Cueto Quiets Cubs: Reds Win at Wrigley, 3-0

Righthander Johnny Cueto dominated Cub hitters Wednesday night, and a strong outing by Ted Lilly (7 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, just 1 unearned run allowed) was wasted as Cincinnati ended the Cubs' three-game winning streak.

Why the Cubs lost: No O—the offense produced no runs and four hits against Cueto in his seven innings. Overall, the Cub bats delivered six measly singles, two each by Soriano and Lee, and one apiece from Fukudome and Ramirez. In both the first inning and the fourth, they managed to put two runners aboard, but failed to capitalize. In total, Cub hitters only had four opportunities to hit with men in scoring position.

Milton Bradley, who rejoined the starting lineup, fanned three times in four trips, and is now hitting .043 (1-for-23). He still appears to be suffering from the groin strain, both at the plate, where his swings seemed mostly flat-footed, and in the field, where he wasn't running down fly balls so much as shuffling after them.

Ted Lilly's only shortcoming tonight was his defense. He made two errors, and the first one—a wild throw following a bunt single by Alex Gonzalez in the fourth inning—led to the only run the Reds would need on yet another frosty spring evening at Wrigley Field.

Angel Guzman and Kevin Gregg were each tagged for a run over the last couple innings. As Bob Brenly pointed out on Comcast, Gregg's inability to throw his breaking ball for strikes reduced him to a one-pitch pitcher, and young Jay Bruce, who also homered Tuesday night, tagged one of those pitches for an opposite field home run in the ninth.

Speaking of the Cub bullpen and per Rob's post earlier this evening, don't run out and buy that Luis Vizcaino Cubs jersey you've had your eye on.

Lilly has been here before:  The Cub southpaw went 17-9 last season and four of the losses were to the Reds, three of them at Wrigley. On the other hand, the Cubs also abused Cueto in '08, defeating him three times in four starts.

On tap for Thursday: A little ace-on-ace action in the series' rubber game as Aaron Harang (1-2. 2.70) meets Carlos Zambrano (1-0, 5.21). Weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and highs approaching 70, which will be a nice change after two cold nights on the lakefront.


Well, Milton Bradley, I believe some of you were correct in picking that Hendry crapped-out at the table. This is a lot of money to pay for someone so totally useless now.

I never would have thought based on last year that Dome is really the valuable player now.

The boo-birds have started latching on as well, after Bradley's AB's. Small sample size, but big enough for me to see right now. Well, the Dodgers had Jones and made the NLCS, we will have Bradley.

Dude gets off to a slow start and now he's useless? I recall a couple years ago Rammy tearing up spring training and then started the season weak.

And you know who else got off to a slow start?


So, yeah.

That made me laugh so much I had to stifle it so I wouldn't get in trouble.

What? Are you in N. Korea?

'Round Eye' or 'American pig-spy' would be my guesses.

Good times. No, I was at work and I'm in constant visual contact with my boss.

I was in the right field bleachers at last nights game, and I must say the Cubs were really giving it to MB. I don't think they mind the 1-20 something start, so much as the lack of hustle on fly balls. At one point, when Jay Bruce made a running grab by the Reds bullpen, Cubs fans starting cheering and screaming that's how a RF makes a play and shows some effort.

It was bad last night, but it's going to get worse if he doesn't get better.

Fuck, man. Cubs fans are getting dumber and dumber. Some guys might hear boos and want to work harder and prove the fans wrong. I have a feeling Milton Bradley hears boos and says, "Fuck those assholes I'm not going to try anymore."

The other thing that's really starting to piss me off is how the fans boo every single ex-Cub this year. Booing Jerry Hairston is absolutely ridiculous. The guy was never supposed to be any good, and he lived up to those expectations for us. And to top it off, he's a local kid. Why boo him?

I feel like the retards going to games this year would boo Maddux if they saw him on a golf course in Vegas.

Bleachers are not all true Cub fans.
That is the one place in the park that's hard to defend "they are only there for the drinking" accusation.

Very true for the most part. Hard to find true fans out there.

A little ace-on-ace action

that's hot...

IF (big if) the Cubs do indeed just release Vizcaino after releasing Gaudin, Hendry and Crane Kenney can go blow each other. After feeding us the B.S. that the Cubs had a budget and needed to move DeRosa and Marquis to save money, they just blew $5.6M.

F them and apologies to all who sniffed this out long ago...

and F the mass media if they don't take them to task for it...

If it is Vizcaino, I don't get it. In 3.2 IP he has given up just 2 hits, 0 walks, 0 runs, and struck out 3. At least let a guy fail before you boot him. He had a bad season last year in Colorado, which is not surprising, but in the SIX years prior to that he had a 4.06 ERA, averaged 71 IP a year with nearly a K per inning, and a 1.2 WHIP.

Sure he cost too much, but you are already paying him and if you release him you don't save any money. The likelihood that both Patton and Guzman will put up better numbers this year is, in my opinion, pretty low.

"The likelihood that both Patton and Guzman will put up better numbers this year is, in my opinion, pretty low."

What's the logic of that emphasis on "this year"?

Patton and Guzman can't be optioned, so you're keeping them for this year and for subsequent years.

I would be surprised if one of those guys doesn't put up better numbers than Vizcaino.

The emphasis on this year is that I would like the team to win this year.

And I am not disagreeing with the fact that one might also outperform him. I just think that given the 3 pitchers, at the end of the season Hendry will not have jettisoned the worst of the 3.

why take Lilly out in the 8th?

96 pitches isn't all that much, I definitely think he could go to 110 and was cruising along just fine.

If they did manage to keep it 1-0 heading into the 8th, Soriano singled and you probably try running there or a hit and run. But down two, you don't risk it.

Also, can Angel Guzman learn to put away a hitter or an inning? 1-2 on Hairston and 0-2 on Votto and both get hits...bah.

Maybe, but David Weathers owns the Cubs. I'm cool with taking Lilly out there: they weren't going to score last night.

Just like me.


"A little ace-on-ace action"

I prefer Max on Max.

Let the record show that I thought of the headline on this post HOURS BEFORE this showed up at

Mr. Selig, you will be hearing from our attorneys in the morning.

screw should take the TCR private jet down to MLB headquarters and bitch slap the fool.

They'll be making a big mistake on a small sample size with Vizcaino. Relievers are volatile and he had a solid track record before hitting Coors last year. Just stick him in the back of the pen and let him sort it out, for Pete's sake. It's like Lou just can't believe those lying eyes of his regarding Cotts.

Let him sort what out? That 0.00 ERA?

Yeah, this Samardzija stuff makes no fucking sense. I like the guy and he'll be good enough in the pen, but Vizcaino has been fine so far in the regular season. Exactly what is precipitating this move? Cotts and Gregg have sucked so far, but it's Vizcaino that gets booted? Brilliant. Why not just tell your pitchers to man up and stop throwing shit? Or put Gregg's ass on the DL to get his knee straight and then bring up help for the pen.

Even if you do want to get rid off Vizcaino, releasing him is going to cost you a pretty little sum, which won't make any fucking sense after Hendry cried poor this offseason. So, you gotta trade him, but leave it to the fucking Cubs to announce Samardzija's promotion BEFORE any trade actually takes place, absolutely killing any leverage you might have had with other teams in trading Vizcaino. Really, what's the point of announcing the fact Samardzija's getting called up an entire day before it happens? There's nothing gained by it.

All of this is not to mention that Samardzija is supposed to be our only starting pitching prospect of any worth. Yet, it's no surprise if the Cubs mis-manage this prospect too, burning option years for temporary bullpen help. It's as if they don't really understand the difference between starting and relief pitching, as if the two are interchangeable.

The past couple years being a Cubs fan hasn't been so bad, despite the fact that the front office has continually bungled roster moves like this one. I just don't understand either part of dumping Vizcaino (why even acquire him in the first place if you didn't want him?) or bringing up Samardzija. Perhaps it's just Hendry overly catering to his manager again, but if that's the case, I'm going to jump on the MannyTrillo bandwagon and call for his head. You're the boss, Jim, not Lou -- start fucking acting like it.

Completely concur.

Why on earth do you bring in your bullpen backup in April.

Chances are someone is going to get hurt, or becomes ineffective this year. Who comes up from AAA then? Ascaino or Wells? Seems really shortsighted.

Hendry's 40 man Roster management rears its ugly head again.

"why even acquire him in the first place if you didn't want him?"

There is an answer to that question.

The Cubs had zero interest in Vizcaino. The Rockies must have given the Cubs something like the following proposal:

We like Marquis but for $5 million, not the $10 million you're paying him. Either pay half his salary, or pay $1 million and take Vizcaino.

The Cubs saved $5 million by "trading" Marquis, with our without Vizcaino.

Also, you're not getting a return on the $1.3 million you're paying Samardzija when he's in Iowa.

that's true and all, but by dumping him now, they went from saving $5M to saving a little over $1M instead. Basically between Gaudin and Vizcaino (assuming a trade isn't worked out), they've could kept DeRosa.

I don't understand how dumping him now costs us $4 million. If he's replaced with a minor league guy (which is what's happend so far) it costs us an extra $400K. Only if he's replaced by another experienced big leaguer would we lose the savings we made on the Marquis deal... which is doubly confusing because I thought you said the exact same thing earlier today.

yeah, my fury is affecting my logic today. Nonetheless, $5.6M or so down the drain on pitchers lately.

and since it was Samardzija it didn't cost the Cubs anything extra since he was getting his $1.3M already.

Maybe that's part of the reason he was called up.

many job cuts announced at the Tribune yesterday including several well known sportswriters...Melissa Isaacson, John Mullin, Bob Sakamoto and Terry Bannon were all sacked (makes sense for a football writer like Mullin to be sacked, if Paul Sullivan or Phil Rogers was on this list you might say they were K'd...not as aesthetic if Sullivan wrote an article saying Felix Pie got sacked.)

The odd part is that it was announced in Craine's Chicago Business (but not in the Tribune or Sun-Times).

My friend Bob Sakamano was fired? That sucks.

Useless? The dude has a bum groin. Ever had one? It sucks. He shouldn't be back in the lineup yet, IMO. In all fairness to him, one of his punch-outs was very borderline. It's a shame for a guy with such a keen eye at the plate to be fucked by umpires because of being fiery. Give it time. Weather heats up, so will he and you'll eat some crow.

And the fact he has not swung a bat regulary in a week and a half.


Also Cotts should go on the DL to figure out why the loss of velocity in order to throw a strike.

No panic yet - Remember last year it took us until May to get over the first home series loss to the Brewers. BTW, have you seen their record? And the Pirates are beating up the Marlins!

Whatta world...watta world.

Video and rundown of some guys in Peoria

Good, thanks! I'm going to catch a game or two when the Chiefs come to Ft. Wayne.

Vitters just has that easy bat speed that you love. Agree with the guy's assessment (narrow sample size caveate) that Flaherty looks a lot like a 3rd basemen.

Why don't we just give Patton back to the Rockies?

I agree with Newport completely. To think that Patton will be a servicable pitcher all year is absurd. I don't have to go into his history, it pretty clear that spring training was a fluke. If Viscaino is the guy cut or traded for a PTBN or low level prospect, it would be the second vetern with a proven track record let go keep Patton. This will bit us in the ass. I'm not saying Vizcaino or Gaudin are or were good bets, but at least they had a track record and relievers rebound often.

Not to mention Wuertz.

Doing much of anything with the bullpen makes little sense to me at this point. Patton has not shown that Spring was a fluke at all. He has had three appearances total, two of which were pretty good. Doing anything with him would be premature.

patton hasn't pitched in a week.

his first 2 appearances were nice.

he worked 2 innings in a row and got pitched the very next day on his 3rd appearance for some reason, though...that one didn't go so smooth.

Hope this isn't 3/44 or Scott Eyre is broke-ish, but WSCR reporting Bradley out of the lineup until he "comes to Lou and tells him he's 100%". And when he comes back he won't be hitting cleanup. Probably 6th.

Also being urged by Lou & Hendry to talk to the media a little bit.

Strange. Why do they tell the press this stupid crap?

Oh. And who's going to break up our right-handed bats then? Nobody? I see. I hope Hoff gets some playing time (and makes some strides defensively).

"out of the lineup until he "comes to Lou and tells him he's 100%"

That's manager-eez for "he's not giving 100%"

Vizcaino officially DFAed.

According to, Chicago was trying to trade Vizcaino before bringing up Samardzija from Triple-A Iowa. But while general manager Jim Hendry attempted to work out a deal with other teams to save money -- including the Nationals -- the 34-year-old reliever will now be on waivers for up to 72 hours. After that, the Cubs will have seven days to release or trade him.

Freaking weird. It's almost got a Palmeiroish feel to it. Wonder what he did.

Yeah, this is just plain weird. It's gotta be a clubhouse issue...

I realize Vizcaino had yet to give up a run but I can't really be the only one who felt uncomfortable when he pitched those rolling sliders down the middle in every outing am I?

I distinctly remember his first outing of the year even Bob Brenly commented on how Vizcaino got away with several sliders that never broke.

He had the results so far but I just had the feeling of impending disaster every time he stepped out on the mound.

All that said, DFA'ing him is criminally stupid. Somebody somewhere would have probably been willing to take on at least part of his salary (or maybe give up a mid-level prospect if we paid for the whole thing) if they'd waited a while first.

There have certainly been some pitchers in the pen who have not consistently been getting results when put in the game. He was not one of them. Cotts, Guzman and even Gregg have looked shaky... But, I still wouldn't have done anything with any of them without at least a few more outings...

Like sands through an hourglass...

so are the days of our lives

Bradley is also out for not running out ground balls and balls in the OF.

You may want to believe its because of his injury, but this is just how Bradley plays baseball. He has done it on every team he has ever been on.

I am sure he lied his ass off to Lou that he was a 100% and ready to go only for Bradley to lay the abortion of a game he played last night.

Don't want to run? Don't want to hustle? Don't want to even give a shit? Fine your out of the game until your fully healed (if the Cubs were smart they would start running his DL time so that 3rd year doesn't kick in) and your being dropped in the order.

Fellas its going to get a whole lot worse with Milton "I got my 3 year deal" Bradley. His only goal in life is not getting 75 DL days. He can milk the shit out of his injuries without ever hitting the DL. He missed 36 games last year doing it. Don't think he won't do it in Chicago.

What a waste of a roster space, and money.

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  • Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-

    J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:

    Ryno 16 min 13 sec ago view
  • Sigh.

    Ok... maybe.

    Ryno 42 min 22 sec ago view
  • With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?

    bradsbeard 44 min 24 sec ago view
  • Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.

    Hagsag 47 min 29 sec ago view
  • This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.

    The E-Man 50 min 43 sec ago view
  • This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.

    johann 2 hours 11 min ago view
  • CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now. 

    LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.  

    RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.   

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 19 min ago view
  • AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).

    I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):  

    * bats or throws left 
    # bats both

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 47 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.

    Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 9 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season  either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.

    Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.  

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 15 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.

    Send Soler down!

    Old and Blue 4 hours 38 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 4 hours 41 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 5 hours 30 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 8 hours 18 min ago view
  • given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.

    i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.

    crunch 9 hours 31 min ago view