Marlins Make it Rain

The Cubs open a four game set versus the Florida Marlins who are riding a two game win streak and are first in the NL East. They are  just 3-7 over their last 10 though and are fifth in the NL in runs scored (Cubs are 9th) and 10th in runs allowed (Cubs are 8th), so maybe the Cubs bats can start waking up.

Wittenmyer Aramis Ramirez will avoid the disabled list for at least another day and the lineup for tonight will be: Soriano, Riot, Fukudome, Lee, Bradley, Fontenot, Hill, Miles and Marshall. Also, be sure to check the left sidebar under Quick Links for Wrigley Webcams to see if the game will happen or just below that for a weather update.


Blah.. Last four in the lineup don't really inspire a whole lot of confidence. Of course, neither does Lee or Bradley right now. But I do think they're both due to wake up soon...

box score widget now on the right sidebar btw...if it updates well during the game, I'll probably just replace the L and W flag with it.

The webcams and the box score ideas are great! Site is just getting better...

webcam links have been there pretty much since we started this site, just need to remind people of it once in awhile.

The box score is good stuff, thanks.

Nice Ramirez feeling much better, could be back in a day or two. Scales will be sent back to Iowa. That is just fuckin' cruel.

Of course, tomorrow, when they are evaluating whether or not to start Aram, his calf will feel worse... I see it coming!

Does that count for a cup of coffee?

I think it's the baseball version of a c***tease.

and welcome to TCR Romero.

Yeah that has to unbelievably suck for Scales, he is a 31 year old after all, its not like he's going to get a lot more chances. I wonder if he roots for A-ram to go down sometime this year? lol

I believe. He'll get big league playing time. Maybe not a lot, but he'll take the field at some point this year.

How has he never even gotten a September callup by 31 years old?

Come September, unless Scales is hurt or has had a truly awful year at Iowa, they could be nice and reward him with a call up. I think we will see at least one more infielder up here at some point due to injuries or poor play. I like Fontenot, but he's had a horrible start and he also cannot play 3b. Too bad Jake Fox can't play a passable 3b (or LF/RF, etc.).

FYI: Fontenot is on a pace to hit 24 32 HR, drive in 72 80 Runs and take 80 walks. That's a career year for Milton Bradley (2008: 22HR, 77RBI, 80BB). ...and what was that ?! another homerun for Mike Fontenot. That makes 3 this week.

That's good news. I've gone on record as saying Theriot and Fontenot are really super sub types, but they are almost impossible to not root for. If Fontenot can deliver offensively -- then all is good in the world. I am never comfortable with a weak defensive middle, but if they provide serious offense and don't screw up too much defensively I'm okay with it. By weak defensive middle I mean guys with not a lot of range.

I think that at the end of the year, if Fontenot still gets the bulk of the playing time at second, the stats will show him to be an average or slightly better than average second baseman.

Bulls: This is why I call myself OLD.

Not getting the game since it is on WCIU, so can anyone tell me details how Marmol is fucking up the game? Marshall gets screwed out of what on paper looked like a real good performance.

Off topic, but screw it -- Brad Miller with the rebound of the century.

Good to see Zambrano PHing and running the bases. We don't have enough injuries, let's push the envelope needlessly. Good Call...

Yes, when Zambrano pitches he should just flail blindly at the first three pitches he sees so that he never has to worry about hurting himself on the basepath. You may have not noticed this, but Zambrano's not really that good a pitcher, anyway.

Oh was Zambrano pitching last night? No he was not. Oh brother...

Small words for you Manny. Either he shouldn't bat to keep himself from getting hurt, or he should bat so that the Cubs can try to win some ball games without putting Ramirez on the DL. Those are the two options. You're idea has no merit, it makes no sense. Either his hitting is worth the chance that he gets injured, or it isn't. That equation must be true every day of the week, not just the days he pitches. In fact, it could be argued that as a PH his at bats have more value than his at bats as a starting pitcher.

Since the Cubs are in the NL, they have no choice but to have him hit when he pitches. They do have a choice on the days he doesn't pitch. And in my opinion it is not worth even the small chance of him getting hurt for him to PH unless it is an absolute emergency. While people love to praise Z for his hitting prowess, he might be good for a P, but his career numbers show he is just not a good choice when compared to even the Neifi-esque most hitter. It really is pretty easy to understand.

Why look at this career numbers? What he did in 2002 has little bearing on how well he will do now. In his last 100 PAs he has an OPS of .893 For comparison, Neifi's career OPS was .692 Take Z's stats from last year and take them out to 600 PAs and he would have had 28 doubles, 28 HR, and 98 RBI. It's really pretty easy to understand.

HA HA HA I have to assume you are being sarcastic. But if not... First you say don't look at career numbers but then you want to look at Neifi's career numbers. Also, if Z could really get those numbers if he had 600 PA's why is he not playing everyday? Lastly, don't you think looking at 100 PA's is a little small on sample size? I mean DLee has 87 PA's this year and is batting .205. Do you think he is going to bat .205 on the year? Hendry and Lou are going too long with a short bench and keep PHing Z and adding unnecessary risk to injury to your supposed ace pitcher is not a good idea.

Zambrano has the tools to be a great hitter. There are several reasons he's not playing everyday, the foremost of which being that he's an accomplished starting pitcher with tantalizing ability. He also is a very raw hitter who would have to return to the minors to really learn the art of hitting. Also, the only position I can imagine him playing on a regular basis is first base. He'd have to lose a lot of weight and really work on his running to be an outfielder, and even then he'd probably look a lot like Carlos Lee. Whether Z is a "better" hitter than Miles or Neifi is up for debate. He certainly strikes out a lot and I have no idea how he would do if every pitcher pitched him as if he were a #3 hitter (of course, I don't know why every pitcher doesn't pitch him like he's a threat--maybe they try to). But he's a much more exciting hitter than Neifi or Miles. It's hard not to want to see him in their as a pinch hitter. I love that he pitches in the national league. I love having at least one pitcher who can do something with the bat when so many pitchers are helpless at the plate. But then I also find it amusing that the Cubs have to pitchers with pretty good speed (Samardzija and Harden).

You can pick virtually any 100 PA streak in Neifi's career if you want and my point would still stand, and you know it. Or, let's look at Bobby Scales' career MLB OPS? Oh wait, we can't, that's right. Your entire point about what Lee will hit this year or what Z would hit over 600 PAs is moot. The question at hand is: who will have the most success in the particular pinch-hit at-bat. That's it. I could care less if Miles would out-hit Z over 4 million at-bats. Don't care. I care who has the best chance of getting a hit in a given at-bat. Lately - meaning this last week of games - given the high level of sucktitude of Gathright and Miles, etc. and the relatively hot bat that Z is swinging, I pick Z in most scenarios, especially given the short bench that forces Lou to save guys like Hoffpauir for later in the game. If you want to disagree, feel free. The injury argument is dumb. The chances of Z getting injured hitting or running in an extra at-bat here or there are so minuscule as to make this argument ridiculous. If you want Lou and the Cubs to control or limit those types of situations for Z out of fear of injury, then there are a thousand other things the team should also control. For example, make him live within walking distance to the ballpark so he doesn't get injured in a car accident (a far likelier possibility) or hiring him someone to type for him so he doesn't strain his wrist chatting again like before, etc. These are also in the team's ability to limit, but they don't do it, so not pinch-hitting him 10-15 times a season out of this same fear is dumb.

1. We don't have Neifi on the bench. We have no one on the bench, so your comparison makes no sense. The options are 7 days of Bobby Scales instead of Aramis Ramirez or Zambrano, the best hitting pitcher the Cubs have ever had getting 4 extra at-bats. I know you can't do math, but at some point common sense should take over. 2. You still haven't answered the point that he's no more likely to get hurt PH'ing than he is when starting. If his pitching value is so high that you don't want to risk him getting injured (focus here, I want you to answer this question), why do you allow him to try to hit at all when he makes his starts?

1. I understand you have a serious lack of reading comprehension, so this one time I will help tutor you for free. I said "compared to even the Neifi-esque most hitter." That does not mean Neifi himself, it means even someone who is as bad of a hitter as Neifi. And I would clearly take Bobby Scales over Z. 2. Again, I think you need to focus because you totally lack any reading comprehension skills. Please pay attention... I would allow Z to hit the days he is the starting pitching because in the National League (do you know the Cubs are in the NL?) there is a rule where the pitcher MUST bat for himself. There is no choice for the manager like there is in the American League. Can you understand that? And of course there is a greater chance of Zambrano getting injured the more he PH's. It might be very very small, but common sense (I know you lack that just as much as reading comprehension) will tell you that. I am not against him PHing in an a emergency, sometimes you just can't help it, but to use him as one of you first PH options is irresponsible in my opinion by Lou. And if you would like an example go talk to Chien-Ming Wang.

2. I think Neal's point about him hitting on days when he's pitching and on days that he's not is that the concern doesn't seem to be injury due to a pitch, it's injury due to a swing or running the base. Thus he wonders why you are okay with him swinging the bat on days that he pitches (rather than standing and looking at three pitches down the middle, which would eliminate the injury risk), but not on days that he doesn't pitch. Yes, he has to come to the plate on days that he pitches. But if hitting and running the bases on such injury risks, why not have him take three strikes and sit down when there isn't a sacrifice bunt situation?

Because that is not how MLB teams play the game. He should hit and run when he is pitching. He shouldn't needlessly hit and run when he doesn't need to like today's game. In my opinion it is stupid.

Woo! Way to advance that runner, K-Fuk and D-Lee! That is what i call clutch hitting!

It sure would be nice to be able to bring in ARam for Fonty right here...

Why is Hill playing 3B? WTF is going on with this team? Hopefully Lee wakes up sometime this year...

Hill was playing 3B because we already had Miles and Fontenot in the game, Gathright can't play 3B, and the bench is short....again, because the Cubs can't decide to put Ramirez on the disabled list, but rather keep playing with a short bench....again. Lee looks great? Until he gets a bat in his hands...

Fucking meltdown. This is going to be a LONG year to be a Cubs fan. Just awful. But hey, go Bulls, what a goddamn game!

I am SO glad I watched the Bulls 3 OT game instead of this shit Cub team. This years Cub version is not the same team as the one seen the last two years. They find ways to lose ala 2006, although not in as dramatic a way. They just get drubbed by the competition.

E-Man, Nothing to worry about it is still only April, remember...:) Oh wait, in a couple hours it is May, so I guess people can't use that anymore.

The Cubs are depressing to watch....i hope they can figure this whole thing out before the Bulls are out of the playoffs. What a Bulls game today! Go Bulls.

No offense--4 starters hitting under .200, a fifth barely above. No bullpen--every reliever with an ERA over 4.00, most with an ERA over 6.00 No bench--Hoffpauir can hit but has no position, at least until they release D Lee. Hill is OK as a backup catcher. No defense--how many errors for Theriot now? How many bases have been stolen on this team? No heart--feckless, gutless millionaires, it's 2005/2006 all over again. Hawks just tied it 3-3 in the 3rd after being down 3-0 to start the period, hell yeah....Now that's a team that never quits.

It is so cool that for whatever reason, the team never showed much better than .500 And now, they Are playing out of their skulls against the defending champs. Anything to shut up fucking Garnett for one more game!

the Bulls are playing out of their skulls against a .500 team. That's what the Celtics are without Garnett.

Hate to break it to you Rob G., even without Garnett, thay have last years' Finals MVP, AND Ray Allen who still is one of the NBA's best shooter, along with an excellent point guard in Rondo. To say they are "a .500 team without Garnett" just is not accurate. Probably you may want to consider sticking to baseball, where your commentary is much more logical and reasoned.

yeah, the SuperSonics were pretty awesome when Ray Allen was their best bad. (and for everyone else, I know Paul Pierce is actually their 2nd best player).

without Garnett, this is the 7th seed playing the 8th seed, nothing more. Great games, very evenly matched, but the Bulls aren't going anywhere.

you were probably excited about the Bulls team that beat the defending champion Heat two years ago as well.

I am not talking about the Sonics. That was not my argument which you are now switching around. I never mentioned "how far they will get so it doesn't matter". It is the defending champs. You cannot prove that they are "a .500 team without Garnett." The Celtics, post-Garnett, had an excellent record, as well. But you do not follow hoops much you have admitted, right? Or maybe just the Lakers, whose games come on three hours earlier there? The Bulls were a .500 team with no All Stars and no one with the Celtics pedigree, so on paper at least, most people who follow basketball - and the majority of hoops writers who picked the Celtics in 6 or less - would agree that without Garnett, the Celtics are still a better than .500 team, and should have "trounced" the upstart, inexperienced Bulls. As I said, stick to baseball, you'll be fine. lol

Ryno has a point. The Celtics won 75% of their games with Garnett, 76% of their games without Garnett.

What does RYNO have to do with this? Did I miss something? In the last 26 games of the regular season, with Garnett basically on the bench, the Celtics were 18-8 My whole point of this is not that the Bulls are going anywhere this year, but there is finally some hope on the West side, and that Paxon FINALLY did something that has worked in his GM career. That, and the fact that a barely .500 team, is giving the World Champs, and a VERY GOOD TEAM without Garnett, all they can handle, and perhaps a series that will be talked about for a long time, even though it is the first round.

What does RYNO have to do with this? Did I miss something? Oops... E-man has a point, not Ryno. Celtics, with Garnett: 43-14 Celtics, without Garnett: 19-6 Paxon FINALLY did something that has worked in his GM career. You are right... the trade he made at the deadline should go down as one of the better deals made in recent years.

Two problems with these numbers. Strength of schedule and control. Playing in the Eastern Conference, though, it's hard to reasonably argue that the Celtics weren't the 2nd or 3rd best team even without Garnett. Playing against the west, they may have been a .500 team.

This is like trash-talking from a third-grader. No, there's no possible way I can follow the NBA or the Bulls being on the West Coast, you're right.

As I said, damn fun games...but they're playing a team without their best player in a sport where the best player makes up 20% of the lineup and the impact of a star player is even much higher than that. 

Lakers w/o Kobe - crap

Cavs w/o Lebron - crap

Heat w/o Wade - #1 pick

Celtics w/o Garnett - barely a playoff team, just like the Bulls.

But it makes for a great matchup....

Celtics w/o Garnett - barely a playoff team, just like the Bulls. Except, of course, for the fact that the Celtics, during the regular season, were much better than the Bulls, even without Garnett. And the Lakers/Cavs/Heat comparison doesn't hold up. Garnett doesn't play the same type of roll on the Celtics as Kobe, Lebron, or Wade play on their teams.

Yeah whats wrong with this team and why did I like them so much on paper leading into the season? I'm usually very optimistic but this team just isn't looking good. I'm ready for that nice little winning streak any day now. This game wasn't really the bullpens fault it was the offenses. Two solo homers? Gonna take more than that to when most games.

CUBS SUCK! CUBS SUCK! CUBS SUCK! you would of said to me two months ago that I would be wishing for baseball to be over so I could watch the Bears, and I would of told you you were nuts.

Call me crazy but if I was reading this site correctly during the off season it seems to me that the common thread was, this off season was a disaster for Hendry. A few of us, me included, had high hopes for Bradley, hoping against hope he'd play a few games, but overall it pretty much sucked. I mean, that was the consensus I got. Still, it's early, and although any team with Pujols on it has to be considered a contender I can't imagine the Deadbirds hanging on for 162. And the Cubs aren't THIS bad. I'm glad I didn't watch this game. Watching Noah steal that ball and drive down the court was one of my favorite Bulls moments.

I wouldn't call it the common thread or consensus, although there were definitely people who felt that way.

"Watching Noah steal that ball and drive down the court was one of my favorite Bulls moments." That was a moment of pure joy, not just for the result but also because of the growth that we've seen in Joakim after his early struggles. Wow! What a finish!

yet another night i was glad i was at a minor league game. k.hill at 3rd so reed johnson can hit for fontenot, eh? cute. marmol with 2 days in a row without control (unless the boxscore lies and his pitches were close, but not getting called). riot trying to give away the game with his D and hitting a couple go girl. miles is miles... heilman...what the hell?