Transmission's Archives

Game 53 Recap: Cubs 2, Dodgers 1

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.

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Game 46 Recap: Cubs 2, Astros 4

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...

 

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Game 44 Recap: Cubs 4, Pirates 3

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.

 

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Game 38 Recap: Cubs 12, Padres 3

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....

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Book Review: "Chicago Cubs Yesterday & Today"

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.

 

Game 35 Recap: Cubs 3, Diamondbacks 1

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.

 

 

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Game 34 Recap: Cubs 0, Reds 9

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.

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Game 31 Recap: Cubs 3, Cardinals 5

Three wasted hours, reviewed

 

W - Wellemeyer (3-1), Sunday Night Baseball "BINGO"
L - Marquis (1-2), trying to live-blog double-switches, HDTV on acne scars
S - Isringhausen (10)

 

Things to Take from This Game

 


1. Marquis = Hill?

Jason Marquis walked three in the first, but only gave up one run due to a terrific catch by Lee on a bases loaded, line-drive rocket off the bat of Duncan. He gave up five runs and five walks in five innings, with pretty weak command throughout the night.

2. Everyone = Hill? The only pitcher on either side to strike out more batters than he walked was Isringhausen, and his strikeout came on a "let's hurry up and get out of here" called strike three on Lee to end the game. Between the double switches and the walks and the Joe Morgan, it was a tough game to follow. Seriously, could Miller and Morgan stopped talking about Australian aboriginal farming techniques just long enough to call the game?

3. No Clutch Hitting
The box score shows 23 LOB for the Cubs. Among the more egregious innings were the first (two on, one out, no runs) the fourth (leadoff double doesn't score) and the seventh (bases loaded, one out, one run scores)

4. Soriano Looks Lost
Soriano started out his first ABs by going 0-2, 0-1, 0-2, 0-2, and 0-2. Besides two strikeouts, he did get a single and an RBI sac fly out of all that. But still...

 

The hum-drum highlights follow....

 

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Game 18 Recap: Cubs 13, Pirates 6

First Place

Box Score, Photos

W - Dempster (3-0), Ivy
L - Duke (0-1), Bullpen mounds

 

Things to Take from This Game
1. The Fifth Inning
After giving up two hits to start the game, Dempster cruised through the first four innings before falling apart in the fifth. The Cubs entered the inning with a 5-0 lead, but Dempster gave up 3 on a hbp, two walks, a couple singles and a double. He recovered a loss of command to strike out LaRoche with the bases loaded. (LaRoche just had a horrible game, all around.)

The bottom half of the inning featured five Cubs runs, two Pirates errors, and a Ramirez two-run homer. It put the game away at 10-3.

2. The Cubs Outfield
Remember when the outfield was supposed to be Soriano, Pie and Fukudome? WIth an outfield of Murton, Johnson and DeRosa, the Cubs still scored 13 runs. Johnson scored three times, Murton had a couple of RBI ground-outs, and DeRosa... well, he didn't break his neck in right field while stumbling over the Pirate bullpen, so that counts as good.

3. Cubs Patience
Another day, another 7 walks, with just three strikeouts. Really, it was just an all-around strong offesnive performance, with everyone reaching base safely other than Dempster, Howry, and pinch-hitters Fontenot and Pie.

The Cards and Brewers both lost, so guess who's in first? The happy, three-and-a-half-hour details, below.

 

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Game 6 Recap: Cubs 3, Astros 2

Up to .500

 

 

W - Zambrano (1-0), outfield arms, broad strike zones, Derrek Lee
L - Villarreal (0-2), Budweiser shills
S - Wood (3), the home-stand

 

Things to Take from This Game

 

1. Cubs pitchers cruise
Zambrano
pitched 7 relatively strong innings with 7 Ks and 2 ER. His worst
trouble came in the first, which began with runners at 2nd and 3rd
before Erstad struck out and Lee flew into a 7-2 DP, with Soriano
nailing Bourn at the plate. Cubs pitchers didn't allow a walk,
and Zambrano cruised through the middle third of the game with 9
straight outs. No one reached base against Marmol or Wood in the
8th and 9th

 

2. Derrek Lee is crushing the ball
Lee
finally made an out, and even that was a lined shot that might have
cleared the wall on another day. His go-ahead home run off of
Villarreal was hit about as hard as a person can hit a ball.
Everything is getting smokback up the middle of the field.

 

3. Soriano helps out
Soriano's
throw home in the top of the first was perfect.  He also hit one out,
just scraping over the basket in the left field wall to give the Cubs a
2-1 lead. Hopefully it's the start of better days ahead.

 

After a shakey start to the homestand, we at least walk into Pittsburgh as a 3-3 team. Details below.

 

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  • Sigh.

    Ok... maybe.

    Ryno 5 min 45 sec ago view
  • With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?

    bradsbeard 7 min 47 sec ago view
  • Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.

    Hagsag 10 min 52 sec ago view
  • This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.

    The E-Man 14 min 6 sec ago view
  • This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.

    johann 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now. 

    LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.  

    RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.   

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 43 min ago view
  • AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).

    I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):  

    * bats or throws left 
    # bats both

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 11 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.

    Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 33 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season  either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.

    Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.  

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 39 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 3 hours 8 min ago view
  • Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.

    Send Soler down!

    Old and Blue 4 hours 2 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 4 hours 4 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 4 hours 54 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 7 hours 42 min ago view
  • given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.

    i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.

    crunch 8 hours 54 min ago view
  • Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?

    He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.

    My guess? Toronto.

    tim815 9 hours 18 min ago view