Cubs vs. Marlins Weekend Preview

Sorry to be so brief—there's an all-block garage sale happening on our street today and I think I just overheard my 13-year-old agreeing to sell our second car. 

Saturday: Anibal Sanchez (1-2, 4.13) v. Ted Lilly (2-2, 3.80). Sanchez is making his first career start at Wrigley Field. Lilly was telling Carrie Muskat about his plans to revive the Cubs attack by generating his own offense, by "going deep" and "maybe swipe a couple bags." Sounds like someone is experiencing delusions of grandeur. TLFC—this is your fault!

Sunday: RIcky Nolasco (1-2, 6.92) v. Carlos Zambrano (2-1, 4.64). Juan Pierre Ricky Nolasco, who has seemed primed to be the Florida ace, won the Marlins' season opener and has gone winless in the four starts since. As for Zambrano, nice of the Cubs to give their ace pinch-hitter an opportunity to try his hand at pitching. Who knows—maybe the guy will have a future on the mound. 


If we lose to someone named Anabelle I am moving to East St. Louis. Oh, wait, it's Anabolic. No, Anibal. Whatever. Is Hoffpauir officially in the Lou doghouse? I haven't had a chance to watch games lately but I haven't seen his name much.

Hoffpauir had a bad game in right field, and Lee is back so it's back to the bench for him. The facts that he plays a good first base, hits left handed and has an OPS .300 higher than Lee are not important.

I see he's in right again today. Maybe they should put Lee in right and Hoff at 1st if they really want to compare their worth, although moving Lee off first means the infielders will have to keep the ball out of the dirt on the throw in.

Ho long until Lou moves Lee out of the 4 hole and plugs in Theriot? I keed...

Go Mighty Midget!!!!!!

So much for my calling Theriot/Fontenot supersubs. Theriot is now our best hitter.

Damn right! Check out Fontenot's stats, too. After last night's game, his OPS was higher than Theriot's even though his batting average is not appealing.

Good. Easy guys to root for. So, the guaranteed way to strike out D Lee is just throw the ball a quarter inch off the dirt. Nice.

Holy shit. I guess Lilly wasn't kidding about trying to go deep. Now let's see if he steals third.

Gotta say, I think we've played as well in the last couple of days as we may have all year.

We're playing so well, in fact, that the widget on the right has no way to quantify it. We're null games back as I write this. Next stop is N/A. Then we'll go after undefined. Gotta play 'em one day at a time.

Love the new logo, btw.

thnx, got to fix the aliasing around the clock and we'll add some green to the rest of the site to make it blend a little better.

There's also a larger version with flags and the whole scoreboard, we're going to throw on some T-shirts.

nice new logo. Ms. Pinkerton's 3rd grade class did you guys good. How much cookies and milk did that design cost?

what crawled up your ass?

nothing...just ragging on the design.

the colors are off scheme, the sesame street-like sign lacks depth, and the clock part is set to background on white only.

don't take it's the gateway to the site. better than lip-service of how awesome i think it is when i don't think it is.

there's an alpha channel, it should work on any background although I have to tweak the clock a little, probably need to clear your cache. The colors are off scheme for the time being, but one step at a time.


Gotta say that you responded better than I would have.

That was meant for Rob G. Crunch was just kinda dick about it.

kinda a dick?

nah, im a total dick.

quit disrespecting me, asshat.

1. Asshats are oddly comfy.
2. No disrespect intended.
3. Your taking it as disrespect was a nice bonus.
4. I like lists.
5. Good to know you are a total dick.
6. You must be what you eat.
7. That'd make me a pussy.
8. No disrespect to Chad.
9. Still glad they released Gabor.
10. I don't trust Hungarians.

I gain nothing by responding what I'm really thinking on half these posts. :)

and that's why you got a better rep than Al and his trained attack dogs.

i love you rob...i wanna have your babies.

What do you gain by responding in a professional manner? I'm curious about the pros and cons. So far for speaking one's mind I've got: Cons: Gain Nothing. Pros: Nothing, because there is nothing to gain.

go skred really.

go Z pinch hitting for no f'n reason.

...feeling better today heilman?

I don't know what Lou would do without Z PH in a game now. This time for absolutely no reason. Oh well, let;s just hope Z doesn't get hurt.

Having him pinch hit today was just dumb. Nothing to gain there. Why not give Johnson, Bradley, or Koyie Hill the at bat? Or, better yet, let Lilly bat for himself and maybe start the 9th with the possibility of completing the game.

I wanted to see Lilly try to close the game out (though Heilman did just fine).

Great game, though. Last 16 innings or so have been a lot of fun.

didn't get to watch any of it, but I assume Lilly was as brilliant as his boxscore?

Probably located better today than in any other start as a Cub that I've watched.

bleh...coming thur-sun nothing but early (pre-3pm) day games.

in june there's a stretch of 9 games where 10 of them are day games.


10 out of 9 games is quite a feat.

i hate you with great intensity.

Man... even Mrs. Pinkerton's 3rd grade class could do that math...

Great Win! I'm still cautious but lets hope that this team starts to play like the talent that they actually have.

Some of these guys around the Mendoza line and under are going to have to start to hit and get those averages up.

Lilly looked awesome today and even had a big hit, awesome for him.

Only negative today was Gathright doing something embarrasing again. I do like his speed on the bench but if they do want to make a move for Fox he'd probably be the guy to go.

Lets get 3 out 4 tomorrow!

heh...riot's improved his slugging like 50 points the past 2 days.

I like the new logo; as Crunch said, it needs some depth, shadows and palette integration, but the latter can be easily fixed. It's a nice new look for the site.

"How about if I get run over by a car on the way to the ballpark?" said Piniella, who has a short bench because of injuries. "I've got [Milton] Bradley, who I didn't want to use, and I've got [Aramis] Ramirez, who I don't want to use, so I've got Reed Johnson and [Koyie] Hill. When you're too cautious at times, you're going to get hurt. When you play the game and throw a little bit of caution to the wind, usually nothing happens. You're always taking chances. The fans enjoy watching [Zambrano] come up, too. He sort of gives the fans that finishing touch for a ballgame. You're right, in a way, but as shorthanded as we are, we have to be careful."

I like Lou, but it was one of the most idiotic things he has ever down and his reponse to a questions was just as nonsensical. And if he is doing things because the fans like it, why the FUCK is Cotts on this team?

I could only imagine what Cubs fans would be saying if Dusty did and said what Lou did.

lou has said a lot of stupid the 3rd week of the season he made a comment about how he just found out about gregg's not being able to be warmed and not used that went mostly ignored.

managers say stupid happens.

luckily, people currently care more about the players than some elderly fat man.

1. Comparing choosing a PH to making roster decisions
2. Perepetuating the fantasy that there is some huge risk that Zambrano will get hurt while batting.
3. Implying that the manager has some great influence over the roster, after denying that blatantly obvious fact for 4 years.

I always thought you were just acting like a dumb fuck, but I guess you really weren't acting.

Please show me where I said there is "some huge risk that Zambrano will get hurt while batting". PLEASE!!

This is like the third time I have called you out in the past couple threads for flat out making shit up that I said. Dumb fuck or piss poor reading comprehension? I actually think both!

Maybe you two should just not respond to each other?

But I have to say, you did seem to imply on a previous thread that having Z take additional ABs as a pinch hitter increased his risk of injury. Telling people that they should go back and memorize your posts isn't reasonable. If that's not what you said, why not tell us what you said? Or, maybe you could assume that it's at least equally possible that you were unclear as that someone consistently misreads what you wrote.

Can't we even get along after a 6-1 victory? Not that this argument is at all baseball related.

"But I have to say, you did seem to imply on a previous thread that having Z take additional ABs as a pinch hitter increased his risk of injury."

I absolutely did say that having Z take additional ABs as a pinch hitter increased his risk of injury. And that is 100% true. But I DID NOT say that there is "some huge risk that Zambrano will get hurt while batting." Big difference. But The Real Neal would need to have at least a small grasp of reading comprehension to understand that.

"Or, maybe you could assume that it's at least equally possible that you were unclear as that someone consistently misreads what you wrote."

No, I think it is just The Real Neal as mostly I don't have that problem with anyone else.

Hope that clears it up for you Charlie and yes, GO CUBS!!!

Sorry Manny, I generally don't read your responses. It takes so much effort to print them out and roll them onto those little cardboard tubes to hang next to my toilet.

But I won't play the 'I didn't say those exact words' game with you. You pull that stuff all the time. Everyone who has read your nonsense about Zambrano pinch hitting over the last three days would agree that you are perpetuating the myth, just like I said.

You fail to understand that simply repeating the same stupid idea ad nauseum does not make it true.

about 1:18 in

Of course you don't want to play that game because you love to put words in peoples mouths and basically lie about what they say. I don't care if you read my posts or not but just don't change or flat out lie about what I said or I will continue to call you out like I have the past couple days to show everyone the crap you are trying to pull, even though I am sure other regulars on here know those silly reindeer games you play.


I love Z.

He can PH for me anytime. Until he gets hurt, of course.

He is a better hitter than half the team now, and has as much or more power than anyone save two or three of his team-mates.

If he was on another team, we'd be in awe of his talent and wish we'd have him.

You GO Z! Have fun - you deserve it.

Maybe the other millionaires will figure out a way to outhit you regularly so you won't have to embarrass them by PH-ing.

as long as he's not up there to bunt i don't mind as much...don't like to see him run the bases, though.

I like to watch Harden run. He seems hella fast. Doesn't seem to have a clue about how to run the bases, but he's fast.

Hate to bring up a dead horse, but the first Marlin's hit was a gift from the ump at first, and at home plate Lilly would've been even better than his stats with a little league umpire that sees curves AS THEY GO OVER THE PLATE. Plus he was so stiff he struck out Lee with a pitch at Lee's shoulders because the catcher stood up to make a throw on K-Fu's steal.

Lilly had a conversation with the ump later - Len & Bob didn't comment but Ted shoulda had 10-15 less pitches and maybe a complete game if the ump had called that beautiful curve (at various speeds BTW) correctly.

Umpires today=FAIL

I agree the strike zone was crazy today BUT I actually thought it benefited Lilly and the Cubs hitters. Lilly was closer to the plate and he could kind of get that big curve up there in nintendo fashion and the ump was calling it.

There was one at bat with Hanley Ramirez where that big thing was outside, but Ramriez was just expecting that ump to call it as a strike.

Recent comments

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  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.

  • Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined). 

  • BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.

    If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).

    As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).

  • I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.