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wrigley field from right bleachersThe wind is apparently howling out to left today, so Travis Wood is going to have to locate his pitches even better than usual. Fingers crossed. And, on the flip side, get the ball up in the air, Cubs.

The Crosstown Classic is on the line … the Cubs can lock it up today. Superstar Dioner Navarro gets the day off today. Rest up for the next one.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (21-30) at Chicago White Sox (24-26), 1:20 CT on WGN (White Sox broadcast on CSN).

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview for this series lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Jake Peavy (6-2, 2.97 ERA, 4.20 K/BB)

versus

Travis Wood (4-3, 2.27 ERA, 2.00 K/BB)

Chicago White Sox Lineup

1. Alejandro De Aza, CF

2. Alexei Ramirez, SS

3. Alex Rios, RF

4. Paul Konerko, 1B

5. Dayan Viciedo, LF

6. Conor Gillespie, 3B

7. Jeff Keppinger, 2B

8. Tyler Flowers, C

9. Jake Peavy, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Luis Valbuena, 3B

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Travis Wood, P

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    Man, why do they keep putting the White Sox team on WGN? Hopefully Hawk won’t be back.

    • ncsujuri

      I was wondering that myself yesterday when I realized it was the White Sox crew again…

    • Peter

      Thats why I hate WGN and the bullshit deal they have with the Cubs. They call themselves the Cubs network and those fucking assholes broadcast more Sox games than Cubs games. I can’t wait for the TV contract to be done with them and the Cubs and tell them to fuck off

      • hansman1982

        Or WGN carries 17 White Sox games to 81-ish for the Cubs.

        Damn those facts all to hell.

      • WGNstatic

        You could also look at these as freebie Cubs games on WGN, since they don’t count against the total number of Cubs’ games broadcast on WGN.

      • Timothy Scarbrough

        I would get to watch significantly less Cubs games…

  • Kyle

    Did we ever get a makeup date for the rainout? I must have missed it.

    • cjdubbya

      Not yet, saw June 24th thrown out as a suggestion.

  • Idaho Razorback

    I hate it when a player has a career game and then gets the next day off.

    • Cheryl

      Hasn’t it happened before with Sveum?

    • Kyle

      I love it. Nothing like management who doesn’t overreact to small variances.

    • TWC

      There is no predictive value in a hot streak; Navarro is no more likely to have a monster of a game today than he was yesterday. The fact that he *did*, while fortunate for the Cubs (and a lot of fun to watch), is clearly an aberration.

      • joe

        I guess you have never felt what it’s like to be locked in at the plate. Sometimes you get hot and just see the ball better. Never know how long it’ll last.

        • TWC

          Your anecdote is irrelevant.

          • joe

            Do Soriano’s hot streaks have any predictive value?

            • TWC

              No. Cold streaks have a marginal predictive value. Hot streaks have none.

        • patrick

          Dude had 2 belly high hanging changeups for the first 2 jacks, then was sitting dead red 2-0 on the 3rd jack. Not sure if hes locked in or just made the pitchers pay for mistakes.

          • joe

            I get what you’re saying, but if it was that easy there would be a lot of great hitters. For whatever reason he didn’t miss any mistakes yesterday.

            • TWC

              He got lucky.

              • joe

                Some luck for sure. All I’m saying is sometimes hitters get locked in. Whether there are stats to back it up or not. Soriano is a perfect example of a player who starts seeing the ball well, and then goes on a ten game tear. Everyone who has played baseball know what that feeling is like, all the sudden the baseball looks like a softball.

        • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

          What does that mean, so “see the ball better”?
          Eyesight suddenly improve?

          • patrick

            Commenting on “joes comment” Norm.

          • joe

            Just a feeling at the plate. Don’t know if you ever played baseball but it just happens, can’t explain it i guess.

            • joe

              Maybe it’s a confidence thing, who knows why it happens.

              • ALb_daKID

                Joe is absolutely right. As a ball player there are times where your timing and recognition of the ball as pitched is hightened. Is there a tangible terminology to explain this? No. But to say it doesnt exist is naive. If you research accounts of athletes saying “I seen the ball/play in slow motion” you can than assume “seeing the ball good” is in fact a true occurance. I myself have gotten into grooves in highschool and at the college level where I was “Seeing the ball” better or shall I say my pitch recognition was at its “A” game. The only thing I can specifically about such occurances is I seemed to be at an extreme point of focus. I’m sure Navarro was as well.

                • joe

                  Exactly, couldn’t have said it better.

                • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                  Do you know this ahead of time, or only after the fact?
                  If it’s only after the fact, could it just be that you are feeling a sense of euphoria because you just laced a rocket?

                  • ALb_daKID

                    Great question. I cant speak for others but from my personal experiences when I’ve been locked in usually a made a great play on the infield prior to my at bats or I was extremely focused prior to the game. I’ll never forget my senior year in highschool I was being recruited by Long Island University, University of South florida and Florida International University. Prior to the game I was hitting off a tee and against a used tire I knew this was my time to turn opportunity into LUCK. I vividly remember being sooo focused I seen the pitches in slow motion. Long story short I hit two jacks. This resulted in a confidence boost and i went on a tear for the next 6 games.

                • Timothy Scarbrough

                  I think what changes is how you feel about hitting, and how you are seeing the ball. The numbers don’t really back up what you are saying. I know what you are saying about how you feel like you are seeing the ball, but I think what it reflects are the differences between perception and reality.

        • hansman1982

          Let me ask this question…

          Do you feel locked in before the game? If so, are there games that you know you are going to go 0-4 with 3 K’s? If so, then why would you ever want to be in the lineup that day?

          Or is it that, after the game, you realize you had a helluva game and then thought you were locked in and any good performance for the next 2 weeks was you being “locked in”?

          • SirCub

            I don’t know, man. I was playing cornhole this weekend, and I could feel it when I was locked in. That hole looked about 3 feet wide.

          • TWC

            I think this is probably exactly what happens. The “locked on” feeling is applied retroactively. If you feel “locked in” and step up the the plate and strike out on three straight pitches in the dirt, you’ll completely forget you ever felt that way.

            The “locked in” feeling is a great anecdote and makes for great stories, but there’s no evidence that it exists.

            • SirCub

              I feel it in golf, too. It’s all about just feeling comfortable when you step up, and seeing the ball well. I feel like it’s a thing. I mean, everybody says its a thing. It feels like its a thing. How could it not be a thing?

              • MichiganGoat

                I feel it when I get a fresh growler from Founders… I just know that I’m going to drink every drop, I now it will be delicious, I know I will feel happier after each pint…

              • TWC

                Right. But if you stepped up, feeling comfortable, and shanked the ball that it bounced off the ladies tee in front of you and ended up 10′ behind you, you’d probably really quickly forget that you ever felt that way.

                I don’t doubt the “locked in” feeling — I’m sure all of us have felt that way at one point or another working on this or that. My point is that it’s a label that your brain applies retroactively to successes you may have that lie well above the level of your average performance.

                • SirCub

                  Yea, maybe. It’s just one of those things that’s really hard to accept, because I’ve been conditioned to believe it my whole life.

                  I think I need to do some psychedelic drugs and re-evaluate my position on the issue.

                  • TWC

                    “It’s just one of those things that’s really hard to accept, because I’ve been conditioned to believe it my whole life.”

                    Bingo.

                    “I think I need to do some psychedelic drugs and re-evaluate my position on the issue.”

                    Bingo.

            • MichiganGoat

              BLAH… you got no chemistry to say that, you lack the scrappiness to understand being “locked in” ……………….. BELLY FIRE TWTW is all that matters you dirty hippie

            • joe

              Did you play baseball? Just curious, not in a negative way if you didn’t.

          • joe

            No, it’s a feeling that you get right when the pitcher releases the pitch. You see it and you know you’re gonna hammer it. Doesn’t matter the pitch location or pitch you just see it better. Did you play baseball? not trying to say it’s bad if you didn’t.

            • hansman1982

              I did…I’ve also come to realize that most of things I used to think about baseball were wrong.

            • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

              So you’re only locked in on a pitch by pitch basis? If you only know it when the pitcher releases it, how can you be locked in on the next pitch? Or how can people say Navarro is ‘locked in’ if he hasn’t seen a pitch yet?

              • joe

                When you’re locked in it’s every pitch whether you take it or swing you just see it better. It’s just a feeling that can’t be explained unless you have felt it. Stats can’t say that it’s not true when there are multiple people here who say it has happened to them, and multiple players in Major League Baseball say it too.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  “it’s a feeling that you get right when the pitcher releases the pitch.”

                  “When you’re locked in it’s every pitch whether you take it or swing you just see it better.”

                  So … which is it?

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    Bueller?

                • MichiganGoat

                  That’s quite romantic description and makes for a great interview, article, or biographic story. But sadly math always shows us that the beautiful narrative does not look as beautiful as we want it to be. We love to remember, retell, and relish in the beautiful moments and can ignore the mediocre and flat out awful moments. But math is a heartless bitch that has no feelings and always reminds us of the reality of the world.

                  This is why I don’t teach math… but I also cannot deny its reality.

                • DarthHater

                  Yea, there are days when I’m in the zone and can tell from the first word of a comment that it’s going to be utterly moronic. There’s no rational explanation for it. It’s just a gift.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    or those streaks of getting just the right meme to describe the idiocy of you comment… man thats the double rainbow of the zone

                    • DarthHater

                      You’re totally right, goat. There are some periods when the meme stream just flows and other times when the river runs dry.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    This just might be one of the most interesting pre-game threads I can remember. We are tripping the light fantastic and waxin poetical today

                    • DarthHater

                      We’re locked in the zone, man …

            • TWC

              Yeah, I get that. But if you have that feeling and DON’T hammer that pitch, does that mean you weren’t really locked in?

              Just like a “hot streak”, there’s no predictive value in it. It’s a way to describe past performance.

            • MichiganGoat

              If by playing baseball at a top level like above AA then no but I do remember going on good streaks during HS but I also remember having a great game when I thought I saw and could hammer everything followed by a game where I couldn’t get it out of the OF. But that was also HS and the pitching was never great.

              Here’s how I think the MLB is different. A player might just be in tuned with a pitcher for one game and can just have their way, but with the MLB that “zone” will not last into the next pitcher. Hot streaks are full of bad games if a player hits 5 HR over a week, get 10 RBIs but in two of those games they go 0-8 with 5Ks are people going to say he was on a hot streak? Yup and those bad games get forgotten in the narrative.

              • joe

                I don’t disagree with anything you’re saying. Just that you can be locked in for periods of time without any explanation of why. I guess unless you’ve felt it, it’s probably hard to believe and sounds dumb. I’m not arguing with anyone just saying the felling of being locked in is real and results come with it.

                • MichiganGoat

                  And I’m saying that if you had the data in front of you those moments when you believed you were so locked in wouldn’t look as impressive as you memory tells you. We want to trust and believe the romantic nature of ourselves, but the world is quite structured and reverts back to the norm the more we look at it objectively.

                  • joe

                    It’s not beleiving anything. It’s a feeling that a lot of baseball players have, so there’s no point in saying it’s not impressive as your memory tells you. The stats really have nothing to do with the feeling of being locked in. A lot of times while locked in you line out. It’s about pitch recognition and solid contact when you swing. When you’re locked in sometimes you end up taking more walks then normal because you’re able to lay off borderline pitches that you would normally chase. Like I said unless it’s happened to you, you’ll probably never believe it. I’m sure there’s plenty of former players on here that know exactly what I’m talking about. It can last a day, week, month, year you never know.

                    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                      Baseball players also believe phiten necklaces help their performance.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Thats beautiful man… and I’ll leave it at that. I hope everyone everywhere has a feeling that great that lasts forever.

                    • BluBlud

                      So if Navarro stayed this locked in for a year, would he hit 486 HR in a season.

                    • DarthHater

                      No, Blu. After about 110 HRs, he would get 200-300 IBBs.

                    • BluBlud

                      OH, so thats what seeing the ball better will do for you. I learn something everyday.

                    • DarthHater

                      You also have to take into account the fact that Sveum would only start him about 1/4 of the time. :-P

                    • BluBlud

                      So thats more like 70 HR and 100 IBB’s. Not bad for your backup catcher.

                    • BluBlud

                      Though, according to the logic here, if he’s lock in, he continues to play the next game, so he might not ever get a day off. Cal Ripken better watch out.

                  • DarthHater

                    I think we are all overlooking the well-known fact that hot streaks happen when Jobu comes and takes fear from the bat.

            • BluBlud

              I played High school and college ball. I have had hot streaks that lasted a few games. I remember having 2 games in college having 7 hits, 6 SB and a walk. I never remember seeing the ball better. I just remember using my skills and making good contact on a baseball no more then I usually did. I just got lucky. A couple of my balls were single in the right spot, and one double, which is probably the only ball I hit extremely hard in that streak. It was all luck. the SB were skill that result from my lucky singles. I wasn’t lock in, seeing the ball better, or anything else other then lucky that 7 balls all landed in the right spot.

              Remember, every player that can homer basicly has Homerun Power every at-bat. He just got lucky and made that kind of cantact 3 time in one game. It has nothing to do with what he will do today.

        • hansman1982

          Josh Hamilton went 1-4 with 2K’s after his 4-HR game last year. Over the next 15 days he proceeded to bat exactly as he had done all season.

          Yesterday’s game has 0 bearing on today’s game outside of fatigue.

        • Hookers or Cake

          I got locked in at the plate once at a Sizzler all you can eat shrimp night… let me tell ya, it got ugly.

          • DarthHater

            [img]http://www.tdpri.com/forum/attachments/bad-dog-cafe/151886d1352857172t-fancy-dinner-homer_eating_fish-jpg[/img]

            • BluBlud

              How do you get this shit up so fast.

              • DarthHater

                Like I said, man, when I’m locked in the zone . . .

              • Cubbie Blues

                I’m just glad he didn’t post a picture for seeing the ball better.

                • BluBlud

                  It’s coming

                  • DarthHater

                    Right. Shall I also post a pic for “It’s coming?” :-P

                    • BluBlud

                      That may not be appropriate.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      [img]http://miloadornoworld.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/coming-soon-signfotolia_21008249_xs.jpg[/img]

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    That’s one of the things I’m afraid of.

    • hansman1982

      What’s awesome is that Len and JD talked about it at the start of the game. JD agreed that there is very little value in being “locked in”.

      I’d say that JD knows what he is talking about…

      • Kyle

        Those guys are amazing. They’ve been doing a fantastic job of explaining why Travis Wood has been lucky without flat-out burying him.

    • cas-castro

      That start was based on the pitching match up. Navarro sees Danks well and was something like 5 for 15 going into the game. Small sample size,of course, but it worked in the cubs favor.

  • gratefulled

    C’mon Cubs, sweep these turds!!!

  • cjdubbya

    I feel like this is setting up to be one of those “throw it out” starts from last year with Wood. Hoping I’m wrong.

    • willis

      Yeah, I fear he’s going to get home runned form here to holy hell.

      Hopefully not, I’d love to finish these dudes off with another win.

  • Die hard

    With wind blowing out like that why didn’t flip Rizzo with Sori and drop DeJesus behind Rizzo with Castro at top?

    • TWC

      Because you want the guy who gets on base frequently to bat ahead of the guys that don’t.

      I really cannot fathom why this is so hard for you to understand.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Or, because Sveum likes it better this way.

      • Die hard

        That’s Sveums problem — not accepting that Castro hits 50 PTS higher lead off

        • TWC

          Well, that’s false. But I didn’t expect anything else.

          Why not bat Castro 6th? He has a career 2.500 OPS at that spot.

          • Cubbie Blues

            I would rather him bat 7th, but that would require us getting better bats to put in front of him.

            • SirCub

              I always thought it would be cool to bat your best player 8th. That way, the other team would look at the roster and say, “Holy cow, they’ve got that guy batting 8th? They must be good.”

              • Rich H

                Remember when AROD battled 7th in playoffs? And the Yankees did have 6 hotter bats in front of him. Scary huh.

          • Die hard

            Don’t start with career stats until 5 full years–the kid already said feels most comfortable which over 5 years should show up in stats you can cite

            • MichiganGoat

              So ignore stats over a gut feeling and what a player once said???? Well then just ignore my previous post.

        • MichiganGoat

          Die hard I’ve learned to enjoy your comments but you really need to do something called research before posting you crazy ideas.

          So let me help you
          1- Go here http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=castrst01&year=Career&t=b#lineu
          2-Okay first Castro had approx. 600 (900 vs 300 (yes I’m aware I’m rounding these-to make a point) more AB as the 2 vs. leading off so we’re not comparing apples to apples here
          3-his BA is .02 better as a leadoff hitter, SLG & OBP roughly .04 points higher, and his BABIP is along the same lines.

          Sooooo you could make a strong argument that he has done better as a leadoff hitter BUT the sample sizes are just really off to say that if he was switched to leadoff. But go ahead and continue to post the obtuse opinions dressed up as facts. The web is really easy to do this research I’m sure you can figure it out.

          And these are just the simplest of offensive stats, I’m sure if more was explored you could strengthen you case or realize that there is no case. But come on man do your homework first.

          • Featherstone

            Come now. Never let the facts get in the way of a good narrative.

            • DarthHater

              or an absurd narrative, as the case may be…

          • DarthHater

            [img]http://weknowmemes.com/generator/uploads/generated/g1369938017230535601.jpg[/img]

          • BluBlud

            MG, I don’t think this really matters. A player is who they are, and the person batting behind the hitter probably has more impact then the spot that the hitter hits in. Castro is Castro. He is the same hitter in the 1 hole as he is in the 8 hole, and every hole in between.

            • MichiganGoat

              That is what I ultimately see when looking over the stats, I was just trying to show die hard how to do the work (research the stats) to come to a conclusion… of course that was where I made my mistake. The Die Hardian can not be changed by valid facts!

  • ssckelley

    Castillo with another knock today!

  • Bsteady

    Joe, you’re completely right. Sometimes you just see it better for whatever reason

    • joe

      It’s a great feeling

      • mudge

        Mattingly talked about that – “when I’m seeing the ball good.” As far as romantic illusions goes, you can’t beat the one that holds that baseball is can be completely understood by applying mathematical formulae.

        • hansman1982

          I don’t think anyone who “believes” in Sabermetrics thinks we can fully understand the game. It does give us A LOT of the answer, but not all of it.

          Think of it this way…in searching for the answer to everything, Sabermetrics tells us that the answer is somewhere between 41 and 43.

          • Timothy Scarbrough

            And wouldn’t an even 42 be pretty?

    • cubchymyst

      I think what you are all alluding to is the so called “Zone” that has been talked about in all sports. If I remember correctly it is suppose to be the point where you no longer have to think and your body naturally reacts to achieve the desired outcome weather it is drive the ball hard or score a basket. A quick google search “playing in the zone: yields a few books and websites about it. There is never going to be any numbers to back it up but it is not uncommon to hear a phrase along to the lines “He is over thinking and is messing up his game”

  • 0708champ

    I believe it is Gillapsie, not Gillespie

  • Bsteady

    Batting avg. is certain spots in the order is one of the most overrated kept stats. You want your best OBP guy hitting leadoff. As simple as that. And Rizzo hits 3rd because he is your best hitter. Sori can’t hit third because he would kill ALOT of 1st inning rallies with a K and a GIDP. Would you rather a game end with Rizzo batting and Sori on deck, or Sori batting and Rizzo on deck?

    • Die hard

      Ricky Henderson did ok

      • TWC

        Because he had a .400 OBP to go with his .280 BA.

        • hansman1982

          What’s OBP? How does that tie into RBI’s?

          • MichiganGoat

            What RBI does it relate to a players BFTWTWsCRAP rating?

            • Hookers or Cake

              BYOB is the only stat I pay attention to.

              • BluBlud

                So does BYOB+TWTW=HOF career.

  • Bsteady

    And what in the world does the wind have to do with anything?!? Castro should be our 6th hitter if and/or when we’re competitive

  • hansman1982

    Castillo with a BABIP correcting IF hit…

  • hansman1982

    TRAVIS MO-FOING WOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • JOE

      I have such a man-crush on T-Wood these days!!

    • Tobias

      Remember the days where it wasn’t a sure thing T-Wood would even make the club.

  • willis

    Wow, Travis Wood. And don’t look now but Valbuena is pretty awesome.

    Suck on that White Sox.

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    Travis Wood sure looked locked in. Lets bat him 8th tomorrow.

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      Hell, lets bat him 4th.

      • BluBlud

        Hell, I thought your best hitter is supposed to hit 3rd. Maybe Wood is just seeing the ball really well.

  • Oswego Chris

    Awe…where is Hawk at?….coward…

  • BluBlud

    Doesn’t our pitchers now own the record for most RBI in a month?

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      I don’t know this, but it is possible Babe Ruth had a monster month at some point in Boston and carried a staff to have plenty of RBIs.

      • DarthHater

        Yea, in 1918 and 1919, Ruth was pitching and playing OF and 1B. In 1919, he hit 29 HRs and 114 RBIs. Based on numbers of starts, I’d estimate that about one third of those came when he was pitching.

  • BluBlud

    Another Question. If the all-star break was right now, would Wood(double entendre) be on the team.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      No…too many SP’s having better seasons.

  • kuvihorken

    Travis WOAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhh

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Hey DocPeteWimsey remember how I wrote a while back – maybe a month ago why Garza should be traded because among other things he was a poor hitter and fielder ? You ripped me for suggesting that should be a factor when evaluating a pitchers worth to a team in the NL. Any remorse now ? Considering Wood, Feldman, & Samardzija have all been more than helpful in winning quite a few of their own games. I rest my case

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      heh

    • DarthHater

      Gee, I guess no amount of hard statistical evidence could overcome such overwhelming proof. Whew.

      • Bric

        Darth I normally see your point in most of your postings but I gotta agree with Lou on this one. “Advanced Stats” and “Sabermatricians” are, for the most part, most useful in fantasy baseball, ESPN Baseball Tonight, and blogs such as this one.

        I understand that Doc is an advanced statistician who’s worked in Washington, given lectures in Australia, and so forth. I’ve read his comments for years. But everybody’s wrong sometimes. Just ask Bernancke, O’Neill and all the other economics gurus who swore that Wall Street would never crash.

        This isn’t fantasy baseball, it’s real ball, played by real people who make mistakes sometimes. The prognosticators and statisticians should remember that and admit when they’ve made errors, too.

        • DarthHater

          (a) the fact that few Cubs pitchers have contributed to a few wins with their bats this season says absolutely nothing about the general point of how important a pitcher’s hitting is when assessing his overall value to a team

          (b) Your statement that advanced states and sabermetrics are most useful in fantasy baseball is entirely contrary to the evolution of decisionmaking by MLB teams over the past decade.

          • DarthHater

            *stats, not states – (f-ing non-existent edit button…)

  • JOE

    Go Cubs Go!!

  • DarthHater

    Well, Gregg finally gave up a run. :-P

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      A bullshit run.

      • DarthHater

        My mistake. ;-)

  • JulioZuleta

    Travis Wood’s OPS is .903…

  • JulioZuleta

    Does anyone have a link to a highlight of Wood’s grand slam from the White Sox’s broadcast?

    • SirCub

      No, but you can listen to the Cubs broadcaster’s version with your speakers on mute. Same difference.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    I’m just saying fielding your position , including pitchers, as well as the ability to contribute to the offense whether it be bunting, putting the ball in play, or the occasional base hit or even extra base hit should be considered when evaluating NL starting pitchers. I believe Lincecum, Cain, & Vogelsong winners of two recent World Series would agree. Take that Darth Hater.

    • Kyle

      It doesn’t make a huge difference, but I am a huge fan of guys like Wood, Feldman and Zambrano who can add half a win a year with their offense.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    I was always a big Rick Reuschel and Fergie Jenkins fan both of whom were accomplished hitters as well as pitchers.

    • Bilbo161

      You bring back good memories. Rick, and Fergie are two of my all-time favorite Cubs. I love good hitting pitchers.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    Braves just cut loose Juan Francisco, I know Valbuena has been playing good.. Do the Cubs kick the tires on this one?

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