Archive - May 2008

With VP of Player Personnel Oneri Fleita and about a dozen Cubs scouts in attendance, LHP Mark Pawelek threw three shutout innings of one-hit ball and Las Vegas Durango HS SS Niko Vasquez crushed a two-run homer onto 8th Street, leading the EXST Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the EXST A's at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP *Glendon Rusch SP Ryan Dempster
  1-2, 6.41, 12 K, 11 BB, 19.2 IP
6-2, 2.56, 56 K, 29 BB, 70.1 IP
       
CF Willy Taveras LF Alfonso Soriano
RF *Seth Smith SS Ryan Theriot
1B *Todd Helton 1B Derrek Lee
LF Ryan Spilborghs 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B *Ian Stewart C Geovany Soto
C Chris Iannetta RF *Kosuke Fukudome
2B Jeff Baker 2B Mark DeRosa
SS *Omar Quintanilla CF Reed Johnson
P *Glendon Rusch P Ryan Dempster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former Cub Glendon Rusch makes his first appearance at Wrigley since September 4, 2006. After a none too successful comeback with the Padres earlier this year (6.41 ERA in 12 relief appearances), the Rockies signed him, sent him to Triple-A Colorado Springs, recalled him after two successful appearances for the Sky Sox, and you know now everything you need to know about what a desperate season the Colorado Rockies are having.

May 30th

Starlin Castro went 3-4 with a single, a double, and a triple, Junior Lake crushed a two-run homer, Jose Made tripled twice, and 17-year old Dominican LHP Jeffry Antigua pitched four strong innings of one-run ball (retiring the final ten men he faced), leading the EXST Cubs to an 8-1 victory over the EXST Angels in a Rush Hour "Beat the Heat" Special (9 AM start) at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe this morning.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Aaron Cook SP *Ted Lilly
  7-3, 2.82, 35 K, 22 BB, 76.2 IP
5-4, 5.23, 58 K, 21 BB, 62 IP
       
CF Willy Taveras LF Alfonso Soriano
RF #Jonathan Herrera 2B *Mike Fontenot
LF Ryan Spilborghs 1B Derrek Lee
3B Garrett Atkins C Geovany Soto
1B *Todd Helton RF *Kosuke Fukudome
C Chris Iannetta CF *Jim Edmonds
RF Jeff Baker 3B Mark DeRosa
SS *Omar Quintanilla SS Ronny Cedeño
P Aaron Cook P *Ted Lilly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With rain falling and plenty of those intimidating orange and red spots on the weather radar, we could well be looking at a rainout. That being the case, I'm going to save all of my good Omar Quintanilla material for another occasion.

This is the Rockies' only visit to Wrigley this season, and the Cubs have already made the trip to Denver, so a washout would presumably create a doubleheader. I imagine Saturday would be the DH day, so as not to complicate the teams' travel plans. (The Rockies play in Los Angeles Monday night, while the Cubs will be in San Diego.)

May 29th

Best Team in Baseball


W-
Wuertz (1-1), pitchers who can't field their position, first MLB RBIs, double-steals


L-
Herges (2-2)


Box Score
, Photos


Things to Take from This Game


1. Balanced Attack

Soriano, Lee, Ramirez, Soto and Johnson all had RBIs, with XBH by Ramirez and Fukudome (2Bs) and Lee (Solo HR.)

2.Cotts almost has a good sixth inning

Almost. He relieved Marquis with a 3-1 lead and the bases loaded, one out. He gets Willie Tavares in an 0-2 count, before Tavares bloops one just over the drawn in Lee, scoring two and tying the game at three. He K's Seth Smith, and seems to K Helton swinging, but it's just barely a foul tip, popping out of Soto's glove. Helton walks on the next pitch. So much for Cotts' return to the majors. Marquis wasn't great, but some bad luck after he had left gave him a final line worse than it might have been.


3. Messy 7th gives Cubs a comeback

A blooper into the bermuda triangle, another soft single, an error, a hit by pitch and a sacrifice fly gave the Cubs two generous runs off of Matt Herges.

4. Messy 8th gives Cubs an easy win

A double, a bad throw on a sac bunt, a single, a double steal, a single with a dropped ball on a play at the plate, and the Cubs get three more in the eighth, for an 8-4 lead. After some shakey middle-infield play by the Cubs early in the game, it was the Rockies who played sloppy the rest of the way.

With the win, the Cubs move past a certain AL East powerhouse, to claim the best record in baseball. The cream of the crop details, follow.

Tags: 

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP *Jeff Francis SP Jason Marquis
  1-5, 6.18, 46 K, 24 BB, 59.2 IP
2-3, 4.97, 29 K, 20 BB, 50.2 IP
       
CF *Scott Podsednik LF Alfonso Soriano
RF *Seth Smith SS Ryan Theriot
1B *Todd Helton 1B Derrek Lee
3B Garrett Atkins 3B Aramis Ramirez
LF Ryan Spilborghs C Geovany Soto
2B *Ian Stewart RF *Kosuke Fukudome
C Yorvit Torrealba 2B Mark DeRosa
SS Omar Quintanilla CF Reed Johnson
P *Jeff Francis P *Jason Marquis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The darlings of the National League in 2007 make their annual visit to Wrigley Field, bypassing the normal chartered bus in favor of an escorted ambulance. The Rockies find 1/3 of their starting lineup on the disabled list (Troy Tulowitzki, Matt Holliday and Brad Hawpe), along with five pitchers and Tulowitzki's replacement, Clint "Deer Meat" Barmes. It appears the devil is cashing in on the deal they made last August.

The Cubs have optioned RHP Jose Ascanio to AAA Iowa, and have recalled LHP Neal Cotts from the same club.

Ascanio was acquired from the Atlanta Braves last December for LHP Will Ohman and IF-OF Omar Infante, and was optioned to AAA Iowa during Spring Training. He went 1-0 with nine saves at Iowa (2.08 ERA, allowing 14 H and one HR in 21.2 IP, with a 1.01 WHIP, a .179 OBA, and an 8/23 BB/K) before being recalled on May 19th when Chad Fox was placed on the DL with a sore elbow.

Ascanio got into five games with the Cubs over the past ten days, going 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA, allowing one run (earned) on four hits (.235 OBA) over 5.0 IP, with a 3/3 BB/K. He threw one scoreless inning in last night's Cubs victory over the Dodgers. 

The 28-year old Cotts was also optioned to Iowa during Spring Training (March 21st), and had spent the entire 2008 season (up until now) at Iowa, posting a 2-0 record with three saves, a 2.00 ERA, and a 1.22 WHIP in 19 games, all in relief (.232 OBA, 23 hits in 27 IP, no HR, and a 10/33 BB/K). Cotts has been particularly effective versus left-handed hitters, allowing just seven hits (.206 OBA) and one walk with 15 K in 9.1 IP (0.78 WHIP).

Cotts was acquired by the Cubs from the White Sox in November 2006 for RHP David Aardsma and LHP Carlos Vasquez. He was selected by the Oakland A's in the 2nd round of the 2001 Rule 4 Draft out of Illinois State, and was traded to the White Sox after the 2002 season.   

Cotts has 3+077 MLB service time and will (once again) be eligible for salary arbitration after the 2008 season. He is making $800K (plus another $75K in potential performance bonuses) in 2008, and will be out of minor league options as of Spring Training 2009.   

As many of you know by now, Thursday is usually Camp Day at Cubs Extended Spring Training.

And so it was in fact today, as the EXST Cubs first had some fielding drills & took BP on Fitch Park Fields 1, 2, and 4, followed by a three-inning intrasquad game on Field #3 (and with no Banana Break in between, either!).

May 28th

1010-1010


W-
Howry (1-2 ), getting to a W/L record against the Dodgers franchise that looks like binary.


L-
Park (1-1 ), not getting Z a win, inconsistent strike zones

 

Things to Take from This Game


1. Lowe rolls, Z keeps us in it.

Derek Lowe looked pretty unstopable. After getting Lee to GIDP with the first two hitters on in the first, Lowe didn't look like he was challenged much by the Cubs offense all night. Z didn't have his best stuff, but labored through 8 innings and 130 pitches while only giving up one run. That came in the fourth, the result of a couple singles followed by two walks, the second one bringing in a run. It would have been a miserable way to lose a 1-0 game, but...

 


2. The top of the 8th vs. the bottom of the 9th.

The Dodgers had a chance to add some insurance runs in the 8th, as the Cubs defense lets Zambrano down and he's suddenly nearing 130 pitches with a bullpen that has just begun to warm up. Z gets out of it, however striking out Kemp and keeping the game at 1-0. Compare that to the bottom of the 9th, where Saito has a very, very rare fit of wildness. Like Z, he battles hard with far from his best stuff, but Soto manages a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to tie up the game at one.

 


3. Pulling out a tough win in the 10th

Pinch-hitting, Fontenot lined a double into the left-center gap. Soriano then hit a little blooper down the left field line that just did drop in fair territory. Fontenot scored uncontested, giving a very satisfying result to a hard-fought nail-biter of a game.

The sweeping details, below.

Tags: 

The EXST Giants put up a six spot in the bottom of the 1st inning en route to a 12-7 victory over the EXST Cubs at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale this morning. 

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Derek Lowe SP Carlos Zambrano
  2-5, 5.03, 44 K, 19 BB, 62.2 IP
7-1, 2.47, 52 K, 20 BB, 73 IP
       
LF *Juan Pierre LF Alfonso Soriano
2B Luis Maza SS Ryan Theriot
RF *Andre Ethier 1B Derrek Lee
C Russell Martin 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B *James Loney RF *Kosuke Fukudome
CF Matt Kemp C Geovany Soto
3B *Blake DeWitt 2B Mark DeRosa
SS Chin-lung Hu CF Reed Johnson
P Derek Lowe P #Carlos Zambrano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carlos Zambrano is fresh off that remarkable game in which he stroked four hits off a trio of Pittsburgh pitchers and, oh, yeah, also threw the first seven innings in a 12-3 Cubs win.

Z was 1-1 last year against the Dodgers, including a horrible outing last September at Wrigley. Lowe pitched twice against Piniella's men in '07 and came away with a pair of ND's. Derrek Lee, who is 10-for-22 lifetime (1136 OPS) against the former Bosoxer probably couldn't get to the ballpark today early enough. For his part, Lowe hasn't won a game in more than a month and has a 7.29 ERA in his last six starts.

You are traveling through another dimension...

Having shared baseball's best, regular-season record, the Cubs and the surprisingTampa Rays, making their first-ever trip to baseball's post-season, enter the 2008 playoffs assured of home-field advantage in the first two rounds.

In the NL, Lou Piniella's Cubs, reaching the post-season in
consecutive years for the first time since 1908, when they also won
their last World Championship, will hope to continue their superb play
at Wrigley Field this season as they host their National League
Division Series with the NL West champion, Arizona.

May 27th

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Hiroki Kuroda SP Sean Gallagher
  2-3, 3.48, 34 K, 18 BB, 62 IP
1-1, 5.68, 14 K, 8 BB, 19 IP
       
LF *Juan Pierre LF Alfonso Soriano
SS Luis Maza 2B *Mike Fontenot
RF *Andre Ethier 1B Derrek Lee
2B Jeff Kent 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B *James Loney RF *Kosuke Fukudome
CF Matt Kemp CF *Jim Edmonds
3B *Blake DeWitt C Geovany Soto
C Danny Ardoin SS Ronny Cedeno
P Hiroki Kuroda P Sean Gallagher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you've probably heard by now, the Cubs are pretty good at home. 20-8 which seems like the best record, but is actually third behind the Red Sox and Braves and tied with the Rays. One of the many reasons for that 20-8 record, is the collective 308/390/498 batting line by the team at Wrigley.

But that isn't stopping Lou from tinkering with the Cubs lineup today. Ryan Theriot (.154 batting average over the last 7 days) and Mark DeRosa (.381 BA over the last 7 games) sit in favor of Mike Fontenot and Ronny Cedeno. And Geovany Soto (.182 BA over the last 7 days) and Jim Edmonds (.150 as a Cub) flip spots. What does it all mean? Probably nothing more than giving some of the bench players a few at-bats and some time off with the day game following the night game tomorrow. (Of course that theory only holds true if tomorrow was a day game...nuts!)

The EXST Angels scored three runs in the top of the 6th to break a 1-1 tie, and went on to defeat the EXST Cubs 4-2 at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.

RHP Robert Hernandez got the start for the Cubs and worked four innings, allowing only one unearned run on one hit, while walking one and striking out three. Hernandez completed his 50 game suspension this past Sunday, and so he can be assigned back to Peoria at any time.

May 26th

Monday's tense victory over the Dodgers might have been much less so if the Cubs had capitalized on a bases loaded/one out situation in the last of the sixth inning. Instead Chad Billingsley turned Kosuke Fukudome's hard groundball back to the mound into a snappy, 1-2-3, inning-ending double play.

In general, the Cubs offense, which remains the highest-scoring in the NL at 5.7 R/G, has held up its end of the workload in 2008. It's certainly been true in the precise situation that Fukudome found himself.

According to numbers presented at Bill James Online (subscription required),

Pages

X
  • Sign in with Twitter