Archive for July, 2009

Cubs roll, Johnson breaks foot

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Today the Cubs totally annihilated the Astros and took the lead with a decisive 12-0 win over the Astros.  It’s hard to say what was more dominant, the Cubs hitting or the pitching of Randy Wells; Mitch Atkins came in for mop-up action in the 9th and every single Cubs bench player saw action.

Lost to the Cubs today is center fielder Reed Johnson, who broke a foot on a foul tip.  Johnson will miss an estimated 4-6 weeks.  Expect Sam Fuld to return to the Cubs roster – Cubs catcher Koyie Hill is still pulling marathon man action behind the plate so a callup of C Chris Robinson is also a possibility.  Robinson is hitting .321 with one error for Iowa so this move makes the most sense.  It would also allow the Cubs to give Jake Fox time in LF, RF and occasionally at 3B and 1B in a backup role or late inning substitute.  Now the Cubs must substitute Fox for another player when he pinch-hits because they are burning their backup catcher – this an unnecessary consideration for Cubs’ manager Lou Piniella.

The Cubs will enjoy a day off Thursday prior to starting a series against the dreaded Marlins. I always hate playing these guys for more reasons than 2003. They always seem to bring good pitching and we always seem to have critical meltdowns when we play these upstarts. Florida is third in the wildcard race, 2.5 games behind San Francisco. Everybody talks about Hanley Ramirez but I’m as concerned (if not more) with their outfield. It consists of CF Cody Ross (14 HR, 463 SLG,) Brett Carroll and Jeremy Hermida. All of those guys can hit an extra base hit and so can Cantu. Dan Uggla leads the team with 17 homeruns and we all know about their pitching staff led by Josh Johnson. The Cubs will play three games in Florida and none of them appears to be in danger of being blacked out – they will then enjoy another day off on Monday.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

BJ Ryan maks an appearance

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Well, you gotta lose sometime, but what a weird game last night. Oswalt leaves early due to injury. A ball gets lost in the pitchers baseball jersey. Very very strange stuff. We’re out of 1st again, so let’s put the pressure on St. Louis again with a win today.

  • Tough outing for Dempster. Do you think it’s related to rust, the toe still bothering him, or just a bad outing?
  • Bullpen Monday = outstanding…..Bullpen Tuesday = not so much.
  • Justin Berg was sent down to make room for Dempster, and I’m not sure I would have went that route. I think Samardzija was the guy to go.
  • All this talk about the Cubs not having a catcher in the system to backup is garbage. You mean to tell me that we’ve got no one down there that can hit .198 in the Majors and catch a ballgame every so often? That’s what Koyie is hitting right now. I’m sorry, but I’m not buying the bridge Hendry and some of you are trying to sell me. I’d like to see Jeff Baker gone and Chris Robinson added to the 40 man roster and called up to backup Hill so we can actually afford to use a guy like Jake Fox at other positions and not worry about the fact that your backup catcher is on the field and could get hurt.
  • Big ups to Mark Buehrle on another great outing, breaking the consecutive hitless innings record. Not so much on his appearance on David Letterman.

Minor League Notes

  • B.J. Ryan pitched a scoreless inning of relief for Iowa, allowing a walk, but no hits.
  • Casey Fossum got hit hard in his five inning start, allowing five earned runs. Just when I bragged on him too.
  • Aaron Miles doesn’t appear to be coming back to this team. He’s hitting .222 in Iowa with a .234 OBP.
  • Josh Harrison earned Florida State League Player of the Week honors after two great series versus the St. Lucie Mets and Palm Beach Cardinals. Harrison batted .423 (11-26) over the last week and stole seven bases.
  • Craig Muschko pitched 6.0 scoreless innings
  • Alvaro Ramirez was 3-for-5
  • Jordan Petraitis was 3-for-4

Top Prospect Tracker

Photo Op

Jovan Rosa is batting .310 with 16 RBIs and two steals in 19 games with the Chiefs. (Scott Jontes/

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Jeremy Papelbon sticks one to me

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Just when I start dissing on Jeremy Papelbon, he drops a great outing on us.

  • Jeremy Papelbon pitched 4.1 scoreless innings
  • Rafael Dolis pitched 5.0 scoreless innings
  • Austin Bibens-Dirkx only allowed one run in 9.0 innings pitched
  • Melvin Camarena was 4-for-6 with 6 RBI
  • Rebel Ridling went 4-for-4 with a HR

Top Prospect Tracker

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

I Know We’re Winning…But

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Big ups to Sori for the walk off grand slam after another moron moment in the 11th where he didn’t even run on a ground out to third. It feels good to see this team hitting a hot streak at just the right time, but I came away from the game with a few questions / thoughts.

Lineup Shuffling – Kosuke got the night off tonight against the lefty, with ReJo in there to spell him. The offense suffered as a result. 0-for -12 combined. Johnson and Theriot simply couldn’t do anything at the top to set the table for the middle of the order, especially Lee who had a great day at the plate. In my opinion, Johnson isn’t really the guy I want at the top of the order. He looked confused at the plate tonight. I’d rather see Theriot lead off against lefties with someone like Milton Bradley hitting 2nd. In fact, I really wouldn’t mind a move for Bradley to the middle of the order against the righties as well. He seems to love to draw the walks and since he seems to have an allergy to driving in runs, why not hit him 2nd? Between Fukudome and Bradley, a pitcher has the potential to throw 15 pitches and have a pair of baserunners on for Lee / Ramirez / Soriano at the 3-4-5 spots. It’s worth a try. What’s the worst that can happen?

Along the same lines of lineup shuffling, would it have made more sense to hit Carlos in the 8th spot with Koyie Hill behind the plate? Hill isn’t really in there because of the offense. Wouldn’t that be the time to pull a LaRussa and go with the pitcher hitting 8th? Purists hate it, but I can see the value in it for someone like LaRussa with a guy like Pujols in that lineup. Then again, with Lee hitting the ball the way he has, why not try to get as many on base ahead of him as possible?

What’s Foxy gotta do? – Hill is an iron man behind the plate. We’ve seen that since Geo has gone down with the injury, but what I can’t seem to figure out is why Lou refuses to get Foxy in the lineup when he can. Is it really necessary to have him catch every game? Why not give Hill a night off every now and then if you trust Fox behind the plate, which obviously Lou does to a point or he wouldn’t have put him back there for a couple of innings tonight or awhile back? Fox can hit. I think we’ve all seen that so far at this level, so now it becomes Lou’s responsibility to get him at bats when possible.

Questioning Lou – I don’t question Lou’s decision to suicide squeeze with Fontenot in the 9th, despite it’s failure, but what I do question is the decision to leave Zambrano in the game to hit in the 7th inning with runners on 1st and 2nd and two outs. It was clear that Z wasn’t going to come back out to pitch the 8th. While Zambrano can handle the bat, when he’s up at the plate he’s thinking one thing and one thing only….HACK. That’s not the approach I want in that situation. I’d have rather seen Lou pinch hit in that spot in an effort to push that run in and get Z a chance at a win.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

What the Cubs need most (now)

Monday, July 27th, 2009

There is a lot of speculation as to what the Cubs need to add to make this another playoff season – some suggest a right fielder, others a second baseman, still others want another quality lefty out of the pen.   My suggestion is much cheaper and easy to purchase – duct tape.  For Milton Bradley’s mouth.  I have a suggestion for Mr. Bradley too and it’s even cheaper – Google the words “Todd AND Hundley AND finger.”  Learn about what happened when Hundley came to bat Milton – make a decision as to whether or not you want to listen to the boos every time you run to right field or go to bat.  For that matter, read about Jacque Jones and his brief stay in Chicago; the difference here is that Jones only cost $5M a year so he was real easy to ditch.  Not so easy with you Milton, you’ll have to serve out your contract and listen to the fans sing your praises.

I feel like many of our readership here seem to feel, we’ve been patient with Mr. Bradley’s antics and lack of maturity but now he seems to be hindering the team with his attitude.  Guys with bad attitudes can really hurt morale in any business, let alone a teamwork-intensive endeavor like baseball.  I’m hopeful that Lou Piniella will begin immediate tough love sessions with a three day benching.  This guy needs serious lessons in humility and it wouldn’t hurt for him to do some Dale Carnegie immersion as well.

This guy clearly has a “people problem.”


Speaking of guys with no tact, how about LaTroy Hawkins running his mouth with an umpire?  I’ve never seen a pitcher ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the middle of an at bat – I used to hate it when this guy would call into the Score and chime in like he was some kind of baseball fortune teller.  The ump clearly warned Hawkins of his impending fate, my hat’s off to that guy, particularly after taking a real nasty foul ball off his throat protector.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us: