One of my son’s favorite movies is Toy Story. When Woody begins to realize he’s being replaced in Andy’s life as the number one priority, the song Strange Things Are Happening is being played and you begin to see Andy’s room take on a new theme. What if we had this Cubs team take on a new theme as well. Here’s how:

  1. Koyie Hill is swinging a hot bat and Geo is not. Call me crazy, but why not ride out the hot bat of Hill and let him start a few games in a row until his streak is over. It’s strange, but why can’t a backup catcher replace an All-Star in the lineup for a few days when he’s hot and the all star is not? Why can’t we be strange here?
  2. It’s clear Soriano is going to be our leadoff man. With Zambrano going one triple away from the cycle, what about hitting him 8th on days he starts and hitting Theriot 9th. Worst case scenario is that if Theriot leads off the inning, you have someone with some speed on before Soriano comes up. Best case scenario is you have Zambrano swinging a good bat and driving in some runs. I don’t have the research in front of me, but a lot of people who have analyzed lineups actually feel the best spot for your worst hitter is the 8th spot, as strange as it may sound. What if we tried it one game out of five?
  3. Jake Fox is tearing the cover off the ball, and it continued yesterday as you’ll see below. Dave always argues that he’s not a 3B because he’s only played three games there in his minor league career. Call it strange, but what if we used him as pinch hitter and tried him at third, assuming he’s going to be a step down defensively, knowing he could provide some offense? Tony LaRusa has a converted OF playing 2B this year because he had nowhere else to play him and wanted his bat in the lineup. Let’s give it a try.
  4. Milton Bradley returned to the lineup (though I doubt he was “100% healthy” like Lou had said he needed to be) and had a pair of hits and a walk. Strange!!!
  5. Bullpen in…..bullpen out….no runs allowed……strange!!!!!

Yesterday on the Farm

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Nashville 7, Iowa 4

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  • It’s getting silly. It reminds me a little of 1998 when every day fans would ask themselves “Did he hit one? Did the Cubs win?” All people cared about was if Sosa hit a home run. That’s the way I’ve been feeling with Jake Fox in AAA. Every day I get excited to check the box score and see if he hit another one, as was the case yesterday when he went 2-for-4 with his 12th homerun of the season.
  • Starter JR Mathes Shadowboxer on dvd

    gave up 12, count ‘em, 12 hits in five innings of work to go with four ER and took the loss. It drops him to 3-2 on the year.

  • Another Chad Fox sighting and another scoreless inning. That brings his ERA to 1.93 on the early season.

Tennessee 5, Carolina 7

    Go Tell the Spartans
  • Every member of the pitching staff that appeared in the game for the Smokies (Casey Coleman, Jeremy Papelbon, and Blake Parker) gave up runs in the game.
  • Wellington Castillo Titan A.E. trailer got the start behind the plate and hit a home run. He went hitless his last start on the 26th, so it’s a nice rebound for him.
  • The Mudcats shut down the red hot Tony Thomas and held him to an 0-for-3 day at the plate.

Daytona 0, Brevard County 1

Daytona got no-hit in this one and I thought it might be more fun to give you the game recap provided by the Cubs media department to read.

DAYTONA – Brevard County starting pitcher Evan Anundsen (2-2) worked nine innings of hitless baseball in the Manatees (12-6) 1-0 victory over the Daytona Cubs (9-9).  The no-hitter was the first in the Florida State League since 2006.

The game was dominated by the pitchers as it was a scoreless ball game until the eighth inning.  The Cubs got a very good spot start from Craig Muschko who worked four scoreless innings and only gave up three hits and struck out four.

Jose Pina came on for the next two innings and was just as good.  The Daytona newcomer struck out three and only allowed one hit.

With Steve Vento (0-2) on the mound in the eighth left fielder Logan Schafer hit a one-out triple off the wall in right field.  After a walk to Eric Farris, Cubs Manager Buddy Bailey elected to go with a lefty-lefty match-up as he brought in Dustin Sasser to relieve Vento.  Sasser got ahead of the reigning Florida State League Player of the Week, Caleb Gindl, but surrendered a RBI single to center field that would be the difference in the game.

Things did get interesting in the bottom of the ninth for Anundsen.  He induced a pop fly to shallow left field off the bat of second baseman Nathan Samson, but it was dropped by shortstop Brent Brewer for his second error of the game.  Anundsen did not get rattled and promptly struck out designated hitter Tyler Colvin to complete the no-hitter.

Peoria 3, Cedar Rapids 0

Peoria 1, Cedar Rapids 0

  • It was a good day to be a starting pitcher named Chris as both Chris Archer and Chris Carpenter both made good starts for the Chiefs. Archer went 5 innings allowing just 1 hit and striking out 8 hitters while picking up the win to run his record to 1-0. Carpenter went 6 innings, giving up just 2 hits and stuck out 3. He induced 11 GB and just 3 flyballs.
  • In game 2, Rebel Ridling went 3-for-3 with a homerun, his 2nd on the year.

Organizational Depth Chart – Righty SP

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail