Biting My Blue-Pinstriped Tongue

I encountered a number of Cardinals fans heading for Chicago Union Station during this evening's rush hour. I thought about making a smart remark or two in their direction, but I held back.

It's the middle of April, there are two games left in this series, and they're still in first place.

Besides, those Saint Louis-bound fans were going to be dealing with Amtrak for the next five and a half hours.

A person should only be subjected to so much grief in a single day.

Freaky Stat of the Day: The four Cardinal pitchers—Walters, Miller, Boggs, and Perez— combined to fan 13 Cubs this afternoon. That's the highest number of strikeouts by Cub hitters in a nine-inning game in which they beat St. Louis going back to 1954, when Baseball-Reference's Play Index data begins.

Comments

i was interested in one thing really from this win. Zambranos pitch count. Ya he gave up 7 runs and 3 walks, but he still managed 7 innings on 109 pitches. For some reason i am really pleased with that.

Absolutely agree. Piniella said before the game he needed his starters to go deeper into games so he wasn't always having to go so deep into his bullpen, and Zambrano did that for him.

Yo Phil!

Looks like it may be time for RHSP CASEY COLEMAN to break into your top 15 Cubs Prospects list. Last year all he did was go from FGCU starting shortstop to their SP rotation to our 15th round draft choice to Boise to Peoria to Daytona.

Now he's pitching for Tennessee and Smokin' the opposition.

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Smokies starter Casey Coleman is quickly making a case to be the ace of the Smokies pitching staff. Following up on his solid Double-A debut last Saturday in Jacksonville, Coleman shut down the Birmingham Barons Friday night and led the Smokies to a 9-0 win in front of 4,003 at Smokies Park.

For the second night in row, Tennessee’s pitching staff led the way. Coleman (2-0 0.75 ERA 0.83 WHIP) set the pace Friday night, allowing only three hits in seven innings.

And he's only 21

http://www.volunteertv.com/sports/headlines/432134...

Go Casey Coleman!

I want to open a can of worms. For those of us who follow all Chicago Sports (except WSock of course), the last three games of the Blackhawks regular season were so much fun to watch. Why? Because they were in an intense battle for home ice advantage, and the first playoff game that home ice 6th man was a key in the OT win.

The Cubs already know they will not have home field advantage in the World Series. Some obscure Mets short stop in the all star game who doesn't give a darn will commit two errors in the 9th inning of the All Star Game and the American League will win again.

And the Cubs will start the 7 game series in Arlington, Texas, or some other "historic" park like Royal's stadium (just examples, not saying anything), whether the Cubs win 97 or 100 games.

Can someone (like us) start lobbying to change that stupid ASG ratings gimmick rule? Best Record in the majors would make for some kinda fierce games, building momentum to the very end for the best prize of October: Home field advantage all the way through the playoffs. Reward the team who has to weigh the benefits of September call-ups vs every game means something! Plus I would guess MILLIONS of dollars is at stake for the players who earned it.

OK, I know it won't happen this year. But if we keep reminding Selig "NO WBC" and "September games mean something too" we can makes some historic changes to the game we love most.

Emails to MLB? Facebook campaign? Whatever grassroots we can muster, please...

Um, the Hawks were fighting in the last three games for home ice advantage alright...for the first round of the playoffs. They finished the season 8 points behind Detroit in their division (112-104), let alone 13 points behind the Sharks for the most points in the conference. The Sharks will host every series they play in the playoffs. Even if the Hawks do make the Stanley Cup Finals, they would still not have home advantage if they were to meet up with Boston (116), Washington (108), and New Jersey (106).

The Hawks will probably only have home ice for the 1 series w/ Calgary.

I'm assuming you are talking about the all-star game from last year. If you are, it was a Marlins (not a Mets) middle infielder (a 2b nonetheless, not the SS you claimed) named Dan Uggla who had the two errors that cost the NL the game (and subsequently home field advantage).

Facts are...well your facts are wrong. The Cubs had home field advantage against the Marlins in 03, and that didn't end well. They had home field against LA last year, and got swept. Home field doesn't matter much if you fail to show up (or take out your ace after 120+ pitches and a 3-0 lead going into the 8th), you will lose.

The Cubs need to worry about getting to the playoffs, and keeping the players in their rhythm. The results of the all-star game didn't matter for anyone since there hasn't been a game 7 in the world series since 2002 (and before that, only 7 others prior to 1980).

The Cubs need to get to the World Series before I take gripes about the all-star game seriously.

I think he was projecting a new set of blunders based upon last year's craptasticly uggly experience.

I don't think Jose Reyes is obscure, nevertheless.

WTF man. I'm pretty sure he was coming up with a hypothetical situation to illustrate how ridiculous the ASG deciding home field advantage is.

What's with everyone being assholes lately? Is it because Rob's away?

I've started the season cold after the horribleness that was my first two ballgames of the year in Milwaukee vs the Cubs. Maybe I was out of line, but year after year I am becoming increasingly more angry at the homer Cubs fans and their crazy What-Ifs, curse talk, etc. Maybe it's too much Boers and Bernstein, I don't know.

As far as the all-star game goes, it adds some fuel to a fire that was dormant for the better part of a decade. If the all-star managers, and the manager of the US WBC club would actually manage the same way they would manage their world series teams, I believe that the all-star game, and the US interest in the WBC would be huge.

I forgive you, I was being hypothetical. There was, however, a lot of talk about HFA for the Cubs last fall. If it's so important, and fans are 10th man, I want it for every game I can get it. Witness the lethargic Astros playing a "home game" in Miller park.

I cannot watch the ASG because I know a major economic and tangible playoff decision is being made by players and managers who for the most part don't give a crap.

And the Blackhawks now have a 2 game advantage and 2 games of experience that having the home fans started the puck rolling, so to speak. How much more might they want to push Detroit out of the top spot next season? But along comes Gary Bettman and says, " The east won the ASG therefore the Stanley Cup finals will start in Boston (or some other) no matter what. Yuck.

If Baseball ASG was WINNER TAKE ALL....$$$$$ Now then I'd watch.

trivia quiz: which # is higher - Lou Piniella's career wins as a manager or hits as a player?

I'm going hits as a player

according to my spanking new Cubs 2009 Media Guide, as the year began Lou's 1,705 hits were against his 1,701 wins as a manager; starting today's play then, the wins had nosed in front 1,707 - 1,705...this little beauty is chock full of such nuggets...

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 31 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 18 hours 42 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 18 hours 48 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 18 hours 53 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 19 hours 4 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 19 hours 16 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 19 hours 41 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 20 hours 21 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 21 hours 33 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 21 hours 50 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 21 hours 54 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 22 hours 39 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 1 day 3 hours ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 4 hours ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 4 hours ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 1 day 6 hours ago view