Red Dawn

Baseball should be back tonight from its two-day unscheduled and scheduled hiatus, as the Cubs start a stretch of 20 straight. Rich Harden gets the nod and says it's the best he's felt in a long time. We'll see how good he's feeling after pitching in 30 degree temperatures and a light drizzle, although that's probably picnic weather in Victoria, B.C. It's also the first night game of the year for the Cubs, where they went 20-8 last season.

Milton Bradley will sit again, bad weather and a bad groin never being a good mixture. The lineup from Wittenmyer's twitter feed is Soriano, Fukudome, Lee, Hoffpauir, Ramirez, Fontenot, Soto, Theriot and Harden. They'll oppose Micah Owings and the 7-5 Reds (5-2 on the road) and of course, thy former Cubs manager - sir Dusty Baker.

To hold you over until game time, some fancy plate disclipline trend charts from Harry at Cubs F/x. I also wanted to mention the "Cubs' Bullpen Usage" table on the right sidebar below the first ad, a nifty little shorthand to see who might be available out of the pen each night and a countdown to Carlos Marmol's inevitable arm injury.

Comments

I don't see how they can play this game tonight...I was just outside in the Loop and it's raining (nearly sleeting).

got me...muskat said earlier they were going to try and get it in...

http://tinyurl.com/c699la

weather shows it not clearing up until about midnight...

muskat said earlier they were going to try and get it in...

*snicker*

If they play, I'd be alright with it if they sat Fonzy, Ramirez, and Bradley. Weather looks like crap.

Bruce says they plan to still play tonight...

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/1836

As long as the new field drains as well as they say it does the game should go on. It's not raining hard at all (my windshield wipers were fine on the slowest possible setting).

Thanks for the updates on the game conditions.

I really like the usage chart. Is that an original TCR idea, or shamelessly lifted from some other blog?

I would have given credit to the blog if I lifted it....somewhat original idea except that John Hill use to do them in the game previews once upon a time.

although I'm sure some site somewhere is doing something similar...

All of 2008 they only canceled one game. The Astros that "gave us the Division."

They even played when lightning was striking nearby on another occasion until Berkman ran into the dugout.

Berkman realized he's ehhh... a big target?

I think he also screamed like a little girl.

CSN brilliantly comparing the popularity of the Chicago sports teams. I think it's just trendy to kick Cub's fans. Eff them.

Douchebag 1: "If I can't interview him after the game, he's not an athlete."

Douchebag 2: "You can't interview Fukudome."

"If I can't interview him after the game, he's not an athlete."

brilliant. god knows it's all about the writer/journalist, not the players.

...and give douchebag #2 a high-5 for the reply.

I'm barely paying attention, so I don't know the context, but something tells me I'm better off not knowing.

The fact is the Cubs are a national obsession and probably top 3 in terms of number of fans. A. people can watch them on WGN, and b. people like to root for the underdog. It also helps to have a history of likable players like Sandberg and Sammy. When the Cubs finally do go all the way, and after the initial buzz, you'll see a profound dropoff in interest among some of the more casual fans.

I hope you're right

"Could have first Micah v Micah matchup in baseball history tonight..."

Nope. Micah Bowie faced Micah Owings April 5, 2007, when
Arizona visited Washington Nats.

Mike MacDougal DFA'ed... someone will pick him up.

Michael McDonald has been DFA'ed...someone will pick him up. That's what a fool believes!

game time delayed by 10 minutes, 7:15 CST Start...

Man, Soriano is so fucking maddening often. Bases juiced and of course k's.

He's got a case of the Sosa with the bases loaded.

Soriano's numbers with the bases loaded over the past three seasons:

304/333/522 in 23 ABs with 3 walks and 5 strike outs.

Soriano's numbers in 2009 with the bases loaded.

000/200/200 2 K's and a walk in 5 PA's.

Runners in scoring position:

0/9 with 3 BB's

Sosa's career numbers with the bases loaded:

301/342/566 in 193 PA

His total career line was: 273/344/534

Who has the major league record for most bases loaded PA's to start their career without a grand slam?

Sosa. What's your point?

My point is that Sosa was overanxious and chased pitches outside of the strike zone whenever he came up with the bases loaded for the first 9 years (without looking it up) of his career. Soriano is doing the exact same thing.

It wasn't really that obtuse a point.

You act like those 9 at-bats with RISP, and the 5 at-bats with the bases loaded, are relevant and meaningful...

No, I act like when I watch him with the bases loaded he is over anxious and chasing pitches 18 inches outside of the strike zone.

Which, of course, has very little/nothing to do with your ridiculously small sample sized stats that you posted above as if they were relevant.

I is all the fault of the dickpole

Did I forget where the parachat link was?

Hoffpower just tags the fucking thing every time out

GOOD OMEN! Tan & white cat runs left field, and they dump it in the Bartman seats. Cubs take the lead and we need a hold.

This is my official announcement, even if they win it all, I'll still watch next year.

Ahhh...the Neal Cotts Experience!

Did that "feel" like Neil Cott's last chance to not walk a batter to anyone else besides me?

Nice to see Cubs olde prospect LOU MONTANEZ up with Orioles tonight extend his personal hitting streak to thirty games going back to last year with an RBI double against the WSox.

Meanwhile FELIX P, who bumped LM down to AAA, is zero for his last 19.

Everytime I see Baseball Tonight's segment on the nasty pitches of the night, I see Felix Pie. But it's not the pitches that are nasty.

mark grace @ARZ...calling the game from the pool tonight.

some between-inning promotion where some fan tries to catch 3 balls shagged into the OF...dude misses the first 2.

mark grace climbs down the OF wall and "ejects" the fan and catches the 3rd ball for him...wearing a hawaiian shirt and shorts...

i miss mark grace.

You know what I hate? I see @ARZ and I immediately think that's Mark Grace's twitter. I'm going to go kill myself now.

You know what? It's your own fault for knowing anything about Twitter. I had to use my own deductive reasoning skills to interpret what your comment meant. Ignorance is never a virtue, except in the case of Twitter.

@MisterWhipple: Wasn't that the night there was a funnel cloud spotted in Logan Square? That storm was craaazzzy.

I do believe that's correct. That was the weirdest weather I've seen in Chicago. Branches and even entire trees fell on cars all over the place.

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • "The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/source-red-sox-b...

    Rob Richardson 1 min 30 sec ago view
  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 16 min 47 sec ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 28 min 57 sec ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 30 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 3 hours 37 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 54 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 55 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 12 hours 29 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 12 hours 59 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 13 hours 21 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 13 hours 54 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 14 hours 4 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 14 hours 15 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 14 hours 23 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 14 hours 30 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 14 hours 38 min ago view