Happy Mother's Day to everyone here who's a mom, and to all moms everywhere. Usually, the Cubs are playing at home in wind and rain on Mother's Day, so it's refreshing to know that if the weather's a bit cool in Milwaukee this afternoon, the game will be played in pleasant conditions indoors; the Cubs are 7-6 so far this year in domed stadiums (Houston, Milwaukee and Arizona).There are, surprisingly enough, a couple of useful Phil Rogers notes this morning:
- The Cubs' starting rotation leads the majors in six-inning-plus appearances -- 24, including last night.
- The Cubs appear to have been right about Felix Pie. He is hitting .158 and the Orioles are about to "try to sneak him through waivers to get him to Triple-A."
- The Cubs "won't stand in the way if a team wants to hire [Alan] Trammell, who is Lou Piniella's bench coach, even if it is during the season." (This in a note wondering why the Diamondbacks wouldn't have considered him or Don Baylor after firing Bob Melvin. Anyone considering Don Baylor for a managing job would have to have his or her head examined.)
According to Lou and the medical people, Ramirez will be in a sling for about a week as he rests his dislocated left shoulder. Then, he'll spend the next 3-4 weeks doing range of motion and strength work. So we're talking a good month without any baseball activity. At the end of that period, the Cubs will see where Ramirez is before allowing him to do any baseball-related activities. So the best-case scenario looks to be six weeks, with eight weeks or even more probably more realistic.
The Cubs say the MRI done [Saturday] showed nothing out of the ordinary and that the soft tissue around the shoulder looked good.
This isn't great news, but it could have been worse. I suspect we'll see Aramis back after the All-Star break. Until then, the rest of the team has to step up. The offense actually did last night. If only the bullpen hadn't imploded.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2009 - Sean Marshall||0-2||6||4||0||0||0||0||26.0||27||12||12||3||7||16||4.15||1.31|
|2009 - Jeff Suppan||2-2||6||6||0||0||0||0||31.2||31||21||20||6||15||18||5.68||1.45|
Jeff Suppan is 6-7, 3.87 lifetime vs. the Cubs in 20 starts, better than his career ERA of 4.65. That includes this game four weeks ago on April 12 in Miller Park, where he walked six and gave up five earned runs, including a leadoff homer to Alfonso Soriano. If the Cubs can stay patient with Suppan, they should be able to beat him again. Today would be a good day to get D-Lee back in the lineup, as he is 21-for-47 (.447) vs. Suppan in his career, with 7 doubles and 4 HR. New Cub Ryan Freel is 5-for-13 vs. Suppan. (And I find myself wondering why they couldn't have turned the lights on when they took that photo of Suppan. Maybe it was taken during the 8th-inning light-failure delay last night.)
Sean Marshall threw an inning of scoreless relief in that April 12 game. Particular nemeses of him on the Brewers are Bill Hall (4-for-5, a HR) and Chris Duffy (3-for-5, a HR). Marshall has thrown well in all four of his starts this year and has gone seven innings in his last two.
Today's game is on WGN. The Cubs are 6-4 on WGN so far this year, and 7-8 on CSN. Yes, I know it doesn't matter who televises the game; this is called "grasping at straws". For today's other games see the MLB.com Mediacenter.
Overflow comment threads will post today at 2 pm, 3 pm and 3:45 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.