Hernandez. Jose Lopez.   Just a few of the many past and present MLB stars from Venezuela. On Opening Day 2007, there were 51 players from Venezuela on MLB 25-man rosters, with many more Venezuelans playing in the minor leagues.  Since 1999, the number of Venezuelans playing in MLB has doubled.  Last July, the Cubs gave 16-year old Venezuelan RHP Larry Suarez (currently at EXST at Fitch Park) a reported $850K signing bonus (an amount equivalent to "2nd round money").

...not in the "we have too much of a good thing kind of way", but more of the "wow this is embarrassing with how much this roster cost the Cubs." And as Mark DeRosa stated yesterday, "There's no good reason for this to be going on." A team built to hit home runs is currently 9th in the NL in runs scored because well, they're 9th in the NL in home runs hit (among some other reasons). Derrek Lee is on pace to hit 14 home runs this year as is Alfonso Soriano. Cliff Floyd won't even hit double digits at this point (8), and Jacque Jones and Matt Murton are in Juan Pierre territory at the moment. I'd love to believe that better times are to come, we still have the best run differential in the Central at +11 and the likelihood of all those players setting what would be essentially career lows for home runs in one season (when you consider playing time) is rather unlikely. This being the Cubs though, the unlikely and improbable in their most negative connotations has become standard operating procedure, so the best I could muster up is some sabermetric optimism after the jump.

May 30th

Game Chat Sergio Mitre vs. Ted Lilly Lineups:
Abercrombie CF Soriano LF
Uggla 2b Theriot SS
Ramirez SS Lee 1B
Cabrera 3B Floyd RF
Willingham LF Ramirez 3B
Hermida RF DeRosa 2B
Olivo C Jones CF
Boone 1B Blanco C
Mitre P Lilly P

May 29th

Game Chat Dontrelle Willis vs. Jason Marquis Lineups:
Amezaga CF Soriano LF
Uggla 2b Izturis SS
Ramirez SS Lee 1B
Cabrera 3B Ramirez 3B
Willingham LF Murton RF
Hermida RF DeRosa 2B
Oiivo C Barrett C
Boone 1B Pagan CF
Willis P Marquis P

The EXST Cubs (Boise/Mesa) rallied with four runs in the bottom of the 8th to defeat the EXST Angels 6-4 at Mesa's Fitch Park Field #3 this morning, in a game that featured the second rehab start for RHP Juan Mateo. Mateo, who has been on the Cubs 15-day DL with a sore shoulder since ST, increased his innings to three and his pitch count to 40+, as he threw 41 pitches (29 strikes, 4/2 GB/FB), with his fastball topping out at 92 MPH. He allowed three hits (one HR) and one run, but no walks, with three strikeouts, in his three innings of work. As long as he does not having any significant negative physical symptoms in the aftermath of today's game, Mateo looks fit and ready to leave Mesa and continue his rehab (gradually increasing his pitch count) at Daytona or Tennessee, with a return to the Iowa starting rotation probably by no later than mid-June, possibly even earlier.

May 28th

Conclude what you will... NL hitters with more home runs than Derrek Lee (incomplete list): Tony Clark Scott Thorman Joe Borchard Ronny Paulino NL hitters with more RBI than Alfonso Soriano (incomplete list): Rich Aurilia Joe Borchard Chris Duffy Ryan Theriot NL hitters seeing more Pitches per Plate Appearance than Mark DeRosa: Todd Helton Adam Dunn Albert Pujols NL hitters with a higher batter average with RISP than Derrek Lee: (None)

Game Chat

Byung-Hyun Kim vs. Sean Marshall

Lineups:

Abercrombie CF Soriano LF
Uggla 2b Floyd RF
Ramirez SS Lee 1B
Cabrera 3B Ramirez 3B
Willingham LF Barrett C
Hermida RF Jones CF
Wood 1B DeRosa 2B
Treanor C Theriot SS
Kim P Marshall P

May 27th

One to forget on Memorial weekend

Game Center, Box Score, Play by Play, Game Chart, Photos

W -Billingsley (3-0), finding ways to lose

L -Guzman (0-1), finding ways to win

 

Things to take from the game

1. Second Guessing

It's been a good day for the armchair managers. Let's see:

  1. Lou pulls Hill, who has thrown 66 pitches in 6 shutout innings, so that Ward can pinch-hit with a runner on second and two outs in a 0-0 game. Doesn't work.
  2. Lou asked Barrett, hitting fourth and with no sac. bunts on the year, to bunt with runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out in a 1-0 game in the eighth. Doesn't work.
  3. With the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth, Lou pinch hits Aramis Ramirez for the hot-hitting Pagan, a move that requires Jones to enter the game as a defensive replacement. Doesn't work.
  4. Lou pulls Wuertz, after an effective seventh, for Eyre, who hasn't pitched in a week, to start the eighth. Doesn't work.  (Eyre gives up HR to Ethier, tying the game)
2. More slow curves than you can can swing a stick at Both Hill and Wolf pitched well, Hill especially so. His reworked legkick(s) out of the stretch seemed to be effective both at holding runners on, and without distracting from his ability to pitch well out of the stretch. 3. Whiff in the Fifth Murton doubles, Pagan bunts his way on, and with Pagan advanceing on a wild pitchwe have runners at 2 and 3 with no outs. To my eyes, at least, Wolf tries to pitch around Izturis, in hopes that he'll either chase something, or walk and set up a DP with the pitcher hitting. Izturis lays off some sliders in the dirt, but with a 3-1 count, he weakly taps one to third. No run scores. Hill strikes out, Soriano walks, and Theriot grounds out. That's runners on 2 and 3, no outs, no runs scored. On average, a team should score two runs from that point in an inning. 4. New ways to lose. Bottom of the eleventh begins with two walks issued by Guzman, Marmol in to intentionally walk a batter, then Marmol hitting Pierre to end the game, on what would have been a wild pitch to end the game, had Pierre not gotten in the way. That's a new one. All the nutty details, below

 

Game Chat Rich Hill vs. Randy Wolf Lineups:
Soriano LF Furcal SS
Theriot 2B Pierre CF
Lee 1B Martin C
Barrett C Kent 2B
DeRosa 3B Saenz 1B
Murton RF Gonzalez LF
Pagan CF LaRoche 3B
Izturis SS Clark RF
Hill P Wolf P

May 26th

Game Chat Carlos Zambrano vs. Mark Hendrickson Lineups:
Soriano LF Pierre CF
Pagan CF Abreu 2b
Lee 1B Garciaparra 1B
Ramirez 3B Martin C
DeRosa 2B Gonzalez LF
Murton RF Betemit 3B
Blanco C Ethier RF
Izturis SS Martinez SS
Zambrano P Hendrickson P

May 25th

Elegia

Game Center, Play by Play, Photos, Box Score

W -Seanez (2-0), Fate

L - Ohman (0-2), faith in a benevolent creator

S - Saito (15)

Things to take from this game:

1. The Magnificent Seventh

It isn't just that we came back from a 5-1 deficit with a seven run outburst. It's how we did it. Seemingly every hit this inning was opposite-field on controlled swings and purposefull at-bats. It was easily the most enjoyable half inning of Cubs offense all year.

 

2. The Execrable Eighth.

It was followed by the most frustrating inning all year. Wuertz got pulled after a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh, for Howry. Howry gave up three straight line drives, and looked pretty frustrated with himself upon exiting for Ohman. Ohman faced one batter, gave up a hit, and in came Guzman who gave up the lead. Five straight hits, total, to start the inning.

 

3. Take Jeff Kent. Please.

Kent had four RBIs off of Lilly, and also arguably the hardest hit ball, all night, which wound up being just a fly out to the center field wall in the heavy LA night. At least he flubbed an easy double play attempt.

 

4. Picked.

It's sort of a small thing to focus on, but Derrek Lee got picked off of second, the play after doubling in the tying run in the seventh. Without that, we would have had one more run, and, conceivably, a tie game after nine

5. Soriano feeling better?

He misplayed a ball in the outfield, but at least Soriano looked like an offensive force, today. He took third on the throw after an RBI double, and seemed to look good doing it. Three hits, two RBI and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot.

The details, in all their triumph and tragedy, follow.

Game Chat Ted Lilly vs. Derek Lowe Lineups:
Soriano LF Furcal SS
DeRosa 2B Pierre CF
Lee 1B Garciaparra 1B
Ramirez 3B Kent 2B
Floyd RF Martin C
Barrett C Gonzalez LF
Jones CF Abreu 3B
Izturis SS Ethier RF
Lilly P Lowe P

May 24th

Game Chat Jason Marquis vs. Chris Young Lineups:
Soriano LF Giles 2B
DeRosa 2B Cruz Jr. RF
Lee 1B Cameron CF
Ramirez 3B Gonzalez 1B
Floyd RF Greene SS
Barrett C Bard C
Jones CF Kouzmanoff 3B
Theriot SS Sledge LF
Marquis P Young P

The EXST Giants defeated the EXST Cubs (Boise/Mesa) 6-1 this morning at Fitch Park Field #2 in Mesa, a game that featured the first game appearance for RHP Juan Mateo.

It's hard to go wrong with an Anchorman quote, especially when talking about "America's Finest City". I'm on vacation this week thus the lack of lineups in the game threads and my general lack of presence to keep you guys in line in the comments but The Angel Fan Wife and I procured a baby-sitter, (Uncle Chris) and headed on down south for my first look at the Bums in Blue - 2007 style. The drive from Long Beach was rather breezy, only a bit of traffic just as we reached the outskirts of the city. Camp Pendleton were in the midst of some sort of training or maneuvers as there were about 3 very large helicopters doing all sorts of interesting stuff, either that or we were being invaded by a family of three trying to cross the road.

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