A League of Her Own

Cubs Headlines/Live Game Thread

A Flaming Start To June As Britain Basks In Warm Weather



The Cubs went and won their fourth straight game yesterday, thanks in no small part to a squirrel who graced the field with his good luck and plucky attitude. Also, not thanks to Rich Harden, who graced the field with his tremendous buttocks and high pitch count.

Harden threw 40 pitches in the first inning on the way to 103 over 4 innings. He couldn't qualify for the victory. That went to rookie Jeff Stevens, who earned his first major-league win despite giving up a game-tying 3-run homer to Jonny Gomes in the fifth.

As for Harden, this was the 10th time in 25 starts, including 3 straight, that he's gone fewer than 6 innings. A $7 million pitcher this year, Harden may be hard-pressed to get a multiyear deal from the Cubs.

Jim Hendry, can you give us a quote that reveals nothing about whether or not you'll keep Harden around after this season?

"I'm not concerned," said Harden, who has an ERA of 4.04. "I'm not happy with it, but it doesn't concern me. Guys stopped putting much in play. Just fouling off a lot of balls. Just trying to get a quick out, it's been rough."

With a great deal of uncertainty hovering around next season's team, we learned one thing from Lou that is a certainty for 2010.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Friday that even if Soriano returns completely healthy next spring that he won't return to the No. 1 spot in the lineup.

"No, no, no, that's over with," Piniella said emphatically. "No, we're not going to do that.

"No, if we stay the way we are, we have the option of [Kosuke] Fukudome or [Ryan] Theriot. If we add a speed player to the mix, that would change, obviously."

I felt a little woozy hearing Lou talk about adding a speed player, because I'm afraid Hendry will try to get Joey Gathright back. If only Lou would listen to the voice of reason, Bruce Miles:

You have to wonder what the theme of this year's off-season will be. The Cubs wanted to get "more left-handed" last year. If this year's theme is to get faster, they better make sure whoever that fast guy is can get on base. And playing at Wrigley Field, the Cubs better be able to slug because their opponents won't stop hitting home runs. Getting on base and slugging the ball are the two most important characteristics an offense can have. Speed is nice, but it's a secondary need.

We'll jump back to Soriano news, as it looks like he's almost officially done for the year.

Alfonso Soriano will get a second medical evaluation of his ailing left knee as he weighs whether to have arthroscopic surgery before the season ends.

Soriano will be seen by his personal physician, with a decision on surgery perhaps coming in a few days. He underwent an MRI exam Aug. 29 that showed inflammation. He hasn't played in a week, though the soreness and inflammation has been chronic almost all season.

Manager Lou Piniella repeated Friday it is ''doubtful'' the right fielder will play again this season.

It's also doubtful that Toni Ginetti watches the Cubs, as she thinks that Soriano is the right fielder.


And we'll finish with happy news (with just a hint of bittersweetness):


After going 3-for-3 with three RBIs Friday, Aramis Ramirez is hitting .398 at Wrigley Field in this abbreviated season.

"In RBI situations, he was dead-on," Piniella said."He's really good with two outs in an inning. Yeah, he can hit."

All three of his RBIs Friday came with two outs. Of the 28 games in which he has driven in a run, he has done it multiple times in 16 of them.


So Aramis has been really good, just around much.  Maybe we can send him to a spiritual healer in the offseason.


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58 Comments

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm off to coach my first of many 8-year old soccer games this fall--wish me luck!

gravedigger said:

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when the inevitable happens, don't be one of those poor-sport loser parents.

Maim said:

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But do buy them sno-cones after the game.

JulieDiCaro said:

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i gave them drinks and chips ayoy cookies after the game. there were no sno-cones to be found. and if there had been, they all would have had to lineup behind ME.

gravedigger said:

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according to espn, the cubs now have a .9% chance of making the playoffs.

FrankS said:

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The Cubs can't catch Colorado if the Rockies don't start losing. The Cubs are 7-3 over the last ten games, which is pretty good. Unfortunately for the Cubs, Colorado has been 9-1 over their last ten. And the Cardinals have caught the Dodgers for the best record in the NL. And if the Dodgers don't kick it in gear, they might be the wildcard rather than NL West champs.

JulieDiCaro said:

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We need someone to go Gilooly Marquis . . .

JulieDiCaro said:

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Whoops, sorry guys!

I totally thought it was a 1:20 game.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Lineup:

Fukudome
Theriot
Lee
Ramirez
Bradley
Soto
Scales
Blanco
Wells

Didn't Wells just pitch like, two days ago?

Umbra said:

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He got the loss against the Mets last Sunday.

Umbra said:

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Also, Rich Harden struck out 10 in 5 innings two starts ago, so let's stop acting like that's bad, ok?

Umbra said:

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Bruce Miles is my favorite Chicago sportswriter. In a town with too many crazy sportswriters, his goodness almost cancels out their evil. Almost. That's not a cut on Miles. There's only so much one man can do.

Also, WTF is Bielema doing calling a timeout? That's how you lost the game against Michigan St., dumbass. STOP CALLING TIMEOUTS FOR THE OTHER TEAM.

MillsChC said:

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I'm sure it's not, but this is the 1st time all year I've seen this team get down big, early... and still look like they're putting up a fight to come back.

Umbra said:

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Now you kneel and play for overtime, you pussy. Brett Bielema needs to not make football decisions.

Umbra said:

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Though seeing Kevin Gregg pitch in the 7th inning makes me smile.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Question:

Did Wells throw a ton of pitches? It looked like he was doing alright, and then he came out in the 3rd? What's up with that?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Also, the medicine I'm taking for my walking pneumonia makes it taste like I'm sucking on a ball bearing. Metallic.

Gross.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I don't get why Rich wouldn't get a multi-year deal from the Cubs for going less than 6 innings, when every time he goes less than 6, he looks great and Lou pulls him for a pitch count? It's not his fault they won't give him a chance to go longer.

Umbra said:

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Yes it is. Rich Harden is fragile. So it's a good idea to limit his innings/pitches. He is very effective in a smaller number of innings.

I mean, we'd all like to have Rich Harden throw 220 innings with an ERA of 3.40. But he's not that kind of guy. He'll be very good in a smaller number of innings. And that's ok. That's worth a multi-year deal. This year, he's been worth about 8.2 million. He's getting paid 7 million.

People have weird ideas about pitching. They claim that Z is not an 'ace', they say that the Cubs overpaid for Dempster (they didn't), they want Rich Harden to throw 200 innings. Very strange to complain about the 5th best pitching staff in baseball.

JulieDiCaro said:

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i'm not saying i want him to throw 200 innings. but that article made it sound like he gets yanked for sucking after 5 or 6. he usually gets pulled because of a pitch count.

MillsChC said:

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c'mon Milton..

JulieDiCaro said:

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Woot! Tie game!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Grabow's been a good pick up!

JulieDiCaro said:

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oh hahahahahahahaha!

just saw aramis's error. who did he bean?

Umbra said:

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The game is tied. Hooray. Also, the Badgers won in double OT despite suffering from swine flu.

JulieDiCaro said:

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swine flu blows.

not only do you feel like crap, but you have to deal with the fact that you essentially have teeny, tiny parts of pigs in you. gross.

Umbra said:

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Not only is this not true, it is the grossest thing I've ever seen you post.

JulieDiCaro said:

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you know what i mean. not the virus came from pigs, so there's a weird feeling that you are dirty at the same time as being sick.

Umbra said:

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I do not know what you mean. Do you mean that the virus was originally transmitted from pigs to humans? It isn't transmitted that way anymore. Lyme disease, malaria, bubonic plague are transmitted by animals, but swine flu isn't transmitted by swine.

JulieDiCaro said:

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it was in the beginning. all flus come from asia and are originally animal (usually chicken) to humans. that makes me feel like this virus has "pig" all over it. i know how viruses are transmitted, dingus.

don't try to argue science with me. it won't make me change my mind. besides, "swine flu" just sounds gross.

Umbra said:

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Science Stopper.

Umbra said:

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How do viruses have 'pig' all over them? It's a separate organism, a separate thing. Do you just think of pigs as ceremonially unclean animals? Because they're kinda important.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Why yes, I DO think of pigs as ceremonially unclean animals, and I'm pretty sure the rest of the world does, too.

But geez, can you take a joke? Sometimes people should be able to say something silly without being called out on the carpet for it.

Jesus.

Umbra said:

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I thought no one was allowed to joke on this blog.

JulieDiCaro said:

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No, that's the other blog.

Umbra said:

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thirtysomethingorother.com?

JulieDiCaro said:

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no! LOL! i haven't done anything with that blog for a long time. . . i need to pick it back up.

Umbra said:

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You'd better, because otherwise Jeff and I will be forced to debate changing social norms governing sexual behavior on this blog.

JulieDiCaro said:

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oh lord.

no one wants that.

Max Power said:

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Now I need to find you a ladyfriend, too.

Umbra said:

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Marmol is getting screwed on a couple calls, here. He doesn't have a lot of control as it is, so it sucks when he actually throws a strike and they call it a ball.

JulieDiCaro said:

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wha happen? it was just tied a second ago!

oh. . . marmol.

you know, i don't care how good his "stuff" is. it's not worth a damn thing if he can't get people out.

summerguy said:

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There's the Cubs team I have not missed or watched in about 2 weeks.

JulieDiCaro said:

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you missed the big comeback. can't remember the last time that happened.

Umbra said:

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That's OK, Marmol. It's hard to win ballgames when you strike out two batters and they call them walks instead.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Oh bleh.

I didn't see the top of the 8th, but I have no problem believing the umps screwed up the game. when will mlb hold these guys accountable for giving away games?

Umbra said:

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Worst sentence lately heard:

Courtney Cox is coming to Cougar Town, September 23rd on ABC.

Hey, America, shut up with the cougar-talk already.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Agreed. It's insulting.

Max Power said:

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They should keep cougars, but utilize them in a reality show in which annoying celebrities are mauled by cougars. That would be a "Cougar Town" worth watching.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Hey! IU won a football game!

NO WAY!

Umbra said:

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Way to represent the Big Ten! Michigan looked good beating the Irish, today. But Michigan State lost to Central Michigan or something. :(.

JulieDiCaro said:

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We only beat Western Mich, but still, we IU fans have to take our wins where we can.

On and unrelated note, I can't believe I'm not at U2 tonight. I ALWAYS go to U2.

Max Power said:

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My Gophers are attempting to christen the new stadium. Big 4th quarter is helping that. Go Gophers!

Edelweiss said:

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Doesn't that squirrel play second base? Did you notice which Cub he was not afraid of, and scampered right up to? Maybe they are related.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I didn't see it. Which Cub was it?

Edelweiss said:

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Which Cub has the personality of a squirrel?

millertime said:

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I've never met a squirrel, so I don't know their personality type.

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