The Friendly Linkfines 4/27/10

Posted by Matt Clapp | 4/27/2010 03:00:00 PM

As you prepare to watch the Cubs go for their fifth win in a row tonight at Wrigley Field against the Washington Nationals, here's some reading material for you...

Joel Sherman: Carlos Silva To The Dodgers For George Sherrill? (Bleacher Nation)

Game Recap: Cubs 4, Nationals 3
(GoatRiders Of The Apocalypse)

Could Juan Cruz Be An Option For The Cubs? (Cubbies Crib)

Notes On Some Washington Pitchers (Cubs f/x)

Alfonso Soriano & The Kaplan Conspiracy (The Cub Reporter)

Brewers Continue Romp Of Pirates (i94 Sports)

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So, Ted Lilly Probably Won't Be Back In April After All...

Posted by Matt Clapp | 4/10/2010 02:45:00 PM |

The Ted Lilly 2010 debut timetable continues to change, and the latest update is not a good one. According to Gordon Wittenmyer, the left-hander will not start tomorrow in Iowa as originally planned, and will be moved back to a Wednesday start(so they're saying now anyway):

Forget that early return. Lilly's back still bothering him. Scratched from Sunday. Pen Mon, Iowa start Wed.

Gordon Wittenmyer's Twitter

It's likely Lilly won't be back this month, and maybe not until the middle of May at this pace. At least the rotation is doing a terrific job for the time being. However, let's be real here: The Cubs need Ted Lilly.

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Opening Day Live Blog: Cubs @ Braves

Posted by Matt Clapp | 4/05/2010 01:18:00 PM | ,

It's Opening Day. Breathe... and read along and feel free to start some discussion in the comments for our first live blog of the year. Oh, and my Internet is going super, super slow, so if my updates disappear for a bit... that's why.

Game: Chicago Cubs @ Atlanta Braves
Game Time: 4:10 PM ET

Pitching Matchup:

Cubs- Carlos Zambrano(2009 Stats: 9-7, 3.77 ERA)
Braves- Derek Lowe(2009 Stats: 15-10, 4.67 ERA)


1. Ryan Theriot, SS
2. Kosuke Fukudome, RF
3. Derrek Lee, 1B
4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
5. Marlon Byrd, CF
6. Alfonso Soriano, LF
7. Mike Fontenot, 2B
8. Geovany Soto, C
9. Carlos Zambrano P

1. Melky Cabrera, LF
2. Martin Prado, 2B
3. Chipper Jones, 3B
4. Brian McCann, C
5. Troy Glaus, 1B
6. Yunel Escobar, SS
7. Jason Heyward, RF
8. Nate McLouth, CF
9. Derek Lowe, P

Top of the 1st

I have on the Braves' broadcast right now as the Cardinals/Reds are still on ESPN. Chip Caray says the ball was absolutely flying out in batting practice.

Cubs wearing their blue tops with gray pants, Braves in all white. First pitch of the season is a strike from Derek Lowe, who has dominated the Cubs in recent years. On a 1-1 pitch, Theriot drives it deep into right-center, and rookie beast Jason Heyward runs it down while battling the sun.

Kosuke Fukudome takes a ball, then whiffs at a slider. 3-1 count now, Fukudome chases a pitch he couldn't do much with. Rare for him. Full count, stays on a breaking ball nicely and lines it into right for a single.

Derrek Lee takes a sinker low, and again. 2-0 count. Sinker just misses inside, 3-0. A few close calls have been balls so far, and Lowe doesn't seem too pleased. Another sinker low, four straight balls to Lee and he walks. 1st and 2nd, 1 out for Aramis Ramirez.

Aramis drives a fastball deep into right-center, but again it's run down, this time by centerfielder Nate McLouth. No advance from the runners.

Marlon Byrd making his Cubs debut... fouls an inside sinker down the left field line. Then smokes one deep into center... 3-run bomb! What a way to debut! 3-0 Cubs!

Didn't see what Soriano did, but whatever, it's 3-0.

Bottom of the 1st

Full count to Melky Cabrera... jam shot foul. Ball 4 inside.

On an 0-1 count, Martin Prado swings through some high heat. 1-2 count. Prado reaches outside and drops a single down the right field line. 1st and 3rd, no outs for Chipper Jones.

Chipper pops a pitch up into shallow center, and of course it lands in between Theriot, Byrd, and Soriano, as it happened many times this spring. 3-1 now.

Now another blooper drops in front of Byrd in center, bases loaded, no outs.

0-2 count on Troy Glaus. Swings through a 93 mph fastball, 1 out.

1-1 count on Yunel Escobar, who led the National League in hitting with runners in scoring position last year. Bounces a single up the middle, it's 3-3.

And now Jason Heyward, the top prospect in baseball, hits one to Jupiter. 6-3 Braves just like that.

McLouth on 1st somehow, then Lowe with a sacrifice bunt. McLouth to 2nd.

2-1 count on Melky Cabrera who is up for the 2nd time this inning. Soft liner to Theriot, who backpedals like a dumbass, luckily catches it. Inning thankfully over.

Top of the 2nd

Fontenot gets a full count and grounds out to shortstop.

Soto laces one to 3rd, but Chipper Jones handles it. 2 down.

Now Zambrano grounds out to short, inning over.

Bottom of the 2nd

Zambrano drills Prado in the back.

Chipper Jones grounds out to 2nd, then Prado heads to 3rd, Zambrano throws it into the stands. 7-3 Braves.

Now Brian McCann hits the sun. 8-3 Braves.

Zambrano being pulled for Sean Marshall.

1-2 count on Yunel Escobar with 2 outs. Escobar bounces to 3rd, and somehow the Cubs don't screw it up. Inning over.

Top of the 3rd

Theriot does something bad.

Fukudome with a great piece of hitting and drives a double to left. Looks like he might get off to another good start.

2-0 on D-Lee. Full count, grounds out to short.

Aramis cranks one for a 2-run homer to left. Turned on a weak Lowe fastball. He doesn't have much today. 8-5.

Byrd strikes out, inning over.

Bottom of the 3rd

Heyward gets a huge ovation understandably, then lines out hard to Lee at 1st.

Marshall has McLouth struck out, but he gets C.B. Bucknor'd. Now McLouth whiffs anyway, 2 down.

Something else happened, inning over.

Top of the 4th

Cubs go down in order in the 4th. Soto took a meatball, then predictably pulled an outside sinker to the left side for a weak groundout.

Bottom of the 4th

Melky Cabrera bounces a Sean Marshall pitch to Aramis Ramirez for the 1st out of the inning.

Marshall is dominating. Dirty curveballs and he's struck out 5 of the 8 batters he's seen. Inning over.

Top of the 5th

Chad Tracy pinch-hits for Sean Marshall and makes his Cubs debut. Takes 4 pitches out of the zone to draw a leadoff walk.

Theriot lines to Escobar at short, Tracy doubled up. 2 outs.

1-1 on Fukudome who is 2 for 2. He walks.

Lee drives one to deep right-center, somehow McLouth runs it down on a dead sprint. Incredible play, and it's incredible the lack of luck the Cubs have had today.

Bottom of the 5th

James Russell makes his Cubs debut. The lefty's 1st pitch to Brian McCann is a ball, and now drops a strike in. Almost hits McCann with a fastball, 2-1. Grounds out.

Runner on 1st, 2 down. Heyward up again. Hide your eyes. Heyward takes a letter-high breaking ball for strike 3. Innign over.

Top of the 6th

69 pitches through 5 innings for Lowe. Pitch #70 is a strike to Aramis Ramirez. Aramis chases a sinker out of the zone, unlike him. Now takes the same pitch for a ball, 1-2. Hits one hard to the left side under Chipper's glove, ruled a single.

1-0 count on Marlon Byrd. Drives one to left-center, McLouth dives, drops it, but the asshole dickhead umpires don't see that... Aramis standing at 2nd as he sees it has been dropped, doubled off. What a horrible call. Should be at least 1st and 2nd with no outs, instead 2 down.

Soriano strikes out.

Bottom of the 6th

Fontenot boots one up the middle. Tough play, but one a major league 2nd baseman has to make.

Sacrifice bunt from Lowe, McLouth to 2nd, 1 out.

2-2 on Melky Cabrera. Flies out to right, McLouth to 3rd with 2 outs.

Fontenot shocks me by making a routine play, inning over.

Top of the 7th

Fontenot rolls out to the new pitcher Peter Moylan, 1 out.

Soto takes another meatball, then swings at shit outside. Strikes out.

Tyler Colvin pinch-hitting. Flies out to Heyward in right.

Bottom of the 7th

Jeff Samardzija in to face Chipper Jones. This will go well. Ball 4.

Samardzija doesn't pay attention to Chipper at 1st, and the veteran pretty much walks to 2nd. 3-1 now on McCann.

Sigh, 3 straight walks. Bases loaded, no outs. This is what you get for having Samardzija in the majors.

Now a 2-run double by Escobar.

It all continues... even Lee can't play defense anymore.

Blah blah blah. 14-5 now.

I'm done. It's 15-5 and counting in the 8th. This team blows. Fun year ahead folks.

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My 2010 MLB Predictions

Posted by Matt Clapp | 4/04/2010 08:19:00 PM | ,

I did my 2010 MLB predictions on my other site, Sharapova's Thigh.


Also, I'm planning to live blog the Cubs' opener tomorrow(4 PM ET), so check back. You also pumped(or ready for another year of heartbreak)?

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