Rich Harden

UPDATE: Looks like Lou made up his mind after the first game and it will be Sean Marshall getting the start on Sunday versus the Marlins.


Just a little scheduling note, that Lou has tabbed either Jeff Samardzija or Sean Marshall for Sunday's start against the Marlins due to today's doubleheader. That is if Marquis cannot go on short rest.

"I can't bring Harden back on short rest, but I can bring Marquis back possibly," Piniella said Wednesday. "By him pitching the day game, it gives him a little longer time. If not, we'll either pitch Samardzija or pitch [Sean] Marshall."

Other than possibly using Marquis on short rest, there was another reason Harden will pitch tonight's nightcap.

"I know he's told us his preference would be to pitch at night and in cooler weather," Piniella said  

As always, blame Canada.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Jason Marquis SP Charlie Morton

7-7, 4.73, 67 K, 47 BB, 123.2 IP
3-5, 5.70, 32 K, 22 BB, 53.2 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano RF *Gregor Blanco
RF *Kosuke Fukudome SS Yunel Escobar
1B Derrek Lee 3B #Chipper Jones
3B Aramis Ramirez C #Brian McCann
CF *Jim Edmonds 1B *Casey Kotchmann
2B Mark DeRosa LF Omar Infante
C Geovany Soto CF *Mark Kotsay
SS  Ryan Theriot 2B *Kelly Johnson
P *Jason Marquis P Charlie Morton

 

UPDATED UPDATE: Marquis will start the first game in today's day/night doubleheader with our man Harden going in the nightcap. Otherwise the lineup remains unchanged from last evening.

UPDATE: Nevermind, the game has been called.

The Cubs try to stay North of the standings as they head South to play the Braves and Marlins on a six game road trip. Fresh off a 6-3 homestand, where they managed to lose a game and a half in the standings, the Cubs will look for their sixth straight road win tonight. 

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Rich Harden SP *Wandy Rodriguez

1-1, 1.11, 39 K, 8 BB, 24.1 IP

6-4, 3.61, 83 K, 27 BB, 92.1 IP
LF Alfonso Soriano 2B #Kaz Matsui
SS Ryan Theriot SS Miguel Tejada
1B Derrek Lee RF Hunter Pence
3B Aramis Ramirez LF Carlos Lee
CF Reed Johnson 1B #Geoff Blum
2B Mark DeRosa 3B Ty Wigginton
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF *Darin Erstad
C Henry Blanco C Humberto Quintero
P *Rich Harden P *Wandy Rodrguez

Apparently the new trend for the Cubs is to get shut out the first game of a series. I can't say I approve. The amazing Rich Harden goes for the Cubs who saw his strikeout rate go down after striking out nine in seven innings in his last outing. He'll oppose Wandy Rodriguez, the Astros ace, who seems to have figured out how to pitch on the road this season - a 4.03 road ERA vs 3.31 home ERA. This compared to his 2007 split of a 6.37 road ERA vs a 2.94 home ERA.

The weather looks a little nicer today and I do hope all of our Chicago readers are safe and sound after yesterday's storm. Sure, the clear skies means there will be baseball, but it also means we won't see a repeat of Elvis sliding on the tarp. Suspiciously, the Astros' "Fat Elvis" - Lance Berkman - is out of the lineup today.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Rich Harden SP Dave Bush
(NL) 0-1, 1.04, 30 K, 8 BB, 17.1 IP
5-8, 4.51, 71 K, 26 BB, 111.2 IP
       
LF Alfonso Soriano 2B Rickie Weeks
SS Ryan Theriot 3B *Craig Counsell
1B Derrek Lee LF J.J. Hardy
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Prince Fielder
RF *Kosuke Fukudome LF Ryan Braun
RF Mark DeRosa RF Gabe Kapler
CF *Jim Edmonds CF Mike Cameron
C Geovany Soto C Jason Kendall
P Rich Harden P Dave Bush

Two Cubs trade rumors from this morning - the first comes from CBS Sportsline:

  The Chicago Cubs, who already made a big splash with pitcher Rich Harden, are exploring deals to add a lefty-hitting right fielder. The Cubs have inquired about Seattle's Raul Ibanez, San Diego's Brian Giles and Kansas City's David DeJesus, according to sources.

 

I think pretty much any left-handed hitting outfielder is going to be associated with the Cubs over the next few hours. Lo and behold, we have some rumblings from the cubs.com board that Jim has asked the Rangers about Milton Bradley. 

As Robert Ripley would say - Believe it or Not! 

Game 106 Thread / Cubs @ Brewers (1 of 4)...how's that for a good bluff, Rob?

From Stripes:

John Winger (Bill Murray): C'mon, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip right out again. We're not going to Moscow. It's Czechoslovakia. It's like going into Wisconsin.

Russell Ziskey (Harold Ramis): Well I got the shit kicked out of me in Wisconsin once.

=================

After a glorious 6-4 win in the opening game of this key Milwaukee series, I wanted to take a minor detour and reflect on my recent travails, aka, life following the Cubs in central Europe including the Czech Republic.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Rich Harden SP *Randy Johnson
(NL & AL) 5-1, 2.48 ERA, 102 K, 34 BB, 82.3 IP
6-7, 5.23, 95 K, 28 BB, 98 IP
       
SS Ryan Theriot SS *Stephen Drew
LF Reed Johnson LF Conor Jackson
1B Derrek Lee 2B #Orlando Hudson
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Chad Tracy
C Geovany Soto 3B Mark Reynolds
RF Mark DeRosa CF Chris Young
CF *Jim Edmonds C Chris Snyder
2B Ronny Cedeno  RF *Alex Romero
P *Rich Harden P *Randy Johnson

The Cubs return to their personal Crystal Lake as they take on the Diamondbacks for the first time since the horrors of last October. Hopefully there will be less bloodshed this time around as they'll miss Brandon Webb and Dan Haren in this series. Of course, the Cubs missed Roy Oswalt the last series and look at the good that gone and did them. Wednesday's game will be the much anticpated Ted Lilly vs Doug Davis rematch though, sure to be carried on all major media outlets.

So while the Brewers and Cardinals beat up on each other in a four-game set, the Cubs get a chance to improve on their 22-8 record versus the NL West and a struggling Diamondbacks club, albeit a first-place club.

Game Chat | Press Pass | BR Preview

SP Kevin Correia SP Rich Harden
  1-5, 4.96, 31 K, 22 BB, 49 IP (AL) 5-1, 2.34 ERA, 91 K, 32 BB, 77 IP
       
LF #Eugenio Velez SS Ryan Theriot
3B Jose Castillo RF *Kosuke Fukudome
RF #Ray Durham 1B Derrek Lee
C Bengie Molina 3B Aramis Ramirez
CF Aaron Rowand C Geovany Soto
RF *John Bowker CF *Jim Edmonds
1B Rich Aurilia LF Mark DeRosa
SS #Omar Vizquel 2B *Mike Fontentot
P Kevin Correia P Rich Harden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rich Harden just hit five years of MLB service time this past Sunday.

Why is that important?

UPDATE 4:56 CST: One of our readers tipped us to this fantastic piece on Rich Harden's mechanics (with video) by Carlos Gomez at The Hardball Times. Can't recommend it enough....


I've had a little time to digest the trade since my initial reaction and a little time to actually write about it now. I don't think there's too many warm-blooded Cubs fan out there who aren't happy about the deal...other than maybe a Chicken Little or two that are never happy with anything the Cubs do.

We all know the risks. Rich Harden has all the durability of a roll of toilet paper caught in a rainstorm. He was called up half way through the 2003 season, proceeded to make 31 starts in 2004 and has battled injuries ever since. The list is too long and complicated for me to dive into, so we'll wait for the good Dr. Hecht to chime in on that side of the trade. Harden's 13 starts this year are his highest total since 2005 and he spent almost a month of this year already on the disabled list. But in those 13 starts, he's gone 5-1
with a 2.34 ERA, 10.75 K/9, 2.97 K:BB and 0.58 HR/9.

He once had a fastball that could hit 100, although he seems to have dialed it back a bit this year. He compliments that fastball with a fantastic change-up and that's pretty much it. He'll occasionally throw a slider in there, but seems to have scrapped it for the most part this season. A quick and dirty comparison with some of the best in the game using career numbers:

While I'm refreshing Foxsports.com for the freaking lineup like a dumbass, Jim Hendry and Billy Beane go and pull a trade.

The Cubs are getting pitchers Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin for Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, Eric Patterson and Josh Donaldson. 

Hold on...

(catches breath)

(jumps up and down)

(pumps fist in air)

Sweet.

I have to admit that losing Sean Gallagher is unfortunate but you have to give up something to get something. Harden has a club option for 2009 and Gaudin is under team control until 2011. Eric Patterson and Matt Murton will probably go on to have respectable major league careers and Josh Donaldson has the makings of someone who could be a star...one day. But the Cubs are playing for today...and tomorrow and 2008.

More on this later, but you got to be thrilled if your a Cubs fan. Everyone knows Harden's injury risks, but when he's pitching, he's as good as they get...to a tune of a 2.34 ERA this year and 10.75 K/9. We're adding that to the best starting staff in the NL (by ERA) and third best overall staff in the NL.  

(Yeah, that headline really happened)

The Sun-Times is reporting that Jim Hendry has been working the phones the last month with Billy Beane and the A's to try and pry Rich Harden from them. Of course, the A's are just four games back in the wild card and six back in the AL West and have one of the better run differentials in the league. So being a seller isn't necessarily a foregone conclusion, and don't be surprised if this rumor lasts until July 31st.

No names were mentioned, but you'd have to imagine that Beane would like somthing similar to the six for two swap he pulled for Dan Haren.

The article also states the Cubs are looking for a lefty for the bullpen with Eyre spending more time on the disabled list than the roster to this point and Neal Cotts being Neal Cotts.

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