And Down the Stretch They Come!

The newly named Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year, Iowa's Ryne Sandberg, must be assembling his lineups at this point like Mr. Phelps uesd to put together his teams on Mission Impossible. The Phelps character would listen to the tape describing his task, should he choose to accept it, and toss 8x10 glossies on the table of the available personnel best suited to accomplish it.

Last night Sandberg was without Sam Fuld due to an injured foot in addition to all the horsepower already summoned to Chicago. His starting pitcher was Chris Carpenter, a touted prospect yet to throw well since his promotion to Triple A. The opponent was the Memphis Redbirds who arrived in town deadlocked with Sandberg's club for the top spot in the PCL American North. This weekend's games are the last four of the regular season.

Iowa scrounged a gutsy 4-2 win to nudge a game in front with three to play.

The I-Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first by bouncing three singles, the last of them by Jason Dubois, through the left side of the Memphis infield.

Carpenter, who was throwing 95+ in each of his six innings, got in a spot not of his own making after striking out the first batter he faced in the top of the 2nd. A grounder up the middle that Matt Camp couldn't field but Darwin Barney would have was scored a hit. It was an error. The next batter drooled one down the 3rd baseline; another hit that didn't deserve to be. A passed ball put runners at second and third. Carpenter was visibly rattled. A walk loaded the bases. But the kid got out of it when he induced a broken bat 1-2-3 double play. The first inning too had ended with a shattered bat grounder.

The game settled into a riveting pitching duel. Only the weenie race between innings broke the tension. That and Cubbie Bear, the apparently lovable team mascot. The crowd seemed more entertained by them than the game.

In the top of the 6th a tiring Carpenter walked Tyler Greene leading off on four pitches. With one out Allen Craig tripled high off the wall in left-center to tie the game and then scored the lead run on a sacrifice fly to right on which Brad Snyder made a sparkling catch. Craig's triple was the only true hit that Carpenter surrendered in his six innings.

The I-Cubs scrapped back to tie the game in the bottom of the 6th. Bobby Scales coaxed a walk with two down and nothing doing from Memphis starter Brandon Dickson. Chris Robinson managed an infield hit. Then both Camp and Ty Wright, pinch-hitting for Carpenter, walked after getting down 0-2 in the count. Dickson was yanked at this point and Jim Adduci flew out to leave the bases loaded. Of the seven hits Dickson allowed, six were well-placed bouncing singles.

After recent call-up Luke Sommer blanked Memphis in the top of the 7th Snyder came to the plate for Iowa with one out and nobody on in the bottom. Dickson had fanned him three times. But this time Snyder poled a towering blast out of the park off of Matt Scherer that RF Craig never took a step toward.

An insurance run in the 8th and a two-walk Jeff Stevens save later and the plucky I-Cubs had drawn first blood in the series.

Mitch Atkins goes for Iowa tonight. Jeff Samardzija is scheduled for Sunday and Jay Jackson on Labor Day in the finale. The I-Cubs need to win two of the remaining three to overcome a Memphis tie-breaker advantage and advance to the PCL playoffs.

So far so good. 

Comments

thanks Mike.

Bobby Scales for MVP, (most veteran player).

per muskie tweet...

#cubs lineup for sat is rf fuke, ss castro, cf byrd, 3b ramy, 1b nady, lf colvin, c soto, 2b dewitt, p zambrano

Soriano sits after his 3 run HR

Wasn't S was bummped down order to #7 yesterday.

mlbtr has a post up about Theriot possibly being non-tendered after the season.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/09/non-ten...

Anyone who listens to Dodgers games knows one thing---they absolutely love Ryan Theriot. So, nontendering him would be strange.

Actually... non-tendering Theriot would make think that the Dodgers actually have a little bit of sense.

They love him. They can't believe how good (they apparently think) he is. They gush about him ... so the rumor makes absolutely no friicking sense.

so is paying him over $4M for him next year...

Who is "they?" Is "they" the Dodgers management? Or is "they" the Dodgers announcers?

They love his scrappyness.

Hendry: "Ryno, have you thought of the possibility of Cubs fans turning on you if you are not successful as a manager of the Cubs?"

*Choose his answer:

a) "No I haven't thought about it, since failure is not part of my make-up."
b) "Do you mean like they have against you, Jim?"
c) "Yes, I have thought about it, and I believe Cubs fans will never turn on me."
d) "I have something I could say about you and ownership that you don't want me to reveal."

*now add your own

~artskoe

e) "Bunt."

bob tells his "sit me or trade me" story for the 1000th time this season...is it april yet?

never heard it

can't remember the dude...some guy who was a career bench player who hated to take over for injuries long term because it exposed how much he sucked at the plate over the long haul. supposedly told management "bench me or trade me."

usually laughter by len follows...

Thanks.
You could be talking about Koyie Hill.

Z may never be "100% back" but it seems he's back...

via ye olde world o roto intern slave labor number crunchers Z has a 1.98 era over his last 6 starts since his "comeback."

Notre Dame is blowing out Purdue 13-3 at the half, despite Purdue sneaking Drew Brees into the game.

Cashner needs to stop giving up runs

-edit-
http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid...

seems to be getting killed on his 96.2 mph straight fastball. Billy Koch syndrome.

-6.4 wFB
0.1 wSL
1.0 wCH

w - The prefix "w" infront of any of the pitch types denotes runs above average.

my god...tony gwynn...he just keeps getting bigger every year.

http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/sdsu/spor...

this was taken early 2010, evidently.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_jd6RMwJ8lf4/S-XxwMW...

this one in May 2010...

Adduci single, Snyder walk and Dubois 2 run double.

Atkins 1 hit, 4K's thru 3 innings

2-0, good guys

edit: now 2-1 on solo HR. Radio broadcast says Atkins gives up HR's time to time as he's a fly ball pitcher...Ronnie woulda just said, Jeez.

edit 2: CRAP. lead blown, now 3-2 error by Marquis Smith and 2 run hit with bases loaded past LaHair.

here's the audio link, just scroll down to the Iowa Cubs (listen) button:

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/multi...

FREE BOBBY SCALES...3 run blast by Scales after Dubois single and LaHair walk, 5-4 I-Cubs bottom 6th

FREE BOBBY SCALES!

Justin Berg tosses a zero in the top of 7th

Brad Snyder two run double in the bottom after an Adduci single and Marquis Smith walk

Memphis pitching change with one out in the bottom 7th.

and Mr. Let Freedom ring, Bobby Scales singles to drive in Snyder, 8-4 I-Cubs lead

converted catcher, Jake Muyco's 8th... F7, K, F8. One more at bat for Memphis.

Jeff Gray wraps the game up, final 8-5, Mitch Atkins gets the win (8-3).

I-Cubs must win one of their next two games to win the American North of the PCL.

Conversely, Memphis must win both of the remaining games.

Shark gets a chance to pitch a clincher tomorrow.

Winner plays Oklahoma City Redhawks (Rangers), series would start in Iowa on Wednesday if the Cubs clinch (otherwise it starts in Memphis)

and Bobby Scales gets the postgame radio interview.

thanks for the rundown

And one more factor, Reed Johnson is a scrappy magnet

Z has 6 more anger mgt classes but apparently he handled Castro's goof on the double steal without a meltdown...

''It motivated me, and it was good when he said, 'Get the next ball,''' a thankful Castro said.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

Zambrano has done that for the last month, going 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his last six starts.

Castro, 20, is the first Cubs rookie to have six consecutive multihit games since Don Johnson did it in 1944.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

Don Johnson?

http://www.historicbaseball.com/players/j/joh...

Recent comments

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  • 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.

    crunch 2 min 22 sec ago view
  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 51 min 27 sec ago view
  • 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.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 21 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    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.

    Rob G. 20 hours 32 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #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

    Rob G. 20 hours 37 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    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.

    Rob G. 20 hours 43 min ago view
  • great defense

    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.

    Rob G. 20 hours 54 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 21 hours 5 min ago view
  • #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)
    Rob G. 21 hours 31 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 22 hours 11 min ago view
  • 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.

    Jackstraw 23 hours 23 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 23 hours 40 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 23 hours 44 min ago view
  • 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.

    Eric S 1 day 29 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 6 hours ago view