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SP Carlos Zambrano SP Derek Lowe
  8-1, 2.51, 57/28 K/BB in 86 IP
3-5, 4.17, 52/22 K/BB in 77.2 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano LF *Juan Pierre
SS Ryan Theriot RF *Andre Ethier
1B Derrek Lee 2B Jeff Kent
3B Aramis Ramirez C Russel Martin
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 1B *James Loney
C Geovany Soto CF Matt Kemp
2B *Mike Fontenot 3B *Blake DeWitt
CF Reed Johnson SS Chin-Lung Hu
P #Carlos Zambrano P

Derek Lowe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a pitching rematch of the May 28th game in Wrigley, which the Cubs won 2-1 in 10 innings. May we see more of the same, today. The game is on FOX.

Nine and Counting


W-
Marquis (3-3), Cat O' Nine Tails, Seven of Nine, Title IX, Nein!, Revolution No. 9, 3^2^1


L-
Corey (1-1), inefficient starters on west coast night games

S- Wood (16)


Box Score
, Photos

Things to Take from This Game

1. Ugly work by the starters

Marquis just melted down in the third, with among other things three walks, a balk and an errant pickoff throw at first. It all led to two runs. At least he made it through five with only giving up three total, to "earn" the win. Ledezma threw 99 pitches in 4.2 and walked five. The big AB in the bottom of the fifth was Theriot, who coaxed a walk with the bases loaded to bring the score to 3-2, with Lee tying it up on an infield grounder, after him.

2. Who can't hit homers at Petco?

Soto and DeRosa hit a couple of very impressive home runs in the sixth. Soto's solo shot was well out in center, and DeRosa's two-run job just got one out over the wall in deep left-center. But the real shot of the night was Soriano's three-run homer, an upper-decker just left of center, in the eighth.

3. Defensively...

Barrett still isn't any good. Just in case you had any doubts.

4. Relief

Eyre pitched a solid 1.1 innings, and Howry got out of a big bases loaded jam he inherited in the 8th. Nice work from our premium-priced middle-reliever duo. Wood gave up a double to Adrian Gonzalez, but otherwise looked dominant closing it out.

The "I would be annoyed if I'd stayed up to recap a loss" details, below.

Tags: 

Best Team in Baseball


W-
Wuertz (1-1), pitchers who can't field their position, first MLB RBIs, double-steals


L-
Herges (2-2)


Box Score
, Photos


Things to Take from This Game


1. Balanced Attack

Soriano, Lee, Ramirez, Soto and Johnson all had RBIs, with XBH by Ramirez and Fukudome (2Bs) and Lee (Solo HR.)

2.Cotts almost has a good sixth inning

Almost. He relieved Marquis with a 3-1 lead and the bases loaded, one out. He gets Willie Tavares in an 0-2 count, before Tavares bloops one just over the drawn in Lee, scoring two and tying the game at three. He K's Seth Smith, and seems to K Helton swinging, but it's just barely a foul tip, popping out of Soto's glove. Helton walks on the next pitch. So much for Cotts' return to the majors. Marquis wasn't great, but some bad luck after he had left gave him a final line worse than it might have been.


3. Messy 7th gives Cubs a comeback

A blooper into the bermuda triangle, another soft single, an error, a hit by pitch and a sacrifice fly gave the Cubs two generous runs off of Matt Herges.

4. Messy 8th gives Cubs an easy win

A double, a bad throw on a sac bunt, a single, a double steal, a single with a dropped ball on a play at the plate, and the Cubs get three more in the eighth, for an 8-4 lead. After some shakey middle-infield play by the Cubs early in the game, it was the Rockies who played sloppy the rest of the way.

With the win, the Cubs move past a certain AL East powerhouse, to claim the best record in baseball. The cream of the crop details, follow.

Tags: 

1010-1010


W-
Howry (1-2 ), getting to a W/L record against the Dodgers franchise that looks like binary.


L-
Park (1-1 ), not getting Z a win, inconsistent strike zones

 

Things to Take from This Game


1. Lowe rolls, Z keeps us in it.

Derek Lowe looked pretty unstopable. After getting Lee to GIDP with the first two hitters on in the first, Lowe didn't look like he was challenged much by the Cubs offense all night. Z didn't have his best stuff, but labored through 8 innings and 130 pitches while only giving up one run. That came in the fourth, the result of a couple singles followed by two walks, the second one bringing in a run. It would have been a miserable way to lose a 1-0 game, but...

 


2. The top of the 8th vs. the bottom of the 9th.

The Dodgers had a chance to add some insurance runs in the 8th, as the Cubs defense lets Zambrano down and he's suddenly nearing 130 pitches with a bullpen that has just begun to warm up. Z gets out of it, however striking out Kemp and keeping the game at 1-0. Compare that to the bottom of the 9th, where Saito has a very, very rare fit of wildness. Like Z, he battles hard with far from his best stuff, but Soto manages a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to tie up the game at one.

 


3. Pulling out a tough win in the 10th

Pinch-hitting, Fontenot lined a double into the left-center gap. Soriano then hit a little blooper down the left field line that just did drop in fair territory. Fontenot scored uncontested, giving a very satisfying result to a hard-fought nail-biter of a game.

The sweeping details, below.

Tags: 

Cheap Salami


W -
Sampson (3-3), cheap homers


L -
Dempster (5-2), real homers

S - Valverde (13)


Box Score
, Photos


Things to Take from This Game


1. A Lamer Grand Slam Never Was Seen

The entirety of the Astros scoring came in the fourth, when Pence lined an opposite field grand slam home run into the first row in right field. I didn't catch the dimensions, but it couldn't have been 350 feet. It came in response to Aramis hitting a mammoth 2-run home run in the top half of the inning. If style points on home runs counted, the Cubs would have won this game.


2. Dempster, Sampson, Ascanio

If you ignore the grand slam, and the consistently getting behind hitters, Dempster had a pretty decent outing. If you ignore the fact that he won the game, gave up 2 ER in 6.2 and only walked one, Sampson looked very pedestrian. Jose Ascanio also made his debut for the Cubs, and looked ok. One of the two walks was intentional, one of the two hits was a blooper on a nice pitch.


3. Lee and Ramirez play see-saw with Soriano

How's that for a visual aid? A few days after all the talk was about how hot Soriano was while Ramirez and Lee were taking 0-fers, and now Soriano and Theriot go 0-8 while Lee and Ramirez go 5-8.

4. Enron/Minute-Maid/NASA Presents the Houston Astros of Texas Field is still stupid.

Really. It's like Baseball meets the fifth course on Excitebike.

 

The architectural criticism, game details, and the relentless pursuit of perfection (isn't that an auto slogan?) below...

 

Tags: 

We Walk


W -
Marquis (2-3), .800 homestands


L-
Dumatrait (1-2)

S- Wood (10)


Box Score
, Photos


Things to Take from This Game

1. More walks than hits

Dumatrait walked 7 in 4.2 innings, with 53 balls and 52 strikes. He only gave up four hits, or else the game wouldn't have been close. Dumatrait walked the bases loaded in the third, leading to a Soriano sac fly and Cedeno bloop single for two runs. Three more walks in the fourth led to a Johnson sac fly, and two walks in the fifth led to a Fukudome single just over Bixler's head, for the final Cubs run.

2. Marquis was just good enough

His pitching line (6IP, 4H, 1 BB, 3K, 3R) looks better than his performance from where I'm sitting. He had a nice strike of seven consecutive outs, but made a couple of mistakes to Paulino that could have been home runs, and had spotty command of the fastball and slider.

3. 3 RBI for LaRoche


LaRoche hit a two run homer in the first that suprised most everyone when it made it into the left-center basket. He added an RBI single in the sixth

4. Solid Relief

Howry, Marmol and Wood provided three scoreless innings.

 

The 8-2 homestand-closing, warm news for a cold day at Wrigley game recap, and some life-saving, pride-stroking parachat recap shout-outs, below.

 

Tags: 

Juggernaut


W -
Zambrano (6-1), singling up the middle


L -
Wolf (2-3), the pitiable foes who resist us


Box Score
, Photos


Things to Take from This Game


1. Crooked Numbers

The Cubs put up six in the fifth and five in the sixth. For the life of me, I am not sure I've ever seen as many singles up the middle as I saw in this game. The big innings featured a home run, two doubles, five walks and six singles, five of them back up the middle. Len tells us that the Cubs lead the world in innings scoring 5 or more runs, with 13 so far this year.


2. (Sort of) Efficient Z

Zambrano cruised through the first and second innings on 9 pitches each. Even after laboring through the third, he needed just 95 pitches to go seven, before letting the bullpen protect a 9 run lead

3. Soriano heats up.

Soriano followed up yesterday's big game with another. A home run, a double, two RBI and two Runs scored. Welcome back.

4. Kouzmanoff's error

With the bases loaded, two outs and a full count in the sixth, DeRosa grounded one to Kouzmanoff, playing deep at third. Perhaps forgetting that the runners were all moving, he went to step on third for the inning-end force. Ramirez, however, just beat him to the bag. Kouzmanoff then threw wildly to first, and all three runners scored, blowing the game open at 11-2. How many consecutive games can Ramirez influence (for the better) with his feet?

 

If the recap seems a bit flat, it's because the mlb.tv feed wasn't great. It's also because my mind got the cyber-equivalent of being dropped in a blender with some mango and vanilla soy milk and served as a smoothy, due to reading and recapping nine full innings of parachat. The offensive-juggernaut game details, and a parachat recap that, even after careful editing, might be in violation of the Geneva Conventions, follows....

Tags: 

Steve Johnson, Chicago Cubs Yesterday & Today (Minneapolis: Voyageur Press) 2008. 144pp. $26.95

Any new addition to the collection of Chicago Cubs anthologies, encyclopedias and coffee table books is faced with the elemental problem of distinguishing itself from the dozens of other works competing for your beer money. In the case of Steve Johnson's Chicago Cubs Yesterday and Today, published by Voyageur Press, the pitch is twofold. First, instead of a chronological ordering that begins in the past and proceeds linearly towards the present, Johnson organized Yesterday and Today topically, juxtaposing pictures from different eras in Cubs history for side-by-side comparison. Hence the title. Second, Johnson presents an extensive and diverse selection of historical photos, many in color, from the archives of the Chicago Historical Society, the Hall of Fame, and private collections. While the execution of the whole "then and now concept" was about as consistent as a young Kerry Wood - full of promise, if alternatively brilliant and off target - the photo selection is more Greg Maddux - consistently great.

 

Pitchers Duel


W -
Lilly (3-4), batter's interference calls


L-
Haren (4-2), jerks who didn't start Lilly in their fantasy leagues

S - Wood (6)


Box Score
, Photos

 


Things to Take from This Game

1. Lilly Comes Through

Facing the best offense in baseball, one dominated by right-handed hitters, Lilly shut down the Diamondbacks to the tune of three hits, two walks, one earned run on a Chris Young Home Run, and ten strikeouts. He spotted the fastball well, with more velocity as the day went on, and had his harder curve and/or slider working for him. A really remarkable performance for Lilly.

2. Haren's good, not great

Haren also pitched very well. The key moment came in the fifth, when with a runner on second and two outs, he walked Johnson to get to Lilly. Lilly then singled through the middle for an RBI, and Soriano dropped a double in down the left field line. Lee added a home run off of Cruz in the eighth, completing the day's scoring

3. A Dominant Ninth for Wood

Wood threw nine strikes in the ninth, completely overpowering Young, Jackson and Upton. Easily the most dominant I've seen Wood, this year.

The this-is-what-I-get-for-not-being-a-fantasy-baseball-homer details, below.

 

 

Tags: 

This Ain't Pleasure.


W -
Volquez (5-1), Mascots and umpires getting injured in funny ways


L -
Lieber (2-2), 3+ hours of my life


Box Score
, Photos

 


Things to Take from This Game


1. The Votto (and many others) Game.

Here is a list of Reds starters who did not hit home runs: Patterson, Griffey, Encarnacion, and the pitcher, Volquez. Joey Votto was the worst at not hitting home runs, as he failed to not hit home runs three times, against three different pitchers, to three different parts of the ball park.


2. Lieber? We barely saw 'er.

Lieber was terrible in his first start of the year. The second inning featured four home runs, to Votto, Dunn (back to back), Bako and Hairston. Just didn't have much in the way of stuff, with spotty command inside of the strike zone. It's not like Marshall or Gallagher were any better in relief


3. Can't Hit Volquez.

Volquez issued four early walks (and a couple late ones), but the Cubs couldn't hit him and he settled in after the first couple innings. Ten K's through seven, no runs, four hits.

4. Dusty, Dusty, Dusty....

What an idiot! Here we have one of the most talented young pitchers in the game, part of our core for the next several years, and with a 9-0 lead, and it's raining, and he's thrown 90-plus pitches, Dusty lets him come out for the seventh? With a rested bullpen? And there isn't even anyone up at the beginning of the inning, in case he struggles? What is he thinking? You're telling me there isn't a reliever who can cover a 9-0 lead for three innings? Of course, the young stud struggles through the inning, is painfully, clearly, visibly tired, and needs pitch number 118 to finally get through the inning??!?!

 

Oh, wait. Dusty is the Reds' manager, now? Nevermind.

5. Did I mention it rained?

And there was no one at the park, and it was deathly silent. What a wretched game to watch.

 

The all wet details, below.

Tags: 

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