Game Recap

Up All Night

W - Marmol (2-3), kids scarfing garlic fries, parachat costumes

L - Walker (3-4), lucking into a "Win" decision, not getting a play by play due to kids scarfing garlic fries

S - Wood (21), Fontenot


Box Score
, Photos

Things to Take from This Game

1. Dempster pitches well enough to win.

Six innings pitched, 2 runs, 2 walks, seven Ks. He left with a lead and certainly deserved to improve his road-game record. As best as I could tell on a weak mlb.tv feed and inattentive broadcasters, Dempster featured a good slider tonight, getting a bunch of swinging strikes. He didn't get the decision because...


2. Marmol has another bad moment

After easily putting down the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh with strikeouts, Marmol gave up a walk, a hit, and a three run blast to Ray Durham. Bowker had hit one into McCovey Cove in the previous inning off Dempster, so the Giants five runs came on two swings of the bat.


3. Fontenot gets the final word

The Cubs scoring began with the Matt Murton Approved Run-scoring GIDP. Edmonds hit yet another swing-from-my-ass opposite-field 2-run HR, and Soto had a two-run single set up by a Fukudome and Theriot double-steal. (Fukudome would have been in danger at third, had there been a throw.) Fontenot broke a 5-5 tie in the 8th with a home run to nearly the same spot Durham hit his in the pavillion-thingy in right. A two-out triple not-withstanding, Wood nailed down the save in the ninth.

 

The why-am-i-suddenly-getting-the-"quick-find"-feature-toggled-on-in-firefox-whenever-I-hit-the-apostraphe-key,

-and-the-I-watch-the-west-coast-night-game-on-a-bad-mlbtv-feed-so-you-don't-have-to,

-and-first-recap-in-a-long-time-and-right-before-going-on-a-road-trip-and-probably-being-away,-again details, below....

 

Tags: 

Daylight Drama


W -
Wood (4-1), back-to-back jack winners, Aramis Freakin' Ramirez, A day's worth of bragging rights, listening to stunned silence of Hawk and DJ


L -
Linebrink (2-2), Blithering idiocy, Hawk Harrelson, listening to blithering idiocy, listening to three hours of Hawk Harrelson's blithering idiocy


Box Score
, Photos


Things to Take from This Game


1. Quality starts by the lefties

Lilly continued to have problems with the Home Run ball, giving up a solo shot to Dye in the second and a two-run blast to Pierzynski in the third.  Those wound up being the only runs the Cubs gave up, as  Lilly worked out of trouble in both the fifth and sixth.  Danks had a stronger game, striking out five and walking none, and left with a 3-1 lead.  He only gave up a run-scoring GIDP to Lee in the first.  However...


2. No Contest in the Battle of the Bullpens

Dotel came in for the seventh, and promptly surrendered back-to-back jacks to Lee and Ramirez.  Howry by contrast got the last out of the seventh and had an easy eighth, while Wood survived a near-miss home run that only registered as a leadoff double, and got out of the ninth without damage.  That set up the bottom of the ninth, where... 


3. Ramirez Walks Off

Aramis hit his second home run of the game, this one off of Linebrink and to dead center into the juniper bushes. Cubs win a great game, 4-3.

 

 The "why did you miss this game, and need to rely on my thrilling recap?" details, below.

Tags: 

Schizo Game

W - Balfour (2-0), getting out of Tampa

L - Marmol (1-2), 7-run sevenths.


Box Score
, Photos

Things to Take from This Game


1. Shields was fantastic

Shields pitched a fantastic six innings before giving up a run in the sixth on a Fontenot double, and leaving with runners on 2 and 3. The relievers allowed both inherited runners to score on a bloop by Fukudome and a seeing-eye bouncer by Theriot. Though he technically gave up 3, Shields was much more dominant than that for most of his outing.


2. Gallagher was terrific

Gallagher also pitched very well, with a particularly impressive live fastball. The Devil Rays successfully extended several at bats, with the same sort of grinding approach that we've enjoyed watching the Cubs employ for most of the year. Gallagher still managed to get through six, and worked out of a couple jams. A very encouraging outing by Gallagher, who only gave up one run, and that came on a double play that followed an error by Lee.


3. Marmol and Eyre were.... uh...

Marmol comes in to protext a 3-1 lead in the seventh, and goes walk, walk, hbp, hbp. Eyre comes in and goes Grand Slam to Crawford, triple, double, sac fly, double. Marmol was missing with his slider, both the HBP coming on sliders that got too far inside. Eyre was just bad.

The "we never again have to listen to pundits pointing out that the Cubs are the only team to not have a three-game losing streak this year, there, are you happy, Cubnut?" details, below. :)

Tags: 

How Many Losses?

W - Sonnanstine (8-3), loud domes, cowbells

L - Zambrano (8-3), soreness and discomfort, opposite field singles

S - Percival (17)


Box Score
, Photos

Things to Take from This Game


1. Cheap Runs

The Devil Rays scored a run in the first when DeRosa missed a line drive that allowed the runner to come around from first. It was a pretty bad miss by DeRosa. In the third the Devil Rays scored four times on a seemingly endless series of controlled swings producing opposite field singles.


2. Missed Spots, Calls

Zambrano didn't have much command of the fastball, missing up in the zone with some frequency. The home plate ump didn't have much command of his strike zone, either. It made for a bit of a bumpy game. But other than the third, both Z and Sonnanstine worked quickly and effectively. Cotts gave up a leadoff walk, but Wuertz got through the rest of the game without incident.

3. Missed Opportunity

The Cubs had a great chance to score in the fifth, with the bases loaded and no outs for Theriot, Lee and Ramirez. Theriot beat out a potential GIDP to score one run, but Lee and Ramirez couldn't drive the other runners in.

4. Another Wild Ninth

Soto makes up for last night's near-miss, and lines a home run off of Percival in the 9th, to make the game 5-4. DeRosa then walked, but Percival managed to nail things down from there. Another dramatic loss.

5. Uh. Oh.

Z left the game with two outs in the seventh after throwing a pitch to Eric Hinske. Soto saw something, and immediately got up, motioned to the dugout, and all went out to the mound. Z left and as of this posting has "Right Shoulder Discomfort" Edmonds had left the game in the fourth with "Left Foot Soreness." With Reed Johnson hobbled by a strained back, Fukudome had to play center. As per usual, stay tuned for updates.

 

Your "they're still the Devil Rays, no matter what their marketing department thinks the focus groups want" details, below.

Tags: 

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: 

Best Team in Baseball


W-
Wuertz (1-1), pitchers who can't field their position, first MLB RBIs, double-steals


L-
Herges (2-2)


Box Score
, Photos


Things to Take from This Game


1. Balanced Attack

Soriano, Lee, Ramirez, Soto and Johnson all had RBIs, with XBH by Ramirez and Fukudome (2Bs) and Lee (Solo HR.)

2.Cotts almost has a good sixth inning

Almost. He relieved Marquis with a 3-1 lead and the bases loaded, one out. He gets Willie Tavares in an 0-2 count, before Tavares bloops one just over the drawn in Lee, scoring two and tying the game at three. He K's Seth Smith, and seems to K Helton swinging, but it's just barely a foul tip, popping out of Soto's glove. Helton walks on the next pitch. So much for Cotts' return to the majors. Marquis wasn't great, but some bad luck after he had left gave him a final line worse than it might have been.


3. Messy 7th gives Cubs a comeback

A blooper into the bermuda triangle, another soft single, an error, a hit by pitch and a sacrifice fly gave the Cubs two generous runs off of Matt Herges.

4. Messy 8th gives Cubs an easy win

A double, a bad throw on a sac bunt, a single, a double steal, a single with a dropped ball on a play at the plate, and the Cubs get three more in the eighth, for an 8-4 lead. After some shakey middle-infield play by the Cubs early in the game, it was the Rockies who played sloppy the rest of the way.

With the win, the Cubs move past a certain AL East powerhouse, to claim the best record in baseball. The cream of the crop details, follow.

Tags: 

1010-1010


W-
Howry (1-2 ), getting to a W/L record against the Dodgers franchise that looks like binary.


L-
Park (1-1 ), not getting Z a win, inconsistent strike zones

 

Things to Take from This Game


1. Lowe rolls, Z keeps us in it.

Derek Lowe looked pretty unstopable. After getting Lee to GIDP with the first two hitters on in the first, Lowe didn't look like he was challenged much by the Cubs offense all night. Z didn't have his best stuff, but labored through 8 innings and 130 pitches while only giving up one run. That came in the fourth, the result of a couple singles followed by two walks, the second one bringing in a run. It would have been a miserable way to lose a 1-0 game, but...

 


2. The top of the 8th vs. the bottom of the 9th.

The Dodgers had a chance to add some insurance runs in the 8th, as the Cubs defense lets Zambrano down and he's suddenly nearing 130 pitches with a bullpen that has just begun to warm up. Z gets out of it, however striking out Kemp and keeping the game at 1-0. Compare that to the bottom of the 9th, where Saito has a very, very rare fit of wildness. Like Z, he battles hard with far from his best stuff, but Soto manages a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to tie up the game at one.

 


3. Pulling out a tough win in the 10th

Pinch-hitting, Fontenot lined a double into the left-center gap. Soriano then hit a little blooper down the left field line that just did drop in fair territory. Fontenot scored uncontested, giving a very satisfying result to a hard-fought nail-biter of a game.

The sweeping details, below.

Tags: 

Cheap Salami


W -
Sampson (3-3), cheap homers


L -
Dempster (5-2), real homers

S - Valverde (13)


Box Score
, Photos


Things to Take from This Game


1. A Lamer Grand Slam Never Was Seen

The entirety of the Astros scoring came in the fourth, when Pence lined an opposite field grand slam home run into the first row in right field. I didn't catch the dimensions, but it couldn't have been 350 feet. It came in response to Aramis hitting a mammoth 2-run home run in the top half of the inning. If style points on home runs counted, the Cubs would have won this game.


2. Dempster, Sampson, Ascanio

If you ignore the grand slam, and the consistently getting behind hitters, Dempster had a pretty decent outing. If you ignore the fact that he won the game, gave up 2 ER in 6.2 and only walked one, Sampson looked very pedestrian. Jose Ascanio also made his debut for the Cubs, and looked ok. One of the two walks was intentional, one of the two hits was a blooper on a nice pitch.


3. Lee and Ramirez play see-saw with Soriano

How's that for a visual aid? A few days after all the talk was about how hot Soriano was while Ramirez and Lee were taking 0-fers, and now Soriano and Theriot go 0-8 while Lee and Ramirez go 5-8.

4. Enron/Minute-Maid/NASA Presents the Houston Astros of Texas Field is still stupid.

Really. It's like Baseball meets the fifth course on Excitebike.

 

The architectural criticism, game details, and the relentless pursuit of perfection (isn't that an auto slogan?) below...

 

Tags: 

We Walk


W -
Marquis (2-3), .800 homestands


L-
Dumatrait (1-2)

S- Wood (10)


Box Score
, Photos


Things to Take from This Game

1. More walks than hits

Dumatrait walked 7 in 4.2 innings, with 53 balls and 52 strikes. He only gave up four hits, or else the game wouldn't have been close. Dumatrait walked the bases loaded in the third, leading to a Soriano sac fly and Cedeno bloop single for two runs. Three more walks in the fourth led to a Johnson sac fly, and two walks in the fifth led to a Fukudome single just over Bixler's head, for the final Cubs run.

2. Marquis was just good enough

His pitching line (6IP, 4H, 1 BB, 3K, 3R) looks better than his performance from where I'm sitting. He had a nice strike of seven consecutive outs, but made a couple of mistakes to Paulino that could have been home runs, and had spotty command of the fastball and slider.

3. 3 RBI for LaRoche


LaRoche hit a two run homer in the first that suprised most everyone when it made it into the left-center basket. He added an RBI single in the sixth

4. Solid Relief

Howry, Marmol and Wood provided three scoreless innings.

 

The 8-2 homestand-closing, warm news for a cold day at Wrigley game recap, and some life-saving, pride-stroking parachat recap shout-outs, below.

 

Tags: 

Juggernaut


W -
Zambrano (6-1), singling up the middle


L -
Wolf (2-3), the pitiable foes who resist us


Box Score
, Photos


Things to Take from This Game


1. Crooked Numbers

The Cubs put up six in the fifth and five in the sixth. For the life of me, I am not sure I've ever seen as many singles up the middle as I saw in this game. The big innings featured a home run, two doubles, five walks and six singles, five of them back up the middle. Len tells us that the Cubs lead the world in innings scoring 5 or more runs, with 13 so far this year.


2. (Sort of) Efficient Z

Zambrano cruised through the first and second innings on 9 pitches each. Even after laboring through the third, he needed just 95 pitches to go seven, before letting the bullpen protect a 9 run lead

3. Soriano heats up.

Soriano followed up yesterday's big game with another. A home run, a double, two RBI and two Runs scored. Welcome back.

4. Kouzmanoff's error

With the bases loaded, two outs and a full count in the sixth, DeRosa grounded one to Kouzmanoff, playing deep at third. Perhaps forgetting that the runners were all moving, he went to step on third for the inning-end force. Ramirez, however, just beat him to the bag. Kouzmanoff then threw wildly to first, and all three runners scored, blowing the game open at 11-2. How many consecutive games can Ramirez influence (for the better) with his feet?

 

If the recap seems a bit flat, it's because the mlb.tv feed wasn't great. It's also because my mind got the cyber-equivalent of being dropped in a blender with some mango and vanilla soy milk and served as a smoothy, due to reading and recapping nine full innings of parachat. The offensive-juggernaut game details, and a parachat recap that, even after careful editing, might be in violation of the Geneva Conventions, follows....

Tags: 

Pitchers Duel


W -
Lilly (3-4), batter's interference calls


L-
Haren (4-2), jerks who didn't start Lilly in their fantasy leagues

S - Wood (6)


Box Score
, Photos

 


Things to Take from This Game

1. Lilly Comes Through

Facing the best offense in baseball, one dominated by right-handed hitters, Lilly shut down the Diamondbacks to the tune of three hits, two walks, one earned run on a Chris Young Home Run, and ten strikeouts. He spotted the fastball well, with more velocity as the day went on, and had his harder curve and/or slider working for him. A really remarkable performance for Lilly.

2. Haren's good, not great

Haren also pitched very well. The key moment came in the fifth, when with a runner on second and two outs, he walked Johnson to get to Lilly. Lilly then singled through the middle for an RBI, and Soriano dropped a double in down the left field line. Lee added a home run off of Cruz in the eighth, completing the day's scoring

3. A Dominant Ninth for Wood

Wood threw nine strikes in the ninth, completely overpowering Young, Jackson and Upton. Easily the most dominant I've seen Wood, this year.

The this-is-what-I-get-for-not-being-a-fantasy-baseball-homer details, below.

 

 

Tags: 

This Ain't Pleasure.


W -
Volquez (5-1), Mascots and umpires getting injured in funny ways


L -
Lieber (2-2), 3+ hours of my life


Box Score
, Photos

 


Things to Take from This Game


1. The Votto (and many others) Game.

Here is a list of Reds starters who did not hit home runs: Patterson, Griffey, Encarnacion, and the pitcher, Volquez. Joey Votto was the worst at not hitting home runs, as he failed to not hit home runs three times, against three different pitchers, to three different parts of the ball park.


2. Lieber? We barely saw 'er.

Lieber was terrible in his first start of the year. The second inning featured four home runs, to Votto, Dunn (back to back), Bako and Hairston. Just didn't have much in the way of stuff, with spotty command inside of the strike zone. It's not like Marshall or Gallagher were any better in relief


3. Can't Hit Volquez.

Volquez issued four early walks (and a couple late ones), but the Cubs couldn't hit him and he settled in after the first couple innings. Ten K's through seven, no runs, four hits.

4. Dusty, Dusty, Dusty....

What an idiot! Here we have one of the most talented young pitchers in the game, part of our core for the next several years, and with a 9-0 lead, and it's raining, and he's thrown 90-plus pitches, Dusty lets him come out for the seventh? With a rested bullpen? And there isn't even anyone up at the beginning of the inning, in case he struggles? What is he thinking? You're telling me there isn't a reliever who can cover a 9-0 lead for three innings? Of course, the young stud struggles through the inning, is painfully, clearly, visibly tired, and needs pitch number 118 to finally get through the inning??!?!

 

Oh, wait. Dusty is the Reds' manager, now? Nevermind.

5. Did I mention it rained?

And there was no one at the park, and it was deathly silent. What a wretched game to watch.

 

The all wet details, below.

Tags: 
Three wasted hours, reviewed

 

W - Wellemeyer (3-1), Sunday Night Baseball "BINGO"
L - Marquis (1-2), trying to live-blog double-switches, HDTV on acne scars
S - Isringhausen (10)

 

Things to Take from This Game

 


1. Marquis = Hill?

Jason Marquis walked three in the first, but only gave up one run due to a terrific catch by Lee on a bases loaded, line-drive rocket off the bat of Duncan. He gave up five runs and five walks in five innings, with pretty weak command throughout the night.

2. Everyone = Hill? The only pitcher on either side to strike out more batters than he walked was Isringhausen, and his strikeout came on a "let's hurry up and get out of here" called strike three on Lee to end the game. Between the double switches and the walks and the Joe Morgan, it was a tough game to follow. Seriously, could Miller and Morgan stopped talking about Australian aboriginal farming techniques just long enough to call the game?

3. No Clutch Hitting
The box score shows 23 LOB for the Cubs. Among the more egregious innings were the first (two on, one out, no runs) the fourth (leadoff double doesn't score) and the seventh (bases loaded, one out, one run scores)

4. Soriano Looks Lost
Soriano started out his first ABs by going 0-2, 0-1, 0-2, 0-2, and 0-2. Besides two strikeouts, he did get a single and an RBI sac fly out of all that. But still...

 

The hum-drum highlights follow....

 

Tags: 
First Place

Box Score, Photos

W - Dempster (3-0), Ivy
L - Duke (0-1), Bullpen mounds

 

Things to Take from This Game
1. The Fifth Inning
After giving up two hits to start the game, Dempster cruised through the first four innings before falling apart in the fifth. The Cubs entered the inning with a 5-0 lead, but Dempster gave up 3 on a hbp, two walks, a couple singles and a double. He recovered a loss of command to strike out LaRoche with the bases loaded. (LaRoche just had a horrible game, all around.)

The bottom half of the inning featured five Cubs runs, two Pirates errors, and a Ramirez two-run homer. It put the game away at 10-3.

2. The Cubs Outfield
Remember when the outfield was supposed to be Soriano, Pie and Fukudome? WIth an outfield of Murton, Johnson and DeRosa, the Cubs still scored 13 runs. Johnson scored three times, Murton had a couple of RBI ground-outs, and DeRosa... well, he didn't break his neck in right field while stumbling over the Pirate bullpen, so that counts as good.

3. Cubs Patience
Another day, another 7 walks, with just three strikeouts. Really, it was just an all-around strong offesnive performance, with everyone reaching base safely other than Dempster, Howry, and pinch-hitters Fontenot and Pie.

The Cards and Brewers both lost, so guess who's in first? The happy, three-and-a-half-hour details, below.

 

Tags: 
Up to .500

 

 

W - Zambrano (1-0), outfield arms, broad strike zones, Derrek Lee
L - Villarreal (0-2), Budweiser shills
S - Wood (3), the home-stand

 

Things to Take from This Game

 

1. Cubs pitchers cruise
Zambrano
pitched 7 relatively strong innings with 7 Ks and 2 ER. His worst
trouble came in the first, which began with runners at 2nd and 3rd
before Erstad struck out and Lee flew into a 7-2 DP, with Soriano
nailing Bourn at the plate. Cubs pitchers didn't allow a walk,
and Zambrano cruised through the middle third of the game with 9
straight outs. No one reached base against Marmol or Wood in the
8th and 9th

 

2. Derrek Lee is crushing the ball
Lee
finally made an out, and even that was a lined shot that might have
cleared the wall on another day. His go-ahead home run off of
Villarreal was hit about as hard as a person can hit a ball.
Everything is getting smokback up the middle of the field.

 

3. Soriano helps out
Soriano's
throw home in the top of the first was perfect.  He also hit one out,
just scraping over the basket in the left field wall to give the Cubs a
2-1 lead. Hopefully it's the start of better days ahead.

 

After a shakey start to the homestand, we at least walk into Pittsburgh as a 3-3 team. Details below.

 

Tags: 

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