Game 104 Thread / Marlins @ Cubs (3 of 4)

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SP Chris Volstad SP Rich Harden
  2-1, 2.16, 9 K, 6 BB, 16.2 IP
5-2, 2.12, 112 K, 36 BB, 89.1 IP
       
SS Hanley Ramirez LF Alfonso Soriano
RF *Jeremy Hermida SS Ryan Theriot
3B Jorge Cantu 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Mike Jacobs 3B Aramis Ramirez
2B Dan Uggla 2B *Mike Fontenot
LF Josh Willingham RF Mark DeRosa
C *John Baker C Geovany Soto
CF #Alfredo Amezaga CF *Kosuke Fukudome
P Chris Volstad P *Rich Harden

 

Rise and shine, Cubbies. A 12:05 day game in Chicago sees Rich Harden looking for his first win as a Cub, the Cubs looking for reliable offense, and fans looking to maintain bragging rights over the charging Brewers. That's three more uses of the verb "looking" than I'd make if I wasn't rusty from yet another long hiatus.

Who is John Baker?

The biggest pregame news has to be Fontenot's promotion and Fukudome's demotion. This is by my quick count the second time this season Fukudome started a game in center, the first time Fontenot has started the game hitting fifth, likewise for Fukudome hitting eighth.

Harden faced the Marlins on June 20th of this year, giving up a run, 2 BB and 5 K in 5.2 IP for a no decision. Volstad has never faced the Cubs. Drafted 16th overall in 2005, Sickles had him rated as the fourth best Marlin prospect coming in to 2008 with a "B" grading. How someone 6 foot 7 can be a ground-ball pitcher is beyond me, but Volstad is. Fan Graphs also tells us that at the moment he's a two-pitch pitcher: 90 mph fastball and 79 mph curve, with the infreqent change-up as well.

Random Fantasy Question: Over the course of this season I traded Dan Uggla for Ted Lilly and then Lilly for Ryan Theriot. Which of the three would you most want on your fantasy team?

 

 

 

Comments

Uggla.

Go Cubbies.

Theodore Roosevelt Lilly.

Go Cubbies.

Over/Under on Harden's K's today is set at 10.

And I'm taking the Over.

Casey Blake to the Dodgers for RHP Jon Meloan and C Carlos Santana

NY Post says Marte, Nady deal will be Jose Tabata, Daniel McCutchen, Jeff Karstens and Ross Ohlendorf.

"injury delay"

wha'appen?

Home plate umpire took a fastball directly off his chin. The catcher didn't even deflect it... He had to leave the game.

The biggest pregame news has to be Fontenot's promotion

Aramis Ramirez needs protection. If you insist on batting .900 you're gonna fill the five.

and Fukudome's demotion.

If you're gonna make great catches and hit like Felix Pie you're gonna play centerfield and bat 8.

The Cubs have someone batting 900?

Damn.

And protection is, for the most part, a load of crap.

AND... going into today's game, Kosuke had reached base in 7 of his previous 14 at-bats. While I understand demoting/moving down a guy who is struggling, I don't understand demoting/moving down a guy AFTER he seems to be coming out of his slump.

And of course... he has reached base in each of his first two at-bats today.

ftr, Mike Fontenot was the only Cub with a .900 OPS and that's in danger.

Felix Fukudome in July .185 .274 .277 .551

Well... I would bet money that Fontenot will not end up with an OPS over .900. And FWIW... Edmonds is also over .900, at least a Cubs.

And of course... most people would consider the fact that Fontenot would not qualify.

But I am sure that you know that already.

And I'm taking the Over.

Good call.

Whoops, I guess it was a push.

I'm not watching the game, only following it online, so -- why take Harden out after 5 innings and only 87 pitches? His line (10 Ks, 2 H, 3 BB) was pretty good.

I think because he threw 112 last game.

 

112!? Wow, I don't know how he was able to even get out there today.

Z averages at least 112.

Harden has to be able to throw more pitches if he's gonna help, especially considering all the pitches he racks up getting all those strikeouts.

maybe you're thinking of a different Rich Harden that hasn't spent most of his first 6 years on the disabled list.

A little caution is a smart move right now...the season doesn't end on July 31st or anything.

 

So with what we've seen since the big trades, I have a legit question. Would you rather have a pitcher who goes 5-6 innings and gives up 1 run or 8-9 innings and gives up 3-4 runs.

I guess it depends on the bullpens, so let's say the bullpens are the Cubs and the Brewers...

What the hell did the Cubs do to Jeremy Hermida?

I'd want 1. Uggla 2. Theriot 3. Lilly

Uggla for sure.

The Bayou boys are playing well in the heat. I wonder what the Cubs record would have w/o Soriano if Theroit wasn't playing as he was. It's nice to see.

so sick of this brand of baseball

Can't win in Houston.
Can't beat Randy Johnson.
Can't beat the Marlins.
Can't hit a HR with a man on base.
Can't hit anything with runners in scoring position.
Can't win at home with Dempster and Harden starting, each giving up one run.

Scary stuff. The Summer of Joy has taken an ugly turn.

Last 7 of the year are in NY and MIL -- Cubs unlikey to win more than 2 of the last 7 -- better start winning some home games, boys.

Hey, at least Soriano is back.

One other good thing --

Howry had the day off, so he can come in and lose tomorrow's game in the 9th.

They need to start hitting quickly -- if they get their butts kicked in Milwaukee next week, then can't win with a ton of home games in August, the road-heavy September schedule will probaly be too much to overcome.

that we wont hit this way the rest of the year. Not only is August filled with home games, but they are home games aganist some bad teams.

What's a "bold ledge"?

I'm with you, Chifan, just frustrated.

I meant a bold step onto the ledge.

is on the block. If Jimbo was smart he would offer up Soriano and a solid prospect for Manram without taking a look at their contracts, I'd say it save the Cubs 80 million throught the course of their contracts.

If Jimbo was smart he would offer up Soriano and a solid prospect for
Manram without taking a look at their contracts, I'd say it save the
Cubs 80 million throught the course of their contracts.

speaking of jumping off the ledge...wow.

Soriano has an NTC anyway...but if the Red Sox want to deal Manny while being one of the better teams in the AL, you know there's some serious behind-the-scenes problems going on...

 

Manny's issue is he wants 2 option years at 20 mil per picked up and since Theo hasnt yet Manny's being TO. If we did in an unlikely scenerio trade for him and picked up the options he would be fine. Id rather have Manram at 2/40 then Soriano at 6/106 (could be a little more if the signing bonus is spread out and not dispursed fully when when he signed.)

LaTroy Hawkins DFA'd...

Chris Carpenter to pitch Wednesday for the Cardinals.

Today was just like an extension of yesterday, except they had fewer chances today. I really don't know if this might just be the coming back to Earth of the offense. The pitching is doing great, for all the people wanting to get rid of Howry yesterday...do you want to get rid of Gaudin today? These games are not the bullpens fault. You have to score more than 2 runs if you want to win games. Simple as that.

I'm discouraged at this point of the season...maybe having a great offense was too good to be true.

Here's the thing: I have problems with this team, but it's just as ridiculous to judge the offense by this slump as it was to anoint them the best offense ever because of the beginning of the season. In the end, you have to judge a player by their season wide numbers and not what they did over a one month period. At the end of the season ARam and Lee will probably hit .300 and it will be a successful season.

To me, no one should be surprised by Fuku's hitting. The platitudes he was getting at the beginning were a bit much for a tiny sample size and it was to me pretty much given his numbers would go down from Japan, especially in home runs. I'd say league average with outstanding defense is just about right for him.

Soriano is a very streaky hitter who will get hurt. Again, no one should be surprised by this. He will go on a tear, we'll win a bunch of games and people will forget this bit.

Soto is a very good hitter but is also young and will go through these streaks. While obviously we'd all love for him to be the exception, it's no knock against him he's been slumping because rookies do that. He'll bounce back at some point and in the end it will average out to quite good numbers. A 1.048 OPS (what he hit in April/March) was fun as all get out but also unrealistic for an entire season, especially for a catcher. In the end, he's second in the NL and 3rd in the MLB in OPS and that is still really, really good for a rookie.

Theriot just seems to be hitting and hitting and hitting and who knows when it will end. Logically it should end, but hey, who are we to argue with scrap.

DeRosa, despite some claims to the contrary, was never and will never be a great hitter. He is quite useful as a super-utility player but a 109 OPS+ is the highest he's ever hit and the highest you're likely to get from him. Johnson, DeRosa and Edmonds are all extremely replaceable (note I didn't say bad) players and thus there should no hesitation to replace each one with the hot hand. But the fact we get slumps from any of them again should be no surprise.

It just seems we have some unrealistic expectations some times from hitters. Someone goes on a hot streak hitting way over their career numbers and suddenly we expect them to hit like that all the time. Most hitters get a .300 BA at the end of the season by hitting .400 for a while, then .200, etc, etc. You enjoy the .400, ride out the .200 and with our team, it just happens most of the guys are hitting .200 at the same time which hopefully means they'll all hit .400 at the same time.

Hey all... so I am thinking about buying tickets from a scalper tomorrow.

Any ideas on what I should expect to find in terms of availability and price?

Does Wrigley do those electronic tickets that you can email? If so, try Ebay in the morning before you go...that's worked for me at other parks.

 

Why am I so pessimistic that the Astros can hold this lead vs the Brewers? I mean they held it last night surely they can do it again?

Well tied now. Braun homer. 4-4. Seems like Gagne has gotten better since he gave up those homers to the Reds. That sucks.

Ok Brewers up 5-4, unless Torres gives it up looks like we have company in first place.

I really don't know if I can handle having to scoreboard watch for 2+ months.

Well hopefully we can salvage a split tomorrow. The Brewers series will be a big psychological push either up or down for the rest of the season.

f'n pooholes...

STL takes a 10-8 lead, top 14...

meh...STL wins.

its almost august and the top 3 teams in the NL are from the NL Central.

take that world of speculative sports journalism.

don't the cubs are too surprising...and most people wouldn't be too shocked to have the brews up there...but, STL? wow.

I hate this MotherF#$%ing team.

I'm definitely hating the offense right now...these last 2 games were extremely winnable.

One problem with Saturday's lineup:

You have four players, you are going to play three of them. Here's their OPS's since the ASG (everyone talks about how Lou likes to go with the hot hand).

Player 1. 1.556
Player 2. 1.188
Player 3. .632
Player 4. .727

Your team is struggling offensively. Which three do you play? Well of course, you play 2,3,4, who as a bonus give you the worst possible defensive combination as well.

Then late in the game you decided to PH for one of those guys with player #1. Who do you pinch hit for? Well of course the guy with the 1.188 OPS.

Pinhead, it's not rocket science. When your team isn't scoring, PLAY THE HOTTEST HITTERS. There was no excuse to be playing DeRosa over Johnson yesterday, unless 'stupid' is an excuse.

Weird extra-innings rules introduced for Olympic baseball.

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/news?slug=ap-bbi-...

This rule is common in amateur baseball, well at least variations of it. Personally, I think it is a great rule for the All Star Game, but start in the tenth inning.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080726&c...

sorry if the link is 3/44...

"There's very little room to put someone in, in my opinion, if you're healthy," Hendry said Saturday. "I would think that for the most part if we did something it would be reaction to a health issue more than feeling our people weren't capable of doing their job."

seems to indicate that Samardzija is going to be a big part of the bullpen.

I didn't really see an out pitch from Samardzija the other day. I think he's likely to scuffle. If not him, who goes down when Wood is ready?

samninja seems to have 2 fastballs and an occasional slider...i think someone in parachat said they saw a change, too...i dunno.

either way it seems 4 outta 5 times (rough ass estimate) he's gonna throw his heater.

he does get really really amazing movement on it for how fast it is. i wonder how he gets that kind of break on a 95+ ball.

set Anthony Reyes free...

goes to Indians for a minor leaguer RHP Luis Perdomo

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  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 25 min 26 sec ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 28 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 37 min 51 sec ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 1 hour 20 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 6 hours 5 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 6 hours 6 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 15 hours 48 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 18 hours 46 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 18 hours 58 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 19 hours 7 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 19 hours 12 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 19 hours 30 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 20 hours 7 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 20 hours 24 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 20 hours 26 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 20 hours 44 min ago view