Cubs "Hits" Of The Week (For the Week of 4/21 through 4/27)

Quotation marks make their first appearance in the Hits of the Week headline since this week's list includes two walks.

So here they are, the five, that is, offensive events...that did the most to enhance the Cubs' chance of winning during the past week, as measured by FanGraphs' (WPA):

#5 Big Hit:
Tuesday, v. the Mets, 4th inning-- With the bases loaded and two out and the Cubs already leading 1-0, Reed Johnson drives a single to left field, scoring Ronny Cedeno and Henry Blanco, and the Cubs' margin is three, which, on a day when the Mets can't seem to get an important hit, is more than margin enough. WPA .151

#4 Big Hit:
Thursday, v. Colorado, 8th inning-- The Cubs are down a run to Aaron Cook with two men aboard and nobody out, when pinch-hitter Daryle Ward works Cook for a walk to load the bases. (The promising inning will only produce one run and a tie, which the Rox will break in the last of the 8th). WPA .155

#3 Big Hit:
Friday, v.Washington, 8th inning -- In the Cubs' first game at new Nationals Park, Matt Murton, suffering from that uncomfortable allergy to base hits, is sent in to bat with the bases loaded, one out, and the Cubs down a run. Murton takes a walk and ties the game...which Washington catcher Wil Nieves will eventually untie with his game-winning home run one inning later. WPA .196

#2 Big Hit:
Wednesday, v. Colorado, 10th inning -- This, boys and girls, is what is meant by clutch. After Kerry Wood failed to protect a one-run lead in the last of the ninth inning, and after Reed Johnson failed to bring in the lead runner from second with one out in the top of the tenth, Theriot punches a run-scoring single to right field, scoring Mike Fontenot and giving the Cubs a second one-run lead, a lead which Carlos Marmol does not fail to protect. WPA .351

#1 Big Hit:
Wednesay, v. Colorado, 9th inning -- Wednesday's ninth and tenth innings were a swell couple of frames for Win Probabilty Added. Kerry Wood wouldn't have had a one-run lead to not protect and Ryan Theriot wouldn't have had a chance to plate the game-winning run were it not for the fact that in the top of the ninth, with the Cubs trailing 5-4, Aramis Ramirez lofted a two-run homer into the left field stands at Coors Field, scoring Felix Pie, giving the Cubs a brief 6-5 advantage, and knocking the Rockies' Manny Corpas right out of the Colorado closer's job. (This is what is meant by really clutch.) WPA .640

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Anyone else feel that just maybe Steve Rosenbloom might be blowing things a little out of proportion when he recommends that Lou should start putting the pitcher batting 8th behind Soto in the lineup? He acts as if Soto is some sort of Rob Bowen type.... He has had two bad games in a row. Don't get me wrong - they were pretty ugly, but the guy is still hitting over .300, and is ranked 3rd among rookies...

the NL-pitcher-8th thing is gaining a stupid amount of steam...2 teams already doing it and the national media is picking up on it more and more. that's great stuff. soto's not doing well so let's put a guy who hits worse and with less power in his slot. brilliant. that guy should be damn good at getting a 2-3 run 450ft. bunt down with the 5/6/7 guys on base. if soto needs protection so badly move HIS horrible hitting ass up to the 7 slot and let someone more selective handle the pitch-around slot. the pitch-around slot isn't going anywhere even if you move it up earlier.

it's gaining a "stupid amount of steam" probably because it's pretty solid statstical theory that is doing pretty well in practice. Pretty much most lineup analysis says put your worst hitter in the 8th spot.

Granted it goes against all things holy in baseball and it's possible dogs and cats will start living together soon, but it certainly hasn't done anything to hurt the two clubs employing it currently.  

the most important thing about these analysises i have issue with is most treat the #8 slot as if its the same as the #9 or #7 or #1 slots... there is probably no greater "generalized" way to go about attacking 1 slot vs. another as there is the pitcher's slot vs. the batter directly before the pitcher. the whole idea of getting the out over with by moving the slot up earlier and giving protection to your former weak hitter by giving him security later doesn't really do it for me. i see the whole thing as a way to correct an issue with certain players, but i believe if you want to give that guy protection you put someone else in the 8 slot and move your troubled guy to the 7 slot if they really need that protection. a big problem for most teams is their 7 and 8 slot hitters are usually interchangle suck. i dont see sticking an even worse player higher up being an efficient way to tackle the issue, though. besides, this is the NL...the double switch league...a pitcher's slot is the most mobile of all lineup slots.

Aren't we talking about a difference of 4 or 5 runs a year at most? I mean, that's half a win and those could be game-winning runs, sure. And I'm all in favor of maximizing runs. But I think this is one time where we don't have enough evidence to convict or acquit. That is, batting your worst hitter 8th may be better on paper, but what about the stigma on the 9th hitter? Does his performance wane by more than the 4 or 5 runs a year in the new lineup? Can psychological factors affect his hitting that way? Or, once everyone is hitting this way, does that stigma simply disappear--and we get his normal production? I'm really not the best person to make this argument, given that I'm mostly a believer in the story the numbers tell. But for whatever reason, I'm curious about the psychological factor on this decision. Probably because I'm biased against it. Probably because I can't stand Tony Larussa.

a lot of criticism points to it being a wash either way... too many loose studies that totally ignore the impact of a hitter batting before a pitcher show a slight edge to batting the pitcher 8th. too many see it as a static that is influenced solely by batting position, not who's before or after you. you pretty much trade off run production from your 5/6/7 hitters in exchange for giving top of the lineup guys more rbi chances. on a cubs-08 specific level there's those that would welcome more rbi chances for soriano...there's also those who question why the guy who hits 30hr/40doubles with low ob% is batting first because he was a 30sb guy 2 seasons and 2 leg injuries ago who some believe has a mental block outside of the 1 slot... all in all its considered a 'wash' by most observers...

The key point in all of this is that Rosenbloom is a douchebag.

Yeah, but what really seems silly is that his assertion that Soto is not hitting well is based on two games. Before that, if I recall correctly, Soto was on a tear.

Kryptonite sombrero? 5 is platinum.

I was reading over at Desipio and came across this info, prob old news by now... A lot of us couldn’t figure out why Lou would pinch run for Derrek Lee with one out in a one run game on Wednesday night in Denver. Felix didn’t try to steal second, so why was he in? Hell, Lee could have jogged around the bases on E-ramis’ homer as well as Felix did. Lou explained that Rockies pitcher Manny Corpas tries to pitch with a slide step when there’s a basestealer on, and not only does Manny struggle with it, but he can’t throw his slider very well without his normal stride. Felix went in, Manny went to the slide step, E-ramis sat on the fastball and homered. How cool is that? I think that is pretty cool. A manager who knows what the hell is going on. Also Pie is hitting like .400 since Lou benched him and started working on his swing. Just more things Dusty's fat ass couldnt be bothered to deal with or even know. Dusty managed on "instincts" damn it.

Wow -- that's awesome. Bob Brenley was basically berating Lou for not having Pie steal, as was I. Berg, 23, struck out 10 batters and walked 11 in 28 1/3 innings, going six innings or more in three of his five starts this season. Opponents batted .264 against Berg. “His record is not indicative of how he’s pitched here,” Tennessee pitching coach Dennis Lewallyn said of Berg. “He’s throwing the ball well and he has matured a lot as a person.”

Freel is not happy. Seems Dusty's loyalty to Patterson is partly to blame. We never saw this coming.... Ha!

well to be fair, Corey won't wilt under the April heat...


This will shock you all: I believe in having the pitcher bat 8th.

I don't have anything against it if there's a good reason to bat him eighth.

AAA Jake Fox hitting 176/195/400 Fuld has only played in 6 games all year Josh Kroeger hitting 292/363/473 in AAA Gallagher with a 1.93 ERA, 25 K, 23.1 IP, 5 BB Ascanio 2.03 ERA, Cotts 2.08 ERA, Holliman 4.12 ERA with 14 K, 9 BB and 19.2 IP AA Doug Deeds 298/355/561 (new guy in the Monroe deal) Colvin 250/317/424 24 K, 7 BB in 92 AB Ryan Harvey 169/236/323 (start working on your breaking pitches) Samardzija 3.12 ERA, 14 K, 12 BB, 26 IP Veal 2.38 ERA, 17 K, 14 BB, 22.2 IP Greg Reinhard 1.32 ERA, 16 K, 3 BB, 13.1 IP Hi-A Tony Thomas 274/337/386 Welington Castillo 286/314/347 Alessandro Maestri 1.31 ERA, 15 K, 6 BB, 20.2 IP Jose Ceda 4.05 ERA, 24 K, 10 BB, 20 IP A Vitters 214/214/429 (been out 5 days w/ a hand injury though) Kyler Burke 227/292/303 Records Iowa 11-11 Tennessee 9-15 Daytona 14-10 Peoria 8-15 hasn't been pretty so far in the minors

...and Galagher was cruising along for about 4 innings last night when the wheels came off. ERA now over 3.00

If Gallagher can keep up that 5:1 K:BB ratio he'll be a superstar. Likely to drop off a bit, and even more so when he eventually gets called up, but 3:1 would still be fantastic.

From the "Worse Move Than Matt Morris" Department: "San Francisco moved $126 million ace Barry Zito into the bullpen on Monday, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney." Brian Sabean has a job how, exactly?

Wow. You can point the finger at Sabean if you want, but there were several other teams (at least four) willing to shell out big bucks for Zito. If I remember correctly, he had a rough start last year, too. Maybe he's just a slow starter. But still, that's a lot of money tied up in a mop-up guy. Blech.

Zito's strongest selling point was that he hadn't missed a single start since he broke into the league. Not taking advantage of his health and moving him to the bullpen where he's not nearly as likely to work out his struggles as if he stayed in the rotation, is idiotic. There's a reason why a team like the Giants has the luxury to keep sending struggling pitchers to the mound every five days: they're not contenders.

Well, Sabean can cheer up, they'll only have $102 mil left by the end of the season, and that even includes the $7 mil buyout for 2014 (assuming Zito doesn't opt out of that year; who knows, he has 5 years in the Giants pen to turn it around). This could be the worst FA signing ever. Even Hampton, you can chalk it up to injury, and he did have a couple decent years in there.

I'm embarassed to say I was in favor of the Cubs signing Zito (although knowing he would stay on the west coast in all likelihood). Free agency is a crapshoot at best, and if you get 2 out of 3, or 3 out of 4 decent years you're lucky. Trades and farm system development is a safer bet if you can.

by the waiver deadline. The Mets need another arm and dont have the prospects to get a top guy, so they will just buy half of his contract and give up a marginal prospect or two and hope Peterson can rebulid him like he did once before.

I agree completely, assuming you mean the Tokyo Metropolitans or the Independent Frontier League Metropolitans. Unless he learns a damn good knuckleball, Zito is finished.

Whatever Zito's problems are, they haven't just cropped up recently. Here's his ERA+ for his career: 2001: 125 2002: 158 <-- Cy Young year 2003: 134 2004: 101 2005: 113 2006: 116 2007: 98 2008: 54 Strikeout totals for the same period: 2001: 205 2002: 182 2003: 146 2004: 163 2005: 171 2006: 151 2007: 131 He's been on a steady decline for his entire career. The fact that he started from such a high spot has masked it somewhat, but he's been league-average or just over for the last four years.

Plus his walk rate has steadily risen on top of that. Not a good sign when you are supposed to be switching to the weaker offensive league.

zito's main issue is a loss in velocity and his "table dropping" curve has straightened out. guy's never been a fireballer, but he's struggling to his mid-80s much less consistant high-80s/low-90s. he has a change, but when you're throwing a 85mph fastball a crappy change isn't gonna fool too many (as if his change ever was good). lefties are seeing him well and his stuff is more junk than deception. so he's basically a soft tossing lefty without deception or control. ow.

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  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 42 min ago (view)

    AAA leagues really need to play through the month of September, because with September rosters being limited to 28 instead of 40, players will need to be moved back & forth between MLB and AAA throughout the month of September instead of just through the month of August. 


  • Mike Wellman 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    I get you, SW. Here in Des Moines, Cardinal fans flocked to I-Cub games when Memphis Redbirds were in town. That won't happen in '21 and even if it does in '22 & beyond it won't be as frequent as when they were in the same division. Not that I'll miss seeing Cardinal gear @ our ballpark...


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Ervin claimed by Braves. So we lose a potential future (and also current) asset in exchange for one year of a very mediocre Jake Marisnick.

    This team has no direction at the moment.


  • Sonicwind75 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    As a midwest kid now living in Texas, new scheduling is a bummer.  Only get a chance to drive and see Cubs once every 3 years with interleague.  Really looked forward to those games in Round Rock and the one season in San Antonio.  I understand it makes more sense in the big picture, just selfishly disappointed.


  • Cubster 2 days 23 hours ago (view)

    Barry Foote bobble day! Cool!


  • Mornington Crescent 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    They also gave away Larry Craig bobblefoot dolls as a promotion.


  • crunch 3 days 17 hours ago (view)

    alcantara passes through waivers and is assigned to AAA.

    marisnick contract final, phllip ervin (OF) DFA'd


  • Hagsag 3 days 19 hours ago (view)

    Yes they did.


  • crunch 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    welcome to the "big time" st paul saints...they built a nice park, the fans showed up, and they go from indies to AAA (with a bit of $ help from the twins for part ownership).

    billy murray is a part owner of the group that owns the saints, btw.


  • Mike Wellman 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    Hagsag, the River Bandits made the cut tho, right?


  • Craig A. 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    Could have an option year remaining.  Bleacher Nation walked it back, per the link above.


  • Hagsag 3 days 22 hours ago (view)

    Living in the Quad Cities area, I look forward to hopefully coming to Des Moines to see the I Cubs a few times this summer.


  • CubbyBlue 3 days 23 hours ago (view)



  • CTSteve 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    It was time. 


  • Hagsag 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Love it Jackstraw.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 14 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed OF Cameron Maybin to a 2021 minor league contract.

    Because he was an Article XX-B MLB free-agent post-2020, he gets the automatic $100K retention bonus and June 1st player opt-out if he is not released or added to the MLB 40-man roster by MLB Opening Day.