Thursday's Chicago vs. Chicago showdown at Wrigley Field will be the first Major League game to be streamed live to mobile phones, specifically to iPhone and iPod Touch users who have installed the MLB.com At Bat 2009 app and the new Apple 3.0 operating software.
Be forewarned—the entire downtown area is overrun with Nordic boys wearing Kirby Puckett jerseys. I know; I have seen it for myself!
This afternoon's Twins starter, Kevin Slowey (8-2, 4.21), is prone to the gopher ball. (That's "gopher" as in home run, not Golden Gopher.) Cubs starter Randy Wells is prone to getting screwed by the non-performance of his offense and/or his bullpen.
Arizona's Dan Haren was lifted from Sunday's start at San Diego after the seventh. He held the Padres scoreless for 6 2/3 innings before allowing a solo blast to Kevin Kouzmanoff. In all, Haren was charged with 1 run on 4 hits. He fanned 5, walked 1, and at one point, retired 13 Padre hitters consecutively.
He was deprived of his fifth win of the season, however, when the Arizona bullpen failed to protect a 6-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. (The Diamondbacks eventually won, 9-6, in 18 innings.)
I didn't get to see all of Saturday night's loss, but the portion that I did catch was more than enough for me to get the gist:
The Cubs' woeful offense—over the last two nights, for example, the team is 0-for-17 with RISP—offers no cover for defensive mistakes and boneheaded baserunning.
If the starting pitching weren't so good, the Cubs wouldn't even be competitive.
Carrie Muskat wrote yesterday that Alfonso Soriano has been playing with a sore knee since April 23rd, when he "banged his knee against the wall" while running after what turned out to be a Joey Votto home run.
"It hasn't been the same since,"
Soriano said. "It's getting better."
Lou Piniella said athletic trainer Mark O'Neal hasn't told him that Soriano can't play. He'll take it day by day.
"Soriano is a tough kid and wants to play," Piniella said. "If it
persists, we might have to get him out of there for a few days."
In 31 games since April 23rd, Soriano, has hit .233/.266/.431/697 (AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS). He has hit 7 HR, though none in his last 10 games. His current line of .253/.313/.495/807 is a season low, across all categories.
Today at Baseball Prospectus (subscription), Joe Sheehan wrote about how the Cubs have become one of baseball's most home run-dependent teams and tonight, we saw, yet again, where that generally gets you.
A pinch-hit home run by Bobby Scales in the eighth inning against Randy Wolf accounted for all the Cubs' scoring Thursday night in the team's most recent, painful defeat.
Monday night's game seemed otherworldly from even before the first pitch.
A Wrigley Field home game on a holiday at night? It made scheduling sense, given that the Cubs had to fly all the way east from San Diego following Sunday's game, but it still felt wrong.
Then the lineups were published and owing to a combination of illness, injuries, and an opposing lefthander, we saw Reed Johnson hitting cleanup and an infield of Freel, Theriot, Miles, and Hoffpauir. In other words, the stuff of split squad spring training games.
After losing to the likes of Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, and Jake Peavy earlier in the current losing streak, the Cubs fell Saturday night at San Diego to young Josh Geer, who came into the game with a 5.61 ERA and no victories in five starts.
Reader Osiris flagged this bad news by way of Paul Sullivan in the Tribune:
The Cubs placed Rich Harden on the 15-day disabled list with a back strain on Friday, and inserted Randy Wells into the rotation for Saturday's game.
This will allow the Cubs to activate Carlos Zambrano without having to make another roster move, i.e., demote Wells. Harden felt "a twinge" when he pitched last Sunday against the Astros.
Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs
soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*
Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.
Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh
And...now that runner scores on a single...
So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?
And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??
Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...
Such is the life of a fatted calf...
fowler with a triple in the 4th...he's a HR away from a "natural" cycle
...and contreras takes one off the hand and he's in obvious pain. sigh.
he's staying in the game, though he's wringing his hand out during breaks in the action. aside from that he seems to have no issue giving signs or tossing back to the pitcher.
...and he's batting in the cubs half of the following inning. sweet.
his collapse started on august 21st this season...so it's a slight improvement.
but wow, what a collapse since then...only 2 out of 7 can be considered good/decent.
I'm really going to enjoy watching Hammel watch the playoffs.
The always combustible Jason Hammel
That was fun.
"home field advantage through the playoffs?"
Except for the away games.