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

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  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 45 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 16 hours 56 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 17 hours 1 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 17 hours 6 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 17 hours 18 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 17 hours 29 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 17 hours 54 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 18 hours 34 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 19 hours 47 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 20 hours 4 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 20 hours 8 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 20 hours 52 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 3 hours ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 1 day 4 hours ago view