Game 61 Recap: Cubs 1, Bleached Hosiery 4

A Dank Day.
W - Danks (5-5)
L - Dempster (4-4)
S - Jenks (15)
Things to Take from This Game

1. K to BB
Danks walked none and struck out nine.  Dempster walked six and struck out four.  You tell me how the day went.

2. The Cubs' "Offense"
Was "led" by two bloop singles by Milton Bradley.

3. Sox scratch it out
Dempster almost was effectively wild.  Alexei Ramirez hit a home run in the first, but the other runs were products of some effective small ball played by Guillen and the Sox - a couple of impressive bunt plays, a sacrifice fly, and a squib triple accounted for the rest of the Sox scoring.  The story here isn't a weak performance by Dempster or Danks looking unhittable;  it's Cubs hitters continuing to swing from their asses and producing nothing.

 

The "I bought a bad-ass new computer, and all I have to show for it is this stinking recap?" details, below.

Game Recap
Pregame
  • Noooo, oh God, No.  We get the White Sox telecast for today's game, after Len and Bob's telecast got rained out yesterday.  It is a cruel and malevolent god who rules the baseball airwaves. 
Inning 1 - Top
  • Game starts with Dempster throwing a fastball for a strike to Podsednik, low outside corner, 88 mph.
  • Podsednik hits a sharp liner to center, forcing Johnson to go back on it for the catch.  Hawk pours forth some stream of nonsense that he thinks counts as baseball lingo, I think he meant to say "Podsednik hit that ball well."
  • 0-2 on Alexei.  A few pitches later, he throws his bat at the ball, and at Dempster, to foul one off.
  • Ramirez hits one into the left-center basket for a home run.  Hawk gives it a double-"yes."  Looks like a fastball outside and up.  0-1 Sox
  • 3-1 to Dye, and he hits a big two-hopper to Theriot.
  • First-pitch fastball to Konerko, who hits it sharply, but on the ground right to Fontenot.  Inning over.
Inning 1 - Bottom
  •  Danks' first pitch is a fastball inside for a ball.  Fastball up and out for 2-0 count.
  • Hawk now talking about spinning hitters.  In what world does Soriano have a "spin" in his swing like Fukudome?  Hawk's, I guess.
  • full count to Soriano, Soriano swings ahead of and over a changeup.
  • Theriot grounds to short.
  • 3-2 to Bradley, a changeup outside off the plate leads to a soft fly out to center.
Inning 2 - Top
  •  AJ hits a sharp fly ball to left-center, no problem for Johnson.
  • Brian Anderson hits one off the end of the bat, dumps it into shallow right, near the line.  Stone points out that Bradley pulled up a bit on the ball.
  • Gets also dumps one down the right field line, this time getting it past Bradley, so that it rolls to the wall.  Hawk's cheering for the ball to get past Bradley was the key to the whole play.  It's a triple, Anderson scores, 0-2 Sox.
  • Fastball inside to Getz, who chops it to Theriot.  The infield drawn in, Anderson holds at third.
  • And again, Hawk cheers for a pop fly off Danks' bat to drift out of play, and it does.  Hawk is 2-2 in the telekenisis, today.
  • Danks K's swinging.
Inning 2 - Bottom
  •  Lee chops a single through the 6-5 hole, just out of the reach of Beckham.  Got a bit of a bad read on the hop.
  • And Soto hits a sharp bouncer down the third-base line, just a step or so to Beckham's right.  He tried to get in front of it, when, as Hawk correctly points out, he should have backhanded it.  It skips away, and goes for a very, very generous "hit" for Soto.  Hawk berates the call, and what do you know?  It's changed to an error.  Hawk has other-worldly powers, today.
  • A third ball hit to Beckham, and this time he turns the 5-4-3 on Johnson.  Lee to third.
  • 2-0 on Fontenot, he grounds one to Konero 3-1 putout.  Nuts.
Inning 3 - Top
  • Podsednik walks on four straight.
  • Alexei K's swinging, I somehow missed it
  • Podsednik steals second, 2-0 count to Dye.  Hawk and Steve point out that Miles was a couple of steps off of the base, presumably trying to better block it from the head-first sliding Podsednik.  Hawk hopes to see someone head-first slide into Miles' groin, next time.  In come the Mench and Bochy big-head jokes.
  • and Dye walks.
  • Konerko bounces into the 6-4-3.
Inning 3 - Bottom
  •  Miles bounces one back to Danks.
  • Dempster K's looking at a big sweeping curve.
  • Soriano comes up to bat in an 0-2 count.
  • And swings ahead of and over another change up.  I think I hear some boos over the "He Gone!"
Inning 4 - Top
  • AJ with a weak tapper to Fontenot.
  • And Brian Anderson walks on four straight.
  •  Full count to Getz, K's swinging, with Soto throwing out Anderson at second. Nice DP, good throw by Soto.
Inning 4 - Bottom
  • Theriot with a sharp bouncer to Bechkam's left. he dives for it, it gets away, picked up, but Theriot beats the throw.
  •  Bradley loops one into shallow left center.  With Theriot going to third, Podsednik tries to throw him out but Alexei cuts the throw, just maybe 20 feet from the base.  Podsednik looks upset that it got cut off, Bradley wasn't going anywhere at first.  Runners at 1 and 3 for Lee, no outs.
  • Lee with a soft looper into straight-away center. Anderson catches it at his shin, running and stumbling.  Theriot tags, makes a start, then holds at third.  Stone things he needed to go for it, Hawk isn't so sure, sympathizes with Theriot.  I'm with Hawk.
  • Soto swings over a changeup, strike three.  2 out, Theriot still at third.
  • Johnson, like Soto, Soriano, swings wildly through a changeup for strike one.  Von Joshua has some work to do....
  • Johnson bounces out to Beckham, 5-4 putout.  Nuts.  2 innings with 2 on, 0 outs, and no runs to show.
Inning 5 - Top
  •  Danks surprisingly has throw more pitches than Dempster through 4:  64 to 60.
  • Hanging slider, Beckham lines it into right for a single.
  • Danks bunts to Dempster, moving Beckham over.
  • Podsednik squibs one down the line to Fontenot, easy out, Beckham holds.
  • 0-2 to Alexei as he swings over a splitter.
  • Next splitter goes maybe 55 feet, two feet outside.  Soto doesn't have a chance, Beckham to third.
  • Dempster hangs a breaking pitch, but Alexei gets under it, flies to Soriano.
Inning 5 - Bottom
  •  Fontenot K's on a check-swing foul-tip.  That has to be about the worst way to K.
  • Aaron Miles' beard is way too manly for a guy wiht that squirly batting stance.
  • and Miles also K's swinging, fastball low and off the outside corner.
  • That was quick, Dempster flies out to left-center.
Inning 6 - Top
  •  2-0 to Dye, he grounds one to Fontenot, playing deep and toward the line.  A long throw, Lee makes a great scoop save for the out.
  • A couple very bad misses with splitters, and it's 3-2 to Konerko
  • Lined shot right back at Dempster.  Real rocket.  Dempster manages to get a glove on it as it's hit right at his glove-side, knocking it down and getting Konerko at first.  Yowza.  Yowza, I say.
  • Full count to AJ.  Seems like Danks and Dempster have struggled a lot, yet the game's flying along.
  • AJ K's swinging at a splitter.
Inning 6 - Bottom
  •  Soriano with a quick flyout to Dye
  • and Theriot to Podsednik.  Danks just mowing them down now.
  • Nevermind, Bradley drops another hit in, to right field on a chest-high fastball.
  • Lee waves through a changeup.  That's 7 K, 0 BB so far for Danks.
Inning 7 - Top
  •  Getz is trying to bunt his way on, but instead takes ball four.
  • Dempster: 100 pitches, 50 balls and 50 strikes.  Guzman up in the bullpen, as it's 2-0 on Beckham
  • Hawk tries to cover his telekinetic ass, and yells "Ball Four Base Hit" as Dempster delivers the 3-1 to Beckham.  It's Ball Four.  Not counting that as another datum point in my argument for Hawk's telekinetic powers.  Dempster leaves with 6+ IP, 6 BB and 4 K.
  • Wild play as Danks shows bunt while the Cubs put on the Wheel defense. Danks pulls back, swings, and Guzman makes a very nice grab, throwing to second where he barely gets Beckham.  Runners at 1 and 3.
  • And now Podsednik drag bunts up the first base line on a squeeze play, then beats everyone to the bag at first. 0-3 Sox.  Parachat thinks Miles was slow to cover first.
  • Alexei rolls into a slow 4-6-3, just out at first.
Inning 7 - Bottom
  •  Soto flies out to Dye.
  • Johnson's just wailing away with his swings.  K's at a high outside fastball.
  • Fontenot K's swinging at what I think is a slider.  9 Ks for Danks.
Inning 8 - Top
  •  Leadoff walk to Dye.
  • Konerko battles back from behind in the count, and inside outs a high fastball on a hit-and-run play.  Miles is moving to cover the bag, and the ball sails right behind him.  Runners at 1 and 3, no outs.
  • AJ hits a very short fly into left center, and Soriano makes a nice running catch.   Dye tags, and Soriano, unable to right himself, hits Dye in the back with the throw, allowing Konerko to advance.  A tough error for Soriano, and it's 0-4 Sox
  • Anderson with a slow roller to Theriot, 6-3 putout.  Anderson seems to have stepped on Lee a bit as Lee backed into him in response to a low throw.  Konerko to third.
  • Getz bloops out to Fontenot.
Inning 8 - Bottom
  •  Miles doubles inside the third-base line.
  • Danks out, Linebrink in, the many Sox fans boo.
  • First pitch fastball to Jake Fox, hitting for Guzman.  He gets all of it, but with the wind blowing in, Anderson makes a fine leaping catch into the ivy, just to the right of the 368 sign in left-center.  Miles tags and goes to third.  Nuts.
  • Soriano rolls out to Alexei, 6-3.  Miles scores, and a very lame RBI for Soriano.  1-4 Sox
  • Theriot takes a rip at an inside fastball, strikes out.
Inning 9 - Top
  • Ascanio in, Fox into left for Soriano, double-switch.  Jenks warming up.  Dear god, you can see his nasty-ass beard from outer space.
  •  Beckham with a soft liner into shallow left, and Fox makes a nice running catch with a tumbling barrel-roll to cap it off.
  • Thome hits for Linebrink.  Full count, and drives a ball toward the left field well, where the wind holds it up for an easy fly-out.
  • Full count to Podsednik, who pokes one in front of Fox in left for a hit.
  • Game really slowing down with Ascanio pitching and Podsednik on.  3-2, 2 outs to Alexei, K's swinging at a slider low and away.
Inning 9 - Bottom
  •  Jenks in.  Bradley fooled badly by a slider that dips sharply into the dirt, striking out.
  • Lee rolls out to short.
  • Soto with a high fly to straight away center, eliciting another double "Yes!" from Hawk, who sounds as though he is in ecstacy.
Parachat Recap
Inning 1
  •  quality of mlb.tv video
  • Avoiding work.
  • Ozzie
  • Alexei's scrawny bod.
  • Bad-ball hitters.
  • Can you trade a baby that's on the DL,
    • and how much can you get for it?
Inning 2
  • My new life as a Mac user. 
  • Traded between games of a double-header.
  • long, drawn-out, tacky jokes with bad punch-lines.  Our favorite.
  • More on the different cable and mlb.tv telecasts
  • Beckhams.
  • Von Joshua's racial identity
Inning 3

  •  Vons.
  • Lou Diamond Phillips.
  • Dorks
  • Maroons
  • The social construction of race.
  • Other slurs and insults with obscure and ugly origins.
  • The Joe:  Is it a hate crime to beat up a bigot?
    • Yes.
  • Everyone:  we don't like blog networks because they'd bring us more readers.
    • And we'd have to stop swearing, again
Inning 4
  •  Our relationship with MVN
  • Parachat loves agreement
    • No you don't.
  • Other Cubs Blogs
  • I'm the arguer at TCR?
    • yeah, I guess so.  I'll agree with that.
  • Some sort of practical joke involving guys who wear tight shirts, Crunch, Rob, Carlos, and pot.
  • Start Wang against the Nats for your fantasy team?
    • no.
Inning 5
  •  A long, boring talk about a fantasy league I'm not in.
  • God, I don't CARE if you're going to trade Scherzer for Wang.  I demand better entertainment than this.

Inning 6
  • Fast peeing. 
  • What % of men regularly wash their hands after peeing?
    • Whateve the %, it's not high enough.
  • Theraputic qualities of urine?
  • Pee-drinking and that fraud, Bear Grylls.
  • re-scheduling the rainout.
  • Some sort of double entendre about double headers and double shafters that I made sure not to spend much time trying to untangle.
Inning 7
  •  Getting booed at your job
  • the wild bunt plays.
  • Where did we leave Bobby Scales?
    • at a rest stop in Iowa
  • 25th-man discussions.
  • Choking Joe Buck, the assault everyone can agree upon!
  • Tough love for Bradley?
  • and its relation to the Jacques Jones saga

Inning 8
  •  Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, and racist fans.
  • When did ballplayers stop taking off-season jobs?
  • Kyle Farnsworth claiming he got bit by his dog is really an excuse for.....
    • eh sometimes, you really do get bit by your dog.
  • Anderson running into Lee.  Cheap shot?  No, not a Fick-er.
  • A-Rod's many transgressions on the ballfield, in the trainer's room, and with the Palin daughters.
    • Oh,THAT'S how I'm going to increase traffic to TCR and thereby make back the money I spent on the new computer:  I'm going to announce that I have proof that A-Rod shot up a HGH-Heroin cocktail with the Palin daughters, Jose Canseco and Hannah Montana.  What could go wrong with this plan?
  • More on Macs and PCs
  • winning computers at donkey shows, or some Mexican thing like that.  Ask Carlos.
  • I voted for Mousavi.
Inning 9
  • The Iranians are going to execute Theriot, those bastards!
    • Er, check that, they're executing Rioters. 
  • More Iranian current events.
  • Bumping into David Wells on the Back Road.
    • Oh My.
  • Rob shares the offers he gets by email.
  • Tattoos
  • Parachat devolves.
Cubs' record in post-Hiatus recaps fall to 0-1.
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Comments

Congress will investigate Sosa for possible perjury charge.

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=301197

probably not gonna get too far on that one, but may uncover a few more leaks...

Thanks goodness, this is something that needs to be gotten to the bottom of, for the sake of the nation's safey.

Tell Sammy to juice up and come on back. And bring Bonds with you.

We need something.

Hey, if cigarette execs can tell Congress with straight faces that they don't believe nicotine is addictive, why does Sammy (and not Raffy?) get in trouble?

Palmeiro's use came after the congressional hearings.

Odds that he's not on the "list"?

I would say 1 in 5 he is on it.

I'd be interested to see what the list of things they tested for was...

The ironic part is, despite all the offensive struggles of the Cubs, they're still mid-pack in home runs, even without Ramirez. The problem isn't lack of power, it's the Cubs choke with guys on base and they don't do the fundamentals.

I'd like to thank JACOS for this from last thread:

"Danks=Sandy Koufax

Cubs bats=lopsided piece of shit"

This phrase, sums up the 2009 Cubs-to-Date.

It is catchy, yet at the same time - very revealing. And - unfortunately, true.

LAst year at Wrigley, this team kicked some ass (even though they also lost three straight at the Cell). What a difference a year makes.

Cubs have now played 61 games, and nobody on the team has 30 RBIs. I think Soriano leads with 28, including today.

Always a good sign when you leadoff man, who s hitting .128 with RISP, is your RBI leader.

It boggles and numbs the mind at the same time.

hitting .128 with RISP

Geez! IS that right?

Did you check Soto's? Can't be much better.

Sean Marshall .667

Aramis Ramirez .474

Kosuku Fukudome .343

Joey Gathright .333

Jake Fox .333

Andres Blanco .286

Ryan Theriot .271

Milton Bradley .258

Reed Johnson .237

Micah Hoffpauir .235

Derrek Lee .235

Bobby Scales .231

Geovany Soto .216

Mike Fontenot .214

Rich Harden .200

Ryan Freel .167

Ryan Dempster .154

Koyie Hill .154

Alfonso Soriano .128

Ted Lilly .125

 Aaron Miles .115

Carlos Zambrano .000

from here

According to this, Sean Marshall should be our new leadoff man. Come on guys, we can still do this!

Soto: .216 .349 .235
Theriot: .271 .327 .417
Bradley: .258 .410 .548
Fukudome: .343 .479 .600
Lee: .234 .377 .383
The Fontenaught: .214.321.333
Miles: .115 .207 .192

This team is just about ready to get it over with and go on the long losing streak that gets them to the basement.

There's no way you can really 'shake things up' at this point to fix things. Sit Soriano and start Fox and what do you get? 3 players who are passable offensive threats in Lee, Bradley and Fox, to be a really good team you need people hitting from top to bottom. No way this team is going to turn it around like that.

I have to think Piniella will be gone at some point.

Pedro hopes to sign with us or the Rays soon:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4267760

Hopefully he picks us so we can move Marshall or Wells as part of a package for Dan Uggla, who FLA is reportedly thinking about trading and is at least through this season still cheap.

(EDIT): I knew I should have double checked Cot's before I posted. Uggla makes 5.35 Mil this year, about 1.05 mil more than Dero. According to Levine last month, Dero was too expensive for them to add on.

"It's getting to the point where I'm going to have to start making some tough decisions and get different people in the lineup," said Piniella, whose team fell to 30-31 for the season and to 1-3 on the homestand. "I've been real patient with it, but I tell you, it's getting to that point.

"How do I go through it? Just look what we've been through here over the past I don't know how many days or how many games. But anyway, we'll see."

Piniella doesn't have a whole lot of realistic options other than benching Soriano for a few days.

The Cubs' $136 million left fielder is batting .225 with 14 homers, 28 RBI, 68 strikeouts and 22 walks.

"He has to do something because we haven't done anything," said Soriano, who chafes at days off and at moving down in the batting order. "He's got to do something to try to make this thing go."

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=301263

Uhhhh why does Soriano need to lose playing time when he has a track record of putting up multiple good offensive seasons?

What in the fuck has Bradley ever done in his career to keep playing? If anyone on this team deserves to be bench its Bradley. Soriano will get back on track, Bradley can go rot on the bench. Knee jerk reactions like this is what makes players not want to play in Chicago. It doesn't matter what you put up in the past if you have a bad month you need to be benched and given up on. Everyone has a slump and the best players come out of it, and Soriano is one of the better players in baseball. You keep playing him.

Remember that time that Bradley sold your son into slavery? That really sucked.

Bradley's career OPS+ is 116. Soriano's is 115. Bradley has hit .276 in June. Soriano .154. Plus, do you really want to see Fox in left field?

Soriano is on pace to K 184 times, that's 24 more than his career high. He needs, at a minimum, a mental break.

question:

Uhhhh why does Soriano need to lose playing time when he has a track record of putting up multiple good offensive seasons?

answer:

It doesn't matter what you put up in the past if you have a bad month you need to be benched and given up on.

q.e.d.

Need more steroids.

Too soon?

In all seriousness, I've gone through denial... anger (well, I'm angry often)... and I'll assume we can get past the bargaining stage ("if Von Joshua can just get these guys to start hitting...")... I guess I'm ready to move on to the next stage... depression.

F*** the world... cubs suck. *** cranks up bauhaus ***

This does not look like a good team. I don't care what the numbers say. They don't grind, they don't do the fundamentals. If you think they're going to all start hitting .300 again, well, no they are not going to.

Too soon!!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs...

Aramis Ramirez will begin taking batting practice in the next few days and could begin his minor-league rehab stint by July 1 or 2. Ramirez has been out since May 9 with a dislocated left shoulder. "We haven't rushed him," manager Lou Piniella said. "He has gone through the full gamut of treatment and exercises. He's going to be as strong as possible. I don't think I've ever played with a player with a separated shoulder." Ramirez is expected to spend at least 7 to 10 games during his rehab stint to get back his timing. If all goes well, he could return for the final series before the All-Star break, against St. Louis, or the first one after the break, in Washington.

also, make-up game with White Sox tentatively scheduled for Sept 3...

7-10 days on a rehab assignment seems long but maybe Jimbo owes Mike Wellman some huge favor.

Note to Lou: ARam's injury is a dislocated shoulder...haven't you been reading my posts on TCR?

Here was my timetable for ARam's return to the lineup based more on a 3-5 game rehab assignment (from a post in the previous thread).

http://www.thecubreporter.com/2009/06/16/game-61-r...

The thing that annoyed me the most today was the squeeze play. Anybody who has played baseball or watched baseball knows that it was a perfect time for one. It was a close game, runner on third less than 2 outs, batter up who can handle the bat, just had a weird play with lots of confusion in the infield. Yet the Cubs had the deer-in-the-headlights look when it happened like they never saw it coming.

Perhaps fans of all teams feel this way, but I always feel like when the Cubs slump they are sitting there waiting for the walls to cave in. They'll undoubtedly get hot again, and eventually snap out of this funk, but good teams always do the little things right and find ways to win even when they are not firing on all cylinders.

"Cubs deal hits snag"

http://www.reuters.com/article/bondsNews/idUSN1736...

rest of article basically disproves that the deal has hit a snag....

here's the CNBC article

http://www.cnbc.com/id/31413859/site/14081545

basically says Trib sent letter to Ricketts saying that unless the remaining matters were agreed to within a specific time frame, Ricketts could risk losing the deal or Tribune could begin talks with other interested parties.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/06/manuel-wants...

they do supposedly have room to add to their payroll, but not sure if they'd want someone as fragile as Harden.

Probably could get Rollins for Harden... or less. Of course what do you do with two leadoff hitters, right?

Rollins is struggling terribly this year, but the Phillies aren't trading their recent MVP short-stop. It won't happen. Besides, he is due the rest of his $7.5 million this year, $7.5 million next year, and at least a $2 million buy-out for 2011.

we have a leadoff hitter?

They might not have to much of a choice given what suppose to be out their in the SP trade market. Peavy's injury knocks him out of contention to be dealt this summer, The Indians want to keep Lee because they feel they can compete next year and McClaine's mancrush on Oswalt and the tightness/weakness of the NL Central looks like it will preclude a deal there as well. Just today Erik Bedard went on the DL with another bout of shoulder irritation. So it looks like the grand prizes are Jarrod Washburn (given his FB tendencys would likely be garbage in CBBP) and Brad Penny. So if Jimbo wants to deal Harden I would think he becomes (if he can replicate his outing vs. MIN in his next few starts) the best SP avalible. Right now that clubs only weaknesses are the lack of a no. 2 starter behind Hamels and an insurance policy to help the backend of the pen if Lidge cant stay healthy (Gregg). so they might be inclined to overpay for them. Something headlined by Jason Donald would be cool by me.

Charlie Manuel went on the record recently saying that he wants an "A" starter. A "Horse" for the rotation. I don't know if Harden fits this description because of his injury history, but that's who I immediately thought of when I read the article. We all know Harden has the talent to be a difference-maker.

I doubt the Phils would give up anyone on their ML roster for him though, just because they are clearly in contention and the "A" starter is to put them over the top. There is no way I see the Phillies trading Utley, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Howard, Rollins, etc. I could see Feliz as a maybe, although hopefully a healthy A-Ram makes a trade for Feliz moot (although Feliz has also played the OF before).

Jason Donald is an interesting choice, although he has not hit very well at all in his first season at AAA. The Phils do have several prize arms in minors-- Kyle Drabek, Vance Worley, Escalona, Bastardo, etc-- that they might give up.

They also have two outfielders that I really like-- Michael Taylor at AA, and Dominic Brown at High A. Both of them are really hitting well, with really solid peripherals (good BB/K rates) and both are age-appropriate for their leagues. John Mayberry might have a shot at being a good ML-er as well, and is currently hitting decently in his 2nd try at AAA (he turns 26 later this season). Dominic Brown is a lefty and is playing mostly RF, so he could be the lefty-hitting RF-er/Holy Grail/of the future that Hendry has been looking for his entire Cubs tenure (he could possibly be ready to take over when Bradley's contract expires, though I kind of hope Bradely is gone before then).

The interesting thing is that the Phillies actually might have a use for Aaron Miles as a back-up infielder. Eric Bruntlett has been their utility bench guy for the past couple seasons and has actually hit a lot worse than Miles, which is hard to do. There might be something to a multiple player deal.

The Phillies might also be interested in a bullpen guy like Heilman, depending on how well Brad Lidge returns from his knee injury.

In short, I think Harden to the Phillies makes a lot of sense to them if the Phillies are giving back prospects. I doubt the Cubs would get Major League players back in return, which is definitely what the Cubs seem to need right now.

Was at the game today...what an awful experience but Jake Fox really hits the ball hard. Not much else was fun to watch.

Von Joshua's the new voice: See the ball, hit the ball, hit the ball hard. Repeat after me.

Ryan Freel will probably be ready to come back to the roster from his rehab stint in Iowa by the Indians series.

Today he was 1-4, 1 walk, 3 stolen bases and 2 rbi's...playing RF in a 5-4, 11 inning Iowa win over Oklahoma City.

The Red Sox have led the AL in walks every year since 2005 (including this year). They were also second in the AL in 2003 (lost in Game 7 of the ALCS) and 2004 (won the World Series). That's a fairly long period of time, and obviously, they've had a good bit of player turnover.

The Cubs led the NL in walks last year, and I don't even want to know where they rank this year. The plate discipline has fallen off a cliff. It started falling last September and continued into the playoffs. Of course, it's been terrible historically.

Indians tied the Brewers with a 4 spot in the bottom of the 9th, including a DeRosa double...now at 8-8. Hoffman blew his first save of the year. Kerry Wood now pitching the top of 10th.

and DeRo makes a fine over the shoulder catch in RF to help KW get through the top of the 10th

I like Pedro to fill the role that El Duque filled for the 2005 White Sox.

trade harden for utley [if philly plays hardball we'll toss in miles or fontenot; their choice]& sign pedro to fill his spot! is it a deal, reuben?

Then we trade Derrek Lee for Albert Pujols, and Ryan Dempster for Joe Mauer, and we're all set?

OR WE COULD KEEP DEMPSTER!!AND TRADE CORY PATTERSUN FOR MOWR!!!

tongue in cheek like a big wad o' chew Dusty boy...

Lol..sorry...coffee hadn't kicked in yet...

"[The problem is that] the Cubs choke with guys on base and they don't do the fundamentals."

The root problem is not that they choke with guys on base; the problem is that they don't get on base in the first place.

As for the lack of fundamentals, I would be willing to bet that the Cubs are no more or less fundamentally sound than any other team (how you would test this I don't know). The problem is that due to their lack of OBP the margin of error is so small that any mistake leads to a loss, and is magnified.

Actually, if you look at the statistics, it is batting with RISP that is most indicative of how poor they are doing. They're 15th in runs, but 9th in HR's and 12th in OBP. They're dead last in BA with RISP. Having more runners, would certainly make that BA a little more useful, though. They need to improve on all of those facets though if they want to get into the playoff picture.

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