Another day, another rookie pitcher. Good news is I think I saw Joe Morgan doing the Little League World Series so hopefully he won't be doing tonight's game. Little victories. Jae-kuk Ryu was optioned back to Iowa to make room for Walrond for some reason. Kerry Wood was transferred to the 60 day DL to make room for Walrond on the 40-man if your keeping track of such things. Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED--THIRTY IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (54-75 (Div) 5th - 14.5 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 12.0 GB) AT ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (68-60 (Div) 1st - 0 GB; (Wild Card) 1st - 0 GB) Busch Stadium, 7:05 pm CDT Weather: Partly Cloudy, 85 degrees, Wind out to CF @ 7 mph TV: ESPN Radio: WGN, XM 187
Jeff Weaver, RHP (NL Only) 2-3 5.74 ERA, 42.1 IP 21 K, 14 BB, 10 HR 309/367/530 againstLes Walrond, LHP (AAA) 10-5, 3.98 ERA, 133.1 IP 104 K, 59 BB, 11 HR 267/350/403 against

*Juan Pierre, CF *Freddie Bynum, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Jacque Jones, RF Michael Barrett, C *John Mabry, 1B Matt Murton, LF Ronny Cedeno, SS *Les Walrond, P Preston Wilson, RF *Chris Duncan, LF Albert Pujols, 1B Scott Rolen, 3B *Jim Edmonds, CF Juan Encarnacion, RF Ronnie Belliard, 2B #Aaron Miles, SS Gary Bennett, C Jeff Weaver, P

Cubs vs. Weaver: Jacque Jones: 8-27, 296/345/407, 2 K, 2 BB, 3 2B Phil Nevin: 7-25, 280/333/400, 7 K, 2 BB, 1 HR Juan Pierre:n 4-12, 333/333/500, 0 K, 0 BB, 1 3B John Mabry: 2-11, 182/250/455, 4 K, 1 BB, 1 HR Aramis Ramirez: 2-11, 182/308/182, 1 K, 2 BB Cardinals vs. Walrond: No Cardinals with more than 10 AB's
Well Dusty is back at it. You've probably already read this quote in the comments or another paper but it's so mind-bogglingly idiotic, I'd thought I'd share it with you all:
"On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage. On-base percentage just to clog up the bases isnít that great to me." "I think the problem we have to address as much as anything is the home run problem. They have out-homered us 2-1 in our own ballpark. That's the bigger problem."
Well yeah, our offense has been pretty darn putrid this year, here are our ranks in a number of categories: 10th in Home Runs, 15th in Extra Base Hits, 12th in Slugging Percentage, 16th in On-Base Percentage and 16th in Runs Scored. You can definitely see where power has been a problem this year. And it's really hard to put your finger on why that's been a problem. I mean it seems like we're missing a solid thirty to forty home run bat in the lineup. Right now the Cubs stand at 128 homers on the year, add thirty home runs to that and we're fifth in homers. Where could that come from? Maybe the guy who finished third in the NL MVP voting last year? Maybe if we didn't replace him with zeroes, Neifi, Jerry and Mabry for the bulk of his absence, we'd be doing a little better in the power department. I don't know, call me crazy.Yeah it's been a problem in terms of not having the proper backups on the bench to fill Lee's role, a fault which lies equally on Baker and Hendry. I put this up in the comments but it's worth repeating. Here's the Cubs rank in a number of offensive categories since Dusty took over. (HR/XBH/SLG/OBP/Runs Scored) 2003: 8/7/11/13/9 2004: 1/1/2/11/7 2005: 2/2/2/11/9 2006: 10/15/12/16/16 Hmm, which number seems to be dragging down our runs scored every year, particularly in 2004 and 2005? I think it's pretty clear that OBP is what has brought our offense down and not the power so much. The loss of Lee this year was catastrophic, particularly when Dusty decided to try and win with pitching and defense despite not having many good pitchers. He had some power bat options like Restovich and Nevin when he arrived. Yeah, they're not glamorous, but if he really feels that power was lacking, don't go starting the likes of Mabry, Neifi and Hairston instead. Go far away Dusty!
A few quick notes... - Jake Fox will play some left field and first base when he goes to the AFL, along with right field and catching that he's already doing in AA. Grant Johnson was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the DL in June and it looks like that's where he'll stay. Reports are that his velocity is back in the low 90's. - Then there's this weird article from the Trib headlined: "Marmol's pitch count too high, Baker says". Baker says Marmol throws too many pitches early in a game but then says guys get put on the DL right away now when before they'd pitch through it. And here's a fun quote talking about Maddux throwing 167 pitches in a game early in his career:
"If I left somebody out there 167 pitches, you'd [criticize] me."
Is he saying that high pitch counts can lead to injuries (like in Marmol's case) or that pitchers today and their organizations are just wimps? Once again you baffle me Dusty. He also downplayed that whole USA Today article about Cubs fans being racist. As for our current Cubbies, nice to see the real Angel Guzman step up yesterday even if the offense couldn't crack the wife-beater(let me guess, the fans at the park didn't boo Myers?) for most of the night. Guzman's got the repertoire of a #1 pitcher and he just needs to get the experience that the last few years of injury took from him. The kids going to be good if he can stay healthy which you can probably say about 95% of top pitching prospects. Speaking of top pitching prospects, Cole Hamels and his 10.30 K/9 rate show up today. I wonder if him and old pal Lee Gwaltney (now in the Cubs minor league system) got together and toured the Wrigleyville bar scene this week. Have a few drinks, get in some fights, use your pitching hand to throw a punch and then get one of your friends released because he's a bad influence. It should be a fun pitching matchup, the over/under on Zambrano's walks today is 7. Get your bets in. Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED-TWENTY-SEVEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (64-62 (Div) 2nd- 13.5 GB; (Wild Card) 3rd - 1.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (53-73 (Div) 5th - 13.5 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 12.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 1:20 pm CDT Weather: Cloudy, 75 degrees, Wind out to CF @ 9 mph TV: WGN Radio: WGN, XM 187
Carlos Zambrano, RHP 13-5, 3.34 ERA, 177.2 IP 173 K, 98 BB, 19 HR 206/317/360 againstCole Hamels, LHP 6-6, 4.40 ERA, 90 IP 103 K, 33 BB, 13 HR 237/304/423 against

#Jimmy Rollins, SS #Shane Victorino, RF *Chase Utley, 2B *Ryan Howard, 1B *David Dellucci, RF Chris Coste, C Joe Thurston, LF #Abraham Nunez, 3B *Cole Hamels, P *Juan Pierre, CF Ryan Theriot, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Phil Nevin, 1B Matt Murton, LF Michael Barrett, C #Angel Pagan, RF Ronny Cedeno, SS #Carlos Zambrano, P

Phillies vs. Zambrano: Abraham Nunez: 2-17, 118/250/176, 3 K, 3 BB, 1 2B Jimmy Rollins: 3-14, 214/267/286, 2 K, 1 BB, 1 2B Jose Hernandez: 2-10, 200/400/200, 4 K, 4 BB, 0 XBH Cubs vs. Hamels: No Cubs have ever faced Hamels
Hey look, Jones sitting versus a tough lefty. You go Baker!
So has there even been another baseball team with two Angel's on their team? Hmmm, I wonder. The Cubs march to a top five draft pick continues as they continue to help another team's quest for the playoffs. And if the Cubs fans who go to the games were any real kind of baseball fans, they'd go out and boo the hell out of Myers for taking some aggression out on his wife instead of poor fellas like Jacque Jones not even a month into a new deal. Go Angel, Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED-TWENTY-SIX IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (63-62 (Div) 2nd- 13.5 GB; (Wild Card) 3rd - 2.0 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (53-72 (Div) 5th - 13.5 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 12.0 GB) Wrigley Field, 7:05 pm CDT Weather: Cloudy, 88 degrees, Wind Out to RF @ 12 mph TV: WGN Radio: WGN, XM 187
Angel Guzman, RHP 0-3, 6.68 ERA, 31 IP 33 K, 23 BB, 3 HR 292/412/467 againstBrett Myers, RHP 8-6, 4.40 ERA, 141 IP 130 K, 48 BB, 23 HR 271/330/459 against

#Jimmy Rollins, SS #Shane Victorino, RF *Chase Utley, 2B *Ryan Howard, 1B Pat Burrell, LF *David Dellucci, RF Mike Lieberthal, C #Abraham Nunez, 3B Brett Myers, P *Juan Pierre, CF *Freddie Bynum Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Jacque Jones, RF Michael Barrett, C *John Mabry, 1B* Matt Murton, LF Ronny Cedeno, SS Angel Guzman, P

Phillies vs. Guzman: No Phillies with more than 10 Ab's Cubs vs. Myers: Juan Pierre: 13-34, 382/405/412, 1 K, 2 BB, 1 2B Aramis Ramirez: 4-12, 333/333/667, 4 K, 0 BB, 1 HR
Barrett's back in action, Bynum though is hitting second. With the good comes the bad. Wind is blowing out to right at 12 mph, get our your gloves when Howard and Utlley come up.
Game time is fast approaching but the Cubs made (another) roster move today as Ryan O'Malley found out what life as a Cubs pitcher is like pretty fast, hitting the DL with a "medial left elbow sprain". Jae-kuk Ryu has been called up to rid Wrigley of annoying pigeons that hang out under the grandstands. In other news, Will Carroll over at has heard some whispers that Prior's shoulder issues may be similar to Kerry Wood's. And well that rehabilitation process went really well. And is it the same injury that Wood had surgery for or the one that was just diagnosed? Unless the first diagnosis was a misdiagnosis, which in that case it's all the same injury. Carroll also teases us with this little bit:
Marcus Giles wonít return to the Braves lineup until the weekend. The Braves are expected to deal him in the offseason.
(Drooling) And Derrek Lee looked fantastic in batting practice the other day and reported none of the issues afterwards that he experienced the first time he tried to come back.
Cesar Izturis was placed on the DL today after straining his hamstring last night, and Buck Coats' contract was purchased to replace him. Oh, if only the Cubs had a guy like Neifi Perez on their roster, who could step in and take over for Izturis. I'll let Arizona Phil talk about Coats in a bit more depth, but my impression of him is that he's a guy who hits like a middle infielder but can't field like one. Today's tale of the tape:
   Moyer vs. O'Malley
GS 510 1
W 211 1
K 1966 2
IP 3299.2 8
Moyer makes his first start for the Phillies and first start at Wrigley Field since October 2, 1988, his last start as a Cub before he was traded, along with Rafael Palmeiro and Drew Hall, to the Texas Rangers for Mitch Williams, Paul Kilgus, Steve Wilson, Curt Wilkerson, Luis Benitez and Pablo Delgado. After bouncing around for the first half of his career (six teams in the first decade), he ended up in Seattle at age 32 and pitched for them for the last decade. When Moyer left the Cubs, Ryan O'Malley was 8 years old. GAME ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (62-62 (Div) 2nd- 13.5 GB; (Wild Card) 3rd - 2.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (53-71 (Div) 5th - 13.5 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 11.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 7:05 pm CDT Weather: Clear, 84 degrees, Wind out to C @ 5 mph TV: CSN, DirecTV 743 Radio: WGN, XM 187
Ryan O'Malley, LHP 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8 IP 2 K, 6 BB, 0 HR 172/314/172 againstJamie Moyer, LHP 6-12, 4.39 ERA, 160 IP 82 K, 44 BB, 25 HR 285/331/484 against

#Shane Victorino, CF #Danny Sandoval, 2B #Jimmy Rollins, SS *Ryan Howard, 1B Pat Burrell, LF Mike Lieberthal, C *Dave Dellucci, LF #Abraham Nunez, 3B Jamie Moyer, P *Juan Pierre, CF Ryan Theriot, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Phil Nevin, 1B *Jacque Jones, RF Matt Murton, RF Henry Blanco, C Ronny Cedeno, SS Ryan O'Malley, P

Phillies vs. O'Malley: No Phillies has ever faced Cubs vs. Moyer: Phil Nevin: 7-24, 292/370/458, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K Jacque Jones: 5-16, 313/389/375, 1 BB, 2 K
Michael Barrett's arm must be pretty banged up, as we're being treated to our third straight day of Blancomania. Or maybe he's in the lineup as part of Dusty's "Give a Guy With A Sub-.300 OBP A Regular Job Campaign" now that Neifi is gone. The Phils are dealing with some injuries, too -- I got a chance to watch last night's game, the first Cubs game I've seen in weeks ever since I switched from DirecTV to Comcast and lost the Extra Innings package, and witnessed the collision between Aaron Rowand and Chase Utley that put Rowand on the DL with a broken ankle and Utley on the bench tonight. Rowand is lucky he doesn't have a concussion and/or a broken neck or shoulder, given how awkwardly he landed on his head after the collision. Go Cubs!
The Cubs announced which players they'll be sending to the Arizona Fall League this year and the lucky seven are: (Drumroll Please) Carmen Pignatiello - LHP Lincoln Holdzkom - RHP Grant Johnson - RHP Clay Rapada - LHP Jake Fox - C Scott Moore - 3B Eric Patterson - 2B It appears the trend for the Cubs lately in regards to the AFL is to reward position players who have had a good season and then mix up the pitchers between relievers and those who missed time due to injury. This year Johnson and Holdzkom fall into that last category much like Angel Guzman last year. This will be Patterson's second consectutive trip to the AFL. I'm also guessing one of the players will be deemed a "taxi squad player" since I believe you can only send six regular roster players to the AFL. Taxi Squad players can only play on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Cubs will also be sending AA manager and former major league Pat Listach to manage the Mesa Solar Sox who are comprised of players from the Astros, Dodgers, Twins and Mets as well as the Cubs.
Just in time to temper our excitement over Neifi getting traded, the Cubs activated Freddie Bynum and Glendon Rusch today, while putting Carlos Marmol on the DL. The Pfightin' Phils come into town on the back of 2 ex-Cubs pitchers, Jon Lieber and Jamie Moyer. Okay, more on the back of Ryan Howard and a guy who could have been a Cub, Chase Utley. How could he have been a Cub? Well he was drafted 15th in the 2000 draft, 12 picks ahead of the extremely useless Luis Montanez. Of course, fourteen other teams had a crack at him too. The Phils themselves have shot back into the playoff race since jettisoning David Bell who had a strangle-hold on the organization. Once they showed that trouble-maker the door, a whole new spirit infected the team. There was also that little trade with the Yanks involving some All-Star guy whose name evades me at the moment. Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED-TWENTY-FOUR IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (61-62 (Div) 2nd- 14 GB; (Wild Card) 4th - 2.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (53-70 (Div) 5th - 13.0 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 10.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 7:05 pm CDT Weather: Clear, 77 degrees, Wind from R to L @ 8 mph TV: CSN, DirecTV 740 Radio: WGN, XM 187
Rich Hill, LHP 3-5, 6.90 ERA, 44.1 IP 32 K, 26 BB, 9 HR 285/379/533 againstJon Lieber, RHP 5-9, 5.10 ERA, 120 IP 72 K, 22 BB, 18 HR 281/317/459 against

#Jimmy Rollins, SS #Shane Victorino, RF *Chase Utley, 2B *Ryan Howard, 1B Pat Burrell, LF Aaron Rowand, CF Chris Coste, C #Abraham Nunez, 3B Jon Lieber, P *Juan Pierre, CF #Cesar Izturis, SS Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Jacque Jones, RF #Angel Pagan, LF *John Mabry, 1B* Henry Blanco, C Ronny Cedeno, 2B *Rich Hill, P

Phillies vs. Hill: No Phillies with more than 10 Ab's Cubs vs. Lieber: Phil Nevin: 5-24, 208/222/292, 7 K, 1 BB, 2 2B Aramis Ramirez: 5-23, 217/217/217, 6 K, 0 BB Juan Pierre: 6-18, 333/333/389, 2 K, 0 BB, 1 2B Michael Barrett: 4-15, 267/313/267, 0 K, 1 BB John Mabry: 2-14, 143/200/214, 5 K, 1 BB, 1 2B Jacque Jones: 3-13, 231/231/462, 5 K, 0 BB, 1 HR Henry Blanco: 4-11, 364/417/455 3 K, 1 BB, 1 2B
UPDATE: Here's the press release from It doesn't say anything about the Cubs sending cash the Tigers way which means there's some millions freed up for next year. According to Len on the WGN broadcast, TCR whipping boy Neifi Perez has been dealt to the Detroit Tigers for 22 minor league old catcher Chris Robinson. Robinson was a third round selection of the Tigers in the 2005 draft and made the Florida State League All-Star team this year. And he's a U of I boy to boot which I'm sure will make many Cubs fans happy. Here's a quick blurb via
He controls pitching staffs well, and provides a calming influence during games. His receiving skills are only average, but he works diligently to try and improve them. Robinsonís arm is very strong, with a quick release, and very good foot work.
Offensively he doesn't sound like much now, a line drive stroke that hasn't translated into much power. His numbers at Hi-A Lakeland for the year were: 288/338/367 with 1 HR, 47 RBI, 72 K, 25 BB in 319 AB's. As for Neifi, don't let the door hit you on the way out. Good riddance! I really don't want to spend another moment on his worthlessness. Good luck Tigers, you'll need it. AZ PHIL: Cubs minor league managers, coaches, and players have had a chance to get a good look at Chris Robinson the past two seasons, what with Chris playing last year in the Midwest League at West Michigan and this year in the FSL at Lakeland. A little more on Chris Robinson: DEFENSE: Chris Robinson's defensive stats compared to other catchers in Cubs organization (thru 8/19): AT LAKELAND Chris Robinson 32-126 CS (25%) - 7 E, 16 PB CUBS: Michael Barrett 21-104 CS (20%) ñ 5 E, 9 PB Henry Blanco 12-26 CS (46%) - 1 E, 1 PB IOWA: Geovany Soto 32-118 CS (28%) ñ 8 E, 3 PB Jose Reyes 24-65 CS (37%) - 2 E, 3 PB Casey Kopitzke 9-22 CS (41%) ñ 0 E, 2 PB WEST TENN: Jake Fox 29-98 CS (30%) ñ 7 E, 19 PB Tony Richie 14-46 CS (30%) - 1 E, 2 PB DAYTONA: Jake Muyco 49-99 CS (49%) ñ 8 E, 6 PB Alan Rick 13-50 CS (26%) ñ 0 E, 8 PB PEORIA: Mark Reed 32-82 CS (39%) ñ 3 E, 3 PB Blake Lalli 6-24 CS (25%) ñ 3 E, 4 PB Olin Wick 1-5 CS (20%) ñ 1 PB, 1 E BOISE: Matt Canepa 5-37 CS (14%) ñ 3 E, 9 PB Mario Mercedes 10-29 CS (34%) - 2 E, 5 PB Adam Hackstedt 9-14 CS (64%) ñ 0 E, 3 PB Welington Castillo 0-2 CS (0%) - 0 E, 2 PB MESA: Carlos T. Perez 16-48 CS (33%) - 5 E, 4 PB Cory Vanderhook 18-36 CS (50%) ñ 0 E, 2 PB Blake Parker 4-6 CS (67%) ñ 1 E, 3 PB Robinson's defensive numbers are very similar to those of Jake Fox, except Fox has a slightly better CS % while Robinson has three fewer passed balls. But both clearly have significant defensive shortcomings. However, Fox's defensive problems are a bit more tolerable because he profiles as a power-hitting middle-of-the-order run producer type, while Robinson is more of a "singles hitter." OFFENSE: Robinson does not hit home runs, but he does hit doubles. He also doesn't walk much ("Welcome to the Cubs!") and he strikes out about once in every five PA. After struggling at the plate through the first three months of the season, Robinson has been on fire in July & August: JULY-AUGUST 29 GAMES 36-104 (.346) .370 OBP .451 SLG .821 OPS 0 HR & 19 RBI 11 2B 4 BB 19 K Robinson will probably share catching duties the last few days of the 2006 season with Jake Muyco at Daytona. Muyco is an excellent defensive catcher and is one of the best "catch & throw" guys in all of minor league baseball. Muyco's problem is that he is a lousy hitter. Maybe they can help each other improve in the areas where they are deficient. Otherwise, I would expect Robinson or Muyco (but probably not both) to move up to AA in 2007, with the other remaining at Daytona to share catching duties with lefty-hitter Mark Reed (who will almost certainly move up from Peoria to Daytona next season). In summary, Chris Robinson does not appear at this point to have the combination of offensive & defensive skills to be a #1 catcher. Hopefully he will continue his hot hotting into the 2007 season and work hard to improve his defense.
Poor Juan Mateo is scouring up memories of Sergio Mitre from last year when he had to face Clemens and Halladay , although not in back-to-back starts. Of course Mitre went out and threw two of the best games he'll probably ever pitch. I'm all for a repeat. Cubs are only a half game behind the Nationals in the wild card race. Keep the hope alive....or don't. Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED-TWENTY-THREE IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (65-57 (Div) 1st- 0 GB; (Wild Card) N/A) AT CHICAGO CUBS (53-69 (Div) 5th - 12.0 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 9.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 1:20 pm CDT Weather: Partly Cloudy, 73 degrees, Wind in from LF @ 11mph TV: WGN Radio: WGN, XM 187
Juan Mateo, RHP 1-0, 3.00 ERA, 12 IP 5 K, 6 BB, 0 HR 205/318/359 againstChris Carpenter, RHP 11-6, 3.09 ERA, 160.1 IP 131 K, 34 BB, 18 HR 267/365/333 against

#Aaron Miles, SS *Chris Duncan, LF Albert Pujols, 1B Scott Rolen, 3B Juan Encarnacion, CF Preston Wilson, RF Ronnie Belliard, 2B Yadier Molina, C Chris Carpenter, P *Juan Pierre, CF #Cesar Izturis, SS Matt Murton, LF Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Jacque Jones, RF Phil Nevin, 1B Henry Blanco, C Ronny Cedeno, 2B Juan Mateo, P

Cardinals vs Mateo: No Cardinals with more than 10 Ab's Cubs vs. Carpenter: Aramis Ramirez: 8-31, 258/258/387, 8 K, 0 BB, 1 HR Micahel Barrett: 6-29, 207/258/414, 7 K, 2 BB, 2 HR Juan Pierre: 3-16, 188/278/250, 0 K, 2 BB, 1 2B Neifi Perez: 3-14, 214/200/214, 0 K, 0 BB, 0 XBH Jacque Jones: 3-14, 214/214/500, 7 K, 0 BB, 1 HR Phil Nevin: 0-13, 000/000/000, 3 K, 0 BB Carlos Zambrano: 6-10, 600/600/700, 2 K, 0 BB, 1 HR
Dick Pole: So here are the numbers against Carpenter, looks like Nevin has had all sorts of problems against him. Dusty: (Snore) Dick Pole: Oh yeah and Neifi is one of the worst hitters to ever play baseball. Dusty: (Snore) Dick Pole: Um, Dusty, wake up man. Dusty: (Waking up) Dude, here's the lineup for today, my grandma once told me that you've got to breathe, eat right and always start the gnome-like shorstop. Dick Pole: What? Dusty: All I know is that Nevin is due for a hit. Dick Pole: (under breath) All I know is that you're an idiot. Slap a first basemen's glove on Z for god's sake or something. So what's up with Barrett?
Okay so we don't own the Cardinals at Wrigley, my bad. I meant to say we bow to your greatness, you crimson-colored state bird of Illinois. Z's back on the mound today and I wonder if he's approaching the season record for walks given up in a season, because he's given up a whole lot. Anyway, a national audience gets to watch our patheticness today. Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED-TWENTY-TWO IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (65-56 (Div) 1st- 0 GB; (Wild Card) N/A) AT CHICAGO CUBS (52-69 (Div) 5th - 13.0 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 9.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 12:20 pm CDT Weather: Overcast, 73 degrees, Wind from L to R @ 8 mph TV: Fox, Radio: WGN, XM 187
Carlos Zambrano, RHP 13-5, 3.38 ERA, 170.2 IP 167 K, 96 BB, 18 HR 205/318/359 againstJeff Suppan, RHP 9-7, 5.00 ERA, 133.1 IP 74 K, 51 BB, 19 HR 287/357/482 against

#Aaron Miles, SS *Chris Duncan, LF Albert Pujols, 1B Scott Rolen, 3B #Scott Spiezo, LF Preston Wilson, CF Ronnie Belliard, 2B Yadier Molina, C Jeff Suppan, P *Juan Pierre, CF #Neifi Perez, SS Matt Murton, LF Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Jacque Jones, RF *John Mabry, 1B Henry Blanco, C Ronny Cedeno, 2B #Carlos Zambrano, P

Cardinals vs Zambrano: Scott Rolen: 7-36, 194/237/417, 5 K, 2 BB, 2 HR Albert Pujols: 8-36, 222/333/444, 7 K, 6 BB, 2 HR Jim Edmonds: 6-33, 182/357/394, 18 K, 6 BB, 2 HR Juan Encarnacion: 2-19, 105/150/105, 5 K, 1 BB, 0 XBH Preston Wilson: 5-19, 263/263/316, 7 K, 0 BB, 1 2B David Eckstein: 3-19, 158/200/158,1 K, 0 BB, 0 XBH Ronnie Belliard: 2-11, 182/357/273, 2 K, 3 BB, 1 2B Aaron Miles: 4-11, 364/500/364, 2 K, 2 BB, 0 XBH Cubs vs. Suppan: Jacque Jones: 11-33, 333/488/697, 7 K, 10 BB, 4 HR Aramis Ramirez: 5-18, 278/350/556 ,1 K, 2 BB, 1HR Michael Barrett: 8-18, 444/474/444, 1K, 1 BB Cesar Izturis: 5-18, 278/316/333, 0 K, 1 BB, 1 2B Neifi Perez: 5-15, 333/375/333, 0 K, 1 BB Juan Pierre: 4-13, 308/357/308, 1 K, 1 BB Henry Blanco: 2-10, 200/200/500,2 K, 0 BB, 1 HR
I wonder why Barrett's getting the day off? I wonder why Dusty hates us?
The almighty Redbirds march into Wrigley Field which has been their own version of "The Killing Fields", losing all seven games they've played here this year. Today's pitchers met back on July 28th here at Wrigley, a game in which Marmol walked seven in a five and third innings. That sounds familiar. But we seem to bring out the very worst in Scott Rolen who committed a throwing error in the fourth which would have ended the inning (He has something like 3 or 4 crucial errors against us this year, he only has 10 for the whole season). Pierre promptly tripled in three runs and the Cubs held on for victory. Another fun stat, Pujols is 4 for 24 at Wrigley this year without a homer. Do not taunt Albert Pujols or Happy Fun Ball! Cubs could make the Central very interesting with another sweep this weekend. Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED-TWENTY-ONE IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (64-56 (Div) 1st- 0 GB; (Wild Card) N/A) AT CHICAGO CUBS (52-68 (Div) 5th - 12.0 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 9.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 1:20 pm CDT Weather: Overcast, 82 degrees, Wind Out to CF @ 8 mph TV: CSN, DirecTV 735 Radio: WGN, XM 187
Carlos Marmol, RHP 5-5, 5.50 ERA, 68.2 IP 52 K, 55 BB, 11 HR 234/378/464 againstJason Marquis, RHP 12-11, 5.71 ERA, 156 IP 73 K, 55 BB, 28 HR 283/352/497 against

David Eckstein, SS *Chris Duncan, LF Albert Pujols, 1B Scott Rolen, 3B Juan Encarnacion, CF Preston Wilson, RF Ronnie Belliard, 2B Gary Bennett, C *Jason Marquis, P *Juan Pierre, CF #Cesar Izturis Michael Barrett, C Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Jacque Jones, RF #Angel Pagan, LF *John Mabry, 1B Ronny Cedeno, 2B Carlos Marmol, P

Cardinals vs Marmol: No Cardinals with more than 10 AB's Cubs vs. Marquis: Juan Pierre: 6-23, 261/346/435, 1 K, 3 BB, 3 XBH Michael Barrett: 8-22, 364/440/591, 0 K, 4 BB, 4 XBH Aramis Ramirez: 8-19, 421/476/737, 1 K , 2 BB, 3 XBH Cesar Izturis: 5-12, 417/417/500, 2 K, 0 BB, 1 2B
Preston Wilson signed with the Cardinals today and Edmonds is out indefinitely with post-concussion syndrome, something that has knocked Corey Koskie and Mike Matheny out for the season. Poor Matt Murton sits again. I don't even want to bring up his August numbers.
We are just about at the 3/4 mark in the 2006 MLB season. With the addition of Ryan O'Malley to the 40-man roster yesterday, the Cubs 40-man roster is now full. When (if) Wade Miller (shoulder) returns from the 60-day DL (probably sometime in the next couple of weeks), it is likely that Kerry Wood (shoulder) will be transferred to the 60-day DL to make room for Miller on the 40-man roster. Like Miller, Sean Marshall (oblique) and Freddie Bynum (blood clot in shoulder) are presently on minor league rehab assignments and could be reactivated from the DL in the next few days. Glendon Rusch (elbow) is probably healthy enough to be reactivated from the DL right now, but I would be surprised if he is reactivated before September 1st. Scott Eyre (hamstring) will be eligible to be reactivated from the 15-day DL on August 31st, but will probably be reactivated on September 1st when rosters are expanded. If Derrek Lee (wrist) and/or Mark Prior (shoulder) return to action prior to the close of the 2006 season, it will probably be no earlier than sometime in September. Here is the current up-to-date personnel status for the Cubs organization, nearing the end of the 2006 season and soon to be heading into the off-season:
Today's tale of the tape:
Pettitte  vs. O'Malley:
  350 &nbsp&nbsp GS &nbsp  0
  183 &nbsp&nbsp W &nbsp&nbsp  0
  1661   K &nbsp   0
  2257.1 IP &nbsp  0
Ryan O'Malley gets the default start today with Scott Eyre hitting the DL with a strained hamstring. According to that Trib article, he's the 7th Cubs rookie pitcher this year and 4th to make his major leage debut in a starting role. As for last night's marathon affair, I tuned in on my XM radio on my drive home to hear the Astros take the lead and pretty much got through the bottom of the eighth. Forgetting the game was on WGN and figuring it was over, I went inside and spent a couple of hours with the kids before putting them to bed. I went to check the boxscore to see the final damage and saw the game was still going on and in the 15th inning. I decided to check out the parachat to see if any insomniacs were still around and there were a good 10-15 TCR'ites still fighting the good fight. Of course they were playing Hangman and 20 Questions, but most stuck around until the end. There were calls to officially reference the game as "The Murton Game" ala the '84 "Sandberg game", but I'm not sure ballplayers can get games named after them in a non-playoff season. But still what a performance by Murton and by most of the bullpen sans Wuertz and Ohman. Today should be fun, Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED-TWENTY IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (51-68 (Div) 5th - 12.5 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 10.0 GB) AT HOUSTON ASTROS (57-62, (Div) 3rd - 6.5 GB; (Wild Card) 6th - 4.0 GB) The Juice Park, 1:05 pm CDT Weather: Roof Closed TV: WGN, DirecTV 734 Radio: WGN, XM 186
Andy Pettitte, LHP 11-12, 4.86 ERA, 159.1 IP 136 K, 54 BB, 22 HR 300/353/493 againstRyan O'Malley, LHP (AAA) 7-7, 4.08 ERA, 123.2 IP 71 K, 30 BB, 9 HR 286/330/429 against

*Juan Pierre, CF Ryan Theriot, 2B Michael Barrett, C Aramis Ramirez, 3B Phil Nevin, 1B #Angel Pagan, RF Matt Murton, LF #Neifi Perez, SS *Ryan O'Malley, P Wily Taveras, CF Chris Burke, 2B #Lance Berkman, 1B *Luke Scott, LF Morgan Ensberg, 3B Jason Lane, RF Adam Everett, SS Brad Ausmus, C *Andy Pettitte, P

Cubs vs Pettitte: Neifi Perez: 8-29, 276/276/414, 2 K, 0 BB, 4 2B Phil Nevin: 6-21, 286/423/524, 6 K, 5 BB, 1 HR Aramis Ramirez: 6-17, 353/353/882, 2 K, 0 BB, 3 2B, 2 HR Jacque Jones: 2-16, 125/176/188, 7 K, 1 BB, 1 2B Michael Barrett: 5-15, 333/474/600, 4 K, 4 BB, 1 HR Matt Murton: 4-14, 286/412/286, 3 K, 3 BB, 0 XBH Juan Pierre: 4-11, 364/417/455, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 2B Astros vs. O'Malley: No Astros with more than 10 AB's
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."


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