Game 133 Thread / Cubs @ Pirates (3 of 3)

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SP Jason Marquis SP *Zach Duke
  8-7, 4.76, 71 K, 52 BB, 134.1 IP
4-12, 5.29, 72 K, 42 BB, 151.1 IP
LF Alfonso Soriano RF *Nyjer Morgan
SS Ryan Theriot SS Jack Wilson
1B Derrek Lee CF *Nate McLouth
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adam LaRoche
CF Reed Johnson LF *Brandon Moss
RF Mark DeRosa 2B Freddy Sanchez
2B Ronny Cedeno 3B Andy LaRoche
C Henry Blanco C Raul Chavez
P *Jason Marquis P *Zach Duke


The Cubs go for the sweep, and once again I am reminded that I don't know how to add Rob's broom graphic to the game results box at the top of the right-hand column. I'll make you a deal, Jason Marquis: you win the game, and I'll work on the broom.

As they try for their 13th victory in their last 14 road games and their 14th win in 18 games against the Pirates this season, the Cubs will go with their all-righty starting eight, including Henry Blanco in place of Geovany Soto behind the plate.

I hope Hank got the memo about our catchers being required to contribute at least 7 RBI per game. 

 This Month

Pitcher GS
Jason Marquis 4 2-1  23  24 5.09 46
Carlos Zambrano 5 1-1  26.2  31 7.43 39


It's a "travel day" lineup today, clearly. Good for Soto to have the day off, but why DeRo - and in that case, not why DLee?

AZ Phil, can you add your thoughts about the AZ Fall League selections and why the Cubs chose to target these individuals for that coveted assignment?

PonDerosa for MVP is playing in right. DLee had a day off Monday (or Sunday?) and his backup bats left handed.

Oops, my bad. I guess I'm CB Buckner-blind.

It's a "travel day" lineup today, clearly.

Or just the lineup against LHP, with Soto getting the day off in a day game after a night game.

Alfonso Soriano, Oh no!
Ryan Theriot no go
Derrek Lee's not studly
Aramis Ramirez who says?
Reed Johnson is pondscum
Mark DeRosa where's Sosa?
Ronny Cedeno is no volcano
Hank White has no fight
Jason Marquis pitches BP

This poem sucks.

This lineup sucks!

Seriously, why Johnson at #5 and DeRosa at #6?

That's a trick Lou learned from Ned Yost. You set the lineup by defensive position, not by offensive aptitude.

the ability to bitch about a lineup that scores more than anybody else in the league by a far margin is amazing..

Reed and DeRosa have about the same OPS against lefties this year... 

You must be new here. Welcome!

Don't limit the amazing bitching to just the lineup. :)

what happened on the Derrek Lee out in the first? Yahoo has Soriano on third and a groundout to SS. Did the Pirates have the infield in?

Lee go to SS drawn in infield.

Soriano needs to get his head out of his ass. Another error in the first where he took his eye off of the ball and then picked-off trying to steal second just now - out by 10 feet.

in defense of Soriano, the nightlife in Pittsburgh is legendary

Can we get Lee out of the 3rd hole already?!?

Man on 3rd less than 2 out, Ground Out to SS (We need a flyball)

Man on 2nd No out, Ground Out to the left side, instead of the right side!!

At this point we need start playing the hot hands.

Ram 3rd
Derosa 4th
Lee 5th
Edmonds 6th
Soto 7th

Anyone else agree?

navigator does....

Ronny Cedeno should have hit a flyball there....

suicide squeeze by Blanco?

Yeah, bad bunt that worked out well. Popped up down the first base line but no one caught it and it didn't roll foul.

Who is pitching? I thought that Marquis was supposed to be in the mound. It looks like him, but maybe it is his doppleganger?

2nd doppleganger mention I heard today (Rob G wants a RH version of Hoffpaiur), and I am reading a book where one plays a signficant role. Sort of weird.

Yep, despite the well pitched game by Marquis -still dislike him. He is exceptionally average, but as Rob G. and others have repeatedly pointed out he is a solid #5. Maybe it's his personality/public comments (with a healthy dose of above-market contract)?

I remember him being offended by questions re Marshall taking his spot in the rotation, not referring to his pitching (which was equal to Marshall in ST), but suggesting he'd take a trade before he'd move to the bullpen. Now seems to be annoyed (and not motivated) by Lou's skipping him "to give him rest."

All-in-all comes off (to me at least) like he's entitled to his position, regardless of his performance. Or, it cd just be me.

I guess I shd just accept the (temporary)appearance of his doppleganger with a beer and a "Holy Cow."

Nice that the Cubs had their stopper going today!

I soooo love it when the Cubs win an early game. You gotta think that demoralizes MKE a bit when they look at the scoreboard.

I thnk STL was demoralized a bit last night when they looked at their scoreboard and saw 12-0.

3 days in a row for Kerry -- looks like he saved his best for when it mattered the most.

I, for one, will miss the Pirates, particularly the version without Bay and Nady.

It has got to suck to be a kid who likes baseball and lives in Pittsburgh.

yeah, kinda like the way it sucked when I grew up in chicago. ;)

Hey, but you had the Bears.....ah, never mind.

Yeah, but the Blackhaw... wait.

Except that Chicago is a huge market, with the wherewithall to field a winner -- we simply had to hope that the owners, front office and scouts would get their heads out of their assesmake good decisions and eventually get the right talent on the field.

Pittsburgh? I don't know man. It's a proud baseball city, but it's really hard to see a light at the end of that tunnel.

My heart goes out to the fans of that team. They're living the kind of hell Cubs fans lived for years, and they have less reason to hope for better.

But if Milwaukee and Minneapolis can do it, I have to think that Pittsburgh could too. Its just a question of ownership I guess.

btw, it seemed that the Pirates routinely whupped the Cubs in the 70s and 80s, and I believe took a couple WSs too.

So all those poor Pirate fans can get in line behind me!

And then you see they may not have signed their top draft pick:

New cast, same story?

Updating Cubnut's numbers after the game:

This Month:

Pitcher: GS | W-L | IP | H | ERA | AVG. GAME SCORE

Jason Marquis: 5 | 3-1 | 30 | 29 | 3.90 | 50

Carlos Zambrano: 5 | 1-1 | 26.2 | 31 | 7.43 | 39

Props to Jason, concern for Carlos.

Cubs have now won 13 of their last 14 road games.

"Holy Cow!" or "Hey! Hey!" or some such thing.

Well, Cubs can go 2-27 and match last years division championship performance.

Something leads me to believe it will take more than 85 to win the division this year.

If Cubs go 8-21, Cards and Phils would need to go 18-11 to tie.
I like the Cubs chances of making the playoffs this year.

FWIW, as of this morning (pre-game) in their "play the rest of the season a million times simulation", BP had the Cubs at a 99.46249% chance of making the playoffs, 88.42067% of winning the division.

yup, I basically check out those playoff odds every day through the year. Obviously, I check out the ESPN ones to.

Yeah, if the Cubs don't make the playoffs, it will be a complete disaster. However, I believe the Mets were up above 99% last year and...while I'm not sure anyone tracked it, I'm sure the Angels were in 1995 (or whenever that was) when they had a 12 game lead over the Mariners in Mid August only to blow it and lose the tie-breaker game to Randy Johnson.

I'm old enough to remember when the Pirates were perenially near or at the top of the National League - teams that had Manny Sanguillen, Willie Stargell, Clemente and so many others. If they had proper management at the top, they could be very competitive. But Dave Littlefield wasn't the right guy, and did some damage for which they'll need some time to recover.

They were even good as recently as the Killer B's years, but it seems like the finances of the game have evolved now to the point where it will be difficult to build a strong core of players there again.

No doubt that Littlefield made things worse than they had to be. Fortunately, the Cubs were able to benefit from some of his blundering.

The Killer B's were the Astros, weren't they?

Not sure if they brought enough high impact guys in in this years deals, but yeah, better than Littlefield did. You can only hope he and Dusty can hook up down the line to form a dynamic duo of crappy management somewhere in the NL Central.

I assume he meant Bonds and Bonilla, but yeah, most people associate it with the Bagwell, Biggio, Bell, Berkman Astros.

Yeah, Pittsburgh had the original Killer B's (as far as I know) in the early 90's. Bonds, Bonilla, Bream, Bell... Belliard & Backman, too, although their killer quotient is questionable. All those guys, plus Andy Van Slyke and Jeff King. Pretty solid team.

the finances were good enough to get them a new stadium. You can't use financial hardships as an excuse for 15+ years though.

Btw, wasn't Littlefield hired by the Cubs as a scout or something? 

here it is...

I assume Hendry was tired losing at poker every week against the rest of the Cubs staff and needed someone around he could beat.

Unless I'm mistaken, the financing of PNC park by the public was engineered over their objections, which had been expressed through the rejection of a public referendum. Again perhaps mistaken, but the same true for Heinz field I believe.
Thus the understandable public disgust at the continued "unwillingness of Pirates ownership to field a winning ballclub" as if it is ever this formulaically simple.

As an adopted Pittsburgher now for eight years, IMHO the disillusionment with the team has reached a "steady state" and you're looking at the continuing model for "how to make a neat profit from MLB profit sharing" which isn't likely to change any time soon. The owners know they put a stinker on the field, but can now count on a finite but steady amount of ticket sales due to promotions and an increasing proportion of fans who turn out to see the OTHER TEAM. [Last night was no exception- easily majority vocal Cubs fans, even Santo commented on it today during the broadcast.] Add in the MLB cash to the predictable amount of red ink, and they're in the black to an extent they're apparently happy with?

When the season ticket sales and attendance continue to slide (as they have since the 2006 ASG) then ownership's response: this ain't coming out of our pockets, we're going "youth" and letting big payroll go.

Regardless of payroll, if you have a losing record for 16 straight years, your front office is just awful. If you're drafting in the top 5 every single year, you should eventually get some impact players. And then if you can't pay them, you trade them for more young, impact players. That's where the Pirates have continually fucked up.

Trading a young, 36-homer 100 RBI Aramis for Bobby Freakin Hill is the perfect example, and I'm sure there have been plenty more I'm not aware of. Did they even get anyone decent for Bay? I'm sure in the next year or two they'll trade away McClouth for some shit too.

Btw, wasn't Littlefield hired by the Cubs as a scout or something?
Rob, you hit that one out of the park!

Right now, as I type, there is a round of golf going on with Ed Lynch, Grady Little, Dave Littlefield and Hendry is fleecing ALL those bobo's out of their milk money.

two littles and a Jack Brickhouse would say...whooooboy!

it's an honorary position I'm told, and they do have to wear Cub Scout uniforms for their golf outings.

I heard that McClatchy eventually resorted to having a block put on Littlefield's phone to prevent Hendry's calls from getting through.


that would be the greatest golf 4-some to ever watch...

parachat for the screwers/fartinals anyone?

personally i ike b. moss who came over in bay deal

alos whenever i here sister sledge


i think of the 79 pirates stargell parker hebner
moreno sanguillen and so on

Recent comments

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  • 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.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.