Sunday Night Chat

Everyone's last chance to see some baseball for a few days, join the fun in Parachat.

*Shumaker 2B *Fuld CF
*Rasmus CF Theriot SS
Pujols 1B Lee 1B
Ludwick RF Ramirez 3B
*Ankiel LF Soriano LF
Molina C # Bradley RF
*Thurston 3B Baker 2B
Wainwright P  #Hill C
Ryan SS  Wells P


A win, and the Cubs are tied for 2nd and 1.5 back of the Cardinals heading into the break. A loss and their 3.5 back from the Cardinals and in third place.


I'm sure some will think this is ridiculous, but I think Jake Fox has just become Mark DeRosa. In fact, he's DeRosa+, becuase he's a better hitter, and he can catch. He's played 1B, 3B, LF, RF, and now C. And they've worked him out at 2B (which I don't get, don't we already have 20 guys on the 40-man roster who can play 2nd). He may not be a wizard at any of these positions, but he's got flexibility, and he hits. I love it.

DeRosa can play middle infield and take a walk. But Fox is definitely a guy who's interesting to have on the team.

Lou is putting Marshall into LF for a batter with the bases loaded! Plan is to put him back at pitcher after this hitter and a new fielder in left. Defensive improvement in LF

holy shit
heilman K's the batter, marshall back to pitcher, reed to LF

Joe Morgan says Fox looks good behind the plate. My instincts tell me not to trust him, but he hasn't screwed anything up yet

TLR pinch hits after Marshall sent back to P, now right hitter up. Lou keeps marshall in, but I think he only has to stay in for 1 pitch and a reliever could be called in. I would guess they'll leave him in

holy fuck
blooper tailing away from johnson in left, he dives too early, hits the ground and kind of dives again and catches it. A play Soriano would never have come close to even having a chance at making

He didn't dive too early, he stumbled. And actually, he didn't catch it, though they did call it an out.

On replay, I couldn't tell whether Johnson had his glove under the ball or whether the ball hit grass, but my reaction in real time was to laugh and think, "No, he didn't catch that ball!" But I couldn't tell without a doubt that it hit the ground and not the leather.

first replay I thought it was a trap, then it looked like it might have bounced in his glove...

an ump though if he saw the play would have probably just seen the bounce and called it a trap, which apparently they weren't watching much of the game last night, including the call that Wainwright was not trying to intentionally block the throw from Theriot on that double play. I mean, it's normal to throw your hands as high as possible right at the last minute.

Next Cardinal should get drilled in the face that tries to break up a double play...


well that inning was exiting, weird, and lucky.

with karma like that, we deserve to win this one.

fuck it
that 9th inning can lick my balls

3 straight called 3rd strikes in the bottom of the ninth?

Great way to go down fighting into the break.

What the fuck?!

Did you watch the game? The three straight called strikes were all balls.

Saw the replay -- tough calls, but all were close. The kind of pitch you can't take, say, with 2 strikes in the 9th when you are behind.

Of all of Bradley's faults so far, this is my least favorite -- he takes tons of close pitches with 2 strikes. The umps are not going to give him a break, so, even if they are slightly out of the zone, he needs to swing.

Those pitches may have been balls, but they were too close to take. The umpire was consistent throughout the game, so it shouldn't have been a surprise that he called them all strikes.

Soriano can drive me nuts at times when he swings at pitches that are a foot outside the strike zone, but it drives me even crazier when a batter goes up to the plate late in the game, down a couple of runs, and looks at a called third strike. Swing the bat, boys.

Soriano strikes out a lot. Mostly because he swings at pitches out of the strike zone.

When you are down, especially by more than one run, you need base runners. I will ALWAYS take a walk over a strikeout. And its simple - a player should not swing at pitches out of the zone.

Were the pitches close? Sure... but they (at least the first two called thirds) were definitely not strikes.

Big L -- I agree in principle, but not in practice. True, you should not swing at pitches out of the strike zone. Also true, when you're down late in the game you need base runners. However, the ump was calling those close pitches as strikes, even though K-Zone showed they were slightly out of the strike zone. Even so, what the ump says is what matters, not what K-Zone says. And considering that the ump had been calling those pitches as strikes all night, the hitters need to adjust. In the end, the pitches were just too close to take, even if they were "technically" balls.

The Cubs hitters (at least two of them) can claim that they were right and that the pitches were in fact balls, but it doesn't mean anything now. The pitches were called strikes, the batters struck out, and the game is over with the Cubs losing. A "moral victory" isn't the same as a "victory."

Kind of a silly nit pick I think it is better to think of those pitches as actual balls but "technically" strikes because the ump said so.

IMO the solution is to find a better way to call balls and strikes. Works in tennis.

"K zone" showed all three to be balls. And the home plate ump wasn't calling them all game, just in the 9th inning. The hitters all did the correct thing. The umpire, for whatever reason, wanted the game to be over and made it so. My best guess is that the Cards slipped him some Ex-Lax around the 7th inning and it was starting to take it's desired effect.

I wasn't happy that the Cubs made out, but to say "the Cubs hitters, who know they need at least one baserunner to have a chance should anticipate that the strike zone is going to be 4 inches wider on the outside part of the plate in the bottom of the 9th and adjust accordingly." Well, it just doesn't make sense.

My friend, the Cardinals fan who ribbed me over the Friday loss and declared the Saturday win 'luck', acknowledged that it was horseshit umpiring, and the Cubs got screwed.

thought the last one, K-zone showed to paint the corner....

the one to Bradley was terrible though....

also think the ump had a pretty generous strike zone all night, at least I made that comment about 4 times during parachat...maybe it was just me.

but just cause the ump is blind, don't make it right.

"thought the last one, K-zone showed to paint the corner...."


The screen I was watching must have fucked up then, it showed white.

2 Strikes. Pitch is close. Swing the bat. We learned that in Little League.

Cubs won and lost today, so not sure if I am suppose to be posting or not, but oh well.

Going into this series, I would have taken a split and run into the break. We got a split are back to .500 and tied for 3rd. It could be much worse and much better. Not sure what tot expect from this team in the 2nd half. Can't say I got lots of confidence they will do much better, but hopefully the division continues to be mediocre and they can get hot at the right time and sneak in to teh playoffs, but I won't be booking any airfare to CHicago in October yet, that is for sure.

Go Cubs!

Wow no fontenot sighting in ninth i thought he would hit for baker either hurt or in doghouse.

Baker sucked at plate ,i hate his batting stance,and he is slow at second, i guess i just dont see an improvement from what we have,if fontenot cant start ,PLAY BLANCO.

He could be in the doghouse because he's terrible.

And no I don't believe Baker is any kind of upgrade. You wouldn't see people like Fontenot or Baker anywhere near a team like the Dodgers. The Los Angeles Dodgers prefer good players.

Well they do have Manny, who defensively isn't much different than Soriano, neither has any range nor care to play defense.

But Manny can mash and is totally clutch. Soriano is streaky and not even on the same stratosphere offensively as Manny offensively. Let's please limit any Soriano/Manny comparisons good or bad.

On the other hand, Sori has never been suspended for PEDs.

Another strike against, Sori!!!!

If you ain't cheatin, you ain't tryin!!


Bonds was clutch, too.

Yeah, I wish we had him in LF over Soriano in the 1st half. I guarantee he would have had a better OBP.

"He could be in the doghouse because he's terrible."

Wait! He has had a monster July (for the first four days of it, at least - and, on his birthday).

When I gave the case for starting Blanco, after my post, "FONTENOT, You Suck, Dude",
several here opined that Fontenot was significantly better at the dish, minimizing Blanco's spectacular and consistent D.

After having 35 2B-men it seems, over the few years - only Mark DeRosa gave us any pop and RBI's (Fontenot did in his limited AB's in 2008 - but that's the thing - he really is a spot starter and util guy)

And now we have Jeff Baker! UGH!!!!

The defining moment of the first half -- Cubs have bases loaded, one out in a a crucial game against the Cards.....and Jeff Baker and Koye HIll are the next 2 batters.

Did Lou start Baker in both gmaes to send a message to Hendry? Seems an odd move.

Not to worry.

A "legal maneuver" to help sale go more smoothly.

Dave Kaplan tweeting the sale of the Cubs will be announced later today. Haven't we heard this before?

Sean Gallagher to the Padres as PTBNL in Scott Hairston deal
GALLAGHER TO PADRES: The player to be named in the Scott Hairston deal with the Padres will be right-hander Sean Gallagher, two sources confirmed to The Chronicle. Gallagher (knee) is on the disabled list at Triple-A Sacramento and is not eligible to be sent to San Diego until he comes off the DL.

Paul Sullivan/Trib discusses Cubs interest in the Ryan Express off ramp?
After (BJ) Ryan clears waivers, he becomes a free agent, and any team can sign him for $200,000 in '09 and $400,000 in '10.

Former Toronto outfielder Reed Johnson said Ryan "would be a great fit in this clubhouse," but cautioned that several teams are likely to be interested in signing him. The risk isn't great because Toronto will be paying the bulk of his salary, and the reward is there if Ryan can regain the velocity that made him such a dominant reliever.

If the Cubs do sign Ryan, they could send him to the minors to get some work in before bringing him up to be their late-inning left-hander.

Let's get him! That way, Harden would have one of his buddies from the I Used To Throw 96 Club. They can swap stories about how it feels to have your HR/9 rate suddenly double (or triple in Ryan's case.)

I could definitely support Ryan as a LOOGY. Definitely not a closer.

It would also move Marshall to the rotation while Dempster is on the DL. IMO Ryan LOOGY, Marshall rotation is an upgrade over Marhsall LOOGY, Hart rotation.

Sure, especially at that kind of price. But, thinking he's going to be even a shadow of his former self is a bit on the optimistic side, I think.

That said, it's probably a good idea for a team that has such little faith in it's LHP depth that the only lefty on the major league roster has to go play left-field so Lou can match-up.

Hendry interview in baseball prospectus. Nothing newsworthy though.

DL: When that time comes, how do you hope to be remembered?

JH: Well, I hope that I’m remembered as a guy who took the job very seriously and understood my responsibilities to the city of Chicago and to the fans. I hope that they feel that I treated the players with honesty and respect and that I was loyal to the people I worked for, and to the ones who worked underneath my role. And hopefully someday I’ll be remembered as having been the GM when the Cubs won the World Series.

Spending money on superstar talent: A+
Finging good value: F

sheesh, why didn't they just interview Chuck Wasserstom...the interviewer seemed more interested in him.

please remember this quote next time anyone brings up that Hendry wants so-and-so to play...

At the end of the day, we’re the ones who are in charge of providing
Lou with the roster, just like I would never tell him who to bat first
or third, or who to start tomorrow against Pittsburgh.

Jim Riggleman the new Nats manager? Wscr reporting

Stephen Strasburg just cried a little...can you schedule a TJ surgery 3 years out?

Could not find it in print, but just on ESPN radio was a tape of Milton Bradley after game last night.

He said (paraphrasing) "that's he's ready, and he knows what he was doing wrong" batting wise.

He said "mark my words, I will be hitting the whole second half."

Can't wait.

We should have a Milton Bradley prediction contest for the 2nd half. I know E-Man is going to want to set the over/under for his games played at 5.

He's been looking pretty good the last 10 days or so from the left side. He's not swinging through nearly as many pitches as he had been.

lol TRN.

3 games! Good enough!

he raked the ball last night...

He said "mark my words, I will be hitting the whole second half."

Hitting what? .233 like in the first half? or hitting the DL when he tweaks his leg again? If he starts out 1 for his first 15 after the break, I hope one of the reporters brings that quote up again.

Hopefully that does not come back to haunt him.

Alf is due for one of his patented torrid months where nobody can get him out. I hope that does come soon, but unfortunately it is usually followed by one of his horrible months where he can't even make contact.

So you are saying that Soriano is a streaky hitter.

In other news, water is wet.

I am still waiting for Bradley live up to the quote below....

On the broadcast, they even mentioned how they first thought it wasn't a strike and then said sometihng like "Oh, K-Zone confirms it was indeed a strike."

I must be confused then. Seems like after the last out they showed a pitch and it was white K zone and there was space between the zone and the box, but maybe that was a replay of Bradley's K and I just didn't notice the batter.

Yeah I did misremember it. The pitch to Hoffpauir was low. K zone thinks every batter is exactly the same height.

the replay on Hoff's showed it crossing the bottom corner of their little box and that it was a strike (as I remember it)...the replay of Bradley showed it to be well outside and possibly a bit high. Don't recall Baker's, think it showed outside too...

and not that I think K-zone is all that accurate or anything...

Maybe I was thinking of Strike 2 on Hoffpauir, then seeing how he was owed a strike on a close pitch on the 6th pitch. Is there a site that shows the locations of the pitches? I thought ESPN did, but I can't find it.

2nd strike from what I recall was about where Bradley's strikeout pitch was...

MLB gameday has their own version of K-zone, guess it uses Pitch F/x...seems to conveniently always agree with the ump.

Thanks. You're right that seems to be some guy just drawing dots on a chart. Franklin obviously has better control than Maddux did in his heyday since he was able to paint the edges 8 times in three at bats.


It don't matter. As has been said -- 2 strikes, close pitch, swing.

Bradley should know he won't get any calls. Of course, Soriano should know they are going to throw him sliders in the dirt, too.

"It don't matter"

It does matter. A strike should be a strike. It shouldn't matter who the batter is (other than their height), what the count is, who the pitcher is, who the ump is, etc.

Control of the strike zone is the most important part of the game and to continue to allow the strike zone to be arbitrary is bad.

Here is the Kaplan link on the Cub sale non-news

Cubs may file Bankruptcy to faciliate sale

This is 3/44.

Please read above. Thanks!

That was a mistype. He meant to say that Scott Eyre filed for bankruptcy.

"Well, you can get a healthy guy to go out there and play 162 games, but he won’t do what I did in 120." - Milton Bradley
Fun with numbers.

Bradley, 2009 season to date: G71 AB210 H51

so if he is to hit .300 in 120G, if he averages 3AB/game (walk don't add to this total and he's averaged 3AB/game season to date)

to get to 120G...

G49 estimates out to AB147

then adding them together, G120 AB 357 H107

so he needs 56 hits in 147AB

or .380 from here on out to end the season at .300
also the Cubs have played 86 games so far, thus 76 games remain...he's got the leeway to miss 27 games (36%) and still be in 120G.

Which implies plenty of playing time for RJ, Fuld or Hoff.

I like numbers and all, but huh?

He's got 6 HR's.... Abreu's got 6 HR's (last I checked)

He hasn't been hitting well for the majority of the season. If he made that comment, like yesterday, you would have a point. He made that comment before the season started. Let's wait until after the season before we say 'nanny-nanny-boo-boo', since he's on place to play more than 120 games and the only time he K's lately is when the umps redefine the strike zone haphazardly.

he's on track to play 133 games although 13 of his 71 games were one at bat pinch ABs

He is also on track for a sub 50 RBI season.

And Abreu is on pace for over 100 RBI's.

Recent comments

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  • Oh my! Cards down 2-1 to Reds in the bottom of the 9th -- get a leadoff triple -- and don't score!

    billybucks 1 hour 26 min ago view
  • Gameday has stopped at the top of the 8th inning. Google tells me it ended up 8-4 Pirates but I can't get further detail. Guess I'll have to wait until the Cubs' website updates...

    JoePepitone 2 hours 31 min ago view
  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 2 hours 45 min ago view
  • Phil, thanks for posting. Where do find the schedule? I have a condo in Surprise, yet I drove to Mesa and Tempe looking for a game today! Thanks!

    rvimpeny 2 hours 47 min ago view
  • Dear Baseball Gods--
    My trip to Chicago has nothing whatsoever to do with the Cubs. In actuality, I am a Red Sox fan.

    CTSteve 2 hours 48 min ago view
  • Well, if Strop had to give up a least he hit Sean Rodriguez to do it.

    billybucks 2 hours 55 min ago view
  • strop...stawwwp.

    jaso has a cycle and 5 rbis...pit leads by 4.

    crunch 3 hours 8 min ago view
  • have a nice bowl of pizza soup deep dish pizza...or a leisurely walk around the notorious south-side (bring money) at one of the walmart supercenters...waiting in line to waste $20 at willis tower...

    seriously,'s chicago, a lot to do. have a dog for lunch, a great dinner, and catch some local comedy.

    crunch 3 hours 15 min ago view
  • Strange, because he really seemed to have the Pirates number last year.

    Bummer for Jake -- I think this is the first time all year his ERA has been over 3.00, and that will be his number for the year.

    billybucks 3 hours 18 min ago view
  • Jinx remover -- your trip doesn't have to be for a baseball game -- lots of stuff to do here in town.

    billybucks 3 hours 21 min ago view
  • Guess they could always try to White Sox (and Bears...sob) approach: Never Rebuild! Seems to work pretty well for them.

    billybucks 3 hours 22 min ago view
  • 3rd time this season he's given up 6+ runs to PIT...only team he's given up 6+ runs to this season.

    7 runs is the most he's given up since august 6th in 2014.

    crunch 3 hours 52 min ago view
  • Over 100 pitches, only the 5th.

    Brick 3 hours 54 min ago view
  • coghlan his cleats stuck in the wall attempting a play (failed, but looked great doing it). walking off on his own, precautionary/day-to-day looking stuff...hopefully not worse.

    also, jake arrieta is literally worse than hitler. 1-5, bottom 5. ...make that 1-6, bottom 5. ...make that 1-7, bottom 5.

    crunch 3 hours 55 min ago view
  • Coghlan crashes into wall and comes up limping, looks like left knee or ankle. Leaves game...

    Arrieta inspiring no confidence yet again.

    Rob G. 4 hours 1 min ago view
  • from a sun-times article that I won't link to so you don't have to bear the ad-loading that will crush your browser

    When he left Boston after nine years as general manager, Epstein said he believed in the philosophy espoused by legendary football coach Bill Walsh: essentially that 10 years is a natural shelf life for a high-stress job.

    Rob G. 4 hours 3 min ago view