Bad Cold War cartoon: Castro, Kennedy fire missiles at each other.


After finishing this drawing yesterday, I realized that the historical significance of this matchup might not only be lost on some of you, but not interesting and perhaps in bad taste to most of you as well.
So, uh, lets just talk about the fabulous entertainment our favorite team gave us last night.

Featuring a monster homer, a frightened DBack 3rd baseman, a stupid DBack pitcher, clutch hitting, clutch walking, an ejection, and the first win for Cub Matt Garza, this game had it all.

First, the top of the 2nd.
Alfonso Soriano got ahold of one. There's a giant green wall under and around the scoreboard at Chase Field, and even on hi-def the light was so flat (with no shadow) I couldn't tell where it hit. But this ball was so crushed...I wish they'd keep the radar on balls that get hit. 
I read a Paul Sullivan re-tweet that said: "Richie Sexson in 2004 is the only other hitter to hit scoreboard before Soriano tonight." 

Then, the 4th.
Starlin Castro did indeed hit a missile (grounder) past overmatched DBack 3rd baseman Melvin Mora, who deftly moved his feet as if to appear ready to field a ball that clearly gave him the fear, and then like a matador watched it go by for a double.
Not to be outdone, pitcher Ian Kennedy idiotically decides to pitch to Freaky Hot Alfonso Soriano with Castro on 3rd, 1st and 2nd open, and 2 outs.
Soriano drills it.
Cubs 2 DBacks 1.

With Darwin Barney on 1st, Aramis Ramirez hits a pitch that's about 10 feet inside. It goes deep into the LF corner and Barney, a hustling machine, scores standing up.

Top of the 9th. 
With Byrd on 1st, Soto crappily bunts right back to closer J.J. Putz, who wheels and throws it to where SS Stephen Drew was before he ran over to cover second. Stretching like a 1st baseman, Drew barely keeps a toe on the bag before falling. Byrd's out and...hey wait just a darn second here. 
Mike Quade is either really really angry or just doing his part to fire up the team with some awesome acting, because he's got his arms behind his back (to keep from punching anybody?) and...yelling at the ump, pointing to where Drew was, running around, getting in the ump's face...and tossed!
I immediately put him in the 5% Cooler Club as he stalks off the field. 
And now it's Tyler Colvin.
He goes 0-2 and I'm waiting for the strike out...but hey wait just a darn 9 more pitches here.
He walks, brilliantly.
With guys on 1st and 2nd and now 2 outs, 2 balls, and 2 strikes, Darwin Barney clutchly hits one right at and past Putz, who is still sitting on his ass when Soto crosses the plate.
Loud non-words from my mouth, beer spills on coffee table, and I'm told to stop scaring the dogs as Starlin knocks in the last run and Len reminds us that all the Cub runs tonight came with 2 outs.


And it also means that Matt Garza, who set a Cub strikeout record for April, gets the W.

For a couple 4th place teams, this was just a wonderful game.

Lastly, I didn't mention that Other Freaky Hot Hitter Jeff Baker did something bad to himself while at bat, and since he was already playing for trainwreck Carlos Pena, I'm hoping Mr. Quade sees fit to put Tyler Colvin at first today.

 Go Cubs.



My bad, I know Kennedy's a righty.
Too late to change it.

Sori bats 5th...

lenandbob: #Cubs lineup on @WGNTV today at 3: Kosuke9/Barney4/Castro6/ARam5/Soriano7/Byrd8/Pena3/Geo2/Coleman1

leadoff doubles are a good start...go fuku.

getting your 2nd xbase hit of the season in may...sigh fuku.

...and no run scores...super.

leadoff doubles in the 2nd is a good start...go sori

Who is this soriano guy?

coleman is literally shaking on the mound, especially his glove hand...yet he flies through the 1st 1/2/3.

jeff baker, d2d, sore left shoulder

Which is slower Sori running to third or pena's bat speed?

The story is last year Lou ordered pre printed batting order sheets with Soto's name in 8 th spot.

With attendance down, Ricketts won't order new ones until the other ones are used up.



Gregg in to blow it fir O's

Ump bails out Gregg

balking the runner in...classic cubbery...and it even gives up the lead.

4-3 ..STOOPID loss of the year. Q-Ball totally out-managed today as he is almost every day.

Didn't see the game, only read ESPN update...would love to hear how Q was outmanaged (I am not the biggest Quade fan by any stretch).

Certainly wasn't fully evident from summary, but I don't doubt it happened.

My first thought would be that Quade put Jeff Baker in, probably under the reasoning that he has been "hot" so far this year, while ignoring that almost all of his success is against lefties and that he appears virtually useless against righties.

He has been a bit better this year against righties. However, since both Fuke and Pena were in the game, guess which lefty was left on the bench?

Of the two, I'd rather have Baker by a longshot.

I would rather have johnson and DeWitt hitting over an injured Baker.

Actually, I forgot about DeWitt.

Baker is 8 for 30 (.267) off righties this year. The other options were Dewitt, Johnson, or Hill. Johnson is 7 for 15 off righties this year, and would have been my choice. Especially given Baker's sore shoulder. He is also a veteran who likely wouldn't ground into a DP on the VERY FIRST pitch.

Baker is a vet, just a bad one.

Soto also took 4 straight balls b4 Baker's at bat.

Can't wait to see where he bats tomorrow, I know where soto will be batting.

I saw that Iowa Cubs released Jake Muyco.

I guess we can put one failure in the column for converted catchers to pitchers to go with the positives (Marmol and Wells).

Because we all know that the Cubs need more bullpen arms and are in no need of starting pitching
"The Smokies rotation took a hit this week when Rafael Dolis, their most consistent starter to this point, was moved to the bullpen at the behest of the Chicago Cubs. Dolis, who is on the Cubs' 40-man roster, had a rough outing in his first relief appearance Saturday night, giving up four unearned runs in what eventually was a 7-6 Smokies loss."

Also in that article:

"Sunday the Smokies got a tremendous start from No. 2 Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Trey McNutt. McNutt, a right-hander, had a shutout going into the seventh inning when a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand forced a wild pitch that allowed Carolina's Mike Costanzo to cross the plate. McNutt was immediately taken out of the game. This is the second time this season that McNutt has missed time with a blister on his finger."

Who is #1 pitching prospect if McNutt is #2?



Chris Archer of course.



I suspect that was supposed to say "#2 prospect, pitcher Trey McNutt" or something to that effect.

that must be it

I've got blisters on mah fingers
John Lennon had the same problem, Imagine that.

That was Ringo who said that.

/it don't come easy

Nice catch there, jacos!

d-backs score 3 w/ a single & we have 3 innings w/ man on 2nd & no outs that end up goose eggs...but hey,in the silver lining dept., pena almost hit a homerun which would have broken the tie between hill & the power combo of pena & ramirez!

Oh, yes. I forgot to add that it is plainly obvious that the Cubs play 10x better in warmer weather.

With rain in the forecast all weekend against the Reds, look for a Redlegs sweep.

" I was in Chicago for roughly four years and I had three different ownership groups," Piniella said Monday on "The Mully & Hanley Show" on WSCR-AM 670. "That's not the easiest thing in the world, either."

Yeah that really tied your hands behind your back, Lou.

via rotoworld

Carlos Pena (thumb) will continue to play through his recent slump.
His thumb isn't yet 100 percent, but Pena and Cubs manager Mike Quade have apparently come to an agreement. Pena, who signed a one-year, $10 million contract over the winter, is batting just .167 with 23 strikeouts over his first 66 at-bats. It's tough to recommend him in fantasy right now, especially if Jeff Baker continues to see at-bats against left-handers and some right-handers, as well

they had a closed-door meeting...was wondering what came out of it.

Recent comments

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  • 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.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.

  • most likely cost sharing + the league is short on players anyway. not many teams are chipping in on 'advanced instructional.'

  • I'm glad this is a one game playoff coming up, because McCutchen is one of my favorite MLB players. And as a baseball fan, I rather like the Pirates. I hope we beat them bad, of course. No mixed feelings here. And, I don't want a nail biter. Too old for that shit. The team of moran fans is easy to hate, though, and more suitable for a longer series.

  • A Jurickson Profar sighting!!!!???

  • I'd guess Jackson over Coghlan for the defense.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, is Jackson a better defender?