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 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?!


i think i see a 3rbi game for edmonds tonite. also dempster is available in the bullpen tonite

Soriano is a playoff disaster. What a sorry-ass mess we're stuck with. Over-under on K's tonight?

Good to see DeRosa can all of a sudden play RF.


That Martin 2B was a foul ball, AND a blown call at 3rd, 10 minutes into the game...sheesh....

Trans SUCKS for missing this.

Trans sucks for missing this.

Trans sucks for missing this.

Trans sucks for missing this.

Sans trucks for missing this.

Trans sucks for missing this.

Trans sucks for missing this.

Trans sucks for missing this.

Trans sucks for missing this.

Trans sucks for missing this.

He really sucks.

I read on Trans sucks for missing this.

It's fucking 5:15 a.m. here in CET. What better thing could you have to do, Trans? You are the new Barrett.

I caught the last inning in parachat. It didn't do us any good.


What can I say, real life called.....


~sigh~  and I see you all hate me so much that you decided to honor me by using my latest nickname, lol

this is the inning i hope

Harden is a gamer, even if he's not much of a hitter.

what a fuckin waste


that's "worthless"

Ted Lilly, sigh...

Uh. Soriano sucks like Trans for missing this?

9 outs to stay away from another embarrassing sweep in the playoffs.

Manny! You've returned in our hour of dire need!

CHOLERA. Where were you when the Cubs were going well Manny?


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.

I'm still always shocked when anyone could possibly be surprised by *your mom* sucking at the worst times. I agree the run differential made our offense look better than it was, but you can't OBP numbers. I'd put our lineup against the Dodgers any day. We're just cold and they're not.

WOO!! Fukudome is in the game!! We are saved now...

CHOLERA. Where were you when the Cubs were going well Manny?




More lack of clutch hitting...Thanks Soriano!

CHOLERA. Where were you when the Cubs were going well Manny?




CHOLERA. (I don't get it, but it doesn't matter at this point.)

whoa, was that a run? we're on a roll now...

Trans sucks for missing this.

Miss Trans is sucking this.

oh my.


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

I suspect there is a woman behind this all. That, and only that, might be Trans's downfall.

Your mom probably. And boy is she a downfall.

cholera sucks for missing this

I love you. And your mom, too.

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!!

You know what is symbolic? The fact that you only show up around here when the Cubs are not doing well. Seriously... I used to defend you around here. I have no idea why. Go away. Cholera.




There's always next year.

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.

Nothing like having your heart ripped out....for the 100th time in a row.

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.

Only 15 years for me, though. Great season, all -- it's tough to see it end this way, but let's put it like this: pitchers and catchers report in four months. Early start, baby!

so uh... umm.... fuck this. yeah.

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.

Yeah, not likely to completely blow them up, but I would love to try and trade Soriano. It rumored that Reyes of the NYM might be available this offseason, maybe something can be worked out with those two. Something has gotta change with the core. I don't think you can go into next season with Soriano, Lee, ARam, Z and Fuku.

I agree that Soriano has not been what we all expected him to be. He does have a full NTC, right?

True, he does. So does Z, Lee K-Fuk, and ARam.

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.

Some day...


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.

Not really sure why Lee is included in that list - he pretty much crushed the ball all series.

Yep, he did. My point was that the LA pitchers only had to throw one pattern of pitches every game -- there was no LH threat that made them change their pattern.

He should be because he isn't producing the way we need him to. He's not been a serious threat for some time now and it appears no one is afraid of him anymore.

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.

May I add that they also kept pitching to Manny F. Ramirez until it hardly mattered anymore?

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.

Harden was by far the best pitcher that the Cubs had. It would have been foolish to not have him start a game.

Harden is clearly hurt.

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...

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.

I hope this is his last game as Manager. He just does not get the the Playoffs are a sprint. If he would have yanked Dempster before the Loney AB this might have been a compeletly differnt series.

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

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.

I hope this is his last game as Manager. LOL.

why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why why

i just got back from the game. fuck this fucking team.

I spent 3 hours being surrounded by Dodger fans yelling "SWEEP." Screw you, Cubs.

Damn it. Why do I keep hoping?

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...

He speaks pretty good English -- he did say "we didn't play good enough" in all its gramatical glory.

Woo... go racism. And if he would have said, "I", people would have said he wasn't a team player.

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.

Really? His exact quotes? He really said, "WE no play good enough?" I don't believe it. As Carlos said, Soriano speaks English well. I didn't call you a racist because you challenged Soriano. I called you a racist because of what appears to be a racist version of Soriano's quite.

"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...

I don't think it has anything to do with race or ethnicity, as I have discovered over the years, many (natural born) Americans speak english w/ worse grammar than I do. I'm Asian, btw.

Broken English? Just because he used "nothing?" I hear American born English speaking people use "nothing" in that context all the time. That is VERY different than "WE no play good enough." link to the actual comments

Broken English? Ask Soulja Boy. That makes sense, and anyone understands what he's trying to say. He didn't say "we no play good enough." That sounds like a bad line from a Tarzan ripoff.

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.

I can't believe anyone watched the post-game comments. I am pretty sure his playoff performance over the last two years is all the impetus required to get the Brian Roberts rumors going again. Yuck.

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...

The entire Cub organization is a PR campaign.

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. 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 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.

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.

But DLee sucks, remember?

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.

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

Ef it. While i'm dreaming: Furcal Derosa Texeria Aram Soriano Lee Soto Pie

yeah, I was starting to think the same thing over the last few hours. Fuck trading Lee.

Just hope Teixeira wants to go to the highest bidder and will play left or right (i have no idea what his arm is like) and live with Fukudome in center. In two years, he can have first base back...

Aw well, it'll work on Playstation.

That would be awesome. Teixeira shows up for the playoffs.

Texeira used to play 3rd, so I'd bet his arm is fine for the outfield. I don't know what his OF range would be like. Set it up on the Playstation and tell us how it goes. 113-49!

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.

There is no reason that Aram can't play 3rd for the rest of his career. And Soto wouldn't need to move until long after Texieria is gone.

Don't think Aramis has to move for the next 2-3 years and then his contract will be up. Not sure why you think Soriano would ever have to move from the outfield. If Ken Griffey can still play out there, Soriano can for 5 more years...