July 2008

Match Game

I thinks it's important that we come up with the perfect term to describe the annihilation of the Brew Bitches from the North. So please fill-in with the most appropriate verb. All submissions are welcome.

The Cubs (blanked) the Brewers.

a few to start you off: dominated, beat-up, skull-fucked, etc... 

If you need to add a metaphor or point of reference to the end of the sentence, that is acceptable as well.

Trade Deadline Updates

I'll try and post anything I come across with the most recent news on the top. Feel free to add anything in the comments. The deadline is 3 PM CST, although finalized deals often come in as much as hour or two later.

3:15 PM CST: Sullivan says it doesn't look like the Cubs made a move at the deadline, although he's not 100% certain yet.

Game 109 Thread / Cubs @ Brewers (4 of 4)

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SP Rich Harden SP Dave Bush
(NL) 0-1, 1.04, 30 K, 8 BB, 17.1 IP
5-8, 4.51, 71 K, 26 BB, 111.2 IP
LF Alfonso Soriano 2B Rickie Weeks
SS Ryan Theriot 3B *Craig Counsell
1B Derrek Lee LF J.J. Hardy
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Prince Fielder
RF *Kosuke Fukudome LF Ryan Braun
RF Mark DeRosa RF Gabe Kapler
CF *Jim Edmonds CF Mike Cameron
C Geovany Soto C Jason Kendall
P Rich Harden P Dave Bush

Two Cubs trade rumors from this morning - the first comes from CBS Sportsline:

  The Chicago Cubs, who already made a big splash with pitcher Rich Harden, are exploring deals to add a lefty-hitting right fielder. The Cubs have inquired about Seattle's Raul Ibanez, San Diego's Brian Giles and Kansas City's David DeJesus, according to sources.


I think pretty much any left-handed hitting outfielder is going to be associated with the Cubs over the next few hours. Lo and behold, we have some rumblings from the cubs.com board that Jim has asked the Rangers about Milton Bradley. 

As Robert Ripley would say - Believe it or Not! 

Trade Deadline Rumor Roundup

TRADE RUMOR UPDATE (4:23 PM CST): Jayson Stark reports that the Mariners are asking a steep price for Ibanez:

The Cubs, meanwhile, are resisting attempts by Seattle to get Felix Pie and a second prospect for Ibanez. The Cubs almost certainly would be willing to offer a couple of prospects in the Sam Fuld stratum. But teams that have spoken with the Cubs say they've shown little sense of urgency to overpay to add a final piece or two of late. 

A few notes about the Cubs/Brewers series first...

- So the Cubs win the battle of the aces last night, with Carlos Zambrano putting together the type of heroic effort that should be remembered for years. 118 laser precision-like pitches over eight innings with nine strikeouts and only five hits and the Cubs are guaranteed to be still in first place after the series ends. They're also set-up nicely for a series win or dare I say series sweep with Ryan Dempster and Rich Harden going the next two games. (Doing my best Mel Allen) How about that?

- The "struggling" Cubs offense has pounded out 26 hits over the last two games. Apparently you can just turn it on when it's needed most. 

- Entering the series, Jason Kendall had morphed himself into a late-90's Ivan Rodriguez, throwing out 27 of 57 baserunners for a league-leading .474 caught stealing percentage. Lou and the Cubs baserunners didn't seem impressed. They're now a perfect five for five in the first two games. Kendall needs to take another dip into whatever fountain of youth he found.

Some trade rumors after the jump...

Game 107 Thread / Cubs @ Brewers (2 of 4)

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SP Carlos Zambrano SP Ben Sheets
  11-4, 2.96, 87 K, 44 BB, 133.2 IP
10-3, 2.87, 115 K, 31 BB, 135 IP
LF Alfonso Soriano 2B #Ray Durham
SS Ryan Theriot SS J.J. Hardy
1B Derrek Lee LF Ryan Braun
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Prince Fielder
CF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Corey Hart
RF Mark DeRosa 3B *Russ Branyan
2B *Mike Fontenot CF Mike Cameron
C Geovany Soto C Jason Kendall
P #Carlos Zambrano P Ben Sheets

My apologies for lack of a game thread last night, I was out on a 3-day weekend celebrating seven years of marriage with the Angelfan wife. Many ask what our secret is (okay, no one does), and the answer? Marry a girl who likes baseball and doesn't mind if you check the scores on your cellphone during a sunset dinner at the beach. Lucky in love I am...

Czech, please!

Game 106 Thread / Cubs @ Brewers (1 of 4)...how's that for a good bluff, Rob?

From Stripes:

John Winger (Bill Murray): C'mon, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip right out again. We're not going to Moscow. It's Czechoslovakia. It's like going into Wisconsin.

Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis): Well I got the shit kicked out of me in Wisconsin once.


After a glorious 6-4 win in the opening game of this key Milwaukee series, I wanted to take a minor detour and reflect on my recent travails, aka, life following the Cubs in central Europe including the Czech Republic.

No Lead Safe When Playing AZL Cubs

Cubs 2008 20th round draft pick and current AZL batting leader LF Jericho Jones (who is now hitting .437) rapped out four hits (three singles and a double), 1B Bryan Jost reached base five times (two singles, a triple, and two walks), and RHP Ryan Searle returned from Australia to throw three innings of no run/no hit relief (0/5 BB/K), as the AZL Cubs rallied from an early 8-0 deficit to edge the AZL Brewers 9-8 at Fitch Park Field #3 Saturday morning. 

box score

Game 104 Thread / Marlins @ Cubs (3 of 4)

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SP Chris Volstad SP Rich Harden
  2-1, 2.16, 9 K, 6 BB, 16.2 IP
5-2, 2.12, 112 K, 36 BB, 89.1 IP
SS Hanley Ramirez LF Alfonso Soriano
RF *Jeremy Hermida SS Ryan Theriot
3B Jorge Cantu 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Mike Jacobs 3B Aramis Ramirez
2B Dan Uggla 2B *Mike Fontenot
LF Josh Willingham RF Mark DeRosa
C *John Baker C Geovany Soto
CF #Alfredo Amezaga CF *Kosuke Fukudome
P Chris Volstad P *Rich Harden


Rise and shine, Cubbies. A 12:05 day game in Chicago sees Rich Harden looking for his first win as a Cub, the Cubs looking for reliable offense, and fans looking to maintain bragging rights over the charging Brewers. That's three more uses of the verb "looking" than I'd make if I wasn't rusty from yet another long hiatus.

Who is John Baker?

The biggest pregame news has to be Fontenot's promotion and Fukudome's demotion. This is by my quick count the second time this season Fukudome started a game in center, the first time Fontenot has started the game hitting fifth, likewise for Fukudome hitting eighth.

Game 103 Thread / Marlins @ Cubs (2 of 4)

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SP Josh Johnson SP Ryan Dempster
  0-0, 3.86, 10 K, 3 BB, 11.2 IP
11-4, 3.05, 111 K, 51 BB, 132.2 IP
SS Hanley Ramirez LF Alfonso Soriano
RF *Luis Gonzalez SS Ryan Theriot
3B Jorge Cantu 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Mike Jacobs 3B Aramis Ramirez
2B Dan Uggla RF *Kosuke Fukudome
LF Josh Willingham C Geovany Soto
CF Cody Ross 2B *Mike Fontenot
C Paul Hoover CF Reed Johnson
P *Josh Johnson P Ryan Dempster


With Jeff Samardzija (last name = 29 Scrabble points) in a Major League uniform for the first time and the Brewers so close you can smell the Miller High Life and cannibal sandwiches on their breaths, the Cubs go for a second win in a row against the Fightin' Fish.

Kosuke Fukudome returns to the starting lineup, as does Mike Fontenot, who has gone 14-for-41 (.341) with four homers and a 1260 OPS since the first of July.

Game 100 Thread / Cubs @ Diamondbacks (2 of 3)

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SP Jason Marquis SP Yusmeiro Petit
  6-5, 4.44 ERA, 53 K, 39 BB, 99.1 IP
0-1, 3.06 ERA, 11 K, 1 BB, 17.2 IP
SS Ryan Theriot SS *Stephen Drew
RF *Kosuke Fukudome LF Conor Jackson
1B Derrek Lee 2B #Orlando Hudson
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Chad Tracy
CF *Jim Edmonds 3B Mark Reynolds
C Geovany Soto C *Miguel Montero
LF Mark DeRosa CF Chris Young
2B *Mike Fontenot RF *Alex Romero
P *Jason Marquis P Yusmeiro Petit

The Cubs reach the century mark of the season that may mark their century-long run of futility. A little known fact is that they've lost the 100th game of every season since 1909 foreshadowing their 100-year drought (don't bother looking it up, I've posted it on the Internet, so it must be true)

Lieber and Eyre Rehabbin' at Fitch

Jon Lieber and Scott Eyre threw in rehab outings with the AZL Cubs at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning, as Larry Rothschild, Lester Strode, and Carlos Zambrano (who was visiting buddy Angel Guzman) watched from the bench, and a gaggle of Cubs brass watched from the observation tower.

Game 98 Thread / Cubs @ Astros (3 of 3)

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SP Ryan Dempster SP Brandon Backe
  10-4, 3.25, 104 K, 350 BB, 124.2 IP
6-9, 4.76, 83 K, 50 BB, 111.2 IP
SS Ryan Theriot 2B #Kaz Matsui
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF *Darin Erstad
1B Derrek Lee 1B #Lance Berkman
3B Aramis Ramirez LF Carlos Lee
CF *Jim Edmonds SS Miguel Tejada
LF Mark DeRosa 3B #Geoff Blum
C Geovany Soto RF Hunter Pence
2B *Mike Fontenot C J.R. Towles
P Ryan Dempster P Brandon Backe


The Cubs' NL Central lead is down to +2 over the Cardinals and +3 over the Brewers as the Lou Crew tries to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Astros.

Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto, and Kosuke Fukudome are a combined 3-for-32 (.094) in the series, and as a team, the Cubs have fanned 14 times and walked once.

Or, as Lou Piniella explained so elegantly after Saturday night's 4-1 fall, "We're not getting much hitting anywhere in the lineup."

Cubs Hits of the Past 14 Weeks

A look at the ten Cubs hits from the season so far that did the most to enhance the team's chances of winning, according to FanGraphs' Win Probability Added statistic.

#10.) May 11th, 7th inning v. Arizona, man on first, one out, Cubs trailing the Diamondbacks, 4-2. Facing former Cub Juan Cruz, Reed Johnson cracks a two-run homer to tie the game, which the home team will go on to win 6-4, after Daryle Ward delivers a two-run double one inning later. Johnson homer = WPA .321

#9.) May 2nd, 9th inning at St. Louis, man on second, one out, Cubs trail the Cardinals, 3-1. Jason Isringhausen is in for the Cards, trying to preserve a 3-1 St. Louis lead for starter Adam Wainwright, but Alfonso Soriano will have none of it, clobbering an Isringhausen pitch for a game-tying two-run shot. Chad Fox, who clearly has no sense of drama in addition to his physical challenges, winds up serving a game-winning two-run homer to Skip Schumacher in the 11th inning. Soriano homer = WPA .342

#8.) April 23rd, 10th inning at Colorado, men on first and second, two outs, Cubs and Rox are tied, 6-6. The Cubs get two men aboard for Ryan Theriot, who lines a single to right field that scores Mike Fontenot with the lead and eventual winning run, extending a Cubs winning streak to six games. Theriot single = WPA .351

The countdown continues after the jump.

Chicago Re-Acquires Aging Writer

In a move that will surely change the landscape of Cubs blogging, one-time TCR writer Christian Ruzich announced that he was moving back to Chicago. A new job has necessitated a call-up from the minor leagues (Harrisburg, PA), and Ruzich and his family should be back in the city before the playoff roster deadline.


Cubs Award Winners, Achievements, Hall of Famers and All-Star History

Thanks to all the great work of one of our readers, WISCGRAD, a list of all the Cubs award winners, All-Star history, single season and career achievements, Hall of Famers and more.

MVP | Cy Young | Rookie of the Year | Manager of the Year | ASG 

National League Most Valuable Player Award Winners andVote-Getters

It's 3am and You're Dying For a Hit of Milo Hamilton; What Do You Do?

From Wednesday's Tribune...

A new channel devoted to the Cubs is one of the enticing potential revenue-generating items that Tribune Co. is floating as part of its planned sale of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and its 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet.

The story mentions some of the roadblocks that might prevent a New York Yankees/YES Network sort of channel from becoming a reality in Chicago, including the possibility that Tribune Company could box the team's new owner into continuing to air many games on Tribune-owned WGN. Still, one can certainly see why the concept might be attractive...

Cubs Pwned the First Half

I can say, with some fair amount of certainty, that very few Cubs fans that read this website have been witness to the outstanding level of play that our beloved Cubbies put up during the first half this season. .600 winning percentage, utter dominance at home, best run differential in the league, best starting staff in the NL, best offense in the NL, and top three in defense and overall pitching. And to all that, we just added an pitcher who could end up being our ace and are due to get back one of our best hitters,  who has only played 53% of our games to date.

Gawk in amazement at our statistical dominance after the jump... 

Game 95 Thread / Giants @ Cubs (3 of 3)

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SP Tm Lincecum SP Ryan Dempster
  10-2, 2.66, 126 K, 46 BB, 121.2 IP
10-3, 3.13 ERA, 98 K, 47 BB, 118 IP
LF *Fred Lewis SS Ryan Theriot
3B Jose Castillo 2B *Mike Fontenot
2B #Ray Durham 1B Derrek Lee
C Bengie Molina 3B Aramis Ramirez
CF Aaron Rowand RF Mark DeRosa
RF *John Bowker CF *Jim Edmonds
1B Rich Aurilia LF Reed Johnson
SS #Omar Vizquel C Henry Blanco
P Tim Lincecum P Ryan Dempster













A great pitching matchup between two All-Stars to end the pre-ASG schedule for 2008.

Lincecum has been everything the Giants hoped he would be; Dempster has been more than the Cubs could ever have hoped. Dempster remains undefeated this season at Wrigley (10-0, 2.58); Lincecum was undefeated on the road until losing to the Mets at Shea this past Tuesday. He's still a none-too-shabby 7-1, 2.23 away from AT&T Park.

The Hill at Fitch Park

Starting for the AZL Cubs versus he AZL Angels at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning, Rich Hill worked five shutout innings (68 pitches, 47 strikes, 8/0 GO/FO), allowing three hits (all three singles) and a walk, with five strikeouts. He really had his roundhouse curve and efficient two-seamer working today, as he went to a three ball count on only two of the 17 Angels hitters he faced.


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