Marshall Draws Giants Ace as Cubs Go for Fifth Straight Win

Pitchers: Tim Lincecum (2-1, 3.16) vs. Sean Marshall (0-1, 3.32).

Lincecum opened the season with two rough starts, resulting in a no-decision and a loss. In his last three outings, however, he has gone 3-0, 1.57, with 33 strikeouts and 4 walks and a .193 BA Against. He dazzled the Cubs in a game last July at Wrigley, becoming the first pitcher to beat Ryan Dempster last season in The Friendly Confines.

Marshall pitched well enough to beat the Marlins last week, though the bullpen failed him in the only game the Cubs have lost thus far on this brief homestand.

Here is the Cubs batting order...

Gathright, cf
Miles, ss
Fukudome, rf
Lee, 1b
Hoffpauir, lf
Fontenot, 3b
Scales, 2b
Hill, c
Marshall, p

...and per Chris DeLuca of the Sun-Times, here is the manager's explanation of the fact that Babe Theriot, Soriano, Ramirez, Soto, and Bradley are all sitting:

''Look, it's tough to sit anybody, but the fact remains that nobody
is going to play 162 ballgames,'' Piniella said. ''I said that we were
going to rest people coming out of spring training, and we've done a
pretty good job of it so far.''

You made it, Bobby: Scales is making his Major League debut after 11 years and more than a thousand games in the minors. I hope he does something today to make the fans cheer, and I hope there is someone he loves inside the ballpark to take it all in.

Also today, Joey Gathright is making his first start as a Cub, and Aaron Miles will be at shortstop for the first time since the second night of the season.

And finally, you can yell all you want at the game today...Bob Howry can't hear you.


Blech! You forgot Soto sitting as well. What a lineup!

Thanks. Just added his name to the list. And yes--blech!

This lineup sucks more than a Hoover XL.

(Really hoping it's one of those surprise David-unexpectedly-tops-Goliath games...)

Yeah, I prefer the staggered approach to resting the starters. I wonder how much it has to do with protecting stats or not wanting to get the struggling guys (Bradley and Soto in particular) even more screwed up.

The good thing is that with the Scrubs in, our lineup is probably about equal to San Fran's. If Marshall wants the win, he can go get it.

Good points Neal! With the tough pitcher today maybe that is why those guys are getting the day off.

Re: Lou's comment
Soto, Ramirez and Bradley have had more than enough days off this year that they don't need rest. So I don't really understand Lou's comments. Of course Soto has caught 4 straight games and this is a day game after a night game so that is what Lou should have said as to resting Soto. So really it is curious as to why Ramirez and Bradley are not playing today, but I think Neal's points are the real reason.

Might as well rest everyone on the same day. Get everyone's rest day out of the way during the Lincecum start.

Aw, leave Bobby Howry alone.

Remember when that crazed fan ran out to the mound to yell at him? Good times.

If Lincejiz wasn't pitching I would have very little interest in watching this AAA matchup.

Heh... Lou, on the pre-game show, just said, "We are starting to see green on the ivory."

Yes... he said ivory.

IVory - ivy - same thing!

BAck to the lineup - As was posted last thread: "sacrificial lamb game".

Our #5 against your #1.

What I am wondering - isn't Scales more accomplished at 3rd?

Why is Lou not leaving Fonty at 2B?


I wondered the same thing, but decided that Lou must have designated Pepper Spray the #1 backup at third, and consequently wants him to get all the spot starts there. Or it could be that in Scales's debut they wanted him at the position he is most comfortable, or as Joe Morgan would say 'caurmfotable'.

ROB G - can you please fix the "E" in the logo? It still looks like an "F".


If we're not careful, RobG's gonna tell us to go euck ourselves.

I don't see how this lineup can fail.

Also, Scales at 2nd and Fontenot at 3rd makes all sorts of sense.

Poor Reed Johnson. Two of the starting outfielders sit out and he doesn't get to play? FREE JOHNSON!

With the current lineup, with the exception of Lee, the entire lineup is either lefty or switch hitting.

did whittenmyer abandon Twitter?

OUCH!!!!! Not a good start. Down 3-0 already.

Shocking... manny shows up when things go badly.


Yeah, I haven't been around at all the past 4 games when they are 4-0.

You are Clueless!!!

Wow this lineup is the equivalent of the Bears punting on first down.

Well, they might as well punt right away, before they lose the ball some other way, or lose ground. They need to get their scoring defense back on the field!

Ron Santo is awesome today...

"Rich Aurillio..." "Linc... Lincecomb..."

(on Hoffpauir's warning-track hit)
"Normally that would have been out yesterday."

Congrats to you Bobby Scales!

why is it Molinas have it out for us?

Very nice outing for Marshall. He is giving the Cubs a chance to win, against the reigning Cy Young(?) winner...

Howry throws a splitter and a slider? This is news to me. Do both pitches have very little vertical movement, tail in toward right handed batters, and arrive at the plate in the low 90s?

I always thought he threw a fastball, a straight change, and the occasional hanging slider.

I always thought he threw a fastball, a straight change, and the occasional hanging slider.

lol... nice

Nice outing by Marshall. After the homer he really buckled down. Let's hope these tone deaf 7th-inning singers don't mess up his mojo.

Nice outing by Marshall. After the homer he really buckled down.

I still want to know how Marshall is a) inconsistent, and b) more inconsistent than Jason Marquis.


Bases loaded, no outs. We have them right where we want them.

Oh wait - they're not the Cubs.

In other news... Samardjiza is strugglin'.

cub bullpen was due for a suck-fest

title for post game wrapup: shark bites baby bear

shark needs to be stretched out they have one of those machines in the weight room?

There's always football.

you know you suck as a reliever when they bring in Cotts to bail you out

(and Cotts looks good in the process)

nice lineup...why even bother playing the game?


at least marmol/gregg aren't needed after throwing 100-120 pitches each 5 out of the last 6 days.

Lou would have been crazy like a fox if they would have won this one. Actually in some ways it shows you he has some confidence in the team overall to give one away like this.

On the getting cold watch: Fukudome. Hopefully he doesn't go back to his 2nd half 08 look.

I've said all along that Samardzija isn't really the answer. I don't have a problem with him on the roster but its going to take some refinement before he becomes a real contributor.

Yeah K-Fuk has cooled down significantly.

He is now:
- 1 for his last 18 (.055)
- 9 for his last 40 (.225)

Let's hope this is more of a slump and not what the majority of his season was last year. Unfortunately I am not too optimistic on it being only a slump.

One day I'll hammer the merits of TTO and BABIP into you guys' heads, I swear it.

Over his last 16 PA's, Fukudomke has had 1 K and 5 BB's. In the 10 other at bats he's got a .100 BABIP, for a .375. Normally he should have 2 to 3 more hits over 10 at bats. Nothing to worry about, just vagaries of small sample size.

One day I'll hammer the merits of TTO and BABIP into you guys' heads, I swear it.

Good luck with that... there are some that will just never get it.

TTO is a shit stat unless you're dealing with power hitters, imo...and even then it's a "well, duh" stat that "proves" the obvious. There's nothing to hammer home about it.


"He is now:
- 1 for his last 18 (.055)".

i stand by my statement.

I "get it", but I care more about what a player actually does not if he was lucky or unlucky. The fact is K-Fuk has been hitting poorly lately.

No, you don't get it. The fact is that he's been doing fine, just had some bad luck. If he was striking out and not walking, that would be 'hitting poorly'. Essentially what you're saying is 'I am really worried about Fukudome, he's continue to show excellent plate discipline and is hitting the ball but not enough balls in this 12 at bat sample size (1 for 12) have fallen for hits.' Think, man.

No, what I am saying is he is hitting like shit. Period!!

You can spin it anyway you want, but results are what matter to me, not some made up stat that says poor K-Fuk is unlucky. No he is hitting like shit. It is simple. Think man!

They are all "made up" stats. Runs happen to be the ones that count toward winning or losing. Batting average doesn't necessarily predict success or failure anymore than line drive rates, contact rates, batting average on balls in play, etc. My personally favorite is just watching the guy's at bats. Sadly, I haven't been able to do that. Have you guys? Has he been hitting the ball hard, squaring it up? Has he been hitting a lot of line drives or hard ground balls right at people? Has he been getting screwed by umpires? These things are as worth talking about, if you want to anticipate how he will perform in coming days, as batting average.

Fantasy Team Ryno regularly uses BABIP since you introduced me to that website. Thanks. So for my fantasy team's sake, I hope your witchdoctor stats work.

Recent comments

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

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

  • 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?

  • AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?

  • Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.

  • AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.

  • I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.

    But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.