April 2011

Game 3 Recap - Garza Discovers What Being a Cub Is Like

Box Score | Video

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
Pirates 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 2   5 16 0
Cubs 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 0   4 9 1

The Good: Let's start with Matt Garza's first start as a Cub. It wasn't perfection, frankly it was odd. The Pirates knocked 12 hits off him, all 12 being of the single variety and a handful of the pure 'effin luck variety including a check swing hit and run and jammed dribbler through the right side. Garza matched those 12 hits with 12 strikeouts though on 0 walks and threw 80 of his 106 pitches for strikes. I'm feeling confident the earned runs will look a lot beter if he can maintain that strikeout to walk ratio the rest of the year. Honestly it was a pretty epic start, if not for the seeing eye singles and some bad defense, most notably Ramirez botching a double play with a bad throw.

Chiefs & D-Cubs Rally to Tie a Wrap on Minor League Camp

D. J. Fitzgerald singled, doubled, tripled, stole a base, scored one run, and knocked-in two more, and LHP Austin Kirk threw four shutout innings, as the Peoria Chiefs rallied to tie the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Los Angeles Angels Class “A” affiliate) 3-3 on Field #2, while next-door on Field #3 Michael Burgess clubbed a grand slam HR over the RF fence and Evan Crawford doubled, tripled, walked, stole a base, drove-in two runs, and scored another, as the Daytona Cubs rallied from an early 5-0 hole to tie the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels Advanced “A” affiliate) 7-7, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training action at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ, this morning.

This was the “getaway day” game for both Daytona and Peoria, but since the Iowa Cubs will be remaining in Mesa for another day (they open the season Thursday at Round Rock, TX), I-Cubs catcher Welington Castillo stayed at Fitch Park and served as a DH for Daytona while his teammates traveled to Diablo Park in Tempe to face the Angels Salt Lake Bees AAA affiliate.

Game 2 Recap - Cubs Almost Lose to the Pirates Again

Box Score | Video

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
Pirates 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0   3 5 1
Cubs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 x   5 9 0

I know, I know, it's just the second game of the season and it doesn't matter where you get your wins, but losing to the 'effin Pirates irks me like nothing else. I feel comfortable labeling today's game the first must win of the season. :)

The Good: Z pitched well enough, and if not for a cramp, had a chance to leave with 7 IP and 3 ER. I think we'd accept that everytime. The team managed some extra-base hits, the first of the season by Z himself with Baker, Soriano and DeWitt also hitting doubles. The bullpen retired the last 9 in a row after Wood walked his first hitter (Ronny Cedeno of all people) and as a group struck out 6 over those 3 inningss. And of course the 8th inning...

Fukudome worked a nice walk laying off a close 3-2 pitch off the inside corner. Castro launched one to the ivy in right for a double that scored Fukudome. Byrd was due up next and all I asked for was something to the right side and he obliged on a 1-2 fastball with a grounder to Overbay who muffed it about as bad as anyone could muff a routine grounder. Castro hustled home for the second run after the ball bounced into short right. After a Ramirez flyout, Soto delivered his second hit of the day, but Pena popped out weakly leaving it up to Soriano to try and tie the game or better. After looking slow on a few fastballs, Soriano caught up to one on the outside corner and it dropped in right center easily scoring the tying run and Evan Meek was done for the day. Chris Resop came in and walked Colvin and then Blake DeWitt went with the pitch over the third basemen's head for the game-winning hit. And there was joy in Cubville....

Game 1 Rec...Aw Crap, We Lost to The Pirates

Box Score | Video

The Good: Fukudome got on-base 3 times out of the leadoff spot, Castro went 3 for 5, Pena got on-base twice with an RBI and and multi-hit games by Ramirez and Barney as well. Ramirez also just missed a 3-run game tying homer in the 7th. Dempster looked like a good pitcher for the first 4 innings and did strike out 7 on the game. Castro made an awesome dive to turn a double play to save Samardzija's ass. Some aggressive baserunning by Castro and DeJesus helped score the first run. The team pounded out 10 singles.

The Bad: No extra-base hits and just two walks by the offense, Barney got thrown out by Ryan Doumit and there was the 5th inning. After a leadoff single by Ryan Doumit, Dempster faces Garrett Jones. A hit and run is called and Jones fouls it off. Next pitch, no hit and run and a chopper to third that Aramis had a play at second base on and never takes a look and tosses it to first. He probably doesn't have a double play there, but you should always go after the lead runner of course. Then a walk to Ronny Cedeno which is a feat in of itself and maybe Dempster isn't so keen to pitch out of the zone against Cedeno if first base is occupied. Bob Brenly attempts to justify this by saying that it now sets up a possible double play with the pitcher up. It also sets up an sacrifice attempt and two runners in scoring position with the top of the order coming up. Tabata walks and then Neil Walker comes up. The count goes 3-2 and Dempster throws a splitter that Walker fouls off. Even if he keeps that it play, it may go for a single, but at worst it's a tie game. For some inexplicable reason, Dempster goes fastball next time and judging by the replay didn't miss his spot by too much and leaves one right in the lefty happy zone. Blame Soto, blame Dempster, blame Mark Riggins, but sweet jeebus was that a terrible pitch.

After two more walks in the 6th by Dempster and what looked like he was losing a little velocity, Q-Ball decides to keep him out in the 7th claiming that he thought he was fine and Dempster earned the right to tell him if he was done. He also cited that he liked how he finished up the 6th with Cedeno. *Facepalm*

Jeff Samardzija pitched an inning with the game still within 3 runs.

Opening Day 2011 - Pirates @ Cubs

It's Christmas time for baseball fans and Santa's delivered the lowly Pirates to the Cubs. Of course, the Cubs went 5-10 against one of the worse teams I've ever seen play baseball last year, so the Cubs have that going for them. Don't forget to join the fun during our in-game chat. Folks come and go throughout the game so if you hang around for awhile, someone is usually sure to pop in.

LF Tabata RF *Fukudome
2B #Walker SS Castro
CF McCutchen CF Byrd
1B *Overbay 3B Ramirez
3B *Alvarez 1B *Pena
C #Doumit C Soto
RF *G. Jones LF Soriano
SS Cedeno 2B Barney
P Correia P Dempster

Undoubtedly Correia is going to throw a shutout today, but generally you have to laugh at a team employing a guy for Opening Day with a career 4.57 ERA and a 4.91 ERA over the last three years, the last two being in Petco Park.

My division predictions after the jump...


Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • May the best team win, and subsequently humiliate the Cardinals.

  • I love arriving here first thing in the morning, adding a few moronic posts (moranic for any Cardinals fans who may be trolling), and reading the sage posts of all you guys. Most knowledgeable fans on any forum, by far. So post like crazy today and help give TCR some visibility!

    I told my wife last night that I'm going to need a support system for tonight's game. Tonight is going to be a lot harder on me than it is going to be on these rookie bad asses.

  • James Russell elected free agency.

  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the mlb.tv internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup equation...plus joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.