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.


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).

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:

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

from the Trib:

"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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  • I can relate to that, E-Man. I don't think I'll enjoy watching a high-stakes away game like this on TV. I've watched a lot of games this season after they ended or at least after the Cubs got out to a decent lead. Since they usually win, I've gotten to see a lot of baseball.

    But in this case I think we should probably all watch the game live, and not let the pressure exceed the pleasure.

  • Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!

  • Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.

    Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.

  • Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.

  • Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories. 

    And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around! 

  • CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!

    I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.

  • You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.

    BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.

  • oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.

  • Not surprised about Lester but bit surprised about Hendricks. Guessing that if something happens to Arietta right away they go to Lester but if they've burned relievers and are in extra innings they go to Hendricks.

  • My kids' 8:30pm (ET) bed time will be waived tonight (They are Rizzo & Castro fans). We'll get geared up in our Cubs apparel and will watch this as a family. I am stoked. Go Cubs!

  • Bryant: Base running adventures.

  • Remember Bryant's home-away splits, too.

    Wrigley: 21 HR, 59 RBI, .311/.408/.629
    Road: 5 HR, 40 RBI, .243/.333/.360

  • Good Lord this season has flown by so far. I need more Cubs gifs--the four on the article today are not enough. I need a 100 best moments of the season listicle of gifs.
    Rizzo: The slide, the catch.
    Russell: All the defense.
    Bryant: Pelting the video board.
    Soler: 125 MPH ground balls.
    Schwarber: DINGERS, surprising LF catches.
    Fowler: Walks, the many walks he should have had on 3-2 BS strike calls.
    Baez: That 3B play.
    Ross: Walk-up music? Bullpen appearance?
    Denorfia: Walk-off.
    Castro: Walk-offs.

  • No evidence other than 8 hits and 0 HR in 45 AB....

    I just think hitters like their routines -- think Boggs or Ted Williams -- and messing with that routine adds an element of change. I want my best hitters in their normal routines.

  • evidently i was busy burying context and meaning.

    i was excited about this playoff season kicking up in the drama of that environment, but it was stated insanely muddled.

  • Woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep in excitement/anticipation. Go Cubs Go!