Wake Me When We Win

Rich Hill, LHP
0-1, 7.00 ERA
19/9 K/BB, 2 HR in 18.0 IP
Eric Milton, LHP
5-12, 6.75 ERA
87/40 K/BB, 33 HR in 133.1 IP
2b Ryan Freel LF Matt Murton
SS Rich Aurilia 2B *Todd Walker
CF *Ken Griffey Jr. 1B Derrek Lee
LF Wily Mo Pena 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B *Adam Dunn SS Nomar Garciaparra
RF Austin Kearns RF *Jeromy Burnitz
C Jason Larue C Michael Barrett
3B Edwin Encarnacion CF *Corey Patterson
P *Eric Milton P *Rich Hill
Another day, another random lineup. The team is actually closer to last place in the division then it is to gaining a playoff spot. Mighty, mighty sad. PLAY WITH SOME PRIDE boys. You know what you do when you're in a losing streak? Other then pull out the old Mark Grace slump buster. You make things happen, steal when no one is expecting you to steal, force the action, what do you think the smartest player on our team was trying to do on Saturday? And don't give me, we don't have the talent to do it with. Yes we do. You don't need a bunch of gazelles to know how to run the bases or realize which pitchers and catchers are easy targets to run on. Hit and run once in awhile, you have a lineup full of guys capable of putting the bat on the ball (besides Corey and Burnitz). Do something, the Reds are third from the bottom in defensive efficiency, make THEM score runs for you. My second favorite team are the Anaheim Angles, mostly due to the AngelFan wife. I watch them quite a bit (probably more then the Cubs since they're on everyday), and they're a joy to watch. Every single player on that team knows how to run the bases, knows when to take an extra base. Scioscia will send ANYONE on ANY count, just to keep the other team on their heels. It's a fun brand of baseball to watch and it's a winning brand of baseball. The Angels have HAD MORE INJURIES then us this year and are still in first place. Every single starter, minus Darrin Erstad and Garrett Anderson, has spent time on the DL. (and Erstad has been out the last few days as well) Their second and third best pitchers are on the DL right now, their closer was on the DL, but still they're in first place, weak division or not. Sorry for the rant, I'm beyond frustrated. I can handle losing, I can't handle a total lack of effort. A loss today and we match our season long eight game losing streak along with the dubious distinction of getting swept AT HOME by the god-awful Cincinnati Reds. If that's not enough to get some people fired, I don't know what is. Has anyone figured out how many days until Opening Day 2006?


Zambrano, Prior, Wood, Rusch and Maddux, what else would the rotation be?

Deal the kids. Even without Dusty, deal the kids.

I don't understand this idiocy about dumping Dempster and getting a Proven Closer. The last time we went out and got an annointed closer he was Alfonseca. How has he not earned the job?

This team has been through a world of shit together. If we can put the same guys in positions they've shown they can win, I wouldn't be surprised to see this team run right through the NL next year.

Oh yeah, one thing. With a new manager.

well..the dumpster has been anything but spectacular the last month or so...in fact he's been awful.

Hey Dave, I didn't say .335 was nice OBP. Furcal has posted .345-.352 the past 2 years. That's what I was referring to. That's why I also noted that after a weak start, he's managed to get up to .335. Furcal has as good of a career OBP as Walker and better than Hairston. He also has 9 triples this year, 18 doubles and 32 SB. He's a quality leadoff guy.

Fantastic article in the Sun Times


in a nutshell

"Which era are the Cubs planning to be in next year? They keep throwing young guys out there, and if the plan is a youth movement, then Baker must go. But the Cubs will stop paying Sammy Sosa next year, and when you factor in savings from dumping Garciaparra, LaTroy Hawkins, Joe Borowski, Jeromy Burnitz and Mike Remlinger, that figures to be about $30 million to play with.

With that, they can take one more stab at building a team to win around starting pitchers Mark Prior, Kerry Wood and Carlos Zambrano. In that case, maybe you keep Baker for the last year of his contract. No extension."


My opinion is to dump Dusty and go with rebuilding from within AND from outside. But don't give away any of your talent by building from outside...sign a couple key free agents and then fill form within...build the organization and replace managers in the farm system with guys who teach fundamentals and teach the game.

Teams who get labeled "They are built to win it this year" usually means "They have no shot--they are a team made up of veterans beyond their prime and value falling fast".....this is a loser philosophy (where will SF finish this year with their must win it this year mentality?) and not one of perpetually winning organizations.

Let's hope Rich Hill read my letter to him from earlier this year from the entitled thread "Roster Crunch and Cat Skinning" on 6/15/05. It is a shame Hendry rushed him up to the bigs after never pitching above A ball before this year.

#23 of 131: By mannytrillo (June 15, 2005 02:23 PM)
Dear Mr. Rich Hill,
Please disregard the shelling you receieved today and might receive in your short stint in the majors this year. I, at least, realize you did not pitch higher than A ball before this year, so every out you get this year is a bonus, but hopefully the shelling not detrimental to your psyche.

Hendry and Baker should of just let you be for this year and waited to start your clock next year or used you for trade bait to strengthen their OF, but they are trying to set a MLB record for most different starting pitchers in one season.

Anyways, good luck the rest of the season (hopefully mostly in the minors), and if you get lit up, just know you might of been rushed a bit since you haven't even faced many high level minor leaguers yet.


If today's game is rained out, what are the chances the doubleheader is scheduled for Saturday, rather than Friday?

posted April 21, 2005
The Cubs offensive strength heading into this season was the infield. Not any more. Aram and D.Lee should be above league average...but you can't expect Mascias, Hairston and Perez to really fill the hole and collectively be above league average.

The outfield is probably league average....

Starting pitching is all over the place. Prior looks steady..Z is the Ace...Wood has no one to blame but Steve Stone...Maddux should be okay...

This team is good enough to win and should win enough to get them 3rd place in the division....which is about where I thought they would finish.

Posted by: cubfan at April 21, 2005 07:38 AM


You should read the replies to my post...kinda funny and showing how blind some people are to this team.


Why write it off?

Because Hendry wrote it off when he fielded a 70Million dollar team but paid $100 Million for it.

This team at full strength is not a 90 win team. Losing Walker and Nomar (and one more bad Kerry Wood performance and look for him to protect his ego and go on the DL) is losing two of the strongest bats on this team. And Dusty's unwillingness to play DuBois at all is a sign that things really are the same as last season (Why Hollandsworth against Ray King last night???)

It's time to let this season play out....The winner of the Central and the winner of the Wild card will win by a few games.....I think Nomar and Walker out for an extended period of time will cost us enough that it will eliminate any contention (which I didn't think this team had in them anyway)

Posted by: cubfan at April 21, 2005 07:59 AM


Oh the critical comments about my comments flowed...


Mark down this date and time. Already it wait until next year. You are a true ture cubfan, Cubfan. Only you could put a fork in this team already, 14 games into a season.

Get over yourself, you doomsday, Chicken Little.

"79 of 107: By cubfan (April 21, 2005 07:45 AM)
This team had too many holes to seriously contend for the WS heading into the season. We have no more holes on this team because the holes have grown so large the ground they play on has fallen apart....
DO NOT SPEND ONE DIME MORE ON THIS TEAM!!! In fact trade off high dollar crap who you can get quality player in return. This team will not win and advance to the post season. Do not kid yourself Jim Hendry.
Next year we will have a clear slate. I for one think Hendry basically put on a good game face for the public but privately was writing off this season anyway. Next season we won't have to pay Sosa a dime...we will be free of a lot of salary...If they pay wisely with a 100 million dollar payroll things will be much brighter."

Posted by: Chad at April 21, 2005 10:23 AM

Amazing how accurate my analysis of the past 2 seasons for the Chicago Cubs have been. In part because they are headed by Dusty Baker's must win this year with aging veterans at the expense of developing and utilizing the farm system...and Hendry trying to build the farm system. It's really Hendry who has caved. He's the one who has failed to bring Baker in line with his philosophy. Unless Hendry's philosophy is now Baker's philosophy, in which case this team is screwed for years and years and years...(which isn't all that surprising given the history of the organization).

"[The Cubs] series is no more important than winning this series [against Milwaukee]. Actually, the Brewers are ahead, aren't they?" - Matty Mo


Above link is another decent article about the Cubs awesome team.

"Baker opened the door for Wood to revert to a starter after rookie Rich Hill imploded during Wednesday's 8-2 loss to Cincinnati as the Cubs matched their longest losing streak of the season at eight games.

Asked if Wood could move into a new role, Baker replied: "Most definitely. But we don't know how much his arm can handle."

[ ]

Baker said there has been no talk yet of shutting Wood down.

"As long as he isn't feeling anything," Baker said. "The problem starts when he throws a number of pitches. Ö As long as we minimize his pitches, he says he feels great."

[ ]

"He's throwing the ball great," Baker said. "We just can't go to him when it means something yet. I have to talk to [general manager Jim Hendry] and we have to figure this thing out here, because we're not out of this [race] yet."

Hopefully Jim will recommend that Wood has shoulder surgery soon.

Looks like Grudz is even taking some shots at Hendry and the Cubs:
"Over the past few years they've made some changes and obviously they weren't the best."

Was he referring to picking Walker over him?

Well, one reason Hendry picked Walker over Grudz is I think he thought he needed Walker to help get Nomar. Also, Walker has be a little better offensive player over the past few years:

Grudz (2002-04): .294/.335/.397
Walker (2002-04): .287/.345/.439

Also, Walker was a little less injured:
Grudz (2002-04): 352 games
Walker (2002-04): 428 games

But Grudz is better defensively:
Grudz @ 2B: .985 FP, 4.92 RF, .847 ZR
Walker @ 2B: .982 FP, 4.78 RF, .793 ZR

I really like Grudz and he is having a really good year for cheap ($1 million). While WALker is making $2.5 million

2005 stats:
Grudz: .302/.342/.424
Walker: .296/.344/.457

It looks like the Suntimes report did a little more digging than the Trib guy.

"Dusty Baker seemed to leave the door open Wednesday to the possibility of Kerry Wood returning to the starting rotation as soon as Monday, but Cubs officials have no plans to go against the advice of doctors that Wood should be limited to one or two innings a game the rest of the season.

[ ]

Privately, however, club officials know the Cubs' playoff chances are the longest of long shots at this point, and Wood is likely to have surgery to clean out his rotator cuff and labrum later this month or in September. The sooner Wood has surgery, the better chance he will have to start spring training on time."

If being eight out with six teams to jump in the 6 weeks or however many before the seasons ends isn't "out of the race," then what is?

"Above link is another decent article about the Cubs awesome team."


(man what an ego, do you read any posts other than your own?)

I hate Matt Morris. I just wanted to get that out.

Wow, Manny, you're actually so proud of the obituary of Rich Hill's career you wrote after his first game you're reposting it! I'll give you credit, most people would hide from idiotic comments like that, you embrace them.

Its like he hasn't had several good outings since that day or something?

The problem's not that Rich Hill isn't ready to face major league hitters, the problem is that Rich Hill is a fine reliever who shouldn't be used in the starting rotation unless he learns another pitch.

But Hey, Anything to shift the blame of Dusty's sinking ship away from Dusty!

It was not an obituary, just a message to say the kid was not ready, which he clearly isn't. Hopefully Baker and Hendry learned their lesson now and send him back to work on some things (fastball, control, 3rd pitch).


Recent comments

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  • La Stella (3B) batting fifth. Could be the La Stella game.

  • [Drafts plans for CTSteve idol.]

  • Pitcher batting 9th. Bryant in left, Schwarber in right.

  • i'm not ready for it to end.

    i'm not ready for "well, they weren't supposed to make it this year..."

    i'm not ready to talk about the off-season yet.

  • I can relate to that, E-Man. I don't think I'll enjoy watching a high-stakes away game like this on TV. I've watched a lot of games this season after they ended or at least after the Cubs got out to a decent lead. Since they usually win, I've gotten to see a lot of baseball.

    But in this case I think we should probably all watch the game live, and not let the pressure exceed the pleasure.

  • Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!

  • Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.

    Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.

  • Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.

  • Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories. 

    And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around! 

  • CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!

    I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.

  • You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.

    BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.

  • oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.

  • Not surprised about Lester but bit surprised about Hendricks. Guessing that if something happens to Arietta right away they go to Lester but if they've burned relievers and are in extra innings they go to Hendricks.

  • My kids' 8:30pm (ET) bed time will be waived tonight (They are Rizzo & Castro fans). We'll get geared up in our Cubs apparel and will watch this as a family. I am stoked. Go Cubs!

  • Bryant: Base running adventures.

  • Remember Bryant's home-away splits, too.

    Wrigley: 21 HR, 59 RBI, .311/.408/.629
    Road: 5 HR, 40 RBI, .243/.333/.360