Lincecum Dominates as Cubs Lose 4-2

July 14, 2008

I was afraid of this. Very afraid. I hedged a little bit yesterday in making the game predictions and I should have gone with my head instead of my heart. Tim Lincecum is just that good.

On a wind swept day at Wrigley field, the Cubs had no answers for Lincecum who handed Ryan Dempster his first home defeat of the season. Spreading out six hits over eight innings while striking out nine, Lincecum completely dominated the Cubs potent lineup.

The Cubs only hope would have been to get into the Giants bullpen. Unfortunately, Lincecums pitch count enabled him to stay in the game long enough to not have to turn things over to the shaky setup crew of the Giants. You got the feeling that with the All Star Break here giving Lincecum an extended break, Giants Manager  Bruce Bochy was going to do everything he had to to get the fortunes of his club reversed. The Giants were in the middle of a six game slide and Bochy used some strategy to get his team a win. The formula was Lincecum early, and Lincecum Late. Turn it over to Wilson and hope. The Cubs almost capatilized scoring one run in the bottom of the ninth and getting the winning run to the plate…but Ryan Theroit grounded out to end the game.

Still the Cubs won the series 2-1 and finish the first half tied for the best record in baseball with the sneaky, quietly, west coast, no one talks about Los Angeles Angels. (The Angels Angels???)

Notes

Somewhere in the prediction for the game I thought the Cubs in a normal pre-break series would lose this game 3-2…maybe it was the Cubs looking ahead.

I also thought the Cubs would win 6-4…that was my gut feeling Cubs sweep, and more Dempster magic…Demp pitched great today, but a few tactical errors, and a non called error by Mark DeRosa…spoiled it for Demp’s perfect home record. But I never really believed he would go 16-0 at home.

So for the predictions….I somehow got the number of Giants runs with my gut (4) and the number of Cubs runs with my head (2)…Lincecum dominant? Check. Cubs only shot was relievers? Check.

I will be posting the Home Run Derby and the All Star Game so check back over the next few days…I am sure there will be a lot of Cubs news as Carlos Marmol was added to the roster today replacing Kerry Wood. Wood’s blister will need additional rest and time to heal. Marmol’s addition means a record tying EIGHT Cubs in the 2008 All Star Game.


Cubs v. Giants Game 3 Preview

July 13, 2008

Talk about a tough call.

I know this is a Cubs website, and as such I never want to predict anything other than a Cubs win. This is such a tough game to pick though. This game is going to come down to who gets the breaks.

Heres’s why.

These are Tim Lincecum’s numbers versus the Cubs…LIFETIME

Tim Lincecum vs. Batters, for Career, Min. 0 PA’s, Sorted by PA DESC, Then by Name, vs. players for CHC
PI Click on the player name for a list of plate appearances between these players.
                    **PA**  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
 Derrek Lee           10     9   3  1  0  0   2   1   2  .333  .400  .444  .844   0   0   0   0   0
 Ryan Theriot         10    10   2  1  0  0   0   0   0  .200  .200  .300  .500   0   0   0   0   1
 Mark DeRosa           9     7   2  1  0  0   2   1   2  .286  .375  .429  .804   1   0   0   0   0
 Jim Edmonds           9     7   1  0  0  0   0   1   2  .143  .333  .143  .476   0   0   0   1   0
 Aramis Ramirez        9     9   0  0  0  0   0   0   3  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Daryle Ward           4     2   0  0  0  0   0   2   2  .000  .500  .000  .500   0   0   0   0   0
 Mike Fontenot         3     3   0  0  0  0   0   0   2  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Kosuke Fukudome       3     3   1  0  0  0   0   0   1  .333  .333  .333  .666   0   0   0   0   0
 Reed Johnson          3     3   1  1  0  0   0   0   0  .333  .333  .667 1.000   0   0   0   0   0
 Geovany Soto          3     3   0  0  0  0   0   0   3  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Chad Gaudin           2     1   0  0  0  0   0   1   1  .000  .500  .000  .500   0   0   0   0   0
 Jason Marquis         2     2   0  0  0  0   0   0   2  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
 Total                67    59  10  4  0  0   4   6  20  .169  .258  .237  .495   1   0   0   1   1

Has not faced: Henry Blanco and Ronny Cedeno & Has not faced pitchers: Neal Cotts, Ryan Dempster, Rich Harden, Kevin Hart, Bobby Howry, Jon Lieber, Ted Lilly, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood, and Carlos Zambrano

But here is the catch. Lincecum has never pitched at Wrigley Field Before!

Dempster has been down right filthy at home this year. Here are his home numbers…

SPLITS ERA W L Sv SvO GP GS CG IP H R ER HR BB SO BAA
Home (2008) 2.58 10 0 0 0 11 11 1 73.1 52 22 21 4 30 61 .198

10-0 at home and the Cubs have won all 11 of his starts at home as well (14-5 overall when Demp Starts)

Dempster has been the beneficiary of huge offensive support though. the Cubs are averaging 6.34 runs per game in his starts. Lincecum’s ERA is 2.66. Scary.

The Giants had been having no luck at the plate in the last 6-7 games until the 8th and 9th yesterday….did they figure some things out –  or was Marmol just that bad? I say Marmol was just that bad.

I am going to give the edge to the Cubs in this one, because they are riding such a high right now. They firmly believe that when Demp is pitching at home they are going to win….Demp believes this too…It’s all mental my friends. Also, Marmol won’t shouldn’t be available tomorrow…. Predictions go like this…Demp goes 7.1 innings…… Howry sets it up, Marshall “closes it”….

Additionally,  the Giants, with no postseason in sight are probably looking for the rest that is provided by the All Star break. Mentally, they will already be on vacation. They showed it all day today…until the ninth. Somehow, they remembered they were baseball players…much to the chagrin of Marmol.

In a normal scenario in the middle of a random series with no break pending, the Giants would get the nod. Lincecum is that good that he would win a 3-2 game by shutting down the Cubs hot bats. As for now….Cubs win 6-4….most of the runs coming off of the Giants bullpen. Lincecum will do his part….or in a strange scenario…try to do too much. But the Giants bullpen trying to hold a lead is like trying to hold jello on a hot summer day….its going to get sticky…and eventually it will melt.

The recap on this one will come late tomorrow. I hae no contributors yet, and I have Family commitments tomorrow afternoon. I’ll take notes and get the update posted later in the evening West Coast Time (PST).

 

The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet.  Interested  parties may contact Retrosheet at “www.retrosheet.org“.


Cubs W – Marmol Spoils Harden’s Debut

July 12, 2008

Reed Johnson drove in the winning run on a walkoff single in the bottom of the 11th….We love the W but this day was overshadowed by trouble from the Cubs bullpen.

Everything good about Rich Harden was all undone by Carlos Marmol in the top of the ninth inning in todays game. A five run top of the ninth was just full of mistakes, hit batters, walks. You name it Marmol threw it. He is starting to remind me of last years version of Ryan Dempster. The thing that baffles me is that when you are pitching against the worst offense in the NL..why not just go right at them and make them beat you…no reason to pitch the spots. Marmol got to where he is by overpowering people. Larry Rothschild has got to get this worked out. It makes me sick to hink Harden gets a ND after such a brilliant performance.

As for Harden…I am still not sure which ovation was louder…the one to start the game, or the one in the 6th when he came out. I hope he did get a curtain call, mlb.tv cut away to a commercial so I couldn’t tell…but I know he deserved one. 10 Ks…no runners past second base….quite studly. As for all of the naysayers about Harden’s velocity being down, his final pitch was a 96 MPH fastball. Case closed.

It is Saturday so Ill let the pros do the recap…click the links to the left to go to your favorite website for additional analysis.

Notes

The numbers rarely lie. In my gameday preview post the numbers said that Harden would dominate the Giants and that the Cubs would be all over Kevin Correia. Click here to see the post…and check back later for tomorrows numbers and analysis. The only thing that the numbers couldn’t tell us prior to the game is the need to position a Doctor behind the mound to perform the Heimlich Manuver on Marmol.

Player of the game 1 Harden / 1A Sean Marshall

(Random Side Note…Dick Butkus who did the stretch today belongs to my Father in Law’s Country Club in Camarillo, California…I see him all of the time…he’s not so big…I out drive him….) 

Click here to Sing Along…Go Cubs Go!


Cubs v. Giants Game 2 Preview

July 12, 2008

LIVE GAME CHAT TODAY>>>>TRY IT OUT!!!! CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE CHAT

Will Harden Dominate??? The numbers say yes…

HARDEN V. GIANTS 2008

20 plate apperances, 9 strikeouts, 2 walks, 1 hit (Randy Winn…whos out today)

Does he dominate today???

Inside the numbers…courtesy of BaseballReference.com

Rich Harden vs. Batters, for 2008, Min. 0 PA’s, Sorted by PA DESC, Then by Name, vs. players for SFG
PI Click on the player name for a list of plate appearances between these players.
                    **PA**  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
 Ray Durham            3     3   0  0  0  0   0   0   1  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Fred Lewis            3     2   0  0  0  0   0   1   2  .000  .333  .000  .333   0   0   0   0   0
 John Bowker           2     2   0  0  0  0   0   0   1  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Matt Cain             2     2   0  0  0  0   0   0   2  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Jose Castillo         2     2   0  0  0  0   0   0   1  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Bengie Molina         2     2   0  0  0  0   0   0   0  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Aaron Rowand          2     2   0  0  0  0   0   0   1  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Omar Vizquel          2     2   0  0  0  0   0   0   1  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Randy Winn            2     1   1  0  0  0   0   1   0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000   0   0   0   0   0
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+

Has not faced: Eliezer Alfonzo, Rich Aurilia, Emmanuel Burriss, Travis Denker, and Eugenio Velez & Has not faced pitchers: Kevin Correia, Alex Hinshaw, Tim Lincecum, Osiris Matos, Sergio Romo, Jonathan Sanchez, Jack Taschner, Tyler Walker, Brian Wilson, Keiichi Yabu, and Barry Zito

How badly have the Cubs beat up on Kevin Correia in 2008? .333 BA For most of the Team!!!

Kevin Correia vs. Batters, for 2008, Min. 0 PA’s, Sorted by PA DESC, Then by Name, vs. players for CHC
PI Click on the player name for a list of plate appearances between these players.
                    **PA**  AB  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS   SH  SF IBB HBP GDP G_miss YR_miss
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+
 Kosuke Fukudome       4     4   1  0  0  0   0   0   0  .250  .250  .250  .500   0   0   0   0   0
 Ryan Dempster         3     3   0  0  0  0   0   0   1  .000  .000  .000  .000   0   0   0   0   0
 Mark DeRosa           3     3   1  0  0  0   0   0   2  .333  .333  .333  .666   0   0   0   0   0
 Jim Edmonds           3     2   2  0  0  1   2   1   0 1.000 1.000 2.500 3.500   0   0   0   0   0
 Mike Fontenot         3     2   0  0  0  0   0   1   0  .000  .333  .000  .333   0   0   0   0   0
 Derrek Lee            3     3   1  0  0  0   0   0   0  .333  .333  .333  .666   0   0   0   0   0
 Geovany Soto          3     3   1  1  0  0   0   0   1  .333  .333  .667 1.000   0   0   0   0   0
 Ryan Theriot          3     2   0  0  0  0   0   1   0  .000  .333  .000  .333   0   0   0   0   0
+-----------------+-------+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+-------+

Has not faced: Henry Blanco, Ronny Cedeno, Reed Johnson, Aramis Ramirez, and Daryle Ward & Has not faced pitchers: Neal Cotts, Chad Gaudin, Rich Harden, Bobby Howry, Jon Lieber, Ted Lilly, Carlos Marmol, Jason Marquis, Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood, Michael Wuertz, and Carlos Zambrano

 

The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet.  Interested  parties may contact Retrosheet at “www.retrosheet.org“.


Aramis Powers Cubs Past Giants

July 11, 2008

Well, I am guessing alot of beer was consumed through eight innings today at Wrigley, because there wasn’t too much to cheer about. The wind was blowing in making this game a virtual snooze fest. Matt Cain and Jason Marquis dominated. Each pitcher gave up only three hits. Marquis was studly throwing only 73 pitches. He had a no-no through four. Both pitchers were finished after seven.

Fukudome was given most of the day  off after going 0-5 yesterday. He came in as a PH for Marquis…and continued to suck. Howry relieved Marquis and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth.

Tyler Walker was the Cubs best friend today as he destroyed the gem of a game pitched by Cain. A single, a sacrifice, a Derek Lee intentional walk brought up Aramis Ramirez who had never faced Walker before. It didn’t matter. First pitch fastball was deposited onto Waveland Avanue. 3-0 Cubs.

Giants made it interesting in the 9th with Kerry Wood a little shaky….But in the end Go Cubs Go! blared again and the “W” flag was hoisted up into the breeze. Wood picked up his 24th save of the year. Howry picked up the win (3-2).

Ramirez has been a stud after the seventh. Todays homer was his NINTH in the 7th inning or later. Todays HR was his 17th of the year and his 3 RBIs give him 66.

Player of the Game…no brainer Aramis Ramirez. Looking forward to Rich Harden’s debut tomorrow. SFs anemic offense should bode well for the Cubs in this series. The Giants have scored four runs total in their last four games.

W – Howry (3-2)
L – Walker (3-5)
S – Wood (24)

HR – Ramirez (17)

Recap 

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
SFO (39-54) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 0
CHC (56-37) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 - 3 5 0
Scoring Summary
  SFO CHC
8th A Ramirez homered to left, R Theriot and D Lee scored. 0 3
9th B Molina singled to right, R Durham scored, E Velez to third. 1 3


Giants v. Cubs Preview

July 11, 2008

Clearly there are two highlights this weekend. The first is Saturday’s debut of Rich Harden. Harden (5-1) will be taking on Correia (1-5).  On paper it is not even close to being a contest. Going to love to hear the ovation for Harden when he is announced.

The highlight however will be Sundays matchup between Lincecum and the unbeaten at home Ryan Dempster. A matchup of 10 game winners…two dominating pitchers (well at least at home for Demp). Should be fun to watch. This is the last game before the All Star Break.

Cubs.com has in depth analysis of the series that you can read by clicking here.


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