I Can't Wait for Derrek Lee to Punch Sean Marshall in the Mouth

Wednesday night the Brewers won their 8th consecutive game, and the consensus is that the streak grew directly out of the dugout shoving match-turned-public apology involving Prince Fielder and Manny Parra. (Note to consensus: the fact that the Brewers have been playing the Nats and the Padres might also be a contributing factor.)

The Cubs have been doing just fine, thank you—7 consecutive road wins,11 victories in 14 games overall, maintaining a 3 1/2-game lead in the NL Central—but still, it's nice to know that we could conjure an 8-game run whenever we needed it simply by initiating a little Cub-on-Cub action.

Hell, it's not like we don't have the boys with backgrounds in intramural brawling: Lou Piniella (grappled with Rob Dibble to a draw), Ted Lilly (TKO over his Toronto manager, John Gibbons), and Carlos Zambrano (knocked out Michael Barrett, all the way into the National League West!).

Sure, we could follow the Milwaukee match-making strategy and have Lee (our Fielder) take on Marshall (our Parra), or we could be a little more creative.

Some ideas:

Tags: 

Game 119 Thread / Cubs @ Braves (1 of 3)

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SP Jason Marquis SP Charlie Morton

7-7, 4.73, 67 K, 47 BB, 123.2 IP
3-5, 5.70, 32 K, 22 BB, 53.2 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano RF *Gregor Blanco
RF *Kosuke Fukudome SS Yunel Escobar
1B Derrek Lee 3B #Chipper Jones
3B Aramis Ramirez C #Brian McCann
CF *Jim Edmonds 1B *Casey Kotchmann
2B Mark DeRosa LF Omar Infante
C Geovany Soto CF *Mark Kotsay
SS  Ryan Theriot 2B *Kelly Johnson
P *Jason Marquis P Charlie Morton

 

UPDATED UPDATE: Marquis will start the first game in today's day/night doubleheader with our man Harden going in the nightcap. Otherwise the lineup remains unchanged from last evening.

UPDATE: Nevermind, the game has been called.

The Cubs try to stay North of the standings as they head South to play the Braves and Marlins on a six game road trip. Fresh off a 6-3 homestand, where they managed to lose a game and a half in the standings, the Cubs will look for their sixth straight road win tonight. 

Minor League Stat Gazing

A quick look at how some of our minor leaguers are doing with less than a month to go on the minor-league season. My apologies in advance for any typos in the stats.

Iowa - AAA (70-52 1st place by 6 games)
(note: assuming they hang on, it's likely that most of the September call-ups will wait until the Iowa Cubs playoff run is over, although I think Koyie Hill will get called up immediately to give the Cubs a 3rd catcher.)

Name Age BA OBP SLG OPS PA HR SB
Micah Hoffpauir 28 .362 .384 .751 1.135 237 19 0
Jason Dubois 29 .323 .417 .715 1.132 218 22 1
Josh Kroeger 25 .305 .374 .520 .894 412 13 9
Felix Pie 23 .289 .332 .478 .810 276 8 7
Koyie Hill 29 .281 .355 .492 .847 355 14 3

Pitchers

Name Age IP K BB HR ERA
Justin Berg 24 83 43 45 10 5.75
Randy Wells 25 97.2 82 29 13 4.74
Michael Wuertz 29 12.2 20 6 2 4.97

Notes: Hoffpauir was just named PCL player of the week. Felix Pie was out with another injury to his hand for about a week but has recently returned. He has hit .359 over his last 10 games played. Justin Berg was acquired in the Matt Lawton trade to the Yankees in 2005.

Top 5 Favorite Cubs vs. Cardinals Moments

When you start writing a sports blog, there's a little handbook handed out to everyone that tells you how to drive up your traffic. The list includes posting drunken photos of players, hot women (they don't even have to be sports-related), making up trade rumors and top ten lists. The criteria for this post was the top ten moments I could remember off the top of my head...I only came up with five.

#5 - Michael Barrett grand slam home run at Wrigley

There wasn't a whole lot of hope entering the 2006 season, but there still was some if EVERYTHING broke the right way. And if Mark Prior and Kerry Wood were healthy ($5 to the TCR tip jar for uttering that phrase). The Cubs started off splitting two against the Reds on the road and then came home for three against the Cardinals. By the time Sunday rolled around, they had won the first two and were looking for blood - Cardinal blood!!

Sean Marshall got the first start of his career and put the Cubs in a quick two-run hole after giving up a first-inning blast to Scott Rolen. The Cubs battled back and by the eighth it was 4-3 Cardinals. After Ricardo Rincon walked Todd Walker to leadoff the inning, God's-gift-to-managing Tony LaRussa went to his closer Jason Isringhausen for the two-inning save. He promptly walked Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez  to load them up for Michael Barrett. Barrett then nailed a 2-2 pitch deep into the Sunday night air, way out in left field to give the Cubs a 7-4 lead. They added an insurance run and won 8-4.

The Cubs made it through April with a 13-10 record and then lost about 25 straight to start May and maybe another 15 or so to end May and I think there were a few 10 and 8 game losing streaks as well in June and July. But for one magnificent evening, Michael Barrett made us feel like champions (cue theme song from "Rudy").  

Game 118 Thread / Cardinals @ Cubs (3 of 3)

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SP Chris Carpenter SP Ryan Dempster
  0-0, 1.00, 4 K, 2 BB, 9 IP   12-5, 2.93, 133 K, 59 BB, 150.2 IP
       
CF *Skip Schumaker LF Alfonso Soriano
LF Joe Mather RF *Kosuke Fukudome
1B Albert Pujols 1B Derrek Lee
RF Ryan Ludwick 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Troy Glaus CF *Jim Edmonds
C Yadier Molina 2B Mark DeRosa
2B
*Adam Kennedy C Geovany Soto
P Chris Carpenter SS Ronny Cedeno
SS #Cesar Izturis P Ryan Dempster


Amazing game, this baseball.

Just two days ago, we were aglow over the possibility that this weekend set could end with the Cardinals nine games behind the Cubs and all but out of the NL Central race. Then on Saturday the league's highest-scoring road team bludgeoned the Cubs' nominal pitching ace and suddenly, St. Louis has a chance to win this series and close to within five games of first place with the Brewers once again also breathing down the Cubs' necks.

Game 116 Thread / Cardinals @ Cubs (1 of 3)

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SP Braden Looper SP *Ted Lilly

10-9, 4.29, 65 K, 32 BB, 134.1 IP

11-6. 4.35, 129 K, 50 BB, 140.2 IP
       
LF #Vince Coleman LF Alfonso Soriano
CF #Willie McGee SS Ryan Theriot
2B #Tommy Herr 1B Derrek Lee
1B Jack Clark 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF *Andy Van Slyke RF *Kosuke Fukudome
3B #Terry Pendleton C Geovany Soto
C
Mike Heath CF *Jim Edmonds
SS #Ozzie Smith 2B Mark DeRosa
P *John Tudor P *Ted Lilly

UPDATE: Screw LaRussa, I have to get back to work. Let's see how he does with Mike Heath in the lineup from 1986.


(I'm posting this without a Cardinals batting order. Based on what Bernie Miklasz is reporting here, Tony LaRussa is waiting to see if Rick Ankiel and his strained abdominal muscle are ready to go before he posts the lineup.)

At around 8:45 this morning, I saw a middle-aged couple walking hand-in-hand in downtown Chicago, wearing matching St. Louis Cardinals t-shirts. This reminded me of two things: first, that the Cards were in town to play the Cubs, and second, that middle-aged couples should never wear matching t-shirts.

As for baseball, all of the analysis of the Cards' unexpected success this season has overlooked the obvious—Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan are witches.

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