Hunter Ackerman, LHP Arismendy Alcantara, INF Gioskar Amaya, INF Jose Arias, RHP Frank Batista, RHP Xavier Batista, OF Dallas Beeler, RHP Justin Bour, 1B Sergio Burruel, C Esmailin Caridad, RHP Marcelo Carreno, RHP Lendy Castillo, RHP Javier Castro, RHP Zach Cates, RHP Hunter Cervenka, LHP Pin-Chieh Chen, OF Casey Coleman, RHP Gerardo Concepcion, LHP Willson Contreras, C Wes Darvill, INF Antonio Encarnacion, RHP Luis Flores, C Anthony Giansanti, OF Enyel Gonzalez, RHP Carlos Gutierrez, RHP Jae-Hoon Ha, OF Eric Jokisch, LHP Dong-Yub Kim, OF Austin Kirk, LHP Luis Liria, RHP Matt Loosen, RHP Jeff Lorick, LHP Eric Martinez, RHP A. J. Morris, RHP Chad Noble, C Loiger Padron, RHP Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP (see NOTE) Amaury Paulino, RHP Felix Pena, RHP Starling Peralta, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Kevin Rhoderick, RHP Greg Rohan, IF-OF Jose Rosario, RHP Zac Rosscup, LHP Victor Salazar, RHP Brian Schlitter, RHP Ryan Searle, RHP Elliot Soto, INF Nick Struck, RHP Luis Villalba, LHP Yao-Lin Wang, RHP Oliver Zapata, OF NOTE: Player not eligible for selection if added to MLB 40-man roster by 11/20. Also, Juan Carlos Paniagua signed his first contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks as "Juan Callado" on 5-8-2009 and pitched for the DSL Diamondbacks in the Dominican Summer League in 2009-10, but the contract was "pending" for almost two years and was never officially approved by MLB. The contract was eventually rejected by MLB due to "fraudulent paperwork" and Paniagua (Callado) was suspended for one year and then was declared a free-agent. He signed with the New York Yankees in March 2011 but then was suspended again and that contract was rejected, too, because his birth certificate could not be verified. Paniagua was cleared by MLB in 2012 and he signed with the Cubs on 7-9-2012. Therefore, Paniagua could be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in December 2013, since 2009 was his "first season" on the field and he was 18 on the June 5th immediately preceding the signing of his first contract, or he might not be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time until December 2015, if 2012 is considered Paniagua's "first season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes.
The Cubs are best in the senior circuit with a 26-8 mark and the Braves are the worst at 7-21, and will also be without the services of Chipper Jones and his .400-plus hitting for at least today's game, if not more. The Cubs will also look to extend their 8-game home winning streak.
A quick 3-game home jaunt before the Cubs head right back on the road to start inter-league play.
A win tonight and the Cubs are the proud owner of a winning road trip. They will aslo be the first team to 40 wins this season, a seemingly insignificant milestone that reader "JohnBeasley" shows is at the very least, a marker of good things to come.
First in the majors to 40:
2007: 6/9 - BOS (won World Series) and LAA (made playoffs)
2006: 6/11 - DET (won pennant)
2005: 6/8 - CHW (won World Series)
2004: 6/13 - NYY (made playoffs)
The Cubs go for their tenth (10th!) win a row, a feat they haven't done since 2001 when they strung together 12 wins in a row. It would also be their third straight series sweep. Oh, it's fun to be a Cubs fan these days.
On the mound, it's Ted Lilly still searching for his 2007 form. Things started looking up for him in May, that is until he met a 20 mph wind flying out of Wrigley last Friday. A wind the Cubs offsense used to pull off one of those miracle wins that it seems every good baseball team has at least once a season.
The Cubs seek consecutive win number nine tonight versus the generally punchless Padres. While the Giants offense gets mocked for their futility, it's the Padres(3.66 R/G) and Nationals(3.74 R/G) currently battling for the bottom rung of the NL offensive ladder.
The Cubs try to extend their winning streak to eight as they travel out West to face the struggling San Diego Padres. As Dr. Hecht mentioned earlier, the Cubs will get emergency starter Cha Seung Baek instead of Shawn Estes, who broke his thumb tripping on the way to the dugout. You can leave the Cubs, but Cubbery follows you everywhere.
For the Cubs, it's Carlos Zambrano, fresh off a 130 pitch effort against the Dodgers last week. Lou has already mentioned that he'll likely be on a shorter leash than usual. Hopefully it's not too short, as you'd like to keep his .316 hitting bat in the lineup.
How do you top a 7-1 homestand and an 8-2 homestand? What about a 7-0 homestand? And let's not even think about that the Cubs would be going for the tenth straight win if it wasn't for those two unfortunate blown ninth-inning losses in Pittsburgh.
All this home-cooking might be needed, as the Cubs head out for a West Coast trip that will see them on the road for 23 of their next 32 games.
Today's lineup features Micah Hoffpauir in the three spot. I wonder what Lou had to do to get Derrek to take a game off?
Former Cub Glendon Rusch makes his first appearance at Wrigley since September 4, 2006. After a none too successful comeback with the Padres earlier this year (6.41 ERA in 12 relief appearances), the Rockies signed him, sent him to Triple-A Colorado Springs, recalled him after two successful appearances for the Sky Sox, and you know now everything you need to know about what a desperate season the Colorado Rockies are having.
With rain falling and plenty of those intimidating orange and red spots on the weather radar, we could well be looking at a rainout. That being the case, I'm going to save all of my good Omar Quintanilla material for another occasion.
This is the Rockies' only visit to Wrigley this season, and the Cubs have already made the trip to Denver, so a washout would presumably create a doubleheader. I imagine Saturday would be the DH day, so as not to complicate the teams' travel plans. (The Rockies play in Los Angeles Monday night, while the Cubs will be in San Diego.)
The darlings of the National League in 2007 make their annual visit to Wrigley Field, bypassing the normal chartered bus in favor of an escorted ambulance. The Rockies find 1/3 of their starting lineup on the disabled list (Troy Tulowitzki, Matt Holliday and Brad Hawpe), along with five pitchers and Tulowitzki's replacement, Clint "Deer Meat" Barmes. It appears the devil is cashing in on the deal they made last August.
Carlos Zambrano is fresh off that remarkable game in which he stroked four hits off a trio of Pittsburgh pitchers and, oh, yeah, also threw the first seven innings in a 12-3 Cubs win.
Z was 1-1 last year against the Dodgers, including a horrible outing last September at Wrigley. Lowe pitched twice against Piniella's men in '07 and came away with a pair of ND's. Derrek Lee, who is 10-for-22 lifetime (1136 OPS) against the former Bosoxer probably couldn't get to the ballpark today early enough. For his part, Lowe hasn't won a game in more than a month and has a 7.29 ERA in his last six starts.
As you've probably heard by now, the Cubs are pretty good at home. 20-8 which seems like the best record, but is actually third behind the Red Sox and Braves and tied with the Rays. One of the many reasons for that 20-8 record, is the collective 308/390/498 batting line by the team at Wrigley.
But that isn't stopping Lou from tinkering with the Cubs lineup today. Ryan Theriot (.154 batting average over the last 7 days) and Mark DeRosa (.381 BA over the last 7 games) sit in favor of Mike Fontenot and Ronny Cedeno. And Geovany Soto (.182 BA over the last 7 days) and Jim Edmonds (.150 as a Cub) flip spots. What does it all mean? Probably nothing more than giving some of the bench players a few at-bats and some time off with the day game following the night game tomorrow. (Of course that theory only holds true if tomorrow was a day game...nuts!)
His leg doesn't hurt. His leg doesn't hurt. His leg doesn't hurt. Just keep repeating it to yourself as you watch Alfonso Soriano run the bases and man leftfield tonight. The guy says his leg is fine despite what your eyes and the television cameras may tell you.
i'm just used to bob knowing a lot more about the team...noticing when someone is off their swing or a pitch and recalling when he's been better...comparative analysis of what was done in the past vs what's going on now. it's not like i pine for the days of bob vs aram...because that got old, but bob really dug down in his analysis of players without getting preachy or doing "i'm steve stone and here's how he could be perfect" type analysis.
bob also seemed to not only know who was in the minors, but how they were doing down there beyond the numbers and would talk about them.
I actually enjoy this team much more than last years squad. My twtw(the will to watch) is up 25%-30% from last year. If it wasn't for the shit bullpen, this team would be totally average! If they could dump E. Jax and his entire salary and replace him with one of the college arms, then we are on to something. Make a trade for Price, which I don't see happening, and you've got yourself a fantastic rotation.
FG article from yesterday about the overwhelming underperformance of the 2013 Cubs. If I understand their 'Clutch' stat correctly, then the Cubs this year are 40% less clutch than the 29th-most clutch team in baseball.
as an aside...though jim d. hasn't been awful in the booth, it's a bit disappointing he didn't/doesn't do the amount of "homework" getting to know the team or critiquing things being done like bob did.
so far, when i hear jim d. calling a game it feels like he's a national "game of the week" generic type announcer that doesn't know the team well.
he's a full-on 100% replacement for "bad joke bob" type humor, though.