Baseball Diamond News

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cubs play the D-backs

I have been absent due to going out with some old friends after the Cubs clinched and then the next day I had an awards dinner to attend for my father. So I am recovered and writing again. The Cubs play the D-backs in their playoff series and I think this matchup will be good for them.
I will go into that later, I am just happy to say that I was completely wrong in the beginning of the year and that the Cubs won the division.

Another thing I need to announce is the winner of the Bobblehead doll this year is George Blas and he will be receiving it as soon as I get his address. The Cubs won 85 games and George guessed 84. Congrats George.

Monday, September 24, 2007


After what happened to Milton Bradley yesterday with the umpires, I thought I would do a small rant. I am not a big Milton Bradley fan (as a person), but from what I saw yesterday he wasn't at fault. The problem I have been seeing over the last 5 years and I know others have too as I have heard in on talk radio and ESPN, that the umpires need to just shut their mouth. They are not figures in the game and they are not their for fame, if so they need a new job. They are their to call balls and strikes and call guys safe or out besides that they don't need to do anything else. Now I see umpires eject guys for just turning their head and giving them a bad look, that is ridiculous and needs to stop. I understand that the league doesn't want a bunch of complainers in it, but the instant ejection needs to go, but even that is not the worst thing that the umps do. It is this baiting they do with players that gets the players riled up and then leads them to be ejected. There is no reason to bait a player, even if that player says a few words to the ump they don't like, as long as it doesn't cross they imaginary line that has been setup in baseball for decades, then the ump should let it go. If Bud Selig doesn't take action soon against the umps, I can see this problem in next few years escalating to the point where there will be a physical fight soon and once that happens the credibility to umpires will be severely damaged.
Also I hope that Bradley gets day verse this ump (not physically) and gets him fired, sues him (for his now injury), or something of to those sorts.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cubs get closer

Well this morning I got lucky enough to get 1 ticket for g1 of the playoffs this year and when that happened I had a feeling the Cubs would do well today. Why you ask? Just figured it was good luck and it was. Not only did the Cubs win today, but the Brewers lost making the magic number 4 now. Currently the Cubs are playing real good baseball and hopefully like they can carry it over into the playoffs like the White Sox of 05. The White Sox went through a slump in August and September only to wake up at the end of September and win the WS. Now I don't know if this will also happen for the Cubs, but one can wish. I know all season I have been on the negative train, but now time to turn positive. I know they are not in it yet, but the odds are looking good and I think they have enough talent to win the division with the lead they have now. Before anyone yells at me for jinxing them, I said I think, not that they are, so I will deny any jinxing.
I just wanted to give props to Ronny Cedeno and Matt Murton today for a great job at the plate in helping the Cubs win and also to Mr. Zambrano, who pitched 6 great innings today to get the win. Carlos set the tone for the Cubs today striking out the first 4 guys he faced today, this showed the crowd and the team that the good Zambrano was on the mound today. The problem was for the first 4 innings Tom Gorzelanny was almost as good (which verse Cubs he always is good), but then in the 5th the Cubs finally started to hit Gorzelanny.
Tomorrow the Cubs get their final day off of the season and then go to Florida to face the Marlins for 3 games and then to Cincinnati for their final 3. If the Cubs finish 3-3 on this road trip, then if the Brewers lose at least 1 game, they win division, but that is not the attitude they need to go into it with. What they should be thinking is win the first 4 games so that rookies can pitch the next 2 games and then the rotation can be set for the playoffs. Though if the Brewers keep losing them maybe the playoff starting pitchers might be able to get a couple more days off.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Brewers Lose

The Cubs have the night off, but the Brewers have just officially lost. GO BRAVES!!! The Cubs are in first by 1.5 games now and officially destiny is in their own hands. If they win every game (not saying they will or can) they win the division, before tonight it could have been a tie if the Brewers did the same thing. Not that they should have been doing this before, but the Cubs no longer need to look up and see if how the Brewers are doing.

Close one

Wow, I really thought the Reds were going to win last night in that 8th inning. What a dumb call by the Reds 3rd base coach to send the runner home when he hadn't even gotten to third base when Alfonso had fielded the ball and was throwing it home. That was a beautiful throw by Soriano and great technique by Geovany Soto at the plate to make sure the ball did not come out. Then in the bottom of the inning my boy Matt Murton got a base hit, wait let's scratch that, got a fielder's choice 7-4, to get the go ahead and winning run home. That was a crazy play because Adam Dunn who usually has ZERO defensive skills made a nice attempt on the ball (and was close to catching it if not catching it) and it forced Derek Lee to hold up at first base for a while and was forced out at second. Even Ryan Theriot held up and tagged up just in case (head up base running) to make sure there were no questions about anything. While this was going on, the Astros gave up a 4-2 lead in the 9th to the Brewers and I was thinking jeez, but the Astros pulled it out in extra innings and the Cubs remain 1 game ahead of the Brewers. Tonight the Cubs have an off night while the Brewers play the Braves (go BRAVES). From here to the end of the year, the Cubs have 9 games left (Sept. 21-23 vs. Pittsburgh; Sept. 25-27 at Florida; Sept. 28-30 at Cincinnati)and the Brewers 11 (Sept. 20-23 at Atlanta; Sept. 24-26 vs. St. Louis; Sept. 27-30 vs. San Diego). The Cubs advantage is that they are playing teams with a combined record of 200-256 while the Brewers competition is 234-220. The advantage the Brewers have is 7 of their 11 games remaining are at home, while only 3 of the Cubs 9 games remaining are at home.

This should be a great race to the end and I am hoping it doesn't end up like 1998 when we had to play a playoff game to determine winner of division, though the last time that happened Steve Trachsel was the Cubs starter and they won, maybe he can do it again for them if needed.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Close Call

Well I was sitting on the couch last night watching the game with my wife when she noticed that THE Dumpster was in and said,"Why did they put Dumpster in, they are going to lose." At this time it was 5-1. I was also on the phone with my father at the same time and he gave up the homer he said he we go, and I jokingly said, at this pace he will give up 2 homers and get 3 outs so we are ok. Wow I was almost right. Thankfully Howry only gave up a couple of singles before getting So Taguchi to pop out and the Cubs held on to win 5-3. Why does Lou insist on putting Dumpster out there as a closer. I know he has a bunch of saves, but lately he has been giving up a bunch of runs or a ton of base runners while luckily not letting one in. We as fans don't need this and the Cubs as a team don't. I suggest letting Dumpster and Bob Howry switch roles from here to the end of the season. See how it goes, maybe Dumpster can turn himself back into Dempster.

Today is a double header as I was wrong in previous post saying this was a three game series. In the first game it is Braden Looper verse Ted Lilly and I think the Cubs should win this game. I also like the fact that Geovany Soto is starting at catcher in this game. I Publish Postwas hoping to see Matt Murton out in RF, but Daryle Ward is starting there instead. Daryle has been key over the last few days, so he deserves to start today. Also I see that Mark DeRosa is starting this game at 3b giving Aramis Ramirez a little time to rest for the night cap game. With Ramirez being banged up a little bit this year, I have to agree with this not because I think it would affect Ramirez in tonights game, but in a week or so it might have an effect on his body. In the game tonight Sean Marshall makes his first start after being sent to the pen when Cubs acquired Steve Trachsel. I think Sean is going to have a fantastic game tonight because he should have a small chip on his shoulder and want to prove that he should never have been removed from the rotation in the first place. At least that is what I hope happens.
I know everyone usually says a split is a good thing to get out of a doubleheader on the road, but if the Cubs can win both here not only does that essentially knock the Cardinals out of the race, but puts even more pressure on the Brewers to win, which I don't think they have handled well.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cubs win in Houston

WHOA!!! The Cubs actually held on and won last night. I was watching the game and as Dumpster gave up that triple I was thinking I was going to get to write a column on how he let the Cubs down and how they were blowing their chances. Well they won, but let me tell you I still think that he is not an adequete closer for a playoff team and if despite winning last night, they still are blowing their chances. The can't win a series vs the Pirates and if they don't win tonight it will be 2x in a row going to Houston in key situations and not winning either series.
On that triple Dempster gave up, it should have been a double, but I don't know what Felix Pie was thinking or doing when he over ran the ball by a few feet. That was just awful and almost cost the Cubs the game.
Rich Hill came out and looked impressive after a slow start in inning 1. This is the type of game Rich needed and hopefully it will bring him more confidence as lately he has looked liked he has lost a little of the confidence he had earlier this season. If the Cubs can get Rich back on track, I think they will be in good shape this last month.

The Cubs are currently tied with the Brewers for 1st and the Cardinals are now 4 games back. After tonight the Cubs play the Cardinals in St. Louis in a vital 3 game series. I know I say a lot of series are important or vital, but if the Cubs can manage a sweep the Cardinals will all be but eliminated from contention as they have already lost 6 in a row and that would put them at least 6 games out of 1st. If the Cubs win 2 out of 3 the Cardinals will still have a chance, but will be left with no room for error. I have to say I like the fact that Pinella switched the rotation to let Zambrano pitch against the Cardinals and Trachsel against the Astros.

Friday, September 07, 2007


So I am at work yesterday all happy the Cubs are going into the top of the 9th inning winning and then what happens, the Dumpster shows up and gives up 5 hits and 4 runs to lead the Cubs to a lose. During this time of year (I know this has been said a billion times), this is not the time for major malfunctions. The Cubs are lucky enough to be in the weakest division in baseball and even have a pretty easy schedule the rest of the way, but for some reason they just aren't winning the games they need to be winning.
Another thing that is REALLY bothering me is when did Old Lou catch ALS? I understand that screwing up a double switch might happen during one game because the pitcher got to the mound before he told the umpire of double switch, due to Lou arguing with ump at end of inning, but to happen again a few days later? This is atrocious. How can a major league manager do this again in the same week? Hasn't he been managing for years? Wasn't he also a player before that? Doesn't he have bench coaches that are suppose to remind him of not screwing up again? If these minor things keep happening (and I am sure he has made other gafs this year, but can't think of them currently off top of head) then management needs to think in going in another direction. This team is barely holding the division lead, it can't afford mistakes like these from LOU.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Cubs make 2 minor transactions

The Cubs sent Buck Coats to the Cincinnati Reds for a PTBNL and sent Clay Rapada to the Detroit Tigers to finalize the Craig Monroe deal. I was hoping to see Clay in a Cubs uniform this year especially since they needed lefty help out the pen, but I guess that management felt he wasn't a better option than Wil Ohman or Scott Eyre, which must mean he truly disappointed them in Iowa this season.

Cubs acquire Trachsel

Yesterday the Cubs acquired Steve Trachsel from the Orioles for Rocky Cherry and Scott Moore. I don't know why the Cubs gave up so much for the slowest pitcher in baseball. Remind me when he pitches to get a book out so I can read a page in between pitches. Scott Moore doesn't play defense too well, but he could have been an effective guy off the bench to play the corners that bats lefty. I am sure the Cubs could have just given them Rocky Cherry for Steve and the Orioles would have been fine, especially the way their bullpen has performed lately.
My other thoughts on getting Trachsel are these. First I think it was smart by Hendry to get another starting pitcher, especially a righty, because Sean Marshall has been getting some bad matchups and not performed as well in the 2nd half. I am also not saying that the Cubs dump Marshall, but a playoff run is no time for him to gain his experience. Secondly as I stated earlier, it is good that he is righty as having 3 lefties in the rotation was hurting the team. Thirdly in August Steve was pretty good at not letting runs cross the plate, yes he gave up a bunch of hits, but who cares if they don't score.
Why don't the Cubs play Matt Murton? Craig Monroe hasn't been to good this year and yes I was glad to get him, but for coming off the bench. Murton whose OPS in August was .920 in August in 72+ plate appearances. Since when is that not good enough to start? Sometimes I wonder about the decisions Lou is making. Like yesterday when he left Cliff Floyd in to pinch hit against the lefty Trevor Miller, any reason he didn't put in a righty?

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