Gameday Open Thread

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SP *Ted Lilly SP Bronson Arroyo

13-8, 4.23, 160 K, 57 BB, 174.2 IP
13-10, 4.97, 137 K, 57 BB, 166.2 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF *Chris Dickerson
SS Ryan Theriot SS Jeff Keppinger
1B Derrek Lee 2B Brandon Phillips 
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Joey Votto
2B Mark DeRosa 3B Edwin Encarnacion
CF *Jim Edmonds RF *Jay Bruce
C Geovany Soto LF Jolbert Cabrera
RF *Kosuke Fukudome C Ryan Hanigan
P *Ted Lilly P Bronson Arroyo

 

That well-known rabble-rouser, Mark Sheldon of mlb.com, is billing this series as a showdown between NL Rookie of the Year candidates Geovany Soto and Joey Votto.

Actually, I don't know anything about Mark Sheldon's rabble-rousing, but the comparison is not entirely off-base:

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SP *Randy Wolf SP Ryan Dempster

8-11, 4.73, 134 K, 64 BB, 158 IP
15-5, 2.95, 160 K, 69 BB, 176.2 IP
       
CF *Michael Bourn LF Alfonso Soriano
LF Ty Wigginton SS Ryan Theriot
SS Miguel Tejada 1B Derrek Lee
1B #Lance Berkman 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B #Geoff Blum C Geovany Soto
RF Hunter Pence RF Mark DeRosa
2B *David Newhan CF Reed Johnson
C Humberto Quintero 2B Ronny Cedeno
P *Randy Wolf P Ryan Dempster

 

Please.Win.This.Game.

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SP Brandon Backe SP Carlos Zambrano

9-12, 5.42, 122 K, 72 BB, 159.1 IP
13-5, 3.53, 114 K, 61 BB, 168.1 IP
       
CF *Michael Bourn LF Alfonso Soriano
LF Ty Wigginton 2B *Mike Fontenot
SS Miguel Tejada 1B Derrek Lee
1B #Lance Berkman 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B #Geoff Blum RF Mark DeRosa
RF Hunter Pence CF *Jim Edmonds
2B *David Newhan C Geovany Soto
C Humberto Quintero SS Ryan Theriot
P Brandon Backe P #Carlos Zambrano

 

While Cub fans are hoping that the team's bats will come back to life (no EBH's among the club's last 27 hits), the greater concern right now is with Carlos Zambrano.

All Cubdom would like to see that the two extra days of rest Zambrano got when his scheduled Sunday start was pushed back to this evening have proven beneficial to his "fatigued" "dead" tired arm. If nothing else, in the span of those two days, the calendar turned from August to September.

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SP Roy Oswalt SP Jason Marquis

12-9, 4.11, 135 K, 41 BB, 160.2 IP
9-7, 4.52, 74 K, 52 BB, 141.1 IP
       
2B #Bill Doran CF Bob Dernier
RF *Terry Puhl 2B Ryne Sandberg
1B *Denny Walling LF Gary Matthews
LF *Jose Cruz 1B Leon Durham
CF #Jerry Mumphrey RF Keith Moreland
3B Phil Garner 3B Ron Cey
C #Mark Bailey C Jody Davis
SS *Craig Reynolds SS #Larry Bowa
P Nolan Ryan P Dick Ruthven

 

Unfortunately I have to take off before the lineups are posted, so Marquis and Oswalt will have to face off against the 1984 lineups.

As for the modern day Cubs, all the warm glowing feelings of a seven game win streak are gone after dropping two straight games and two starting pitchers. Three straight losses looms as well with the red-hot Astros (27-15 since the break) and Oswalt's 2.51 August ERA coming to town.

Go Mets!

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SP *Jamie Moyer SP *Sean Marshall

11-7, 3.81, 102 K, 50 BB, 160.2 IP
3-3, 3.52, 43 K, 13 BB, 46 IP
       
SS #Jimmy Rollins LF Alfonso Soriano
2B *Chase Utley CF Reed Johnson
LF Pat Burrell 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Ryan Howard 3B Aramis Ramirez
CF #Shane Victorino 2B Mark DeRosa
RF Jayson Werth C Geovany Soto
3B Pedo Feliz RF *Kosuke Fukudome
C Carlos Ruiz SS Ronny Cedeno
P *Jamie Moyer P *Sean Marshall

 

Carlos Zambrano was scheduled to start Sunday for the Cubs, but Z and his dead arm ("muscle fatigue in his triceps," according to the Cubs) are going to skip a turn. WSCR also reported this morning that Rich Harden, whose velocity was markedly down against the Phillies on Friday, will skip his next turn, meaning he won't pitch until sometime after the Houston series. Can I say it? Oy, oy, oy. (Nice to have an 11-game lead in the Wild Card race, however.)

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SP Brett Myers SP *Ted Lilly
       
SS #Jimmy Rollins LF Alfonso Soriano
2B *Chase Utley SS Ryan Theriot
LF Pat Burrell 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Ryan Howard 3B Aramis Ramirez
CF #Shane Victorino CF *Jim Edmonds
RF Jayson Werth 2B Mark DeRosa
3B Pedo Feliz RF *Kosuke Fukudome
C Chris Coste C Geovany Soto
P Brett Myers P *Ted Lilly

 

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SP Joe Blanton SP Rich Harden
(NL) 1-0, 4.03, 27 K, 15 BB, 38 IP (NL) 4-1, 1.47, 70 K, 14 BB, 49 IP
       
SS #Jimmy Rollins LF Alfonso Soriano
CF #Shane Victorino SS Ryan Theriot
2B *Chase Utley 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Ryan Howard 3B Aramis Ramirez
LF Pat Burrell CF *Jim Edmonds
RF Jayson Werth 2B Mark DeRosa
3B *Greg Dobbs RF *Kosuke Fukudome
C Carlos Ruiz C Henry Blanco
P Joe Blanton P *Rich Harden

 

A few aftershocks from last night's game...the come from behind win was the 38th for the Cubs this season, second to the Yankees 39. It was their 19th win when trailing in the seventh inning or later, best in baseball ahead of their current foe - the Phightin Phils.

Today, ex-teammates do battle as Rich Harden and Joe Blanton take the mound. I'm sure a steak dinner at Morton's is on the table for the winner.

 

Some more game notes fun after the jump...

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SP *Cole Hamels SP Ryan Dempster
  11-8, 3.20, 162 K, 43 BB, 188.2 IP
15-5, 2.85, 153 K, 65 BB, 170.2 IP
       
SS #Jimmy Rollins LF Alfonso Soriano
2B *Chase Utley SS Ryan Theriot
LF Pat Burrell 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Ryan Howard 3B Aramis Ramirez
CF #Shane Victorino C Geovany Soto
RF Jayson Werth CF Reed Johnson
3B Pedro Feliz RF *Kosuke Fukudome
C Carlos Ruiz  2B Mark DeRosa
P *Cole Hamels P Ryan Dempster

 

The Cubs and Phillies play the first game in Major League history in which the umpires—or at least the crew chief—will have the option to summon an instant replay to assist a call. (The Rangers/Angels and Twins/A's games starting later Thursday will also be replay-enabled; umpires at all games will be onboard starting Friday.) The reviewable plays will be limited to potential home runs, i.e., fair or foul, over the fence or in play, fan interference or not.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella thinks it's all just a grand idea:

"This is not going to work. I shouldn't say it's not going to work, but this could turn into a little bit of a fiasco initially."

Anyhow, having beaten our boys twice (and nearly three times) in a three-game series in Philadelphia back in April, the Philles begin this four-game set as the only NL team with a lead in their season series against the Cubs.

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SP Carlos Zambrano SP Ian Snell
13-5, 3.29, 111 K, 57 BB, 164 IP
5-10, 5.60, 108 K, 74 BB, 133.1 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano LF *Nyjer Morgan
SS Ryan Theriot CF *Nate McLouth
1B Derrek Lee C #Ryan Doumit
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adam LaRoche
CF *Jim Edmonds RF *Brandon Moss
2B Mark DeRosa 3B *Doug Mientkiewicz
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 2B Freddy Sanchez
C Geovany Soto SS Jack Wilson
P #Carlos Zambrano P Ian Snell

 

It's always nice when the league lets the Cubs use a designated hitter. Zambrano's .972 OPS is not only the best for tonight's starters, but would be second only to Milton Bradley among the regular DH's of the game. His hitting prowess has also helped the Cubs put up a .597 OPS out of the number nine spot in the order. That's good for 14th in baseball and better than the A's, Royals and Orioles have been able to manage (thanks to reader "nohit" for the tip). 

 The quest to the playoffs continues...

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SP *Ted Lilly SP Jeff Karstens
  12-7, 4.25, 148 K, 56 W, 161 IP 
2-2, 2.25, 11 K, 8 W, 28 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano CF *Nate McLouth
SS Ryan Theriot 2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Derrek Lee C  #Ryan Doumit
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Adam LaRoche
CF *Jim Edmonds RF  Jason Michaels
2B Mark DeRosa LF *Brandon Moss
RF *Kosuke Fukudome 3B Andy LaRoche
C Geovany Soto SS Jack Wilson
P *Ted Lilly P Jeff Karstens

 

The Cubs open a three-game set at PNC Park, concluding their 9-game stretch against the Reds, Nationals, and Pirates before they resume play against Major League opposition. (Yes, I'm tempting fate: Friday's smug game preview was just a preamble to an ugly 13-5 loss to the Nats, but 30 games over .500, I'm feeling smug all over again.)

Coming off a tough luck defeat in which he held the Reds hitless for the first 5 innings and wound up yielding just 2 hits in 7 IP, Lily has reduced his ERA to a season-low 4.25.The lefty has given the Cubs Quality Starts in 8 of his last 10 turns, and that defeat to Cincinnati was his first after five consecutive W's.

This will mark Lilly's fourth start of the year against the Bucs. He's 1-0, 5.63 in the three previous starts, with a butt-ugly 8.38 ERA in his two outings at PNC.

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SP Jason Bergmann SP Rich Harden
  2-9, 4.50, 83 K, 33 BB, 116 IP (NL)
3-1, 1.50, 59 K, 14 BB, 42 IP
       
LF *Willie Harris LF Alfonso Soriano
SS #Christian Guzman SS Ryan Theriot
3B Ryan Zimmerman 3B Aramis Ramirez
CF Lastings Milledge 1B *Daryle Ward
1B Ronnie Belliard RF Mark DeRosa
C Jesus Flores CF *Jim Edmonds
RF Austin Kearns C Geovany Soto
2B #Anderson Hernandez 2B *Mike Fontenot
P Jason Bergmann P *Rich Harden

The Cubs go for yet another series win with Rich Harden making his eight start as a Cub. The win would give them their seventh straight series win and secure a tie  in the season series against the Nationals. Good thing it's Sunday where the Cubs are 15-5 this season, their best record for any day of the week.

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SP *Odalis Perez SP Ryan Dempster

5-9, 4.06, 83 K, 44 BB, 124 IP
14-5, 2.92, 149 K, 64 BB, 163.1 IP




2B #Emilio Bonificio LF Alfonso Soriano
LF *Willie Harris SS Ryan Theriot
3B Ryan Zimmerman 1B Derrek Lee
CF Lastings Milledge 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B Ronnie Belliard CF Reed Johnson
C Jesus Flores 2B Mark DeRosa
RF Austin Kearns C Geovany Soto
SS #Anderson Hernandez RF *Kosuke Fukudome
P *Odalis Perez P Ryan Dempster

Let us never speak of yesterday's game ever again. And damn, this game is early. And what's with all that pounding going outside my window? And why is everyone screaming? Anyone have any aspirin? 

(buries head under his pillow)

A rough but fun night for yours truly and the Angelfan wife drowning out yesterday's losses celebrating her birthday. It's gonna be another rough night if we lose again today.

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SP *John Lannan SP Jason Marquis
  6-12, 3.81, 89 K, 54 W, 141.2 IP
8-7, 4.67, 68 K, 49 W, 129 IP
       
2B #Emilio Bonificio LF Alfonso Soriano
SS #Cristian Guzman SS Ryan Theriot
3B Ryan Zimmerman 1B Derrek Lee
CF Lastings Milledge 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B Ronnie Belliard CF Reed Johnson
RF *Ryan Langerhans C Geovany Soto
LF *Willie Harris RF Mark DeRosa
C Wil Nieves 2B Ronny Cedeno
P *John Lannan P *Jason Marquis

Weather note: As of 12:40, it's pouring in the western suburbs, with storms on their way to the city. Could be a rain delay in our future.

The Cubs advance to the next course in the all-meatball buffet, following their series against the Reds with three against the 45-83 Nationals starting today, before moving on to Pittsburgh.

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SP Josh Fogg SP Carlos Zambrano
  2-5, 7.71, 38 K, 24 BB, 65.1 IP
12-5, 3.38, 107 K, 53 BB, 157 IP
       
LF *Chris Dickerson LF Alfonso Soriano
SS Jeff Keppinger SS Ryan Theriot
RF *Jay Bruce 1B Derrek Lee
2B Brandon Phillips 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B *Joey Votto CF *Jim Edmonds
3B Edwin Encarnacion 2B Mark DeRosa
CF *Corey Patterson RF *Kosuke Fukudome
C *Paul Bako C Henry Blanco
P Josh Fogg P #Carlos Zambrano

 

The Cubs try to take two of three from a team so bad, they have given more than 250 at-bats to a player hitting less than .200, are granting a 12th start to a pitcher with a 7.71 ERA (ERA+ of 58), and sent an apology letter to their fans...with 35 games still left in the campaign.

Carlos Zambrano goes for his fifth consecutive win against the Reds, hoping to bounce back to #1 form after three unimpressive outings.

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SP Bronson Arroyo SP *Ted Lilly
10-10, 5.51, 125 K, 50 BB, 143.2 IP
12-6, 4.32, 141 K, 54 BB, 154 IP
       
CF *Chris Dickerson LF Alfonso Soriano
SS Jeff Keppinger SS Ryan Theriot
RF *Jay Bruce 1B Derrek Lee
2B Brandon Phillips 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Edwin Encarnacion CF *Jim Edmonds
1B *Joey Votto 2B Mark DeRosa
LF Jolbert Cabrera RF *Kosuke Fukudome
C Ryan Hanigan C Geovany Soto
P Bonson Arroyo P *Ted Lilly

The Astros did us no favors this afternoon losing to the Brewers so it'll be up to Ted Lilly and the Cubs to bring themselves closer to a division and playoff spot. The Cubs current six game lead in the division is its largest division lead since June 22nd, 2001, when they led the Cardinals by that much. Things should hopefully go a little smoother the rest of this season. 

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