Game 23 Thread - Volstad vs. Worley

The Cubs have won 5 of 8 and are now proudly just the 5th worst team in baseball. A win today and the Cubs win their second straight series.

Phillies Cubs
#Rollins, SS *DeJesus, RF
Polanco, 3B
*Campana, CF
#Victorino, CF Castro, SS
Pence, RF
*LaHair, 1B
Wigginton, 1B Soriano, LF
*Nix, LF
*Stewart, 3B
Ruiz, C
*DeWitt, 2B
*Orr, 2B
Soto, C
Worley, P
Volstad, P

BABIP was yesterday's stat of the day on Len's new stat Sunday feature, here's what the Cubs look like: LaHair (.607), Campana (.556), Clevenger (.550), Castro (.364), Mather (.333), DeJesus (.327), Johnson (.318), Soriano (.314), Barney (.299), Baker (.286), Stewart (.196), Soto (.154), DeWitt (.100).

How about the pitchers? Maine (.167), Dolis (.171), Dempster (.213), Garza (.221), Maholm (.246), Bowden (.250), Marmol (.261), Russell (.286), Volstad (.297), Wells (.310), Camp (.317), Castillo (.333), Samardzija (.352), Wood (.400).


it's been a long time since Chris Volstad got a win. Like July 18th, 2011 vs Houston. How long of a losing leash is he on before we see Travis Wood?

travis wood is busy competing with himself in least his last start was good.

plus, volstad is making $2.6m

I totally hate that rule that says if a guy is paid a lot of money he has to play on a regular basis.

Obviously snark, but it does seem to be an unwritten rule of baseball team management.

And, like, 90% of those hits yesterday by the Phils were cheap as hell.

an end to natural rivalry interleague series as we know it...

right when KC starts to get a shimmer of being decent...STL/KC...sigh.

Would be ideal if Dan Iassogna would work a bit more on his positioning and agility so that he could be in position to make an accurate call timely instead of basically having to guess on it.

Pathetic and Soriano-esque performance on that play.

great job castro! wow.

let's play further back next time.

yeesh...0-3 phillies, 2 outs, carts off the wheel early.

2 infield singles, a walk, 2 groundballs through the infield. wow.

Chris Volstad vs. Travis Wood - which flame out 25 year old former top tier pitching prospect would you like to see get lit up every week? I suppose once we trade Garza and / or Dempster at the hdeadline we may not have to answer that question for the second half of the season.

That was an absolute eruption from an offensively terrible Philly team.

i have a lot more faith in volstad, myself, especially his stuff.

that escalated quickly

and they've batted around...0-4. woo.

and castro almost gives up a hit to the pitcher backing up on it before the throw. cute.

thank god that's over...30 pitches through 1ip...4 er. woo.

Felix Pie signs with an indyball team - Camden.

Is he really that useless?


it's not like it's errors...but they aren't stopping anything...except the 2 infield singles where they stopped the ball and did nothing with it.

castro not getting 1 out on that double play setup...that was awesome...didn't even get a chance to throw the ball.

Our infielders specialize in diving OVER the ball. It's not as easy as it looks to miss the ball the way we do!

Their infielders are kicking ass however . . .

Byrd with an RBI single, batting .333 in the AL, no XBH's yet.

I will not miss Byrd's totally empty batting average and the opportunities managers gave him because of it. Good team player, but not much of an offensive contributor, and totally overrated in CF in my opinion.

can't say I watched that closely, but did Volstad pitch poorly in the first or mostly lucky singles and bad defense?

I can't for the life of me figure out starting DeWitt at 2b with Volstad on the mound.

volstad has worked this whole game on the ground aside from a popout or 2.

in the 1st he gave up a couple of legit shots, allowed an infield single via his own fielding, and gave up some cheap hits (including an infield single that might have been a double play with another team's SS...or at least 1 out)...not in that order.

he deserved to give up some runs, but almost everything has been on the ground or low liners. he's keeping the ball down well tonight.

inning 1 - 30 pitches, innings 2-5 - 40 pitches

Geo Soto - one man rally killer

He is REALLY killing us tonight. Jesus. Soto needs to switch sides of the plate or something.

Polanco is a madman tho, amazing D tonight.

No offense intended to retarded people, but, is Hunter Pence retarded or something?

Hate that guy.

Campana 7 steals in 9 games.

He was running on the grounder thru the hole by Castro (rbi), Soto/Soriano would have been out at 3rd if they were on 2nd with the same grounder, 7-5 putout.



LaHair's Hair on Fire...4-4 ballgame!



tie game

Anthony who?

rizzo vs righties - .837/.999/2.489
rizzo vs lefties - .001/.002/.001

Ha! Nice ...

MIKE C agrees! What?! A player coming from the Cubs minor leagues that can actually play??

To bad you can never read posts to understand what they mean.

The argument was always over never passing on elite talent to give a 29 year old non-prospect a chance.

And don't get the cart before the horse, its May 1st. Free swingers like LaHair can get exposed badly in the coming months. The question has always been his ability to adjust which is why he is a 29 year old non-prospect.

Don't be an Obama and totally disregard facts in order to start race wars.

Edit: Funny good intentioned video removed.

Don't take the bait.

You're right!

Don't be an Obama and totally disregard facts in order to start race wars.

brought to you by Fox News.

Why would you bring up Fox News when NBC falsely edited the George Zimmerman tape? Leading to several firings. The same edit apparently was done in Miami in an unrelated incident, also part of the NBC family. Ohh and lets not forget that Zimmerman is a "White Hispanic" according to the New York Times.

Maybe you need to readdress your Fox News hatred and attack the organizations and the President of the United States engaged in race baiting before anyone knows the facts of the case.

And do we really need to bring up Eason Jordan, Dan Rather, and the Duke Rape case. The biggest cases of journalist integrity have been done by some of the biggest liberal news organizations. But hey if you need fake evidence, covering up dictators crimes, or need to crucify someone in the press guilty or not CNN, CBS, NBC, and the New York Times got all the reporters who will do whatever it takes to get the story "fake but accurate."


seriously, though...enjoy your race war.

*shakes a rain stick making a bunch of scary noises*

When did this race war start? Being the only white guy at work, I'm fucked!

just stay cool and don't freak out if you see someone with Skittles and tea.

I would probably be the one with the Skittles and tea. Or more likely a Snickers and Coke.

I'd rather attack the people that believe the president is trying to incite a race war.

/grabs tinfoil hat, stocks up on canned goods and ammo.

LaHair is a "free swinger"? He K's plenty, but that alone doesn't make him a free swinger.

That said, he's not going to continue to hit 35% of his fly balls out of the park, so, yes, his numbers will definitely be falling at some point.


4-6 phils

So hard to tell when to stop with the cat & mouse and just concentrate on the hitter. I mean you don't want to look like you give Pierre second base, but you can also just say, fuck you, I don't care about the runner cause I'm gonna retire the hitter. Awful lot of concentration went to pierre ... With 2 out

I wonder if that's why we got an appearance from the pitching coach, who I rarely see trot out there. I was thinking that whole time, forget about Pierre and get this guy out. I don't actually remember the timeline of when Bosio came out, though, so it may be a laughable comment.

I-Cubs (9-14) just lost to Memphis, 5-4

Rizzo 2-4, 2 rbi, 1K
Jackson 1-3, 2 walks, 1K
Cardenas 2-3, 1 walk, 1 HR

TWood 5IP, 5R, 1BB, 4K, 2HR

So comforting to know we have such great pitching prospects in AAA.


The Good: Chicago
Cubs and White Sox first basemen -- largely Brian LaHair and Paul Konerko -- rank 1-2 in OPS, both above a thousand.


The Ugly: Chicago Cubs
Alfonso Soriano is batting .237/.250/.263 with zero homers and earning $18 million.

(By the way, do you know how many homers all of the Cubs' outfielders have hit this season? One. By bench player Joe Mather.)

Alfonso Soriano is batting .237/.250/.263 with zero homers and earning $18 million.

(By the way, do you know how many homers all of the Cubs' outfielders have hit this season? One. By bench player Joe Mather.)

In the words of, of all people, Elton John:

It's sad, its so sad
It's a sad, sad situation
And it's getting more and more absurd

I bet that's the first time Elton John's been quoted around these parts.

I still say Theo isn't Jim Hendry, he won't watch this shit much longer. The money is a sunk cost, it is obvious Soriano is finished and has no value to any other team in baseball. Hence, he'll get released by the All-Star break at the latest, IMO.

Hell, Vlad Guerrero is just a year older than Soriano, he is and always has been a MUCH better hitter, and like Soriano, he was an OF (and a damn good one) who old age has delegated to DH status. Vlad can't get a job this year. What does that tell you about the potential demand for Soriano?

Released by July 1, book it.

I think Soriano's future is tied closely to Rizzo, Jackson and LaHair.

yup, I think Sori gets axed in off season

He could get traded (cut) this season, but that would be because Rizzo, Jackson and LaHair are all playing every day for the Cubs.

I don't think he will get traded (no one would want him) and I believe Jackson, La Hair and Rizzo will all be up this year, but Theo will keep Sori around and cut him in off season.

Where will he keep him?


Haha, good one.

I think Pujols' situation has to have the Angels sweating a bit. Even if he snaps out of it, and he probably will, it's a reminder that these gargantuan contracts are very dangerous. Hitting a baseball at the level these guys do is one of the most difficult things in the world to do. It'll be interesting to watch what happens to Votto, Pujols, and others as the contracts age and ferment.

If they can't trade him and he has no place to play, why keep him on the roster until the off season?

Just a hunch, nothing other I think Theo would cut him in off season so he doesn't have to answer questions about it from press during the season.

Wouldn't be surprise if it plays out like you say.

Agree with both of you guys! Weirdly enough . . .

When he was signed, everybody knew he would be an albatross in the final years of the contract. I still wish he didn't suck so much.

Interesting point there on the Vlad -- wow, sure shows what a crazy contract this was. Hendry gambled they'd win a world series and it didn't happen, and the decline began in earnest right after.

I can't imagine they'll keep watching this crap either, and Soto, too, as far as I'm concerned. He's had his year and a half or so, and he just doesn't hit anymore. We'd be better of with Hank White at this point.

Cozart 6, Stubbs 8, Votto 3, Phillips 4, Bruce 9, Rolen 5, Heisey 7, Hanigan 2, Arroyo 1

vs. Murderers Row

DeJesus RF, Campana CF, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Stewart 3B, DeWitt 2B, Soto C, Samardzija P

is Barney hurt?

and how sad is it that I'm pining for Barney?

It's staying-home-from-the-prom-and-listening-to-skrillex-because-you-cant-find-a-date sad.

"Well, Rickey’s not one of them, so that’s 49 percent right there." silly.

Dear HOF,

Peace Ooooooouuuuut!

Roger Clemens

"(Reuters) - New York Yankees' pitcher Andy Pettitte testified on Tuesday that former teammate and close friend Roger Clemens admitted to taking human growth hormone during a conversation they had while working out together in 1999."


"Clemens mentioned that he had taken human growth hormone, it could help with recovery and that's all I really remember about the conversation," he testified.

"What was your biggest adjustment going to the AL last year?" - sean casey @mlbnetwork

"I uh...didn't make an adjustment last year. I made one this year." - adam dunn

Mongo only pawn in game of life....

Recent comments

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  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely. 

  • has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.

  • As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?

  • AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?

  • Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.

  • AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.

  • I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.

    But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.

  • Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.

    Jason deGrom -- oh, my.

  • Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.

    Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.