July 2007

The non-waiver trading deadine has passed, and nary a peep from the Cubs.
Rumor mongers vs the real deals. Eric Gagne, Bronson Arroyo, Octavio Dotel, Bobby Kielty, Ryan Church or Reggie Sanders? 4 way deal for A-Rod? Have at it. ...and Carlos, MVN's own "The Transaction Guy" is monitoring every possible wire report for information on that last minute deal coming at cha. (OK, so it's a shameless plug)
Game Chat Cole Hamels vs. Ted Lilly Lineups:
Victorino RF Soriano LF
Iguchi 2B Theriot SS
Rollins SS Lee 1B
Howard 1B Ramirez 3B
Rowand CF DeRosa 2B
Burrell LF Murton RF
Helms 3B Pagan CF
Ruiz C Kendall C
Hamels P Lilly P
Cubnut addendum... New Phillie: Former Cub farmhand Kyle Lohse, acquired today by the Phils from Cincinnati in exchange for minor league lefthander Matt Maloney. Lohse is just 6-12, 4.58 this season, but he threw what was arguably his best game of the season and one of the finest in his career back on April 15th against the Cubs. Lohse tossed eight innings of four-hit, shutout ball with 12 strikeouts in a game the Reds would win 1-0, though Lilly, Wuertz, and Dempster combined to two-hit the visitors. The memory of how Lohse dominated the Cubs that day gives me the willies, so, speaking for myself, I'd just as soon see the guy make his Philadelphia debut against somebody else.
The Cubs—now just a half-game behind the flailing Brewers—open a seven-game homestand Monday night with a four-game series against the Phillies, followed by a three-game set with the Mets. The Brewers will begin a six-game homestand against the same two clubs in reverse order. However, since they don’t open against the Metropolitans until Tuesday night, the Brewers will have no direct control over whether or not they go to bed Monday night in sole possession of first place in the NL Central. One of baseball’s enduring clichés is the one that says a victory at the beginning of the season is worth just as much as one in the final days of a pennant race. Is it the same with defeats?
Game Chat Carlos Zambrano vs. Matt Belisle Christian here...Not sure if anyone at TCR Central is going to be able to post lineups before game time, but here are the probables. After yesterday's win and the Brewers' doubleheader loss, the Cubs are 1 1/2 games out of first place, the closest they've been to the top this late in the season since 2003. AZ PHIL UPDATE: Hiya Ruz! Despite the RHP starter for CIN, both Cliff Floyd and Jacque Jones get the day off. Maybe Jones has been (or is about to be) traded. Also, Koyie Hill is getting the start at catcher. Here's the lineups... * bats left # bats both Lineups:
Alfonso Soriano, LF * Scott Hatteberg, 1B
Ryan Theriot, SS Ryan Freel, CF
Derrek Lee, 1B * Ken Griffey Jr, RF
Aramis Ramirez, 3B Brandon Phillips, 2B
Mark DeRosa, RF * Adam Dunn, LF
* Mike Fontenot, 2B Jeff Keppinger, SS
# Angel Pagan, CF # Javier Valentin, C
# Koyie Hill, C Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
# Carlos Zambrano, P Matt Belisle, P
Game Chat Sean Marshall vs. Aaron Harang Lineups:
Soriano LF Freel CF
Theriot SS Hopper RF
Lee 1B Conine 1B
Floyd RF Phillips 2B
DeRosa 3B Dunn LF
Fontenot 2B Keppinger SS
Jones CF Encarnacion 3B
Kendall C Ross C
Marshall P Harang P
Game Chat Rich Hill vs. Bronson Arroyo Lineups:
Soriano LF Freel CF
Theriot SS Keppinger SS
Lee 1B Griffey Jr. RF
Ramirez 3B Phillips 2B
Floyd RF Dunn LF
DeRosa 2B Conine 1B
Jones CF Encarnacion 3B
Kendall C Ross C
Hill P Arroyo P
Billy Petrick and Jake Fox do get optioned to AAA as speculated and Matt Murton and Rocky Cherry are called back up.
Paul Sullivan is reporting in the Chicago Tribune that Matt Murton and Rocky Cherry are being recalled. It seems likely that they will be replacing Jake Fox and Billy Petrick, although it is also possible that Mark DeRosa could be placed on the DL. Murton is hitting 340/406/617 (1.023 OPS) with five HR and 20 RBI plus nine doubles and a 10/12 BB/K ratio in 106 PA this month at Iowa, including an eleven game hitting streak and 16 out of 17. Over his last seven appearances, Cherry has thrown 9.0 IP, allowing two runs (both earned) and six hits, walking one while striking out 10. Also, Kerry Wood and Henry Blanco continued their rehab assignments at Peoria last night. box score Woody went one inning (12 pitches), allowing one hit and no runs with two strikeouts, while Hank White went 1-2 with a walk. Cubs GM Jim Hendry will be attending tonight's game at Peoria, presumably to get a first-hand look at the two rehabbing players. It is expected that Wood will be continuing his rehab next week at Iowa, but Blanco could be very close to returning to the big club.
Game Chat Jason Marquis vs. Braden Looper Lineups:
Soriano LF Eckstein SS
Theriot SS Edmonds CF
Lee 1B Pujols 1B
Ramirez 3B Duncan LF
Floyd RF Encarnacion RF
Fontenot 2B Rolen 3B
Jones CF Molina C
Kendall C Miles 2B
Marquis P Looper P
- Koyie Hill and Jason Kendall are going to split duties for awhile, supposedly to let Kendall get some extra work in with hitting coach Gerald Perry and try to get his hitting stroke right. - I heard on XM radio this morning that Ryan Theriot has something like a 338 inning errorless streak at shortstop going. His last error at shortstop was in the second inning of an April 27th game against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Zone Rating that The Hardball Times keeps track of has him at .877 at the shortstop position which would be good for third in the league if he qualified behind Jose Reyes and Omar Vizquel. - Two items from the print version of Sports Ilustrated... The stats on this first item are a little outdated as this was published right after the All-Star Break but Baseball Prospectus's author Nate Silver uses a formula known as Secret Sauce to predict the World Series participants. The ingredients so to speak: Equivalent K/9 (EqK9), Fielding Runs Above Average (FRAA) and it's strength of closer using Win Expectations Above Replacement (WXRL). The theory being those three items correlate strongly to postseason success, striking guys out, defense and a shutdown closer. Supposedly the formula correctly predicted the 2005 World Series matchup and a few others along the way. This being a Cubs blog, what do you expect? 1. Boston Red Sox 7.2 EQk9, 10 FRAA, 3.43 WXRL for Papelbon 2. Chicago Cubs 7.5 EQk9, 25 FRAA, 1.93 WXRL for Dempster 3. Anaheim Angels 6.8 EQk9, 17 FRAA, 2.64 WXRL for K-rod 4. The Metropolitans 6.4 EQk9, 28 FRAA, 3.19 WXRL for Wagner 5. Los Angeles Dodgers 7.4 EQk9, -11 FRAA, 3.74 WXRL for Saito And before we jump down Dempster's throat, I believe he's the only one of those closers to land himself on the disabled list. Item number two from SI was in this week's issue and there was a piece on the rejuvenated Cubs and touched on many of the topics that I covered in the recent "Nomar Corollary" about what jump started the turnaround. First, Hendry actually has a name for June 2nd, the day the Cubs reached their low-water mark of the year and Lou got ejected, "The Last-Straw Day". Not much for originality I guess. Also, there seems to be a slogan being bandied about Wrigley for the 2007 year, "It's Gonna Happen". Someone's even making bracelets. The most telling piece of the article though was this from Lou on getting thrown out the day after the Zambrano/Barrett brawl and Dempster's follow-up:
"I'm not going to say it was intentional, but truthfully I had to go out and argue that day. I knew that before the ball game. There was just too much scrutiny on our team. And when there's scrutiny on the team, basically a manager has to take a load of it. But that's not why we've turned around."
And Dempster's reply:
"I think Lou did a tremendous job of taking the heat off the players after everything that went on in the dugout and clubhouse. If he didn't get thrown out, we'd probably still be answering questions about Carlos and Michael." "The whole focus was on Lou for four days. Longer. Two weeks. It gave us a chance to breathe, to just play, get on a roll, and all of a sudden get our confidence. Now it feels like the fight never happened."
Strategic ejections, who knew? Cubs go for the sweep tonight, Marquis vs. Looper or better yet Rothschild vs Duncan.
Game Chat Ted Lilly vs. Adam Wainwright Lineups:
Soriano LF Eckstein SS
Theriot SS Taguchi CF
Lee 1B Pujols 1B
Ramirez 3B Encarnacion RF
Floyd RF Rolen 3B
Fontenot 2B Duncan LF
Jones CF Molina C
Hill C Ryan 2B
Lilly P Wainwright P
The Cubs ended their mild two game swoon against the soon to be former World Champions with yet another one-run victory, giving them a 14-16 record in that bit of baseball whimsy. The game was harmless enough, Zambrano picked up his NL leading thirteenth win, lowered his ERA to 3.65 and took 117 pitches to not even make it through seven innings. I think we've seen that movie before. It did mark Derrek Lee's triumphant return to the lineup and he was kind enough to plate a particularly useful insurance run in the 9th. An insurance run that was very much needed with the return of the Ryan Dempster Experience back in the closer role. Handed a two-run lead, Dempster quickly hung a meatball to Yadier Molina to leadoff the inning, immediately putting the tying run up to the plate. A couple outs later, he gets Ryan Ludwick into an 0-2 hole before meatball number two is lined into left field, scoring a run after a Soriano bobble and bringing up Mr. All-World Albert Pujols. And any strategy that involves having to pitch with Albert Pujols representing the winning run isn't a good one. Then of course the Cubs had been dancing with this devil a few times already.
While the Cubs were busy dumping the Cardinals Tuesday night, Kerry Wood was earning a victory for the Class ‘A’ Peoria Chiefs over the Fort Wayne Wizards. Woody entered the game in the 5th inning with the Chiefs already ahead 4-0. He threw 12 pitches, recording two ground outs and a fly out while walking one. According to cubs.com, Wood's pitches were clocked between 91 and 94 mph. Wood is slated to pitch back-to-back games this Thursday and Friday, when the Chiefs host the Dayton Dragons. Cubs GM Jim Hendry is scheduled to attend Friday night’s game. In five minor league outings this year spanning five innings, Wood has allowed one earned run. striking out five and walking two. He has been touched for four hits.
Game Chat Carlos Zambrano vs. Kip Wells Lineups:
Soriano LF Kennedy 2B
Theriot SS Schumaker RF
Lee 1B Pujols 1B
Ramirez 3B Duncan LF
Floyd RF Edmonds CF
DeRosa 2B Rolen 3B
Jones CF Miles SS
Kendall C Molina C
Zambrano P Wells P
The Chicago Tribune's Dave Van Dyck is reporting that the Cubs have recalled Ronny Cedeno from AAA Iowa. Although it is not clear yet whether Jake Fox or Scott Moore will be the one to be sent to the minors to make room for Cedeno, DVD speculates that with Cliff Floyd back in the lineup and Derrek Lee returning from his five-game suspension, it will be Fox. Cedeno was named Pacific Coast League Player of the Month in June, as he went 446/509/782 in 25 games, with 8 HR and 20 RBI, 8 doubles, a 12/10 BB/K ratio, and four SB (0 CS), before coming back to Earth in July, hitting a more-pedestrian 294/318/341 with just one HR and a 3/15 BB/K ratio in 20 games. Cedeno had a strong Spring Training in Mesa (hitting 328/427/516 while tying for the team lead in walks) and made the Cubs 2007 Opening Day 25-man roster, but he hit just .097 (3-31) with two HR and four RBI and a 1/8 BB/K ratio in 32 PA--along with a couple of baserunning gaffes--before being optioned to AAA on May 5th. Manager Lou Piniella has expessed a desire to rotate his lineup to keep his players fresh during the "Dog Days" of the season, and with the Cubs scheduled to play the next twenty days in a row, the "Dog Days" have indeed arrived. Adding a second SS (Cedeno) will give Uncle Lou a chance to rest Ryan Theriot whenever he feels it's needed, although The Riot will likely continue to get the lion's share of the playing time at shortstop. Cedeno will be out of minor league options next season, so the Cubs will need to determine if Cedeno has a role with the club in 2008 as a utllity middle-infielder, or if he would have more value as a trading chip.
Who was the first member of the Chicago Cubs to win the Most Valuable Player award as voted on by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America?
You can  use the previous post to rant on whatever is on your mind today, try to save this one for Cubs trivia. As always, web searches are discouraged.
The recent run of winning by the Northside Nine has brought along a swell of optimism that could take down some prime Lakefront property. The Cubs reached their low point of the season on June 2nd, nine games under the mediocrity line, a day after the battery batted on each other and the day that Sweet Lou left a bitter taste with the umps. There seems to be a growing sentiment that the weekend of turmoil was the turning point to what looked like to be just another season of discontent. That the outward displays of raw emotion at each other and at the umpires were a culmination of the seething fury over the first two months of lackadasical losing baseball. The team responded, the front office jumped into action and we now have this well-oiled machine of winning that we've all enjoyed over the last few weeks. Of course the Cubs didn't take off right from that very day, they went from 9 games to 6 games under over the next few weeks but lost a half game in the standings before the next major marker in the season, the Michael Barrett trade. Was the trade of TCR's (and Z's) favorite scapegoat the real launching point of the team's recent good fortune? Well that remains to be seen, but the similarities to a recent World Champion are worth noting.
Game Chat Yusmeiro Petit vs. Sean Marshall Lineups:
Young CF Soriano LF
Hudson 2B Theriot SS
Byrnes RF Fontenot 2B
Jacskson 1B Ramirez 3B
Reynolds 3B Floyd RF
Hairston LF DeRosa 1B
Drew SS Jones CF
Snyder C Kendall C
Petit P Marshall P
Game Chat Micah Owings vs. Rich Hill Lineups:
Young CF Soriano LF
Hudson 2B Theriot SS
Byrnes RF Fontenot 2B
Jacskson 1B Ramirez 3B
Reynolds 3B Jones CF
Hairston LF DeRosa 1B
Drew SS Pagan RF
Snyder C Hill C
Owings P Hill P
Game Chat Brandon Webb vs. Jason Marquis UPDATE: I'm sure it's been mentioned in the comments but Daryle Ward was sent to the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf and a rotoworld blurb suggests he could be out until September. Scott Moore was called up in the meantime. Also Ryan Dempster was activated today and Sean Gallagher was optioned to Iowa. Lou apparently said he'd like to avoid using Dempster today since he's pitched the last two days on rehab assignments which makes you wonder why they just didn't wait until tomorrow to activate him. Did the bullpen guys miss his jokes so much they needed him back a day early?
Game Chat Matt Morris vs. Ted Lilly Lineups:
Winn CF Soriano LF
Aurilia 1B Theriot SS
Durham 2B Ward 1B
Bonds LF Ramirez 3B
Molina C Floyd RF
Feliz 3B Fontenot 2B
Frandsen RF Jones CF
Vizquel SS Kendall C
Morris P Lilly P
AZ PHIL UPDATE FROM FITCH PARK: Making his third rehab appearance in the last week (he threw an inning on Saturday and another on Tuesday), Kerry Wood made the start for the AZL Cubs versus the AZL Royals this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa. Wood worked just one inning (seven pitches), and his fast ball topped out at 95 MPH. LINE: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K 7 pitches (7 strikes, no balls) 1 /0 GB/FB LOG: Top of the 1st inning Hilton Richardson batting Pitch 1: Strike One - swinging (fastball) Pitch 2: Strike Two - called (fastball) Pitch 3: Strike Three - called (curve) One out Lifete Jose batting Pitch 1: 6-3 ground out to SS. Two outs Fernando Cruz batting Pitch 1: Grounder to right of second-baseman, AZL Cubs 2B Elvis Lara made a nice diving stop, but his throw to 1st was too late. David Wood batting Pitch 1: Strike One - called (curve) Pitch 2: Chopper up 1st base line, K. Wood bobbles ball (E-1) and so his throw to 1st was late, but runner who was on first (F. Cruz) was thrown out trying to advance to 3rd on the play 3-5. Three outs
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Cubs have traded INF Cesar Izturis to the Pirates for a PTBNL. Also, OF-1B-C Jake Fox has been acquired from AA Tennessee. Pirates 3B Jose Bautista is on the Pirates DL with a hand injury, so I would think Izturis will possibly play 2B for the Bucs, perhaps with Freddy Sanchez moving to 3B. Izturis is still owed about $2M for the balance of 2007, with a $5.85M salary (or $300K buy-out) for 2008. With Mike Fontenot being strictly a 2B and with Piniella apparently unwilling to play Mark DeRosa at SS, trading Izturis should result in the return of PCL June Player of the Month Ronny Cedeno to Chicago. Ryan Theriot is doing a fine job as the everyday SS, so how much PT Cedeno will get will be the big question. I figured Fox as one of the players the Cubs were going to add to the 40-man roster after the season, so this is just an early start toward that end. Of course it also means one of his options will get burned 20 days after he’s returned to the minors. Fox has as much power as any player in the Cubs organization. He is the proverbial “first-ball/fastball” hitter who never met a fastball he didn’t like. (Waveland Avenue or Bust!). He’s not quite as fond of breaking stuff and off-speed pitches, though, unless he knows what’s coming. He can play 1B-LF-RF (his best position is probably LF, although he is a defensive liability no matter where plays) and also can catch in a pinch, although his days as a front-line catcher are very likely over. Fox was Rich Hill’s catcher at the University of Michigan, so if R. Hill still misses Barrett and Murton, Fox’s arrival should help cheer him up.
How else to describe scoring nine runs in the first five innings on six singles and a double? (Obviously seven Giant walks to that point contributed.) Or the Cubs scoring 12 runs without Ramirez or Lee in the lineup and with Soriano only contributing a walk. Or Carlos Zambrano batting for himself in the last of the 5th, then not taking the mound in the 6th, departing with a 2-hit shutout after throwing only 80 pitches. (The long Cub fifth inning would seem to be the reason.) Or Koyie Hill collecting 5 RBI, all with two outs. (He must REALLY be ticked off about that Jason Kendall trade.) Or Jacque Jones delivering a two-out hit producing two runs; that’s two RBI for Jacque Jones, not just in the same week, BUT IN THE SAME AT-BAT! Or Cub hitters standing still for 10 unintentional walks. Or a wholly bizarre Cubs/Giants game taking place and Barry Bonds not having anything whatsoever to do with it. Weird.
Game Chat Matt Cain vs. Carlos Zambrano Lineups:
Roberts CF Soriano LF
Vizquel SS Theriot SS
Winn RF Ward 1B
Klesko 1B Floyd RF
Durham 2B DeRosa 3B
Lewis LF Fontenot 2B
Feliz 3B Jones CF
Rodriguez C Hill C
Cain P Zambrano P
Derrek Lee has dropped the appeal of his suspension and will begin serving it today. Why you might ask? He fouled a pitch off his shin that might make him sit for 2-3 days, so best to sit now (Thanks to reader cubswinthepennant for the tip). Why is Aramis sitting with Derrek Lee out? That I can't answer.
Game Chat Barry Zito vs. Sean Marshall Lineups:
Roberts CF Theriot SS
Vizquel SS Fontenot 2B
Winn RF Lee 1B
Durham 2B Ramirez 3B
Molina C Soriano LF
Aurilia 1B DeRosa RF
Feliz 3B Kendall C
Frandsen LF Pagan CF
Zito P Marshall P
60% chance of rain for tonight's game, potentially heavy thunderstorms.
For those of you not tired of reading about...
Who was the first member of the Cubs to win a Gold Glove Award?
Web searches are discouraged. Name the year for a bonus point.
For your amusement, everything you need to know about the newest Cubbie, Jason Kendall.... - Son of former major leaguer Fred Kendall - Swings one of the lightest bats in the majors, 30 oz. sometimes 29.7 oz. - 3 Time All-Star, 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting in 1996 - Career 279/378/402 hitter at Wrigley Field - Inside Edge scouting report grades: Overall Effectiveness: D- Location Performance: C Fastball Performance: B- Offspead Performance: C- Plate Discpline: A Clutch Tendency: D+ 2 Strike Tendency: B+ Overall Grade: C- - TSN Scouting Report:
Assets Very much a hitter's hitter, he swings for average, has occasional power, and produces runs. Kendall is the very rare catcher who can run. He's incredibly durable, has great hustle, and his mental toughness is unmatched. Flaws He's rather average behind the plate, though he does work on his defense. At the plate, he's lost most of his power due to injury. Career potential A rare leadoff-hitting catcher.
- Seems to have a reputation for handling a pitching staff quite well. - Athletic's fans feel the same about Kendall as most Cubs fans feel about Cesar Izturis and Jacque Jones. That can't be good. - Charged the mound after John Lackey missed him with a curveball last year because he didn't like what Lackey said to him. Hot-headed catcher? This sounds familiar. - By BP's Rate2 defensive stat, he's literally an average catcher with a career mark of 100. (similar to OPS+ or ERA+ where 100 is average, go below and you're considered below average and so on). The last three years in Oakland he's come in at 97, 103, 96. - He's caught over 140 games at catcher in 8 different seasons. Durable to say the least. - Played two games in left field for the A's this year. - Career .308/.384/.410 second half hitter; .306/.377/.365 the last three years in the second half (2004-2006).

Don't Call it a Comeback

Game Center Play by Play Box Score Photos

W-Rich Hill (6-6), Aramis Ramirez's MVP candidacy. L- Correia (1-5), Sutcliffe's Thesaurus. S- Howry (6) Things to take from this game: 1. Starting Pitching Showcase On points, I gave the contest of the starting pitchers to Lincecum - Soriano and Lee both whiffed for strike three on the high heat, very impressive. But both he and Hill pitched great games. It appeared that LouPa might have left Hill in one inning too many, as he gave up an unfortunate run in the 8th (with help from a bad Soriano boot in the outfield), but Hill wound up with the win because... 2. Aramis Ramirez Rules This World With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Theriot had a broken-bat infield single. Lee singled through a hole on the right side created by the hit-and-run call, and Aramis hit one to the bottom of the left field ivy, scoring the tying and winning runs. 3. A Shout-out to Koyie Hill The dude deserves acknowledgement for his early solo HR, given that he will now lose ABs to the newly aquired Jason Kendall. You go, Koyie. 4. No Bonds Needing to score a run in the top of the ninth, we never saw Bonds as a pinch-hitter. Instead, Winn, Durham, and Molina go down with a whimper. A really, really weak offensive lineup tonight for the Giants. The rest of the goodness can be found down below.

The Cubs have traded for Oakland A's catcher Jason Kendall for minor leaguer Jerry Blevins and recently DFA'd catcher Rob Bowen. No word yet on how much of Kendall's contract the Cubs will be picking up but Len mentioned they'll be getting cash considerations from the A's. He was making $13 million this year in the last year of his deal of which Pittsburgh is paying $5.5 million. The big question though is if this is an upgrade? Kendall's hitting a horrific 226/261/281 this year, a far cry from his career line of 298/375/398 and he's been on the decline for a good three years now. About the only thing he does do well with the bat anymore is work the count, averaging 3.79 pitches per plate appearance on the season and 3.89 for his career. Definitely known as a leader in the clubhouse and a "take charge" kind of guy, the kind of terms you use for just about every veteran catcher, he's generally near the bottom in caught stealing percentage every year although he's near the middle to upper ranks of AL catchers in wild pitches and passed balls allowed per game the last few years (as tracked by Hardball Times) . Essentially we've traded Jerry Blevins and Michael Barrett for Jason Kendall and Kyler Burke. Is that terrible? I say no. At worst, we're treading water at the position compared to the triumvirate of suck that Bowen/Hill/Soto brought. At best, Kendall picks it up in the second half and we get a nice little bonus the rest of the season. Of course, we could have just kept Barrett but it appears those waters were poisoned long ago. And there's still two weeks until the trade deadline for Hendry to pull off another move.
Game Chat Tim Lincecum vs. Rich Hill Lineups:
Roberts LF Soriano LF
Vizquel SS Theriot SS
Winn RF Lee 1B
Durham 2B Ramirez 3B
Molina C Ward RF
Aurilia 1B DeRosa 2B
Feliz 3B Jones CF
Frandsen LF Hill C
Lincecum P Hill P
The Cubs have won 8 of 9 at home. From the press notes available at MLB.com, Cubs relievers lead the league in stranding inherited runners at an 81.2% clip...yesterday was the fourth time this year that the bullpen has thrown 5 or more shutout innings in a game...Marmol has the 2nd best ERA among relievers in the NL. Word is Billy Petrick is being called up for the game, no idea on the corresponding roster move though. UPDATE: The broadcast says Billy Petrick was called up and Rob Bowen was designated for assignment. I can't say I saw that one coming. There's still a shot that Bowen could slip through waivers and stick with the club though. The Cubs really couldn't just get rid of Cesar Izturis?
Dr. Joseph Hecht gets us up to speed on the Cubs injury front... ------------- Mid July, a time to assess the walking wounded, and not all of them are even walking. Rotoworld.com has a nice link with all MLB players on the disabled list in a team-by-team format. Doing some simple math, here are the league leaders: Healthiest/Fewest players on the DL: Padres (1) Termel Sledge OF Diamondbacks (2): Randy Johnson SP, Jeff DaVanon OF Indians (2): David Delucci OF, Aaron Fultz RP 6 teams have 3 players on the DL including the Brewers (Bill Hall, Elmer Dessens, Corie Koskie), Red Sox (includes Matt Clement), Pirates, Rockies, Astros and Giants.
The Cubs’ flashy new lefty-bashing lineup—with Ryan Theriot hitting leadoff and Alfonso Soriano hitting fifth--claimed its first victim Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field, as the red-hot home team recovered from a 5-0 second-inning deficit to beat the Astros, 7-6. With a sweep of the weekend series--the Cubs' first Wrigley Field sweep of the Astros since 1984--the team is now 47-43, 3 1/2 in back of the Brewers, who beat the Rockies at home on Sunday. Angel Pagan and Derrek Lee keyed a six-run Cub rally against Houston southpaw, Wandy Rodriguez, in the bottom of the second with two- and three-run homers respectively. Lee’s home run was his first since June 3rd. Houston tied the game in the top of the third at 6-6. Then, one inning later, Ryan Theriot connected for his second home run of the year to put the Cubs ahead for good. Jason Marquis, who gave up six earned runs, eight hits and three walks in just four innings, was as shaky as the Cub bullpen was effective. Eyre, Marmol, Ohman, Wuertz and Howry combined for five shutout innings, allowing three walks and three hits. Wuertz was credited with the win; Howry, with his fifth save. Barry and the Bondettes are next.
Game Chat Wandy Rodriguez vs. Jason Marquis Lineups:
Burke 2B Theriot SS
Pence CF Fontenot 2B
Berkman 1B Lee 1B
Lee LF Ramirez 3B
Loretta SS Soriano LF
Lamb 3B DeRosa RF
Scott RF Soto C
Ausmus C Pagan CF
Rodriguez P Marquis P
Wandy with a 1.81 ERA at home, 6.60 on the road.
Game Chat Roy Oswalt vs. Ted Lilly Lineups:
Burke 2B Soriano LF
Pence CF Izturis SS
Loretta 1B Lee 1B
Lee LF Ramirez 3B
Berkman RF Floyd RF
Ensberg 3B DeRosa 2B
Bruntlett SS Jones CF
Ausmus C Bowen C
Oswalt P Lilly P

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