Hoo-boy, the night game to day game turnaround is a tough one, but today's is going to be even worse than usual. The Cubs pulled out an 8-6 victory in 18 innings last night (not the only 18-inning game in the majors last night, incredibly), but it took two innings from today's scheduled starter, Rich Hill, which means they have about 3 hours to figure out who's going to start today.
The Cubs used all 25 of their players in the game -- both Carlos Zambrano
and Carlos Marmol pinch-hit in extra-innings -- and six players (Juan Pierre
, Jacque Jones
, and the entire infield of Aramis Ramirez
, Cesar Izturis
, Ronny Cedeno, and John Mabry
) played the entire game. Both Pierre and Mabry went 1-for-8, while Cedeno went 1-for-7. I'm predicting an infield of Neifi!, Ryan Theriot, Cedeno, and Phil Nevin
today, with Angel Pagan starting in place of Jones against the lefty Pettitte today.
As far as today's starter goes, it's not as easy as disabling someone and dipping down to AAA, as all the potential Iowa callups (Ryu, Williams, and the rehabbing Marshall) would be pitching on 0-3 days rest. The starter from five days ago, lefty Ryan O'Malley, isn't on the 40-man roster. This is sort of interesting, though -- the scheduled starter in tonight's game is a rehabbing Wade Miller
, who threw five days ago at West Tenn. It's supposed to be his final rehab start, and it's in Round Rock, which is about four hours from Houston. I would not be surprised to see him called up to start this afternoon, with Angel Guzman, who was set to be skipped but threw three innings last night, sent down to make room, and neither would Phil Rogers
Speaking of Rogers, I give him a hard time a lot of the time, so it's worth pointing out that I agree 100% with his "Give up on Prior? You're crazy!"
column from Monday. I couldn't have said it better myself, Phil.
[UPDATE 10:40 AM]
Pretty much no sooner did I type that than word comes via the comments that the Cubs may have, in fact, called up O'Malley. No official word on who was sent down or disabled to make room, but the way Scott Eyre
looked limping off the field last night, I'm guessing it's him.
O'Malley is a 26-year old lefty who was undrafted out of Memphis and signed with the Cubs in /02. He pitched very well at A and AA as a reliever and occasional starter, but in both '04 and '05 he struggled in callups to AAA:
2004 A+ Daytona: 2.64 ERA, 30 2/3 IP, 27 H, 6 BB, 28 K
2004 AA West Tenn: 3.72 ERA, 55 2/3 IP, 49 H, 20 BB, 37 K
2004 AAA Iowa: 8.62 ERA, 15 2/3 IP, 23 H, 6 BB, 8 K
2005 AA West Tenn: 3.91 ERA, 78 1/3 IP, 78 IP, 25 BB, 55 K
2005 AAA Iowa: 6.33 ERA, 27 IP, 40 H, 11 BB, 26 K
This year he's started more than he's relieved, and in 123 2/3 innings he's put up a 4.08 ERA, given up 135 hits, walked 30, and struck out 71. He has a mid-80s fastball who pitches to contact. He's described as a "control pitcher" but has walked 2/7 batters per 9 innings in his minor-league career, which doesn't bode well. According to this Inside The Ivy article
, he doesn't like being called a "finesse pitcher," so we'll just go with "crafty lefty."