Archive for July, 2007

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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    Game 99 – Go For the Jugular

    Wednesday, July 25th, 2007


    July 25th, 2007

    Teams

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
    Chicago 0 0 0 2 4 0 0 1 0   7 14 1
    St. Louis 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0   1 8 0
    W – T. Lilly (11-4)  L  – A. Wainwright (9-8) S – None
    Homeruns: None

    Box Score

    It looked like tonight was going to be a pitchers duel between Ted Lilly and Adam Wainwright. Unfortunately, for Mr. Wainwright and the joy of Cubs fans, the bottom fell out. The fourth inning saw timely hitting by a plethora of Cubbies. The hit parade continued for Jacque Jones, Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot, and Aramis Ramirez. Cliff Floyd also looks like he’s found his swing with some scalded balls, and hello, what do we have here, Alfonso Soriano showed up.

    The middle infield was spectacular with four double plays. You just can’t find much to complain about tonight. It was a good old fashion beat down. One of the keys has been the Cubs approach against Albert Pujols. He looks completely flummoxed, yes I used the word flummoxed, against Cubs pitching. Kudos to Lou’s staff for figuring out whatever it is that has Fat Albert completely off balance.

    We’ve taken two, let’s get the third, and end St. Louis’ misery tomorrow. The Brewers are literally within a fingers grasp. And a half game out from the Wild Card.

    The big story, the Reds helped us out, and beat the Brewers. Two games back, and Milwaukee’s front office made a move to strengthen their bullpen. Perhaps the feel of hot Cub breath on their necks is making them a tad bit nervous?

    Matt’s Notes: Bob Brenly (with an LY), made me laugh when he noted Adam Wainwright’s curveball broke like Mark Prior’s. “When Mark Prior is healthy.”

    My wife and I like to pronounce So Taguchi’s name as, “Soooooo Tah Guchi!” I don’t know why. It just makes us giggle.

    Matt’s Rant – Take it or Leave it: I’m getting a little tired of hearing about Josh Hancock’s death as being described as “tragic.” It was hardly tragic. He was intoxicated, decided to drive, and while impaired was talking on his cell phone and driving. I’d hardly call that tragic. What’s tragic is that he couldn’t control himself. Let’s close the book, and move on.

    The above was edited by Matt, as it was worded poorly. He is also seeking sensitivity training.


    STARS OF THE GAME – All based on WPA

  • First Star – Ted Lilly (18.6%)
  • Second Star – Mike Fontenot (14.2%)
  • Third Star – Cliff Floyd (12.9%)
  • Turd of the Game – Adam Wainwright (-31.3%)

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  • Game 99 – Open Thread

    Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

    ***** Breaking News *****

    The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired reliever Scott Linebrink from the Padres in exchange for Joe Thatcher (P), Will Inman (P), and Steve Garrison (P)

    I’ll have a full breakdown of this deal on Friday during the midday.

    Scouting Report on todays starters from MLB.com
    Ted Lilly – Lilly is coming off a win over the Giants in which he gave up three runs on six hits and one walk over five innings. His outing was shortened in order to help him stay strong in the second half. He did serve up career homer No. 752 to Barry Bonds, his third off the lefty. Lilly is 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA in four July starts.

    Adam Wainwright – Wainwright is finally pitching like he expected to do all along. He’s on a roll, with a 2.86 ERA over his past 11 starts, and he’s doing nearly everything right. Wainwright’s throwing more strikes and allowing fewer homers, he’s getting the ball down, he’s coming at hitters with his full assortment — fastball, curveball, slider/cutter and changeup — he’s a load when he’s going right, and these days, he’s going right.

    View the Cubs career numbers vs. Adam Wainwright – ESPN Splits

    View the game preview from Baseball Reference

    Tonight’s Lineups

    St. Louis Chicago
    D. Eckstein – SS A. Soriano – LF
    S. Taguchi – CF R. Theriot – SS
    A. Pujols – 1B D. Lee – 1B
    J. Encarnacion – RF A. Ramirez – 3B
    S. Rolen – 3B C. Floyd – RF
    C. Duncan – LF M. Fontenot – 2B
    Y. Molina – C J. Jones – CF
    B. Ryan – 2B K. Hill – C
    A. Wainwright – P T. Lilly – P
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