A League of Her Own

Pigpen to Carl: "Up Yours, Buddy" and Live Game Thread

Chicago Cubs Baker Fields Pop-up From Philadelphia Phillies Francisco
Each loss by the Cubs this year has featured a different reliever imploding and blowing the game, with the exception of Opening Day, when Carlos Zambrano blew the game and the bullpen merely let the game get out of reach. Saturday was a different story.

Starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano rebounded from his opening-day debacle to pitch 7 innings and improve to 1-1.

Lefty setup man John Grabow did his job in the eighth, and closer Carlos Marmol struck out the side in the ninth for his second save.

Let's turn to Lou Piniella for commentary:

"Look, from what we've experienced here in the first five games, starting pitchers going 7 innings is probably the best remedy," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella, whose team is 2-3. "Now we can go to our short people and to our closer and take our best shots that way.

"We'll get these kids (young pitchers) work from time to time to get them sharp and hope they improve."

I hope Lou remembers that it was John Grabow who blew it a couple days ago, and not just the "kids". But hooray for good starting pitching and the bullpen slamming the door.

Another reason for concern so far this year has been the offense, and one disturbing trend emerged in the first week.

On the other side of the game, home runs accounted for all 4 runs, with Kosuke Fukudome hitting a 2-run blast in the fourth, Alfonso Soriano hitting a solo homer in the fifth, and Jeff Baker adding a leadoff pinch-hit shot in the eighth to break a 3-3 tie.

For the season, the Cubs have scored 17 runs, with 8 home runs accounting for 12 of those runs.

"We're hitting home runs, and we need to sustain some rallies a little bit," Piniella said."

I won't worry about this trend just yet, but a few more sustained rallies would be a good thing. In other Lou Piniella news, he had to remind a couple pitchers that loose lips sink ships. Carlos Silva was taken out after the sixth of Friday night's game with tightness in his throwing arm, but insisted after the game that he was fine. Esmailin Caridad thought he was being squeezed by the umpire in his 4-run eighth Friday night.


Carlos Silva and Esmailin Caridad were called into manager Lou Piniella's office for closed-door meetings Saturday morning after each made public comments Friday night that were not received well by Piniella.
(snip)

'I talked to him about it and said, 'Let's make sure that the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed,'' said Piniella, who added that he doesn't expect the shoulder to be a problem when Silva pitches again, probably Friday.


Meanwhile, Caridad, the rookie setup guy who complained publicly about getting squeezed on walks in the eighth, was advised against the practice of ticking off umpires, most of whom can read.

With the exception of Zambrano's Opening Day start, the starting pitching has been great. Let's hope that can hold out for another couple weeks, as the return of Ted Lilly has been delayed.

Persistent back soreness has delayed Lilly's next minor-league rehab start for the second time. Originally scheduled for Friday, that start at Class AAA Iowa won't happen until at least Wednesday, depending on how Lilly feels in a bullpen session Monday at Wrigley Field.

''It's a little setback,'' said Piniella, who had entertained the possibility Friday of Lilly making only one more rehab start -- instead of the two left on his schedule -- then going straight into the Cubs' rotation during the homestand this week.

The back problem eliminates that outside shot, and the new schedule suggests a return for Lilly no earlier than April 24 in Milwaukee, barring any further setback.




Game Thread

Cubs are once again at Great American Ballpark 1:10 out east, just after noon in the midwest.

Tom Gorzelanny (0-1, 12.00 ERA)

Mike Leake (0-0, 0.00ERA)
There is something about how Leake is special because he didn't play in all the minors. We'll see, either he's that good or the Reds needed more help in the rotation than the Cubs did.
Lineups
Cubs
Theriot SS
Fukudome, RF
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Byrd, CF
Soriano, LF
Fontenot, 2B
Soto, C
Gorzelanny, P

Reds
Stubbs, CF
Cabrera, SS
Votto, 1B
Phillips, 2B
Rolen, 3B
Hernandez, C
Gomes, LF
Dickerson, RF
Leake, P


And a special shoutout to the Boston College Eagles for their win over Wisconsin yesterday and taking home the National Championship in College Hockey

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39 Comments

AndCounting said:

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Man, I love Lou. I would have paid a lot ofmoney to sit in on his meeting with Silva & Smiley. Hey, they should fight crime! They could also be known as Esmailin and the Fat Man.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Hey guys . . . I'll be on the road today, so if someone could convvert this into a game thread around game time, I would appreciate it.

I would also REALLY appreciate Masters updates!

flyball said:

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yes to the first, nope to the second

abe frohman said:

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Today is the rubber match for not only this Reds series, but with a win, could actually bring the Cubs to Wrigley with a .500 road trip which - let's be honest - doesn't suck nearly as bad as it feels.
What is a rubber match, you ask?

from our friends at wiki answers:
According to Paul Dickson's The New Dickson's Baseball Dictionary (Harcourt Brace, 1999), a "rubber game" is "The last and deciding game of a series when the previous games have been split; e.g., the seventh game of the World Series." This tie-breaking sense of "rubber" apparently originated in the pulse-pounding English game of "bowls," or lawn bowling. Despite its name, bowls has little in common with American bowling, and consists of rolling wooden balls (called "bowls") across a level green, the object being to get your ball as close as possible to (but not to hit) a little white ball at the other end of the green. "Rubber" in its tie-breaking sense first appeared in the context of bowls around 1599, and was in use by the card-playing crowd (whist, bridge, etc.) by 1744. A set of three games of bridge is still generally referred to as a "rubber."
Unfortunately, no one knows where "rubber" in this sense came from. It appears to be unrelated to the elastic sort of "rubber." (Incidentally, our modern elastic "rubber" is short for "India-rubber," from its original source in the East Indies. "Rubber" previously meant anything used to rub, smooth or clean.) Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable ventures that the term may have referred to two "bowls" rubbing together, a fatal error in the game of bowls. Or it might be a metaphorical use of "rubber" (something that expunges) referring to the "sudden death" third game of a series, the loss of which would conclusively "rub out" the losing team's hopes. But there is, sad to say, no solid evidence for either theory."

Keep in mind: Today is the PROFESSIONAL debut of the Reds pitcher. Not his MLB debut. His PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL debut. The last game he pitched in was in college last spring.
If the Cubs lose, well . . .

gravedigger said:

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I actually read all of that, which means I am quite bored today.

PsyMar1 said:

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Masters update: Nathan Green has won "scorecard of the day" with 4 holes to go. Bogey, bogey, double bogey, par, bogey, birdie, birdie, birdie, par, par, bogey, triple bogey, eagle, par.
Unfortunately, he's also pretty much clinched DFL (Dead Freakin' Last) as he is 4 shots behind the next-worst player to have made the cut.

PsyMar1 said:

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Masters update: Watson's charging up the leaderboard, Nicklaus just hit it into the crowd. Wait, never mind, they're showing highlights from the 1977 masters.

PsyMar1 said:

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Cubs top 1st: Bases loaded, none out, Ramirez pops up, Byrd strikes out, Soriano pops out. We suck.

gravedigger said:

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I literally *just* logged in and it asked me to again. I want to set CN on fire.

Anyway, is this game on the tele?

abe frohman said:

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Masters update:
I'm mixing up my pimento cheese.

PsyMar1 said:

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Haiku are easy.
Pimento cheese sandwiches?
Harder to digest.

PsyMar1 said:

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Reds pitcher Mike Leake, making his first *professional* start today, just broke up the no-hitter. Of course.

PsyMar1 said:

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Augusta National Golf Course is ON THE AIR!

canopygrl said:

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As always I may be behind on the news spread, but I am on the other side of the damn world, so bite me...

But, I'm fascinated by this... "The Cubs also have added a psychiatrist this year". Included in their 10million Wrigley Field upgrade (Sorry Doc)
And I demand feedback on if they really "improved" the bathrooms.

PsyMar1 said:

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Tiger Woods owes somebody $300 for a new windshield after that drive on the first.

Teebob2000 said:

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AAAAHHHH!!!!! Fucking Soriano.

Shanny said:

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i'm officially and quite possibly off the 'i can handle soriano's shit' train.

keywestcubfan said:

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Quick! Somebody insult him!

Teebob2000 said:

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Also, fucking Soriano.

keywestcubfan said:

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Score 1 to 1. Bottom of the 8th, 1 out, bases loaded for the Reds. Lou has a vein sticking out of his neck as he's taking out Grablow and bringing in Caridad.

keywestcubfan said:

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Yuck. Caridad is out of the game and Russell is coming in to try and keep the score "respectable." Total suckage. 3 to 1 Reds going in to the top of the 9th.

keywestcubfan said:

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Crap. Cubs lose. Where's a Kraken when you need one?

abe frohman said:

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Tiger eagles from 190 yards, but still 5 back of Westwood and Lefty.

summerguy said:

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I believe Carl can back me up on this one- Carl to Pigpen: You are who we thought you were.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Can I get an amen?

kiwibob said:

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Well, yes you can...
But, as was the case with the other day, this loss belongs to the Cubs piss poor offense who loaded the bases in the first inning against a rookie who has NEVER EVEN PLAYED IN THE MINOR LEAGUES and let him completely off the hook.

Hat tip to Dusty for remembering the Cubs traditional MO of making rookies look like the re-incarnation of Cy Young.

flyball said:

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it was kinda predictable that the Cubs were going to do nothing against him wasn't it

summerguy said:

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By the way, shoutout to Cincinnati's player of the game: Alfonso Soriano. They couldn't have done it without ya.

canopygrl said:

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WTF!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Seriously? We lost again?????

And Aisle424 just got me a ticket for opening day . . Do I really want to see this trainwrwck in person?

keywestcubfan said:

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The sad thing is, yes you do.

JulieDiCaro said:

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There is something wrong with me.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Don't forget: Throwing Like a Girl coming up today at 5:30 ct. The link to listen is in Friday's headlines!

kiwibob said:

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If the Knee-O-Meter is not at 100% I'd like to see Soriano on the DL and a certain SS get a chance to play at the major league level.

(If it IS at 100% perhaps Soriano should be given the treatment usually dished out to broken down racehorses)

JulieDiCaro said:

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I think we need TWO knee-o-meters. One for what percentage Fonzie THINKS his knee is at, and another for what it looks like it's at based on his play.

So, Fonzie says he's at 95%, but his play says he's at 45%.

kiwibob said:

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That's the kind of knee-o-meter reading that should have him in a wheelchair.

Mind you, if he was in a wheelchair he might be able to make the odd catch in left field. Lou could staple his glove to his head or something.

JulieDiCaro said:

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"Lou could staple his glove to his head or something."

post of the day.

JulieDiCaro said:

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It has come to my attention that there are still single tickets available for tomorrow's game. . . .

flyball said:

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school will once again save me from myself, as I will not be at home watching the game on tv like I want to but ultimately know will only be bad for my optimistic view of the world

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