Game 161 Thread / Cubs @ Brewers (3 of 3)

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SP Angel Guzman SP *C.C. Sabathia
0-0, 7.04, 6 K, 4 BB, 7.2 IP (NL)
10-2, 1.78, 121 K, 24 BB, 121.2 IP
LF Alfonso Soirano CF Mike Cameron
SS Ryan Theriot 2B #Ray Durham
1B Derrek Lee LF Ryan Braun
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Prince Fielder
CF Reed Johnson SS J.J. Hardy
RF *Micah Hoffpauir RF Corey Hart
2B Ronny Cedeno 3B *Craig Counsell
C Henry Blanco C Jason Kendall
P Angel Guzman P *C.C. Sabathia


First, Paul Sullivan writes that despite his recent travails (5.40 ERA in September), Jeff Samardzija has made the post-season roster and that Chad Gaudin will likely be a spectator.

As for today's game, Mark DeRosa (calf strain) was hoping to get in a few swings so he
didn't have to go into the playoffs cold. Alas, he is not in the starting
lineup. Geovany Soto (sore hand) is also sitting.

The Brewers begin play tied with the Mutts for the Wild Card, with a one-game tiebreaker tomorrow at Shea in the teams' futures if things don't get settled today. (As I post this, the Marlins and Mets are waiting out a rain delay at Shea.)


"It's not going to matter because, well, it is going to matter but it's not going to matter,"

Translated into English, it means that Lou Piniella decided that Carlos Zambrano would not pitch the first inning or two of today's regular season finale at Milwaukee and Angel Guzman will.

Translated into Sullivanese...

...what Piniella was trying to say was that whoever his starter was, he
was only planning on pitching him an inning or two anyway, having
decided already that Sunday will be a "bullpen day" when almost
everyone on the playoff roster will get one final chance to throw
before Game 1 on Wednesday. Guzman makes his eighth career start as a Cub, his first since in 2007.


(According to, Zambrano, the scheduled Game 2 starter in the NLDS, would actually prefer "to throw on the side Sunday, then have a bullpen session Monday at Wrigley Field.")

Soon-to-be free agent Sabathia makes his 17th and most likely last regular season start as a Brewer. Though his NL numbers are sparkling, and the Brewers wouldn't even be within sniffing distance of a post-season spot within him, Sabathia has been entirely mortal in his two starts against the Cubs: 13.2 IP, 18 H, and 7 ER, plus a loss and an ND.

Guzman has appeared in five games for the Cubs, all losses. One of the appearances was against the Brewers at Wrigley,in which he hit Ryan Braun before yielding consecutive hits to Fielder (single), Hardy (double), and Hart (single).



Home Run Howry strikes again. Please please assure me that Howry will come nowhere near any type of crucial game the Cubs play in the playoffs unless its past the 14th inning? Can I at least ask that? Thanks.

4-2 Marlins in the top of the 9th, Wsux win, twinkies up 4-0 in the 7th

At least we might get 1 extra game of White Sox vs Tigers...I'll take it I guess going to take a nice comeback from the Mets to force a playoff with the Brewers.

Wow, am I happy about this loss. CC getting worn down, LA probably our first round opponent, Howry probably out of work in all but the most ridiculous blowout in the playoffs.

You would think thats the case but I'm still worried about Lou, over and over and over again he has went to Howry as a chance to 'get him right' hopefully that won't be the case in the playoffs. Bob might have pitched his last game as a Cub today.

Mets lose! 2 years in a row lose to the Marlins on the last day of the season to miss the playoffs, thats gotta hurt.

guess Santana doesn't have to worry about going on three days rest now.

He likes Howry because he doesn't make excuses or some crap. It will certainly be a salve to our wounds when he loses us the World Series and then doesn't make an excuse for it. That will make everything better.

Lou put Howry in to pad his statistics, clearly. He just wanted to make sure the guy got a chance to cough up another home run and take another loss, and Bob didn't disappoint.

Hey, remember that time, a couple years ago, when Howry was good? Yeah. That was awesome.

I feel for the guy. Seems very hard working. But he just hasn't gotten it done this year and there is little reason to believe he would be any more effective pitching in October than in the previous six months.

Who's on the 11 man pitching staff now?

Dempster, Harden, Zambrano, Lilly, Marquis, Marmol, Wood, Cotts, Marshall, Samardzija, and one of Gaudin/Wuertz/Howry/Guzman. For what it's worth, of those final 4 Wuertz has the lowest ERA.

If we were to base it on Lou's post-clinch auditions, then Wuertz would get the callback.

Recent comments

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  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.

  • Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined). 

  • BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.

    If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).

    As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).