Archive for July, 2007

Game 102 – The Marshall Plan

Saturday, July 28th, 2007


July 28th, 2007

Teams

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
Chicago 2 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 2   8 9 1
Cincinnati 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0   1 9 0
W – S. Marshall (5-4)  L  - A. Harang (10-3) S – None
Homeruns: A. Soriano (17 & 18) D. Lee (10)

Box Score

I’ve got some discussion questions for you tonight. I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on these. Don’t be shy. Click the comment link and leave some love. Also, we’ve added an auto-updating standings widget in the sidebar. It updates at the close of every game. Thanks for the suggestion whoever it was. Ask and you shall receive.

1. What would it take for you to be confident in Rich Hill, Sean Marshall, and Jason Marquis for the stretch run?

Maybe you are already confident in what they can do. Personally, I’m happy with what we have in this rotation. At some point, you have to show some confidence in your farm (i.e. Marshall and Hill) and trust your free agent signing. One “highly respected” blog went clamoring for the Cubs to go out and get Jon Garland before the deadline, suggesting a price of Marshall and Cedeno. I don’t know if maybe Al just spouts this crap for sake of discussion, but Marshall is pitching better than Garland and is younger and cheaper. That seems like a downgrade there Al.

If you take a look at the numbers, I can’t see why anyone would make this deal, let alone suggest it. I’d like to hear everyone’s take on this rotation, but be prepared to defend your views.

2. Adam Dunn was a name rumored to be a trade target for teams this year. Would you platoon him?

When you look at the numbers for Dunn, he’s not been pretty against the lefties. Take a look at this:

                AVG     OBP     SLG
VS. Righties .298 .407 .671
VS. Lefties .211 .295 .353

I know it’s Adam Dunn, but those are some bad numbers when he’s facing the lefties. What would you do?

***** Trade News *****

  • Tampa acquired RHP Calvin Medlock, LHP Brian Shackelford and future considerations from the Reds in exchange for INF Jorge Cantu, OF Shaun Cumberland and cash AND traded INF/OF Ty Wigginton to the Astros for RHP Dan Wheeler

    I was a little surprised to see Wigginton go to a non-contender before the deadline, but I guess it’s always a good thing. The Rays pick up a pretty good reliever who has struggled this year to help that pathetic bullpen of theirs.


    STARS OF THE GAME – All based on WPA

  • First Star – Derrek Lee (17.6%)
  • Second Star – Sean Marshall (13.8%)
  • Third Star – Alfonso Soriano (13.7%)
  • Turd of the Game – Mike Gosling (-19.0%)

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  • Game 102 – Open Thread

    Saturday, July 28th, 2007

    Scouting Report on todays starters from MLB.com
    Sean Marshall – Marshall could use a few runs. In his four losses this year, the Cubs have combined to score three runs while he was in the game. The lefty lost his last outing on July 22 to the Diamondbacks, giving up one run on five hits over six innings. The Cubs were blanked, 3-0. It was his eighth quality start in 11 starts this season.

    Aaron Harang – Harang continued to quietly add to his outstanding season on Monday against the Brewers. Harang pitched 10 innings against Milwaukee, giving up only one earned run on seven hits with 10 strikeouts to take a no-decision in the 2-1 Reds win. Harang was the first National League pitcher since Mark Mulder, in April of 2005, to throw 10 complete innings in one game.

    View the Cubs career numbers vs. Aaron Harang – ESPN Splits

    View the game preview from Baseball Reference

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    Lunch On The Farm

    Saturday, July 28th, 2007

    Tracked Players Results

    Team Results

  • AAA – Iowa 6, Colorado Springs 7
  • AA – Tennessee 14, Carolina 1
  • High-A – Daytona 2, Juniper 6
  • A – Peoria 2, Dayton 6
  • Short Season – Boise 6, Vancouver 3
  • Arizona Rookie – Cubs 4, Giants 0View the full organizational report from First Inning

    Don’t see someone listed in the tracked players report? Leave us a comment and we’ll be sure to add that name to the regular rotation.

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    Game 101 – Stupid Rain Delays

    Saturday, July 28th, 2007


    July 27th, 2007

    Teams

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
    Chicago 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2   4 9 1
    Cincinnati 0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 1   5 11 2
    W – D. Weathers (2-3)  L  - B. Howry (5-6) S – None
    Homeruns: E. Encarnacion (7)

    Box Score

    I wasn’t feeling well last night and couldn’t make it through the whole game because of the rain delay. I went to be early and I’m glad I did. It was a tough bottom of the 9th, after we came back and tied the game. I was amused, after watching the bottom of the 9th this morning, by Thom Brenneman’s sheer elation over the win, despite the fact that they’re so far out of the race. Let them have their fun. We’ll still be playing in October.

    There was a trade last night that was made by the Brewers and was sort of quiet. After DFA’ing Grant Balfour, they promptly dealt him to Tampa Bay for control plagued Seth McClung. It seems like a basic swap of struggling pitchers in an attempt to get them on track. If the Brewers bring up McClung to the big club, they’ve got some problems. We’ll have to wait and see.


    STARS OF THE GAME – All based on WPA

  • First Star – Edwin Encarnacion (30.4%)
  • Second Star – Bronson Arroyo (27.7%)
  • Third Star – Mark DeRosa (17.6%)
  • Turd of the Game – Bobby Howry (35.7%)

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  • Game 101 – Open Thread

    Friday, July 27th, 2007

    Scouting Report on todays starters from MLB.com
    Rich Hill – Hill did not get a decision in the Cubs’ 3-2 loss to the D-backs on Saturday. He gave up one earned run and struck out six while throwing a season-high 116 pitches in six innings of work. He saw his pitch count go up, though, after walking four and having Arizona batters foul off a number of his pitches. “It is frustrating,” Hill said of the foul balls, “but you’ve got to be able to make an adjustment and see what they’re doing, read the hitter and make an adjustment as a pitcher.”

    Bronson Arroyo – In six-plus innings, Arroyo allowed four earned runs and eight hits with four walks and six strikeouts in Cincinnati’s 9-3 loss to the Marlins on Sunday, ending his streak of five-straight quality starts. Two home runs proved to be the right-hander’s undoing. Arroyo had a 2-0 lead when Mike Jacobs hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning, and Dan Uggla’s two-run homer in the seventh put him down for good.

    View the Cubs career numbers vs. Bronson Arroyo – ESPN Splits

    View the game preview from Baseball Reference

    News & Notes

  • The Cubs have have been rumored to have recalled Matt Murton & Rocky Cherry from Iowa. Billy Petrick and Jake Fox were optioned to make room.
  • Wade Miller got hit hard yesterday in his rehab outing with the Smokies. That doesn’t bode well for his comeback, especially seeing that the velocity was down around 84 MPH.
  • Kerry Wood pitched well yesterday and is scheduled to throw again today with Peoria. It’s getting close!!!
  • Cleveland acquired OF Kenny Lofton from the Rangers for nonroster Max Ramirez (C). So much for that idea.
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  • Breakfast on the Farm

    Friday, July 27th, 2007

    Tracked Players Results

    Team Results

  • AAA – Iowa 8, Colorado Springs 12
  • AA – Tennessee 3, Carolina 2
  • AA – Tennessee 3, Carolina 0
  • High-A – Daytona – Off Day
  • A – Peoria 4, Dayton 1
  • Short Season – Boise 7, Vancouver 4
  • Arizona Rookie – Cubs 4, Brewers 3View the full organizational report from First Inning

    Don’t see someone listed in the tracked players report? Leave us a comment and we’ll be sure to add that name to the regular rotation.

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    Game 100 – A Waste of a Nice Broom

    Thursday, July 26th, 2007


    July 26th, 2007

    Teams

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
    Chicago 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0   1 7 1
    St. Louis 0 0 0 1 5 4 0 1 X   11 10 0
    W – B. Looper (8-8)  L  - J. Marquis (7-6) S – None
    Homeruns: D. Lee (9) A. Pujols (23) C. Duncan (20) S. Rolen (6)

    Box Score

    Well after extensive sensitivity training this afternoon, it was time for another game recap to see what else I could stir
    up in the comments.

    Jason Marquis would get his chance to get the Cubs within one loss of the Brewers for the division lead, thanks to the Reds beating them again. All hail Cincinnati! The Cubs were guaranteed the series victory over the Cards, it was time to see if we could get out the brooms. Oddly enough, we’ll have to cheer these same Cardinals on this weekend, as they host the Brew Crew. Reports today indicated the Cubs scouting staff was in Baltimore checking out Tampa’s Ty Wigginton. Perhaps Mr. Hendry isn’t done tweaking.

    Up until the fifth, Jason looked sharp. Then…..like last night for Adam Wainwright, Jason lost it. A hit, walk, sacrifice, walk, hit by pitch, and a grand slam. Yuck. It’s one thing to give up the solo shot to Rolen. One run is within striking distance. Six. Not so much. Although, if you’re going to make a statement in trying to get back in it, get them back in the next half of the inning, as Derrek is showing that he may have found his power again. It was even better to see Jason Kendall realized that he was supposed hit the ball with that piece of lumber. Hey, I’m trying to find some positives out of an ugly game.

    Speaking of ugly, all of you Cedeno fans need to get off the Ronny Kool-Ade. Yes, it was his first game at third in the majors, but once again he showed his lack of baseball intelligence. I really don’t understand how this guy keeps getting chances. Of all the youngsters we have this year, he is the least polished, and he has the most time at the major league level of any of them. Not that it mattered, the game was effectively over by the end of the sixth. I still don’t like to see mistakes like that.

    If there was one positive out of this game, it’s that the Cubs didn’t lose any ground. Still two games out. The other positive, some of the guys that haven’t seen much time lately, got in the game. Hey, we had a Jake Fox sighting! In another odd move, Koyie Hill played Right Field.

    Let’s go to Cinci, and pay them back for their fine work against the Brewers, by taking another series.

    Matt’s Notes: Anyone notice how Jim Edmonds called off David Eckstein on a pop up? Take notes Cubs outfielders, it’s how to communicate.

    Albert Pujols was kept in check until the game was out of reach anyway. He’s struggled mightily against the Cubs this year. Good for us.

    This was one series that I thought we’d have a definite sweep. Zambrano, Lilly, Marquis. Marquis has to get consistent and last more than five innings.

    Len seemed excited about the fact that three players were playing their first ever innings at a position they never played before. Not sure that’s worth bragging about.


    STARS OF THE GAME – All based on WPA

  • First Star – Braden Looper (29.2%)
  • Second Star – Scott Rolen (11.5%)
  • Third Star – Chris Duncan (11.2%)
  • Turd of the Game – Jason Marquis (-18.3%)

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  • Game 100 – Open Thread

    Thursday, July 26th, 2007

    Scouting Report on todays starters from MLB.com
    Jason Marquis – Marquis was solid his last time out in a 6-2 win against Arizona. The right-hander gave up two runs on four hits and struck out three over 7 2/3 innings, his longest outing since his complete game against Pittsburgh on May 9. The secret: He mixed his offspeed pitches well, which made it difficult for batters to pick up on his fastball. The victory was only his second in his past 13 starts, dating back to that complete game.

    Braden Looper – The Cards’ de facto ace early in the year, Looper has fallen on some rough times lately. There’s not much in between — he tends to be very good or very bad. Looper must learn to make the most of the nights when he’s not sharp, something he was unable to do in Atlanta on Saturday.

    View the Cubs career numbers vs. Braden Looper – ESPN Splits

    View the game preview from Baseball Reference

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    Breakfast on the Farm

    Thursday, July 26th, 2007

    Spotlight on Ryan Harvey (Player Page) – Ryan Harvey was the Cubs first round pick in 2003, 6th overall. He’s been a major disappointment to date, and yet continues to find himself in the prospect handbooks and rankings amoungst the top prospects in the the organization. The most frustrating thing about Harvey is the players taken below him in the 2003 draft. Let’s just list a few:

  • Nick Markakis – OF (Bal)
  • Paul Maholm – P (Pit)
  • Lastings Milledge – OF (NYM)
  • Conor Jackson – 3B (ARI)
  • Chad Cordero – P (WAS)
  • Carlos Quentin – OF (ARI)
  • Tony Gywnn Jr. – OF (MIL) – 2nd Round
  • Tom Gorzelanny – P (PIT) – 2nd Round
  • Jonathan Papelbon – P (BOS) – 4th Round
  • Ryan Braun – 3B (KC) – 6th Round
  • Kevin Kouzmanoff – 3B (CLE) – 6th RoundJohn Sickels had the following to say about Harvey in his prospect book (buy the book)

    2007 – Ryan Harvey’s scounting report has not changed. He’s toolsy. He has enormous power potential. He has an excellent arm and runs well. And he continues to swing at every pitch within ten zip codes of home plate. He’ll kill something if you let him get his arms extended over the fat part of the plate, but if you work him outside of the strike zone with breaking balls and changeups, he is helpless. His OPS was just +3 percent last year, despite the fact that he hit 20 homers in the Florida State League, a hard place for power hitters. His lack of on-base skills and his low batting average kept his production down despite all the power. Harvey is young enough to get better, but there are no hints of it happening, at least not in the numbers. Grade C

    2006 – I get a lot of questions from Cubs fans about Ryan Harvey. A first round pick in 2003, Harvey is an outstanding athelete with a lot of raw power. He knocked in 100 runs last year, giving him a reputation as a “run producer”, although please keep in mind that RBI is NOT a predictive or useful stat when analyzing the future of a prospect. Harvey kills fastballs, and saw enough of them last year to collect 56 extra-base hits and a decent +8 percent OPS, but he is still weak against breaking stuff and changeups, a fact reflected in his poor BB/K/AB ratio. He is a good fielder, with a very strong arm and good speed for a big guy. The knee injury which ruined his senior year of high school is no longer an issue. But his strike zone judgement is, and at this point I have enough doubts to keep him rated as a Grade C+ prospect despite his long term potential.</blockquote

    News and Notes

  • Kyle Reynolds has been promoted to Tennessee (AA) Tracked Players Results

    Team Results

  • AAA – Iowa 18, Colorado Springs 8
  • AA – Tennessee – No Game
  • High-A – Daytona 5, Palm Beach 2
  • High-A – Daytona 6, Palm Beach 3
  • A – Peoria – No Game
  • Short Season – Boise 4, Vancouver 3
  • Arizona Rookie – Cubs – No GameView the full organizational report from First Inning

    Don’t see someone listed in the tracked players report? Leave us a comment and we’ll be sure to add that name to the regular rotation.

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