Opening Day 2011 - Pirates @ Cubs

It's Christmas time for baseball fans and Santa's delivered the lowly Pirates to the Cubs. Of course, the Cubs went 5-10 against one of the worse teams I've ever seen play baseball last year, so the Cubs have that going for them. Don't forget to join the fun during our in-game chat. Folks come and go throughout the game so if you hang around for awhile, someone is usually sure to pop in.

LF Tabata RF *Fukudome
2B #Walker SS Castro
CF McCutchen CF Byrd
1B *Overbay 3B Ramirez
3B *Alvarez 1B *Pena
C #Doumit C Soto
RF *G. Jones LF Soriano
SS Cedeno 2B Barney
P Correia P Dempster

Undoubtedly Correia is going to throw a shutout today, but generally you have to laugh at a team employing a guy for Opening Day with a career 4.57 ERA and a 4.91 ERA over the last three years, the last two being in Petco Park.

My division predictions after the jump...


  1. Boston Red Sox
  2. New York Yankees
  3. Baltimore Orioles
  4. Tampa Bay Rays
  5. Toronto Blue Jays


  1. Minnesota Twins
  2. Detroit Tigers
  3. Chicago White Sox
  4. Kansas City Royals
  5. Cleveland Indians


  1. Oakland A's
  2. Anaheim Angels
  3. Texas Rangers
  4. Seattle Mariners



  1. Philadelpia Phillies
  2. Atlanta Braves
  3. Flordia Marlins
  4. New York Mets
  5. Washington Nationals


  1. Colorado Rockies
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. San Francisco Giants
  4. San Diego Padres
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks


  1. Milwaukee Brewers
  2. Cincinnati Reds
  3. Chicago Cubs - 85 wins
  4. St. Louis Cardinals
  5. Houston Astros
  6. Pittsburgh Pirates

WILD CARD: Atlanta Braves


Maybe starting Correia is the Pirates idea of an April Fool's joke.

happy new year!


I'll really be surprised if the Brewers with the division - they just don't have any depth. If one of seven guys is out for more than a couple of weeks, they're going to have trouble, and it's not like their farms system can provide replacements or guys to trade for reasonable proximity of any of their stars.

As a GM of the Brewers, going for it like he has in Weeks' and Fielder's FA year seems like it makes sense. I bet they have sold a lot of tickets, but no pun intended, that team seems like a house of cards.

Didn't Weeks sign an extension?

UPDATE: Weeks did sign an extension during ST. 4 years, $38.5 million, plus an option year. Signed through 2014.

That's a bargain. Weeks must like fried cheese curds.

My favorite picture of Rickie Weeks:

Safe for work

Not sure if I like it to tell you the truth, he's got a history of suckage and getting hurt.

Not saying it's a bad deal, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that way.

Trading your 2nd basemen of the future, I guess, limits your options.

They way he's gaining weight (HGH?? or eating? It looks more like a massive off-season muscle gain)...he looks like a future 1b.

WGN's new stat graphics look nice but the fonts are way too small, very difficult to read, even on an HDTV.

GameDay revamped pretty severely. Looks nice.


all of them...

consensus has it: Cubs 4th, White Sox 1st

elsewhere: Matt Holliday having appendectomy today

Barney hasn't really evolved as a base stealer. *rimshot

Commence eye rolling.

Barney needs to wear his purple dinosaur suit when he's on the bases, it will distract the pitcher.

You missed the irony of his first hit on the season.

I saw it, he slipped out of the box, then was thrown out stealing. I blame Tom Ricketts.

Yes, before the Nomaresque escape from the batter's box, he hit a soft liner in front of a foolishly deep playing right fielder, then was caught stealing. It was like an episode "Ghosts of Cubs Infielers Past".

LOL. Speaking of Nomar he was doing the Cards-Pads game for ESPN yesterday and got to criticize Theriot.

I'm not watching the game or listening to the radio broadcast, so yes, I probably missed it. I'm just following along on Yahoo!

Fair warning, though, I have several other eye-rollin' Darwin jokes to crack before the season is over.

darwin hits a single.
darwin grounds out in the infield.

there's 90% of what you can say about him. the other 10% can praise his D.

think we need astro-ivy for april games...

the vinny's beverage depot guess the attendance game may not be such a slam dunk this year...

If you're going to walk Cedeno at least drill him in the head.


WGN has a new microphone hanging over the field, you can hear the rocks in Cedeno's head rattling as he runs the bases.

And Dempster has lost his control.

Dammit Dempster.


Mark Riggins fault

dempster winless vs. bucs last year i think...neil walker?

0-3, 6.88 era vs Bucs last year.

Walker hit three HRs against Cubs last year, off Lilly, Mateo and Diamond. It was Walker's rookie season as a Cub killer.

Looks like Walker was 3-4 last year vs Dempster.

BR added pitcher stats by home plate umpire this year under their splits (unless I didn't notice that last year).

Quade leaves Dempster in, throwing mid-80's fastballs with no control. Take him out before the Pirates drive in that 5th run. Damn.

He walks Jones on 5 pitches. The only strike was an 84 mph fastball over the heart of the plate that Jones stared at. Now rocks for brains is up. Dempster throwing harder to Cedeno, knows this is his last batter. K's Cedeno, who promptly stares at Dempster while a random pigeon shits on Ronnie's head.

We'll be glad we had Carlos Pena defer half his salary once Dempster is on the 60 day DL!!!!!

I hate being a cubs fan. It's like being a Royals fan with deeper pockets and worse management.

Before the ab to Cedeno, the way Dempster was walking around behind the mound after most pitches the last two innings, and his decline in velocity, I was wondering if he's hurt.

Ah, the ol' Opening Day doom and gloom. I sense a Manny Trillo post in 3...2...1...

This game is a must-win.

Wait til the game is over, so he won't be proven wrong.

so much for the hike & group hug on top of camelback mountain in february...

So we've learned today that Mike Quade is either an idiot or blind. How the F##k! does he let Dempster come back out for the 7th? What's the goal here, to make sure we have no chance to come back in this game? Goal accomplished.

Why did Dumpster pitch the 7th? Were the last 2 innings of crap not enough of a sign that he was losing it?

Puzzling. Last year Quade seemed to have a quick hook for pitchers, taking them out at the first sign of trouble, which was refreshing compared to Lou having to be woken up to make pitching changes after the fact.

'you know steve, salazar spelled backwards is razzle-ass...'


114 PITCHES!?!

So... the honeymoon is over?

I can hear Ronnie now...."Oh Noooooooooo!"
btw Rob G. I am banned or something? wuzza?

banned from what?

if you mean Parachat, try another browser, I had issues getting in with Firefox 4, but Safari worked. Not sure what the problem is...

I figured it out. I am blaming:

4) Barrett

So the only thing I can guess from this game is that Quade bet the Pirates to win?

Shark walks two straight to load the bases with one you think Hendry had the 'Silva' conversation with Ricketts about Samardzija too?

Naw, Samardzija just walks back into the dugout after the inning-saving DP line-out and says, "Well, I did MY job!"

Game summary for home team: no power, no walks, pitching serves up multi-run homers.

Yep, sounds like the Cubs.

no XBH's today

impressive, most impressive

At least the game was reassuringly familiar, they're just easing us into the season

Agree - this was the archetype for all future Cubs games. I especially liked how Ramirez stretched to make contact with the ball in his last AB (tried to pull the low and away pitch to boot), virtually assuring that the ball would be weakly grounded to SS and end the game. Well done.

He was doing that last year too. Aren't hitter supposed to get smarter as they get older?

Depends on which teams they're playing for. I don't have stats for this though, so don't call me on it.

highlight doesn't look that low and away to me, looked more over the plate and down, but Hanahran does throw 97 with nice movement

Durn, slept through game one. Looks like the Cubs did too, so that's ok.

Go cubs. fart.

What an awful start to the season. I did laugh while driving home, though. Cedeno hit a weak pop fly to center to end the inning. Pat Hughes issued the closest thing he could to a bitch clap by saying (in a questioning tone), "Ronnie Cedeno, the number 8 hitter, swinging on 3-0 with two outs."

Yeah, seriously. He's on another team and still pissing me off by doing this weird shit like swinging on 3-0

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • James Russell elected free agency.

  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.