Heat Velocity #461


Yea, I know what the show said, but we had Josh commentating and we had Matt Hardy (a SD! wrestler.) This was totally the start of underground Velocity revolution. Viva la green screen!

In other insane thoughts: Dan Rodman is no Black Warrior.

I should’ve spelled it Jecht. Missed opportunities.

Game 17: Cubs 6 – Cardinals 0


Cardinals 7-10
Cubs 7-10

POTG: SP Jason Marquis (7 IP, 7 H, 5 K, 2 HBP; QS, W [2, 58])
Runner Up: RP Will Ohman (2 IP, BB, K), LF Matt Murton (2 R, 2 H), C Michale Barrett (3 RBI HR), SS Ronny Cedeno (2B, HR, 2 RBI)

Okay, obviously you can’t keep doing that every start, or things are going to line up badly and someone’s got to score a jackpot sum of runs on him one of these days. As long as the luck is holding, though, might as well enjoy it.

The bigger story is Soriano’s move to LF, which means it’s only taken about 18 games for everything to play out like it should. This should mean Pie will get the job in CF and a low pressure slot in the batting order and Jacque will end up in RF. Signing Floyd and/or not moving Jacque in the off season looks a bit dumb right now, but maybe they’ll make it work out in the long term. (Or maybe they’ll flip Jacque for a non-40 man roster.)

Tomorrow would be a good time for Miller to show something.

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Game 16: Cardinals 2 – Cubs 1


Cardinals 7-9
Cubs 6-10

POTG: SP Ted Lilly (7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)
Runner Up: 3B A-Ram (2 H, RBI)

THAT was odd. And the last time Cedeno should ever be pinch running for anyone not C/P/Floyd. Even the whole “he should’ve looked back” stuff rang hollow for me – when is it ever okay to overslide a base? So so dumb.

What I really appreciated was the one time Jacque does something good in a clutch situation – that was a huge walk – of course no one remembers it.

Since they’ve decide no more The Riot in the OF (a shame!), I think it’s time to get him some reps at short, use him and Cesar there, pull up another pitcher (since they’re set on it) and send Ronny to Iowa. Or the Moon. Whichever.

I think Z’s the fourth best starter on the team right now. So odd. If Lilly got one pitch back, this would’ve gone the other way.

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State Of The Art Realism – Expanding On Wade’s Vision Of The Future


Recently in the Pro Wrestling Torch, Wade Keller unveiled his revolutionary plan for TNA, turning it 80% into UFC.

Hobbes thinks Wade has a good idea, but needs to go even further.

Wade has already proposed that referees not be in on the finishes so I propose this, don’t let the wrestlers in on the finishes either.

(so so great)

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Game 15: Cubs 3 – Braves 0


Cubs 6-9, split the series
Braves 10-5

POTG: SP Rich Hill (8 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 7 K, 0 R – QS + W 3 [9])
Runner Up: 3B A Ram (HR, good defense), C Michael Barrett (HR, 2 H) – not The Riot since he got thrown out with Derek up.

See, I watched about 5 minutes of Baseball Tonight, and they made a mistake. They’re saying Rich Hill is pitching like Zito, and I’m pretty sure it’s Barry Zito who’d like to be Rich Hill this month. Actually, everyone in the league would like to have these numbers:

22 IP
0.41 ERA
.110 AVG
18 K
3 W

This is a bit unreal. He’ll get 2 more starts this month if everything stays on schedule – versus Milwaukee (the day after the Brewers go for vengeance on Z) and in Pittsburg at the end of the month. If he just does okay, I think he’s gotta be pitcher of the month. He’s got half the team wins, after all!

I know people who will be thrilled that Pinella is bringing in Bobby Dernier to teach people how to run bases a bit better, after the issues with Murton yesterday (and Ryan today.) This is a credit to Pinella; Dusty would seem to give up on fixing any fundamental problems once spring training ended.

It’s very heartening to see the Cubs actually use DeRosa in right field against a lefty instead of Jacque. It’s the move we’ve been hoping for since DeRosa got signed, and it’s shows a desire to win over playing for making people happy (DeRosa only playing second, Jacque playing against lefties when he sucks.)

Sweep the Cardinals and get to 500. Shouldn’t be so hard.

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Game 14: Braves 8 – Cubs 6


Cubs 5-9
Braves 10-4

POTG: 1B D Lee (2 R, 2 2B, RBI, BB)
Runner Up: CF Pie (2 R, 3B, BB) 2B DeRosa (HR, 2 RBI), RF Jones (2 H, 2B)

Yea, it took 14 games before I missed a deadline. I haven’t been doing so well the last few days, but I think I’m getting it back together by this weekend. I hope so, anyway.

Lots of questions about Z’s contract after this start – is it affecting him? should it still get done? would the Cubs now be better of waiting? – but I mostly think the answer is “it’s too soon to tell, he always has bad Aprils.”

(Actually, the answers may be No, Yes, No, but never mind.)

As bad as Z’s start was, this game was lost on Eyre, and to a greater extent, by having this game follow a 14 inning game where the bullpen was all used. It was pretty obvious the day before that Eyre was only used for .1 because that’s all he had, and it doesn’t seem like he had much left for today.

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Game 13: Cubs 4 – Padres 3 (14)


Cubs 5-8
Padres 8-6; split series

POTG: RP Ryan Dempster (2IP, 0R, BB) – not a standout, but someone’s gotta win it
Runner Up: RP Michael Wuertz (2IP, 0R, 2H, BB, 2K, 2 Marooned), RP Scott Eyre (.1IP, 3 Marooned), RP Bobby Howry (2IP, 0R, 2H, BB), 2B/RF Ryan Theroit (2 H, R, SB), the wind

I have something to say here, but

aside 1: you have no idea how surprising it is for me to be writing an update here – and continuing the consecutive games streak over on the neurotic lucha diary. I was pretty sure I was going to be miles from the closest access point tonight.

aside 2: on the other hand, between the crappy connection speed I’m getting (satellite internet sucks, apparently) and this laptop crashing at least three different times this evening, I might have been better off not using a computer at all and spending the evening staring at the large body of water just outside my window.

aside 3: I was pretty sure there was no way I was going to be able to listen to this game unless it was insanely long – so that was nice. I haven’t seen highlights, so all I know about the first 12 innings is what I’ve read.

Aside 4: Pie coming up surprised me; I thought they’d just try to limp along for a bit more, but I guess with A-Ram out and DeRosa hurt and not having a lot of bullpen innings, making a move made sense.

Aside 5: I’m thinking Ohman didn’t have options (wait, no, wrong!), and the plan must be for Guzman to get streched out to take over a starting job – Miller’s job, quite obviously.

Aside 6: Back when the deal was signed, I didn’t think giving Ohman two years made sense, because the organization hasn’t ever seemed that high on him. I think he’d be a while from being in danger of being cut even if he had a 1 year deal, but that’s looking like a bad sunk cost at the moment.

Aside 7: between the record, and Soriano pretty much getting to do whatever he wants to do, I’m not sure Lou is having all that much fun at this point.

Aside 8: But I also think his 14th inning managing was quite smart. With Ohman coming in, the 14th inning sure seemed like the inning where the Cubs would have to score to at least stay in, so it makes since to sacrifice D Lee to get Ward in there – better than pinch hitting and possibly needing another pitcher.

Aside 9: Even subbing Jason Marquis into run worked – you always can deal with the consequences in the 15th, but you have to get there for any of it to matter – but the story about Lou putting Floyd in charge of picking the starting pitcher to go out there is just plain weird.

Aside 10: and he totally should’ve gone with Rich Hill! He’s got speed! He’s got no hitting! Cliff is not off to a good start.

Aside 11: You know Z is ticked about not getting to pinch run and play first. That’d be a dream come true. I wonder if Cliff explained to Z that he was holding him back for a pinch hitting appearance to come.
Aside 12: Z better be able to go long tomorrow, because there’s not much out there to relive him. If he ever wanted to do one of those 120 pitches, 12 K, 1 ER CGs, now would be the time.

Aside 13: It’s amazing how quick everyone’s fallen into being angry at Jacque. I’m not sure I’m much different. When driving aimlessly today, I came up with this idea that Jacque is actually the very poor man’s A-Rod: signed by a team for too much money, but everyone holds it against him instead of the team, amazing ability to end up at the plate in clutch situations (regardless of where he’s batting) and almost always makes the worst of those chances, and has lost something in the field. Also, neither has led their team to a championship and neither is being invited over to a sleepover with Derek Jeter.

Aside 14: So, I didn’t actually see any of Pie, so I can’t really say much about how he looked. It sounded like he showed a really good arm, so maybe the idea of eventually playing him in a corner outfield position may actually work out – though, there’s no way Soriano in CF and Pie in RF makes any real sense at all.

I have no feel if this is going to be the start of a historic career, or a just a barely noteworthy one, or just a one week stint before we see him full time much later in the season. But I’m glad they’re giving him a real shot off the bat.

Off topic: awesomest thing all day.

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Game 12: Cubs 12 – Padres 4


Cubs 5-7
Padres 7-6

POTG: Jason Marquis (6 IP, 3 H, ER, 4 BB, 5 K, QS, W [1, 57]; 2B, 2 H, 2 R)
Runner Up: LF Cliff Floyd (2 R, 2 H, HR, 4 RBI), 1B D Lee (2 H, 2 R, RBI), LRF Murton (R, 2 H, 2 RBI, BB), C Michael Barrett (2R HR, SF), RP Angel Guzman (2 IP, H, 4 K)

I guess THAT solves the OF jumble problem.

It’s late and I’m tired and I need to wake up soon, so this is probably shorter than it should be – lots to talk about from this one.

Felix Pie should have his bags packed; if Soriano’s on the DL, he’s on the team. It doesn’t sound like we’ll know what the exact deal is till Monday, though Soriano seems to think it’ll only be 5 days. The Cubs have been fortunate to get okay work from the bench, because it’s really been squeezed so far and will only get more so.

I think the Cubs just took out a pitcher having a very bad night, and little more, but it was fun to see. This team isn’t going to get 12 runs every day, but I could see them have many games where they just maul a bad pitcher, and games with a pitcher making them look stupid. You take the good…

Ohman is in trouble. If he had an option, I’d think they’d use it and bring up someone for the bench regardless, because he’s looking bad. I was, naturally, rooting for the wacky three inning save for Angel, but understood bringing Will in to get his confidence back. Didn’t quite work on that way, and now I’m not sure what to do with him. I think it depends on how Scott Eyre is doing (and I hope they can come up with a better cover story than food poisoning.)

I think the Cubs made good on their last chance to score as many runs as games played. (Unless there’s a 100 run game coming in August.)

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Heat #460 (04/14)


oh so boring. Whoever mic-ed the crowd probably wants this one back. Or a better crowd, or something.

It’s nice that they’re trying to make having the same matches every week A Story, instead of just exposing the laziness for all to see. They need to have a Shelton/Charlie/Kenny vs Val/Shad/JTG trios match next week, so we can see if Charlie’s inability to beat Val is outweighed by Val’s inability to beat Kenny.

JTG and Shad have had squash matches 4 of the last 5 shows, and only missed on Heat in the last 8. That’s not a record you want to have (unless you’re Val, and just happy to being alive.)

So, if Eugene didn’t come out, who would’ve been Khali’s main event opponent? I didn’t see Viscera on this show! That’s a shame we didn’t get that one.

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Game 11: Reds 1 – Cubs 0


Reds 7-5
Cubs 4-7

POTG: SP Ted Lilly (2 H, ER, BB, 10 K, QS)
Runner Up: 3B T Riot (3 H), RP Michael Wuertz (2 IP, 3 K)

It’s ridiculous to not have a uniform strike zone in 2007. Either umpires shouldn’t be as all over the place as they’ve been the last two days – the strike zone seemed twice as wide today as it was yesterday – or robots should take over. Right now, I’m rooting for robots.

(Speaking of Big Plans that stand no shot of happening, I think every MLB team should be asked to pitch in $3 million dollars to buy Minnesota a roof for the new stadium. It’d be nice if it was movable and all, but an open air stadium in Minnesota in April and October is just going to be awful. The league will lose more money on postponed games, schedule changes and bad press when they have chornic snow/cold out problems than they would for just paying for the dome themselves. At the least, every new open air stadium should be required to be easily modifiable to include a movable roof, so they can put one on later if/when they suddenly can afford it.)

Anyway, back to the game – the winner was the home plate ump, who was allowing a big strike zone. The hitters should’ve adjusted better, but I think you can’t take the pitching numbers too seriously from this game.

The real difference was the Cubs inability to get a run across in the sixth. I guess they didn’t want to squeeze in front of Lee, but relying on Jacque to make contact when you absolutely need it is dumb, and it was dumb here again. The game was lost with Jacque’s and Derek’s at bats.

Strange they took out Lilly soon, and used Dempster in back to back games, but I guess no Eyre helped cause it, or Pinella just wanted to use his “best guy” to keep it close.

I don’t know if DeRosa’s “I was working out so hard, I strained my back” story is actually true – it would help if it didn’t take two days for it get out.

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