Breaking News: I-Cubs Get to Play!

Just by taking the field today the Iowa Cubs snapped their three-game skid at the hands of Mother Nature. Then they proceeded to hand Oklahoma City its first loss in a week by whipping the Redhawks 5-2 in the first game of a twinbill at Principal Park with a little help from rehabbing Kyuji Fujikawa.

A wind-breaking homer by Josh Vitters was the winning blow on a day that seemed balmy compared to the snow and rain that have plagued Des Moines since mid-week. In the top of the 2nd this contest was delayed by umpire attrition. The poor bastard behind the plate caught one in his sour spot and had to leave with a pair of badly fouled balls. By the time he got to his feet, received a wincing ovation and determined he wouldn't be able to do justice to called third strikes ten minutes had elapsed. Then it was another ten or fifteen before one of his two colleagues could dash to the dressing room under the outfield skyboxes and return girded for reassignment in the direct line of fire.

Fujikawa pitched the 6th and protected the lead he inherited by authoring a scoreless, hitless inning. He fanned two, one swinging; one not, and walked one. In the pressbox they opened the partition to a luxury suite to accommodate the small entourage of Japanese paparazzi assigned to chronicle Fuji's comeback. We'll see if they leave it open for Garza's noontime start tomorrow which I also plan to attend.

Speaking of authoring (and awkwardly contrived segues) I've got a new book releasing this week and the Kindle edition is already up @ Amazon. Versus the Demons is historical fiction with a jumping off point of the first nighttime ballgame ever played under permanent lights, an event that happened right here in Des Moines on May 2, 1930. It's the story of a journeyman bush leaguer. If you're curious here's a link:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Versus-the-Demons-ebook/dp/B00CMF7K54/ref=sr_1_2?s...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Good to see Josh Vitters breaking-wind

Yes, mostly he's been silent but not deadly...blasted one for a change

"Pair of badly fouled balls"

Classic line!

Where, oh where is Ian Stewart?

Ian Stewart has 72 hours to get where he already is.

A day after being optioned to triple-A, the third baseman was missing from the Iowa Cubs clubhouse and lineup on Saturday night.

http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2...

I see Ryan Sweeney is being called up. I remember playing against him in high school back in Iowa. I was a senior and he was a freshman and he was already playing varsity--hitting and pitching. In fact, I remember roping a single off him to left field when we faced him and thinking "he is not that good" and then pausing for a minute and thinking "but he is only 14 and we only had 4 hits off him..." Even at that point, he just "had it" and everyone knew and was already talking about him going far in baseball.

He has no real base stealing speed and no power, but will put together quality at-bats and get on base. He is David Dejesus-lite (40 points OPS worse) at bat, but with a solid Right-Fielder's arm. Certainly better than Sappelt, but he hits from the left side not the right. He's also still only 28, so if he fits in well he could be a good young back-up outfielder for the next few years, or if he does well off the bench he might be attractive for a contender at the trade deadline and could net a low-level prospect in return.

Stewart still missing yesterday. Actually, he's been missing even when he's present...

I really hope he pulls a Randy Wells.

stewart supposedly with the team today...not in the lineup

garza 3.1ip 4h 0bb 3k 1er

vitters with another HR...take that stewie.

Is this like trading for an All-Star?

Congrats, Phil Mike.

melky gets his 1st HR of the season...gets the silent treatment...high-5's phantom players anyway...winning.

http://mlb.mlb.com/images/3/2/2/46764322/0505melk_...

g'bye k.loe (DFA)...hello dolisy.

This team really takes "Throw shit on the wall and see what sticks" seriously.

Maybe "Dolly" will be able to get some outs at the big league level consistently for once? He certainly will have had some chances to do so over the last 3 years.

Kind of meh-ish. 1.17 WHIP, 3BB in 7.1 3ER 6hits and 7K's.

C'mon DOLLY!

from rotowurld...

"Speaking in a Monday radio interview, GM Jed Hoyer said the Cubs would like to get Matt Garza (lat) up to 100 pitches before activating him from the disabled list.

That means Garza would likely have to make at least two more rehab starts after throwing 54 pitches in his Monday outing for Triple-A Iowa. That would put Garza on track to return for the beginning of Chicago's nine-game road trip on May 21."

ninja and e.jackson are pretty much locks...vanillawafers supposedly signed with the club to be a starter and is doing a great job with it...t.wood has pitched himself into totally earning his slot...feldman is getting paid $6m and has used starts vs MIA + SD to make himself respectable...someone has to go, though. it should be interesting if everyone's healthy when garza is due back.

s.baker is still a bit away from throwing off a mound, but he's 1 week into resuming his comeback throwing program. it'll probably be mid/late june before he's ready, though.

good luck on the book Mike, sounds like a good read. I think I'll pick it up after I finish the "Art of Fielding".

Thanks, Rob!

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  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 34 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    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.

    Rob G. 18 hours 45 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #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

    Rob G. 18 hours 50 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    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.

    Rob G. 18 hours 55 min ago view
  • great defense

    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.

    Rob G. 19 hours 7 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 19 hours 18 min ago view
  • #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)
    Rob G. 19 hours 43 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 20 hours 23 min ago view
  • 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.

    Jackstraw 21 hours 36 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 21 hours 53 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 21 hours 57 min ago view
  • 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.

    Eric S 22 hours 41 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 1 day 3 hours ago view
  • 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."

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 4 hours ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 4 hours ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 1 day 6 hours ago view