Archive for July, 2005

Not Funny

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

Sorry steal Joe’s thunder here, but I just wanted to post this item from tonight’s D-Rays/Red Sox game:

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Matt Clement was carted off the field after being hit by a line drive on his head in Tuesday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Tropicana Field

I always liked Clement when he was with the Cubs. He went out and did his job, and never complained about anything, be it lack of run support or being moved out of the rotation in 2004. By all accounts, he’s also a genuinely nice guy, and I know he has a wife and young children. Here’s hoping that Matt is going to be okay.

the link


Good news, it appears that Matt will be okay. A CT scan came up negative, and he never actually lost consciousness on the field.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:


Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

David Pinto had this observation that made me laugh:

DHs Make History

Dan Johnson and Jason Dubois both played DH and batted ninth last night. That’s the first time both DH’s batted ninth in a game.

The point of the DH is to have a great offensive player in the lineup. If they’re going to bat ninth, they can’t be that great an offensive player. The pitcher can hit ninth. More DH’s should be like David Ortiz; player’s whose whole career is about hitting.

David Pinto ~ Baseball Musings

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Mad Dog & 3,000

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

OK boys and girls. who will be Greg’s 3,000th victim and what inning? No prizes, just fun.

I predict Moises Alou in the 3rd.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

A Thank-You Note

Monday, July 25th, 2005

For once, Dusty’s ridiculous Aramis-batting-fifth, alternating lefty-righty lineup paid off, but only because he was up against an opposing manager who made even more ridiculous alternating lefty-righty pitching changes. The bottom of the eighth inning lasted a whopping twenty-three minutes from first pitch to last out, with Felipe Alou trotting out a staggering FIVE different relivers involving TWO double switches. The inning ended with the fifth reliever giving up a hit that scored a runner put on base by the first reliever – oy. I think I heard Al Yellon breaking his pencil in frustration out in the bleachers trying to figure out the scorecard on that one.

I think the real reason for all the pitching changes was to trick the Cubs fans watching at home into thinking the game was in San Francisco. Hey, if they can’t start at 9:00 PM Central, might as well try to make the game drag on until midnight anyway.

Really, what was Alou thinking on this one? It’s a one-run game — if the game becomes tied (which thanks to Neifi!, it was), the Giants stand no chance in extra innings with a depleted bullpen.

And then in the ninth, inexplicably, he replaced his CLOSER with a 4.00+ ERA lefty, who right on cue, gave up the game winning sac fly to Jeromy Burnitz. It’s almost like he realized that his bullpen was depleted and figured he should just get the game over with and let the Cubs win.

The platoon differential is real, but sometimes you should just leave the better pitcher out there.

Jeromy Burnitz was asked after the game about all the pitching changes:

It’s not my job to evaluate the pitching moves, but [I’m] just glad he brought the guy in to give me something to hit to center field.

We’re all glad. Thanks, Mr. Alou.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Four Play

Monday, July 25th, 2005

Having just swallowed my 4th hot dog at the 4th Annual Church Cookout (held indoors this year cuz the temp feels like 400 degrees), I glance at my watch and notice that the Cubs-Cardinals game started four minutes ago. So I politely excuse myself from the four remaining people who have their eye on a plate of four brownies baked by none other than Mrs. Foreman, a local celebrity of sorts who has won four national bake-offs.

As I sprint home four blocks away I canít help but notice that I dropped mustard all over my 444 Jeans. Oh wow, I think. Itíll take four washings just to get out the stains. As I skip up the four steps to my front porch all thatís goin thru my mind is ìI sure hope ESPN doesnít black out this game as they have the last four times the Cubs played.”

I turn on the game just in time to see ace Mark Prior give up his 4th extra base hit in the bottom of the 1st inning. At least this was only a double. Color analyst Joe Morgan, with his IQ of four, mentions the three home runs I have mercifully missed. Oh golly, I moan to myself. This is going to be four hours of sheer torture.

During the commercial I flip around and see that The 4400 is coming on soon. Hmmm, tough choice. I grab a tape, program the ole VCR and get back to the game.

Actually the game turns out to be pretty good, not at all the massacre I originally feared. Prior settles down and gives up just one more hit (on a play where he doesnít hustle to cover first).


Meanwhile the Cubs chip away, thanks in large part to a 4-hit breakout performance by Henry Blanco. The team scores their 4th run to take a slim lead in the 8th, thanks in part to D-Lee walking on 4 pitches (In fact, Lee collects 4 bases on balls during the contest) and a clutch 2-run blast from Aramis Ramirez.

The Cubs send 4 men to the plate in the 9th but do not score.

Bottom of the 9th. Dusty calls upon his 4th reliever of the night. Ryan Dempster. Solid to the core for the bulk of his outings as the teamís closer, I wonder to myself if this is the game when he will hiccup. Here, in Busch Stadium against these hated Cardinals. One good sign is that in 63 innings this season Ryan has only given up 4 homers, second best ratio on the staff (Novoa leads).

Hiccup. After 2 are out and down to their last strike, after a 1-2 count, pinch hitter Seabol walks on a slider. Eckstein and company tie the game on a series of small ball plays that drives an opposing manager crazy. In my gut I concede that this is what the Cubs must do in the next nine weeks if they want to be taken seriously as a bonafide contender for post-season.

Top of the 10th. Reyes pitching. Todd Walker doubles to right. Finally! The series has not been kind to the Cubs second baseman til now. Lee is intentionally walked. Burnitz sacrifices, a play as rare as the headline ìMan Bites Dog.î La Russa countermoves by walking Aramis intentionally. Michael Barrett pinch-hits for Dempster. Barrett strikes out.

Neifi GS

Up to the plate strolls Neifi, hitless in his four previous plate appearences. Neifi, who has endured the slings and arrows of Cub fans for four months, slams the first pitch, embedding it into a chain link fence over the right field wall. Walker scores, Lee scores, Ramirez scores. Neifi scores. A 4-run swing, unknotting a 4-4 tie to give the Cubs a 4 run victory.

Kinda reminds me of Reggie Jackson in the late 70ís. And what was his number? Oh yeah, 44.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us: