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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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.