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:









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.

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.

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!

Recent comments

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  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • 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.