April 2008

- As one astute reader noticed - replacing the big bat of Alfonso Soriano with Mike Fontenot has all the makings of replacing Derrek Lee's bat in 2006 with Neifi Perez. After today's showing, it's hard to see if Eric Patterson is much better.. But with two lefties scheduled after today, I think it's time to (wait for it)....Free Matt Murton!

- A quick shout-out to a new member of the Cubs Blog Army. One of our readers has started Harry and Hawk, which covers both Chicago baseball teams. You can stop by and read half the articles.

Some site notes after the jump...

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Ian Snell SP *Rich Hill

2-0, 3.93, 15 K, 4 BB
0-2, 5.00 7 K, 7 BB




CF *Nate McClouth 2B *Eric Patterson
SS Luis Rivas SS Ryan Theriot
2B Freddy Sanchez 1B Derrek Lee
LF Jason Bay 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF Xavier Nady RF *Kosuke Fukudome
1B *Adam LaRoche LF Mark DeRosa
C Ronny Paulino C Geovany Soto
3B Jose Bautista CF Reed Johnson
P
Ian Snell P *Rich Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Snell goes for the Pirates and the early returns suggest this might be the year that he figures it all out. Cubs fans hope that today is the day that Rich Hill figures out where the strike zone is. The sequel to Patterson leading off for the Cubs starts today as well, hope it's better than the original.


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As reported by Phil Rosenthal in Friday's Tribune:

(Tribune Company Chairman and Chief Executive Sam) Zell said in a conference call with creditors
Thursday he now expects the confidential Cubs figures to be released to
potential buyers in the next 10 days or so and a sale to be completed
"sometime this year," regardless of what happens in ongoing
negotiations with the state over Wrigley, or whatever the park winds up
being called.

"You
ought to read the latest newspaper because it's all out there," Zell
said, noting there continues to be "steady progress" in talks for a
ballpark deal. "We're trying to do what is the optimum transaction with
the Illinois Sports Authority while simultaneously running with a book
on the Cubs going both ways, with or without the sports authority."


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Last year we did 19 questions with Inside the Ivy's Steve Holley. Due to budget cuts and the recession, we paired it down to 10 this year. You can find a list of their top 20 Cubs prospects either here or here.


1. Let's start right at the top, you named Tyler Colvin as the Cubs top prospect. What position do you think he'll end up playing in the majors and how worried should I be about that Ryan Harvey-esque 4:875:1 K/BB ratio

There has always been a good deal of emphasis placed on the strikeouts totals of low to mid-level minor league players. But if you want a player to develop into the type of hitter that Colvin projects as (lets say 20-25 HR potential), you are more often than not going to have to accept that strikeouts come with the territory. That doesn’t mean that Colvin is content with striking out. Working to lower them has always been at the top of his priority list, and toward the end of last season, he made a few adjustments in his approach that seemed to help him see more pitches and get into some good counts.

I believe he’s capable of playing any of the three outfield positions (though center is most ideal), but where he ends up may depend a lot on what Felix Pie does, or perhaps what the organization decides to do with Pie. On an unrelated note, Colvin got a little behind the eight-ball in spring training with a nagging elbow problem toward the end of his stint in big league camp. That could explain his slow start this season.

As many of you probably know by now, Thursday is "Camp Day" at Extended Spring Training. This usually means an intrasquad game, and sometimes a pre-game "live" BP session or simulated game involving rehabbing pitchers.

And such was the case today.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Edinson Volquez SP *Ted Lilly
  1-0, 0.87, 9 K, 5 BB
0-2, 9.95, 8 K, 4 BB
       
CF Norris Hopper 2B *Mike Fontenot
2B Ryan Freel SS Ryan Theriot
RF *Ken Griffey Jr. 1B Derrek Lee
LF *Adam Dunn 3B Aramis Ramirez
SS Jeff Keppinger RF *Kosuke Fukudome
3B Edwin Encarnacion LF Mark DeRosa
1B *Joey Votto CF Reed Johnson
C *Paul Bako C Henry Blanco
P
Edinson Volquez P *Ted Lilly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, you didn't think this Lou vs. Dusty stuff was over? I mean, I made a graphic afterall, I need to get some mileage out of it. The Cubs go for the sweep and a win today means the Reds season is over.

(Rumbling from the crowd)

Oh...you say it's just April? Alright, well if the Cubs were about to get swept I'm fairly certain that at least one person in the comments would say that our season is over. But for all intent and purposes, as long as Dusty Baker believes that Corey Patterson is a legitimate major league lead-off hitter, the Reds season is over.

Step on their throats, Cubs!

I wasn't around much for yesterday's festivities, so let me get a few things off my chest. I realize the Cubs have won three straight and eight of their last ten and I should probably just shut-up, but this sh** is bugging me.

- The "hop" that Soriano does before he catches a flyball is kinda lame. Then of course, I have a hard time relating to anyone who could drive a car like this. Lame as it is, it didn't create his calf strain and I'm not just saying that because the Cubs are in full-press denial mode. You can just look at the highlights of it. Soriano didn't leap more than six inches off the ground and landed just fine; he didn't roll his ankle or overextend his knee or anything. Whatever the problem was, it was already there and if it didn't happen on that play, it certainly would have the next time he ran out a ground ball or slid into a bag.

But if makes him stop leaping like one of the seven lords, then by all means, it was the "hop" that caused it.

Some of you might be happy to know this, but more might not be...

Scott Eyre, on the DL since the last week of Spring Training with a sore elbow, has progressed beyond just throwing side sessions in the bullpen. While the EXST Cubs were playing the EXST A's on Fitch Park Field #3, Eyre threw a 25-pitch "live" BP session on Field #2 to some of the Cub position players who were not in the starting lineup of the EXST game.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Josh Fogg SP Carlos Zambrano
  1-1, 7.00, 6 K, 3 BB 1-1, 3.20, 18 K, 2 BB
       
CF *Corey Patterson 2B *Mike Fontenot
SS Jeff Keppinger SS Ryan Theriot
RF *Ken Griffey 1B Derrek Lee
2B Brandon Phillips 3B Aramis Ramirez
LF *Adam Dunn RF *Kosuke Fukudome
3B Edwin Encarnacion LF Mark DeRosa
1B *Joey Votto C Geovany Soto
C #Javier Valentin CF Reed Johnson
P
Josh Fogg P #Carlos Zambrano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As reported by the Trib's Paul Sullivan, the Soriano-less Cubs will have Mike Fontenot leading off, Mark DeRosa will be manning left field, and Eric Patterson will be in the wings. (This will be the first time in Fontenot's Major League career he has been penciled into the leadoff spot.)

As for E-Pat, he was hitting just .222 at Triple-A, with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 12 K/3 BB in 36 at-bats for the I-Cubs. He stole one base.

Tonight's head-scratchers and eye-openers:

Wrigley Field will be drowning in Pattersons tonight as the Cubs' Eric will be in the dugout opposite the Reds' Corey. E-Pat has been called up from Triple-A Iowa as Alfonso Soriano and his strained right calf muscle go on the 15-day DL.

More momentarily in the Gameday Thread.

Déjà Vu all over again, Alfonso? For the second time in two years during mid April, Cubs star left fielder Alsonso Soriano injured a leg.

Last year he missed just a week from a mild left hamstring strain on April 16th. He returned to the lineup by April 22nd but was limited in his running as well as his outfield play for a few weeks after that injury.

Here was the immediate reaction to last April's injury on cubs.com:

...his status is day-to-day. The center fielder was injured when he dove trying to catch Clay Hensley's single with one out and a runner at second in the fifth. "I don't like to be hurt," Soriano said. "I like to play every day. We'll see how I feel tomorrow."

This isn't to be confused with his more significant right quadriceps strain last August 6th. I vividly remember seeing Soriano pull up lame after rounding 2nd base against the Mets in the game Tom Glavine got his 300th win. Third base coach Mike Quade helped Alfonso off the field that evening. Soriano returned to action by August 28th.

In last night's game vs the Reds, while making the third out in the top of the 1st inning by catching a flyball from Ken Griffey Jr. and doing his signature hop to make the catch, Soriano once again came up lame. He needed to use CF Felix Pie to limp off the field. In the bottom of the inning he was replaced by Mike Fontenot with Mark DeRosa taking his spot in LF.

Again cubs.com says (Carrie Muskat must have a macro key for her Word application regarding this stuff. Ironically, when she hits the F7 key, the macro spits out something about being day-to-day):

Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano had to leave Tuesday's game after the top of the first inning with a strained right calf. His status was day-to-day.

This time the preliminary diagnosis is a strained right calf. To recap the anatomy, the quadriceps is the major muscle in the front of the thigh. The hamstrings are the muscles behind the thigh. The larger muscles that make up
the calf are the gastrocnemius which
is more superficial and the deeper soleus which blend together as they go toward
the lower portion of the leg until they connect with the achilles
tendon
. They are responsible for pushoff in running activity. Just like
any other muscle injury they are graded by extent of injury, rarely
need surgery and usually take from 2-6 weeks to heal.They shipped Soriano off for an MRI Tuesday night so the results will be available in the morning. Hearing Lou Piniella on the postgame interview, he didn't sound optimistic with the most recent comp injury being Phillie OF Shane Victorino who was put on the 15 day DL the day after his calf strain on Saturday. Matt Murton, Jake Fox or Eric Patterson...please check your answering machines.

It could be worse. The Ides of April ruined the 2006 Season on April 19th when Scott Eyre fielded a Raphael Furcal bunt. The sooner they get this month over with the safer I will feel.

UPDATE: It's official.  Eric Patterson gets the call-up as Fonzie goes on the 15 day DL. Stay tuned for the Patterson brothers reunion deathmatch tonight.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Aaron Harang SP Ryan Dempster
  1-1, 2.45, 15 K, 5 BB
1-0, 0.69, 10 K, 4 BB
       
CF Dusty Baker LF Lou Piniella
SS Dusty Baker SS Lou Piniella
RF Dusty Baker 1B Lou Piniella
2B Dusty Baker 3B Lou Piniella
LF Dusty Baker RF Lou Piniella
3B Dusty Baker 2B Lou Piniella
1B Dusty Baker C Lou Piniella
C Dusty Baker CF Lou Piniella
P
Aaron Harang P Ryan Dempster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What say you? The players play the game and the managers are just overpaid babysitters? Pshaw! This is war, baby! The very fabric of Cubdom lies in the balance. The past vs the future; Dude vs Fella, Right vs Wrong!!! Pick a side, but choose wisely - for the faith of the Cubs world lies in the balance. (Tribal yell as I grab my gun off the wall!)

This also marks the less-public return of Corey Patterson, who's leading the Reds in home runs, rbi's and runs right now. Derrek Lee leads the Cubs in those same categories. One of those scenarios has a chance to remain true by the end of the season. Felix Pie is also back in the lineup and gets to face Aaron Harang after getting about 5 AB's in the last week. Good luck with that.

 

I just wanted to give a shout out to our friends at Inside the Ivy. Steve Holley is going to be live blogging from the Iowa Cubs game in New Orleans. This isn't your normal live blog though, as he'll be using "Cover it Live" so that readers can submit questions as the game goes on. Scout.com is usually subscription-based, but they're opening this one up for everyone, so head on over and get your questions answered on the Triple-A Cubs. The game starts at 7pm Central, but he'll start about an hour before game time. If you can't make it today, he'll be doing this for the entire series.

Do you remember that supercharged night back in 1999 when former Cub manager Jim Lefebvre, then manager of the Brewers, returned to Wrigley Field for the first time as skipper of another club, in a much anticipated showdown with Jim Riggleman?

I don't either.

But Johnnie B. Baker, Jr., is no Jim Lefebvre, and Lou Piniella is no Jim Riggleman. These guys are managerial heavyweights, and as much as Baker and Piniella claim there is nothing special about Baker's return to Wrigley beside the fact that both the Reds and Cubs will be trying to get a leg up on an NL Central rival, we all know much, much better.

Here, then, is a comparison to help you distinguish the combatants:

The normally light-hitting Jose Made drove in six runs with two RBI triples and a Grand Slam homer, and Chad Fox and five other pitchers combined to throw a two-hit shutout, as the EXST Cubs (Boise group) probably created an international incident, drubbing Team China 11-0 at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning. 

While the more-advanced EXST Cubs (Boise group) were playing Team China on Field #3, the less-advanced EXST Cubs (AZL Mesa group) faced the EXST Giants on Field #2, and dropped a 4-3 decision in 11 innings.

It was not easy watching both games simultaneously, but I managed to do it without missing a pitch in either game, thanks in no small part to eleven cups of coffee, a bottle of amphetamines, and a strong bladder. 

The five hits that did the most to enhance the Cubs' chance of winning during the past, exhausting, extra-inning-filled week, as measured by FanGraphs' Win Probability Added (WPA):


#5 Big Hit:
Sunday v. Philadelphia, 3rd inning--Derrek Lee socked a two-run double off 67-year-old Jamie Moyer to give the Cubs a 3-1 lead they would eventually surrender. WPA .182

Male Bonding...

"We can bond a little bit on this road trip. And you've got a chance to catch up a little on rest with [mostly] night games."

Lou Piniella on the road trip


That's What She Said..

"For me, it's been better when it happens quick, because I don't have time to sit and think about it."

Kerry Wood on closing


Steady, Non-Essential, Low-Leverage Work


"We'll use him behind in the score if we have to. We'll find spots for him to work. We'll get him steady work. That's the important thing, steady work."

- Lou Piniella on Bob Howry's new role

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Jason Marquis SP *Jamie Moyer
  0-0, 6.75, 2 K, 1 BB 1-0, 4.66, 4 K, 4 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano RF *Geoff Jenkins
CF Reed Johnson CF Jayson Werth
1B Derrek Lee 2B *Chase Utley
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Ryan Howard
RF *Kosuke Fukudome LF Pat Burrell
2B Mark DeRosa 3B Pedro Feliz
SS Ryan Theriot C Chris Coste
C Henry Blanco SS Eric Bruntlett
P
*Jason Marquis P *Jamie Moyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marquis was bypassed in the rotation on Friday because of a strep throat. His only 2008 appearance was last Saturday, when he pitched 5 1/3 very bumpy innings against the Astros (8 hits, a walk and 4 ER). He's 4-3, 4.64 lifetime against the Phils and beat them last year in his only start against Philly since joining the Cubs.

Moyer pitched for Lou Piniella's Seattle teams and went 98-48 between 1996 and 2002. He actually had two stints with the Cubs. After they released him in the spring of '92, the Cubs were kind enough to offer him a coaching job within the organization.

He has gone on to win 197 Major League games since then.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Ted Lilly SP *Cole Hamels
  0-1, 9.72, 5 K, 2 BB 1-1, 1.20, 10 K, 5 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF #Shane Victorino
CF Reed Johnson RF Jayson Werth
1B Derrek Lee 2B *Chase Utley
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Ryan Howard
C Geovany Soto LF Pat Burrell
RF Mark DeRosa 3B Pedro Feliz
2B Ronny Cedeno C Carlos Ruiz
SS Ryan Theriot SS Eric Bruntlett
P
*Ted Lilly P *Cole Hamels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lilly is coming off his shortest outing as a Cub, that is, in games that weren't meaningless end-of-season affairs or didn't involve his getting a quick thumb from the home plate umpire. In Monday's game, you'll recall, the Cubs staked Lilly to a 7-0 lead, then the lefty couldn't make it out of the fourth inning. Eventually the Cubs won 10-8 in 12 innings. Thank God for Jon Lieber and Evan Meek.

From the cubs.com report about the outing:

Luke Sommer slammed an RBI triple to left-center to drive in the first run in the 4th, Josh Vitters lined a game-tying RBI single to right in the 6th and Nelson Perez hammered a game-winning bases-loaded triple down the right-field line in the 8th, as the EXST Cubs defeated the EXST Angels 5-2 at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning.

Billy Petrick got the start for the EXST Cubs, throwing a shutout/hitless inning in what could be one of his final rehab outings before he is ready to join the AAA Iowa Cubs.

Although he struggled a bit with his command (16 pitches, only eight strikes), Petrick seemed to throw the ball with better velocity than he did his last time out on Thursday. 

...Friday's game thread is below...

- As you've probably heard by now, the Cubs received 25-year old outfielder/first basemen Doug Deeds from the Twins today as the PTBNL in the Craig Monroe deal. A ninth-round selection of the Twins in 2002, the lefty was an honorable mention on John Sickels top 20 Twins prospects before 2007, but didn't make the cut in 2008 after a rough year in AAA. His scouting report on Scout.com before the 2007 season sure had some encourging notes:

Deeds is one of the more polished hitters in
the Twins’ organization, and each year he seems to grow at the plate.
He has the ability to hit to all fields, and has shown the ability to
hit at every level he has played at during his Minor League career.

Deeds is a great defensive outfielder, and
should have a future as an everyday corner outfielder in some
organization, hopefully the Twins. He makes all the plays in right
field, and has a tremendous arm that enables him to scare potential
base runners from advancing a base. He uses good closing speed to get
to balls that most outfielders do not get to, and has had his fair
share of outfield assists throughout his Minor League career.

His career line is still a solid 291/374/463 and hopefully a change of scenery will benefit him. I imagine he'll be headed Mike Wellman's way and on to Iowa.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Carlos Zambrano SP Brett Myers
  1-0, 1.32, 12 K, 1 BB 0-1, 6.30, 6 K, 5 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF #Shane Victorino
CF *Kosuke Fukudome 3B *Greg Dobbs
1B Derrek Lee 2B *Chase Utley
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Ryan Howard
RF *Daryle Ward LF Pat Burrell
C Geovany Soto RF *Geoff Jenkins
2B Mark DeRosa C Carlos Ruiz
SS Ryan Theriot SS Eric Bruntlett
P
#Carlos Zambrano P Brett Myers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'll go out on a limb here and say that if Zambrano can keep up a twelve to one K:BB ratio, he'll win the Cy Young. You heard it here first. Z's start did get pushed up a day, although Mother Nature is threatening to push him right back with 50-60% chance of showers for tonight in Philly. Brett Myers vowed to be more aggressive tonight...on the mound; Mrs. Myers need not worry. The reigning, undeserved MVP, Jimmy Rollins sits another night with a sprained ankle but is available to pinch-hit. If they do get the game in, the Cubs will try to extend their winning streak to six.

____________________________

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According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Dusty Baker may juggle the Red Legs' pitching rotation heading into next week's visit to Wrigley Field.


...350 miles west of Chicago on I-80, Mike Wellman keeps tabs on the Iowa Cubs in the PCL...


Living here in Des Moines I've always gotten a kick out of the local team playing in the Pacific Coast League. I guess that makes the portion of the 'road to Wrigley' that runs through here the Pacific Coast Highway. Here's my dispatch after the season's first homestand.

Of the eight games scheduled four were lost to opponents, three were lost to Mother Nature [one of which was reclaimed as the front end of a day/night doubleheader] and two went into the win column.

The team now heads to Nashville for a four-game set with the [micro] Brewers as the I-Cubs and Sounds resume their subsidiary version of the growing rivalry between Chicago and Milwaukee.

It's hard to glean much from the limited six-game sample, very little of which was played in conditions conducive to baseball, but here are some early trends that will bear watching as the season unfolds:

Tags: 

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP *Rich Hill SP Matt Morris
  0-0, 3.00, 4 K, 3 BB 0-0, 5.40, 2 K, 2 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF *Nate McLouth
2B *Mike Fontenot 2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Derrek Lee LF Jason Bay
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adam LaRoche
RF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Xavier Nady
C Geovany Soto C Ronny Paulino
SS Ryan Theriot 3B Jose Bautista
CF *Felix Pie SS Brian Bixler
P
*Rich Hill P Matt Morris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After 27 innings of baseball in two games, I think the Cubs should just get credit for the third game and call it a sweep. It is three full games of baseball afterall.

Lou thought about switching up the rotation a bit and giving Marquis the start tonight, but he was still feeling the effects of the flu. So Rich Hill stays in his spot and as long as the rain stays away, I'm sure there's not a happier guy in Pennsylvania right now. Hill, a flyball pitcher, gets the cozy left field dimensions of PNC Park and the punchless Pirates instead of the hitter-happy Citizens Bank Park and the powerhouse Phillies lineup.

Like the MLB regular season, there is a rhythm to Extended Spring Training.

Players get Sundays off, play games versus the EXST squads from other organizations on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and Thursday is "Camp Day." 

The Toronto Blue Jays have designated RHP Randy Wells for assignment.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Ryan Dempster SP *Zach Duke
  1-0, 1.50, 5 K, 2 BB 0-0, 3.18, 1 K, 1 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF *Nate McLouth
CF Reed Johnson 2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Derrek Lee LF Jason Bay
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adam LaRoche
RF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Xavier Nady
2B Mark DeRosa C #Ryan Doumit
C Geovany Soto 3B Jose Bautista
SS Ronny Cedeno SS Brian Bixler
P
Ryan Dempster P *Zach Duke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's true--the Cubs are unbeaten this season in games started by Ryan Dempster and Jason Marquis. (I know, we're talking about two games, but still, I'm pleasantly surprised.)

Chad Fox continued his active rehab,,throwing 1.1 IP (four up, four down) in today's Extended Spring Training game versus the Brewers EXST team on Fitch Park Field #3.

Fox looked sharp, striking out the first two men he faced and getting the last two on 5-3 ground-outs.

The 37-year old right-hander was signed to a minor league contract by the Cubs last January and received and NRI to Spring Training, but pitched in only one Cactus League game before being shut-down with a sore elbow. 

He had missed most of the previous two seasons after retiring in April 2006 with what he thought was an elbow problem that turned out be just scar tissue from a previous surgery.    

While there is clearly no room for him in the Cubs' bullpen (at this time), he is probably getting close to the point where he can be assigned to a full-season club, probably AAA Iowa. 

It's also possible that the Cubs have promised Fox that if he is not added to their 25-man roster by a certain date (like maybe May 1st or June 1st), that he will be free to make his own deal elsewhere (see Rod Beck circa 2003).   

Sean Marshall was supposed to start for the Iowa Cubs tonight against Albuquerque in Des Moines. Instead he's on his way to Pittsburgh, exchanging roster spots with Carmen Pignatiello. Apparently Lou Piniella huffed and puffed and blew 'Piggy' back to the minors after the southpaw showed his appreciation for making the big club by walking both hitters he faced in Monday's 10-8 torture tilt.

Former Cub Bill Buckner threw out the first pitch before the Red Sox home opener Tuesday against the Tigers. In a tearful press conference--lot of that going around this week--Buckner said he had finally been able to forgive the media for the brutal treatment he and his family had received following Buckner's fateful error in Game Six of the Sox' 1986 World Series loss to the Mets.

For a whole generation of fans, Buckner's connection to that Mookie Wilson-hit ground ball has obscured the fact that the guy was a terrific baseball player. The onetime Dodger played seven full seasons on the North Side after the Cubs had acquired him and Ivan DeJesus in a January, 1977 trade for Rick Monday.

A few of you were unimpressed by my previous post by telling me that it should be expected that the top hitters in the game were also the top hitters versus the Cubs. A fair assessment...

So who were the most unexpected Cubs killers? In other words, who saved their best to drive some nails in the Cubs' coffins? Reader "big_lowitzki" did the research for us and provided me with the list.

After Carlos Lee beat up the Cubbies again this weekend with a 5 for 12 series, a homer and couple of RBI's (pretty low-key for him), I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the all-time biggest Cubs killers. So thanks to some of the wonderful tools over at Baseball Musings, I looked at which players had the highest all-time OPS while facing the Cubs with at least 350 Plate Appearances. Their database only goes back to 1957 as well.

So we've escaped the clutches of MVN, poked fun at Sam Zell's misguided attempt to sell naming rights to Wrigley Field and we have Arizona Phil. You're probably asking yourself right now, how can I help support this amazing website and make sure it lasts longer than Jason Marquis will as a Cub? Well, you can dress up in a Cubbie Bear costume, put on a sandwich board that says "Visit the best Cubs site on the web, THECUBREPORTER.COM" and stand outside Wrigley Field during each game of the next homestand. Be sure to get pictures if you do indeed go that route. We suspect that might not be your style, so if you're looking for a simpler alternative, you can just send us a bit of pocket change.

We're starting a little donation drive this month and we hope all that can help us out, will take a moment to do just that. This site did cost us a bit out of our own pockets to get started and now we have expenses such as domain names, server costs, Parachat and potential lawyer fees when the AngelFan Wife finally gets fed up with me burying my nose in a laptop. We'll take whatever you can scrounge up from the bottom of your couch cushions, whether it's a dollar or forty (or more if you have really deep couch cushions). If you're looking for a little guidance on an appropriate amount, if we could get 100 people to donate $20 each, that should cover our costs for the year (including Parachat) and leave a little left over for site improvements and advertising. We're even offereing some wonderful gifts to the top givers.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Tom Gorzelanny SP Ted Lilly
(2008) 0-1, 4.50, 3 K, 3 BB (2008) 0-1, 7.71, 4 K, 0 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF *Nate McLouth
CF Reed Johnson 2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Derrek Lee LF Jason Bay
3B Aramis Ramirez C Ryan Doumit
RF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Xavier Nady
2B Mark DeRosa 1B *Doug Mientkiewicz
C Geovany Soto 3B Jose Bautista
SS Ronny Cedeno SS Luis Rivas
P
*Ted Lilly P *Tom Gorzelanny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cubs look to extend their winning streak to three as they help open PNC Park for the year. Ted Lilly tries to rebound from a less-than-good debut versus the Brewers; he went 1-0 with a 3.20 ERA last year versus the Pirates in three starts.Kerry Wood will sit this one out today, so look for Carlos Marmol to close if the Cubs are so fortunate to find themselves in that situation.

 

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