Saturday, May 05, 2007

Game 29: Pirates at Brewers

Duke vs. Suppan, starting now. Doumit back in RF.

Big loss

10-0, ouch. Meanwhile the Cubs have won three straight and now own second place.

The Pirates have two more with the Brewers and then three games at Wrigley. Then a long homestand with Atlanta, Florida, and Arizona.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Game 28: Pirates at Brewers

Maholm and Claudio Vargas in less than an hour. McLouth in CF, LaRoche at 1B.

The Brewers are feeling the love from USA Today.

Brewers owner Attanasio:

"I love waking up in the morning, picking up the paper and looking at the standings," Attanasio says. "I'd wish I could tell you that was it, but I probably look at that thing 10 times a day."

Everyone should look at the standings ten times a day when their team is eight games above .500 and in first place, don't you think?

Two stories

Two stories worth reading: this Greg Couch item for the Chicago Sun-Times and this Bill Plaschke item for the Los Angeles Times.

In the first, the Cubs are described as a failure for their 12-14 record. I'll go on record as saying, when the Cubs left Pittsburgh, I pitied their next few opponents. They look ready to go on a tear. Ten days from now perhaps I'll revisit this prediction and see what came of the Cubs.

In the second, we learn about the subservient toadies hired by teams (some? all?) to puff the whiny titty-baby ballplayers. This is not a flattering portrait of life in the clubhouse. It's repulsive in fact. I mention it because the man at the center of the story worked for the Dodgers while Tracy was there. FWIW, a peek behind the curtain.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Big win

Biggest win of the year, yes or no?

I say yes.

And here's one for the drinking room.

Game 27: Pirates at Brewers

Gorzelanny and Bush in five minutes. Doumit starts at first, Nady in right.

12 and 14

And looking up at the next opponent, Milwaukee, who leads the NL with an 18-9 record.


Dejan Kovacevic gently pokes a stick at the still-hibernating LaRoche in "Adam bomb".

In today's Q+A, Dejan continues the LaRoche theme, and suggests calling Wally Joyner or trying anything other than what's clearly not working.

I've got an idea. Adam wears Deluxe Eye Patch for games and batting practice for one week. He'll continue to struggle, most likely. After one week, he removes eye patch. The sudden return to binocular vision will give his neural circuitry involved in seeing a baseball a chance to reset.

McLeary, Wasdin and Nady

Up from Indy, on DL, and due back tonight, respectively, notes Dejan Kovacevic. Wasdin was put on the DL with an unspecified ailment, possibly chronic ineffectiveness. Should Nady's return force Doumit to the bench?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Game 26: Cubs at Pirates

The Pirates will be back, in a little bit, for the full game of the one-and-a-quarterheader . . . with Snells on.

Let's play 1 1/4

Pirates and Cubs will finish the suspended game before all Snell breaks loose in the regularly-scheduled afternoon game.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Game 25: Cubs at Pirates

Lilly and Armas in half an hour. I would call that an even match-up.

Some thunder in the area.

In the standings

The Bucs are right at .500 and three and a half back of Milwaukee. Last night the top three teams in the division standings, the Brewers, the Pirates, and the Reds, beat the bottom three teams, the Cardinals, the Cubs, and the Astros. After Milwaukee, not much separates the division.

The Pirates are 5-6 at home this year and 5-2 on this current homestand.


Brian O'Neill looks at the new deal, fangraphs.

I admit I'm underwhelmed by these things. Of course the win probability goes up as the end of the game approaches. A football version would show how a last-second field goal wins the game, and for this a person might be tempted to argue that field goals are terribly important and field-goal kickers, terribly clutch. But we all know, as one of the tenets of the higher criticism, that football games are not won and lost on last-minute field goals. Both teams had 59 minutes to achieve a field-goal-proof position.

The same is true in baseball. A run is a run. In a 2-2 game, a run in the eighth is not important without the two runs scored earlier in the game. If the team wins 3-2, it sounds foolish to me to talk like the third run figured more in the win than the first or the second run. All runs count equally on the scoreboard. Preventing runs in the first is just as important as preventing runs in the eighth. And so on and so forth.

That said, Matt Capps and Ian Snell have been as good as anyone in the NL. There's no denying it. All hail Matt Capps, all hail Ian Snell.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Game 24: Cubs at Pirates

Hill vs. Duke, starting now. Doumit in RF batting fifth vs. the LHP.

End of April Standings

The Pirates are one game under .500 and three and a half back. The Brewers, at 15-9, had a great first month. All the teams of the NL Central continue to play each other today and tomorrow.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Sports Illustrated has video. Beware the background music. The voice-over does have some informative comments.

Game 23: Reds at Pirates

Pirates are still at Mediocre Point looking up at Opportunity Mountain. Paul Maholm and Aaron Harang this afternoon.

2007 NFL Draft, day 2

So far I'm underwhelmed by these picks, but what do I know? I don't know much of anything, sir.

... tell me they did not trade up to draft a punter? What's next--a mascot?

Steeler #3: Matt Spaeth

Picking Spaeth allows Arians to go with three TE sets. PFW likes the pick:

(Spaeth) is one of the best blockers in the draft and has the type of tough-minded, hard-nosed mentality to endear himself to the Pittsburgh brass. The Steelers, who like to use a lot of multiple-TE packages, landed a warrior.

Steeler #2: LaMarr Woodley

Scouting reports from the NFL and NFL draft countdown are favorable. PFW adds that Woodley "... made plays for the Wolverines and came up with big plays in the clutch". This bizarre youtube montage 'the Wood' has highlights (and quotes and pictures of wood. Earmuff the kids for this, as there's profanity).

PECOTA Top 100

Nate Silver of BP presents The PECOTA Top 100. Only one Bucco. When Upsides are used to assess overall organizational talent levels, the Bucs come in dead last in the final summary rankings of "Total Talent Stock". (Thanks to sludgeworm for the link).