Archive for August, 2007

Through The Rear View #4

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

This week, my look back on former Cub players, is going to be my first foray into the world of historical Cubs. In other words, Cub players who are no longer playing. Up to this point I had only profiled former Cub players who are still playing professional baseball. This week that all changes. I have avoided this for the first few weeks for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is the fact that I often feel like I may not do justice to some of these guys. I grew up watching a lot of the 70s and 80s Cubs and there is a bit of reticence on my part to write about some of the guys that I deified as a kid. I also wanted to avoid what I felt would be some obvious choices that have probably been done in articles like these hundreds of times over.

So my first adventure for a former non-playing Cub is none other than Bobby Keith Moreland (your welcome Matt!).

Yes, you read that right everybody. The guy that you may have known only as Keith Moreland, is really Bobby Keith Moreland. Not Robert Keith, but Bobby Keith. After all, Moreland was a born and bred Texan and where else can you find nicknames like Bo, Red, and Bubba on actual birth certificates. Not to mention the whole dual first name theme of the South. Because of his Texas roots Bobby Keith’s attending UT was probably a pretty natural progression for an athlete of his talents. Back in those days, not a lot of players ventured far from their state schools, and especially not in Texas. Moreland would do more than just play at the University of Texas. He would star there, and fast. His Longhorns were national champs. I say “His Longhorns”, because he was the co-captain of that 56-6 championship team, as a freshman in 1973. As a stud third baseman for the Longhorns Moreland would post a career collegiate batting average of .388 and hit .410 in his final year with the Longhorns in 1975. Later that same year he was drafted in the 7thround of the amateur draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Moreland’s rise through the Phillies farm system was slow and steady, his offensive skills were good but he was never known for his defense. A fact that was later immortalized in song by the late Steve Goodman. I don’t know if playing third base in an organization that had a young Mike Schmidt prompted Moreland’s position change, but he switched from 3rd base to catcher sometime in 1977. Although playing behind Bob Boone and Tim McCarver didn’t make things much easier for Moreland’s progress into the big leagues. In 1978, Moreland did make his major league debut, replacing 3rdstring catcher Bob Foote for 4 innings in the final game of the regular season. Not only was it a short-lived trip up, it was also uneventful. Moreland would spend another season playing a majority of his ball in AAA during 1979. Moreland would finally break through 1980 as the primary backup catcher after the Phillies released the aging McCarver. He went on to be the primary backup catcher and helped the Phillies win the world series that year. After one more season as a part-timer with the defending champion Phillies, Moreland would come over to the Cubs by way of a trade for the 1982 season.

Not coincidentally new Cubs GM and former Phillies manager, Dallas Green, made the trade that brought Moreland over to the Cubs. The plan was to make Keith Moreland the Cub’s new starting catcher. I had really started to like Jody Davis during that time, and I wasn’t too sure I liked Moreland as his possible replacement. As luck would have it, Moreland was even worse defensively than Davis himself, yet much like Davis his offense warranted playing time. Eventually Davis would win the battle for the starting catchers job and the Cubs found a place for Moreland in the outfielder Moreland would then spend his next six years as a Cub playing as an occasional utility type backup player, with a majority of his games played in the outfield. Which was great for me, because I may never have grown to like Moreland as much as I did if he had beat out Davis at the catcher position. As it was, I grew to like them both pretty equally. Because they seemed cut from the same cloth. They were both tough and gritty ball players, who played the game in the older style of hard, fast, and dirty. I mean that in terms of always being willing to get dirty, versus playing dirty, but Moreland was also willing to rough it up a bit too. He was, after all from Texas, where football is more religion than sport and Moreland played a year of football during his time at Texas. His fiery disposition matched that flaming red hair (and beard) and he was not to be taken lightly when trying to turn a double play against him or deciding to plunk someone. Moreland stood his ground and played with Cubbie pride.

I specifically remember Moreland as a workhorse. His 150 game per-season average with the Cubs stands as proof of his durability and being from that bygone sporting era that knew the difference between being hurt and being injured. All in all, Moreland was a guy who was simply seemed to love being a baseball player. Not a star, or a big shot. Just a guy who went out and did whatever the team asked of him. To play wherever he had to, to bat wherever he was penciled in, and do the best he could. I really remember Moreland as one of the ultimate team players that I have ever witnessed play for the Cubs. A guy who ended his career without gold gloves, all-star game appearances, and all of the other awards and individual accolades that many players play for these days. Moreland never appeared to be one of those individualistic guys. He simply played the game of baseball, the way that it is supposed to be played. I will always remember him as a key cog in the 1984 year that almost was, and as one of a very bright spots in the ’85 season that followed. The 1985 season was the only one in Moreland’s career where he actually received some notoriety outside of Wrigley, when he finished 17th in MVP voting.

Even though Moreland won his championship with the Phillies, and would eventually move on to end his career outside the Cubs organization, I can only think that we Cubs fans were lucky. We got the best of the baseball that Keith Moreland had to offer, and he gave it to us with everything he had.

As we drive on, that’s my look Through The Rear View.

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Game 118 – Z’s Terrible No Good Really Bad Day

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

August 14th, 2007

Teams

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
Cincinnati 0 0 2 2 1 0 1 0 0   6 16 0
Chicago 0 0 0 2 0 1 1 1 0   5 5 0
W – A. Harang (12-3) L – C. Zambrano (14-9) S – D. Weathers (23)
Homeruns: J. Jones (4) A. Ramirez (17) D. Lee (13)

Box Score

Let the cliches flow freely. Some of my favorites are “Just one more Wheatie for breakfast” or “Just one more biscuit this morning” or even “just a few more reps in the weight room”. All would apply to Mike Fontenot’s long fly ball that almost ended the game in a positive way. If there was a play that capsulized the night for the Cubs, that would be it. All night, they continued to battle back and try to account for Carlos Zambrano’s disastrous start only to fall just short in the end. You got the feeling that the Cubs might come back and win the game only to see it end in one of the more heartbreaking fashions.

Carlos Zambrano
I’ve finally figured out my feelings on Zambrano. I like him on our staff as a pitcher, but I can’t stand anything about him as a hitter or competitor. There is a difference between being a fie competitor and being an ass on the field. Zambrano falls into the latter category. More and more, he reminds me of Jose Lima. I’m tired of the show put on by Z each night when he strikes out or is thrown out. I’m tired of the showboating on strikeouts. I know it’s his personality, but to me, a lot of it seems like an act. Last night, the traveling show emerged again when Z was thrown out at first base on an infield hit try. Instead of going back to the dugout to get his glove and take the mound, Z decided to have a tantrum and slam his helmet. Maybe it’s just me, but that not only shows up the defense, but also the umpire. Even though it’s only frustration he’s showing, a common fan may see it as arguing with the umpire. Have some class for once and just relax.

From a pitching standpoint, big Z failed to live up to the Ace on a night he was facing an Ace. He gave up 13 hits, which tied his career high, both of which have happened this season. Does that worry you? It worries me a little. The box scores for the two starts are eerily similar. June 1st was the last time it happened. Take a look at the box score. Both outings he failed to record a strike out and was very hittable. One the biggest things I found is Z’s failure to get ahead in the count against the hitters. When you’re getting ahead 0-1 and 0-2, it puts the hitters in a terrible position and means you can just flat out over power them with your pure stuff. Zambrano is not doing that. It’s causing him to have high pitch innings and, as was the case last year, get hit up pretty hard. It’s time for him to learn how to pitch and not just rely on his talent.

Aramis Ramirez
A-Ram came back from his wrist injury and hit a ball out to complete the back to back with D-Lee. He also continues to sparkle defensively as he made a lunging grab on a ball hit by Aaron Harang in the 2nd inning. I really think he’s going to get a gold glove award in the next year or two. I found this injury note from Will Carroll that I though i’d share.

The Cubs still aren’t exactly sure what’s wrong with Aramis Ramirez. Even after he visited a hand specialist, all the Cubs know (or admit knowing) is that there’s no fracture or structural damage. Be careful with this word, because the definition of “structural” can be a bit shifty. We know that Ramirez had a cortisone injection to deal with swelling, so there’s some sort of inflammation or irritation in there. With the Cubs saying they expect Ramirez in the lineup on Tuesday, we’ll need to be watching for bat control problems initially; no one I spoke to seems terribly concerned. It’s something of a wait and see situation, for when Ramirez gets back on the field. (Source)

Roster Moves
As I mentioned in the preview, Carmen Pignatiello is up, which meant that Henry Blanco had to be transferred to the 60 day DL to make room on the 40 man roster for him. This doesn’t disqualify Blanco from a playoff roster spot, but I don’t guess we’d see him anyway. What it does is push a rookie into the primary lefty reliever role in the late innings, assuming that Lou doesn’t feel comfortable just yet with Eyre in that role. Personally, i’m not sure which I’d rather have, but it’s about time Pignatiello gets a shot.

Eric Patterson goes down to call up Jake Fox, the main thought being that Fox can provide a right handed bat with a lot of lefties on the hill in the next few days. Patterson wasn’t playing, so it’s better to put him in Iowa and let him get his at bats. Fox also adds versatility in that he can play in the IF, OF, and catch.

Misc. Notes

  • Cliff Floyd’s father passed away on Sunday and he’s on the bereavement list, which is a minimum of 3 days and a maximum of 7. Jake Fox will probably go back down when Floyd returns.
  • Jason Kendall finally had a chance to throw a runner out, but had Ryan Theriot drop the ball. Grrrrrrr
  • Is it just me or has Ken Griffey Jr. really turned into a bad baserunner? He was caught trying to leg out a triple and was out by about 30 feet. He got caught up in a run down, I hope in an attempt to get a runner from third home, but the runner never ran which makes you wonder. STARS OF THE GAME – All based on WPA
  • First Star – David Weathers (28.0%)
  • Second Star – Derrek Lee (14.4%)
  • Third Star – Jeff Keppinger (10.0%)
  • Turd of the Game – Carlos Zambrano (-27.8%)
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    Game 118 – Preview

    Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

    ***** Roster Moves *****

    The Chicago Cubs today selected left-handed pitcher Carmen Pignatiello and recalled infielder/outfielder Jake Fox from Triple-A Iowa. In corresponding moves, right-handed pitcher Sean Gallagher and infielder Eric Patterson were optioned to Iowa. To make room for Pignatiello on the 40-man roster, catcher Henry Blanco has been transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

    Scouting Report on todays starters from MLB.com
    Aaron Harang – Pitching for the first time since July 28, when he left the game after one inning against the Cubs with a sore lower back, Harang shut down the Dodgers with eight scoreless innings in Wednesday’s 1-0 win. The right-hander allowed four hits and one walk while striking out eight. More importantly, he felt no ill-effects with his back. Harang has six quality starts in his last seven outings.

    Carlos Zambrano – Zambrano is coming off a loss to the Astros in which he spent most of the game fighting himself. Big Z gave up seven runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings, striking out six. He was unable to pick up win No. 15 for the second time. It’s the most runs he’s given up since June 1. Zambrano also broke a bat over his knee after striking out with the bases loaded. Manager Lou Piniella said he had to spend part of the game trying to calm Big Z down.

    View the game preview from Baseball Reference for all sorts of useful information.

    Tonight’s Lineups

    Cincinnati Chicago
    J. Hamilton – CF R. Theriot – SS
    J. Keppinger – SS J. Jones – CF
    K. Griffey Jr – RF D. Lee – 1B
    B. Phillips – 2B A. Ramirez – 3B
    A. Dunn – LF D. Ward – RF
    S. Hatteberg – 1B M. DeRosa – 2b
    J. Valentin – C M. Murton – LF
    E. Encarnacion – 3B J. Kendall – C
    A. Harang – P C. Zambrano – P

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    Minor League Spotlight – Mawk Pawelek

    Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

    Mark Pawelek – This is one of the more intriguing prospects in the farm system right now. He was our first round selection in 2005 (20th overall). He came in with a pretty high ceiling. When they’re a left handed fireballer out of high school, the ceiling is about as high as the Sistine chapel. The problem is Pawelek’s health issues. He didn’t pitch a full season with Boise last year due to injury. When he did take the mound, he did well. This year, things looked very promising for Pawelek coming out of spring until he was attacked by his Playstation and broke his arm. To put it more truthfully, he tripped over the console and broke the radial head of his right (non-throwing) elbow. That break forced him to miss about 6 weeks and caused him to get a very late start on the season this year. He’s made a grand total of seven appearances, all of them out of the bullpen and hasn’t faired too well. He’s still one to track and watch closely, but I don’t think the Cubs are as hopeful at him making the rotation in the future as they were when he was drafted.

    Baseball America had this to say about Pawelek

    Pawelek surpassed Bruce Hurst as the highest-drafted Utah high schooler ever, going 20th overall in 2005 and signing for $1.75 million. Rated the No. 1 prospect in the Rookie-level Arizona League in his pro debut, he showed up at his first spring training unprepared mentally or physically. The Cubs sent him a wakeup call by scrapping a planned assignment to low Class A and keeping him in extended spring training. Pawelek has a chance for three solid-average pitches. He pitched at 88-92 mph and touched 95 with his fastball during the summer. Chicago had him scrap his splitter and slider to concentrate on his curveball and changeup, and his secondary pitches are improving. A year ago, scouts thought Pawelek had a chance for three plus pitches. Even when he got into shape, he didn’t show his previous arm speed and didn’t work at 92-95 mph like he had in 2005. He has an awkward delivery that’s long in back and leaves him slinging his pitches. If he can’t clean that up, shoulder problems count be in the future. The believe Pawelek has learned his lesson and expect him to be in better throwing shape when he arrives in 2007. Ticketed for low Class A, he still has promise even if his ceiling has diminished. Preseason Rank: 10th in the system

    News and Notes

  • Jeff Samardjiza was mentioned in the Monday Morning Ten Pack on Baseball Prospectus:

    Coming into the season will a lot of pressure after signing one of the largest deals in draft history, Samardzija was nothing short of awful in the Florida State League. His 4.95 ERA was probably his most impressive statistic in 24 games for Daytona, as the ex-wide receiver allowed 142 hits in 107 1/3 innings while striking out 45. The logical move? A promotion to Double-A, of course! Laugh all you want (I know I did), but Samardzija has actually been surprisingly effective in two starts since the promotion, getting the win in both, including an outing on Sunday in which he allowed two runs (one earned) over 6 1/3 innings. He’s still not recording a lot of strikeouts (five in 12 1/3 innings overall), but scouts still respect his stuff, and while they still have a very, very long way to go, the numbers are catching up a little bit as well. (Source)

    Tracked Players Results

    Team Results

  • AAA – Iowa 10, Oklahoma 2
  • AA – Tennessee – No Game
  • High-A – Daytona – No Game
  • A – Peoria 0, Kane County 10
  • Short Season – Boise 12, Yakima 3
  • Arizona Rookie – Cubs 3, Athletics 4
  • Dominican Summer League – Cubs 12, Reds 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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    From Right Field – Planetoid Head

    Monday, August 13th, 2007

    I was going to try and stay away from this topic, as every writer under the sun is making their own proclamations on Barry Bonds’ assault on Hank Aaron’s home run record. As a slave to popular culture, I couldn’t resist, so here it is.

    It sucks.

    There you have it. It’s all I can muster up to say. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I don’t understand why a man that was probably going to be considered the greatest player of his generation, decided he needed an edge over the competition. He already had the edge. It’s called genes. The man was born to play baseball. And thank god. If he’d had a job in public relations, he’d be homeless.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, I can hear you all saying it. Innocent until proven guilty. The admission of using what he “thought” was flaxseed oil seems to be an admission of guilt to me. Then again, I often rub myself down with unknown creams and oils on a daily basis. It’s fun to see what may ooze from my pores, or what creative rash I can create. It’s my biggest gripe about Major League Baseball. We’ve got guys like Neifi Perez getting suspended for 105 games for greenies, but Bonds somehow manages to get a free pass. Is it me, or does this investigation seem to be taking years? Sounds like a marketing scheme, doesn’t it? Keep the controversy a rollin’, it’ll bring in more dough. All hail my new conspiracy theory!

    Baseball, for all intensive purposes, is a game of physics. A 90 mile per hour fast ball struck by a moving bat will go quite far without much force excerted from the hitter. You just have to hit the ball squarely. To which Mr. Bonds was proficient at before this entire mess. Sure you have quicker recovery time, but bigger muscles don’t always translate to more home runs, it means less flexibility and a lot more physical breakdowns. Perhaps, like a certain guy that can’t run around in left field.

    What bothers me the most about the steroid era, is that it’s taught the young kids coming up that you’re not playing for a team, you’re playing for yourself. It’s all about the records and making yourself to be the best individual player out there. Which is just silly, how many times has good old Barry been playoff bound? Hey fathead, it’s about the team.

    Documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns was interviewed last week, as he’s working on an update to his PBS Baseball series. He summed up what I though would be the perfect way for Barry to end all the controversy in one fell swoop. Simply walk away from the game at home run 754. Aaron’s records still stands, we are left with no doubt that he’d have passed it if he played the rest of the season, and the argument of being on the juice wouldn’t really matter anymore. He’d have looked like a hero, and ESPN’s Pedro Gomez would have at least three weeks worth of reports he could still do. Thank the heavens!

    “From Right Field” appears every Monday on VFTB. Unless, of course, Matt is watching Pedro Gomez’s hourly Bonds reports.

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    Game 117 – Please Explain To Me…

    Sunday, August 12th, 2007


    August 12th, 2007

    Teams

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
    Chicago 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0   3 9 1
    Colorado 0 2 0 0 1 3 0 0 X   6 9 0
    W – M. Herges (1-0)  L  - K. Wood (0-1) S – M. Corpas (9)
    Homeruns: T. Tulowitzki (15)

    Box Score

    …Why we “need” to go out and get a pitcher when our offense is what needs help
    Let’s take a look at a few numbers for the offense and the pitching and where we rank in the National League.

    Runs Allowed / Scored

  • Offense Rank (8th)
  • Pitching Rank (2nd)

    On Base Percentage

  • Offense Rank (9th)
  • Pitching Rank (4th)

    I’ve been saying it for a long time, and I’ll continue to say it. It’s not the pitching that’s broken on this team. It’s the offense. With Soriano and Ramirez hurting, this offense is hurting and needs to do the little things to overcome the handicap. Things like taking pitches and drawing walks become paramount to successful baseball when your big starts are on the shelf. If the Cubs want to make some noise in this division, which is certainly winnable, they have to play small ball on days Ramirez is out and do the little things right on an everyday basis. We’ve got to start capitalizing when opportunities present themselves, whether they come in the form of bases loaded with no outs against Woody Williams or a game against a pitcher that has bounced between the majors and Japan. These are the games that championship teams need to win and it’s time to start winning them.

    …How the Brewers put up a 2-4 road trip and actually gain a 1/2 game on us
    I took a vacation this weekend with my wife and I really hoped that when I came home, the Cubs would be in first place. Instead, they are basically right where they were when I left. In fact, we actually lost ground because of the extra game we played. The division is there for the taking and it’s time we took it. We’ve got seven games against Cincy and St. Louis this week. I want 5 wins at a minimum. I want a series win against the Reds, if not a sweep, and at least a split with the Cardinals so as to not allow them to gain ground. If we’re not careful, the Cardinals will sneak up from behind and pass both the Brewers and us. If we want this division, let’s take it.

    …How Cub fans can be so fickle
    One thing I can’t stand about some Cub fans is how quick they are to throw everyone under the bus. Today, the target is Kerry Wood. This comes from a diary on Bleed Cubbie Blue. Let me know what you think.

    I’m sorry to have to write this letter today, particularly with you on the road and coming off of a tough outing. But it is time. I don’t know what brought on the epiphany, but the answer is clear.

    It’s over between us. I just can’t get my hopes up about you any more.

    It is partially my fault. I fooled myself. I wasn’t going to get excited about your return. I thought your injury in spring training was the last straw. But then when you got ready to come back, I’ll admit to getting excited. Maybe this time would be different. You might return to an elite level of play.

    I had hoped that during your time off you might have though about what it takes to become a pitcher, not just a thrower. Often people who return from long-term injuries like yours have a life-changing moment of clarity that changes their career. They grow. They discover that there is more to pitching that just throwing hard.

    But it is clear that while you still can throw the ball at a good velocity, you just haven’t grown into becoming a pitcher. You see, 95 MPH fastballs with no movement out over the plate become 395 foot doubles and 450 foot homers. Missing spots and always going for strikeouts is a recipe for utter failure. (Read More)

    STARS OF THE GAME – All based on WPA

  • First Star – Troy Tulowitzki (30.1%)
  • Second Star – Matt Herges (22.1%)
  • Third Star – Ian Stewart (12.3%)
  • Turd of the Game – Kerry Wood (-31.4%)
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  • Game 116 – Series of Crooked Numbers

    Saturday, August 11th, 2007

    As the last two games gave the Cubs great results, good old Uncle Lou ran the same crew out on the field tonight. Who can argue when you’re putting up six plus runs in the last two games? With a win, and a Milwaukee loss, the Cubs could once again, gain sole control over the Central Division.

    From the get go, the home plate umpire, whose name I did not catch, strike zone was small and erratic. I cannot stand umps that can’t get a consistent strike zone going. If it’s a ball, call it a ball. Every time. If it’s a strike, it better be a strike. Every time. How Ed Montague missed the the Tulowitski stolen base, boggled me as well. Yeah, it went the Cubs way, but even with the ump in the right spot he stilled missed the call. I will say I think they got the call correct on Murton’s high chopper in the seventh. It looked to me like he was a quarter step too late to the bag. In any case, absolutely drives me nuts, these guys are professionals and should be held accountable just like we hold players accountable. Do your job to the best of your ability, dudes.

    Four words. Jamey Carroll, Grand Slam. Are you kidding me?! Rich Hill didn’t look sharp, once again, especially in the sixth inning. After 87 pitches, Lou elected to pull him, after the aforementioned grand slam and a single by Kaz Matsui. Sean Gallagher wasn’t much better. I’m still not high on this guy, and I’m not sure why anyone else is either. He hasn’t shown anything that makes me get all giddy inside. Scott Eyre looked like himself. Crappy. Although, I’d rather have him mopping up, than in a tight squeeze. I really keep hoping he gets it all back together. C’mon Scott! And poor Mark DeRosa was getting a work out over at third, the Rockies were creating a grove in the infield down the left field line. As much as I like Mark, he showed he can be a rough defensively at the hot corner. We really need Aramis back on Tuesday.

    I’ve said it before, but I really do not feel comfortable when any team, not just the Cubs, put up a bunch of runs in one game. It typically comes back to bite them the next game. The Cubs put up a chunk of runs in the last two, so it almost was inevitable that they’d struggle in one of these games. Back to those Brewers, who were once again losing in the top of the ninth in Houston, took a two run lead with a three run homer run by Ryan Braun. Can you say Rookie of the Year? Sheesh, why can’t we win and they lose? This season is going down to the wire, which is fine since it will at least make it relevant, which is more than I can say the last three seasons were. But here we sit, still only a game and a half back on August 12th. Not too shabby.

    Matt’s Notes:

  • Joe needs to ban me from doing game recaps. The Cubs either blow the opponent out, or get blown out. I think I have a losing record when doing recaps.
  • Is it me, or have outfielders suddenly become inept at picking up ground balls at a complete stand still in the grass? It’s fundamental, you reach straight down and push the ball into the ground. That way you make sure it can’t get away from you. Hello, Mr. Murton. Try this technique, you may find it works.
  • Having played basketball in Denver a few times, I can’t figure out how some of these athletes can just get out there and play. It is unreal how quickly you can wear out at that altitude.
  • Like my love for Sooooo Tah Guchi! I also always recite Matt Holliday’s last name like the creepy back up singer dude in Adam Sandler’s “Wedding Singer.” Hoooolidaaay. Ceeeleeebrate. No need to worry, the little voices in my head scare me too.
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  • Game 116 – Preview

    Saturday, August 11th, 2007

    Scouting Report on todays starters from MLB.com
    Rich Hill – Hill did not get a decision in his last start but deserved a win. He gave up one run, three hits and two walks over seven innings, while striking out six against the Astros. The lefty has tweaked his mechanics to get back to the way he was throwing the ball the first two months of the season. He stayed aggressive against Houston, and it worked.

    Josh Fogg – Fogg threw an efficient seven innings on Monday against the Brewers. He yielded two runs on six hits and needed only 83 pitches. Fogg had good command but did make two mistakes, both homers.

    View the Cubs career numbers vs. Fogg – ESPN Splits

    View the game preview from Baseball Reference

    Tracked Players Results

    Team Results

  • AAA – Iowa 8, Oklahoma 4
  • AA – Tennessee 10, West Tenn 9
  • High-A – Daytona 10, Clearwater 7
  • A – Peoria 14, Great Lakes 3
  • Short Season – Boise 3, Salem-Keizer 8
  • Arizona Rookie – Cubs 6, Padres 2
  • Dominican Summer League – Cubs 3. Twins 5

    View 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 115 – So Far, So good.

    Saturday, August 11th, 2007


    August 9th, 2007

    Teams

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
    Chicago 0 0 3 1 0 1 0 0 1   6 12 2
    Colorado 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0   2 7 1
    W – J. Marquis (9-7)  L  - A. Cook (8-7) S – R. Dempster (18)
    Homeruns: J. Jones (3); M. Murton (4)

    Box Score

    Sometimes a win is just that, a win. Nothing more and nothing less. Tonight was one of those nights. An exciting win for Cubs fans, but with 4 of the 8 runs scored tonight being unearned it wasn’t a game for the baseball purists. It was a little sloppy from both sides. Luckily more sloppy (at costlier moments) for them than us. It would have been a lot more of an exciting evening had the Brewers not pulled off the win in extras versus the Astros, but the Cubs held pace and did what they needed to do. Staying a half game back on the Brewers and 2 out of the wild card is still great considering the recent events and run of tough luck that the Cubs have had. With the first two in the bag from Coors, it makes for a chance at an exciting weekend. You have to like the chance for a series win and a sweep isn’t totally out of the question either.

    There were definitely some positives and overall I thought that the Cubs looked good. They got the game off to a good start by getting hits in the first four innings and got the score in Jason Marquis’ favor quickly. The Rockies commentators were crying about the strike zone by the fourth inning it did seem a like it moved around a little, but it seemed consistently bad for both teams. Cook simply couldn’t get outs when he needed to and the Cubs made him work for everything. His pitch count was in the 70′s by the 4th inning.

    I had stated earlier in the day that I didn’t have much “love” for Jacque Jones and he made me eat that tonight. Once again, I will stand behind my statement and say that I don’t feel comfortable relying on his resurgence, but I give credit where credit is due. Jacque Jones has been The Man with the bat, as of late. Now if he could figure out what the hell is going on while running the bases I would be ecstatic. Twice tonight, he looked a little confused.

    Marquis was solid in earning his first road victory in 3 months. The Rockies announcers on XM mentioned that fact, and I had to look it up to believe it. It is true, so I say: “Good for you Jason Marquis”. He helped himself with a timely double and he got some tough outs when he needed to. I’m not sure if Marquis was as frazzled as Lou thought he was, after nailing Baker in the noggin, but it’s fair to assume that that Lou made the right /safe call there. Let’s all hope that Jeff Baker is okay. In the end Marmol continued to do what he does and came in to clean up the mess.

    I have to admit that I did have a little bit of a deja vu there when the Rockies opened the 8th with some junk hits that chased Marmol and brought in Howry. Especially when Tulowtizki came to the plate with the bases juiced. I had visions of his 3-run jack in Chicago haunting me. Howry hung in though, and he got out of the inning without too much damage. All things considered, another quality outing by the bullpen. I found it especially nice to see a 1-2-3 (sorta) finish for Dempster. Tip of the cap to Ronnie C. for playing heads up at the end there. An out is an out, and a win is a win.

    Some game notes:

  • Mattie Murton must like hitting in Denver. That home run he had tonight did not look like a ball headed to the seats.
  • Apparently Jason Kendall likes playing in Coors Field too. His career numbers at Colorado are outstanding and his career numbers against the Rockies are good period. His career batting average vs. the Rockies is .389 and his OBP and Slugging percentages are each right around .500. He should play every game this series unless he simply can not stand it.
  • Pie looked a little rough tonight. His approach at the plate seems impatient and results in him being behind early a lot. Then he is forced to battle with 2 strikes. Which seems to happen to him a lot. Six men LOB for him tonight.
  • I always try to throw in a little something positive about the other team. I remember seeing a Rockies game in spring training and liking Taveras. He fits well with the Rockies big outfield and I still like him. In my preseason guesses…err I mean highly scientific predictions, Tulowitzki was in my top three for NL rookie of the year candidates. I would love to say that I picked him, but I didn’t. I think I should have, he’s tough.
  • DeRo and Theriot have both been so good this year that I can hardly say a bad thing about them. All good players have an off night every now and again. Now that they have gotten theirs out of the way, I expect better tomorrow. ‘Nuff said.

    STARS OF THE GAME – All based on WPA

  • First Star – Jason Marquis (23.1%)
  • Second Star – Jason Kendall (20.7%)
  • Third Star – Bob Howry (19.2%)
  • Turd of the Game – Aaron Cook (-21.%))

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