Game 3 NLDS / Cubs @ Dodgers

 


Rich Harden vs.
Hiroki Kuroda
  *5-1, 1.77, 89 K, 30 BB, 71 IP
2008   9-10, 3.73, 116 K, 42 BB, 183.1 IP
  1-2, 6.43, 5 K, 7 BB, 7 IP
Post   (None)
  *NL stats only
     
         
LF
Alfonso Soriano
  SS
#Rafael Furcal
2B
*Mike Fontenot   C
Russell Martin
1B
Derrek Lee
  LF
Manny Ramirez
3B
Aramis Ramirez
  RF
Andre Ethier
C
Geovany Soto
  1B
*James Loney
CF
*Jim Edmonds
  CF
Matt Kemp
RF
Mark DeRosa
  2B
*Blake DeWitt
SS
Ryan Theriot
  3B
Casey Blake
P
*Rich Harden
  P Hiroki Kuroda

 

Our very own Rob G. will be in the stands at tonight's game. Be sure to look for him on the broadcast.

Thoughts on Hiroki Kuroda from "Blue Notes," the L.A. Times blog about the Dodgers:

...when the Japanese import is on, dude typically gets into a serious, sometimes unhittable groove. But he's often the Bizarro-version of that pitcher after the first bit of trouble, more often than not tossing himself further into trouble than figuring a way out of it.

In two starts against the Cubs this year, Kuroda has pitched 15 1/3 innings and allowed one earned run. In other words, we really haven't come across that "first bit of trouble" part.

In his last two regular season starts, against the Brewers and the Mets, Harden walked 11 men in 11 innings.

Rich—we've already tried the walking-lots-of-guys thing in this series and it just doesn't seem to work for us.

The Dodgers are one victory away from reaching the NLCS for the first time in 20 years, which is also how long it has been since they played in a World Series.

Twenty years without a World Series—how pathetic is that?!

Comments

I'm still always shocked when anyone could possibly be surprised by Soriano sucking at the worst times. This is who he is, a guy who gets on these streaks which cause people to label him a great hitter followed by horrible hitting and his streaks and horrible hitting have no real predicability. The only two of our guys I'd trust to hit consistently are Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. Soto is good but he's still a rookie and bound to slump. DeRosa is a streaky hitter. Edmonds had an amazing June, a decent July and then eh and less. Reed isn't very good. Theriot for all his hitting simply was due for a slump and probably can't maintain an AVG over .300. To me our run differential this year was a mirage. We simply don't have that great of a lineup.

Trans sucks for missing this. If the Cubs lose this game, it is more definitely the fault of the one and only Transmission.

It is symbolic Soriano made the last out with a swinging K in the dirt. Season over... Man, after an outstanding regular season, this season has turned into just another major disappointment of a season. I was actually really confident in this team heading into the NLDS vs the LAD. I would never imagined they would have pulled another choke like last year and get swept. This is going to be another LOOONNNNGGGGG offseason. I wonder how much of this team they are going to blow up... I guess that is for another day. UGH!!

Soriano, Ramirez, Edmonds - hot hot hot! Thanks, fellas, for your veteran leadership in this series. Veteran playoff experience - SMELL IT! Smells like ass.

I hope Manny Ramirez goes completely bald during the offseason and nobody wants to pay him to play baseball with out the dreads. Asshole. What the Hell, Cubs.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2008 Chicago Cubs!!! Well that sucked. Thanks for the good times in Parachat everyone. We'll see you next year.

[ ]

In reply to by Jordan

Well, now, I'm 37, and I've been a fan since I was about 4, so that's only 34 possible times in a row for me. Should you really count the years before the age of reason? No; so down to 30. And really, for most of that time they were just brain-numbingly bad. They only descended to heart-rippingly bad what, seven times (1984, 1989, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008). Seven times they viciously and profanely mocked God, probability, the functioning of the universe, all concepts of competence and confidence, and the pure and loyal fandom of millions, including me. That's all.

You do not blow up this team. The only way you can win it all is to keep making it to the postseason and like it or not, this team is built to get there. And most likely, this team will be in the playoffs again come 2009.

[ ]

In reply to by mannytrillo

If your going to target someone on the Mets it should be Beltran. Reyes is almost like a carbon copy of Soriano, a hacker type lead-off guy. I would also shop Aram and if some wants to pay a top dollar price (3 good players) I would deal him. If you look at the state of NL Central for next year, the Brewers are going to losing Sabathia and Sheets for sure and likely Hardy. It is in the relm of possibilty that they give up on 09 and trade Prince in an effort to build a strong core for the first half of the next decade. The Cards were propped up by guys with career years and odds are they wont be as good as they were this year. Houston has alot of holes and payroll inflexibilty, the Reds have talent but are handicapped with a bad manager, and Pittsburgh is Pittsburgh. Jimbo needs to concentrate on bulding the best team for October as possible as 87 wins is all that it will take to win the division.

Yeah, don’t let them say that it’s just a game. Well, I’ve seen other teams, and it is never the same. When you go to Chicago, you’re blessed and you’re healed, The first time you walk into Wrigley Field. Heroes with pinstripes and heroes in blue, Give us the chance to feel like heroes do. Whether we’ll win and if we should lose, We know someday we’ll go all the way. Yeah, someday we’ll go all the way. We are one with the Cubs, With the Cubs we’re in love. Hold our heads tall as the underdogs. We are not fairweather, but farweather fans. Like brothers in arms, in the streets and the stands. There’s magic in the ivy and the old scoreboard. The same one I stared at as a kid keeping score. In a world full of greed, we could never want more. And someday we’ll go all the way. Yeah, someday we’ll go all the way. Well, someday we’ll go all the way. Yeah, someday we’ll go all the way. Yeah, someday we’ll go all the way. And here’s to the men and the legends we’ve known. Giving us faith and giving us hope. United we stand, and united we’ll fall, Down to our knees the day we win it all. Yeah Ernie Banks said, “Oh, let’s play two!” I think he meant two hundred years. Playing at Wrigley, our diamond, our jewel. The home of our joy and our fears. Keeping traditions, and wishes anew, The place where our grandfathers’ fathers they grew. The spiritual feeling if I ever knew. And when the day comes for that last winning run, And I’m crying and covered with beer. I look to the sky and know I was right today. Someday we’ll go all the way. Yeah, someday we’ll go all the way. Yeah, someday we’ll go all the way. Yeah, someday we’ll go all the way.

Pretty simple post-game analysis: the better team won. The Dodgers pitched the Cubs on the outside corner all series, and the Cubs never figured that out. For all the talk of "handed-ness" -- the Cubs need some lefty bats. LA pitchers threw the exact same pitches to Soriano, Lee, Rammy and Soto -- not a single HR from that group. Time for the annual soul-searching: 6+ months of time and emotion invested in something I have no control over, and the team I put my hopes in plays scared when it counts. Maybe it's time to take a year off. Only the 2nd time the team with the best record got swept in the first round. In-freakin'-credible.

[ ]

In reply to by big_lowitzki

Lee also had 5 LOB. Only 1 less than Soriano so all those balls he crushed made little difference when it mattered. I think Cubs fans are turning on him a bit because everything he does seems like it's in slow motion and listless. Rightly or wrongly, he just hasn't been the same player since that collision at home plate in May of '07. There is almost no lift to his swing at all anymore.

[ ]

In reply to by billybucks

even more unbelievable is that in the 10 games this season against the Dodgers, the Cubs saw exactly 0 pitches from left-handers. Yep, no lefty starters or relievers the entire season. Also, for all the Soriano hate, and he does deserve his share, Aramis was just as bad. In fact both Soriano and Ramirez combined to go 5-51 in the 07 and 08 NLDS series. Not hard to figure out why they tanked the last two post-seasons. I'm surprised not to hear more static about Lou resting the regulars too much over the last 10 or so days. I'm not saying that it was the cause of sucktitude, just surprised it hasn't been brought up more. and I still think it was a poor decision not to start Lilly in game 3 over Harden. Lilly was the hottest SP down the stretch and he never had to take off his jacket this series.

I'm sorry, but this is a fucking disgrace and one of the biggest choke jobs in recent history. All I know is what I watched the last 3 games wasn't baseball. Maybe there's something to the fact we clinched early and rested everyone too much down the stretch? I really don't know. What I'm left to wonder is if this 97 win team can't win a playoff series moreless a playoff game, then what will it take from the Cubs to win a WS?

Maye the Red Sox will sweep the Angels, and we won't be the only best-record team to get swept. If they make the playoffs next year, the playoff roster should be built assuming Soriano will contribute nothing.

Yeah, but the Angels are going to lose to the defending champs and still a great team. We lose to a team that was under .500 as recent as 40 days ago...

[ ]

In reply to by Vegas Brian

true but the Angels are going to lose to a broken down defending champion. Ace Beckett's start pushed back. Drew and Lowell with major back and hip injuries respectively. ManRam gone. Ortiz is a shell of his normal self, and for all he sucks, Lugo is still supposed to be the starting SS. So if there is a shred of pride left, if the Angels get swept, they will be a bigger disappointment imo.

Lou doesn't seemed as pissed as I thought he would in his postgame press conference. He did keep saying how they have scored only 12 runs in his 6 playoff games over the past 2 years.

[ ]

In reply to by Chifan

well it ain't gonna happen as his contract was extended right before the series. ouch. But I completely agree that Lou doesn't get the playoffs AT ALL. He also displayed my biggest Dusty Baker pet peeve: a perplexing inability to accept criticism or responsibility. He actually seemed to acting like an observer of the team more than a multi-million dollar employee charged with the job of making decisions to put the team in the best position to succeed. Listen to Torre and then Listen to Lou . . . Torre talks sense, humility, doesn't take anything for granted and has respect for the importance of every moment that could sway momentum from his ballclub. But you are damn right Chifan:Lou was a major contributer to the Playoff collapses the last two years. MAJOR

[ ]

In reply to by superjimmer

Yeah whats 8 or 10 million to Cuban. When the Mavs choked in the playoffs he fired Nelson because he knew "Nelly ball" did not work in the playoffs. He installs AJ who is more defensive minded and they go to the Finals were they would have won if they were able to touch Wade without a ticky-tact fouls being called. Hopefully if Cuban gets the team I hope he sees that Lou is baseball's answer to Don Nelson and Doug Collins.

Soriano's post-game comments were exactly as you'd expect. Took no personal responsibility whatsoever. "WE no play good enough". "WE gotta play better". We, We, We...

[ ]

In reply to by big_lowitzki

I didn't say anything racist. Those were Soriano's exact quotes to WMVP and I was focusing on his inability to accept some responsibly. So get your facts straight before calling someone racist you smarmy d-bag. Had he said - I sucked - or something to that affect, no one would have accused him of not being a team player. That is ridiculous logic.

[ ]

In reply to by big_lowitzki

"We have a very good team for a long season, but we're not ready for three games," he said. "We didn't do nothing for three games. We're a very good team for 161 games, but we don't do nothing after that. That's the difference. We're not put together for (a short series)."

guess it wasn't an exact quote, but it reads as pretty broken English...

[ ]

In reply to by carlosrubi

actually he DID say that. You're referencing comments he made to TBS or those to ESPN TV. I'm talking about the short interview he did with the local reporter on WMVP right after the game and YES that's exactly what he said. Clearly you guys didn't hear them so I don't know why you feel the need to comment on something you didn't even hear but like I said I wasn't focusing on his improper grammar, I was referencing his inability to take some responsibility for his sucktitute. and to Crunch's point, it probably doesn't matter what an athlete says in the end, but for a player who has long had a reputation for being selfish it wouldn't hurt. That's why everyone loves guys like DeRosa and Wood. When they suck, they say they suck.

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

i cant believe anyone cares what anyone says in a postgame conference about anything. the game is played and unfolded on the field and there's too many managers, players, and coaches who couldn't care less what a reporter gets out of their comments if they bother to give them any worth using anyway. this is baseball, not a fashion show or public relations campaign. i don't need to be told how they "feel" about losing or any of that crap...

[ ]

In reply to by dB

yeah, but that's not what im keeping track of or care about. it was 1/2 past crazy watching people pick apart dustbag's every comment as if it meant a damn thing. ...now we get soriano's comments and after 2 seasons of lou, it's starting for him. the amount of crap said by lou that would have blown up beyond belief if it was dustbag is already high, but ignored while winning. it sure as hell don't need to start now. about the only thing i've ever gotten outta these conferences worth a damn is why player A played over player B...explainations of injuries and day-to-day soreness that causes game situations to unfold. a crying jim leyland does nothing for me...i could really care less how much he cares. a nomar post-game interview...you could get more info from a clubhouse attendant...its all soundbites.

What kind of team is not on the bench cheering their teammates on when they are at bat in the playoffs FOR EXAMPLE: when they showed the dugout after derrick Lees hit in the 8th only a few coaches were in the dugout... THAT SAYS IT ALL and thats how this team played... no emotion no heart no desire.. No matter what kind of CUB FAN you are there is no defense for this team not being on the field firing up there teammates from the dugout when they are at bat in the playoffs NONE... that alone shows you the heart of this team... Watching the game from the locker room while your teammates are supposedly trying their best to get a hit in the playoffs is inexcusable...DEFEND THAT LOU and the Media blamed the cubs fans for not supporting them during the first home game when the CUBS themselves are not in the dugout supporting their teammates in game 3... I dont want to hear anything from any cub after seeing that

I've seen the Cubs play without any heart or desire, and I certainly didn't see that in this team. I saw a team that crumbled under the weight of high expectations. This is a team that was not only expected to sail through the playoffs, it was supposed to be the answer to a franchise's and a city's century long nightmare. The players were clearly pressing, and they choked. Instead of playing like a team that could win every game, they played like a team that thought they needed to be perfect in every game. When they weren't up to that impossible task of perfection, they collapsed. I'm not sure how to fix that problem, but I do know its not going to be as simple as blaming or replacing one person.

[ ]

In reply to by Bleeding Blue

Well, Pinead would be the person to blame for the team not being mentally prepared for the playoffs. He showed that he was waffling like a 13 year old at his first school dance with the Fukudome nonsense. Cost us a run last night with that wonderful DeRosa to the Fontenaught relay, and gave them a free double later, not to mention benching the guy who probalby has had the most success against Kuroda. I think the number one problem with the offense was Soriano and the #2 hole. When your #3 hitter goes off for .545 .583 .818 in the series, he should probably have 1 RBI.

[ ]

In reply to by big_lowitzki

Lee ranked 16th of 24 batting title qualified 1st basemen in RC/27 outs - about half as productive as Pujols. In 2005 when he earned that big contract he ranked 1st. Cubs #3 hitters, ranked 11th in OPS. I like Lee and he had a good series, but he's becoming a comparitive weakness for the Cubs. He needs to get in the gym, he's too old to rely on natural ability any longer.

[ ]

In reply to by The Real Neal

Is getting to the gym going to solve the problem? I don't think so. I think he's getting older and his wrist will never be the same (his real problem). If he continues at .291 .361 .462, he can't bat 3rd. This sounds crazy, but think about this: Get Texieria and put him in left. Soriano goes to right. We'll suffer in the defense department but the offense would be unreal Soriano Derosa Texieria Aram DLee Soto Pie Theriot

[ ]

In reply to by Iowa Cub

Reminds me of when I was advocating getting Delgado and putting Lee in left. I would guess you leave Soriano in left where he gets more chances to use his speed and his accurate but not really strong arm, and put Texiera in right where he's a little more used to the 'angle of the ball' and doesn't have to run quite as much. That being said... Fukudome plays right field and we may have won Saturday's game. Defense has a synergistic effect with pitching - a good defense can make your pitchers throw more strikes - see 2004 to 2006 Cardinals for reference. We also need somewhere for Aram and/or Soriano to play in a couple of years, so I am not sure handing that spot to Texiera is a great plan.

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