April 2007

Rotation Shuffle

In the wake of yesterday's tragedy, the Cubs will likely shuffle their rotation a bit. Angel Guzman was scheduled to be called up tomorrow but Lou is now leaning towards Sunday May 6th against the Nationals as he wants to split up Rich Hill and Ted Lilly from going back to back days. So the rotation will likely be: Today @ Pittsburgh: Rich Hill May 1st @ Pittsburgh: Ted Lilly May 2nd @ Pittsburgh: Jason Marquis May 4th vs. Washington: Carlos Zambrano May 5th vs Washington: Rich Hill

Tonight’s Game Canceled Due to Death of Cards Pitcher

Tonight's game between the Cubs and Cardinals has been canceled due to the tragic death of STL RHP Josh Hancock in a traffic accident in St. Louis early this morning. He just turned 29 a couple of weeks ago, and worked three innings in yesterday's 8-1 Cubs victory.

Short Story

A compelling aspect of Wednesday’s Cubs-Brewers game, apart from the fact that the Cubs actually won, was Lou Piniella’s decision to start Ryan Theriot at short. As Lou explained:
"We need a lift. We need somebody who hopefully can get us going a little bit. I've been trying to figure out where to play him. He's been getting work at shortstop. We'll put him out there at shortstop and let him play."
Theriot, naturally, was elated to get the opportunity and said he wasn’t intimidated about moving over from second.

Déja´ Vu All Over Again

Dr. Joseph Hecht with hopefully his very last Mark Prior update ever... UPDATE: Will Carroll stopped by in the comments to clear up a few matters and there's a follow-up by our doctor. -------------- I know, we’re all tired of reading about Mark Prior’s injuries. Now that we have diagnoses that match his symptoms, hopefully we can just move on. Cubs.com site says that Mark Prior’s surgeon, Dr. Andrews, did a debridement of Prior's right rotator cuff, as well as repair the labral and capsular injuries in his right shoulder. Sounds accurate enough to me. Will Carroll has an unfiltered update on Mark Prior if you have a Baseball Prospectus subscription. I wanted to try sort through the terminology and implications.

Late-Inning (What’s The Opposite of Heroics?)

While much of the focus has been on the Cubs bullpen blowing these extra-inning and close games, there has been another culprit. Cubs Offense Innings 1-6: .290/.333/.459 66 Runs National League Average: 258/330/404 56 Runs Top Performers: Aramis Ramirez: 429/457/810 Derrek Lee: 400/492/520 Michael Barrett: 308/370/641 Ryan Theriot: 467/467/533 Mark Derosa: 244/279/634 Cubs Offense from the 7th Inning on: 212/299/288 21 Runs National League Average: 247/331/382 26 Runs

Livid

If you haven't had a chance to see or hear about how the Cubs game ended today, let me explain. Mark Derosa singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth and was replaced with Ronny Cedeno on the bases (you'd think Felix Pie would be the choice but whatever). Jacque Jones was up next and worked a 3-2 count before an Isringhausen cutter missed off the inside part of the plate. Now here's where the trouble starts. The ball was clearly inside but as we learned last Sunday with the Kyle Lohse/Ted Lilly duel, balls clearly off the plate are called strikes every once in awhile.

TCR Friday Notes

A quick tour of the Wonderful Wide World of the Web... - If you're a scouting junkie or just a masochist who enjoys enduring the bitter downfall of Mark Prior, the good folks at The Hardball Times put together a wonderful breakdown of Prior's pitching mechanics over the years. - MySpace isn't just for picking up under-aged girls (use your inner voice, Rob), it's also good for showing off your man-love of Cubs players. The latest is for Ted Lilly. If you check out his friends you'll find a number of other Cubs pages as well. Our (former) fearless leader Christian sent me some links for actual Cubs players' Myspace pages once upon a time, I'm going to have to dig that out soon.

Chee and How

Yesterday was the last Cubs EXST game for two visitors from another country, two aspiring baseball players who have been working out with the Cubs Extended Spring Training contingent at Fitch Park in Mesa the past couple of weeks. The National Baseball Team of the Peoples Republic of China arrived at Scottsdale Community College for Spring Training last month, led by head coach (and ex-Cub manager) Jim Lefebvre and pitching coach (and ex-MLB LHP) Bruce Hurst. They played games against various minor league ST squads and college teams in Arizona, before having their team split up and sent to various MLB EXST camps, with the team's players (and Chinese translators) assigned to the MLB clubs who expressed an interest in the program. The Cubs EXST contingent at Fitch Park was lucky enough to get two of China's better players, outfielder Qi Ze (pronounced "Chee") and catcher Hao Guo-chen (they call him "How").

A Change In Perspective

I’m really looking forward to the Opener tonight down in Atlanta. I think Hill is going to be a terrific #1. I’m hopeful that Lilly and Marquis can hold their own as numbers 2 and 3, and make all of their regular starts, as has been their history. I figure Miller is a short-timer in the #4 spot—Guzman has GOT to fill that role—but Zambrano is, no doubt, the best fifth starter in baseball. Maybe the best fifth starter ever.

Can we just start playing in May?

The good doctor, Joseph Hecht, gives us the latest on Soriano's hamstring injury.... -------- April 19th has been a painful day for Cub players and fans for two years running. I painfully remember Nomar Garciaparra falling in a heap near home plate when he ripped his adductor muscle off the groin. Derrek Lee’s wrist fracture needs no instant replay for me to remember it. So when April 16th produces another injury to a star player I think we should just petition the powers that be to start playing the schedule May 1st. Len Kasper and Bob Brenly live on Comcast TV, after Alfonso Soriano grabbed the back of his left thigh, immediately recognized that he “tweaked” his hammy.

It’s Official: Pie called up

The Tribune is now reporting that Pie will lead off and play center for today's game in Chicago. As of this hastily written post in response to the briefest of announcements at ChicagoSports.com, there is no explanation of how the roster will be worked to fit Pie. Soriano reports he is feeling much better, and the MRI is negative. (No indication of a torn hamstring)

Game 12 Thread / Padres @ Cubs (1 of 2)

Game Chat Clay Hensley vs. Jason Marquis ---- I'm not sure I'll be around to post lineups although WSCR and Steve Stone claims this will be the Cubs lineup tonight: Soriano CF, Theriot 3B, Lee 1B, Murton RF,  Barrett C, Jones LF, Derosa 2b, Izturis SS, Marquis P I'd love to hear some theories on why Murton plays right tonight and Jones moves to left.

2 Week Progress Report

I'm not much into the daily post-game reviews, far too easy to be overly-reactionary about one play or one moment that doesn't really say much about the team or individuals in generals. But now that we're two weeks and eleven games into the season, let's discuss a few trends and other tidbits that have caught my eye.

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

    crunch 4 hours 38 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 5 hours 9 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 33 min ago view
  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 7 hours 26 min ago view
  • First Cub victory at home this year for me!
    1-3
    Saw all four starters this year

    jacos 8 hours 50 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 45 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 57 min ago view
  • Yes. Boating accident at 3AM. Very sad, but stupid. Young men do stupid things.

    billybucks 17 hours 53 min ago view
  • lester puts 2 on and is taken out at 96 pitches. oh well.

    edwards in.

    crunch 18 hours 37 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 43 min ago view
  • What a weird day.  Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer, but then Scully and, on a much more modest level, Ross....

    Transmission 19 hours 17 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 19 hours 19 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 41 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 23 hours 4 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 23 hours 5 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 23 hours 29 min ago view