For brazen fame-seekers like me, Kevin Hart’s Friday was the stuff dreams are made of. Not only did he pitch reasonably well, but on the day he started the game, the Cubs traded him. You know what that means? Significantly more people will be talking about him today than they would’ve had he not been traded. No publicity is bad publicity… maybe he’ll get noticed by a big Hollywood agent and start getting in the movies!
But his waking up this morning probably involved more weeping than excitement, as he realized that he has to go to Pittsburgh, where they’ve not had a winning season since 1992. At least he has old chum Ronny Cedeno to keep him company.
Kevin did get to comment on the trade after the game, and quite possibly revealed the Cubs’ motivation for wanting to get rid of him:
“When you get nine runs, it helps when you give up a couple of homers,”
Hart said. “Then I settled down and started throwing strikes.”
Now in the annals of dumb pitcher quotes, I think this one has to rank right up there with Dempster’s treatise on being able to give up lots of runs as a starter (or some such). In case you weren’t paying attention when you read the part that is set off and in italics, Kevin Hart said, “When you get nine runs, it helps when you give up a couple homers.”
Indeed, Kevin, indeed. Oh, and the offense looked pretty damn good again yesterday:
The Cubs, now a half-game up on the Cardinals in the NL Central, pounded out 13 hits, including back-to-back home runs from Jake Fox and Milton Bradley that gave the team 15 on the homestand. The Nos. 1 and 2 hitters, Kosuke Fukudome and Ryan Theriot, had four RBIs apiece.
With Reed Johnson injured, Fukudome could even find himself batting leadoff against left-handed pitchers.
“We could, but the only thing is he needs to get his rest,” manager Lou Piniella
said. “He really has been on his game, making nice contact … and
getting on base, which is what a leadoff hitter is supposed to do.”
For the homestand against Cincinnati and Houston, the Cubs lineup batted .310 and averaged 7.6 runs.
Whoever updates the Cubs’ 25-man roster page at Cubs.com must feel pretty secure in his/her job this year. With yesterday’s trade, another Iowa/Chicago/Iowa switcheroo is taking place:
The Cubs also optioned pitcher Mitch Atkins to Iowa. Sam Fuld
arrived in Chicago in time to jump on the charter for Florida. The Cubs
will activate him before tomorrow night’s game against the Marlins.
Apparently, there is no inclination to move Marshall to the
rotation, but the Cubs will need a starter next Tuesday in Cincinnati.
It could be Gorzelanny.
And Jeff Stevens got the gone today, here tomorrow treatment:
Because of Johnson’s injury, Jeff Stevens did
not have to wait 10 days in the minors before being recalled. He was
brought back Friday, two days after being sent to Triple A for a fresh
arm in Atkins.
“You have to learn to roll with it, kind of
expect the unexpected,” said Stevens, who never left Chicago. A player
must spend 10 days in the minors before being recalled, unless there is
Could Geo be back next week? And could REEDZ! be out for a shorter amount of time than initially thought?
Geovany Soto, who has been on the disabled list since July 7
because of a left oblique strain, will begin a minor-league
rehabilitation assignment this weekend and could return to the Cubs by
Wednesday, general manager Jim Hendry said.
”Optimistically, we hope he’s back in the lineup no later than
Colorado,” Hendry said of a series that opens against the Rockies next
Friday in Denver. ”Maybe a chance a little before that.”
Outfielder Reed Johnson was put on the disabled list before
the game because of a non-displaced fracture in his left foot. Though
initial projections had Johnson missing a month after he fouled a ball
off his foot Wednesday, Hendry said that projection was adjusted.
”I talked to the doctors today, and I don’t think anybody thinks
it’s going to be 30 days now,” Hendry said. ”Maybe 15, we’re hoping