Where’s Theriot?

Carlos Zambrano, RHP
13-5, 3.18 ERA
180/78 K/BB, 15 HR in 195.0 IP
Eric Milton, LHP
7-14, 6.63 ERA
111/47 K/BB, 39 HR in 165.2 IP
2B Ryan Freel CF Jerry Hairston Jr.
SS #Felipe Lopez 2B *Todd Walker
LF *Adam Dunn 1B Derrek Lee
CF Wily Mo Pena 3B Nomar Garciaparra
1B *Sean Casey RF *Jeromy Burnitz
C Jason LaRue C Michael Barrett
3B Edwin Encarnacion LF Matt Murton
RF Chris Denorfia SS #Neifi Perez
P *Eric Milton P #Carlos Zambrano
Just kidding about the title, we can hopefully agree that this is about the best lineup we can hope for with the current Cubs personnel. Don't forget to listen in on the Jaxx quest for the Southern League championship. It's currently 4-2 Jaxx in the top of the second, 3 of the runs coming in on a Brandon Sing homer off Dodger uber-prospect Chad Billingsley. Jae-kuk Ryu is going for the Jaxx. Go Cubs!!!


Make it 6-2 Jaxx, Matt Craig hit a 2 run shot in the top of the 2nd.

Out of all of the Jaxx starting pitchers this season (Hill,Marmol, Marshall, Nolasco, Pinto, Ryu) which one do you think makes the best pro. My feeling is it will be Nolasco. His neutral style is made for Wrigley. If he has control of his pitches he could throw to the conditions. Also he has stayed pretty healthy which seems to be a mircle for pitcher's in this organization. The only place he struggled was at AAA and he was called up there more because they needed somebody than they felt he was enterly ready for it. Anyone else have any thoughts on the matter?

That's my Papa!

If houston can get 3 from florida I believe the cubs can get in with a 14-4 record. Both the phillies and Florida have 6 games each against ATL. If atl wins 4 out of 6 Florida has to go 6-6 in the other games and Philly has to go 7-5. Florida's other games are against Philly NYM and Washington. Philly's are Florida, Cin NYM and Was. I'll make a prediction:

IF We finish 14-4 taking 5 out of 7 from Houston we will at least tie for the wild card. Unless Florida sweeps houston.

Go Cubs
Give us something good to tell our future grandkids about!!!

NCFAN, you are absolutely delusional.

I'm having problems with the WTenn feed on the net tonight since the 5th ining...but can get the Jacksonville feed.

8th inning

Jaxx 7 Suns 4

No way Macias is a better hitter than Big Z.

So Baker lifts Z for Macias. Does he read statistics that say Z's VORP is 11 something while Macias's is -3.2. WHY DOES HE KEEP GETTING AT-BATS??

I just looked it up. Z was a better hitter last year according to VORP too.

Diamond Jaxx Win!! (lead best of 5 series, 1-0)

West Tenn
4 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 7 9 0
2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 7 0

looks like Michael Barrett still needs to work on rundowns between home and 3rd...

Good fundamentals from Dusty's squad? Now that's an oxymoron.

Wouldn't this be a great place to have C-Pat bunt instead of Theriot?

That is one thing that C-Pat does decently.

And as I write this, Theriot strikes out looking.

And anyone want to question Dusty's decision to bunt in front of DLee so that they could walk Lee?

Matt Murton for President!!! Let's see 2 runs scored, 1 rbi, .354 average. See Dusty, he can play 9.

Cubs Win!!! In Dusty We Trusty!!!

One game under .500.

9-3 in Sept.

Go Cubs!!

good job for the bullpen tonight.

I just looked it up. Z was a better hitter last year according to VORP too.

You are missing the concept behind VORP. A player with a better VORP isn't always the better hitter. VORP is value over a replacement, at his position. A replacement pitcher and a replacement PH are different.

Look at EqA, Z's better this year, but Macias was last season. Vorps biggest concept is value, you really don't want to look at it when you are comparing hitting only.

Well, I certainly hope, though, that we can agree that the fact that Z has a better EqA this year than one of our utility/pinch-hit bats off the bench is pathetic even if he didn't manage to top the guy last year too.

Still tired from having seen the game tonight. Was cool to see Theriot's first AB. yeah he K'ed but he really battled after getting into an 0-2 hole. "quality process, result needs work."

I know somewhere there's a chart of odds of scoring, and that the odds say it's easier to score 1 run with 1st & 0 outs than 2nd & 1 out but 1st & 2nd + 1 out is still pretty good. How often does Walker GIDP? (Hmm... vs. Nomar...)

Merigoldbowling, I don't think Dusty would know VORP from a REIT, nor does he care to know. He just looks under BA and see that Macias is hitting .275 or something. But someone should introduce Dusty to OBP, which for Macias is also about .275 and therefore awful, and his slugging percentage, which I will SWAG for Macias at about .300, which is pitiful. But Dusty, and the other bigshot managers love the "flexubility" that a guy like Macias brings to the party. I wish the party would start without him.

Murton does appear to be such an offensive force that even Dusty and Hendry can't ignore or dismiss him any longer. I don't think he can keep slugging at this rate, but he has the pedigree to be a high average, high OBP, low strike out guy the Cubs so desperately need. Yes, it would be nice if he was faster and a better defender, but beggars can't be choosers, and he looks better, and will be a lot cheaper, then some of the stiffs on this year's free agent market. Putting Murton in left leaves only two outfield spots to fill. I still prefer Hairston as a super utility guy, altough I'm sure Hairston prefers to start.

Although playing Murton and Hairston everyday rather than Patterson makes the Cubs offense significantly better, I don't think it is enough to get the Cubs to 13-4 the rest of the way, especially with inconsistent 4th and 5th starters and Dusty still experimenting with the bullpen (see yesterday's game when he brought Mitre in rather than Wuertz or Williamson when Ohman got into trouble). This Cubs team had some significant problems this year and it is not better than it's record (lack of depth in starting rotation, offense from outfield, overall defense and fundamentals, and bullpen, in that order (I know Crunch will disagree with this, but I think the bullpen problems were mostly self-inflicted by Dusty's misuse of Hawkins, his abandonment of the Dempster as closer plan, his misuse of Remlinger as a lefty specialist (although Rem might just be finished), and using Fox 3 days in a row, the last time in a blow out, where he hurt his arm).

Looking back, you have to wonder how many games the Cubs might have won back in June, when Derek Lee just owned the league, and Dusty had the out machines, Neifi and Corey, batting in front of him 1-2. Joe Sheehan's article on the Cubs posted on preminium baseballprospectus web site on this showed some very ugly statistics where the Cubs lead-off hitters had a below .300 OBP during this period.

Overall, not one of Dusty's best years. On the the other hand the Dusty effect on players who are not loss causes (see Corey) still seems to be at work as the Cubs have had great offensive years from Lee, Ramirez and Barrett and good ones from Walker, Burnitz, Hairston and Neifi! (or as good as Neifi can have one.)

cubfaningermany wrote: "and Dusty still experimenting with the bullpen (see yesterday's game when he brought Mitre in rather than Wuertz or Williamson when Ohman got into trouble)"

I'm not defending Dusty's use of the bullpen overall, but bringing in Mitre with two outs and men on first and second wasn't a terrible call - Mitre is a ground ball pitcher to the extreme and could have easily gotten a force out, and unfortunately he threw a VERY bad pitch. Wuertz might have been a good choice too, but Williamson can't be counted on in this kind of situation yet, despite his history - he had given up 3 homers in just over 10 innings this season before this game.

TRB Tribune revenues down 0.9% in August (37.69 )

Consolidated revs for the period were $428 mln, down 0.9% from last year's $432 mln. Publishing revs in August were $298 mln, 1.9% lower than last year's $303 mln. Advertising revs increased 0.6% to $234 mln. Total advertising inches were down 4.5%, while preprint pieces increased 0.9%.

Here's an idea Tribsters...instead of working on your goal of a .500 record (snooze city) , put a winning ballclub on the field and you'll show some revenue growth in August.

Baseball America has an interview with Jeff Franceur of the Braves and he was asked who he's faced in the minors that throw better than some of the pitchers he's faced at the major league level.

He named 3 pitchers:

1) Ricky Nolasco, raved about his slider
2) Rich Hill
3) Bobby Jenks, now with the WSox

The Cubs are such a small part of the overall Tribune Company. Even if the Cubs won the WS their overall bottom line would barely move. That is aprt of the problem of a media conglomerate owning a sports team.

Last year the Tribune Company had 5.726 BILLION in sales. Do you think the "ONLY" $300 million or so that the Cubs bring in is making a big dent in their bottom line?

hey, im a big murton fan, too...but lets at least realize where he's putting the bat on the ball.

he's putting almost all of his good hits into RF.

he did have a hell of a homer to LF a few games ago that pretty much solidified his place in the minds of many.

in the 10th he put a ball into LF, though not exactly strong...he did a decent job on the pitch.

i dont think anyone's had a problem with how murton handles lefties or how he handles stuff middle/outside.

The Cup is Half Full:

I would like to THANK BARRY BONDS for not returning until after the Cubs took 3 out of 4 from the Giants!

The Cup is Half Full:

We're now entering a period where teams will be competing exclusively within their division.

The Cubs have moved into 5th place in the wildcard race behind Florida, Houston, Philadelphia, and Washington.

With a win today, the Cubs will continue their plodding pace towards a projected 83-79 record.

The wildcard winner is now projecting at 87-75.

BUT both Houston and Florida, the leaders, have .500 winning percentages within their own division this year while Philadelphia and and Washington have losing records.

If Houston and Florida continue their flat intra-division performance, the wildcard could be won (or tied) with 85 wins.

So, believe it or not, the Cubs are still in the wildcard race and will likely remain there until they lose 5 games or somebody else wins 86.

11 vs stl/hou...ow.

almost too stacked of a schedule vs. houston...not in tallent, but in amount of games the new scheduling crew gave chc/hou to close out the year. 7 games in 10 days vs. houston. hell of a way to end the season.

Houston is choking, not the Cubs. The Cubs are out of it, remember?

Advantage---> Cubs.

"So, believe it or not, the Cubs are still in the wildcard race"

Puff Puff Pass...

"So, believe it or not, the Cubs are still in the wildcard race"

Puff Puff Pass...

Homer Blanco is getting better at the plate and has all season had a cannon for an arm and superb defensive skills. He should start the majority of games.

"You are missing the concept behind VORP. A player with a better VORP isn't always the better hitter. VORP is value over a replacement, at his position. A replacement pitcher and a replacement PH are different."

I'm not so sure about that - I thought VORP was created with the idea of comparing players at different positions and in different years - it's all normalized. Different leagues and parks shouldn't matter either.

Recent comments

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  • 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.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of there 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

  • 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).

  • I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.

  • Just with the chanting thing it worked to rattle Cueto last year where he dropped a ball and gave up a HR next pitch so you can't really hate on the fans for trying it again in this important of a game.

    Arietta though.

  • I felt the same way, too, but...

    I was very disappointed with Pittsburgh fans. At Wrigley a few weeks ago, they were very obnoxious guests, the cockiness on Twitter, and what's the deal with chanting Arrieta's name during the game? Very bush league. Add that up with Rodriguez's poor sportsmanship and you quickly have a team that you don't mind beating 4-0 in a do or die game.

  • Absolutely-It was tense. And when the Pirates couldn't push any runs across, you could see the frustration boil over.

  • I meant December.