GAME 52 PREVIEW CHICAGO CUBS (27-24) at SAN DIEGO PADRES (33-20) PETCO Park, 9.05pm CT, TV: ESPN, Chan4
SP Tim Stauffer SP *Glendon Rusch
SS #Neifi Perez CF Dave Roberts
2B Todd Walker 3B Geoff Blum
1B Derrek Lee LF Ryan Klesko
RF *Jeromy Burnitz 1B Phil Nevin
3B Aramis Ramirez C Ramon Hernandez
CF *Corey Patterson RF Miguel Ojeda
LF T Jason Dubois SS Khalil Greene
C Michael Barrett 2B Damian Jackson
Pitcher's spot Pitcher's spot
The Cubs have won their last 6, and 9 of their last 11. The Padres though put us in the shade - they've won 22 of their last 28. Yikes! They did lose last night though, to the Brewers, and they're probably due a losing streak right about now given the sensational May they've had! Speaking of sensational, how about Derrek Lee? After April (.419/.490/.767), for which Derrek won the NL Player of the Month award, I implored him to keep it up. Sadly, he did tail off a bit, only hitting .313/.424/.646 in May. You're not going to win NL Player of the Month awards hitting like that (and indeed, Abreu took the honours). Obviously hugely disappointed with his slumping, Lee last night reminded us he's still alive, going 5-for-5 to start June, four singles with a three-run homer to cap it off. Should we be surprised at his present 1.000/1.000/1.600 line in June? No, of course not, Lee usually improves a lot when the summer months roll around! Keep on rolling, Cubbies, roll on. I hate these West Coast night games, starting as they do at gone 3am in the morning here, but as long as we keep winning them, I shan't complain too much!


I posted this in a dying thread, but if anyone is interested in going to next Tuesday's game vs. Toronto Blue Jays at 7:05, I will not be using my seasons (Sect. 233, Row 10, aisle seats). They are good seats. All I am looking for is face value...$44 total. This email address is my real one, so sent me an email or post a message on this thread. Thanks!

Also, John Hill was suppose to post a thread about this, but it has been discussed to have a TCR day at Wrigley. I have some bleacher seats for games later this summer. Let me know if you would be interested in going. After I get all the people interested i will send out the dates I have for games and we can decide what is best for teh majority. Let me know...

my god, dan kolb sucks

The Ballad of Corey Patterson:

"Three nights in a row
a man on third and nothin' to show.

I struck out, couldn't make contact
I'm a home run hitter and thats a fact.

I hope Dusty don't lose no faith
cause I don't have a very high on base!

Man the Cubs are playing some inspired baseball these days. What a play by Lee and Rusch!

You look a lot of times for "signs" of a good team. How about Prior gets hurt..adding to the pitching and injury woes....and what happens? They fold? NO !! They are playin as good in every aspect of the game as any team in baseball since. I applaud my team. Shows a LOT of class and heart!

Man, the Padres are just a fluff-team.

(Parachat says Hi)

i'm worried it guys. it appears the same aliens who kidnapped kurt warner and temporarily replaced him with one of the best quarterbacks of all time have stolen away the 2005 cubs and replaced them with robots. woe unto us when they trade them back...

I am going to name my first born Glendon.

what an un-friggin-believable game from rusch. seriously, he may have been the most important player for the cubs during the last two seasons. for all my frustrations with the management of the team talk about a textbook reclaimation project.

Without Rusch, last year's team (and this year's) would be about 10 wins worse. He's done everything asked of him, shuttling from the bullpen to the rotation and back.

Nice to see him turn his career around...certainly not what the statistics would have predicted.

Does anyone agree with this............Dempster started to begin the season and was rocky to start but got in a grrove and was doing good when switched to relief....upon which he was shaky the 1st couple times...and now is in a groove.
NOW Rusch...after settling into the rotation and not flipping back and forth between relief and starting is doing attention Dusty!! Put them in a spot..and leave them the hell alone!!

Winning sure beats losing, eh?

amen brother BJ!


That is all.

After all that has happened both here and at 1060 W. Addison this year, I just want to say I love you guys.

Winning breeds happiness. Hopefully, this team can continue to play. It's nice to see Ramirez's average approach .270 I am happy to see we have gotten rid of the dead arms in the pen and replaced them with some live ones. I can only hope we do that with some position players as time goes by.

Since the new Cubs players no longer want "Jump" as their song, let's go with "Alive & Kicking" (just as old, by the way) for now.

The Cubbies are coming tra la la la. The Cubbies are coming tra la la la.......

They no longer want "Jump"???

A small part of me just died, inside.

man oh man this is fun to watch.
I really think the whole key to this remarkable turnaround can be summed up by something that happened in the first inning, that nobody will read about in the box score.

Cubs batters looked at (aka did not swing at) 17 pitches in the first inning. When the Cubs were pressing a couple short weeks ago, we'd probably get to the 5th inning before we left our bats on the shoulder for 17 pitches. Sure enough, they had to burn through 4 innings of bullpen, while we needed none.

Patience at the plate is invaluable. Noww if only Patterson would figure that out.

I hope this team continues to prove me wrong.

"Also, John Hill was suppose to post a thread about this, but..."

That is true. But the first of the games is mid-July, Manny, and it's now the first week of June. Most people probably don't know whether they'll be able to make it on a specific day right now. I'll put it up a bit nearer the date. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten.

I watched Neifi Perez leg out an 0 2 count slap bouncer to third. Why can't Corey do that? I hate him so much.

BTW, anyone still think that Choi for DLee was a bad trade?

Adam -

That's amazing. I'm sure that has a HUGE effect on our recent success. I think the coaching staff has finally understood this and taught our players the importance of being selective.

We're starting to take pitches, get walks, and come up with timely hits. This can't be just a string of luck. I hate to say it, but Dusty is being a good manager right now.

Of course Jim Hendry had to go and trade his boy so he'd stop using him, but this is still good!

Just got back from Petco and a late night coffee run. Great game by Rusch and of course DLee. I am beginning to hate Corey Patterson. Not because he lacks tools, but because he's a pretty horrible situational hitter. Ridiculous.

Random thoughts:
- Petco is by far the quietest ball park I have ever sat in. No leatherlungs to speak of anywhere. There were probably 30% Cub fans tonight. They attempted to start the wave but gladly it fizzled out.

- Racial profiling? I wonder who chooses the 'theme songs' for the Padre players. I am assuming its someone in the front office and NOT the players. Reason being.. if its a black guy is hip-hop or rap. Latino... its salsa or merengue. White dude gets rock and country. The ONLY EXCEPTION was Xavier Nady getting DMX's 'X Gonna Give it To YA' which was in reference to his name Xavier. We all had a good laugh about it

- $7 beer

- Wienerschnitzel hotdogs everywhere (similar to Anaheim stadium). Those are some crappy hotdogs and I'm sure those who live out West can attest to it. Thankfully there was a Hebrew NAtional HD Stand which saved me from suffering through the former option

- I realize Dubious, though a rook, is older than Patterson. I also realized I'd rather have Dubois up in a contact situation than Patterson (though i'm sure he has a much worse K/9 ratio)

- Glendon Rusch has been pretty dang valuable to this franchise over the past 2 years

- The neighborhood outside of Petco is pretty seedy. I wasn't expecting this from San Diego (admittedly I've only visited 4 times and stayed mostly in La Jolla).. but there were dregs of homeless and the area was pretty poor. Surprising

- Neifi turned 32. I'm glad he's on the Cubs. Safe to say that he has far exceeded any of our expectations of him

SuperDave, please allow me to retort:

1. The music in those situations, I would bet top dollar, is selected by the player. The Dodgers USED to do that (And now batting, Shawn Green, cue Blur's overplayed and now annoying "Woo Hoo")

2. Glad to see you're seeing Patterson in my eyes now. I have always said that he doesn't know how to hit.

3. Great score with the Hebrew Nationals. BTW, when did Wrigley switch to Armour from David Berg? (That was a question to all)

4. DuBois would strike out the same as Patterson. In fact it happend two nights ago vs. Gagne.

5. You must be from the suburbs cause Petco is far from a bad neighbor hood. It is a few blocks from the Gas Lamp District. BTW, Big Z was chillin at Hooters there last year after the games.

Wassup Chad. Yeah, I'm from the burbs in that I live about 1 hr NW of SD. Actually I've only been in SoCal for about 3 weeks now. Before then it was Chicago my whole life and most recently Bucktown for 4 years. Still learning it all I guess

As for the music, that would make sense. At least I would hope it so. Otherwise, it would just be a stereotypical lame usage of the ballpark speakers. My friend and I had a good laugh about it and kept saying '[cueing music] in case you missed it [insert player name here] is black/white/latino...' I realize that it was probably a funnier thing at the ballpark, kind of a hard thing to communicate on a msg board

I will say that Hebrew National HDs at Wrigley have gone down the tube. The quality control isn't there. It used to be a couple stands in the entire place that gave a good char to the dog, put it on a soft bun, with nicely grilled onions. This season, I was greatly dissapointed to see that there were like 10+ HD stands that served it. Except for the fact they didn't give a good char, the buns were rock hard.. perhaps steamed poorly, and the onions were skimpy. The stands are called 'Chicago Dogs' now. Eh.

I am not a stat crunching fan like most of you, nor am I really a baseball diehard... so the price of beer and the quality of the hotdog are uber-important to me. Sorry to waste anyones time with my constant striving to find the tastiest ballpark dog. As for Petco, I would definitely go back. Maybe nextime I'll grab some Hooters wings afterwards too.

Can the folks here at TCR add a link next to the "Vote Neifi!" button? I think there should be a "Vote Glendon!" button, too. I doubt he'll get any love, but damn that boy can pitch!

On ESPN Radio yesterday, Mike and Mike were complaining that Nomar was the leading vote getter for shortstop for the AllStar game. Just think if all those votes had gone to Neifi.

And Eckstein is second at short. Nine errors on Memeorial Day and you're second in the All-Star balloting? I think not, sir.

Anyone else look at Mitre v. Eaton today and get a little worried about our streak?

I wnat Dusty to put together the best, hardest hitting lineup to back him up--no Holly, no Blanco, no Macias, no Wilson, no Hairston.

I'd be satisfied with a duplicate of yesterday's lineup (or mix and match as you please within):


Anything else is asking for trouble with Mitre on the mound. Mitre can get us there if he can hold them to 3 or 4 runs over 5 innings and our bullpen stays strong. This new spate of small ball needs to keep going in Petco. Long ball isn't going to get us the series win in the park designed to stymie Barry Bonds.

Lastly, anyone know what the longest streak of getting on base is for any player? How close is Lee? 8/8 with 2 walks? He's possesed!

Any more worried than Koronka vs Lowe?

I believe Ted Williams has the record of reaching base 18 straight times.

I know I can look it up on the net, but I'm lazy.

Superdave, I'd guess you saw so many homeless people because they knew there would be a ton of foot traffic walking around by the stadium. I haven't been to SD since Petco opened, but when it was being built I parked my car next to the construction site for two days and didn't worry about it at all. I imagine there are seedy parts of SD, but I never got the impression that this was one of them.

BTW, how was the parking at the game? I remember thinking when the stadium was going up that parking spaces would be few and far between.

Ted Williams does indeed hold that record with 16 straight times. The NL record is 15 set by Barry Bonds and John Olerud both in the 98 season.

What's the record for consecutive ABs with a hit? William's streak included something like 9 walks and a HBP, so Lee has already equalled Ted's mark.

Walt Dropo has the most consecutive hits at 12. The NL record has 3 guys tied at 10. I'm not sure if that's 12 straight at-bats (without walking) or 12 straight official at-bats. I used baseball-almanac as my reference and it's a little vague in defining that record.

Just checked on another site. Walking is included in that so a nice 4-4 performance tonight would tie the record.

Are the Cubs nearing the end with CP? FRom

"His attention comes and goes, and it's time for him to figure it out himself," Cubs hitting coach Gene Clines said of Patterson. "You can only do so much.

"You see good spurts. You think he's on his way, and then you see a backslide, and, 'What do I do next?' Everything has been said, it's been shown to you, and now it's time for you to do it."

From Paul Sullivan at the Trib today:

What woke up the Cubs? Barrett credits the back-to-back ninth-inning comebacks in Pittsburgh on May 17-18. Going into Thursday, the Cubs were 11-4 since the start of the Pirates series.
Thank you, thank you (taking a bow) thank you very much. I'll plan on attending all future Cubs dates here at PNC, and keep on sprinkling the Holy Water on the dugout.

Eaton's a nice pitcher, but key Cubs have done well against him historically.

Derek Lee's career stats against Adam Eaton:

3-for-9, 2 home runs, no walks.

I'd say Lee has a good chance to continue the streak.

Burnitz has hit Eaton fairly well also -- 8-for-20 with four doubles. And we might see Holly -- 9-for-18 against Eaton, 2 home runs and 3 walks. Walker is 8-for-17 against Eaton. Even Neif! has gone yard on Eaton! So I'm feeling pretty good about our chances tonight...

The area where Petco was built was a dying/dead area of downtown where a lot of factories and businesses had closed down. Part of the reason Petco was built there (besides land being easily available) was to help revitilize that area. I don't think it's off the mark at all to call it "seedy". It's not like South Central LA or areas of the South and West Side of Chicago...but it's also not the Gaslamp district either. While gaslamp is close geographically, it's completely isolated from the Petco area. There is no reason for the mass yuppie crowds in the gaslamp area and the downtown hotel areas to be over by Petco. While the area is being built up, and tons of new condos and businesses are going in, there is still a lot of empty buildings and not many people in the area at night outside of game days...providing a good place for homeless people to stay.

"- The neighborhood outside of Petco is pretty seedy. I wasn't expecting this from San Diego (admittedly I've only visited 4 times and stayed mostly in La Jolla).. but there were dregs of homeless and the area was pretty poor. Surprising"

Actually the whole downtown used to be a dump. And you can still find short sections of that uptown. It's enjoying an unprecedented renaissance these days. Petco is the big part of the reason. Rebuilding and restoring and renovating what used to be blighted.

San Diego was and is a Navy Town, with North Island NAS and several other Naval facilities around. Not a surprise that downtown would be, well, "colorful". But the Gaslamp District has made a nice turnaround, first with the convention center and now the stadium.

I haven't enjoyed a Cubs game as much as last night's all season. Rusch was outstanding - continually spotting his pitches and letting loose more than a few nasty breaking balls. Choosing him as an all-star is a no-brainer at this point - he is 7th in the NL in VORP and that is only in 55 innings of work! If he can keep the home run ball in his pocket like he has so far this season, I think he is pitching well enough to keep up this type of effectiveness.

BTW, the Rusch to Lee play was one of the finest defensive plays I can remember seeing. Absolutely beautiful.

Luke -- agreed, the Rusch to Lee play was stellar! The best part is that Rusch stabbed the grounder backhanded (with his right) while moving to his left, then shoveled it with a forehand flip. In other words, he had to reorient his glove without losing the ball, sort of lacrosse-style. That probably caused the somewhat errant flip, but of course Lee was there to save the day as usual.

Recent comments

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  • 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.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined). 

  • BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.

    If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).

    As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).