Game 11 Recap - Cue the Banjo Music

Box Score | Highlights

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
Cubs 0 0
0 0
0 1
11 3
Astros 3
0 0 4
x   11

The Gist: The odds were pretty low heading into the game that the Cubs could win it with the Astros best pitcher going and the Cubs going with a guy on a 45-50 pitch count limit. At least they didn't waste our time making it suspenseful. It started with the first batter for the Astros with Michael Bourne taking advantage of the lefty making his first major league start. Knowing that he's going to be falling off to the third base side of the mound and probably just worried about throwing strikes with that pitch count limit, Bourne executed a perfect bunt to the first basemen that Russell had no chance to get to the base in time. And then they did the exact same thing with the next batter. Give 'em some props for the smart baseball.

Then the little league defense, starting with Soriano's muffing a single and Barney missing a tag that gave the Astros another run. The Cubs made three errors on the night and really four although they gave Quintero a triple instead of Reed Johnson an error late in the game. Samardzija was asked to pitch three innings and he got his first four batters, but ran into trouble in the 4th giving up two runs. He got in more trouble in the 5th before Jeff Stevens bailed him out. I feel that whatever the team needs out of Samardzija, he'll always deliver one less. You need two innings out of him, he'll give you one good, one bad. You need two outs, he'll get you one. Anyway, Stevens, Marcus Mateo (struck out the side), Tyler Colvin and Marlon Byrd were about the only bright spots in the game.

Z vs. Wandy in the rubber match on Wednesday. The Cubs have an off day on Thursday so Q-Ball can probably push the bullpen a little tomorrow if needed with only Samardzija being unavailable. I wouldn't be too surprised if Russell or Stevens gets sent down in the next two days for a bullpen arm. The team won't need another 5th starter until Tuesday, April 19th next and I suppose I could see Ramon Ortiz getting that nod.


Hitter Results for April 12
Name Level Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SO BB SB CS
Michael Burgess A+ RF 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0
Welington Castillo A+ DH 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
Matthew Cerda                          
Ryan Flaherty                          
Reginald Golden                          
Brett Jackson                          
DJ LeMahieu                          
Marquez Smith AAA 3B 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Matthew Szczur A RF 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Josh Vitters                          

Pitcher Results for April 12
Name Level IP R ER H 2B 3B HR SO BB
Christopher Carpenter                    
Jay Jackson                    
Austin Kirk                    
Kenneth McNutt                    
Christopher Rusin                    
Hayden Simpson A 5.0 5 3 8 0 0 0 2 1


Tennessee had the night off.


quick, elias - last time a team started a game w/ consecutive bunt hits...more errors than runs last night & now magic wandy against the starless team w/ the starry payroll...

It's not really Q-Ball's fault. How could anyone have predicted that the Cubs would lose a starter or two and Casey Coleman and Russell wouldn't be effective?

The music was playing too loud at the time, but I was sorely tempted to yell out "Bring in Silva!" as Q-Ball went out to pull Russell.

I realize the talent is probably less, but this dipshit has soured me even more quickly than Baker and Pinhead did.

Looked like about 10K actual at the game last night.'re right Neal...but I think my mancrush Coleman was slightly more effective than Russell...marginally?

But hey, at least Grabow and Samardzija weren't good either? Or something?

How much 2011 salary do we have tied up in Samjay and Grabow? Is there a better run team in MLB?

I think Coleman isn't going to pitch that poorly all season (his starts won't all be at Milwaukee after all). Grabow and Samardjiza have done a bit of good work this season, but counting on Grabow to be more than a middling reliever and Wide Outside to do anything more than mop-up duty is basically insane.

It would help if the big three in the rotation could get their ERA's, I don't know, in the 4's maybe? The only good starts we've had are from the two guys who are hurt - and we're 11 games into the seson.

A weak team is one thing, but the 2011 Cubs have no pitching depth whatsoever. Outfield depth is questionable as well.

But the Cubs balance that by being slow and mediocre defensively..

And impatient and un-powerful at the plate.

Outfield depth is questionable? Don't we have Colvin currently riding the bench a few days a week? Plus, Brett Jackson (and soon Brad Snyder) ready to come up and fill in for a time at least? Plus you've got the Tony Campana's and James Adducis of the world. I agree on the pitching depth, but I'm not sure what you're looking for if our outfield depth isn't enough for you. However, if we're criticizing the quality of our starting outfield, I could probably get on board with that.

He's a really good young player. Nothing more, nothing less.

That's the kind of depth teams usually have in the minors, right? Good young players? As for the major league bench, Reed Johnson is nothing special, but Colvin/Fukudome are a lot better as 4th outfielders go than most teams have.

Better hope nothing happens to Aram

wouldn't mind Marquez Smith getting a shot.

sadly q-ball would probably go with baker full-time or dewitt.


I don't know if you can put anything past the Q-Ball/Hendry stinktank at this point. Didn't Barney get some PT at third last year?

I could see a nice Castro/Barney/Johnson/Colvin/Hill/Pena/Soriano/DeWitt lineup in our not-too distance future.

Al Albuquerque called up by Tigers, the guy sent to Rockies for Jeff Baker.

2 cubs mentioned:

Jae-Hoon Ha, OF, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, CS. Four straight multi-hit games for 20-year-old Korean; has line-drive bat and the speed to stay in center field.

Robert Whitenack, RHP, Cubs (High-A Daytona): 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 12 K. Arguably the best pitching line of the day; six-foot-five righty has solid velocity and plenty of deception.

I don't know how reliable this is, but the writer for the Daytona Cubs website said that Ha threw a runner out at home the other day on a sac fly to "deep center field."

What do we know about Ha's arm?

Another CF who's doing very well (better than Szczur?) is Rubi Silva.

he's a converted catcher fwiw...

Phil's writeup on him

I've read others that say he's more likely to get moved to RF down the road, but all kinds of time to sort that out.

Ha has a very nice arm. I saw him last year (only one game) but he was in RF and looked like a rocket. AZ Phil has had nice things to say also.

The 2011 draft crop continues to live up to its billing as the most impressive in years, with an abundance of frontline pitching and depth everywhere, with the exception of shortstop.

since it's Wilken running the draft, good time to brush up on all the names the Cubs won't be drafting. :)

I can see Andrew Chafin being the Wilken pick. Reliever coming off the TJS, who we can try and convert to a Starter. Probably takes way under slot to sign at 9.

39 Dwight Smith Jr. OF McIntosh HS, Peachtree City, Ga. (39)
Son of the former Cubs rookie star of the same name is an advanced high school hitter.

But can Dwight Smith Jr. sing?

Pierre being Pierre

bunt single, then picked off first

then single in 3B and picked off again

reached on FC in 5th, see if he can not get himself out this time

also an error in the game

He was getting bronx cheer on catches last night.

he's CS on both, not picked off...unless gameday is screwed. they have both outs at 2nd.

4sb 4cs isn't very slick, though.

gameday said he was CS twice and picked off twice in 2 plate appearances when I looked, my brain is suggesting to me that is not possible unless he's mastered cloning or there are new baseball rules I'm unaware of.

The summary indicated 2 pick-offs and yahoo says pitcher to catcher to first on both.

He did score after reaching on the FC, the one time he didn't get picked off.

putting "unless gameday is screwed" into any in-progress game is something i've learned over time.

i know it's free and human error/lag happens, but they seem to have interesting things going on with their in-progress summaries nearly daily.

I really like Pierre as a person. I wish he were good.

I have this same sense of pity when I see Craig Counsell.

He always seemed to be a good player until the Cubs got him...


Castro SS, Barney 2B, Byrd CF, Ramirez 3B, Baker 1B, Soto C, Soriano LF, Colvin RF, Zambrano P

baker after aram? nice protection there.

Baker does seem to hit LHP pretty well.

314/366/552 career line.

totally...i'd just rather see someone who can do a little more with power or putting a ball deep in the OF behind aram.

baker would be a great #1/2 guy today, but i guess quade wants the speed up top in both slots.

Umm.. that's a .238 ISO, with approximately the same HR rate as Aram has for his career.

also 5/11 with 3 2B off Wandy for his career

Astros lineup

Bourn CF, Sanchez SS, Pence RF, Lee LF, Wallace 1B, Hall 2B, Downs 3B, Towles C, Rodriguez P

#Rays Fuld joking he couldn't stop the rain: "This is me washing my planet."

"Haven't really looked at anyone else," Hendry said. "The Ramon Ortiz thing we did right away after [Carlos] Silva left. Then Steve Cantor, Doug Davis' agent, was trying all along to get him to come with us, even when he was a free agent last time. We've been kind of monitoring his rehab [elbow surgery], he lives [near the Cubs' spring training complex]."

Levine criticizes Silva for not accepting the minor league demotion for the Cubs, apparently not realizing that Silva didn't know what 29 clubs thought they had at the time the decision was made.

He makes no mention of Hendry, keeping 3 useless guys in the major league bullpen so he could do his de-facto cut of Carlos Silva, who he probably would have kept had he known Wells and Cashner were going to be hurt.

Ass kissing and hypocrisy - the keys to Chicago sports writing.

why does silva matter anyway? he needed to go. you can put all the off-field stuff aside and just point to his horrible performances this spring. you can even take those numbers away and point at his lack of velocity and perhaps more importantly...his lack of movement on his pitches.

it would have been nice if silva accepted his minor league assignment, but it seems that was a non-issue once both sides decided to trash each other.

In all seriousness, who do you think is more likley to have a better career from here on out, Silva or Samardizja?

Silva pitched just about the same this spring as he did last spring, by the way.


ninja? silva last spring?

seriously, throw the numbers out. he didn't have his movement and his velocity sucked. his velocity already sucked when the cubs got him and it's his movement+location that pretty much makes silva the pitcher he is.

add to that his other baggage and he didn't do himself any favors. he looked like february was the first time he picked up a baseball since late last year.

Silva pitched just about the same this spring as he did last spring, by the way.

didn't last year he get blown out the first outing and was pretty great from there on out in spring.

This year he only had one good outing at the end if I recall.

I am talking in an FIP sense.

Bonds jury verdict at around 1:45 PM PST

It's amazing what some well placed bribes can get you. I loved the guy who flip-flopped on his story once he got on the stand.

false alarm, court PR person says no verdict has been reached yet

another false alarm, verdict reached on one charge, mistrial on 3 other charges.

Charges are obstruction and 3 counts of perjury fwiw.

awaiting verdict...

guilty of obstruction of justice, split on perjury charges

From the handy-dandy game notes the Cubs send out: "Since the start of the 2010 season, Geovany Soto, Jeff Baker and Marlon Byrd rank 1-2-3 in the National League in batting average against left-handed pitching. Soto leads the league with a .370 batting average (44-for-119), followed closely by Baker (.361, 56-for-155) and Byrd (.353, 65-for-184). Soto's .469 on-base percentage vs. lefties since the start of last season is the best in the majors."

Also: "Carlos Zambrano has 14 career wins against the Houston Astros, by far the most of any active pitcher in all of baseball. Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang are next closest with 11 wins apiece against the Astros.

and the White Sox bullpen blows another one

The genius that is Ozzie Guillen

latroy thorton

and Juan Soriano had another error today.

I really like Ozzie, though some of his game is goofy. One thing that always bothered me about him is the way he'll go through 4 or 5 relievers playing matchups. It's a simple math problem: All it takes is one guy to have a bad day to ruin the whole game. Looks like that wasn't the case today, but this strategy will eventually cost the Sox some wins this season.

Bibens-Dirx P

Jackson 8, Samson 4, LeMahieu 5, Spencer 9, Vitters 3, Clevenger 2, Ridling 7, Lalli 0, Ma. Gonzalez 6
Rusin P

Watkins SS, Cerda 3B, Ha CF, Bour 1B, Castillo DH, Burgess LF, Perez RF, Brenly C, Opitz 2B P-Struck

LePage 4, Silva 8, Rohan 3, Borges 9, Fitzgerald 7, Giansanti 5,Burruel 2,Soto DH,Alcantara 6, Kirk 1

My brother is at game in Albuquerque

I solved my issue although with no help from the Parachat folks. It just happened that the login window was popping up behind all my other windows for whatever reason.

I did contact them and they suggested that since every problem is unique to contact them directly and they will try to help you out. Please let me know how it works out if you do try.

Try here:

click on "Submit a Ticket"

The Url of the chat is:

The site id is: 9124

Please contact me with any questions or concerns or use the comments.

What are these things called runs?

Imagine how good castro will be once he learns the rules of the game.

I attended the game on Tuesday night. Here are my observations:

Colvin had trouble tracking fly balls during the first two innings. The roof was open, the sun was shining and the lights were on. The double by Quintero was a routine fly ball that Colvin couldn't track properly. Colvin also had trouble tracking Myer's base hit down the right field line. When Russel was removed in the second inning, Colvin walked over to centerfield and talked to Byrd about his trouble tracking the ball.

Ramirez waived at a double play ball that went past him one step to his left.

Russell needs to work on covering first base. He was not running parallel to the first base line. It cost him two outs.

Russell also needs to work on holding runners. Bourn stole second and third in the first inning.

When Samardzija replaced Russell in the second inning with the score 5-0, I think he was told to throw nothing but fastballs in hope that he could throw several innings. In the fifth inning, the pitching coach made an appearance on the mound and then Samardzija starting mixing in some breaking balls. I think he could have been more effective mixing pitches, but I think Quade's main objective was for Samardzija to throw three innings.

Reed Johnson (CF) and DeWitt (3B) were horrible defensive replacements. Johnson made several belly flops without making a catch. The triple by Quintero was a double that was misplayed by Johnson. Still, Quintero would have been out at third, but DeWitt dropped the ball. Subsequently, DeWitt muffed a double play ball and didn't even get one out. Later, be bounced a throw to Pena.

Russel was victimized by bad defense by himself, Colvin and Ramirez. Grabow was victimized by bad defense by Reed Johnson and DeWitt.

Stevens and Mateo had good relief appearances.

The positive news is that nobody got hurt and Marmol, Wood and Marshall did not have to make meaningless appearances.

Despite of everything else, what did you think of the play Mrs. Lincoln?

You're getting all worked over a spring training game Rick. Save it for when the season starts.

Bourn didn't steal any bases in the first inning, and he guessed to steal second and ran on a changeup. The Cubs made no effort to hold on Bourne at 2nd, so he took third - not much Russel can do about that, that was Quade's decision.

If it had been a fastball, do you think they would have thrown him out? He was safe by a mile--not because he guessed right, but because Russell doesn't have a good move so runners know when he is throwing home and his delivery to home, with the high leg-kick, is abysmally slow, especially for a lefty. Same thing on the steal of third, Russell gave him one look, turned, and then immediately went into his slow delivery home. Easy steals for a guy like Bourn.

You don't seem to understand what I said.

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  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 21 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 1 hour 23 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 1 hour 33 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 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 7 hours 1 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 7 hours 2 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 16 hours 43 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 19 hours 41 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 19 hours 54 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 20 hours 2 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 20 hours 8 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 20 hours 26 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 21 hours 2 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 21 hours 20 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 21 hours 22 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 21 hours 40 min ago view