The Other End of Humerus

In an embarrassing conclusion to the saturday night game against the Brewers, the Cubs bullpen literally and figuratively exploded.

In a highlight on TV for Mr. Brenly, he went out on the ledge and predicted the two run HR from Micah Hoffpauir in the 5th inning as the big first baseman strode up to the plate. Brenly had given a handsignal to Hoffpauir before the game indicating his swing was just a pinch off the night before and he expected a sweet spot power shot tonight. Hoffpauir's blast to right was on the first pitch, making that a magic moment in the booth and both Len and Bob were somewhat giddy. Len Kasper couldn't recall any such prognostication from his partner in their 5 years together. It brought a game that felt like the Cubs were behind by a million runs actually back to a 3-2 defecit and made me realize that Ryan Dempster was having quite a solid outing.

Brenly the Prognosticator? Ryan Dempster deftly lasted into the 7th
inning although on TV, Len and Bob thought he was done after 6 and
they expressed their surprise to see him out on the mound beginning the 7th
after over 100 pitches. After back to back HR's to Counsell and Braun,
Dempster was done at 121 pitches. Cotts and Patton made the really ugly 7th a six spot for the Brewers.

During the disgusting 7th and 8th innings, the walkmasters paraded their stuff including walk(s) from Cotts, Patton, Fox and Heilman. I was suffering along with Ron Santo who said on the radio: "anytime you have 7 walks you don't deserve to win." Six of the nine walks the Cubs pitchers gave up came from the bullpen.

In the top of the 8th, the Cubs brought it back to  9-6 defecit with a 4 spot including back to back doubles by Fukudome and Bradley but the bullpen was yet to complete pouring kerosene on the ballgame.

The bottom of the 8th started with Chad Fox on the mound who promptly walked Braun (on 7 pitches) then blew out his right elbow on a pitch that was five feet high and wide above the strike zone. As we all know Fox's elbow has had multiple reconstructions and after his last term with the Cubs in which his usage by Dusty Baker drew criticism, he didn't get another surgery...just a miracle feeling that he could pitch on scar and duct tape. Apologies to Mr. Baker, time didn't heal that wound. In a 24 hour period the Cubs have exposed both the proximal humerus and the distal humerus. Ouch.

Chad Fox is now on the DL and the Cubs have called up Jose Ascanio from AAA Iowa as the bullpen parade continues.

Injury Delay...photo of Chad Fox after icing his elbow postgame.

Aaron Heilman replaces Chad Fox

Heilman promptly wets his pants by walking Fielder (4 pitches), Hardy (4 pitches) and Hart (6 pitches), with Hart's for the second run of the inning. Nobody to the rescue (Mets fans must be laughing their asses off). The cliche coaching visit to the mound does no good and then Duffy singles for another run and Kendall hits a sac fly for the Brewer's12th run.

As Arizona Phil has explained, Chad Fox was brought to the majors so that the Cubs will have roster flexibility if they get to the post-season. The Boy Scouts 60 day DL mastery merit badge goes to Jim Hendry.

 

Comments

Soriano, Miles(SS), Fukudome, Bradley, Hoffpauir, Soto, Fontenot (3b), Scales (2b), Marshall vs Weeks, Hart, Braun, Fielder, Cameron, Hardy, Hall, Kendall, Suppan

and the tightly hamstrung Ryan Freel era continues

Nice article Cubster.

Jose Ascanio (0.94 WHIP), who just turned 24 on May 2, has been outstanding with the AAA Cubs this spring. Hope it translates to the majors. But how can a guy who stands six feet tall with this gut (http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/A/jose-asca...)only weigh 150 lbs.?

Re: the game notes: you failed to mention that "Genius Jim" traded a healthy, although he plays baseball like a wounded cockroach, Joey Gathright for a terminally injured whiney-assed pariah with a hamstring as tight as a piano wire (not to be confused with Uncle Milty) who had to be scratched from the starting lineup yesterday on his first day with the Cubs. (Is that a record?)

On a positive note... Nice to see Fukudome break out of his 3/25 funk with two hits and DPLee continue to sit allowing Micah Hoffpauir to start at first base.

Is DLee the new Wally Pipp?

Judd Sirott on the wgn radio pregame said DLee and Freel are available to pinch hit

time to move fox from the "cubs bullpen usage" chart to the no-doubt-soon-to-be-created "cubs dl chart".

z-aram-lee-fox; quite the talent pool there.

here's hoping kosuke, bradley, and hoff get revved up.

is soto enduring the sophomore blues? or was he a one-year wonder? still, i don't miss gabor the great.

go cubs! no sweepage today, please.

As Arizona Phil has explained, Chad Fox was brought to the majors so that the Cubs will have roster flexibility if they get to the post-season. The Boy Scouts 60 day DL mastery merit badge goes to Jim Hendry.

As I am sure AZ Phil was saying that tongue-in-cheek, it still cost Hendry around $500K for that flexibility. And of course then there is Lou who is undoubtedly going to get blasted for hurting Fox's arm. I guess we can add Fox to the name of Lou's arms he has killed. :)

Oh yeah, another shitty start by the Cubs. Down 2-0 already after 2 innings.

2-2. Soriano 2 run jack.

10th HR.

A-Fonse!!! We need the big boys to pick up the slack. Good job Soriano!

A-Fonse?

Who's that?

It's a pun on 'offense'.

Yes it is. And it is a nickname they called him while he was up here with the Yankees.

Pretty big win here, after 2 bullpen disasters. Guzman really came through with those 2 big innings. I think its time to move him into Heilman's spot give him the 7th inning.

Marshall had nothing the first 2 innings but righted the ship. Fontenot had some nice plays at 3rd.

The offense was good enough. Soto still looks bad. Freel did his best Gathright impression by being picked off lol

Moving forward I think the next 2 series vs the Padres and Astros are pretty big 4-2 or even 5-1 would look pretty nice.

Miles was about to choke that at bat anyways.

Marshall's MO this year is he gives up 2 or 3 early on, then pitches well for tje next 5-7 innings.

he is still young, amd I hope he finds a way to rid himself of this.

i recall Marquis did the same thing for us.

I'm too lazy to back this up with stats so this is just a thought but it seems like Marshall would have a decent game one outing and really suck the next last year. This year he's been pretty consistent. This is almost 3/44 cuz I have said it so much but I'll never forget when Maddux was here and Marshall would park his ass next to him. Did it on more than one occasion. Students of the game often do well when they have some talent to mix in with it. And he does have a nice curve and moves around the plate nicely when he's on.

During the second Maddux era he seemed to always give up a few runs early, only to lock it in for the next 4-5 innings.

gwwaaaa....

ESPN crew is about to drive me nuts talking about roids rather than...oh...calling the game.

blah blah blah blah blah....

guess what crew...these roiders keep getting contracts, they're for huge money, and so far...all i can tell...the downside is you might miss 1-2 months of pay and not get in the HOF.

making 10m dollars vs. 1m and no chance at HOF anyway. get caught and stay employed and pursued by other teams...giambi approves...sarge jr. definitely approves.

lemmie see...what would i do...

ESPN crew is about to drive me nuts
--------
solution = mute button

I miss fire Joe Morgan.com

The ESPN Crew is designed for the sports jocks who watch ESPN all day. For true baseball fans, they are brutal.

Does anyone know if Soto's still hurt? Could be my imagination, but his swing looks like he's favoring his lumbar or something.

Recent comments

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  • ESPN game tonight, btw.

  • Cardinal way #48
    "negligent transmission of STDs"

    http://mlb.nbcsports.com/2016/05/01/carlos-martine...

  • Heyward getting the night off.

    Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd

    Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist

  • See ya on parrot chat

  • In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST... 
    Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex: 
    4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes) 

    Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)  

  • There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?

  • Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.

    Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.

  • It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.

    I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.

  • I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.

    This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/making-too-much-of-...

  • Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!

  • Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.

  • Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.

    Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.

  • Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.

  • Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.

    Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.

  • He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.

    He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.