Game 98 Thread / Cubs @ Astros (3 of 3)

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SP Ryan Dempster SP Brandon Backe
  10-4, 3.25, 104 K, 350 BB, 124.2 IP
6-9, 4.76, 83 K, 50 BB, 111.2 IP
SS Ryan Theriot 2B #Kaz Matsui
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF *Darin Erstad
1B Derrek Lee 1B #Lance Berkman
3B Aramis Ramirez LF Carlos Lee
CF *Jim Edmonds SS Miguel Tejada
LF Mark DeRosa 3B #Geoff Blum
C Geovany Soto RF Hunter Pence
2B *Mike Fontenot C J.R. Towles
P Ryan Dempster P Brandon Backe


The Cubs' NL Central lead is down to +2 over the Cardinals and +3 over the Brewers as the Lou Crew tries to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Astros.

Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto, and Kosuke Fukudome are a combined 3-for-32 (.094) in the series, and as a team, the Cubs have fanned 14 times and walked once.

Or, as Lou Piniella explained so elegantly after Saturday night's 4-1 fall, "We're not getting much hitting anywhere in the lineup."

Backe, 2-1, 4.63 in 6 starts lifetime against the Cubs (0-1 this year), is coming off perhaps his best start of the season, last Sunday, when he threw 7 shutout innings at the Nationals. Dempster, who remains winless on the road this season, was a loser at Wrigley for the first time in '08, also last Sunday, when he fell to Tim Lincecum and the Giants. Dempster also dropped his only start this season against the Astros, back in May, yielding 6 hits and 4 runs over 6 IP in a 4-2 Cubs loss.


From the previous thread: Looks like the Brewers are acquiring Ray Durham

Can someone please take a walk today?

You think given our offensive struggles that the smart thing to do would be to sacrifice some defense (really how much better is Derosa than Ward) for an upgrade at the plate.

Ugh... we need Soriano back just so we don't see DeRosa playing LF anymore. I don't get how LouPa is okay throwing DeRosa out there but wasn't okay throwing Murton out there. We are losing defense both in LF and at 2b when DeRosa is playing LF.

Riot has been hitting. /just sayin'

2 doubles in 2 games...he might get to 25-30 doubles this year if he keeps it up. go him. he had 3 xbase hits in may and june...2 in july so far.

Even without extra bases, that OBP is really nice out of the Riot. Very pleasant surprise.

Sure is! Don't tell anyone but it's the tenth best OBP in the major leagues. He's the top ranked SS in MLB in Batting Average and OBP and 5th best among major league shortstops in OPS as well! You'd have to be a few cans short of six-pack not to be impressed.

dont tell anyone? you act like people are demonizing him. hell, no one here has anything negative to say about him. some make take saying what the guy is as negative...but that's like getting angry at the sky cuz its mostly blue instead of purple. he hits singles...he has good bat control. psst...tell everyone. this isnt a secret.

Psst. He doesn't throw well from his back.

%#%@&*! Troy Glaus

What Andy said. *sigh*

Woo! Yay for Cards' bullpen!

That, my friends, was Cubbery. Just not by the Cubs. 9-5 STL final

The Padres have to be the worst team in MLB. How in the hell do you blow a 5-0 lead one day and the next day lose a game because your C tries to pickoff a guy when your 1b is playing behind the runner.

here in Des Moines Samardzija ran his record to 4-1 today by going 6, allowing 2 hits, walking 1 and fanning 9. His Triple A ERA is down to 3.13, 5 out of 6 in quality starts...

Awesome to hear! Hope he doesn't get traded at the deadline for some middle tier starter to replace Marquis

That seems totally implausible. We have a plethora of late season options for a #5 starter: Marshall, Gaudin, Rich Hill. Not to mention that if Marquis keeps pitching at this level he's a completely serviceable #5.

Samardzija has a no-trade clause, Cubs aren't moving anytime soon.

Any eye-witness accounts? Did he throw his secondary stuff? Was it any good? Slider? Changeup? Splitter? Or was it just sinker after sinker? Thanks, Mr. Wellman.

Overheard on last night's Superfans (at least in MY head) Bob: Say the Cubs play the Astros with just Dempster and Fontenot. Who wins? Pat: Are Fontenot and Dempster full size or mini? Bob: Full-size Dempster, mini-Fontenot. Pat: Cubs, in a rout. Carl: Cubs, exta innings. Todd: Astros. But it's close. If Fontenot is full size, it's no question.

If they had any self-respect, the NL West would gives its playoff spot to the NL Central. Brewers score 5 off of Lincicum. Ugh. Time to wake up the bats, boys.

Nice to see Marmol mix some fastballs in his one inning of work -- 8 pitches, 4 fastballs (3 for strikes no less!) and 4 sliders. Nice little work out. Good to see Kosuke get off the schnide with 2 doubles -- looking forward to seeing Aram lining shots around the outfield or into the bleachers soon.

Well... being that Marmol has pretty much thrown a 50-50 split of fastballs/sliders all year, today's outing shouldn't be a surprise.

marmol did have a good mix. ARAM continues this new streaky behavior. Brewers are hot (like us early) and we are not (like them early). They beat Cain/Linc (something we didn't do in 2 tries)

We beat Cain in the first game of the Wrigley series.

but know st louie and brewers play 4 games vs. each other so the question is what do we root for a sweep by 1 team 2and 2 or a 3 to one series and which team. also do you think fukudome will start vs. randy johnson monday

I am hoping for a 3 out of 4 for the Cardinals in that upcoming series. I think its likely that were going to win 3 of the next 4 and I think at some point the fairy dust has to come off STL and they come back to earth which for them is right around .500 ( I still stick to my theory they wont win more than 85 games), so I'd rather keep ground with them and gain it on Milwaukee. As for whether or not Fukudome starts, the numbers would dictate that the lefty that starts aganist RJ tomorrow should be Edmonds. In his career Jimmy Baseball is a .240/367/560/927 hitter vs the Unit in 25 AB's. He also 2 of the 24 HR that LHB have hit off him being one of 3 LHB (Bonds and Green are the others) to take him deep multiple times. Infact, Edmonds has better numbers verus the Unit than Dero, Lee, and Ram. Also tomorrow wouldnt be a bad time to spot start Blanco as he has a .833 OPS aganist him in 14 AB, while Soto has not faced him. Lou did mis a good time in the last series to get Blanco a spot start as he has a .999 OPS in 15 games at the Juice Box. All stats were found using Yahoo!:

Yeah, I really think you gotta root against the Brewers as our primary opponent in the race to October. They're simply a much stronger team for the 162 game season. That said, I'll probably root most for the injury bug. I'm hoping that both the Cards and the Brewers end up with about a dozen new players on the DL after that series.

Agree -- and, with the last 3 games of the year at Milwaukee, I'd like to be at least 4 up on the Brewers going into that series. DLEE -- please start using the HR bat. Thanks.

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  • Cubster 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Lefty Matz to Cardinals. 4/44. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    With the CBA expiring on December 1st, MLB owners and the MLBPA have jointly agreed to move the contract tender date up from Thursday December 2nd to Tuesday November 30th (that's a week from today). 

    Then (presumably) the lock-out will start the next day (Wednesday). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Not that TJS is ever necessarily a good thing, but taking a year off from catching could give Miguel Amaya a chance to work on his hitting.

    His glove & arm were probably a year ahead of his bat coming into 2021, so once he gets going again hopefully he will be able to spend a significant part of his rehab working in the cages. 

    Also, although he won't be able to throw for a while, he should be able to work on his receiving during the summer, once he is cleared to resume non-throwing baseball activities.  


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    CUBSTER: Unless you consider Erick Castillo and Tyler Payne as legit contenders to be the Cubs back-up catcher in 2022, the Cubs have no catcher who is projected to eventually play in MLB anywhere near MLB ready.


  • Cubster 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    With Amaya's 2022 year as a catcher essentially an non-factor and Robinson Chirinos and Austin Romaine again free agents, It looks like any rumors of moving Willson Contreras will go quiet. At least Chirinos could hit (for a backup catcher). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released LHP Chris Allen, 1B Shendrik Apostel, INF Matt Burch, INF Widimer Joaquin, RHP Garrett Kelly, RHP Marco Prieto,  RHP Jorge Remon, RHP Dawel Rodriguez, and OF Vance Vizcaino, so the off-season Cubs Minor League Domestic Reserve List is now at 169 (21 slots are open).  

    Six of the nine players who were released (Allen, Apostel, Joaquin, Kelly, Remon, and Vizcaino) were Rule 5 Draft-eligible, and all six had been left off the Iowa Reserve List when rosters were filed last Friday. 


  • Cubster 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    sorry, posted in other thread.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Also, Justin Steele gets a 4th minor league option in 2022 (must be used in 2022). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 5 hours ago (view)

    W-RAT: Of all the TJS rehab types, a catcher TJS rehab is probably most similar to a pitcher's because of the laser pinpoint rifle throws a catcher needs to make to 2nd base.

    So I would expect Amaya will be able to DH by mid-season (hitting shouldn't be a problem by then), and then (hopefully) be able to throw normally in games (as a catcher) at post-season Instructs and then maybe in the AFL, with 2023 Spring Training being when he should be 100%. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Yes, except a position player only gets a maximum of 20 days on a minor league injury rehab assignment, so the 30 extra days allowed for a position player rehabbing from TJS would mean a maximum of 50 days, whereas it would be a maximum of 60 days for a pitcher (the original 30 days that pitchers get plus the additional 30 days in the form of three 10-day increments). And this also only applies to players on an MLB IL. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    DSJ: Exactly. Even though he was just acquired in a trade, the Cubs still might opt to non-tender Ramirez on 12/2, that is, as long as he goes along with the plan. I doubt that the Cubs would non-tender him if he declines (in advance) to sign a 2022 minor league contract.  


  • crunch 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    well...that's one hell of a forearm strain.


  • tim815 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Arizona Phil. Would Amaya, as a catcher, be eligible for the TJS exemption?


  • crunch 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    w.franco (rays) extend 11y/185m

    not bad for a guy with 1/10th of a season service time.


  • Wrigley Rat 3 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Miguel Amaya to have Tommy John surgery. Will likely miss most of next season. (I speculate that he could maybe DH a bit in the second half and throw towards August.)


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    When you add in the arb-eligibility, that's gotta make Ramirez a real contender for Hermosillo's "non-tender poster boy" title