Game 29 Thread - Samardzija vs. Hanson

As Cubnut pointed out on Twitter the other day, the Cubs have fallen into an alternating win-loss pattern since April 24th. Unfortunately, today is the day to bet against them.

Braves Cubs
*Bourn, CF
*DeJesus, RF
Prado, LF
*Campana, CF
*Freeman, 1B
Castro, SS
*McCann, C
*LaHair, 1B
Uggla, 2B
*Stewart, 3B
#C. Jones, 3B
Johnson, LF
*Heyward, RF
Barney, 2B
Pastornicky, SS
Soto, C
Hunter, P
*Maholm, P

The Braves are riding a 3-game winning streak and just a half-game out of first place in the NL East. They've done that with great help from Freddie Freeman who just picked up his second NL player of the week honors of this early season.

The Cubs, despite the mediocre play of late, are still proud owners of the second worst record in the National League and fourth worst in baseball. The worst being the San Diego Padres, formerly run by the Cubs current GM. The current Cubs president was previously running the team with the 5th worst record in baseball. The more you know...


One of these days, soon, I will arrive on parachat and teach you guys some stuff about baseball.

and maybe 1-2 people will be there.

there used to be 10+ pretty regularly...but that was when transmission (user) was doing chat recaps that enticed people to visit and catch some random real-time talk.

I always have login problems. I just gave up.

Same here.

I disabled the "must be registered" option. Try it again when you get a moment.

It will ask for a username and I strongly suggest just using your TCR username so we know who you are, but it will no longer only accept those that are registered.

You still need the most up-to-date Java for it to work. If anyone has any other chat suggestions that I can embed within a page, I'll happily explore.

Hey, it's working for me again. I'll try to Parachat a little more often this summer.

I've mentioned more than once that The TheoCorp is a reputation, not a solution. McFail, too, came in hot. Theo has a five year contract, though. If he gets a WS, he is a presidential candidate. If doesn't, it's just another notch in the noggin. I still think he'll prevail.

Cole Hamels suspension announced, officially 5 days.

Alex Gonzales, Brewers SS out for the year with torn ACL. He had a vesting option for 2013 at $4M which required 525 PA to kick in.

We could trade them Barney if only they had a player better than Barney left in their system. I don't suppose they'd deal Wily Peralta.

well at the very least, the Cubs farm system has been producing...for the Marlins.

Ricky Nolasco ties another former Hawk, Dontrelle Willis, for most wins in Marlins history

if R. Howard has anymore setbacks, would they have interest in LaHair?

not that the Cubs would get a ton, but D. Brown could be a possibility, they seemed to have soured on him.

i kinda wonder what his value is...he's "another" brandon allen/willie mo pena type, but unlike them he's shown up to work when given the chance in the bigs.

that said, it seems they're not going to let him near a lefty pitcher.

it's kinda hard to handicap his value...especially if he keeps knocking homers and making enough contact to tame the Ks.

I'll be in parachat until 8:30pm CST...

be there.

Big Z pitching well thru 5 innings (2 hits, 5K's, 1 BB), even has a 3-0 lead on a Stanton 2run HR. Of course, he's had some success vs the Astros in the past. least until they bring in Heath Bell.

Man - little Campy...

Helped manufacture a run off a HB, bunt, and Castro single.

And - a TERRIBLE AB by Stewart with bags juiced.

What a selective hitter.

back to back walks for marmol...0 outs, top 8.


lineout, K, and K....after a SB and wild pitch, but hey, no runs.

Marmol! Holy hell that was an adventure.

The last two batters were vintage Marmol, though.

None of us know the true issue with Marmol but my hope is the pressure of closing was too much and he can go back to being a dominant regular relief pitcher once he gets in the groove there. We'll see.

In my mind (and maybe statistically?), his greatest success was as a set-up guy.

Many times he'd strike out the side in the 8th. 2007 and 2008 were spectacular.

2008 his ERA+ was 171 setting up for Woody.

2007 his ERA plus?


96 K's in 69IP. Setting up for Dempster. "Fucking A"

It's not much of a mystery in my opinion. He can't reliably throw strikes. Sometimes he gets lucky and wiggles out of tight spots that he gets himself into.

Right--has so little confidence in his ability to throw a fastball for a strike that he throws sliders on 3-0. Sveum has been muttering about that for days. Marmol's problem is public knowledge.

I mean yeah he can't throw strikes but is it a mental issue or a mechanical issue. If it was just mental not being able to handle the pressure of closing then maybe moving him back will help him. I dunno that's not something any of us are gonna figure out. Just know if we can get back dominant set up Marmol we're in really good shape bullpen wise.

From the all-star break in '09 through '10, Marmol went 50 for 55 in save chances. He can handle the pressure.

I'm reading this book by Daniel Kahneman: Thinking, Fast and Slow... I figured I do so little thinking as it is, I might as well read up on the subject and start learning to do it on a regular basis. Anywho... in it, he talks about the very subject of high performers and how if you want to project future performance, instead of following performance trends, you should project the other direction and anticipate regressions to the mean. While the book refers mainly to economics, I assume the mathematics involved applies across many other domains, especially sports.

Obviously, it is more complex than trading away all your guys that are getting good numbers (which would be silly), but I think in Marmol's case, this is what happened- in other words:

"He doesn't throw many strikes and is pretty wild, but he's getting good results."

Maybe statements like this should be a red flag. Or:

"Castro is swinging at some crazy pitches and striking out, but hey, he's hitting .345"

Anyways, I just traded Castro for Jose Reyes in my fantasy league this week, so I'll get to see first-hand how all this regression towards the mean bullshit works out. Or not.

regression to the mean is pretty much the foundation of all baseball projections

See Rob...Castro is going to suck, so you should clearly trade him to me!

everyone is available for a price, the price for Longoria and Castro is just very high.

In real life news, it's probably too late to give a Longoria contract to Castro, but I wouldn't be opposed to a 8 or 9-year deal to give him some security and the team a chance to lock up free agent years and get a bit of a price break in return.

I was surprised at that trade. Reyes is clearly the better player, but routinely injured. If I had known you were looking for a SS I could have hooked you up with Furcal.

is it a keeper league? if so, it was D-U-M-B, dumb to trade Castro away for that return.

Kind of a short term keeper league. I guess both are not eligible to keep after this season (long complicated explanation here), so in effect it is not a keeper issue. I think I would still rather have Castro due to Reyes' injury history.

I think it's mental in the sense that he's too dumb (or stubborn) to know that there's something wrong when you have to throw a slider on 3-0. Look around you. Who else does that?

It's probably about 100% of the time that when Marmol shakes off the catcher, a slider is coming. Just throw what the catcher asks for (and what the manager has been asking for since spring training).

It's frustrating to watch because hitters are so geared to the slider that they can't help being late on the fastball, like Uggla yesterday, who was as late on the third fastball as on the first. But Marmol had to be demoted for that at-bat to happen.

so far Marmol has been throwing his fastball 48.3% of the time, the highest since 2008. His velocity is averaging 92.7 mph, down from the 94.1 mph he had it going in 2010, but up a tick from 2011. It was just 91.8 mph last year when he threw it just 35.7% of the time. In bizzarro world, if he just threw it more, it would go faster, but in 2010 when he topped out at 94.1 mph he was throwing it at 40% of the time, the second lowest of his career.

"You can use facts to prove anything that is even remotely true."

My crazy offbeat theory and I know I'm a loon is that Marmol is having trouble throwing a fastball for a strike (always has) and since it's not in the mid 90's anymore, he's gonna be more comfortable throwing the slider that he has a better idea where it's going. Hitters have done a much better job laying off that slider though. I don't even know if he's fixable at this point. Relievers are a weird bunch, a small tweak in his delivery might work, but no one has been able to get him to do it consistently.

imo, he shouldn't be falling off the mound toward 1st so haphazardly. i dunno how he even finds a release point doing it. his footing comes down in a different place almost every pitch.

Better yet, try to finish the delivery with a little hop.

Winning streak hits 2.

actually, they've won 3 of 4. Feels nice.

Three homeruns, and Stewart and Soto have much better (limited) May numbers than April numbers.

Wonder where LaHair will end up in the Three True Outcomes standings. I'm betting high, but well behind Adam Dunn.

Edit: And another solid start by Samardzija. Gotta enjoy the little things.

Adam Dunn......921 OPS right now.

Just saying

LaHair could probably do a decent Dunn impersonation. He may never hit 40 HRs in the bigs, but he could very well be a poor man's Dunn (and what a discount it is).

still not outperforming Cubs 1b-men

Just saying

They've won the first game of a series for 5 consecutive series (Cards, Phils, Reds, Dodgers and Braves). I'm liking that.

Not only that...but they:
Won the Cards series (2-1)
Split the Phillies (2-2)
Split the Red (1-1)
Won the Dodgers (2-1)

Solid play against solid/good teams.

It is really good to see the Cubs playing decent and respectable ball. If they could keep getting starting pitching like this, they will be watchable all year. I know... watchable... the bar is set pretty low.

Were do I sign for the apology letter to Samardrzija?

Put my name on it too, will ya?

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Which direction is wind blowing today? With Lackey a groundball pitcher, it might help Cubs if it is blowing in today and a 2-1 game instead of a 10-6 game.

  • I have convinced myself that Hammel's second half struggles were due to minor injuries and fatigue so with the extra rest he is going to be lights out.

  • Benji Molina is out of lineup

  • Yes. Unfortunately, as many of us, I have seen this movie before. Do not care for Hammel, and unlike other managers Joe will pull the plug quickly at least. I hope before things were to get out of hand.

    Many of us are like "abused spouses" or whatever - with this Cubs stuff. You get hurt so many times, the trust rapidly erodes.

    If the Cubs can get to Lackey early, its gonna be a big key to a W or L.

  • No idea what will happen. The Cards are the Cards and they have come back from 2-1 holes twice in the last 4 years, so I don't see them in panic mode at all. If anything, I expect the Cubs to be pressing more than the Cards today.

    I want the Cubs to win because it would be great for the city, and great for the fans. But more than anything, I want the Cubs to win so I can see this team play for at least one more week this year. Never enjoyed watching a team more than this year.

  • Just to remember how far we have come: last year's opening day lineup was Bonifacio, Lake, Castro, Rizzo, Olt, Castillo, Schierholz, Barney, and Samardzija. It's been a fun ride this year!

  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "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.