Game 69 Recap: Cubs 5, Tigers 6


5 Runs on the Road, Lilly Pitching, Not Enough.
W - Galarraga (4-7)
L - Lilly (7-5)
S - Rodney (16)
Things to Take from This Game

 

1. Fox, Fukudome lead Attack
Jake Fox staked the Cubs to a 3-0 lead on a big home run in the first.  Fukudome had a triple and a double in the game, while Hoffpauir hit an impressive opposite field home-run in the ninth.  An encouraging day from the supporting cast, but also a day with continued futility when there were RISP.

 

2. Lilly is Ineffectively Wild in the Strike Zone
Lilly got hurt on several breaking and offspeed pitches that got up into the heart of the strike zone. Just one BB to 6 Ks, but10 hits an 6 ER in 6 IP.  Santiago and Ordonez each hit two-run homers off of him, and Raburn had two RBI hits. Cabrera also hit a homer that was incorrectly ruled a double.

 

3. No Dramatic Comeback, Today.
Rodney gave up the homer to Hoffpauir, but otherwise slammed the door by striking out the side.

 

The one-run-short details, below.

Game Recap
Inning 1 - Top
  •  Soriano lines the first pitch down the left field line, and hopping up into the stands where they jut out, for a ground-rule double.
  • Theriot, trying to bunt, runs a 3-0 count.  Let him hit, LouPa.  3-2, and Theriot walks.
  • Lee lazily flies to center, and the Cubs are 1-29 RISP on the trip.  Soriano holds at second.
  • Hoffpauir laces a shot down the right field line.  Foul.  Eventually K's swinging over a nice changeup, low and away.  1-30.
  • Fox blasts a HR to deep, deep left-center. 411 feet, says BJB.  3-0 Cubs on Fox's first homerun. 
  • Fontenot chases a pitch in the dirt, strike three.
Inning 1 - Bottom
  • Granderson bounces out to Fontenot at third
  • and Santiago pops into foul territory in shallow left, where Theriot grabs it. 
  • Cabrera clobbers one to right-center.  Hoffpauir makes an... entertaining... effort on the ball, which hits off one of teh weird angles in the fence and rolls away.  Cabrera holds with a double.
  • Thames pops into shallow center, easy play for Theriot.
Inning 2 - Top
  • 3-0 to Fukudome.  3-1.  Fukudome dribbles one back to Galarraga. 
  • Hill swings over an off-speed pitch for a foul-tip strike three.
  • Blanco fouls off a pitch that A. nearly hit him and B. would have bounced and gone to the backstop.  0-2.  Comes back to 2-2, before squibbing one down to Cabrera at third.
Inning 2 - Bottom
  • Raburn flies to shallow center, where Fukudome gets it.
  • Oh, this is interesting.  A WGN replay of the Cabrera shot shows, pretty clearly, that it hit above the yellow line on the fence, richochetting back into the field of play off of a metal railing.  No one protested it, and so it stands as a double instead of a home run.  Blame it on the stupid geometry of the Detroit outfield, as it hit right where the fence angles backward. 
  • Inge K's swinging.
  • Ordonez with an easy two-hopper to Fontenot.
Inning 3 - Top
  • 3-0 to Soriano, swings at a pitch right in on the fists, and just does get it over Inge into left field.
  • Theriot K's swinging at a slider. 
  • 2-2 to Lee.  In the dirt, 3-2.  Soriano runs, and Lee smokes one to deep left.  Raburn, however, catches it up against the fence, and Soriano, who has rounded second, gets doubled-off by a step or two as he tries to return to first.  Tough way to end the inning. Replay shows that Raburn wasn't anticipating a chance to double Soriano off, and Soriano was walking back toward second base after he had rounded it, before running when he saw there was a play.
Inning 3 - Bottom
  • Dusty Ryan K's swinging at a change.
  • Everett chops a slow curve towards short.  Fontenot tries to cut it off, as he's supposed to, but Theriot's also coming straight in from short stop, and they knick each other, the ball rolling away.  Ruled a hit.
  • Granderson squibs one up the third base line, Fontenot makes a very nice play charging in and firing to first.  Everett to second.
  • Santiago hits a high fly ball down the left field line, dropping it into the bullpen.  3-2 Cubs.
Inning 4 - Top
  •  Hoffpauir grounds to Cabrera.
  • Fox lines a single into left.  Looking good today.
  • Fontenot with a slow chop just to the right of Second base, Santiago with the awkward short flip to Everett at the bag, not enough time to double-up fontenot at first.
  • Fukudome lines a nice shot into the right-center gap for a triple.  4-2 Cubs
  • Hill misses a slider by about two feet.  K.
Inning 4 - Bottom
  •  Thames finds the right-center gap for a double.
  • Raburn hits a curve that gets way too much of the plate down the left-field line, off the base of the wall.  Soriano plays it well, but it's still a run-scoring double.  4-3 Cubs.
  • BJB claims that you didn't hear any complaining from the hitters about Comerica Park when it opened, unlike Padres hitters who complained about Petco.  I'm willing to bet that doesn't stand up to ten seconds of googling.
  • Inge smashes one to Fontenot, playing deep and off the bag.  He blocks it, picks it up and throws to first, but Raburn manages to go from second to third on the play.  More smart baserunning on Raburn's part than anything.
  • Ordonez, mired in a 40-game HR drought, hits a HR into the left-field pen.  Another curveball that got too much of the plate, too high.  4-5 Tigers.  On an 0-2 pitch.
  • Ryan grounds to Fontenot, who is seeing a lot of action at third.
  • Magglio had his hair cut yesterday, to be sold on ebay for charity.  BJB reports it was 2 poinds of hair.  That seems like a lot of hair. 
  • Everett K's swinging.
Inning 5 - Top
  • Blanco golfs one into right-center, Granderson makes an easy catch.
  • Next pitch, Soriano hits one ten feet to the right of Blanco's, and Ordonez grabs it. 
  • Another quick fly ball off Lee's bat, to straight-away center.  Len's pointed out that the Tigers seem to be doing a much better job of pulling their hits down the lines, whereas the Cubs keep on hitting towards the cavernous center-field.
Inning 5 - Bottom
  • Granderson grounds one past Blanco's left, and into right.
  • Santiago bunts to Lilly, advancing Granderson.
  • Cabrera singles just in front of Soriano, forcing Granderson to hold up.  Runners at 1 and 3.
  • Thames swings, and chucks his bat directly over the Tigers' dugout, where about three fans refuse to let go of it.  After determining possession, the attendants direct him where to trade it in for another.  Eventually, Thames K's swinging. 
  • Raburn inside-outs one into right field for another hit.  Granderson scores, Cabrera to second. Another weak breaking pitch, BJB calls it a slider.  4-6 Tigers.
  • Inge bounces to Fontenot, 5-3 putout.
Inning 6 - Top
  • 2-0 to Lee, he flails at a frisbee slider outside, then swings over a changeup. 2-2.  Hits a deep fly down the right field line, just foul.  Finally rolls into a 6-3.
  • Hoffpauir grounds to first.
  • Fox lines one down the left-field line for a double.  Hanging slider.   
  • Fontenot with a weak swing and weaker grounder out to second, inning over. 2-34 RISP.
Inning 6 - Bottom
  •  71 strikes, 22 balls for Lilly so far.  Seems to match the observation that Lilly's missing with breaking stuff in the middle of the zone that he probably wants out of the zone.
  • Ordonez K's swinging.  6 K, 0 BB for Lilly
  • Ryan singles one out to Soriano.  Hart warming up for Chicago.
  • Ryan, the catcher, takes off with agreat jump.  Has the base stolen, but slides over the base, comes off it just a bit, and Blanco keeps the tag on him, getting the out.  Full count to Everett, and he walks on a curve or slider off the plate.  Odd pitch selection for the 9th hitter in the lineup.
  • Len points out that Bobby Seay and Brendon Lyon give you Seay-Lyon in the pen. Ouch.
  • Granderson grounds to Blanco.
Inning 7 - Top
  •  Seay in for Galarraga
  • Fukudome grounds between Santiago and Cabrera, Santiago gets it and Cabrera has to get back to 1st.  Fukudome is running hard just in case, but he's out.
  • Hill hits a sharp grounder right past Seay's feat.  Santiago makes an impressive diving stop, throws from his right knee, and Hill is "out" at first.  He sort of spins and throw up his arms at the call.  It looks like he may have just barely been out....  Barely....
  • Blanco flies out to right.
Inning 7 - Bottom
  •  Hart in.  Santiago with the swinging bunt, Fontenot bare-hands it and makes a strong throw, Santiago barely beats it.
  • Cabrera smashes one at Theriot, who makes the pick on a brutal hop.  Turns it into a nice 6-4-3.    Thames then lines out to Soriano.

Inning 8 - Top
  • Lyon in for Seay.
  • Soriano K's at a splitter or curve or something in the dirt.  ugly.
  • Theriot with the old inside-out swing, but it's a liner to Cabrera, easy out.
  • Lee bounces toward the middle, Santiago gets it.  May be the end of Lee's hitting streak.
Inning 8 - Bottom
  •  Raburn singles through the 6-5 hole.
  • Looking like threatening weather in Detroit.
  • Inge pops to medium-depth center, which, given how deep Fukudome plays and his bad read on the ball, requires him to race to get there.
  • Grounder right to Theriot who shovels to Blanco.  Ball hits him right in the mitt, as he's lowering it towards his throwing hand, which is simulanteously coming up for the ball, and the ball pops right out.  To my eyes, he never had control of the ball and wasn't really beginnung the process of transfering it for the throw.  But the ump gives us the out at second.
  • Josh Anderson runs for Ordonez.
  • Steals second, sliding in to Blanco's left knee on the play, knocking him down.  Ball goes into center, and Anderson takes third.  Ruled a tough error on Koyie Hill.
  • Slow curve ball outside, for ball four to Dusty Ryan.  Why are we throwing the two weakest hitters in the lineup curveballs with three-ball counts?
  • Everett battles, and finally walks on a 3-2 count.  At least this time it was on a fastball wide.
  • Marshall in to face Granderson.  Marshall has become the Cubs' version of Bill O'Reilly: his job is to go after every single lefty out there.  And indeed, Marshall K's Granderson on a nice curve.
Inning 9 - Top
  •  Rodney in.  Fastball outside, and Hoffpauir hits an impressive opposite-field HR into the first row of the left-field seats.  5-6 Tigers.
  • Fox K's at a slider or change outside and in the dirt, out on the throw at first.
  • Wind blowing out to center, we're told.
  • Howling winds as the weather comes in.  Kind of wild.  Umbrellas being ripped to pieces. Fukudome looking up at the weather with some amazement
  • Fontenot K's swinging at another off-speed pitch
  • 2-1 to Fukudome, he lines an opposite-field double to the left-center gap, rolling to the wall.  Nice swing at the fastball.
  • Soto in to pinch-hit for Hill.  Lots of change-ups, 1-2 count.  98 mph fastball, off the outside corner for ball two.
  • Pitch in the dirt, and Soto checks his swing at it.  Home plate ump calls it a strike swinging.   How about going to First Base Ump for some help on a game-ending call, ump?
Inning 9 - Bottom
Parachat Recap
Inning 1
  •   No one is in parachat.  I talk to myself.
Inning 2
  • I am all alone.  ~sigh~.
Inning 3
  • Token_Cripple shows up and leaves, without me noticing.   Chad arrives and I notice.  We exchange theories on where everyone is.   
  • Andres Galarraga's second career as Armando.
  • Hooray, Newports and CT_Steve join us, to chat about Soriano's baserunning.
  • Theriot's worth, and where he should hit.
Inning 4
  • woo, Lowitzki joins. 
  • "Hiding" people in your lineup, hah.
  • More Theriot debating.
  • and as long as we're acknowledging everyone who shows up in parachat today, we get Ahone_Ahtwo_Ahthree, one of my favorite TCR handles.

Inning 5
  •  Scrubby-ass.
  • Publishing pedagogical articles.
Inning 6
  • Fox's potential
  • Who isn't a triple away from the cycle? 
  • Savebot.  Made in Korea.
  • And we get Rob G.  trying to end strong on a weak start to Parachat
Inning 7
  • Fan Cam in Detroit.
  • Domino's Pizza tells us to "put some South in your mouth." Oh my.
  • Carlos appears.
  • How much of this season is LouPa's fault?
    • not much.
Inning 8
  • Farrah Fawcett and Richard Dawson.
  • Soto busted for pot.
  •  Who is Gilbert Knapp?
  • Carlos's bad dream.
  • Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Dave's Twitter.
  • Star Search.
  • I continue to flunk analogies.
Inning 9
  • Cheering for the rally.  Best line of encouragement comes from CT_Steve: "Put some Captain Crunch on First Base for Soto!" 
  • Disappointment, again
Cubs record in my recent recapping stretch drops to 2-3.  Clearly, I should stop.
 
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Comments

You know, the Cubs are 1-0 at games that I attend this year. If anyone wants to chip in to buy me future tickets to Cubs games so that the Cubs win more games, I am more than willing to participate.

Sadly a streak has no bearing on future success.

Well played.

And good to know that you are finally getting it.

Sarcasm

*******

Dave's Head

Ah, the irony of Real Neal telling me that sarcasm is over my head, based on a sarcastic comment that I made.

Nice.

Some sarcastic comments are more subtle than others. Sort of like your Gaydar.

Consider this one over my head. What does this even mean?

Duh. That's every bit as obvious as the bunny with the pancake on his head. I guess some people just don't "get it."

Warren Zevon would have gotten it.

Some people are flamboyantly gay, it's very easy to tell that they're looking to attract members of the same sex. Some people are very low key about it, with the only the most subtle signs that they are gay. Your 'gaydar' is your ability to pick up on those signs. Likewise, some people are able to pick up on more subtle sarcasm.

I understand the concept of being gay as well as the term "gaydar." What I don't really understand is how a gaydar itself can be subtle. So he is skillful and quiet at detecting others who are gay? I assume there is an insult in this somewhere as well, but I don't get it.

Being gay cab be subtle. Sarcasm can be subtle. It takes a specialized skill to pick up on either of them.

Ok? So you are saying he is not good at picking up subtle sarcasm but he IS good at detecting subtle gayness? How is this funny? Is it supposed to be bad to pick up on subtle gayness?

I suspect with his chosen lifestyle it's very useful to have a refined gaydar.

Yeah why can't they "choose" not to be gay...

I am confused.

So my sarcastic comment to your sarcastic comment means that I don't understand sarcasm. And that I am gay. Or at least have a subtle and refined gaydar.

Huh?

Oh - and are you really trying to insult me by calling me gay? Aren't you the same one calling others childish?

Interesting...

Oh, you aren't gay. I thought it was some sort of inside joke between you two.

Yeah, insulting someone by calling them gay? That's sad.

why on this f'n earth is milton bradley being benched for 2 days?

is there any truth to this? what the hell?

does he walk too much? is it his hits that's bugging people? 4 games ago he hit 2 doubles and he walked 5 times in the 2 games before today's game. what the hell gives? aren't we losing right now? don't we already have an injured 4th OF'r?

at least our "don't need a break" leadoff hitter has his ob% above .290 again.

Amen on all counts!

This is really pathetic! Let's take our scrubby-ass team into the next city and get kicked around for another series. Like the Tin Man, we have NO HEART! Has Lou turned into Boilermaker from the Bad News Bears? Soto looks like Engelberg, and Fontenot reminds me of Lupus. Can someone step up as Kelly Leak please?

if you are going to make a harsh comparison please make sure you get it right.

It's Buttermaker not Boilermaker.

You are correct, but I'm pretty sure someone calls him Boilermaker at some point in the movie...

Milton thought it was a night game, and threw his bat to a fan.

Or, maybe he hurt himself trying to break the bat over his knee.

In 166 AB, Milton has 16 RBIs. That is not a typo.

they've sat Milton a day after a night game pretty regularly...not sure why or if he's going to sit tomorrow against Contreras, but that be the odd rumor.

He was in the on-deck circle when Soto K'd to end the game.

"NOTES: The Cubs took OF Milton Bradley(notes) out of the lineup, but manager Lou Piniella said “call it a day off,” seemingly to play down the decision"

okay...other outlets have it as a single day off. given he got a day off except a pinch hit a few days ago i dunno why, but whatever. i can deal with a single day off as a fan.

also...aaron miles injured himself in the f'n batting cage today and is going to be medically evaluated.

Sullivan's speculation has seemed to start the "Bradley is benched for two games" talk.

White Sox fans looking forward to heckling Milton Bradley on Friday at U.S. Cellular Field may be in for a big disappointment.

Manager Lou Piniella has benched Bradley today against Detroit, and said the mercurial outfielder probably won't play on Friday either.

"Let's just call it a day off for today," Piniella said, adding Bradley will play on Saturday and Sunday "for sure."

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/spor...

"at least our "don't need a break" leadoff hitter has his ob% above .290 again."

The horse is dead, man.

yet it's still right in our face everyday. enjoy the comment, ignore the comment, or comment on the comment.

the worst regular hitter on the team...for months...is our leadoff hitter.

i know why he is, but he's some unmovable force in the 1 slot no matter how hobbled his legs are or how slumped his bat is...it's been that way for years and i don't really expect a change at this point. with aram almost returning it seems like a wasted opportunity to me at this point, anyway.

may - .216 - .261
june - .181 - .253

avg/ob%

194ab 39h ...15 of those xbase hits ...for 16 rbi

Sell the team to Steinbrenner, hire Billy Martin and kick some ass. This is ridiculous.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?column...

about $2M left on his deal

nd now for another potential Cleveland deal to watch: For all the weird talk in Chicago last week about some kind of fictional rift between Mark DeRosa and Lou Piniella, we've been hearing that the Cubs have kicked the tires on a deal that could bring DeRosa back to Wrigleyville.

If they do reacquire him, $20 bucks says he gets booed the first time he grounds into a double play.

Don't toy with us, Rob. This was a douchy thing to post. You're a big meanie.

Rob G: Providing needles for your balloons.

Hendry's waiting until Ramirez begins his AAA rehab before he pulls the trigger.

Phil Nevin, anyone?

Starlin Castro and Josh Vitters invited to play

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090624&c...

I think this is everyone that has ever played from the Cubs in the Futures Game.

http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Futures_Game

Dave Kelton?

It's not only in our face every day, it's on this board almost every day from you. Which is fine, but we kind of already know your stance on it. Enjoy the comment, ignore the comment or comment on the comment.

may - .216 - .261
june - .181 - .253

avg/ob%

194ab 39h ...15 of those xbase hits ...for 16 rbi

...sorry, this seems like a legitamite gripe to me. i've seen posts/people go on and on about stuff that isn't close to relevant as this to the team's performance.

Yeah, we know.

Soto failed a World Baseball drug test in March for Marijuana, gets a 2 year ban from international play. No MLB ban.

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=302947

for international competition i can support this...

weed testing in the minors is snagging a lot of guys, though.

granted...being told 'no weed, this job pays 350K+ at the top level.' is a hell of motivation enough, but there are guys out there who would like to manage their pain (and recreation) with something other than the local bar and a fist full of pills.

ultimately no big deal, but that "weed thing" is well hated amongst minor leaguers.

Soriano with RISP: 8 for 52 (.154)
Soriano with runners on: 16 for 83 (.193)

At this stage, the only way I'd agree with you about moving him down is if the reason is to get him fewer at bats.

fine, you got me convinced...soriano leading off being the worst batter on the team makes total sense.

how i ever couldn't figure out the greatness of giving the most ABs to a guy with a .255 ob% over a 2 month period and 200abs is lost on me. i guess i wasn't thinking. maybe i should go have a V8.

I'm not trying to convince you. I was complaining about you bringing it up on a regular basis. Your sarcasm is duly noted and appreciated.

it's gonna come up again...don't take it personally.

at least im not here with 100 posts about how it's lou's fault jake fox fell down and how he needs to give everyone hours of IF defensive drills or how lou is making this team fail cuz he's doing the wrong elderly fat guy stuff.

this team's failure isn't on soriano by a mile, but the guy is so damn stagnant and his power (imo) is being wasted. with aram out that compounds the whole issue for me.

we're 200ab's into something he's not "hitting himself" out of.

See comment #2. It's not a slump, it's just a vagary of sample size.

Sure... except for the fact that it IS a slump.

The whole discussion of when Soriano plays and where he bats is distorted by the fact that the Cubs still owe him $98 million. He's too big to fail.

Didn't take it personally. I realize you're not posting it to be annoying to me or anyone else.

I think it's less annoying than people who haven't figured out the imbedded comments thing.

Good. It's not as annoying as thinking "reed" is an adjective or when people use "imbed" instead of "embed." To each his own.

Vary childish.

Just curious, did you get upset when people referred to Dawson as 'the hawk' when 'hawkish' was a perfectly good adjective, or 'Hoss' or 'Bull' or ...?

Still not getting the "Reed/Reedy Johnson"/"Skinny Dick" thing, apparently. That's OK, your mileage may very.

Childish? You went out of your way to correct my grammar in the previous post, so take your lumps!

I didn't correct your grammar. I made a comment about your sentence construction, but I didn't correct that either. It was a joke.

I think the important thing here is that Joe Buck's favorite Web site, TMZ.com, is reporting that Michael Jackson is dead.

http://www.tmz.com/

Michael Jackson is dead.

Regardless of all the bullshit he helped proliferate with his lifestyle, and his fucked-up dad, he was one talented motherfucker. The King of Pop, indeed. R.I.P.

He was a child molester, fuck him.

If I had a dime for every time I've heard that said about a celebrity...oh wait, it's just Michael in that club.

soon to be the new Scott Eyre is broke.

Here is a question for you guys, I am wondering if anyone else has heard of this. Someone told me the other day that their are technically two kinds of infield fly rules.

The first is the typical one we see, where the umpire calls it and the batter is out and the runners can advance on their will either after it is caught or hits the grounds. The second type, this guy told me, is if the umpire makes the call too late for the runners to have a fair chance to get back to their bases. So if right off the bat either the umpire fails to call it, or he doesn't think it will be easy to catch, but during it's flight it becomes clear that it will be easily caught, he can call an infield fly rule and a DEAD BALL. Meaning the batter is out and runners have to go back to their bases and can't advance but also can't get doubled off.

I've never heard of this second type before, and I can find no mention of this in the rule book. I also assume that MLB umpires are good enough that they make the call promptly and this never comes into play. The guy who told me this was studying to be an umpire for a while and took some classes or something, but I wondered if anyone else has ever heard of such a thing.

Never heard of it, but it makes sense. There are times when a ball is hit over the shortstop's head, that I think they don't call it, and the shortstop could probably turn a double play (assuming 1st and 2nd), but I've never seen a shortstop do that.

I get annoyed sometimes on pop-up bunts, I remember we got screwed on one where the catcher let it drop last year. Not sure if the infield fly rule is supposed to apply to bunts, I can see arguments on both sides of that.

But when could a "late" infield fly rule call possibly hurt the runners? Presumably, infield fly is being called because it's become obvious that the ball can easily be caught. In such a case, the runners shouldn't have left their bases or should be returning to them in a hurry, so calling a dead ball is no safer for the runners than regular infield fly. I suppose there could be a boneheaded baserunning mistake or someone could have been moving on the pitch and not have noticed that the ball was popped up, but in such a case the fielder would have no incentive to drop the ball--catch it, and you double the runner up. So I can't see why there should be a different rule for a late infield fly call.

Pop-up bunts are weird, yes. Not enough time to make the call. But also not much time for the fielder to think about whether it makes more sense to let it drop, so most times it's not an issue.

Yeah, this is why I asked, I can't really see the logic behind the second type this guy told me about. But I thought maybe I was missing something.

On bunts, the first line of the rule specifically excludes them, probably for the reasons noted above: "An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out."

Just a guess here:

Perhaps this is an archaic rule from the early days of the infield fly rule. Perhaps early on, they were worried that the ump would forget to make the call right away, and the runners would be waiting for it, and then they would have to take off at the last second when they realized the call wasn't being made. Right as they start sprinting for the next base, the ump realizes his error, and makes the call, but it's too late for the runners to reverse course. The ump could then call the dead ball and allow the runners to return.

Nowadays, almost immediately after the skyball goes up, you hear the ump yell, "Flyball! Batter's out!" So it really never comes into play now that everyone knows the rule well and expects it.

totally trying to kill our PTBNL...

5 ER, 3 IP, 2 HR, 4 K, 1 BB so far in Florida

6 ERA so far on the year.

let's hope hill himself is not the ptbnl...does hendry love andy mc fool that much?

Tennessee (AA) Roster Moves: LHP John Gaub promoted to Iowa; RHP Todd Blackford promoted from Daytona (High-A) to Tennessee.

http://twitter.com/insidetheivy

SOTO: NOW I COMPLETELY understand the weight gain this off-season!

No way he could stop eating while savoring the "weed"!

Okay, no need for a competition for Funniest Comment on Soto's Positive Reefer Test. You've clinched it, E-Man.

Is Soto the Jackie Robinson of the "legalize it" movement? Something to think about...

Soto's slugging is almost up to .420!

Soto's biggest problem is that if he doesn't find a way to turn things around at the plate, this test is going to haunt him. Although he says this was "an isolated incident," people will always wonder if he cares more about smoking weed with his buddies than he does becoming a consistent big league player.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/columns/blog?post=42872...

I can just imagine what the Sox fans are going to do this weekend: Signs of "Legalize It!"; Cannabis Leaves, T-Shirts with Soto sporting "Marley Dreads"; Huge "spleefs" - or a Louisville Slugger "twisted" at the ends; on and on and on...

Nick Friedell who?

no one i knew was wondering that until he brought it up. wonder who he's talking to...

anyone got any "soto party animal" or "soto weed hound" stories? =p

Well, I can only say, that I have spent some time on the western most part of Puerto Rico, including Mayaguez and Rincon (just beautiful, and the people are wonderful).

One night at an outdoor locals bar, there was a reggae band playing. Singing mostly in Spanish. With Red Stripe in hand some nice local "Rastas", told me roots reggae iz still popular, as is reggaeton now, of course.

but, I did not see Soto with a "spleef" anywhere that night.

ESPN.com needs an editor.

That should read "Soto's biggest problem is that if he doesn't find a way to push things away at the plate".

Would the Cubs have the cojones to fire Lou?

Huge payroll, with grotesque underperformnce by a half dozen or more players, and Lou's 'Hey, what can I do?" attitude would lead to a firing in many organizations.

If Lou had less "standing" in the game and a much lower salary he probably would have already been fired, not because of anything he has or hasn't done, but just because teams usually make changes when hopes fall apart this badly. Dave Kaplan on WGN radio talked about this tonight, although he never agreed that a lessor manager would have already been canned. Kap did claim over and over even when angry listeners phoned in, that it's not Lou's fault, it's the players, and that he only wants to see Lou start benching guys regardless of paychecks.

I don't know if changing managers would do anything, and I can't see it happening in season. Maybe if they don't make the playoffs this season Lou decides in October or November he's ready to retire.

I think if Lou were to bench Soriano and anyone else who is sucking it up, and let Hoffpauir and/or Fox get more time it might wake some people up. Maybe not. But Lou already seems to have written Miles off, starting Blanco everyday now at second base. (Unless Miles has another undisclosed injury)

I agree that changing managers this year wont help, as this team's struggles are due to how its was constructed more than how its being managed. This team has the 3rd highest payroll yet the only competly reliable reliever is someone who did not even have a guarnteed job going into camp (Guzman). Given that Marmol had shown prior to this year that he can be hit or miss we needed a more reliable reliever than Gregg as competion to close. The Brewers are paying Hoffman for example only a million more than we are Gregg. Also how do you not enter the season with a quality insurance policy for your best hitter who is injury prone Ramirez. One could have been picked up cheap in FA (Branyan, Hinske, Nomar, or Wiggington) or trade (Teahan). Why would you fixate on finding a LH masher in RF and then settle for a Switchhitter coming off career year as a DH who hits better from the right side. Why pay 2.5 mil for a util IF when you have a comparable guy in the minors like Blanco you could pay the minium for. Honestly I would like for us to be sellers and get out of what money we can and revamp a barren farm system like Lee (if he takes a deal with the Giants, who given its closeness to SAC is the only place he would likely waive the NTC) Harden (too risky to offer him arbitration if he is a Type A, because I doubt anybody is going to want to lose a pick to sign him) Gregg (ditto Harden rationle, though its 80% odds he is Type B), Lilly (only if we get a top tier package of prospects back) Bradley (I doubt anyone wants his contract, but its worth a shot). On the hand I dont trust Jimbo to a good job on that or buying.

Chifan,

You probably didn't know this, but you can change the name of your comments from the original article's name to something more appropriate. Here you should have used 'My Hindsight is 20/20'.

Hoffman is 41, had an ERA+ last year of 101 (compared to 125 for Gregg), and started the year on the DL.

Teahan had an OPS+ of 91 last year, the guy we signed had a 99 and could play middle infield positions, and didn't cost anything. Branyan had an OPS against lefties last year of .000. Nomar was hurt at the same time as Ramirez, and Wigginton has an OPS+ of 79 this year.

But yes, the team is not going well. You're not the first person to point this out. What did you say about the team 2 years ago?

If hindsight is 20/20, Hendry's foresight this off season was about 80/80...

Four times as good! Awesome!

I think what you're going for is 20/80. 80/80 would be the same as 20/20. Also 20/80 is not that bad. I'd put Hendry's foresight at 20/800 which I think is legally blind. And yes I know you don't care, but it's Friday afternoon and I trying to kill time until I get off work.

Yeah, you are right, I was going for 4X as bad in each eye - which would be 80/20 in each not 80/80...

The numbers, as I recall are feet. 80/20 would be that you can see at 80 feet what the average person can see at 20 feet... I think. Superior vision is usually expressed by reducing the denominator. Ted Williams was said to have 20/10 vision.

That's how my opthamologist explained it. My eyesight is like 20/450 in one eye and 20/800 in the other. Not so good. Even with contacts I'm about 20/50.

"If Lou had less "standing" in the game and a much lower salary he probably would have already been fired"

Which absolutely begs the question, Has The Manager of the Year ever been fired by June the next season?

Joe Girardi.

as long as he has the support of his players it's probably not gonna be an option unless the media or fans jump all over him. for 140m you'd expect more, but i don't think it's a fat elderly man not giving out enough butt pats doing most of the wrong.

it's a horribly under-performing team for 140m, but the fat man seems to have control of his clubhouse...at least i dunno of any present drama that's being reported or rumored.

i'm just glad the fans on whole seem to give a crap about the players instead of thinking some elderly fat man holds magical playing abilities that he can will on his players. that era of cubdom with baylor/baker (and the end of the riggleman era) was getting so damn old. dubois vs. hollandsworth sucked because they both suck...not because some elderly fat man screwed one or the other over. willie greene vs. shane andrews sucked because they both suck....etc etc....

I haven't seen the team play during this road trip -- lucky me, but the last time I saw them play Len and Bob were talking about how if Soriano just sat his bat on his shoulder he'd be on base 4 times a game on walks. And the last time I saw him steal a base he exploded down the line. That was the one late in the game where Theriot drove him in on that hit off the first basemen's glove.

What I don't understand about managers, any of them, is why how much someone makes should have an effect on how they manage them. I don't happen to think another manager would act any differently than Lou towards Soriano, but if I was manager I would be sorely tempted to wring the dude's neck if he doesn't average at least a walk per game. That's being generous. No pitcher that is average or better is going to throw a low fastball to Soriano until he starts taking a few walks. And his numbers are getting bad enough now that Lou really needs to consider sitting him down, the money be damned.

The money is Hendry's problem, not Lou's.

So I thought I keep up on AZ Phil's stuff but I missed this Starlin Castro dude somehow.

On WSCR this morning Tampa columnist Joe Henderson said Lou "is very concerned about making the Hall of Fame" and felt his time in Tampa may have hurt that.

I'm not an advocate for a change for change sake but I feel something is not right with Lou. I'm not asking him to have a tirade on or off the field but he was talking about "changes" last week and the only that happened was Blanco was put in the line up.

I would like to see Marmol close, Soriano dropped down and more Jake Fox until Aram comes back.

From an article at BP about Manny's AAA performance:

"The Pacific Coast League remains a hitter's league, but really only on the left side of the county, as the teams that play from the old American Association remain in a somewhat offense-neutral environment, and there is little cross-division play."

Something I suspected for a while, whereas the majority of people here think that Iowa is playing in the 'old PCL' when it comes to hitting conditions.

So Democrats are better hitters than Republicans? Suck on that O'Reilly.

I still think that with DeRosa on the club, there are 4-5 more wins in the bag, and more flexibility on the bench. It is a stronger team. AZ PHL said, with his trade, "Its gonna be a long season." and so far, he's right.

After 2006, Hendry was determined to not get behind the 8-ball due to injury. DeRosa became the MVP due to the myriad positions he needed to play when players went down with injuries.

This year he counted on ACTUAL utility guys who are sucking ass as starters, as well as career minor leaguers, to fill the void left when A-Ram went down.

Other than DLEE (thank you for pulling it together, sir!) DeRosa would be our best hitter right now.

Hendry gambled with my money, in part, and he's losing to this point. How utterly short-sighted he was.

Even if we have 4-5 more wins in the bag, how satisfied are you with the team?

Well 5 more wins means 5 fewer losses which would be 39-30. Good enough for first in the division.

How do we get Nick Punto from the Twins? That would be dreamy. He could fill in at 3B, move to SS and move Theriot back to 2B when A-Ram comes back.

I still think that with DeRosa on the club, there are 4-5 more wins in the bag

Woh... you think that DeRosa is worth 4-5 more wins (over Fontenot/Miles) in less than a half of a season?

That's not what he said. He said we'd have 4-5 more wins in the bag. DeRosa's got 50 RBI's and has an .805 OPS with RISP and .909 with men on, so it's not far fetched at all to think we would have won that many more games if we had him. If you say 'if we had him and not Bradley', maybe not.

Considering all the close games and extra innings we've seen I'd say 4-5 easily. Maybe more. Plus you wouldn't have guys playing out of position to try to cover 3B, DeRosa played a very passable 3B.

Of course someone will shit out a stat like "wins over fontenot per game" or some shit and prove me wrong on paper. After seeing a 20 HR hitter hit sub 250 with no power for two months and a ROY winner bat around 200, yall can shove your numbers you-know-where. I want ball players and athletes, not numbers... and DeRosa is a ball player.

At this point The Fontenaught is probably a better third basemen than DeRosa. You have to wonder how much of his hitting problems can be attributed to the positional switch, though. Having DeRosa would have allowed him to stay at second, and if he hit with runners on like he has in Cleveland, it may have relieved pressure on some of the other guys, and they may have performed better.

Or DeRosa could have gotten beaned during game 3 of the season and have vertigo problems and we would be in the same or worse position as we are now. It's all just http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_What_If_issues anyway.

My buddy’s the sports director and anchor on WBBM 780 AM and he asked me to write a Cubs piece on how they can still win 90 games this year (looking more and more unlikely every day, I know). Thought you might like to check it out: http://wbbm-780.com/blog/. It’s the headline right now on the top of the page—feel free to comment on the ideas.

Big series starts today: Go Cubs Go!

Interesting ideas. Some possible problems with them, though, are that Lee has a full NTC, and Harden may be resistant to moving to the closer role with his FA coming up. Not sure that I am that high on Penny either, he seems a lot like Harden. It may be a better idea just to move Marshall back to the rotation and take what you would trade for Penny and get a solid lefty reliever.

The Cubs would have to go 56 and 27 the rest of the way to get to 90 wins. Not impossible but they need to start winning just about every series starting today.

Hasn't Harden historically taken about 7 hours or so to warm up sufficiently before a game? You'd have to get him up in the first inning or so to close.

To win 90 games they will need to win 56 more games out of 93 remaining, or...

56-37 the rest of the season (.602 WPct%)

Currently the Cubs are 34-35 (.493 WPct%)

The Real Neal:
Even if we have 4-5 more wins in the bag, how satisfied are you with the team?

Let's consider 4 more wins... Current record would be:

38-31 (.551 WPct%)

and to win 90 they would need...

52-41 (.559 WPct%)

the rest of the season.

I've been saying "Trade Lee!" for a couple of years, but he has started to turn me around--mostly by turning on inside pitches, like the bomb off Wood in Chicago and the one he hit to the warning track in left in Detroit yesterday. (It was hit so well that Soriano just stood there in awe and forgot where he was.)

With Soriano deep in a slump and Soto and Bradley still having problems, the Cubs can't spare righty bats and need both Lee and Fox in the lineup.

TRN: You asked, "How satisfied would I be with 4 or 5
more wins?"

Well, the team would be right near the top of tthe Division w/out its best player.

The bullpen would may not have had to pitch so much with bigger leads.

So, maybe they aren't as dominant as the Dodgers, but things would be more hopeful to me than they are currently, where I am anticipating they lose 2/3, if not all 3 to the Sox this weekend.

"I am anticipating they lose 2/3, if not all 3 to the Sox this weekend."

Good to have you on board, Manny.

Thanks for the compliment as E-Man drills the prediction!!

crunch: i'm just glad the fans on whole seem to give a crap about the players instead of thinking some elderly fat man holds magical playing abilities that he can will on his players.

Yeah, I hear you. The truth is, though, sometimes bringing a new manager in helps shake things up. Exhibit A: 2004 Houston Astros, Exhibit B: 2009 Colorado Rockies.

Of course sometimes you fire Lee Mazzilli and you still have a crap team.

2003 Marlins?

Exhibit C:2003 Marlins

Exhibit C:2003 Marlins

The 2003 Marlins!

Jake Fox on WSCR right now. Man, every time I hear him I'm more and more convinced that the Cubs can not get rid of this guy. He's great.

Yeah, but can he hit?

Is he talking about how he can play short and center?

I thought he played third base pretty well the other day, but saw some mention of a botched play. Did he boot one?

every play I've seen him handle is pretty much routine, he hasn't destroyed a play yet though.

The "botched play" was a grounder to his left, he got to it, full reach and then fell down which made it look like an Edmonds dive on the infield and stumbled around like an oaf trying to get it out of his mitt and the runner was safe and the run scored. Poor footwork if anything...

No worse than Fontentot so far..can't believe anyone hasn't tried bunting on him yet.

I think most 3B make that play. Still, he is what he is, ugly defense yet the ball jumps off his bat. I'd start him a 3B anyways. It's a risk and a liability, but you just do it because you have these other douchebags getting high and/or under-performing.

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