Diamond Sends Greeting Card to Sori
Thomas Diamond drilled Alfonso Sorianio in the ribs with a fastball, Andres Blanco crushed a Mitch Atkins pitch high & far over the RF fence, and eight Cubs pitchers working in four groups of two threw two innings a piece, as the Cubs continued their pre-Cactus League workouts under sunny skies and a cool north breeze at Fitch Park this morning.
On Field #2, Blake Parker & Jeff Kennard worked their two-inning stints first (about 20 piches each inning), followed by Thomas Diamond & David Patton, with Tyler Colvin, Bryan Lahair, Matt Camp, Janmes Adduci, Starlin Castro, Kosuke Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot, Robinson Chirinos, Koyie Hill, and Josh Vitters taking the ABs.
On Field #3, Mike Parisi worked opposite Jeff Stevens, and then J. R. Mathes alternated with Mitch Atkins, as Sam Fuld, Darwin Barney, Brad Snyder, Bobby Scales, Marlon Byrd, Derrek Lee, Brett Jackson, Kevin Millar, Chad Tracy, Micah Hoffpauir, and Andres Blanco provided the opposition.
Other than the Soriano HBP, Diamond threw the ball very well, as none of the hittrers who faced him got good swings. Mike Parisi also looked good, throwing strikes and mixing up his pitches very well. As a Rule 5 player, Parisi will get a longer look than most of the other pitchers who are "on the bubble."
On the more negative side, Blake Parker and Mitch Atkins were hit hard (especially Parker), as Tyler Colvin continued his hot "live" BP hitting. And David Patton still has major control issues with his curve ball.
James Russell and Marcos Mateo threw in an early morning "live" BP session that preceded the full-squad work-out.
Ted Lilly was on the the field today, participating in PFP and looking chipper. In addition to rehabbing from both shoulder and knee surgery, Lilly has been fighting an infection of some sort the last few days that reportedly had his temperature up to about 103.
The Cubs wore their traditional "home" unis (white with pinstripes and names on the back of the jerseys) today for the first time in 2010. They had been wearing their blue BP jerseys in previous workouts.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.
O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already.
I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.
I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.
Enjoyable read on David Ross.
Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.
With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined).
BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.
If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).
As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).
I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.
Just with the chanting thing it worked to rattle Cueto last year where he dropped a ball and gave up a HR next pitch so you can't really hate on the fans for trying it again in this important of a game.
I felt the same way, too, but...
I was very disappointed with Pittsburgh fans. At Wrigley a few weeks ago, they were very obnoxious guests, the cockiness on Twitter, and what's the deal with chanting Arrieta's name during the game? Very bush league. Add that up with Rodriguez's poor sportsmanship and you quickly have a team that you don't mind beating 4-0 in a do or die game.
Absolutely-It was tense. And when the Pirates couldn't push any runs across, you could see the frustration boil over.