Archive - 2007

October 12th

The Brewers Arizona Instructional League team took advantage of five errors, two passed balls, and three wild pitches, en route to a 7-4 victory over the Cubs AZ Instructional League team at Maryvale Sports Complex Field #7 (AKA "Paul Molitor Field") in Phoenix this afternoon. (The "Big Stadium" at Maryvale was pre-booked for the championship game of some national senior league baseball tournament, so the Brewers and Cubs had to play their game down on the "Lower 40").

October 11th

After our twenty-one game turnaround in 2003 from 2002, Hendry and Co. didn't rest on their success and spent the offseason of 2004 and the season building one of the best Cubs team ever assembled on "paper". Taking out the bitter ending, the team ended up winning more games and having a better run differential than the 2003 team despite significantly more injuries to key players. A quick reminder course on what happened after 2003: C - Subtracted Damian Miller, added Michael Barrett (say what you will but we had a better team ERA in 2004, gave up less runs as a team and Barrett was definitely an offensive upgrade that year) 1B - Subtracted Eric Karros, Hee-Seop Choi and Randall Simon; Added Derrek Lee INF - Added Todd Walker and Jose Macias to the bench SS - Added Nomar Garciaparra mid-season (Should have added Miguel Tejada during the off-season) OF - Subtracted Kenny Lofton; Added Todd Hollandsworth to the bench SP - Subtracted Shawn Estes; Added Greg Maddux to the 2nd best starting staff in the league RP - Subtracted Juan Cruz, Mark Guthrie, Antonio Alfonseca & Dave Veres; Added LaTroy Hawkins, Kent Mercker, Ryan Dempster and Glendon Rusch There are a few peons I'm probably missing but that should be all the significant moves. In 2007, the Cubs improved nineteen wins from the disaster of 2006 and once again find themselves atop the NL Central but still short of their World Series goal. The precedent though has been set that Hendry will unlikely sit idly by and be happy with a division title and McDonough has already hinted that the Cubs will continue to push on for the trophy. The question though is who and what positions should the Cubs target and where can the team improve within and where should they look for outside help?

October 10th

For some, it's Christmas. For others, it's Thanksgiving or the 4th of July. Or Arbor Day, maybe. But for a certain "special" few, it's the home opener for the AFL's Mesa Solar Sox. And for us, tonight was the night.

October 9th

Tyler Colvin drove in three runs with a single and a triple, as the Cubs Arizona Instructional League team defeated the White Sox AZ Instructional league team this afternoon at Maryvale Sports Complex in Phoenix.

October 8th

Cliff Andersen slammed a three-run homer and Brandon Guyer drove in three runs with two-out RBI singles in the first and third innings, as the Cubs Arizona Instructional League team drubbed the Oakland A's AZ Instructional League team 8-2 this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Swiss born psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D., published her groundbreaking book on the five stages of grief in 1969. It's been a model for those who have to deal with grief, to understand why we react the way we do and therefore to adapt to what life has thrown our way with some insight. Here they are and feel free to post where you are at this point: Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Depression, Acceptance. Cubs fans will most definitively recognize many of the 5 stages over the decades and for the most senior of us remaining, over the century. Here are a few of my thoughts regarding the events surrounding some of our lasting experiences with grief.

October 6th

A chance to relive the horror... ---------------- (After Chris Young's first pitch homer and Drew's sun-aided double) Rob G: Should Jason Marquis have been warming up before the first pitch? Cubnut: Prediction: Cliff Floyd won't be the only guy who is victimized by that late afternoon sun today. (Hill K's Jackson) If we can hold them to one run, maybe this half-inning will actually provide a momentum boost for us. (Upton singles in a run) If we can hold them to two runs, maybe this half-inning will provide a momentum boost for us. Rob G: Well maybe that inning will give Lou a momentum boost to get the bullpen going.

Thanks for the memories. Good luck Diamondbacks (I'll be rooting for the Rockies). Sincerely, Rob G. P.S. - That sucked. P.P.S. - Four months until pitchers and catchers report.

Game Chat : BR Preview : Press Pass Livan Hernandez vs Rich Hill Lineups:
Young CF Soriano LF
Drew SS Theriot SS
Byrnes LF Lee 1B
Jackson 1B Floyd RF
Reynolds 3B Ramirez 3B
Upton RF DeRosa 2B
Ojeda 2B Jones CF
Montero C Kendall C
Hernandez P Hill P
It's true: Geovany Soto is sitting in favor of Jason Kendall and his lifetime 846 OPS against Livan Hernandez. We're talking about 31 at-bats, none since 2005. One double, one triple, nine singles. And don't forget about Kendall's CS% (5-out-of-57, 9%) vs. Soto's (4-for-14, 29%). Maybe the Diamondbacks will be so intoxicated by the beauty of all that new Wrigley Field sod that they'll forget to run wild against Hill and Kendall on the bases. Addendum : On Piniella's pre-game radio show with Santo, he just mentioned a desire to balance Hill's inexperience with Kendall's veteran-ness. No mention of Jason's past plate success against Hernandez. Rob G: So it's come to this - a must-win, do or die, backs against the wall, sudden death, win or go home battle just for the right to play yet another must-win, do or die, backs against the wall, sudden death, win or go home battle that'll set us up for a final must-win, do or die, backs against the wall, sudden death, win or go home battle. And while the up-Hill climb might seem daunting, maybe it'll just make the journey all that much sweeter. Or maybe today's the last day we'll enjoy Cubs baseball until 2008. Either way I'm here to enjoy it while lasts - to root, root, root for the Cubbies all the way until their final out. Let's Go Cubs!!!!

October 5th

OK. So it was the Arizona Instructional League Cubs. But, hey, they ARE Cubs, and they DID win 8-1 today at Fitch Park Field #3, defeating the Giants with a 15-hit attack that featured the professional debut of Korean RHP Dae-Eun Rhee.

Our [censored] Game 2 thoughts... ----------- Cubnut: If I had to condense last night's game into a single, telling snapshot, it would be the image of Ted Lilly slamming his glove to the ground after throwing Chris Young that 3-2 meatball in the second inning. That moment captured Lilly's dismal performance, lack of poise, and the frustration of watching them. It appeared to me as though Lilly couldn't spot his curveball and was determined to compensate by trying to throw his fastball 130 mph, thus all the wild-high pitches. Rob G: It seemed pretty obvious from the beginning that Lilly didn't have "it" tonight, that "it" mostly being his control. He was ever so close from escaping the second before throwing such a lousy 3-2 pitch to Young that I'm pretty sure 5 of 6 TCR Writers could have hit out. The 4-2 lead still seemed within reach but apparently this is Stephen Drew's coming out party. I'm thrilled to have been invited. If I had known beforehand I would have suggested postponing it until the spring...of 2008.

October 4th

0-for-Arizona

Box Score, Play by Play, Photos

W - Davis, getting the heck out of Arizona. L - Lilly, 8 hours of sleep. Series stands 2-0 Diamondbacks Things to Take from This Game 1. Body Snatchers Davis pitched like Lilly, and Lilly pitched like Davis. Lilly didn't have command of anything, was continually battling back from behind in the count, while Davis was getting ahead (with some help from the Cubs batters) and racking up a lot of strikeouts. Just pretty clear, pretty early, which pitcher was going to have the easier time of it. 2. Trading Homers in the 2nd Soto gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead on a home run, but Chris Young came back with a bomb of a 3-run home run in the bottom half of the inning. Byrnes also tripled in a run that inning. 3. Augie Ojeda vs. the World. Ojeda is threatening to outhit Soriano, Lee and Ramirez combined. Two more hits, including an RBI single that also took Eyre out of the game with an owwie finger. 4. Need Coffee. I think this game must have set some sort of record for 3-2 counts. Wood finally came in and threw strikes, gets some quick outs. Dempster also pitched a quick inning. But wow, other than that, lots of long at bats and base-runners all night. Not much to analyze with this game. Lilly got hit hard, and while the Cubs had a runner on base every inning, the hitters repeatedly failed to convert them into sustained rallies. But it's a best of five series, not a best of 3, and we have at least one more game to enjoy. The time-for-bed details, below.

Game Chat : BR Preview : Press Pass Ted Lilly vs Doug Davis Lineups:
Soriano LF Young CF
Theriot SS Drew SS
Lee 1B Byrnes LF
Ramirez 3B Jackson 1B
Murton RF Reynolds 3B
Soto C Snyder C
DeRosa 2B Upton RF
Jones CF Ojeda 2B
Lilly P Davis P
Rob G’s Keys to the Game: A quick review of last night's before we start. Throw some damn strikes Z! Check. Z pitches 6 mostly wonderful innings. Stolen Bases are your friend! Not so much. JJ walked in the first and Lee singled in the 5th presenting two opportunities but Lou chose to let his sluggers try to whack them in rather than risk the caught stealing. Spy vs Spy! Their bullpen shut the door, Marmol gave up 2 runs - and a game was lost. For tonight: Solve the Rubik's cube Lefties have had our number and Doug Davis in particularly has beat us up pretty good over the years (7-5 with a 3.39 ERA for his career). TLFC Super Computer better be right One of our favorite Cubs blogs around these parts predicts 6 IP, 2 ERs, 7Ks, 1 single. I'll take that. Spy vs Spy the Rematch! Just like the comic strip, it'll hopefully be our bullpen's turn to take the upper hand. Sobering thought of the day: The Cubs have never won a playoff series where they dropped the first game. Of course there haven't been a lot of playoff series for us to win.

Having been left off the Cubs NLDS roster and apparently not having anything else better to do, Sean Marshall, Will Ohman, and Craig Monroe participated in the Cubs Arizona Instructional League team's "Camp Day" at Fitch Park this morning.

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