Game 131 Thread / Cubs @ Pirates (1 of 3)
|SP||*Ted Lilly||SP||Jeff Karstens|
|12-7, 4.25, 148 K, 56 W, 161 IP||2-2, 2.25, 11 K, 8 W, 28 IP|
|LF||Alfonso Soriano||CF||*Nate McLouth|
|SS||Ryan Theriot||2B||Freddy Sanchez|
|1B||Derrek Lee||C||#Ryan Doumit|
|3B||Aramis Ramirez||1B||*Adam LaRoche|
|CF||*Jim Edmonds||RF||Jason Michaels|
|2B||Mark DeRosa||LF||*Brandon Moss|
|RF||*Kosuke Fukudome||3B||Andy LaRoche|
|C||Geovany Soto||SS||Jack Wilson|
|P||*Ted Lilly||P||Jeff Karstens|
The Cubs open a three-game set at PNC Park, concluding their 9-game stretch against the Reds, Nationals, and Pirates before they resume play against Major League opposition. (Yes, I'm tempting fate: Friday's smug game preview was just a preamble to an ugly 13-5 loss to the Nats, but 30 games over .500, I'm feeling smug all over again.)
Coming off a tough luck defeat in which he held the Reds hitless for the first 5 innings and wound up yielding just 2 hits in 7 IP, Lily has reduced his ERA to a season-low 4.25.The lefty has given the Cubs Quality Starts in 8 of his last 10 turns, and that defeat to Cincinnati was his first after five consecutive W's.
This will mark Lilly's fourth start of the year against the Bucs. He's 1-0, 5.63 in the three previous starts, with a butt-ugly 8.38 ERA in his two outings at PNC.
Karstens, who landed in Pittsburgh as part of the deal that sent Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the Yanks, makes his fifth start as a Pirate. In his first, back on 8/1, he blanked the Cubs over six innings. His second time out, he was even better, carrying a perfect game into the eighth inning at Arizona, before eventually closing out a 2-0 complete game win. His last two starts have been much more ordinary—16 hits and 7 ER in 13 IP—and more like what you'd expect from a guy who has fanned just 11 men (and walked 8) in 28 innings.
The Cubs have won 11 of the 15 meetings between the two clubs this year, including 4 of the 6 played in Pittsburgh.
Lastly, on Sunday, Mark DeRosa became the first Cub since Fred McGriff (2001) to homer in four consecutive games. If DeRo connects tonight, he'll join Sosa ('98) and Sandberg ('89) as the only Cubs since 1956 to go long in five straight.
||Andy McGaffigan||Livan Hernandez||Jim Brower||Josh Fogg|
||Dennis Martinez||Jim Parque||Wil. Rodriguez||John Lannan|
||Bryn Smith||Carlos Castillo||Shane Reynolds||Garrett Mock|
||O'Neal/Mulholland*||James Baldwin||Tim Redding||Jay Bergmann|
||Larry McWilliams||LaTroy Hawkins||—||???|
*Sandberg homered twice against the Phillies on 8/10/89 and eventually wound up with 6 HR in 5 games. What a stud.
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?
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.)
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.
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.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
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.
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.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
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.
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.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.
You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.
To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.
So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?
First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!