It's the Expansion Cubs against the Thrifty Friars in Game 4 today. One of the San Diego writers wandered by last night after the D-Lee trade and asked about the Cub' payroll. Give or take a few bucks, the Cubs are outspending the Padres by about $100 million. The Padres have a 6-game lead in the NL West while the Cubs are closer to the last-place Pirates than they are to the first-place Reds.
The big news this morning was that Tyler Colvin took grounders at first base.
"He's going to be getting some groundballs over there at first base," Lou said. "We'll do that for a couple days and see how he feels and how he does. It's been awhile (since Colvin played first _ in college). Let's see how he responds to the work, and then we can go from there."
The Cubs were mistaken yesterday when they told us Micah Hoffpauir would be coming to replace Derrek Lee. Hoffpauir can't come up because he was sent back to Iowa Aug. 13, and he must wait 10 days. So Sam Fuld is here. (Hoffpauir was on his way to the airport when the Cubs discovered the error, and Fuld took a red-eye out of San Francisco.)
Aramis Ramirez dismissed the idea of moving to first base when asked about it this morning. He also reiterated that he'll likely pick up his option for next year. That's been a no-brainer. He's not going anywhere.
Austin Bibens-Dirkx suffered his first Triple-A loss of the season as Iowa fell 4-2 to Sacramento. Bibens-Dirkx pitched 6 innings, giving up 10 hits and 4 runs. He's 5-1 with a 2.61 ERA.
At Tennessee (AA), the Smokies fell 7-6 in 10 to Mississippi. Brandon Guyer hit his 12th homer. He has an 18-game hitting streak, during which he's 33-for-70 (471). Chris Carpenter worked 7 innings, giving up 4 hits and 2 runs.
Daytona (A) got another nice performance from Trey McNutt, who worked 6 innings of 1-hit shutout ball as the Cubs beat Dunedin, 9-3. McNutt is 4-0 at Daytona with a 2.63 ERA. Ryan Flaherty homered, and DJ LeMahieu had 3 hits.
Peoria (A) beat Burlington 5-2. Nelson Perez hit his ninth homer. Recently acquired Brett Wallach starts tonight for the Chiefs. Nick Struck worked 5 innings of relief last night to get the win.
Boise (A) got 5 good innings from Austin Kirk, who improved to 4-5 with a 3.31 ERA. He gave up 4 hits and 1 run. Ryan Cuneo, Jeff Vigurs and Richard Jones homered.