Gioskar Amaya, INF Jeffry Antigua, LHP Frank Batista, RHP Julio Borbon, OF Justin Bour, 1B 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 Aaron Cunningham, OF Wes Darvill, INF Michael de la Cruz, RHP Antonio Encarnacion, RHP Paolo Espino, RHP Carlos Figueroa, INF Eduardo Figueroa, RHP Luis Flores, C Anthony Giansanti, OF Edgar Gonzalez, INF Enyel Gonzalez, RHP Carlos Gutierrez, RHP Jae-Hoon Ha, OF Marcus Hatley, RHP Marco Hernandez, INF Walter Ibarra, INF Eric Jokisch, LHP Austin Kirk, LHP Matt Loosen, RHP Jeff Lorick, LHP Eric Martinez, RHP Marcos Mateo, RHP Darnell McDonald, OF Trey McNutt, RHP A. J. Morris, RHP Jonathon Mota, INF Thomas Neal, OF Chad Noble, C Alan Oaks, RHP Loiger Padron, RHP Yomar Pacheco, RHP Amaury Paulino, RHP Felix Pena, RHP Starling Peralta, RHP Carlos Pimentel, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Orbandy Rodriguez, RHP Greg Rohan, IF-OF Jose Rosario, RHP Victor Salazar, RHP Brian Schlitter, RHP Ryan Searle, RHP Elliot Soto, INF Nick Struck, RHP Chris Valaika, INF Jeudy Valdez, INF Yao-Lin Wang, RHP Casper Wells, OF Eli Whiteside, C Oliver Zapata, OF
The Cubs enter the game with an 8-1 record and 69-38 run differential this season against the Pirates. The lone loss occurred last Saturday at Wrigley Field, when these same two pitchers hooked up, and Zambrano, who has been so stellar in the first couple months of the campaign, went completely mental. Neither pitcher figured in the final decision, a 7-6 Pittsburgh win.
Tonight, Fukudome gets the night off, DeRosa moves to right, and Cedeño, who has hit Duke well (8-for-21), gets a start and gets to hit in front of DeRosa, who can't seem to hit at all on the road this year (11-for-62, .172, 530 OPS).
It appears that the Cubs have the edge in tonight's pitching matchup as Dempster continues his march to free agency. The Astros counter with Chris Sampson, who has fallen on some hard times since we last left him . He's given up five or more earned runs in four of
his last seven starts and his 6.46 ERA is enough to make
Jason Marquis blush.
But it seems the 30-year old saves his best against the Cubs...
On the heels of Saturday's loss to the Bucs and the unexpected appearance by Bad Carlos, the Cubs need a win to take this series from the Pirates and finish the homestand 8-2. Cedeño gets a start at shortstop and The Riot sits.
Z's quest for the Cy Young continues as does the Cubs quest for the best record in baseball, just a game behind the Diamondbacks. They'll have to battle known Cub killer Zach Duke (10 GS, 4-3, 2.56 ERA, 36 K, 16 BB). They seemed to start solving that Rubik's Cube in the last start when they got to Duke for five earned runs in four innings.
If the Cubs can overcome old friend Greg Maddux--perhaps making his last start ever at Wrigley Field--and the negative energy surrounding the addition of our new centerfielder, they'll take three of four from the Padres and improve their record on the homestand to a dandy 6-1, with three against the Pirates yet to go.
This, by the way, would be the first Wrigley Field series the Cubs had captured from San DIego since 1999. I'm sure the Mickey Morandini, Quilvio Veras references will be all over the broadcast.
Every once in awhile, a player that holds a special place in the hearts of Cubs fan comes back to Wrigley. And although they're wearing a different uniform, you can't help but root for them...
Oh wait, that's the beginning of Thursday's thread when Greg Maddux starts for the Padres. Today, it's Shawn Estes which most Cubs fans remember try to forget as the player who did his best to ruin the 2003 season. And just in case anyone thinks it wasn't that bad, here are his 2003 numbers:
The struggling Padres roll into town, their league-worst offense versus the league's best. Yes, the Cubs do have the best offense in the league. Repeat. Enjoy. Savor. A look at the game notes that are chocked full of offensive goodness, shows that the Cubs lead the NL in OBP, 2nd in walks, first in runs scored (in the majors), and first in pitches seen per plate appearance. The Cubs are also tied for third in the NL with 10 come-from-behind victories. It's rather unique in my lifetime to have a good Cubs team and then look at the underlying numbers and realize that this is indeed a good Cubs team, and not a fluke. I'm not saying that the wheels might not come off at some point, I mean, they're one Carlos Zambrano arm injury from that happening, but I'll enjoy it while I can.
The weather is bleak enough in Chicago to force both managers to change their starting pitchers for the game. Instead of the Big Unit vs Big Z, it's going to be Gallagher vs. Gonzalez. That is, if they get this in. The radar map actually looks like it should clear up relatively soon.
The Cubs go for their first series win in a few weeks and have already bucked their recent trend of dropping the first game, winning the second and then losing the rubber game. I look forward to the new trend of sweeping a couple series in a row.
Felix Pie must be on his way to Iowa as he's out of the lineup again versus a righty, losing playing time to a suddenly mortal Reed Johnson.
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I have to agree with you O & B. I was all giddy when the Cubs signed Soriano. Many here - "the Wise Ones" - pointed out just how asinine that decision was. But I was shell-shocked that any Cub team I followed actually signed the #1 FA of the time. It never happened before. I suppose Fred McGriff at the deadline was close - but he was WAAAYY past his prime and sucked balls for the Cubs, of course.
And such is the problem with complaining about the Cubs not burying themselves into the free agent market. I'm not saying complaining about it is wrong -- after all, I do it, but most of the posters here are really smart about baseball and would be all over TheoCorp for a signing like this. Even if this team finds a revenue source to help unleverage the team some, this kind of money for a player like this is insane. The reports say Ellsbury is injury prone but collisions - the basis of the two biggest injuries I remember, happen.
But some top Cubs baseball officials privately doubted they would be any more successful than they were in failed bids the last two winters for Yu Darvish and Hyun-jin Ryu, who went to the cash-flush Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively.
"In addition, the Cubs have been absent from big-game hunting since Tom Ricketts bought the team in August 2009, perhaps because the front office of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer believe it was important to grow organically and not put expensive window dressing on a rebuilding program. But there are officials who say the sale contains provisions that financially handcuff Ricketts that would not be a factor for a posted player.
Towers says PTBNL is the key piece for them and has already been agreed upon...some administrative reason for not being named now. Also the money...also Heath Bell not losing anymore games for your team.