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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Inner City Sweep

Aramis Ramirez took the handle of the broom himself and swept the White Sox out of Wrigley Field with their tails properly positioned between their little legs. I know this inner city series is pretty much even. All the better to see the '05 Champs leave the North Side without a win. Aramis was MVP of this three game series (with an undercard of Jimmy Edmonds), knocking the ol' horsehide around 6 for 13, including 4 HR and 8 RBI (yeah, he knocked in 36.4% of the Cubbies runs). I'd say he's on a tear, and it's a helluva time to show it.

Although, within the Friendly Confines, Aramis has been hot all year. He's rippin' it for a .336/.479/.603 in Wrigley, with 8 HR and 28 RBI, while "only" strokin' it for .263/.320/.460 on the road, with 6 HR and 25 RBI. Guess that means he's getting timely ribbies away from Chicago. He's so much more patient at home (159 pt. diff. in OBP!!), it leans toward not concentrating enough until he gets an runner in scoring position when he's on the road.

You can see the different approach at the plate for A-Ram in '08. He swings heavy until he gets two strikes, and then he chokes up (mentally) and makes sure to put that ball in the right place. It might not always be for a hit, but it'll at least be a productive out (hear that from the DL, Fonz?!). Which accounts for the RBI totals. Deeper analysis though, shows that at home he is A LOT more patient, with a 25/32 K/BB at home and a 24/9 on the road. That's 32 BB in 131 homies and 9 BB in 137 roadies (ya know, AB's). I'd say that's statistically significant (for those that didn't get it at +159 OBP). And then some.

Can ya bottle some of that and take it on the road? Might even want to carry that on, ya know what I mean? Cool.

Go Go Ryan Dempster. Wow. The man has quietly become the best starter on the staff. At least the most consistent. I mean, Big Z is still The Man, but the DempTruck is backing up to a mound near you. Although, like Ramirez, he's a homebody. And everybody knows it. Well, except for Ryan himself.

Yeah, yeah, at home he's an undefeated 9-0 in ten starts (and 0-2 in six starts on the road). Awesome, but we know that already. What ya may not know is that his ERA on the road is a stellar 2.48 (a very respectable 2.71 at home) and six of the runs scored against him on the road are unearned. Even the other stats look better on the road:

Home Road
WHIP 1.15 1.05
K/BB 2.15 2.42
GO/AO 1.66 1.26
Opp BA .294 .260

Looks like it just might be easier to pitch on the road after all (depending on the wind at 1060 W. Addison). So, Graham, you might ask, why the no wins on the road? Well, the obvious "boys ain't hittin' on the road" comments aside, perhaps the Opp SLG of .343 on the road (.295 at home) might show the higher percentage of dingers he's giving up away from the Ivy.

Hey, pobody's nerfect.

Bring on the Orioles!!

Go Cubs!!

Oh, on a side note I hear Murton is trade bait, with aim at a Starting Pitcher or a CF. Easier said than done, but I hear Coco Crisp's name an awful lot. I'd say I like Murton+Edmonds+The Reedster, but the future idea of the young man Crisp in Cubbie Blue is nice (especially being that lefty thang Sweet Lou likes so much). I doubt the Red Sox would part with him without a big time deal involving one of our young arms, so we'll just see about that. Until then, Jimmy don't look so bad out there as far as I'm concerned. Neither does that spark plug Reed Johnson. Great, I just wasted a whole frickin' paragraph. At least I shrunk the type.

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