Updates on Beatings, Byrd and Berg
Lineups for Cubs @ Diamondbacks...
Cubs vs. Ian Kennedy
Fukudome 9, Theriot 4, Byrd 8, Colvin 7, Nady 3, Ramirez 5, Castro 6, Soto 2, Gorzelanny 1
D-backs vs. Tom Gorzelanny
Young 8, Johnson 4, Upton 9, Montero 2, Reynolds 5, LaRoche 3, Drew 6, Gillespie 7, Kennedy 1
The dramatic high point of my Independence Day was seeing a little kid take a dump in our community pool.
Speaking of the Cubs...
— Sunday's 14-3 loss marked not just the Cubs' second defeat to the Reds by 11 or more runs in the course of their four-game series, it was the Cubs' third such shellacking in their past nine home games. (You may have forgotten this doozy from a couple weeks back.)
Not sure what other point to make about this except personally, I'm pretty numb to the whole business. The 14-3's no longer bother me any more than the 3-1's or 2-0's.
Acceptance is the last of the Seven Stages of Grief, right?
— For the second consecutive year, the Cubs placed just one player on the NL All-Star team. Last year it was Ted Lilly; this year it's Marlon Byrd, a first-time All-Star whose performance this season (.309/.355/.482) has been one of the Cubs' few bright spots.
Alfonso Soriano, who was voted onto the team by the fans in '08 and named as an extra in '07, finished 11th among NL outfielders this time around with a little over 865,000 votes. That meant Soriano collected about 40% as many votes as the Dodgers' Andre Ethier, who came up third in the fan tally for an outfield spot behind Ryan Braun and Jason Heyward.
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) tweets that the Cubs are "talking Lilly deal" and hoping to re-sign the lefty as a free agent at year's end. Gammons also says that the Cubs are "marketing" Derrek Lee.
Marketing a .227-hitting, 34-year-old first baseman can't be easy, but we do have the "Easiest GM To Make A Deal With" in our corner.
— Aramis Ramirez was out of the Cubs lineup Saturday and Sunday because of recurrent problems with his left thumb and swelling in "the meat portion of his left hand," according to the manager.
Since his return from the DL nine days ago, Ramirez had gone 7-for-30 and at one point, had raised his average to .180. That's the highest it's been since he was hitting .200 (3-for-15) following the fourth game of the season on April 9th.
(UPDATE: Per batting orders posted above, Ramirez is in Monday's starting lineup.)
— Wittenmyer tweets that the Cubs have recalled Justin Berg and re-demoted Jeff Stevens, who gave up three hits, three walks and four runs in yesterday's bloodbath without retiring a hitter.
— The Cubs open a three-game series in Arizona Phil territory on Monday afternoon, with Tom Gorzelanny opposing Ian Kennedy. As Bleed Cubbie Blue put it so succinctly a little while ago, "Cubs' awful offense to face Diamondbacks' putrid pitching. Something's gotta give."
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)