A League of Her Own

LaTroy Hawkins Fan Club Signup


Tribune photo by Phil Velasquez



Are exciting wins like yesterday's signs of great things to come, or are they merely signs that the Cubs will be wreaking havoc on my emotions in a particularly cruel way this year? I'm not sure, but I'm thankful LaTroy Hawkins signed with the Brewers. Who else should we thank for the improbable comeback win?

• Jeff Baker singled with two outs and nobody on after falling behind Hawkins 0-2.

• Geovany Soto and Tyler Colvin worked their plate appearances hard and drew walks to load the bases.

• Ryan Theriot (4-for-5) singled to right-center to score 2 and bring the Cubs within 6-5, and Kosuke Fukudome singled to right to drive in the go-ahead runs.

• Closer Carlos Marmol came on in the ninth and featured some of the most wicked sliders he's thrown since spring training to strike out the side and post his third save.



It wasn't all sunshine and lollipops yesterday. Before the big comeback, Alfonso Soriano was replaced in a double switch and booed as he left the field in reaction to two more misplayed balls in the outfield. The Fonz wants you to know that he's working hard to be better.

That's why he was out early Wednesday working on fielding drills with outfield coach Mike Quade, something he's making a daily routine before batting practice.

''I've got to do a better job on defense if I want to play nine innings,'' Soriano said.

And Lou Piniella says there's no truth the report of the Fonz being put on notice.

Said Piniella: ''Look, I love this guy to death, I really do. I still take him out for defense with leads, but I want to see Sori do good. He's a good young man. He takes pride in what he does. He works hard. He's had such a great career, and you want to see that continue.''

Piniella and Soriano shot down a published report that a team official told Soriano he'd be benched if he didn't produce.

''That couldn't be further from the truth,'' said Piniella, who did meet with his three starting outfielders to let them know he'd be rotating Tyler Colvin and Xavier Nady into the three spots.

Lindsey Willhite of the Daily Herald has done some sabermetric research, and we shouldn't be quite as worried about the bullpen or offense as we have been.

But here's the better news for Cubs fans: According to a complex formula known as expected Fielding Independent Pitching (which attempts to normalize team defense and a pitcher's home run rate), the bullpen's true ERA should be more like 3.87, and that ranks among the top third of major-league teams.

Again, all of these thoughts and recommendations are based on small sample sizes.

Sample size, you're always here to rain on our parade. But wait, there's more.

Through Monday's games, the Cubs' batters shared the major-league lead with Atlanta by striking out in 25.4 percent of their at-bats.

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez is the biggest offender. During his career, he has whiffed on just 15.3 percent of his at-bats. But in his first 27 at-bats this year, he already owns 11 strikeouts. That's an alarming 40 percent rate that, at the minimum, will be chopped in half by the all-star break.

Finally, Ted Lilly is inching closer to bringing the pain on a major-league level.


Ted Lilly gave up one hit over four innings in a start Wednesday for Triple-A Iowa. The only hit was a solo homer by Tyler Greene in the first. In his outing, Lilly also walked one and struck out four.

He was on a strict pitch count -- scheduled to throw 60 pitches -- and pulled after four against Memphis. The lefty is coming back from arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder and was to have started last Friday but that was pushed back because of back problems.

And we have a good reason to keep an eye on the Iowa Cubs today - they'll face Rich Hill and the Memphis Redbirds. That should be interesting.

Recommended

[?]

Recent Posts

Subscribe

Leave a comment

26 Comments

abe frohman said:

user-pic

Hey, Lou: You can stick your Sori in a sack.
(It's an expression)

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

Okay, that was pretty good.

plamorte said:

user-pic

so where do i sign up?

gravedigger said:

user-pic

For serious. I laughed at this headline, but we really do need to form the fan club.

Cubs Psychologist said:

user-pic

This is one the best headlines. Pretty damn funny, yet truthful.

Little Bear said:

user-pic

Sign me up!

DustyBaylor said:

default userpic local-auth auth-type-mt

Sori is gettin' UPSET!!!!!!

Doc said:

user-pic

I'm an idiot.

I picked up Hawkins as a FA on my fantasy baseball team at the beginning of the week.

I'm an idiot.

plamorte said:

user-pic

to be fair he was having a nice first week before yesterday's dud.

Doc said:

user-pic

I think it is more appropriate to say he was having a very nice season until I jinxed him by putting him on my team.

Little Bear said:

user-pic

But we all apperciate it. Thanks for sacrificing your fantasy team for the good of the Cubs Doc.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

Yeah.

AndCounting said:

user-pic

One thing I know: Carlos Marmol throwing filthy and relatively close to the strike zone every game is a great sign for us and a terrible sign for 9th-inning opposing hitters not wishing to look like fools.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

I so don't want to get my hopes up, but Marmol was one of the very few players I was optimistic (well, as far as I go anyway) before the season started. He had it in 2008. He just has to stay near the strike zone. His stuff is as good as any closer in baseball.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

So, yesterday I asked "WHO put Soriano on notice?" and nobody answered. I guess this is why. Nobody did.

AndCounting said:

user-pic

In retrospect, it was a pretty stupid rumor. It pretty much goes without saying that any player who plays like complete crap is going to see a reduction in playing time. I know, cue the "No, Lou loves to leave sucky players in the lineup just because they make a lot of money" nonsense, but Lou does reduce the playing time of players who fail to produce. Maybe not as much as fans cry out for, but he does.

secdelahc said:

user-pic

I think Fukudome would be the case in point here. Lou tried to play him that 1st season, but basically benched him after too many of the corkscrew swings.

Cubs Psychologist said:

user-pic

What do you guys think about all the boos that "The Fons" is getting? I know that they are deserved, but to boo the guy after a double, I don't know about that.

Little Bear said:

user-pic

Good point. If he is getting booed when he blows a play he deserves it, but it is unfair to do it when he is playing well.

AndCounting said:

user-pic

It's really, really weird to me. His defense is atrocious, but it's nothing new and not so horrifying as to negate anything positive he does at the plate. It seems like people are basically booing his contract. No, he's not worth $18.5 million per year anymore, but no one booing is in the habit of giving back paychecks they don't fully deserve. Here's the scenario of hypocrisy I imagine:

Ned buys a $90 ticket to see the Cubs on Opening Day. Ned blames the high price on Alfonso Soriano's ginormous contract. Ned thinks the Fonz is stealing money from the Cubs and their fans, failing to earn even a fraction of his paycheck. Ned calls in sick to work so he can go to the game and boo Soriano for being a slacker. Ned spends all Tuesday at work complaining to his coworkers about what a loser Soriano is AND that there's no game on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Ned is "sick" again, returning to Wrigley to boo Soriano for failing to earn his salary.

Yeah, I'm painting the boo birds with a broad brush. Sue me.

flyball said:

user-pic

I'm against booing as a general practice, its a lazy way of showing your displease, and its too general, I need specific complaints when directed at a member of the home team

gravedigger said:

user-pic

You know what's weird? Or maybe it isn't weird, I don't know. I'm not opposed to booing. But I don't know if I could actually bring myself to do it in a game.

AndCounting said:

user-pic

I prefer snarkwittery. That's how I express my displeasure in real life, so it carries over nicely at baseball games.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

"His defense is atrocious, but it's nothing new and not so horrifying as to negate anything positive he does at the plate."

Yeah, I don't know about that. He gave one game away with a dropped ball and tried to give it away yesterday. I think his defense is completely negating whatever he brings to the plate.

Eric From The Dugs said:

user-pic

Congratulations to the 5 people that bought a Latroy jersey while he was with the team. This is again appropriate Wrigley attire, time to get it laundered and dusted.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

I can't get the game diary to post.

Leave a Comment?

Some HTML is permitted: a, strong, em

What your comment will look like:

said:

what will you say?

Most Active Pages Right Now

ChicagoNow.com on Facebook

A League of Her Own on Facebook

A League of Her Own - A Chicago Cubs Blog on Facebook