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


Recent comments

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  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.