Joe Mather of the Chicago Cubs makes his Cubs debut as a pitcher in the 9th inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Brewers defeated the Cubs 15-4. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
To lead off tonight's preview, I was going to list all the times when Cubs position players had pitched in a game. But I don't have to do that, because Carrie Muskat has done my work for me. All the Cubs position players pitching since 1968 are in there (and I think that comes to all of them since 1900); here's baseball-reference.com's list of all such appearances, with the following caveat:
To make this list a player needs five times as many non-pitching games as games in which they pitched. Of course, Babe Ruth probably shouldn't be on this list, but he qualifies by that standard.
Anyway, according to that list there are 120 position players who have recorded at least one out with a 0.00 ERA. Doug Dascenzo has a unique distinction among them: the most such appearances, four of them, for five total innings.
The last four Cubs managers before this year seemed allergic to doing this when their teams were in blowouts to save the bullpen; before Monday it hadn't happened since July 3, 1999, when Gary Gaetti was inserted to pitch the bottom of the eighth at Philadelphia, in a game the Cubs were losing 19-8. He made it 21-8. Hopefully, Dale Sveum will do this in the future, when conditions warrant.
Starlin Castro's new contract is now done, and Alfonso Soriano talked about what happens when a player gets big money, with this interesting note:
"When I signed my contract, I was 32," Soriano said. "I knew what I wanted. Before, during my years of arbitration, I had a lot of 'friends,' but my agent and my financial guy were always on top of me. They said, 'You got the money, more people will come. Don't be afraid to say no. You didn't have that friend before -- why is the friend now coming?'"
That's all great, except that Soriano was 31, not 32, in his first year with the Cubs. He'd already had his birth year adjusted from 1978 to 1976 after 9/11. I'm thinking he just misspoke.
DeJesus RF, Valbuena 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Castillo C, Jackson CF, Barney 2B, Wood P
Aoki RF, Weeks 2B, Braun LF, Ramirez 3B, Hart 1B, Maldonado C, Gomez CF, Bianchi SS, Gallardo P
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2012 - Travis Wood||4-10||19||18||0||0||0||0||107.2||98||60||57||22||38||80||4.76||1.26|
|2012 - Yovani Gallardo||13-8||26||26||0||0||0||0||161.2||145||67||65||20||62||163||3.62||1.28|
This pitching matchup is a rematch of the game last Wednesday in Milwaukee. Truth be told, Travis Wood pitched quite well, one of his better outings of the season, giving up a pair of first-inning runs but then settling down and going seven, giving up three runs and striking out six. Unfortunately for him and the Cubs, Yovani Gallardo was better that day, giving up just four hits and two runs, both scoring on solo homers (David DeJesus, Bryan LaHair).
Doesn't give much hope, does it. Such are the 2012 Cubs.
Today's game is on WGN.
Today's first pitch thread will post at 7:05 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 8:05, 9:05 and 9:50 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section. Also please note: due to some under-the-hood changes, the sidebar box with the game thread links is no longer available. It seems you've found them with no problems, but if you haven't been able to find the overflow threads, click the "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" link under "Sections" on the left sidebar. They're all in there.
Discuss amongst yourselves.