Game 44 Recap: Cubs 4, Pirates 3

We Walk

W -
Marquis (2-3), .800 homestands

Dumatrait (1-2)

S- Wood (10)

Box Score
, Photos

Things to Take from This Game

1. More walks than hits

Dumatrait walked 7 in 4.2 innings, with 53 balls and 52 strikes. He only gave up four hits, or else the game wouldn't have been close. Dumatrait walked the bases loaded in the third, leading to a Soriano sac fly and Cedeno bloop single for two runs. Three more walks in the fourth led to a Johnson sac fly, and two walks in the fifth led to a Fukudome single just over Bixler's head, for the final Cubs run.

2. Marquis was just good enough

His pitching line (6IP, 4H, 1 BB, 3K, 3R) looks better than his performance from where I'm sitting. He had a nice strike of seven consecutive outs, but made a couple of mistakes to Paulino that could have been home runs, and had spotty command of the fastball and slider.

3. 3 RBI for LaRoche

LaRoche hit a two run homer in the first that suprised most everyone when it made it into the left-center basket. He added an RBI single in the sixth

4. Solid Relief

Howry, Marmol and Wood provided three scoreless innings.


The 8-2 homestand-closing, warm news for a cold day at Wrigley game recap, and some life-saving, pride-stroking parachat recap shout-outs, below.


Game Recap


  • Holy Mother of Pavoratti, who is the guy singing the Anthem? Heck of a voice. Ah. Patrick Blackwell. Truly a moving performance.

Inning 1 - Top

  • Freddy Sanchez lines one off the base of the wall in the left field wall. It was sort of weird. The fans barely reacted, and Soriano just jogged a couple feet to his left to play the carom. Could hardly tell from anyone's resonse that anything had happened
  • McLouth pops up to Lee, just to the right of the pitcher's mound.
  • Bay flies to shallow center, Johnson calls off Fukudome.
  • LaRoche lines one out to left-center, just into the basket. It was sort of a low, slicing liner. And again, really oddly, there seems to be no sort of reaction from the fans. Sort of surprised it got out, looked much more like a split-the-gapper.
  • Nady grounds out. 2-0 game.

Inning 1 - Bottom

  • Soriano lines a single to left.
  • Cedeno flies out to right.
  • Lee bouces one back to Dumatrait, for a very easy 1-6-3 DP to end the inning

Inning 2 - Top

  • Mientkiewicz walks. Ugh.
  • Marquis does his best to throw a ball away, but Soto makes a great lunging back-hand.
  • Paulino skies one to left. Marquis elevated a fastball, and Paulino just did get under it.
  • Bixler chases a slider for the strikeout. Nice pitch.
  • 3-2 count on Dumatrait. geh.
  • Dumatrait lines one opposite field. Fukudome is well positioned, catches it easily.

Inning 2- Bottom

  • Ramirez flies to center.
  • Fukudome grounds to LaRoche
  • and Soto K's swinging. Easy inning

Inning 3 - Top

  • Marquis seems to be getting the slider to work a bit more for him.
  • Sanchez defends against one, flying lazily to left.
  • Marquis runs a fastball right into McLouth's right kneecap. Makes a really nasty "thud" sound. As a guy who drafted McLouth, anticipating a breakout season, I am not pleased. Neither is McLouth.
  • Len and BJB speculate if it was intentional. Sure didn't look like it.
  • Quick 6-4-3 DP from Bay.

Inning 3 - Bottom

  • Three pitches way outside to DeRosa, then one way inside, four a leadoff walk.
  • and Johnson walks on five pitches. Nice
  • high pitch, and it just sort of squirts out of Paulino's glove. DeRosa takes third, Johnson holds at first.
  • 3-1 on Marquis
  • Trying to bunt, and Dumatrait walks Marquis. Bases get walked loaded for Soriano.
  • Big, slow, rolling breaking ball fools Soriano for a called strike two. 1-2 count. Pitch in the dirt, 2-2 count.
  • Some sort of breaking pitch gets too much of the plate, Soriano lines it very sharply, but towards McLouth in left-center. Sacrifice fly. 2-1 Pirates. Runner at 2 holds.
  • Every time I see Cedeno, he does something good. Works a 2-1 count, and fists a blooping single for an RBI. 2-2 game.
  • Ump is calling the high curve for a strike.
  • Lee inside outs a lazy fly to right field. Marquis holds at second.
  • 3-2 count on Ramirez, the 34th pitch of the inning ends it with a fly out to Nady in right.

Inning 4 - Top

  • LaRoche flies to Soriano, just short of the warning track. Imagine the most lackadaisical basket catch off of the hip that you can, and Soriano's was twice that.
  • BJB with an interesting talk about Ed Montague being a left-handed umpire, and having to reach back for baseballs from the ump.
  • Nady K's swinging
  • and Mienkiewicz grounds back to Marquis. Easy inning

Inning 4 - Bottom

  • Fukudome works a walk. Nice battle.
  • Another long AB, but Soto K's swinging
  • DeRosa grounds one through the left side hole. Fukudome makes a wide turn at second, has to scamper back when Bay throws behind him
  • Double steal. Fukudome gets a bad jump, and Paulino makes a nice throw, just barely short-hopping Mientkiewicz's glove by an inch or two. Mientkiewicz whiffs on it, and it bounces away. Big gift for the Cubs, Fukudome would have been out
  • Johnson then hits a sacrifice fly to Bay. 3-2 game. DeRosa holds at second.

Inning 5 - Top

  • Marquis elevates another pitch to Paulino, this time a hanging slider, and again Paulino gets under it, flying it to the warning track in left.
  • Lots of better sliders to Bixler, who eventually K's on a check swing.
  • Dumatrait grounds out to Cedeno. Seven in a row put down by Marquis.

Inning 5 - Bottom

  • Soriano pops out to Sanchez
  • Cedeno bunts, but it goes back towards Dumatrait.
  • Lee Walks
  • Ramirez walks. That's number 6. Dumatrait has thrown 4000* pitches
  • * = 96
  • Fukudome lines one over shortstop, scoring Lee. 4-2
  • Soto walks. Second inning he's walked three Cubs, as Len reminds us. Even better, pitch would have been a wild pitch, had it not been a walk.
  • Marino Salas in. Bases loaded
  • 53 balls, 52 strikes for Dumatrait
  • DeRosa flies out to Nady. Slams the bat to the ground. You worry that for as bad as Dumatrait was, this is a 2-run game with Marquis on the mound.

Inning 6 - Top

  • Sanchez lines a single to left.
  • and McLouth is up as the tying run. I've got a bad feeling about this.
  • Slow roller to DeRosa, who runs at Sanchez and tags him as Sanchez dives to avoid the tag. He then sort of shut-puts the throw in the general direction of first bases, ball rolls towards the dugout. Soto slides for it backing it up, but McLouth takes second. One out, one runner on second.
  • Bay flies to left center, Johnson calls off Soriano. Runner holds.
  • LaRoche singles through the right side hole, McLouth scores. 4-3 game.
  • Nady lines out to right.

Inning 6 - Bottom

  • Hoffpauir on deck to hit for Marquis.
  • Johnson flies to Bay
  • John Grabow in for Salas, a lefty-lefty matchup.
  • Hoffpauir K's swinging.
  • Len tells us that Hoffpauir is the 14th "home-grown" player to play on the Cubs MLB team this season.
  • Soriano K's swinging.

Inning 7 - Top

  • Howry in.
  • Mientkiewicz pops to just right of the second base bag. Cedeno finally calls of DeRosa to catch it.
  • Paulino walks. Tying run now on base.
  • Hit and run, Bixler tries to hit it through the open right side, but DeRosa is able to recover, get it, and throw Bixler out. Paulino advances to second
  • Jason Michaels hits for Grabow
  • Michaels hits a chopper off the plate, Ramirez's throw short-hops Lee, who blocks the ball in front of him. runners on 1 and 3.
  • Sanchez flies to Fukudome, ending the threat.
  • BJB with a boisterous shout-out to start the Seventh Inning Stretch. Nice enthusiasm.
  • Nice work, Bob.

Inning 7 - Bottom

  • Tyler Yates in to pitch
  • Cedeno K's swinging
  • and Lee grounds out to SS
  • Ramirez also grounds to SS. Bixler bobbles it, recovers for the out

Inning 8 - Top

  • McLouth K's looking.
  • Bay walks
  • and LaRoche K's swinging at a slider.
  • Marmol K's the side, getting Nady swinging.

Inning 8 - Bottom

  • Fukudome K's swinging
  • Soto flies out to Bay
  • and DeRosa K's on a foul tip

Inning 9 - Top

  • Wood in to close.
  • Mientkiewicz rolls one up the line to Lee, who takes it to the bag unassisted
  • Paulino stares at a beautiful slider for strike three.
  • Bixler takes a fastball on the corner for strike three, and what he thought or hoped was ball four. Game over, an 8-2 homestand.

Parachat Recap

Inning 1

  • Rob fires me. Again. I call his bluff.
  • Why is Rob's TV showing to a Cinderalla DVD?
  • Mark Prior
  • Bored, middle-aged algebra teachers in Gary, Indiana

Inning 2

  • Eh.
  • Things not to yell, and where not to yell them.

Inning 3

  • McLouth's plunking
  • Fat asses.
  • Mwahahhaaa, the lag is on the other foot, today!
  • is Frankie Valli culture? (no.)
  • Heads up!
  • Who's vacationing, where?
  • Good beers

Inning 4

  • What's been happening while you were on vacation? (a lot.)
  • Things mentioned in parachat more frequently than Harry Caray
    • Corner Gas
    • Garden Claw Gold
    • Cla Meredith
  • Forced smiles are bad for you.
  • Trying to take years off of my life.
  • Neil Young Rules.
  • The Fukudome bobblehead
  • Bobbling pocks.
  • Sebum
  • "Scratch 'n' Ooze"
  • Cubs facial hair: consensus is Soto's is excellent, Johnson's is bad. We miss Mitre and Clement.
  • "That's a weird little thing on Johnson" = lots of unintented juvenile comedy

Inning 5

  • CT Steve is a recurring guest character on Scrubs. You heard it here, first.
  • Songs about bunnies.
  • Who is Hermione, and what are these pictures that people are discussing? I probably don't want to know.
  • Perjury and extortion in parachat
  • and scalping.
  • Who is in your league?
  • How to celebrate Carlos's looming 21tst birthday?
  • Making fun of people who aren't present to defend* themselves
  • * = rant and rave
  • We Love Umlauts.
  • "people lining up to kick Edmonds in the umlauts" = nohit.
  • Devo

Inning 6

  • MLB players with NASCAR names.
  • An entire half-inning full of NASCAR names
  • Who is getting arrested for what when we go to Vegas for Carlos's 21st?

Inning 7

  • Music Producers
  • Andy does the recap for inning 7 from here: "no one cares about the game." (In reference for more obscure musical discussion in a crucial game situation.)
  • What does the parachat recap mean in your life?
    • Evidently, way more than it should. Good grief, now I feel the obligation to use my awesome power wisely.
  • Suggestions about self-produced chat recaps.
  • Carlos: let's talk about two-legged canadian cats who like to hop between justin timberlake's nuts after he makes love to rosie o'donnell with ricky lake watching and mark grace smoking a doobie while he talks on the cellphone with abe alvarez, former Red Sox prospect who flamed out and recently got DFA'd. alvarez, by the way, pitched with his cap crooked because he only had one eye.
  • Mister Whipple: I, Transmission, think you are totally awesome.
  • CT Steve: and I think you are, too.
  • There, now leave me alone.
  • Bad polar bear jokes. They're still better than no polar bear jokes

Inning 8

  • Apologizing to Mrs. Andy for the polar bear joke.
  • "The day you were born"jokes.
  • Hog Thunder.
  • Fighting for exclusive rights to parachat sounds
  • We get a special celebrity guest, whose name shall be withheld to protect the soft and squishy recapper.
  • and then scare him away.
  • PENIS!
  • and a second celebrity joins. Frankie Valli!
  • BEES!
  • God, it's a plague of H-list celebrities.
  • This, this is why we can't have nice things.
  • Birds that eat ticks off of hippos.

Inning 9

  • Am I the Dick Cheney of Parachat? (yes.)
  • Sneezing yourself into injury and incontinence.
  • Whipple wants us to know that this game was produced by Brian Eno.


Oh yeah: Cubs' record in games recapped moves to 6-2. 




I'm blushing.

And, by the way, damn that Skip Schumaker guy. He has at least 3 walk-off hits for the Cardinals this year.

And nice job Trans, good laughs.

Trans, your pandering to me will NOT get me to support your attempt at a secret TCR coup against Rob.

I am not above accepting the blatant pander. (Suspend the TCR corner gas tax!) Thanks, Trans.

Suicide averted... for today.

BTW, next month is Carlos' 21st birthday.

Whoops.  Typo corrected.

Uh, hi, Trans. I've been doing some thinking, and I've got some ideas to improve the chat recap. I got it right here. (pulls out a piece of paper) One, Chad needs to be louder, angrier, and have access to a time machine. Two, whenever Chad's not onscreen, all the other characters should be asking "Where's Chad"?

We usually skip the "Where's Chad" and jump straight to the "which dudes The Chad would like to have as man-slaves" discussion.

I like Drew Barrymore's question better: "What is a Chad?"

I also like Drew Barrymore better than a Chad.

I appreciate yet another fine Futurama reference, there.

Trans you know how much i show love for Futurama but that was straight up Simpsons.

I'll bring in some Futurama tomorry.

wow, my mistake.  And like every Futurama episode , I've also seen that episode at least a half dozen times....  I'm getting old.

Chad has to go; his planet needs him.

(Yes, Chad comes from another planet.)

Yes, I certainly do! Hello there, TCR. I know there's a lot of people who don't like me and wish I would go away. I think we got off on the wrong foot. I know I can come off a little proactive, and for that I'm sorry. But if everyone could find a place in their hearts for the little poster that nobody wanted, I know we can make them laugh and cry until we grow old together.

You guys got me to read through that entire Simpsons script and then go back and read the comments again that were lifted from the Simpsons episode. It was very funny and it made me laugh. But I still want those 10 minutes of my life back....

aww man...brian eno being discussed and i missed it.

oh yeah, good for that cubs win, too.

Surprising Stat #1:

DLEE and A-Ram go 0-22 combined in the series

Surprising Stat #2

The Cubs go 8-2 in last ten in light of Surprising Stat#1


On the bright side... They're due.

You can credit much of it to sub .200 hitting Soriano.

Oh wait my bad the .295 hitting, 10 HR, 25 RBI Soriano now.

10 games can really shut up the non-believers in a hurry.

If you prefer me to keep bitching when one of the worst hot-and-cold players in the league (one who get paid like one of the game's elite) is hot, I can accommodate.

But need I ask if your mouth shall be shut the next time he pulls a 2-for-44? It's a long season.

I think we all knew what we were getting with Soriano.

I think we all knew what we were getting with MikeC.

Comment redacted for the betterment of all concerned parties.

Testing. Do the comment numbers change whenever a comment is inserted in a nested string?

Why YES it seems that they do.

that kinda defeats the purpose then

yeah, they're not working they way they should...

I think I speak for everyone when I say...

Let's take this junk on the road.

Umm yeah i will never shut my mouth because I understand that players go up and down during the season. I don't throw a hissy fit in the slump assuming they will never recover and need to be benched or whatever stupid non-sense was going on during that stretch with Soriano.

Not saying you said any of those things John Beasly, but if you did....well then your ignorant.

One thing the naysayers can never get wrong is that a player will eventually suck. One day you will be correct and feel vindicated. I call it the Sammy Sosa Syndrome. But then again thats like predicting one day all of us are gonna die.

He may be lousy one day, but it isnt going to be this year. Sorry maybe another year.....

Pie now 0-for-12 at Iowa, Fuld now 0-for-14 at Tenn. Colvin hitting about .240 at Tenn.

Yeesh. I don't think we can afford to hate Edmonds -- we need him. Maybe we should offer him a contract extension.

The amazing thing about the Lee/Ram 0-for-22 -- the Pirates started 3 mediocre lefties in the series!

Hope they find their strokes in Houston.

I thought our division was supposed to suck?

edmonds costs the cubs 1/4 million bucks and a roster space.

pie's getting regular AB's after barely working...he's barely 23...whatever...let him work it out where he can cuz lou doesn't seem to want to play sink/swim with him on the pro club.

fuld or pie...or edmonds...

i could live with fuld. was kinda sick of seeing a legit kid prospect (pie) not even getting the split matchups for starts as much as i expected he would...

got edmonds, though...whatever...hope it works. if not the cubs are back where they were and no penalty for it (unless edmonds does something(s) REALLY stupid while here).

Remember a couple of years ago when Ronny Cedeno was one of the worst players in the Majors? Since then, it seems like he is making better use of his skills as he makes adjustments and continues to learn himself.

Should we expect the same developmental curve from Pie? I wouldn't mind him spending most of the year playing CF and putting up poor offensive numbers in Chicago. At the very least, Pie would bat 245/271/339 (610 OPS), which is what Cedeno did in his first year.

What would happen if Pie was offered the same opportunity as Cedeno?

I don't necessarily disagree with your idea, but I'm curious why Cedeno's rookie line of 245/271/339 is being established as "the very least" for Pie.

His career line in the show is 217/275/321, which is a 596 OPS. His small sample size line this year is 222/286/286 for a 572 OPS. How bad is too bad? A 550? 500? Worse?

You have to draw a line somewhere and make a decision that catastrophic failure is not allowed. Not saying that we're there yet, but the decision has to be made.

He also played on a team that almost lost 100 games. This team can't afford a learning process.

Reed Johnson:

Jim Edmonds:

Felix Pie:

Yeah, the alternatives to Pie are sure setting the world on fire.
The Cubs are scoring a ton of runs, the black hole in CF notwithstanding.
Pie at least deserved a shot. Not a month, not a week, not every 3rd game, then 2 in a row, then a week off.
Look at the game logs.

I repeat, I hope they trade Pie, and he jams it to the Cubs for the next 12 seasons. I'd rather see that than see his career get torpedoed the way it is now.

"I repeat, I hope they trade Pie, and he jams it to the Cubs for the next 12 seasons. I'd rather see that than see his career get torpedoed the way it is now."

What an asinine thing to say. Are you a Cubs fan?

Pie is NOT ready as an MLB everyday player. He was "given" the starting role, and has hitting issues. Period. In six weeks + of starts, he struck out one of three times up. How is this helping the team? Reed Johnson had the highest RISP average on the team as of Saturday - it is not a fair comparison what you show above.

Pie also is hitless in the minors in two games. It is NOT his fault that he is not ready for Prime Time at the plate yet. However, for whatever reason, he is an EASY target for pitchers at the MLB level and is an automatic out.

The kid is 23 years old and will get it together (I hope). He obviously is immensely talented - but do I wish him to be traded and "stick it to us for 12 years" - why would I, or any other Cub fan want this?!

In six weeks + of starts

Umm... what?

Pie only played in a total of 30 games. He only started 15 of those games. I am pretty sure that 15 games does not equal to 6+ weeks of starts.

Pie also is hitless in the minors in two games.


You say that as if 2 games are really meaningful.

"Whatever dude." Buy your own team and do as you wish.

If he produced WHEN HE HAD THE OPPORTUNITIES, and didn't strike out a THIRD OF THE TIME, he would still be up with the big club.

The team has been scuffling along pretty well without him.


Also, telling someone to "buy [their] own team" is retarded. Why even have a Cubs blog, then? Should management never be criticized?

No more "retarded" (great choice of words) than to say, "I hope he gets traded and sticks it to the Cubs for 12 years..."

I never said "management should never get criticized", did I?

Just not in this case. They did the correct thing with a struggling player/

Letting the guy rot on the bench and then shipping him to Iowa, where he has nothing to prove, is the "correct thing"?

Yeah, because the Cubs clearly have a proven record of developing position players...

But hey, I guess I outta just "buy my own team", right?

Furthermore, the same could be said of Soriano in March/April, or DLee in May.

The point is that Pie was not really given a fair chance. 15 starts is horseshit.

Well, we'll agree to disagree.

You nor I do not know the behinds the scenes efforts that have been going on including the off-season work that was being done with the player through Von Joshua and Gerald Perry (who promotes "attacking the zone" - not the pitch). The staff obviously has been looking for consistent improvement in the techniques that they have dedicated a lot of resources to - for one player - that has not taken place yet.

So, this has been going on for a while - not just "15 games", as you say.

To compare Pie's lack of slack given to a proven superstar such as Soriano, who has many seasons worth of success at the MLB level, is ludacris.

"Whatever dude."

I don't necessarily disagree with you on Pie.

I just think that people shouldn't make shit up when trying to prove a point.

Point taken. As is USING CAPS! LOL!

A quick scan of the Tennessee Smokies reveal that the majority of the Cubs and BA highly touted minor leaguers are apparently also hitting challenged. Some of the players, however, have shown nice OBP.

Kyle Reynolds .254
Nate Spears .253 .645 4
Jake Fox .244 .770 0
Robinson Chirinos.243 .673 4
Tyler Colvin .242 .696 0
Francisco Salas .227 .580 1
Ryan Harvey .216 .637 0

Oh - Sam Fuld, .000 14 ABs

I tried to find the Peoria Chiefs current stats, but could only find 2007...

E-Man -- those are OBPs?

BA's + slugging...

you can find the Peoria stats, as well as the others, at

"I repeat, I hope they trade Pie, and he jams it to the Cubs for the next 12 seasons."

Note the apparent over the top self - loathing here; it's almost as if the commenter actually wants the Cubs to fail, regardless of the consequences. A clever alias for the late and not lamented Silent Towel, perhaps?

Dmac: You could be on to something here! ST in disguise?

Nah, Dusty Baylor's been around a long time. Long before ST raised his trollish head. There are a lot of angry Cubs fans out there that would echo sentiments like these.

Yes but based on that comment about Pie sticking it to us for 12 years, he is more aptly named a Pie fan and NOT a Cubs fan. What true Cubs fan would wish harm to his own team for a prolonged period of time?

HA HA! True, dat.

Well who doesn't like Pie?

I especially like pie with ice cream on top.

It's not just the numbers -- it's how you get the numbers. Pie is putting up terrible numbers because he appears to be ridiculously overmatched at the plate. He takes ugly swings at ugly pitches every time I see him out there. The "just let him play" strategy isn't going to do anything to fix that.

According to some here, he doesn't have "terrible numbers". He's as good as the other options. He should keep struggling for another two months and flail away, so he can "work out his difficulties" at the expense of the rest of his team.

Honestly, we are not losing too much with Reed Johnson's defense either, imo. He's been a human web gem in CF so far.

He's been a human web gem in CF so far.

Are you watching the same Reed Johnson that I have been watching? A "human web gem?" Seriously?

You just like disagreeing to disagree. Fine. And I'm not :making shit up". Did you miss "The Catch" in D.C.? Have you been to any games and seen his route to the balls in-person? Or the speed he has shown catching up to balls hit to deep CF? My guess is not.

Reed Johnson has played excellent defense and made ESPN web gems on two occasions so far this season. What more do you want Lobitsky?

Not real sure the Reed Johnson we've seen play center is an accurate representation of how Reed Johnson has played center throughout the previous years of his career. That said, I do agree that he's been spectacular to this point in 2008. His arm isn't obviously quite what Pie's is, but his OPS is also 150 points higher.

He's also hitting righties better than Felix (50 point OPS difference in favor of Reed since '05), which means it doesn't make any sense to platoon... unless your first priority is developing prospects.

Nothing wrong with that, but there are a lot of Cub fans who putting winning at a higher priority than babying a kid with no clue about how breaking balls react when they get close to the strike zone.


I used to be favor of allowing Pie to develop slowly over the early part of the season - but his appearances at the plate belie any evidence of improvement regarding his approach to hitting. It's a similar argument for Hill's demotion - either figure it out in a venue where you can't unduly hurt the club's chances, or don't expect to see Wrigley again for awhile.


t's a similar argument for Hill's demotion - either figure it out in a venue where you can't unduly hurt the club's chances, or don't expect to see Wrigley again for awhile.

Are you talking about Rich or Bobby?

Meanwhile, more nutty stuff from our man Dusty:

He has Adam Dunn attempt a sac bunt, even though Dunn's only successfully done so about two times during his entire career. So after two failed attempts Dunn swings away and hits the homer to win the game. Brilliant!

Didn't Encarnacion do that same thing just a few weeks ago? I think it was referenced on Fire Joe Morgan (as one of the announcers was discussing how Encarnacion wasn't a "clutch" player right before he hit the bomb).

haha. knowing Dusty he probably told the media that he ordered Dunn to fake 2 bunt attempts then swing for the fences.

Hopefully not 3/44. White Sox Scouting directer caught skimming Latin bonus money

Very interesting read about the next Japanese phenom (Yu Darvish) expected to come to the MLB. Also a lot of good stuff in there about Japanese baseball and player development.

Good point. I am now submitting my bid for the Chicago Cubs. I will pay $1000 cash money. I am excited about this new Cub season, and hope to be a part of it.

"Web Gem" Johnson, who I like as a 4th OF type, has played 95 games in his career in CF, 408 in LF, and 197 in RF. He is a nice player who will help you, but if played too much, will end up being exposed. Should I be thrilled that our current CF has career #'s of .279/.342/.405? Gee...put him in the HOF. He made a nice catch, and he also made what may be the greatest catch I've ever seen. It was truly amazing. That being said, I am going to remain convinced that this lineup can handle Felix Pie in it. His "opportunities" are hilarious. Of course he looks overmatched. Sometimes, he is...sometimes, he's neve been allowed to get into a rhythm....look at the game logs to check the inconsistency of his "opportunities." 2007 through June 14, he was at .268/.314/.433. Not great, but certainly decent enough for a rookie. He nosedived, for sure over the next 8 games, dropping him to .227/.275/.367. He then got 2 starts over the next 11 games. He started 4 in a row, going 4/17 with 2 doubles after a month in AAA. From Aug 14 to Sept 30, he got 2 starts. Ok.

It is not that I feel Felix Pie is going to be a star. He may be a bust. But playing your "best OF prospect" this way is no way to find out. For crying out loud, everyone's favorite target K-orey Patterson got 1950 at bats or so before the Cubs shipped him to Baltimore.

He deserved a shot, not to be shot.

Jim Edmonds....(shudder)

Oh, and E-Man:

"He was "given" the starting role, and has hitting issues. Period. In six weeks + of starts, he struck out one of three times up."
Pie has 15 games started this year. The Cubs have played 44.
He basically got the first week of the season, and then it was back to doing the LouPa shuffle.

Of course I'm a Cub fan. I just don't see Reed Johson or Jim Edmonds as a long term solution in Center Field. If the Cubs thouoght that he wasn't ready, or planned on giving him such a pathetic excuse for a shot, then they should have just traded Pie.
God help Soto if he stops hitting at all...

I don't think writing someone's name on the lineup card means that they are "long term solutions." Both players are unsigned after this year. They are not long term solutions.

It may be that part of Lou's impatience with Pie stems from the fact that even after spending numerous personalized hitting sessions with him, he still hasn't apparently absorbed what the club's trying to teach him. I don't remember Lou doing that with any Cubs player before Pie, and he had a good rep as a hitting instructor for many years after he retired as an active player.

So take it for what it's worth, but Lou doesn't like what he sees so far, and for the most part his player judgements have been accurate over the past season and a quarter. Couple that with rumours of Pie's off - field activities, and you've got a recipe for impatience from any manager. If he's going to do the nightlife scene, he better play his arse off when he gets the chance.

So...Pie is the Cubs supposedly future CF.

2006 at AAA:
.283/.341/.451, 15HR, 57 RBI, 33 2B, 8 3B, 46BB/126K

2007 at AAA:
.362/.410/.563, 9 HR, 43 RBI, 9 2B, 3 3B, 19BB/40K

So he will be ready...when exactly?

Crunch, this is your cue to mention DuBois.

He'll be ready when that K:BB ratio doesn't look as horrendous, even in AAA. If he's striking out more than twice as often as he walks in the minors, it's just going to get even worse in the bigs.

126 K's in AAA for a guy with 15 HR Power?

Felix Pie just doesn't seem to have any concept of controlling the strike-zone. Couple that with the fact that he has real problems making consistent contact. Add to that the fact that he might think he is Soriano 2.0, yet without 1/2 the power that Fonzie possesses. It's just not a good combination for a young player to have. As much as some people dig on Soriano. He still brings TONS of power to the table. However who here would be willing to deal with Soriano's antics if he had 10-15 HR power? That's the boat Felix is in right now.


I give. I'm sure Pie is a bust.

I'm not saying he's a bust yet. I'm just saying that he isnt ready. Maybe if he didnt spend 2 months last year on the MLB bench he'd be ready now. However just because the guy had 229 good at bats last year in AAA, does not mean he is ready. Especially considering the hitting climate in Des Moines last year. Let the guy prove he can hit with 500 AAA at bats 1st. Then we can declare him ready or Bust.

I don't believe that anyone said that was the case in this thread. Nobody can prove that.

But, you're one of the very few who continues to say that he's definitely not a bust. I don't think you can prove that either.

I don't understand why you feel like the final decision on the career path a 23 year old, who has been suspect to development problems soon after being promoted at nearly every level, must be made RIGHT NOW. Why?

1) Please show me where I say "Pie is definitely not a bust."
2) When developing a player to be your CF, do you give him a 2 month window (2007) to prove himself, and then start yo-yo'ing him to Iowa, the bench, etc?
3)It is not like Pie got promoted at every level by hitting .250, with 15 doubles and 5 HR's. He hit well at every level. 2190 at bats, .300/.358/.468.

I am saying that the way they have gone about developing him is silly at best, and that to label him a bust is wrong, especially considering how he has been "developed."

You put words in everyone else's mouth. Show me where one person told you today that Pie was a bust. Yet you seem to think that's the conclusion we've all reached.

Last post on Pie for today.

My point is this:
If you are going to have him as your CF, then play him...consistently, for the next 3 months, sitting against some left handed pitching.
If you are not going to play him, leave him at Iowa and I'm sure that the Cubs will give him a shot in 2011 or so when he's "ready."

Pie did struggle upon promotion in the minors:
2002 rookie ball: .321/.385/.569
2003 Lansing Lo-A: .285/.346/.388
2004 Daytona Hi-A: .297/.358/.441
2005 West Tenn AA: .304/.349/.554 (59 games-injury)
2006 AAA Iowa: .283/.341/.451
2007 AAA Iowa: .362/.410/.563

A clear case of struggling on promotion at every level?

229 at bats last year in Iowa.

That's like me saying that Alfonso Soriano has struggled at times this season, and then you go "well, he doesn't look like he's struggling to me, he's hitting 296/328/592." Not really what I was working towards, there.

I think the deciding factor is that Lou -- having spent a fair amount of time working with the kid -- doesn't like what he sees.

He knows it's unfair to expect Pie to make changes to his swing/approach while still adjusting to MLB pitching. Lou apparanly doesn't think Pie can succeed at the MLB level right now.

If the Cubs really want him to make changes, we should expect him to struggle at Iowa while he works on these changes. Once he is swinging/thinking the way Lou thinks he should, he will be ready to test that new swing/aprpoach vs. MLB pitching.

If he can be ready to contribute after the A/S break -- when we will know more about Edmonds -- I think that would be a good outcome.

Good point BillyBucks.

That's one in a row for me.

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  • soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*

    crunch 2 hours ago view
  • Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.

    Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh

    Eric S 2 hours 1 min ago view
  • that runner scores on a single...

    The E-Man 2 hours 12 min ago view
  • So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?

    jacos 2 hours 13 min ago view
  • And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??

    The E-Man 2 hours 13 min ago view
  • Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...

    The E-Man 2 hours 21 min ago view
  • Such is the life of a fatted calf...

    JoePepitone 2 hours 35 min ago view
  • fowler with a triple in the 4th...he's a HR away from a "natural" cycle

    crunch 3 hours 7 min ago view
  • ...and contreras takes one off the hand and he's in obvious pain. sigh.

    he's staying in the game, though he's wringing his hand out during breaks in the action. aside from that he seems to have no issue giving signs or tossing back to the pitcher.

    ...and he's batting in the cubs half of the following inning. sweet.

    crunch 3 hours 11 min ago view
  • his collapse started on august 21st this it's a slight improvement.

    but wow, what a collapse since then...only 2 out of 7 can be considered good/decent.

    crunch 3 hours 23 min ago view
  • I'm really going to enjoy watching Hammel watch the playoffs.

    Jackstraw 3 hours 42 min ago view
  • The always combustible Jason Hammel

    jacos 4 hours 2 min ago view
  • Hammel :(

    Charlie 4 hours 4 min ago view
  • That was fun.

    Charlie 7 hours 3 min ago view
  • "home field advantage through the playoffs?"

    Except for the away games.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 16 min ago view
  • Eh, I read it as tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek. VEB seems to have good heads on their shoulders.

    Brick 8 hours 24 min ago view