The Rubber Game

Ted Lilly's first start of the season and him and the TLFC are all amped up to try and take the first series of the year.

"It's the biggest game of the year," Lilly said.
 

Wow.
Ted's Intensity (aka Tedtensity) just made us punch through the TLFCHQ
Italian Granite counter tops... and our hand doesn't even hurt. Damn
right it's the biggest game of the year, Ted continues,

"Because
it's the first one," Lilly said. "They're all important. Every one I'm
starting is the most important, and that's the mentality you have to
have."
 
Here's the lineup courtesy of Wittenmyer's twitter feed: Soriano,
Fukudome, Lee, Bradley, Ramirez, Fontenot, Theriot, Hill, Lilly

Some minor site news after the jump...

I'm going to be M.I.A. from the website for the next week and a half or so, it's just time to stop neglecting the rest of the world and take a little time to see my niece for the first time and watch her get baptized, as well as visit my sick, but resilient father and generally try and catch up on far too many things I have been neglecting. The rest of the TCR crew should pick up the slack for the most part, but if posting and updates are a little sparse during that time frame, I hope everyone understands. And do try to keep the comments at something resembling a civil discussion.

Also, you may want to check your entry for the TCR '09 Contest. If there are any mistakes, drop it in the comments and I'll change it. See everyone on the other side....

 

Comments

TED LILLY'S INTENSITIES IN TEN CITIES!!!!!!
(sound:electric guitar)

All kidding aside Rob, good luck and God bless.

Don't eat too much cheese.

Rob is lying.

He's just covering for himself while he begins posting at BCB.

RUBBERS!

close....actually in 10 days there's going to be http://www.robg.com

ditch these anchors once and for all. :)

I think Hrothgar is going to lose the contest.

Sweet God we're excited, just threw back a case of Bud Extra and we still are shaking.

TLFCSC predicts a pretty solid one for Ted - 6 2/3 IP 7 k 1 BB 2 ER 1-2 BB, 1B, 1 HBP (Hunter Pence) - but we wouldn't be surprised if TL sends one ya ya for his first of 15 HR this season.

Rob, appreciate the props. Enjoy your time off. TLFCSC has hacked your login so we'll post in your name as long as you like. Who knew your password was "KellyClarksonRulez."

I figure this will be a high scoring game tonight.

All the best Rob.

Just don't go all John Hill on us Rob.

You and your father are in my thoughts, RobG. And say hi to your niece!

Man, I like these kind of games. Everyone getting hits and no pressure as it is a sleeper. Nice!! GO Cubs!!!

Looks like I talked a little too soon. 8-4 now. Lilly still struggling with the long ball. We might need some more runs.

All the best to your family, Rob.

Re Ted Lilly - he has been throwing batting practice for hr's since the WBC.

I hope he and Rothschilds work this shit out.

Wrigley will be even tougher.

n/t

Err... Added an s above to Rothschild.

Best to RobG and thanks for all your work on the site.

P.S. enough with the Astro homers already

Ex Cub watch: Ronny Cedeno playing LF for the Mariners.

Question on David Patton:

I haven't seen him pitch, but according to Gameday (which isn't always right), he sports a mid-90s fastball. Last couple are just south of 95.

What is the scouting report on Patton?

With that kind of gas, no wonder we were interested in keeping him.

he's also got a decent developing change and i believe a slider (not sure on the slider, but he's got a 3rd pitch with promise).

Muskett said it was a curve and it was his out pitch.

sweet.

We're splitting hairs at this point, but Bob said (and I agree) that's it probably a knuckle-curve.

Brenly said he had a "spiked curve ball"

Yup, Manny's right. Fukudome is done.

:) HA HA

...although, he'll probably go 0-20 now that I say that. Maybe you jinxed him good?

Good confidence boost for him at least. Go Cubs.

CUBS WIN!! CUBS WIN!! 11-6! Our Cubbies took the road series vs. Houston 2 games to 1. Can't ask for more than that.

THE GOOD:
Offense. Many guys had big nights: Fukudome, Theriot, Fontenot, Ramirez, Soriano. They jumped on HOU early and all but put the game away after the 2nd inning.

THE BAD:
Bradley. Yes, he is only 0-9, but this situation could turn into Jacque Jones v.2 very quickly. Hopefully Bradley can get a hit over the next series so he doesn't go hitless heading back to Wrigley.

THE UGLY:
Lilly. Being spotted an 8 run lead wasn't enough to put this game in cruise control as Lilly was continuing his gopher ball spree. Lilly is still not in good form, hopefully he can find in over the next couple starts.

Off day tomorrow and then to MIL. Let's take that series and then head back to Chicago for the hone opener. Go Cubs!

Um, yeah, Bradley doesn't have a hit yet in 3 whole games, guess that makes him another Jock Jones.

He also has what, 5 walks? I think the 400-ish OBP is just fine, thanks.

You wanna worry about someone's bat, worry about Lee.

"but this situation could turn into Jacque Jones v.2 very quickly"

Are you talking fan wise or performance wise?

I don't believe either would happen.

Both.

VOTE NOW!

Who will have more home runs this year?

a) D Lee
b) Fontenot

I'll guess Fontenot, with 200 fewer PAs. Given equal PAs, Fonty in a landslide.

In 1-on-1 basketball in a game to 11 playing 1's and 2's, I'd say 11-2 DLee, with 5 blocks and 3 dunks. Fontenot would hit a lucky 2-pointer.

I didn't watch the game, but I have to admit that I laughed out loud when I saw Fukudome's line.

Maybe trashing Fukudome before every game will be this year's "this lineup sucks".

Can Guzman really hit 101 mph or was Houston's gun way off? It seemed pretty accurate the rest of the game, but Guzman had one that reached 101, and a couple others at 97. I didn't realize he had that in him.

DD,

Guzman only throws 101 when he's not had enough biscuits for breakfast. Otherwise, LOOK OUT.

At one time, the scouts were saying Gooz had better stuff than ANY pitcher that had come through the Cubs system in a decade and wasn't named Mark Prior. Man, if he's ready to stay healthy and fulfill even some of that potential, the Cubs are going to have a ridiculous bullpen.

Shoot, I'll settle for Gooz turning into what Juan Cruz became, that would be plenty fine with me.

Speaking of Juan Cruz, no one has been able to answer this for me, why didn't the Cubs give him an offer after knowing that he wouldn't cost them a 1st round pick (or whatever MLB regulated his FA status to be)?

The Cubs management think Cruz is a clubhouse problem. Allegedly that's why they got rid of him in the first place.

He would have cost the cubs a 1st rounder.

He didn't cost KC a 1st rounder because their 1st round pick was top-15 protected.

He cost them a 2nd rounder.

Gameday says 95-96 mph mostly...

Houston's stadium scoreboard gun has always been about 2 MPH faster than other places.

It's pretty much standard for the Houston gun to run hot. Oswalt used to get distracted looking at his velocity on the ballpark radar gun.

MANNY: as a reasonable man, don't you think it's a little early to bail ok Bradley? Did you see his ab when he was down 0-2 and milked a bb? Jock jones rarely did that.

Yeah, he has looked NOTHING like JJ thus far. Although he doesn't have a hit he has produced some solid ABs; something JJ never did.

I can see where Manny's coming from but it's a different situation with the team playing well, Bradley does get on base and as long as he does not get doubled off second on fly balls THREE TIMES in one week it would be a pretty cold hearted bastard to boo Bradley. Or a dumbass.

I am just saying it COULD turn into a JJ situation. I think he is better than JJ, but there are bigger expectations though. I just hope he doesn't get off to a slow start, like JJ, and the fans start getting on him, like JJ, and he gets surely, like JJ. If he comes to Wrigley 0-18 or something, even if he has a few BB's I don't think it will be pretty.

Well, can't you say that about everything? He "COULD" turn into a JJ situation (you hypothesize), but I believe you also said last year that, " ____ (name the player) is only a leg injury from being completely useless..." Or - maybe that was for Cliff Floyd, the year before...Am I wrong here? But he "COULD" also perform to his career averages, too. It is just way too early to make statements like this, IMO.

No, I didn't say any of that stuff about a leg injury last year. I think that was Crunch.

And I don't think it is too early to talk about it as it happened early to JJ. And he COULD perform to his career averages, but he hasn't thus far and I am saying that if he does go hitless in the first 6 games I hope it doesn't turn into a JJ situation. Not to hard to understand i don't think.

1- that's pierre i was talking about...or pretty much any speed/singles guy.

2- comparing JJ to bradley is f'n retarded for 100 reasons be it in the field or (especially) at the plate unless you're talking about how he might be boo'd for not producing some hits before the first home game

I'm pretty sure that's what Manny was referring to. There are a few key differences here though:

1) Jacque was a disappointing signing before he even played a game. I think Cubs fans were kind of pissed Hendry didn't go get an impact player, and they were already primed to boo him before he ever stepped to the plate.

2) Related to point 1, MB will be on a longer leash because he has a track record of success and was seen as a big FA signing.

3) Jacque seemed like he didn't give a shit out there. No one will ever say that about MB. Also, Jacque was booed as much for his boneheaded baserunning and awful outfield throws as his shitty bat.

4) I think most fans will seriously be scared to boo him because of his past. Not even drunk frat guys are dumb enough to make a star player turn on his fanbase this early.

If Cardinals fans were smart (they're not, they're morans), they would infiltrate the right field bleachers at Wrigley wearing Cubs gear and just mercilessly hurl racial epithets at Bradley all season.

at least cards fans can (at least as of now) visit wrigley bleachers without having crap dumped on them or surrounded by idiots screaming at them.

the yanks OF fans barely get a chance to watch the game in between all the drunk-frat-boy-reject "looking for conflict" exercises and call-and-response with player names. there's some scaaaaaaarey stuff on youtube with them busy screwing with people who paid to see a game rather than watching the game. ...there's also some funny stuff.

That's exactly what I was talking about.

Oh yeah! Sorry. Pierre. That was ugly. Ricky Nolasco would be so sweet right now...

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.

    Charlie 12 min 33 sec ago view
  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 26 min ago view
  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 1 hour 49 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 2 hours 34 sec ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 2 hours 13 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 14 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • QuietMan 2 hours 28 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 47 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 3 hours 26 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 10 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 21 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 22 min ago view