Game 126 Thread / Reds @ Cubs (2 of 3)

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SP Bronson Arroyo SP *Ted Lilly
10-10, 5.51, 125 K, 50 BB, 143.2 IP
12-6, 4.32, 141 K, 54 BB, 154 IP
       
CF *Chris Dickerson LF Alfonso Soriano
SS Jeff Keppinger SS Ryan Theriot
RF *Jay Bruce 1B Derrek Lee
2B Brandon Phillips 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Edwin Encarnacion CF *Jim Edmonds
1B *Joey Votto 2B Mark DeRosa
LF Jolbert Cabrera RF *Kosuke Fukudome
C Ryan Hanigan C Geovany Soto
P Bonson Arroyo P *Ted Lilly

The Astros did us no favors this afternoon losing to the Brewers so it'll be up to Ted Lilly and the Cubs to bring themselves closer to a division and playoff spot. The Cubs current six game lead in the division is its largest division lead since June 22nd, 2001, when they led the Cardinals by that much. Things should hopefully go a little smoother the rest of this season. 

Comments

While I remember the Cubs being competitive until very late in 2001, I have no memory of them having that large of a lead? They were that far ahead of both the Cards and Astros?

I'm certainly not counting my chickens regarding the division, particularly with our horrid September schedule. But with an 8.5 game lead on the wildcard....I don't have a problem talking about the Cubs making the playoffs now. I can't fathom 2 teams jumping the Cubs in the NL (3 if outside our division).

http://www.baseball-reference.com/games/standings....

by July 22nd it was down to 2 games over Houston, by August 22nd they were down 2 games to Houston, by Sept 22nd they were down 7 to the Astros. Cards made a big push after July 22nd as well to tie the Astros.

I'm certainly not counting my chickens

All I have to do to keep my excitement down is think: NYM 07. Keeps it series by series, week by week for me.

Up 9 in the loss column (was 10 yesterday) for a playoff spot with 36 to play. Heck, the Cubs should even be able to hold on to that lead. I think it is safe to start talking PLAYOFFS?!?!?

yeah, just looked it up on ESPN...forgot how far ahead we were then. I don't remember feeling totally crushed that season, I can only guess it was because of 9/11.

Crazy how good the Cardinals were the last 2 months of the season.

I was at the game when I knew the season was over:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SDN/SDN200...

That is when I knew we didn't have the bullpen to keep ahold of the division.

when David Weathers gave up an inherited unearned run, you knew?

Nah, when felix heredia was brought in and Tony Gwynn doubled, i kinda knew then.

I was at this lovely 14 inning night game that year. Had about 80 chances to score in extras before they lost.

How come most of my bad memories of the decade about the Cubs involve the Marlins in one form or another.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHN/CHN200...

I'm telling you my ultimate nightmare is we get into the first round of the playoffs and hit into double play after double play just like last year. We are an extremely double play prone team.

6th in the NL entering today...the more runners on base, the more double plays you'll see.

I know the numbers are a little bit lower than you would think but Lee, Ramirez, Edmonds, Fukudome, Derosa and Soto are all big time double play targets. Even Theriot who has speed has hit into his fair share this year.

Actually... Theriot has the highest double play rate on the team.

Ugh....let us never speak of this game again.

What a miserable game. We are wasting TONS of scoring chances early lately.
Bad defense, inopportune wild pitch, and no base runners in the game after 1st and 3rd no out in the 4th.

We are going to lose our share of games...but that was just a wasted opportunity and waste of a gem by Lilly.

I have this idea that Arroyo becomes Bob Gibson when he plays us...then I looked up his career stats against us on bb-ref, and they're not spectacular. Somebody shoulda let the Cubs' lineup know that before the game tonight.

I hate games like this against a crap team wallowing in last place. A waste of great pitching. Walked out after six. Played nine holes of golf. disgusted. blah!

Shit happens. Get 'em tomorrow and win another series.

Agreed.

The one thing I do know is that Dunn will NOT hit one off the houses across Sheffield against Z this afternoon.

At least Arroyo wasn't hitting homers left and right. Wasn't there a game a couple of years ago where he hit two homers, and drove in like 6 runs? I seem to remember that. It's not like he is a good-hitting pitcher, but I am always a little afraid of him after that...
I am also pretty disturbed any time the Cubs starting pitcher practically gift-wraps a game for the team, and they can't take it. I hope they can start to capitalize more consistently on those games before the end of the season...

Yea... but Glendon Rusch was pitching. :)

I think it's still the best offense in the NL. Sometimes they have bad nights. So did the 27 Yankees.

Yeah, neal. I know that everyone occasionally has bad nights. I just wish that the bad nights didn't match up with great pitching nights...

It's much more fun to lose 15-0 instead of 2-1.

Lilly has been solid since the break (or so).

He's arguably the most consistent Cubs starter this year. The last time he gave up as many as 5 runs in a game was April 17. None of the other Cubs starters can say that.

Unfortunately, he gives up 4 runs too often. If he could just limit the number of home runs he serves up, he'd be outstanding.

FWIW, I give Demp a mulligan on that one game against the Pale Hose, which makes him the most reliably consistent Cubs starter IMO. :-)

In the second half we STINK in Close Well-Pitched Low Scoring Games. And that bodes ill for the playoffs.

2nd Half Games where winner scores 4 runs or less.

WELL-PITCHED LOW SCORING GAME LOSSES

Fri, Jul 18 @ Houston L 2-1 Howry (3-3)
Sat, Jul 19 @ Houston L 4-1 Zambrano (10-4)
Mon, Jul 21 @ Arizona L 2-0 Harden (0-1)
Fri, Jul 25 Florida L 3-2 Howry (3-4)
Sat, Jul 26 Florida L 3-2 12th Gaudin (0-1)
Fri, Aug 1 Pittsburgh L 3-0 Marquis (6-7)
Mon, Aug 4 Houston L 2-0 Dempster (12-5)
Sat, Aug 16 @ Florida L 2-1 Marshall (2-3)
Wed, Aug 20 Cincinati L 2-1 Lilly (12-7)

WELL-PITCHED LOW SCORING WINS

Fri, Aug 8 St. Louis W 3-2 11th Howry (5-4)

CUBS RUNS SCORED IN SECOND HALF WINS (quick&dirty)

9
10
6
9
6
7
11
5
8
11
11
3
6
10
8
11
6
9
5

Average 7.95 Runs per win

Looks like: Our great starting pitching has been rendered irrelevant by the idiosyncracies of our
on-off offense.

In the second half we STINK in Close Well-Pitched Low Scoring Games. And that bodes ill for the playoffs.

Except winning close ball games is mostly a matter of luck.

The Reds are something like 8 or 9 games over .500 in one-run games.

yup, irrelevant...

Cubs offense needs to keep these games close or we have no shot in the playoffs.

/sarcasm 

I've been looking at these numbers really closely and I think I've spotted a trend.

When we score more runs than the other team, we almost always win.

i double checked that one and when the Cubs score more runs than the other team they have, in fact, won every game.

Unfortunately, when they have scored less runs in a game, they still haven't managed to win one yet.

If that's not 'bad luck', I don't know what is. Hopefully we can get that turned around in time for the playoffs. You would think we would have won at least ONE of those games!

probably one of those sample size things you guys are always talking about.

http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=229195&src=152

Also says Cubs will only call up 6 players in September. Speculates they will be Wuertz, Guzman (96mph FB), Hart, Pie, Hoffpauir, K.Hill to the 40Man as well.

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  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 2 hours 6 min ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 3 hours 43 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 51 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 3 hours 54 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 58 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 4 hours 7 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 9 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 4 hours 14 min ago view
  • QuietMan 4 hours 22 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 41 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 5 hours 20 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 6 hours 4 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 6 hours 15 min ago view