Gameday Open Thread

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SP Ryan Dempster SP Johnny Cueto
4-0, 3.16, 22 K, 19 BB
1-3, 5.40, 33 K, 6 BB
LF Alfonso Soriano CF Ryan Freel
SS Ryan Theriot RF *Ken Griffey Jr.
1B Derrek Lee 2B Brandon Phillips
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 1B *Joey Votto
C Geovany Soto 3B Edwin Encarnacion
3B Mark DeRosa LF *Adam Dunn
2B *Mike Fontenot SS Jeff Keppinger
CF *Felix Pie C *Paul Bako
P Ryan Dempster P Johnny Cueto

 

 

 








 

So once again Lou puts Felix Pie in versus the most difficult of righties. Over the weekend, he got the start versus Adam Wainwright, but sat versus Lohse and Wellemeyer. Tonight he gets Johnny Cueto. It's tough being a rookie on Lou's bad side. Ramirez sits another day and Soto and DeRosa flip spots in the lineup.

Speaking of lineup construction, Dusty reminds us why we all grew tired of him. Griffey and Dunn are both struggling right now, but Dunn still is maintaining a 375 OBP versus Griffey's 310; naturally you bat Dunn 6th.

Sure would be nice to get the sour taste of last night's lost out of our mouths with a win tonight, preferably of the blowout variety.

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SP Jason Marquis SP Todd Wellemeyer
  1-1, 4.45, 17 K, 10 BB
2-1, 4.14, 36 K, 12 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano LF *Skip Schumaker
SS Ryan Theriot 2B *Adam Kennedy
1B Derrek Lee 1B Albert Pujols
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF *Rick Ankiel
3B Mark DeRosa 3B Troy Glaus
C Geovany Soto LF *Chris Duncan
2B *Mike Fontenot C Yadier Molina
CF Reed Johnson P Todd Wellemeyer
P *Jason Marquis SS #Cesar Izturis

 

 

 








 

WIth the series and first place on the line, both teams have pitchers with a little extra chip on their shoulders. Ex-Cub Todd Wellemeyer goes for the Cards and ex-Cardinals pitcher Jason Marquis goes for the Cubs. A chip that Marquis carried around particularly well last year when he started four times versus the Redbirds with a 3-1 record and a 3.60 ERA. 

Be sure to join us during our in-game chat tonight, Sunday Night Baseball usually delivers a packed house. 

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SP *Ted Lilly SP Kyle Lohse
  1-4, 6.46, 25 K, 13 BB
3-0, 2.36, 14 K, 8 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano LF *Skip Schumaker
SS Ryan Theriot 2B Brendan Ryan
1B Derrek Lee 1B Albert Pujols
RF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Ryan Ludwick
3B Mark DeRosa 3B Troy Glaus
C Geovany Soto CF *Rick Ankiel
2B *Mike Fontenot C Yadier Molina
CF Reed Johnson P Kyle Lohse
P *Ted Lilly SS #Cesar Izturis

 

 

 








 

Breaking News: The Cubs have demoted Rich Hill to AAA Iowa and replaced him on the roster with Sean Gallagher, who will be available to pitch this afternoon in St. Louis.

Of the now departed Hill and his one-inning, four-walk effort last night in St. Louis, Cubs manager Lou Piniella said:


"Hill can't start like this in the big leagues. C'mon.
Every time he pitches, it's an adventure. He's doing his best, but we
have no bullpen. I don't know what the solution is, but I can't start
him anymore until this thing gets taken care of."

About this afternoon's game: With the stink of last night's loss still in the air, the Cubs try to square their series against the Cardinals. The Cards have won three in a row and five of six; the Cubs have lost six of eight. Still, the Cubs have MLB's third-best record, while the Cardinals, who better get to work if they're going to see that 90-loss season so many of us were planning for them, have the game's second-best mark at 19-11. (The D-backs lead the way at 20-9).

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SP *Rich Hill SP Adam Wainwright
  1-0, 3.79, 14 K, 14 BB
3-1, 2.79, 28 K, 9 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano LF Brian Barton
SS Ryan Theriot CF *Rick Ankiel
1B Derrek Lee 1B Albert Pujols
3B Aramis Ramirez 3B Trou Glaus
RF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Ryan Ludwick
2B Mark DeRosa C Yadier Molina
C Geovany Soto SS #Cesar Izturis
CF *Felix Pie C Adam Wainwright
P *Rich Hill 2B Brendan Ryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First place is on the line this weekend in St. Louis, as the rivals battle each other for the first time this year. The Cards expected to struggle, particularly early on in the season while their pitching staff got healthy, are on top of the division. Mostly thanks to a patient offense (lead the NL in walks) and a surprising pitching staff, particularly from Todd Wellemeyer and Kyle Lohse.

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SP Yovani Gallardo SP Carlos Zambrano
  0-0, 0.64, 9 K, 5 BB
4-1, 2.21, 32 K, 9 BB
       
2B Rickie Weeks LF Alfonso Soriano
CF Mike Cameron SS Ryan Theriot
LF Ryan Braun 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Prince Fielder 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF Corey Hart RF *Kosuke Fukudome
3B Bill Hall 2B Mark DeRosa
SS *Craig Counsell C Geovany Soto
P Yovani Gallardo CF Reed Johnson
C Jason Kendall P #Carlos Zambrano

 

 

 








Fonzie returns to the lineup as the Cubs go for 2-of-3 against the Brewers and try to grab some momentum heading into big road series in Saint Loo and Cincinnati.

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SP Jeff Suppan SP Ryan Dempster
  1-0, 3.48, 11 K, 10 BB
3-0, 2.90, 21 K, 14 BB
       
2B Rickie Weeks LF Reed Johnson
CF Mike Cameron SS Ryan Theriot
LF Ryan Braun 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Prince Fielder 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF Corey Hart RF *Kosuke Fukudome
3B Bill Hall 2B Mark DeRosa
SS JJ Hardy C Geovany Soto
P Jeff Suppan CF *Felix Pie
C Jason Kendall P Ryan Dempster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cubs are one loss from dropping out of first place behind the Cardinals and into a second place tie with the Brewers. A loss would also give the Cubs their first real losing streak of the season (I start counting at three) and they'd lose a second consecutive series to their main competition for the Central crown. So yeah, today would certainly be a nice day for a win.

Dempster will take to the mound to try and help accomplish that and he did start the one lone victory in the opening series. We'lll happily take another six inning, two walk, five strikeout, one earned run performance if you have it in you. He hasn't had a lot of experience versus the members of the current Brewers (possibly the reason for his last success), but do watch out for Jason Kendall who's 13 for 28 versus Dempster for a 464/583/536 line.

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SP Ben Sheets SP Jason Marquis
  3-0, 0.96, 24 K, 4 BB
1-0, 3.47, 15 K, 9 BB
       
2B Rickie Weeks LF Reed Johnson
CF Mike Cameron SS Ryan Theriot
LF Ryan Braun 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Prince Fielder 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF Corey Hart RF *Kosuke Fukudome
3B Bill Hall 2B Mark DeRosa
SS JJ Hardy C Geovany Soto
P Ben Sheets CF *Felix Pie
C Jason Kendall P *Jason Marquis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No, you're not imagining things--this is the Brewers' second visit to Wrigley Field in the season's first month while the Cubs have yet to visit Milwaukee and won't do so until after the All-Star break.

While the Cubs (16-9) were losing two of three on the road to the Nationals and scoring 10 runs this past weekend, the Brewers (14-11) were dropping two of three at home to the Marlins and scoring six runs. The Brewers, who led the NL in batting with RISP (.303) going into the series, went just 1-for-26 against the Marlins in those same situations.

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SP *Ted Lilly SP *John Lannan
  1-3, 7.30, 18 K, 11 BB
1-2, 3.42, 21 K, 10 BB
       
CF Reed Johnson 2B #Felipe Lopez
SS Ryan Theriot SS #Cristian Guzman
1B Derrek Lee 3B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Nick Johnson
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF Lastings Milledge
LF Mark DeRosa RF Austin Kearns
2B Ronny Cedeno LF Wily Mo Peña
C Henry Blanco C Wi Nieves
P *Ted Lilly P *John Lannan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cubs go for the series win and a winning road trip (3-2).

Lilly is coming off his first win and best outing of the year, on Tuesday when he beat the Mets. Though his pitching line was pretty attractive--6IP, 4H, 1ER--he also walked four and needed a couple of key pitches to avoid some serious problems.

The Cubs may face a good test in young Lannan, who fanned 11 New York Mets in just six innings on April 17th, then blanked the Braves for seven innings this past Tuesday, on his way to a victory over John Smotz.

Ronny Cedeno, hitting .400 (10-for-25) over the last week, gets bumped up in the order to seventh, Henry Blanco gets the obligatory Sunday start for backup catchers, and Geovany Soto gets a much needed day off, during which he can contemplate an atrocity so awful, veteran baseball man Lou Piniella has never seen anything like it.


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SP Carlos Zambrano SP *Matt Chico
  3-1, 2.67, 27 K, 5 BB
0-4, 6.04, 17 K, 10 BB
       
CF Reed Johnson 2B #Felipe Lopez
SS Ryan Theriot SS #Cristian Guzman
1B Derrek Lee 3B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Nick Johnson
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF Lastings Milledge
LF Mark DeRosa RF Austin Kearns
C Geovany Soto C #Johnny Estrada
2B Ronny Cedeno LF Wily Mo Peña
P #Carlos Zambrano P *Matt Chico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And so it falls to Cub ace Carlos Zambrano on this, Hack Wilson's 108th birthday, to reverse the curse:

The Chicago Cubs have never won a game in Washington's Natonals Park. For the love of God, they've never even held a lead!!!

The Chicago offense went hitless in seven AB's with men in scoring position in Friday night's 5-3 defeat. Ryan Theriot, however, was able to extend his National League lead in Caught Stealing.

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SP Ryan Dempster SP *Odalis Perez
  3-0, 3.00, 16K, 11 BB
0-3, 3.38, 20 K, 12 BB
       
CF Reed Johnson 2B #Felipe Lopez
SS Ryan Theriot SS #Cristian Guzman
1B Derrek Lee 3B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Nick Johnson
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF Lastings Milledge
LF Mark DeRosa C #Johnny Estrada
C Geovany Soto LF Wily Mo Peña
2B Ronny Cedeno RF *Rob Mackowiak
P Ryan Dempster P *Odalis Perez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WIth tonight's first-ever visit to Nationals Park, the Cubs will have played in three different cities in three different time zones, necessitating somewhere around 2,700 miles in air travel, all in a little over 72 hours. Gotta love those schedule gremlins.

Even with yesteday's loss to the Rockies, the first-place Cubs have won 8 of 10. After opening the season 3-0, the fifth-place Nationals, who needed 13 hits against the Mets on Thursday to raise their team average to .233, have lost 16 of 20.

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SP Jason Marquis SP Aaron Cook
  1-0, 3.86, 11K, 7 BB
2-1, 3.12, 12 K, 8 BB
       
2B *Mike Fontenot CF *Scott Podsednik
SS Ryan Theriot 2B Clint Barmes
1B Derrek Lee 1B *Todd Helton
3B Aramis Ramirez LF Matt Holliday
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 3B Garrett Atkins
LF Mark DeRosa RF *Brad Hawpe
C Geovany Soto SS Troy Tulowitzki
CF *Felix Pie C Chris Iannetta
P *Jason Marquis P Aaron Cook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinch-hitting/pinch-running specialist Jason Marquis gets to try his hand at pitching this afternoon at Coors Field as the Cubs play the Rockies and seek their seventh consecutive win, which would match their longest streak of a year ago.

MLB Press Pass Game Note of the Day: At 15-6, the Cubs are nine games over .500, something they didn't accomplish last season until September 22nd, when they beat the Pirates to rise to 82-73.

In Marquis's one start at Coors in '07, last August, he had one of his best outings as a Cub (6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 K, 0 BB). In fact, throughout his career, Marquis has been outstanding in this park (3-0, 2.49 over 21 2/3 IP with just one homer allowed).

The home team has lost four games in a row, and in each of them, the Rockies had a lead heading into the eighth inning. The last time they won was last Saturday, at Houston in a game started by Aaron Cook, who allowed the Astros just four hits over seven innings.

Cook is an impressive 2-1. 2.14 over 21 innings lifetime against the Cubs, and our non-pitchers are a cumulative 9-for-42 against him.

My favorite moment from Wednesday night's Cub win:

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SP *Rich Hill SP *Franklin Morales
  1-0, 3.86, 11 K, 10 BB 1-1, 6.60, 5 K, 11 BB
       
CF Reed Johnson CF Ryan Spilborghs
SS Ryan Theriot 2B Clint Barmes
1B Derrek Lee 1B *Todd Helton
3B Aramis Ramirez LF Matt Holliday
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 3B Garrett Atkins
LF Mark DeRosa RF *Brad Hawpe
C Geovany Soto SS Troy Tulowitzki
2B Ronny Cedeno C Yorvit Torrealba
P
*Rich Hill P *Franklin Morales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rich Hill's flyball tendencies and big curve meet the thin air of Denver where he's 0-2 with 10.1 IP and an 11.32 ERA over his career. The Rockies counter with one of their many heroes from last year's late season surge to the NL pennant, Franklin Morales. 


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SP Nelson Figueroa SP *Ted Lilly
  1-0, 3.60, 14 K, 5 BB
0-3, 9.16, 14 K, 7 BB
       
SS #Jose Reyes LF Reed Johnson
RF #Angel Pagan CF *Felix Pie
3B David Wright 1B Derrek Lee
CF #Carlos Beltran 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B *Carlos Delgado RF *Kosuke Fukudome
2B Damion Easley 2B Mark DeRosa
LF Brady Clark SS Ronny Cedeno
C #Raul Casanova C Henry Blanco
P
Nelson Figueroa P *Ted Lilly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Normally you'd feel confident about a Ted Lilly vs Nelson Figueuroa match-up, but Lilly's fastball never made the flight from Arizona. And the Mets offense usually isn't too forgiving for someone trying to "figure it out".

I was shut-off from the Internet yesterday and had to rely on desperate measure to follow the game...my cellphone. By the 8th inning I figured out how to follow the game through MLB's gameday for your phone. I literally tuned in during Cedeno's at-bat and the screen kept refreshing with foul ball after foul ball, I figured it would eventually end with a breaking ball in the dirt and Ronny swinging. Imagine my surprise when I saw "Ball in Play, run(s) scored". And then Felix Pie with the cherry on top home run. Let's get the sweep!


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SP *Zach Duke SP Ryan Dempster
  0-0, 2.89, 7 K, 4 BB
2-0, 2.37, 13 K, 9 BB
       
CF *Nate McLouth CF Reed Johnson
2B Freddy Sanchez SS Ryan Theriot
LF Jason Bay 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Adam LaRoche 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF Xavier Nady LF Matt Murton
C #Ryan Doumit RF Mark DeRosa
3B Jose Bautista C Geovany Soto
SS Brian Bixler 2B Ronny Cedeno
P
*Zach Duke P Ryan Dempster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WGN Radio is reporting that Kosuke Fukudome has a sebaceous cyst on his forehead which is causing some swelling in his right eyelid and thus, some vision problems. However, according to WGN's Cory Provus, Fukudome is on medication and is expected to return to the lineup on Monday.

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SP *Tom Gorzelanny SP Jason Marquis
  1-1, 6.75, 6 K, 11 BB
0-0, 5.23, 4 K, 6 BB
       
CF *Nate McLouth CF Reed Johnson
2B Freddy Sanchez SS Ryan Theriot
LF Jason Bay 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Adam LaRoche 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF Xavier Nady RF *Kosuke Fukudome
C #Ryan Doumit LF Mark DeRosa
3B Jose Bautista C Geovany Soto
SS Brian Bixler 2B Ronny Cedeno
P
*Tom Gorzelanny P *Jason Marquis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No kidding--starting pitchers' combined K:BB ratio this season is 1:1.7.

The Cubs go for five in a row this season against the Pirates and their eighth overall versus the Bucs dating back to last September.

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