We To Meet Again, Mr 500?

GAME 68 PREVIEW CHICAGO CUBS (34-33) at MILWAUKEE BREWERS (31-37) Miller Park, 7:05pm CT, TV: FSN, CSN
SP Tomo Ohka SP Greg Maddux
SS #Neifi Perez CF Brady Clark
CF *Corey Patterson 3B Jeff Cirillo
1B Derrek Lee 1B *Lyle Overbay
RF *Jeromy Burnitz LF Carlos Lee
3B Aramis Ramirez SS Bill Hall
2B *Todd Walker 2B Rickie Weeks
LF *Todd Hollandsworth RF *Geoff Jenkins
C Henry Blanco C Damien Miller
Pitcher's spot Pitcher's spot
Losing six of seven is a good way to find yourself too close to Mr 500 than is comfortable with a payroll this sizeable. The Cubs now have four against the Brewers to put this right before they head over to US Cellular Field this weekend to wrap up interleague play for the year. Meanwhile, it's becoming quite obvious that Dusty Baker neither reads The Cub Reporter nor thinks along similar lines. It may be the thinking part that's giving him the trouble there. Neifi and Corey continue atop the order, and doubtless they'll do their absolute best to sabotage Derrek Lee's already improbable triple crown bid from there tonight as always. Keep your eyes on the second base prize that is Rickie Weeks. He's a kid that's got a lot of talent but strikes out an unhealthy rate. Sound familiar? Meanwhile, note Lyle Overbay's sub-.300 average! Tomo Ohka was acquired by the Brewers from the Nationals for Junior Spivey. Ohka's peripherals say the only way his current 2.86 ERA is going is up, up, up and away! It'll be nice to see the pitchers batting again. I know I don't fit the traditionalist bill, but I really abhore the designated hitter. Besides missing out on the comedy value of pitchers hitting, it just seems wrong that a player should be allowed to play only half the game. It also makes the game so less tactical. Hey, Dusty, have you considered managing in the AL? Sorry, that's two cheap shots at Dusty in this post already, but I'm becoming increasingly frustrated with him. Don't forget to drop into the Parachat for in-game discussion! And go Cubs!


Again, I think a lot of the critism of Dusty on TCR is beyond ridiculous (mostly from users, not mods). But then I see Dusty keep those two at the top of the lineup and just shake my head. It just lacks logic to me, when someone is hitting about .000 in his last 6 games or so, give him a little rest, take a little pressure off of him and move him down the order.

With Patterson, I think Dusty feels he'll see some good pitches ahead of Lee, so he won't continue to swing at junk...but when the pitcher knows he doesn't need to worry about walking Patterson, he'll give him junk too.

I also don't like seeing Blanco in the lineup again...I said I thought he was catching Maddux a lot recently on top of Zambrano, but was told I was crazy...if he is going to catch both, that's 40% of our games where we play a guy batting .150 instead of .300. We can;t afford that.

Our 3-7 hitters better do some damage, because 8,9,1,2 is a gaping black hole.


Prior could be back as soon as Sunday versus the White Sox....hot damn!!!!!

DLEE!! brenly just said "image what kinda numbers lee would have if patterson and neifi would take some walks"

is he reading TCR?

oh and not to mention, ARAM!!!

Did CPat rob Lee (the bad guy one) of a HR? Gameday had his ball beyond the centerfield wall.

Fun Fact for the Day: Patterson, Perez, Macias and Wilson have a sum total of 586 at bats and a sum total of 24 walks. And two of them bat 1-2 in the lineup. And Dusty wonders why the offense is sputtering.

Beginning with the June 8th game against the Blue Jays, the Neifi/Kpat 1-2 order has netted one walk between them in 10 games.

The one time this duo was not penciled into the starting linup as 1-2, Hairston batted 2nd ... and proceded to net his 7th caught stealing attempt.

The Brewers starter on Tuesday, Victor Santos, is 2-6 with a 2.87 ERA. I don't see how that happens. It's happened to Clemen's this season some but heck, he is back up to 5-3. I still feel bad for Clement last year when the offense wouldn't do anything for him (at least before his late season meltdown when he took care of the losing all by himself). Anyway, hopefully we can make Santos ERA look a little uglier after Tuesdays game.

Come on now. Those walks are evil. Do nothing but clog the bases.

anyone else stoked...even though he may be a bit "not in peak condition"...that jerome f'n williams is playing tonite in a cubs uniform?

sure..he's not all that..he's not the next clemens or koufax or even close..but, he's a very servicable 2/3 spot rotation pitcher on a lotta teams when he's clicking. we know he's overweight, his velocity is still gaining (and has gained since he was traded to the cubs just 3 or so starts), and his sinker is working.

cubs sucked up loot taking on most of hawkin's tab, but hey...williams, and a bonus of mr. aardvark...

mitre's coming of age, williams on board...rusch with a contract-out clause if he's not a starter in 06. should be a fun few weeks while hendry runs around figuring out how many of those he can keep around while getting what he needs.

I am definitely looking forward to watching Williams work. I hope he lives up to his potential for us.



I went up to MIL for the game last night. Couple of notes:

- I would estimate that over 50% of the fans there were Cubs fans.
- Maddux was pretty good and more than kept us in the game. Of course the one long ball was really his only problem last night. Win #311...hello to Mr. Seaver.
- Everytime Lee steps to the plate you expect him to get on. As Yost showed last night, I think teams are going to start to IBB him more. The new Mr. Bonds?
- Neifi and Corey both got 2 hits....finally!!!
- The bullpen is the most unreliable bunch of crap I have ever seen. Everytime a new releiver came in, it seemed like I was more worried than the last.
- Weurtz looked HORRIBLE, Remmmy did a GREAT job striking out Overbay and Lee to get out of the jam in the 7th, but they looked bad in the 8th.
- Great move (no brainer I guess though as everyone else sucked and he had no other choice)by Dusty to bring in Dempster in the 8th in that jam. I HATE when closers come in the 8th, but Dempster had not pitched in forever and this was a game that the Cubs really needed to win.
- Saving the best for last....What a play by Neifi Perez in the 8th inning. The Defensive play of the year so far for the Cubs. Very, very possibly saved the game. It was amazing he got to it, then amazing he got the ball to Walker so fast and even more amazing they were able to turn the DP. If Neifi doesn't get to that ball it is 5-5, with 1 out men on 1st and 2nd. Hopefully we can look back on that play as a start of another good streak.

Don't look now but JB was almost at .300 last night. He was in the dumps just 2 weeks ago, good comeback.

Like I said yesterday, I am no where as worried about the offense as I am the pitching (mostly relief pitching). If the starters go their 7 IP and give up nore more than 3-4 runs and the bullpen can hold their own, the offense will score enough runs to win lots of games. With Wood and Prior coming back in the next week or so, hopefully they can pitch well and take inning away from the bullpen.

the bullpen has been muddled and ineffective for the last few years...when is Rothschild's contract up?

I tremble to think of what Mike Maddux would do with the talent of this Cubs' staff...

Wuertz is becoming over used.

Wuertz is definitely getting cooked.

Hats off to Dempster for looking so sharp last night after not pitching in a game for over a week.

"Wuertz is becoming over used."

How so?? In June (20 days old), he has a total of 8 IP in 9 appearences. He is "supposedly" our 2nd best bullpen guy, so he should be used more than others. But that is not a lot of work.

Now his last 4 appearences he has looked very bad, even if he hasn't given up many runs. Here is his line:
3.0 IP, 6.00 ERA, 8 hits, 2 ER, 5 BB

His WHIP is now 1.50 on the year. That is a VERY dangersous number and has been lucky to only have his ERA at 3.58 (example is Remmy bailing him out last night).

Him being our setup man shows how dangerously flammable this bullpen really is.

Like I stated before, hopefull Wood and Prior can help the starting pitching go deeper in games, so we can use the bullpen less and less. They seem to do better when they only have to be used for no more than 6 outs.

Interesting to see someone blame Rothschild for the bullpen problems. Seems to me he's working with what's he's given. Plus, if you want to blame him, then how about giving him some credit for Rusch, Weurtz, Mitre, Wellemyer and how well they've done?

Out of Wuertz' 9 appearances this month, 4 have come in the last 5 games. During this stretch, he did not appear on two straight days as Friday was an offday and he did not pitch in Sat's blowout.

Before they do anyhting outside the organization to bolster the bullpen, the Cubs should give Jermaine Van Buren a shot.

Yes, I know he's not on the 40-man rosyer, but there are several DFA candidates:

1. Richard Lewis (who couldn't even hit .200 in AAA, before being sent back to AA for the third year in a row, so he should be able to pass through waivers without being claimed, and it's no great loss if he does get claimed by another club);

2. Cliff Bartosh (who has little value--even as a LOOGY, such that there is a good chance he also would clear waivers if the Cubs tried to send him to AAA outright);

3. John Koronka (who obviously does not have the talent to pitch in the majors);


4. Joe Borowski (who is still owed about $1.3 mil this year, but who is also pretty clearly washed-up and is too dangerous to be used in a meaningful situation).

So there are plenty of candidates to be removed from the 40-man roster to make room for Jermaine Van Buren.

And should it be necessary to option Van Buren back to Iowa for some reason before September 1st, it's no big deal that his option clock will have started, since he's no "spring chicken" (he turns 25 next week).

For those of you not familiar with Jermaine Van Buren, he was signed by the Colorado Rockies after the Rockies drafted him in the 2nd Round of the 1998 Draft out of a Mississippi high school, but he struggled in "Lo-A" ball for five seasons (1998-2002) before getting released.

He then signed with an independent club in Texas (the Fort Worth Cats of the Central League) in 2003, and it was there that he turned his career around. The Cubs purchased his contract from Ft. Worth prior to the 2004 season, and he has pitched well at various stops (Lansing, West Tenn, and Iowa) in the Cubs system over the past year and a half. He is currently the closer at Iowa.

Like Brandon Sing and David Kelton, Jermaine Van Buren will be a six-year minor league free-agent after this season if he is not added to the Cubs 40-man roster within ten days after the end of the regular MLB season, so the Cubs might as well bring him up right now.

I have always felt that instead of going around looking for proven veterans for bare minimum salary (people like Macias and Wilson), it is better to get your AAA and AA guys on the 40 man rosters more time in the majors. I don't mean they should be brought up and get their clocks started without USING them; but to get them in and start getting them meaningful playing time. Same with the relief pitchers. Most relievers are failed starters anyway. They have 1-2 out pitches that can be utilised for 1 inning. Get people who have high K/BB ratio from the minors and put them in spots that are now being used by people like Bartosh and Borowski. It is unfathomable that these two stiffs are getting more use than a better pitcher like Wellemeyer. Dusty's insistence on 'proven veterans' will doom us again if he canot recognise what is in front of his face. Bartosh and Borowski are cooked. Remlinger cannot get out lefties. Corey is not a front of the order batter. Neifi is regressing to his career mean. I would rather have Walker and Barrett bat 1 and 2 than the black hole that is Neifi and Corey.

J Burnitz is quietly having season where he is on pace to hit roughly:

J Burnitz .300 30 100

A Ramirez .300 36 100

D Lee .400 45 160

M Barrett .290 20 80

N Perez .285 15 60

Maddux is just about on pace to win 15 games. 15-9

Reds just fired manager Dave Miley. He was 125-164 since he took over in July of 2003.

Interin manager will be Jerry Narron.

Bluewater Boats, are you suggesting that statistics can give us a ballpark idea of how certain players will be doing at the end of the year? Cause I'm quite certain that you've told us before that stats can't tell us anything about the future.

Let's face it. Corey Patterson will never see another good pitch again until he stops swinging at the really bad ones.

10 man-
Has anybody thought about checking Cpat's eyes?
I know its the song of the truly desperate, but I've seen him get good pitches and he takes them for strikes.

Maybe a pair of those evil looking red contact lenses might help? Otherwise everyone who's ever seen this kid's potential is completely whacked.

Recent comments

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  • "Strop vs. Cardinals." Seen the movie. Hated it.

    Not all that disappointed -- I didn't think they would beat Lackey in Game 1. Need to get the bats going against the guys with less experience -- and they hit Wacha pretty good.

  • Rizzo has been slumping the last couple weeks of the season. Very disappointed it has continued during his penultimate moment of his career to date.

  • Really doesn't matter, but I was surprised to see Lester pulled and Strop pulled in. Should of left Lester in. oy.

  • Sweet merciful fuck, I hate the Cardinals.

  • *flips table*


  • Really doesn't matter, but I was surprised to see Lester out for the 8th. Down 1-0, at 100 pitches, seemed better to give a very fresh bullpen a little work.

    Oh well...Throw away game, although in a 5 game series there is no luxury afforded to do that.

  • This game is not on Lester - he did his job

  • Had a lot of hope hanging on that deep Fowler fly in the sixth.

    Really despise the Cards

  • aside from one swing, this 1-0 game feels like a blow out. Still nice to know one swing can change everything.

    We need Rizzo and Bryant to show up.

  • schwarb leadoff bunt single...lulz.

  • thanks. it was odd. supposedly the dodgers had him signed earlier in the year, then a lot of nothing, then the giants thing a few days ago, then the cubs get him for a bargain. i'll take it.

  • Umps strikezone is awful. Giving Lackey a good 6 inches off the plate.

  • Apparently it was greedy agents who kept pushing the envelope and teams backed away. He then fired his agents and by that time the landscape had changed. The July push had passed and teams were willing to be patient.

    As far as what happened to the Giants' deal, I don't know. But perhaps he looked at the two rosters and realized the Cubs had the better chance of winning going forward. Maybe the Cubs swooped in and gave him $500,000 more and he bit. I don't know. What I do know is he signed the day after the Cubs won the wildcard game rather impressively...

  • That's great to hear AZ Phil. If anyone should know, it'd be you. You've witnessed the transformation first-hand on a daily basis!! Thanks for passing that along and confirming what has seemed quite evident from afar!

  • Lester didn't have much movement there in inning one. Doubt the long break between starts helped him. Rizzo popping out way too often the last 6 weeks. 22 pitches for Lackey through 2.

    Tough start.

  • For Quintin to be in the team (should they get past the Cards) maybe a pitcher gets the axe.