Game 2: Cubs 4 – Reds 1


Cubs 1-1
Reds 1-1

POTG: SP Ted Lilly (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K; W 60)
Runner Up: 3B A Ram (3 H, 2 R), 2B D Rosa (2 H, 2 RBI)

Vegas is laying odds of me making all 162 at about 100:1. I think I’ll fare better if I don’t drag these out so much.

Gil Meche pitched good in his debut, Ted Lilly pitched good in his debut – obviously, these big money deals for pitchers well spent. I look forward to Marquis’ 7 IP, 1 R performance!

It seems the plan is to throw Ryan Theriot in random positions with no warning (except not SS, because he’s actually played that!) and see if he sinks or swims. Based on his first experience in LF, this should be good for some laughs. By the way, I’d like to start a movement: all Cubs fans should refer to Ryan as athletic (which he is) and compare him to Chone Figgins (which remains to be seen), just to confuse fans of other teams when he turns out to a white guy.

It’d nice if we could get extra base hits, but it’s too soon to get picky about those technicalities.

Pinella being proactive, and yelling at Dempster to stop walking people before he blew a save doing it, was great to see.

white whale caught


Took long enough. It was clearly the different player options and injury protection they put in there.

All sorts of wacky things start to happen if he gets 425 PA or 100 starts, but let’s assume no. He should be used to spot people versus right handers and an effective pinch hitter. Note that he’s not sure if he’ll make the start of spring training – it seem possible he could start the year on the DL while rehabbing his Achilles tendon/bone spur injury.

11 hitters on the 25, as of now…

CA Barrett
1B Lee
2B DeRosa
SS Cesar
3B A-Ram
LF Murton
CF Soriano
RF Jacque

CA Blanco
1B Ward
UT Theroit
OF Pagan
OF Floyd

Floyd and Ward are lefties off the bench and kinda the same type of player. I wonder if they still would’ve signed Ward if they knew they were getting Floyd? Then again, they’ve been trying to get Floyd since day 1, so that couldn’t have been a surprise.

While I’ve still got him on the list, I think Pagan’s not making the team. Including the three starters, they’ve got five corner infielders and no one with center field experience on the team. If they’re telling the truth about trying Theroit out there, that’s great, but that also means he’s not working at SS and there’s no backup there.

(off topic: if Theroit’s the backup CF, doesn’t that mean Pie’s going for his spot? that’s gonna be a war.)

If Cesar went down during a game, DeRosa or Theroit could shift over and take his place, and they could call up Cedeno immediately after, but I believe they’ll instead keep Ronny or Tomas Perez on the 25 man roster just in case. This is one of the points where people who actually manage the game differ in how they do things than people who just watch (who’s take that risk.)

Cesar actually did play full seasons till 2005, but he’s fragile and he’s a guy you’d like to pinch hitter for, so from a tactical standpoint, I could understand keeping one of the no-hit SS as the 25 man. I’d actually prefer it to be Tomas Perez, because Cedeno needs to get some consistent at bats at AAA to get better and get evaluated. The potential problem, as it was with Neifi and Macias, is Tomas Perez is best used as the 25th guy, but there’s no guarantee he won’t be the first man off the bench.

I picked up this years Bill James Handbook and they’ve included the manager breakdowns, which are interesting, but like James said in last year’s introduction, they’re only a start. Maybe it’s just because of where the Cubs are right now, but I think they’d be improved if they included managers who didn’t manage in 2006 but would be considered for future jobs – we’re not going to read Pinella’s tendencies till we’ve seen a year of them. More specific to this situation, I’d like more breakdowns of pinch hitting – what hitter was the first off the bench, and how did he do. Some managers will use their best guys first, and some will hold them back for a key opportunity and use leftover hitters instead (like Dusty). It’s a NL only thing, but it’s a major difference in strategy.