Archive for September, 2007

Game 158 – Marquis is French for Yuck

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

September 26th, 2007

Teams

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E
Chicago 0 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0   4 9 1
Florida 1 3 0 0 1 0 2 0 X   7 11 0
W – L. Kensing (2-0) L – J. Marquis (12-9)
S – L. Gardner (2)
Homeruns: D. Lee (21); M. Cabrera (34)

<a href=”
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/boxscore.jsp?gid=2007_09_26_chnmlb_flomlb_1″>Box Score

I’m beginning to really hate when my gut feelings turn out to be right. Yesterday I predicted two loses to the Marlins in the first two games. The Cubs will win tomorrow, Friday, Saturday, and lose the season finale. I can feel it. This game really bored me to tears. “Lost In Translation” was on Encore, and I kept fighting the urge to just skip the rest of the game. And I’ve seen that movie at least a dozen times. You could tell from the get go that Marquis didn’t have his ‘A’ game. I’m not sure he had his ‘B or C’ game either. He looked lost on the mound, and completely uncomfortable throughout his short outing. Thanks to Cubs bats at least making a few whimpers here and there, Marquis was still in line for a No Decision, or even a win, when he was removed.

Like last night, the whole team seems to be out of sync. There isn’t the happy-go-lucky feeling you saw over the weekend. Almost like they’re pressing to get the job done. Bob Brenly noted that since their arrival in Miami, the area has been hit with the usual seasonal rain storms, and that the players are getting the routines a bit fouled up because of it. No offense, but it’s game 158. These guys have all played in all of these stadiums at all different times. The Marlins have 67 wins. You’re trying to tell me because they had to hit in the cages instead of on the field it makes it that big of a difference? I don’t buy it. They look dog tired, and perhaps got into celebration mode a bit too early. Now I’m sitting here hoping the Cardinals hand the Brewers a loss, and get that magic number down to three. I don’t like that one bit. Wins are the best way to get the job done. I guess I better just set up camp with the Pepto bottle, since as we’re all used to, the Cubs can never make this easy.

On the plus side, the Cubs did hit the ball hard, they just couldn’t capitalize on any of the hits. Cliff Floyd looks flat out locked in, as does Mark DeRosa and Derrek Lee. Soriano seems to be trying to fight off global warming all by himself with the amount free swinging he’s doing, and A-Ram needs to settle down. Is it me, or does he seem to be really fighting himself during his at bats? Almost like each one is the biggest one of his entire career. Too much pressure dude, relax.

As I said yesterday, my record for doing recaps is horrendous. This should be my last one for the regular season. Joe and Rob seem to have better luck when they do these. I’m begging Joe to make me give up any more of these, as I’m cursed. Or you can all send checks to “Make Matt stop doing recaps” fund. Make that out to Matt, with two T’s. I’ll see you guys on the flipside. I’m handing this off to Joe and Rob.

Matt’s Notes:

  • Hmmmm, Andy Fletcher sure likes to call those third check swing strikes.
  • Last night as my wife and I were watching the game, I got down on the floor and started rolling around. I asked her, “What am I?” She had no idea. Any ideas?
  • Marmol’s scoreless innings pitched streak ended tonight. Glad it’s now and not in the playoffs. I’m a big believer in ending streaks before playoffs. Start them all over again in the post season. So says I.
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    Game 158 – Preview

    Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

    Scouting Today’s Starters from MLB.com
    Jason Marquis – Marquis struggled in his last start against the Pirates, and gave up seven runs on eight hits and two walks over 2 2/3 innings. It wasn’t his shortest outing of the year, but it was a bad sign. He had trouble keeping the ball down, and blew a 5-1 lead. This will be Marquis’ last regular-season start. He’s in line to pitch Game 163 if the Cubs need a one-game playoff to win the National League Central.

    Daniel Barone – Barone will take the mound for Florida and get another crack at his first victory as a Major League starter. The right-hander has appeared in 14 games (five starts) since being called up from Triple-A Albuquerque in August. Barone’s last start was a loss at Atlanta on Sept. 19 in which he gave up four runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He recorded two perfect outs in relief against the Mets on Sunday. The 24-year-old will be making his first career appearance against the Cubs.


    View the game preview from Baseball Reference to see various features like the bullpen rest report, information on today’s starters and much more.

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    Game 157 – Bienvenido a Miami

    Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

    September 25th, 2007

    Teams

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    Chicago 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0   2 3 0
    Florida 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 X   4 9 1
    W – D. Willis (10-15) L – T. Lilly (15-8) S – None
    Homeruns: C. Monroe (1)

    Box Score

    OK, I swear I really should not sign up for any more recaps. Seriously folks, the Cubs do not win when I do these. Let’s face it, Ted Lilly, with the exception of the second inning wasn’t fantastic, but he had game winning stuff. Once he found the breaking ball, he kept the Florida batters at bay by mixing speeds nicely, as he’s done all year. It was that second inning where his inability to locate the deuce, unless you count placing it over the heart of the plate as good, that got him trouble. Two bloop hits by Dontrelle Willis and the Hermida two run double was all that was needed. Dontrelle kept the Cubs hitters equally at bay with that funky leg kick, and an enormous strike zone from Andy Fletcher (more on that later).

    I’ve been flapping my gums at anyone around that wants to hear me pontificate about the Cubs, that I really believe that they’ll wrap this up on Saturday. I fear two loses in Florida, a win on Friday and Saturday in Cinci, and we’ll conclude with a loss. It’s just the gut instinct I’ve got. I don’t like the way the media and some of the Cubs seem to act as if this is a done deal. The magic number is four gentlemen, you still have five games to go. Oh, and by the way, the Cardinals are playing dead for the Brewers, so unless the Brewers shoot themselves in the foot, this is going the distance. Get out there and play ball, because tonight it certainly didn’t look like you were playing for anything. There were three or four lead off walks and the Cubs went right back to the old 6-4-3 routine that we saw so much of two weeks ago. Let’s get this thing in gear and put the beer swigging neighbors to the north away. And not on Sunday, my acid reflux is already in overdrive.

    Out of the whole mess of a lackluster game, Michael Wuertz has once again found his early season form. The changeup and the slider are mesmerize hitters, and he looks like a good specialist when needed. Oh and looky here, there’s been a Craig Monroe sighting. Nice to see you Craig, that .200 average against lefties was a nice addition, glad it showed up on September 25th. If I sound a bit miffed, I am. Obviously, it’s only game one of the series, but these are all games that the Cubs should easily win. You can’t manhandle the Pirates, and not get more that three hits against Dontrelle. He’s just not as overpowering as he was a couple of years ago.

    In any case, I’ve got tomorrow’s recap too. So buckle up. I’m sending the wife to the bathroom for the entire thing, and I’ll be turning lights on and off, as well as flopping back and forth on the couch. Anything to get that magic number to diminish.

    Matt’s Notes:

  • I feel like I rail on this way too often, but Andy Fletcher you’re an umpire, do your dang job and stop trying to be part of the show. Call balls and strikes, that are actually IN the strike zone, and go home. As Bob pointed out, Andy is known for his enormously large strike zone, and tonight was no different. Major League Baseball needs to do some serious soul searching this off season on their current roster of umpires, and perhaps making them accountable. These guys are atrocious this year. And how the heck does a home plate ump watch the flight of a pitch and the batter’s swing? Ask for help, moron. That’s why you’re on a crew.
  • Who is in charge of advertising for Cubs baseball on TV? Good god, you can’t tell me that Budweiser, Mercury, General Motors, and the Commemorative Pavers Promotion are the only companies looking to put up ads during games.
  • I just found my Vineline postcards for resubscribing, from 2005. It somewhat saddened me that the only three players in the set that still were on the Cubs in any sort of major role are Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and Carlos Zambrano.
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    Game 157 – Preview

    Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

    Scouting Today’s Starters from MLB.com
    Ted Lilly – Lilly is coming off a solid start against the Reds in which he gave up two runs over seven innings. It was his 20th quality start of the season, and he’s the first lefty to do so for the Cubs since Jamie Moyer in 1988. Lilly has set a career high in innings pitched, and matched his previous single-season high in strikeouts. He will be pitching with plenty of rest in what is his next-to-last start of the regular season.

    Dontrelle Willis – He was like the Willis of old in his previous start, battling for six innings and slapping out two hits at the plate. Turning in an all-around game, Willis was in line for a win over the Mets until New York rallied. So the D-Train settled for a no-decision. Willis is on pace for two more starts, and he now has logged 194 2/3 innings. He is headed for his third straight 200-inning season. On May 29, Willis beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field.


    View the game preview from Baseball Reference to see various features like the bullpen rest report, information on today’s starters and much more.

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    Tuesday Morning Coffee Thread

    Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

    I’m stealing a page from Scott over at Rays of Light on this one. It’s probably going to be a regular feature in the off-season, so why not try it now. Let’s discuss something today.

    With the Bears at 1-2, who’s your QB? Why?

    Discuss!!!

    Update: – Also, what do you think of the morning coffee thread idea in the off-season?

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