Friday, April 20, 2007

King of the Hill

I was lucky enough to see Rich Hill in person last night with my blogger in crime, Scott Lange of the Northside Lounge. We are looking at a guy that is really learning to pitch.

If Hill can continue to throw his curve for strikes, it will be a very good year for him. Of course it wasn't all fun and games. Hill had a scary moment late in the game after he tumbled from the mound on a pitch. I'm just glad he got up and finished the inning.

I thought the key at bat was getting Chipper after giving up a double to Kelly Johnson. Hill never lose his calm and it was the best pitching I've seen since Johan Santana last year.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Finally some offense

Many of you know that I am a sports writer by trade. Only reason I say that is I rarely get to see a night game live. Well, last night was one of those nights.

I caught the action starting in the second inning after the Cubs were up 2-0 and I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. The Cubs finally put some run on the board in a 12-4 win over the Padres.

That was the good news along with a better lineup for the time being with Aramis out of the lineup. What was up with Murton playing right? Could that mean Mr. Jones might be heading out of town? Probably not, but something interesting to consider.

Pitching: The Cubs starting pitching has been real solid to start the season, other than Big Z blowing up in the fifth inning on Friday. Wade Miller probably makes his case to stay in the lineup tonight against Maddux. I think it is really unfair on a guy not to get regular work in the early going. So I can't blame Miller for a rocky start.

The bad: Alfonso Soraino. I love spending over 130 million dollars on a guy, only to see him taken out for injury. Of course the offense was actually sparked when he was out of the lineup. I think somebody needs to convince Alfonso to hit in the two hole in the lineup and let Ryan Theriot leadoff, wait Derosa is our everyday second baseman.

I head to Atlanta on Thursday to watch Rich Hill take on the Braves. So look for a report then.

Monday, April 02, 2007

New Year, New Team, New Owner....Opening day live blog!!!!

Starting things early today as word has come the Chicago Cubs will be sold at some point after the season, according to reports coming from different wire reports. Should be an interesting day and hopefully the Cubs get off to a nice start.

Back more a bit later.

1:17 p.m.: Still got some time before first pitch. So, I check over and catch a little D-rays/Yankees, just in time to see the Cubs next SS Alex Rodriguez miss a pop up. The Yankee fans start the boos. I say bring them on and A-Rod, welcome to Chicago.

1:30 p.m.: Lead off man starts, A-rod strikes out? I think things are looking good for 2007.

2:02 p.m.:
The new day is here. The year the Cubs finally W....Well, we just wait about that. Big Z takes the mound and the new look Cubs are about to take the field. Scott L. of the Northside Lounge, have been talking all morning and we feel pretty good about the season.

2:13 p.m.: Here we go, Cubs fans, the first pitch and Alfonso swings and misses. Just like old times. Alfonso is just going to save up some hits for later. Damn, Matt Murton gets a shot a No. 2 and strikes out. D-Lee walks and then gets thrown out trying to steal. What a way to start the season, this is our year.

2:22 p.m.: Big Z is about to get a new deal and promptly walks Ryan Freel. What a start. Dunn just rocketed one out the park, not a great start for our championship dreams. Zambrano settles down and gets out of the inning, but the Cubs are down 2-0.

2:33 p.m.: Two innings and no hits. I miss Dusty! Ok, I am not that crazy, yet.

2:44 p.m.: Big Z. blows through the bottom third of the Reds lineup. Sign him fast, Jim. I mean fast.

2:49 p.m.: Mark DeRosa earns a little bit of that paycheck. Not bad for a guy who's never started an opening day. Okay, Lou's got to let Ceaser bunt with no outs in the eight hole. Soriano's earns about a 100K with that solid basehit. Here is where the Cubs need Murton to step up. We called for Matt to bat No. 2 all last year, and now he has a chance. Ouch, that's not too good. Murton strikes out for the second time.

3:01 p.m.: After the craziest out, I have seen all year, Big. Z gives up another home run to Dunn. One problem that has always plagued Zambrano is walks and they are starting to add up with his fourth of the day to Ken Griffy Jr. Regardless, Zambrano gets out of the inning, but is down 3-0.

3:10 p.m.: I love all this talk about Josh Hamilton. Steve Phillips just said they should make a movie, what if Hamilton never starts in the bigs and is washed up in an year? He made a roster, nice story, but not quite moving just yet. The bases are loaded for the first time all year and who is up? Izturis. The we got for Greg Maddux and he pops it up on the first pitch.

3:30 p.m.: Not much going on for the Reds and we are still down 3-0.

3:39 p.m.: Cubs get a run on an odd play. Freel throws the ball into the dugout and the Cubs get a run. So there is hope. All because Murton gets on base.

3:45 p.m.: Zambrano is in trouble after walking Dunn and hitting Phillips. He has to show more control. A bloop hit loads the bases and the Cubs are now in even more trouble. Aram makes a nice play to get Dunn at the plate and the Cubs are one groundball away from getting out the jam. Walks hurt and Z. might be getting a paycut in the new contract. That didn't work, Z walks a run in and the Cubs are down 5-1. I don't think we are heading to an opening day win.

3:56 p.m.:
In typical Cubs fashion, the inning ends quickly.

4:06 p.m.: Neal Cotts debut survives a double and the Cubs still trail 5-1.

4:11 p.m.:
Things are getting worse. 1-2-3 and the Cubs are done in the 7th.

4:18 p.m.: Cotts doesn't look bad in his 1.2 innings of work. Now, if Michael Wuretz can get the last out. He does, but walks a guy in the process. Not seeing a lot of change here.

4:35 p.m.: Kirk Saarloos comes in for Harrang. Maybe the Cubs can finally get something going. You bet the Murton doesn't get to bat No. 2 tomorrow after his third K. Lee gets a single that hit the RF wall. He missed a HR by about five feet, but the Cubs don't score. Still down 5-1.

4:40 p.m.: Murton robs Hamilton of his first MLB hit. Too bad, I'm sure the hit will come, but not today. Will Ohman makes Dunn strikeout for the first time, what is sure to be the first of many.

4:47 p.m.: The Cubs have one last chance to make our opening day nice. David Weathers comes in to close for the Reds. Wasn't he washed up a couple years ago? well, he gets Barrett to flyout for the first out. Still need four, with only two outs to get them. Cliff Floyd pops up in his first at bat, two down. Doesn't look too good. Our final hope? Izturis, oh boy, oh wait, he just singled to keep the inning alive. Okay, just about five more of those. Theriot up, and out. Cubs lose. Well, at least we're tied with the Cards.