Archive for April, 2007

Game 19 – Wasted Opportunities

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007


April 23rd, 2007

Teams

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 X R H E
Milwaukee 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 1 5 9 1
Chicago 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 11 0
W –  C. Villanueva (1-0)   L – R. Cherry (0-1)  S – D. Turnbow
Homeruns: J. Hardy (6) P. Fielder (2) A. Ramirez (4)

Box Score


(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Another Zambrano start yields another Cubs loss. Carlos failed to get out of the 6th, this time due to high pitch count. It’s nice to see that he backed up his big mouth by bringing the A game against the Brewers. Carlos, do us all a favor and shut your yap until you can pitch like the big money guy you want to be.

This was yet another close game that the Cubs lost, bringing them to 0-5 in 1 run games and 0-3 in extra innings. It goes without saying that you have to play better than that in tight situation games and the Cubs just haven’t delivered. There is no use beating the same point to death each day. We just have to ride this funk out and wait for better days. This team will get better. I truly believe that. When you look at the Cubs expected record, it’s 11-8. We’re just not winning the tight ones. It has nothing to do with umpires like some might say. You can never blame umpires, because you shouldn’t put yourself in that situation to begin with.

Rich Hill goes tonight. Hopefully his magical season continues because we need him and Lilly to step up again.

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Game 19 – Open Thread

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

Scouting Report on todays starters from MLB.com
Claudio Vargas – After matching a career high with nine strikeouts in his first Brewers start, Vargas set a career high with 11 punchouts in his follow-up performance, logging his first Milwaukee win. He might have worked more than six innings against the Pirates if not for a 28-pitch fourth inning in which he surrendered a single and two walks to load the bases with no outs. Vargas then whiffed the next three Pirates hitters he faced to preserve the lead.

Carlos Zambrano – The Cubs’ ace is off to a slow start, having pitched into the seventh inning only once in his first four starts and having given up at least five runs three times. In his last outing in Atlanta, Zambrano put the Cubs behind the eight ball by surrendering four first-inning runs. He allowed five runs (all earned) and eight hits, including two home runs, in six innings, striking out six and walking five (one intentional). He struggled against Milwaukee last season, going 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA in four starts.

View the Cubs career numbers vs. Claudio Vargas – ESPN Splits


Notable Performances From Down On The Farm

Ryan O’Malley (AAA) 6IP, 1ER, 5H, 2BB, 1K, (1.25ERA)
Mark Holliman (AA) 8IP, No Runs, 8H, 6K, (0.00ERA)

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Prior Update

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

This from the Chicagosports.com:

“Mark Prior’s visit with Dr. James Andrews could take place on Monday or Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala.

If Andrews advises Prior to have arthroscopic shoulder surgery, he’ll miss the rest of the season. If Prior gets the go-ahead to continue rehabbing, he’ll return to extended spring training in Arizona with the hope of joining the Iowa Cubs by the middle of May.”

I’m a little concerned that arthoscopic shoulder surgery is suddenly mentioned. I thought his shoulder was all degenerative problems???

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The odd man out

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

Lou Piniella is indicating very clearly that he’d like to have a twelfth pitcher; that means a position player needs to go. But who do you get rid of? Pie is really showing us his range in center – even if he has a dead bat for a while he sure covers a lot of ground in the outfield! Floyd is a nice bat to have coming off the bench; we all figure that Jones is going to get hot like he did last year and Murton could lead the team again in batting average.

I think we should dump Izturis – he can’t hit and he can’t really field either. Theriot can back up Cedeno at short, DeRosa and Theriot can back up Ramirez at third and Ward can back up Lee at first. So we have all the bases covered – literally. What do y’all think, who must go? Sound off Cubs fans.

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Game 18 – Can we buy a series win?

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007


April 21st, 2007

Teams

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10   R H E
St. Louis 0 2 0 2 3 0 0 0 2 3   12 17 0
Chicago 2 0 2 0 0 3 0 0 2 0   9 16 0
W –  Isringhausen (1-0)   L – R. Dempster (0-1)  S – None
Homeruns: C. Duncan (4) A. Pujols (5) S. Rolen (2) J. Edmonds (1) A. Ramirez (3) M. Barrett (4)

Box Score


(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Cubs have yet to get a series win at Wrigley this season. It’s frustrating because this was another series we could have won. I know Cub fans are irritated, but I’d like to offer some encouragement. Hopefully no one is seriously considering jumping ship this early in the year, but if that is the case, let my try and talk you off the ledge with a few notes of encouragement.

1. Derrek Lee hasn’t hit a homerun yet
This one doesn’t sound encouraging, but it is. Lee has been hot with the bat, but he hasn’t been driving the ball out of the ballpark yet. Coming into the game today, he was ranked as the number 1 first basemen according to CBS Position rankings. He has been hitting the ball well, but the fact that he hasn’t hit one out is encouraging because it means it’s possible for him to get even hotter! We forget how good his season was in 2005 because of the injury. I really believe he is going to be in the running for MVP at the end of the year, which means his power surge is coming.

2. Carlos Zambrano hasn’t pitched well yet.
I know it seems like these things are more discouraging than encouraging, but just keep in mind the fact that Carlos has been downright bad so far this year and the Cubs are still right in the thick of things in a weak division. When Carlos heats up, which hopefully starts tomorrow, that will give this team a good chance to win with four of the five starters they throw out there each day. That’s exactly the kind of good news I want. We know Carlos will come around, especially because he’s pitching for a contract. The only question is when it will turn around. I think it will be tomorrow.

3. Alfonso Soriano hasn’t hit yet
We have yet to see the wonder that is Alfonso Soriano. Is he going to be the savior of the world? No, but he brings great power to the plate and will bring speed once his leg feels better. Don’t throw him off the boat just yet. In his career, his 162 game average numbers are great, averaging 35 HR, 93 RBI, 105 Runs and 35 SB. Those are the numbers I think we’ll get from him when all is said and done.

Let’s not dwell on this loss or this poor start. This team is built to win and the organization knows that winning this year drastically increases the stock as they try to sell in the off-season. Now, take a deep breath, hold it, and let it out. There, I feel better. Now let’s beat the crap out of the stupid drunks from Milwaukee.

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