Gameday Open Thread

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SP Ian Snell SP *Rich Hill

2-0, 3.93, 15 K, 4 BB
0-2, 5.00 7 K, 7 BB




CF *Nate McClouth 2B *Eric Patterson
SS Luis Rivas SS Ryan Theriot
2B Freddy Sanchez 1B Derrek Lee
LF Jason Bay 3B Aramis Ramirez
RF Xavier Nady RF *Kosuke Fukudome
1B *Adam LaRoche LF Mark DeRosa
C Ronny Paulino C Geovany Soto
3B Jose Bautista CF Reed Johnson
P
Ian Snell P *Rich Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Snell goes for the Pirates and the early returns suggest this might be the year that he figures it all out. Cubs fans hope that today is the day that Rich Hill figures out where the strike zone is. The sequel to Patterson leading off for the Cubs starts today as well, hope it's better than the original.


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SP Edinson Volquez SP *Ted Lilly
  1-0, 0.87, 9 K, 5 BB
0-2, 9.95, 8 K, 4 BB
       
CF Norris Hopper 2B *Mike Fontenot
2B Ryan Freel SS Ryan Theriot
RF *Ken Griffey Jr. 1B Derrek Lee
LF *Adam Dunn 3B Aramis Ramirez
SS Jeff Keppinger RF *Kosuke Fukudome
3B Edwin Encarnacion LF Mark DeRosa
1B *Joey Votto CF Reed Johnson
C *Paul Bako C Henry Blanco
P
Edinson Volquez P *Ted Lilly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, you didn't think this Lou vs. Dusty stuff was over? I mean, I made a graphic afterall, I need to get some mileage out of it. The Cubs go for the sweep and a win today means the Reds season is over.

(Rumbling from the crowd)

Oh...you say it's just April? Alright, well if the Cubs were about to get swept I'm fairly certain that at least one person in the comments would say that our season is over. But for all intent and purposes, as long as Dusty Baker believes that Corey Patterson is a legitimate major league lead-off hitter, the Reds season is over.

Step on their throats, Cubs!

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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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SP Aaron Harang SP Ryan Dempster
  1-1, 2.45, 15 K, 5 BB
1-0, 0.69, 10 K, 4 BB
       
CF Dusty Baker LF Lou Piniella
SS Dusty Baker SS Lou Piniella
RF Dusty Baker 1B Lou Piniella
2B Dusty Baker 3B Lou Piniella
LF Dusty Baker RF Lou Piniella
3B Dusty Baker 2B Lou Piniella
1B Dusty Baker C Lou Piniella
C Dusty Baker CF Lou Piniella
P
Aaron Harang P Ryan Dempster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What say you? The players play the game and the managers are just overpaid babysitters? Pshaw! This is war, baby! The very fabric of Cubdom lies in the balance. The past vs the future; Dude vs Fella, Right vs Wrong!!! Pick a side, but choose wisely - for the faith of the Cubs world lies in the balance. (Tribal yell as I grab my gun off the wall!)

This also marks the less-public return of Corey Patterson, who's leading the Reds in home runs, rbi's and runs right now. Derrek Lee leads the Cubs in those same categories. One of those scenarios has a chance to remain true by the end of the season. Felix Pie is also back in the lineup and gets to face Aaron Harang after getting about 5 AB's in the last week. Good luck with that.

 

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SP Jason Marquis SP *Jamie Moyer
  0-0, 6.75, 2 K, 1 BB 1-0, 4.66, 4 K, 4 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano RF *Geoff Jenkins
CF Reed Johnson CF Jayson Werth
1B Derrek Lee 2B *Chase Utley
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Ryan Howard
RF *Kosuke Fukudome LF Pat Burrell
2B Mark DeRosa 3B Pedro Feliz
SS Ryan Theriot C Chris Coste
C Henry Blanco SS Eric Bruntlett
P
*Jason Marquis P *Jamie Moyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marquis was bypassed in the rotation on Friday because of a strep throat. His only 2008 appearance was last Saturday, when he pitched 5 1/3 very bumpy innings against the Astros (8 hits, a walk and 4 ER). He's 4-3, 4.64 lifetime against the Phils and beat them last year in his only start against Philly since joining the Cubs.

Moyer pitched for Lou Piniella's Seattle teams and went 98-48 between 1996 and 2002. He actually had two stints with the Cubs. After they released him in the spring of '92, the Cubs were kind enough to offer him a coaching job within the organization.

He has gone on to win 197 Major League games since then.

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SP Ted Lilly SP *Cole Hamels
  0-1, 9.72, 5 K, 2 BB 1-1, 1.20, 10 K, 5 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF #Shane Victorino
CF Reed Johnson RF Jayson Werth
1B Derrek Lee 2B *Chase Utley
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Ryan Howard
C Geovany Soto LF Pat Burrell
RF Mark DeRosa 3B Pedro Feliz
2B Ronny Cedeno C Carlos Ruiz
SS Ryan Theriot SS Eric Bruntlett
P
*Ted Lilly P *Cole Hamels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lilly is coming off his shortest outing as a Cub, that is, in games that weren't meaningless end-of-season affairs or didn't involve his getting a quick thumb from the home plate umpire. In Monday's game, you'll recall, the Cubs staked Lilly to a 7-0 lead, then the lefty couldn't make it out of the fourth inning. Eventually the Cubs won 10-8 in 12 innings. Thank God for Jon Lieber and Evan Meek.

From the cubs.com report about the outing:

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SP Carlos Zambrano SP Brett Myers
  1-0, 1.32, 12 K, 1 BB 0-1, 6.30, 6 K, 5 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF #Shane Victorino
CF *Kosuke Fukudome 3B *Greg Dobbs
1B Derrek Lee 2B *Chase Utley
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Ryan Howard
RF *Daryle Ward LF Pat Burrell
C Geovany Soto RF *Geoff Jenkins
2B Mark DeRosa C Carlos Ruiz
SS Ryan Theriot SS Eric Bruntlett
P
#Carlos Zambrano P Brett Myers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'll go out on a limb here and say that if Zambrano can keep up a twelve to one K:BB ratio, he'll win the Cy Young. You heard it here first. Z's start did get pushed up a day, although Mother Nature is threatening to push him right back with 50-60% chance of showers for tonight in Philly. Brett Myers vowed to be more aggressive tonight...on the mound; Mrs. Myers need not worry. The reigning, undeserved MVP, Jimmy Rollins sits another night with a sprained ankle but is available to pinch-hit. If they do get the game in, the Cubs will try to extend their winning streak to six.

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SP *Rich Hill SP Matt Morris
  0-0, 3.00, 4 K, 3 BB 0-0, 5.40, 2 K, 2 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF *Nate McLouth
2B *Mike Fontenot 2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Derrek Lee LF Jason Bay
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adam LaRoche
RF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Xavier Nady
C Geovany Soto C Ronny Paulino
SS Ryan Theriot 3B Jose Bautista
CF *Felix Pie SS Brian Bixler
P
*Rich Hill P Matt Morris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After 27 innings of baseball in two games, I think the Cubs should just get credit for the third game and call it a sweep. It is three full games of baseball afterall.

Lou thought about switching up the rotation a bit and giving Marquis the start tonight, but he was still feeling the effects of the flu. So Rich Hill stays in his spot and as long as the rain stays away, I'm sure there's not a happier guy in Pennsylvania right now. Hill, a flyball pitcher, gets the cozy left field dimensions of PNC Park and the punchless Pirates instead of the hitter-happy Citizens Bank Park and the powerhouse Phillies lineup.

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SP Ryan Dempster SP *Zach Duke
  1-0, 1.50, 5 K, 2 BB 0-0, 3.18, 1 K, 1 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF *Nate McLouth
CF Reed Johnson 2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Derrek Lee LF Jason Bay
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adam LaRoche
RF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Xavier Nady
2B Mark DeRosa C #Ryan Doumit
C Geovany Soto 3B Jose Bautista
SS Ronny Cedeno SS Brian Bixler
P
Ryan Dempster P *Zach Duke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's true--the Cubs are unbeaten this season in games started by Ryan Dempster and Jason Marquis. (I know, we're talking about two games, but still, I'm pleasantly surprised.)

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SP Tom Gorzelanny SP Ted Lilly
(2008) 0-1, 4.50, 3 K, 3 BB (2008) 0-1, 7.71, 4 K, 0 BB
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF *Nate McLouth
CF Reed Johnson 2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Derrek Lee LF Jason Bay
3B Aramis Ramirez C Ryan Doumit
RF *Kosuke Fukudome RF Xavier Nady
2B Mark DeRosa 1B *Doug Mientkiewicz
C Geovany Soto 3B Jose Bautista
SS Ronny Cedeno SS Luis Rivas
P
*Ted Lilly P *Tom Gorzelanny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cubs look to extend their winning streak to three as they help open PNC Park for the year. Ted Lilly tries to rebound from a less-than-good debut versus the Brewers; he went 1-0 with a 3.20 ERA last year versus the Pirates in three starts.Kerry Wood will sit this one out today, so look for Carlos Marmol to close if the Cubs are so fortunate to find themselves in that situation.

 

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SP Brandon Backe SP Carlos Zambrano
(2008) 0-1, 3.60, 3 K, 3 BB (2008) 0-0, 0.00, 5 K, 1 BB
       
CF *Michael Bourn LF Alfonso Soriano
RF Hunter Pence CF Reed Johnson
1B *Darin Erstad 1B Derrek Lee
LF Carlos Lee 3B Aramis Ramirez
SS Miguel Tejada RF *Kosuke Fukudome
3B #Geoff Blum 2B Mark DeRosa
2B #Tomas Perez SS Ryan Theriot
C JR Towles C Henry Blanco
P
Brandon Backe P #Carlos Zambrano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So it took 4 games to bench Felix Pie who was struggling just as much as any of the other hitters? Meh. I can understand sitting him against Oswalt and giving Reed Johnson some at-bats, but with Tom Gorzelanny set to go to tomorrow, that'll be at least four days in a row he'll sit...how Dusty-ish.

The Astros made me feel better though by batting Darin Erstad third. 

Zambrano heads back to the mound after yet another episode with dehydration and forearm cramps. Hopefully Lou called in his partnership with Aquafina and has a case waiting for Z on the bench today. Cubnut tells me that he heard part of a radio interview with Jim Hendry, in which Hendry offered assurances that the Cubs training staff will get to the bottom of Zambrano's recurrent cramping problem. Hendry also said "...and the Gatorade people are all over it."

We think it's fair to predict that their solution will involve Zambrano drinking lots of Gatorade.

 

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SP Roy Oswalt SP Jason Marquis
(2008) 0-1, 5.06, 6 K, 1 BB (2007) 12-9, 4.60
       
CF *Michael Bourn LF Alfonso Soriano
RF Hunter Pence CF Reed Johnson
1B #Lance Berkman 1B Derrek Lee
LF Carlos Lee 3B Aramis Ramirez
SS Miguel Tejada RF *Kosuke Fukudome
3B Ty Wigginton 2B Mark DeRosa
2B Mark Loretta C Geovany Soto
C Brad Ausmus SS Ryan Theriot
P
Roy Oswalt P *Jason Marquis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here's where we are:

The Cubs need to win a game started by Roy Oswalt or be assured of having lost the season's first two series, at home, to division rivals Milwaukee and Houston.

Yeeech!

The good news is, the Cubs have had at least a few productive offensive games against Oswalt (11-10, 3.97 lifetime v. Cubs), which is more than they can say about their encounters with Chris Sampson.

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SP Chris Sampson SP Rich Hill
(2007) 7-8, 4.59 (2007) 11-8, 3.92
       
CF *Michael Bourn LF Alfonso Soriano
RF Hunter Pence SS Ryan Theriot
1B #Lance Berkman 1B Derrek Lee
LF Carlos Lee 3B Aramis Ramirez
SS Miguel Tejada RF *Kosuke Fukudome
3B Ty Wigginton 2B Mark DeRosa
2B Mark Loretta C Geovany Soto
C J.R. Towles CF *Felix Pie
P
Chris Sampson P *Rich Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profiling the Astros:

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SP Dave Bush SP Ryan Dempster
(2007) 12-10, 5.12 (2007) 2-7, 4.73
       
2B Rickie Weeks LF Alfonso Soriano
CF *Tony Gwynn, Jr. SS Ryan Theriot
1B *Prince Fielder 1B Derrek Lee
LF Ryan Braun 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Bill Hall RF *Kosuke Fukudome
RF Corey Hart 2B Mark DeRosa
SS JJ Hardy C Geovany Soto
P Dave Bush CF *Felix Pie
C
Jason Kendall P Ryan Dempster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cubs find themselves in the precarious position of having to count on Ryan Dempster to avoid an embarrassing opening series sweep to what is expected to be our biggest challenge to repeating as NL Central Champs. I know I feel confident.

The big news being that Lou has switched Soriano back to the leadoff spot and I have a feeling that I'm one of the few (besides Lou) that doesn't mind this move. Is it because I think Soriano hits better out of the leadoff spot? Absolutely not. What it does is knock a few PA's off Theriot's total over the course of the season which is good. It would be better if he was replaced by DeRosa or Fukudome in the two spot though. But for those who watched the game yesterday, in the 5th inning Theriot reached on a single with two outs with Soriano due up next. With two outs and Jason Kendall behind the plate, that would be the perfect time to send Theriot to get him in scoring position. But, possibly being afraid of running themselves out of the inning and taking the bat out of Soriano's hand, Theriot stayed put. Now, Theriot's usefulness on offense is pretty much limited to scrappiness and stealing bags on those rare occasions he reaches base. If you're going to be afraid to steal with him, he becomes that more useless. Of course, I have plenty of other reasons that I don't mind those move, but that's at least one small, albeit important one in my mind.

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SP Jeff Suppan SP Ted Lilly
(2007) 12-12, 4.62 (2007) 15-8, 3.83
       
2B Rickie Weeks SS Ryan Theriot
CF Gabe Kapler LF Alfonso Soriano
1B *Prince Fielder 1B Derrek Lee
LF Ryan Braun 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Bill Hall RF *Kosuke Fukudome
RF Corey Hart 2B Mark DeRosa
SS JJ Hardy C Geovany Soto
P Jeff Suppan CF *Felix Pie
C
Jason Kendall P *Ted Lilly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sun is shining over Lakeview, The Cub Reporter made it through April Fool's Day without hearing from a single corporate attorney, and the Cubs are only one game out of first. A good day to be alive.

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