Homers in the Gloaming

Baseball, statistics, and the Chicago Cubs

Archive for July 2008

Cubs 11 Brewers 4, Cubs sweep!

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Getty Photo/Jonathan Daniel

Box score.  The Cubs take the fourth and final game of this road series, sweep the second-place Brewers, and cruise to their fifth in a row.  The Cubs outscore the Brewers 31-11 in the series.  This is the Cubs’ first 4-game road sweep since 2004 in Houston.

Edmonds homers in the 3rd, a solo shot, then follows it up with a grand slam in the 4th.  Soriano added on another solo shot in the 8th, his 18th, as does Fukudome, his 8th.  Them north side boys is on fire.  It’s fantastic to see everybody producing.  It seems like every night a different guy steps up and gets things rolling.

More solid pitching for Harden, and finally some run support.  He goes 7, strikes out 9, and gives up 6 hits, no walks, and a single run.  He threw 105 pitches, and earns his first win with the Cubs.  Howry pitched the 8th: 1 BB, 1 K, 0 H, 0 R.  Eyre is back in game action after a stint on the DL, and pitches the start of the 9th: 1/3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER.  Marshall finishes it: 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 K.

Brewers’ reliever Eric Gagné gets tossed in the 9th after throwing at Edmonds on a 3-0 count.  Gagné missed Edmonds, because Gagné sucks.  Edmonds is the bigger man, and takes his base.  The umpires issue official warnings to both teams afterward.  The very next pitch, from Seth McClung, is very high and tight to Soto, but the umpires take no action.  Soto proceeds to double off McClung, and Fontenot doubles right after, driving in Edmonds and Soto.

Prince Fielder also gets tossed, in the bottom of the 9th, for barking at the umpire about an earlier pitch call after popping out, and shattering his bat on the ground.

With this win, the Cubs are now 5 up on the Brewers, and 4.5 up on the Cardinals (until their game with the Braves this evening).


Written by ollie

31 July 2008 at 1:29 pm

Cubs 7 Brewers 2

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AP Photo/Darren Hauck

AP Photo/Darren Hauck

Box score. The Cubs take the third game of this series from the Brewers and their fourth in a row, in dominant fashion (Cubbie swagger son). They’ll look for the sweep tomorrow, a day game at 1:05 CT (TV: WGN).

More strong offense from the blazing Cubs: 14 hits, 8 walks, a double, a triple, and 7 runs. Like yesterday, the Cubs manage to get it done with no home runs. Soriano is 3-4, Theriot 3-3 with 3 RBI and a steal, and Johnson 3-5.

Another day of great starting pitching. Dempster goes 7, giving up 5 hits and a walk, 9 Ks, and 1 ER. Again, the Cubs send their starter back out in the 8th, after having already thrown 111 pitches. However, after Dempster warms up, Lou pulls him and goes to the bullpen to start the inning. Gaudin pitches a perfect 8th with a K. Cotts pitches the 9th: 1 K, 1 H (a HR to Prince Fielder), 1 ER. Dempster is now 3-0 versus the Brewers this season.

AP Photo/Darren Hauck

AP Photo/Darren Hauck

NL Central standings:

Chicago   64-44   --
Milwaukee 60-48  4 GB
St. Louis 61-49  4 GB

NL wild card standings:

Milwaukee   60-48    --
St. Louis   61-49    --
New York    58-50  2.0 GB
Florida     57-51  3.0 GB
Los Angeles 54-53  5.5 GB

The Cubs have 54 regular season games remaining: 7 against the Brewers, 9 against the Cardinals, 28 at home, 26 on the road, and their remaining opponents’ winning percentage is .500.

Written by ollie

30 July 2008 at 5:57 pm

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Cubs 7 Brewers 1

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Getty Photo/Jonathan Daniel

Getty Photo/Jonathan Daniel

Box score.  45,069 on hand to see the Cubs explode for 5 in the 6th, in one of the most satisfying innings of the season on the road, against the rival Brewers.  The Cubs capture their third straight win.  In the game, Aramis racks up three doubles and a single, Fukudome doubles and tripes, Theriot triples, and the Brewers’ defense certainly doesn’t hurt the Cubs.  Also, Soriano and Theriot each steal a base.  Cubbies end up with 15 hits, a walk, and 7 runs.

Big Z was great, striking out 9 in 8 innings, giving up 5 hits, 2 walks, and no runs.  He also helps his cause with a single and an RBI.  The guy can rake.  I’m not quite sure why they sent Zambrano back out in the 8th.  He had thrown 103 pitches through 7, and the lead was 6 runs.  He ends up throwing 118.  It might be nice to give the bullpen some, like, practice, with a big lead.  They need it.

Getty Photo/Jonathan Daniel

Getty Photo/Jonathan Daniel

Samardzija did come in and pitch the 9th: 1 K, 1 BB, 1 H, 1 ER.

Kerry Wood update: still on the DL, but was eligible to return tonight.  Seems like he’ll be back soon.

Len and Bob lost their audio feed for a couple of minutes in this game.  All you could hear was the fans and the sounds of the actual game.  It was amazing.  It’s not that I dislike Len and Bob, I actually like them quite a bit, it was just a huge relief not to hear constant (often inane) talking, and to be able to think about the game for yourself.  They should really offer a commentary-free broadcast of every game.

Tomorrow’s game is the ESPN game, Dempster vs. Parra, at 7pm CT.

Cubs      63-44  --
Brewers   60-47  3.0 GB
Cardinals 60-49  4.0 GB

Written by ollie

29 July 2008 at 7:17 pm

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The billion dollar men

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Five groups have made the Tribune Co.’s cut to continue bidding on the Cubs and Wrigley Field.  All groups remaining have bid at least $1 billion.  The heads of the approved groups are:

Mark Cuban. Billionaire entrepreneur, often-controversial owner of the Dallas Mavericks, founder of HDNet.  Attended University of Pittsburgh and Indiana University.  Keeps a wonderful blog here.  Was once on Dancing with the Stars.  He got eighth.  Personally, I am all for Cuban becoming the owner.  He is clearly smart, and would no doubt be passionate and knowledgeable.  Also, he is by far the easiest to obtain information on, so it is easiest to picture his ownership.  He supposedly matches all fines levied on him by the NBA with a matching charitable donation.

Tom Ricketts. Chief executive of investment bank Incapital, AB and MBA from the University of Chicago.  Greatest accomplishment?  “Starting Incapital from scratch, and being back in the market as a major underwriter of bonds in a very short period of time. What Incapital’s done on a relatively small budget is unprecedented. Small investment banks don’t underwrite $40 billion in debt and open European offices. It’s unique, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished.”  Fascinating.

Michael Tokarz. Chairman of business development company MVC Capital, BA and MBA from the University of Illinois.  Joining Tokarz’s group is a group led by New York City taxi mogul Andrew Murstein, Sports Properties Acquisitions Corp.  SPA includes Hank Aaron and Jack Kemp.  Also part of Tokarz’s group is “private equity investor and Republican operative” Fred Malek, who in the past has bid on the Nationals and owned a piece of the Rangers.

Hersch Klaff. Real estate investor in Chicago, born in South Africa, “in 1982, his first big deal was arranging (with partners), to buy the old Marshall Fields men’s building in downtown Chicago and redevelop it into a multi-tenant retail, office and medical complex.”

Leo Hindery. Media investor, runs New York-based InterMedia Partners, used to run the Yankee’s YES network.  He was presidential candidate John Edwards’s Senior Economic Policy Advisor 2006 to 2008, supposedly there was talk of him becoming the head of the Democratic National Committee in 2004, and he is currently an advisor to Barack Obama.

The stated goal of the Tribune Co. is to maximize revenues from the sale.  Reports from Comcast SportsNet say that Cuban’s bid was highest, at $1.3 billion.  There are also tax issues, which may eventually determine the winning bidder, aside from the size of the bids.  Here is coverage in the Sun-Times as well as as Crain’s.

Sadly, dreams of a Bill Murray ownership don’t seem likely to be realized.  But seriously, how cool would it be if this guy owned the Cubs?

Written by ollie

29 July 2008 at 10:36 am

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Those guys at Fenway

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Dennis Drinkwater (Boston Globe)

Dennis Drinkwater (Boston.com)

I’ve been watching a lot of the All-Red Sox Network (ESPN) lately, and I’ve always wondered who those two guys always sitting right behind home plate at Fenway are.  One dude sits directly behind home plate, and the other dude sits a bit to the right, and looks quite a bit like my girlfriend’s father.  So I did some digging.

Mr. Directly Behind Home is Dennis Drinkwater, the president of Giant Glass.  Mr. Off To The Right is Jeremy Kapstein, a former baseball super-agent and now “Senior Advisor/Baseball Projects” for the Red Sox.

Jeremy Kapstein (AP)

Jeremy Kapstein (AP)

I get a real kick out of these guys, especially Kapstein.  I can remember about one time he ever applauded anything that happened in the game.  I’ve never seen him eat a hot dog.  I remember once he drank some water.  He never flinches when balls are fouled back.  A real pro.  I remember after Manny Ramirez’s walk-off home run in last year’s ALDS, right when Manny made contact, Kapstein immediately got up and darted for the exit.  Gotta beat the rush.

Speaking of Manny’s walk-off, you can see Drinkwater’s face in the background here, and you can see Kapstein heading for the exit here (in the suit, back turned).

These guys are a somewhat different breed of fan than Pink Hat Guy, the guy often behind home plate at Wrigley.  I could only find this (not great) photo.  No one argues more vehemently with the umpires than him, and you can often actually hear him on the television broadcasts.  In fact, it might do him some good to calm down a bit.  But hey, he loves the Cubs, I love the Cubs, there you go…  His real name: Jim Anixter, president of wire and cable company A-Z Industries.  Reportedly he has launched a couple of unsucessful bids to buy the Cubs.

Written by ollie

29 July 2008 at 7:45 am

Cubs 6 Brewers 4

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AP Photo/Darr Hauk

AP Photo/Darren Hauck

Box score.  It’s official… Alfonso is back.  A double in the first, and a home run in the third, and a stolen base.  The Cubs win something of a wild one in Milwaukee, and are now two up on the Brewers, and four on the Cardinals.

Lilly was solid through 5, but then looked all too Lilly-esque in the 6th, giving up back-to-back homers to Hardy and Braun, and then a double to Hart, surrendering the lead.

Luckily, the Cubs managed to retake the lead on a Weeks throwing error in the 7th, and scored again on a Lee double and DeRosa infield single in the 9th.

The Cubs have three more remaining in this important series with the Brewers.  Tomorrow’s game is again at 7:05 CT, on WGN.

Written by ollie

28 July 2008 at 6:51 pm

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We’re taking back the High Life

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The Cubs have 57 games remaining in the regular season.  Ten of those are against 2nd-place Milwaukee, and four of those start today at Miller Park.  This is without question the most important series thus far for the Cubs.

Here’s a look at the matchups:

  • Mon. July 28, Lilly (4.49 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) vs. Sabathia (3.30, 1.15)
  • Tues. July 29, Zambrano (2.96, 1.24) vs. Sheets (2.87, 1.13)
  • Wed. July 30, Dempster (2.99, 1.17) vs. Parra (3.72, 1.48)
  • Thu. July 31, Harden (2.10, 1.10) vs. Bush (4.51, 1.18)

And here are the teams’ stat lines this season:

    G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  BB   SO    BA    OBP   SLG  SB  CS  GDP
CHC 105 3660  549 1016 213 13 120  520 413  779  .278  .355  .441  55  25  83
MIL 105 3595  494  919 218 20 137  476 342  766  .256  .326  .442  73  25  59

    G    ERA   W   L  SV  GS  GF   IP    H    R   ER   HR  BB   SO   HBP
CHC 105  3.86  61  44 31 105 104 946.3  877  439  406 111  358  798  44
MIL 105  4.03  60  45 36 105  99 939.0  923  464  420 114  354  713  27

Monday on CSN, Tuesday and Thursday on WGN, and Wednesday is the ESPN game.

Written by ollie

28 July 2008 at 3:55 pm

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