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."
In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.
Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.