Results tagged ‘ Scorecard EXTRA ’
On top of that, the Double-A Tennessee Smokies won their opening round playoff series and take on the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (a Marlins affiliate) in the Southern League championship series starting tomorrow. Two players leading the Smokies also will be leading Team USA in the upcoming COPABE Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament, scheduled for Oct. 1-10 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Outfielder Brett Jackson (right) and right-handed pitcher Chris Archer both have made big strides in 2010. In Vine Line, we’ve covered both Archer’s critical development of his command as well as Jackson’s athleticism and upbeat attitude.
Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein also contributed the following two prospect updates to our September Scorecard EXTRA, which you can pick up at Wrigley Field during the season’s final homestand next week:
“While the significant playing time handed to top prospects Starlin Castro and Andrew Cashner signal the Cubs’ youth movement in the big leagues, there’s more coming. The Cubs have had an excellent year down on the farm, with a pair of players reaching Double A, and making a run to reach the big leagues in 2011.
The Braves roll into town for a three-game set this weekend. The Cubs will thankfully miss ace Tim Hudson’s spot in Atlanta’s rotation, so let’s focus on their offense.
Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus broke down the effectiveness of the Braves lineup in the August Scorecard EXTRA (below).
Be sure to factor in the recently added Derrek Lee’s presence.
PITCHING: 3.44 Fair RA (first in MLB)
Because the Padres arguably have no single pitcher racking up big numbers, it’s easy to lose sight of their team-wide strengths. They’re the toughest team to hit against: They lead the NL in strikeout percentage, punching out 21 percent of opposing batters, and also profit from a league-best defense. Their 2.89 bullpen FRA reflects a seven-deep spread of effective ‘pen men, headlined by closer Heath Bell. Setup man Luke Gregerson and Mike Adams provide a reminder of how top relievers can be near-everyday impact players in their own right.
The Cubs got a taste of Padres closer Heath Bell in the non-save situation of last night’s ninth inning. He retired Starlin Castro, Kosuke Fukudome and Darwin Barney in order–the first two striking out.
Bell didn’t pitch in the Aug. 14 and Aug. 15 Padres-Giants games, so expect to see him back on the mound during the last three games of this series.
If it’s in a save situation, as Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus explains in August’s Scorecard EXTRA (right), beware. His 35 saves (in 38 opportunities) lead the NL.
Though San Diego’s pitching staff, with its NL-leading 3.23 ERA, has stood out this season and helped the Padres to their unexpected contender role in the West, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has once again been the rock of the team’s lineup.
And while the Cubs need to focus on getting to Jon Garland, Mat Latos, and other quality Padres throwers that will appear throughout the week, they can’t sleep on the big guy that’ll stand in every day.
Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus explains why (right) in the August edition of Scorecard EXTRA.
While Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and the injured Chase Utley are the Philadelphia offensive regulars that grab most of the headlines, it is centerfielder Shane Victorino who often fuels the Phillies’ run production.
Despite a .250 average, the 5-9 Hawaiian knocked 14 balls out of the park, accrued 48 RBIs and stole a team-high 17 bases in the season’s first half. Baseball Prospectus’ Christina Kahrl highlighted Victorino’s versatility in July’s Scorecard EXTRA (above).
Chicago fans, though, should take note of Cincinnati’s 16 hits in the 10-inning game. As Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus points out in July’s Scorecard EXTRA (above), the hot-hitting Reds will look to do more of the same, putting runs on the board and pressure on the Cubs hitters.
Jeff Garlin will be visiting Wrigley Field today to sing the seventh-inning stretch. The comedian got his start in Chicago and now is a leading voice in the animated movie Toy Story 3 coming out in June.
One of the Cubs’ most enthusiastic celebrity fans, Garlin was keeping tabs on Opening Day in our Scorecard EXTRA while watching from the PNC Club. Will you be keeping score this weekend, too?
We have an exciting slate of interleague games for this homestand, as we invite the Twins, White Sox and Indians into the “Friendly Confines.” We’ll have tons of game-day photos all week and some sneak peeks at our next publications.
Right-hander Kevin Slowey (8-2, 4.21 ERA) takes the mound for the Twins.
Cubs special assistant Dave Littlefield on today’s Twins starter:
“Kevin Slowey gives up hits but, simply put, keeps guys off base. He’s not just a finesse guy. He has a solid fastball with some sink and a cutter that gets the ball going in different directions to the hitter.”
You can get a full-page breakdown of the Twins by purchasing our Scorecard EXTRA, still just $2 at Wrigley Field.