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...

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  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 47 min 43 sec ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 48 min 44 sec ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 10 hours 29 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 13 hours 27 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 13 hours 40 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 13 hours 48 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 13 hours 54 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 14 hours 12 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 14 hours 48 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 15 hours 6 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 15 hours 8 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 15 hours 26 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 15 hours 33 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 16 hours 29 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 16 hours 46 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 16 hours 51 min ago view