June 2008

Your 2008 Boise Hawks!

A few more of the recently drafted players arrived at Fitch Park today, including catcher Luis Flores (7th round pick out of Oklahoma State) and OF Tony Campana (13th round pick out of U. of Cincinnati). Both were immediately assigned to Boise.   

And speaking of Boise, the Boise Hawks roster was posted in the Fitch Park clubhouse today, with 27 players assigned.

Game 68 Thread / Cubs @ Blue Jays (1 of 3)

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SP Sean Gallagher SP A.J. Burnett
  3-2, 4.42, 31 K, 13 BB, 36.2 IP
5-6, 4.98, 78 K, 38 BB, 81.1 IP
       
SS Ryan Theriot RF Alex Rios
1B *Micah Hoffpauir DH *Matt Stairs
DH Derrek Lee 3B Scott Rolen
3B Aramis Ramirez CF Vernon Wells
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 1B *Lyle Overbay
C Geovany Soto C Rod Barajas
CF *Jim Edmonds LF *Brad Wilkerson
2B Mark DeRosa 2B *Joe Inglett
LF *Eric Patterson SS David Eckstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can the Cubs reach 20 games over by mid-June? They have a chance by winning tonight or this series, and it would be the first time since late 2004. But they'll be on the short-end of the pitching matchups for the most part. By ERA, Gallagher is outperforming Burnett at this point, but Saturday's matchup is Roy Halladay(3.07) vs Jason Marquis(4.54) and Sunday is Jessie Litsch(3.42) vs. Ted Lilly(5.13). Burnett might also have the added motivation of trying to audition for his next team, as he's one of the names certain to be bandied about during the trade deadline in connection with the Cubs.

TCR Friday Notes

...the triumphant return.

- Fun with projections: At their current .642 winning percentage, the Cubs would win 104 games. They have played a considerable amount of extra home games though to this point, so if you use their current .784 home winning percentage and their current .467 road winning percentage, that comes out to (roughly) 63 home wins and 37 on the road for a total of 100 wins. If they "tank" the rest of the way and just play .500 ball, they'd still be good for 90 wins on the year. This would also be a good time to note though that the highest home win total since 2002 is 57 wins done by the 2003 A's and Giants and the 2004 Yankees.

New Blood at the Ranch

There apparently was a change in the itinerary for the Boise Hawks, as the roster will not be announced until after today's workout, and the team will not leave for Idaho until after tomorrow's work-out.

Therefore (naturally), there was another intrasquad game today.

In addition, Cubs 1B Daryle Ward, who is on the 15-day DL with a back problem, has finally arrived at Fitch Park.

Game 67 Thread / Braves @ Cubs (3 of 3)

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SP Tim Hudson SP Carlos Zambrano
  7-4, 2.86 54 K, 23 BB, 91.1 IP
8-2, 3.01, 63 K, 29 BB, 92.2 IP
       
SS Yunel Escobar LF *Eric Patterson
2B *Kelly Johnson SS Ryan Theriot
3B Chipper Jones 1B Derrek Lee
1B #Mark Teixeira 3B Aramis Ramirez
C *Brian McCann RF *Kosuke Fukudome
RF Jeff Francoeur C Geovany Soto
LF #Greg Norton CF *Jim Edmonds
CF *Gregor Blanco 2B Mark DeRosa
P Tim Hudson P #Carlos Zambrano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe this is what our ancestors called a pitching duel. They probably called it that in 1948 as well, which is the year they will be honoring with today's "Turn back the clock" event. Both teams will break out the 1948 uniforms in honor of WGN's 60th anniversary. I hope they had a better logo in 1948 then they do now. To keep in the 1948 spirt, the first two innings will be broadcast in black and white with similar camera angles that they used back then and minimal graphics. I believe the plan is to add more graphics and cameras as the game goes on. Len and Bob will be wearing authentic 1948 garb as well.

IT IS FRACTURED but are we broken?

Thanks Transmission, you've said almost everything we need to know about Soriano's ouchie tonight (this link includes video of the injury). So I'll keep it to just a few more questions and answers and a picture.

Yes, it's broken...and yes, it's fractured. Yes, there's only minimal displacement (which means the bone doesn't need to be set or reduced by manipulation or surgery).

Soriano Hit By Pitch on Hand, Early Reports Not Good

In the second inning of Wednesday night's game, Soriano was late to react to a high and tight fastball from Braves' emergency-starter Jeff Bennett, and got hit on his left hand. He was taken from the game to a nearby hospital, where X-rays evidently revealed a "minimally displaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal."

 

Game 66 Thread / Braves @ Cubs (2 of 3)

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SP Jeff Bennett SP Ryan Dempster
  0-3, 3.47, 38 K, 24 BB, 49.1 IP
7-2, 2.90, 64 K, 35 BB, 80.2 IP
       
SS Yunel Escobar LF Alfonso Soriano
2B *Kelly Johnson SS Ryan Theriot
3B Chipper Jones 1B Derrek Lee
1B #Mark Teixeira 3B Aramis Ramirez
C *Brian McCann RF *Kosuke Fukudome
RF Jeff Francoeur C Geovany Soto
LF Greg Norton CF *Jim Edmonds
CF *Gregor Blanco 2B Mark DeRosa
P Jeff Bennett P Ryan Dempster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Bennett starts for the Braves, after the scheduled starter, Jair Jurrjens, slipped on a dugout step following last night's game and messed up his ankle.

I'll bet it was just like that scene in "Pride of the Yankees," where Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper) slips on a pile of bats near the on-deck circle, and a gorgeous girl (Teresa Wright) laughs at him and calls him "Tanglefoot."

Yes, I'm certain it happened just like that.

Brenly Learns Son Good (So Far)

Newly-signed Michael Brenly wasted no time getting started, as the youngster slammed a line-drive opposite-field RBI single and stole a base, and RHP Chris Huseby threw three shoutout innings in what was definitely his best outing of 2008, as the EXST Cubs played a three-inning intrasquad game on Fitch Park Field #3 this morning.

Brenly, the Cubs 36th round draft pick out of UNLV and the son of Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly,reported to Fitch Park yesterday and, after meeting the guys and taking some BP, settled right in. And being one day ahead of the other new arrivals, Brenly became the first of the new Cubs to see game action, serving as a DH in today's game.

May the Injury Parade Not Stop In the Cubs Clubhouse

Braves rookie Jair Jurrjens, who was scheduled to start tonight's game at Wrigley against Ryan Dempster and the Cubs, slipped on a dugout step following last night's game and twisted his right ankle. Jurrjens may be headed to the DL, where he would join fellow Bravos Smoltz, Glavine, and Hampton; Jurrjens definitely won't start tonight. Instead Jeff Bennett (0-3. 3.47) will get the nod.

Hoffpauir, The Sequel

Paul Sullivan writes in the Tribune that the Cubs will recall Micah Hoffpauir from Iowa as the team begins its interleague schedule with three games at SkyDome this weekend. Lou Piniella's plan is to let Hoffpauir play first base and left field, which will alternately allow Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano to "rest" as they see DH duty.

Wood, Marmol, Howry — The "Nasty Men"?


Above all, there was the bullpen. If you didn't outscore the Reds in the first six innings, forget about winning. Rob Dibble, Norm Charlton and Randy Myers constituted the deadliest combination of 95-mph (or better) fastballs, swaggering attitude and occasional mullets in the game. So much so that the trio earned a nickname derived from a pre-wardrobe malfunction Janet Jackson: the Nasty Boys.

— Jonah Keri, espn.com

When Lou Piniella's Reds swept the heavily favored Oakland Athletics right out of the 1990 World Series, his trio of fireballing young relievers led the charge. After combining for 44 saves and a 2.14 ERA over a total 235.1 relief IP during the regular season, the threesome made an indelible mark in Fall Classic history by throwing 8 2/3 innings and allowing the mighty A's no earned runs on just six hits. Dibble won Game 2; Myers earned a save in the clinching Game 4.

(The Boys were no slouches in the NLCS either. Myers, the series MVP, saved three of the four Cincy victories over the Pirates, Charlton had a win, and the Nasty Boys struck out 20 and allowed just six hits and one earned run in 15 2/3 IP.)

Watching Piniella's current club at work and appreciating how his bullpen, particularly young set-up man Carlos Marmol, has contributed to the team's early season success, I thought it would be interesting to see how the three stalwarts in Piniella's Cub bullpen compare to the Nasty Boys of 18 summers ago.

Picking at a Scab

As I'm sure you've all heard by now, ex-Cubs wonder boy Mark Prior went under the knife yet again last week for his troublesome shoulder. But you might have missed this little detail (emphasis added):


The Padres' right-hander stood in the clubhouse with his right shoulder
bandaged and his right arm in a sling following Wednesday's surgery to
repair a torn anterior capsule. If that weren't enough to put an end to
his bid to pitch this season, doctors also found a second injury -- one
that isn't normally associated with baseball.

Prior's anterior capsule was torn away from the humerus, the
bone in the upper arm. Team physicians Heinz Hoenecke and Jan Fronek
performed the surgery and said the second injury is normally associated
with traumatic events like a fall.

Hmm, that's an interesting little tidbit, now isn't it? I recall a time and place where our resident orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Hecht/aka Cubster, speculated that not everything added up with Prior's first surgery.

If MP(Mark Prior) really did have a Bankart lesion. That usually takes a trauma of
some sort (of course he could have fallen on the pavement walking his
dog). This type of injury is typically treated with rehab in the
beginning (see my comments on Toby Hall), with decent recovery until
the symptoms become more chronic. MP’s pitching was fantastic after he
recovered from that the collison in 2003, so it took time for the
looseness/instability the tear created to lead to what occurred in 2006
and 2007.

L.A. Story

So the Cubs wandered into my neck of the woods and I was able to go to both weekend games. Saturday's mid-day tilt was a Father's Day gift from The Angefan Wife where we took the G-Twins and Sunday night was a night out away from the kids...which we needed after Saturday's family outing with the aforementioned G-Twins.

Nothing revolutionary here, but my observations after the jump...

Game 62 Thread / Cubs @ Dodgers (2 of 4)

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SP Sean Gallagher SP Hiroki Kuroda
  3-1, 4.55, 25 K, 10 BB, 31.2 IP
2-5, 3.93, 37 K, 23 BB, 71 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano LF *Juan Pierre
SS Ryan Theriot RF #Delwyn Young
1B Derrek Lee 2B Jeff Kent
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *James Loney
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF Matt Kemp
CF *Jim Edmonds 3B *Blake DeWitt
2B Mark DeRosa C Danny Ardoin
C Henry Blanco SS Chin-Lung Hu
P Sean Gallagher P Hiroki Kuroda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A win tonight and the Cubs are the proud owner of a winning road trip. They will aslo be the first team to 40 wins this season, a seemingly insignificant milestone that reader "JohnBeasley" shows is at the very least, a marker of good things to come.

First in the majors to 40:
2007: 6/9 - BOS (won World Series) and LAA (made playoffs)
2006: 6/11 - DET (won pennant)
2005: 6/8 - CHW (won World Series)
2004: 6/13 - NYY (made playoffs)

Source: BaseballRace.com

Cubs Draft Tracker Ticker - Day 2

ROUND #7:(221) Luis Flores, C (Oklahoma State)
R/R, 5'10, 200, 21 years old
COMMENT: Outstanding defensive catcher with a strong, accurate arm and well above-average receiving skills... Hit 298/425/447 with 39/30 BB/K in 37 games at OSU in 2008... Transferred to Oklahoma State from the University of Houston, where he was a Freshman All-American... Was both a baseball All-American and an All-State QB in HS in Texas...

Game 61 Thread / Cubs @ Dodgers (1 of 4)

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SP Ryan Dempster SP Chad Billingsley
  7-2, 2.75, 63 K, 33 BB, 75.1 IP
4-6, 3.29, 71 K, 34 BB, 65.2 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano LF *Juan Pierre
SS Ryan Theriot CF Matt Kemp
1B Derrek Lee RF *Andre Ethier
3B Aramis Ramirez 2B Jeff Kent
RF *Kosuke Fukudome C Russell Martin
C Geovany Soto 1B *James Loney
CF *Jim Edmonds 3B *Blake DeWitt
2B Mark DeRosa SS Chin-Lung Hu
P Ryan Dempster P Chad Billingsley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And so, here we are:

The final, deciding game in the Cubs' and Dodgers' best-of-2,021 game series.

Who'd have thought it would come down to this?

2008 Rule 4 Draft

Quick Update(Rob G.): Scout.com has a live blog going for the draft and they'll be answering user questions. The writer running it is hearing that the Cubs will not pass on Casey Kelly if he's available. Also, Parachat is (always) open if you want to chat amongst yourselves.


The MLB Rule 4 Draft (AKA “First-Year Player Draft”) starts at 2 PM ET today, with the 1st round and Supplemental 1st round to be televised "live" on ESPN2. The draft will continue tomorrow (Friday). Last year, the first five rounds of the draft were completed by the end of the first day, and the remaining 45 rounds were completed by the end of the second day.

Game 60 Thread / Cubs @ Padres (3 of 3)

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SP *Ted Lilly SP Greg Maddux
  5-4, 5.54, 61 K, 21 BB, 65 IP
3-4, 3.69, 38 K, 12 BB, 70.2 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF Scott Hairston
SS Ryan Theriot 2B Edgar Gonzalez
1B Derrek Lee RF *Brian Giles
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adrian Gonzalez
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
CF *Jim Edmonds SS Khalil Greene
C Geovany Soto LF Justin Huber
2B Mark DeRosa C Michael Barrett
P *Ted Lilly P Greg Maddux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cubs go for their tenth (10th!) win a row, a feat they haven't done since 2001 when they strung together 12 wins in a row. It would also be their third straight series sweep. Oh, it's fun to be a Cubs fan these days.

On the mound, it's Ted Lilly still searching for his 2007 form. Things started looking up for him in May, that is until he met a 20 mph wind flying out of Wrigley last Friday. A wind the Cubs offsense used to pull off one of those miracle wins that it seems every good baseball team has at least once a season.

Roll It!

Nelson Perez went 2-3 with a triple, an RBI, a walk, and two runs scored and 17-year old Dominican LHP Jeffry Antigua pitched four strong innings, leading the EXST Cubs to a 9-4 sinking of the EXST Mariners in a Beat-the-Heat "Rush Hour Special" (9 AM start) at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning.

Game 59 Recap: Cubs 9, Padres 6

Nine and Counting


W-
Marquis (3-3), Cat O' Nine Tails, Seven of Nine, Title IX, Nein!, Revolution No. 9, 3^2^1


L-
Corey (1-1), inefficient starters on west coast night games

S- Wood (16)


Box Score
, Photos

Things to Take from This Game

1. Ugly work by the starters

Marquis just melted down in the third, with among other things three walks, a balk and an errant pickoff throw at first. It all led to two runs. At least he made it through five with only giving up three total, to "earn" the win. Ledezma threw 99 pitches in 4.2 and walked five. The big AB in the bottom of the fifth was Theriot, who coaxed a walk with the bases loaded to bring the score to 3-2, with Lee tying it up on an infield grounder, after him.

2. Who can't hit homers at Petco?

Soto and DeRosa hit a couple of very impressive home runs in the sixth. Soto's solo shot was well out in center, and DeRosa's two-run job just got one out over the wall in deep left-center. But the real shot of the night was Soriano's three-run homer, an upper-decker just left of center, in the eighth.

3. Defensively...

Barrett still isn't any good. Just in case you had any doubts.

4. Relief

Eyre pitched a solid 1.1 innings, and Howry got out of a big bases loaded jam he inherited in the 8th. Nice work from our premium-priced middle-reliever duo. Wood gave up a double to Adrian Gonzalez, but otherwise looked dominant closing it out.

The "I would be annoyed if I'd stayed up to recap a loss" details, below.

Tags: 

Game 59 Thread / Cubs @ Padres (2 of 3)

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SP Jason Marquis SP *Wil Ledezma
  2-3, 4.98, 32 K, 22 BB, 56 IP
0-2, 4.50, 31 K, 21 BB, 26 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF *Jody Gerut
SS Ryan Theriot 2B Tadahito Iguchi
1B Derrek Lee RF *Brian Giles
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adrian Gonzalez
C Geovany Soto 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
CF Reed Johnson LF *Paul McAnulty
RF Mark DeRosa C Michael Barrett
2B Ronny Cedeño SS Khalil Greene
P *Jason Marquis P *Wil Ledezma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cubs seek consecutive win number nine tonight versus the generally punchless Padres. While the Giants offense gets mocked for their futility, it's the Padres(3.66 R/G) and Nationals(3.74 R/G) currently battling for the bottom rung of the NL offensive ladder.

A Few Words of Praise for That #@$^%(&?>! Jim Edmonds

I haven't kept up with the Cubs Hits of the Week lists the past couple weeks, but thought it was worth noting, Fan Graphs-style, Jim Edmonds' apparent revival from a near-death state.

Starting with Friday's breathtaking comeback win over the Rockies, Edmonds has gone 7-for-11, and six of the hits have been EBH's (4 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR).

By Fan Graph's reckoning, here are Edmonds' five biggest offensive contributions since Friday:

Confucius Say: "Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win!"

Josh Vitters went 3-4 with a single, a double, and a triple, a walk, one RBI, and two runs scored, Kyler Burke went 3-4 with two RBI and a run scored, and Carlos Perez had four singles, as the EXST Cubs banged-out 19 hits en route to an 8-6 victory over Team China at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.

Revenge of the Voodoo dolls

Although life is grand after a 7-0 homestand that saw sweeps over the severely injured Dodgers (Furcal, AJones, Garciaparra, LaRoche and 3/44) and the severely injured Rockies (Holiday, Hawpe, Tulowitzki and Barmes), I'm sensing strange karma that may be responsible for some weird happenings that are in the news.

To quote Ricardo Montalban, "Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold."

Former Cub, Shawn Estes got his only win so far this season as well as the Padres only win against the Cubs. He was slated to open the upcoming series in San Diego vs the Cubs monday night until he fell going from the clubhouse to the dugout friday in San Francisco, breaking the thumb on his left pitching hand. He will be replaced by Cha Seung Baek a 28 yr old Korean and former Mariner minor leaguer.

Game 57 Thread / Rockies @ Cubs (4 of 4)

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SP Ubaldo Jimenez SP Sean Gallagher
  1-5, 5.37, 48 K, 33 BB, 58.2 IP
2-1, 4.50, 17 K, 10 BB, 26 IP
       
LF *Scott Podsednik LF Alfonso Soriano
CF *Cory Sullivan SS Ryan Theriot
1B *Todd Helton 1B *Micah Hoffpauir
3B Garrett Atkins 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF *Seth Smith RF *Kosuke Fukudome
2B *Ian Stewart C Geovany Soto
SS *Omar Quintanilla CF *Jim Edmonds
C Yorvit Torrealba 2B Mark DeRosa
P Ubaldo Jimenez P Sean Gallagher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you top a 7-1 homestand and an 8-2 homestand? What about a 7-0 homestand? And let's not even think about that the Cubs would be going for the tenth straight win if it wasn't for those two unfortunate blown ninth-inning losses in Pittsburgh.

All this home-cooking might be needed, as the Cubs head out for a West Coast trip that will see them on the road for 23 of their next 32 games.

Today's lineup features Micah Hoffpauir in the three spot. I wonder what Lou had to do to get Derrek to take a game off? 

Game notes fun after the jump...

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