Archive - Sep 23, 2008

Junior Lake drove in three runs, Matt Cerda had three hits, and Brandon Guyer belted a solo home run, as the Cubs defeated the Giants 5-2 this afternoon in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP *Johan Santana SP *Sean Marshall
14-7, 2.65, 187 K, 58 BB, 217.1 IP
3-4, 3.62, 50 K, 19 BB, 59.2 IP
SS #Jose Ryes LF Alfonso Soriano
2B #Luis Castillo SS Ronny Cedeno
3B David Wright 1B Derrek Lee
CF #Carlos Beltran CF Reed Johnson
1B *Carlos Delgado 2B Mark DeRosa
C Ramon Castro 3B Casey McGehee
RF *Ryan Church RF *Kosuke Fukudome
LF Nick Evans C Henry Blanco
P *Johan Santana P *Sean Marshall


You'd think Lou would let his regulars get some hacks against Johan, since they may see him in the first round, but he seems to have gone the opposite route and sits most some of his regulars. Curious.

The Cubs want to try and take 2 of 3 or at least 1 of 3 from the Mets and hope the Brewers take 2 of 3 from the Pirates or sweep them. That would set up a tie between the Mets and the Brewers heading into the final weekend and increases the odds of them having to use their aces (C.C. or Johan) late in the season. That's more of a concern with the Mets when it comes to the Cubs playoff situation, but the more innings C.C. racks up now, the better chance he'll be less effective by the time the Cubs may face him in the playoffs. The Cubs also need to win 5 of 6 for 100 wins assuming the Monday make-up versus the Astros is not played.

Well there isn't much to do this week but speculate, so let's take a look at the potential Cubs first round playoff opponent. There's a poll at the end of the post.

- Sean Marshall will start Tuesday and Rich Harden will start Thursday. Letting Marshall start Tuesday means he'll likely get the start for the likely season finale on Sunday as well. Lou also said he won't be lightening any workloads for Harden or Zambrano this series. Pushing Harden to Thursday also means Lilly will get moved to a Saturday start.

Phil Rogers suggests this all means an NLDS rotation of Dempster, Harden, Zambrano and Lilly - a plan that I fully endorse.  Rogers also provides some useful information that all four possible playoff opponents are less productive (judged by OPS) against right-handed pitchers than left-handed pitchers. Bruce Miles has some other thoughts on the rotation and Lou himself said he's not making any announcements until this weekend.

- Rogers also reports that Jason Marquis will likely head to the pen and a long relief role for the playoffs although there are no specific quotations attributed to anyone. For some reason, I thought he was left off of last year's playoff roster, but he was just bumped from the rotation.

- Congrats to Micah Hoffpauir and Mitch Atkins, the Cubs Minor League Hitter and Pitcher of the Year.

- The Cubs claimed outfielder Brad Snyder off waivers and designated Adam Harben for assignment. Snyder was the 18th overall pick in the 2003 draft.

- The Cubs made some changes to their AFL roster. Pitcher Justin Berg will go to the Venezuelan Winter Leagues instead and be replaced by righty Jessie Estrada. Also, catcher/infielder Steve Clevenger and infielder Esmailin Caridad have been added to the Mesa Solar Sox bringing the total Cubs players up to 8 (Tyler Colvin, Darwin Barney, Nate Spears, Donald Veal and Rocky Roquet being the other 5).

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