Game 2 Thread - Garza vs. Gio

Word is that the wind is blowing out briskly to left, so Sveum has loaded up on the righties to battle southpaw Gio Gonzalez in his NL debut.

Nationals Cubs
Desmond, SS Johnson, RF
#Espinosa, 2B Mather, 3B
Zimmerman, 3B Castro, SS
*LaRoche, 1B Soriano, LF
Werth, RF Baker, 1B
DeRosa, LF Soto, C
*Bernadina, CF Byrd, CF
Ramos, C Barney, 2B
Gonzalez, P Garza, P
How many walks will Cubs get off Gio? free polls 

Rodgrigo Lopez is the first call-up from the minors, so congrats to those that picked it in our prediction contest. It appears Luis Valbuena is going back through waivers in an attempt to option him to Iowa to make room for Lopez.


Interesting fact:

The 2007 Draft yielded four round-one picks - that ended up eventually as Cubs, three of which are currently on the club.

One of them turned into the Auto-DL Pitcher, Rich Harden:

2007 Round 1

M. Burgess, J. Donaldson, C. Weathers, J. Vitters

Hopefully one or more of them will become solid Major Leaguers.

fwiw, Donaldson & Burgess were supplemental first round picks, #48 and #49.

Soriano gonna Soriano, leaves Mather at 3B with 1 out.

Wild pitch bails him out.

Cubs 1, Nats 0

Nice to be the team that takes advantage of a mistake for a change.


2-run HR off right field pole by LaRoche

2-1 Nats in the 4th

Garza then goes nuts in the dugout.

not sure if he was just yelling at himself, but looked a bit like he was yelling at the ump.

Maybe dude should learn how to bunt instead.

leadoff single by soto, bb by byrd, but barney goes down swinging on 3 pitches.

Garza up now to fail at bunting.

and Garza K's for the second time by bunting foul.

Reed bails them out with a 2-out triple into the right field corner.

3-2 Cubs.

Mather singles in Reed with DeRosa looking very old in LF.

4-2 Cubs.

Side note-- Isn't Mather a younger/better DeRo in training??

if you're delusional, sure.

If you mean Babe Ruth by DeRo then yes.

Yeah, I shouldn't have said better I s'pose.

What I was thinking was later-bloomer super-sub type, and maybe better today.

skinny dick twiple

it's joe mather's world we just live in it.

no hitter for Ubaldo through 6 vs. Toronto

6.2 IP, but gives up 2 walks and finally a single to Lawrie that ties the game.


2 on, 2 out, Desmond lines one to left that Soriano adventurously caught.

...accidentally caught.


LaHair with a stellar season debut. Popped out on first pitch.

Also, for those interested in this type of stuff: watching the game now on Kindle Fire via MLB.TV app. Works as good as whatever wireless network you are on. Streaming seamlessly now for me. Really surprised me. Allows me to work on the laptop and have the game on next to me (so I don't have to switch between windows, etc.).

DeRosa-in-training looks terrible vs. a righty and K's with runners on 2nd/3rd and 1 out.

up to Castro...

Okay, now you're just being a dick...


Kerry gets the first 2, then an Espinosa HR, Zimmerman broken bat single and LaRoche single with DeJesus playing on the warning track.

4-3 Cubs in the 8th with runners on the corners, 2 outs.

Pitching change

Welcome to your 2012 Chicago Cubs.

Marmol and Wood - the veteran contingent of this ball club.

Neither have a future with the club, both are shadows of their once dominant / overpowering selves, and neither should have been on this roster.

It's the Kerry and Carlos show! Episode 2!

Wood & Marmol giving Nasty Boys a whole new definition.

5 runs with two outs and the bases empty against an offensively mediocre Washington Nationals lineup at home.

At least this team is being nice enough to give us reasons to stop holding out any modicum of hope for the season early.

I wouldn't say they are offensively mediocre.

The Cubs do not have the equal of Zimmerman or Werth at this point.

Two equally logical conclusions there:

1) Nationals are better than mediocre

2) Cubs are worse than mediocre

This seems very accurate!

There must be someone else nicknamed Werth on their team.

Marmol is not missing any bats.

How long before we hear reports of him hiding an injury leading to TJS?

Wow. How hopeless is this team that all is lost and discouraging after just TWO games? Gee, Wood only pitched what, 4 innings in Arizona? I wonder if there was a reason for that, mkay? Marmol sucks eggs and has for nearly two years.

Okay Theo, impress us. DL Wood to save face, demote Marmol or dump him, who cares. Yikes.

Team isn't hopeless at all. In fact - they are showing serious signs of life. Just a bullpen disaster needs to be addressed. Uh, somewhat obviously. Derr

Well, the offense hasn't exactly been stellar so far.

LOL and it takes all of 2 games for Chicken Little to show his face

What will Theo do? He can't like to see this even this early, when this is just the kind of stuff that must be fixed!

hopefully he has a 95mph fastball and can put in 60+ innings...maybe 99+mph if he takes off the suit jacket before taking the mound.

maybe use a do-over card on the marshall trade...

Fuck Marshall. I still like that deal. We're not gonna win anything for reals this year. Torreyes for president!

i don't mind him being traded, but i hate the return.

some people like the minors kids more than me, but t.wood was a useless pickup as a key return, imo.

Travis is gonna be a hell of a lot better than he showed in spring training. But I can't defend against your opinion . . . I consent things don't look good right now.

Two things I did like today were Dollis and early aggressiveness.

As I and others said Monday, get used to this bullpen scene.

So, far, the starters have been quite good. A nice thing.

Most teams 1-2 starters are hopefully good; we'll see beyond that.

cabrerra + fielder = f'n insanity

And no errors or facial fractures. Did Fister get fisted? Only threw 3+ innings.

did something with his side...fell off the mound weird after a pitch and was removed.

@TB - c.pena batting 2nd...m.joyce batting 4th after going 0-4 yesterday with 4Ks.

Gotta say, not as worried about Woody and Marmol after watching the replays on mlbtv. Woody had a cracked bat single on a nasty pitch, and Marmol had an outside pitch pulled through the right side of infield by a lefty. Both are pretty much a bad roll of the dice. I predict both will settle down with warm weather and be fine. Gonna predict 78 wins for Cubs. Lineup will be the weak spot not the pitching.

It'd be nice if Marmol had some success soon. I'm sure he needs some confident building after last season.

He could also use some stat padding if the front office is going to consider dealing him at any point.

He remains one of my favorite recent Cubs.

5.91 era / 1.50 whip after the break last year...he did have a good august...which kinda makes the overall number even more scarey.

"According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, the Nationals are not actively shopping John Lannan and have not talked to the Cubs about a potential deal involving Marlon Byrd."

thank gawd...

i don't care if byrd stays or goes, but this team has enough ass-end-rotation filler to last a few years.

...and wtf is with the crew of writers and blog people who think this guy is a good pitcher?

Byrd looks good though. Helluva catch today!

Bottom 5th: San Diego

- O. Hudson struck out swinging
- J. Bartlett singled to shallow right
- K. Blanks walked, J. Bartlett to second
- C. Maybin grounded into fielder's choice, J. Bartlett to third, K. Blanks out at second
- C. Denorfia walked, C. Maybin to second
- C. Headley walked, J. Bartlett scored, C. Maybin to third, C. Denorfia to second
- J. Wright relieved C. Capuano
- J. Guzman walked, C. Maybin scored, C. Denorfia to third, C. Headley to second
- N. Hundley walked, C. Denorfia scored, C. Headley to third, J. Guzman to second
- S. Elbert relieved J. Wright
- C. Headley scored, J. Guzman to third, N. Hundley to second on wild pitch
- Y. Alonso hit by pitch
- O. Hudson singled to shallow left, J. Guzman scored, N. Hundley to third, Y. Alonso to second, N. Hundley out at home

3 runs scored on walks, 1 on a wild pitch, and 1 on a single that ended the inning
5 walks, 1 wild pitch, 1 hbp.

"Rodrigo Lopez..."

Rob, I'm splitting hairs here, because, well, if I don't care about TCR pride then what do I care about, BUT...

Did the prediction contest say who was the first called up DUE TO INJURY, or did I make that last part up?

I picked R Wells, because I (naturally) assumed the first injury would be to the rotation (Hey Hey! We've made it two games so far!) and Wells is the sixth man in the rotation.

Can't access the form since the 'voting' is closed.

And that would have been italicized instead of all caps, if I knew how to make italics on here from my phone.

There, now this whole incident has made me expose my inadequacies to the group. Thanks Rob.


I love it here, even if we DIDN'T have AZ Phil.

As I recalled, it was first person CALLED UP. No "injury" part attached.

Stop conspiring against me just because you had Lopez...



Who will be the first Cub called up from the minors?

previous question was,
Which Cub that makes the Opening Day roster will hit the disabled list first?

Dammit, there goes another season

Does anybody know why Soriano has resembled an outfielder the first two games? He seems to be tracking the ball really well from what I've seen.

Soriano has looked legit!

Also take note:

Some other teams that are 0-2:

Red Sox

It's been amazing. That one he caught near the well yesterday, I couldn't help but think there's no way he would've got that last year.

I guess all the extra work with Dave McKay has really paid off.

Reports were, as always, that he's taken a "renewed interest" in the defensive side of the game. I don't know if that's a real explanation, but in the first games he has looked to be in much more control out there. If he can continue to merely be unbaffled, he could be an average left fielder defensively.

It remains or us to see whether he's going to hit this season.

I think he's going to have a good season, though. Comeback Player good. There, I said it.

It would be fun to see him do a comeback thing. He seems like a pretty likable fella and he seems to work a lot harder than the guy who watches sometimes from the batters box would make you think. The key to any comeback is going to be hitting stuff other than fastballs, though. And some seeing eye grounders between second and first. That kind of thing happens, then it's possible.

The key to any comeback is going to be hitting stuff other than fastballs, though.

Like hanging sliders and straight changes down the middle? I have no hope for Soriano ever hitting a decent breaking ball or, more significantly, laying off a decent breaking ball.

are there too many hitters that can hit a decent breaking ball? at best they foul it off or just lay off...of which Soriano certainly does not lay off.

From what I recall, he's actually pretty good, much like Ramirez, at hitting breaking balls in the zone or down. He just drops the head of the bat and gets good power. But anything outside is just a disaster.

some guys make a living swinging/hitting almost nothing but fastballs...those people tend to be very good at actually noticing or guessing a fastball is coming, though...longoria is great at it.

I suppose that's true. Always thought Ramirez was a good breaking ball hitter--but he didn't bite on the terrible curveball a foot off the plate nearly as often as Soriano does, as you noted.

Soriano and Samardzija have both been pleasant surprises in the extremely early going, though.

I expect Wood will come around, but Marmol has never had strike zone control. He's gotten lucky. I wouldn't be surprised to see him struggle all year.

Actually I do think Marmol is a high risk to return to be a real closer. I almost think for Cubs' baseball it is better to get someone who has never done the job and get as many outs from them as possible before they realize how much pressure there is. Once they know (ala Marmol) they are cooked!

Recent comments

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  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.

  • Wrigley was electric tonite
    Not many card fans
    Video board was great, they played "there goes my hero" by foos over ryno highlights before he came out. Spectacular

    Good times hopefully they win tomorrow but think Lester will beat poopy pants on Wednesday.

    Happy 4th anniversary of Theo's signing

    Go Cubs !

  • Yeah. "Goodbye!" is a lame HR call.

    I miss Len and JD -- although, driving home from a friend's, WBBM played all 6 HR calls in a row -- and Len got to call the Bryant/Rizzo back-to-back. Very fun.

  • Lackey has been a beast against us. His stats on 3 days rest, however, not as nice. There is plenty of hope.

  • And, no dreadlocks grown yet.

  • Captain Obvious Strikes Again!!!

  • Amen, brother.

  • In the wild card game he mentioned that aram started with the Pirates, then played for the Brewers, and now he's back with the Pirates. Uhhhh, missed a step there, guy.

  • i like ron darling the person, the interview, and the studio desk guy...but him calling a game can lead to some really stupid stuff coming out of his mouth.

  • If you think these announcers are bad ,the ones doing the Mets vs Dodgers (Ron Darling ,Cal Ripken and someone else)
    are worse they did the wildcard game I never knew Joe Jackson and Derrick Fowler played for the Cubs this year you
    would think there would be research by them.