Archive - 2008
Hello again from Des Moines, the soggy branch office of the Chicago Cubs National League ballclub.
A bizarre homestand that began last weekend with a flood-delayed game played behind closed doors as a public safety precaution ended last night with the season's largest crowd witnessing the latest episode in the unraveling of Rich Hill.
One night after Sean Marshall required only 87 pitches to get 24 outs, Hill scatter-gunned 45 before he was taken into custody after a mere two-thirds of the first inning.
W - Wood (4-1), back-to-back jack winners, Aramis Freakin' Ramirez, A day's worth of bragging rights, listening to stunned silence of Hawk and DJ
L - Linebrink (2-2), Blithering idiocy, Hawk Harrelson, listening to blithering idiocy, listening to three hours of Hawk Harrelson's blithering idiocy
Things to Take from This Game
1. Quality starts by the lefties
Lilly continued to have problems with the Home Run ball, giving up a solo shot to Dye in the second and a two-run blast to Pierzynski in the third. Those wound up being the only runs the Cubs gave up, as Lilly worked out of trouble in both the fifth and sixth. Danks had a stronger game, striking out five and walking none, and left with a 3-1 lead. He only gave up a run-scoring GIDP to Lee in the first. However...
2. No Contest in the Battle of the Bullpens
Dotel came in for the seventh, and promptly surrendered back-to-back jacks to Lee and Ramirez. Howry by contrast got the last out of the seventh and had an easy eighth, while Wood survived a near-miss home run that only registered as a leadoff double, and got out of the ninth without damage. That set up the bottom of the ninth, where...
3. Ramirez Walks Off
Aramis hit his second home run of the game, this one off of Linebrink and to dead center into the juniper bushes. Cubs win a great game, 4-3.
The "why did you miss this game, and need to rely on my thrilling recap?" details, below.
Daryle Ward went 2-3 and scored a run, and Sean Hoorelbeke and Dwayne Kemp drove in two runs a piece with RBI doubles, as the AZL Cubs and AZL Angels played to a 5-5 tie at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in what was a final tune-up for AZL Opening Day on Sunday.
Ward, who played 1B and hit 3rd in the order, left the game amidst the usual handshakes, hugs, and kisses that accompany a "rehabber" leaving for the airport in the middle of a game. Whether DW will end up in Iowa or Tennessee is apparently still TBD. But if all goes well at who knows where, Ward is supposed to rejoin the Cubs next week In Chicago.
W - Balfour (2-0), getting out of Tampa
L - Marmol (1-2), 7-run sevenths.
Things to Take from This Game
1. Shields was fantastic
Shields pitched a fantastic six innings before giving up a run in the sixth on a Fontenot double, and leaving with runners on 2 and 3. The relievers allowed both inherited runners to score on a bloop by Fukudome and a seeing-eye bouncer by Theriot. Though he technically gave up 3, Shields was much more dominant than that for most of his outing.
2. Gallagher was terrific
Gallagher also pitched very well, with a particularly impressive live fastball. The Devil Rays successfully extended several at bats, with the same sort of grinding approach that we've enjoyed watching the Cubs employ for most of the year. Gallagher still managed to get through six, and worked out of a couple jams. A very encouraging outing by Gallagher, who only gave up one run, and that came on a double play that followed an error by Lee.
3. Marmol and Eyre were.... uh...
Marmol comes in to protext a 3-1 lead in the seventh, and goes walk, walk, hbp, hbp. Eyre comes in and goes Grand Slam to Crawford, triple, double, sac fly, double. Marmol was missing with his slider, both the HBP coming on sliders that got too far inside. Eyre was just bad.
The "we never again have to listen to pundits pointing out that the Cubs are the only team to not have a three-game losing streak this year, there, are you happy, Cubnut?" details, below. :)
if they dont win at least 130 games this season they can pack it all up, turn wrigley into a concert venue, and move the damn team to san jose.
I see where catcher Cael Brockmeyer was promoted to Tennessee a couple of days ago, to fill a roster spot vacated by David Freitas, recently promoted to Iowa. Caratini is the other catcher at Tennessee.
They've already clinched a minimum winning percentage of .607 for the month, and that's only if they lose the last 2 games. If they win both, they can push that up to .679. So much for "stumbling" in May. When you're winning over 60% of your games, you're doing baseball well.
If the best walk-off hit possible is a solo home run in a zero-zero game--Eloy did it tonight!
(But maybe it's a grand slam when your team is down three? He didn't do that.)
Number eight for Jimenez. His team is 31-17. Yesterday they scored 17 runs against Lansing. Two weeks ago it was 15 runs against the same team. This is a nice team, South Bend. The Cubs must have had a good draft last year.
Tonight the pitchers were Sands, Brooks and Effross.
He'll be fine. He's not some wimpy young pup.
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.