Game 68 Thread / Cubs @ Blue Jays (1 of 3)
|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.
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.
Brooksbaseball.net 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?