Archive - Jul 2008

July 16th

From Wednesday's Tribune...

A new channel devoted to the Cubs is one of the enticing potential revenue-generating items that Tribune Co. is floating as part of its planned sale of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and its 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet.

The story mentions some of the roadblocks that might prevent a New York Yankees/YES Network sort of channel from becoming a reality in Chicago, including the possibility that Tribune Company could box the team's new owner into continuing to air many games on Tribune-owned WGN. Still, one can certainly see why the concept might be attractive...

July 15th

Game Chat | All-Star Game Web Page | BR Preview

SP Ben Sheets SP *Cliff Lee
  10-3, 2.85, 108 K, 28 BB, 123 IP
12-2, 2.31 ERA, 106 K, 20 BB, 124 IP
       
SS Hanley Ramirez (FLA) RF *Ichiro Suzuki (SEA)
2B *Chase Utley (PHI) SS Derek Jeter (NYY)
1B #Lance Berkman (HOU) CF *Josh Hamilton (TEX)
DH Albert Pujols (STL) 3B Alex Rodriguez (NYY)
3B #Chipper Jones (ATL) LF Manny Ramirez (BOS)
RF Matt Holliday (COL) DH #Milton Bradley (TEX)
LF Ryan Braun (MIL) 1B Kevin Youkilis (BOS)
CF *Kosuke Fukudome (CUBS) C *Joe Mauer (MIN)
C Geovany Soto (CUBS) 2B Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ASG comes to The House That Enrique Wilson Built for the fourth and final time as the National League tries to win the damn thing for the first time since 1996. Our man Fukudome and young Geo bring up the bottom of the NL order.

Come gametime, join all the cool kids in Parachat. I hear they're just going to be hanging out, drinking beer, and shooting off fireworks.

July 14th

I can say, with some fair amount of certainty, that very few Cubs fans that read this website have been witness to the outstanding level of play that our beloved Cubbies put up during the first half this season. .600 winning percentage, utter dominance at home, best run differential in the league, best starting staff in the NL, best offense in the NL, and top three in defense and overall pitching. And to all that, we just added an pitcher who could end up being our ace and are due to get back one of our best hitters,  who has only played 53% of our games to date.

Gawk in amazement at our statistical dominance after the jump... 

July 13th

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Tm Lincecum SP Ryan Dempster
  10-2, 2.66, 126 K, 46 BB, 121.2 IP
10-3, 3.13 ERA, 98 K, 47 BB, 118 IP
       
LF *Fred Lewis SS Ryan Theriot
3B Jose Castillo 2B *Mike Fontenot
2B #Ray Durham 1B Derrek Lee
C Bengie Molina 3B Aramis Ramirez
CF Aaron Rowand RF Mark DeRosa
RF *John Bowker CF *Jim Edmonds
1B Rich Aurilia LF Reed Johnson
SS #Omar Vizquel C Henry Blanco
P Tim Lincecum P Ryan Dempster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great pitching matchup between two All-Stars to end the pre-ASG schedule for 2008.

Lincecum has been everything the Giants hoped he would be; Dempster has been more than the Cubs could ever have hoped. Dempster remains undefeated this season at Wrigley (10-0, 2.58); Lincecum was undefeated on the road until losing to the Mets at Shea this past Tuesday. He's still a none-too-shabby 7-1, 2.23 away from AT&T Park.

July 12th

Starting for the AZL Cubs versus he AZL Angels at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning, Rich Hill worked five shutout innings (68 pitches, 47 strikes, 8/0 GO/FO), allowing three hits (all three singles) and a walk, with five strikeouts. He really had his roundhouse curve and efficient two-seamer working today, as he went to a three ball count on only two of the 17 Angels hitters he faced.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Kevin Correia SP Rich Harden
  1-5, 4.96, 31 K, 22 BB, 49 IP (AL) 5-1, 2.34 ERA, 91 K, 32 BB, 77 IP
       
LF #Eugenio Velez SS Ryan Theriot
3B Jose Castillo RF *Kosuke Fukudome
RF #Ray Durham 1B Derrek Lee
C Bengie Molina 3B Aramis Ramirez
CF Aaron Rowand C Geovany Soto
RF *John Bowker CF *Jim Edmonds
1B Rich Aurilia LF Mark DeRosa
SS #Omar Vizquel 2B *Mike Fontentot
P Kevin Correia P Rich Harden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 11th

When NASCAR's Robby Gordon runs at the Chicagoland Speedway this weekend, the hood of his car will bear the Web address, SaveOurName.com. The site is a collection point for signatures from Cub fans who want to send a "message to the (Cubs')
owners: Don’t sell the name. It’s wrong. It’s selfish. And we won’t
stand for it."

By "we," the site's operator presumably means tradition-loving Cubs fans...and everyone at Deerfield,Illinois-based Jim Beam Brands Co., who created the site as part of an ad campaign.

If the Cubs were just now getting around to installing lights, I imagine Chicagoans United for Baseball in the Sunshine would be underwritten by Coppertone.

Grassroots movements just ain't what they used to be.

 

 

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Matt Cain SP Jason Marquis
  5-7, 4.30, 112 K, 50 BB, 119.1 IP
6-5, 4.78 ERA, 49 K, 37 BB, 92.1 IP
       
LF *Fred Lewis SS Ryan Theriot
2B #Ray Durham 2B *Mike Fontenot
RF #Randy Winn 1B Derrek Lee
C Bengie Molina 3B Aramis Ramirez
CF Aaron Rowand C Geovany Soto
1B *John Bowker LF *Daryle Ward
3B Rich Aurilia RF Mark DeRosa
SS #Omar Vizquel CF Reed Johnson
P Matt Cain P *Jason Marquis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Rich Harden Debut Eve, the Cubs have made a roster move as they open a three-game set against the Giants.

Michael Wuertz, who allowed four runs in an inning-and-one-third against the Reds on Thursday, was sent down to Iowa. Kevin Hart, 2-1, 3.35 for the I-Cubs with 48 K's against 15 BB and a BAA of just .205, gets the call-up.

July 10th

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Bronson Arroyo SP *Ted Lilly
  6-7, 5.82, 91 K, 38 BB, 99 IP
9-5, 4.47 ERA, 105 K, 39 BB, 112.2 IP
       
CF Jerry Hairston, Jr. SS Ryan Theriot
SS Jeff Keppinger RF *Kosuke Fukudome
RF *Ken Griffey Jr. 1B Derrek Lee
2B Brandon Phillips 3B Aramis Ramirez
LF *Adam Dunn C Geovany Soto
3B Edwin Encarnacion CF *Jim Edmonds
1B *Joey Votto LF Mark DeRosa
C David Ross 2B *Mike Fontenot
P Bronson Arroyo P *Ted Lilly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cubs go for the sweep as Bronson Arroyo matches up against the Cubs' new #4 starter.

Lilly was hit hard in his only start against the Reds this year (6 H, 5 ER in 6 IP), a loss back in mid-April; Arroyo, who seemed to be starting against the Cubs every time you turned around last season, going 0-3, 3.58 in five outings, is making his first appearance against the Wrigleys in 2008.

July 9th

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Johnny Cueto SP Carlos Zambrano
  7-8, 4.63, 91 K, 38 BB, 105 IP
9-3, 2.96 ERA, 73 K, 38 BB, 112.1 IP
       
CF *Jay Bruce SS Ryan Theriot
SS Jeff Keppinger RF *Kosuke Fukudome
RF *Ken Griffey Jr. 1B Derrek Lee
2B Brandon Phillips 3B Aramis Ramirez
LF *Adam Dunn C Geovany Soto
3B Edwin Encarnacion CF *Jim Edmonds
1B *Joey Votto 2B Mark DeRosa
C *Paul Bako LF Reed Johnson
P Johnny Cueto P #Carlos Zambrano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The amazing Wrigley Field All-Stars continue their tour through the Windy City with the Venezuelan Bull taking the mound against the Red Legs of Queen City and their proimising ace-in-waiting, Kid Cueto. Although he dazzled in his first two starts, he ended up with a 5.40 ERA in April and it wasn't until this past month that he put up the ERA that is expected of him, with a strong 3.47 for the month of June. This will be his second start versus the Northsiders, the first one resulting in a win for him and his team back in May.

Zambrano looked strong after a little disabled list rest and kept the Cardinals bats baffled in his start on Friday. He's been baffling the NL Central his entire career. His career won-loss record, ERA and innings pitched versus his Central foes.

Rich Harden just hit five years of MLB service time this past Sunday.

Why is that important?

UPDATE 4:56 CST: One of our readers tipped us to this fantastic piece on Rich Harden's mechanics (with video) by Carlos Gomez at The Hardball Times. Can't recommend it enough....


I've had a little time to digest the trade since my initial reaction and a little time to actually write about it now. I don't think there's too many warm-blooded Cubs fan out there who aren't happy about the deal...other than maybe a Chicken Little or two that are never happy with anything the Cubs do.

We all know the risks. Rich Harden has all the durability of a roll of toilet paper caught in a rainstorm. He was called up half way through the 2003 season, proceeded to make 31 starts in 2004 and has battled injuries ever since. The list is too long and complicated for me to dive into, so we'll wait for the good Dr. Hecht to chime in on that side of the trade. Harden's 13 starts this year are his highest total since 2005 and he spent almost a month of this year already on the disabled list. But in those 13 starts, he's gone 5-1
with a 2.34 ERA, 10.75 K/9, 2.97 K:BB and 0.58 HR/9.

He once had a fastball that could hit 100, although he seems to have dialed it back a bit this year. He compliments that fastball with a fantastic change-up and that's pretty much it. He'll occasionally throw a slider in there, but seems to have scrapped it for the most part this season. A quick and dirty comparison with some of the best in the game using career numbers:

THIS JUST IN...

Orioles owner Peter Angelos has finally decided to let GM Andy MacPhail trade Brian Roberts to the Chicago Cubs.  In a privately held conversation, Angelos was said to give MacPhail permission to trade Roberts (who, as we darn well know, is Angelos' really, really, really all-time favorite baseball player) for  Sean Gallagher, Eric Patterson, Matt Murton, and another undisclosed prospect plus the HOF Yosh Kawano hat. MacPhail plans to call Cubs GM Jim Hendry tomorrow morning to tell him the good news--that their organizaton was FINALLY able to come to this MOMENTUS DECISION. MacPhail doesn't expect any other obstacles to affect this long anticipated transaction.

D'oh!

July 8th

While I'm refreshing Foxsports.com for the freaking lineup like a dumbass, Jim Hendry and Billy Beane go and pull a trade.

The Cubs are getting pitchers Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin for Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, Eric Patterson and Josh Donaldson. 

Hold on...

(catches breath)

(jumps up and down)

(pumps fist in air)

Sweet.

I have to admit that losing Sean Gallagher is unfortunate but you have to give up something to get something. Harden has a club option for 2009 and Gaudin is under team control until 2011. Eric Patterson and Matt Murton will probably go on to have respectable major league careers and Josh Donaldson has the makings of someone who could be a star...one day. But the Cubs are playing for today...and tomorrow and 2008.

More on this later, but you got to be thrilled if your a Cubs fan. Everyone knows Harden's injury risks, but when he's pitching, he's as good as they get...to a tune of a 2.34 ERA this year and 10.75 K/9. We're adding that to the best starting staff in the NL (by ERA) and third best overall staff in the NL.  

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