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 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.



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.


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


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 ( 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, 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.

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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  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • 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?