Fond Memories

GAME 103 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (50-54) @ CHICAGO CUBS (52-50) WRIGLEY FIELD, 1:20 CDT TV: WGN, Fox Sports Arizona
Mark Prior, RHP
7-3, 3.23 ERA
97/30 K/BB, 14 HR in 94.2 IP
Javier Vasquez, RHP
9-9, 4.37 ERA
127/24 K/BB, 20 HR in 140.0 IP
2B *Craig Counsell CF Jerry Hairston
RF *Chad Tracy SS #Neifi Perez
LF *Luis Gonzalez 1B Derrek Lee
3B Troy Glaus RF *Jeromy Burnitz
1B #Tony Clark 2B *Todd Walker
CF *Shawn Green LF Matt Murton
SS Royce Clayton 3B #Jose Macias
C Chris Snyder C Henry Blanco
P Javier Vasquez P Mark Prior
Let's hope this game turns out as well as the first time we faced Vasquez on Opening Day. I'm supposing that Ramirez's quad injury is acting up and that's why we're subjected to another Jose Macias start. Looks like Holly is back to the bench as Murton gets his first start versus a righty this season. I'm sure if he does well, Dusty will take all the credit. As I mentioned in the comments of the last post, if we can't take a series from the D'Backs at home, Hendry needs to keep his eye more focused on the seasons beyond this one, which means looking to move some of our veterans if the price is right. It doesn't have to be a fire sale, but anything that gets us better for 2006 and beyond should be considered if the cost is 2005. Of course a 3 game winning streak will change my opinion. Go Cubs!!!
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11th pitch... GONE.

HANK WHITE

Quality at bat by Blanco!

11 pitches and the concluding homer!

Hot damn!

I swear it said this on Gameday:

Henry Blanco homers (4) on a fly ball to left field. Jose Macias scores.

I must be sick. Hallucinating.

And oh, by the way, in case you hadn't noticed, Blanco's hitting .357 in July with a 1.022 OPS. Blanco!

I think we now know where Neifi's pixie power went.

Blanco has had a nice July, which was inevitable considering his poor 1st half. Eventually that stuff has to even out.

That was a great at-bat....

Wow... how can the Cubs get Blanco to play like this the rest of the year? He has been the spark in several games since the All-Star Break.

Hey Ron... I was not thinking sac bunt here with Prior coming up ;) Also, did you see how the Astros scored yesterday to tie their game... a suicide squeeze. I don't no why, but I like sometimes seeing small ball.

wow...putting the extreme shift on D-Lee

c'mon, lets see an opposite field hit

You guys should send me some coffee. Everytime I watch the Cubs with Blanco playing, he hits like 3 HR and 8 Doubles in a game. It's ok to watch a daygame here in Vienna, Austria, but for the nightgames I could need some coffee donations...

I think I smell one of the Cubs' semi-weekly "patience attacks" coming on...

so how 'bout that Murton kid...good thing we start him every day huh?

and you gotta love the patience of Macias...man, he's just amazing

ugh

it's sure hard to dislike Ginger...

impressive he got a triple out of that.

They should of run on Green, he's got a bum shoulder and now they'll probably just walk Blanco. Of course Prior over Blanco isn't so bad.

I swear it said this on Gameday:

Henry Blanco homers (4) on a fly ball to left field. Jose Macias scores.

I must be sick. Hallucinating.

How 'bout that Matt Murton? Kid's a ball player.

Homer and IBB for Blanco. Wow.

Good point retro. I think we should trade this up and coming rook who's hitting almost .500 for Soriano. Maybe we'll even sweeten the pot with Hill too! -- Really, who needs a lefty in the rotation?

Gameday must be broken -- said Hank White was intentionally walked. Has the game even started?

So how does Prior look today?

How did i do that exactly - 30 min apart?

How deep with Macias's fly ball? Could Murton have scored on it?

"How deep with Macias's fly ball? Could Murton have scored on it?"

It was fairly shallow actually, its a 50-50 proposition on sending him...yes, it was a shallow fly, but Green is playing out of position out in CF.

Sorry for all the typos. I am at work and am multitasking beyond my feable typing ability.

hurray for Macias...butchered the play at 3rd allowing Snyder to reach. Though it did look on the replays like he was out.

Does anyone know where one can find stats of runners left on 3B with one or no outs? The Cubs have to lead MLB in that category. It seems it happens at least once per game.

a decent CF and I wouldn't have run, but I'd take my chances that Green wouldn't be able to make an accurate throw. The ball was cutoff but it looked like it would have been up the first base line. for what it's worth....

a suicide squeeze. I don't no why, but I like sometimes seeing small ball.

A suicide squeeeze is quite different than typical "small ball". A sacrifice bunt to move a runner is a very different thing than a squeeze bunt to score a winning run. The squeeze is typically a good call, while the sacrifice is often not a good call.

Neifi Perez bunt pops out to shortstop Royce Clayton.

Wow... I'm at a loss for words.

Neifi Perez bunt pops out to shortstop Royce Clayton.

Wow... I'm at a loss for words.

I didn't see any of the Astros game, but to echo Lowitzki, bunts are not always bad, and in the right place and time they can be very good.

Hopefully today's pleasant surprise of a game holds up and we get Aramis back tomorrow so I don't have to suffer paying money to see Jose Macias play baseball.

"Hey Ron ... I don't no why, but I like sometimes seeing small ball."
Johncan, I don't know if I'm the Ron you were referring to, but I'm not against small ball in the right situation. It makes a lot of sense sometimes, especially when one run is all you need and it fits the personnel well.

I would have risked sending Murton, especially since the alternative was seeing Blanco walked to get to Prior. Then again, Prior's a decent hitter, and at least the lineup turned.

I don't think Macias butchered that grounder at all. Maybe Rolen fields it cleanly, but it was hit very hard. He followed the carom well and made a good throw to first. I'd have scored it a hit.

bouncing a throw = good?

it was a fairly hard hit ball though in his defense....

hairston turned that into a triple.....ball bounced high off the wall and landed at the base of the ivy. Went to grab it with his barehand and essentially whiffed twice. And now Green brings him in. Crud!!!

For you offical scoring nuts. Is that an earn or an unearned run?

It's earned. A lack of error didn't make the scored runner safe instead of out, it merely advanced him a base, which he may have advanced subsequently anyway (steal, wild pitch, additional sacrifice).

Ron W.

I think I was referring to the other Ron. He was pointing out my failed logic for calling a squeeze play yesterday in the 7th when we were down by 3. I also wanted to see one in the 6th when we were only down by 1.

Ron G., I didn't say it was a Web Gem; I said he didn't butcher it. And yes: Chasing a ball bouncing away from you, throwing on the run, making a solid throw online to the first baseman is a good throw . . . even if it takes a bounce.

The run should be earned. You assume he gets to third on the first grounder and scores on the second one.

ROBR-
I think earned...

Johncan, that might have been me yesterday. Then again, I think both Rons were involved in that conversation.

Is there a hard and fast rule or does the offical scorer just look at the events to determine if he thinks the run would like have scored even if there had been no error?

BTW do we need to start calling him Blanco!

We could bring back the 'Oh Henry' bars....

B!anco

Where has the Cub offense gone? Can someone corral it and bring it back home?

Why is Prior still in the game?

It is an unwritten rule that all Cubs starters must throw 120+ pitches.

Hmmm... this two Rons thing is going to confuse people. I'll change my psuedonym if anyone can nominate something good.

Oh boy. That hurt.

Because Genius had nobody warming in the pen to start the inning. Deja Vu all over again.

Buck Faker -
When your bullpen is absolutely horrid, yes.
IT's a situation where you are damned if you do, damned if you don't.

IMO, Dusty should have put Novoa in for the 8th and Dempster in to close things out...Prior is tired and he has lost some of his control...Unfortunately, the Cubs offsense has been unable to score some crucial "insurance runs"...Lets see if we can contain the damage and come back.

oh for christ sake...if Prior is pulled, and the bullpen gave up the lead, you all would have kicked and screamed at Baker. For crying out loud...if we could actually score more than 2 runs a game, we wouldn't need to worry about that.

Agreed Adam--that is why he should've started Prior that inning, but had someone working in the 'pen immediately to stop any potential trouble.

So why groove a meatball over the plate on an 0-2 count anyway?

Goddamnit. He didn't have ANYONE warming to start?

Sometimes I'm glad I usually end up watching on Gameday.

What an idiot. At least have the option available: then at least you can counter-accuse ex post facto criticism. But, here again, Dusty doesn't even realize he doesn't have legs to stand on.

playing .500 ball on the road is great.
Unless you play .500 ball at home.
That's been the key to this season, we can't win consistantly at home...

"oh for christ sake...if Prior is pulled, and the bullpen gave up the lead, you all would have kicked and screamed at Baker. For crying out loud...if we could actually score more than 2 runs a game, we wouldn't need to worry about that."

he should've had someone warming up...Prior was way the hell up there in pitches

Novoa will get his chance -- and the stakes are high...This bullpen should NOT be walking players...Let's hope we close this inning out without giving up a run.

even if Dusty has someone warmed up...he would still leave Prior in until the lead was gone.
Every fucking game we blame absolutely everything on Dusty, and nothing on the fact that the players aren't getting their job done.

I am fine with Baker losing every coin flip situation ever - - pull a pitcher, leave one in, etc.. but, being unprepared to deal with things if they don't go right, when they never go right, is f'ing retarded. Not having somebody warming up when your starter is entering the 8th inning of a one run game with over 100 pitches racked up already is stupid. Plain and simple.

Yeah, but is Novoa the best option? Doesn't the guy average a walk per inning? Even Santo, whom some of you think is off his rocker, sees it.

Novoa and Blanco come through for us...Now IT'S UP TO THE OFFSENSE to score some runs...We can comeback and win this game but we can't leave folks on 3rd base.

There was no reason for Prior to be hitting after Blanco got on.

Typically, I would have pulled Prior after 7....but we have seen what our bullpen has done recently. We have played for 16 straight days since the allstar break....he is criticezed everytime he pulls a starter and the bullpen gives up the lead. Honestly, he is fucked either way at that point with a 2-1 lead in the 8th...do you push your starter to their limits, or use an overworked underperforming bullpen?

We are losing this game because we have scored 2 runs...not because of the bullpen management.

That is the other thing, and I didn't even notice until Uke said something, this is the second time in a week that Baker had his pitcher bat in the bottom of the 7th in a one run game when the pitcher already had 100 pitches thrown.

Uke...sure there was, sacrifice to get Blanco in scoring position, and keep your crap bullpen off the field.

I didn't realize Blanco singled to lead off. I'm not going to do another percentage-comparison, but I would have PHed there. I wonder if Ramirez would be available?

Water under the bridge now, hopefully Lee et al get this in.

Nevermind. Ugh.

Adam:

With a 2-1 lead in the 8th, I think it'd make a helluva lot of sense to bring Dempster in at that point, y'know the whole best reliever thing.

Adam, I am pretty sure the announcers have been making a big deal out of the fact that post-all star break we have actually won games when not having the lead after 7, as opposed to before.

And, if your bullpen keeps losing games so be it. Overworking your starter, in unnecessary, and predicatably bad situations is not the way to combat it.

I think some people on this site do blame Dusty for everything. Somebody slips on a banana peel and it's his fault--and that's their opinion. I'm fine with that.

My view is that as a manager, you have to try to put your players in the best chance to suceed as much as possible. Second, you have to judge players abilities both overall and from recent play.

Allowing Holly to K 6 times, with multiple runners on over and over is inexcusable. Not haveing somebody warming up is another. If Prior put two guys on, and was yanked, I think a majority of Cub Nation would understand why he was taken out. That is the option between the two extremes.

how much you wanna bet that Dusty pinch hits for Murton with Holly when he gets his AB in either the 8th or 9th?

Well said, Brian.

Adam, why do you even bother trying to even partially defend Dusty to this rabid, anti-Dusty crowd? Everything is Dusty's fault, and when things go well, it's never because of anything he did.

"Adam, why do you even bother trying to even partially defend Dusty to this rabid, anti-Dusty crowd? Everything is Dusty's fault, and when things go well, it's never because of anything he did."

Isn't it common sense to have a reliever getting ready when your pitcher is over the 100 pitch mark and tiring?

"Uke...sure there was, sacrifice to get Blanco in scoring position, and keep your crap bullpen off the field."

Not with a number of bats on the bench (especially sans Macias) and Prior having thrown 100 pitches.

When has Dusty been criticized for pulling a starter when (a) the starter is at 100 pitches, and (b) the starter will be hitting in a close game with men on? Bullshit: it was a bad call and everyone knows it. Prior should have been pulled for a pinch hitter; even if it didn't pan out it would have been totally defensible. This wasn't.

Is Dusty just not aware of the wealth of statistics available to a major-league manager? Or does he not care? How to explain his disregard for pitch counts, the continued presence of Macias in the lineup, hitting Neifi in the 2 slot, the constant small ball, etc. etc.? I can't believe this guy still has a job.

Yes, I admit that some people go overboard in their criticisms. I probably do it a lot. But, on the other hand, it's not like the "not having a reliever warmed up" issue is anything new. It's not like "He's Prior/Zambrano, he can get anybody out at any time, including high-stress late-inning situations" is anything new.

Did Prior fail? Yeah, if you count giving up three as failing. Should he have been out there? Highly debatable.

Should somebody have been ready to go? Easy call. That Dusty didn't make.

We are losing this game because we have scored 2 runs against a very mediocre starting pitcher and have scratched out 6 hits. Our top 5 batters our 2 for 18, our 3&4 hitters are 1/7 with 5 strikeouts.

Blaming Dusty for this game masks the fundamental problems we have with our 25 man roster

Bob, read Brian's comment please. The point it Dusty puts his players in bad positions, while other managers put their players in a position to succeed.

"The continued presence of Macias in the lineup"...This is the silly kind of critcism, Macias has had about 15 ABs since the all-star break...Plus, who is going to play 3B if Aramis doesn't? Neifi hasn't been hitting second recently, he did it today to have Walker further down in the absence of Aramis...

And Prior would've pitched to Glaus even if someone HAD been warming up right away, at least that's my guess. Right or wrong...I personally would've let Prior try to get out of it, he made a bad pitch to Glaus.

Novoa gets the job done BUT if folks like Lee and Burnitz can't hit off Arizona's Bullpen then we are in trouble...It's time for a rally in the bottom of the 9th...;-)

Let's say Holly pinch hits in the ninth today in place of Macis, let's say...and he whiffs. Is that putting somemone in the right position? Or is that Holly sucks? You can't have it both ways, people.

Yeah we have 2 runs against a mediocre pitcher with Jose Macias replacing an All-Star, Bako replacing a near All-Star, and a man with an OBP under .300 batting 2nd. Who would have figured.

Honestly, I didn't have a problem with Prior going out in the 8th. I just was shocked that he had no parachute in case the guy fell out of the plane.

Bob--Didn't Grady Little get fired for something similar. Obviously, Pedro's stats stood out that he had no business being on that field. Prior is a different story. However, the guy averages about 108 pitches a game himself. You knew if he didn't go 1-2-3, there could be a potential problems.

Adam, exactly. Hairston, for example, is leading off, meaning he's being in the position to succeed...yet he's not and that ends up being Dusty's fault. Whatever.

Who is blaming Dusty for batting Hairston leadoff?

Of course we've shot ourselves in the foot this game Adam. But the fact that we had a lead that late in the game even with the poor hitting should have been all the more reason to have someone up in the pen, especially after Prior gave up that double to Clark.

Bill, that's called an example. I wasn't trying to imply that anyone had said that.

"When has Dusty been criticized for pulling a starter when (a) the starter is at 100 pitches, and (b) the starter will be hitting in a close game with men on? Bullshit: it was a bad call and everyone knows it. Prior should have been pulled for a pinch hitter; even if it didn't pan out it would have been totally defensible. This wasn't."

Every single person in the parachat, bar none, was happy to see Prior bat in the bottom of the 8th. It's so damn easy to try to pretend that things would have been different in retrospect.

Prior was pitching lights out....we have been playing 16 straight days, our bullpen has been taxed and failing. Blanco was on first with 1 out, it was absolutely, positively the right thing to do to let Prior bat, and I believe 9 of 10 managers with the bullpen the Cubs have do the same thing.

As for not having someone warmed up in the pen, that is a far more legitimate argument, although I still contend it wouldn't make a bit of difference, as it was Prior's game to win or lose.

Sorry, you guys are right, I'm wrong, this game and every other loss is Dusty's fault. You win. Enjoy your negativity, I'm outta here.

hey...Todd with a leadoff walk

"Sorry, you guys are right, I'm wrong, this game and every other loss is Dusty's fault. You win. Enjoy your negativity, I'm outta here."

y helo thar putting words into our mouth

Holly is obviously in a horrible slump. Why put him in the game when it is on the line right now? What he needs to do is find the guys some pinch hits in the middle innings or meaningless games to help build his confidence and break the slump.

As for Hairston, I have no problem with Dusty on this. Hairston is the guy popping the ball up in the leadoff position. He obviously hasn't learned from Patterson's mistakes.

"Sorry, you guys are right, I'm wrong, this game and every other loss is Dusty's fault. You win. Enjoy your negativity, I'm outta here."

oye, someone is getting awfully childish. But whatever...'tis your decision

Bob, giving up doesn't make your point. Nobody is saying everything is Dusty's fault.

What people are saying is, in this case, "why wouldn't dusty have somebody warming up in a one run game when his pitcher started the inning with over 100 pitches?"

Are you saying that is a bad question?

Bob, giving up doesn't make your point. Nobody is saying everything is Dusty's fault.

What people are saying is, in this case, "why wouldn't dusty have somebody warming up in a one run game when his pitcher started the inning with over 100 pitches?"

Are you saying that is a bad question?

ugh...Macias batting in a potential game tying position...BRILLIANT! Where's A-Ram?

Our savior Henry Blanco is up.

"Are you saying that is a bad question?"

its questioning Dusty's decisions, so I guess so

Unfournately, I smell a game ending DP coming up

"Our savior Henry Blanco is up."

Barrett now

Arizona should have left their last pitcher in...Yet, why not leave Blanco in to bat -- he is red hot today...?

Right, I've never seen childish things here. ANd I said that out of frustration anyway, my bad.

I personally would've had someone warming up, to come in if Prior didn't get Glaus. After those first two hits, I might've been inclined to yank Prior, but I probably would've left him in. So, someone came in after Glaus got a hit, and it wouldn't have mattered a lick if he had been warming up at the start of the inning.

Good walk by Macias. But, Adam, here is the thing about putting people in a position to succeed. We might win this game. If we do, I will be happy. But, when you have put your team in a position where you have to depend on Macias, Bako, and then the pitchers spot you are failing as a manager.

This happened earlier in the week and we got lucky because Neifi (yeah, Neifi Perez) hit a Grand Slam. If you are going to count on that to win games you shouldn't be coaching.

considering Macias batted there, I'd have to think that Ramirez is injured and unavailable.

As for hairston leading off...he isn't great, but there is no one else on this roster to put there.

Oh well, we're crying over spilt milk here guys. We have a legit chance to tie this game up. Let's focus on that.

"This is the silly kind of critcism, Macias has had about 15 ABs since the all-star break...Plus, who is going to play 3B if Aramis doesn't? Neifi hasn't been hitting second recently, he did it today to have Walker further down in the absence of Aramis..."

It's not just today, it's all season. Macias has 92 AB this year, and Dusty continues to pinch-hit with him; Neifi should never be hitting second ever, including today. Have you been following this club all year?

As I was writing, ol' small ball sacrificed Murton. What do you suppose the expected run value is of Murton swinging with a runner on first as opposed to sacrificing? Of course, just as Dusty haters (like me) would criticize him either way, the Dusty defenders will stand up for him no matter how many outs he pisses away sacrificing.

Damn that Macias for drawing a walk and getting Cedeno in scoring position. Damn that Dusty for putting Barrett in a position to succeed.

BLING BLING

Mike Barrett with a game tying single.

YEAH MICHAEL!

TIE GAME!!

Ok Dusty...Good call..Way to go Barrett...Now lets see if Ramirez can close this game out.

Okay, let's give Uke his due. Yes, we only scored 2 runs. No, we are not the Cardinals. Four or Five runs doesn't come automatically for this team. We have to EARN it. Of course, we look for the 3-run homer all the time.

So could we score more runs? Yes, but we don't have many guys that can hit in the clutch. That's Hendry's fault.

And now Ramirez bats. Interesting. Oh, well.

Let's go.

"But, when you have put your team in a position where you have to depend on Macias, Bako, and then the pitchers spot you are failing as a manager"

Umm, huh, what? It's bakers fault that the bottom of the order is up in the bottom of the 9th? If it's those particular players, isn't that the fault of the General Manager?

And now Ramirez bats. Interesting. Oh, well.

Let's go.

wow...fucking wow.
thank god.

CUBS WIN!!!! IN DUSTY WE TRUSTY!!!!!

GAME OVER. CUBS WIN.

CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN!

I love you guys...

See, Winning really does breed happiness!

And not that it particularly matters now, but Brenly speculated that one of the rookies missed a sign on that sacrifice. Given Murton's ability to hit to the right side, I guess it was a hit-and-run and Murton missed a sign.

This'll be a 5 minute fix until the Baker discussion gets back into swing.

A come from behind win like that in the bottom of the 9th is a huge confidence builder...Let's see if the Cubs can take this series against Arizona -- we're still in the hunt for the wild card spot...;-)

Dusty's a genius now. Let's hope it stays that way! We can be 2 out after today!

Let's go Florida! Let's go Me...ugh. Let's go Houst....eh. Who cares..at least I'll be happy one of them loses.

I know I really want the Muts to win, but I just can't bring myself to root for them. Never have, never will.

I will say one thing....If there is a man on first and 2nd and 1 out down a run in the 9th, I would absolutely put my best batter (ramirez) in there, as a DP ends the game. The only thing I can see where that move made sense is if Dusty was worried that Ramirez being sore would make it more likely that he hits into a DP. But it worked, so I guess I can't complain

Anyway, holy shit did we need that win. Things came together...and we actually took advantage of the home field.

Now, win, loss, win, loss, win is not good enough against the Giants/Dbacks. We have to bury this team tomorrow and Sunday and go on a key roadtrip to WC contenders.

I think we need some blowout wins sometime soon. I can't stand much more of these close rally wins. Of course, they are better than losses...

Look. One thing about the 8th.. The fact is that Prior did make a bad pitch on an 0-2 count, from what I heard on the radio. If he doesn't groove one, this whole argument would have never been.

So let's leave it at a wash. Let's look toward that trade deadline.

My old man said the rumors out there is that Murton and/or Hill may be involved for Soriano. Is that true? Really? I can't believe we would consider that.

think back to the last game of the Cincy series.
That game we blew a lead in the 8th
First STL game lose on a bunt in 11
2nd STL game win by 1 on a Pujols DP
3rd STL game, down 3, up 1, blown save, win in 10th
1st Giants game, come from behind in 8th, win in 9th
2nd Giants game, Maddux 3,000 Ks, come from behind in 8th, lose in extras.
3rd Giants game, give up lead and come from behind in 8th, win in 9th
1st Dbacks game, 1-0 through 7th
2nd Dbacks game, give up lead in 8th, come from behind to win in 9th.

I'd venture to guess this is one of the more exciting 9 game stretches of baseball I have witnessed prior to September.

No, the argument would've happened anyway. You can book that. The pitch was terrible, kind of like in Houston when Lamb hit that grand slam after it looked like he would K.

Obviously, they didn't have any control over what happened to Lyon, but it *is* nice to see other teams struggle with their closer role.

"My old man said the rumors out there is that Murton and/or Hill may be involved for Soriano. Is that true? Really? I can't believe we would consider that."

I don't believe that...EVERY statement I have seen from Hendry in the last month confirms that he has no plans to trade Rich Hill...I would also be very surprised if our GM would trade a player like Matt Murton (who is really starting to reach his potential).

as you know I'm not a Macias fan but...

YOU GOTTA LOVE THAT BELLY FLOP

(belly button to home plate style)

From reports I have read Pie and Hill are off limits, but the rest is fair game...who knows though....I think Murton has shown his value making it difficult for Hendry to want to move him...on the other hand, if he is not in our future plans, his stock is pretty high.

I didn't agree with all of Dusty's moves in the 9th, but they worked -- so I'm happy to give him kudos for this one. Well done, Dusty.

I was also impressed by the patience Macias showed in drawing that walk.

Great job by the bullpen holding things at 3-2. Great job by the offense in the bottom of the 9th.
GREAT WIN!

Now let's blow 'em out over the weekend and enjoy a well-earned day off.

What does anyone supposes happens to Macias when Garciaparra comes off the DL? I figure he's got to be the odd man out. You can't DFA Hollandsworth or Gerut. Blanco is untouchable as the backup catcher. So's Neifi. Or does anyone suspect that they'll send a rookie pitcher back to AAA?

I believe he mentioned the Score as the source; but I'm not sure who in particular.

Baker tends to use Barrett to pinch hit for Blanco since they play the same position. Makes his replacements easier. I probably would've gone with Ramirez too though.

So give credit where it is due--Dusty made the right moves. He gets credit.

[My old man said the rumors out there is that Murton and/or Hill may be involved for Soriano. Is that true? Really? I can't believe we would consider that.]

For the love of zeus, NO.

Well, today the Cubs overcame another abysmal managerial move by Dusty.

I'm not saying that Dusty is a bad manager. But he certainly has been in a slump lately. Kind of like Walker hitting into a double play seemingly every time at bat.

Was there anyone in the stadium who didn't know that Prior was done after 7 innings? 100 pitches, then he's on the bases in the bottom of the 7th, and with a slim one run lead, Dusty should've been more than careful.

When Prior took the mound in the 8th, I was already nervous. When he gave up that first hit, there was absolutely ZERO justification for leaving him in. Worst case scenario, if you pull him, he can't take a loss after a truly outstanding outing.

Anyone who has paid even passing attention to Prior knows that he can give up a big inning very quickly.

But Dusty left him in. Another hit. He STILL leaves him in.

And suddenly, Prior is staring at a 3-2 deficit, and a loss.

This is how Dusty thanks his pitchers for giving him 7 sterling innings. Hey Mark, here's a loss! There ya go, buddy! Just dangle out there on that mound!

The Cubs batters came out and won the game in the 9th. But let's make no mistake. They came out and got two runs to save Mark Prior from a loss and make up for their manager's jackass move.

As I said, I'm not saying Dusty isn't a good manager. Certainly he's a players' guy, and they like him. But he's kind of like the Sammy Sosa of managers right now: batting about .230 with a whole lot of strikeouts.

I didn't agree with PH Barrett for Blanco, but it worked out. Everything else on the last 2 innings were fine.

We need to get Hairston to start getting on base or go out and get a real leadoff hitter. He is 20-74 (.270 avg & .299 OBP) with 9 runs and 3 BB/HBP since taking over CF on July 8th. All the complaints on Dusty batting patterson #1 for 8 games, but hairston has done almost as bad the past 3 weeks.

CUBS WIN!!!! IN DUSTY WE TRUSTY!!!!!

Dusty is gaining more confidence in Novoa and I think Novoa is developing more control in the high pressure situations...Right now Novoa and Dempster are the best pitchers we have in the Bullpen (and I'm still hoping Hendry might add to that bullpen with a last minute trade)...We also could use someone like Juan Pierre at the top of our lineup -- I still hear rumors that it might be possible...Who knows, Hendry may surprise us in the next few days...;-)

I think Macias will be gone. Perez has played much better overall. Perhaps one will be included in a deal instead. I gotta believe both can be moved since they do have some value off the bench.

OSN-
We have been with 12 pitchers for ever, hope we send a pitcher out (Weurtz or Mitre) or trade Rusch as he is serving no putrpose on this team anymore.

"This is how Dusty thanks his pitchers for giving him 7 sterling innings. Hey Mark, here's a loss! There ya go, buddy! Just dangle out there on that mound!"

Don't you think that a pitcher like Prior might want to control his own destiny, instead of leaving it up to a bullpen that has failed so foten in the past? Technically, that shouldn't have anything to do with it...but I can only guess that Prior would prefer to not have been pulled, even if it meant risking a loss.

I was likewise somewhat surprised to see Prior bat for himself. But really, for such a short career, can you remember any pitcher giving up more hits on 0-2 than Prior? I love the guy. And I love a guy who challenges hitters. But he's got to learn to get out of the strike zone on 0-2. Great win.

These are the only players I trade Murton for

1. Albert Pujols
2. vladimir Guerro
3. A-rod
4. Clemens
5. Miguel Tejada
6. Bobby Abreu
7. Miguel Cabrerra
8. Carlos Beltran
9. Dontrelle Willis
10. Mark Buerhrle

Ok I could go on and on but you should catch my drift do not trade Murton unless your getting a guy back who has a spot in Cooperstown waiting for him, and still producing like it.

Wood & Williamson are going to be in the pen. That means 2 will have to be shipped out.

Any guesses who?

I'm thinking Mitre & Wuertz will probably get axed, however if it were up to me, I'd send Hill down and cut Remmy loose, move Mitre back to rotation, and bring in Wood & Williamson to the pen.

Stoney just said on PTI that he thinks the best trade is:

CHC get: Manny Ramirez and Bill Mueller
BOS get: Aramis Ramirez, Korey Patterson, and possibly some minor leaguers but no big names.

Pull the trigger? Any thoughts? I say no.

For all the Steve Stone lovers out there.....please read #146 and rethink your stance on the man.

lol Rob G.
Yup.

Manny: All the complaints on Dusty batting patterson #1 for 8 games, but hairston has done almost as bad the past 3 weeks.

Do you remember what Korey did in the leadoff spot? How about this: .218/.268/.370. That is pathetic.

Hairston in the leadoff: .282/.368/.422.
Hairston in July: .276/.330/.425

Those numbers are significantly better than KKKorey. Don't get me wrong...I am not content with a .330 OBP in the leadoff slot, but you cannot say that he has almost been as bad as Korey.

"This is how Dusty thanks his pitchers for giving him 7 sterling innings. Hey Mark, here's a loss! There ya go, buddy! Just dangle out there on that mound!" - Jaymay

Take it easy. The job of the manager isn't to make sure his starter gets a W. You think Prior didn't want to be out there? Would you really have trusted Novoa more than Prior at that point? I was surprised he kept Prior in too but it's not like it was without any logic and was was a big FU to Prior. I'm sure he hoped Prior would get out of the eighth with ten or so pitches. He didn't. It happens. You think Prior's cursing Baker or himself for giving Glaus a gift on an 0-2 count?

"Wood & Williamson are going to be in the pen. That means 2 will have to be shipped out.Any guesses who?I'm thinking Mitre & Wuertz will probably get axed, however if it were up to me, I'd send Hill down and cut Remmy loose, move Mitre back to rotation, and bring in Wood & Williamson to the pen."

Ryno,My guess is all 4 could go. I would not be surprised if Hendry gets a loogy and anther righty. Or rusch could be involved in a deal, and Hill could stay. If there going to win the WC this pen is going to have to look completly differnt by the time they reach Philly.

Of course, players always want to control their own destiny. But do the players run the team? I kinda kigured that was what the manager was for.

Mark Prior pitched well enough to get a win in this game. And if he gets a win, maybe his mindset is just that much more positive for the next game.

As it is, he gets no decision.

Look at it this way. Prior is facing a pinch hitter batting .241 in the nine spot, and he can't get him out. Then he's about to face the top of the DBack's order for the 4th time, in a one run game.

I just don't see how you justify not pulling him.

I'm only getting this worked up about this stuff because the next 10 games are pretty much gonna make or break our wildcard chances. And one simple, stupid mistake at this point could be the season.

But Dusty gets bailed out in the 9th, so I'm sure we can expect more such asinine moves.

PASS!

Hey, a pretty good TCR contest would be to predict the 25 man roster 1 week from today (8/5).

"Stoney just said on PTI that he thinks the best trade is:CHC get: Manny Ramirez and Bill Mueller
BOS get: Aramis Ramirez, Korey Patterson, and possibly some minor leaguers but no big names."

How about oh HELL no to that trade. At least Stoney is living up to his nickname.

Re: #146

Why would you give up ARam, who is entering the prime of his career, for two players who will turn 34 & 35 next year? Why downgrade 3B, when you can upgrade LF w/o doing so? Not to mention the fact that ManRam is owed a ton of cash, and is a bear to deal with.

I've always liked Stone, but he seems to have lost his mind this year.

no thank you

To 146: No

How about Cubs get Pierre and Ramirez, Bos gets Lowell and Burnett, FLA gets Patterson and Mueller, minor leaguer from CHI and BOS, and cash.

Ah, don't forget Stone has consistently stated his belief that the Cubs will win the wildcard (as recently as yesterday). So he is only crazy when saying crazy things, but when he says noncrazy things he doesn't really sound crazy at all.

It's possible Hendry won't do a trade by Sunday afternoon...Here are some of his latest comments...

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.js...

{...The Chicago Cubs may not make a deal by Sunday's trade deadline but they will still add three Major League players.

Nomar Garciaparra, Kerry Wood and Scott Williamson all are close to completing their rehab sessions and will likely join the big-league team in early August.

"We'd like to be aggressive here, we'd like to do something by Sunday, but it's not a situation where it's a desperate thing," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said Friday. "When you can get Nomar and Woody and Williamson back, hopefully, in the next seven or eight days, that may be better served than I could do elsewhere."...}

In the immortal words of Whitney Houston "Hell to the No!"

What purpose would that trade serve? If we were to trade for Ramirez, I say give them Burnitz, Wood, and a Minor League pitcher.

I would not go more than that. I would not trade for Soriano either. Here's what I learned from 1998--Unless you really believe you are about to aquire someone who will help you win the pennant, then don't pull the trigger.

From what I've heard now, Ramirez definitely was not going to be running much. Barrett was the better choice since any grounder that Ramirez hit would be a sure DP. In fact, Baker would've pinch ran for Ramirez if the game had continued.

"CHC get: Manny Ramirez and Bill Mueller
BOS get: Aramis Ramirez, Korey Patterson, and possibly some minor leaguers but no big names."

Did you forget to mention $100m in non-sequential fifty dollar bills coming our way, or am I missing something? Because that's just about the only way that's a good trade. In fact, I'm not even sure about that.

Okay, I like Bill's trade much better than mine.

can you remember any pitcher giving up more hits on 0-2 than Prior?

My guess was this was your imagination, and it wasn't much different than other top starters. So I looked it up. Here it is.

Hitters are hitting .165 against prior with an 0-2 count. Here are some others for comparison:
- Pedro: .071
- Randy Johnson: .128
- Buehrle: .128
- Clemens: .136
- Zambrano: .087
- Oswalt: .127
- Carpenter: .132
- Halladay: .127

It looks like Prior has given up more than his share of 0-2 hits this year, at least in comparison some of the other top pitchers in baseball. Surprisingly Clemens has the highest of this group. But still the difference between Clemens and Prior is 30 points - which would be the difference between someone like Ramirez and Burnitz.

On deck: Rich Hill (0-0, 4.22 ERA) will make his second big-league start on Saturday, facing the Diamondbacks for the first time. Arizona will start lefty Mike Gosling (0-2, 4.13 ERA).

Great...another Matt Murton kinda day!

Maybe we can see Hairston, Murton at the top of the order.

Here's someone who thinks the Cubs should not do a trade right now...

http://www.lincolncourier.com/sports/05/07/26...

"The answers to the Cubs' playoff prayers aren't out in the open market as the trade deadline approaches, but in the team's minor leagues. Hendry would be wise not to make any foolish trades, because the team will get the help it needs from within."

You can't get help from within if the manager refuses to play anyone under 34...

Big Low:
" but you cannot say that he has almost been as bad as Korey."

I said "SINCE he took over at CF". Before then he was a sub and rightfully so. Now since he has been given the start in CF and leadoff role fulltime, he has been bad (he is 20-74 (.270 avg & .299 OBP) with 9 runs and 3 BB/HBP since taking over CF on July 8th). Not counting his average baserunning and average defense.

Yes that is only 3 weeks, but I think a majority of people realize that he is not a real leadoff man and CF, thus we need to go get someone and he is not the greatest option as some were saying when CPat lead off those last 8 games.

And Steve Stone thinks he could be a GM...HA HA

Stay in the booth and keep being your bitter self.

I agree with all of dusty's moves today except for letting macias bat in the 9th. Other than that a well coached game by Dusty. (He still needs to go)

Prior gives up too many 0-2 hits, Prior's pitch counts are too high and he doesn't go deep into games.

It's basically one or the other, I vote for option #01, go after the guy and don't waste too many pitches. Of course the key is to make a good 0-2 pitch and I'm sure Prior wanted that fastball a lot higher then where he got it.

All the complaints on Dusty batting patterson #1 for 8 games, but hairston has done almost as bad the past 3 weeks.

First Patterson has 119 at-bats from the leadoff spot and he certainly got those in more then 8 games. I suppose you're talking about the last stretch though.

Second, I have 4 BB's/1 HBP on Hairston in 17 games.

Third,you want to take 3 weeks of at-bats as to the value of a player? I'd prefer to look a little deeper.

Patterson batting out of the #1 spot:
2005 .218/.268/.370
2004 .261/.317/.486
2003 .350/.350/.550 (in 20 at-bats)

Hairston batting out of the #1 spot:
2005 .282/.368/.422
2004 .295/.311/.523 (in 44 at-bats)
2003 .295/.389/.405

Since 2003 Overall:
Patterson: .264/.308/.443
Hairston: .283/.361/.389

So which is more likely to occur, Hairston returns to being a 350ish OBP guy or Patterson suddenly becomes one? And if you want to look at something as short-sighted as the last 3 weeks, Baker moved Patterson into the leadoff spot AFTER he was struggling. So now he's potentially giving the most at-bats to his worst hitter. Awful, awful idea.

If we can find a better lead-off/CF option, I'm all for it, but Hairston is EASILY the best option right now and I'd be rather surprised if his "struggles" continue for much longer.

The only thing about getting rid of Dusty is who would replace him?

Brenly--Too soon. If this happened right now, it would stick with the Cubs for a long time to come. Hiring a guy in the booth to replace your manager when they falter has become popular motion; however, I don't believe it has happened in this short period of time though. I'm not sure it would sit well with the players.

Spiers--Strong possibility down the road; not ready for the position now, especially in the middle of the race.

Uncle Lou--Upgrade on the field decisions, downgrade on the player relationhip.

I don't care WHAT you say.

I don't care WHAT evidence you have to prove me wrong.

This is a GOOD team and we have a GOOD chance at going places.

Hendry can make it all that much better by Monday...

Go CUBS.

MannyTrillo is blown out of the water yet again by hard statistics and reasoned argument. Yet another day at TCR.

"The only thing about getting rid of Dusty is who would replace him?"

BV, If you are looking for someone in season the best guy to go to is Jim Leyland. The man has a ring, he knows the city from his day as Larussa's 3rd base coach with the Sox. Also if your looking at a possible NLCS match-up with the Cards he knows Larussa better than some people know themselves. (AKA he know when Larussa would call for a squezze) Personally I would wait till the end of the year and get Terry Pendleton. He has done a great job with those young hitters in ATL. He could do some great things with Murton and Pie when he is called up. Also his four-year apprenticeship under Bobby Cox doesn't hurt either.

Death, taxes...

www.athleticsnation.com/story/2005/7/29/1968/...

"SportsCenter just ended with a report from Buster Olney:

Man Ram and Danny Baenz to the Mets
Aubrey Huff to the Sox
Prospects to the Drays
I am sure cash is involved too.

I don't buy it, ManRam wants to get out of the spotlight, where is day to day activities aren't tracked, and NY is going to do that?

The stories, Not wanting to play when they needed him. The newspaper calling him about his wife's OB apointment and the question about a little manram running around? I can't imagine it, but where is he going to hide on NY?

Waiting for the news to hit the net...will post link."

holy shit. holy shit. holy shit.

So much for Huff or Manny.

SHIT!!!!

Manny, you delusional Dusty-lover...
After his piss-poor management this past week (in particular), for you to post IN DUSTY WE TRUSTY!!! after the Cubs bailed his ass out again... geez. I hate to say this, but I'd have to karate chop you as hard as I could - right square in the throat - if I was within arms distance of you.

So sportscenter just ends without analyzing the deal...Hmm

Wouldn't it be on ESPNnews by now and espn.com

Smells like a board troll making up stuff, and I don't see anything on SoSH about it, like the post said.

BJS - if it's any consolation, Darwinism usually weeds out those like Manny...

Rob, there is some talk of it on SoSH

http://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?showtopic=...

and it's been over 20 minutes since that was posted on athletics nation and still nothing on the net that I can find.

I don't buy it....

From Will Carroll at BP:

"Friday, July 29, 7:25 p.m. ET: Boston talk radio...OK, should I stop right there? No, I like those guys so I'll let everyone know that they're talking about one of the most complex deals I've heard. Not only would Manny Ramirez move, but the Devil Rays are (again) involved. Specifics are tough to come by with these kinds of rumors, but the buzz is that Ramirez ends up in Queens, the Sox get Mike Cameron and Aubrey Huff, and the Devil Rays end up with the collective minor league systems of both clubs. Suffice it to say that the Powerball ticket I have in my pocket is more likely to happen, but you can't win if you don't play."

It's also reported on the Boston Globe's front page, but just reports right now, nothing official

http://www.boston.com/

Yeah, Now that I think about it that deal makes no sense. Theo wouldn't trade Manram and good prospects and cash just for Huff. TB would want and says it wants a top young MLB talent for Baez and Huff, so there would have to some name like Reyes or Youklis going to TB not just prosecpts.

thanks for the link, but I don't see anything specific about that deal, maybe I'm just missing it. I do see some talk on boston.com

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/...

they claim the deal is
Mets - Manny/Baez
Red Sox - Huff/Cameron
DRays - Prospects including Anibal Sanchez (AA Pitcher)

Interesting deal....does make the Mets a force in the Wild Card race, that's for sure. And as mentioned just "talks" right now albeit serious ones.

Thanks TEM, I'll try and remember that the next time I feel like using martial arts (that I don't know) on someone.

Well, Ramirez is still in the game. I'm sure the deal is not done.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

oh yeah Frank Thomas is out for the season and Ken Williams isn't one to stand pat.

Once again, if the Cubs were to be sellers, I bet the White Sox could use Burnitz and the Sox actually have some studly AA OF prospects if I recall correctly and that Brandon McCarthy guy.

Sorry, I thought the "I don't buy it" part obviously meant it wasn't a done deal yet. I should have pointed that out...

http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/8687697

Nevin to TEX for Chan Ho...

If the Sox trade McCarthy for Burnitz, they're retarded. They do have Kenny Williams in charge...

The White Sox still owe us one for the Garland-Karchner deal, you know :)

As for Nevin, crap, there goes my idea for a potential trade that I wrote about in the previous thread.

interesting rumor on sportsline.com

"The Cardinals are looking for outfield help in the direction of the Cincinnati Reds, who are expected to part with at least one of four players at the position --Ken Griffey Jr., Wily Mo Pena, Austin Kearns or Adam Dunn"

Well the Cards are certainly not against giving up top prospects. I don't even want to think how scary that offense would be with Dunn in it.

TEM:
"BJS - if it's any consolation, Darwinism usually weeds out those like Manny..."

Darwinism is wrong...I am still here. And iit was right, how does macias still have a MLB job?

In Dusty We Trusty!!

other than Wainright and Reyes the Cards do not have any good prospects.

Ah, don't forget Stone has consistently stated his belief that the Cubs will win the wildcard (as recently as yesterday). So he is only crazy when saying crazy things,

I like Stoney....but I think this is equally as crazy. Cubs are not going to win the wildcard. It is way too close and we have way too much Dusty for that to happen.

Some crap on E$PN: http://tinyurl.com/8l29q

"We'd like to be aggressive here, we'd like to do something by Sunday, but it's not a situation where it's a desperate thing," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said Friday. "When you can get Nomar and Woody and Williamson back, hopefully, in the next seven or eight days, that may be better served than I could do elsewhere."...}

Seems to me this team is needing more help and this team has had Wood on it already. He was just hurt it isn't like we are getting someone who's been out the whole year......and we really don't know what we are getting when we get him back...

Maybe the team would be stronger if Wood was traded and we get some prospects making us stronger for the upcoming seasons?

Do the Mets have this kind of money? If they get Manny, their payroll will soon be bigger than the Yanks.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

Mets - Manny/Baez
Red Sox - Huff/Cameron
DRays - Yusmeiro Petit/Lastings Milledge from Mets
Kelly Shoppach and Anibal Sanchez from Red Sox

Petit is a RHP, 20 years old in AA with a crazy BB/SO ratio, does give up a few dingers although this is the first season that has cropped up

Milledge is one of the better known prospects in the game. A 20 year old who recently got called up to AA. Similar to Felix Pie with better strike zone judgement but less power.

Shoppach would take over for Piazza next year and has been discussed in a number of trades

Sanchez is a RHP who just got called up to AA as well.

Sanchez was #5 on BA's Red Sox Top 10 prospect list , Shoppach #8
Milledge #1, Petit #2

as a reminder and if you were interested in the Cubs dealing for any of those players, here was our top 10 list:

Dopirak
Pie
Harvey
Guzman
Petrick
Pinto
Marshall
Leicester
Johnson
Dubois

Oh man that's painful, Dopirak is sucking the life out of Daytona, Pie is sitting on the DL(although I like him)

Harvery is the master of the K (in a bad way), Guzman may pitch in August, Petrick is out for the year with shoulder woes, Pinto got demoted to AA (where he is doing well), Marshall is on the DL with shoulder problems, Leicester sucks, Johnson is hardly dominating A ball, Dubois got traded.

Sheesh....

my bad, Shoppach is going to the Drays, not Mets. Takes over for whatever scrub is filling the position at the moment, Toby Hall?

Maybe the Cubs should trade for a starter like Burnett or Schmidt or maybe even Moyer or Kip Wells. To me, unless the Cubs get Billy Wagner (highly doubtful), I have a feeling I am going to be underwhelmed if Hendry acquires a reliever. I'd rather see the Cubs get a starter and see if Jerome Williams can handle a setup role than to trade a prospect for a garden-variety Dan Miceli-type.

If the goal is to win the World Series this year and if the Cubs have a four-man rotation in the postseason, would you really feel comfortable with Jerome Williams taking the ball? I'm not there yet. Having said that, Williams is a better pitcher than Sergio Mitre or Michael Wuertz, and I could see him filling that roles.

So I guess my question is this: What is your short-term feeling on Jerome Williams, and what is your long-term feeling? Can you see Jerome Williams starting a postseason game this year or next?

What a great trade; everybody gets what they need.

Can we trade for Theo Epstein?

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