Game 107 Thread / Cubs @ Brewers (2 of 4)
|SP||Carlos Zambrano||SP||Ben Sheets|
|11-4, 2.96, 87 K, 44 BB, 133.2 IP||10-3, 2.87, 115 K, 31 BB, 135 IP|
|LF||Alfonso Soriano||2B||#Ray Durham|
|SS||Ryan Theriot||SS||J.J. Hardy|
|1B||Derrek Lee||LF||Ryan Braun|
|3B||Aramis Ramirez||1B||*Prince Fielder|
|CF||*Kosuke Fukudome||RF||Corey Hart|
|RF||Mark DeRosa||3B||*Russ Branyan|
|2B||*Mike Fontenot||CF||Mike Cameron|
|C||Geovany Soto||C||Jason Kendall|
|P||#Carlos Zambrano||P||Ben Sheets|
My apologies for lack of a game thread last night, I was out on a 3-day weekend celebrating seven years of marriage with the Angelfan wife. Many ask what our secret is (okay, no one does), and the answer? Marry a girl who likes baseball and doesn't mind if you check the scores on your cellphone during a sunset dinner at the beach. Lucky in love I am...
I might be a day late, but I'll pony up a few extra bucks. A comparison of the two teams heading into tonight's game:
|Strength of Schedule||.492||.499|
|Team Defensive Efficiency||.715||.705|
Pretty close, but the Cubs definitely look like the better team on paper. A paper you can light on fire because it's not going to mean much with two games separating the clubs and a raucous crowd filling Miller.
As for the lineup, Edmonds sits again which makes me believe the knee injury is worse than what's been reported. Of course, a career .697 OPS against Sheets in 54 AB's might be another reason, along with Fontenot's hot-hitting of late.
Zambrano vs Sheets, it doesn't get much more fun that.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.