Game 71 Thread / Cubs @ Rays (1 of 3)

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SP Ryan Dempster SP *Scott Kazmir
  8-2, 2.81, 75 K, 35 BB, 89.2 IP
6-2, 1.74, 54 K, 16 BB, 51.2 IP
CF Reed Johnson 2B *Akinori Iwamura
SS Ryan Theriot 1B #Willy Aybar
1B Derrek Lee CF BJ Upton
3B Aramis Ramirez RF *Eric Hinske
DH Geovany Soto 3B Evan Longoria
RF Mark DeRosa DH *Cliff Floyd
LF Matt Murton C #Dionar Navarro
C Henry Blanco RF *Gabe Gross
2B Ronny Cedeno SS Jason Bartlett












Matt Murton has been called up and Eric Patterson has been sent down. Welcome back to the Show Orange Guy, and good luck with Scott Kazmir, who has given up all of one run in four home starts this year (thanks nohit). The entire Rays team has been enjoying the comforts of Tampa, Florida with a shiny 26-11 mark at Tropicana Field. That's good for second best in the home record in the American League and has helped catapult them from the worst overall record in the league last year to the current AL Wild Card leaders. Most of that turnaround can be attributed to their pitching and defense and not that sketchy lineup that I'm looking at. But I guess you don't need good hitters if you can "Execute to the Max".

Game notes fun after the jump...

  • This is the Cubs first trip to Tropicana Field and marks the 112th stadium they've played in.
  • The Cubs enter the game 80-80 in interleague games since its inception in 1997.
  • Cubs starters have allowed three or fewer runs in seven straight games.
  • Carlos Marmol is five short of the team holds record with 20. Bob Scanlan('93) and Jeff Fassero('01) currently hold the team record with 25.


Rob, small slip on Johnson's position (LF).

Marmol's hold stat is pretty amazing.

Off the top of my head, I think the AL has been generally better than the NL since '97 so an even 80-80 record is probably better than most.

This lineup sucks!

What about the fact that Rays manager Joe Maddon is completely insane? Anyone else see th NYT profile?

I thought his nickname was Ginger.

Orange guy was something Maddux said because he didn't know who Murton was.
Who's the orange guy?

Wish it would go away. Reminds me too much of the Dusty Eff Baker years.

3 pitches, 3 fastballs, 1 strikeout.

welcome back murton.

Red's first at-bat wasn't too thrilling. Not the Hellboy action figure I was hoping for.

working the pitch counts this year probably helped us the most in this game. Kazmir at 110 in the 5th and taken out.

no one said it yet, and I think it's time for some runs, so...

This lineup SUCKS!

Hi guys, I'm new here so I have some questions:

Does the Ray's strikeout bonus (free Papa John's Pizza) apply to a Cubs fan watching in Texas?

No offense (pun intended) to Murton, but shouldn't EPat been given more of a chance?

Lastly, I'm voting for a choice of Home or Away TV coverage on MLB.TV - These guys are screamers.

Speaking of screamers, does anybody else hear all the women screaming inside this dome? Do they just leave the beach and go to the ballpark?

Thanks for listening...

Murton is not wining over any new fans, that is for sure. And I would think we might see Ascanio again for Cotts at some point. Lou couldn't have been very happy with tonight's peformance.

I've also long been an advocate of getting both home and away feeds for MLB.TV. It can't possibly cost them that much to arrange that.

Johnson out trying to steal 3rd wih 2 outs?


Following the game on Yahoo.... was that a squeeze attempt by Johnson with 2 outs in the 9th?

yes...and along with his attempted steal of 3rd i wonder who told who that johnson has even a shred of speed...weird use tonite.

bunting for a hit...almost had it. He bunted it a bit too hard and Longoria had plenty of time but rushed his throw and bounced it badly. Aybar made a nice play to hold on to the bad throw. Not a bad idea with the tying run 90 ft away.

IMO the bunt attempt was a good idea. Just bunted a little too hard, especially on the turf. Definitely caught them by surprise. Longoria just made a nice play

Too hard or not far enough down the line. I think if that is down the line and Longoria has to come in at a weird angle and throw across his body it would have been a hit. Oh well, we were in it until the end, can't ask for more than a chance to win and we've been in every game for a long time.

a squeeze would imply that Fukudome was running, which I believe he was not...

The squeeze was 'ok' I guess..takes a great play from both Longoria and Aybar to get him. I think the at bat by Hoffpaur was the really poor at bat all we needed was a fly ball. Then the wild pitch richochets right back to the catcher. Ah well luck wasn't on our side tonight. Get 'em tomorrow :)

That was a great play and great call at the end, imo. To get the out and save the game they were going to have to make that play perfectly. 3B Was going to have to get to the ball clean, make a clean throw, and 1B was going to have to hold on to it. Unfortunately, they did.

I remember most of the board(me included) crucifying Neifi for doing the same thing a couple of years ago, same situation.

Yes, Neifi bunted with men on first and third and 2 outs...the big difference being that the Cubs were down two at the time.

Hopefully, it doesn't need to be explained how those are completely different situations.

My mistake.

I thought he had the tying run on third also.

He still sucks.


didn't come to it, but with Lou pinch-hitting for Blanco, he would have burned his DH had it gone extras.

How does that work, anyway? I'm not up on this 21st century baseball stuff.

if your DH plays in the field, you lose the DH spot and the pitcher has to hit. Since he pinch-hit for Blanco in the 9th, Soto would have moved to catcher and all he had left was Fontenot on the bench.

Not that big a deal...

Ouch -- shame to lose this one, after doing such a nice job of getting Kazmir out of the game. Tying run at third, one out, lefty/righty match-up....ouch.

At least the Cards lost.

a squeeze would imply that Fukudome was running, which I believe he was not...

Rob, I think it's called a safety squeeze if the man on 3rd isn't running on the pitch, but on contact. When he is running on the pitch, it's a suicide squeeze, where the runner is usually out if the bunt isn't placed.

That is true, but to be called a squeeze - safety or suicide - the runner has to know the batter is going to bunt. I think this was a bunt for a hit since Lou did not call it from the dugout.

Also, there has to less than 2 outs. The job of a squeeze is to sacrifice yourself to get the run in. You can't do that when there is a force out at first and the inning (or in this case game)will be over if the runner is out at first. That was simply Reed trying to bunt for a base hit.

fair enough...

Also, generally speaking, you typically don't call a squeeze with two outs. Not to say that there aren't exceptions, but that's a general no-no for managers.

You'd need somebody with Ellsbury, Reyes, or Pierre type speed to call a squeeze with two outs. Not only does the batter have to get the bunt down to get the runner home, he also has to beat it out at 1st base. That had to be a bunt for a hit for Johnson. No way Lou would call that with him at the plate.

One can see why the Rays gave Longorria the Franklin mint this spring. He is fantastic. Great try by Reed. It was the right play. I agree the big AB was Hoff-power.

Right now, Hoffpower & Cedeno have both turned back into pumpkins.

I think we'll win one of the next two and come home w/a .500 road trip.

To finish the night on an up note --

Veal tosses 7 innings of 2-hit shutout ball at Tenn., and Ceda (newly promoted?) follows with K's 4 in 2 shutout innings.

I was following on Thanks for filling in the cracks. IMO, like that Lou was being aggresive and rolling the dice even if it didn't work out.

cotts didnt look good lou was not pleased
cedeno wouldbe outta here if defensively
there was a better option.
murton did not do muh to improve trade value
rays looking for outfield help.

Burma Shave.

Brick gets a clever +1.

Why did Hoffpauir pinch hit ahead of Edmonds? Maybe Lou figured they'd give Edmonds an IBB, but I still would have picked the veteran in that spot over the rookie.

My guess is that if Edmonds makes an out, he's got Hoffpauir up with two outs. But that's probably a stretch.

Yep..1 game back and Murton sure sucks. He can't even hit Scott Kazmir...that just sucks!!!!
I mean Kazmir is 6-2, with a 1.76 ERA, and 61 K's in 56 innings, he sucks?

I mean...huh?

some crazy talk about Hill/Murton for Crisp...

I just read that. Why the hell do we want Crisp, I just don't get it.

The bottom of that article is interesting too. The Cubs sent a video to the league office to reverse a Ronny Cedeno hit that was ruled an error? That seems unusual.

Cmon Wiscgrad you know why. Lou ALWAYS wants somebody else than what he's got. This team has remained extremely heathy for the most part since Lou got here. Yet you always hear gripe from Lou about needing a
left handed bat for the infield,lefthanded outfield bat,righthanded of'er who can play all 3 positions,another RHed starter, another lefty for the pen,etc.etc.etc. That is Lou's MO since he got here. He is like the wife that can't figure out where she wants the new sofa. It's Jim Hendry's job to move that heavy ass sofa around until she is happy.

No kidding Dusty Baylor. Murton has always had the expectation that he has to hit every single day and hit for power or else he sucks.

1 game back and the majority of the posters are signing his death sentence. Shit give the guy all the starts between now and when Soriano gets back and lets see what happens. He has proven over 2 seperate seasons he can hit in the majors, just let him play.

Food for thought....

Fukudome is on pace for 560 AB's, 12 HR's and 67 RBI while hitting .300 with a .400 OBP.

Matt Murton hit 13 HR in his rookie season drove in 62 in 455 AB's while hitting .297 with a .365 OBP. Many considered that not good enough for a corner OFer.

Last year Murton hit 8 HRs in 235 AB's.

Gee I wonder if Fuku will need to be replaced because he doesnt hit enough for a corner OFer either.

The offensive numbers are comparable as you point out, but defense, baseball smarts and speed between the two are night and day.

The difference is that Fuku is Japaneese. Therefore he is a cross between Ichiro and Matsui.

That's a strawman argument. It's not just that Murton doesn't hit for power. He hits for average. But he realy can't do much else well. He is not magically going to get faster or figure out how to field. So people would like him to elevate the ball and hit for some more power. This makes him a more valuable player. If he can't improve the power numbers, then he really is a one trick pony: he will hit a lot of singles and a few doubles for a .300 average. Not that that is a bad thing, it's just that a lot of people want more.

I mean Murton's defense sucks. Fukodome's is awesome. Murton has 8 career SB and Fukodome already has 6. Also, over a full season, that difference in OBP is around 30-40 more times on base, not insignificant.

If Murton was a gold glove caliber outfielder who could run a bit, had great bat control, and got on base a .400 clip, we wouldn't care about his power.

Fuku's defense is a major plus over Murton. If Murton could consistently pick the ball in the outfield, he could have a major league job as a corner outfielder. Because he fields more like an Adam Dunn he needs to hit more like an Adam Dunn to stay in the bigs.

While I agree that Fuk is a far more complete player than Murton, I've always thought the complaints about Murton's defense have been greatly overstated. Yes, he's a below average corner outfielder, but Adamn Dunn comparisons? That's just over the top.

Of course, I also think too many people make Right Field out to be the holy grail of defensive positions where only someone with a Hawk-like cannon belongs...

Anyone know of the condition of Ward and when he is expected back? After the recent struggles with our DHs (Lee, Rammy, Soto), it seems like their offensive production is affected when they aren't out there playing defense. Additionally, after seeing Hoff trying to be a hero yesterday while swinging for the fences when all we needed was a sac fly, it makes me wonder what a veteran bench guy like Ward would of done in that situation. IMO, Ward will be a welcome addition as our DH in the Cubs/Sox series at the cell.

Looks like Richie Sexson might be released.

about time...

Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano will have his broken left hand re-examined Friday and hopes to return before the All-Star break next month...

Yahoo RSS feeds for The Cub Reporter all come from View from the Bleachers, not here.

must have never changed the name on it...

If it's your own my yahoo page, just delete the MVN feed and add ours (upper right).

If it's something yahoo is generating on its own, send me the link to that page.

please see #59

I'm talking about the Yahoo feed aggregator module, Sports Blogs - Chicago Cubs Daily Entries.

Found the culprit

contact to fix:

This is what I'm talking about>>>


Sports Blogs :: Chicago Cubs Daily EntriesCollapse moduleDelete ModuleEdit Module PreferencesRefresh Module
Ted Lilly Fan Club :: Game Recap: Why Isn't Ted Lilly Playing Left Field? - 8 hours ago
Now, we're absolutely fans of Thunder Matt's Saloon and its undying support of alcoholism but, after watching last night's game against the Satan Rays, the TLFC has one simple question for...

The Cub Reporter :: Boise Hawks Win Opener 6-5 - 8 hours ago
Jake Opitz hit a walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Boise Hawks to a 6-5 victory over the Eugene Emeralds before 3,519 fans on opening night at Memorial Stadium. The 12th...

The Cub Reporter :: Smokies pound BayBears 13-0 - 8 hours ago
Sevierville, TN - Tonight was the official beginning of the 2nd half of the season for the Tennessee Smokies, and the home team got out to a great start in a 13-0 drubbing of the visiting Mobile BayBe...

Cubby-Blue :: How Come I'm Not The Manager Of The Cubs? - 10 hours ago
How exciting was that game? The best 9th I've seen in awhile - what drama. Ray starting pitcher Kazmir is a leftie, Lou puts in an all-rightie lineup. I'm not surprised by that or thinking any...

The Cubs Brickyard :: Boston Celtics Win NBA Title - NBA Declares Playoffs Aren’t Over - 11 hours ago
(Boston, MA) - The Boston Celtics and their dynamic trio of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen had the NBA’s best record this season. It showed in the postseason, as they marched through ...

The Cub Reporter :: The Game That Slowly Lulled Me To Sleep - 11 hours ago
First Star - Grant Balfour (.174) Second Star - Ryan Dempster (.161) Third Star - Kosuke Fukudome (.150) Turd of the Game - Reed Johnson (-.204) I went to bed last night after the Cubs hit in ...

MLB News Blog Network :: Passan?s all-overpaid and all-underpaid teams (Yahoo! Sports) - 11 hours ago
It’s no secret which list Barry Zito and Andruw Jones are on, but all the Angels in the outfield too?

Bleed Cubbie Blue :: Almost Famous: Cubs 2, Rays 3 - 11 hours ago
CLEVELAND -- I missed about half of last night's 3-2 Cubs loss to the Rays, still on the road back to Chicago from Toronto and Cooperstown, but arrived at my hotel room in Cleveland (a convenient ...

Goat Riders of the Apocalypse :: Alfonso Soriano may return early - 11 hours ago
When Alfonso Soriano retires from baseball, he could probably get a job in the horror movie industry. Just when you think his body's been riddled with enough bullets that the threat of doom is ov...

Hire Jim Essian! :: Three More Years! Three More Years! - 13 hours ago
That’s right, nerds and perverts. It’s your old pal Jay Mariotti here. I’m back, baby! Three more years of Jay! It’s a lucky day for Chicago! I don’t like to use hyp... seems to be fine. I'm not having any problems with it using, and the feed looks fine when it's opened directly. It's most likely a configuration error or problem with your RSS reader.

Yeah, I know that, I use that, but it's not what I'm talking about. is the RSS reader and the RSS feed module in question, as I already posted, is "SPORTS BLOGS -Chicago Cubs Daily Entries" .

That's the module that aggregates the posts on Cubs blogs and all the entries labeled "The Cub Reporter" are actually feeds from the View from the Bleachers. Add it to your personalized and you'll see what I mean.

I'm not familiar with hat RSS feed... what's the link to it? Who provides it?

I guess you're saying that in that feed, items from "View from the Bleachers" are being listed as coming from "The Cub Reporter". Not cool.

I checked the RSS feed at "View from the Bleachers", and it gets attributed correctly. Therefore, the aggregator must be to blame...

see #63

Mark DeRosa interrupted Matt Murton's back-in-the-big-leagues news conference Tuesday with the question most people want the answer to:

''Will you stop hitting swinging bunts and start driving balls out of the ballpark with your quads the size of bricks?'' DeRosa said, grinning. ''Let's ask the real questions. You going to hit some home runs?''

FUKUDOME will be the #1 hitter in Lou's lineups until Soriano returns.

Cory Provis was just told by Lou...

You heard it on TCR first!

I like Fukudome batting 5th.

Will see.

Recent comments

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  • probably saturday depending on what they do with hammel (assuming friday for ham).

    crunch 4 hours 5 min ago view
  • Lester is going to get one more start, right? It sure would be nice to see him get a shot at 20 wins.

    Charlie 4 hours 36 min ago view
  • Nicely done! I think in my 10-14 games I went .500 or a little over. Strangely, I went to the Cards games they mostly lost (incl Saturday) and the one SF game they lost, plus a couple Brewers games they lost, too. I should have gone to just Reds games. But still - saw mostly very good baseball on the North Side this year. Regardless of what happens come October - the Cubs are positioned for some good times in the next 3-5 years.

    The E-Man 6 hours 38 sec ago view
  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 6 hours 53 min ago view
  • First Cub victory at home this year for me!
    Saw all four starters this year

    jacos 8 hours 17 min ago view
  • RIP Arnie. We could use a lot more like you -- a man who succeeded and failed on his own terms, a true original, and, finally, a remarkable example of graciousness towards others.

    billybucks 16 hours 12 min ago view
  • Cubs finish 33 over at home. I was, personally, one game over at 3-2, which was one of my better years in a while.

    I do hope that's the last time we see the Cardinals this year. A lot of power, which is dangerous, particularly in a short series, and they have really shut down KB all year.

    Oh, and Jon Lester? Damn!

    billybucks 16 hours 24 min ago view
  • Yes. Boating accident at 3AM. Very sad, but stupid. Young men do stupid things.

    billybucks 17 hours 20 min ago view
  • lester puts 2 on and is taken out at 96 pitches. oh well.

    edwards in.

    crunch 18 hours 4 min ago view
  • 2 out in the 7th, lester at 84 pitches, ross taken out for the standing O.

    it's possible contreras will catch lester for another inning+.

    crunch 18 hours 10 min ago view
  • What a weird day.  Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer, but then Scully and, on a much more modest level, Ross....

    Transmission 18 hours 44 min ago view
  • d.ross gets his 2nd standing O on the night (last home game of the season)...hits HR #10...curtain call. baseball.

    crunch 18 hours 46 min ago view
  • as a fan, he only "owes" us the game on the field and not getting in the way of others on his team being ready to play (imo).

    it's exponentially worse to his family and friends, but this dude most likely had 15+ years of play left and even though he just turned 24 a couple months ago he had already established himself as a top guy in the game.

    crunch 22 hours 8 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]

    Updated #Cubs probs vs Pirates: Mon, Hendricks vs Kuhl; Tue, Lackey vs Vogelsong; Wed, Arrieta vs Taillon; Thu, Zastryzny vs Nova

    crunch 22 hours 31 min ago view
  • I know what you're trying to say, Charlie, that none of us feels what his loved ones must be feeling.

    On the other hand, what makes a death like this tragic is precisely the loss, based on Fernandez's youth and brilliance, to the baseball world.

    So, for example, we can say that Princess Diana's death meant more, in aggregate, to millions of admirers who didn't know her personally than to her loved ones.

    VirginiaPhil 22 hours 32 min ago view
  • boston pitching snags a couple of mlb team records...

    "Over nine innings of play, Boston's staff struck out 11 straight Tampa Bay Rays hitters Sunday, breaking the major-league record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game.

    The previous record was held by former New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver, who struck out 10 straight hitters in 1970.

    Not only that, but with a strikeout to end the ninth, sending the game into extras, Boston's staff also struck out an MLB-record 21 batters over nine innings."

    crunch 22 hours 56 min ago view