Game 59 Recap: Cubs 9, Padres 6

Nine and Counting


W-
Marquis (3-3), Cat O' Nine Tails, Seven of Nine, Title IX, Nein!, Revolution No. 9, 3^2^1


L-
Corey (1-1), inefficient starters on west coast night games

S- Wood (16)


Box Score
, Photos

Things to Take from This Game

1. Ugly work by the starters

Marquis just melted down in the third, with among other things three walks, a balk and an errant pickoff throw at first. It all led to two runs. At least he made it through five with only giving up three total, to "earn" the win. Ledezma threw 99 pitches in 4.2 and walked five. The big AB in the bottom of the fifth was Theriot, who coaxed a walk with the bases loaded to bring the score to 3-2, with Lee tying it up on an infield grounder, after him.

2. Who can't hit homers at Petco?

Soto and DeRosa hit a couple of very impressive home runs in the sixth. Soto's solo shot was well out in center, and DeRosa's two-run job just got one out over the wall in deep left-center. But the real shot of the night was Soriano's three-run homer, an upper-decker just left of center, in the eighth.

3. Defensively...

Barrett still isn't any good. Just in case you had any doubts.

4. Relief

Eyre pitched a solid 1.1 innings, and Howry got out of a big bases loaded jam he inherited in the 8th. Nice work from our premium-priced middle-reliever duo. Wood gave up a double to Adrian Gonzalez, but otherwise looked dominant closing it out.

The "I would be annoyed if I'd stayed up to recap a loss" details, below.

Game Recap

Inning 1 - Top

  • Soriano pops to a few feet foul of the first base bag. Easy out.
  • Theriot with a lazy fly to Giles.
  • Lee with a fly to just short of the warning track in right. End of inning

Inning 1 - Bottom

  • Gerut reaches out and pokes a roller through the right side hole, for a single.
  • Iguchi hits into an easy 6-4-3
  • and Giles flies to center.

Inning 2 - Top

  • Ramirez breaks his bat, rolls softly out to second
  • Soto flies to sort-of-deep right.
  • and Johnson pops to shortstop, behind second base.

Inning 2 - Bottom

  • Gonzalez pops to Ramirez, catches it near the pitchers mound.
  • Kouzmanoff gets HBP. It either hit his hand, or the knob of the bat, then bounced into fair territory. home plate ump quickly rules it's a HBP, dead ball
  • McAnulty flies to Johnson
  • Barrett grounds to Theriot. Looks like Marquis is getting a healthy amount of movement on the sinker tonight.

Inning 3 - Top

  • DeRosa with a leadoff walk on a ball outside
  • Cedeno rolls into a 6-4-3 force at second. Nice turn, but a slow hit ball and Cedeno beats it at first
  • Cedeno runs. Has it stolen, but overslides the bag and is tagged out by Greene
  • and Marquis K's swinging

Inning 3 - Bottom

  • Greene pops to short
  • Marquis walks Ledezma. Ouch.
  • Marquis then balks Ledezma to second on a pickoff attempt. Owwie.
  • and walks Gerut
  • Iguchi flies to Soriano, Ledezma to third
  • Aaaaannnnnnd Marquis throws away a pickoff at first base, Ledezma scores. Gerut advances
  • Giles then walks
  • Gonzalez then lines a sharp single to center, Gerut scores. 2-0 game
  • Kouzmanoff with a soft bouncer to Ramirez, inning over.

Inning 4- Top

  • Soriano doubles down into the left-field corner.
  • and theriot walks.
  • Runners in motion, Lee fouls it off
  • Lee finally K's on what I think is a low and inside slider. Runners are going, and they both successfully steal. Throw went to third.
  • Long, long 3-2 battle for Ramirez, finally a 6-3 ground out that scores soriano
  • Soto flies to the warning track in center, inning over, 2-1 game

Inning 4 - Bottom

  • McAnulty walks
  • Barrett lines a single to center, McAnulty to third
  • Greene with the sac fly to center, McAnulty scores. 3-1
    • And I get to stop typing "McAnulty" for another few innings.
  • Ledezma K's trying to bunt
  • Gerut walks, Barrett on to second.
  • Iguchi grounds into a 6-4

Inning 5 - Top

  • Johnson lines a single inside the 3B bag. It hits the wall where the stands jut out, and McAnulty (arggh!) makes a nice play to keep him to a single.
  • Johnson steals third. Ledezma didn't pay much attention. Oh yead, DeRosa walks on it
  • Cedeno bounces back to Ledezma. DeRosa to second, Johnson frozen at third, Cedeno out at first. Might have tried for the DP and conceded the run, but no
  • Ball gets away from Barrett, but caroms right back to him. Johnson looks like he might be hung up, but scampers back to third. DeRosa is almost at third, but Ledezma (who got the ball when Barrett threw it to him, covering home) hangs on to it, letting DeRosa get back to second
  • Marquis K's swinging. Barrett has to make the throw to first.
  • Ledezma throws one towards Soriano's armpits. He avoids it.
  • Soriano eventually gets intentionally walked.
  • Theriot up, bases loaded and two outs
  • Padres broadcasters tell me Theriot is 0-11 with bases loaded this year
  • 1-2 pitch is over Theriot's head. Seems to be a case of general wildness. Ledezma with a ton of pitches the last two innings
  • I can't believe they didn't call that 2-2 fastball on the low inside corner a strike. 3-2 count
  • Ledezma's about to hit 100 pitches
  • Ball four! 3-2 game. Nice AB by Theriot, gets Lee up with the bases loaded and a laboring Ledezma at 93 pitches
  • 3-2 on Lee
  • Lee hits a grounder to the left side hole. Greene dives for it and gets it, but has no play. Run scores, but Greene saves the go-ahead run from being able to score. 3-3 game
  • five walks per starter. Ledezma out, Bryan Corey (who?!?!?!) in.
  • generous strike call on a 3-1 pitch outside on Ramirez
  • and K's swinging on the next pitch. Still not happy about the earlier call.

Inning 5 - Bottom

  • Giles flies to center
  • Long AB, Gonzalez finally singles through the right side hole.
  • Kouzmanoff pops to second
  • McAnulty K's swinging at a slider in the dirt. Nice pitch

Inning 6 - Top

  • Soto hits an outer-half fastball for a home run, easily clearly the CF fence. 407 feet. 4-3 Cubs.
  • Soto lines one past Corey, up the middle for a single
  • Johnson runs, and Barrett's throw one-hops the base. Ball gets away and Johnson goes to third
    • the Padres announcers blame the throw on batters' interference, as DeRosa swung at the ball and the follow through carried him over the plate. Padres announcers being pretty generous to Mr. Barrett.
    • That said, DeRosa's bat just did get a glancing blow off of Barrett's left arm
  • Big slow curve over the plate, DeRosa hits it out to left center. It bounces back onto the field after hitting something over the fence, but correctly is ruled a 2-run HR. 6-3 Cubs
  • Marquis singles just under Iguchi's backhand. Does this mean Marquis comes out for the sixth, despite 105 rather uninspired pitches?
  • Soriano lines out to Giles
  • Theriot grounds out 6-3

Inning 6 - Bottom

  • Wuertz in. Interesting, they let Marquis hit for himself.
  • Barrett flies out to the warning track in left.
  • Green lines one back up the middle for a single.
  • Scott Hairston hits for Corey, pops to Cedeno.
  • Eyre in for Wuertz, gets Gerut on three pitches.

Inning 7 - Top

  • Carlos Guevara (who?!?!?) in for Corey
  • Lee flies out to the left field wall
  • Ramirez doubles into the left field corner
  • Guevara supposedly features a screw ball.
  • Soto K's swinging at that screwball, in the dirt.
  • Johnson fists a little blooper to Gonzalez, just foul of first.

Inning 7 - Bottom

  • Iguchi flies out to left
  • Giles singles to center
  • Gonzalez hits into a 4-6-3. Nice stretch by Lee to grab a throw that was low and to his left. And a nice 1.1 innings from Eyre

Inning 8 - Top

  • DeRosa with an easy grounder to short.
  • From as best I can tell on mlb.tv, Guevara has a nice screw. Not revolutionary, but nice.
  • Kouzmanoff with a nice bare-handed effort on a slow roller by Cedeno, but he beats it out for a hit
  • Pitch gets away from Barrett. Another one of those sort-of-wild,-sure,-but-a-good-catcher-could-react,-shift-his-weight-and-block-it,-instead-of-a-half-assed-backhand-efforts that Barrett does. Cedeno to second.
  • Fontenot walks
  • Double steal on a pitch that bounces way in front of Barrett and gets away. No chance for Barrett on that one.
  • Screwball left up, over the plate, and Soriano hits it into the second deck just left of center. Padres announcers, fans, sort of ooh and ahh and gasp. 9-3 game. Crowd now silent.
  • Theriot grounds to Iguchi
  • and Lee flies to center

Inning 8 - Bottom

  • Hart in for Eyre. Welcome back, Hart
  • And he walks Kouzmanoff after starting 0-2
  • McAnulty singles to right
  • Barrett lines a hanging curve to the warning track in left, out.
  • Greene goes opposite field to right, bases loaded
  • Tony Clark hits for Guevara
  • Full count, Clark walks. Run scores, 9-4.
  • See ya later, Hart.
  • Cotts in to face Gerut
  • and Edgar Gonzalez in to hit for Gerut
  • and lines a single to left. Run scores. 9-5
  • Lou out. Cotts out. Howry in to face Iguchi
  • Howry gets the grounder, but it's in the hole at Short. Theriot gets the force at second, but that's all. Run scores. 9-6
  • Pretty sad how much the Padres announcers pin their hopes on getting Adrian Gonzalez up to bat with runners on. They have no faith in anyone else on their offense.
  • Giles takes a 3-2 fastball down the middle for a much needed, inning ending strikeout.

Inning 9 - Top

  • Cla Meredith in.
  • Edgar Gonzalez to left with Gerut out. McAnulty switchesfrom left to right, and Giles over to Center.
  • Ramirez inside-outs one to right for a single
  • Soto rolls into a 4-6-3
  • the Padres announcers are giving in, and complementing the Cubs' offense. To do so, they decide they need to compare it to the Bears' offense, so they can bag on SOMETHING other than their wretched Padres. Have been doing this on and off all night.
  • Johnson lines to McAnulty in right.

Inning 9 - Bottom

  • Wood in.
  • Adrian Gonzalez with an opposite field double down the line
  • I like Gonzalez, but wow, it's just sad to listen to the Padres fans talk about him like he's the second coming. It's just a reflection on how there's nothing else to talk up.
  • Kouzmanoff K's staring at a pitch on the outside corner
  • Wow, I'm a bit tipsy.
  • McAnulty also K's looking.
  • And Barrett with a pop to shallow right, Cubs Win.

Parachat Recap

Inning 1

  • Election results
  • talking about my job options
  • Guess where Trans may be Going
  • Parachatters dropping like flies

Inning 2

  • Pressing political questions about badonkadonks
    • that is, I believe, the first time I've ever typed "badonkadonk." How did I do?
  • Have another BEES???
  • BEEEEES!!!!
  • Microbrews
    • and Microbees
  • Post-structuralism
  • Bigger Head: Padres' mascot, or Barry Bonds?
  • How many historians can be listed that I've never heard of? (Many)

Inning 3

  • Hoffpauir
  • Jinxing Ledezma's no-no
  • More badonkadonk evaluation.
  • Helping Carlos in his love life
  • Missed Opportunities for David Wells endorsements
  • Politics
  • Umpiring
  • Which politician would you sleep with?
  • More political conversation. Emphasis on conversation, not flaming. Woo.
    • Eh, evidently I missed the people logging in as Clinton, Nader, etc, while I was on the phone.
  • The Baconator.

Inning 4

  • Bicurious games.
  • Nader/baseball puns and comparisions. Not bad, heh.
  • Waiver usage in keeper leagues
  • Who can babysit for Rob?
  • Ugh, Bartman?
  • The next (next?!?!) TCR Camping Trip
  • Bigger tent, or smaller?
    • smaller, definitely.
  • Unimpressed with the Padres announcers
  • PICKLE SURPRISE!
    • It's still a surprise, every time, man

Inning 5

  • Marquis-bashing
  • Do we trust the links that Carlos submits to us?
    • not really, but we click, anyway
  • Wil Ledezma or Will Edezma? (from Ryno)
  • Anxiously following Theriot's AB
  • Lots and lots of Gong-ing
  • Absurdist cialis commercials
  • How do earthquakes affect your libido?
  • Wyoming
  • Where is Ted Turner's compound?
  • Reasons to like living in 2008: being able to announce you like big penises?
  • More Marquis complaining
  • Who in the room are twins?

Inning 6

  • Chad arrives.
  • Tormenting Barrett
  • gameday pics
  • Marquis to stay in the game?
  • Chad announces he is leaving. How do we replace him?
  • Better professions for Marquis
  • Bad letters of recommendation
  • Priests
  • Studying things that kill you.

Inning 7

  • Drinking in parachat
  • Good puns for Guevera and his screwball
  • Eric Karros: Colorful Color Guy
  • Joe Morgan: Color Guys of Color
  • Color: A word that looks weird when you type it out, and makes you say "wow, is that how I've always spelled it? It doesn't feel right. Looks like Colon."
  • Color guys who, ahem, pale in comparison to Steve Stone (from Hawkeye)
  • Fond memories of Harry Caray

Inning 8

  • SNL Skits
  • the LA series
  • more taunting of Barrett
  • Ooohing and Aaahing at Soriano's homer
  • Whipple loves Hawkeye.
  • Chad loves attention.
  • Griping about mlb.tv
  • FIOS.
  • Old, wise tigers.
  • b'ahai
    • and Superman's Dad
    • and Tuna
    • and LOLspeak
    • and Ahura Mazda
    • and putting religion in a blender and drinking it (nohit)
    • and rebranded Fords
  • Andy "can't get away to spit."

Inning 9

  • Vanna White and Cla Meredith
  • Chanting Padre fans
  • The Padres announcers are dumb.
  • We don't care about Joba
  • Hank White, Hank Steinbrenner, Mr. Hanky.
  • New Nicknames for Kerry
  • We miss Rod Beck

Cubs' record in games recapped moves to 9-3.

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Comments

I guess Theriot is still 0 for 11 with the bases loaded. :-)

Oh, and thanks (as always) for the recap, Trans. Caffeine is wearing off now, time to go crash.

Wow, I'm tired. Reminds me of when I was a kid, and would fight with mom to stay up and watch the end of west coast games on WGN.

"But Mom, I don't NEED to be awake for school!"

Okay, insomnia kicked in. I'm on the west coast, though, so I guess it's not too terribly late.

My day job involves a fair amount of number crunching with MS Excel. Just for kicks, I've been playing around with various baseball stats and records from this season in a spreadsheet. I'd like to share a fun one that I just charted.

For each day of the season so far, I've plotted the number of games over .500 for the Cubs and Cardinals. I then had Excel draw a linear trend line to project where the two teams might be at the end of the season.

The Cubs project out at 38 games over .500, which is 100 wins exactly. This is somewhat more achievable than the 104 wins one gets by projecting their current win percentage. The Cards project to 20 games over .500, which is 91 wins. Their win percentage predicts 94 games.

100 wins vs. 91 wins? Sounds pretty reasonable the way both teams have been playing. Of course, real world trends are seldom linear, and changes can (and usually do) happen over a 162 game schedule. For example, last year at this point, the Cubs wouldn't have projected anywhere near the Brewers. Still, this was a fun exercise.

Here's the chart if you're interested.

/bedtime for real now

Interesting; I'll have an extended look at it in the morning. Thanks.

So funny, I was pondering this exact question on my way to work this morning. Thanks Nohit - very interesting.

btw, 20 games over .500 would be a pretty nice goal here for the next week. Last time Cubs were 20 over .500?

But the Cubs have played 9 more games at home so far. If you simply project out the Cubs' winning percentage at home + the Cubs' winning percentage on the road you get 100 wins as well.

BTW, Using today's home and road win percentages, the Cubs project at 13-11 (+/- 1) for the rest of the month.

Interesting that those turn out the same today. I don't expect the Cubs to keep playing .765 baseball at home. I also don't expect them to keep playing .480 baseball on the road; they're better than that. I'm not sure how much I trust those numbers as predictors, because they're both likely to be aberrations.

One nice thing is that the Cubs have played more home games than road games, so if the numbers normalize in the middle somewhere, they already have a leg up at home and they're going to improve on the road. :-)

Here's another way to look at it...

Cubs are 38-21 right now, and there are 103 games left to play. If the Cubs go 1 game over .500 (52-51) from here on out, then they end up with 90 wins. Last year, that would've been tied for best in the NL. Probably not this year with teams padding their win totals against the NL West...

If the Cubs go 7 over .500 (55-48) the rest of the way, they end with 96 wins, which will almost certainly put them in the postseason. 21 over (62-41), and they hit the magical 100 win plateau and likely have home field privies through the NLCS.

I'm still awake.

Thansk again, Trans for a great recap. You're a trooper to stay up that late (Eastern time zone!) for our amusement. Standing O for Trans, everyone.

Anyone know when the last time we were 17 games over .500 before the ASG was? A part of me is holding my breath for the June swoon (old habits die hard), but at this point it would take a change significant in the team's approach to really hurt my confidence for the long haul. They're playing smart which make it all the more enjoyable.

meh, AR is Central time zone. Trans ain't all that.

Can I at least have a bag of chips?

My bad. Trans is a puss.

I still think the Cards will enter a June Swoon.

My answers to the questions are: I think we hit 20 games over in 2004.

I think we may have been 17 over before the ASG in 1998. I remember being in first place around my B-Day (June 5) after sweeping the Sox at home (including the "drain game").

10 in a row? Is it just me or does this feel like some sort of Twilight zone episode?

Wood is about to throw the final strike, and he drops his glasses, which shatter on the mound.

Feel bad for Hoffpauir's predicament (all he did was hit while he was up here), but with the starting rotation the way it is, what else can Lou do? Marquis really is terrible, who's going to give us anything for him at this point? Maybe a dozen bats?

Don't hassle the Hoff. He'll be back in 10 days when we head on the road for interleague. If Lou wanted to make the 13 pitchers decision, he had to make it yesterday, because Hoffpauir has to be on assignment for at least 10 days.

"hassle the Hoff"
nice one, Wes.

Also -- Cubs have 2 off days before the bulk of their interleague schedule, which will give the pitchers a little rest.

Cubs are currently in the middle of a 17-game stretch without a day off, which is not helping the pitching staff issues.

It does suck for Hoffpauir, but on the bright side it's nice to have good hitting pitchers like Z and Marquis so Lou can afford to leave them in to bat (like he did last night), thus saving a bench guy. With those guys, it's not quite as dangerous for your bench to carry 13 pitchers.

That is a very good point, Dascenzo. Not only can you leave pitchers like those in to bat, you can also use them as pinch hitters. Uncle Lou likes to use his whole bench by using pitchers as pinch hitters and pinch runners.

I, for one, am in favor of such usage. It makes the pitchers feel more like active, useful teammates, and it also helps justify the salary.

Granted, there is a risk of injury, but I would venture that the risk of injury is somewhat mitigated by the mindset. It is good karma to feel like you are helping the team.

I don't mind using Marquis to pinch hit or run, but to use your ace who is signed for the next five years, and can be reckless at the plate and base paths is in a word stupid.

I disagree. It's not really stupid when that same guy is hitting .366 and the odds of getting injured at the plate are minimal. The dude's a 260 pound brick shithouse. If he got hit with a 95 mph fastball he'd probably ask for some mosquito repellent.

Add to the odds of

Running the bases
Cracking bats off his knee and head
Swinging out of his shoes

All you have to do is go back to 1985 when Cubs were running away with division and Sutcliffe pulled up lame running out a ground ball.

You're playing with fire when you pinch hit Z.

Moreover, I think we should make him play on his normal start days from within a bubble.

MOOPS!! IT SAYS MOOPS!!

I read the first sentence, and was excited because I was going to reply with a Moops reference. And then I read the rest, and I was devastated.

Completely unrelated to anything except that Marquis isn't a very good pitcher and we need another good starter to make a serious run in the playoffs:

What are the odds the Cubs trade for AJ Burnett at the trade deadline? He can opt out of his deal at the end of the year. Despite his injury history he probably will opt out, as he's only scheduled to make $12m each of the next two years. The Jays are still in the race at this point, but I can't imagine that will last for long in the AL East. The question is, who do we have that they might want?

I'm still hoping for the Indians to fade so Hendry can go get Sabathia. If those damned southsiders would just put away their division...

I think its too early to really speculate who might be available for a trade, Burnett has a major injury history who's to say he can stay healthy for 5 more months? As far as who we ARE going to have to give away to get another starter I'd say Felix Pie, Sean Gallagher, Sean Marshall, Rich Hill, Donald Veal, Jose Ceda, Alex Maestri and Dea-Eun Rhee are going to be the names that other teams are going to want. I'd back up the truck for CC Sabathia, for anyone less the package is going to be alot less.

The Windsock blows around and points in the Cubs direction, albeit with some nice back-handed compliments. Also says they should trade for Sabathia.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/mariotti/986090,mar...

Aieeee... I am *not* agreeing with Mariotti. He's copying off my paper.

Their pitching is solid now, but they probably would take some prospects there.

Now, I think their outfield is a bit iffy aside from Vernon Wells in Center. I think 2nd base could use an upgrade as well.

As long as they throw in Fatt Stairs, I'm all for it.

I heard that some guy named Joba pitched last night in New York. (actually, I heard it like 500 times.. wtf?)

Bargon wanchi kox paa, Solo! Hoo hoo hoo hoo

Smoltz having shoulder surgery. Another player we're supposed to see next week and another voodoo doll doing it's thing?

http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/braves/st...

...blame it on Kevin Hart's return to the #22 jersey.

I blame Barrett.

Looking ahead to tonight... Lilly vs. Maddux. Jim Edmonds should be in the lineup tonight. He's always feasted on hitting Cubs pitching; why should ex-Cubs be any different?

WGN tonight, btw. MLB.TV can suck it.

...as can my dreams of getting more than 6 hrs sleep.

I was under the impression that Maddux wasn't pitching very well this year, but his 3-4 record appears to be his team's fault more than anything. His ERA is 3.69, not shabby...coincidentally, the Padres score an average of 3.7 runs/game, third lowest in the majors.

Well... Maddux is REALLY getting helped by Petco:

Home: (29.1 IP) 1.84 ERA, OPS allowed: 643, WHIP: 0.96
Away: (41.1 IP) 5.01 ERA, OPS allowed: 781, WHIP: 1.48

Wooho! Same for the Extra Innings Package & DirectTV. Since a handful of Padre games are broadcast locally in Vegas, we get blacked out for all Padres games.

The problem is Direct TV doesn't carry that specific local channel--only available through Cox Cable. So I missed the last two games....

Enough of my whining...

Hey AZ Phil,

I know you touched on some draft anticipation a few days ago because the Cubs brought some potential draftees to Arizona, but I was just hoping to get a few more of your thoughts on tomorrow's draft.

For instance, given that the organization seems to be in a bit more of a win-now mode, will we see the Cubs take a higher percentage of college kids as opposed to HS kids, in order to get them to the majors faster?

Also, which positions should the Cubs look at drafting at in the high rounds (does it matter since it takes so long for kids to get to MLB)? And finally, who do you like for a first-round pick?

Thank you as always!

"All you have to do is go back to 1985 when Cubs were running away with division and Sutcliffe pulled up lame running out a ground ball."

You bring up a valid point, but I seem to recall that the entire SP staff eventually blew up real good before the AS break, and the others weren't running the bases or batting at the time of their injuries. Trout, Sanderson, they all went down like dominos, one right after the other. So Cub - like, and so infuriating at the time.

There's absolutely no difference between a pinch hit PA and a PA during a start.
All this hand-wringing about pitchers pinch hitting is stupid.

Except one is neccessary and one is not.

There's absolutely no difference between a pinch hit PA and a PA during a start.

Sure there is, and it really isn't difficult to figure out.

A pinch hit PA is unnecessary. A manager never has to use the team's ace pitcher to pinch hit, barring major catastrophes.

A PA during a start is necessary. In the NL a manager has to allow the team's ace pitcher to get a PA if the pitcher is pitching.

That is a pretty big difference.

I do not really have a problem with Z pinch hitting, but to pretend that there is no difference between the two situations is pretty silly. I understand that concern that Z may get hurt while being used in an unnecessary way.

Sorry,

A plate appearance is a plate appearance, whether it occurs during a start or not. They're all separate events, just like coin tosses are. It doesn't matter whether or not they happen during this start or the next start or pinch hitting. It doesn't matter if they happen this year or the next or ten years from now.

If NL managers need to worry about the health of their starting pitchers to the degree you do, then they should bundle them up in body armor and order them to strike out on three pitches in order to reduce the likelihood they might get hurt. They should pull them after five innings. Go to 8 man rotations. Demand DH's in the National League. AnYTHING to cut down on those dreaded PA's.

Oh yeah, and don't let them pinch run, either.

Dumbest thing in baseball history: 1918-19 Boston letting their ace starting pitcher, Babe Ruth, play 225 games in the outfield.

What were they thinking?!!

I do have to agree that this is a real non-issue. The odds of getting hurt at the plate or running the bases are pretty slim. Z's been playing baseball for twenty+ years of his life, I think he can handle it. Yes, he might get injured and it would suck, but he might fall down the steps of the dugout too.

I would say the odds are close to the same. 

Yea... I agree that it really is a non-issue, at least for me.

But the point is not that the odds are slim, or that the odds are the same. Te point is that the odds are increased by having him pinchhit.

If there is a 1/1000000 chance he gets hurt in a PA, then for each plate appearance he has the odds increase.

Again - I don't think it is a big deal, but I do get that it increases the odds of him getting hurt, even if those odds remain low.

What if along with the 1/1000000 chance he gets hurt during a PA, there is a 1/100 chance he helps the team win a World Series? What odds are we willing to live with if the risk helps the team win ballgames?

No one's saying Zambrano is Babe Ruth, but as a really good hitting pitcher he can help the team in more ways than one. If his bat off the bench means the Cubs can carry an extra pitcher because he's a viable pinch-hitter, that helps the team.

Of course his bat isn't as valuable as his arm, but at what point do you hurt the team because you refuse to subject a pitcher to a 1/1000000 chance of getting hurt during a PA?

Most RHP pitchers don't bat LH -- Z switches, which can expose his pitching arm.

Getting hit in the shoulder, bicep, forearm, etc. -- even if there is no signficant injury, the discomfort could alter his throwing motion, which would not be good.

So, let him hit RH, Lou, if you must.

Shawn Estes gives Rob's comment one thumb up !

And interesting, unrelated side note. As of today, there are only three teams in baseball over .500 on the road. Three.

The Angels are 18-11. The Phillies are 15-13. The Cardinals are 14-12. That's it. The White Sox are an even 17-17. Not my first post on the issue, but I think it's very remarkable.

Interesting.

Currently the Cubs sit at 17 games over .500. Using Baseball Reference I noted the season high games over .500 for the Cubs going back to 1900. Since the 1945 National League Championship season (+45) the high has been 32 games over by both the 1969 and 1984 teams. The Cubs franchise record? How about 80 games over .500 in 1906!! I put the 1984-present years below to give a reference for how we are doing this year.

Year - Most Games Over .500 - Date
2007 - 10 - 23-Sep
2006 - 5 - 28-Apr
2005 - 6 - 11-Jun
2004 - 21 - 24-Sep
2003 - 15 - 27-Sep
2002 - 0 - 3-Apr
2001 - 19 - 31-Jul
2000 - 1 - 29-Mar
1999 - 9 - 8-Jun
1998 - 20 -17-Sep
1997 - -1 - 3-Apr
1996 - 4 - 19-Apr
1995 - 9 - 4-Jun
1994 - -1 - 3-Apr
1993 - 6 - 3-Oct
1992 - 4 - 2-Sep
1991 - 4 - 18-Apr
1990 - 3 - 18-Apr
1989 - 24 - 1-Oct
1988 - 8 - 4-Jul
1987 - 10 - 24-May
1986 - -1 - 11-Apr
1985 - 16 - 11-Jun
1984 - 32 -15-Sep

Nice research, thanks for sharing. :-)

1986,1994,1997 *cringe*

I know its out of the date range but 1977 team scares me about this team

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHC/1977_s...

25 games over .500 6/25

Little bit of FYI -- I was in my mother's womb as the 1977 season unfolded.

During most of the 2006 season, however, I was in Johann's mom's womb.

Exceptional.

Wow--the '77 team lost all of 12 games between May 5 and June 28, going 38-12 during that stretch, with one 8-game win streak, three 6-game win streaks, one 5-game streak.

How about the the 1967 Cubs (the year hope returned to the northside and stayed there)? They put together two 7 game win streaks with a loss in between and stood at 46-29, seventeen games over .500, on the 4th of July. Whereupon, they promptly lost seven in a row.

Another seven game losing streak in August knocked them out of title contention but it still was a great year to be a Cub fan and a bleacher bum 'cause it only cost $1 to sit out there. Cubs finished 88-74.

But that won't cut it this year. Time is running out.

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