The Rubber Game

Ted Lilly's first start of the season and him and the TLFC are all amped up to try and take the first series of the year.

"It's the biggest game of the year," Lilly said.

Ted's Intensity (aka Tedtensity) just made us punch through the TLFCHQ
Italian Granite counter tops... and our hand doesn't even hurt. Damn
right it's the biggest game of the year, Ted continues,

it's the first one," Lilly said. "They're all important. Every one I'm
starting is the most important, and that's the mentality you have to
Here's the lineup courtesy of Wittenmyer's twitter feed: Soriano,
Fukudome, Lee, Bradley, Ramirez, Fontenot, Theriot, Hill, Lilly

Some minor site news after the jump...

I'm going to be M.I.A. from the website for the next week and a half or so, it's just time to stop neglecting the rest of the world and take a little time to see my niece for the first time and watch her get baptized, as well as visit my sick, but resilient father and generally try and catch up on far too many things I have been neglecting. The rest of the TCR crew should pick up the slack for the most part, but if posting and updates are a little sparse during that time frame, I hope everyone understands. And do try to keep the comments at something resembling a civil discussion.

Also, you may want to check your entry for the TCR '09 Contest. If there are any mistakes, drop it in the comments and I'll change it. See everyone on the other side....



(sound:electric guitar)

All kidding aside Rob, good luck and God bless.

Don't eat too much cheese.

Rob is lying.

He's just covering for himself while he begins posting at BCB.


close....actually in 10 days there's going to be

ditch these anchors once and for all. :)

I think Hrothgar is going to lose the contest.

Sweet God we're excited, just threw back a case of Bud Extra and we still are shaking.

TLFCSC predicts a pretty solid one for Ted - 6 2/3 IP 7 k 1 BB 2 ER 1-2 BB, 1B, 1 HBP (Hunter Pence) - but we wouldn't be surprised if TL sends one ya ya for his first of 15 HR this season.

Rob, appreciate the props. Enjoy your time off. TLFCSC has hacked your login so we'll post in your name as long as you like. Who knew your password was "KellyClarksonRulez."

I figure this will be a high scoring game tonight.

All the best Rob.

Just don't go all John Hill on us Rob.

You and your father are in my thoughts, RobG. And say hi to your niece!

Man, I like these kind of games. Everyone getting hits and no pressure as it is a sleeper. Nice!! GO Cubs!!!

Looks like I talked a little too soon. 8-4 now. Lilly still struggling with the long ball. We might need some more runs.

All the best to your family, Rob.

Re Ted Lilly - he has been throwing batting practice for hr's since the WBC.

I hope he and Rothschilds work this shit out.

Wrigley will be even tougher.


Err... Added an s above to Rothschild.

Best to RobG and thanks for all your work on the site.

P.S. enough with the Astro homers already

Ex Cub watch: Ronny Cedeno playing LF for the Mariners.

Question on David Patton:

I haven't seen him pitch, but according to Gameday (which isn't always right), he sports a mid-90s fastball. Last couple are just south of 95.

What is the scouting report on Patton?

With that kind of gas, no wonder we were interested in keeping him.

he's also got a decent developing change and i believe a slider (not sure on the slider, but he's got a 3rd pitch with promise).

Muskett said it was a curve and it was his out pitch.


We're splitting hairs at this point, but Bob said (and I agree) that's it probably a knuckle-curve.

Brenly said he had a "spiked curve ball"

Yup, Manny's right. Fukudome is done.

:) HA HA

...although, he'll probably go 0-20 now that I say that. Maybe you jinxed him good?

Good confidence boost for him at least. Go Cubs.

CUBS WIN!! CUBS WIN!! 11-6! Our Cubbies took the road series vs. Houston 2 games to 1. Can't ask for more than that.

Offense. Many guys had big nights: Fukudome, Theriot, Fontenot, Ramirez, Soriano. They jumped on HOU early and all but put the game away after the 2nd inning.

Bradley. Yes, he is only 0-9, but this situation could turn into Jacque Jones v.2 very quickly. Hopefully Bradley can get a hit over the next series so he doesn't go hitless heading back to Wrigley.

Lilly. Being spotted an 8 run lead wasn't enough to put this game in cruise control as Lilly was continuing his gopher ball spree. Lilly is still not in good form, hopefully he can find in over the next couple starts.

Off day tomorrow and then to MIL. Let's take that series and then head back to Chicago for the hone opener. Go Cubs!

Um, yeah, Bradley doesn't have a hit yet in 3 whole games, guess that makes him another Jock Jones.

He also has what, 5 walks? I think the 400-ish OBP is just fine, thanks.

You wanna worry about someone's bat, worry about Lee.

"but this situation could turn into Jacque Jones v.2 very quickly"

Are you talking fan wise or performance wise?

I don't believe either would happen.



Who will have more home runs this year?

a) D Lee
b) Fontenot

I'll guess Fontenot, with 200 fewer PAs. Given equal PAs, Fonty in a landslide.

In 1-on-1 basketball in a game to 11 playing 1's and 2's, I'd say 11-2 DLee, with 5 blocks and 3 dunks. Fontenot would hit a lucky 2-pointer.

I didn't watch the game, but I have to admit that I laughed out loud when I saw Fukudome's line.

Maybe trashing Fukudome before every game will be this year's "this lineup sucks".

Can Guzman really hit 101 mph or was Houston's gun way off? It seemed pretty accurate the rest of the game, but Guzman had one that reached 101, and a couple others at 97. I didn't realize he had that in him.


Guzman only throws 101 when he's not had enough biscuits for breakfast. Otherwise, LOOK OUT.

At one time, the scouts were saying Gooz had better stuff than ANY pitcher that had come through the Cubs system in a decade and wasn't named Mark Prior. Man, if he's ready to stay healthy and fulfill even some of that potential, the Cubs are going to have a ridiculous bullpen.

Shoot, I'll settle for Gooz turning into what Juan Cruz became, that would be plenty fine with me.

Speaking of Juan Cruz, no one has been able to answer this for me, why didn't the Cubs give him an offer after knowing that he wouldn't cost them a 1st round pick (or whatever MLB regulated his FA status to be)?

The Cubs management think Cruz is a clubhouse problem. Allegedly that's why they got rid of him in the first place.

He would have cost the cubs a 1st rounder.

He didn't cost KC a 1st rounder because their 1st round pick was top-15 protected.

He cost them a 2nd rounder.

Gameday says 95-96 mph mostly...

Houston's stadium scoreboard gun has always been about 2 MPH faster than other places.

It's pretty much standard for the Houston gun to run hot. Oswalt used to get distracted looking at his velocity on the ballpark radar gun.

MANNY: as a reasonable man, don't you think it's a little early to bail ok Bradley? Did you see his ab when he was down 0-2 and milked a bb? Jock jones rarely did that.

Yeah, he has looked NOTHING like JJ thus far. Although he doesn't have a hit he has produced some solid ABs; something JJ never did.

I can see where Manny's coming from but it's a different situation with the team playing well, Bradley does get on base and as long as he does not get doubled off second on fly balls THREE TIMES in one week it would be a pretty cold hearted bastard to boo Bradley. Or a dumbass.

I am just saying it COULD turn into a JJ situation. I think he is better than JJ, but there are bigger expectations though. I just hope he doesn't get off to a slow start, like JJ, and the fans start getting on him, like JJ, and he gets surely, like JJ. If he comes to Wrigley 0-18 or something, even if he has a few BB's I don't think it will be pretty.

Well, can't you say that about everything? He "COULD" turn into a JJ situation (you hypothesize), but I believe you also said last year that, " ____ (name the player) is only a leg injury from being completely useless..." Or - maybe that was for Cliff Floyd, the year before...Am I wrong here? But he "COULD" also perform to his career averages, too. It is just way too early to make statements like this, IMO.

No, I didn't say any of that stuff about a leg injury last year. I think that was Crunch.

And I don't think it is too early to talk about it as it happened early to JJ. And he COULD perform to his career averages, but he hasn't thus far and I am saying that if he does go hitless in the first 6 games I hope it doesn't turn into a JJ situation. Not to hard to understand i don't think.

1- that's pierre i was talking about...or pretty much any speed/singles guy.

2- comparing JJ to bradley is f'n retarded for 100 reasons be it in the field or (especially) at the plate unless you're talking about how he might be boo'd for not producing some hits before the first home game

I'm pretty sure that's what Manny was referring to. There are a few key differences here though:

1) Jacque was a disappointing signing before he even played a game. I think Cubs fans were kind of pissed Hendry didn't go get an impact player, and they were already primed to boo him before he ever stepped to the plate.

2) Related to point 1, MB will be on a longer leash because he has a track record of success and was seen as a big FA signing.

3) Jacque seemed like he didn't give a shit out there. No one will ever say that about MB. Also, Jacque was booed as much for his boneheaded baserunning and awful outfield throws as his shitty bat.

4) I think most fans will seriously be scared to boo him because of his past. Not even drunk frat guys are dumb enough to make a star player turn on his fanbase this early.

If Cardinals fans were smart (they're not, they're morans), they would infiltrate the right field bleachers at Wrigley wearing Cubs gear and just mercilessly hurl racial epithets at Bradley all season.

at least cards fans can (at least as of now) visit wrigley bleachers without having crap dumped on them or surrounded by idiots screaming at them.

the yanks OF fans barely get a chance to watch the game in between all the drunk-frat-boy-reject "looking for conflict" exercises and call-and-response with player names. there's some scaaaaaaarey stuff on youtube with them busy screwing with people who paid to see a game rather than watching the game. ...there's also some funny stuff.

That's exactly what I was talking about.

Oh yeah! Sorry. Pierre. That was ugly. Ricky Nolasco would be so sweet right now...

Recent comments

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  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.

  • Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined). 

  • BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.

    If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).

    As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).