Game 130 Thread / Nationals @ Cubs (3 of 3)

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SP Jason Bergmann SP Rich Harden
  2-9, 4.50, 83 K, 33 BB, 116 IP (NL)
3-1, 1.50, 59 K, 14 BB, 42 IP
       
LF *Willie Harris LF Alfonso Soriano
SS #Christian Guzman SS Ryan Theriot
3B Ryan Zimmerman 3B Aramis Ramirez
CF Lastings Milledge 1B *Daryle Ward
1B Ronnie Belliard RF Mark DeRosa
C Jesus Flores CF *Jim Edmonds
RF Austin Kearns C Geovany Soto
2B #Anderson Hernandez 2B *Mike Fontenot
P Jason Bergmann P *Rich Harden

The Cubs go for yet another series win with Rich Harden making his eight start as a Cub. The win would give them their seventh straight series win and secure a tie  in the season series against the Nationals. Good thing it's Sunday where the Cubs are 15-5 this season, their best record for any day of the week.

Comments

3 runs for us, Harden is pitching tough through 2. So far, so good, knock wood.

It takes a lot of imagination to say Samardjiza only has one pitch. Sure, technically you could say he only throws fastballs, but that's simplifying his arsenal. He'll need a changeup, slider, or curve if he becomes a starter, though.

huh?

according to Gameday:

17 Fastballs - 93 to 99 mph

2 Changeups - 86 mph

1 Slider - 82 mph

and he has 2 very different fastballs. Almost all relievers stick to 2 pitches...maybe a third on occasion.

i think those changeups might be sliders...if they are changes it has some severe break on them and thrown kinda hard.

Samardzija has a change/splitter like Dempster does.

Cubs Win! John Cusak seems like a nice enough guy and a genuine fan, but is anybody else tired off all the celebrity Cub fans - Bill Murray, Bonnie Hunt, the comedian (forgot his name)basking in the reflected glory?

Tom Dressen ^

best 7th guest conductors are len, bob, and ron...

reason...no interview afterward. heh.

yeah, it's Tired. I'm also tired of Daryle Lard ever batting cleanup. Actually I'm tired of Lard in a Cubs uniform.

And I'm tired of the Brewers announcers. Today after sweeping the Lowrates, they actually said the Brewers "held serve in the central."

I'm sorry but WTF?!

But enough whining. Did Lou and Fuku have that talk? Maybe it worked. Good to see Kosuke really square one up today.

And just for the hell of it, Cubs composite hitting so far, by position:

ca .290 .367 .494 .861
1b .296 .363 .480 .843
2b .303 .377 .474 .851
ss .309 .382 .371 .753
3b .284 .383 .530 .913
LF .283 .344 .508 .853
CF .289 .371 .488 .860
RF .258 .362 .384 .745
P   .205 .222 .295 .518

K-fuk's homer came off his same old swing with the wide landing plane and stepping away from the pitch with his body...and the high leg kick thing starting his swing, too.

Maybe only mildly interesting but Cusack has been recently outed to be a huge PIA (fond on the nose candy, going the Nicholas Cage route in terms of movie quality,career,treating people like crap etc.,). He also was/is a white socks fan.

Me? I say let's have the canned Harry sing and get rid of bottom feeder celebrities who are merely there to shill their BS product and are clueless about baseball. It reinforces some bad stereotypes about the Cubs and Wrigley Field.

3-3 with Capps pitching.

Garçon! I'll take a 25 inning Pittsburgh victory, please.

Bases loaded with no outs for the Pirates in the top of the 12th inning.

Bucco's have the bags loaded, no outs in the 12th...pitching change, Mota in.

can the Bucs screw this up?

Fly out to CF, run doesn't score. 1 out.

Strikeout, 2 out.

yes...

bah...pure cubbery.

Dear Pirates,

Regardless of today's outcome, please continue your offensive sucktitude next week.

Thank you,

Cubs fans

F8 (no sac), K...

oy.

now that was ugly.

Groundout, no runs score. Sigh.

baaaaaah.

brews win.

Fuck you Brewers. Fuck you real hard; Pirates? please get swept by us.

Milw at Stl on tues,wed...both have tomorrow off.

in the postgame, they discussed that Lou did some batting coach instruction pregame for Fukudome. Apparently Lou wanted Kosuke to shorten his stride. He was practicing in the cage (where ever it is that he can practice during the game) with Gerald Perry supervision.
Nothing like short term positive results.

except that his homer came off his "classic" swing.

At least we don't have to face Jason Bay this week.

24 and 28 respectively...

i enjoyed reading this article from espn: revenge of the baseball gods

Cubs 4th round 2008 draft choice, Matt Cerda vs non-drafted Danny Almonte

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=cerda&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos1

Len & Bob put up a graphic during the game that was supposed to demonstrate the importance of being the first team to win 80 games. Not sure what they were thinking because of the five or six teams they showed, only one won the World Series.

At any rate, the Cubs are first to win 80 this year.

A month ago we were 60-42, good for a lonely 1 game lead over the Brewers. Since then the Cubs are 20-8 and Milwaukee is 17-12, five games back in the all-important loss column.

Playing so many games at home, I thought getting to 30 games over .500 in August was key to winning the division. It means we only have to play .500 (16-16) the rest of the way (and with the remaining schedule not, by any means, easy that's a reasonable outcome) to win 96 games.

To match that the Brewers need a 20-11 finish.

But with 13 home games and 19 left on the road, if they maintain the current home&road winning %'s the Cubs will finish 19-13, 99-63. Milwaukee will need to go 23-8 (.742) just to tie.

from the Tribune online, postgame (apparently an AP feed as the Sun-Times online has exactly the same story):

Fukudome watched video of himself with manager Lou Piniella before the game, though neither talked to the media.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/bas...

here's the link with today's game video's...including the Fukudome HR. I think his stride is shorter although the rest of his swing is about the same (except for the solid contact)

http://cubs.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=2008082433...

"Fuck you Brewers. Fuck you real hard;"

Hahaha....awesome post Carlos!

The Cubs are at a .615 winning percentage.

IF they hold that percentage (doubtful) they will have 99 wins after 161 games.

And for the record, this is not a jinx as I don't think they can finish the season playing at that percentage.

I'm just saying that it would be cool.

If the question is "Dempster or Zambrano?" the answer is "Rich Harden." The more he throws, the harder it is to deny that he's our best starting pitcher. Statistically it's not close: 49 IP, 1.47 ERA, 70 K's, 14 BB's.

As long as he's capable of throwing 109+ pitches like he did today, I gotta think he's our Ace (although it would probably never be acknowledged by Cubs brass for fear of crushing Zambrano). I don't think he could snag the Ace title as a 5-6 inning guy, but his endurance seems to be building...

And it's not a totally academic argument, because at some point Lou will have to decide which two SP's get two starts in a 5 game playoff series, and then (hopefully) who throws early in a 7 game series. It would be a nice problem to have, but the decision will be of the make-or-break variety.

And it's not a totally academic argument, because at some point Lou will have to decide which two SP's get two starts in a 5 game playoff series, and then (hopefully) who throws early in a 7 game series.

This has been discussed before. The pitchers that throw in games 1 and 2 in the playoffs (and in turn pitch two games) need to be able to come back on short rest. I would be utterly shocked if Harden came back on short rest, even in the playoffs.

If the Cubs go with three starters in a five game series, it will look like this:
Z
Dempster
Harden
Z
Dempster

If they decide to go with four starters, than Harden could pitch games 1 and 5. Which would still allow you have to have Z and Dempster pitch games 1 and 2 in the NLCS.

Hopefully after last year's stupidity, Lou will go with the 4 man rotation in the playoffs.

I really have to find written proof of this so I don't sound like a complete idiot....but:

I have read that the NL team with the best record will be able to select NL division series "A" or NL division series "B".

If it is like last year in the AL, when the Red Sox got to select their division series schedule, it will go like this:

The "A" series would start on Thursday providing an extra break after the end of the regular season. (If Cubs pitch their #1 on Saturday, they could come back and start game #1 on regular rest). But then in the A series there is only a day off after game #2 and #4.

In the "B" series, the series would Start on Wednesday, but then would have an extra day off between games #1 and #2.

Therefore if the Cubs went with the "B" series:
Wed: Game 1
Thu: Off
Fri: Game 2
Sat: Off
Sun: Game 3
Mon: Game 4
Tue: Off
Wed: Game 5

Therefore, the Cubs #1 and #2 pitchers could pitch games 4&5 on regular rest. Of course, the team they play would get the same benefit.

Again, keep in mind...I may have some facts totally wrong....so we'll see.

Interesting, Block -- I hadn't heard that. For what it's worth I got my Cubs playoff ticket invoice on Friday and the game dates for all playoff games were included (even the NLDS). They are as follows:

NLDS:
Game 1: 10/1
Game 2: 10/2
Game 3: 10/4
Game 4: 10/5
Game 5: 10/7

NLCS:
Game 1: 10/9
Game 2: 10/10
Game 3: 10/12
Game 4: 10/13
Game 5: 10/15
Game 6: 10/17
Game 7: 10/18

WS:
Game 1: 10/22
Game 2: 10/23
Game 3: 10/25 (Saturday night at Wrigley?)
Game 4: 10/26
Game 5: 10/27
Game 6: 10/29
Game 7: 10/30

The letter and fact sheet doesn't say "subject to change" or anything like that, but I have to think there is some fluidity to dates.

Yeah, I just saw those dates posted on tribune.com

Maybe my previous comments came from someone making the false assumption that the schedule choice flipped from the AL last year to the NL this year.

mea culpa.

Your rumor/idea makes sense, though. Right now there is very little reward for winning the division and having the best record, and choosing from 2 schedules would be a nice prize. If the season ended today, it's tough to say whether the Cubs or Brewers would have the better first round draw, even taking home field advantage into account. And that's ridiculous.

if those dates are correct for the NLDS and the Cubs can set their rotation, I think I'd like this:

Game 1: Dempster or Z (depending on matchups and who has been pitching the best down the stretch run)

Game 2: Harden

Game 3: Dempster or Z (whoever didn't start Game 1)

Game 4: Lilly, unless the opposing team kills lefites, then you think about bringing the Game 1 starter back on short rest. Also could think about bringing the Game 1 starter back if they're down 2-1 and the Game 1 starter pitched well.

Game 5: Harden or Game 1 starter. Assume Lilly pitches Game 4, go with whomever pitched the best out of the two and the Game 3 starter should also be available for a inning or two. If they decide to go with the Game 1 starter on short rest for Game 4, then Harden goes on normal rest for Game 5. But that should give some options.

Looking at that also makes me think Dempster would be the best fit for Game 3 in case he's needed for a couple of innings in Game 5 since he's used to coming out of the bullpen. 

I have a lot of confidence in Dempster and Harden for the playoffs. Z scares me, though; I hope he rights his ship for the postseason.

that's awesome that Dempster inspires confidence without any playoff experience. Z was pretty inspiring last year in Arizona. 

Just so you don't all think I'm completely nuts, here is a blog link for the Red Sox noting that in 2007 the AL team with the best record got to choose their schedule

http://soxanddawgs.com/?p=2210

I do that too - keep track of the team's wins by day of the week. we were 7-2 on mondays befor ethe break, our best day of the week. but since then we've gone 6-0 on sundays, and 5-1 on wednesdays (includes a doubleheader) while just 1-2 on mondays (lots of monday off days).

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  • Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 51 min ago view
  • Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.

    He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 59 min ago view
  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 32 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 7 hours 35 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 16 hours 38 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 17 hours 20 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 17 hours 31 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 17 hours 38 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 17 hours 41 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 17 hours 52 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 17 hours 58 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 18 hours 14 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 18 hours 14 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 21 hours 6 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 23 hours 38 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 1 day 11 min ago view