Monday, May 31, 2004
Mark Prior will be back on Friday (out of all the dumbass predictions I made at the beginning of the season I lucked into getting this date exactly right). Hopefully, that means good things.
The Cubs have the Astros for 3, and are up against the Rocket on Wednesday. Glendon Rusch pitches on 3 days rest on Tuesday. Probably not a good idea.
C'mon, Let's beat the Astros. Please?
Friday, May 28, 2004
nice beard idiot:
and now, let's play the latest game craze sweeping the country:
HOW HIGH DOES YOUR ERA HAVE TO GET BEFORE YOU ARE SENT BACK TO MEXICO?
This month's contestant:
ERA as of May 29th: 8.30
Pack it in boys or get Prior on a plane to Pittsburgh, put Sosa in a straitjacket so he won't sneeze himself to death and fill the whirlpools with piss cause this one's almost done!
How many times can you load the bases in two games with nobody out and not score? If you're the free swinging, hacktastic Cubbies...
Oh, and 4 more years of Derrek Lee???? Yee-ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And just for the hell of it:
(I feel better now)
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Trenedad Hubbard: He's currently got a stat line of .323/.408/.402. I like the .323. I really like the .408. I don't like the .402. When your slugging is less than your OBP, you've got some issues. If you have 6 extra base hits in 127 at-bats, that's a problem.
Dave Kelton: Soon to be called up for Friday's doubleheader to not play much. He's got a .294/.351/.500 line with 7 HR in 170 AB. Unfortunately, he's only walked 13 times, so he'll fit right in with the big club.
Rey Ordonez: He's 7 for 24! He's 7 for 24! He's the solution at shortstop! He's the answer! (Then what the hell is the question?) (His lifetime average: .247/.291/.311. Nice fielder though)
Jimmy Anderson: Another callup for the next couple of days, probably starting against the Astros next week. Great.
A quick recap of the last two games:
The Cubs can't hit Roy Oswalt and were shutout for the 28th time this year.
Corey Patterson batted third?
Ramon Martinez hit second? Ramon Martinez sucks.
Derrek Lee couldn't get a clutch hit if his life depended on it.
Paul Bako was intentionally played in a non-Maddux start. He went 1-3 with his first stolen base since 2001. Paul Bako sucks.
Can we send this SOB back to Montreal or Korea or wherever the hell he came from?
Pop Quiz hotshot: You've got one of the slowest runners on the team in Michael Barrett (but he runs well for a catcher, right Chip?), against one of the best arms in the league in Richard Hidalgo. There's one out. Do you send the runner home on a single if you're the third base coach when the score is 5-3? Well, if you're Wavin' Wendell you sure as hell do! And when he gets thrown out by 30 feet, what happens then? Idiot!
The furthest out of first last year the Cubs were was when they were swept in a 2 game series at Philly in late July. They were 5 1/2 games out. If they can stay within 5 games by the time they get the calvary back (Sosa, Prior and/or Wood), they've got a chance. Unless, of course they make some sort of trade and actually acquire someone of value (Beltran, "A Shortstop That Can Hit", Hee Seop Choi, etc.)
Monday, May 24, 2004
Where would the Cubs be without Moises Alou? I admit I thought at the beginning of the year that Moises' luck would run out and he'd spend half the year on the DL. All he has done is be the Cubs best hitter so far this year. Why do pitchers keep throwing him first pitch fastballs?
Alou on the first pitch: .447 (17-38), 2 HR, 7 RBI
However in this game, even though Moises hit another long homer to cut it to 7-6, the Cubs could not do anything else against Jason Isringhausen and the Cards pen. New #2 hitter Michael Barrett did hit 2 solo shots. Meat-Tray was awful, but was again defended by Dusty:
"You got any better choices?" Baker asked. "We've got enough stuff going on. We're not that deep yet."
and of course...
But just as Baker stuck with Shawn Estes during his tough times last summer, he's apparently willing to stick with his rookie right-hander as he learns how to pitch in the big leagues.
"He was here out of necessity," Baker said. "He's been pretty good, really. This is on-the-job training for a team in the heat of a pennant race, and people expect to win. It's not like he's on some last-place team [where] they don't care what happens."
Glendon Rusch? 7 2/3 IP? 6 hits? 1 run? 9 strikeouts? What? Really?
Patterson in the 7th spot: .308/.367/.538 (8-26)
Patterson in the 2nd spot: .258/.313/.411 (32-124)
Why does Dusty manage 6 run leads like they are 1 run leads? (Hawkins pitches the ninth with a 6 run lead?)
E-ramis goes deep in the first off Matt Morris, and Clement, Hawkins and Sweaty Joe make it stand.
Kerry Wood has more pain, and now will have a bone scan. Uh oh.
The Cubs probably will need one more starter this weekend, but Baker downplayed the possibility that it would be Todd Wellemeyer. "As a long reliever, that's a tough situation to put him in," Baker said. Baker also downplayed bringing up a minor-leaguer to make a spot start.
OK, then who will it be? Cause it ain't gonna be Kerry Wood!
Chris Deluca of the Suntimes steals Al Yellon's info, saying the Cubs will trade for Ichiro! OK, sure.
Friday, May 21, 2004
Cubs lose 5-3, as often happens when the following players are starting:
Bako (the Bako-meter has been adjusted farther away from the Mendoza line. Our buddy Bako also drew another intentional walk. When was the last time someone had more intentional walks than RBI in a season? Maddux struck out swinging to end the inning. I thought he used to be a good hitter?)
Martinez (nothing you can do about this one, but still)
Oh yeah, and you've got to have a pitcher bat too!
Mark Prior pitched 3 scoreless, hitless innings for the Lansing Lugnuts yesterday. He threw 42 pitches, 27 for strikes. Hurry back Mark!
Phil Rogers makes up some more stuff and thinks Rich Aurilla is the answer. He's killing me on one of my AL fantasy teams, so I vote no on this one.
Kerry Wood is 95% healthy! But he's also going to have to serve 100% of his suspension sometime after he returns (unless he appeals it down).
Meat-Tray, Rusch and Clement against the Cardinals? Uh, pray for rain?
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Let's give that Dubois kid a start in right field against the next lefty that starts against us. Or the next righty. I know Dusty would have taken him out and put in Hollandsworth or Goodwin if the Giants would have brought in a righty reliever instead of Eyre, but it was nice to see him deliver in the clutch.
Zambrano was not as sharp as he has been (outside of the start in Arizona). More flyballs then normal, and I think it was just a matter of time before someone hit one out. Unfortunately, that person was Michael Tucker, who flipped the bat away like he was Barry Bonds. Carlos struck him out the next time up and proceeded to do a little dance. Living in the Cubs blackout area that is the entire state of Indiana (thank you Bud Selig!), I had to watch the idiot duo of Chris Berman and Jeff Brantley on ESPN. Berman was too busy doing his schtick from 1987, and didn't even realize why Zambrano did what he did. Brantley, (too bad he cut his curly mullet) actually realized it was in response to Tucker flipping the bat in his previous at-bat.
Kerry Wood was placed on the DL, and Mike Wuertz was called up. Todd Wellemeyer continues to rot in the pen. Here's the rotation now:
I guess if you had told me at the beginning of the year that Sosa, Wood and Prior were on the DL on May 20th, I would have guessed the Cubs would be 5 or more games out of first. Instead, they're only 1 game out. Houston, we have a problem?
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Jason Dubois anyone?
Monday, May 17, 2004
Wonder how your favorite Ex-Cubs are doing in Japan? Courtesy of japanesebaseball.com:
Roosevelt Brown - .299/.436/.583, 8 HR, 34 RBI in 127 AB
Matt Franco - .326/.404/.514, 4 HR, 23 RBI in 144 AB
Angel Echevarria - .312/.353/.640, 10 HR, 31 RBI in 125 AB
Spring MVP Scott McClain - .200/.308/.356, 2 HR, 5 RBI in 45 AB
Tuffy Rhodes - .351/.476/.739, 16 HR, 33 RBI in 134 AB
Julio Zuleta - .254/.333/.458, 8 HR, 20 RBI in 142 AB
So there you go.
The new #7 hitter, Corey Patterson, went 2-4 with a homer.
There's a problem with the box score: Jose Macias had 3 hits and 3 RBI.
Paul Bako, not feeling the good vibes, went 0-3.
Greg Maddux pitches like Greg Maddux. 88 pitches in 8 innings.
Sweaty Joe has a 7 pitch 9th inning!
Alou 4-5, Sosa homers again and A-ramis adds a big 3 run shot.
There's a problem with the box score: Jose Macias had 2 more hits.
Meat-tray scattters 6 hits for 6 innings and gets the win.
Capt. Tightpants does his best 2002 impression.
(By the way, could that ballpark be any more ridiculous with the number of looping hits in front of the outfielders? I think Ryan Klesko may kill someone before the year is over)
Hawkins shuts the door for his 3rd save.
There's a problem with the box score: Jose Macias had 3 hits and a homer.
Hollandsworth takes over for a sneezing Sammy and has 2 hits in the #2 spot.
Rusch pitches well enough to keep the Cubs in the game.
Francis Beltran: 1st career win.
Capt Tightpants does his best 2003 impression.
Sweaty Joe slams it shut with an 8 pitch 9th!
Sammy sneezes and hurts himself.
Kent Mercker is also day to day with back spasms. What the hell are these guys doing?
Grudz might not come back until after the All-Star break.
Friday, May 14, 2004
Two hits, One RBI and One Intentional Walk IN ONE GAME!!!!
Folks, let me tell you about yesterday's game. Sure, the Cubs finally scored a few runs using a Bizarro World lineup (Goodwin #1, Macias #2) that hopefully will never, ever be used again. But the important thing is, that Major League Baseball's worst player Gabor Paul Bako II, achieved to what many thought was the impossible. Gabor had 2 hits and DOUBLED his RBI total for the season to 2. He also raised his batting average 46 points, to an almost Mendoza like .194. Also, the Dodgers must have misplaced their scouting binders because for some reason, he was also INTENTIONALLY WALKED. Seriously! A manager actually made the decision to put Paul Bako on first, rather than pitching to him. Here's a stat you can impress your friends and neighbors with: Bako has been intentionally walked 26 times in his career. Why? Who knows, but someone needs to write a Moneyball sequel about that. Also, the Cubs are now 1-1 on the season when Bako gets 2 hits and an RBI in a game (oh yes, it happened April 18th against the Reds). With Maddux pitching today against the Padres, he'll undoubtedly get another start to prove exactly what Mr. Gabor Paul Bako is made of. I doubt he'll disappoint.
Dusty on another fine Jo Bo's performance yesterday:
"He was a little high in the zone," Baker said of Borowski. "His velocity was pretty good. That's why we wanted him out there. When the situation comes back around again, it won't be so foreign to him.
"I know he's frustrated. He doesn't want to give up anything. That's Joe. That's OK. We won."
Chip Caray's last year? Oh no! That's horrible!
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Well, at least they drew 1 of those baseclogging walks.
Alex Cora saw about as many pitches in one at-bat (18), as Corey Patterson sees over a 2 game stretch. Of course, instead of striking out, he hit a homer.
Moises Alou is hitting .524 (11-21) against today's Dodger starter, Hideo Nomo. Let's see if that matters.
Kerry Wood will miss at least one start. Glendon Rusch will replace him this Sunday against San Diego. Great.
I'm starting to look forward to being able to easily buy tickets next year.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
ATTENTION CHICAGO CUBS! PLEASE DO NOT ACQUIRE ANY MORE LIGHT HITTING SHORTSTOPS!
THERE ARE NO MORE SPACES AVAILABLE!
That is all.
Kerry Wood left the game with a tightness in his right triceps. He and the Cubs season will be reevaluated on Wednesday.
Mark Prior seems to be progressing well, and could be back in early June.
No Rey Ordonez! Pitcher and MIT grad Jason Szuminski was sent back by the Padres to the Cubs.
Andy Pratt put on the DL in Iowa with a "groin injury". I felt like I had a groin injury everytime I watched him pitch.
The Cubs get lefty Wilson Alvarez tonight. He's had 1 start this year and allowed 1 hit in 7 innings. Nobody on the roster has done jack against him. I would expect we'll see the Cubs "lefty" lineup with home run hero Damian Jackson in place of Walker. It sure would be nice to see them move Patterson down in the order.
I think Rick Telander would feel more comfortable if Wrigley Field were surrounded by barbed wire fences and put under the control of the National Guard.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Who goes? If Cirillo is activated, the Padres will have to make the first change to their 25-man roster since Opening Day. On the bubble are relief pitchers Jason Szuminski (7.20 ERA in 10 innings) and left-hander Eddie Oropesa (9.82 ERA 7 1/3 innings). A Rule V draftee, Szuminski would return to the Cubs if dropped from the Padres' 25-man roster, unless the Padres can retain his rights via trade. With Alex Gonzalez out for up to six weeks, the Cubs could use a shortstop. And the Padres still have Rey Ordoñez under contract and sitting on the restricted list since he departed spring training.
Sigh. Sigh. Rey Ordonez? Good god. Maybe he'll bat second?
Prior throws 45 pitches and apparently feels good.
Vote for Chicago's worst sports moments! Is it too late to add "Trading for Rey Ordonez" to the list?
Mariotti says to stop pissing on Alou.
Cubs hitters vs. tonight's starter Jeff Weaver:
Walker: 5-14, 2 doubles
There are some others. Read it if you want.
Shawn Green is 5-8 lifetime against Kerry Wood. Read all about the other Dodgers.
Monday, May 10, 2004
Corey Patterson has 9 walks this year.
6 of those walks were on 4 pitches.
2 of those walks were on 5 pitches.
1 of those walks was on 6 pitches.
Now, I know we really don't need any more evidence that the Cubs #2 hitter is somewhat "less than selective" with his hitting, but having seen a decent majority of Patterson's at-bats this year, I thought there was something to this.
I mentioned last week that Derrek Lee would be fine in the #2 spot. Obviously, Lee is not a prototypical #2 hitter (then again, neither is Patterson), but in this lineup, I think he'd do the best job. Barring any injury, I don't think we'll see any change though.
Oh, and Corey...thanks for the game winning hit yesterday!
Hey, can we call up Jason Dubois (.314/.385/.686, 11 HR, 28 RBI) to replace Macias???
Hey Phil, how's that prediction looking?
The time has come to stop picking the Yankees and Braves every year and start playing hunches. So who's going to be the next team to spring a sneak attack?
The Colorado Rockies are that team.
No, Phil, they're the Colorado Rockies.
There's the obvious thunder in the middle of this lineup. A team that has Todd Helton, Larry Walker, Preston Wilson, Vinny Castilla and Jeromy Burnitz hitting 3-7 is going to score some runs, both at Coors Field and on the road.
I guess you can't predict injuries but you can predict Larry Walker injuries.
And look for a good season from Walker, whose erratic production has been almost of Juan Gonzalez proportions. He has lost a ton of weight (25-30 pounds) and is working out with a strength coach for the first time in his career. If it helps him stay healthy -- he hasn't played 150 games in a season since 1997 -- then the Rockies take a major step toward the first division.
He's just like Gonzalez. He's hurt.
Clayton and Castilla will not only be more reliable, but will gobble up ground balls. That could be a key to a rebound season for 2002 Rookie of the Year Jason Jennings while helping Aaron Cook establish himself.
Cook, long a minor-league standout, has a 5.69 ERA after his first 160 big-league innings. He sometimes seemed discouraged because of the fielding behind him in 2003, and no wonder. Kevin Brown and Brandon Webb were the only NL starters who threw a higher percentage of ground balls than Cook, who nevertheless saw hitters bat .317 against him.
Jennings: 2-4, 9.57 ERA
Cook: in AAA
Scott Elarton has finally recovered from shoulder surgery and is ready to assume the potential he showed in 2000, when he won 17 games for Houston. He's been working with pitching guru Bus Campbell, a treaure in the state of Colorado, who helped Roy Halladay turn his career around.
Campbell says that Elarton is ahead of where Halladay was at this time last year. That's scary.
Hey Bus, do you want to know what's scary?
Scott Elarton: 0-5, 8.91 ERA
Denny Stark, who was 8-1 with a 3.21 ERA at Coors Field in 2002, is also healthy after a season marred by injuries. The Rockies figure to open the season with Jennings, Stark, Cook and Joe Kennedy as their top four starters.
Stark: 0-2, 16.20 ERA
O'Dowd signed Jeff Fassero (another guy who induces ground balls) with the thought the left-hander can possibly take over the final spot in the rotation.
Fassero may "induce ground balls" but he also "induces" walks and a lot of runs.
Shawn Chacon, an All-Star before being bothered by tendinitis last year, should have success as the Rockies' closer. Jose Jimenez was adequate a year ago, but Chacon has the potential to turn into a major success, along the lines of Eric Gagne.
Well, he's 0-1 with 2 blown saves. So other than that, he's just like Gagne.
Aaron Miles was an astute acquisition who could put up Rookie of the Year numbers as the second baseman. He'll have to play well in spring training to win a battle with veteran Damian Jackson, but don't be surprised if he scores 100-plus runs.
Miles is an intriguing offensive player who seems to fit Coors Field perfectly. He hits for a high average (.313 the last two years between Double-A and Triple-A) and is hard to strike out. He's only 5-foot-8, but is extremely strong. The ball jumps off his bat. He won't steal a lot of bases, but is an exciting baserunner.
Miles: .267/.283/.378, 1 stolen base, 2 BB in 90 at-bats.
Well, that was fun. And easy.
Cubs 11, Rockies 0
Zambrano had his best performance ever with a 97 pitch, 2 hit shutout.
Shawn Estes pitched like it was 2003 all over again: 2 2/3 IP, 7 H, 9 ER, 5 BB, 0 K.
Good god, that's Todd Wellemeyer's music!
Rockies 4, Cubs 3
3 solo homers (Walker, Alou, Sosa) and a whole lot of nothing else.
But...Paul Bako: 1-3, with a double!!!
Jason Jennings makes Phil Rogers look good by hitting a 2-run homer and shuting down the Cubs after a rough 1st inning.
Meat-tray scatters 10 hits in 6 innings.
New Cub Damian Jackson goes deep and walks 3 times. Let's keep him over Macias. He does everything Jose does, only better. That's not really a complement.
Borowski gives up a 10th inning homer to Todd Helton...
...but Aramis hits one of his own in the bottom of the 10th
Glendon Rusch pitches 2 scoreless innings and lays down a fine sac bunt to pick up the win..
Read all about Kyle Farnsworth and what his mom has to say about Sweaty Joe Borowski:
"I root for Joe Borowski, but I'm not quite sure why they turned to Joe last year rather than Kyle. His stuff is so much better than Joe's. He's done a good job and I root for Joe. But I don't think he's the long-term closer in Chicago."
Happy Mother's Day!
Bad guy Ben Christensen was cut. He's best known for hitting an on-deck hitter with a pitch in the eye while in college. Too bad about that karma thing.
Friday, May 07, 2004
Derrek Lee led the way with a homer and a 5-5 day. Matt Clement is 5-1?
Today, the Cubs get to face our old friend Shawn Estes. Estes, of course, was the majors worst starter last year but Dusty nearly cost the Cubs the division continually running him out there. He's 4-1 so far in 2004, and his games this year have been interesting. In three starts (2 of them against the Dodgers) he's allowed 1 run each start and given up 3 hits or less in each of those games. The other three games (at STL, FLA & ATL) he pitched like he did for the Cubs, allowing 10+ hits and a bunch of runs. I would expect the Cubs to beat up on this idiot, but with Estes being a lefty, Dusty may bench Walker in favor of Macias or something stupid like that. And of course, the pitchers you would expect the Cubs to clobber usually end up pitching like future Cy Young winners. Today would sure be a good idea for the Derrek Lee in the #2 hole experiment, but who knows?
The Cubs apparently are not waiting until Sunday and are calling up the great Damian Jackson from Iowa.
Jackson can play any infield position, and anywhere in the outfield. He's kind of like Macias, only he's had more "success" at the major league level. And he's really fast. Either way, the Cubs bench will not be scaring anyone anytime soon.
Thursday, May 06, 2004
"gary miller moises alou urine"
and of course...
"alou urinates hands baker"
Scroll down a bit and you'll find out some info on that whole sordid episode. We hope you'll have a wonderful time and continue to join us here at "Eat at Joe's" to discuss Cubs baseball and world economic policy again and again!
Gonzalez was hurt in the seventh inning of Wednesday night's 2-0 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks when he was struck by the ball on a pitch from Mike Koplove.
Home plate umpire Charlie Reliford ruled that Gonzalez fouled the pitch, and after a brief argument, he resumed his at-bat before striking out.
"We couldn't tell, the umpire couldn't tell, nobody could tell except Alex," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.
"He didn't argue very emphatically. ... Usually when you are hit like that, you show a lot more emotion. You show the umpire the mark."
Gonzalez then played the top of the eighth inning, fielded a grounder and threw out the runner before leaving the game.
Gonzalez has a non-displaced fracture, meaning surgery won't be needed. He has already been fitted in a cast that he will wear for at least three weeks. The Cubs will make a roster move Sunday.
Chicago is already without starting second baseman Mark Grudzielanek, who's been on the disabled list since April 10 with a partial tear of his right Achilles' tendon. Pitchers Mark Prior (Achilles tendon) and Mike Remlinger (shoulder) have been on the disabled list all season.
Ramon Martinez will fill in at shortstop for the Cubs. Gonzalez was batting .244 with three homers and seven RBI.
Well, I hope to hell the Cubs don't use Ramon Martinez for the next six weeks at shortstop. I would expect Grudz would get a shot, but who knows with these guys. Also, why are they waiting until SUNDAY to make a goddamn roster move? What are they waiting for?
"Hey Dusty, Alex is hurt. He'll be out for a few weeks."
"That sucks, Jim. Well, I can just play Ramon there for the next couple of weeks. He had a couple mediocre seasons for me in 'Frisco. And Jose can fill in for him when he gets tired. After all, speed kills!"
"Dusty, what about someone in the minors?"
"Jim, I won't play them, but do whatever you want. In any case, let's wait until Sunday so my bench can be a man short for a few days. After all, we've got Bako!"
Patterson normally is the Cubs' No. 2 hitter, where making contact and getting on base are prerequisites. During his tough time at the plate, Patterson's on-base percentage dropped to .302 entering Wednesday.
Last season, Patterson batted second just twice, having spent 30 of his 83 games in the No. 6 position. Manager Dusty Baker was asked to assess Patterson at this point of the season.
"Fair," Baker said. "There's a few things he has to work on. I'm trying to give him a chance to work on them."
Baker was then asked if he had viable options in case he decided to move Patterson down for his own good.
"It's not for his good as much as it's for our good, and his good, in that order," Baker said. "So yeah, I got a couple guys in mind."
Would he name them?
"Nope," Baker replied. "If that does happen and that person doesn't do it, then I'll go to somebody else until we find something that works."
Prior throws 2 innings, 30 pitches and reports no problems.
Moises is pissed off that Gary Miller wrote about him pissing on his hands.
Alou said he was not embarrassed about the method, adding that urine "is just like water." He did not dispute the accuracy of the story and conceded he did not tell the reporter it was off the record.
The Cubs are also irritated at parts of this story in the KC Star from over the weekend. It's probably this part:
They're cool because they're not cool.
Wood, 26, bolted out of a back room toward the middle of the clubhouse, where teammates loafed on couches. Some watched a breakdown tape of Cardinals pitcher Matt Morris. Others chose the HP Classic golf tournament on the television above.
Wood didn't care what they were doing. He lifted his leg, expelled a stream of wind and sat down like nothing happened.
“I'm sorry,” Wood said. “I felt it coming back there. I sprinted in here. Had to do it.”
Teammates hiked up their shirts to shield their noses. Wood grinned devilishly.
In his sixth season pitching for the Cubs, Wood anchors the rotation and tries to keep a light atmosphere around a serious team. He's off to a blistering start, striking out 42 batters in 35 2/3 innings, holding opponents to a .202 batting average and leading the team in toilet humor.
“We're humans,” he said. “Not robots.”
You know, between Moises peeing on his hands and Wood farting all over the place, how do these guys find time to play baseball?
"Certain things should stay in the clubhouse," Baker said. "Boys will be boys in the clubhouse. They've always been boys. They're men, but sometimes we act like boys. That's what makes the game kind of fun. Baseball is supposed to be fun. It's high-pressure. If you don't make it fun, the pressure gets to you."
Cubs lose 2-0. Another Kerry Wood performance wasted by not being able to hit with runners in scoring position. Steve Finley continues his pace for 203 homers. Did I say it was a good thing that Sexson, Big Unit and Webb weren't in this series?
Well, today Elmer Dessens pitches for the D-Backs. He's only got a 7.66 ERA so the Cubs should at least be able to score 2 or 3 runs off of him. Sammy and A-ramis have hit him well over their career. I think today is the day Dusty plays around with the lineup. Let's see.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
and their average P/PA throughout their career...
With those numbers, you may ask, how many times do Cubs opponents actually throw more pitches than the Cubs pitchers? Well, out of 26 games so far, the Cubs have thrown fewer pitches than their opponents 7 times. Their record in those games is 5-2.
I don't have the numbers, or the time, to check what the won-loss record were for the same stat last season, but I'm sure they would be about the same. Just like I'm sure it would be just about the same for any team that throws fewer pitches than their opponents. The point that, in the abscence of hitters like Vlad Guerrero or even good contact hitters like Sean Casey (ranked 192 of 192 on the list of P/PA) in your lineup, patience does matter and it does make a difference in winning baseball games.
It seems Todd Walker has made the transition to the leadoff spot by making an effort to take a few pitches and his P/PA numbers are higher than his career average. But, why does the consistently first or second pitch swinging (and he's even worse this year) Corey Patterson continue to bat second?
I wonder where Patterson ranks among other #2 hitters?
Take a look at this chart that lists the 17 MLB hitters that have batted the most in the #2 spot!
Look, Corey is a good player. And when he's not diving for balls that roll to the wall, he plays nice defense. He's simply not a #2 hitter at this point in his career, and having him #2 costs the Cubs opportunities to score. In this lineup he should bat sixth. Because the Cubs are righty dominated it would break up the string of 7 in a row and eliminate opposing pitchers bringing in lefties to face Walker and Corey (although suprisingly they're not bad against lefties this year TW-.273, CP-.300). Moving Derrick Lee to the #2 spot is the answer. I think part of the problem with Lee this year is hitting in front of Gonzalez. Alex scares no one. Sure, he can get hot for a week and hit a couple of homers, but teams are pitching around Lee to get to Alex. Barring a trade, he's going to be the shortstop this year. I believe if the worst hitter on your team is also your best defender at the most important position in the field, the positives outweigh the negatives. It's just he shouldn't be batting 7th. At least put Barrett 7th because he's shown he can hit and might take advantage of having runners on base. I tried to find a quote from Dusty I read the other day about how Barrett is eighth because "he gets the pitcher to the plate" or something like that but I couldn't find it. But, then what about Bako? Why doesn't he bat ninth when he trots out there every 5th day to carry Maddux's suitcase?
Anyway, yesterday the Cubs lost to knuckleballer Steve Sparks, Meat-tray got bombed, Sammy hit a homer and if Steve Finley played the Cubs the entire year he'd have 203 homers.
"I'm not an exclusive knuckleball pitcher," Sparks said. "They were swinging early and often, and I just stayed with it. ... I probably threw maybe four fastballs and two sliders. I don't know how many pitches I threw (99), but the rest were knuckleballs."
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Some other notable minor league stats:
Dubois: .276/.351/.598, 8 HR, 22 RBI, 8 BB, 25 K in 87 AB
Kelton: .271/.344/.518, 5 HR, 13 RBI, 8 BB, 19 K in 85 AB
Jimmy Anderson: 30.1 IP, 32 H, 11 ER, 9 BB, 15 K
John Koronka: 21 IP, 18 H, 7 ER, 13 BB, 25 K
Check out the rest!
Richard Lewis: .349 in 83 AB with 3 HR, 15 RBI, 9 BB, 20 K and no errors in 22 games (the gem of the Cruz deal?)
Check 'em out!
Sammy, Derrick and Walker go deep!
Bako gets his first extra base hit of the year!
Corey only swings at the first pitch once!
Jose Macias hits a ball to the outfield!
Kent Mercker gets an out!
Farnsworth doesn't pitch!
Grudz suffered a setback on his hammy running the bases in St. Louis. It could be one week, two weeks or three. I guess Todd Walker will have to do.
From Gary Miller's column on ESPN:
Alou says the secret to hitting without batting gloves is to harden your hands and prevent calluses. One of his methods might win someone the prize money on the TV show, "Fear Factor." He urinates on his hands. That's the honest truth. Alou said he isn't sure where he learned this distasteful folk medicine, but it wasn't from his famous father. And it works for Moises.
Is it his urine or someone else's?
The Cubs face the knuckleballer Steve Sparks tonight at Wrigley. What have the Cubs done against him? Not much.
Todd Walker 5-14
Alex Gonzalez 2-16
Tom Goodwin 4-21
Derrick Lee 1-3
Total BA: .233
However, no Randy Johnson and no Brandon Webb (and no Richie Sexson) looks pretty good for the Cubs in this series.
Why isn't Todd Wellemeyer used (1 time in the last 11 games) more?
Monday, May 03, 2004
One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do...Two can be as bad as one...It's the loneliest number since the number one...
I am hitting .100 (2-20)
My slugging percentage is .100
I have one RBI.
Yet, I will be the starting catcher today for your Chicago Cubs.
But what about me?
I have one hit and my batting average is .067 (1-15), which matches my fine slugging percentage (.067) and my OBP (.067).
I too, have one RBI.
Why am I on the team?
I'm supposed to be fast, but it's hard to outrun all those groundballs and popups.
Sunday and Friday:
Dear Capt. Tightpants,
You've thrown 24 pitches in St. Louis. You've gotten 6 strikes. One of the strikes was a line shot off the wall. The strike zone is a beautiful thing. Your hanging slider is not. Please stop relying on it and throw the fastball. What's that you say? You can't throw the fastball in the strikezone either? Well, maybe you should cut that stupid mop that sits on top of your head. You see, Tightpants, only good players should be colorful. You, right now, are not good. Go back to the normal 'do until you can throw strikes. If you can't throw strikes, go back to sleep in the clubhouse.
P.S. For the rest of the Cubs, it's called scoring runs. That's how you win. Like you did against the Pirates and the Reds. Oh wait, it was the Pirates and the Reds. Sorry.
Apparently, from the way it was being described, this game was played in a hurricane. It didn't affect Matt Clement, who has suddenly turned into the Cubs best pitcher. Thanks Matt!
One more game against the Cards today, then it's back to playing the D-Backs.
Derrick Lee, any time you want to get a key hit or hit a home run (.253/.351/.430 2 HR, 11 RBI), that would be nice. Although to be fair, I think a lot of your problems are related to batting in front of Alex Gonzalez.
.277/.405/.692 9 HR, 18 RBI
When the Cubs lose, Chip gets even more annoying. I think the idiotic anecdotes and stupid comments double when the Cubs play the Astros or Cards.
I haven't mentioned the Cubs trading Felix Sanchez to the Tigers for pitcher Jon Connolly and a PTBNL. Then the Cubs sent Mike Wuertz away to be shot and called up lefty Glendon Rusch. Glendon will be the second lefty until Remlinger returns and then I would think be sent back to Iowa.
Anybody watch Baseball Tonight yesterday? The great Harold Reynolds stated OBP was "overrated" and it didn't matter if you had a .400 OBP if it was because of walks. All that matters is scoring runs and moving runners over. You don't want a bunch of slow guys "clogging the bases". This backlash against stats is rather amusing and I think it's attitudes like this that enable those GM's that know better to take advantage of old time baseball minds like these. One guy he mentioned that was a good player with a low OBP was Corey Patterson. Well Harold, I know you like to wear the fancy suits and all and talk a lot with your hands, but on the Cubs, Corey is terribly out of place as the #2 hitter. He is also out of place as the #1, #3, #4 or #5 hitter. Do you know why Harold? Because he can't take a pitch or consistently make contact with the ball.
Unfortunately, you can see the same over-aggresiveness with just about every hitter in the Cubs lineup and it's never going to change until the manager changes so we should all just get used to it.