Game 26 Thread / Brewers @ Cubs (1 of 3)
|SP||Ben Sheets||SP||Jason Marquis|
|3-0, 0.96, 24 K, 4 BB||1-0, 3.47, 15 K, 9 BB|
|2B||Rickie Weeks||LF||Reed Johnson|
|CF||Mike Cameron||SS||Ryan Theriot|
|LF||Ryan Braun||1B||Derrek Lee|
|1B||*Prince Fielder||3B||Aramis Ramirez|
|RF||Corey Hart||RF||*Kosuke Fukudome|
|3B||Bill Hall||2B||Mark DeRosa|
|SS||JJ Hardy||C||Geovany Soto|
|P||Ben Sheets||CF||*Felix Pie|
|C||Jason Kendall||P||*Jason Marquis|
No, you're not imagining things--this is the Brewers' second visit to Wrigley Field in the season's first month while the Cubs have yet to visit Milwaukee and won't do so until after the All-Star break.
While the Cubs (16-9) were losing two of three on the road to the Nationals and scoring 10 runs this past weekend, the Brewers (14-11) were dropping two of three at home to the Marlins and scoring six runs. The Brewers, who led the NL in batting with RISP (.303) going into the series, went just 1-for-26 against the Marlins in those same situations.
The Milwaukees expect a boost tonight (no drug reference intended) from centerfielder Mike Cameron, who will be making his '08 debut after serving a 25-game suspension for taking a banned amphetamine. Cameron, you may recall, played for Lou Piniella with the Mariners from 2000 through 2002, and the two were involved in the M's Divisional Series sweep over the White Sox in 2000, in which this semi-famous play occurred:
Cameron was on first base, and Piniella (came out of the dugout and) went to the bag to talk to him.
White Sox closer Keith Foulke seemed to get rattled, and Edgar Martinez
hit a go-ahead homer to lead the Mariners to a three-game sweep.
Piniella later said he told Cameron to buy Cisco stock.
Sheets, meanwhile, is making his first appearance in 11 days, since departing a start against the Reds mid-game because of "tightness in his right triceps muscle." Big Ben leads NL pitchers with a ridiculous 0.64 WHIP and a batting average against of .146. Back on Opening Day, Sheets held the Cubs scoreless over 6 1/3 IP, allowing but two hits.
He also needs just 10 strikeouts to pass Teddy Higuera and become the Brewers' all-time strikeout leader, which should sure make for some compelling television.
In 48 career at-bats against the Milwaukee ace, Derrek Lee has 5 HR and a .681 slugging percentage, which makes a nice counter-balance to Aramis Ramirez's .192 batting average and 1 career HR in 58 at-bats against Sheets.
Jason Marquis is coming off his second Quality Start in a row, a 7-inning ND last Thursday at Colorado (8 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB).
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"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more: