Game 23 Thread / Cubs @ Nationals (1 of 3)

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SP Ryan Dempster SP *Odalis Perez
  3-0, 3.00, 16K, 11 BB
0-3, 3.38, 20 K, 12 BB
CF Reed Johnson 2B #Felipe Lopez
SS Ryan Theriot SS #Cristian Guzman
1B Derrek Lee 3B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Nick Johnson
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF Lastings Milledge
LF Mark DeRosa C #Johnny Estrada
C Geovany Soto LF Wily Mo Peña
2B Ronny Cedeno RF *Rob Mackowiak
P Ryan Dempster P *Odalis Perez












WIth tonight's first-ever visit to Nationals Park, the Cubs will have played in three different cities in three different time zones, necessitating somewhere around 2,700 miles in air travel, all in a little over 72 hours. Gotta love those schedule gremlins.

Even with yesteday's loss to the Rockies, the first-place Cubs have won 8 of 10. After opening the season 3-0, the fifth-place Nationals, who needed 13 hits against the Mets on Thursday to raise their team average to .233, have lost 16 of 20.

The Cubs beat Washington in 6 of 7 games a year ago, winning 3 of 4 at RFK.

As for tonight's pitchers, the Cubs' Dempster labored through five innings and 94 pitches last Sunday against the Pirates, a game the Cubs won 13-6. Perez, the first of three lefty starters the Cubs will see in this series, hasn't hooked up with the Wrigleys since his days as a Dodger in 2004. He has also pitched well enough to win in four of his five starts, but hasn't won any.

Five runs of offensive support in 26 2/3 IP will do that to a guy.

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He wasn't laboring at all until the fifth inning when he suddenly lost his command as only Ryan Dempster can do. Took him 37 pitches to get out of the inning.

For those not watching the game, Johnson just made a highlight reel catch. One of the best I've seen this year.

That catch by Johnson was amazing. You have to see it to believe it.

However, I saw it and I still can't believe it...

well, that sucked. Theriot can't steal bases worth shit anymore. Howry is still struggling. We burned another long inning out of Marmol. And, as hard as it is to say, I would have much rather had Cedeno hit with the bases loaded. Using up Cedeno, Ward, Murton, Blanco, and Fontenot to get one RBI walk and one K seemed like a waste.

I have to admit I was a bit suprised by all that. When the bases got loaded after the IBB and Cedeno up, I thought he'd go to Fontenot since Acta would certainly go to the lefty and burn Fontenot instead of Ward there...and then go Murton. That would have left Ward for the next AB instead of Fontenot. Unless Lou thought there was a chance that Acta would have left Ayala in there...but that seemed unlikely.

Cubs seem to be finding ways to lose the last couple of games. Haven't been getting the big hit or making the big pitch/defensive play at the end of games. Oh well. It's a long season and there was bound to be some bounce back from their nice run of late. Neither loss was necessarily a poorly played game, but just a couple of wasted opportunities.

I will say, though, that it may be time to find a different answer on the bench than Little Lord Fontenot, at least for the time being. He's not really giving them what they need. He's not a good glove guy and he's drawn 1 walk so far in almost 40 PA's. He looks very unsettled at the plate and it really seems to be wearing on him. He strikes me as a good guy and I think he can be a good role player, but this team really can't wait for a bench guy to find himself. When Sori comes back, I'd let Murton hang around and send Fontenot down to find his groove.

not getting the big hits the last couple games. still opportunities, but not the big, break-it-open hit. Guess that's why we have 5 runs in 2 games.

How long will Lou stick with Fontenot on the team? He's been pretty useless -- huge K today with the bases loaded and one out in a tie game. Loved him when he was hitting .400 last year -- since then, not so much.

I agree about Fontenot. Enough. However, the vaunted Mark DeRosa has been terrible and a strike out king with bases loaded, or any key hitting situation - save for one time against the Mets so far. In fact, imo, if I never see him bat w/the bases loaded again it will be too soon.

Recent comments

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  • To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.

  • HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.

    Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.  

  • "they just fade away"

    (Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)

  • Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.

  • I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.

  • AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?

  • He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.

    Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.

  • I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.

    I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).

    Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.

  • "What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "

    As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.

  • Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.

    Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer

  • Hahahahaha

  • -0.3 WAR in 7.1ip last year...

    -3 WAR projected over the course of a season.

    the cubs just added an all-star reliever's worth of work by losing b.schlitter.


  • Rockies sign Brian Schlitter to a minor league contract. Good luck in Coors Field. Enough said.

  • i'll take him over frandy since it's unlikely he'll progress as a SS (and 2nd isn't looking much better).

    i hope patton's delivery deception skills play well in the bigs over time. cubs need pitching options that are MLB-ready and dude fits the bill for a MLB/AAA mix...both needed.

  • I'm not saying he's great, but can we agree on the word "decent"? Became a pro at 23, called up at 26; nothing wrong with that trajectory, he hasn't been knocking around. Even in the majors his SO9 is 9.7. In the minors it's 12.2, so he's always missed bats, and without being a wild man: his walks are low. He cost the Cubs an unheralded A-ball middle infielder and a roster spot.

  • he's a righty (a 27 year old one that's going to be 28 before spring training starts) that throws low 90s with a low-80s slider. that's as ordinary as it gets for a righty reliever.