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.
Everytime I recall Szcur's bne marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.