Cubs Win Streak Ends at 5

The Cubs five-game win streak doesn't make it to six and and the loss coupled with the Cardinals win over the Dodgers, drops the Cubs back to second place. Ryan Dempster returned from the disabled list and was nothing short of awful. 5 IP, 9 H, 3 K and 5 ER, 6 total and the error was his own. But at least he didn't walk anyone! With the Cubs catching a huge break when Roy Oswalt left in the second inning with a back injury, the Cubs just needed some decent pitching to stay in this one and they sure didn't get it from Dempster or the bullpen. 

Armchair Managing: The Cubs first comeback started in the fourth when Wesley Wright just completely lost it and missed the strike zone on 10 straight pitches and quite a few more before and after as well. He walked the bases loaded on two occasions with a sacrifice fly in-between and with lefty Mike Fontenot in the original lineup with Oswalt starting, Lou went to the bench early and called on Reed Johnson to pinch-hit and he came through with a 2-out, 2-run single. Then a nicely executed double steal put runners on 2nd/3rd but also gave the Astros the opportunity to intentionally walk Koyie Hill and force Lou's hand with Dempster due up. Lou didn't take the bait and let Dempster hit and he naturally struck out. If you're already going for the big inning by pinch-hitting for Fontenot, I think you have to do the same with Dempster there. And if Lou called for the double steal, he basically ended the Cubs inning if he wasn't going to pinch-hit for Dempster, since you know Cooper would walk Hill there. This all leads me to believe that Lou is a terrible chess player. Dempster then rewarded Lou's faith by giving up a 2-run HR in the top of the fifth that gave the Astros a 6-3 lead.

Ramirez's three-run dinger int he bottom of the fifth neutralized the damage though and then the bullpen proceeded to flush the game and first place with it.

Half-Ass Parachat Recap:

  • Miggy's 3-run HR in the first
    • well it looked like a HR, sac fly instead
  • Debating Top 10 defensive plays of the decade
    • Was Giambi safe?
      • no
  • laughing at the Astros misfortune with Roy Oswalt
  • Valverde with Fulchino is delicious
  • Transmission's date with his sister
  • Following Buehrle's quest for back-to-back perfectos and congratulations on the new go die!
    • "Ryan Dempster is NOT pitching a perfect game" - Ryno
  • Finding Trans a date on craigslist
    • We wouldn't have to do this if you weren't having dates with your sister.
  • I get bored doing the Parachat recap...
    • stupid blackout rules, bring Trans back to us

And congratulations to the Angel Fan Wife on being married to me for 8 years...I imagine it's been just as insufferable as being a Cub fan sometime over the last 100. Lots of expectations, but neither of us deliver....




deal in place for Freddy Sanchez to the Giants supposedly...

best parachat recap ever!

You're a thick gurl, and you've gone too far
'Cause you know it don't matter anyway

You can rely on Trans's good lovin'
Oh, you can rely on Trans's good lovin'

And don't you know
Don't you know...

I rarely pull the "I just knew it" card, but I just knew when Lou failed to ph for Dempster that he was going to suck in the next 1/2 inning.

I'm more upset with the Dodgers though. What's the point of best record in the league you bastards? At least the Nats are embarrassing the Brewers.

Congrats Rob G.

Interestingly we just had our 8-year anniversary one week ago, too.

Congrats to you both. What is year 8, macaroni art?

another Astro pitcher out, not just oswalt and hawkins...

Astros reliever Wesley Wright was diagnosed with dehydration after being rushed to the hospital following Houston's 11-6 win over the Chicago Cubs.

That is simply unbelievable. How is it even possible for a baseball player to suffer from dehydration? It was an 82 degree night game, no less. Not exactly the Gobi Desert out there.

I've played basketball for 3-4 hours at a time and managed to not get rushed to the hospital. This idiot pitches 3 innings, and can't just take a couple sips of Gatorade?

Didn't Z have problems with dehydration because he was messing with the Red Bulls and not drinking water/gatorade?

Oswalt flying to Houston Wednesday to be checked out by Drs. Doesn't look good.

It’s unclear if Oswalt must head to the disabled list, but he acknowledged Tuesday night that he likely will miss at least one start.
“I’m not going to do anything strenuous, but moving around, it’s not too bad,” Oswalt said. “I knew I shouldn’t stay out there and blow it all the way out.”

I was flipping the dial last night and Dye hit a homer to put Sox up 1-0, and Stoney was recapping "with that blast Jermaine Dye has put the Cubs...I mean White Sox up one to nothing." Nervous laughter.

Hawk made an angry chuckle noise and went back to the game.


A few moments before, Hawk had mentioned the score at Wrigley. No doubt that had something to with Stone forgetting where he was.

"Niagra Falls"

"Slowly I turned....."

This was a "Sacrificial Lamb" game. I realize it - however unfortunate I felt that the cards lined up that I had to be there for this one. However, the baseball gods gave a break to the Cubs when Oswalt got pulled. What had me furious was KNOWING in advance that Demp was going to throw no more than 80 or so pitches, and since he was up to 68 when his AB came up with the bases juiced, what the fuck is the difference in pulling him there, as ROB G states?

So - you're going to wast a go-ahead scenario to save 13-15 pitches for the bullpen?

This is one more reason why I will be happy when Lou does not return next year.

That is just OLD.

Not mentioned: Bourne's game-saving catch on Theriot which would have put the Cubs ahead 7-6 at the time. He had an All-Star night on us.

Lou bends over backwards to get his starters five innings and a chance to notch a win. Chess pieces don't have pride, feelings, agents, etc.

Then he pinch hits for an actual hitter, and uses a third player to replace Fontenot defensively then he double switches in Hoffpauir even though the pitcher he put in would have never come up, and Hoffpauir's defense in right costs us a run or two. Then he puts in Heilman to put out a fire, even though Heilman has been the worst guy on the team doing that this year. Finally, in the 9th, all of his pinch hitters used, in part because he used 3 for one at bat (2 on) when not using any for a different at bat (pitcher up bases loaded), and we need a walk, so he sends up Big Z, who is just about the least likely guy to take a walk on the team.

Without a doubt the worst in game managerial performance by this guy since he was here.

"then he double switches in Hoffpauir even though the pitcher he put in would have never come up."

Hoffpauir was the third batter in the Cubs next half-inning. Guzman had only faced one batter and was going to stay in the game.

Lou tends not to overmanage, but sometimes he yanks guys punitively. It was out of character for Lou to pinch hit for a starting second-baseman early in the game, but I assume he was pissed at Fontenot for the missed bunt the night before. And Bradley got the hook (in favor of Hoffpauir) after another terrible left-handed at-bat in the bottom of the fifth. He came out in the top of the sixth.

You're right on that first part. So after he fucked up by leaving Dempster in, the next stupid thing Lou did was taking out Marshall, which he meant he had to use 3 players instead of 2. Hey Lou, the game is 6-6 in 6 innings and you just had a 13 inning game the night before. Try not to burn 2 players in single at bats. It's just simple math.

"It was out of character for Lou to pinch hit for a starting second-baseman early in the game, but I assume he was pissed at Fontenot for the missed bunt the night before."

If he was mad at him for the night before he should have started Blanco or Baker, not burned through his bench before the 7th inning was over.

he took out Fontenot because a lefty was now on the mound and the Cubs were down 4 runs and needed a better chance to score. Should have done it w/ Dempster too...

By the end of the game we had used 4 guys for the 2nd basemen slot. Lou made a lot of decisions that went against the common sense in the game, and not a single one of them paid off.

Espn-1000 radio said Cubs calling up Mitch Atkins for a fresh arm in the bullpen, not confirmed elsewhere yet...nor the other roater move...they did interview Samardzija so I doubt he's going to Iowa

Smardizjia makes the most sense, but since Stevens is probably not going to pitch today, I would guess he's the guy.

Confirmed by Sullivan, Stevens down, Atkins up.

TRN: Do the Houton fans believe they are playing way over their heads, or do they expect this post-asg hot streak?

The knowledgeable ones know what's going on. The casual ones are sure they're in for another 50 win second half.

Half-Ass Parachat Recap...


BJ Ryan appearance at Iowa last night, 1 IP, 1 BB, 0 K, 0 ER

from the I-Cubs site:

Aaron Miles is with the Cubs on his second Major League rehab assignment of the year Miles has been on Chicago's disabled list since June 21st with a hyperextended right elbow. He joined the I-Cubs on July 16th and is batting .213 (10-for-47) with four doubles, four RBI, and three runs scored 11 games on this rehab stint.

Question: what is the limit allowed (if any) for a mlb rehab assignment? Somewhere I recall it's in the 2-3 week range and Miles is at 13 days now.
also noted in BJ Ryan's outing.. Pitches 11- Strikes 5. Kind of odd but innocuous considering a 5 pitch walk.

He got a fly out (3 pitches, 2-0 count), walk (on 5 pitches), double play (3 pitches, 0-2 count)

i believe 30 days for a pitcher, 20 for a position player...

and if you assign them to your spring training complex, it reduces what they can do at an upper level...

step by step, inch by inch...

lineup, via len and bob twitter...

RJohnson (CF), Theriot, DLee, ARam, Bradley, Soriano, Baker, Hill and Wells


Johnson, with his .325 OBP, has no business leading off.

.382 vs lefties this year jumpy, .376 for his career

But he does have a .382 OBP against LHP this year, and a .405 OBP against lefties in 2006-2008. So he's actually a pretty good leadoff hitter when a lefty is on the mound.

The Mariners traded Ronny Cedeno, Jeff Clement and 3 minor leaguers to the Pirates for Jack Wilson and Ian Snell.

I look forward to the Cubs facing a Ronny Cedeno-led Pirates team...

Sorry Pirates, just because Ronny can't hit doesn't make him a good defender.

Glad to see him back in the division ... I just wish it was for St. Louis or Milwaukee.

yahoo (Edes/Brown) reporting Phillies "on verge" of getting Cliff Lee from Tribe thus changing the landscape for Halliday

Bruce Miles comments on Mitch Atkins suckitude and...

B.J. Ryan apparently topped out at about 87 mph last night in his Iowa debut.

and the wind is blowing in at wrigley today

87 is an improvement over what he was supposedly throwing...

looks like Victor Martinez could be on the move as well from Indians, Red Sox and Rays seem the most interested....

Can he catch? He'd look mighty good in the Cubs lineup right about now.

Rosenthal reporting Tribe/Phils agree to trade...

Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco to Philly for Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald and Lou Marson. The teams still have to examine medical records for the deal to go through.'s-edition

Four of the six starters the Cubs could expect to face in a first round playoff series are now left handed.

Wonder if this inspires the Cubs to look at doing something a little bigger than adding a reliever. It's hard to argue, even healthy, that we're better than the 3rd best team in the league now.

of Whoop-ass on Mike Hampton! That's a fun thing to see in the first inning!

Nice start!!

Bet by next inning Hampton grabs his elbow like Rodney Dangerfield in "Caddy Shack"

Oooh!Oooh! Its broken.

Typical f'ing Cubs.

Score a touchdown the first time on offense, then miss the extra point.

PAT in the 2nd inning.

6 spot!

Shit. We went to the wrong game last night.

- sigh -


G spot?

Box score says Fukudome subbed in for Johnson.... Johnson injured?

MLB Gameday calls it a "foot/ankle" injury.

Fouled a ball off his foot.

Aramis Ramirez is a beast. And since Fonzie is going to hit now, it's cool that he can do it with guys on base.

I <3 Mike Hampton.

Seems like a good time to stick Fox in a catcher... Give Hill a breather...

Can't. What do you do if Fox gets hurt? Marmol?

... or Wells, once he's done pitching... Has that ever happened?

I think I read that either Baker or Fonty can be used in an emergency.

I always find this a very bizarre "conventional wisdom" argument.

No stats, but I am willing to bet that in less than 5% of MLB games does a catcher leave the game due to injury (or, in Michael Barrett's case, get tossed for punching a prick). Maybe less than 1%.

With a 10-0 lead, on a warm, humid day, with a catcher who has caught every game for weeks, I'd be willing to roll the dice that Fox wouldn't get injured so badly he would need to leave the game in the last 2 innings. If he came up to bat, tell him not to swing so he won't foul a ball off his foot.

Yeah, and it seems to me that Hill might be more likely to get hurt, just from fatigue...

Sword meet Mike Hampton
Mike Hampton meet sword

Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson had to leave Wednesday's game because of a bruised left foot, likely suffered after fouling a ball off of it during the Cubs' six-run first inning against the Houston Astros.

Johnson, who entered the game batting .248, had singled to lead off the first for the Cubs, kicking off a six-run inning. He flied out to center to end the first.

Orioles DL Rich Hill with shoulder tendonitis...can a knee scope be far behind?

As some of the Baltimore media said, Hill's got tendinitis between the ears.

All we need is to bring in Marmol to close the 8th and 9th and this will be a great vitory!!!

Won't this be the right situation for Adkins?

Gameday has two of the four balls just pitched to Fonty as well within the strike zone...

Monday it had four pitches showing as borderline strikes... on an intentional walk.

What should I be happier about the 12 runs scored or the 0 runs allowed?

How about the emergence of Randy Wells as the staff ACE?

Be happiest about the difference between the two. : )

Milton went an entire game without striking out and got robbed of an RBI double, and Koyie Hill is up to a blistering .206 batting average with his two hits today.

I tip my cap to Koye -- catching every game, a day game after a night game, and he gets 2 hits.

"When the hell is this offense gogin to score some......why won't they move Soriano down in the....Soriano can't hit with runners in scoring....they can't expect A-Ram to come back and be the same..."

Aw, forget it.

Reed Johnson...broken foot, out at least a month

Recent comments

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  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.