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

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  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • 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).