- 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The stats on this first item are a little outdated as this was published right after the All-Star Break but Baseball Prospectus's author Nate Silver uses a formula known as Secret Sauce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.