Plus Five MPH is Back
Like a bad penny, the Cubs can't seem to catch a break. Here is the list of the broken catchers:
Steve Clevenger -Oblique rib cage strain. He is scheduled to return to the batting cage this weekend and might be ready to come off the DL by next weekend in Pittsburgh.
Geo Soto - Went on the DL with a knee meniscus tear and had it repaired/ trimmed on Friday. Out at least 3 weeks.
Welington Castillo - Had an MRI of his knee this am and has a mild medial collateral sprain. Out of action about one week if things go well.
So who is left, you ask? Hint: Blake Lalli isn't in the starting lineup tonight...
He was brought up when Soto went on the DL. Hitting only .178 in 20 games in Iowa, he was supposed to be a warm body off the bench but not really expected to start.
Per this Carrie Muskat article (http://t.co./TxaA2klP), ol #55 is back to bring his replanted fingers to the catching corpse (pun intended). Remember that Hill had almost amputated several fingers in his throwing hand on October 16, 2007 in a table saw accident. His surgeon had him hold a baseball to put the fingers and thumb back, so that even if they wound up stiff, he'd be able to hold a ball. Switch hitting Hill is a stiff from either side of the plate. Career line in 833 AB is .211/.275/.298/.573, but if it was possible to believe, he is worse vs left handed pitching (.091/.167/.091/.258).
In honor of the Kerry Wood retirement, the Cubs new braintrust wanted to splurge but after a quick scouring of the minor leagues they settled for "cash considerations" to purchase the contract of Koyie Hill from the Reds. we all know Koyie can't hit and he continued to prove that with a .195 average in 14 games for AA Pensicola.
He's in the lineup tonight catching ol' pal Ryan Dempster, and to complete the Cubbery, he's hitting against a lefty starter (Danks).
Tonight's lineup: Johnson CF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Baker RF, Mather 3B, Hill C, Dempster P vs. lefty John Danks, 2-4, 6.46 ERA
And Randy Wells is reported to be back from Iowa taking Kerry Wood's roster spot. I'm still not quite sure how Hill gets on the roster unless Castillo is going on the DL, but we haven't gotten confirmation of that yet. It is possible that Casey Coleman will go back to Iowa as Travis Wood is scheduled to start Tuesday vs. Houston (in Volstad's spot) and Muskat tweets that Wells is supposed to be used in long relief this time around.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.
cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.