Game 68 Thread / Cubs @ Blue Jays (1 of 3)

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SP Sean Gallagher SP A.J. Burnett
  3-2, 4.42, 31 K, 13 BB, 36.2 IP
5-6, 4.98, 78 K, 38 BB, 81.1 IP
SS Ryan Theriot RF Alex Rios
1B *Micah Hoffpauir DH *Matt Stairs
DH Derrek Lee 3B Scott Rolen
3B Aramis Ramirez CF Vernon Wells
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 1B *Lyle Overbay
C Geovany Soto C Rod Barajas
CF *Jim Edmonds LF *Brad Wilkerson
2B Mark DeRosa 2B *Joe Inglett
LF *Eric Patterson SS David Eckstein















Can the Cubs reach 20 games over by mid-June? They have a chance by winning tonight or this series, and it would be the first time since late 2004. But they'll be on the short-end of the pitching matchups for the most part. By ERA, Gallagher is outperforming Burnett at this point, but Saturday's matchup is Roy Halladay(3.07) vs Jason Marquis(4.54) and Sunday is Jessie Litsch(3.42) vs. Ted Lilly(5.13). Burnett might also have the added motivation of trying to audition for his next team, as he's one of the names certain to be bandied about during the trade deadline in connection with the Cubs.

The Blue Jays once again tried to convince themselves they could contend in the AL East and have delivered a fine pitching staff, currently third in the AL in ERA and runs allowed. The offense has struggled through injuries and poor performance though. Scott Rolen missed a month, Wells and Eckstein have also been on the disabled list, Aaron Hill is currently on the disabled list with a concussion and they released Frank Thomas early on. That doesn't even mention the horror that was suppose to be Alex Rios's MVP season (so my fantasy teams thought). That all being said, they now find themselves at the .500 mark, 7.5 back of the division-leading Red Sox and five back of the Rays. They also happen to be a half game back of last place in the division - funny how perspective works.

As promised, Lou is using the DH to give some of his stars a bit of a breather by DH'ing them and letting a bench player handle the defensive duties; tonight it's Derrek Lee with Micah Hoffpauir playing first base. Lou also tinkers with the lineup and puts Theriot in the leadoff spot with Patterson (who stays in left field) at the nine spot or the duel leadoff men that many AL lineups feature.

The next fifteen will be against the AL, here's hoping the Cubs can keep the NL mojo they had going.


Roy Halladay v. Marquis?

Groan... where's Sergio Mitre when you need him. :)~

I was AT that friggin' game!!!

Maybe we'll get lucky when Marquis pitches, and they'll close the stadium and turn the air conditioners on and blow the fly balls back into the OF.

Hoffpauir hitting 2nd? Interesting.


Well... I would rather have the base-clogging Fukudome batting 2nd! :)

Matt Stairs??? *The* Matt Stairs???

Sean, you might want to keep the ball inside the park. Might be a short night if you don't.

Cub hitters, you might want to try to stop striking out. The pitching is only going to get tougher after tonight.

Back to Back to Back (Utley-Howard-Burrell), StL 0, Phil 1st

and our luck tonight is a bit off, Edmonds just missed a 2 run HR although the double scored Koskuke

...and the "ump play" in the 6th didn't help. Although, what hurt more was a lousy AB by DeRo (takes fastballs down the middle on 2-0 and 3-1, then swings at probable ball 4 on 3-2) and Theriot's suddenly trying to pull the ball and hitting into a bases-loaded DP. That inning was their chance.

Home games are more fun.

Artificial turf sucks.

Missing Soriano already.

Wow. Toronto has a lot of left-handers. A lot.

I said this in the chat, and I know it was 8 years ago, but I don't remember Scott Downs having a slider like that. That thing is unbelievable.

marquis has to have a good game saturday as i see him
being a part of a burnett trade in july,.

marquis and ?
for burnett

Not much.

Even though he got the win tonight, Burnett is stomach churningly over rated. Look at the guy's career stats. He's never actually done anything. Toronto grossly overpaid for him, and of all the names being bandied about, he's probably dead last on the list.

That said, he'd certainly be an upgrade on Marquis.

I disagree. The guy has certainly battled some injury problems. He's only gone 200 innings twice in his 9 year career.

That being said, he's peripherals are very good. 3.84 career ERA. That ought to get you a lot farther along than a career 75-72 record, but that's what happens when you play in Florida and Toronto. He goes an average of 6.5 innings per start. Strikes out close to a batter every inning. Decent WHIP (1.28). Was 7th in the AL last year with a 1.189 WHIP. Doesn't give up too many home runs. He has been prone to the walk, but aside from that, I think calling him "stomach churningly over rated" is a major reach.

A Poll about who should start in the ASG and Geovany Soto in conspicuously absent as a choice.

That's ridiculous. I'm sure it was done on purpose just to get more page views/comments. Not only is Soto not on the list, but neither is Aramis. Unreal.

The poll is ridiculous because it's based on an article by Tim Kurkjian who was asked to pick the players HE thought should be on the
All-Star team, not who he thinks WILL be on the All-Star team.

according to the local fish wrap:

I am starting to think this division race is over unless the Brewers were to land Sabathia or we lose another core guy for a couple months.

Recent comments

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  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, AJackson, Castro, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely. 

  • has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.

  • As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?

  • AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?