Saturday, May 5, 2007

Cubs! Prepare for Glory!

I couldn't help myself. Go Cubs.


Apologies May Be In Order

I've been really hard on the Cubs relievers this year. Most of it was well deserved, let's face it, they've been lackluster. But their failures are nothing compared to Nationals pitcher Levale Speigner. After Aramis hit a homer in the third inning and men got on first and second, the Nationals replaced their starting pitcher with Mr. Speigner. Excited about being put in the game, Speigner proceeded to give up a walk. And then another. And another. Then he threw a strikeout to Soriano, of course. Then, for the cause of being consistent, he gave up yet another walk. Three runs were walked in that inning, essentially the difference in a two run game. So to all of you relievers who I've been hard on, I apologize. But if you ever give up three walked in runs in one inning of a game, I will do everything in my power to make sure you are off the team faster than you can say Speigner. Be warned.

Game Summary for May 5th, 2007

  • Score: Cubs walk to a win over the Nationals, 5-3.
  • Player of the Game: Levale Speigner, for reasons mentioned above. He has a cool name too.
  • Subject of Lou's Wrath: Rocky Cherry. I know it's still early, but he gave up two runs in 2/3 of an inning. He was the only reason this game was even close.
  • Comments: Rich Hill reverted back to his more dominant form, giving up one run over six innings and lowering his ERA to an amazing 1.73. This was his shortest outing of the year and the first time he didn't make it through seven innings. I say that's Loue's fault thought, not his. Aramis Ramirez had another homer, putting him at 6 for the year. Derrek Lee reached base again, continuing his streak of getting on base ever game this season. And Ryan Theriot had 3 walks in 4 at-bats. For a rookie, that's pretty incredible. Like we've been saying, this kid needs to start every game.
  • Magic Number:139. Milwaukee is on a blistering tear, and even with the Cubs winning 7 of their last 8, they'll be hard pressed to catch up at this rate.

Tomorrow is Angel Guzman's major league starting debut this year. Considering how bad he was as a starter last year, plus his 12.19 ERA, I'm worried. Combine that with the Nationals starting their own Hill tomorrow, who has been pretty solid this far, and it'll be tough to reach that five game winning streak and a sweep of the lowly Nationals. If Guzman can pull this off though, he can stay on the team for as long as he wants.

Friday, May 4, 2007

BP (May 4th, 2007)

It's been a hectic week, and I started to think that the team's recent success was somehow attributed my lack of presence on this blog. But screw it.
  • What is the deal with Izturis? Does Lou absolutely adore him? That's gotta be the case when this once gold-glover owns nearly half of the Cub errors this spring, yet he's still seeing plenty of time. Not to mention, his average is hovering around the .200 range. (Then again, who am I to argue when we're winning?)
  • No, I'm going to argue. I'm going to make a case for Ryan Theriot to play short. I've said it before, this guy needs to be in the lineup everyday. I don't care that we already have 2 everyday shortstops on the roster (who can't hit). Heck, it really doesn't matter where he's playing, but he's shown that he deserves more than one pinch-hitting bat a game. This kid should be permanently squeezed in the 2-hole between Soriano and Lee.
  • Besides that, I'm not terribly offended with how Lou is handling the outfield dilemma. It's working, and we're winning. But the Cubs are sure making him work for his paycheck. I'm curious to see what's going to happen once we get off the four man pitching rotation next week (Thank God Wade Miller is done).
  • What happened to Michael Barrett this week? His offense disappeared. I've got him tagged for one hit in the five games, 1 for 21 to be more precise. Here's hoping he gets his swing back soon. (1 for 21 ?! I thought that's what we pay Blanco for...)
  • And finally, the Annual DeRosa-Bonds Rivalry is turning out to be more of a massacre right now. DeRo is stuck on 4 while Bonds is way out in front with 9 at publication.
Go cubs. -rfs

I Don't Know What We're Yelling About

It's a lot easier to write something that is funny and/or informative when your team is playing miserably. All you have to do is make fun of how terrible someone is doing, and you're set. This is why the last seven games have really been a struggle for me. We've won six of our last seven now and the offense is on a tear, so much so that Big Z can give up 4 runs in the first inning and still coast to an easy win.

Even when the team plays well, however, there is hope for those trying to find a humorous moment. That moment came in the form of Aramis Ramirez and his most recent baserunning gaffe.

Ramirez was watching the play, and crashed into third-base coach Mike Quade as he rounded the bag. Quade was knocked off his feet, while Ramirez scored.

"I was watching what was going on -- we both were watching what was going on, that was the problem," Ramirez said.

"If anybody's hurt," Piniella said, "you hope it's the third-base coach."

It's nothing personal, Mike.

I really need to find a video of that.

Game Summary for May 4th, 2007

  • Score: Cubs defeat the lowly Nationals, 6-4.
  • Player of the Game: Derrek Lee. Went 2-for-3 with a two run homer in the 3rd. Zambrano owes him a nice seafood dinner.
  • Subject of Lou's Wrath: Big Z. He may have pitched well in the 2nd through 5th innings, but that first one was terrible. He needs to get a hold of himself soon. It's not April anymore buddy, that excuse is no longer valid.
  • Comments: Zambrano's first inning was awful, but the Cubs made up for it with solid offense in the 3rd and 4th. Due to an RBI single in the 8th inning, the Cubs have still not won a one run game this year. The rookie needs to learn to hold back for the good of the team.
  • Magic Number: 140, pending the Milwaukee-Pittsburgh game tonight. So it'll still be 140 tomorrow then. We're on our 2nd three game win streak in the last 7 games, and tied for second in the Central. Things are looking up.

Tomorrow's game features the until recently invincible Rich Hill against Mr. I've got a 6.44 ERA John Patterson. You're only half the terrible pitcher Wade Miller is, Patterson. Don't get too cocky.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

"Let's Play 1 1/2 !"

Today was a great day, other than me being busy for a solid 12 hours and not being able to watch any baseball. But I heard it was awesome. Due to a rule change that was made just this past off-season, the rain did not cause the Cubs to lose the game, instead suspending it until today. So today was almost a double header. Not quite.

Anyways, the Cubs thoroughly trounced the Pirates in every way today, and I'm still getting this feeling that things have finally turned around. Soriano got his first two home runs of the year, the outfield is finally producing, Lee is still amazing, some of the pitchers are doing very well (Ted Lilly, you're on notice), and we've won 5 of our last 6 games. I'm pretty positive that the Independence Day post is what did it.

Game Summary for May 1st - 2nd, 2007

  • Score: Cubs win a suspended game against the Pirates, 8-6.
  • Player of the Game: Cliff Floyd. Soriano had the better game, but Floyd's two run homer in the 7th is the only reason the game was suspended instead of counted as a loss for the Cubs.
  • Subject of Lou's Wrath: Rain. Lou does not enjoy delayed satisfaction.
  • Comments: Ted Lilly reverted to his former self against the Pirates of all teams. This would have been a rain shortened loss except for the Cubs' explosive 7th in and a crucial rule change that MLB made over the summer
Rule 4.12 (a) states: A game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date if the game is terminated ... (due to) weather, if a regulation game is called while an inning is in progress and before the inning is completed, and the visiting team has scored one or more runs to take the lead.
  • Magic Number: 143, after this game at least.

Game Summary for May 2nd, 2007

  • Score: Cubs reassert their dominance over the Pirates, 7-1.
  • Player of the Game: Jason Marquis. Pitched a one run game in 8 innings of work, and has won four in a row. Again, Soriano was runner-up with another 3-for-5 game and another home run. The guy is starting to live up to his contract.
  • Subject of Lou's Wrath: Apparently Ryan Theriot, because Lou had Cesar in for the past two games and he went a combined 1-for-8. Now we know Lou must have seen that coming, so what the heck did Theriot do to piss him off so much.
  • Comments: Marquis pitched yet another amazing game, Soriano was the Soriano of last year yet again, and the Cubs peat the Pirates with no drama. All is well with the world.
  • Magic Number: 142. Milwaukee has the best record in baseball at 18-9. That needs to change.

Zambrano vs. the Nationals on Friday. Carlos, their team is 9-18. If you're ever going to break out of your "I suck at life" phase, this is the time to do it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Rain Says No

Tonight's game was interrupted by a deluge of rainfall. I didn't watch any of it, so I'm just assuming it was a deluge because it was enough to postpone the game until tomorrow. The Cubs are just lucky they got 4 runs in to take the lead in the 7th or else it would have just been a loss.

Game resumes at 11:35 tomorrow morning, with tomorrow's game directly following. Game summaries will be up pretty late at night, so if that inconveniences you at all you can shoot me an angry email. Or just cry about it.

You Can't Win 'Em All

But you should never lose when Rich Hill is pitching against the Pirates. Didn't really pay attention to the game, so this will be brief.

Game Summary for April 30th, 2007

  • Score: Cubs fall to the Pirates, 3-2.
  • Player of the Game: Gonna go with Rich Hill here. Gave up 2 runs in 7 innings, and if that's not enough to beat the Pirates then there is something seriously wrong with our defense.
  • Subject of Lou's Wrath: Michael Wuertz. Uncharacteristically gave up the game winning home run, his ERA is now at 1.32. I guess you can't really get mad at him for that.
  • Comments: Rich Hill pitched reasonably well, Cubs could only mount two runs of offense, though. Jason Bay hit a game winning home run in the bottom of the eighth against Wuertz. And thus ends the astounding 3 game winning streak.
  • Magic Number: 144. That is what we like to call a gross.
Hopefully Ted Lilly will have better luck tomorrow. I'm going to bed.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Cardinals Pitcher Killed, Game Postponed

The St. Louis Cardinals were informed this morning that pitcher Josh Hancock had died early Sunday morning in a car accident. Tony La Russa then had the difficult task of informing Josh's father. The game tonight has been canceled due to this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Hancock's family and everyone in the Cardinals organization.

You can read the official news brief here.

EDIT: Slighty more in depth article here. Deadspin's coverage here. ESPN's coverage with more details of the accident here.