So we may have found a way to improve our record in one-run ballgames! Easy! Just wait to win until the 13th inning!
Lilly was great yesterday and it’s a good thing the Mariners were even worse at cleaning up the basepaths than the Cubs were. Tons of men left on base resulted in a marathon of a game for the Cubs in Seattle and Piniella enjoyed getting the best of his former ballclub. Of course one-run ballgames happen often in baseball so we’re going to find a new way to come out victorious. It’s not even July and we’ve already played in 27 one run ballgames out of the nearly 80 games played. Do that say 30 more times this season in the second half and the time leading up to the break and then add 4 innings to each of those games and you’re looking at playing 120 extra innings! While those wins would certainly come in handy, adding about 11 games to your schedule with this group of old fragile Cubs is not exactly a recipe for success. Clearly that won’t happen, but you get my point. Grateful for the win, nervous about us finding a way to keep it up in one run ballgames.
Today Zambrano, Mr. Opening Day starter to the bullpen, back to the rotation, takes the mound against the White Sox. Now, I dislike the White Sox just like you. What do I dislike even more? The Crosstown Cup. That’s right. I dislike the Crosstown Çup even more than I dislike the White Sox. This Cup is ridiculous. The Blackhawks won the only Cup that should be in Chicago right now. And at least they had a plan for how to get the damn thing if they ended up in a tie…because they’d play until there wasn’t one!
What happens if the Cubs take two out of three this weekend? The series will be tied at 3. The first year of the city’s beloved Crosstown Cup…and no plan for a series tie? Does it simply end with no one winning the cup? Do they go to runs scored? Whose team had the bigger idiots in the stands? Number of gatorade coolers smashed? Best insults thrown from fans of the opposite team?
Zambrano v. Peavy tonight to kick it off. Cubs look to either sweep or win two out of three to tie the crosstown series up. They better sweep with regards to the Cup, because of they don’t and only manage two out of three…..then what?
Go Cubs Go!
CHI WHITE SOX (0) AT CHICAGO CUBS (13) CHI WHITE SOX AB R H BI CHICAGO CUBS AB R H BI B Lillibridge 2b- 4 0 0 0 A Soriano lf 2 0 0 0 A Pierzynski c 3 0 1 0 D Deeds lf 2 1 1 0 C Armstrong c 1 0 0 0 A Miles ss 2 1 1 0 C Quentin lf 3 0 0 0 A Blanco ss 2 1 1 2 B Myrow 1b 1 0 0 0 D Barney pr-ss 0 0 0 0 J Thome dh 3 0 1 0 D Lee 1b 3 1 1 0 G Beckham ph-dh 1 0 0 0 J Fox 1b 2 1 0 0 J Dye rf 3 0 1 0 M Hoffpauir dh 4 1 2 1 M Restovich rf 1 0 0 0 S Clevenger ph-dh 1 0 0 0 A Ramirez ss 2 0 0 0 A Ramirez 3b 3 0 0 1 J Nix 2b 1 0 0 0 L Rivas pr-3b 1 1 0 0 J Kroeger 1b-lf 4 0 0 0 M Fontenot 2b 2 1 1 0 J Fields 3b 2 0 0 0 B Scales 2b 2 1 2 3 J Castillo 3b 1 0 1 0 B Snyder rf 5 2 2 4 D Wise cf 4 0 2 0 K Hill c 3 0 1 2 W Castillo c 1 1 0 0 J Gathright cf 3 0 0 0 S Fuld cf 2 1 2 0 TOTALS 34 0 6 0 TOTALS 40 13 14 13 CHI WHITE SOX 000 000 000 -- 0 CHICAGO CUBS 000 220 90x -- 13 E--E Caridad, L Rivas, B Lillibridge, J Kroeger. LOB--CHI WHITE SOX 9, CHICAGO CUBS 11. 2B--K Hill, J Thome, D Wise. HR--B Snyder 1 (1) (off A Russell). CS--J Fields. IP H R ER BB SO HR CHI WHITE SOX J Marquez 2 0 0 0 1 2 0 M Thornton 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 E Wassermann (L,0-1) 1 3 2 2 0 1 0 O Dotel 1 3 2 2 1 2 0 R Williams 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 A Russell 0 5 8 6 1 0 1 B Salmon 1 2 1 1 1 1 0 J Nunez 1 1 0 0 0 3 0 CHICAGO CUBS A Heilman 2 1 0 0 0 4 0 K Gregg 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 N Cotts (W,1-0) 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 D Patton 2 1 0 0 0 2 0 K Kadokura 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 J Waddell 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 E Caridad 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 WP--O Dotel. HBP--A Blanco by J Nunez, J Fox by A Russell. SO--CHW: B Lillibridge 3, A Ramirez 2, J Thome 2, D Wise, J Kroeger. CHC: A Soriano 2, J Gathright, B Snyder, S Clevenger, D Deeds, J Fox, W Castillo, M Fontenot, M Hoffpauir. BB--CHW: J Fields, A Ramirez. CHC: A Miles, A Soriano, W Castillo, M Fontenot, D Deeds, L Rivas. T--2:56. A--13,010.
Three games into Spring Training and the Cubs are 3-0. Sweet. Hoffpauir has looked great at the plate in both power stats and patience. I kind of feel bad for guys like Hoffpauir and Fox though because it seems like every Spring these guys deliver unbelievably consistent stats, yet we simply have no room for them on the 25 man roster. It’s a shame too. It must drive these guys crazy. Hopefully one of them breaks through this year somehow, especially if their Spring is as impressive as Springs past. Hoffpauir’s the DH today so he’ll have another chance to shine this afternoon.
What’s up Lilly! I’m happy to hear that you have the Cubs’ best interests in mind when it comes to your pitch count in the WBC. Everytime I hear that, it feels like a boxing championship someone is trying to win. Anyway, I always enjoy hearing that organizations have prevented their key players from playing in this tournament. I know it’s a great thing for the game and a fun exhibition of the world’s greatest sport. However, when you’re investing millions in guys to come through when it counts during the regular season, it’s too scary of a possibility that the guy goes down to injury in an exhibition competition. Big Z, Lilly, Harden, Dempster and Marshall. Ok, fine. But if we were to lose any of those top four it would make us extremely vulnerable and a much less powerhouse in the National League. The Cubs are definitely the on-paper favorites to repeat in the Central but a huge part of that is pitching. We can’t lose Lilly to something stupid so I’m glad he has the team’s best interests at heart. Have a great time Lilly, but come back healthy for sure.
Speaking of staying healthy…what’s up with the quad Milt? We definitely need that to be a precautionary measure in pulling himself from the game the other day. Milton Bradley makes this team so much better, especially when you figure his power in the middle of the order allows for us to keep Soriano up top leading off and not constantly questioning if we should be using his power later on in the order. Not sure that he’ll end up leading off yet having not seen much from Theriot or Miles as of yet this Spring…but more than likely that’s where Piniella will start him come Opening Day.
I know it’s been a little while since his signing and I’m not even sure he’ll make the roster, but I like the signing of Taguchi. From what I’ve seen of the guy he can be pretty clutch late in games when you need a big hit. If he sticks, his bat may be a great option off the bat here and there throughout the season. The Cubs are in a great situation with how deep they are, a great problem to have. Tons of people to look at and consider this Spring. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in Piniella’s office throughout S.T. and the regular season. That would be fascinating. The flying ability would be cool too.
Today the Cubs and the White Sox take their crosstown rivalry across the country to battle in exhibition. Heilman will get the start for the Cubs. Living in New York, I’ve seen quite a bit of Heilman over the years. He’s a guy that would surprise me if he were to take the fifth starter spot in the rotation. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles the couple innings he gets today, as well as how Rami looks at third. Always good to get those cuts in, work out the kinks from the winter months. It came up in the chat box I have set up here in the right hand column the other day as to who should back up Ramirez at third. Any Cubs fans out there have a preference? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
The Cubs have outscored their opponents 22-11 so far this season. 11 runs given up in 27 innings. Not too shabby, but could definitely be better. 22 runs in three games. Looking good. Good start to the Spring.
Here’s to a good ol’ fashion walloping of the Sox today. Go Cubs Go!
Dempster did it yet again tonight. Crushed the Sox pushing his record to 9-2, a perfect 9-0 at home. Lou gave him the chance to go the full nine innings but after a couple got on, including a weak infield single off the third base bag, Howry came in in relief (perhaps a bit of Marmol-aid might be called for after all…what is wrong with Carlos lately? Even with a great Cubs win and sweep of the weekend series I can’t help but continue to wonder) and put the final few outs away in front of the greatest fans in Chicago, in the greatest ballpark in Chicago, for what is clearly the better team in Chicago.