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Best Win of 2012 For Cubs, Maholm

By bullpenbrian - April 28, 2012 - 12:45 am Leave a comment.

Anyone opposed to calling the Cubs 5-1 win against Philly Friday night the best victory of the season? I’m not.

Not only did Chicago snap a 5-game road losing streak, Paul Maholm outdueled Doc Halladay, the offense manufactured some runs and Rafael Dolis held down a late inning lead for his first big league save.

Big tip of the cap to Maholm who evened his record at (2-2) with his deepest outing of the season, 6.1 IP.

You can’t ignore the fact Philadelphia is challenged offensively. They’re ranked 14/16 in the NL in runs scored (Cubs are 10th). Chase Utley & Ryan Howard are on the DL and J-Roll is mired in a 3-for-37 slump. But give Maholm credit for taking advantage.

At one point the lefty retired 15 batters in a row. He didn’t allow a singe base on balls and trusted his defense to gobble up 14 ground ball outs.

Huge outing for Maholm. Huge lift for the Cubs (7-13).

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Aramis Won’t Go

By bullpenbrian - July 19, 2011 - 1:01 am 2 comments.

It only seems fitting the Cubs would defeat Roy Halladay with Rodrigo Lopez. Then again, maybe we’re giving the Cubs too much credit?

The heat index at Wrigley Field Monday night was near 100-degrees–a wave of warmth strong enough to slay one of the game’s fittest players in Halladay.

But the Cubs’ 35-year-old right-hander didn’t seem to mind the blaze. He strung together his third straight quality start while improving to (2-2) with a 3.35 ERA.

We haven’t had many opportunities to tip our cap to the Cubs this season…but Monday they took advantage of an ace off his game and beat a good Phillies team to boot. Pat on the back, especially for Lopez.

And now with Halladay out of the way, the Cubs can concentrate on Cliff Lee. Whoa buddy!

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Failing to reach six innings pitched ended Halladay’s string of 63 road starts in which he’s lasted at least six innings. That had marked the longest such streak since Walter Johnson went 82 straight road starts from 1911-15.

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What’s Up Doc?
Halladay is (0-3) lifetime at Wrigley Field, just one of six stadiums he’s failed to win a
game at throughout his 14-year career.
-Wrigley 0-3
-Shea 0-2
-SBC 0-1
-New Busch 0-1
-Coors 0-0
-Veteran’s 0-0

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“Right now, I’m not interested in a trade,” Aramis Ramirez

Aramis says family obligations will keep him from waiving his no-trade clause. A classic line we’ve heard numerous times, genuine or not.

Thing is, I actually believe Ramirez. And, he has every right to take his family’s well being into consideration. But that won’t stop contenders from trying to woo him away…or the Cubs from trying to deal him.

Aramis may avoid the stress of a deadline deal, but given his offensive tear as of late…Hendry’s sure to make Aramis feel unwelcomed in Chicago by August. Dealing Ramirez will simply bring the Cubs too much in return.

Likewise, too many contenders need this guy for trade talks to vanish. And enough button pushing by Hendry may have Ramirez’s family reconsidering his guaranteed $16M option if dealt.

My guess says Aramis will have a change of heart.

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Cubs radio broadcaster, Keith Moreland, played his first four big league seasons with Philadelphia from 1978-81.

He hit .291 with 10 HR & 74 RBI before being dealt to the Cubs on Dec 8, 1981 with Dan Larson and Dickie Noles for Mike Krukow and cash.

Moreland played six seasons with the Cubs hitting .281, 100 HR & 491 RBI.

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It’s good knowing the Cubs have company. Cincinnati is (1-6) vs. Pittsburgh this season after dropping Monday’s contest 2-0, sending the surprise Pirates back into first place in the NL Central.

Dontrelle Willis (0-1) made his second start for the Reds and lasted 4.2 innings. He allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits but suffered the loss.

Willis is just 29-years-old, but has not won more than two games since 2007 with the Marlins.

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Pitching Greats At Wrigley Field

By bullpenbrian - November 4, 2010 - 12:01 am 6 comments.

I was excited to be back at the United Center Wednesday night. Mainly, I was thrilled to get my first look in the flesh at Marty Brodeur.

To see one of the greats of all-time between the pipes is like seeing a Pedro Martinez or Greg Maddux pitch.

Brodeur has led the Devils to three Stanley Cup championships, is a four-time Vezina Trophy winner, a two-time gold medalist and a 10-time All Star. To say he’s the best ever in goal is no stretch.

Brodeur, unfortunately, left the game in the second period with a bruised right elbow. And to make matters worse, the Hawks lost 5-3 to a New Jersey team that ranked dead last in the Eastern Conference.

Meanwhile, I’ve been fortunate to see numerous greats pitch at Wrigley Field.  Just in the past few seasons I’ve caught Pedro, Glavine, Oswalt, Lee and Halladay. But a few others I’d like to see remain.

Here’s my list in no particular order: Johan Santana, David Price, Ubaldo Jimenez, Felix Hernandez. Who else should I add?

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Lincecum Halladay Lee & Pettitte

By bullpenbrian - October 18, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

Rarely do games hyped-up to the extent of Friday’s match-up between Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum live up to the billing. But this one did with S.F. winning a close 4-3 ballgame.

I got the feeling most fans were siding with Halladay given his no-hit performance against Cincinnati. But the nine days off in-between starts seemed to zap Doc of his dominate stuff from a week earlier.

Lincecum didn’t steal the show either, but found ways to get big outs when he needed them.

Most surprising is that both hurlers allowed home runs to the No. 8 hitters in the lineups. Another beauty of postseason baseball!

Meanwhile, Halladay’s hitless streak of 11 innings is second longest in postseason history to Don Larsen, who tossed 2.3 hitless innings against Milwaukee in the 1957 World Series following his perfect game for New York in the 1956 Series.

I’d put Tuesday’s duel between Andy Pettitte and Cliff Lee on the same stage as Halladay vs. Lincecum.

Pettitte is going after his 20th career postseason win and Lee is quickly shaping up as one of the most dominate starters in postseason history.

I venture to say that whoever wins Game 3 will win the series. For my money, I like Lee.

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Happy Halladay!

By bullpenbrian - October 7, 2010 - 12:01 am 6 comments.

I’m happy for Roy Halladay.
Happy he made it out of Toronto.
Happy he ended up on a contender.
Happy he’s found continued success.
Happy he’s getting the attention he deserves.

Masterful performance Wednesday.
Reds were off-balance from start to finish.
Lots of swinging strikes.
Travis Wood, the pitcher, made the best contact all day–a fly out to right field.
I’d say Roy Halladay won himself a Cy Young Award, too. (Wink! Wink!)

–Reds fans waited 15 years for this day. And many more, I suppose, would choose to wait longer than watch the Redlegs make forgettable history. But the series is far from over.

St. Louis kicked Cincy in the teeth earlier this season, and look where that got them. There’s also the veteran leadership of Edmonds, Rolen & Rhodes, who have all been through tough playoff series. It’s simply a Game 1 loss, not a clinching loss or a home loss. No-hitter aside, it’s not over yet, people!

–Love Cliff Lee. He, like Halladay, was under-appreciated for a long time. During the last year he’s endured many difficulties professionally–trades, new cities, new homes, new teammates, new manager. But the guy just perseveres. He’s the best pitcher in baseball. Always strong in the clutch. Worth every penny. I love watching him pitch.

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Video Of Roy Halladay At Wrigley Field

By bullpenbrian - July 20, 2010 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

Here’s some video I shot from the Skybox On Sheffield Sunday Night.

It’s the pre-game bullpen session of Phillies ace Roy Halladay,
who entered the game riding an 18-consecutive scoreless innings streak!

That ended with the Cubs scoring four runs in the second inning
en route to an 11-6 win.

Halladay took the loss allowing 6 runs (5 earned) in 6-innings.
Soto and Soriano homered off the right-hander, as well.

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Give It Up For Tom Gorzelanny!

By bullpenbrian - July 19, 2010 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

Huge series win for the Cubs!
Should’ve been a four-game sweep, but 3-of-4 ain’t bad.

After watching Marmol’s meltdown and Soto’s missed hurried tag on Saturday,
I figured the Cubs would split the series facing Roy Halladay Sunday night.

But who thought Tom Gorzelanny would outduel the Phillies’ ace, who
was riding an 18-consecutive scoreless innings streak!

Gorzo’s made a strong statement since spelling Zambrano in the rotation.
He’s 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA in his last three starts, having allowed
three or fewer runs in 10-of-13 outings, including the last four.
That’s Big-Time!

No question Gorzelanny’s name resurfaces in trade rumors this month.
But the Cubs shouldn’t deal this guy. He’s young, affordable, and a solid
back-of-the-rotation starter. At the very least, he’s more dependable
than Carlos Zambrano.

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