Sunday, August 2, 2009

Just like Lou drew it up: two injuries, blown six-run lead, but a win nonetheless

Mark Prior and the Padres are going to part ways.

Prior was drafted second overall by the Cubs in 2001, with the Twins taking Joe Mauer first due to fears that they may not have been able to sign Prior. He burst onto the scene in 2002 with 147 strikeouts in 116 innings, and made a real name for himself in 2003 when he won 18 games and helped lead the Cubs to the NLCS. Injuries sent his career downhill after that (though he did win 11 more games in 2005), and the Cubs released him after the 2007 season.

The Padres took a flier on him, partly because he's from southern California. But a year-and-a-half later, he hasn't been able to physically right himself, and the Padres are apparently giving up on him.

It's a sad story in the sense that Prior had so much raw talent and was so fun to watch for a few years, yet he'll likely end up with just 42 wins in the majors and a career that flamed out at the age of 27. Hard to believe.

Speaking of former Cubs ...

The Brewers signed Corey Patterson and assigned him to Triple-A. Patterson was recently released by the Nationals, which, of course, is never a good sign.

Saturday: Cubs 9, Marlins 8 (10 inn.)

Well, let's hope Zambrano's back issues don't cause him to miss any starts. With Lilly out until mid-August and the Gorzelanny Experiment about to start, the Cubs can't afford to be without Big Z for any extended period of time. The Cubs of course need Aramis Ramirez to be healthy as well--hopefully he'll be okay after leaving the game in the 10th. Both players said after the game that they don't expect to miss any time.

Being without Zambrano after the third inning was something they could barely afford on Saturday. The bullpen held a meeting prior to the game and collectively decided to see what would happen if they didn't throw any strikes--six relievers combined to walk six men in seven innings of work, blowing the 6-2 lead that Zambrano left them with (Zambrano walked three himself). Ryan Theriot finally delivered what seemed to be the exclamation point the Cubs had been waiting for since the second inning, pounding a two-out, two-run triple in the 9th, but Kevin Gregg couldn't hold a three-run lead against his former team.

Fortunately, another former Marlin delivered a win for the Cubs, as Derrek Lee smashed home run #21 to lead off the 10th. Lee called the game--which saw Lou Piniella switching Alfonso Soriano between 2B and 3B in the bottom of the 10th--the longest nine innings he's ever been a part of.

Speaking of the bullpen, someone is going to have to be sent down when that Gorzelanny Experiment begins on Tuesday. I nominate Jeff Samardzija, who is finding none of the success this year that he had last year. His ERA is up to 6.52, and though he's pitched just half the innings in 2009 as he did in 2008, he's already allowed more earned runs, home runs, and hits than he did all of last year. Let's keep Jeff Stevens in the pen and let Samardzija stretch out as a starter in the minors.

The Cubs reached double-digits in hits yet again (and on the road this time!), including two from Aramis Ramirez. His hit totals during his nine-game hitting streak: 2, 4, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 2, 2. It took him a little time to find his timing after his injury, but he's been locked in for a while now.

Central Intelligence

Matt Holliday has been absolutely out of control since being traded to the Cardinals. He went 3-for-4 Saturday with two home runs, helping the Cardinals to a 3-1 victory over the Astros. He's now 20-for-33 (.606) since putting on the red and white. I figured he'd help the Cardinals lineup, but I didn't realize he was from another planet.

Stat of the Day

Courtesy of Baseball Musings, the Yankees are 0-11 against teams with Sox in their name, 62-31 against everyone else.


  1. Let's hope Holliday is getting this ridiculous streak out of his system and comes back to reality (very) soon.

  2. And Kevin Gregg gets the win - seems there's something wrong with that picture.

  3. Agreed. Another reason wins and losses are severely overrated. And look--a pitcher agrees with me: