Opening Day Deux

logoThe season hasn’t even started and the door is already revolving.

The weather today in Des Moines is passable but the Iowa Cubs are opening the 2011 season on the road at Round Rock, TX. Thomas Diamond is supposed to oppose Express southpaw Michael Kirkman, the #6 prospect in the Ranger system who takes the mound tonight with these creds: 2010 PCL Pitcher of the Year [13-3 with a 3.09 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 131 innings for Oklahoma City]. He also won two PCL Pitcher of the Week awards and led the PCL with an .813 winning percentage. Kirkman made his Major League debut on Aug. 24, 2010, against the Baltimore Orioles, striking out the first three hitters he faced and was named the 2010 Nolan Ryan Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

The home opener falls on tax day a week from tomorrow against the Memphis Redbirds, the team that nosed out the I-Cubs for a playoff spot in a Labor Day series last year that was about as compelling as minor league action gets.

There have been some changes in the PCL since then. The Portland Beavers have become the Tucson Padres. Two years from now they’re slated to move on again to Escondido, 30 miles from their parent club in San Diego. Triple A towns are building parks to woo teams too. Both Padre teams are owned by Jeff Moorad who got Escondido’s agreement to build a $50 million stadium before he bought the Beavers.

The Royals still have their traditional affiliation with Omaha, but the team will now be called the Storm Chasers and move from the historic Rosenblatt Stadium, home of the College World Series, to Werner Park, a brand new playground on the outskirts of town. I may road trip over there on May Day to check out the new digs and the top tier of the highly rated Royal farm system since Omaha doesn’t come to Des Moines until June.

Out of the chute some key parts of the I-Cubs will be rehabbing in warm weather, notably Welington Castillo and Jay Jackson. That’s a battery I was looking forward to. Sounds like Jackson, Brad Snyder and Castillo may all join the team in time for the home opener.  As it is there are no highly touted prospects on the fast track and no HOF’ers paying managerial dues in bush league dugouts. There’s not much buzz period as the season gets underway so we’ll see what develops. From what AZP says it sounds like Bobby [much more baseballish than Robert] Coello has the potential to make sparks fly with both arm and mouth and Max Ramirez reminds me in advance of Jake Fox a little bit; a hitter in search of a position. A couple of Aprils ago while he was here Fox hit like Joe Hardy from Damn Yankees. Pepe LaHair should help us Iowinians get over Micah Hoffpauir . Which Smokies might I get a look at before the summer’s over? Castro and Colvin skipped Des Moines on their way up and Cashner was here just long enough for one memorable outing last spring.  

Let's get the door spinning!



Marquez Smith was fun to watch swing the bat in spring training. When he hit the ball, he clobbered it, and a couple of the visiting announcers were commenting on his bat speed.

You have something we don't have, a couple of guys, Campana and Perez, who like to steal bases. I hope you're pleasantly surprised by Campana.

You're right, a lot of older players, competent but uninteresting. Maybe they'll compete well.

The other three opening-day starters on the farm tonight are Rusin (Tenn), Whitenack (Day) and, of course, Simpson (Peo).

Fuld batting leadoff for rays vs sox today

Bb stole 2nd & 3rd

/hi aj !

He should have stole home, too. :) I'm following this game as well, because for some reason I started Edwin Jackson on my fantasy team. Not a bad plan except he's facing David Price.

I watch the Sox games sometimes when I'm bored and can't find any other baseball to appease me, but I have to turn the sound off. I can't tolerate Harrelson and Stone, or Ed Farmer on the radio.

It looks like it's colder at the Sox game than any of the Cubs games so far.

Its only 44 degrees right now in Chicago.

I'm actually pro-Steve Stone, but Harrelson saps any morsel of professionalism out of the TV booth. Ed Farmer is just annoying. The broadcasting crew make the Sox very easy to hate. I'm just following the game on Yahoo.

Jackson with a 1-hitter through four innings, 8K. The one hit being Fuld's leadoff single. Fuld has 3 stolen bases so far this game.

Based on his career numbers, however, we shouldn’t expect Garza to post a similar line any time soon. This is one of those starts where you just sit back and marvel at the absurdity of the final line. You’re not going to see this one very often.

Don't go too far out on that ledge there pal.

anyway, went to BR's play index and searched for games where pitcher gave up 10 or more hits, had 10 or more K's and had 1 or less walks

Came up with 109, slightly over 1 per season average. I don't have the service so I only get the partial results, but happened 3 times lastyear, twice in 2009, and 14 times between '97 and '07. Pedro, R. Johnson, Schilling, K. Brown are some of the names they do show.

Was Kyle Lohse on the list?

it showed the first 10 dates from 2011 going backwards (Garza's is obviously first), but no names or stats, then 10 names from 2003 to 1997 and then says 109 total results.

I don't feel like paying for it.

The 10 dates if you wish...
4/3/11, 8/15/10, 6/30/10, 5/11/10, 6/15/09, 8/14/07, 6/4/05, 9/19/03

followed by the next 10 where it gave a name...
Pedro (8/6/03), Kelvim Escobar (6/13/03), C. Schilling (5/18/02), Schilling (4/25/01), R. Johnson (8/9/00), P. Astacio (8/15/00), Jimmy Haynes (8/18/98), K. Brown (7/15/98), R. Johnson (6/30/98), C. Schilling (6/22/98), M. Gardner (7/27/97)

Schilling got pasted in two of those outings as well as did Jimmy Haynes (5.2 IP, 4 ER, 11 H, 10 K, 1 BB). The rest produced 4.5 or below ERA's for the games.

maybe that link will work for folks

if you add XBH's at one or less to the criteria, only 18 games are returned, the last before Garza's happening on 8/9/2000 which is the Randy Johnson game mentioned above.

If you go 0 XBH's and 0 BB's (I had 1 or less) get 3 games returned.

Garza's, one on 6/25/83 and on 9/5/81

I was making a joke. I wonder if you just take out Schilling and Johnson what the stats look like.

I think it was the right approach for Garza to take - with the wind whipping out to left and facing only two hitters capable of 20 HR's, both hitting LH , throw a shit load of strikes - unfortunately it didn't work out.

I wonder if Garza is one of those pitchers who exhibits little to no control on his batted pitch outcomes.

I wonder if you just take out Schilling and Johnson what the stats look like.

I'm guessing between 5-7 less occurrences

it was just a rare day.

he gave up a bunch of singles and it didn't punish his pitch count or his ERA that badly.

he got his work in enough to rack up the Ks without pushing too many runners across the plate or sending his pitch count into the 100+ area too early.

it was quite the "spring training, getting work in" type outing...only it counted.

fergie ever do that? seems like a line he could have produced...

My brother told me Lynn McGloughlin(sp?)
Threw a ten hit shutout

AH Lynn McGlothen.......RIP.

see above, but I didn't pay for their service, so I can't tell you ever occurrence, just the total number.

As mentioned, criteria I used were H>9, K>9, BB < 2,

and then modified with adding XBH < 2

and then BB=0 and XBH=0

once witnessed ray burris 'scatter' i think 12 hits in a cg shutout...

I saw Stan Bahnsen pitch a 12 hit complete game shutout for the white Sox at the old Comiskey Park.

Ray Burris, that's who it was.

Ignore comment # 6.

Thanks Mike.

Fairly certain that Bill Brazski did it a couple of times?

"They say Gene Roddenbery got the idea for Star Trek from listening to Brasky talk in his sleep."

boston 0-6...crazy.

Break up the Orioles!

Astros finally win, Reds finally lose.

apparently you can get this at Miller Park this year

Wow. I wonder what the in-between layers are. Sour Cream? Cream Cheese? Mayonnaise? I'm guessing one layer of each.

i think it's mashed potatoes, gravy, and shredded beef.

either way, wtf?

It's a Fatso Parfait.

"You don't make friends with salad."
-Homer Simpson

Aug. 26, 2011: The day I try that. ($8 max. requirement)

That does not look like something you want to eat in August.

Good thing MP has an air conditioner bigger than a house.

Did they put in an air conditioner, because they didn't have one when it opened.

it's pulled pork, mashed potatoes, gravy and chives on top...

About to head out to Round Rock to see I-Cub opener. Will be going tonight, Saturday and Sunday. Any recommendations on who/what to watch?

chris davis destroying cubs minor league pitching and if the cubs jay jackson pitches i'm kinda interested if his velocity has improved over spring training.


just looked at tex AAA's roster...holy crap, a lot of old guys...especially the bats. lot of 29/30+ year olds.

Lineup: Campana CF | Perez RF | Montanez LF | LaHair 1B | Ramirez C | Scales 2B | Smith 3B | Wright DH | Camp SS | Diamond P

DCubs [email protected] 1.Watkins 2B 2.Cerda 3B 3.Ha CF 4.Bour 1B 5.Castillo DH 6.Burgess LF 7.Brenly C 8.Perez RF 9.Lake SS RHP Whitenack

peoria:1. Matt Szczur CF. 2. Rubi Silva RF, 3. Greg Rohan 3B, 4 . Richard Jones 1B, 5. DJ Fitzgerald DH, 6. Micah Gibbs C, 7. Anthony Giansanti LF, 8. Arismendy Alcantara SS 9. Pierre LePage 2B, RHP Hayden Simpson

and smokies

B. Jackson, Flaherty, LeMahieu, Spencer, Vitters, Clevenger, Ridling, Gonzalez, Rusin

who will see more major league games played going forward(discounting past games), tonight's AA lineup or AAA lineup?

Jackson immediately walks out of the leadoff spot, but is erased on a GIDP by Flaherty, Vitters singles in his first AB and ends up scoring a run.

Jackson singles in a run his next AB, as does Flaherty, but LeMahieu GIDP with bases loaded. 4-0 Smokies in 2nd.

Jackson walks again in his 3rd AB, Rusin throwing a gem through 3, then gives up 2 in the 4th.

M. Burgess HR for Daytona

Szczur tried to stretch a triple in his first ab, but got thrown out.

T. Diamond K's Chris Davis in the first,but a double by Chad Tracy leads to a run. Max Ramirez already with a passed ball.

H. Simpson 3 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 5 K so far..sweet!

nice 2nd inning by Iowa so far

M. Ramirez BB, B. Scales 2b, M. Smith singles scores 2, Ty Wright HR scores 2 more.

Vitters flew out and then doubled in his next 2 AB's, 2/3 on the day

Simpson done after 3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

gave up a HR to someone named Decker that bats clean-up for Cedar Rapids

if Gameday is accurate

Diamond not quite through 2 innings yet, has thrown 54 pitches, half for strikes with 3 BB's, 4 K's and a HR allowed.

I'm going to assume that's not gonna get him a call-up for Tuesday.

Iowa offense making it easy for Diamond, up 10-2 now in the 4th, the AAAA's having the best days, although everyone but M. Camp has reached base by this point.

Vitters 2/4 now with a line out in his 4th AB. Jackson triples and is 2/3 with 2 BB'S

If things go as I think - with a 78-win or less team(+A-Ram's annual injury), we will get to see several of these AAAA-ers sooner than we may think.

by AAAA's I meant the Lou Montanez, Bobby Scales of the world, I think you'd be more likely to see them if the Cubs were in contention and needed a fill-in for whatever reason.

My comment was to point out that Montanez, Scales, LaHair were having the big days as opposed to the real prospects like Campana, Smith, etc, who did well enough on their own.

I wonder if base runners stay in the basepaths in Japan.

bryce harper 2-2 (2 singles, 1 RBI, SB + CS (pickoff)) after 3 innings in the pros.

Sorry if 3/44

Field/fx will finally be here in 2012. Just in time to tell us if Soriano is a bad fielder.

Neat, I hope it works... There is so much focus on the offensive side of the game and so little focus on the defensive side. I blame the stats for this.

Orioles win again

No thanx to dlee .182/1/2

I watched part of that. Tie game in the 7th, man on 1st and 2nd with no outs. K.

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  • I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.

    Tito 1 hour 2 min ago view
  • I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.

    And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.

    When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 6 min ago view
  • Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.

    billybucks 1 hour 11 min ago view
  • I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.

    Tito 1 hour 14 min ago view
  • Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.

    My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 27 min ago view
  • Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 31 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.

    Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 36 min ago view
  • Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?

    Hagsag 5 hours 21 min ago view
  • It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.

    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 5 hours 23 min ago view
  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 12 hours 17 min ago view
  • Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.

    Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.

    billybucks 12 hours 22 min ago view
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 12 hours 37 min ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 12 hours 40 min ago view
  • Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump

    jacos 12 hours 44 min ago view
  • Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.

    billybucks 12 hours 49 min ago view
  • j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.

    felix pena, your turn.

    crunch 12 hours 50 min ago view