Archive - Apr 2008

April 28th

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 hits...er, 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

NL Central Smackdown: 1st Basemen

I was going to try and get this up before the season started, but that clearly didn't happen for a variety of reasons. But that's no excuse to let the work go to waste. Basically I thought it would be fun to go through each position player in the division and the starting pitchers and see how we rank them. Who’s the best now? Who will be the best over the next 3 years? I'll be using Baseball Prospectus's numbers for the most part, which includes both offense and defense and most importantly for this exercise, projections for the next three years. Once we get through the eight positions and the starting pitchers, I'll finish it off with a (ripped off) trade value chart.

Here are the ground rules. We're trying to figure out who you'd rather have on your team. Do your best to take your Cubs bias out of the equation if possible (that shouldn't be hard for some of you). But we're also trying to figure out who has the best players on the their team right now, so I'm going to use the players projected to get the most playing time this year. Sure, Jay Bruce will eventually take over center field duties in Cincinnati, but who knows when. The chart after the jump includes their 3-year WARP-3 averages (2005-2007) and their projected 2008-2010 averages.The final column, appropriately labeled "Rob's Rankings", are simply how I ranked them before looking at any stats. For the most part I was pretty close to what the numbers bear out. I should also note that I did my rankings before the season started.

We'll start off with the toughest and most talented position, the first basemen. Your gladiators after the jump....

April 27th

Cubs Week In Quotations

I Bet You Didn't Use the Term Base-Clogging Even Once
"We talk about it. On-base percentage. We've
been doing a better job. What can I say? Two of our new additions,
(Reed) Johnson and Fukudome, have done a nice job in that regard."
- Lou Piniella

"We're second in the league in runs scored to Arizona,
and to me, you score runs, you win. On-base percentage, hitting with
men in scoring position, left on base -- those are all byproducts of
how many runs you score."
- Lou Piniella

Moneyball was So 2003
"That'd be a great thing if that was contagious, because then we'd be
like the Oakland A's. The big thing there is on-base percentage. That
means you have a lot of chances to score a lot of runs and put pressure
on the other team consistently."
- Daryle Ward

April 26th

Game 24 Thread / Cubs @ Nationals (2 of 3)

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SP Carlos Zambrano SP *Matt Chico
  3-1, 2.67, 27 K, 5 BB
0-4, 6.04, 17 K, 10 BB
       
CF Reed Johnson 2B #Felipe Lopez
SS Ryan Theriot SS #Cristian Guzman
1B Derrek Lee 3B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Nick Johnson
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF Lastings Milledge
LF Mark DeRosa RF Austin Kearns
C Geovany Soto C #Johnny Estrada
2B Ronny Cedeno LF Wily Mo Peña
P #Carlos Zambrano P *Matt Chico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And so it falls to Cub ace Carlos Zambrano on this, 108th birthday, to reverse the curse:

The Chicago Cubs have never won a game in Washington's Natonals Park. For the love of God, they've never even held a lead!!!

The Chicago offense went hitless in seven AB's with men in scoring position in Friday night's 5-3 defeat. Ryan Theriot, however, was able to extend his .

April 25th

TCR Friday Notes

...just a few notes promoted from the comments and other site fun.

- Rich Hill with the day off Monday. 10 or so days off should really help him with his control problems.

- Another Doug Glanville; that includes this gem:
And I recall seeing an electric young pitcher, Kerry Wood,
when he was the ripe old age of 19. He had yet to set foot in a major
league stadium when we watched him pitch in an instructional league
game in Arizona. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop me and everyone else
from realizing that he was a man among boys. Years later, he would set
the record for most strikeouts in a game. He just had something that
made his blank sheet of experience rise to the top of a pile of
bullet-point-riddled résumés.

Game 23 Thread / Cubs @ Nationals (1 of 3)

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SP Ryan Dempster SP *Odalis Perez
  3-0, 3.00, 16K, 11 BB
0-3, 3.38, 20 K, 12 BB
       
CF Reed Johnson 2B #Felipe Lopez
SS Ryan Theriot SS #Cristian Guzman
1B Derrek Lee 3B Ryan Zimmerman
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Nick Johnson
RF *Kosuke Fukudome CF Lastings Milledge
LF Mark DeRosa C #Johnny Estrada
C Geovany Soto LF Wily Mo Peña
2B Ronny Cedeno RF *Rob Mackowiak
P Ryan Dempster P *Odalis Perez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WIth tonight's first-ever visit to Nationals Park, the Cubs will have played in three different cities in three different time zones, necessitating somewhere around 2,700 miles in air travel, all in a little over 72 hours. Gotta love those schedule gremlins.

Even with yesteday's loss to the Rockies, the first-place Cubs have won 8 of 10. After opening the season 3-0, the fifth-place Nationals, who needed 13 hits against the Mets on Thursday to raise their team average to .233, have lost 16 of 20.

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