Game #35 Preview: Marlins (16-17) @ Cubs (14-20)

Losers of seven of their last eight games and four in a row, the Cubs try to salvage the finale of the three-game series with the Marlins.

From my office window, I see lots of clouds, fog, and in the alley behind Mr. Beef, a couple guys who look like they're ready to start throwing punches. Forecast says there's a 70% chance of rain by 3pm. I foresee a nearly 100% probability that I'll be disgusted by the second inning.

Pitchers: Chris Volstad (3-2, 4.12) vs. Carlos Silva (3-0, 3.50)

Volstad has racked up four ND's against the Cubs but has pitched pretty well each time out. Silva, making his sixth start as a Cub, got rocked pretty hard last Friday in Cincinnati, though he was the beneficiary of that offensive explosion on Starlin Castro's debut night and collected a victory for his five-inning, ten-hit, four-run effort. Also noteworthy (?): Silva mentioned having shoulder discomfort following the game. Perhaps all of those pins that Carlos Zambrano has been sticking in his Carlos Silva voodoo doll are finally taking hold.

Good history: Silva is new meat to most of the Florida hitters, but against Volstad, Mike Fontenot is 4/11 with a home run and The Man Who Used To Be Aramis Ramirez (not in today's starting lineup) is 4/8 with a HR. 

Bad history: Kosuke Fukudome has gone 1/10 against Volstad, while Alfonso Soriano is 0/9 with 4 K's and Derrek Lee, who stroked a pair of doubles last night, is 2/11 with 4 K's.


As mentioned, A-Ram, down to .159 after last night's oh-fer, is sitting, with Jeff Baker, hitting just .220 himself, starting at third. Also, Castro is hitting in the second spot in place of Theriot, who is resting with "a tight hammy, not considered serious" according to Wittenmyer.

Fish: Coghlan 7, Sanchez 3, H. Ramirez 7, Cantu 5, Uggla 4, Paulino 2, Ross 8, Carroll 9, Volstad 1.

Cubs: Fukudome 9, Castro 6, Byrd 8, Lee 3, Soto 2, Soriano 7, Fontenot 4, Baker 5, Silva 1.


Well, at least they removed one gaping black hole from the middle of the lineup...

Juan Cruz no longer an option. Injured.

"I foresee a nearly 100% probability that I'll be disgusted by the second inning"


I made my kid's cereal today and when I poured in the milk I saw Tyler Colvin's picture on the carton.


Crunch - your buddy jakester just popped up in the comments of the last thread...

i'm not getting into that.

i've already lost my ass to that guy in a past internet lawsuit.

according to my records he hasn't cashed his internet lawsuit check yet so that makes me kinda nervous about our past settlement.

Nice, one. At least this lineup give me a small bit of confidence that Lou is alive. For a while I thought maybe Trammel was rolling him around like Uncle Bernie.

for Corey patterson...

that's the 2nd prospect on Mike C's awesome list of prospect from other teams that has been sent down.

Oh, I'm guessing the Achilles surgery he had last September has something to do with it. He didn't see much action in ST.

Marlon Byrd is the tits.

I'd love Marlon to death if he do something about his throws to the plate tailing so far off line. They were tailing far right this spring and the Dback announcers predicted that the league would run without fear against his arm.

So, it doesn't count that he threw someone out at home in the last few games?


Carlos The Stopper Silva back to his old tricks. I guess he's going to win the Cy Young on a list place team. He's the new Steve Carlton.

i'm pretty sure he spent the offseason looking for desolate dirt road crossroad intersections seeking the devil in order to inquire about a possible deal.

Those helicopter rentals aren't cheap, so the ridiculous deal he signed with Seattle really helped a lot.

The Marlins announcers were schticking it up over Silva's contract. It's okay for us to kid about it, but he's 4-0, so they can get bent.


I expect Mount Z is about to erupt.

Can't be having much fun.

Cubs win! Cubs win!


5 games til .500 !!

castro back in the 8 hole friday according to lou...

theriot has a tight hamstring...held out for cold weather...

going 2-4 for will get you that demotion every time.

pulled in the 8th to put in another righty against John Baker.


ronnie woo is making sure people realize he still exists by screaming over the part of the park where the post-game media room is...after a few minutes of it...

"have you ever met ronnie woo-woo?" - reporter
"who?" - silva
*reporter laughter*

Wow... I can't believe he has his own website... I needed that. Strongly recommended if you need a chuckle...

That flaming ball looks like it is going to end up a high and well of the plate for a ball, so the website looks pretty accurate to me.



Wow, click on the HOME link. The flash animation is totally over the top and obnoxious.

I have the two-sport poster of him shirtless on the ceiling above my bed.

Except Bo was good.

Wow, I really just can't get enough of this website. I'm scrolling through the photo gallery wondering what sort of filter is used for deciding on the images. First there's a glorious picture of him running with the football with his fingers are firmly wrapped around the facemask of a defender...but then, there's, what looks like one of Tim's cartoons, which is slamming Someninja's shortlived baseball career. Either he's got a great sense of humor or they're slapping every photo google finds onto the website.

Jack of all trades, master of none.

if you don't in this age and you're a high end pick or player...your agent sucks.

Jim Palmer on Corey Patterson being called up: "it gives them a guy who can bat leadoff".


One out bottom of the 9th, Ludwick on first, Cards down by 8. Pujols doubles against the wall and Ludwick busts his ass to come around and score, the crucial 2nd run... more importantly getting Pujols a worthless RBI.

he's got to get his RBI's somehow, he pretty much gets the Bonds treatment now with runners on.

/bitter owner of Pujols this year in fantasy ball

The funny thing about the Bonds treatment is that it's self-fufilling. If the umpires would call the strike zone correctly, then pitchers wouldn't be afraid to pitch to these guys. The fact that they get a shoebox sized strike zone makes the pitchers say "screw it, I'll just walk him".

Cant we all just enjoy a rare cubs win and a day off for
Aramis Ramirez to work with his well known batting coach.

This from today's Tribune web article on today's game:

"The Cubs still have room for much progress."

That's some quality word putting togethering.

...and also news to me.

only 5 games to .500!

saw that Cashner and Vitters are doing well after their promotions...

from the Baseball America daily list/prospects report...

CHC AAA Cashner, Andrew
6 5 1 1 1 6 1.50 W (1-0); First start at Triple-A goes just as well

CHC AA Vitters, Josh 3B
4 1 2 0 .462 2 2B (3); Promotion to Double-A hasn't slow him one bit

Glad I'm not DeRosa's doc...

A brutally honest Mark DeRosa said Tuesday that the left wrist surgery he underwent last year was a "total failure" and will remain out of the Giants' lineup for at least a couple of days to determine his next course of action.

When DeRosa's surgeon was asked to comment he only said
"HIII! Everybody!!!"

They should go back and forth in the press debating just who is the actual failure. That'd be fun.

my money is on Dr. Kremcheck

Recent comments

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  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely. 

  • has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.

  • As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?