May 2010

Saturday Game Preview: Pirates (15-20) at Cubs (15-21)

Cubs try to even up their series with the Bucs after losing the first four matchups of the season series. It's the first time the Cubs have dropped their first four games against Pittsburgh since...well, I refuse to look it up because it would depress the crap out of me.

The lefty Paul Maholm (2-3, 4.91) starts this afternoon against Ryan Dempster (2-3, 3.44). This was the pitching matchup back on 5/4 at PNC when the Cubs clung to a 2-1 lead with two out in home 6th. Dempster then told Lou Piniella that he had enough left in the tank to retire Ryan Church with the tying run aboard, at which point Church crushed a pitch into the rightfield bleachers, and all of everybody's premonitions about how Lou should have yanked Dempster in favor of Sean Marshall were proven right.

Cubbie memories—there's nothin' like 'em.

Saturday's starting lineups:

Cubs and Giants Play Two at Fitch Park

Sergio Burruel ripped an RBI single in the bottom of the 7th to tie one game, while LHP Marcos Perez allowed his first runs in 17+ innings in the other, as one squad of EXST Cubs and one squad of EXST Giants played to a 1-1 tie on Field #1 and the other squad of EXST Giants defeated the other squad of EXST Cubs 4-1 on Field #3 in a split squad Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played at Fitch Park in Mesa this morning. Both games were pre-scheduled to go seven innings, although the game on Field #1 was extended an extra half-inning to allow Rogelio Carmona to get an additional inning of work.

Dubois Always a Big Hit at Extended Spring Training

Jason Dubois doubled and walked, scored a run, and drove-in another, but the EXST Angels rallied with a run in the 7th and another in the 8th to edge the EXST Cubs 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.

I-Cubs Bring Plenty of Cashner to Vegas

What happens in Vegas is supposed to stay there but it’s no secret what Andrew Cashner’s been up to so what the hell… Last night the ladder-climbing right-hander pitched the Iowa Cubs to a 6-1 victory in his first start at the Triple A level, working six innings of one-run ball while surrendering five hits [four singles and a double] and a walk to go with six strikeouts [four of them swinging]. Cashner threw 89 pitches and most impressively retired the last seven hitters he faced after giving up his only run to tie the game at one in the bottom of the fourth.

Game #35 Preview: Marlins (16-17) @ Cubs (14-20)

Losers of seven of their last eight games and four in a row, the Cubs try to salvage the finale of the three-game series with the Marlins.

From my office window, I see lots of clouds, fog, and in the alley behind Mr. Beef, a couple guys who look like they're ready to start throwing punches. Forecast says there's a 70% chance of rain by 3pm. I foresee a nearly 100% probability that I'll be disgusted by the second inning.

Cubs Survey: What was the Worst Cubs Lineup Mistake?

Today's lineup against the Marlins is Fukudome, Theriot, Byrd, Lee, Ramirez, Soriano, Soto, Castro and Wells. I understand giving your vets a chance to break out of their slumps and all, but moving them down in the order when you have Soriano and Soto hitting the way they are isn't going to really hurt anyone's feelings. And if they do, fuck them.

Anyway, I was curious if leaving Lee and Ramirez in the middle of the order to kill rallies is one of the worse or the worst thing we've seen since Dusty Baker.

A Homely Return Home: Cubs Lose to Florida, 4-2

The Cubs lost for the sixth time in seven tries as the Marlins scored three times in the 7th inning to overcome a 2-1 Cub lead and go on to win 4-2 at Wrigley Field.

You wouldn't think a team could pack so much failure into a simple 4-2 loss, but well...

Cubs Youngsters Face Freddy Sanchez Again at Extended Spring Training

Pin-Chieh Chen had two hits and scored a run, Rafael Disla reached base twice and scored two runs, and Sergio Burruel drove-in two runs with a sacrifice fly and a double, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough offense as one squad of EXST Giants defeated one squad of EXST Cubs 6-3 on Field #1, while over on Field #2, the other squad of EXST Cubs managed only one run on two hits against the other squad of EXST Giants in a game that finished in a 1-1 tie, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played at Indian School Park in Scottsdale this morning. Both games were stopped after seven innings, and the games were played simultaneously.

Updated Cubs Extended Spring Training Stats - Mother's Day Version

Halfway through 2010 Cactus League Extended Spring Training (EXST), here are the unofficial statistics for EXST Cubs players (updated through May 8th).


There is no Official Scorer at EXST games, so the stats are not official.

Ramirez Three-Run Blast Can't Save Cub Bullpen from Imploding Late

Alvaro Ramirez smashed a three-run home run and Yao-Lin Wang and Marcos Perez each threw three innings of shutout ball, but the EXST A’s rallied from a four-run 7th inning deficit and played the EXST Cubs to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this morning.

Cubs Trounce Angels at Diablo Park

Bobby Wagner crushed a three-run HR off the Angels clubhouse beyond the RF fence, Charles Thomas ripped a two-run double, and Austin Kirk threw four shutout innings, leading the EXST Cubs to a 10-3 thrashing of the EXST Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park Field #3 at the Tempe Buttes this morning.

Castro Gets the Call

As virtually all of Cub Nation has probably already heard, the Cubs have summoned 20-year-old Starlin Castro to the bigs. He's in tonight's lineup in Cincinnati, hitting eighth. Ryan Theriot is moving over to second. Chad Tracy, meanwhile, has been banished to Iowa, Andrew Cashner has been promoted to Iowa from Tennessee, and Josh Vitters has been moved up to Tennessee from Daytona.

Back to the game tonight. Here's the batting order that will go up against the Reds' Homer Bailey:

Sandberg Auditions in New Orleans

Iowa Cubs skipper Ryne Sandberg got tossed from the game for arguing a called third strike in the top of the 9th inning of his team's 2-1 loss in New Orleans last night.


Right now the top two layers of the Cub organization could be peeled and tossed like a rotting onion. Maybe Castro and his band of Smokies should all come north together. Things are at a low ebb.


 

Game Thread: Cubs (13-15) at Pirates (12-15)

Unbeaten Randy Wells (3-0, 3.45) matches up with lefty Brian Burres (1-1) as the Cubs try to avoid their first sweep at the hands of the Pirates since 2006. Burres comes into the game with an ERA of 6.00, i.e., about 7 runs per game lower than Charlie Morton, who frustrated the Cubs last night.

A couple wrinkles in the Cubs batting order tonight (aren't there always?):

Cubs: Theriot 6, Byrd 8, Lee 3, Nady 9, Ramirez 5, Soriano 7, Soto 2, Baker 8, Wells 1

Angels Snatch Tie from Jaws Of Cubs Victory

Pin-Chieh Chen had three hits and drove-in two runs, but the EXST Cubs could not hold a five-run lead in the 9th, as the EXST Angels rallied (BB, 1B, WP, E-4, 2B, P-7, 3B, F-8 SF) to tie the game at 7-7 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training play at Diablo Park Field #3 at the Tempe Buttes this morning. The game was stopped with two outs in the bottom of the 9th after the Angels tied the game on a SF.

Sanchez Continues Rehab as Giants Sweep Cubs at Fitch Park

The EXST Cubs dropped both games in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader at Fitch Park this morning, as one EXST Giants squad won 6-0 on Field #2, while the other squad won 8-4 on Field #3. Both games were pre-scheduled six-inning affairs, and the games were played simultaneously.


Freddy Sanchez (knee & shoulder surgeries) continued his rehab assignment with the EXST Giants, playing 2B and batting four times in the game on Field #2. Facing RHP Jesse Ginley, Sanchez lined into a 6-4 DP (near triple play) with runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs in the top of the 1st, ripped a single with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the 3rd against RHP Jadel Mendez and then scored one batter later on an RBI triple (and Sanchez appeared to be a bit gimpy as he rounded 3rd headed for home), and flied out to CF in the 5th and lined out to LF in the 6th against RHP Alvido Jimenez.

Cubs Bats Observe Two-Hour Moment of Silence at Extended Spring Training

The Cubs managed only four hits (all singles), as the EXST A’s nipped the EXST Cubs 2-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.

Caridad Rehab Moves Up to Iowa from Extended Spring Training

LHP Marcos Perez threw four shutout innings and DH Jae-Hoon Ha homered and doubled, but the EXST Angels scored two in the 5th, three in the 7th, and two more in the 8th, to defeat the EXST Cubs 7-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.


With four more shutout innings today, Perez has now thrown 14-1/3 innings of shutout ball in six Extended Spring Training outings (2 GS), allowing just five hits and one walk in those 14.1 IP, while striking out 15. He also has a 17/10 GO/FO ratio, has averaged just 11.5 Pitches-Per-Inning, and has thrown 73% of his pitches strikes. I would say the Cubs pitching prospect Perez most-closely resembles is Peoria LHSP Jeffry Antigua, except Perez has better control.

Cubs Week In Quotations

The $18M Set-Up Man

"The bottom line is that at this particular time, it makes us a better club. [Zambrano] didn't throw poorly. [Silva and Gorzelanny], their arsenal isn't conducive to going to the pen. ... There's no agenda at all except it was the best fit at the time. He's capable of doing it." - Jim Hendry

Sunk Costs

"You can't worry about anybody's individual salary. Things change. People adjust. We're going to have an injury or two along the way and we'll adjust to that. ... Nobody ever breaks camp with the 25 in the same role and just run the table, win 100 and goes to the playoffs. To get hung up on what somebody makes or what they used to do or what's going to happen a month from now or who you're going to acquire, that's foolish thinking." - Jim Hendry

Sunday Game Thread / Diamondbacks (11-13) @ Cubs (12-13)

Cubs try to take three of four from Arizona and end the homestand 4-3. Feels a lot like last weekend, when the Cubs were trying to salvage a road trip that started awfully, with three losses in four games at CitiField, then ended on an up note with the sweep at Milwaukee.

Sunday's lineups:

Cubs Extended Spring Training Stats

Three weeks and 19 games into 2010 Cactus League Extended Spring Training, here are the unofficial statistics for EXST Cubs players.


Because there is no Official Scorer at the games, none of the stats are considered official, although they are useful in determining which players have had the most--and least--success on the field so far.


 

Caridad & Sanchez Get Rehab Work in Extended Spring Training Twin-Bill

Bobby Wagner drove-in three runs with a solo home run and a two-run double and Albert Hernandez had two hits and two RBI, leading the EXST Cubs to a 7-3 victory over the EXST Giants in an abbreviated eight-inning game on Field #2, while over on Field #1, Austin Kirk struck out six (including Freddy Sanchez twice) in three innings of work, but the other squad of EXST Giants rallied late to defeat the other squad of EXST Cubs 7-5 in a game that was stopped after seven innings, as the Cubs and Giants played an Extended Spring Training doubleheader at Indian School Park in Scottsdale this morning. As per usual, the games were played simultaneously.


Cubs RHP Esmailin Caridad saw his first game action since being placed on the 15-day DL with a strained forearm on April 12th, working 1.2 IP on Field #2. Caridad threw 19 pitches (11 strikes) and allowed no runs or hits, but he did walk two. He struck out one Giants hitter (swinging), while getting another three outs on a pop-up to the catcher in foul territory, a fly-out to deep CF, and a ground-out to SS. (The 5th out was a CS). Caridad continued to pitch even after he recorded the third out (getting five outs total in the inning), because he had thrown only 11 pitches up to that point, and the Cubs wanted him to throw at least 15-20 pitches, but only pitch one inning. Caridad appeared to have good velocity on his fastball, but his control was spotty.


The Giants also had a big leaguer on a rehab assignment playing in one of the games, as 2B Freddy Sanchez (who is at Extended Spring Training rehabbing from shoulder and knee surgeries) played 2nd base and hit third in every inning on Field #1. Sanchez struck out twice against Cubs 2009 3rd round pick LHP Austin Kirk, once in the 1st inning (on three pitches) and then again in the 3rd. He lined a single to CF off Kirk in the 2nd. Then in three AB against RHP Jose Rosario, Sanchez walked, grounded out to SS, and lined out to third, before completing his day by stroking an F-7 SF against RHP Tzu-An Wang in the 7th (the game continued after the Giants had scored the winning run in the 7th, in order to give Sanchez another AB).


Cubs OF Runey Davis left the game on Field #2 after getting hit flush on the knee with a pitch. He stayed in the game initially and ran the bases (more like limped around the bases), but he was replaced in the field at the start of the next inning.

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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 9 hours 7 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 12 hours 5 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 12 hours 17 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 12 hours 26 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 12 hours 32 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 12 hours 50 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 13 hours 26 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 13 hours 44 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 13 hours 46 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 14 hours 4 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 14 hours 11 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 15 hours 7 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 15 hours 24 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 15 hours 29 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 16 hours 39 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 17 hours 18 min ago view