Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 04/04/11

Game Four: Cubs (1-2) vs. Diamondbacks (1-1)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Randy Wells (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Joe Saunders (0-0, -.–/-.–)

To say the first series of the season did not go as planned would be an understatement. Q’s squad dropped two of three to the Pirates and showed many of the flaws that many thought the team had shortly after Jim Hendry assembled the roster. The Cubs now have the chore of facing an organization they have struggled mightily against over the years.

The Cubs won six of the seven meetings against Arizona last year, in large part due to the D-Backs horrible bullpen. The Cubs and D-Backs play seven times between today and May 1. If the Cubs cannot take care of business against Arizona, they could find themselves in a big hole by May 2.

Kosuke Fukudome was expected back in the leadoff spot this afternoon with Starlin Castro back in the two-hole in front of Marlon Byrd and Aramis Ramirez … but with Joe Saunders going for Arizona, look for Jeff Baker to lead off and play second base against the southpaw.

After a record 84-degree day in Colorado on Saturday, the finale of the three-game set between the Diamondbacks and Rockies was postponed Sunday due to snow. Joe Saunders was scheduled to start the third game of the series and was pushed to today against the Cubs. As of this writing, Kirk Gibson had not announced his two other starters for the series in Chicago. Barry Enright and Armando Galarraga were originally scheduled to pitch the first two games … with Ian Kennedy taking the ball on Wednesday. Randy Wells will make his first start of the season after a solid spring. Wells began camp having to earn a spot in the rotation, and he did just that by putting up the best spring among the Cubs starters.

Wells is coming off an inconsistent season. He posted an 8-14 record in 32 starts a year ago with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Wells seemingly had one bad inning per start but actually pitched better than most remember. Wells posted a 4-8 record in 18 starts at Wrigley last year with a 4.09 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.

Today will be Wells’ third career start against the D-Backs. He is 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP. Arizona pounded Wells to the tune of five runs on eight hits in six innings last season (7.50 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP) but Wells still posted a win in large part to the D-Backs very bad bullpen.

Diamondbacks Career Numbers against Randy Wells

  • Kelly Johnson – 0-for-6
  • Miguel Montero – 0-for-3
  • Justin Upton – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Chris Young – 0-for-3

Joe Saunders came over the deal that sent Dan Haren to the Angels last season. Saunders struggled with the D-Backs (3-7 in 13 starts with a 4.25 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP) and had to earn a spot in Kirk Gibson’s rotation this spring. Saunders picked up a spring win against the Cubs and Matt Garza in the final game of the Cactus League.

Saunders will make his second career start against the Cubs. The Cubs pounded Saunders last June 20 at Wrigley … and knocked him out of the game in the third. Lou’s crew scored eight runs, five earned, on nine hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings.

Cubs Career Numbers against Joe Saunders

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Marlon Byrd – 4-for-21 with 2 home runs
  • Starlin Castro – 1-for-2
  • Reed Johnson – 4-for-17 with 3 doubles and a triple
  • Carlos Pena – 0-for-1 with 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 1-for-2
  • Geovany Soto – 1-for-1 with a home run

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …


  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Baker – 2B
    Castro – SS
    Byrd – CF
    Ramirez – 3B
    Soto – C
    Pena – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Fukudome – RF
    Wells – P

  • cubtex

    OK….So Castro goes 3-4 yesterday in the leadoff spot and now you move him? If you ask me Quade is overthinking things too much. Either keep him in leadoff or 2nd in the order.

    • Aaron

      LOL…I told you all this would happen today…LMAO….so typical Cubs

      Also, nice to see Pena and Soriano back-to-back….LOL….sometimes, I swear…..

      WOW

      • cubtex

        How many teams have a lefty…..lefty platoon in right field? That is ridiculous as well.

        • Aaron

          The Cubs would have you believe that Fukudome is a VERY valuable player in that role….that’s why.

          What they don’t tell you is this:
          “We are hanging onto Fukudome for the first 2 months of the season, mainly because of salary…after that, we’ll see where the team is at, then possibly release him and bring up Brett Jackson if he’s doing well.”

          Unfortunately, nearly all of the Cubs options for OF are left-handed…Isn’t that funny? Spencer, Snyder, Campana, Jackson, Burgess, Flaherty (also IF), LaHair (also IF), and Adduci, are all lefties.

          The only legitimate MLB OF (and I’m also including 4th/5th OF types) that are right-handed are:
          Montanez (not because he’s legit, but because he has MLB experience with the O’s), Wright, Gonzalez (switch hitter), Crawford, Ha, Szczur, and Golden.

          And there’s really nothing wrong with having a bunch of lefty OF, provided some of them can hit left-handed pitching, as Colvin is able to do (which btw, indicts Quade even more for putting in Fukudome today, who can’t hit lefties to save his life). All you have to do is space them out in the lineup.

          For instance, next season (and I’m saying this in a perfect world, where all the prospects perform up to expectations), you could go with a lineup like this:
          Szczur-CF
          Jackson-LF
          Castro-SS (lol…yes, I put him in the 3 hole)
          Fielder-1B
          Vitters-3B
          Colvin-RF
          LeMahieu-2B
          Castillo-C

          bench-Clevenger, Flaherty, Burgess, Barney, M. Smith

          That, my friends, would be an outstanding lineup (provided, as I said, in a PERFECT WORLD where everyone performs this year up to expectations)

          • cubtex

            Of course holding onto Fuko is salary driven. I doubt very much they would release him this year. Unless somebody trades for him…..he will be with the Cubs the whole year.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Exactly correct. Funko is going no where.

          • Jay from Sandwich

            I like it, lets do it. I also think that Sanberg could be the manager also.
            Depending if Q can keep the vets interested in playing the hole year. Which I think no one can.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Cubtex,
          You are such a Quade/Cubs/Hendry supporter, I’m surprised by your complaint vs. Lefty/Lefty platoon in RF.

          This is a first in MLB.

          • cubtex

            No Rip. I just don’t bash management to bash management…but I will say that the lefty….lefty platoon makes no sense.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I agree that the Lefty/Lefty platoon makes no sense. What it really is a tacit admission that Colvin can hit both righty/lefties, and that Funko can’t.

            I know you are a management supporter, and I am not, but that’s fine.

            I’m glad Wells got the win. I hope he wins 15. He’s a good starter EXCEPT that he never finishes a game. He throws too many balls.Garza was very efficient yesterday with the 12 K’s, 12 h, and only 106 pitches. I think he tossed 86 strikes out of 106 pitches. Remarkable.

          • cubtex

            I hope you are right with Wells! I want them to do well just like you do. I hope something is done to this lineup though. Byrd at #3 cannot last much longer.

  • paulcatanese

    Neil,nice job over the weekend and your preview against the Diamondbacks.Having said that,I still say Quade has no clue with Byrd in the number three spot.Having said that he will probably go four for four. He just does not get it done in that spot.But then no one else has risen to the challenge.Again Quade has seen Byrd long enough there to be more aware of what he is capable of. Quade has shown that he can make changes and has done that(moving Soriono down) and other small moves It seems that he(Quade) is convinced in his mind to platoon hitters ala Casey Stengel. Personally I dont buy that, all it does is create failures for hitters when they are in the game and they change pitchers.Defensivly Quade really needs to address Arams arm,I dont know what can be done but his direction with his throws are very bad. Yesterday alone he almost got Barney killed twice,once on the DP attempt and once again on the sac bunt. In that situation though I dont think DeWitt or Baker would have even made it second with the alingment that they had for a lefty. Anyway a lot more work to be done by the Cubs. And as Ben Hogan used to say,if you want more putts to drop,hit it closer to the hole. And the Cubs,if they want wins,score more runs.

  • http://twitter.com/Brian__K Brian K

    Wonder what Dewitt did so wrong he is in the dog house.

    Catro should bat lead off or 3rd and move Byrd down to 7th bat Fukdome leadoff Baker 8th

    • cubtex

      BK. A lefty is going today so that is why Baker starts but I would have given him a start yesterday after his big pinch hit.

  • Aaron

    Neil,

    Kudos to you, Sir, your preview is priceless, especially with this little diddy:
    “Q’s squad dropped two of three to the Pirates and showed many of the flaws that many thought the team had shortly after Jim Hendry assembled the roster.”

    You seem to be fairly well-connected in Cubs’ circles with writers and what not….Do you happen to know if anyone in the Cubs organization pays attention to this site?

    I swear about half of this site could do a better job assembling a team than Hendry has done during his tenure. Yes, a lot goes into negotiations that the average person doesn’t understand, but we know of SEVERAL cases where players have come out quite openly, such as Dunn and Abreu…and even Wood, that said they would’ve signed for less to play with the Cubs, and still Hendry went in another direction with devastating results. The statements by those players alone should’ve spoken volumes to Ricketts about Hendry’s deficiencies. Furthermore, losing McGehee and not having a 3B that was MLB ready to fill in for ARAM in the event of an injury was particularly damning, and then you have the bungled roster moves in recent seasons….I just don’t get it.

    Does anyone in the organization have common sense….or even a brain for that matter? Can’t they see the obvious?

    • paulcatanese

      Aaron one of youre wishes about JH may come about sooner than later. I dont recall if you had a chance to watch the game on TV. But they showed a shot of Ricketts in the ninth and he did not look very happy at all. The expression on his face was priceless I wouldnt be surprised if we stat seeing him leave the park in the 6th or 7th inning. Dreams may soon turn into reallity..

      • Aaron

        Not a chance! It’d likely be around July or August when he makes the decision. The most important thing to most owners (provided the scouting department is doing their job), is keeping continuity with the draft. Since many of those are Hendry guys, they could face a mass exodus in the scouting department prior to the draft if they did it sooner rather than later.

        Plus, while we all hope Ricketts has some balls, NOTHING….and I mean NOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGG has given us ANY reason to believe he has balls.

        First of all….An owner that has a pair, would’ve done what Boston’s owners did when they first took over. They practically cleaned house. Then they went a manager (Little) who didn’t impress them, so they made a quick change, admitting a mistake, and proving that they aren’t afraid to do whatever was necessary to win. They also got rid of a franchise icon (Garciapparra), proving yet again, winning matters most to them, and they were willing to take a PR hit from the fan’s perspective to do the right thing long-term for the club. Simply put, if Ricketts were serious about winning, he would’ve replaced Hendry and Piniella (who in 2009 proved his head wasn’t in managing anymore), and traded away popular players like Lee, ARAM, and Zambrano, and eaten whatever was left on Soriano’s deal, just to get him out of there…All 4 players led to the team’s collapse in 2010, and 3 of them are leading to the collapse right now. Whether it’s diminished skills, and indifferent attitude on the field, or poor attitude in general, these guys shouldn’t be on the team anymore, and the quicker they’re traded/released, the sooner the Cubs are able to compete and move on.

        What I saw out of Ricketts in that game was a fan that was disappointed. I didn’t see an owner that was fuming over the $130 million he’s spending on this dreadful team that just might finish in last place in the division. His brother (can’t remember his name…not the one that did the Undercover Boss, but the other one) is the only one I could see blowing a gasket, and ironically, he’s been conspicuously absent from the public eye recently. Could that be due to the fact he’s so pissed, or due to the fact that the Ricketts don’t want him upsetting players and management? Or is it just a coincidence?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Aaron, thank you. Please check your email.

  • gocubs

    Why is Byrd hitting 3rd? He has no business there. Ramirez, Pena, Soto, Castro, or even Fukudome are more qualified to hit there.

  • cubs1967

    why play fukunuts against LHP?? haven’t we seen the corkscrew enough??

    when castro is our most dynamic hitter; why not just leave him at lead-off except when fukunuts is playing??……..don’t we want the dynamic hitter leading off instead of batting w/ 1 out already………it changes the whole inning!!

    where is colvin???……….the future RF is benched becuz?????

    if the mgr cannot do the basic line-up right………….then?????
    (what is quade’s experience w/ line-ups really…………he’s spent his whole career in the minors……..filling out line-ups where there was an injured MLB player batting lead-off for at-bats OR where there are 2 or 3 studs in the line-up so it’s really easy……….a MLB line-up requires thought……….experience……consideration of the opponent strength’s and weaknesses……….yet this is the crap we get…….colvin w/ his 20 homers last year batting 8th against a cruddy RHP pirates pitcher only to watch colvin get walked to get to the pitcher yesterday…….instead of barney batting 8th and colvin 2nd–geez…….is is really this hard??)

    FYI……..Cubs fans are making a statement………attendance last year for the 1st weekend in april against the astros was 117,000 (and this did not include an opening day). attendance this year w/ opening day for the 1st weekend against the pirates was 107,000……………
    based on how they played; expect the gap to get larger as the year grows longer………..perhaps Daddy Ricketts will call Tommy boy and asked what is he doing w/ the family fortune???????………..as this keeps up. (value of Cubs is already down $75M from time of sale per Forbes mag….and it will get worse as the park gets older and not re-habbed and attendance drops.)
    (plus the rooftops…………some of them empty!)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Wells gives up a homer to the first batter he sees …

    • Aaron

      Will this be the first no-hitter thrown of the season? Baker hit it well on a line, but right at the RF….It’s early in the game, so anything can happen, but he fooled our best hitter (Castro), and once again, Byrd hits an ugly pop up.

      Hopefully the bottom half can actually get a hit, but when your top half goes 1-2-3 on 10 pitches, more times than not, you’re in for a very long afternoon. Wouldn’t you say?

      • Aaron

        I NEVER in a million years would’ve guessed Soriano would break up the no-no on a home run (for those that are new to the site, you need to understand the humor behind me talking no-hitter after the first 2 innings…we frequently mentioned this last year, as the offense looked so pathetic)

  • jw

    I am concerned that if they start slow against supposedly weaker teams this could get ugly.

    But then again, Cub fans can win in multiple ways. If the team is as uninspiring as they have been for the first series and do poorly do we finally see an end to the Hendry “era”?

    I think there will be more pigeons than fans at Wrigley today.., especially considering Cubs fans are the biggest pigeons of all over the last 65 years.

  • Jon

    Way to set the tone after a bad loss, Wells… Give up a bomb to the backup shortstop who has only hit more than 3 HRs one time in his career… HORRIBLE

    • cubtex

      As I have said Jon….Spring Training stats don’t matter. Let’s see Wells be consistent when it counts.

  • Kevin

    Neil, is there a way to listen to the broadcast online? A website that streams Pat and Keith. I can not find one.

    • Aaron

      I know you asked Neil, but the best way is paying the dough for mlb.tv and just watching/listening from there.

      The gov’t shutdown sites that offered free tv/radio like channelsurfing.com or whatever it was….

    • John G

      If you have a smarphone (iPhone, Droid, etc) MLB At Bat 2011 costs $14.99 and you can listen to any game all season, any team, any broadcast. And during April you can watch any game for no additional. After April, I think it may be something like $19.95 a month for MLB.TV add on. The $14.99 is worth it and the $19.95 would be worth it if you had a good team to watch.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Kevin, sorry for the delay in responding, I missed your comment earlier. What Aaron, John G and John CC is the best way I know of to listen to Pat and Keith on the Internet.

      XM Radio is an option but that only gives you the home team feeds. So when the Cubs are on the road you will hear the other team’s announcers.

  • John_CC

    Kevin, if you cannot get WGN on the radio waves, the MLB controls the listening to live games.

    At mlb.com it costs $19.99 for a Gameday Audio subscription then you can listen to every regular season game live. I think you have to pay more for the WS. I’ve been doing for years, it is still the best $20 I spend every year.

  • Aaron

    Anyone notice the sparse crowd this afternoon. It’s April, and it’s chilly, but is this a sign that Cubs fans are FINALLY fed up with management? It can’t be a good sign to the Ricketts, because in past seasons, they’ve filled the stands, or at least 75% full the first homestands of the year…today, it’s not even close…they’re almost empty altogether it seems.

    • Dorasaga

      Yup. Numbers don’t lie.

    • Agustinrexach

      I don’t recall seeing wrigley as empty as it is today, not without rain to say the least.

  • Serothis

    saunders needed just 16 pitches to get through 2 innings…

  • Aaron

    That was 6 pitches in the 2nd for Saunders, correct?

    Saunders-2 IP, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 K, 11 strikes, 5 balls=16 pitches total
    Wells-2 IP, 3 hits, 0 walks, 3 K’s, 1 hr allowed, 21 strikes, 15 balls=36 pitches total

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good third inning for Wells

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    SORIANO!!!

    • Baron_S

      did you retire the CLAP CLAP CLAP Neil?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Yeah last year. Been thinking about bringing it back

  • nick_ss

    SORIANO!! 2 in 2 Days!!

  • John G

    Soriano – MVP

  • cubtex

    I know Soriano gets bashed a lot but the guy is still dangerous. He can go yard at any time no matter how bad he looked the previous at bat.

    • Tony_Hall

      It would be nice to see one more unbelievable hot streak by Soriano. You know where he homers for a week or so, almost every game.

  • Aaron

    Wow…
    Saunders at just 29 pitches (21 strikes) through 3 IP
    Wells at 56 pitches (32 strikes) through 3 IP…and counting. He might finish this inning with 70

  • nick_ss

    Soto guns down another one! His arm is looking much better than last year.

  • Aaron

    Just FYI for everyone:
    http://twitter.com/PWSullivan/status/54950006343479297

    Sully reports that only 20,000 showed up for Sunday’s game….again, we’re talking first homestand, new season, weekend…NOT weekday.

    Ricketts had a great view of this behind homeplate, as he could see empty bleachers and box seats down both lines EASILY

    • studio179

      Going into this year, the Cubs had an uphill battle on ticket sales. First, the economy is and will play a factor in all sporting and entertainment venues. Second, the expectations from fans on what they preceive should be done and what was done in the offseason. The less than expected sales for the Cub Convention is front and center on that note. Really, fans were told the team was going young and had it in their mind that 2011 is not going to be smooth in terms of wins and loses. Many fans expected the kids to play and hopefully develope the right way. Then, they decided to go the other way. Hendry has to try and save his and Quade’s job no matter how you look at it. The whole Sandberg thing left a bad taste in fans mouth. The team can’t decide to go all young but can’t spend much. Add the ticket sales increase and this confuses fans or leaves a negative impression. It gives a distinct impression that new ownership is playing old games.

      They will not go young because of the big market, though I disagree with that thinking. It can work. But they can not go all the other way, due to the current contracts and things we know about and have been discussed over and over. Bottom line, seats will fill when the weather gets better. Will they sell out daily, I don’t know. The seats will likely go empty again as the summer goes along. There is no doubt the Ricketts family will notice the attendence when they look around the ball park.

  • Dorasaga

    Here are the attendance numbers, average per game, from Baseball Ref.

    40,996, 2008
    39,365, 2009
    37,814, 2010
    35,999, 2011. –edit– doesn’t make sense; I’ll do some math with home games later…

    Reminder: 2010 was only bad towards the end of season. 2011 just started with hopeful Faithfuls, down by 5% already. Unless the Cubs have a surge of wins in the near future, this will look bad on Ricketts’ financial book.

  • Calicub

    Has anyone noticed that the orioles are stockpiling cubbie burnouts?

    Pie
    Fox
    Gregg
    DLee

    It’ll br ineresting to see how they do. They just swept the rays where I didn’t realize Fuld is I’m the roster making web gems

    • Serothis

      how amusing would it be if the orioles stocked full of former cubs made a playoff run? hehe….

    • studio179

      I still say Pie could have been useful if someone (coahing) could have got in this guys head the right way and brought it out of him. Pie was stubborn and had issues here, no doubt. It’s a shame, the talent was there.

      • studio179

        Gregg…not so much.

  • Jon

    At least Pena was able to get the run in on the Sac again… I sure hope Byrd was takin notes while he came in to score

  • Roland

    I would have preffered they pinch hit for Wells here. He doesn’t seem to have his best stuff.

    • Roland

      Very happy I was wrong

  • Serothis

    ok seriously? castro is patient and ends up walking (pushing baker to second) then byrd comes up and hacks at 1 pitch….1. seriously at this point I would almost be in favor of putting colvin or fukedome in center and the other in right. fukedome as mediocre as he is has at least shown some patience.

    • paulcatanese

      All I can say here is why dosen’t Quade simply give Byrd the take sign? But then maybe a “players” manager would not do that. If Quade does not feel that these guys dont have a “feel” for whats going on then he needs to treat them like little children and make them do the right thing. Not so easy with “vets” they know it all.

  • Dorasaga

    Did they just intentionally walk Fonzi? WTH? Now, I think Saunders is slow in pace and annoying with the way he carries his game, but I can’t believe that he would deem Fukudome so low.

    … and he was right.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Wells did his job. He’ll win 15 IF we had some kind of offense.

    Don’t get too hyped over Soriano. It’s April, and he only hits in April and the first two weeks of May.

    • studio179

      “Don’t get too hyped over Soriano. It’s April, and he only hits in April and the first two weeks of May.”

      Ahh, the Fukudome syndrome.

    • Agustinrexach

      lol, but give him credit for what he has done so far….if the season ended today we could say he had a decent campaign

    • cubtex

      ok Wells will win 15 and Garza will go 8-15 if he has a good year?

      • Ripsnorter1

        Yes, that’s my opinion. Wells will win 15 if the Cubs don’t blow games like this one with a complete lack of offense. Last year they only averaged 2.54 runs per start for him. PATHETIC!

        • cubtex

          If Wells wins 15….the Cubs will win the division. That is my opinion

      • Tony_Hall

        Crazier things have happened, but I agree, if I am betting on Wells or Garza to win 15, I would even pick Garza…sorry Rip, that’s my opinion.

    • Tony_Hall

      Rip – 1 down for Wells, 14 to go. He has looked very good in ST, and amazingly it has carried over to the regular season.

      I hope you are right and I am wrong and Wells wins 15. I just don’t see this offense scoring enough runs for anyone to win 15 games this year.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Pena now hitting . . . .200.

    That’s about what we expect, isn’t it?

    • Jon

      Pena now playing amazing defense… Also with an RBI in a 1 run game…

      Thats about what we expect, isnt it?

    • Serothis

      meanwhile byrd who is hitting in the 3 spot is batting .167……

  • studio179

    Good job, Woody. Now can the Cubs get at least one run this bottom half.

    • John G

      Ask and you shall receive?

    • Roland

      You need to ask for more stuff

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Yes, please keep asking.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by Kerry!

    • carmelo

      Notice the same situation came up in the 8th inning today as in the 9th inning yesterday—-up by a run, runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out—-go ahead run already in scoring position, 1st base open. Today we int. walked a hitter to load the bases and set-up inning ending dp chance. Yesterday we did not.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Yes Carmelo I did. Still would not have done it yesterday with Marmol on the mound … sorry. I am not saying that is not the right baseball call but I would have not done it yesterday with as wild as Marmol was.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Ramirez and Soto with back to back doubles

  • Ripsnorter1

    Wells can get #1 today if Marmol is on!

  • John G

    Did somebody say something about Soriano?

    • Tedtop16

      Sorry guys. This is a little off the beat. Is anyone else having problems getting MLB Gameday? I’m in Houston and I get a black screen. This is the second day in a row for getting no access.

  • John G

    Marmol was filthy once he found the strike zone.

    Lucky for Marlon’s Birds in CF.

  • Dorasaga

    I’m pleased to see Marmol and Wood both out there three days in a row, however early the season is. That’s how good pitchers should do; they are able to help their team win when the game is on the line. Of course, the ideal situation is that your starting pitcher comes out pitch seven to nine innings, and the manager can save the bullpen for the long season. But hey, as long as they don’t burn out their arms by September…

    • John G

      Or at least hope your offense gives you a 4+ run lead so you don’t have to burn out your bullpen. The two best arms ar least.

  • Agustinrexach

    This is far better than last year! lol Hey we are playing 500ball!
    Soriano has been as lucky this year as he was unlucky last. Soriono for mvp!

    Cubs Win :P

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat the Diamondbacks 4-1 Monday afternoon. Randy Wells gave up a run in 6 IP. Soriano with a HR, 2 RBI

  • John G

    Neil, What is the rule with all those birds in center field? If a ball happens to deflect off one of them, is it still in play? Or is there some ground rule? It would be a shame to see a game decided on something like that.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      John, I do not know the rule for the birds … sorry. I assume the ball is still in play, but you know what happens when you assume.

      I will check into that.

    • paulcatanese

      No,John ,play is halted so that the ground crew can bury the bird or birds under the 400ft sign,and then play is resumed and players can start running the bases again. If the ball has blood or feathers on it , they cannot use it for the next hitter, unless its the same color of the home uniform. Or if its after the fifth inning and the home team is ahead the game is called until an animal trainer can come to the park and train the birds to stay off the field. If he cant train them the two large cats a alotted to each dugout t be turned loose if any of the birds come close.

      • paulcatanese

        John the post above was totaly meant to be funny and not a put-down in any sense. If you take offense to it, I apologize.

  • Tony_Hall

    Not that most all of us didn’t already know, that Pinella didn’t communicate well with his players.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/cbsports-millar-piniellas-lack-of-communication-brought-the-cubs-down-20110404,0,3249814.story

    • cc002600

      not saying I disagree with Millar, but keep in mind, he was the last cut out of ST last year, so don’t think for a second that he doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder over that.

      I don’t recall people complaining about lineups not being posted in 2007-2008.

      Just sayin’

      • Tony_Hall

        Also keep in mind, that when things are going good (07-08) the little things don’t matter much, but when things start to go bad, it’s the little things that matter.

        And actually from watching him on the MLB channel, I don’t believe he has a chip on his shoulder at all. His time was up, and he has settled into a very nice job in baseball. If anything, the timing couldn’t have been better for him.

        • cc002600

          well, you can believe what you want to believe, but I guarantee you had he not been cut those comments don’t come out.

          It’s only human nature. Essentially, Piniella ended his career when he was fully prepared to play another year. If you don’t think that didn’t piss Millar off, than I’m not sure what you’re looking at. but whatever.

          • Tony_Hall

            You can believe what you want to believe, and you really can’t guarantee something, that someone else does.

            I will assume, you don’t watch the MLB network, and have not heard Kevin discuss these topics.

            By the way, the Cubs didn’t end his career, all 30 teams said no when he was released, that ended his career, but whatever.

  • Tony_Hall

    I got to listen to the end of the game on the radio today.

    Heard Pat Hughes describing the game, like he always does so well. Then heard him say one of his trademark lines, after which I heard very clearly, Ron Santo’s reactions, like I have a thousand times, only Ronnie wasn’t on the radio. It took me a bit, before I realized it was Keith Moreland, and he was talking in a completely different direction, than what I heard Ronnie saying in my head.

    That’s when it hit me, that Ronnie was really gone…

    I heard Ronnie again, when the final out was made…I hope it is a long time before, I stop hearing Ronnie cheer and groan on the broadcast…

    Great Win today!

  • Tom U

    The Tennessee Smokies just announced their roster:

    Pitchers
    17 Ryan Buchter*
    28 Alberto Cabrera
    33 David Cales
    27 Marco Carrillo
    18 Hung-Wen Chen
    34 Rafael Dolis
    35 Trey McNutt
    36 Blake Parker
    31 Brooks Raley*
    Christopher Rusin*
    29 Kyle Smit
    22 Luke Sommer*

    Catchers
    19 Steve Clevenger*
    20 Mario Mercedes

    Infield
    3 Ryan Flaherty*,3B
    9 Marwin Gonzalez#,SS
    32 Blake Lalli,1B*
    15 DJ LeMahieu, 2B
    30 Rebel Ridling,1B
    5 Nate Samson, SS
    6 Josh Vitters, 3B

    Outfield
    11 James Adduci* CF
    7 Brett Jackson* CF
    39 Matthew Spencer* OF

    * Hits Left
    # Hits Both

    With three outfielders, expect Ryan Flaherty, Marwin Gonzalez, and possibly DJ LeMahieu and Josh Vitters to see some time in the outfield.

    • cubtex

      Tom, looking at that roster I forgot Blake Parker was still with the organization. If I recall he was on the Cubs 40 man roster a couple of years ago and was a closer in the minors who had some success.
      I believe he threw mid 90′s with some sink. How has he pitched the last year?
      Is he still a closer? Thanks for checking him out for me.

  • Aaron

    Good win today. Offense is still beyond pathetic….but it is what it is, and we have to learn to accept the fact that the Cubs will score right around 4 runs and lower every damn day.

    We just have to pray that the starting pitcher is on his game like Wells was today (though he threw a lot of pitches early on in comparison to Saunders). We also have to hope that the pen can hold everything too, and thus far, Marmol and Wood have been used 3 games in a row (which is NOT a good omen). The Cubs need Russell, Mateo and Samardzija (insert laugh) to step up their games, or it might be an even longer year for the team.

    But this offense continues to be awful, and is averaging 4 runs a game….NOT a good sign of things to come

    • paulcatanese

      Aaron, I agree with you, and again Quade has no clue how to use the bullpen, and againyou are right Marmol and Wood have been used three days in a row and now if he needs them tommorow he’s out of luck and thats just what he has to go with, luck. Quade also needs to have his baserunners pick up their mental approach to he game. The Cubs cannot give one thing to the other team when they have a chance to steal a run. I refer to Aram and his decision not to tag and get to third and the score on a wild pitch, in the end that would have been 5 runs instead of four an the chance to use someone else to close.A moot point of course,because no-one could know their would have been a wild pitch, but they must take the chance,make the defense make the play.