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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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • 34-14...awww yeah.

    crunch 15 min 44 sec ago view
  • 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!]

    Eric S 1 hour 36 min ago view
  • 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/

    crunch 2 hours 10 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 6 min ago view
  • 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. 

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 9 min ago view
  • 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).  

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 19 min ago view
  • 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.

    The E-Man 6 hours 2 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 10 hours 47 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 10 hours 48 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 20 hours 29 min ago view
  • 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.

    johann 23 hours 27 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 23 hours 39 min ago view
  • 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.

    The E-Man 23 hours 48 min ago view
  • 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.

    The E-Man 23 hours 54 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 1 day 12 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 1 day 48 min ago view