Cure for the Common Offense

GAME 119 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (57-61) @ HOUSTON ASTROS (63-54) MINUTE MAID PARK, 7:05 pm CDT, TV: CSN, Fox Sports SouthWest
Wandy Rodriguez LHP
7-5, 6.18 ERA
57/34 K/BB, 14 HR in 78.2 IP
Glendon Rusch, LHP
5-4, 3.98 ERA
77/40 K/BB, 9 HR in 97.1 IP
LF Matt Murton CF Wily Taveras
2B *Todd Walker
iggio 1B Derrek Lee 1B #Lance Berkman 3B Aramis Ramirez 3B Morgan Ensberg SS Nomar Garciaparra RF Jason Lane C Michael Barrett SS Adam Everett RF *Jeromy Burnitz LF Chris Burke CF * Corey Patterson C Humberto Quintero P *Glendon Rusch P #Wandy Rodriguez Wow, this is the lineup of the team leading the wild card hunt. I guess pitching and defense can get you a long way. For the eternal optimists out there who still think we have a shot at making the playoffs, I think it's fair to say we have to sweep the Astros this series. We'll play them a grand total of 10 times before the season is out, but I doubt we'll be as lucky as to miss Roger Clemens in those 2 series at the end of September. And if you can't beat a fella named Wandy, you have no business in the playoffs anyway. I like this lineup a lot, which generally means that run scoring will be minimal. It's always a good idea though to load your lineup with righties when playing at The Juice Box and the super-short left field porch it houses. We'll see the good southpaw on the Astros in Andy Pettitte tomorrow, so it'll be another chance to load up the lineup with righties. I wonder if Murton will get a start in both games, spelling Burnitz tomorrow instead of Lawton. Some doozy pitching matchups after tonight as well, at least when you look at the names. Pettitte vs. Maddux tomorrow and Zambrano vs Oswalt on Wednesday. If the Cubs offense can't get going playing here and then Coors Stadium, there's nothing that will cure it. If anything, we can begin to play the role of spoiler and spoiling the Astros post-season hopes sure would be fun. Go Cubs!!!

Comments

Yeah, the lineup looks good. I'm pleasantly surprised. Hopefully the result will be equally as pleasant.

I hate HOU as worse as any NL team so I hope we can take them out of the playoffs. Everybody talks about STL being our big rival but I take more joy beating Houston than I do the Cards. Any one else feel the same way? Hopefully Murton can have a big tonight.

I feel the same way Chifan. I can't stand the fact that I don't even really know what their colors are. Plus, how long can Jose Vizcaino really stay on a major league roster to torment just one team?

I agree, only if we sweep here will I start looking at the WC standings again. But for the first time since the beginning of the season we finally have just about the whole team playing, so who knows? Taking 3 of 4 from St. Louis was impressive, regardless of their injuries.

And if my remaining hopes for the season are delusional, at least we can play the spoiler role against Houston. I'll be in Houston rooting the Cubs on behind home plate tomorrow and Wednesday. Judging by the pitching matchups looks like I picked the right two games to go to!

I definately want to beat the Astros...but for some reason I can't help but admire their unbelievable turnarounds 2 years in a row...and I am in awe everytime I watch Clemens pitch.
I do hate Oswalt and Berkman for the stunts they pulled last year against the Cubs...but hey, the team flew by us...maybe that type of gamesmanship is what we need right about now.

Sounds like Adam has a man crush.

Sounds like Adam has a man crush.

I just saw the line-up and I am impressed with Dusty's decision tonight. I hope it works out for the Cubs.

does anyone here think this lineup looks like the 2006 Cubs?

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  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 19 min 13 sec ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 32 min 40 sec ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 1 hour 56 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 3 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 2 hours 7 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 10 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 2 hours 19 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 21 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 2 hours 27 min ago view
  • QuietMan 2 hours 35 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 54 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 3 hours 32 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 16 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 27 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 29 min ago view