The Second Half Really Begins

To piggyback on Cubby Blue's guest post, now that the Cubs finished that four game warm-up they can start the second half. And before we get too excited about leapfrogging the Brewers and gaining ground on the Cardinals, a quick look at the schedule shows the Brewers still have eight chances to beat down that Nationals piñata and the Cardinals another four, while the Cubs just have a three-game set versus the league slumpbuster.

Speaking of the schedule, starting on September 11th, this is the Cubs last four weeks of regular season baseball in 2009.

3 at Pittsburgh

3 vs. Cincinnati

4 vs. Milwaukee

3 at St. Louis

3 at Milwaukee

4 at San Francisco

3 vs. Pittsburgh

3 vs. Arizona

Hopefully that last week won't be a big letdown after 14-straight against teams that are very much in the race at the moment.

Back to the task at hand, I certainly don't think the series is do or die against the Phillies, but getting swept by the World Champs sure would take all the fun out of the weekend sweep over the Nationals. Hopefully they can hang with the Phillies and at least take one and hopefully two. The Phillies do have one of the worst starting staffs in the league(4.82 ERA, 13th in the NL) and the Cubs will miss Cole Hamels, so the starting pitching match-ups favor the Cubs, but the Phils have also won eight straight and have taken a pretty commanding lead of the NL East.

Join the fun in Parachat tonight...

Fukudome Rollins
Theriot Victorino
Lee Utley
Ramirez Howard
Hoffpauir Ibanez
Soriano Werth
Fontenot Feliz
Hill Ruiz
Lilly Lopez



Barring the un-barrable, game recappage in effect.

un-barrable? more like un-bearable. have you ever tried to actually read them?


Was waiting for someone to take the bait on that pun.


And yes.


And don't split your infinitives.



I think we are going to clobber 'em.

I could be wrong.

Ibanez didn't take long to make Hendry look like an idiot.

3-run bomb in the first, while Milty sits because he has sucked the entire year.

i wanted Ibanez the day free agency started.


Has Ibanez magically become a right fielder yet?

has played there plenty in the past. willing to live with the results.

The follow up question is: Why did you want Ibanez?

because i was certain he could put up .292 .354 .479 .834

and play 150 or so games to the tune of 25 home runs and 100 or so rbis (yes, counting numbers i know)

So you were wrong for wanting him, since he's not going to play 150 games.

and he's going to hit more than 25 home runs

Hey, Ted -- how''s the knee?

The second half sucks.

....and Soriano takes the lead in NL OF errors, with 8!

Exciting stuff.

Looks like varsity vs. JV.

2 off the top of my head, including today's and one of his hop-drops, were totally preventable.

dunno how legit the other 6 are vs. laziness or bad form.

The follow up question is: Why did you want Ibanez?

I have to vote for #5 as the post of the month.

Where is Hendry maybe we can ask him how he feels
about Ibanezs #s.

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.