A League of Her Own

Cubs Thursday Headlines/Live Game Thread (Updated!)


Trib Photo by Phil Velasquez



Not that it matters, but the Cubs lost yesterday, 5-1 to the Giants. A Cub starter gave up runs for the first time so far this spring.  When I say "runs", I mean "five in one inning".

Cubs starters hadn't allowed a run until the third inning Wednesday, when Zambrano gave up five. The Giants loaded the bases on softly hit singles before Zambrano hit a batter. Pablo Sandoval followed with a grand slam.

''They got lucky with the bloopers,'' Zambrano said. ''I got behind in the count, then a fastball in, and Sandoval is a good hitter. You have to give him credit. The good thing is I got my work in, and my fastball was running good. This is spring training.''

Manager Lou Piniella said Zambrano lost some velocity in the inning, ''but it's spring training, and that's why you have to build up your arm.''

Lou was pleased with some of the bullpen work, though.

Piniella liked the performances of pitchers John Gaub, Tom Diamond and Justin Berg, who each threw a scoreless inning.

We've all been dying for a Xavier Nady timetable, and we've finally been rewarded.

``The trainer is thinking it will be June 1 before he can play on a regular basis because he's coming off the arm surgery,'' Piniella said. He said Nady, signed to a one-year deal at $3.5 million, will be available to play at times before June, though the anticipated cold weather in Chicago could dictate his playing time as well.

``He can hit,'' Piniella said. ``If we can get him on the field, he'll do some damage. He's not ready to play the field yet, but I hope in the next seven to 10 days he can get on the field here.''

To me, that reads: "Kevin Millar won't make the team because we can't have two guys on the bench who don't play defense." And that makes me feel a little better. Speaking of first basemen, do you remember when some of us thought Derrek Lee was washed up?

That included last year, when some fans were calling on manager Lou Piniella to replace Lee at first with Micah Hoffpauir.

All Lee did was shake off a horrid April to post his biggest offensive year since 2005.

Lee batted .306 with an on-base percentage of .393 and a slugging percentage of .579 to go along with 35 homers and 111 RBI.

His home run total jumped from 20 in 2008. The OBP rose from .361 the year before, and the slugging percentage was way up from the .462 Lee put up in 2008.

How did he go from zero to hero?

Lee hit more flyballs in 2009 than he did in 2008. His flyball percentage rose from 33.7 in 2008 to 45.7 last year.

The groundballs dropped from 44.9 percent to 35.1 percent. Lo and behold, Lee's double-play grounders also fell, from 27 in 2008 to just 12 last year.

I'd forgotten all about DP-Lee. Will we see a reversion?

Bill James projects Lee for a hitting line of .291/.378/.516 for an OPS of .894 with 30 home runs and 98 RBI. Among the projections, this one is among the most generous.

Lee turns 35 in September, and there's no reason to believe he's done by any stretch.

"Essentially, if Lee's improvement last season was due to his wrists healing up and he can sustain that improved contact ability and doesn't suffer a major age-related decline in that or any other skill, he could very well put up numbers close to last season's (there's even a chance he could hit better than last year, although I wouldn't call it likely by any stretch)," said Colin Wyers, an author at Baseball Prospectus, via an e-mail exchange.

I didn't know Colin Wyers was writing for BP now. Good for him.

(Julie adds on)

I'm way too busy to post a game thread today, so I'm using this one.

Today's lineup is all amounts of icky:

Fuld(CF)

Castro(SS)

Colvin(RF)

Millar(1B)

LaHair(LF)

Fontenot(2B)

Tracy(3B)

Chirinos(C)

Silva(P)

WTF is a Chirinos? 

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58 Comments

Teebob2000 said:

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>>"If we can get him on the field, he'll do some damage..."

Damage to whom exactly??

Doc said:

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Damage to himself...wrecking his arm again.

Teebob2000 said:

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Whew!! As long as it's self-contained and doesn't screw up the team, I'm for it.

JulieDiCaro said:

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so . . He's going to start the season Iowa, right? I mean, we're not going to send someone who could acytually PLAY to the minors just so Nady can sit on the bench, right?

RIGHT?

Doc said:

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You aren't seriously expecting a response to that question...are you?

Doc said:

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Are we in first place yet?

FrankS said:

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I didn't realize this until I was researching on the '94 strike for some comments I was going to make regarding the Sox and Reinsdorf, but Kevin Millar is one of the last of the "replacement players" from the '95 season. So you won't be able to play him on your team in any video games unless you create him because he is not a member of the players' union.

AndCounting said:

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Good investigation work there, Frank. That might explain why he's trying so hard to make everyone like him: they're contractually obligated not to unless he makes it impossible.

flyball said:

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Any scab I see, I soak 'em. Period.

flyball said:

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sorry Millar, I just never get to use that quote

JulieDiCaro said:

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I am soaked.

it is pouring down here. And my bag of peach rings dumped upside down on the train.

boo! Bad day.

Teebob2000 said:

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>>bag of peach rings

Is that a medical term?

JulieDiCaro said:

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yes.

for a bag of peach rings.

Teebob2000 said:

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Hee hee

JulieDiCaro said:

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Guess what? Not only is my podcast buddy Alex Quigley hosting ChicagoNow Radion this Saturday (from 9-1), but I get to go on as one of the guests. Will it get as inappropriate as our podacsts? Only time will tell!

Rock Mamola said:

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I might be calling in....since I can't come on myself.

-RoCk (American hater)

Doc said:

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Something about that statement seemed just wrong.

Teebob2000 said:

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He's probably "differently abled." Don't mock.

Doc said:

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He is a sox fan.

Teebob2000 said:

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Explains a lot.

JulieDiCaro said:

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we don't take phone calls from commies!

--MGb said:

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I was just as guilty as anyone last year of forgetting that Lee typically gets off to a really slow start. I promise to not make that mistake again this year.

JulieDiCaro said:

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me too. I was all aboard the Hufflepuff Express.

i'm off that train now.

gravedigger said:

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I'm not.

Doc said:

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He would have hit 50 homers last year if he got to play every day.

Eric From The Dugs said:

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Oh my.

Someone sign me up for some Hufflepuff Express T-Shirts.

Also, why are people telling me Lee is definitely gone after this year?

Isn't tubby (Prince Fielder) a free agent next year? Hrmmmmmmmm....

Doc said:

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And lance berkman.

Eric From The Dugs said:

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I dunno, I think fat Elvis has just about left the building.

Gotta like the fact that Fielder's young.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Is there a game today?

I'm damp and I don't feel like doing a game thread.

Doc said:

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um...

Yes there is a game.

And we are so happy for you.

Doc said:

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I hate thursdays.

Boo!

Gzeeb said:

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Remember Julie women never get damp....lol....They get moist & glisten......

JulieDiCaro said:

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they do when they're caught in a downpour in the loop!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Okay. . . i've posted the lineup three times, and every time CN has eaten it.

Awesome.

flyball said:

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Gameday Audio has the Padres feed

flyball said:

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with Andy Masur! who by the way sounds very play by play announcery today

JulieDiCaro said:

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are anyone else's comments getting eaten?

AndCounting said:

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Yes. And my Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips. Damn you to Hell, Chicago Now!

JulieDiCaro said:

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seriously, i've posted about 10 comments that just aren't here.

AndCounting said:

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They will probably all show up in 5 minutes, three times each.

AndCounting said:

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The first inning featured Kevin Millar, Chad Tracy, David Eckstein, and Matt Stairs. Throw in Nelly, Jon Bon Jovi, and Pamela Anderson, and we've got ourselves an MTV Rock n Jock softball game.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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That has to be funniest thing I've heard all day!! I miss those games.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Bleh--I'm already sick of Spring Training.

Bring on the real baseball, already!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Darlin Starlin with an RBI single.

3-0 Cubs

Doc said:

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This game isn't going the way I thought it would.

flyball said:

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i feel with these lineups expectations of any sort are pointless

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Nationals just released "Every day" Eddie Guardado...Should we be interested?? I heard Glendon Rusch is available, too!

Doc said:

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No.

No.

Doc said:

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ok...we are almost an hour into this game...and Silva hasn't given up a run. What is this, the Twilight Zone?

MillsChC said:

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It's an outing like this, that scares me that Lou & Mgmt. will begin to consider him trustworthy in the rotation.

Doc said:

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Castro homers during the 2 minutes I'm away from my desk. Boo.

PsyMar1 said:

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Can't tell from the radio broadcast. Was LaHair just TOOTBLANned?

PsyMar1 said:

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Still no idea what a Chirinos is, but it just hit a 2-run homer. 7-0 cubs.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Maybe it's a robot.

I've moved on to the IU/Northwestern game.

Eric From The Dugs said:

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Even if it was, it'd still find a way onto the 15 day DL.

PsyMar1 said:

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Fontenot just TOOTBLANned.

summerguy said:

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there seems to be a typo in that first article... it said Cub starters had not given up any runs up to that point... but Silva gave up a bunch in his first start

summerguy said:

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God I hope he doesn't become our 5th starter... he is gonna have to have several repeat performances of today.

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