Despite Monday's Results, the Cubs and Dodgers Like 'em Loaded

Monday's tense victory over the Dodgers might have been much less so if the Cubs had capitalized on a bases loaded/one out situation in the last of the sixth inning. Instead Chad Billingsley turned Kosuke Fukudome's hard groundball back to the mound into a snappy, 1-2-3, inning-ending double play.

In general, the Cubs offense, which remains the highest-scoring in the NL at 5.7 R/G, has held up its end of the workload in 2008. It's certainly been true in the precise situation that Fukudome found himself.

According to numbers presented at Bill James Online (subscription required),

the Cubs have faced a bases loaded/one out scenario 28 times this season and subsequently produced 55 runs. That's about 22% above the average for all of MLB this year.

Relatvely speaking, the Cubs are even more lethal with the bases jammed and two out. From 33 such opportunities, the Cubs have generated 40 runs--about 54% above the MLB average.

Of course, when it came to missing couldn't-miss scoring opportunities Monday afternoon, the Dodgers took the day: in both the sixth and eighth innings, they filled the bases with one out, yet came away empty both times. This, too, is uncharacteristic. So far this season, the Dodgers have out-produced the rest of baseball by about 12% when the bags are loaded with one out. And when there are two out? The Dodgers have tallied 53 runs in 26 chances. That's 158% above the MLB average.

I'm glad I didn't know any of this while driving around and listening to Pat Hughes Monday afternoon. The game was nerve-racking enough.

Comments

Forgive me if it's 3/44, but ex-Cub Jeremi Gonzalez died at age 33. Struck by lightning. (Twice, I guess, if you count the lightning in a bottle that struck him in his one good cub season).

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-obit-geremigonzalez&prov=ap&type=lgns

I believe he had changed his spelling to Geremi. FWIW

Rest in peace.

jorge bell approves.

Huh. I thought the story had it wrong.

from the Sun-Times:

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/97143...

Outfielder/pinch hitter Daryle Ward hoped to be cleared to take batting practice today for the first time since having an epidural May 19 to relieve pain caused by a bulging disc. He has done limited conditioning exercises since then and said his goal is to return from the disabled list as close as possible to his eligible return date of Thursday. Manager Lou Piniella, though, said, ''I think it'll be a while.''

Helplessly Hoping...in Iowa (Pie, Murt, EPat, Hill, Marshall)
que CSN&Y...

from the Trib:
http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/bas...

"They're changing something with my swing and my stance [getting his leg kick down sooner without dropping his hands too quickly] and I'm going to be better. The GM and Lou told me when I feel good and comfortable I'll be back. But right now I don't think I'll be back soon."

...felix pie

is this kid well adjusted to his situation or what?

about time the trib brought some literature that isn't "dumbed down" too...nice to see an article written like this every once in a while.]

btw, be sure to check out the detailed murton comments.

Wow. A good article from the Trib? It makes me wish Melissa Isaacson would take over Paul Sullivan's job.

Seconded. Not only was that article well-written, but she actually managed to get meaningful, interesting quotes out of those guys. Maybe it helps that they're away from the big city media, but I can't remember ever reading an article with that many quotes that didn't sound completely manufactured.

Well done, Melissa Isaacson. Also, I wish Carol Slezak would take some notes on how to be a female sports journalist without turning every article into an issue of gender.

I wish Carol Slezak would take some notes on how to be a female sports journalist

You say this as if being a female sports journalist is any different than being a male journalist...

It is.

It is far different when you are playing to a predominantly male audience as it is when your readership is closer to 50/50.

It's also different because she has no Twig and Berries

A conversation about good female sports journalists and no mention of Carrie Muskat....

....being replaced?

Probably because it *is* different.

One facet of Doug's point is that a well-written article shouldn't have you thinking about the gender of the author. I've seen cases where both men and women gender-type their articles. The cases where women do it are more annoying to me since I'm a guy; I would imagine the reverse might be true for female readers.

I also find that a lot of female journalists have problems finding their niche, fitting into a male-dominated field. Too many of them write fluff pieces (perhaps that's what they're assigned?). Some try to be chatty (especially radio media) and try to relate to the predominately male audience as a friendly voice. To me, the more successful women in the field are those who simply do solid reporting. And Erin Andrews, who might do solid reporting, but somehow I never quite hear what she's saying. 8)

Reading this article, I had no idea whether this was a male or female journalist. I just knew it was well-written, which is both rare and refreshing. More, please.

I'm not saying being a female sports journalist is fundamentally different than being a male sports journalist, but hacky journalists like Slezak tend to bring their own agendas/biases into reporting (I could say the same about people like Stephen A. Smith/race or Jay Mariotti/decent haircuts, etc).

Also, sports journalism is predominantly male. It might not be different, but it is much harder to be a female sports journalist, and the best way to earn respect is to write interesting articles with real information, rather than stir the pot with bullshit about Ozzie's blow-up dolls.

I could have said "I wish Carol Slezak would take some notes on how to be a GOOD sports journalist," but in her case gender is an issue and that's why I mentioned it.

Maybe it's the dearth of good female sports journalists (the only decent one I can think of is Jemele Hill), but to be honest, after I read the article I checked the byline and was a bit surprised that it was written by a woman. I suppose that might make me somewhat sexist, but at least I can recognize that initial reaction as unfair.

but hacky journalists like Slezak tend to bring their own agendas/biases into reporting

Sure... but as you admit, this has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with being a hack.

but in her case gender is an issue and that's why I mentioned it.

I still have no idea how Slezak's gender is the issue. She doesn't wrote good content. That would remain true regardless of her gender.

And I'm saying that it is entirely possible for her to have a hard time relating stories to men. Men communicate very differently to each other than we do with women. It may be hard for her to reach her audience.

Can we agree on that she sucks?

Yea - no problem saying that. :)

OK, so it's not that her gender is an issue per se, but the fact that she constantly brings gender into the equation when it's either not warranted or simply used to attempt to make a salacious story.

Male, female whatever. A hack is a hack.

...or in CSlezak's case of 0/0

In other news, tonight's game is on ESPN. Dave O'Brien & Sut. Maybe we'll have an Erin Andrews sighting...

For those not in town --

It is a horrible night for baseball. Current temp is about 45, with a wind from the north about 20 mph gusting to 30mph.

I know it's a horrible night for baseball because my son has a Little League game at the lake front in about an hour. Hopefully, some father will remember to bring a flask. This is nuts.

This spring sucks donkey balls. Yesterday it was 80 and today 45? Unreal.

news flash:

the weather in chicago sucks!

Worst January-May stretch in a long, long time. Consistently miserable, even by Chicago standards. But, no tornados or earthquakes -- could be much worse.

And yet, despite the weather, both Chicago teams are in first place. Curious.

You think Hitler is enjoying a nice ice skate right now?

Probably in Millennium Park. I can't imagine Hell being much worse than Chicago this winter/spring.

Per Gordon Wittenmyer:

Soriano LF
Fontenot 2b
Lee 1b
Ramirez 3b
Fukudome RF
Edmonds CF
Soto C
Cedeno SS
Gallagher P

Why wouldn't we do Soto 6th and Edmonds 7th to break up the lefties? Also, I was really hoping they'd give Soriano's bad legs the day off with a really cold day today (for you non-Chicago residents, it's supposed to be in the upper 40's tonight).

Recent comments

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  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 53 min 59 sec ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 16 hours 4 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 16 hours 10 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 16 hours 15 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 16 hours 26 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 16 hours 38 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 17 hours 3 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 17 hours 43 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 18 hours 55 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 19 hours 12 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 19 hours 16 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 20 hours 1 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 1 day 52 min ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 1 day 3 hours ago view