Eric Patterson

When They Pull a Knife, You Pull a Gun

UPDATE 4:56 CST: One of our readers tipped us to this fantastic piece on Rich Harden's mechanics (with video) by Carlos Gomez at The Hardball Times. Can't recommend it enough....


I've had a little time to digest the trade since my initial reaction and a little time to actually write about it now. I don't think there's too many warm-blooded Cubs fan out there who aren't happy about the deal...other than maybe a Chicken Little or two that are never happy with anything the Cubs do.

We all know the risks. Rich Harden has all the durability of a roll of toilet paper caught in a rainstorm. He was called up half way through the 2003 season, proceeded to make 31 starts in 2004 and has battled injuries ever since. The list is too long and complicated for me to dive into, so we'll wait for the good Dr. Hecht to chime in on that side of the trade. Harden's 13 starts this year are his highest total since 2005 and he spent almost a month of this year already on the disabled list. But in those 13 starts, he's gone 5-1
with a 2.34 ERA, 10.75 K/9, 2.97 K:BB and 0.58 HR/9.

He once had a fastball that could hit 100, although he seems to have dialed it back a bit this year. He compliments that fastball with a fantastic change-up and that's pretty much it. He'll occasionally throw a slider in there, but seems to have scrapped it for the most part this season. A quick and dirty comparison with some of the best in the game using career numbers:

Game 14 Thread / Reds @ Cubs (2 of 3)

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:

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  • 2nd in defensive WAR, NL.

    6th in NL in RBI

    Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.

    The E-Man 6 hours 48 min ago view
  • Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.

    billybucks 8 hours 3 min ago view
  • Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.

    billybucks 8 hours 47 min ago view
  • There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!

    billybucks 8 hours 47 min ago view
  • Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.

    billybucks 8 hours 49 min ago view
  • Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.

    Jackstraw 8 hours 52 min ago view
  • Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.

    Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.

    billybucks 8 hours 53 min ago view
  • Baez still learning

    jacos 9 hours 20 min ago view
  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 10 hours 24 min ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 11 hours 30 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 12 hours 19 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 16 hours 50 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 1 day 8 hours ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 1 day 8 hours ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 1 day 8 hours ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 1 day 8 hours ago view