Game 32 Recap: Cubs 2, Astros 0

Holy Moses! Wood K's 20, Parts Red Sea

W - Wood (3-2), History. Fastballs over the outside corner.  Generous outside corners.

L - Reynolds (2-3), any losers who didn't see this game live because they were out in the rain and cold shooting a bad round of golf.  Trying to come up with an adequate term for that freaky breaking pitch of Wood's.

Box Score, Photos, Standings


Things to Take from This Game

1. Wood Strikes Out 20, Two Batters Reach in Complete Game Shutout

From the first few pitches of the game it was clear that Wood had a potentially history-making fastball and breaking stuff working today.  Wood K'd his first five,and gave up his only hit on a grounder by Gutierrez off of Orie's glove.  This won't make me the most popular guy around here, but yeah, it was a hit.  It also was a play that Orie probably makes more often than not.  Tough luck for everyone involved. The only other runner came on a curveball that got away from Wood and beaned Biggio.  The performance is every bit as dominating as the box score will indicate.  Almost without exception, the Astros looked completely helpless.

2. Cubs scratch out 2 runs against Reynolds

Reynolds threw a complete game gem, himself, with 10 Ks and 1 ER in 8 innings.  The Cubs' scores came on a Grace "double" in the second, on an incredibly generous ruling where third-baseman Howell got completely devoured by a bouncer.  Grace then advanced to third as left-fielder Dave Clark throws away the potential play at second base.  Oh Henry! drove him in with a sac fly to Alou in deep center field.  They added another for good measure in the eighth; Morandini and Grace singled, with Morandini scoring on an attempted 5-4-3 double play that was too slowly turned and resulted in a fielder's choice.

3.  Greatest Game Ever?

A traditional recap can not adequatly contextualize this game.  The central question at this moment, just minutes after witnessing this gem, is not "what do we take from this game?" but "where will this game place among the all-time great games ever pitched?"  Larson's perfect game came in a far more important context.  Haddix's perfect game through 12 innings kept more hitters off base for longer.  Clemens has two 20-K games to his record, but as I thumb through the pages of my favorite baseball encyclopedia, I see that Clemens gave up five hits in his 1996 gem, and a run on three hits in 1986.  The 1996 Tigers and 1986 Mariners, furthermore, were no 1998 Astros.  IS this the greatest game ever?  If only we had some sort of pitcher's in-game dominance statistic, and a place that compiled every statistic from every game ever played.  Then we might have a more objective idea of where this game ranks on the list of all-time great pitching performances.  In the meantime, here's hoping that Wood's career is as successful and distinguished as the Rocket's.

4.  Looking to the Future...  All the way to the Year... 2000...

This has to portend well for the Cubs.  If Wood can stay healthy and anchor a rotation with Trachsel, and another talented young arm like Geremi Gonzalez or Terry Adams or Telemaco emerges as a compliment, we could have a dominant rotation for a decade to come.  We just need Wood's health to hold, and though we know he was worked hard in high school, he seems to be a very well built young man, and hopefully can keep his strength up.  The Cubs winning a world series may be about as likely as a black president or a second Great Depression, but Wood may have the arm to get us there.

The if-this-is-his-rookie-year, just-imagine-the-things-to-come details, below.

Game Recap


Chip Caray and Steve Stone on the call for a surprisingly warm and bright out for a game held at 9 pm in late February.  It looks almost like a mid-day game in, say, early May it's so nice out, with the sparse crowd wearing shirt sleeves.  Caray warns us that Derek Bell is leading the league in hitting with a .403 average.  One thing about Bell, you know that he's always grinding it out, a guy who just would never shutdown on you.

Wood with 25 K's in 18 and 1/3 IP on the year. Stone informs us that homeplate ump Jerry Meals may be a key figure in the game, as Wood could benefit from the generous strikezone Wally Bell offered last night.

Inning 1 - Top

  • Biggio and his paleolithic helmet lead off the game.  First pitch and Biggio shows bunt, pulls back.  Sandy Martinez totally whiffs at the fastball, with the pitch sailing back and hitting umpire Meals right on the mask.  Inauspicious start.
  • Wood's fastball is really crackling, but only one of the first three is for a strike.
  • Biggio flails at a fastball high and outside, for a K.  Stone declares "Biggio swung when that ball was in the glove."  He's not exaggerating. 
  • Bell's mustache stands in at the plate.  Second pitch, we finally see something other than a fastball:  that wicked slurve thingy for a called strike.  Stone sounds very impressed so far with Wood's stuff, I have to agree.
  • More of a 12-6 curve that just falls off the table.  Bell doesn't stand a chance, strike three swinging.
  • Bagwell looks at a blistering fastball on the outside corner for strike one.
  • I can't even begin to describe the movement on a slider that Bagwell lays off of.
  • Wood blows a fastball by Bagwell for strike two.  Bags looks completely overmatched, Caray says the astros "are just shaking their heads right now."  And Bags looks at a bit of a generous strike 3 call on an outside-corner fastball. 
  • Is it too early to point out that Kerry has "hmm-hmm" stuff today?

Inning 1 - Bottom

  • Wow, the top of that Cubs' lineup has some nice averages.  Then, there's the bottom half of it...  Ugh.
  • I love Stone, who introduces "the venerable Jack Howell" at third.  Heh.
  • Brown waves at something offspead, strikeout.  4 Ks to start the game.
  • Bit of a hanging curve Morandini fouls it off
  • Caray calls it "A good sized crowd gathering."  I don't see it.
  • Morandini with a tough check-swing called strike three.  Home plate ump Meals doesn't even ask for help at third.  Riggleman comes all the way out to have a word with Meals.  Use your colleagues, Meals. That said, Riggleman could stand to chill out a bit.  I imagine whomever the Cubs hire, after Riggleman, will be someone a bit more laid back.  We could use that. Five ABs, Five Ks so far.
  • Sosa uncorks a vicious swing, missing a curve for strike two.  He gets a clear look at a pitch just off the outside corner, and knowing he couldn't cream it, he holds off.
  • But Sosa injects himself into a slider off the outside corner on the next pitch, striking out.  Both pitchers K the side.

Inning 2 - Top

  • Howell checks on a fastball, and now Meals appeals to third, and it's not a strike?  Bah.  Also should be pointed out that virtually every fastball Kerry throws gets the Astros' hitters trying to check their swings.  THAT is impressive.
  • Wood misses his outside-corner target on a fastball, getting it up over the center of the plate.  But Howell swings right through it.  4 straight Ks.
  • A generous strike one call on a slurvey thing on the high outside corner.  And a weak check on a lower outside slurvey thingamabobber.  0-2.
  • The third whateverthehellyoucall it is the nastiest of the three, but Alou lays off.
  • Alou, who is supposed to have the quickest hands in the game, can't get around on a high inside fastball.  K's swinging.  5 in a row.
  • Hmm-hmm stuff, indeed.  Alou looked a bit peevish in that at bat
  • Dave Clark hits one hard, but just short of the warning track in center.  So much for the K-streak.

Inning 2 - Bottom

  •  Fastball down the middle, Grace bounces it right at Howell.  Howell backs up on it, plays it off his hip, and it gets past him.  No chance.  Astonishingly, improbably, they call it a hit - a double.  Clark makes the throw to second, and its way off line, heading into the right field bullpen.  Grace to third on the error.  Little League stuff there.
  • Reynolds with a 58 foot something-or-other, Ausmus with the block.
  • A very generous outside corner for a called strike to Henry Rodriguez.  3-1 count.
  • 3-2 count, Henry! hits a high fly to center, just short of the track.  Easy sacrifice fly, 1-0 Cubs
  • Reynolds has a fastball drift inside to Blauser, but Howell handles this hard-hit bouncer for the out.
  • Sandy Martinez with the start today, gets a 2-0 count in his seventh AB of the year.  3-0 count, now a 4-pitch walk.  Nice work, Sandy
  • The struggling Kevin Orie up, Stone tells us that Jeff Pentland has been trying to get Orie to open up to better deal with the inside fastballs.  And Reynolds starts him out with an inside fastball, strike looking.  And another, ball two.  Swing and a miss at the spliter inside, 1-2.  Fastball inside, 2-2.  Splitter down, swing and a miss, strikeout.   

Inning 3 - Top

  •  Caray:  Happy 89th birthday, former Cubs employee Harry Steinberg.  I wonder if Harry knows my friend, Heinie Massman.
  • Gutierrez with a foul, and a strike swinging on the fastball.
  • Wood with 24 pitches through 2
  • Gutierrez with a sharp grounder on a slightly-hanging breaking ball.  It's a bit to Orie's left, maybe two big steps and a lunge for it, and it tips just off the edge of his glove and dribbles into the outfield.  Tough play that Orie makes on another day, but properly ruled a hit.  We'll see how Kerry does from the stretch.  So much for the hmm-hmm.
  • 2-2 on Ausmus.  A good number of pretty women in the stands today, amongst the smallish crowd.
  • 3-2 on a high and outside curve.  Ausmus then K's swinging on a fastball, with Sandy trying to pick Gutierrez off of first, not close.
  • Reynolds bunts Gutierrez over, 3-4 putout.  Nice work by Reynolds getting it down.
  • Wood balks Gutierrez to third.  When Blauser sneaks behind Guttierez, Wood sort of flinches, bobbles the ball, and it's called a balk.  This is the sort of potentieal rookie-meltdown and pitch-count inflator we have to worry about...
  • Biggio bounces out to Blauser on a 1-1 count.  Inning over.  Phew.

Inning 3 - Bottom

  • Wood gets behind in the count, looks at a generous strike three fastball on the outside corner.  Better things worth worrying about today, Kerry
  • Stone predicts it, and Brown does indeed lay down the bunt.  A nice one up the third base line, beats Reynolds' throw easily.  Brown has that big home run from yesterday and now a fine bunt, and looks really sure-handed in the outfield.  Here's hoping he'll be around for years to come.
  • Give it another decade, and I'm sure that the Mullet will be back in fashion.  But for now? Sorry, Mickey.
  • Four games against Bonds and San Francisco coming up.  It's impressive how young and svelt Bonds still looks....
  • A nice striaght change and Morandini swings over the top for the K.  6 for Reynolds.
  • Wow, Reynolds leads all active pitchers in strikeouts per walk.  Ahead of Saberhagan, Schilling, Eckersley and Pedro.  What an odd statistic, I suppose it is a bit illuminating, at least.
  • Sosa steps in.  2-0 count, and another very generous called strike fastball on the outside corner.  There should be a Congressional investigation into this strike zone....  I'm sure Sosa would be happy to testify.
  • Sosa fists off a fastball, blooping it just over Biggio's outstretched glove and into center.  Way to muscle up, Sammy!
  • That gives Sosa a 13 game hit streak.  Bichette leads with 54, Bell with 50, and Sosa, Chipper and Fernando Vina at 44.
  • Runners at the corners for Grace.  Grace's average against Reynolds is further up in the stratosphere than the Dow Jones.
  • Reynolds keeping Sosa close at first.
  • Ausmus with another tough block on a ball in the dirt, saving a run. 
  • Grace walks on four straight.  Bases loaded for Henry!
  • Who flails at the first pitch, down and away. 1-1 count, then another wave at a fastball outside
  • Stone correctly notes that another run could be the ballgame, the way Wood is throwing
  • But another called strike on an outside fastball, for the K.  Inning over.

Inning 4 - Top

  •  Funny joke Stone tells about Derek Bell when he was a youngster playing for the Jays.  Winfield and Carter drove his truck onto the Sky Dome field, and had the PA announce that for fan appreciation weekend, they'd be raffling off Derek Bell's truck.  Bell could have emotionally shut down over that prank, but persevered and took it well.   Cool guy.
  • Bell does a nice job going opposite field on a tough pitch, but Sammy easily snags the fly.
  • Fastball sails up and in on Bagwell, 2-1 count.  3-1, then Kerry drops a slider over the middle for a strike.  Bagwell freezes on a 3-1 pitch, nice
  • A bigger, funkier slider-slurvey thing, Bagwell stares at it, easy called strike three.  Wow.  7 Ks.
  • LOL, Stone advises the K sign-holders to go to a K-mart to buy some more K's for today.
  • Kerry throws a fastball right to the mitt, Howell looks at it on the outside corner for K 8.

Inning 4 - Bottom

  •  Caray speculates that Gutierrez's hit may be a source of controversy (hinting that it might be the only hit of the game).  Sorry Chip.  It was a hit. 
  • Blauser bounces a fastball inside the third base line for a double.
  • Martinez with a hard hit fly to right, but Bell catches it, keeps Blauser at second.
  • Orie up, more inside fastballs.  Given the success Pentland is having with Sosa, you have to hope he has something for Orie that can affect a similar transformation.   Maybe next AB.  Orie looks at a low outside fastball for the K.  Stone says "Kevin Orie looks confused."
  • Wood with a big swing and a miss.  Don't hurt yourself swinging the bat, Kerry!
  • Kerry bounces one to Bagwell, who backs up on it, almost gets handcuffed.  But makes the 3-1 putout.

Inning 5 - Top

  • 16 Ks through 4 innings, total.  8 each. Wow.  Will be a fun contest to see who can K more.
  •  Caray still wondering if we'll get a scoring change on the Gutierrez single.  Give it a rest.  A. even with Wood's stuff, there's likely to be another hit, and B. it was a hit.
  • 0-2 on Alou.  Wood K's Alou on yet another outside corner fastball. Overhead cam shows it two inches or so off the plate.  Nothing Alou can do but wipe his hands of the at bat, and start fresh next time.
  • Wood has tied his career high in strikeouts, already
  • Strike one, strike two to Clark.  A huge 12-6 curve catches the top of the zone.
  • A huger 12-6 curve right through the middle of the zone, K looking.  Dear god.  "That curve is spinning so quickly, you can probably hear it. WWooaaaaaaaaah" - Stone  10 Ks.
  • Caray can't let the Gutierrez hit rest.  Seriously, Chip, there won't be any controversy there unless you insist on manufacturing one. 
  • Martinez gets really low to the ground, like Tony Pena used to do.
  • Chip with an "official scorer's nightmare kind of game" line.  STFU, Chip.
  • Gutierrez stares at yet another fastball over the outside corner.  11 K

Inning 5 - Bottom

  • Stone advises us that we're watching something special here today.  No doubt.
  • Wood has K'd five in a row, for a second time now. 
  • And we get another look at the Gutierrez single
  • And there are storms in the area, Stone tells us.
  • Brown laces a single to center.  This guy is going to be one helluva ballplayer, folks.  Oh Yes.
  • Lights come on at Wrigley
  • There's almost no one sitting in the upper deck...
  • 3-2 pitch to Morandini, he smacks one right back to Reynolds, who makes a nice pick, spins to second, where Gutierrez is covering on the hit and run.  Brown with a very hard slide, slamming his right shin right into the bag.  Hope Brown's all right.  Completes the double play, 2 out, Sammy up.
  • Sosa swings over a tough breaking pitch, 1-2 count.  And again, for strike 3. 

Inning 6 - Top

  •  Ausmus with a sharp roller, but right to Morandini.
  • Reynolds stares at a fastball, I'll let you guess the location.  12 Ks. 7 called, 5 swinging.
  • Biggio's fossilized helmet steps in.  Every Astro has K'd today.
  • Biggio takes a humongous swing at a curve, not even close.  Crowd "woahs"
  • The Astro's star on Biggio's helmet is peeling off.  Get an f'ing maid, Biggio.
  • Chip now notices it, lol.
  • Biggio doesn't seem quite right after that wild swing.
  • A curve slips away from Kerry, and Biggio tries to duck out of the way (for a change.) Gets hit on the elbow, could have been worse as it could have gotten the head.  122 HBP on Biggio's career
  • Bell pops out to Grace in foul territory on the first pitch.  Inning over.

Inning 6 - Bottom

  •  It's looking real stormy at Wrigley.
  • Biggio with a great play ranging to his left on a ground ball.  Stretches out and snags it, spins and throws out Grace.
  • Henry! with what might be the furthest outside called fastball strike yet.  0-1.
  • I'm so glad I decided to cancel on my friend Dave, and watch this game instead of going out golfing.  It's kind of cold and stormy out, and it's not like I have a VCR or any other means of watching a game after the fact.
  • Henry! chases a pitch in the dirt.  10 Ks for Reynolds.  Henry! now 3 for 30 against Reynolds, career.
  • Rain is starting to come down.
  • Blauser fists one to center, in front of Alou for the single.
  • Martinez inside-outs a liner to third Howell with a nice play to his left to snag it.  Inning over.

Inning 7 - Top

  • And the rains continue....  Not enough to delay the game yet, but we'll have to see.
  • A nifty little thingmawhatsit slider for strike 2 on Bags. Smoking fastball, just a bit too far outside to get the call.  3-2 count.  Bagwell is hopelessly late on the next fastball, 13th K.  Unreal.
  • We need a radar gun.  Haven't heard the speed on a single pitch yet, just "upper 90s"
  • 3-0 on Howell.
  • Comes back with a fastball strike.  Rain gets steadily thicker.  Howell tries to check his swing on a head-high fastball.  He tries to jog to first, but Meals calls it a strike.  Swings through a letters-high fastball for K 14.  Nice comeback from 3-0. 
  • With it raining, you have to wonder how Alou manages to keep a grip on the bat when his bare hands are so wet.
  • LOL and on the next swing, indeed the bat slips out of his wet, gloveless hands.
  • Crowd really getting in to every pitch now.
  • Alou tries to check on a slurvamasomething, it's called a strike by the first base ump.  15 Ks, K's the side.
  • Joe Mantegna for the 7th inning stretch!

Inning 7 - Bottom

  • The already slow-paced Reynolds really slowing it down, now, trying to let the rain come down. 
  • Orie chops it to third.  Easy out.
  • Wood gets a nice hand as he comes to bat.  A few chanting "Kerry! Kerry!"
  • Chip just said to Mantegna. "yer in town for a ...."  heh.  Yerintown.
  • Wood pops to Biggio.
  • It looks really, really dark at Wrigley.  And wet.  Reynolds calls over the equipment man for a tongue depressor to clean out his spikes.
  • Reynolds rolls a curve, Brown swings through it for strike 2.  Chip has stopped calling the game in order to talk theater with Mantegna.  Does anyone care about his 3:30 performance in Skokie?  Anybody?  Bueller?
  • Brown pulls one to second, slips running out of the box.  Inning over.

Inning 8 - Top

  • Jose Hernandez in for Henry! in left.
  • A sign on the fence says "We Got Wood."  Stone says "We certainly do!"  Oh my.
  • Oh for the love of christ.  Oh, dear, god.  The Ameritech play of the game is the Gutierrez base hit.  Stone sort of smacks down Chip, saying, quite definitively, "this is a base hit.  Folks, that's a hit, it was a good scoring call."  God, what would we ever do if the Cubs replaced Stone with some stereotypical jock to partner up with Chip.  It'd be insufferable.
  • Jack Pfeister struck out 17 for the Cubs on May 30, 1906 against St. Louis in 15 innings.
  • 2-0 on Clark. Former Cub Bob Scanlan up for the Astros.
  • 3-2 on Clark, crowd really into it.  102 pitches for Wood.  Fastball still zipping.  Clark K's on a touch 12-6 curve, Clark way out in front.  16 is a new Cubs rookie record, and tops Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson for the most Ks in a game on the season.  God, imagine a Wood-Schilling-Johnson rotation....
  • Fans into the 0-2 pitch, Gutierrez swings and misses at a fastball on the outside corner.  17 Ks.  Ties a Cubs record set 92 years ago.  Bullet of a fastball.
  • Stone finally mentions there's a chance to hit the all-time strikeout record, set by Clemens in 1986 and 1996.
  • Ausmus swings at a curve that was maybe two feet short of home plate and a foot outside.  Unfuckingbelievable.  Stares at a whosaslurvamagaddget onthe outside corner.  18 Ks.  

A Brief Poetical Interlude:

Rain, rain, go away.

Come again another day. 

Little Kerry wants the K.


Inning 8 - Bottom

  •  Morandini lines a sharp single in front of Bell, for a hit.
  • Sosa inside-outs a fly to right, Bell catches it.  
  • Fastball down the middle, Grace lines another single into right   Mini Mulletdini to third.
  • Jose Hernandez with his first AB.
  • Nice curve for a called strike, 0-1.
  • Credit to Reynolds, he's pitched a fine game, and could still win this if disaster strikes.
  • Stop stealing my thoughts, Chip.  It's like you have some monitoring device that records everything I enter on my keyboard.
  • Hernandez with a bouncer to third.  Howell with a slow pivot and throw to second, perhaps forgetting how many outs there are.  Hernandez beats the throw to first, thereby driving in the second run of the game. 2-0 Cubs
  • Hernandez tries to steal second (huh?  Leave it for speedsters, like Sosa), and is thrown out by Ausmus.

Inning 9 - Top

  • Rod Beck warming up in the bullpen.  
  • Bill Spiers in to hit for Reynolds.
  • 0-2, two late swings to foul off two fastballs.
  • Crowd stands and cheers.
  • Jack Brickhouse calls it the best pitching performance since Bob Henley lost a one-hitter to Koufax, who threw a no-hitter in response.
  • Sandy Martinez pumping his fist, cheering Wood on from behind home plate.  A couple curves fouled off.
  • Wood ties the NL record of 19 Ks, with Spiers swinging at a slightly floating slurvamaslidingkabreakerladiddy.  7 straight Ks for Wood.  Broke so far inside it could have hit him
  • Biggio takes an outside fastball and pulls it to Blauser for an easy 6-3.  No record for Wood, fans boo Biggio.
  • Derek Bell stands in.  As hopeless as things may seem for the Astros, you know that Bell will give it his best, until the bitter end.
  • Bell flails at a whothefuckknowsit low and outside. 1-1 count
  • and again at the whirleymajigger, 1-2 count.  Bell trying his hardest, but not even close.  Caught at least a foot outside of the corner.
  • one final spinnymasliderthingy for a swinging strike out.  20 strike outs.  Chip is shrill.  The fans are few but raucous.  Grace looks pumped, Wood looks kind of dazed, cool, almost lethargic.  Beck looks pumped, everyone laughing.  Sosa comes in, no one looks happier for Wood than the consummate teammate, Sosa.
  • Wood to be interviewed, quickly being hustled over to the microphones in front of the dugout, see the earpiece being put in his ear.  Dear God, let  him ice down first, it's not like he has a bionic elbow or something...  Then again, maybe he does...


Parachat Recap


  • Partying like it's 1998
  • Who should close, Beck or Mullholland?
    • Or Telemaco? 
  • Brant Brown Rules
  • Timing our start to the game

Inning 1

  •  The oscars suck.
  • How durable will Wood be?
  • The difference between Shane Reynolds and Darryle Kile
  • Sandy Martinez, ground-scraper.
  • Making fun of Derek Bell
  • Does Wood have closer's stuff?
  • Pitch counts
  • Good managers for Wood to work under
  • Making fun of someone who isn't here.
  • Oscar updates.  What are these "movies" of which you speak?
  • Heckuva job, Brownie.
  • Whip's getting married?
    • disbelief ensues
  • the Seinfeld finale
  • some geeky friends who want a loan so that they can fund their search-enging project...

Inning 2

  •  Has Sosa bulked up a bit?
  • Babes at wrigley
  • Hideki Irabu
  • Rain?
  • Whip needs to visit the WTC when he heads to NYC
  • Does baseball have any roids users?
  • Pentium II
  • A new Windows OS?
  • home-team scoring.
  • Viva Zapata!!
  • Cheering Henry!
  • Managers we like
  • Is the Wrigley concrete cracking?
  • Ways to defile wrigley with advertising. 
    • Nah... never would happen
  • IsY2K anything to worry about?
    • Oh dear god, yes.

Inning 3

  • BOBOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Replay
  • The moochers on the rooftops
  • Porn on the internet?  That'll be the day
  • Hit, or error?
  • How big is a megabyte?
  • Joe Morgan will love the internet.
  • Watch out for the Krauts.  Damn Gerries.
  • Waiting for Chinese Democracy to come out.
  • What did you think of Titanic?
    • Haven't seen it.
  • YO-YO DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  •  Anyone hear about this Pokeyman stuff?
  • Brant Brown
  • Oscar talk
  • "Never go full retard."
    • Is that like a gymnastic move?  Ice skating?
  • More oscar talk.
  • Getting younger.
  • Who will win a WS first:  Cubs, W. Sox or R. Sox?
    • Cubs, duh!
  • Token Cripple has gas
    • no good can come from any of that last parachat update.

Inning 4

  •  The Oscars are like a four hour game where you're losing 1-0 all the way from the first. - Whipple
    • Which is why only losers watch Oscars when they could be watching a baseball dvd with a bunch of strangers on an internet chat site.
  • concentration camp comedy.
    • Oh, dear god....
  • Carlos is Hugh Jackman
  • Accents that make your IQ drop
  • Games called due to rail.
  • Hit or error?
    • Hit.
  • Can anyone name the current president of Mexico
    • Senor Mexicola.
  • Looking forward to the new Star Wars movie....
  • Filipe Hussein Hinojosa -
    • who pals around with Banditos. - Whip
  • Another round of Dick Pole jokes.

Inning 5

  • Alou complains about a called strike three.  Someone get parachat the smelling salts.
  • How is Rosie O'Donnell still unmarried?
  •  Rob is paying absolutely no attention.
    • When is he?
  • hit or error?
    • Hit, you morans.
  • A-Rod
  • Larry Walker
  • More Career Wins, Reynolds or Wood?
  • Doing it with Craft and Guile.  Oh yeah.

Inning 6

  • Bowden skims off the top
  • How many Ks now? 
  • Dead People Roundup
  • Biggio's helmet is nastier than ____________
  • Dead or Not Dead?
  • Dreaming about Paul Newman before you die.
    • Er, or before he dies.
  • How do you like your Newman Sauce?
    • Crunch likes it chunky, I don't.

Inning 7

  • "oh danny boyle, the pipes are calling you" - flyin bryan
  • Alou's losing his grip.
  •  Pitch counts
  • Joe Mantegna
  • CGI rain added to the game
  • Biggio sucks.

Inning 8

  • Steve Stone Knows All
  • a Marlee Matlin joke, wow
  •  Wood looks like he's in a zone.  What sort?
  • Who'd we trade for Morandini?
    • Glanville
  • Glanville's column in the NYT
  • "Centerpiece cripple, token historian" - Andy and Steve
  • If anything happens to Wood, we're blaming Andy.
  • "what do you do in your spare time? I cruise the Vine Line" - Flyn Bryan

Inning 9

  • synching up
  • cheering along
  • Are groundballs legal?

Cubs move to 1-0 in games recapped from DVD.




I wish Trans would recap my LSD flashbacks.

"concentration camp comedy."

jerry lewis actually made a concentration camp comedy/drama film. it's never been released. it was one of those things he actually had to complete before he and the screenwriters realized it probably wasn't a good idea.

The Day the Clown Cried (1972)

...Adam Resurrected, a flick from this past year plays heavily off it supposedly.

Morans, I love it.








1 - not really

By the way, brilliant recap. We need to scatter more of these classic game watching parties through the offseason to get Trans some more work.

I probably had more fun with all the 1998 jokes than anything else. This was a good time. Well done, friends.

Also, we ought to do this for something else like Kenny Holtzman's '69 no-hitter against the Braves so I can pull out all my moon landing material. That's where the good stuff really starts to show up.

Wonderful job, Trans. Loved reading all of it!

yeah f'real...

interesting experiment...the whole thing wraps up nicely with the mock pre/post game writeups.

- Atkins goes on Wednesday as well, along with Ninja, Marshall Thursday, Lilly Friday...

- • • Rich Harden remains on his own slow-and-steady program, well behind the other pitchers in camp, but Rothschild said he'll ''easily'' be ready to open the season on time, barring a setback with his shoulder.

- Cashner looked good

mo stuff...gregg vs. marmol and team notes...

Rob--Great idea.

Trans--When the Hall of Fame opens its post-game/parachat wrap wing, you're in.

Kosuke Fukudome hit a grand slam for Japan's WBC team in an exhibition game against the Tokyo Giants.

On the final day of the weeklong camp, Fukudome hit a grand slam and Iwamura added a three-run home run as Japan routed Yomiuri 13-1 in an exhibition game called after seven innings due to rain.

W - Danny Boyle


+1 on all the Derek Bell jokes btw...

phew, i was wondering if they were too obvious, too redundant, or both.  I liked them.  :)


Very nice idea, and nicely executed, Rob!

Nicely done fellas. Looked like "mucho funo" as Carlos would say.

post delete

I say this was the best pitching performance ever, despite what the link showing the highest Game Scores says. All of the Game Scores higher than Wood's came between 1959 and 1974. Don't most of those years coincide with the years they raised the height of the mound? We need a Game Score+ or something that takes into account different eras, because 1998 was pretty much the epitome of a hitter's era, whereas '59 - '74 was a pitcher's era. For example, in 1968 the league average ERA was 2.99 in the NL and 2.98 in the AL. In 1998, the NL ERA was 4.24 and the AL was 4.65. Quite a difference.

Also, each one besides Wood's was more than 9 innings. Sure, Gaylord Perry pitched 16 innings without giving up a run, but he allowed 10 hits. Seems like Game Score probably looks at the ratio of IP to Runs and weights it too heavily.

I didn't witness any of these other pitching performances, but I know that Kid K made the entire Astro's team look like Little Leaguers facing Major League pitching for 9 straight innings.

It's been a year or so since I watched the 20K game, but I'm pretty sure he was also working with the widest strike zone in any era.

Just sayin'.

Eric Gregg and Livan Hernandez say "hi"


But yeah, it was a big zone. 

Tom Glavine was even appalled by outside corner calls Wood was getting.

Greg Maddux, however, had little to say.

Granted, but give every pitcher a big zone this year and you still probably won't see a 20K game. My opinion.

Anyone getting a sinking feeling that we're about to get one of those Spring Training news releases about Z and his shoulder problems? The latest BP session, along with stomping off the mound, not talking to reporters, and disappearing suggest to me that he's having issues, and they are doing their ridiculous "he's going to be fine" shit again... I see towel drills in Z's future...

Are Z & Harden the new Wood & Prior?


I vote that the Cubs institute a new rule. Every time Larry prescribes towel drills to "help" a pitcher deal with an injury, he has to eat one whole towel!

I recommend not reading too much into Z throwing a temper tantrum.

Spoken just like Hendry or Rothschild... That's exactly what would say. I hope I'm wrong. News coming in just a few days...

They'd be right, too.

I'm just saying, Z having a fit is not evidence of much of anything. Doesn't mean he doesn't have an arm problem nor does it mean he does have an arm problem.

i wouldn't be worried either if it wasn't coming on the end of Z suddenly deciding (then changing his mind) about getting eye surgery a couple weeks ago to fix a problem that was not urgent, but would cause him to miss time.

I agree that that's weird.

I don't make the connection to an arm problem, though.

If Z is hurt, we'll have an idea plenty soon enough.

yeah, it's a stretch to connect the two...i just don't like all these "little weird things" piling up so quickly.

When you hear hoof beats think horses not zebras.

Z most likely has an injury.

Nope, we already knew Z is breaking down, Dempster was broken down and Harden is broken down. If we get 75+ starts from the three of them I think we're doing pretty good.

i'd like to see your abrasive take on 5-10 other teams out there.

if you were a KC fan would you just set yourself on fire or bang madly on the keyboard because the team isn't worthy of wasting the english language on?

Imagine how awesome it will be to get those 2 at the trade deadline this year!!!

If we can just stay around .500 until those 2 get back...

Dr. Aaron b = Dr. Doom

So far, Dr., you have been displeased with everything that has transpired this offseason: not signing Abreau, not signing woody to 2/20, letting de rosa go (even though Fontenot is capable), signing Gregg, not signing Ibanez, we will already have three pitchers on the DL before the first regular season game is played.

How the fuck are you still a Cub fan when you pan absolutely everything?

I mean, I am pretty pessimistic myself about the Cubs having
Become a realist after watching them longer than most here, but
I wonder why you follow the team when you seemingly have already
Buried them?

The team, as is, is the class of the NL Central, if not the most
Balanced right now in the NL. There is NO perfect team.

First off, it isn't being gloomy. I just refuse to endlessly drink the kool-aid and verbally fellate Cubbie management like you seem to we think should.

I think Hendry had a golden opportunity this offseason to move this club ahead. And I think he failed.

As I have stated numerous times. The main reason that Hendry seems to struggle is that he

A) seems to lack confrontation skills (ie. Won't go to arbitration, refuses to attempt to negotiate anything less than full market prices,)

B) Doesn't have a real strong eye for talent

C) Totally ignores health until it is far too late

And for the record, my offseason goals for the cubs were

1. offer arbitration to Wood, try to sign him to a 1 yr deal
2. offer arbitraion to Dempster try and sign him to a 1 yr deal
3. sign Abreu
4. sign a replacement if Dempster left in free agency
5. If Lou demanded more lefthandedness, then sign Hudson
6. If it all fell into place, deal for Jake Peavy 4 and 6 are kind of one in the same

In all reality, Hendry could have probably gotten Abreu,Hudson,Peavy and maybe kept DeRosa for what he spent on this offseason's haul.

Signing Dempster to a 1-year deal would've involved paying WAY more than market price per year on him, like $20 million-ish. Even then, he might have wondered why the hell the team was only willing to go to one year on him.

The Wood arbitration would've made sense, except apparently the Cubs really didn't think he was worth $10 million and it turns out that it was a bad year to bluff on an arbitration offer.

We'll all have to wait and see on Bradley and Abreu.

Hudson and a Dempster replacement could've both cost first-round draft picks (though in your model I guess we're assuming that we'd receive first round draft picks for at least one of Wood and Dempster).

I really think the only thing that hurts is losing Wood. Like I said, we'll see how we all feel about Bradley and Abreu at during the season. They would both be very risky, and I'm amazed Abreu didn't end up getting more money.

Good news, in my opinion, Marmol opting not to participate in the WBC.

with gregg throwing him under a bus to the media every chance he gets selling him as the "ideal" multi-inning guy (aka, not a closer) he's probably better off staying with the cubs this spring as long as possible.

I for one cast my vote alongside Gregg's: Gregg (or Heilman?) for closer, Marmol for fireman.

marmol or gregg i could care less either way...both guys are gonna walk their share of guys and strike out the rest.

I just get concerned that Lou believes in Marmol too much in that role. I still think Zeus can throw 80 innings, but he can't throw 4 innings in 3 days or 6 innings in 7 days for 3 or 4 consecutive weeks.

In hindsight, and I was wrong at the time, I think that's what got him in trouble in the middle of the year in 2008. That fastball got a little wild, couldn't get ahead, couldn't get the slider to work for him with 2 strikes etc.

It's not the overall load, it's when we play 8 straight close games and our relivers can't get out of the 7th, so Lou brings him in for 1.2 in 6 of the 8 games or some such insane workload.

I agree, Marmol SU, Gregg CL

Dempster dealing with a stiff neck...

Z and Lilly pitched today and looked good (according to Muskat)

Vineline guy with a BP update...

dempster did throw 40-50 pitches in a bullpen session today according to WIttenmyer

Just was listening to MLBTV show and they were showing Tigers doing a pop up drill.

Mitch Williams-

"I played with Ryne Sandberg,one of the greatest second baseman, and whenever there was a pop up on right side he waved over Grace to catch it. Watch tape he could not catch pop ups."

Wow, so much for greatest second baseman ever.

Sandberg was at the very beginning of my cubs memory, any truth to this? Or as the subject reads, is Williams Circus Elephant Shit Nutty?

Google: No results found for "Circus Elephant Shit Nutty". I like it, though.

If Sandberg couldn't catch popups, how did he manage a 123-game errorless streak? And don't tell me he waved Grace over the the 2b position to catch all of his popups.

"any truth to this"

I've been a Cubs fan throughout Sandberg's entire career. I saw no evidence of him having difficulty catching popups.

I think this is Williams' version of "Hey, your shoes are untied -- made you look!"

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  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs


    Arizona Phil 57 min 33 sec ago view
  • soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*

    crunch 6 hours 15 min ago view
  • 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

    Eric S 6 hours 16 min ago view
  • that runner scores on a single...

    The E-Man 6 hours 27 min ago view
  • So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?

    jacos 6 hours 29 min ago view
  • 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??

    The E-Man 6 hours 29 min ago view
  • Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...

    The E-Man 6 hours 36 min ago view
  • Such is the life of a fatted calf...

    JoePepitone 6 hours 50 min ago view
  • fowler with a triple in the 4th...he's a HR away from a "natural" cycle

    crunch 7 hours 23 min ago view
  • ...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.

    crunch 7 hours 27 min ago view
  • his collapse started on august 21st this it's a slight improvement.

    but wow, what a collapse since then...only 2 out of 7 can be considered good/decent.

    crunch 7 hours 39 min ago view
  • I'm really going to enjoy watching Hammel watch the playoffs.

    Jackstraw 7 hours 57 min ago view
  • The always combustible Jason Hammel

    jacos 8 hours 18 min ago view
  • Hammel :(

    Charlie 8 hours 19 min ago view
  • That was fun.

    Charlie 11 hours 19 min ago view
  • "home field advantage through the playoffs?"

    Except for the away games.

    VirginiaPhil 11 hours 31 min ago view