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.


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...

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

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


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...

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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  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely. 

  • has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.

  • As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?

  • AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?

  • Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.

  • AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.

  • I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.

    But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.

  • Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.

    Jason deGrom -- oh, my.

  • Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.

    Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.

  • Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.

    Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.

  • that game sounds fun as hell.

  • I was just wondering the same thing. I'd rather not see it at all. If it's inaccurate, it's a bad viewer experience. If it's accurate, it shows some shitty calling by the umpire.

  • TBS' K Zone seems to be more harsh than the others.

    I wonder if MLB will ask the networks to stop using them. They just make the umps, and the game, look bad, and it only pisses off the fans.

  • ...joe.

  • "Strop vs. Cardinals." Seen the movie. Hated it.

    Not all that disappointed -- I didn't think they would beat Lackey in Game 1. Need to get the bats going against the guys with less experience -- and they hit Wacha pretty good.

  • Rizzo has been slumping the last couple weeks of the season. Very disappointed it has continued during his penultimate moment of his career to date.