Cubs vs. White Sox to Decide the Decade

The White Sox arrive today to finish off the Cubs 10-game homestand. A win for the Cubs would mean a winning homestand at 6-4 and keep the Cubs perfect September in tact. More importantly possibly - he says facetiously -  is a win for the Cubs would tie up the season series, which in turn would tie up the decade series record, which in turn would tie up the the all-time interleague record between the two clubs. See the Cubs and White Sox have been staging their own little Spy vs. Spy since interleague play started back in 1997. Each team taking turns knocking the other out, but ultimately ending up in the same place that they started.

The Cubs throw Ryan Dempster today, the White Sox do not counter with Jake Peavy. Instead it will be rookie Carlos Torres and a 6.75 ERA in two starts. 

The minor league playoff chase has soured for the Iowa Cubs. They've dropped three in a row after winning five straight and find themselves 2.5 back and in third place with just five games left to play. Double A Tennessee has a one-game lead heading into their 5-game set versus West Tennessee(Mariners). To complicate matters, Chattanooga (Dodgers) has also moved within a game, so there will be a little scoreboard watching to go along with the dueling Tennessee's.

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The I-Cubs gave Samardzija three early runs to work with yesterday, but when he was lifted in the third, it was 6-3 against. Ten hits in 2-2/3.

But, they were all singles!

Nevertheless, this minor (league) setback will not stop Jim Hendry from bringing Samartian back up to evaluate his "progress" -- much to Lou's dismay...

"All the September additions the Cubs plan to make are Class AAA players who already have spent time with the big club, to the disappointment of manager Lou Piniella. He would have liked to see some younger prospects this month.

''Evidently, they're not quite ready,'' he said.

Anybody seen Teflon Tim Wilken around?

they've been clearly demoralized since Hoff, Berg and Blanco were stolen from them for the Cubs selfish gains.

The I-Cubs gave...
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even John Gaub gave up runs...sheesh.

http://twitter.com/cst_cubs/status/3735501045

Derrek missing the game for birth of 2nd child...congrats on the boy.

Amused by the misspelling "ovaluation" instead of "ovulation", because the former sounds like "evaluation" which is kinda right. : )

Fukudome, Riot, Ramirez, Milton, Fox, Soriano, Baker, Hill, Dempster to settle the decade...

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/09/93_earl...

20.2 IP scoreless streak for the bullpen, last time I mentioned something like that they tanked for a week or so...

Cubs don't have a CG this year....

Unless we count Sean Marshall's 5-inning CG.

Which we don't. =(

Jim Hendry was just on WSCR and sounded like he had a serious case of PMS. The front-office message appears to be "we're not giving up on the post season unless we're mathematically eliminated".

He also went on a rant (and I'm paraphrasing) "well if I were to ask you guys where you thought the team would finish at the beginning of the year, you would have said first" (agreement) "So obviously you thought we had a good enough team at the beginning of the year..."

Ugh...

Dear Jim Hendry... it doesn't matter what we think. If it did we'd still have Mark DeRosa. You make the decisions and now you own this $140 million dollar 500 record.

Either way, this is not a guy who talks as if his job is safe. I'm just sayin'...

They thougth the Titantic was going to sail to New York.

What's your point Jim?

Besides the arm and range bit, he sounds a lot like Ryan Theriot. Wonder if he's really 19. It would be cool if he could add a bit more power and give us a real shortstop at... shortstop.

I think Theriot is a very good player. He's not one of the best in the league, but you could do worse.

I'm no expert at projecting players, but it sounds like Castro differs from Theriot now in having gap power and the ability to hit the ball after it's traveled deep in the strike zone. Theriot was never anything but a singles hitter.

1. Soriano fails to advance the Jake Hammer to third with one out.
2. Bevis and Butthead rightfully condemn Soriano, saying how great it would be to have a runner at third with 1 out.
3. Baker singles, sharply to right and Quade sends the Jake Hammer home, where he is predictably thrown out.
4. Bevis and Butthead now say that Quade made the right decision, because we're not getting a lot of hits today. Never does it occur to him they are just contradicting themselves, because they just bemoaned having a runner on 3rd with 1 out - a situation Quade just ran us out of.

Fucking morons.

You're getting pretty far down the order. Maybe Quade noticed who was on deck.

Pinch hitters are on deck if needed. Quade made a stupid decision. The fact that the announcers are saying they didn't want the situation they were just saying they wanted is the fucktarded bit.

White Sox score first two runs on errors. What did Soriano do on the second? It sounds like it was a doozy.

He fell down trying to stop when he got to the ball, which then rolled to the wall for a 3 base error.

I just can't get excited about this game (vs. Sox). If we win -- big effin' deal -- it's just the Sox and they're doing nothing this year. If we lose, well, we just lost 2 of 3 to Wash. What else do you expect?

Just a whole big bunch of "meh".

That Gordon Beckham is a nice looking player.

OK, I've officially had enough Soriano. Let him PH twice a week for the rest of the year.

Agreed. Watching him is like watching Sosa the last week of 04. At least give 70% effort, right now he's hovering around 30%. Watching him run down balls in the outfield is just depressing.

I'd never throw that turd a strike - he will get himself out. He is either really hurting, in which case he needs to sit because he's not helping the team, or he is half-assing it, in which case he needs to sit because he's not helping the team.

If we are seriously trying to make a run at the wild card, he is not our best option offensively or defensively right now so he should be sitting...

I had a different memory of Sosa's last week in 04. Checked at BB-Ref:

Sep 26, 2004 to Oct 2, 2004: .304/.433/.652

The Cubs went 1-6 in those games, but it wasn't Sosa's fault. He was among the few players that really stepped up trying to get to the playoffs.

This is another one of those completly untrue statements about Sosa. One thing Sosa never did was dog it on the field, he always gave it everything he had. Whatever the rumor of who he was off the field he showed up at the park everyday ready to play and left all that shit in the clubhouse.

game delay after Theriot shaken up: pitching change with Berg coming in

mike was on...

Len: gosh!
Bob: just horrible!
Bob: uh
Bob: I don't want any fingerprints on this (these?) shit! ha ha ah huh ahha ha!

That was a depressing game if I ever saw one. Dempster pitched well. As for the rest of the team . . . .

Since they had Hoffpauir on the bench and to play 1B, I thought it was a senior managing moment when he didnt put in Fuld as a pinch runner for Fox.

Oops...

Doin a sori impression

On a completely unrelated note, have we talked about Tyler Colvin lately?

I'm starting to believe he's turned the corner. I bet Lou would love to see him and perhaps it was Colvin that he was alluding to...

I'm also going to stick up for Henry on Samardzija. Countless pitchers get a dead arm a year or two after they start pro ball. I'd say they challenged his arm this to develop durability. I think he'll bounce back.

I think the Cubs have already "penciled" Samardzija in the rotation next year. As a result, I predict they will trade Zambrano this winter.

Good god, if this team needs Tyler Colvin, we're all in trouble. If you just want to see him this September, fine, but not as a meaningful guy on the 25-man.

And I'm with you on Samardzija, just because a guy can't pitch effectively in the MLB doesn't mean he won't be a good pitcher SOME DAY. You just have to be patient and not depend on him until he's effective at the major league level.

Can't take credit for this but thought it was good -

"Go Cubs go. Go Cubs go. Hey Chicago whaddaya say? Cubs are gonna (_______) today."

a) squander another quality start by the pitching staff
b) continue to find new and interesting ways to lose ballgames
c) allow Soriano to embarrass himself and the club one more time
d) all of the above

I'm going to have to go with d, all of the above.

e) "wrap Soriano's knee up in duct tape and post the photo on thereifixedit.com"

Message I sent to MLB.com after trying to select the proper winner of the Roberto Clemente award:

I've been doing just a whole bunch of drugs tonight, so please forgive me if this idea seems thought out... but maybe, gosh I am embarrassed to even type this out... just maybe on the Roberto Clemente Award voting you should actually say what each player has done to win the award, rather than just list their name and team so it's a perverted popularity contest. Wow, I should probably get some help, huh?

Iowa loses again, think they're just about done..

Tenn loses to W. Tenn tying up the division, Chattanooga loses as well still leaving them a game back. 4 left to play in Double A.

I dunno about the rest of you guys but I can't wait for the next crop of youngsters to come up from the Cubs' minor leagues and dominate the NL. Makes my mouth water, it does

Makes my mouth water, it does
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any solution to that drooling problem O&B?

Speaking of Cub youngsters --

Compare and contrast: Randy Wells vs. Jason Marquis.

Marquis' last 2 starts: 11 IP, 18 H, 10ER.

Colorado --

Welcome to the 2nd half version of Jason Marquis! On the other hand, they get the choice to leave him off the playoff roster when they inevitably reach the post-season (sigh).

If the Rockies hold on, Marquis will have been on a playoff team every year of his career (10 straight years now).

Carlos Zambrano's last two starts: 7.2 IP, 18H, 11ER.

Carlos Zambrano's last two starts: 7.2 IP, 18H, 11ER.
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we can leave him off the playoff roster too

I'm so apathetic at this point I'm not even really that mad about the Soriano error.

If you think they're still in the chase for the wildcard, guess what...? They aren't.

BP with an article partially on Marmol, non-subscribers can read a good bit, including:

"Through Wednesday’s action, Marmol has unintentionally walked 19 percent of the batters he’s faced, the highest percentage for any pitcher with 60-plus innings in a season since Bobby Witt in 1987 (all percentages here exclude any batters who were intentionally walked). He’s also hit four percent of opposing batters with his frequently errant pitches—easily beating out Bob Wells of the 2001 Twins for the highest plunkage rate of the last half-century. Thus approximately 23 percent of batters that have faced Marmol this year have reached base without a hit—also the highest rate since intentional walks were first recorded in 1955."

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?arti...

Submitted by Rob G. on Thu, 09/03/2009 - 10:25pm.
Iowa loses again, think they're just about done..

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ROB G: And they didn't just lose, either, They did it Cubbie-style.

Leading the last-place Omaha Royals 7-4 going into the bottom of the 9th (and trying to prevent a four-game sweep by the O-Royals), closer Blake Parker got the first out, before loading the bases on a double and two walks. Parker then walked in a run, making it 7-5. John Gaub was called in, and he walked in a run, too, before giving up a game-winning bases loaded double. So the I-Cubs lose 8-7 and get swept by a last place team.

The I-Cubs now trail Memphis by 2-1/2 games and Nashville by two games, with four games to play.

Checking out for the weekend, heading to Toronto to see the city and the Rogers Centre (v. Yankees), then on to Pittsburgh on Monday (a return trip) to watch the bums in Blue try to solve the Charlie Morton Mystery.

Have a nice holiday weekend, everyone.

Thank you for your weekend recap John Beasley.

I am coming back to Chi from Giants country and will probably make it to a bbq, myself.

I'm going to Chicago Saturday, too. Taking the wife and kids to Shedd.

Me too.

Wife and daughter are going to AMerican Girl doll.

I'm taking boys to Sears Tower.

They have not heard about "see through ledge", so when we get there I'm going to push them on to it.

I'm Dad of the Year!!!!

Geesh. And while you're at it, when you push them out on the ledge tell them you're not their real father and Santa isn't real.

Haha!
The ideas keep coming.

I think I'll have them put their Cub hats on and "jump out" and that can be the official TCR pix for the 2009 Season.

Submitted by Old and Blue on Fri, 09/04/2009 - 12:30am.
I dunno about the rest of you guys but I can't wait for the next crop of youngsters to come up from the Cubs' minor leagues and dominate the NL. Makes my mouth water, it does

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O & B: I think when Uncle Lou talked the other day about wanting to see some of the Cubs younger prospects in Chicago in September, he was thinking mainly about 22-year old AA Tennessee catcher Welington Castillo. Piniella has seen Castillo before (Castillo was an NRI in big league camp in Spring Training in both 2008 and 2009), but after Geovany Soto tanked this season, Castillo's development all of a sudden became far more crucial.  

After hitting .174 pre-All Star Break, Castillo has gone 319/357/519 since. He has hit 11 HR in 92 games in 2009 (he hit four last year), and has thrown out 45% of opposing base-stealers this season (up from 36% in 2008), while cutting his PB from 21 in 2008 to 10 in 2009, and his errors from eight in '08 to six in '09, while playing eleven more games behind the plate.

Prior to 2009, Castillo was considered the Cubs #1 catching prospect, even with a tendency to make lots of mistakes defensively (too many passed balls, too many errors, too many mental mistakes).

But even so, Castillo almost made the Iowa Opening Day roster as a 21-year old this past March, but was sent to AA the last week of Minor League Camp. Castillo struggled at the plate at AA the first-half of the '09 season, but that can probably be attributed to the Cubs (specifically ex-catcher Oneri Fleita) asking him to concentrate on his defense, and he did that, albeit at the expense of his hitting (at least over the first half of the season). But since the ASB, Castillo has put his complete game together, and coupled with Soto's bad season, is now probably projected as the Cubs catcher of the near-future.

Castillo will be playing in the AFL next month, and that should help his development going into the 2010 season. He probably needs a year of AAA, but he is (by far) the Cubs best catching prospect, and right now I have him rated as the Cubs #6 prospect with a bullet (behind only Cashner, Vitters, J. Jackson, Castro, and Carpenter).

A Z, what's your take on Soto's struggles this year?

I for one am somewhat annoyed that many seem to be discounting him based on one bad season, but I'm also aware that annoyance is probably based on my wishful thinking that Soto is the guy he was in 2007 and 2008, and not the hitter he was before that or in 2009.

Is it the weight? Is it injuries? Have pitchers figured him out? Does he just suck? What's going on?

While you weight(sic) for AZ PHIL to reply, consider these numbers courtesy of ESPN Premium scouting reports:

Geo Soto 2009 BA vs types of pitches

Fastballs .329 vsRHP.324, vs LHP.344
Curveballs .271 vsRHP.265, vs LHP.286

And then look at his .212 BA and you can probably figure
out what MLB has figured out he can't hit.

Castillo's big bat in 2008 was mostly due to a .368 BABIP, on an 18.4% LD rate. 4 HR's 16 walks versus 75 K's over 329 at bats ain't too good.

This year, his luck has reversed, a .262 BABIP gives him a crappy .230 batting average but he does have those 11 HR's against roughly the same K and walk rate, and an improved 20.3% LD rate, including a torrid August where 31.6% of his batted balls were line drives, which jives with what Phil says about his bat heating up.

Submitted by Charlie on Fri, 09/04/2009 - 11:15am.
A Z, what's your take on Soto's struggles this year?

I for one am somewhat annoyed that many seem to be discounting him based on one bad season, but I'm also aware that annoyance is probably based on my wishful thinking that Soto is the guy he was in 2007 and 2008, and not the hitter he was before that or in 2009.

Is it the weight? Is it injuries? Have pitchers figured him out? Does he just suck? What's going on?

================================================

CHARLIE: I think Geovany Soto's struggles in 2009 at the plate can partly be attributued to injuries, and partly to getting out of shape during the WBC when he mostly sat around and watched Ivan Rodriguez play (added to the very frequent off days for the WBC teams). He also seems to have gotten VERY pull-conscious, so pitchers are keeping the ball away from him.

I think Soto can come back and be the player he was last year, but he will need to work hard during the off-season. And even if he does get back on the beam, he still will ultimately have to battle Welington Castillo for the #1 job, and (in my opinion) W. Castillo is the more-talented player with the higher ceiling.

BTW, I think Hendry might have considered bringing W. Castillo up to Chicago this month to be the 3rd catcher (Chris Robinson probably would have gotten the call, but he is playing in the World Cup for Team Canada, and converted INF Steve Clevenger still needs to work on his defense), but probably would prefer that W. Castillo plays every day (and in the Southern League playoffs) at AA Tennessee, rather than sit around Wrigley Field before heading to Arizona next month to play in the AFL.

ooooo shi....

cubs get thomas diamond from the rangers.

hell yes! great arm to take a chance on...if/when healthy (aka, never).

still...i like that one.

...and yes, he's wild. ...and yes, he needs work.

good starting points for a give-away, though...tools-wise.

I remember trying to hit off him on MVP Baseball '06 in AAA and I never could. I'm such a geek.

that's about the last time he actually mattered.

he's a walking injury...yearly...with control issues, but for a "gimmie" i'll take it.

Murray Chass who writes about American baseball for the Paris Herald among other papers says,

"Jim Hendry, the Cubs’ general manager, did not return a call intended to discuss his team’s plight. I understand that. If I were the Cubs’ general manager, I wouldn’t want to discuss them either."

Bad Hendry!

ah...murray chass...the guy baseball prospectus picked a fight with as the self-appointed protectors of all things statistics related...much to the eye-rolling of other more respectable stats organizations.

yes, chass has some hate to the stats community, but BP's "open letter" (haha) was a self-righteous policing of a community that no one asked them to defend. i guess that's what happens if you DARE to pick on VORP. travis hafner is the best player in baseball, btw. DH's forever.

aside from all the BP stuff, chass is still an angry old meatball of a man.

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