Game Preview: Cubs (26-31) @ Brewers(23-34) & Strasburg Day

Join the fun in Parachat if you're going to be tuned in to watch Stephen Strasburg's debut and stay for the Cubs game that starts an hour later or if you want to talk about the Blackhawks game(which doesn't happen until tomorrow).

Aramis is out of the lineup and is getting his hand checked out again according to Wittenmyer who hints a DL trip could be looming. With Chad Tracy having another 4-hit day down in Iowa, might not be a bad time for a couple weeks off.

The original lineup had Tyler Colvin sitting against Gallardo but Lou had a change of heart and is sitting Soriano instead. I give up trying to make sense of it.

Theriot, Fukudome, Lee, Colvin, Byrd, Fontenot, Hill, Castro, Lilly


Weeks, Gomez, Fielder, Braun, McGehee, Hart, Escobar, Kottaras, Gallardo


aram's right wrist/hand hasn't been right since a funky swing a few games ago.

yeah, he was doing really well before then.

you were there in parachat when i saw the swing and pointed it out to you.

given you were delayed on a feed you should have seen the awkward pulling of the top hand off the swing that's uncharacteristic of his top hand that usually "flies" off when he swings. he followed that by dropping the hand and a reflex reaction of pulling it up sling-style close to his body for a moment before dropping the hand.

there was also that crappy throw he made to 1st the following inning.

he already missed a few days with a thumb injury and has clearly not been himself all year.

I'm saying most likely it's nothing new you saw, doc crunch.

yeah, i totally didn't see anything unusual there. he does that every at bat, takes a while off, then goes on the DL. my bad.

a guy doesn't have to crumple into a ball at the plate to tip something.

and it turns out it is his thumb not what happened on that swing.

at least it's not 2 hands hurt now.

thumb it is, hand-gate thwarted.

Zimmerman HR, Straß starts career with a lead!

Regarding ARam...

I'll try to writeup up something when they give out more info on what testing they have done (i.e. MRI). If it's still bothering him, my guess is he has a torn ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb MCP joint (and it will be more than 2 weeks off if that's the case). Even if Tracy hits .260, it will be an upgrade from the offense we've been watching in the last 6-8 week.

Chad Tracy sparked the offense for the Cubs, ending his day 4-for-4 with two solo home runs. It was Tracy's fourth four-hit game as an I-Cub and his first two-homer game.

mark prior 2.0 seems to be pretty good at baseball...3ip 1h 0bb 6k so far...

grabow 2.0 seems to have shown up for the 4th. oh well...not everyone can be carlos "cy" silva.

Mark Prior 2.0 has arrived with three better pitches than the previous version and better control.

And he's not hurt yet, so he's already more durable than Prior.



Now that was a fun mlb debut.

14K, no walks, 94 pitches in 7 IP.

Marmol finally blows one...

this game was awesome except the last minute of it.

and comcast lost the feed from Milwaukee for the ninth inning. Failure and technical least I didn't have to watch the bottom of the 9th

Beautiful -- 2-5 trip so far against the dregs of a crap division.

Can't expect Marmol to save 'em all, but this was a killer -- score in the 9th to go ahead, one strike away, chance to build some momentum....fuck. Fuck this fucking game.

Bummer for Ted.

Plus, adding insult to injury, by a 3B we could really use right now. Fucking Hendry.

OK, but can I point out that we intentionally put the winning run on first base with only one out? At least we did according to

they did, 3-0 on Fielder and Gomez just stole a base.

didn't want to groove one to Fielder apparently.


epic 11-pitch Broxton vs. Pujols at-bat ends in Pujols K'ing.

Ramirez is 5-for-28 since the injury was revealed in Philadelphia on May 20. If he had gone on the DL the next day, Ramirez would have been able to return June 5.

Maybe we can add Ernie Broglio to the roster, I hear he's willing to pitch poorly with an injury too.

The Chicago Cubs, willing to play injured players for centuries

Is Chad Tracy going to be eligible for the playoff roster?


(reds n cards both lost, making the loss just a little more irritating)

Just watched the highlight reel for Strassburg's start... my god, what a beast. He's got unbelievable stuff going on. It makes me happy for the game of baseball, but sad he's in the NL.

Ps... I've heard a lot of comparisons for Strassburg, but he's really his own pitcher. 101 mph in inning 6 with nearly-pinpoint control... are you kidding?

He will probably get his own channel.

I saw a preview on it on ESPN last night where they featured no other programming for four or five hours, interviewing all their on-air folks, former pitching greats, Buster Olney, yadda yadda...

Don't get too excited, he made like 3 bad pitches, so he's not perfect.

Kerry Wood is the only guy I can think of who had a comparable fastball/slider combo - but Strasburg has a distinct curve and a useful changeup to go with the two fastballs, and for the most part throws them where he wants.

I've never seen anything like what he was doing last night.

I have to wonder if the start was intentionally timed with the draft so it would be National Nationals Week this week.

Kerry Wood definitely used to have a distinct curve before he blew out his arm. Watch the 20K game and look at how much lateral break he was getting on some of those pitches.

Watching Strasburg last night definitely reminded me of Kid K. Let's hope Riggleman's a little more cautious with this one.

If he had a distinct curve, he didn't have a slider - take your pick.

They were talking in the broadcast last night about how Wood's elbow was hurt before he ever arrived.

Whoever the jackass color guy was, he was going on and on about how Strasburg had clean mechanics and should pitch as much as he wanted, and how he wasn't like Wood. No one had the brains or stones to mention Mark Prior, though.

Jackass color guy = Jim Kaat

Talk about needing to let something go.

While I think the overwork contributed, didn’t the surgery reveal the likely origin of his shoulder injury was the collision with Giles?

I'm guessing Strassburg has some kind of genetic looseness.

Not that I ever heard.

Thanks - I don't remember that one. I just read that article twice and I don't understand it, but no one actually makes the conclusion Rob mentioned. It's merely a possibility as I understand it, though Dr Hecht will hopefully come by and clarify his take for me.

Actually I'm glad he's in the NL. The AL is considered the better league by a lot of folks and the NL is starting to inject some interesting young kids into their rosters. I don't follow the AL enough to know if they are, too, but this kid is unbelievable and pitching in the NL, which is a good thing I think.

It's not like it matters to the Cubs. They don't hit anybody.

left to his own devices riggleman will be more cautious - he is admittedly haunted by wood...the dilemma will come if/when the nats are in the late stages of a pennant/playoff race...btw, say what you will about prior's fragility, down the stretch in '03 he was the best horse the cubs have ridden since sutcliffe in '84, including maddux in '89; the ace that whathisname has never been, even if only for half a season...

It was painful watching Riggleman last night - you have to feel for the guy, trying to balance what his boss tells him to do, versus the real possibility that he creates a 45000 person riot.

"This year he's given up a .262 batting average on balls in play, which as any schoolboy can tell you just isn't sustainable."

Ugh... okay... he's been lucky. Anyone with two working eyeballs can tell you that, but let's not pretend .300 BABIP is a naturally-occurring phenomena. He's a contact pitcher and he'll have a lot of ground outs and a low BABIP. BABIP is not a magical predictive statistical bullet.

His career babip, by year:

2002 .311
2003 .309
2004 .320
2005 .293
2006 .316
2007 .302
2008 .344
2009 .321
2010 .262
Career: .311

I would say that a .262 is lucky, and is way out of line with his career numbers. And your "he'll have a lot of ground outs and a low BABIP" is pure bullshit.

Couple of issues here.

Can you put up his career K/9 numbers along with the BABIP? Silva is pitching differently than he has in the past, any "analysis" that doesn't recongize that as a starting point, isn't worth the virtual paper it was written on.

The other issue, is that groundball pitchers tend to give up higher BABIP's depending on various things. Silva is playing in a new park, in front of a new defense and throwing the ball differently. Take a look at each of his hit rates on batted balls (throw out the concept of BABIP because it's dated if you are actually trying to get a feel for an individual pitcher) and see what you get.

It's entirely possible that he has a BABIP of .262 for a season. Without looking at the Cubs ability to turn batted balls into outs, and specifically the batted balls that he's likely to give up into outs - you can't really conclusively say that the number can't be sustained for a season. Over two or three years? Probably not, but it could be well south of .311 (even though BABIP is still outdated).

If you're a groundball pitcher, walks and BABIP don't effect you as much as if you're a flyball pitcher - fwiw.

Can you put up his career K/9 numbers along with the BABIP?

I was waiting for someone to mention this. You nailed it.

The idea that a low BABIP can be explained by "luck" is absolutely preposterous. And dangerously stupid to understanding the game.
Look at Silva's strike outs/9 this year and you're looking at a Silva no one has ever seen before.

You mean luck doesn't factor in?

Or do you mean that luck isn't the only possible factor?

I can get on board with the second one, not the first.

I don't disagree with you, actually.

What I disagree with is Ryno's assertion that "he'll have a lot of ground outs and a low BABIP." His past history says that is bullshit.

And while I do agree with you that he could maintain a .262 BABIP this year (I never said otherwise), I do not think it is very likely.


but the original quote says "Is not sustainable" I guess he may be meaning over the course of a career for a starting pitcher - but I tend to think the context is for 2010, so Neyer was wrong, because SP's have had BABIP's that low (Maddux once ran off a streak of doing three times in four years). Two pitchers beat that number last year, and about 20 are ahead of the pace this year.

Something else that isn't possible is three perfect games in a month... wait, nevermind. I think the SABR community is a little slow to recognize the shift to pitching that is going on.

Silva has also been excellent in controlling his batted ball trajectory this year - look at his GB/FB ratio by game, and then compare it to the pitching conditions for that game. For instance, his start in New York he worked up in the zone and got a lot of FB outs (and a big ol' jack to Hank White if memory serves).

strasburg is allegedly only gonna be allowed something like 100 innings in the majors

should be fun if nats are in the race

Thankfully he will only need about 83 pitches to no hit the Cubs.

They said that about 5 times during the broadcast last night. Between 100 and 110 was what they said (150 to 160 total on the season).

CNN tour of baseball history exhibit... kind of interesting:

Virtually everyone on twitter: Cubs recalled Chad Tracy from Triple-A and placed Aramis Ramirez on the 15-day DL (retroactive to June 8) with a left thumb contusion.

Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan has a broken thumb, I wonder who will get off the dl first


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  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 2 hours 47 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 2 hours 48 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 12 hours 29 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 15 hours 27 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 15 hours 39 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 15 hours 48 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 15 hours 53 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 16 hours 12 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 16 hours 48 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 17 hours 6 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 17 hours 7 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 17 hours 25 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 17 hours 33 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 18 hours 28 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 18 hours 46 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 18 hours 50 min ago view