Game #64 Preview: A's @ Cubs

The A's make their second-ever visit to Wrigley Field—the Cubs are the only National League never to have played in Oakland—having been swept this past weekend in San Francisco.

The weather forecast is not promising, with saying there is a 100% chance of precipitation through the shank of the evening. Is there a rainout-forced doubleheader in these teams' immediate future? If there's anything better than interleague play, it's an interleague doubleheader made necessary by the screwy MLB schedule...which became infinitely screwier when MLB adopted interleague play.

The A's come in Foxless, having DFA's former Cub Jake Fox yesterday. Earlier today, the A's picked up first-baseman/left fielder Conor Jackson from the Diamondbacks. Jackson is not in the A's starting lineup; not sure if he will be in uniform tonight at all.

Speaking of the lineups...

A's vs. Carlos Zambrano (2-4, 6.05; 1-0, 1.35 vs. A's)
Davis 8, Barton 3, Sweeney 9, Suzuki 2, Kouzmanoff 5, Cust 7, Ellis 4, Pennington 6, Cahill 1

Cubs vs. Trevor Cahill (5-2, 2.91; first start vs. Cubs)
Theriot 4, Castro 6, Byrd 8, Lee 3, Colvin 9, Soriano 7, Tracy 5, Hill 2, Zambrano 1

Zambrano is making his third start since returning to the rotation. Last time out, he survived five walks over five innings to beat the Brewers. A's starter Trevor Cahill is coming off one of the best starts of his career, an eight-inning, one-run effort against the Angels. He has been successful recently by keeping the ball down in the strike zone and avoiding the longball—just one HR allowed over the past 33 innings.

Things you learn about the A's and Cubs from spending way too much time on

Greatest former Cub who wound up playing for the A's: Billy Williams.

Winningest former Cub pitcher who wound up playing for the A's: Kenny Holtzman, who went 80-81 for the Cubs before joining the A's in 1972 and going 77-55 in four seasons.

Most petulant player who wore both Cub and Athletic uniforms: you might rush to say Milton Bradley. But I'm going to go with Dave Kingman, who was well on his way to the Jerk Hall of Fame before Milton had even played his first Little League Game.

Note: doesn't rank players by petulance. That one is my call.

This one's for you, Kong.


third basemen Conor Jackson?

I fixed that one.

link for Jerk Hall of Fame goes to Fox story, that one I can't fix.

Changed the Kingman link.

that Easter buffet looks fantastic...and what a price!!!

Sadly the offer expired 30 years ago.

Gordo Witt says some similar (maybe smart?) things to what I was ranting about in the thumb article. Basically, this team would be better mid-term to semi-blow it up now (although he mentions Ramy, who I think I'd keep).

But he's worried how the fans would take it....

Strasburg gets SI cover over Blackhawks, although Hawks cover will go out locally.

lol...americans and hockey...

izzo staying at michigan state, cavs not having a coach has to in someway help bulls in lebron chase.

To hell with the Yankees and their complicated shoes.

First pitch expected for 8:45pm CT:

Only thru 4 but...

Suppan working on Cy Young:

4ip, 4hits, 1 run, 4 k's

Leading 3-1

Only blemish...solo HR M Bradley

Z struggling in the first again.

When Ramirez comes back I thought I saw whereif Tracy goes down to Iowa
he would have to clear waivers?

oh no!!!

Submitted by rokfish on Tue, 06/15/2010 - 8:06pm.
When Ramirez comes back I thought I saw whereif Tracy goes down to Iowa
he would have to clear waivers?


ROKFISH: Chad Tracy is NOT out of options, but he does have to give his permission before he can be assigned to the minors (by optional or outright assignment) because he has accrued 5+ years of MLB Service Time. As a player with 5+ years of MLB ST, Tracy could opt to be a free-agent (and be paid his entire remaining salary as termination pay) if he is sent to the minors without his approval. While he did agree to the Optional Assignment when the Cubs sent him to Iowa in May (most players with 5+ MLB ST would have refused), he might not be as amenable to the idea this time.

Because the anniversary date of his debut on an MLB 25-man Active List was more than three years ago, Tracy would first have had to clear Optional Assignment Waivers when he was optioned to Iowa in May, but Optional Waivers (once secured) are good for the balance of the waiver period (which ends on July 31st), so the Cubs would not have to put him back on Optional Waivers before he can be optioned to the minors again (at least until the end of the current waiver period on July 31st). But again, even with waivers secured, he would have to agree to accept the assignment each time he is optioned to the minors.

I believe the article you read is the same one I saw, and I got the impression that the writer confused Tracy's status with that of Jeff Baker, who (unlike Tracy) is out of options, so that Baker would have to clear Outright Assignmment Waivers (which are irrevocable) before he can be outrighted to the minors. And because he has 3+ years of MLB Service Time, Baker can be a free-agent if he is outrighted to the minors (he can be a FA immediately and if he does he gets no termination pay, or he can accept the Outright Assignment, continue to be paid his $150K+ monthly salary in AAA, and defer free-agency until the end of the MLB regular season, unless he is added back to a 40-man roster by that time, in which case he cannot be a FA).

Tracy might be a good fit for the Angels. Or Twins.

At the gam behind home plate.. Two beers in... Cahills shit is wikis. Cubs ain't hitting this shit

*wikid. Dumb iPhone

Oh iPhone. I though it was a reflection of the Wrigley beer!

This is probably incredibly uncool to say, but I don't care... when I go to Wrigley, I enjoy the Old Style. Reminds me of being a kid... at my cousins house having Cubs baseball on TV in the afternoon... and the smell of my drunk uncle...

That drunk uncle part brought a sentimental tear to my eye.

Can you even get Old Style outside of the park? It's really not good. I don't mind drinking crap beer if it's what's available, but paying a lot for a crap beer just rubs me the wrong way.

Hells yeah you can get it!

Did Lee really have two errors in a row that caused runs?

he sure did.

muffed a grounder and then just didn't catch a ball thrown by castro.

Did Z gather his latin posse and fight the the rest of the team through song and dance a la west side story?

well-played Mauer.


lol farts.

Sharks vs Jets...You throw the records out when those two teams get together.


how much f'n cubbery can you fit into a game...2 wild pitches with 2 runs...bases loaded and error marathons...triples with errors? WHAT THE HELL?

and what was up with Z hitting for himself in the rally inning with a man on 2nd and 2 outs?

8-4...holy crap.

in honor of the Cubs new walk-up intros

Lou needs to adopt this management style for players who commit errors, wild pitches and other stoopid stuff...

wow...wrigley emptied out really quick after that 7th.

it's a ghost town.

the rain thinned the initial crowd, but this looks like a PIT game.

that colvin HR hit a lot of empty seats in the bleachers.

Yeah what the f=== was up with Zambrano hitting then coming out of game, I am all for seeing more ghost towns.
Seems the only reason i watch is to watch the three C's and laugh at how piss poor the rest of team plays.

the game plan would be to get the ball to Colvin.

Foolishly I was holding out hope that Lou would unload in the post-game press conference and give vent to just a fraction of the frustration that all Cub fans are feeling right now. Instead, it was just the same, old, mealy-mouthed nonsense. "Just one of those games," "Zambrano deserved better," "Gotta go out tomorrow and play better."

You tell 'em, Lou.

Where has Jim Hendry been lately have not seen any quotes from him recently.

preparing his resume.

Hendry's resume is much more attractive the team he's put together for 2010, which I suspect is what (unfortunately for him) future employers will remember most.

From Bruce Miles blog:

As I blogged earlier in the day, I've got to believe Theriot is a non-tender this fall if the Cubs don't trade him first.

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 06/15/2010 - 22:27

Many of us were thinking the same thing. But it's nice to see a beat guy say it.

Don't look now, but Samardzija is quietly having a good season at Iowa.

Coleman and Archer dominated yesterday. Coleman "retired the last 21 batters he faced, not allowing a man to reach base after the second batter of the game." His line: 7 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 8 strikeouts.

Archer (Daytona) had no walks and 10 K's in 5.1.

If anyone brings up the 2007 start I will come over to their house and pour a bucket of sour milk on to their computer.

At my own risk, I will bring it up. On June 16, 2007 the Cubs were 31-35, and the won the division with 85 wins, just 8 games over .500. Today they are 28-36, and the Reds and Cardinals are already 7 games over .500, on pace for 90 wins. And the 2007 was actually good. It ain't happening this year.

now I have to drive around with a gallon of milk in my trunk for a week.

That was the most dispiriting game I've seen in quite some time. The team looked absolutely horrible.

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.