Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cubs Live Bloggin

I’ve always enjoyed a running diary of live games from writers like Bill Simmons and the Deadspin.com guys. So, as I get ready to watch my first Cubs’ game in over a week, here is my attempt to be a homeless person’s Ken Tremendous.


Pitching matchup: Carlos Zambrano vs Yusmeiro Petit

Bob Brenly just called Petit a 5-inning pitcher. I respectfully disagree. In fact, I had a backup waiver claim to pick up Petit for today’s game because I think he’ll do well against the depleted Cubs lineup. They don’t have Aramis or Derek Lee. I didn’t get him because a higher priority claim was executed, for David Aardsma. I’m dropping Aardsma tonight, but not sure whom I’m getting as we have two or three waiver requests. (More information available, upon request.)

I didn’t know how bad the lineup would look, but it is horrible:

Alfonso Soriano, LF

Ryan Theriot, SS

Kosuke Fukudome, CF

Micah Hoffpauir, 1b

Milton Bradley, RF

Mike Fontenot, 3b

Koyie Hill, C

Aaron Miles, 2b

Carlos Zambrano, P

I think Zambrano should be batting in the top four of this lineup, and I would like to predict right now that Bradley will go 0 for 3, with a walk.

Top of 1st

Soriano swings at the first pitch. Ugh. Sometimes, he’s so infuriating. He almost hit it out, but as someone in

my life likes to say, “Almost doesn’t count”.

Fukudome draws a walk, getting cheers from the Tabata’s Cougars faithful.

Len Kasper just announced that Aramis will not play this series, but Carlos Marmol is available after sitting out a few games.

Fukudome tried to steal second and was thrown out by about five steps and a slide. Boo.

Bottom of 1st

The camera focused on Bradley, while they showed the Cubs defensive alignment. He looked focused; maybe he’ll play well.

Felipe Lopez drives a 3-1 pitch over Fukudome in deep Center, for a leadoff double.

Former Cub, Augie Ojeda is up with no-one out and Lopez on second. This guy’s never been much of a hitter, but that is typical for a former Cub who could turn into a Cub killer. Ojeda made Big Z throw at least seven pitches, grounded out to Theriot, and moved the runner to 3rd.

Zambrano stinks right now. He just walked Chad Tracy to put runners on the corners.

Kasper called the next batter, Mark Reynolds, a strikeout candidate. Bob Brenly followed up saying that he likes Zambrano’s “pace”. Yeah, Carlos, keep working at a good pace while you allow base runners and get your pitch count up. Jeeze.

Carlos goes 3-1 on Reynolds and has now gone 3-0 or 3-1 on every batter. Good pace, though.

On a full count, the Cubs barely were able to turn a 6-4-3 double play. Awesome! Now, I “hate” Aaron Miles, but if there is one thing I’ve seen him do well, it’s turn the double play. That’s the second time I’ve seen him do it well this year, which is also the second time I’ve been pleased with him.

Top of 2nd

Hoffpauir gets a new life, as he was up last inning with an 0-2 count, when Fukudome got thrown out stealing. This time, on an 0-2 count, he hits the ball about 401 feet to deep center field, in front of the 407 ft sign; one out.

Milton Bradley is Yusmeiro Petit’s first strikeout victim, missing a breaking ball by about a foot. He’s 0 for 1.

To end a quick inning, Petit gets Mike Fontenot to fly out to the left field warning track.

Bottom of 2nd

The warning track is getting a workout, as Conor Jackson drives a deep fly out to center.

Tabata’s Cougar, Chris Young, steps into the box and strikes out looking at a hard slider. That was Big Z’s 1,200th strikeout of his career, placing him 7th all time for the Cubs. It’s amazing for me to hear that number because I remember seeing Zambrano come up as a middle reliever.

Top of 3rd

I got kicked out of the bedroom because I guess my typing was a little annoying… can’t blame anyone for feeling that way.

Anyway, with one out, Miles and Zambrano both singled ahead of a 3-run homer by Alfonso Soriano. Bob Brenly showed another example of being a complete company man for the Cubs, as he claimed that the concern of Soriano batting leadoff is “overblown” because after the first inning, he can often come up with runners on base. The problem with this argument is that everyone should know that guys who bat 3rd, 4th, 5th, or even 6th, get to bat with runners on base more often that guys who bat 1st.

Theriot drew a base on balls, and Fukudome is at Aces Wild… so, the Cubs have something going. On a 2-1 count, Fukudome drops a pop up into the Bermuda Triangle of CF, RF, and 2b. I tell ya, Steve, these Cubs could surely win the Pacific Coast League title, if they were all in Iowa.

Speaking of Iowa, our cleanup hitter, Micah Hoffpauir, comes up and as a typed the beginning of this sentence, he grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Bottom of 3rd

I’m usually a big believer that long innings and running the bases can take a lot out of a pitcher. I’m actually not worried about Zambrano right now because he was on the bases early in the inning, had plenty of time to rest during the latter part of the inning, and he didn’t really run because he singled and was promptly knocked in with Soriano’s homer.

Future phenom, Justin Upton, comes to the plate. I think he’s going to be incredible. He has some flaws in his game, but it looks like he will eventually do everything really, really well.

Yusmeiro Petit is 2 for 37 in his career. Make that 2 for 38, as he flares out to Aaron Miles.

A 2-out rally has started as Lopez and Ojeda hit back-to-back 2-out singles, runners on 1st and 2nd. Brenly and Kasper are trying to put everyone in Chicago to sleep by talking about how some pitchers are quick to home, with a runner on first, while other pitchers have a high leg kick and take longer.

Threat over: Chad Tracy weakly grounds into a fielder’s choice.

Top of 4th

Hey, Milton Bradley has exceeded my expectations with a leadoff single to right field. As Bob Brenly puts it, “he golfed it out to right field. Sometimes you just have to go down and get it.”

Hey Hey! Mike Fontenot hammers a pitch into the Bank One Ballpark swimming pool area, for a 2-run home run. 5 – 0 Cubbies. This is extremely irresponsible, and I do not mean to slander, but I think Fontenot is a candidate for a 50-game suspension. (Shhhh)

Koyie Hill lines the Cubs’ seventh base hit into center field. Maybe Bob Brenly was right that Petit is a five inning pitcher. I’m glad that I didn’t pick him up. Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make, phew.

I’m sorry. Aaron Miles just looks horrible. I guess I shouldn’t apologize; Jim Hendry should, because Miles’ career numbers look horrible, too.

Jon Rauch is warming up in the bullpen, for the D’backs. I did not realize that he was a long reliever. What I do remember about him is how Kenny Williams cut him from the White Sox because he left a game early, taking his own form of transportation, when he didn’t want to remain with the club. Kenny Williams made a wonderful statement that even though this kid was talented, the Sox were not going to put up with an attitude like that. The White Sox went on the win the World Series, and Rauch wound up being a National and Diamondback, advantage Kenny Williams.

As Carlos Zambrano digs into the batter’s box, Kasper predicts that he’s going to try to hit a ball one thousand feet. Can we please get Dewayne Staats back? Zambrano proceeded to roll out to second base, as he jogged to first.

Soriano was pitched around, until he walked, and Theriot knocked in the Cubs’ sixth run on a single to center. Petit’s night is done, and we will see MLB’s tallest player of all time in 6’ 11’’ Jon Rauch.

Fukudome is up, with Deuces Wild, and a chance to do some damage for Tabata’s Cougars. Remember, it’s never a blowout in fantasy. (Sorry!) Okay, full count, runners on the corners… and… foul ball… and Ball 4! Alright, bases loaded for the ninth Cub to bat this inning, Micah Hoffpauir.

I don’t mean to make fun of Hoffpauir. He’s just unproven. Sadly, I do happen to believe that he is actually a better hitter than Derek Lee. On the seventh pitch of the at bat (at least), Hoffpauir hooks the ball into right field and the Cubs go station to station. 7 – 0 Cubs, and Milton Bradley is up with the bases loaded. Inning over, as Bradley jogs to first during a groundout to the second baseman.

Bottom of 4th

Let’s see if Zambrano cacn settle down, with a seven run lead, and throw some strikes. I guess not. ON a 2-0 count, he gives up a ground rule double to Mark Reynolds.

Following a Conor Jackson groundout, Chris B. Young hits an RBI double to give both the D’backs and the Tabata Cougars an RBI. 7 – 1 Cubs.

Esmerling Vasquez is warming up for Arizona. Esmerling is his first name.

The camera just focused in on an older Cubs fan with a sign asking his son to send him money. Of course, we are used to seeing signs at college games with kids asking their parents for money. You gotta love Arizona retirees!

Zambrano just made Justin Upton look really bad on a 2-1 slider. Is Upton good enough that he was setting up Big Z? Maybe, but I don’t think he was doing that this time. He promptly flied out to Fukudome, inning over.

Top of 5th

1 out, Koyie Hill on 1st base, and Aaron Miles hits a fly ball. What do you think happened? Anyone? Any guesses? Right. 2 out, Koyie Hill on 1st base…

Carlos Zambrano proceeds to hammer a pitch to deep right-center field, for his twentieth career double. 8 – 1 Cubs.

Soriano gets jammed, but flares it to center. 9 – 1.

Bottom of 5th

Middle infielder, Josh Wilson, was just called up when Stephen Drew was placed on the DL. His first at bat of the year is a chance to pinch hit for Rausch, and he strikes out.


Lopez and Ojeda make some quick outs, for Zambrano’s easiest inning.

In Little League, there is a slaughter rule, and I think I’m going to institute one for my first running diary. After all, this game is not so compelling and it is a late, west coast game, while I’m in New York on a Tuesday night. If you enjoyed this post, please let me know so I can do another one. If I don’t hear from anyone, I’ll probably do another one anyway, but I’d feel a lot better if at least one person tells me they enjoyed some of this.

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