|SP||*Ted Lilly||SP||*Barry Zito|
|5-8, 5.40, 95 K, 36 BB, 98.2 IP||3-11, 5.91, 44 K, 48 BB, 80.2 IP|
|RF||*Kosuke Fukudome||LF||*Fred Lewis|
|SS||Ryan Theriot||3B||Jose Castillo|
|1B||Derrek Lee||RF||#Randy Winn|
|C||Geovany Soto||C||Bengie Molina|
|3B||Mark DeRosa||CF||Aaron Rowand|
|CF||*Jim Edmonds||1B||Rich Aurilia|
|LF||Matt Murton||2B||Travis Denker|
|2B||Ronny Cedeno||SS||#Emmanuel Burriss|
|P||*Ted Lilly||P||*Barry Zito|
Well that whole American League thing was no good...the Cubs went a paltry 6-9 against what was considered to be a soft interleague schedule at the beginning of the year.
Now it's back to the NL and back to the NL West, whom the Cubs have collectively beaten at an 18-5 clip. They'll get the offensively-challenged Giants tonight and it'll be up to Ted Lilly to try to keep them challenged. Lilly's overall numbers have been disappointing this year, but he's managed a 3.21 ERA in June up to this point. Most of his struggles this year can be attributed to a tendency to give up the gopher ball, but there's some hope that'll correct itself.
One of our trusted readers tells us that he heard on WGN radio that Lou Piniella has decided to bat Kosuke Fukudome leadoff until Alfonso Soriano is back...or until Lou changes his mind again. I would assume that Jim Edmonds would get the bulk of the work at the five spot from now on, at least versus righties.
Quotation marks make their first appearance in the Hits of the Week headline since this week's list includes two walks.
So here they are, the five hits...er, that is, offensive events...that did the most to enhance the Cubs' chance of winning during the past week, as measured by FanGraphs' Win Probability Added (WPA):
#5 Big Hit: Tuesday, v. the Mets, 4th inning-- With the bases loaded and two out and the Cubs already leading 1-0, Reed Johnson drives a single to left field, scoring Ronny Cedeno and Henry Blanco, and the Cubs' margin is three, which, on a day when the Mets can't seem to get an important hit, is more than margin enough. WPA .151
|SP||*Zach Duke||SP||Ryan Dempster|
|0-0, 2.89, 7 K, 4 BB||2-0, 2.37, 13 K, 9 BB|
|CF||*Nate McLouth||CF||Reed Johnson|
|2B||Freddy Sanchez||SS||Ryan Theriot|
|LF||Jason Bay||1B||Derrek Lee|
|1B||*Adam LaRoche||3B||Aramis Ramirez|
|RF||Xavier Nady||LF||Matt Murton|
|C||#Ryan Doumit||RF||Mark DeRosa|
|3B||Jose Bautista||C||Geovany Soto|
|SS||Brian Bixler||2B||Ronny Cedeno|
||*Zach Duke||P||Ryan Dempster|
WGN Radio is reporting that Kosuke Fukudome has a sebaceous cyst on his forehead which is causing some swelling in his right eyelid and thus, some vision problems. However, according to WGN's Cory Provus, Fukudome is on medication and is expected to return to the lineup on Monday.
I've been informed that indeed, the Cubs brass do read this website and have promoted Matt Murton. No word on who is getting sent down. Kidding about the Cubs brass reading this website, but our pal Steve Holley at Inside the Ivy is the one giving me the news and he's with the team currently in New Orleans. We can only assume it's Eric Patterson being sent down.
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I wasn't around much for yesterday's festivities, so let me get a few things off my chest. I realize the Cubs have won three straight and eight of their last ten and I should probably just shut-up, but this sh** is bugging me.
- The "hop" that Soriano does before he catches a flyball is kinda lame. Then of course, I have a hard time relating to anyone who could drive a car like this. Lame as it is, it didn't create his calf strain and I'm not just saying that because the Cubs are in full-press denial mode. You can just look at the highlights of it. Soriano didn't leap more than six inches off the ground and landed just fine; he didn't roll his ankle or overextend his knee or anything. Whatever the problem was, it was already there and if it didn't happen on that play, it certainly would have the next time he ran out a ground ball or slid into a bag.
But if makes him stop leaping like one of the seven lords, then by all means, it was the "hop" that caused it.
Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, appearing Monday night on WGN Sports Central with Dave Kaplan, said he expects the Cubs and Orioles to reach agreement on a trade involving Brian Roberts in "a week to ten days."
An incomplete list, in no particular order...
Jason Marquis. Though Lou Piniella apologized for "overreacting" to Marquis' comments following Saturday's game, the pitcher's "I have a family to worry about" statement made him look stupid and foolish and...like a modern-day Major Leaguer.
I haven't enjoyed typing anything as much as this in a very long time:
Per the Sun-Times, here is the Cubs' batting order for Thursday's Cactus League opener at 2:05 Central Time against the now Bonds-less San Francisco Giants:
DeLuca and/or Wittenmyer report that following Dempster's two innings, Sean Gallagher will go for two. Ceda, Cotts, Pignatiello, Ascanio, and Hart will then pitch an inning apiece.
Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez are expected to step into the lineup on Friday, when the Cubs host the Giants at HoHoKam.
From Arizona Phil:
The Cubs moved a half-mile up Center Street to HoHoKam Park this morning for the first time this Spring.
There were about 100 fans in attendance for the "free" preview, and as was the case last year, Manager Lou Piniella opted not to play an intrasquad game to prepare for the Cactus League, instead preferring an extended (90 minute) regular season-type infield practice and traditional BP, followed by baserunning practice.