Archive - Jul 2008

July 23rd

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SP *Ted Lilly SP *Doug Davis
  9-6, 4.49 ERA, 114 K, 43 BB, 122.1 IP
3-4, 4.14 ERA, 61 K, 38 BB, 74 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano SS *Stephen Drew
SS Ryan Theriot 2B #Augie Ojeda
1B Derrek Lee LF Conor Jackson
3B Aramis Ramirez 3B Mark Reynolds
C Geovany Soto CF Chris Young
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 1B *Tony Clark
2B Mark DeRosa C Chris Snyder
CF Reed Johnson RF Chris Burke
P *Ted Lilly P *Doug Davis

Before the game, the Cubs activated Alfonso Soriano and Scott Eyre and demoted Kevin Hart and Micah Hoffpauir. May your bat be blessed with many a run-scoring hit, Mr. Soriano.

During the game, Lilly and Davis will face-off again after their epic Game 2 duel from last October.  May you not throw down your glove in anger this time around, Mr. Lilly.

Please win!

Top of the 7th, two on and two out and Derrek Lee steps up to the plate and I'm thinking to myself, "Well, at least he can't hit into a double play here". (Sigh).

The Cubs find themselves just one game ahead in the Central and their offense hasn't been able to buy, rent or even lease a big hit. Besides hoping for the comforts of Wrigley, I'm not sure what they can do to get out of this funk. I'm usually not a big fan of catering to the hot hand, when that hot hand usually doesn't do much, but it might be time to let Mike Fontenot move up to the two spot for a few games until he cools off. His 1.240 OPS in July needs to be somewhere where it can do a little more damage and Fukudome and his .555 July OPS can figure out why he's no longer awesome at the bottom of the order.

Otherwise, I think the a team-wide slumpbuster (see definition #3) might be in order.  My source at Sky Harbor airport  is keeping an eye out to see if Rosie O'Donnell, Kirstie Alley, and Camryn Manheim show up for a little team remedy.

July 22nd

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SP Jason Marquis SP Yusmeiro Petit
  6-5, 4.44 ERA, 53 K, 39 BB, 99.1 IP
0-1, 3.06 ERA, 11 K, 1 BB, 17.2 IP
       
SS Ryan Theriot SS *Stephen Drew
RF *Kosuke Fukudome LF Conor Jackson
1B Derrek Lee 2B #Orlando Hudson
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Chad Tracy
CF *Jim Edmonds 3B Mark Reynolds
C Geovany Soto C *Miguel Montero
LF Mark DeRosa CF Chris Young
2B *Mike Fontenot RF *Alex Romero
P *Jason Marquis P Yusmeiro Petit

The Cubs reach the century mark of the season that may mark their century-long run of futility. A little known fact is that they've lost the 100th game of every season since 1909 foreshadowing their 100-year drought (don't bother looking it up, I've posted it on the Internet, so it must be true)

Jon Lieber and Scott Eyre threw in rehab outings with the AZL Cubs at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning, as Larry Rothschild, Lester Strode, and Carlos Zambrano (who was visiting buddy Angel Guzman) watched from the bench, and a gaggle of Cubs brass watched from the observation tower.

July 21st

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SP Rich Harden SP *Randy Johnson
(NL & AL) 5-1, 2.48 ERA, 102 K, 34 BB, 82.3 IP
6-7, 5.23, 95 K, 28 BB, 98 IP
       
SS Ryan Theriot SS *Stephen Drew
LF Reed Johnson LF Conor Jackson
1B Derrek Lee 2B #Orlando Hudson
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Chad Tracy
C Geovany Soto 3B Mark Reynolds
RF Mark DeRosa CF Chris Young
CF *Jim Edmonds C Chris Snyder
2B Ronny Cedeno  RF *Alex Romero
P *Rich Harden P *Randy Johnson

The Cubs return to their personal Crystal Lake as they take on the Diamondbacks for the first time since the horrors of last October. Hopefully there will be less bloodshed this time around as they'll miss Brandon Webb and Dan Haren in this series. Of course, the Cubs missed Roy Oswalt the last series and look at the good that gone and did them. Wednesday's game will be the much anticpated Ted Lilly vs Doug Davis rematch though, sure to be carried on all major media outlets.

So while the Brewers and Cardinals beat up on each other in a four-game set, the Cubs get a chance to improve on their 22-8 record versus the NL West and a struggling Diamondbacks club, albeit a first-place club.

Hitting lead-off and serving as the DH, Alfonso Soriano got into his first game action in almost six weeks, as the AZL Cubs defeated the AZL Padres 6-3 at Padres Field #1 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, AZ this morning.

As you've certainly heard by now, Alfonso Soriano headed out to a minor league rehab stint with the rookies in the Arizona League. He lasted all of three at-bats against the AZL Padres in beautiful Peoria, Arizona going 0-2 with a walk, a strikeout and a run scored before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. Speculation arose on why he'd leave the game early and Will Carroll hinted that he might be activated for tonight's game.

Shae (Chicago): Will, there are rumors that Soriano might leave the rehab. game early and could even play tonight, what's the latest?

Will Carroll: That's what I'm hearing. I have someone at Sky Harbor watching ...

I'm not sure what that someone is watching at Sky Harbor since it's a 35 minute drive from Peoria, AZ to Phoenix, AZ, but don't be surprised if he's in the lineup tonight and (I would assume) Micah Hoffpauir gets sent down.

July 20th

Milwaukee acquired second baseman Ray Durham from the Giants on Sunday in exchange for Class A outfielder Darren Ford and Triple-A pitcher Steve Hammond. The two teams waited to officially announce the deal until after they had played one another Sunday afternoon at AT&T Park, per the request of Durham, who didn't want to make his Milwaukee debut versus his former mates.

"Personally it was out of respect for the guys in this locker room,"
Durham said, saying his goodbyes in the Giants' clubhouse. "It really
was a stipulation I asked for."

The 36-year-old Durham, hitting .293 AVG / .385 OBP / .414 SLG / 799 OPS could complement and/or replace 25-year-old Rickie Weeks, who is hitting just .218 in 79 games for the Brewers this season with an OPS+ of 82.

Closer to home, Paul Sullivan makes it sound like the Cubs are inching closer to putting Kerry Wood on the DL for the 12th time in his career, owing to ongoing problems with that blister on his right index finger. Sullivan quotes Lou Piniella as saying:

"We're coming to the point where we're going to have to come to a conclusion about what to do."

If the Cubs were to backdate the DL decision to July 12th, Wood would be eligible to get back on the field next Sunday, when the Cubs wrap up their four-game series against the Marlins at Wrigley Field. According to Sullivan, Carlos Marmol will get to wear the closer's hat so long as Wood is unable to pitch. Marmol pitched a perfect ninth to close out the Cubs' 9-0 shutout of Houston on Sunday.

 

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SP Ryan Dempster SP Brandon Backe
  10-4, 3.25, 104 K, 350 BB, 124.2 IP
6-9, 4.76, 83 K, 50 BB, 111.2 IP
       
SS Ryan Theriot 2B #Kaz Matsui
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF *Darin Erstad
1B Derrek Lee 1B #Lance Berkman
3B Aramis Ramirez LF Carlos Lee
CF *Jim Edmonds SS Miguel Tejada
LF Mark DeRosa 3B #Geoff Blum
C Geovany Soto RF Hunter Pence
2B *Mike Fontenot C J.R. Towles
P Ryan Dempster P Brandon Backe

 

The Cubs' NL Central lead is down to +2 over the Cardinals and +3 over the Brewers as the Lou Crew tries to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Astros.

Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto, and Kosuke Fukudome are a combined 3-for-32 (.094) in the series, and as a team, the Cubs have fanned 14 times and walked once.

Or, as Lou Piniella explained so elegantly after Saturday night's 4-1 fall, "We're not getting much hitting anywhere in the lineup."

July 19th

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SP Carlos Zambrano SP *Wandy Rodriguez
  10-3, 2.84, 78 K, 38 BB, 120.1 IP
4-3, 3.48, 65 K, 23 BB, 75 IP
       
SS Ryan Theriot 2B #Kaz Matsui
CF Reed Johnson CF *Darin Erstad
1B Derrek Lee 1B #Lance Berkman
3B Aramis Ramirez LF Carlos Lee
C Geovany Soto SS Miguel Tejada
LF Mark DeRosa 3B Hunter Pence
RF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Ty Wigginton
2B Ronny Cedeno C Brad Ausmus
P #Carlos Zambrano P #Wandy Rodriguez

 

The Cubs and Astros meet in the middle game of their three-game series at Minute Maid.

Kosuke Fukudome, who is just 7-for-46 (.152) since the first of July and is hitting just .254 AVG/ .351 SLG/ .377 OBP/ 728 OPS since his average was a season high .357 back in late April, 72 games ago, drops down to the seventh spot in the order against the lefty Rodriguez.

Otherwise, Jim Edmonds sits against the southpaw, Reed Johnson starts in center, and once again, we all get to pretend that Mark DeRosa can play the outfield.

Zambrano is making his third start since his visit to the DL. In the first two, against the Cards and Reds, he allowed just one run and five hits over 14 innings.

 

July 18th

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SP *Ted Lilly SP Brian Moehler
9-6, 4.68, 108 K, 41 BB, 115.1 IP
5-4, 4.28, 44 K, 24 BB, 75.2 IP
SS Ryan Theriot 2B #Kaz Matsui
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF *Darin Erstad
1B Derrek Lee 1B #Lance Berkman
3B Aramis Ramirez LF Carlos Lee
C Geovany Soto SS Miguel Tejada
CF *Jim Edmonds 3B Hunter Pence
LF Mark DeRosa RF Ty Wigginton
2B *Mike Fontenot C J.R. Towles
P *Ted Lilly P Brian Moehler

 

The second half is upon us and the Cubs trot out Ted Lilly to start it...for some reason. I assume it was to give Z and Dempster an extra day after their All-Star appearances and to limit Rich Harden as much as possible before he goes on a 27 inning scoreless streak in the playoffs. Nonetheless, Lilly's homer-happy ways will be on display tonight with the ever-present Crawford boxes looming in short left field. If he can manage a win, he'll join Dempster and Zambrano in the 10-win club.

Before the game, the Cubs put Jon Lieber on the disabled list with a right foot strain (same foot that cost him most of last year) and recalled Micah Hoffpauir. 

July 16th

A look at the ten Cubs hits from the season so far that did the most to enhance the team's chances of winning, according to FanGraphs' Win Probability Added statistic.

#10.) May 11th, 7th inning v. Arizona, man on first, one out, Cubs trailing the Diamondbacks, 4-2. Facing former Cub Juan Cruz, Reed Johnson cracks a two-run homer to tie the game, which the home team will go on to win 6-4, after Daryle Ward delivers a two-run double one inning later. Johnson homer = WPA .321

#9.) May 2nd, 9th inning at St. Louis, man on second, one out, Cubs trail the Cardinals, 3-1. Jason Isringhausen is in for the Cards, trying to preserve a 3-1 St. Louis lead for starter Adam Wainwright, but Alfonso Soriano will have none of it, clobbering an Isringhausen pitch for a game-tying two-run shot. Chad Fox, who clearly has no sense of drama in addition to his physical challenges, winds up serving a game-winning two-run homer to Skip Schumacher in the 11th inning. Soriano homer = WPA .342

#8.) April 23rd, 10th inning at Colorado, men on first and second, two outs, Cubs and Rox are tied, 6-6. The Cubs get two men aboard for Ryan Theriot, who lines a single to right field that scores Mike Fontenot with the lead and eventual winning run, extending a Cubs winning streak to six games. Theriot single = WPA .351

The countdown continues after the jump.

In a move that will surely change the landscape of Cubs blogging, one-time TCR writer Christian Ruzich announced that he was moving back to Chicago. A new job has necessitated a call-up from the minor leagues (Harrisburg, PA), and Ruzich and his family should be back in the city before the playoff roster deadline.

Scouts question what, if anything, Ruzich can bring to a Cub Reporter team without any glaring weaknesses. Known for his wit and insight in the early '00s, Ruzich has not been a regular fixture on the TCR scene in years, appearing only occasionally to offer a web link, off-hand remark, or occasional comment post.

Unnamed sources within the TCR organization have questioned whether Ruzich has anything left, but are quick to say they're happy Ruzich has returned home: "If all he does is hang out at the TCR clubhouse, telling stories about the Don Baylor days, that would be great. I'm just worried that, if he tries to write again regularly, he might upset the team's chemistry down the stretch." When asked if he saw this as an opportunity to re-establish himself in
the Cubs blogging world, Ruzich mentioned that he has been doing towel
drills for months, and hoped to be able to contribute to the team in
any way possible.

Tags: 

I just wanted to give you guys a heads up that I will be doing a very minor security upgrade to the site at 2:30 PM CST today.The whole process shouldn't take more than twenty minutes. Once finished, I'm pretty sure I've figured out how to keep Chad out of the site permanently.

I kid because I care.

Otherwise, I added a link to our mobile site in the upper navigation bar or you can enter your phone number in the box on the lower right and have the link sent to your cell phone. I've also added a brief shout-out to those who were are top givers during our April donation drive in the lower left sidebar. Finally, reader Wiscgrad provided us with a wonderful resource that lists how the Cubs have faired in All-Star games, award balloting, the Hall of Fame and much more. You can find the link via the "TCR Junk Drawer" in the navigation bar as well.

Tags: 

Thanks to all the great work of one of our readers, WISCGRAD, a list of all the Cubs award winners, All-Star history, single season and career achievements, Hall of Famers and more.

MVP | Cy Young | Rookie of the Year | Manager of the Year | ASG 


National League Most Valuable Player Award Winners andVote-Getters

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