Cubs vs. Marlins Weekend Preview

Sorry to be so brief—there's an all-block garage sale happening on our street today and I think I just overheard my 13-year-old agreeing to sell our second car. 

Saturday: Anibal Sanchez (1-2, 4.13) v. Ted Lilly (2-2, 3.80). Sanchez is making his first career start at Wrigley Field. Lilly was telling Carrie Muskat about his plans to revive the Cubs attack by generating his own offense, by "going deep" and "maybe swipe a couple bags." Sounds like someone is experiencing delusions of grandeur. TLFC—this is your fault!

Sunday: RIcky Nolasco (1-2, 6.92) v. Carlos Zambrano (2-1, 4.64). Juan Pierre Ricky Nolasco, who has seemed primed to be the Florida ace, won the Marlins' season opener and has gone winless in the four starts since. As for Zambrano, nice of the Cubs to give their ace pinch-hitter an opportunity to try his hand at pitching. Who knows—maybe the guy will have a future on the mound. 

Comments

If we lose to someone named Anabelle I am moving to East St. Louis. Oh, wait, it's Anabolic. No, Anibal. Whatever. Is Hoffpauir officially in the Lou doghouse? I haven't had a chance to watch games lately but I haven't seen his name much.

Hoffpauir had a bad game in right field, and Lee is back so it's back to the bench for him. The facts that he plays a good first base, hits left handed and has an OPS .300 higher than Lee are not important.

I see he's in right again today. Maybe they should put Lee in right and Hoff at 1st if they really want to compare their worth, although moving Lee off first means the infielders will have to keep the ball out of the dirt on the throw in.

Ho long until Lou moves Lee out of the 4 hole and plugs in Theriot? I keed...

Go Mighty Midget!!!!!!

So much for my calling Theriot/Fontenot supersubs. Theriot is now our best hitter.

Damn right! Check out Fontenot's stats, too. After last night's game, his OPS was higher than Theriot's even though his batting average is not appealing.

Good. Easy guys to root for. So, the guaranteed way to strike out D Lee is just throw the ball a quarter inch off the dirt. Nice.

Holy shit. I guess Lilly wasn't kidding about trying to go deep. Now let's see if he steals third.

Gotta say, I think we've played as well in the last couple of days as we may have all year.

We're playing so well, in fact, that the widget on the right has no way to quantify it. We're null games back as I write this. Next stop is N/A. Then we'll go after undefined. Gotta play 'em one day at a time.

Love the new logo, btw.

thnx, got to fix the aliasing around the clock and we'll add some green to the rest of the site to make it blend a little better.

There's also a larger version with flags and the whole scoreboard, we're going to throw on some T-shirts.

nice new logo. Ms. Pinkerton's 3rd grade class did you guys good. How much cookies and milk did that design cost?

what crawled up your ass?

nothing...just ragging on the design.

the colors are off scheme, the sesame street-like sign lacks depth, and the clock part is set to background on white only.

don't take it personally...it's the gateway to the site. better than lip-service of how awesome i think it is when i don't think it is.

there's an alpha channel, it should work on any background although I have to tweak the clock a little, probably need to clear your cache. The colors are off scheme for the time being, but one step at a time.

heard...

Gotta say that you responded better than I would have.

That was meant for Rob G. Crunch was just kinda dick about it.

kinda a dick?

nah, im a total dick.

quit disrespecting me, asshat.

1. Asshats are oddly comfy.
2. No disrespect intended.
3. Your taking it as disrespect was a nice bonus.
4. I like lists.
5. Good to know you are a total dick.
6. You must be what you eat.
7. That'd make me a pussy.
8. No disrespect to Chad.
9. Still glad they released Gabor.
10. I don't trust Hungarians.

I gain nothing by responding what I'm really thinking on half these posts. :)

and that's why you got a better rep than Al and his trained attack dogs.

i love you rob...i wanna have your babies.

What do you gain by responding in a professional manner? I'm curious about the pros and cons. So far for speaking one's mind I've got: Cons: Gain Nothing. Pros: Nothing, because there is nothing to gain.

go skred really.

go Z pinch hitting for no f'n reason.

...feeling better today heilman?

I don't know what Lou would do without Z PH in a game now. This time for absolutely no reason. Oh well, let;s just hope Z doesn't get hurt.

Having him pinch hit today was just dumb. Nothing to gain there. Why not give Johnson, Bradley, or Koyie Hill the at bat? Or, better yet, let Lilly bat for himself and maybe start the 9th with the possibility of completing the game.

I wanted to see Lilly try to close the game out (though Heilman did just fine).

Great game, though. Last 16 innings or so have been a lot of fun.

didn't get to watch any of it, but I assume Lilly was as brilliant as his boxscore?

Probably located better today than in any other start as a Cub that I've watched.

bleh...coming thur-sun nothing but early (pre-3pm) day games.

in june there's a stretch of 9 games where 10 of them are day games.

bleh...

10 out of 9 games is quite a feat.

i hate you with great intensity.

Man... even Mrs. Pinkerton's 3rd grade class could do that math...

Great Win! I'm still cautious but lets hope that this team starts to play like the talent that they actually have.

Some of these guys around the Mendoza line and under are going to have to start to hit and get those averages up.

Lilly looked awesome today and even had a big hit, awesome for him.

Only negative today was Gathright doing something embarrasing again. I do like his speed on the bench but if they do want to make a move for Fox he'd probably be the guy to go.

Lets get 3 out 4 tomorrow!

heh...riot's improved his slugging like 50 points the past 2 days.

I like the new logo; as Crunch said, it needs some depth, shadows and palette integration, but the latter can be easily fixed. It's a nice new look for the site.

"How about if I get run over by a car on the way to the ballpark?" said Piniella, who has a short bench because of injuries. "I've got [Milton] Bradley, who I didn't want to use, and I've got [Aramis] Ramirez, who I don't want to use, so I've got Reed Johnson and [Koyie] Hill. When you're too cautious at times, you're going to get hurt. When you play the game and throw a little bit of caution to the wind, usually nothing happens. You're always taking chances. The fans enjoy watching [Zambrano] come up, too. He sort of gives the fans that finishing touch for a ballgame. You're right, in a way, but as shorthanded as we are, we have to be careful."

I like Lou, but it was one of the most idiotic things he has ever down and his reponse to a questions was just as nonsensical. And if he is doing things because the fans like it, why the FUCK is Cotts on this team?

I could only imagine what Cubs fans would be saying if Dusty did and said what Lou did.

lou has said a lot of stupid crap...in the 3rd week of the season he made a comment about how he just found out about gregg's not being able to be warmed and not used that went mostly ignored.

managers say stupid shit...it happens.

luckily, people currently care more about the players than some elderly fat man.

1. Comparing choosing a PH to making roster decisions
2. Perepetuating the fantasy that there is some huge risk that Zambrano will get hurt while batting.
3. Implying that the manager has some great influence over the roster, after denying that blatantly obvious fact for 4 years.

I always thought you were just acting like a dumb fuck, but I guess you really weren't acting.

Please show me where I said there is "some huge risk that Zambrano will get hurt while batting". PLEASE!!

This is like the third time I have called you out in the past couple threads for flat out making shit up that I said. Dumb fuck or piss poor reading comprehension? I actually think both!

Maybe you two should just not respond to each other?

But I have to say, you did seem to imply on a previous thread that having Z take additional ABs as a pinch hitter increased his risk of injury. Telling people that they should go back and memorize your posts isn't reasonable. If that's not what you said, why not tell us what you said? Or, maybe you could assume that it's at least equally possible that you were unclear as that someone consistently misreads what you wrote.

Can't we even get along after a 6-1 victory? Not that this argument is at all baseball related.

Charlie,
"But I have to say, you did seem to imply on a previous thread that having Z take additional ABs as a pinch hitter increased his risk of injury."

I absolutely did say that having Z take additional ABs as a pinch hitter increased his risk of injury. And that is 100% true. But I DID NOT say that there is "some huge risk that Zambrano will get hurt while batting." Big difference. But The Real Neal would need to have at least a small grasp of reading comprehension to understand that.

"Or, maybe you could assume that it's at least equally possible that you were unclear as that someone consistently misreads what you wrote."

No, I think it is just The Real Neal as mostly I don't have that problem with anyone else.

Hope that clears it up for you Charlie and yes, GO CUBS!!!

Sorry Manny, I generally don't read your responses. It takes so much effort to print them out and roll them onto those little cardboard tubes to hang next to my toilet.

But I won't play the 'I didn't say those exact words' game with you. You pull that stuff all the time. Everyone who has read your nonsense about Zambrano pinch hitting over the last three days would agree that you are perpetuating the myth, just like I said.

You fail to understand that simply repeating the same stupid idea ad nauseum does not make it true.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28S-aOWtFdo

about 1:18 in

Of course you don't want to play that game because you love to put words in peoples mouths and basically lie about what they say. I don't care if you read my posts or not but just don't change or flat out lie about what I said or I will continue to call you out like I have the past couple days to show everyone the crap you are trying to pull, even though I am sure other regulars on here know those silly reindeer games you play.

GO CUBS!!

I love Z.

He can PH for me anytime. Until he gets hurt, of course.

He is a better hitter than half the team now, and has as much or more power than anyone save two or three of his team-mates.

If he was on another team, we'd be in awe of his talent and wish we'd have him.

You GO Z! Have fun - you deserve it.

Maybe the other millionaires will figure out a way to outhit you regularly so you won't have to embarrass them by PH-ing.

as long as he's not up there to bunt i don't mind as much...don't like to see him run the bases, though.

I like to watch Harden run. He seems hella fast. Doesn't seem to have a clue about how to run the bases, but he's fast.

Hate to bring up a dead horse, but the first Marlin's hit was a gift from the ump at first, and at home plate Lilly would've been even better than his stats with a little league umpire that sees curves AS THEY GO OVER THE PLATE. Plus he was so stiff he struck out Lee with a pitch at Lee's shoulders because the catcher stood up to make a throw on K-Fu's steal.

Lilly had a conversation with the ump later - Len & Bob didn't comment but Ted shoulda had 10-15 less pitches and maybe a complete game if the ump had called that beautiful curve (at various speeds BTW) correctly.

Umpires today=FAIL

I agree the strike zone was crazy today BUT I actually thought it benefited Lilly and the Cubs hitters. Lilly was closer to the plate and he could kind of get that big curve up there in nintendo fashion and the ump was calling it.

There was one at bat with Hanley Ramirez where that big thing was outside, but Ramriez was just expecting that ump to call it as a strike.

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  • If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic

    jacos 1 hour 24 min ago view
  • 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 1 hour 59 min 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 2 hours 12 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 3 hours 36 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 3 hours 37 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 3 hours 43 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 3 hours 47 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 3 hours 50 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 3 hours 59 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 4 hours 1 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 4 hours 7 min ago view
  • QuietMan 4 hours 15 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 34 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 5 hours 12 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 5 hours 56 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 6 hours 7 min ago view