Welcome back, Todd!

GAME 44 PREVIEW HOUSTON ASTROS (15-30) at CHICAGO CUBS (21-22) Wrigley Field, 6.05pm CT, TV: ESPN, CSN
SP Greg Maddux SP Brandon Backe
CF *Orlando Palmeiro CF Jerry Hairston
RF *Todd Self SS #Neifi Perez
2B Craig Biggio 1B Derrek Lee
LF #Lance Berkman RF *Jeromy Burnitz
1B *Mike Lamb 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Morgan Ensberg 2B *Todd Walker
SS #Jose Vizcaino LF Jason Dubois
C Brad Ausmus C Michael Barrett
Pitcher's spot Pitcher's spot
The Cubs go for their longest winning streak of the season, their first three game sweep and a return to .500, and they'll be doing so with Todd Walker back in the lineup a full six weeks after he went down injured. Onto the disabled list to make room for him goes Mike Remlinger, who protests he could start a game tomorrow. Go Cubs!

Comments

Nice breadbox strike zone there, John.

Notably missing again tonight: Corey Patterson Potential trouble for Houston: The bottom of the Cubs batting order tonight. There's a lot of hitting ability 5-9 just waiting to explode. Out of gas: Tonight's Astros have hit a combined 20 homeruns this season. Gas: Greg Maddux has allowed 8 homeruns in 9 starts.

ESPN? I don't have it on ESPN...

Bill T, It sure is being televised on ESPN tonight.

Well ****, the game isn't broadcasted in Houston :(

Gassed: Maddux issues another homerun, his 9th. Houston 2 Cubs 1 Defensive play of the game?: MICHAEL BARRETT manages to catch a Maddux pitch that was thrown behind O Palmeiro's back. With a runner on third base he saved an important run.

If you have any questions because you can't watch, feel free to ask.

comcast is carrying game locally, if this is of any help

So Boats, I guess you're saying its a good thing Dusty didn't use the defensively superior (according to you) Henry Blanco tonight?

Thanks John Hill.

Game Note: When Maddux retired the side in the 7th he lowered his ERA below 4.00 to 3.94.

Another run saving play: This time a great stop by ARam with 1 out and a man at third. Held runner and threw batter out at first.

Game Note: Maddux gives up a run in the 8th and his ERA crosses the line back above 4.00. Wuertz allows a Maddux runner to score ...Hairston butchers it in CF. C'est La Vie

c'est la guerre

Michael Barrett has quietly gotten his average to the .270 mark.

Man oh man, when is Aramis going to turn it on? I was hoping to see him, Prior, Zambrano, and D.Lee represent the Cubs up in Detroit. I have been thinking that Busty needs to move him back to 3rd and bat D.Lee 4 so that A-Ram can see some good pitches to hit. we've got 6 1/2 weeks til the break and in order for this team to even think about sniffing at the wildcard or division we need to have A-Ram hitting like we all know he's capable of. We got rid of a crap .250 hitter, we dont need another-certainly not Aramis! p.s. lets pickup Billy Wagner...not Danny Graves!!!

Like I said, I have loads more confidence in Glendon Rusch pitching well than in Maddux right now. Of course, it's a heck of a lot easier to pitch when you have something called an OFFENSE supporting you.

Jesus, Backe only threw 81 pitches through 7 innings? This is starting to become a really bad theme. The rest of the lineup should be ashamed if Neifi Perez out hits you on any night. *looks at Aramis Ramirez* Dude, buddy, your turning into the craptastic 3rd baseman we hoped we were not getting from Pitt. Pick it up or else your going to understand why Sammy Sosa, he of some of the greatest offensive seasons in recent Cubs history, became public enemy #1. You don't have the career numbers to be doing this poorly and still get a free pass. So what do you say? Hit.......the.........ball?

Jason: "I have been thinking that Busty needs to move him (ARAM) back to 3rd and bat D.Lee 4 so that A-Ram can see some good pitches to hit." Yeah, let's move a .225 hitter up in the lineup. ARAm should be batting 6 at best right now, maybe 7th until he breaks out. It seems like evertime we get a few runners on he comes up and kills the rally.

It seems like evertime we get a few runners on he comes up and kills the rally. I'm starting to think it doesn't matter who is on this team...they will find ways to kill a rally. Enter St. Louis Cardinals where Outtahere Molina comes up with a big basehit with two outs and the bases juiced....then another batter...then another batter.... I don't think Sosa was as much the rally killer as he was....he was just a Cub....same for Ramirez. I'm starting to think there is something to the billy goat thing.

Oh great, blame the poor ol' billy goat ... that's gruff. Until the Cubs can learn to play small-ball and not be a bunch of free-swingin' "launch it onto Waveland" homer homers, we're stuck with a mediocre offense and an occasional big night of fireworks. The White Sox gave the Cubs a lesson in manufacturing runs, but it does not seem to have sunk in. With the big home-run swing expect more twinged groins from A-Ram. He learned at the feet of the masters (Sammy and Moises), and it will take considerable effort to unlearn that bad habit.

Just a comment on the papers and their reporters coverage of the Cubs. All four (Daily Herald, Tribune, Sun-Times, and Daily Southtown)had stories on Patterson batting lead-off. Only the Daily Herald mentioned Pattersons poor OBP (.307 as of today). Thank God for Bruce Miles. Apparently, Paul Sullivan, Mike Kiley, and Dusty Baker are all united in their belief in "speed" and in their disdain for "Moneyball" doctrine or they just have not gotten the memo. What silly, uninformed, ridiculous coverage (particularly this going on about Maddux not getting a chance to win 15 in a row). And newspaper people wonder why people don't read papers anymore.

CubfaninGermany, I've tried to draw attention here to the fact that although Dusty Baker pretends to have disdain for the media, what he really wants is control of it. Lately, the press seems to have decided to go with Dusty's flow and let him use them to manipulate his club to his own advantage. At first blush all those stories about CP leading off look like an attempt to convince Corey to agree to do it. But of course if the manager wants CP batting first all he has to do is pencil him in there. So then there's the other scenario where Dusty knows that CP performs better batting at the end of the order and he wants Hendry and McPhail to get him a real leadoff man asap. Of course Hendry's answer is you already have the guy, Corey P or T Walker. So what does DB do? He feeds the media this story about how he's having trouble getting CP to go for the role and how he's "asking" Neifi how he "feels" about hitting #1 and how Todd Walker isn't able 'cause his legs are wobbly et-interminably-cetera. It's media stories like this one that help take the heat off Dusty. I think he's triangulating right now. The theme of all these stories (Barrett, CP, Hawkins, the AAA bullpen, Remmy) is that his team just isn't cooperating with him and his lineup is full of holes that Hendry and McPhail need to fill.

Bruce Miles has done a good job of learning about the newer aspects of baseball understanding. He reports on Will Carroll's work, for example, and doesn't come off like one of the knee-jerk reporters who has no idea why pitch counts are an issue, but freak out every time they're high.

cubfaningermany, I agree totally with you until you get to why people don't read newspapers anymore. I don't think too many of the people thought critically and decided the information in the paper wasn't up to snuff. I think most citizens of our great Republic don't read papers because if they did, it would cut into their television watching. It's hard to see that giant screen with a newspaper in front of your face.

Re: Remlinger Did anyone else notice that when Dusty needed to clear a spot on the active roster he went to the media with the story that Remmy's arm wasn't well? Remlinger denied it, said he was healthy. But somehow it got back to Dusty that Remlinger had hurt a finger in the locker room. Caught it in a chair. So what does DB do? He shakes Remmy's hand. The one with suspect finger. He squeezes so hard that Remmy yelps. Voila! One broken finger. Remlinger is on the DL. We'll never know what broke the finger. The chair in the locker room or Dusty's handshake. Don't trusty Dusty if he needs you on the DL.

Bluewater -- I thought the same damn thing when I read that. I was just waiting for TCR's "This Week in Quotes". "I squeezed it real hard. Got an 'ouch'." It was as if Remmy owed him money, and this was his warning shot. Why not Macias while he's at it? Or Enrique?

i think dusty will next take a baseball bat to nomar's groin to test if it really hurts ... and maybe kick walker in the knee to make sure he's ok ...

Remlinger's reason for going on Dl- Old and bad

I've always assumed that newspaper readership is going down for a simple reason - why buy a newspaper when you can get the same content off of said newspapers website for free?

So is the world ending and Perez is batting leadoff now?

Ever seen the Simpson's episode where Homer is screaming every second? That is what happened to me when I saw Perez batting #1. Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh!

We need a way to register poster names on here. This happens too often.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Charlie 3 min 14 sec ago (view)

    Fair pay for minor leaguers and international free agents would soften the blow of nickel and diming the MLB payroll for sure. It won't happen until the players union represents minor league interests, of course, unless an outside law suit forces the minimum wage issue.

     

  • crunch 17 hours 40 min ago (view)

    without fail, at the end of every minor league spring training period (which is extremely poorly paid, not at all for the most part) there comes some retirements that seem to be a bit "early" in their development when players slog through weeks of low/no pay only to find out they're being assigned to a low level that barely pays them.  it's a real morale crasher after going through weeks of poverty that breaks some guys.  that's no way to run things...

     

  • JustSayin' 18 hours 59 min ago (view)

    So true.  The minors these days is an odd mix of the few who get big bonuses with Hispanic guys for whom $1,200/month might be good money and college guys being partly subsidized by middle or upper-middle class families.  You don't hear much about minor league economics when the discussion turns to lower participation by black players but I believe it's a big factor.  If you need to use sports to get ahead, would you rather have your "internship" involve a free college education, or $6,000 a year?  

     

  • crunch 19 hours 29 min ago (view)

    there are more than a few minor league players that have to "retire" from minor league ball in order to start making real money in the real world for their real lives while those from more wealthy families get to follow their dreams a bit longer.

    that's a real shame.

     

  • JustSayin' 1 day 36 min ago (view)

    Theo got a good question at the conference on minor league salaries and went on record that they are unfair.  That was followed by "keep your ear to the ground" or some similar cliche.  I find this interesting.  Fan dissatisfaction this offseason is maily focused on ownership being cheap but you have to admit there is a (slim?) chance that the baseball moves we want to see are not currently possible.  It's hard to say the same about MiLB salaries.  Those don't even factor in the luxury tax.  You could raise every player in the system to middle class for the cos

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    As part of the 2019-2020 Cubs offseason dumpster diving extravaganza, I wonder if they will kick the tires on Zack Cozart. Can handle 2B SS 3B and isn't far removed from being a great defender and at least decent hitter. 2 years of injury is a concern, but he'd receive only ML minimum.

     

  • crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    WAS is now floating c.kieboom as a 3rd base option...along with asdrubal cabrera backing him up there.

    the bryant service issue delay may end up lessening his trade value as teams (especially his #1 rumored suitor, WAS) prepare their teams in the offseason.

    it's unfortunate that the cubs major offseason team building is based on waiting to find out how much getting rid of bryant is worth because of service time concerns.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    Another possible unintended consequence of the new restriction on September call-ups is that contending clubs will send MLB-ready pitchers and position-players who in previous seasons would have been called-up to MLB in September to the Arizona Fall League, just to keep them in game shape in case the pitcher or position player is needed as an injury replacement in September or in the post-season.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    One thing about Josh Phegley is that not only is he out of minor league options but he also has Article XIX-A rights (he has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time), so he can't even be outrighted to the minors without his consent if he were to be added to the 40.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have reportedly signed veteran MLB catcher Josh Phegley (ex-OAK and ex-CHW) to a minor league contract and an NRI to Spring Training (contract is pending because it has not yet been filed with MLB). 

     

  • CubbyBlue 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Yeah but that person figured out a way to make a profit off of it, so... hey WAIT!

     

  • crunch 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    "Cubs' pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said Friday that Brandon Morrow (elbow) will be on the same schedule as the rest of the Cubs' pitchers during spring training."

    that's cool.  no restrictions unless the team chooses to be cautious, evidently.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 18 hours ago (view)

    The Danny Hultzen and Carlos Asuaje minor league contracts have been filed with MLB, but no Jason Adam or Tyler Olson contract filings (yet).  

     

  • cubbies.4ever 2 days 18 hours ago (view)

    My son's name is Tyler Olsen (obviously spelled different, and only 6 but a future Cub), so I am rooting for Tyler to make the team. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 18 hours ago (view)

    And Tyler Olson has a similar profile as Casey Sadler (out of minor league options and has Article XX-D rights if he is added to the 40), the only difference being (unlike Sadler) Olson will come to Spring Training not on the 40 so he can be sent to Iowa without restrictions, but if & when he's added to the 40 he isn't a Des Moines - Chicago shuttle-rider candidate. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    Unfortunately (for the Cubs) Casey Sadler doesn't fit as a Des Moines - Chicago shuttle-rider because he is out of minor league options and he can elect free-agency if he is outrighted (he has Article XX-D rights because he been outrighted previously in his career).