2 Runs, 1 Hit...3 Runs, 2 Hits...4 Runs, 3 Hits

Pretty much everytime they flashed the boxscore last night after the 5th inning, I just had to cringe. Rich Harden continued his stampede to free agency with another brilliant effort. He held the arguably best offense in the league to....well nothing, for 5.1 innings and then gives up a walk to #8 hitter Carlos Ruiz before Jimmy Rollins sent one in the bleachers to tie what was looking like an easy victory. So while the Phils efficiently scored their first 2 runs on a hit, the Cubs managed 7 hits through the first six, a few double plays and line drives right at people and only 2 runs.

Then the 8th happened, with Lou and Marmol providing the frustration. We know players are supersitious, some won't step on the chalk line, others eat a bucket of a chicken before every game and Marmol ceremoniously walks a batter when he comes in. He looked like he might wiggle out of it after getting Greg Dobbs and a loud out to Jimmy Rollins, but then uncorked a wild pitch that missed Shane Victorino, although the umps said it hit him in the ankle. The ball was so badly thrown though that Victorino probably deserves the base just on principle. Now the Phillies had Utley, Howard and Ibanez due up. Last I checked they were lefties and the Cubs have two of them in the pen. I know Carlos Marmol has danced along this highwire act a few times, and I could even live with giving him a chance to get a struggling Chase Utley. But Lou didn't even get Grabow warmed up until he walked Utley and in the meantime, Marmol walked in the go-ahead run. Finally Lou goes to Grabow who strikes out Ibanez on three pitches. The Phils actually score their 3rd run without the benefit of a hit.

The Cubs comeback in the 9th off troubled closer Brad Lidge with a clutch walk by Fukudome to lead off the inning, a sac bunt and a single by Milton Bradley continuing his second half surge and on to extra innings we go. In the meantime Guzman pitched 2 innings of perfect ball before handing the ball to Kevin Gregg in the 11th who actually got their big 3 lefties out 1-2-3 with Sean Marshall sitting in the pen. But then the 12th happened and Gregg does what he does best, which is leave something very hittable over the heart of the plate and Ben Francisco gave the Phils their 4th and final run on just their 3rd hit with a basket home run.

The good news of the night was that Rich Harden and Milton Bradley continue their regression to the mean, and the Cards, Rockies and Giants all lost. The bad news is that Lou still seems to trust Carlos Marmol. The blind faith he has in him has to be put to an end until he can find some control which is bloody unlikely at the moment. Guzman has more than proven his worth to this point and probably won't be perfect the rest of the way, but at least he'll make the other team earn it with a hit.

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"The slumping Milwaukee Brewers have sent former All-Star shortstop J.J. Hardy to the minors, given up on third baseman Bill Hall and fired pitching coach Bill Castro."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4394074

The Brewers will be news again when they get some pitchers. :)

Or trade us Fielder.

Bill Hall might be an interesting guy to "Buy Low" on?

He can/has play(ed) Ss,2nd,3rd,Cf and you'd assume could play the corners as well.

His upside is surely better than that of Aaron F'N Miles or Jeff Baker.

Best case, is you have yourself a new 2nd baseman/SS with 30 HR power. Making MLB minimum none the less.

I'd take a flyer on him if he refuses assignment and gets released. I don't see the Brewers eating his salary and trading him to us, but maybe Lou and Von Hayes Joshua Tree could work some magic, since they are doing such a great job with our other hitters this season.

I say Lou should put Marmol on a pitch count...of 3 pitches. If at least 2 are strikes, he gets another 3. Otherwise, yank him. I was going to say 7 pitches, but by that time you could have a walk and 2 hit batters.

Best plan I've heard in a while. Or how about trading Marmol to the Brewers for JJ Hardy?

This might be 3/44, but there is an awesome feature on Sam Fuld up at ESPN: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4391911

The article came about when I met the writer at a Mariners-Rangers game in Seattle. She loved the saga of Sam Fuld and told me she thought it would make a good story... that is when I found out she worked for ESPN. Crazy stuff. Make sure it gets lots of hits! Thanks...

There's a quote from Mike Fontenot about Sam Fuld in that ESPN article that reveals why Fontenot struggles so much, he's, well, how do I say this politically correct...mentally challenged?

"His catch at Wrigley, jumping into the padded wall and then throwing a guy out, that was one of the best plays I've ever seen," said Cubs second baseman Mike Fontenot."

Has Fontenot ever gone out to the Wrigley outfield? Or, I don't know, ever heard anyone ever talk about the outfield? Padded? WTH?

Umm... you may want to rethink who is "mentally challenged."

The walls are padded. The outfield (i.e. ivy) walls are not padded, but the walls along the foul lines are.

If it's the play I think they're referring to, Fuld ran flat into the ivy. A thin layer of leaves is all the padding he had between his body and the bricks.

believe Fuld made 2 great catches, one at Wrigley against the brick wall which was the DP, another on the road in foul territory up against a padded wall(St. Louis?). Fontenot probably just got the two confused on where they happened and the writer was a little slow on picking up the mistake....or he's an idiot.

Fontenot said "his catch at Wrigley", which is the one where he caught the ball, ran into the ivy, and threw the runner out at first to double him up. There's no padding under the ivy.

Hey great article and thanks for passing it on. Didn't know any of that about Fuld. Now there is somebody to root for on this often hard-to-root-for team.

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

on Bradley...

between Kaplan and Sullivan, the overpaid athlete bandwagon is getting pretty full, yet Soriano remains unscathed.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9922760/Sources...

Rsox have a few days left to trade him, otherwise they'll have to release him.

IF the Cubs were contending I would say that he would be a GREAT in the bullpen. *eye roll*

Seriously, though, the bullpen needs a few steady veterans that can come in the game and give you a high percentage of dramaless innings.

I like the idea of pursuing Smoltz. My personal belief (based on virtually no facts) is that Smoltz still has a little left in the tank, just not as a starter.

Of course that begs the question, if Smoltz would be willing to work out of the Cubs (or anyone else's) bullpen, why didn't the Red Sox just move him to their bullpen? Is it because Boston's bullpen is so stacked already?

I imagine he'd like to close...I'd begrudgingly be willing to relieve Gregg of that duty.

MLB Trade Rumors, quoting the St. Louis Post Dispatch, says that Tony LaRussa is lobbying to get John Smoltz (and Justin Speier).

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/08/la-russa-wan...

a power pitcher with a 88-90mph fastball and nothing to set up a slider that was never that great to begin with (well, it worked with a mid90s mph fastball and only then vs. righties).

brilliant.

god knows the rsox cut him because they're in last place and have no space for a pen arm.

i hear bj ryan is available. he used to be good.

stl getting smoltz would be fun.

Wittenmeyer tweets:

Theriot, milt, lee, fox, fuku, sori, baker, hill, shark

vs Pedro Martinez

5th game without a fontenot start...cold.

the guy started to show some shred of consistancy and power since late july...c'mon play the guy.

What? In his last 10 games, his average went from .228 to .231, with 1 homer. I guess you could call that consistency, but he is still the 2nd worst infielder on this team.

doubles are power, too.

he's making some solid contact he wasn't making earlier. he's smacking the ball.

Yeah, you're either pro-Fonte or anti-Fonte... It's kind of a faith thing at this point.

well, im not pissed he's not starting or something. baker's hit a lot the past 3 games or so and got 4 singles last night.

i'm just kinda amazed it's been 5 games.

It doesn't matter what level of suck we play at 2B.

I clamored for Julio Lugo, but he wasn't good enough for some of you.

S u c k!

why does it matter if it's not good enough for some of us? what does that have to with anything?

Shark hasn't been good for a year, Marshall is broken, Marmol can't throw strikes the pitching staff is falling apart after being so solid and keeping the team in contention.

The only silver lining here is we play much weaker competition for a few weeks...might be enough to at least keep it interesting for a while.

Smoltz btw doesn't want to pitch out of the bullpen for the Rsox, so doubtful he's coming to the Cubs.

Reed a couple of weeks away...

You know you've been a Cub fan for too long when you think to yourself, as you prepare to check the score, "Hmm, it was 8-1 before...I'm thinking it's probably 12-1 now." And it's 12-1 now.

Some douchebag in the left-center field bleachers threw a beverage on Shane Victorino as he was pulling in a Jake Fox deep fly on the warning track in the bottom of the 5th inning. WGN cameras showed him getting escorted from his seat by Wrigley Field security. They should let him have a short "private chat" with Victorino before they let him leave the park.

Sully wrote that security grabbed the wrong guy and the real culprit slipped out of the park. The Cubs apologized to Victorino and are working with the police to find the 'real splasher' and prosecute him.

I'm not sure what the law allows as punishment for throwing a drink on someone. I agree it's juvenile and shouldn't occur, but what, 40 lashes with a cane should be the punishment?

The great thing about Samardzija, see, is that he played football at Notre Dame, which obviously means he will be a good MLB pitcher.

I would hope that Shark Boy proved to Hendry that he doesn't belong up here, at least for the foreseeable future. It also seems very apparent that this team isn't going to make the playoffs unless there's a train wreck in front of them, and even if that happens they will likely get their behinds handed to them again because they play even worse against better teams.

I really wonder if Hendry gets axed if they miss the playoffs, or make it and get clobbered a third straight time. It reminds me of when the Bulls fired Doug Collins and Reinsdorf made some statement about Collins could get them from point A to point B, but they need someone to get them to point C and seal the deal, so they appointed Phil Jackson. The move was panned at the time because the team had a bright future after decades of stink. Kind of like how Hendry has helped revive the team and change our expectations, but can't seem to get beyond that point. I realize once a team is built there's still a lot of luck involved, including avoiding injuries, and we were kind of due this year after a couple of mostly injury free seasons. And even if Hendry were replaced, a new GM would be handcuffed by some of the contracts Hendry signed, most notably Soriano. Even Len Kasper made a bit of a swipe at Soriano tonight, repeating that he thought Sori could catch a ball that ended up a double (I thought the TV replay didn't back that, but we didn't get to see Sori's initial reaction, which is what Len was complaining about). Still, it's gotten pretty bad when the team's main cheerleader starts piling on.

I've really noticed some shades of '04 coming from the booth lately, and we all know how that ended up. I really hope the players don't start calling out the broadcasters, leading to Len and Bob's firing. I've grown to like them a lot as a team, and remember with horror the days of Joe Carter.

No broadcasters were fired after '04.

Photo of the beer thrower:

http://ow.ly/jTlk

100% clear video evidence that they threw out the wrong guy, via a comment on that blog you linked to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwWtXCcCgSI

Watch the :26 second mark. Then, at the 1:00 minute mark, the security guards come to kick out the wrong guy, and the guy who did it is clearly telling security that he did it. Sadly, they chose to ignore his confession.

Thank God this wasn't another Bartman incident or they could have ruined some innocent guy's life.

Video no longer available on YouTube, thanks to the MLB copyright German National Socialist Party dudes.

oddly...mlb is one of the best/fastest at catching copyright infringement.

people from the big networks should check out what system/people/etc. they're using...heh. they catch some real obscure titled/hidden stuff.

I love that even the jackass next to him with the blue headband is looking at him like, "Dude, wtf? When you get home, slap your mom in the face for bringing more stupid into this world."

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  • Indians extend their streak.

    Darwin Barney gets tagged with the loss.

    Mornington Crescent 3 min 45 sec ago view
  • delayed until 7:20 -EST- (tarp off the field)...

    CLE/TOR in the top 18th in case you're bored. 2nd baseman r.goins pitching for TOR...hit 90mph so far. 1ip 2h 1bb 0k, 0 r/er (bb was ibb). he threw a fastball/change mix. crowd loved it. d.ross is not impressed.

    d.barney strands j.lake at 2nd in the bottom 18 for the cubs bluejays...to the 19th!

    -cubs game has begun-

    crunch 18 min 21 sec ago view
  • BRADSBEARD: Javier Assad was still pitching into the 6th inning, and the first batter he faced reached base on an E-4 (that was Assad's 70th and final pitch of the game). Then Leathersich relieved Assad and retired the second batter 4-3 on the first pitch of the AB (the runner at 1st base advanced to 2nd on the play), and then on an 0-1 pitch the third batter in the inning (second one faced by Leathersich) lined into an inning-ending 6-4 DP (baserunner doubled off 2nd base). When calculating GO/AO, double plays and triple plays count as only one out. 

    Arizona Phil 34 min 12 sec ago view
  • Wow. The site actually loaded without an error! Happy 4th all, and Go Cubs!

    The E-Man 1 hour 30 min ago view
  • OK -- my 4th of July resolution is to try to stay more positive. So -- 10 games to the AS break, meaning the Cubs will be in first place at the break! First time since...2008? Also, hopefully, Willson, KB and Javy learned something about Familia yesterday that they can use in the future.

    billybucks 2 hours 5 min ago view
  • Hmmm, my math might be fuzzy but if he retired 3 batters with 3 pitches, how did he get a 1/1 GO/AO ratio?

    bradsbeard 3 hours 30 min ago view
  • Pls DFA Peralta when Richard comes back. Richard 1 IP, O R, O ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks in first rehab appearance. We really need to trade for a LHRP.

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 47 min ago view
  • "The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/source-red-sox-b...

    Rob Richardson 7 hours 26 min ago view
  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 7 hours 41 min ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 7 hours 54 min ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 8 hours 55 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 11 hours 3 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 11 hours 19 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 11 hours 20 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 19 hours 54 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 20 hours 24 min ago view