You just can't put too much stock into any of the games the Cubs play this week, even if they're against potential playoff opponents playing for everything as the Cubs play for nothing. But if you consider them the practice tests before the Cubs have to take the ACT's next week, I think a few members of the Cubs need to do a cram session this weekend.
Fukudome at bat after the 10th inning ARam HR. Click on the link to enlarge the fan behind the home plate ump.
The Brewers took advantage of four errors and seven walks to defeat the Cubs 10-1 at Maryvale Baseball Complex Field #7 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon in Phoenix.
While the main purpose of "Instructs" is to provide lots of coaches and instructors and a less-pressurized, more low-key environment that allows pitchers to work on a new pitch or on their secondary stuff and position players to try a new position, make adjustments as a hitter, or improve their baserunning, the fact is somedays the Cubs youngsters look better than they do on other days. And today was just not one of the good days.
|SP||Carlos Zambrano||SP||*Oliver Perez|
|14-6, 3.77, 128 K, 68 BB, 184 IP||10-7, 4.10, 168 K, 97 BB, 184.1 IP|
|LF||Alfonso Soriano||SS||#Jose Reyes|
|SS||Ryan Theriot||LF||*Daniel Murphy|
|1B||Derrek Lee||3B||David Wright|
|3B||Aramis Ramirez||CF||#Carlos Beltran|
|RF||Mark DeRosa||1B||*Carlos Delgado|
|CF||Reed Johnson||RF||*Ryan Church|
|2B||Ronny Cedeno||C||*Brian Schneider|
|C||Henry Blanco||2B||#Argenis Reyes|
|P||#Carlos Zambrano||P||*Oliver Perez|
After a lifetime spent listening to ballgames on the radio, I have come to associate certain parks with a certain tone, a certain pitch in the crowd sound. Obviously, my ear is well attuned to the way that Wrigley Field crowds come across on-air. Same with Dodger Stadium, Fenway Park, and the Metrodome. (Loved hearing all those Twins fans Tuesday night!)
Shea Stadium is another one of those parks. Unlike what you hear over the radio from those other parks, however, the crowd sound that goes out over the airwaves from a raucous Shea isn't one of collective joy. It's much more coarse, much more dangerous, a wild, unruly roar—like the sound of inmates rooting on two guys aiming to shank each other in the middle of the yard.
One of the many toys at Baseball Prospectus is something they call "Secret Sauce". BP has successfully cracked the code to playoff success and nailed the last 45 World Series winners. What? How have you never heard of this amazing prediction system? Because I made that last part up, but nevertheless a fun tool to look at as we await our playoff opponent.
I looked back through 2000 and BP did predict three World Series winners and six of the 16 participants in the World Series correct. You scoff, but what's your playoff prediction success rate?
The formula is simple enough and rather intuitive to what is commonly believed among baseball folks that power pitching, a good closer and good defense wins in the playoffs. In this case, BP uses FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average), EqK9 (Equivalent Strikeout Rates per 9 innings) and WXRL (Win above Replacement Pitcher for the team's closer) and comes up with a score.
Their predictions and the 2008 rankings after the jump.
Junior Lake drove in three runs, Matt Cerda had three hits, and Brandon Guyer belted a solo home run, as the Cubs defeated the Giants 5-2 this afternoon in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
Well there isn't much to do this week but speculate, so let's take a look at the potential Cubs first round playoff opponent. There's a poll at the end of the post.
- Sean Marshall will start Tuesday and Rich Harden will start Thursday. Letting Marshall start Tuesday means he'll likely get the start for the likely season finale on Sunday as well. Lou also said he won't be lightening any workloads for Harden or Zambrano this series. Pushing Harden to Thursday also means Lilly will get moved to a Saturday start.
Brandon Guyer slammed a two-run homer and had three hits, and six pitchers combined to throw a three-hitter, as the Cubs defeated the A's 6-2 in AZ Instructional League Opening Day action at the Papago Sports Complex in Phoenix this afternoon.