New Lineup Fail

The Cubs drop the opener to the St. Louis Cardinals on a warm night in St. Looey. Before we get to the recap, it's a busy Saturday here at TCR, so be sure to check out the other stories on here today.

Mike Wellman's Recap from Iowa

Dr. Hecht Returns from China

Transmission Recaps Parachat Last Night

Why the Cubs Lost:  Give credit where credit is due, but Adam Wainwright was pretty brilliant for the first six innings and if Skip Shumaker doesn't make an error in the 7th, he may have been brilliant for seven. This three-game valley the Cubs have found themselves in has been against Johnny Cueto, Aaron Harang and Adam Wainwright, so at least it's not some Triple A scrubs.  Sometimes you just get beat and the Cubs were in all of these games. 

The new lineup - for one game at least - sure didn't work out though. A combined 2-13 with Ryan Theriot in the leadoff spot leaving 5 men on base. In the 7th, Theriot comes up with bases loaded and no outs and promptly grounds into a double play. I know I would have rather seen Soriano striking out there...at least it would have saved an out a the time.

But the big moment and why I never really minded Soriano batting leadoff came in the 9th. Milton Bradley walked as a pinch hitter with 2 outs and the Cubs down one run and Gathright pinch ran for him. That turned over the lineup and would normaly give Soriano a fifth chance to affect the game, but he was still two batters away. Instead Theriot is up and there was no way he was going to put the team ahead and pretty unlikely he could even tie it up unless Gathright stole second and that's not likely with Yadier Molina behind the plate. That means you're talking at least two more batters reaching just to tie the game (Theriot walk or single and hopefully Fukudome coming through). So when I say that I don't mind Soriano batting leadoff, last night's game was the perfect example. He may not be the prototypical leadoff hitter, but you are taking anywhere from 40-80 PA's a year from him by moving him down in the order depending on the slot (also, a little less since we're not talking a full year now).

Also, wanted to mention how damn good Albert Pujols is. I know I should be berating a Cardinal, but he flashed some fine defensive skills yesterday starting a nice 3-6-3 double play and then punked Carlos Marmol in the 8th after a single. I was on my drive home by that point, but the Cards radio announcer - former Sox announcer John Rooney I believe - noticed immediately that he had a huge lead and talked up how he already stole two bases on the homestand. Marmol apparently never looked over and Pujols practically had a running start for a crucial stolen base.

The Good: Dempster had a pretty nice outing I thought besides the 5th. I have nothing else.

Death Pool: It looks like Aramis Ramirez or Milton Bradley might be headed to the disabled list so the Cubs can call up someone to fill out the short bench. With 6 spots open on the 40-man, they can have their pick of the litter at Iowa but expect it to be someone who can play third base - possibly Bobby Scales.

Up Next: Sean Marshall vs. Mitchell Boggs in a Saturday afternoon tilt. Hopefully the Cubs offense can wake up against a lesser pitcher.

Tags: 

Comments

Pujols is the best player in baseball, imo.

It sucks that he is in our Division.

I'll reiterate my comment from parachat: The Cubs new theme song. (Link not safe for work)

Perhaps I'm in the minority as well, but I also like Soriano in the lead-off spot and for the same reasons, Rob. He's surely our most dangerous hitter, and it just makes sense to give him as many ABs as possible.

And yes, I also agree that we don't need to feel the sky is falling. We faced three strong pitchers in a row, so I don't feel so terrible about coming up a little bit short in those games.

However...a few more losses in the standings and on the field (i.e. Ramirez, Marmol) and I'll begin to get nervous.

A win today would help.

GO CUBS!

i'd like to see him get more RBIs than power hits, myself.

5hr, 4 doubles, 9 RBI in the leadoff spot is on par for his "more/similar xbase hits than RBIs" pace. the guy isn't even a 30+ SB threat anymore. he's been setting up .200 hitting DLee to knock him in...who, btw, has 9 RBIs.

Pujols does EVERY YEAR what D. Lee did in his career year...

Lineup from mlb gameday:

Theriot, Fuky, Soriano, DLee, Fontenot (3B), RJohnson, Soto, Miles, Marshall

vs.

Ryan, Rasmus, Pujols, Ludwick, Molina, Duncan, Greene, Barden, Boggs

I think dropping the 3B backup role on an inexperienced Fontenot is hurting him at the plate. He was already under enough pressure trying to be the everyday second baseman. Pressure that started in spring training when Lou said he would have to compete with Miles for the job.

And Miles was supposed to be the guy behind ARam on the depth chart---still there by the way (http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/team/depth_chart/index...). What a bust he's been so far.

Sullivan says, "An MRI on the left knee of Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol revealed no tear, and only a Grade 1 sprain."

Cubs NOT going to call anyone up from AAA.

And...pause...Fuck you Fox. Fuck blackout rules. If the Yankee-Red Sox rivaly was a scrotum they'd lick it clean.

heard that.

Be lucky you are blacked out of games like that, not missing much.

FWIW... Fox doesn't make decisions based on things like east coast biases, or some perceived favoritism of the Red Sox/Yankees.

Fox makes decisions based on ratings, and they must, historically, get better ratings for Red Sox/Yankees.

"Fox makes decisions based on ratings, and they must, historically, get better ratings for Red Sox/Yankees."

You mean when they show the Red Sox game and not the Cubs game, more people watch the Red Sox?

No jackass... I mean that Fox has looked at historical ratings, and know that more people watch Yankees/Red Sox games than when they show other games.

I know what you meant, limpdick, I just was playing 'twist a pig's ear and make him squeel'.

There is flawed logic in that way to choose games, by the way.

Flawed logic? Last I heard, Fox was in the business to make money. Better ratings lead to making more money.

Sounds like good logic to me...

the first major eruption of Mt. Lou could follow today's game...thanks for the memories joey; we hardly knew ye - david patton, ditto...no sense keepin' that unscored upon journeyman veteran Vizcaino around when you've got an untested cherub fresh from single A waiting in the wings to get @ major league hitters like whathisname w/ the chain around his neck that plays for St. Louie

OK let's put an end to this "Soriano batting leadoff comes up with runners on base' nonsense once and for all. Twice now in two days it's been said.

2008 stats for runners on base/PA for guys with over 100. See if you can find the guys who batted leadoff last year.

NAME ROB/PA
Daryle Ward 0.97
Henry Blanco 0.84
Geovany Soto 0.74
Mark Derosa 0.73
Ronny Cedeno 0.71
Kosuke Fukudome 0.7
Reed Johnson 0.7
Aramis Ramirez 0.69
Mike Fontenot 0.68
Derrek Lee 0.65
Jim Edmonds 0.63
Alfonso Soriano 0.56
Ryan Theriot 0.54

it was just an amusing antectdote from 2009, don't think anyone would think he'd keep getting those pportunities this year.

 

I could be wrong, but I believe the Fox announcers also said that Soriano has zero RBI with RISP. That seems unbelievable to me, but I'd like to see what his actual numbers are WHEN he comes up with RISP.

Soriano has 2 RBI this year with RISP, with a line of .000/.188/.000

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Wow -- no Soler today, despite begin short of OF. As Baez's star rises, Jorge's has dimmed considerably.

  • http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/15458724/more-ped-busts-coming-ma...

    "OTL: More PED busts coming from Major League Baseball"

    Don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub, don't be a Cub!!!

  • Sorry typing too fast.

  • I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.

    Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.

  • The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.

  • Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".

  • KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.

  • Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?

    It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.

    In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.

    I hope Maddon can keep it going.

  • (It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)

  • Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.

    Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).

  • Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.

  • Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.

  • BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left. 

  • K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A. 

  • His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.

    He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.

  • "KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?