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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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.