A League of Her Own

Saturday Cubs Headlines: Further Tales from the Pigpen

AFL Rd 3 - Power v Lions
Let's hear it for the Brisbane Lions!

Sorry if you're not an Aussie rules football fan or a woman or a gay man, but I didn't want another pig picture today. I almost feel bad for comparing pigs to the bullpen so far this year. In case you weren't watching/listening/haven't read a recap, the bullpen once again ruined a stellar start in spectacular fashion against the Reds last night.

They suffered another bullpen blowup in Friday night's 5-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, as rookie reliever Esmailin Caridad walked the first two batters of the eighth inning and later gave up a grand slam to Drew Stubbs as the Reds rallied from a 3-1 deficit.

Though to be fair, the offense should bear a fair brunt of the blame in this one, as well.

The Cubs' offense had its chances but stranded 13 runners, two each in the first three innings and three more in the ninth.

Each of these factors conspired to ruin Carlos Silva's Cub debut, who had to leave with shoulder stiffness, or maybe didn't have to leave but did anyway.

Which was only a little less surprising than seeing a commanding six-inning start by newly acquired Carlos Silva end after only 71 pitches -- and 11 of his final 12 batters retired.

''His shoulder stiffened,'' said Piniella, who added it wasn't serious. ''Look, he did his job. He gave us six good innings. I talked about the importance of the bullpen early, especially when our starters aren't stretched out.''

Silva said he had some stiffness only when he fell going after a ground ball in the bottom of the fourth but added, ''I was fine.''

Tyler Colvin got his second straight start last night, as thusfar, Lou has kept good on his word to keep the backup outfielders fresh.

This is the outfield rotation manager Lou Piniella pledged to put in motion when the Cubs' top outfield prospect earned a bench spot out of spring training. On Friday, it also included Xavier Nady starting in right field for Kosuke Fukudome.

''Look, it's not the easiest thing in the world to do, but we're doing the best we can,'' said Piniella, who added the big promise in the next breath:

''Invariably, what'll happen is the guys that are doing the best are the guys that'll get the bulk of the playing time. That's the way it was when I played, and that's the way it is still.''

Will there be any method to Lou's outfield madness?

''Once we get a few of these guys at-bats, we'll probably just play Nady against some left-handed pitching, as soon as we start facing some left-handers,'' Piniella said. ''And then we can get Colvin in there from time to time. We'll get everybody some at-bats, and we'll go from there.''

Koyie Hill also got his second straight start, though he's not supplanting Soto as the starting catcher quite yet.

Koyie Hill was back behind the plate for the second straight game for the Cubs. Part of the rationale is that the Cubs want Geovany Soto to catch Carlos Zambrano on Saturday, and didn't want Soto to play Friday night and have a short turnaround. Soto is 1-for-6 in two games.

"I like the way [Hill] calls a ballgame," Lou Piniella said Friday. "He's a really good defensive catcher. When a team isn't scoring many runs, the more defense you have on the field, the better. Is he going to catch more? We need Soto to hit, I've said that before. That's the key to this whole thing is how well Soto swings the bat, and we'll leave it at that."

Despite not having a hit before last night, Ryan Theriot doesn't want you to be worried about him. He's hitting the ball quite well.

"I'm hitting the ball well," he said. "I feel good at the plate. I'm hitting the ball hard. It's just one of those things, I guess. You just keep doing what you're doing, and they'll fall.

Theriot went on to praise the Braves' pitching staff, which held the Cubs to 16-for-91 (.176).

"Even saying that, I'm seeing the ball good and hitting the ball hard," he said. "Every game, you go back to that. But that's part of it. There will be some times when you don't hit them good and they fall in for hits. Just do what you're doing and stay the course, and they'll fall in."

And I'm sure we're all eager to know how the likes of Starlin Castro and Andrew Cashner are doing at AA.

Shortstop phenom Starlin Castro went 2-for-4 with a triple, a run scored, an RBI and a stolen base for Class AA Tennessee on Thursday in a 4-3 victory over Mississippi in the season opener.

Pitcher Andrew Cashner started and worked 41/3 innings, giving up 3 hits while walking two and striking out 10, including the first seven he faced. He threw 82 pitches.



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kiwibob said:


The Brisbane Lions?
Go the Sydney Swans!
(Not as good a team nickname I'll grant you....)

Teebob2000 said:


Man, I love me some footy! Wish we could get it on teevee here, it's THEE most fun game to watch ever. Attended the 2000 finals at MCG (Melbourne Cricket Grounds to us Yanks) and it was insane.

Good times. *sigh*

Anyhow, yeah, the fucking bullpen sucks.

canopygrl said:


It was awful, I saw the game (bottom of the 8th) during lunch. I place some of the blame on damn Rothschild for not pulling that turd off the mound. My rule- load up two when you're winning, you're outta there. For damn sure after the stupid bunt......ARRGGGGG I hate this team

flyball said:


carl I agree with your photo rationalization

although I would prefer it if the bullpen gave us a reason to praise them

Indy_Rob said:

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I'm fine with the pic.

JulieDiCaro said:


I was fine with the pig pictures

abe frohman said:


Then check the standings.

JulieDiCaro said:


i don't think they uploaded properly. . . i can't see them?

JulieDiCaro said:


oh . . . ha!


abe frohman said:


Yeah, this suuurrrrreeee is easy to change the standings and banner. No bugs whatsoever.
So much for my 6 AM surprise.
Is it working for you now?

obnoxiouswesternburbgal said:

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I thought it was Sox fans that dissed cub fans - used to enjoy reading your columns

DKT said:


I almost feel bad for comparing pigs to the bullpen so far this year.

Yeah, it's an affront to the pigs!

Despite not having a hit before last night, Ryan Theriot doesn't want you to be worried about him. He's hitting the ball quite well.

Well then, I won't worry when he loses his starting job to anyone else who can hit.

I do agree- leaving 13 runners on base is as bad as the bullpen (Caridad this time) blowing it again. I'm mad at the entire team (with the possible exception of Lee, Wells, Dempster and Silva).

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