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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  • May their next game go 26 innngs..and get suspended.

  • Hear Hear!

  • So many memories from this game -- Javy's HR, Grimm's Ks, Soler's throw, Schwarber's ridiculous bomb, Strop overcoming his demons, Lackey screaming at himself after giving up the hit to Hammel....just awesome stuff.

  • dodgers win...1 more game of pitcher use on the mets and dodgers (degrom + greenkey)

  • maddon is easily one of the best managers out there, that's why he's getting paid huge for someone that doesn't have to rent/own in NYC/LA.

    for the most part there's 2-3-5 of guys on that level, and 25-28 other teams trying to find a guy who's capable. they can also go out of favor rather quickly (m.sciossa recently). last year's NL MOY didn't make it a full year into 2015 before getting fired.

    no matter how one feels about how it could have been done cheaper with less commitment, we only know how this way is working out. it's been awesome so far.

  • Agree. It could not be more perfect that we beat the Cardinals in this ascendant season of all seasons, and in the first postseason series we ever saw them in.

  • I think all we can say is, "Okay, let's go on to the next series and see what happens." And how indescribably awesome is it to be able to say that on this date in this year.

  • Thanks, O&B. So funny about our age. Let's just say- I have always wondered why Durocher didn't give Hundley a few days off when he had Gene Oliver and John Boccabella on the bench.

  • Strop K'ing Peralta to start the 8th, given their history -- what a fantastic moment! And Javy bouncing back -- big time -- form yesterday's games.

    Contributions from literally everyone in this series -- Soler and Schwarber were off the charts -- Miggy's pick-off was awesome.

    This team is just so much damn fun.

  • Wish I knew how to post a pic. Both CUBSTER & I in attendance. I finally feel like some demons have been vanquished, and there is some magic here.

    Joe Maddon is far and away the best manager I have seen work for my team.

  • pretty much this. also, a magician.

  • Madden brought it in some lions and sharks to Wrigley Field and let them eat people

  • What did I miss?

  • I think Strop deserves a very special mention. He had so many struggles against the Cardinals but pitched two successful and very high pressure innings the last two games against them and looked nasty doing so.

  • How about this, the Cubs are 10-1 over the last 3 weeks.

  • I was thinking about it earlier that the Cubs are 101-66 and the Cards 101-65...but, does anyone outside of the two of us ever calculate records including post season? Don't think I've seen that ever before.