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The Magic Jersey Trick

By bullpenbrian - July 29, 2009 - 3:01 am Leave a comment.

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Not even the well seasoned Lou has ever seen a baseball disappear into a pitcher’s uniform.

Fukudome’s fifth inning shot that bounced into the jersey of Houston pitcher Jeff Fulchino, ruled a base hit, was a first for Kosuke too.

I’ve seen it first hand, however, twice for that matter and in the same game, nonetheless!

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Soriano’s Walk-Off Grand Slam!

By bullpenbrian - July 28, 2009 - 2:39 am Leave a comment.

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Game winning hits don’t come any sweeter than Soriano’s walk-off slam!

Thanks to JustGreatTickets.com I took the excitement in from the Field Box level this evening.

The offense wasn’t big time, but the home runs were spectacular.

El Caballo’s blast landed over the batter’s eye, D-Lee’s shot ended up on Waveland and Soriano’s slam reached Sosa territory!

It’s rather amazing you see that kind of power three times in one night at Wrigley!

Alfonso is red hot this month. He’s rebounded from a .198 average in June to a .342 clip in July, including his current 10-game hitting streak.

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NL Central Placed On DL

By bullpenbrian - June 12, 2009 - 12:48 am 1 comment.

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The NL Central is a race of who can get healthy first.

Cellar dwellers Pittsburgh and Houston have five players each on the DL.

The Cubs and Cards each have four players on the training table. Cincinnati is missing three and Milwaukee two (Mike Cameron is serving a suspencion).

The many injuries have seemingly leveled the talent field and smushed the Central standings into a five-game separation from first (Milwaukee) to worst (Houston).

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Same Old Cubs

By bullpenbrian - June 11, 2009 - 1:03 am 2 comments.

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So much for the Cubs breaking out offensively.

Eleven men left on base, two walks and eight punchouts–same old Cubs.

How many quality starts can Chicago waste this season and still compete for the division title?

Yesterday I talked about Soto’s power stroke returning. When a player with Geo’s power starts spraying line drives you know the home runs will soon follow.

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Lilly Blossoming Into All Star

By bullpenbrian - June 10, 2009 - 1:13 am Leave a comment.

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Another big outing from Mr. Lilly.

I’ll keep singing the guy’s praises.

The lefty is putting together an All Star type season (7-4, 3.00 ERA) and working towards a career year.

He leads the Cubs’ staff with nine quality starts, and in 10 of 12 outings he’s lasted six innings or more while sporting a 5-0 record when the Cubs give him four or more runs of support.

As I keep saying, what more can you ask?

Of all the positives at the plate Tuesday night, I was mostly thrilled to see Big Geo crack three hits.

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What’s Happened to Fontenot?

By bullpenbrian - May 18, 2009 - 12:49 am Leave a comment.

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The Cubs let this one slip away. Not enough hitting and another poor bullpen outing trashed what should have been an undefeated homestand.

However, despite the rough fourth inning, Harden pitched well enough for the win. Yet, for whatever reasons, Rich isn’t throwing well at Wrigley. At home he’s (2-2) with a plus-six ERA. Why so bad???

Ascanio hits two batters–both come around to score the eventual game-winning runs. Cotts walks yet another batter. What’s his purpose in the pen if he can’t throw strikes?

And, what’s happened to Mike Fontenot lately?

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Gregg Still Better Than Hawkins

By bullpenbrian - May 17, 2009 - 1:55 am Leave a comment.

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Kevin Gregg led the NL in blown saves last year. Meaning, more outings like this one are bound to happen with the right-hander.

Doesn’t mean Marmol should close. Doesn’t mean Gregg can’t cut it in the ninth. And, Lou says he’s ready to throw Gregg back out there Sunday, if need be. It’s one of the beauties of baseball–there’s always tomorrow!

This was vintage LaTroy Hawkins pitching at Wrigley–blowing the save opportunity. Never liked the guy as the Cubs’ closer. And, I’d take Gregg over Hawkins any day.

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Rainout Recharges Cubs’ Batteries

By bullpenbrian - May 16, 2009 - 1:28 am Leave a comment.

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I’m a big believer in rest. Recharging the batteries is a good thing. Players, coaches, and even us peons all benefit from a well deserved off day!

Sure, rainouts stink for both the players and fans, and especially considering the Cubs are riding a season-high four-game winning streak.

But with the club scheduled to play 29 games in 31 days, Friday’s washout is a blessing in disguise.

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Hoffpauir Over Lee?

By bullpenbrian - May 8, 2009 - 1:40 am Leave a comment.

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Cubs pound out 14 hits against a team they should dominate. And beating lesser teams, like Houston, is a huge part of winning the division title.

Top four hitters in the Cubs’ lineup — Soriano, Theriot, Fukudome and Ramirez — combined for eight hits, seven run and three walks. That’s big-time!

Micah Hoffpauir goes 2-for-4. He’s batting .313 for the season. And, Lou says he’s thinking twice when leaving the big lefty out of the lineup.

If Micah could improve defensively at first, it seems Lou would take a longer look at playing him over Lee.

But, Micah improving to Lee’s Gold Glove standard in the field is still an unknown. Until then, Lee’s starting job is safe.

DEFENSE MATTERS!!!

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Picture Perfect In Houston

By bullpenbrian - May 7, 2009 - 2:46 pm Leave a comment.

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A picture perfect night for the Cubs. Scored early, scored late and gave the lead to Marmol and Gregg.

This is the kind of win we didn’t see much of in April. But, the Cubs were banged up. Now they’re getting healthy. And, that should mean more wins like Wednesday night.

Terrific plate patience against Hampton, who threw a ton of pitches in the first two innings.

Not to mention, the Cubs drew four walks pushing their total to (14) in the last three games!!! And, they’re now (11-3) when drawing four or more walks.

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