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...

AL EAST

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

AL CENTRAL

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

AL WEST

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

WILD CARD: NY Yankees

NL EAST

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

NL WEST

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

NL CENTRAL

  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

Comments

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:

http://onemansausagefest.com/wp-content/uploa...

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.

Agree

all of them...

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

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.

Hah!

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.

sigh...

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...'

win

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:
1)Theriot
2)Libya
3)Godzilla

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 out.........do 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

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  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 24 min 38 sec ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 25 min 16 sec ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 31 min 43 sec ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 35 min 15 sec ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 38 min 51 sec ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 47 min 47 sec ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 49 min 39 sec ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 55 min 25 sec ago view
  • QuietMan 1 hour 3 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 22 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 2 hours 53 sec ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 44 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 56 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 57 min ago view
  • So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?

    The E-Man 3 hours 15 min ago view
  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 11 hours 45 min ago view