Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ramirez to DL?

Aramis Ramirez will try running at Wrigley Field and if the test does not go any better than the one in Arizona did than Aramis will be headed for the DL, according to Tom Singer, who filled in for Carrie Muskat of in Arizona. This is one of the worse things that could happen to this lineup. Ramirez is the force in the middle of the order, and the Cubs do not have a solid backup for him. They will get to call someone up from the Minor Leagues to replace A-Ram on the roster, and Lou has said that Bobby Scales will be the guy that gets the call. I don't understand that because many Cubs Sites have been reporting how hot Jake Fox is and Fox does play some 3rd base and could be used as a solid pinch hitter.

Cubbie Birthdays!
Bob Hendley is 70!
Charley Jones is 159 (or would be)!
Joe Strain is 55!

This date in Cubs History...
1970- Billy Williams became the first NL player to play 1000 consecutive games.
2008- The Cubs set a franchise record for wins in April with a 19-5 victory over the Brewers.

I'll keep you posted on Ramirez.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cubs Drop 2 of 3 With Arizona

I'd rather not even talk about how poorly the Cubs are playing as of late.

Lately there's been nothing positive to discuss!

Let's do our Cubbie Birthdays:
Freddy Rodrigez (pitched 7 innings for Cubs in 1958.)

And This Date in Cubs History:
1983- Lee Elia goes ballistic in a post-game press conference. He criticizes the fans saying that 85% of the world works, and the other 15% attends Cubs games.

This road trip is finally over! Cubs and Marlins and Wrigley Field tomorrow night at 7:05. Sean Marshall will pitch for the Cubs.

The final score tonight by the way was 10-0.

Let's try to stay positive! It's still early in the season!

All Cubs In Big Win!

Boy did we need that BIG win to make everyone feel a lot better. Carlos Zambrano nearly made history by becoming the first pitched ever to hit for the cycle, but fell a triple shy. Soriano's 3-run homer put the Cubs on the board. Mike Fontenot also homered for the second straight night. Koyie Hill gave Geovany Soto the night off yesterday, and Koyie's 3 base hits matched the total by Geo in his last 25 ABs. Could it be the dreaded Sophomore slump for Soto? Should Lou think about starting Koyie Hill for awhile?

Zambrano also pitched a great game going 7 innnings, giving up 3 ER.

Cubs Wins 11-3! Cubs VS D-backs today at 2:40 CT.

I'll have a recap of that game, the Cubbie Birthdays and This Date in Cubs History later on!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Daily Topic!

To mix it up a little bit, we will now have a list of Cubs Birthdays and This Date in Cubs History each day. For tonight...

On this Date in Cubs History: Cubs pitcher Paul Minner allowed Frank Robinson's first career home run.

Cubbie Birthdays: Luis Quinones, Cub SS in 1987, is celebrating his 47th birthday. Kosuke had a birthday on Sunday, and Joey Gathright celebrated his B-Day yesterday.

I'll continue On This Date in Cubs History all season long and Cubbie Birthdays all year around!

Cubs Still Not Playing Well!

Let's hope the Cubs get a win tonight. They lost 7-5 in Game 1 of the series against Arizona.

A few notes:
  • Milton Bradley is back in the lineup tonight.
  • Soto, who has not been hitting well, was given a night off tonight. Koyie Hill is the starting catcher.
  • Lee took BP before the game and is close to returning.
  • Ramirez is still a few days away.
  • Carlos Marmol could be used tonight.

That's it for now, hopefully they'll be some good news to write about soon!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Quick Injury Updates

  • Bradley is feeling better and is available off the bench tonight. He will start tomorrow.
  • Lee's neck is still stiff. He will not start today or tomorrow.
  • Ramirez could be back in the lineup tomorrow or might wait until the final game of the series.
  • Marmol threw today and felt fine. He should be ready tomorrow.
  • Carlos Zambrano is available to pinch hit tonight because of the short handed bench.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cubs End 4 Game Skid!

A BIG win today for the Chicago Cubs. Ramirez is out, Bradley out, no Marmol, Lee left with an injury, but the guys that did play played very well today in a very big win! Rich Harden pitched a gem, and the Cubs scored 10 runs!

Game Highlight: The Cubbies, who hadn't scored very much that last 4 games, scored 3 runs in the first and added one more in the second on a Micah Hoffpauir solo homer.

My Player of the Game: Kosuke, who celebrated his birthday today, had 5 RBIs and a 3-run homer to cap off the Cubs scoring.

Up Next: Cubs VS Ari at 8:40 CT tomorrow night.

RBIs in the game...
  • Fukudome- 5
  • Hoffpauir- 2
  • Lee
  • Fontenot

Soto is the only guy who is still REALLY struggling, he is hitting just .128.

Good to see a big win! Let's do it again tomorrow night!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Injury Notes

  • Aramis Ramirez left last night's game in the 5th inning. He is expected to sit out for at least 3 days.
  • Carlos Marmol left last night's game with a strained muscle on the inside of his left knee. He will be evaluated today.
  • Milton Bradley is still out with a groin injury. He did pinch hit in the 9th yesterday, and drew a walk. Piniella and Hendry might decide to put Bradley on the DL so they can bring someone up from AAA Iowa.
  • Bobby Scales and Andres Blanco are guys that could be brought up to help the bench.
  • Another tough loss last night. Don't even want to talk about it.

Cubs VS Cardinals Game 2 of the series today at 3:10 CT. Sean Marshall VS Mitchell Boggs. Let's hope the bats return!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lineup Changes!

Lou has changed the lineup big time to try to create a better lineup for run scoring. Ryan Theriot is hitting lead off tonight, followed by Kosuke. Soriano is hitting 3rd, Ramirez 4th, then Lee drops to 5th. Fontenot, Soto, and Johnson round out the Cubs 1-8.

Also, Milton Bradley talked with Lou today and he will not return until he is 100%. The Cubs are considering putting him on the 15-day DL. Lou was not happy with what he saw on Wednesday. Bradley will hit 6th behind Lee when he returns.

Let's score some runs!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cubs Lose 2 of 3

Not a good game at all today from a Cubs perspective. The Cubs lost by a score of 7-1. When you don't play good defense, your bullpen does not do well, and you don't hit at all, you rarely win. Here are the keys to the game:

  • Zambrano made an error that led to a run early for the Reds.
  • Hoffpauir let a ball get past him in right that cost the Cubs 2 runs in the 7th inning.
  • Carlos pitched a OK game, but the gloves were not there behind him.
  • With the Cubs trailing 4-1, Neal Cotts came in and gave up a long ball the extended the Reds lead in the 8th.
  • Jeff Samardzija, who was called up before today's game, came in and allowed 2 insurance runs in the top of the 9th on 4 hits.
  • Ryan Theriot had the only Cubs RBI.

Game Highlight: The error by Hoffpauir that turned a 2-1 game in to a 4-1 game.

My Player of the Game: I'm actually going to name Ron Santo the player of the game, for a great job singing the 7th inning stretch. None of the Cubs players did anything good at all today, so I'll name Ron the player of the game.

Up Next: Cubs VS Cardinals in St. Louis tomorrow night at 7:15 CT. Ryan Dempster will take the hill against Adam Wainwright.

The Cubs have played very poorly the last 2 game, but....

it's only 2 game everyone!

A Few Notes

  • The Cubs have not made any roster moves yet today, but they are expected to DFA Vizcaino and call up Samardzija by game time.
  • Jon Lieber, former Cub, has retired.
  • Jim Edmonds hopes to be signed by May.
  • Mark Grudzielanek and Jacque Jones, both former Cubs, still want to play in the big leagues this season.

By the way- I'm confused as to why Luis Vizcaino is being DFA or traded already. The guy hasn't even given up an earned run! I didn't like getting him in the Marquis trade, but why even keep him out of Spring Training if he wasn't going to be given a chance! Neal Cotts is the one who needs to go if anyone. However, I'm very happy to see Samardzija back with the big league team. Hopefully with Samardzija, Gregg, Marmol, and Heilman the 7th, 8th, and 9th will be set on most days!

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Reds Have Evened the Series at 1

Random Game Notes:

  • The Cubs bats were quiet all night long.
  • They just ran into a well-oiled machine in Johnny Cueto.
  • Ted Lilly pitched a gem, and you hate to waste that.
  • Theodore went 7 innings and gave up just one run, not earned.
  • Milton Bradley made his return to the Cubs lineup, and went 0-4 with 3 Ks.
  • Angel Guzman and Kevin Gregg allowed the Reds to increase the lead late in the game, giving up a run each in the 8th and 9th.
  • Overall just a very boring loss, so I didn't write out a longer recap.
  • The wind was blowing in on this cold spring night, and it brought most of the balls that would have been over the fence back.
  • The only home run was Jay Bruce against Gregg in the 9th.

Game Highlight: Ted Lilly made an error on a bunt by Willy Taveras and that led to only run he would allow.

My Player of the Game: Only one choice tonight, it's gotta be Ted Lilly.

Up Next: Cubs and Reds, the rubber match of this 3 game series tomorrow afternoon at 1:20 CT. Carlos Zambrano will face Aaron Harang in the final game of this long opening home stand for the Chicago Cubs.

We'll try again tomorrow!

Samardzija Called Up Soon?

Update: Thanks to an anonymous commenter for this, According to the Tribune and the Sun Times, Jeff Samardzija will be called up and join the Cubs bullpen tomorrow. Jim Hendry has confirmed that Sean Marshall will stay in the rotation, and Neal Cotts will stay with the team. The Sun Times has now learned that Luis Vizcaino will be designated for assignment tomorrow. Nothing is official yet, but it seems that "The Shark" will join the bullpen before tomrrow's 1:20 game against the Reds.

By the way- go to and vote for the Cubs for the All Star Game. Voting will continue through July 5. (Link)

Most of you know that the Cubs defeated the Reds 7-2 last night. I won't run through the full recap but...

Game Highlight: There was lots of scoring for the Cubs, but I'm going to have to go with the cat on the field in the top of the 4th inning (link).

My Player of the Game: Rich Harden who went 6 strong innings, and Micah Hoffpauir for his solo homer run and walk in his 2 ABs.

Up Next: Game 2 of the series is tonight at 7:05, Ted Lilly will face Johnny Cueto.
"I don't care who wins as long as it's the Cubs!"

Monday, April 20, 2009

Off Day Updates: Minor Leagues, Former Cubs, & More

Let's start with a look at how the 2008 Chicago Cubs that are now playing for a different team are doing:

  • Mark DeRosa: .236 AVG, 12 Games, 3 HR, 15 RBI
  • Kerry Wood: 4 Games, 2.70 ERA, 1 Save
  • Felix Pie: 11 Games, .161 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Rich Hill: O's are pleased with 2 innings he threw in extended Spring Training, (elbow injury). He could be on the way to minor league rehab.
  • Ronny Cedeno: 7 Games, .174 AVG, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • Jason Marquis: 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 2 starts.
  • Henry Blanco: 4 Games, .250 AVG, 2 HR, 2 RBI
  • Bobby Howry: 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 5 games.
  • Michael Wuertz: 1-0, 0.00 ERA in 7 games.
  • Paul Bako, Daryle Ward, Jim Edmonds, and Jon Lieber all still listed as free agents.

Iowa Cubs: 8-4 Record

Hitters Stats:

  • Jake Fox- 11 Games, .478 AVG, 7 HR, 22 RBI
  • Jason Dubois- 4 Games, .412 AVG, 2 HR, 3 RBI
  • Chris Robinson- 6 Games, .381 AVG, 0 HR, 1 RBI
  • Bobby Scales- 11 Games, .371 AVG, 5 RBI
  • Andres Blanco- 11 Games, .314 AVG, 5 RBI
  • Luis Rivas: 10 Games, .281 AVG, 1 HR, 3 RBI
  • So Taguchi- 8 Games, .259 AVG, 4 RBI
  • Sam Fuld- 11 Games, .250 ERA, 7 RBI
  • Nate Spears- 10 Games, .250 AVG, 5 RBI
  • Brad Snyder- 10 Games, .255 AVG, 5 RBI
  • Mark Johnson- 5 Games, .125 AVG, 3 RBI
  • Matt Matulia- 3 Games, 0-3
  • Doug Deeds- 1 Game, 0-4

Pitching Stats:

  • Mitch Atkins: 16.1 IP, 1-1, 8.82 ERA
  • Jeff Samardzija: 12 IP, 3.75 ERA
  • Randy Wells: 10 IP, 1-0, 4.50 ERA
  • Esmalin Caridad: 10 IP, 2-0, 3.60 ERA
  • Jose Ascaino: 8 IP, 0.00 ERA
  • Greg Reinhard- 6.2 IP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA
  • Jesse Estrada- 6.1 IP, 1-1, 9.95 ERA
  • Chad Fox: 5.1 IP, 1 Save, 0.00 ERA
  • Jeff Stevens: 5.1 IP, 0.00 ERA
  • J.R. Mathes: 4 IP, 1-1, 9.64 ERA
  • Jason Waddell: 4 IP, 0.00 ERA
  • Justin Berg: 4 IP, 6-.75 ERA
  • Kevin Hart: 0-1, 3.1 IP, 13.50 ERA

Tennessee Smokies: 4-5 record going into game tonight

Daytona Cubs: 4-6 Record going into game tonight

Peoria Chiefs: 5-4 Record

NL Central Standing:

  • 1. Cubs: 7-4
  • 2. St. Louis: 8-5
  • 3. Cincinnati: 6-5
  • 4. Pittsburgh: 6-6
  • 5. Houston: 4-8
  • 6. Milwaukee: 4-8


Any questions or comments you can always send me an email,

The Cubs will get back on the field after a 2 day break, tomorrow night against the Reds at 7:05.

Remember, I'll have a post like this on every Cubs off day that includes Links, Former Cub Updates, Farm Updates, and more!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cubs and Cardinals rained out

Well, tonight's game between the Cubs and Cardinals at Wrigley Field has been postponed due to bad weather. The game will be made up on July 12. The two teams will play a double header on that day, Game 1 at 12:05, and Game 2 at 7:05.

Lou Piniella will send Rich Harden to the mound Tuesday night against the Reds. Lilly will start Game 2 of that series and Zambrano will start Game 3.

So the Cubs have a scheduled day off tomorrow, so that means 2 days of no Cubs baseball!

The Cubs and Reds play night games on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then wrap the series up with a 1:20 game Thursday afternoon. There is a 70% chance of rain on Tuesday, so we might have to go 3 days in a row with no Cubs Games! It is supposed to be HOT in the Chicago land area by the end of the week, a high of 72 on Thursday and Friday!

Tomorrow I will have an off day post that includes:
  • NL Central Standings
  • Former Cub Update
  • Cubs Minor League Update
  • Cubs Links
  • Any other Off Day News
  • And more...

That's it for now!

Chicago Weather Update

We're all hoping the Cubs and Cardinals can get their game in tonight at 7:05. Right now it is 48 degrees with a light rain falling in Chicago. Here are some links that will help you follow the Chicago weather all day long:

Right now it looks like we should be good until about 8 or 9:00 tonight!

I'll keep you posted on the weather!

Cubs Week in Review

Monday: Cubs 4, Rockies 0
Wednesday: Rockies 5, Cubs 2
Thursday: Cardinals 7, Cubs 4
Friday: Cubs 8, Cardinals 7
Saturday: Cubs 7, Cardinals 5

Click on game for detailed recap!

Cubs VS Cardinals game 4 of the series tonight at 7:05! Cubs trying to take 3 out of 4.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Just an Average Cubs/Cardinals Game

Wow! What a thriller! Here's the recap:

Ryan Dempster worked 3 up and 3 down in the first and second innings. The game was moving quickly as we went to the third with now score. Dempster got himself into trouble in the top of the third by walking the first to men. After Kyle Lohse failed to lie down a bunt, Skip Schumaker singled home a run. Pujols walked with 2 outs to load the bags, then Ludwick hit a soft fly ball that fell in for a 2 run single.

The Cubbies got one of the runs back in the bottom half on a Kosuke Fukudome RBI double. Then, the Cards got that run right back on a solo Khalil Greene home run.

Ryan Theriot tripled to lead off the bottom of the 5th, then Aaron Miles got an RBI on a ground out. After two 2-out walks to Soriano and Kosuke, Derrek Lee got a BIG double to bring in 2 runs and the game was tied at 4.

In the bottom of the 6th, Aaron Miles smacked an RBI single to score Soto and give the Cubs their first lead of the game! The dreadful Neal Cotts, who will not be mentioned again in this post, came in to start the 7th and walked the only 2 men that he faced. Lou had to bring in Marmol a lot earlier than he wanted to. The hard throwing right-hander did a tremendous job, getting Ankiel, Pujols, and Ludwick in order without allowing the runs to score.

Lou was forced to use Marmol to soon because of "you know who", and Marmol ended up allowing 2 doubles in a row to start the 8th after an impressive 9th, and the Cardinals tied the game at 5. Carlos hit Khalil Greene with a pitch, and then Kevin Gregg was brought on with 2 on and nobody out. Gregg was equaly as impressive in the 8th as Marmol was in the 7th, getting out of it with 2 Ks and a ground ball.

In the bottom half of the 8th, the Cubs got 2 guys on but did not score. Gregg worked a 1, 2, 3 top of the 9th and gave the Cubs a chance to win it in the bottom of the frame. But the Cubbies failed to score and we went to extra innings.

Alfonso Soriano made a great play in the top of the 10th, catch a fly ball and then making a strong throw to second to double off Chris Duncan to end the inning. With one out in the bottom of the 10th, the Cubs got a break when Reed Johnson reached on an error. Soto then walked to put two men on. Theriot grounded out but advanced the runners. Miles was walked to load the bags. Joey Gathright, the pinch hitter, struck out to end the inning and great scoring chance. So they played on...

Angel Guzman was able to get through the 11th despite a lead off walk. Then in the bottom of the 1tth with 2 outs and a man on, Aramis Ramirez launched a walk off homer! Cubs Win in a game that lasted nearly 4 hours!

Game Highlight: Gotta be the walk off homer!

My Player of the Game: Has to be Ramirez, even though he went 1-6, that one was a BIG one! Also Kevin Gregg did great, along with most (but not all) of the other relievers.

Up Next: ESPN's Sunday Night baseball tomorrow for the Cubs and Cards at 7:05 CT. Ted Lilly will pitch for the Cubs against former Cub Todd Wellemeyer.

Cubs lead the series 2-1, still one more left...

Let's do it again tomorrow night!

Milton Bradley Suspended 2 Games

Bradley has received a 2 game suspension because he came in contact with home plate umpire Larry Vanover in Game 1 of the Cubs VS Cardinals series on Thursday. Milton war arguing a called third strike. He is appealing the suspension, so it will not start yet. This should be changed. It was fine that the umpire threw him out of the game, but a suspension is not called for in this situation.

1. Bradley did not intentionally make contacted with the umpire, Vanover actually his him when he raised his hand to throw him out.

2. It was a really bad called anyways.

3. I like this intensity from Milton, but if we're going to lose him for a few games every time he tries to pump the team up, then he may have to calm himself down.

Cubs VS Cardinals coming up at an odd start time of 2:40. The game is on FOX and WGN Radio.

New Poll

Thanks to everyone who voted on our last poll! Here are the results from this week:

Q: What NL Central Opponent are you most worried about?

Cardinals: 73% (11 Votes)
Brewers: 13% (2 Votes)
Reds: 1 Vote
Pirates 1 Vote

I wonder if the person who voted for the Pirates was joking or really was an optimistic Pirates fan. No love for the Astros by the way, they did not receive a single vote.

What division games do you look forward to the most?
A. Cubs/Cardinals
B. Cubs/Brewers

Speaking of, the Cubs and Cardinals will do battle today at 2:40 CT on FOX in game 3 of a 4 game series. Ryan Dempster VS Kyle Lohse is the pitching match up.

I did not get a chance to recap yesterday's game, but I'm sure you've all read about or saw the dramatic game between the Cubs and Cards yesterday. Carlos Zambrano gave up 7 runs in 7 innings, but the Cubs hitters came back and the Cubs won the game 8-7.

Game Highlight: Alfonso Soriano's clutch 2-run go-ahead homer in the bottom of the 8th to put the Cubs in front 8-7.

My Player of the Game: Ramirez had a great day at the plate and Soriano had that big home run, but I'm going to give the player of the game to Carlos Marmol and Aaron Heilman who both worked scoreless innings out of the pen. The Cubs VS Cardinals games are never over, and Marmol got the save. Heilman worked a good 8th to keep the Cubs in the game.

Well, let's do it again today!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Quick Update

According to the Chicago Tribune, Larry Iassogna, the second base umpire for yesterday's game, plans to file a report on Milton Bradley because he made physical contact with home plate umpire Larry Vanover when he was ejected. This means Milton could be suspended.

Not Good!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cubs Drop First game with Cardinals

Not a good day for the Chicago Cubs. Ryan Ludwick had an RBI infield single in the top of the first. The Cubs tied the game on a sac fly by Derrek Lee in the bottom of the first. Sean Marshall, who pitched a fine game, did serve up a 2-run homer to Chris Duncan in the 4th.

In the bottom of the 5th, with Theriot and Soriano on base, Kosuke Fukudome delivered a 3-run homer to give the Cubs the lead! The lead was short lived, however. Greene homered off Marshall to tie the game with one out in the top of the 6th.

The bottom of the 6th was the key to the game. Aramis Ramirez led off the inning with a single. Mike Fontenot reached on a fly ball that was dropped in the outfield. The throw to second was wild, and Ramirez moved up to third and Fontenot to second. Cubbies have a good chance to take control of the game with 2 guys in scoring position and nobody out. Soto, who went 0-4, struck out. Ryan Theriot was intentionally walked. Milton Bradley was the pinch hitter with the bases loaded. Bradley has been out for the first 3 games of the home stand with a groin injury. Milton worked a 3-0 count. The 3-0 pitch from Wainwright was close, but the home plate umpire called it a strike. Bradley was about to toss the bat aside because he thought the pitch was a ball. The 3-1 pitch was a strike right down the middle, and Milton did not swing. The payoff pitch appeared to be a low and in, but Larry Vanover, the umpire, called it strike three. Bradley was very upset at the blown call and was thrown out of the game. The Cubs still had a chance to score with 2 men out, but Soriano flew out to end the inning. Not getting any runs here was the turning point of the game.

David Patton allowed a lead off walk in the 7th. Pujols was intentionally walked with 1 out. The two walks would come back to hurt the Cubs when they both came around to score against Patton and Neil Cotts. Angel Guzman allowed a solo homer to Brian Barden in the 8th. The Cubs bats were quiet late in the game, and the final score was Cardinals 7, Cubs 4.

Game Highlight: Cubs have runners at second and third with no outs in the 6th and fail to score.

My Player of the Game: Kosuke Fukudome for his double and 3-run homer. Kosuke has been on fire to start the year. Let's hope this last longer than it did a year ago.

Up Next: Game 2 of this series tomorrow afternoon at 1:20 CT.

Lou was not happy when he met with the media after the game. He yelled at a reporter for asking about him sending Larry Rothschild to make some of the pitching changes.

The bottom line right now is...

We're 9 games into the season and our record is 5 and 4. Don't Panic.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cubs and Rockies Split 2 Game Set

Former Cubs pitcher Jason Marquis did his best to show the Cubs front office that they should not have traded him today. Marquis pitched 7 strong innings and had a big hit in his return to Wrigley Field.

Colorado scored their first 2 runs on a 2-run single by Marquis in the 2nd. Smith homered to make it 3-0 in the 3rd. Atkins single to bring home another run and it was a 4-0 deficit.

Rich Harden left the game after giving up 4 runs over just 3 innings. The bullpen did a great job, however, so the Cubs were still in the game. Today David Patton pitched 2 shutout innings, Luis Vizcaino pitched a scoreless frame. Cotts and Guzman also did very well.

Micah Hoffpauir finally got the Cubs on the board with an RBI single in the bottom of the 5th.

The score was 5-1 as we headed to the bottom of the 9th. Derrek Lee hit a solo home run to lead off the 9th to make it a 3-run game. After a Mike Fontenot walk, and a Reed Johnson bloop single. Rockies closer Houston Street was removed from the game, and Geovany Soto represented the tying run with nobody out! Then it all came crashing down when Mike Fontenot made a BIG base running mistake and tried to advance to third on a ball that barely got passed the catcher. There was really no reason to try to advance at all, with the tying run at the plate his run was meaningless. Geovany Soto hit into a game ending double play to end it. Final Score: Brewers 5, Cubs 2.

Game Highlight: Fontenot's baserunning blunder in the 9th.

My Player of the Game: Derrek Lee for a great game at the plate including the 9th inning home run.

Up Next: Game 1 of a 4 game series with the Cardinals tomorrow at 1:20 CT and Wrigley. Sean Marshall will make his first start of the year for the Cubs.

Let's get back on track tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Iowa Cubs Update, Former Cubs Updates, and More

Some notes from the Cubs farm teams for the first week...

The Iowa Cubs are 3-2. They play tonight at 7:35 PM CT.


  • Jake Fox is hitting .471 with 8 RBIs in 5 games.
  • Scales hitting .308, Fuld .300.
  • Taguchi is 2 for 13 with 4 walks.


  • Jeff Samardzija: 6 IP, 3 ER on 5 hits, 3 BB, 2 home runs.
  • Randy Wells: 5 IP, 2 ER on 5 hits, 0 BB.
  • Mitch Atkins: 5 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 2 HR.
  • Esmalin Cardidad: 5 IP, 5 H, 0 ER.
  • J.R. Mathes: 4 IP, 6 hits, 5 ER

Former Cubs 2009 Stats So far...

  • Mark DeRosa: .115 AVG, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 6 Games.
  • Kerry Wood: 2 Games, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 IP.
  • Felix Pie: 6 Games, .278 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI.
  • Rich Hill: 15 Day DL (strained left elbow)
  • Ronny Cedeno: 4 games, .143 AVG.
  • Jason Marquis: 1 Game, 7 IP, 5 Hits, 2 ER.
  • Henry Blanco: 3 games, 3-9, 2 HR.
  • Paul Bako, Daryle Ward, Jon Lieber, and Jim Edmonds are all still listed as free agents.

I'll keep you posted on our 2008 Cubs in their new homes throughout the 2009 MLB season.

NL Central Standings:

  • 1. Cardinals: 6-2
  • 2. Cubs: 5-2
  • 3. Pirates: 4-3
  • 4. Reds: 3-3
  • 5. Brewers: 2-5
  • 6. Astros: 1-6


Any questions/comments, you can always email me

I'm going to have a post like this that include Minor League Update, a Former Cub Update, Links, NL Central Standings, and more on every Cubs off day! If you have a post (posted near a Cub off day) that you want to be included in the links just send an email to

Monday, April 13, 2009

Nearly a Home Opener for the Record Books!

The 2009 Home Opener for the Chicago Cubs started on a Rain Delay for over an hour. But it was worth the wait for the Cubs fans! With the bases loaded and 1 out in the second inning, Koyie Hill walked to force in a run. That's the second time in the last 2 days that Hill has gotten an RBI without hitting the ball!

The game stayed 1-0 until the Cubs added 2 runs in the 4th thanks to RBIs by Theriot and Lee.

Ted Lilly took a no-hitter into the second today! Spillborghs flew out, and Helton was called out on strikes. It looked like it might be a very special Home Opener for the Chicago Cubs. However, Garrett Atkins hit a ground ball single to left and Lilly's no hit bid ended. Ted took no hitters into the 7th twice last year!

After the Atkins single, Seth Smith drew a walk. Ted Lilly was removed from the game. The Cubs fans gave him a big cheer as he strolled to the dugout. Angel Guzman got a big out to end the inning. Aaron Heilman worked a scoreless 8th inning. If Marmol and Heilman continue to pitch well, the middle relief situation is going to be fine.

In the bottom of the 8th, the Cubs added an insurance run on an RBI single by Kosuke Fukudome. Kevin Gregg came on in the 9th to try to close it out. He struck on Spillborghs for the first out, then he walked Todd Helton. Atkins, who had the only Rockie hit of the day, struck out. Seth Smith struck out for the final out. Cubs Win! Kevin Gregg gets the save!

What a game by Ted Lilly! Only 1 hit by the Rockies all day!

Game Highlight: Koyie Hill walks with the bases loaded in the second to bring in the first run of the game for the Cubs.

My Player of the Game: Ted Lilly: 6.2 IP, 1 Hit, 2 BB, 0 ER!

Up Next: Off Day tomorrow, game 2 of the series Wednesday at 1:20 CT.

Injury Notes:

  • Geovany Soto did not play, he should be back in the lineup Wednesday.
  • Milton Bradley is still day-to-day with a groin injury, he did not play.
  • Aramis Ramirez sat out with a sore back, I'd expect him back in the lineup on Wednesday.

Lou after the Game:

  • It would have been a tough decision if Ted had kept the no-hitter through 7 because it is so early in the season.
  • Guzman came in and got a big out.
  • Gregg is getting sharper.
  • This was a small ball type lineup, Lou says we "worked the count pretty well, put the ball in play, and bunted a few times. It was a good ball game all the way around."
  • The message to Lilly was to be aggressive and throw the ball over the plate.
  • When you win 5 out of the first 7 you are pleased, but there is some work to be done with this team.
  • The guys are playing hard and good things are happening.
  • "Let's just keep winning," he said.
  • Lou was asked about the dead goat found on Harry Caray's statue this morning. He said, "Poor Harry Caray."
  • Milton Bradley will need 3-5 days off.
  • Lou says Fukudome did fine in the 3 hole.

Shifting gears, it was a sad day for Major League Baseball today as the game lost a pair of legends. The great Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas passed today. Pat Hughes, Harry's good friend, said, "He absolutely loved this game. I know he was going to do a great job for today's game between the Phillies and the Nationals. I'm going to miss him, I really am." Tigers legend Mark "The Bird" Fidrych was also found dead today. Lots of bad news lately. I'd like to send my condolences to the families and friends of these legends.

A Note: All of MLB will wear #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson on Jackie's day this year!

Cubs win 4-0! A great home opener! Off Day tomorrow.

The Cubs are 5-2!

Home Opener Quick Hits

  • According to the Tribune, Milton Bradley might miss today's game and is listed as day-to-day with a strained right groin.
  • The weather is not looking good right now. The Cubs will make a decision sometime this morning as to whether or not the game will be played.
  • The players did not report to the ballpark early this morning, and will not take Batting Practice today.
  • Geovany Soto was used as a pinch hitter last night. He could be used off the bench again today, but will not start until Wednesday.

The Cubs are 75-56 all time in their Home Opener. This is the first time the Cubs have hosted the Rockies for the Home Opener.

It's not raining yet in Chicago, but there is a 80% chance it will be by 1:00. There is a rain makeup day tomorrow, but there's a 60% chance of rain tomorrow!

I'll keep you posted.

Let's hope they get this one in!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

4-12 Starting Lineup

Game 3 of the Cubs VS Brewers series tonight at 7:05 CT. It has been a drama filled series so far, with both games coming down to blown saves in the 9th inning. The game is on ESPN National TV and WGN Radio. By the way, Lou Piniella has made clear that even though Marmol got the save yesterday, Kevin Gregg is still our closer.

Here is the starting lineup for tonight's game:
Soriano, LF
Kosuke, CF
Lee, 1B
Bradley, RF
Ramirez, 3B
Fontenot, 2B
Theriot, SS
Hill, C
Dempster, P

So it's the same batting order 1-8 that Lou has used for the first 2 games of this series. Let's hope we get a Cubs Win for Easter!

"I don't care who wins as long as it's the Cubs!"

Cubs Week in Review/ Next Week Preview

Happy Easter Sunday everyone! Cubs VS Brewers big game tonight on ESPN. For now, enjoy our first Cubs Week in Review. Click on the game for detailed recap.

The Week Preview:

Cubs VS Rockies

Game 1- Cubs Home Opener Monday at 1:20 CT.

Pitching Matchup: Ubaldo Jimenez VS Ted Lilly

Weather: 44 Degrees, 50% chance of showers

Game 2- Wednesday @1:20

Pitching Matchup: Jason Marquis VS Rich Harden

Weather- 57 Degrees and partly cloudy. 20% chance of rain.

Cubs VS Cardinals

Game 1: Thursday at 1:20 CT

Pitching Matchup: Sean Marshall VS TBA

Weather: 59 degrees, Mostly Cloudy, 20% chance of rain.

I'll update you on the rest of the Cards/Cubs series later in the week!

Enjoy the rest of your Easter Sunday, I'll have lineups posted before the game tonight!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What a Wild One at Miller Park

It was a crazy game today. Cubs VS Brewers games are always, fun. Especially when the good guys come out on top in the end....

The Brewers struck first against Zambrano in the bottom of the 3rd when Prince Fielder hit a 2 run homer. Kosuke, who has started the season on fire, cut the lead in half with a long ball of his own against Dave Bush in the top of the 4th. However, the Milwaukee responded with a run in the bottom of inning number 4. It was 3-1 after 5.

In the top of the 6th the Cubs tied the game on back-to-back extra base knocks by Kosuke and Soriano. Fukudome was on 3rd base with nobody out, but after Lee was robbed by Bill Hall Bradley hit a ground ball to first and Kosuke was thrown out at the plate. So the Brewers still lead.

Zambrano left after 6 strong. Mike Fontenot lead off the second with a walk, and then Ryan Theriot singled. Koyie Hill failed to bunt them over, but with 2 strikes he came through with a single. Fontenot held at 3rd and they were loaded. Hoffpauir struck out pinch hitting. Soriano hit a double play ball to short, but luckily for the Cubs he was called safe on a close play at first. Cubs tie the game, but score just the one run. You want to get more when you have the bases loaded and nobody out!

Things were a little shaky once the Cubs turned it over to the bullpen that I complained about yesterday. After retiring the first man, Angel Guzman walked 2 guys in a row. These relief pitchers need to throw strikes! So Lou brought Cotts in to face Fielder. Neal walked the big man to load them up with one away. Piniella was so furious that he sent Larry Rothschild to remove Cotts from the game. Heilman was the guy unlucky enough to inherit the unenviable situation. J.J. Hardy singled up the middle against Aaron to bring in 2 runs, and Milwaukee led the game 5-3.

With two outs in the 8th, Aramis Ramirez gave us hope with a solo home run. Fontenot walked but then Theriot grounded into a fielder's choice to end the frame. Cubs still trail 5-4. Heilman stays in the game and works a solid 8th inning.

To the 9th we go, down 5-4. Koyie Hill flies out, one down. Reed Johnson comes up with a big pinch hit single. And then, "Soriano's due for a home run Ronnie. And he drives one! Get out the tape measure!" Everyone goes crazy! (That's Pat Hughes' call of the dramatic home run.)
What a big 2-run, go ahead, 9th inning homer for Sori! Amazing!

But, it's not over yet. The Cubs have had trouble closing out games. Lou made a smart move and used Carlos Marmol in the 9th as the closer instead of Kevin Gregg. Week grounded out. Hart singled. Winning run aboard. Braun strikes out. It comes down to Marmol against Fielder, power against power. Carlos strikes him out looking! Cubs win 6-5!

Game Highlight: It's got to be Soriano's game winning home run to put the Cubs in the lead in the top of the 9th.

My Player(s) of the Game: I have to give out 4 today. Soriano for the aforementioned game winning homer. Kosuke for his solo home run and double. Fukudome has really been looking better so far this year. Zambrano for a solid start. And last but not least, Marmol for finally closing this game out.

Up Next: The rubber match of the 3 game set is tomorrow night on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball at 7 PM CT. Ryan Dempster VS Jeff Suppan. *Tip- Mute Miller and Morgan and turn up Pat and Ron!

I'm still concerned about Lee, Bradley, and the bullpen, but as long as the Cubs win, I'm happy!

Let's do it again tomorrow! (Well, not exactly the same as today, but you know what I mean.)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gregg blows save, Cubs Lose

Not a good game today. After the Cubs went quietly in the first, in the bottom half the Brewer jumped on the board with an unearned run because of a Ryan Theriot error. In the 3rd, Cory Hart extended the lead to two with a solo home run.

Milton Bradley delivered his first Cub hit of the season, a home run, in the 4th to make it a 2-1 game. Koyie Hill launched a go ahead long ball in the 6th to make it 3-2, and the Cubs were looking good.

Going to the bottom of the 9th, the Cubs were on the verge of a victory. However, Kevin Gregg blew the save by allowing a double to tie the game. Then there were guys on the corners, 1 out, and there was a ground ball hit to third. It appeared Theriot could have turned an inning ending double play, but instead he tried to throw the guy out at home plate. Rickie Weeks was called safe on a close play and the Brewers won the game. Koyie Hill slammed the ball down and yelled at home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but the call obviously was not changed.

I'm not feeling too good about our bullpen situation right now. Kevin Gregg has not impressed me in either save chance, even though he did have a great spring. Carlos Marmol is actually very wild and inconsistent. He has nasty stuff but when he starts pitching poorly, he's nowhere near the plate. Aaron Heilman is not the greatest setup man in the world, and I don't have a lot of faith in Neal Cotts as our only lefty in the pen. David Patton has never piched higher than Class A until now, and Angel Guzman has had injury problems and isn't proven in the majors either. Luis Vizcaino isn't exactly a lights out guy... at all! And by the way, Samardzija had a bad spring and pitched poorly in his first outing at AAA this year. What a mess!

The other thing today was obviously Theriot's glove. He made a costly error in the first inning, and made a decision that cost the Cubs the game in the 9th. The-Riot is not the best defensive short stop in the world, but I'm still a big fan. However, it did kind of remind me of Ronny Cedeno playing short today.

Game Highlight: Koyie Hill's go ahead two run homer in the 6th. Henry, who?

My Player of the Game: Bradley for his first home run and first hit of the season.

Up Next: Game 2 of the series tomorrow night at 6:00 PM CT on CSN and WGN Radio. Zambrano VS Dave Bush.

Frustrating game! So here's a few more thoughts:
  • If the Cubs make a big trade, it should be for a lights out closer not a starter.
  • Even if they can't get a lights out closer, we need to bring in some solid relief help.
  • Derrek Lee should not be hitting 3rd.
  • Milton Bradley is hitting under .100 and needs to get his bat going. Even though I gave him the player of the game for his home run today, he still didn't have a great game.
  • Rich Harden didn't do that poorly, just made one mistake and had some bad defense behind him.
  • The Cubs batting order should be as follows: Soriano, Theriot, Ramirez, Bradley, Soto (when back), Fontenot, Lee, Kosuke. I still really like Lee, but I think he would make the lineup better at the bottom.
  • Lou didn't manage very well today.
It's only one game so...

We'll try again tomorrow night!

Brewers Home Opener

The Cubbies will try to spoil the Brewers home opener today! The roof will remain closed for today's game. It's Rich Harden VS Braden Looper, let's hope Harden pitches well!

Here is the Cubs starting Lineup for today:
Soriano, LF
Fukudome, CF
Lee, 1B
Bradley, RF
Ramirez, 3B
Fontenot, 2B
Theriot, SS
Hill, C
Harden, P

Game Time: 3:05 CT

"I don't care who wins as long as it's the Cubs!"

Soto Update

Geovany Soto is going to miss at least the first 2 games of the Brewers series and possibly the whole series according to the Tribune. Soto injured his shoulder making a throw to second in the second game of the season. The good news is, Soto will not be placed on the DL. The Cubs are not expected to make a roster move. Koyie Hill will be the starting catcher for the time being, and Aaron Miles is the emergency backup.

A few other notes:
  • Kosuke Fukudome is feeling more relaxed this year.
  • The Cubs have added 20 games in Spanish on the radio this year on 1200 AM. April 21 VS the Reds will be the first Cub game broadcast in Spanish.
  • I've been hearing some You Know Who to the Cubs rumors. I'd hate to even say the name... OK I'll say it..... Jake Peavy. Lots of media reports have been mentioning the possibility, but to me it all seems like speculation, hope, and guesses. I will try to avoid mentioning his name on this blog as much as possible.
  • Samardzija and Atkins did not pitch well in the AAA game yesterday. Click for more info.
  • Don't forget to vote on our poll!

Off Day Over! Game just 5 hours away!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cubs Farm Recap

Final Scores: Iowa Cubs lose 10-4, Smokies lose 7-4, Chiefs win 4-1, Daytona Cubs lose 5-4.

Top Prospects:
  • Jeff Samardzija pitched 1 inning for the Iowa Cubs and gave up a 2-run homer and a solo homer. Not good!
  • Mitch Atkins pitched 5 innings and gave up 7 ER.
  • Richie Robnett hit a 2-run homer for the Smokies.
  • Sam Fuld went 3-5 for Iowa.

Not good outings by the Cubs 2 top starting pitching prospects today.

The real Cubs get back on the field tomorrow at 3:05 CT against the Brewers at Miller Park in the first of a 3 game set. Rich Harden will pitch for the Cubs.

If the Cubs continue to win at this rate, they'll win 108 games!

New Poll, Minor League Opening Day

First of all, thanks to everyone who voted on our last poll. Here are the results:

Q. Which former Cub that is a free agent would you like to see return to the organization?

1. Jim Edmonds, 10 Votes
2. Mark Grudzielanek, 9 Votes
3. None of the Above, 8 Votes
4. Will Ohman, 4 Votes
5. Jon Lieber, 1 Vote
5. Daryle Ward, 1 Vote
5. Moises Alou, 1 Vote

Please Vote on our new poll!

Q. What NL Central opponent are you most worried about?

A. Cardinals
B. Brewers
C. Reds
D. Astros
E. Pirates (Just to see if anyone actually votes for them)

Please Vote!
If you have something to say about this poll, comment on this post or email

Today may be an off day for the Chicago Cubs, but it is Minor League Opening Night. Here is the list of the Cubs affiliates games tonight:
  • AAA Iowa Cubs @ Round Rock, 7:05
  • AA Tennessee Smokies @ Jax, 7:05
  • High A Daytona Cubs @ Brevard County, 6:05
  • Class A Peoria Cheifs VS KC @ 6:30

Mitch Atkins will get the start tonight for the Iowa Cubs. You can listen to the Cheifs, Smokies, and Iowa Cubs game for free on MiLB Gameday Audio Tonight.

I'll post a recap of minor league Opening Day later...

I'd like to send my condolences to the family of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, the entire LA Angels organization, and all of MLB. Adenhart died in a car crash today after making a great start last night that I was watching against the A's. Very, very sad.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cubs Take 2 out of 3!

Cubs jumped on Brian Moehler early and often today. Soriano and Kosuke started the game with back-to-back hits and then Derrek Lee doubled to bring in the first Cub run. After Bradley walked, Aramis Ramirez his an RBI single. Mike Fontenot added an RBI single to make it 3-0 Cubs. Theriot capped off the big first inning with a RBI base hit to right. Koyie Hill grounded into a double play and then Ted Lilly grounded out to end the big inning.

After Lilly worked a scoreless bottom of the first, the Cubs added 4 more runs in the second. An Aramis Ramirez RBI hit, and a 2-out 3-run homer by Mike Fontenot gave the Cubs the 8 run lead.

But the Astros did not lie down and die. Keppinger and Berkman hit back-to-back jacks in the 3rd against Lilly. Pudge Rodrigez hit a 2-run homer in the 4th. Kazuo Matsui lead off the 5th with a long ball. Ted Lilly left after 5 innings, and in all gave up 4 home runs. Not a good sign, especially considering that he gave up 3 long balls in his final pre-season tuneup in New York.

David Patton, who had never pitched in a game that was higher than Class A-Ball before today, came on to pitch the 6th. Patton gave up a homer to the first batter he faced in his career, Hunter Pence. The Rule 5 Pick bounced back and retired the next 3 Astros. So after 6, the Cubs lead 10-6.

Patton stayed in the game and put a goose egg on the board in the 7th. All Star setup man Carlos Marmol did not a run in the 8th. In the top of the 9th, Kosuke took Doug Brocail deep to give the Cubs an insurance run. Angel Guzman came on and closed it out in the 9th. Cubs win a wild one, Final Score: Cubs 11, Astros 6.

Big Days:
  • Soriano:2-5, BB
  • Kosuke:4-5, RBI, HR, 4 Runs
  • Bradley: 4 BB, HBP
  • Ramirez: 4-6, Run, 4 RBI

Game Highlight: Mike Fontenot 3-run homer to make it 8-0 in the second.

My Player of the Game: Kosuke for his 4 hits, HR, and 4 runs scored!

Off Day tomorrow!

Cubs Take 2 out of the 3! Bring on the Brewers!

4-8 Cubs Lineup

Here's the lineup for the rubber match of the 3 game set today:

Soriano, LF
Kosuke, CF
Lee, 1B
Bradley, RF
Ramirez, 3B
Fontenot, 2B
Theriot, SS
Hill, C
Lilly, P

No Soto in the lineup tonight, he will be examined by the team doctor tomorrow.

A few links:

"I don't care who wins as long as it's the Cubs!"

Cubs Fall in 10

Great game last night, unfortunately the Cubbies didn't come out on top.

The Cubs got on the board in the 3rd on a double by Theriot and a RBI single by Lee. Dempster cruised through the first 4 innings, but then Hunter Pence hit a solo homer in the 5th to tie the game at 1. In the 6th inning, Dempster got the first 2 men and then allowed 3 straight two out singles and Houston took the lead.

In that bottom of the 6th, Geovany Soto left the game. We later learned that he was experiencing shoulder soreness. According to a report from, Soto will likely miss tonight's game.

Getting back to the game, the Cubs now trailed 2-1. It stayed the way until the 8th inning, when Alfonso Soriano unloaded his second solo homer on the young season to tie the game! Pat Hughes said, "Get out the tape measure, LONG GONE!"

Dempster was removed in the 7th, and the Cub relief core did a decent job. Guzman pitched a scoreless frame. In the bottom of the 9th, Heilman left with 2 on and nobody out. Neal Cotts came in and did his job, and took the game to extra innings.

The Cubs were quiet in the top of the 10th. With the bases loaded at 1 out in the top of the 10th, pitch hitter Jeff Keppinger hit a game winning single, and the Cubs were handed their first lost of the year.

My Player of the Game: Alfonso Soriano for his second homer in as many games. He is the 8th player in Cub history to go deep in each of the first two games of the regular season. He will look to become the second Cub to ever hit one in each of the first 3 games tonight, so watch out!

Game Highlight: Obviously the game winning hit.

Up next: Cubs VS Astros 7:05 PM CT tonight. The final game of the 3 game set, Ted Lilly on the hill for the Cubs.

We'll try again tonight!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Down on the Farm: Cubs Minor League Rosters

AAA Iowa Cubs Opening Day Roster:

Starting Rotation:

  • Mitch Atkins
  • Jose Ascaino
  • Esmalin Caridad
  • Jeff Samardzija
  • Randy Wells

Cubs Bullpen:

  • Justin Berg
  • Jesse Estrada
  • Chad Fox
  • Kevin Hart
  • Greg Reinhard
  • Jeff Stevens
  • J.R. Mathes
  • Jason Waddell


  • Jake Fox
  • Matt Mutulia
  • Andres Blanco
  • Bobby Scales
  • Nate Spears
  • Luis Rivas


  • Sam Fuld
  • Doug Deeds
  • Jason Dubois
  • Brad Snyder
  • So Taguchi


  • Mark Johnson
  • Chris Robinson

Tennessee Smokies (AA) Roster (Link)

Daytona Cubs (High A) Roster

Peoria Chiefs (Class A) Roster

I'll update you on minor league Opening Day on Thursday!

Cubs game info for tonight coming up later...

Cubs Notes:

  • Cubs won 4-2 on Opening Day. Click for recap.
  • Game 2 out of 162 is tonight at 7 PM CT. Ryan Dempster will pitch for the Cubs against Wandy Rodrigez.
  • Sean Marshall threw 5 innings in Mesa on Sunday against minor leaguers.
  • Alfonso Soriano wants to play in 150 games this year.
  • Stability is Ryan Dempster's goal in 2009.
  • Pat Hughes made it to the game, but his luggage did not. He had flight problems and did not make it to the game in New York Saturday, he told Carrie Muskat that he was wearing his third string shoes last night.
  • Check out the Spring Training in Review slideshow that I made!

More to come...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Off To a Great Start!

The Cubs played their 134th Opening Day in the history of the franchise today. Cub right handed ace Carlos Zambrano on the mound. The game was played indoors. There's something special about Opening Day. Another winter done, a new season of hope has arrived. You can feel the excitement, buzz, and hope around all 30 ball parks in Major League baseball on this special day for our National Pastime. The opponent this year was their NL Central foe the Houston Astros. The 'Stros came on strong at the end of last year, and almost snuck in to the postseason. But almost doesn't count in the game of baseball. Carlos Zambrano got the Opening Day nod for the 5th consecutive year. Roy Oswalt opposed for Houston.

The first batter of 2009, Alfonso Soriano got things off to a favorable start with a booming home run. Amazing! Soriano looked in mid season form. I'm sure Oswalt wasn't too thrilled about allowing a long ball on the second pitch he threw in the new season.

The Cubs good fortune continued when, in the 2nd, Aramis Ramirez went deep in his first AB of the season. The Cubs sluggers already slugging!

Zambrano was very sharp today, even though he allowed 8 base runners, he was only charged with 1 run. I'd like to see him cut down on the walks (3) and hits (5), but you could still tell that he had his good stuff.

Great job by the bullpen also! Cotts did his job retiring the only man he faced, Aaron Heilman got out of a jam by getting a double play ball, Marmol did not allow a hit in the 8th, and Kevin Gregg got his first save as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Very positive.

The Cubs also produced a run in the 4th. Fontenot lead off the inning by smacking a double, Soto gave himself up and grounded out to the right side, and then Theriot got him in. Love to see the "small ball"!

Micah Hoffpauir had an RBI single to add an insurance run in the top of the 9th. I think the Hoff will be a big asset to this Cub team off that bench!

Very, very positive day all around. It always feels like Opening Day counts for more than one game, even though it doesn't in the standings. The Cubs have the momentum!

Final Score: Cubs 4, Astros 2

Game Highlight: Soriano leading off the 2009 season with a home run.

My Player of the Game: Zambrano for his first Opening Day win, and his 6 strong innings.

Up Next: Same two teams tomorrow night at 7:05 CT.

The Cubs are Back!

Opening Day Lineup

Here is the Chicago Cubs Opening Day batting order 2009!:

1. Soriano, LF
2. Kosuke, CF
3. Lee, 1B
4. Bradley, RF
5. Ramirez, 3B
6. Fotenot, 2B
7. Soto, C
8. Theriot, SS

The one thing that surprises me about the batting order is that Fontenot is hitting ahead of Soto. Didn't see that coming!

According to Carrie Muskat the roof is open right now but it's 56 degrees. No word yet on whether or not it will stay open.

Cubs VS Astros
Zambrano VS Oswalt
First Pitch: 6:05.

Just hours remain until they start counting for real. We're set for game one of a 162 game journey. The questions is: Is this the year? The answer: Let's just enjoy the ride.

Go Cubs Go!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cubs Opening Days Notes

Most Opening Day Starts in a Cub uniform (position players):

1. Ron Santo/Ryne Sandberg, 13
3. Sosa/Grace, 12
5. Dunston

Most Cub Opening Day Starts (pitchers)
1. Jenkins, 7
2. Sutcliffe, 5
3. Jackson/Reuschel/Zambrano,4

Big Z will tie Sutcliffe for second all time when he makes his 5th Opening Day start for the Cubs tomorrow.

Projected Lineup tomorrow, amount of Opening Day starts for the Cubs:

C- Geovany Soto, 2nd Opening Day start for the Cubs
1B- Derrek Lee, 6th
2B- Mike Fontenot, 1st
SS- Theriot, 2nd
3B- Ramirez, 6th
LF- Soriano, 3rd (1 in LF, second in CF)
CF- Kosuke, 2nd (first was in RF)
RF- Bradley, 1st

Last 10 Cub Opening Days:
2008: MIL 4, Cubs 3
'07: CIN 5, Cubs 1
'06: Cubs 16, CIN 7
'05: Cubs 16, ARI 6
'04: Cubs 7, CIN 4
'03: Cubs 15, NYM 2
'02: CIN 5, Cubs 4
'01: MON 5, Cubs 4
'00: Cubs 5, NYM 3
1999: HOU 4, Cubs 2

Cubs VS Astros Opening Day Matchups:
1999: Loss 4-2
1962: Loss 11-2

More Opening Day Notes
  • Cubs All Time Opening Day record: 73-58-2
  • Zambrano has yet to get a Win in 4 Opening Days. He has 3 no decisions and a loss.
  • The most runs the Cubs have allowed on an Opening Day is 12 (1994).
  • The Cubs have played 2 extra inning Opening Day games in the last 8 years.
  • The longest extra-inning game in Cubs history went 13 innings in 1988 against the Braves.
  • The latest Cubs Opening Day was 1877, when they did not start the season until May 8.
  • The earliest Opening Day game was March 29, 2000 against the Mets in Japan.

Carlos Zambrano VS Roy Oswalt at Minute Maid park in Houston tomorrow at 6:05 PM CT on ESPN, CSN Chicago, and WGN Radio. I'll be muting the TV and listening to Pat and Ron's call of the game!

I can't wait!


"I don't care who wins as long as it's the Cubs!"

2009 Cubs Spring Training in Review, Live Chat

I made a slide show that recaps Spring Training 2009 for the Cubs. It includes pictures and videos. Click here to check it out! Tell me what you think!

Also here is a recap of a Cubs Special on CSN that I posted earlier.

Opening Day is tomorrow!

Cubs Spring Training In-Depth on CSN Recap

First off, Don't forget to come onto this site tonight to chat Cubs Baseball at 7 PM CT.

Second, scroll down to view all the lastest posts. Lots of posts today and yesterday!

Gail Fisher sat down with Lou Piniella:
  • Lou says that he and everybody else were expecting that last year was the year.
  • Piniella says, "It wasn't that we got beat, it was that we got swept again."
  • He really look the loss hard last year because he cares.
  • Gail asked if this year's team is built to win the World Series. Lou says he thought last years team was built to win.
  • Piniella likes what Jim Hendry did this off season.
  • Lou stresses the importance of worrying about playing good ball all summer first.
  • He says that he has enjoyed the city, the field, and the team. He calls it a "wonderful, wonderful experience".
  • Lou admits that managing in Chicago is a challenge for him.

Gail talked with Milton Bradley:

  • Bradley is happy that he is going to be with the Cubs for a while.
  • Milton doesn't believe in pressure.
  • He says he likes being in a winning environment.
  • Bradley is all about winning.
  • He is "all for October baseball".
  • Bradley is sick of talking about his health and his temper.
  • Milton thinks that the the "media has it completely wrong about him".

Derrek Lee chatted with Gail:

  • Lee says that it was really strange that the Cubs got swept out of the playoffs for the second year in a row.
  • He thinks that the front office did the job of putting the talent together. Lee doesn't feel like the Dodgers were better that the Cubs last year.
  • Derrek says the turnover on the roster show the commitment that the front office has to winning.
  • He says that the Cubs have been missing a left handed bat in the middle of the order. Adding Bradley will make a big difference.
  • Lee wants to focus on the 162 game season, not October yet.
  • Derrek says that the 2008 Cubs were better on paper than the 2003 World Series champion Marlins.
  • His daughter Jada is doing better. That's great new for Lee!

Kevin Gregg was up next...

  • Gregg says that coming to Chicago is a new opportunity for him.
  • Kevin doesn't think anyone is going to replace Kerry, but he is going to try to do a good job replacing him.
  • He is excited about getting back to a city where there is 40,000 fans at each game.
  • Gregg expects to win and do well no matter what team he is pitching for.

Geovany Soto chatted with Gail next:

  • Soto feels a lot more responsibility this year.
  • He is here to work hard and have another good year.
  • Geo is going to just be himself, he will just try to do his job offensively and not try to do to much.
  • His hand hurt a lot at the end of last year.
  • "What happened (last year) happened, it's 2009 now."
  • Soto thinks that the WBC will help him (this interview was reccorded before he left).
  • Geo just wants to be the best catcher and player he can for the Chicago Cubs.

Check out my slideshow that reviews Cubs Spring Training 2009!

Chat is just an hour away. We'll talke Cubs from 7-8 PM CT right here on this site!

Gaudin Released, Samardzija send to AAA

The Cubs have settled the final 2 spots in the bullpen by releasing Chad Gaudin and sending Jeff Samardzija back to AAA Iowa. This is the move that me and many others were guessing would happen. This means that the Cubs bullpen is:
  • Kevin Gregg, Closer
  • Carlos Marmol, Set-up
  • Aaron Heilman, Set-up
  • Neal Cotts, lefty
  • Luis Vizcaino, Middle Relief
  • Angel Guzman, Long Man
  • David Patton, Middle Relief

I'm very happy that the Rule 5 Draft pick David Patton made the team. I wish that Samardzija was in the bullpen instead of Vizcaino, but The Shark could get called up if...

A. Guzman or Patton Struggles

B. Harden get injured.

C. Marshall struggles in the rotation

D. Anyone goes on the DL.

E. Someone is traded.

The bad new is that right now the Cubs have no one that they could send to AAA in the bullpen.

Stay tuned, more posts to come on this Off Day...

My 2009 Predictions

Let's jump right into it and start with my bold Cubs predictions for this year:
  • Carlos Zambrano will throw a perfect game.
  • The Cubs will have three 20 game winners: Z, Demp, and Lilly.
  • The Cubs will have three guys that hit 30 homers: Rami, Sori, and DLee.
  • Kosuke will be the comeback player of the year.
  • Alfonso Soriano will become the 16th player in MLB history, and the first since 2003, to hit 4 home runs in one game.
  • Rich Harden will have a 20 K game.
  • Ryan Theriot will win the batting title.
  • Mike Fontenot will be the team MVP.
  • Kevin Gregg will be a remarkable closer and stay in that role all year long.
  • Marmol will have the best team ERA.
  • David Patton will be the NL Rookie of the Year.
  • Jeff Samardzija will be brought up from AAA and stuck in the rotation by the end of the year, and he won't leave that Cubs rotation for many years to come.
  • Kerry Wood will spend most of the year on the DL.
  • Mark DeRosa will destroy the Cubs in the 3-game set with the Indians.
  • Milton Bradley will play 140 games in the outfield, and lead the league in OBP.

Well, I might be dreaming, be some of these bold predictions have a good chance of being correct. We can only wait and see.

Now for some more realistic predictions. Here is an over/under of last years stats for each Cub, starting with home runs.

  • Derrek Lee (20): Over
  • Ryan Theriot (1): Over
  • Aramis Ramirez (27): Over
  • Kosuke (10): Same
  • Soto (23): Under
  • Soriano (29): Over by 1 or 2
  • Johnson (6): Under
  • Fontenot (9): Over
  • Zambrano (4): Under
  • Hoffpauir (2): Over
  • Hill (0): Over
  • Bradley (22): Over
  • Miles (4): Under
  • Gathright (0): Same

Now Wins for the starting rotation:

  • Dempster (17): Over
  • Lilly (17): Under
  • Zambrano (14): Way Over
  • Harden (10): Same
  • Marshall (3): Over (we hope)

Batting Average:

  • Lee (.291): Under
  • Theriot (.307): Over
  • Ramirez: (.289): Over
  • Kosuke (.257): Over (we hope)
  • Soto (.285): Under
  • Soriano (.280): Over
  • Johnson (.303): Under
  • Fontenot (.305): Under
  • Zambrano (.337): Over
  • Hoffpauir (.342): It'll have to be under that with more ABs.
  • Hill (.095): Over or else he'll find himself on a plane to Iowa.
  • Gathright (.254): Over
  • Bradley (.321): Just a bit under
  • Miles (.317): Under


  • Dempster (2.96): Over
  • Lilly (4.09): Under
  • Zambrano (3.91): Under
  • Harden (1.77): Over
  • Marshall (3.86): Over
  • Marmol (2.86): Under
  • Cotts (4.29): About the same
  • Samardzija (2.28): A bit over
  • Gaudin (6.26): Same
  • Guzman (5.59): Under
  • Heilman (5.21): Way Under
  • Gregg (3.41): A bit under
  • Vizcaino (5.28): Over, will end up traded or released

Let's move on to the MLB Division picks. Some of my picks have changed since a made them before Spring Training:

NL Central:

  • 1. Cubs
  • 2. Reds
  • 3. Cardinals
  • 4. Brewers
  • 5. Astros
  • 6. Pirates

NL West:

  • 1. Dodgers
  • 2. Giants
  • 3. D'backs
  • 4. Rockies
  • 5. Padres

NL East:

  • 1. Phillies
  • 2. Mets
  • 3. Braves
  • 4. Marlins
  • 5. Nationals

AL Central:

  • 1. Indians
  • 2. Twins
  • 3. White Sox
  • 4. Royals
  • 5. Tigers

AL East:

  • 1. Yankees
  • 2. Red Sox
  • 3. Rays
  • 4. Blue Jays
  • 5. O's

AL West:

  • 1. Angels
  • 2. A's
  • 3. Rangers
  • 4. Seattle

One last bold prediction:

  • World Series: Cubs VS Indians
  • Game 6- Cubs up by 3 in the 8th, leading series 3-2. Mark DeRosa Grand Slam off Marmol gives the Indians the lead, and the curse lives of for one more day.
  • Game 7- Zambrano goes 7 innings give up just 1 run. Bottom of the 9th, Theriot on first, one out, pitchers spot is up against Kerry Wood. Micah Hoffpauir ends the 101 years of waiting with a pinch hit 2-run, game winning, World Series winning, homer!

But first things first, a 162 game season.

Feel free to comment and tell me what you think of my predictions or make predictions of your own. Or you could email me with your predictions and I will post them on the blog

Join me for more Cubs Talk on the Live Chat tonight at 7 PM CT right here on this blog.

Scroll down on the blog main page and read all of my posts from yesterday and today!

More posts to come!

Cubs Will Finalize 25 man roster Today

The deadline is 2 PM Central Time this afternoon. The final decision that the Cubs have to make is the last two spots in the bullpen. Will the Cubs make a trade involving Chad Gaudin or Angel Guzman? Will they keep the Rule 5 Pick David Patton? I heard Jim Hendry talk on WGN Radio during the Cubs game yesterday, and it sounds like Samardzija is headed for AAA. Hendry said, "If we make a mistake and send a guy down that's easy to fix." Jeff is the only guy who has options left out of the 4.

Lots of posts still to come...

TV Notes for Today...
  • 2:00-2:30 CT on CSN Chicago, Cubs Spring Training In-Depth.
  • 1-3 CT on MLBN, MLB Predictions Special

I'll update with info if I learn anything from either of these programs. (thanks to DVR I can watch them both.)

Live Chat on this Blog tonight at 7 PM CT to talk Cubs as we get ready for Opening Day!
If you have a question or comment that you would like to be addressed in the chat, but you cannot make it to the chat, leave a comment or email be

Still to come today:

  • I'll update you on the final 25 man roster whenever the news breaks.
  • My 2009 Individual Player Cubs Predictions.
  • My 2009 MLB Division Picks
  • A look at Cubs Opening Days
  • A recap of Pirates' 30 Clubs in 30 Days.
  • My Live Chat
  • And more...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Radio Recaps

Let's Start with the interview Judd Sirrot did with Lou Piniella on Cubs Central Pre-game Show on WGN Radio today:

  • Lou said it was a great feeling to walk into the New Yankee Stadium for the first time. He likes a lot of the features, the hitting background, and the sweets.
  • Piniella says he can keep his memories from the old ballpark even it's gone.
  • He says that all old things come to an end except for Wrigley and Fenway.
  • Lou says that Spring Training is a fooler in a lot of ways. It doesn't sound like Lou liked the "long, long camp".
  • The Cubs accomplished everything they wanted to this spring, but it wasn't easy.
  • The Cubs will have a 40% turn over on their roster from last year.
  • Piniella says that it is really hard to evaluate pitching in Arizona.
  • He says that we are not a speed baseball team.
  • The Cubs will have to "bang the ball around a little bit".
  • Lou is says Ramirez is coming along just fine, Lee and Bradley have had great springs, and Soto is also improving after the WBC.
  • He is happy with the way Cotts and Heilman have thrown the ball this spring.
  • Piniella said that the Cubs held Harden back at the begining of spring to build up his arm strength. He is happy that Harden is heathy to start the year.

Judd also talked with Mike Fontenot:

  • Fontenot says that it was definetly really cool to get a chance to play in the new stadium.
  • Mike says Lou told him that he will do most of the backup at third base.
  • There are not to many deferences between playing third and second.
  • It's very nice to break camp after a long Spring Training according to Mike.
  • Fontenot says his Spring Training went well, but he wasn't happy that he slowed down a bit at the end.
  • Mike likes to go out there and prove everybody wrong. He always want to play well no matter what.
  • Fontenot and Miles had fun with the competition to start at 2B. When it comes down to it, they both want to help the team win.
  • The main thing is to put wins on the board.
  • Mike says it's fun to play with Theriot because they've played with each other for so long.
  • He says the Cubs have a good group and guys and a real good team.
  • Mike says that David Patton really caught his eye this spring. (Reed Johnson also mentioned this on his blog on
  • Milton Bradley gives the Cubs a little "fire and spunk" in the clubhouse and on the field.

Corey Provus Joined Mully and Hanley on 670 AM yesterday to talk Brewers:

  • Corey says there is no question that the offense is going to have to carry the Crew early on.
  • Dave Bush had a solid spring. He will be the number 5 guy in the rotation.
  • Provus says that the one thing working against Trevor Hoffman is his age. He is going to miss the first week or 10 days of the season.
  • Carlos Villanueva is going to close for the Brewers.
  • Corey thinks the Reds are the sleeper in the division.
  • He admits that there is "no doubt" the Cubs are the favorite on paper.
  • Provus thinks the Cubs are going to miss Mark DeRosa.
  • He notes that neither Soriano or Ramirez have played a full season the last few years. DeRosa could fill in for anyone on the field.
  • Corey would like to see the Brewers defense get better.
  • The Brewers have a very potent lineup and that will have to carry them.
  • Provus says that like Lou, Ken Macha lets his coaching staff coach.
  • Ken brings experience and is a proven winner.
  • Managing in the NL is new to Macha.
  • Corey thinks that the Brewers can make the postseason because of their lineup with Weeks, Hardy, Braun, Fielder, and Hart as the top 5 in the lineup.

Chat Sunday night at 7 PM CT.

Scoll down on the blog to see all the latest posts, there's been a lot this weekend!

Feel free to comment with your thoughts as always.

Harden Allows 8 Runs in Loss

Final Score: Yankees 10, Cubs 1

Cubs Starting Lineup Hitting:
Soriano: 3-4, RBI, Run
Theriot: 1-3
Lee: 1-3
Bradley: 1-3
Ramirez: 0-4
R. Johnson: 1-4
Kosuke: 0-3
Hill: 0-1, 2 BB
Miles: 0-2

Kosuke hit just .200 in the Cactus League. Theriot finished the spring with a .412 average. Lee hit .322 and Soriano hit .325. Milton Bradey had a .460 average in a great Spring Training with his new team. Alfonso has hit very well at the end of the spring.

Cubs Pitchers:
Harden: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 8 Runs (7 ER), 4 BB, 3 HRs allowed, 2 Ks
Marmol: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER
Patton: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 0 ER
Guzman: 1 IP, 1 K, 0 H, 0 ER
Vizcaino: 3 H, 2 ER
Samardzija: 0.2 IP, 1 K, 0 ER

Harden has not looked good this spring, he finishes with a 10.38 ERA. 4 walks and 3 HRs today not something you want to see. All of our starters have stuggled a little at the end of this long camp. Lilly gave up a lot of long balls yesterday and Sunday against the Indians. Marshall struggled in his last few Cactus League outings also, and Demp has not had all that great of a spring.
Moving on to the other guys that pitched today, Vizcaio was not very impressive. His ERA is over 6 for the spring, and I'm not very confident with him as our 6th/7th inning guy. Samardzija had a good outing today retiring both men he faced. Gaudin and Guzman both pitched well which is good. Let's hope some big league teams were watching Chad today, so the Cubs can work out a trade.

Cubs Bench:
Blanco: 0-1
Hoffpauir: 1-1
Snyder: 0-1
Gathright: 0-1
Scales: 0-1

Game Highlight: Yankees hit 3 bombs off Harden including a 3-run homer by Jeter in the 3rd.

My Player of the Game: Soriano who had 3 hits, including a solo homer that accounted for the only Cub run of the day. Sori also had a nice outfield assist to gun down a guy at the plate.

Up Next: Cubs have an off day tomorrow and then open the 2009 regualar season in Houston on Monday night at 6 PM CT.

Still to come on the blog this weekend...
  • Live Chat Sunday night at 7:00 right here on this blog. We will discuss the Cubs for a full hour as we get ready for Opening Day. I will take all your Cubs opinions, questions, and comments.
  • My Predictions for MLB Divisions.
  • Cubs Player Predictions.
  • A recap of the Pirates "30 Clubs in 30 Days".
  • A look at Cubs Opening Days past and a preview of this one for the Cubs.
  • All Cubs breaking news including what is going to happen with the final two spots in the bullpen.
  • You can e-mail me questions and comments

Should be and exciting rest of the weekend right here on this blog so keep checking back!

Numbers Breakdown: Final Bullpen Spot, Did Lou Make the Right Decisions?

For this Numbers Breakdown, we are going to base everything on Spring Training ERA for pitchers and Spring Training batting average for hitters because that is the only stat we really have for all these guys.

Let's start with the spots that have not yet been decided, the final spots in the bullpen:

Samardzija- 7.63 ERA
Guzman- 7.94
Patton- 1.35
Gaudin- 10.91

So, according to the Spring ERAs Samardzija and Patton should make the team. However, Lou has a lot more things to consider, such as the fact that Guzman is out of options and Samardzija has options.

Backup Catcher:
Bako- 3.64
Hill- .392

Lou agrees with the numbers, picks Hill, and is 1 for 1.

Gregg- 0.00
Marmol- 4.50

Lou agrees with the numbers, is 2 for 2.

5th Starter:
Gaudin- 10.91
Samardzija- 7.63
Heilman- 1.89
Marshall- 4.39

Lou picked Marshall as the 5th starter, disagreeing with these numbers. He is 2-3. I do realize that Marshall had a better ERA when Lou made his mind up, but maybe he should have waited longer!

Second Baseman:
Miles- .352
Fontenot- .295

I think Lou made the right choice picking Little Babe Ruth, but the numbers don't think so. Lou is 2-4.

Kosuke- .277
Johnson- .320
Gathright- .317

Fukudome won this job before he even reported to camp. Will Fukudome hit in the regular season? Lou is 2 for 5.

So, Lou and the numbers agree in only 2 of the 5 position battles. The question is, who is wrong Lou or the numbers?

We'll find out...

but the numbers don't lie!

I'll have another numbers breakdown next weekend.
Chat Sunday at 7 PM CT.
More posts to come...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Reds "30 Clubs in 30 Days" Recap

Greg Amsinger was joined by Dan Plesac and John Hart for the Cincinnati Reds edition of MLB Network's "30 Clubs in 30 Days". Hazel Mae did reports and interviews from Florida.

  • John says Walt Jocketty is starting to put his stamp on this ballclub.
  • Dan thinks they are vastly improved and could "make some noise" in the Central.
  • Hart thinks the Reds made the decision last year that they weren't going to compete with the club that they had so they traded Griffey and Dunn.
  • Plesac says that you can "fall into that trap" of wanting a home run hitting team when you play at the Great American Ballpark.

Hazel reports that the Reds need Aaron Harang to have a bounce back season if they want to contend. She chatted with Aaron:

  • Harang says he needs to throw strikes and eat up innings.
  • He wants to go deep into games and get a chance to win.
  • The Spring Training box scores don't mean anything. Aaron was trying to build up his pitch count.
  • Harang lost 25 pounds this off season. He did not lose the weight because of last season, but he felt it was time for a change.
  • Aaron started working out earlier this off season.
  • Harang likes getting into a groove with one regular catcher.

2008 Reds Team Ranks in MLB:

  • ERA- 23rd
  • Bullpen ERA 8th
  • Average- 7th
  • Runs- 23rd

2009 Possible Rotation:

  • Edinson Volquez
  • Aaron Harang
  • Bronson Arroyo
  • Johnny Cueto
  • Micah Owings/Homer Bailey

More on the pitching:

  • Dan thinks Aaron Harang is the key to the rotation. When he is throwing the ball well, he strikes out a lot of guys early.
  • Plesac would like to see Harang and Arroyo lead the rotation for the young guys.
  • John says the real key to the rotation is the young pitchers Cueto and Volquez.
  • Hart thinks the Reds are going to be happy that they held on to Bailey.
  • John thinks Volquez does top of the rotation stuff.
  • Plesac likes the experience in the bullpen.
  • Dan wonders if the rotation can eat up enough innings early in the season to keep the bullpen guys fresh.
  • Cordero, the closer, has really good stuff according to John. The Reds will feel pretty good if they get the ball to him.
  • John still thinks the bullpen is a strength of this club.

Brandon Phillips talks with Hazel:

  • Phillips thinks defense comes before hitting.
  • He likes getting gold gloves and being the pitchers best friend.
  • Brandon thinks the Reds can get the job done with the young guys. They are going to try something new this year.
  • Phillips is not a home run hitter, he is just going to go out there and hit the ball the way he knows how.
  • He says Alex Gonzalez (not the former Cub) is a great defensive short stop.

More on the Reds Hitters:

  • John Hart says Phillips has range, arm strength and can turn a double play.
  • Brandon is a great both sides of the ball player according to Hart.
  • Dan thinks Alex Gonzalez can bring a lot to this team.
  • He has good defense and pop in his bat.
  • Joey Votto loves Chicago Cubs pitching. Dan didn't really have to point that out to us Cub fans. Plesac really likes this guy (trader!).
  • Hart thinks Votto is going to have to calm down and get more mature as a hitter.
  • Ramon Hernandez is a nice defensive player and Hart says they got him for his glove.
  • Plesac says that the pitcher/catcher relationship is much more important than many people think. He gives Hernandez credit for this.

Greg and Dan were joined by Bronson Arroyo:

  • Plesac's first question was about hitting instead of pitching. Bronson says he's lucky to have hit 1 home run in each of the last few years.
  • Arroyo is not excited about moving to Arizona. He is an east coast guy and prefers Florida.
  • He says he's the only guy on the team not excited about moving to Arizona.
  • Bronson says that there is a much different vibe in Cincinnati than Boston.
  • Arroyo kind of likes the Reds being underdogs in the Central.
  • He prides himself on starting lots of games and not being on the DL.
  • Arroyo is fine with pitching on 3 days rest sometimes.
  • He expects big things from Aaron Harang this year.

Hazel talked with Jay Bruce:

  • Bruce came in to camp acting like he was trying to make the team. He says nothing is handed to you in baseball.
  • Jay says baseball is a big game of cat and mouse. His goal this year is to make adjustments to the hitters.
  • He thinks the 3-run homer era is "kind of going".
  • Very few guys hit 45 home runs now a days.
  • He thinks that the Reds are going to be a fun team to watch.

More on the outfield:

  • Bruce fits what John likes in a baseball player.
  • Hart thinks Jay has the 5 tools.
  • Bruce is still young and coming.
  • Hart thinks the Reds will build the club around a guy like Jay Bruce.
  • Dan says adding Willy Talveras was key.
  • Greg points out that Talveras needs to improve his OBP so he can steal those bases.
  • Chris Dickerson has been the best athlete in the Reds system for awhile according to Hart.
  • Dickerson has some pop, likes to play, and plays hard.
  • John likes Jerry Hairston Jr. as a super utility guy that can fill in anywhere.

Former Cubs manager Dusty Baker talked with Hazel about his Reds team:

  • Baker likes having a young team because he can teach them how to play winning baseball.
  • He says he can stress fundamentals much more when you have young guys.
  • Dusty wants to add more speed and balance in 2009.
  • He enjoyed having Griffey and Dunn, but the Reds had to change something.
  • Pitching is number one, then speed and defense.
  • Dusty likes everything he has seen with his ball club.

Reds Home Grown Talent:

  • Joey Votto, 1B
  • Jay Bruce, RF
  • Chris Dickerson, LF
  • Johnny Cueto, SP
  • Homer Bailey, SP

More on the the Reds guys at the top:

  • Walt Jocketty and Dusty are a great combo according to Hart.
  • Dan defended Dusty and even says he was unfairly criticized when he managed the Cubs.

Top Prospects:

  • Yonder Alonso, 1B
  • Todd Frazier, SS
  • Drew Stubbs, OF
  • Kyle Lotzker, P
  • Josh Roenicke, P
  • Daryl Thompson, P

More on the Prospects:

  • Dan says that some reinforcements are on the way for the Reds.
  • John says Yonder Alonso was a great pick last year for Cincinnati.

All Time Team:

Starting Lineup:

  • Pete Rose, 3B
  • Barry Larkin, SS
  • Joe Morgan, 2B
  • Frank Robinson, RF
  • George Foster, LF
  • Tony Perez, 1B
  • Johnny Bench, C
  • Ken Griffey (Sr.), CF
  • Don Gullett, P

Manager- Sparky Anderson

Pitchers and Bench:

  • Ron Dibble, CL
  • John Franco, CL
  • Jose Rijo, SP
  • Vada Pison, OF
  • Ken Griffey Jr., OF
  • Adam Dunn, OF
  • Ernie Lombardi, C
  • Dave Concepcion, SS

Reds Predictions:

  • John- 3rd
  • Dan- 3rd, behind the Cubs and Astros! Dan thinks the Cardials and Brewers will finish 4th and 5th! Interesting!

Coming up later this weekend: The Pirates.

Yankees Win First Game at New Stadium

Final Score: Yankees 7, Cubs 4

Cubs Starting Lineup Hitting:
Miles: 2-4, 2 RBI, Run
Fukudome: 1-3
Lee: 0-1, BB, RBI
Bradley: 0-3
Fontenot: 0-4
Soto: 0-2, BB, Run
Johnson: 1-4, Run
Theriot: 0-3, RBI
Gathright: 2-3, Run

Aaron Miles has played very well at the end of spring, while Fontenot and Theriot have cooled off. Reed Johnson had a nice triple, his 4th of the spring! No Ramirez or Soriano in the lineup today, I bet we'll see them tomorrow.

Cubs Pitchers:

Lilly: 4 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Heilman: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER
Cotts: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 ER
Berg: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER
Gregg: 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 H, 0 ER

I have to worry about the Cubs rotation. All 5 of them have struggled a bit towards the end of this spring. Our closer put a zero on the board today, that's good news!

Cubs Bench:
Taguchi: 0-1
Hoffpauir: 0-1
Deeds: 0-1
M. Johnson: 0-1
Blanco: 0-1

Game Highlight: Ted Lilly gave up two 2-run homers and a 3-run blast to account for all 7 Yankee runs.

My Player of the Game: Aaron Miles who went 2-4 with 2 RBIs and a run scored.

Up Next: Game 2 of the exhibition series tomorrow at NOON CT. Rich Harden will pitch for the Cubs.

Don't forget, Chat Sunday night at 7 PM CT. View posts below for more info.

Stay tuned, "30 in 30" recap coming up...

Weather Update, Bruce Miles will not travel with the Cubs

We are looking good right now, there is only a 25% chance of rain during the game tonight in New York for the opening of the new Yankee Stadium. Should be a fun night. Between tuning up for the regular season, the final bullpen spot, the new stadium, and the fact that the Cubs are playing the Yankees, there is plenty on the line even though the outcome doesn't count in the standings. However, there are 2 things that you cannot predict; baseball and the weather.

Here is the hour by hour forecast for the Bronx tonight from

Shifting gears a little: The Daily Herold's Cubs writer Bruce Miles will no longer be covering the Cubs on the road and traveling with the team according to Ed Sherman. It costs the paper more than 6 figures to have Bruce and Sox writer Scot Gregor travel with the team all year. Bruce will not even be there on Opening Day in Houston!

Check out the tour of Yankee Stadium.

Don't forget, we will get ready for the regular season when we talk Cubs Sunday night at 7 PM CT in our live chat right here on Sunday night! Get all your Cubs comments and questions ready. You can e-mail me a question or comment anytime it's

Only 2 days left until Opening Day!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cubs End Cactus League Schedule With Victory

Details on the game in a moment, but first here's a list of what to watch for an the blog this weekend:
  • Live Chat to get ready for the 2009 season right here on this site. Join me live Sunday night at 7 with you Cubs questions and comments! If you cannot make the chat but you have a topic that you want to hear about, a questions for me, or anything else Cub related, just e-mail me
  • I'll finish the "30 teams in 30 Days" recaps for the NL Central this weekend.
  • Lots of good posts on the off day Sunday as we get ready for the season including a look at Cubs Opening Days past, one final season preview, and more!
  • Recaps of both Cubs VS Yankees games in New York.
  • A preview and game notes posted ahead of those games.
  • Radio Recaps
  • All the latest Cubs rumors and new as always.
  • And More....

Now let's get to the game:

Final Score: Cubs 9, Indians 8

Cubs Starting Lineup Hitting:

  • Soriano: 1-2, 2 Runs, RBI, BB
  • Gathright: 2-4, BB, Run
  • Fukudome: 0-3
  • Hoffpauir: 0-3
  • Fontenot: 1-2, Run, RBI, BB
  • Scales:0-3, BB, Run
  • Blanco: 2-5, RBI, Run
  • Hill: 2-3, Run, RBI
  • Dempster: 1-2, Run, RBI

Another great game by the Cubs bats. Soriano lead off the game with a home run, and Koyie Hill had a triple and 3 RBIs. Andres Blanco had a bloop walk off hit in the bottom of the 9th.

Cubs Pitchers:

  • Dempster: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 7 K
  • Gaudin: 2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, BB, 2 K
  • Marmol: 1 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 1 BB
  • C. Fox: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER
  • Patton: 1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB

The Cubs starting pitchers have not looked good towards the end of spring. Let's hope the rotation is solid next week when it counts. Chad Gaudin is going to be hard to trade because he has done so bad this spring (10.91 ERA). Lou did not look happy when David Patton allowed a run in the top of the 9th to tie the game.

Cubs Bench:

Taguchi: 1-2

Fukudome: 0-3

Snyder: 0-2

Deeds: 0-1

Canzler: 0-1

R. Johnson: 1-1, Run

M. Johnson- 0-1

Camp: 0-2

Tons of guys from Minor League camp played today for both teams. You could tell that most of the guys were ready to get on that plane. After 49 days in the desert, you can't blame them!

Game Highlight: Andres Blanco 9th inning walk off single.

My Player of the Game: Koyie Hill for his triple, single, and 3 RBis.

Up Next: Cubs open the new stadium in New York against the Yankees tomorrow night at 6:00 CT. The game is on the MLB Network, and also can be viewed for free on MLB.TV (go to for info).

Other Cubs Notes:

  • The Cubs will take extra player to New York including Justin Berg, Doug Deeds, Bobby Scales, Mark Johnson, and So Taguchi.
  • The bullpen situation is still not clear. It should be interesting to find out the fate of Angel Guzman, David Patton, Chad Gaudin, and Jeff Samardzija this weekend. The Cubs can only keep 2 of them.
  • The Cubs may look at signing infielder Mike Lamb to a minor league deal according to the Tribune.
  • Troy Reneck of the Denver post reports that the Rockies pursuit of Chad Gaudin has cooled.
  • Sullivan explains that the Cubs want to trade Gaudin so they can keep both Guzman and Patton in the organization if they send Samardzija to AAA.
  • Other teams that have been mentioned in rumors about Gaudin include the Padres and Tigers.
  • The Cubs have released Ken Kadokura.

It's easy to comment with your thought, please do so!

Cubs VS Yankees tomorrow at 6 CT. Could be a World Series preview!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cubs Tie Second Straight, Radio Recaps and More

First of all...

Final Score: Cubs 8, A's 8

Cubs Starting Lineup Hitting:

Soriano: 2-4, Run

Miles: 0-3

Lee: 2-4, RBI, Run

Bradley: 0-2, BB, Run

Ramirez: 2-3, Run

R. Johnson: 0-2, RBI, Run

Soto: 2-2, BB, 2 Runs, 5 RBI

Theriot: 2-3

Zambrano: 0-2

A big day for Geo including a Grand Slam off Braden in the 6th. Theriot, Soriano, Lee, and Ramirez all also had multi-hit games.

Cubs Pitchers:

Zambrano: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Vizcaino: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER

Maestri: 1 IP, 1 H, 3 K, 0 ER

Waddel: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 0 ER

Guzman: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER)

Cotts: 1 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 3 ER

Samardzija: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R

Cottsy was not his best today. He allowed 3 key runs in the 8th inning. Jeff Samardzija didn't help his cause fighting for a bullpen spot by blowing the save. I was impressed by Cubs prospect Alex Maestri, who struck out the side in a game at big league camp today.

Cubs Bench:

Guyer: 1-1

Castro: 0-1

Wright: 0-2, Run

Reynolds: 1-2, RBI

Gathright: 0-1, BB

Hill: 0-2

Hoffpauir: 0-1

Fukudome: 0-1, BB

Lots of guys off the High-A Team got into the game again today.

Game Highlight: Neal Cotts allowed the A's back in the game by allowing 3 runs in the 8th.

My Player of the Game: Geovany Soto for his Grand Slam, 2 hits, 2 runs, walk, and 5 RBIs.

Up Next: It's finally the last Cactus League game! Cubs VS Indians @ 2:05 CT tomorrow. Note that this game is an hour earlier for get away day.

Other Cubs Notes:

  • Ted Lilly will go with the Cubs to New York. If the game on Friday gets rained out, he will throw in the batting cages.
  • Lou isn't sure whether he'll start Fontenot or Miles against lefties at 2B.
  • Ryan Dempster will start the final game in Arizona tomorrow.
  • I'll say it again, tomorrow is the 49th and final day in the desert.
  • The Cubs traded minor league pitcher Rocky Roquet to the A's today for a player to be named later.
  • They also released Ed Campusano.
  • Chad Gaudin is on the Tigers radar, but his $2MM salary "may be a bit much".
  • The Rockies also like Gaudin, but Jason Hammel of the Rays is their number 1 target.
  • Micah Hoffpauir, who has played in 29 of the first 34 Cactus League games, is due for some rest according to the Tribune.
  • Michael Barret has made the Blue Jays as their backup catcher.
  • Hot Stove Cubbies points out that the Padres could be interested in Angel Guzman.
  • Mark Newman did a good article for Is this the year for the Cubs?

Jeff Dickerson and David Haugh began their 3rd year of Chicago Baseball Tonight on Monday night and were joined by Jeff Brantley to preview the Reds:

  • The Reds are young, but yet they've been around the league a little bit.
  • He thinks the Reds pitchers will surprise everyone this year.
  • The key right now is getting the hitting together.
  • Brantley is exited to watch the Reds pitchers this year.
  • Johnny Cueto gained a lot of confidence in the WBC.
  • The question marks for the Reds are left field and facing left handed pitching.
  • Jeff doesn't seem too confident in the Reds left side of the infield.
  • The Reds need to score runs early in the season.
  • The players love playing for Dusty in Cincinnati. Brantley thinks the guys feed off Baker's emotion in the dugout.
  • Brantley says that there is no doubt the Cubs are the team to beat.
  • Jeff wonders about the Cubs clubhouse without Mark DeRosa.
  • The other teams in the Central don't want to let the Cubs jump out and take the bull by the horns like they did last year.

Last night, David and Jeff were joined by John Rooney to preview the Cardinals:

  • Rooney is the former voice of the White Sox and is now the radio voice of the Cardinals.
  • John says that it is probably true that the Cubs are the team to beat.
  • He thinks the Central is one of the toughest divisions in baseball.
  • St. Louis will be more than a competitive team.
  • The Cardinals have the pitching set.
  • Rooney thinks the Reds will be improved.
  • He likes the Brewers lineup.
  • The Cardinals are not expecting Chris Carpenter to be their ace.
  • He is throwing a good curveball and has a very good cutter.
  • Wainwright is the ace of the rotation, Loshe will be the number 2, and Wellemyer #3.
  • Todd Wellemyer, the former Cub, has a very good change-up that he has added.
  • Wellemyer throws strikes and stays away from big innings.
  • There has not been a lefty in the Cards rotation for a few years and that has not been a problem.
  • Khalil Greene has not struck out that much all spring. He thinks things will come together for Greene because he is in a better lineup.
  • Khalil has hit .400 in Spring Training.
  • John says the move from outfield to second base is going to be tough for Skip Shumaker.
  • Skip "works as hard as anybody".
  • Rooney says it is hard to tell how many more years Tony La Rusa will manage.

I've been writing recaps of each MLB Network "30 Clubs in 30 Days" episode for the NL Central. Check out the recap for the:

And stay tuned, I'll have these "30 in 30" recaps this weekend...

  • Pirates
  • Astros
  • Reds

I'll keep you posted!