Game Preview: Pirates (26-50) vs. Cubs (33-43)

First, the lineups...

Tabata, LaRoche, McCutchen, Jones, Milledge, Alvarez, Doumit, Cedeno, Karstens

vs.

Fukudome, Theriot, Lee, Ramirez, Colvin, Soriano, Hill, Castro, Lilly.

Now, the news...

- Z gets sent to the corner with his dunce cap and Grab-Ass to the disabled list with a sprained knee. Miles says Grab-Ass should be out 3-4 weeks. Jeff Stevens and James Russell get the call-ups with Tom Gorzelanny scheduled to start tomorrow.

- Jon Morosi of Fox Sports  says that the Red Sox and Cubs discussed a deal for Mike Fontenot before the Red Sox grabbed Eric Patterson after he was DFA'd by the A's. Morosi also says that the Cubs are "halfway" to sell mode...half-assing it as always.

- The Smokies landed 9 on the Southern League All-Star team after taking the first half division title. They are:

OF Tony Campana

C Robinson Chirinos

C Steve Clevenger

1B Blake Lalli

OF Ty Wright

RHP Austin Bibens-Dirx

RHP David Cales

LHP Ryan Buchter

RHP Hung-Wen Chen

Andrew Cashner and Starlin Castro were also early contributors to their run.

- Bruce Levine put this piece of info out there in his chat today.

The reasons Hendry was enabled to sign people to long-term deals was Sam Zell's insistence that they build up the product so he can get a higher buyout from the Ricketts family. Hendry was on an airplane when the Soriano deal was done by other team executives. Jim has to take his share of blame, but let's not start with revisionist history.

As one of our readers pointed out, Zell hadn't even bought the team by that point (wasn't until April of 2007), so Levine seems to just be shoveling whatever B.S. Hendry is feeding him...or just made an honest mistake about the timeline of ownership.

Cubs try to solve the Pirates puzzle today...recommended for ages 4-5, but does require adult supervision.

Comments

From Miles: "Lou said John Grabow will be out three weeks to a month with something more than a mild sprain of his left knee."

heh, just modified the post to add that.

Miles also been pimping Soriano back to the leadoff spot. hope crunch doesn't read that.

soriano was already wasted...we can't get those years back.

good to see him back hitting 6th. go aram.

Didn't we make the playoffs in those years?

The Cubs also scored a lot more runs per game.

Other than those 2 minor things, it kind of sucked.

Well, I can't get on board with that correlation = causation thing, but unless the idea is that batting someone else leadoff in the '07 and '08 playoff would have made us win, what's the point?

"Well, I can't get on board with that correlation = causation thing"

me either.

when you got a guy who hits more or nearly more xbase hits than he has RBIs that says a lot more to me before we even get to the parts where he kept leading off while he had to windmill his legs just to run more than a jogging pace.

Well, he has not hit lead off this year and that hasn't changed. He has 37 XBH and 38 RBI.

he ॰ight as well have the 8th hitter and pitcher hitting in front of him, thway lee and aram are hitting.

yeah, what he said.

the 2 guys in front of him are struggling to hit .200 combined all season...and the ob% isn't getting much better.

it's july...c'mon lou. move some guys. may is over.

today's lineup aram finally moves out of the 4 slot...where dlee takes his place...and aram is 5th...and soriano is 6th.

"finally moves out of the 4 slot"

A-Ram's batted 5th almost as often this year as he's batted 4th.

the point being, as has always been my point is that the Cubs did just fine when Soriano was hitting like he should be hitting in the leadoff spot because a)the Cubs don't have a much better option for the leadoff spot b)the increased number of PA's outweighs or at least equalizes the less than ideal lineup construction. Not like they're running much with Theriot or Fukudome up there.

now when Soriano was hitting like he did in 2009, he had no business up there or anywhere but 8th or on the bench.

Moving him down in the order has literally solved nothing and if anything made the Cubs worse, even if just coincidentally.

personally being up 1-0 in the 1st is kind of neat too...and just kind of wondering out loud, I'd be curious to know what the Cubs record was when he hit a leadoff HR? versus when he hits a HR in a non-leadoff spot since being moved?

"even if just coincidentally"

well empirically, it doesn't make any team better giving Theriot the 120 PA's that Soriano was getting.

In case you didn't see it in our Twitter feed...

At no time this year, over 86 2/3 IP, has Ted Lilly been on the mound with a lead of more than two runs.

For Lilly's sake, I hope he ends this season with a much better team than the one he's pitching for right now. He's earned it.

They said last night the Cubs have yet to score four runs in any of his starts.

And in other news, the Cubs won a nice game today, with the exception of another overall poor offensive performance. Nice to see Soriano generate some offense though, and great start by Lilly.

Thomas Diamond in a 0-0 game after 4 ip, Shark comes in bottom of 5th and this happened...

New Orleans Bottom 5th
Pitcher Change: Jeff Samardzija replaces Thomas Diamond, batting 9th.
Offensive Substitution: Pinch hitter Scott Cousins replaces Brian Lawrence. Scott Cousins walks.
Cameron Maybin strikes out swinging.
Danny Richar singles on a line drive to left fielder Bryan LaHair. Scott Cousins to 3rd. Danny Richar advances to 2nd, on throwing error by left fielder Bryan LaHair.
Jeff Samardzija intentionally walks Logan Morrison.
Hector Luna hits a grand slam (14) to left field. Scott Cousins scores. Danny Richar scores. Logan Morrison scores.
Donnie Murphy walks.
Coaching visit to mound.
Bryan Petersen walks. Donnie Murphy to 2nd.
On-field Delay.
Brad Davis called out on strikes.
Mark Saccomanno homers (1) on a fly ball to left field. Donnie Murphy scores. Bryan Petersen scores.
Scott Cousins grounds out to first baseman Micah Hoffpauir.

Game called after 5, rain. Final 7-0.

http://www.neworleans.com/sports/zephyrs/4254...

Time to reinvent him as a catcher?

... or football?

... for Green Bay?

RESTRICTED LIST!
RESTRICTED LIST!

joe migrane just on wscr.
said he was talking to lou at xmas party last year and lou was fed up wih z then. also said there were more issues wih z that were not made public in the past.

I am firmly convinced that Soriano should be traded as soon as possible while he still appears to have trade value and as long as the receiving team pays nearly all of his contract. He might be clobbering the ball now, but this is not a contract we want to be under for another 4 years.

I doubt any team would be willing to pay nearly all of $72 million for Soriano over the next 4 years.

Check again in two years, when the money is sorta managable. He's no Manny Ramirez but Ramirez went from untradeable to a guy people wanted to give up prospects for as his contract got closer to expiration.

Agreed,

He was put on waivers and not claimed twice.

Ramirez was traded with 2 months left on his contract and the Red Sox paid all that was remaining. If the Cubs paid all of Soriano's salary they would probably get a few prospects back as well.

The Red Sox also got Jason Bay on a below-market contract in that trade... they did essentially wind up paying $12 million and two C+ prospects for 2/5ths of a season for Bay, though.

But even if the Cubs find a taker for him, Soriano has a "no trade" and there is no indication he wants to leave.

True, but there's not much to stay for, either.

The nightlife.

And the line of young latin boys provided by the Cubs farm system.

Joking.

Recent comments

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  • jacos 25 min 33 sec ago view
  • For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.

    [Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]

    Charlie 1 hour 31 min ago view
  • tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.

    crunch 1 hour 38 min ago view
  • I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.

    Tito 4 hours 2 min ago view
  • I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.

    And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.

    When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 6 min ago view
  • Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.

    billybucks 4 hours 12 min ago view
  • I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.

    Tito 4 hours 15 min ago view
  • Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.

    My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 28 min ago view
  • Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 32 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.

    Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 37 min ago view
  • Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?

    Hagsag 8 hours 22 min ago view
  • It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.

    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 8 hours 23 min ago view
  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 15 hours 18 min ago view
  • Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.

    Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.

    billybucks 15 hours 22 min ago view
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 15 hours 38 min ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 15 hours 41 min ago view