A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Headlines for Thursday, July 23


Cardinals vs. Cubs
The Cubs' celebration looked
something like this, only
in Philadelphia


The taste in the Cubs' mouths is considerably less bitter after yesterday's win over the Phillies.  They managed to avoid the sweep (and the shame of losing to an octogenarian pitcher), pulling out what was a 10-5 squeaker:

Leads of 5-0 and 8-3 didn't seem safe, so Piniella called on his closer to work more than 1 inning for the second time on the road trip.

Kevin Gregg got the dangerous Ryan Howard to ground out with the bases loaded in the eighth before working a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 19th save as the Cubs held off the Phillies 10-5 at Citizens Bank Park.

The Cubs ended their road trip with a 5-2 record, and they snapped the Phillies' 10-game winning streak. Piniella was able to breathe easier after Gregg retired Howard.

"That was the big out of the game," Piniella told reporters.

Though Lou's words before the game may be more interesting to most of us:

"It's baffling, it really is," Lou told WGN. "Look, we've been patient with this, really patient, and we've tried every combination that we have. I've run out of explanations.

"The problem is, we don't have the same pieces on the offensive side of things. My first year here (2007), we had to make some changes. But we had some pieces in place. Now, you know, we've run out of those pieces."

Not that there's been much issue with the starting pitching, but things could get better soon with the early return of Ryan Dempster:

If X-rays on his broken right big toe go as expected Thursday, Dempster could pitch Sunday against Cincinnati.

Dempster threw a simulated game to hitters in the batting cage Wednesday morning at Citizens Bank Park and pitching coach Larry Rothschild said he "looked good."

"He's not favoring it at all," Rothschild said. "He threw a side [session Monday] and you could see he feels good."

"Everything depends on the X-rays," Dempster said. "I feel good and I'm following protocol."
Though Lou doesn't sound quite so sure:

"Larry is very optimistic, but let's wait and see what happens," he said. "I'm not as optimistic, but for sure the next time through the rotation [Wednesday or Thursday]."

It looks like we need to find a platoon partner for Uncle Milty:

He had a pair of hits to raise his average to .343 as a righty. He is hitting .200 from the left side, but did walk once from there Wednesday.
But he's getting paid a bit more than you'd want from a platoon player, with the third year in his contract about to be vested:

But just by getting through Wednesday without going on the disabled list made this by far his biggest week of the season. That's because only 74 days remain in the season, assuring that Bradley can't spend 75 on the DL, which all but assures the final year of his three-year, $30 million contract will vest.

The only way it won't vest at this point is if he ends the season on the DL, specifically with an injury to his surgically repaired right knee, and remains unable to play because of the same injury next April 15.

And kudos to the bullpen for some stellar work on the road trip:

Cubs relievers were the unsung heroes of the team's 5-2 trip, working 27 innings in the seven games, including 2 1/3 in-and-out-of-trouble scoreless innings Wednesday.

...

Gregg lowered his ERA in his last 29 appearances to 1.53, and the Cubs' bullpen had a 2.33 ERA during the seven-game trip. Those numbers would have been even better had Jeff Samardzija not allowed a three-run home run to Jayson Werth in the 13th inning of the Phillies' 4-1 victory Tuesday. Before that, Cubs relievers had pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings in the game.

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34 Comments

gravedigger said:

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these are some early headlines

JulieDiCaro said:

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Told you Lou didn't want to trade DeRosa.

I'm out for the rest of the weekend, but the trusty staff a LOHO will take good care of all of you. No wild parties while I'm gone, and keep the bedroom doors open and bibles on the beds.

Later, gators.

MLBfan said:

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Sorry, if I overstepped my, I'm not a LOHO staff member, boundaries the other day when I posted the line-ups for the Cubs/Phillies game.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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That was actually much appreciated. Anytime someone's on the ball, we'll never reject good help.

MLBfan said:

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Thanks Carl!! Maybe I'm just a little too sensitive.

millertime said:

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The Phillies make a 3-run lead seem like the smallest lead ever.

Umbra said:

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The Most Dangerous Lead in Baseball?

millertime said:

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With 2 men on base and any of the Phillies hitters at the plate, yes. Yes it is.

JulieDiCaro said:

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ha!

Playoffs?!?!?! Playoffs?!?!?!

up until "they were who they thought they were!", "playoffs?!?!?" was my favorite pc EVER.

gravedigger said:

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someone made a reference to the "playoffs" speech in our staff meeting the other day and i was the /only/ one who got the reference. i couldn't believe it.

Doc said:

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I liked Mora's "Diddly Poo" spouting-off better when he was coaching the Saints. And he sounded a lot like Lou in that press conference.

gravedigger said:

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haaaa yeah that one is classic.

i agree with julie though, "they are who we thought they were" really takes the cake.

Tim said:

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Carl, my favorite and most telling quote from today's sports was Milton's:
"I'm dumbfounded when I don't get a hit."

thisyearcub said:

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But the Cubs are done right? Even though they're a game up in the loss column? And b/c the Cards got Lugo (he of the -46.3 UZR)?

gravedigger said:

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yes. they are.

flyball said:

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I don't know if the Cubs are done done, (although if Lugo is the deciding factor in the division race the Cards deserve to win it) but the standings are way closer than I thought they'd be, the Cubs are tied for 2nd with Houston?!?!

gravedigger said:

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ill back off a bit if they acquire a second baseman who can hit.

thisyearcub said:

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I'd say don't rush Dempster back ... maybe Kevin Hart can pull another rabbit out of his hat this weekend (meaning getting seven or eight runs in support).

jtbwriter said:

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Have a good time-and don't do anything we wouldn't do! (Or not!). I make sure the Cubs at least take 2 out of 3 for you!

HoboHanson said:

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Hey there everyone. Since things are so slow today, I was hoping for a little advice. I'm taking a vacation. (Even though my parents say driving from town to town playing guitar for money is similar to a vacation). My special lady friend and I are hitting the road for 5 weeks or so. Leaving on Monday. Don't really have too much of a plan. Just gonna drive around the country and see what we can see. Anyone have any great suggestions? Anywhere you've been and said to yourself that everyone should see this before they die? All suggestions appreciated. Even if I secretly deem them lame.

flyball said:

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the Parthenon replica in Nashville, the Grand Ol Opry was kinda strange cool, World's Largest Truck stop in Iowa (still haven't gone though, but I have a keychain that says My Friend went to the World's largest truck stop and all I got was this lousy keychain), the Alamo in San Antonio, the Grand Canyon of course, does not disappoint, either does the Hoover Dam

will have to keep thinking though

gravedigger said:

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any parts of the country you definitely plan to hit/avoid?

HoboHanson said:

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Doing a big loop. From the DC, south to New Orleans. West from there. Up California. Through Oregon and Wash. East from there. Pretty much skipping the middle. Might go to Nebraska though.

gravedigger said:

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craters of the moon park in idaho is pretty friggen awesome.

i love deadwood -- stop through there if you somehow end up in the Dakotas to gamble a bit, see some history, and look at the black hills gold.

flyball said:

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I remember driving through the Petrified Forest in AZ as a kid and really loving it, 4 Corners is fun, although I heard its way more touristy developed from when I went

baturkey said:

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Check out the career
It's not a complex one
200 lbs of gear
One city to the next one

thisyearcub said:

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Now THIS would be something to cause concerns re: the Cards (not Julio Lugo):

The St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics have been talking about a possible swap of All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday and top prospect Brett Wallace, according to sources, and one person familiar with the talks places the odds of a deal at 50-50.

Holliday, 29, is eligible for free agency after this season, and has had a lackluster season overall, hitting .287 with 11 homers and 54 RBI. But he has hit well this month, batting .344 with a .421 on-base percentage, and one scout who has seen him play said Tuesday that Holliday is swinging the bat as well now as he has all year. The Cardinals have been searching for a way to upgrade their offense, to build in some lineup protection for first baseman Albert Pujols.

flyball said:

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seems to me he would be just the kind of guy that would start tearing it up on the Cards mid season

yeah, that rumor doesn't make me feel optimistic

thisyearcub said:

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Can you not blockquote in the comments anymore?

gravedigger said:

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that catch by wise to save the perfect game was AMAZING

gravedigger said:

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LOL the white sox PBP guy (cant remember his name) had like 18 years worth of calling games to practice his "perfect game" reaction, and all he managed to come up with was an orgasmic "YESSSS YESSSS YESSSSSSSSSSS YES!"

gravedigger said:

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Hawk refers to their bimbo sideline reporter as "honey" -- my how times have changed.

MLBfan said:

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To my surprise, Seattle is a great place to go. I traveled via Amtrak from Chicago to Seattle in February and the entire trip was magnificent. If you want to take a shorter trip, Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a quaint little town I enjoy visiting. I recommend staying in a Bed and Breakfast where ever you go. Have fun.

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