Game 52 Thread / Dodgers @ Cubs (2 of 3)

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SP Hiroki Kuroda SP Sean Gallagher
  2-3, 3.48, 34 K, 18 BB, 62 IP
1-1, 5.68, 14 K, 8 BB, 19 IP
       
LF *Juan Pierre LF Alfonso Soriano
SS Luis Maza 2B *Mike Fontenot
RF *Andre Ethier 1B Derrek Lee
2B Jeff Kent 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B *James Loney RF *Kosuke Fukudome
CF Matt Kemp CF *Jim Edmonds
3B *Blake DeWitt C Geovany Soto
C Danny Ardoin SS Ronny Cedeno
P Hiroki Kuroda P Sean Gallagher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you've probably heard by now, the Cubs are pretty good at home. 20-8 which seems like the best record, but is actually third behind the Red Sox and Braves and tied with the Rays. One of the many reasons for that 20-8 record, is the collective 308/390/498 batting line by the team at Wrigley.

But that isn't stopping Lou from tinkering with the Cubs lineup today. Ryan Theriot (.154 batting average over the last 7 days) and Mark DeRosa (.381 BA over the last 7 games) sit in favor of Mike Fontenot and Ronny Cedeno. And Geovany Soto (.182 BA over the last 7 days) and Jim Edmonds (.150 as a Cub) flip spots. What does it all mean? Probably nothing more than giving some of the bench players a few at-bats and some time off with the day game following the night game tomorrow. (Of course that theory only holds true if tomorrow was a day game...nuts!)

On the pitching side, it's Japanese phenom (because all Japanses players in the majors are called phenoms) Hiroki Kuroda for the Dodgers, who has been enjoying some early success. For the Cubs, Sean Gallagher is going to try and throw less hanging curveballs in crucial situations, as he tries to keep his starting spot.

On a sadder note, Vin Scully seems to have not made the trip to Chicago, so I'm forced to listen to Charlie Steiner and Steve Lyons do the call out here in Los Angeles.

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Comments

So THAT'S where Charlie Steiner went.

As mentioned in the other thread -- may be a good night for pitchers. It's absolutely freezing, with a 15-20mph wind blowing in from the NE. For those who attend, I hope it's a quick one.

I think tomorrow is a night game as well.

balls...you are correct, sir.

Rob, check ESPN. They're supposed to be carrying the game tonight as well.

oh right...is that suppose to better though? if it's Morgan or Phillips, that does me no good.

Rumor says it's supposed to be O'Brien & Sutcliffe, but I haven't been able to confirm. Not optimal, but better than Charlie & Steve or the Joe Morgan express. I wish they had Jon Miller do the broadcasts by himself. Seriously.

Chin-Lung Hu in for the Dodgers...not sure what their lineup is though.

It's Berman and Sut - and I'm already tired of Berman's football references. We get it, by saying it's football weather you are telling us it is cold, I don't to hear it five different ways to figure that out.

but don't you get it? it's cold in chicago and chicago is known for football and bear weather. get it? it's chris berman! he's clever!

That's twice that Soriano would have had an RBI had they been able to successfully bunt the runner (Cedeno both times) over the second. I'm not saying either bunt was good, but Cedeno has to get a better jump at first (at least on the bunt by Gallagher).

This is just anecdotal with no concrete examples to back it up, but it seems like the Cubs have been particularly bad lately on advancing runners via the bunt. They've also been terrible on strike-em out throw-em out scenarios lately.

Edmonds isn't driving off his back leg...at all. It's a miracle he can hit the ball to the outfield on the fly.

At least Pie can hit .200. Time for the punky CF to call it quits.

lol @ Theriot interview & his accent.

I imagine him leaving the clubhouse, and hopping in his diesel Ford dually with the confederate flag in the back window. Yee haw.

that rocked.

and yeah...edmonds just isnt working out.

myself...bring murton back up...screw this lefty/right thing...let r.johnson sink/swim with CF with cedeno as backup (he's seen more than a fair share of practice/minors there).

it'll get cedeno more ab's...bring up a mlb-quality bat in murton...let pie get his AAA ab's to get his swing on track...and with r.johnson, at minimum, you're gonna have tight D in CF (which is about all that edmonds is providing right now at best).

Edmonds now 3-24 as a Cub, I believe.

The "Cardinals double agent" theory is gaining traction. Soon, we can go back to hatign him again.

Go back to hating him? Let him go on a hot streak and carry the team for a couple of weeks and I might have to reexamine. Let him severely injure himself taking one for the team. Until then I have not yet seen anything to change my lowest of low opinions of him.

If the "he's on our time, we should support him" theory were one I got behind I would have never booed Todd Hundley. Let me tell you, I can still feel proud that I did my part to drive that dirtbag out of town (may his lineage never step foot on a diamond, feh!).

The sooner we release Edmonds, the happier I'll be.

Lou drunk already...

I love having a codger for a manager.

"I don't remember how we scored that first run, how'd we score the first run?"

That last play by Lee is under-appreciated because it was the last play of the game and we all expect Lee to make those plays. It was nice, tho.

The only thing that could make that 7th inning better is that while he was in the booth with Len and Bob, Lasorda had a coronary.

I keed, I keed.

Also why didn't Len ask Tommy about the hookers and lesbo porno?

This may be 3/44, but WATCHOUT:

The Brewers signed Julian Tavarez today.

A reasonable, level-headed addition to any bullpen. Congratulations to the Brew Crew for adding that one ingredient that really will help their team stay cool and persevere.

Yeah, can we go ahead and end the Edmonds era now? It was an interesting little low-risk experiment, but it's not working so much, what with his being a terrible hitter and all.

Also, this is very 3/44 but would someone explain to me the rationale behind the double switch that brought Lee out of the game late on Saturday? Was it just a result of overthinking? It seems like Lou could have simply brought in the new pitcher, left Lee in the game, and then pinch hit Blanco for the pitcher next time around and left Blance in for Lee at that point. Or instead of pinch hitting Blanco, just let the pitcher bat for himself next time around, rather than insert the large offensive and defensive downgrade (Blanco for Lee). This may have already been discussed but I really don't know what Lou was doing there.

May 27 and the Chicago Cubs have the best record in MLB. Good times.

to judge if he can hit. Pie admits he has no confidence hitting in AAA. Hoffpauir has only a few games at RF in AAA under his belt, and Reed wont hit RHP as well as he has for the entire season. So its not like we have better options at the moment. I wish Griifey would just get 2 more HRs, so Jocketty would deal him. Most realistically at this moment I smell another 3 team deadline deal for Jimbo and Theo, with Crisp and a SP to the Cubs, a RHP 8th inning type set-up guy, RHOF who can spell Drew and Ellsbury, AA or A ball SP prospect, some Cubs prospects to the 3rd team.

to see how Bruce did, and I came across this: Cueto: 5 IP, 118 pitches. As for the game today it was nice to see Gallagher looking like he can lock down the 4th spot in the rotation and that we can manufature runs on a night that will resemble October weather wise.

Yeah, in an ideal scenario, Sean steadies himself in the 5th spot, Hill ressurects in 4 spot, and finally Marquis is traded for some self-confidence books for Soriano.

Stupid idea, I'm sure, but would it make any sense to compile a glossary of the TCR lexicon for newcomers? I can only imagine that 3/44, Chadball, and gay witchcraft could all be a little confusing.

I am firmly against this idea. Part of a rookie hazing ritual is to learn this stuff. I frequent other sports related boards that have their own lexicons and I had to figure them out myself.

unless you are looking to launch, BCB2, which is all things to all Cub fans (with a rosy-colored outlook, always).

Then, we can have a glossary for OBP, ERA, OPS, OOPS, RISP, and "clutch hitter".

Nah, I have no desire to explain the basics of baseball, just the basics of our special brand of insanity. Forget it. It was a dumb idea.

Oh come on Chad, tell the truth. You just don't want the new guys calling you gay.

and don't forget "8/136." I went to the Cubs series here in Pittsburgh this weekend. The friday blowout was OK; [did anybody ever address the trivia question of the last pitcher to go 4-for-5? ]

but the rest of the series- bllaaggghhh. It was a very 8/136 weekend. I've been self-medicating with alcohol since then.

Cubs and Rays tied for best record.

weather report:

Hell

Current: 33F

Forecast: Near freezing, dropping below freezing overnight. Snow expected overnight which could accumulate 20+ inches by September. Travel advisory in effect.

HA!

Absolutely!

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/97363...

Sun-Times, Wittenmeyer says Ward took BP, and his imminent return will put pressure on Edmonds. Not sure how that works other than Micah Hoffpauir is 4-10.

Edmonds 3-24, Iowa's switch hitting CF Andres Torres could do that.
Still, I expect Edmonds experiment (unless he starts to hit) will last through June.

Hey -- don't forget -- Edmonds has also walked once. The guy's an OBP machine.

OBP question -- does reaching on an error boost a player's OBP? In theory, it should, since the runenr is on base becasue he put the ball in play. However, I've never seen that stat (reached by error) anywhere.

No, only hits, walks, and HBP are counted - reaching on error, fielder's choice, dropped 3rd strike, etc. are not. I'm guessing they don't count errors because they don't want to reward what is essentially making an out.

Is it that unthinkable to bring up Murton. Put him in Right. And Put Kfuk in Center? It seems like Lou/Hendry are making things alot harder than they need to be. Production > Lefthandedness IMHO

Lou said he's already talked to Fukudome about playing center....but right field won't go to Murton right now. You can't have your right fielder hitting like Ryan Theriot.

But I think many would feel that our centerfieler currently hits far worse than Ryan Theriot, so shifting Fukudome and putting a Theriot-like player in RF would be an upgrade, although not a long term solution.

The guy is starting to hit for a little bit of power. Everyone loves Kfuk and he isnt really hitting with any more power than Murton. The only hang-up seems to be Lou and his love of all things lefthanded.

http://firstinning.com/players/Matt-Murton-a/

http://firstinning.com/players/Kosuke-Fukudome-a/

With CF a problem, you'd think if the Cubs had any plans for Murton other than as tradebait, he'd be playing RF for Iowa. But no, he's their left fielder.

Surely you aren't suggesting that this is an organization that sometimes lacks foresight or a cognizant plan are you? Jim Hendry was the baseball coach at MIT.

If there going have Murton learn another postion, it should be Third Base as there is a lack of talent in MLB at that postion right now. His 281/352/438/791 line would have made him the 6th most productive 3b in the NL last year. Other than Aram, Atkins, Chipper, Zimmerman, and Wright is there anyone at 3b you rather have than him in the NL. If you looked at the AL that list is probably Arod, Lowell, Longeria, Crede, Gordon, Guillen, Beltre, and Figgins, that is still about half the teams in the AL.

That's a bit misleading. You are using OPS to rank Murton amongst qualified third basemen last year when he himself didn't have enough at-bats to qualify. If you look at all 3B you find that Jorge Cantu was better, the split of Reynolds and Tracy in Arizona was better, the split of Wiggington and Lamb in Houston was better, Kouzmanoff is about the same but with more power, the Wilson Betemit/Nomar play at third for LA is comparable to Murton, etc.

If Murton were to magically become a good fielding third basemen, he would probably not start over Chipper, Wright, Zimmerman, Cantu, or Feliz in the East, Ramirez, or Encarnacion in the Central, or Kouzmanoff, Reynolds/Tracy, or Atkins in the West. I would also doubt he'd get handed the starting job over Bill Hall, Troy Glaus, or Ty Wiggington, though he'd likely get some playing time for each of those three teams because of the poor play to begin the season by the starters. The only two teams he would immediately start for at third would be Pittsburgh (Buatista) and San Francisco (Castillo) - two of the worst teams in the league.

Murton is better than Encarnion and if Murton played 3rd and was on Hou or MIL they would both put Wiggington and Hall at 2b.

The stats pretty much show Encarnaction and Murton to be a wash. Murton will get on base more and have a slightly higher overall OPS, but Encarnacion will hit more homeruns, more doubles, score more runs, and steal more bases. I also doubt Kaz Matsui would be benched so they could switch Wiggington to second. Now Rickie Weeks has sucked big time this year, so yeah Hall could move over. But more likely, Murton, Hall, and Branyan would just battle it out at 3B with the hot hand playing more.

While we're on the subject of 3rd basemen --

How about a round of applause for Hendry landing (and keeping) A-Ram?

Cubs made the playoffs in 2003, nearly made it in 2004, made it in 2007, and should contend again this year. Without A-Ram, not sure any of that happens.

A remarkable deal -- yes, I know we robbed the small-market Pirates, but other teams had the same chance.

Yeah, since Murt collected his first extra-base hit not too long ago, he now has 7 doubles and a homerun. His OPS for the season has broken .900 and for the month is around .980. Plus he's walked about twice as much as he's struck out. He may have found his stroke again. His batting average and OBP both look great right now, and the slugging percentage is coming around.

I've said this before, but someone needs to collar MM and convince him that he needs to develop his POWER even if it means a drastic drop in his batting average. He has the ability but his approach at the plate in games is primarily just to make contact, not jack the ball.

Many of us said that going into this season, we expected Murton and Fukudome to be very similar offensive players.

I have been surprised at Fukudome's patience, in that I did not expect him to be able to walk as much as he has, but other than the patience we have seen a singles/doubles hitter with very occasional pop.

I think we would see something similar from Murton, but with more power. Obviously Murton does not have the same defensive abilities as Fukudome, and that is significant. But Murton would be a significant upgrade over what this team currently has been throwing out there in CF offensively.

Offensively, yes. But a outfield that contains Soriano in his injured state, Fukudome, and Murton from L-R is a very poor defensive outfield. Can still throw guys out, but they're going to see a lot of balls get by them. Although, I still believe that if Murton wants to hit like a big boy, then it probably equals out to a net positive. But, that's been the sticking point with him the last couple of seasons. Hasn't gone very far in making Lou play him at the big league level. If he could get back to 2006 Matt Murton, then I'd jump on the Dr.aaronb/dave bandwagon.

The hangup could also be that K-Fuk can field his position much better than Murton.

I've got a possible solution if they want to can Edmonds, reading in the local mphs commuist appeal, that Trot Nixon is tearing up Ariz. AAA, team and can't crack the big league,being left-handed and a good corner-outfielder and 33yrs. old, it seems this would be a good possibilty

Yeah, he has an OPS of 1.006 in AAA so far. But his 5-year trend is not very comforting:

2003: .974
2004: .887
2005: .803
2006: .767
2007: .678

To expect anything more than Edmonds would simply be taking another flyer.

I should add though that at least Nixon is not a D-bag, at least not that I have heard.

trot nixon IS murton.

they're both in AAA for the same reason.

How about a round of applause for Hendry landing (and keeping) A-Ram?
================
quick trivia question:

Who played 3B for the Cubs the day before the 7/23/03 trade for ARam?

Answer:

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/box-scores/boxscor...

The answer shows it was a deep dark hole before that trade.

As to why Dusty Baker sucked SOOOOO Bad as a manager in Chicago. He also stopped playing Mark Bellhorn there. Forcing Jim "The Savior" Hendry to ship him to Colorado for the corpse of Jose F'N Hernandez. Giving Jim Hendry credit for taking advantage of Dave Littlefield is akin to High-fiving the jerk that Beats the mentally handicapped in a game of cards.

Nah -- how many other teams wish they had A-Ram right now?

Hendry took advantage while the competition didn't.

This one is a huge plus on the Hendry ledger -- there are minuses as well, obviously.

He bought really low on Aram. The word around the league was that he was lazy, and his defense was awful. He pickup up his defense with the help of Wrigley's tall grass. Aaron Boone was actually the big 3rd base prize that Deadline if you recall. If Aram was having a better 1st half. Chances are the Yankees pick him over Boone that summer. I give Hendry credit for taking on the payroll and getting around to filling what was a HUGE GAPING HOLE. But in reality it was the cheapest available guy. Aram improved and Boone broke his leg. Luck played a part.

Yep -- good points.

I'm not sure I agree on that. If you follow that logic and don't give him credit for it then most every move that failed should be forgiven, especially if he went for the "prize" at the time.

Also, Boone didn't really outplay Ramirez that first half. Their stats were pretty much identical. Before they were traded their lines were:

Ramirez .280 .330 .448
Boone .273 .339 .469

Also, Boone was 30 already in 2003 and Ramirez was 25. At the deadline Boone was a 30-year old career .271, glad Hendry saw better.

Well... Boone did have a 30 point advantage in OPS, MUCH better speed (23 sb's), and better defense.

So I think it would be pretty safe to say that Boone had outplayed Ramirez.

Now... that doesn't mean that Boone had the better future. I think most people knew what Boone would be in the future, while Ramirez has been somewhat of an enigma up to that point.

if mark bellhorn could play 3rd it wouldnt have been much of an issue.

all he could do is take a walk and stand at 3rd with a glove pretending he knew what to do with it. his arm was pure crap to boot.

reviewing the boxscore, 15 separate cubs played in the game. none remain with the club < 5 years later. that's amazing, i guess.

ARam's first Cub game:

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/box-scores/boxscor...

and ARam's 2nd day as a Cub was not a good day for Wood and virtually the entire craptastic bullpen

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/box-scores/boxscor...

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