Bully For The Cubs

The Cubs have now beaten two of the game’s most pitiable teams five times in a row. Even though our favorite team has hardly been a juggernaut this season, since the now 9-22 Nationals came to town Friday, I felt like I was like rooting for the bully to steal the innocent kid’s lunch money. It’s fun to be on the side of the bully sometimes. With another innocent kid coming to town on Tuesday, lunch money in hand, the prospects of the Cubs extending their win streak to six, seven or eight appear good. Sadly, the schedule gets more challenging after the Pirates leave Wrigley, with three games in Philadelphia, four games at Shea and three games against the White Sox in the Cubs’ future. According to the MLB RPI Rankings at espn.com–which weigh the quality of a team’s opposition–the Cubs currently rank 16th in the Major Leagues, 14 spots behind the division-leading Brewers. The series against the Mets and White Sox will give the Cubs the opportunity to move up. In the meantime, let’s concentrate on stealing a little more lunch money.
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Comments

However, on Baseball Prospectus' adjusted standings page, the Cubs should have a record of 18 and 10 or so, besting the record the Brewers should have of 18 and 13. Their third-order wins statistic is also adjusted for strength of schedule and the quality of their opponent's pitching and hitting.

Since we're talking about fake wins early in the season, we might as well consider several sources. : )

Wow... all these links are just a step above "power rankings" ***shudder***

Bully... blah... Business should not be personal. You go out there to win. Win dammit.

I think the Pirates are a cut above the Nationals. 2 out of 3 will suit me fine (but yeah, a sweep would be better).

Thanks, Stevens, for the BP note. I should have checked there, too.

If we can't win an actual championship, I would settle for a Third Order title. Maybe we could play in the Third Order World Series.

Am I the only one who loads that page and sees the Cubs at 16th on the list instead of 21st?

That is still 14 behind the Brewers.

And the Brewers have also had the fun of beating up on a lot of Pittsburgh, St Louis, and Houston....oh, and a little Florida.

I checked late last night. They might have updated since then.

I just don't understand the scheduling. Pittsburgh plays a day game in Milwaukee and the Cubs are at home. We both have off days. Then we play three against each other and both play travel for games on Friday. Why not just come down the 90 miles and play Mon - Tues - Wed then both teams can travel on Thursday?

Our strength of schedule though is just behind the Brewers, both in the bottom third of the league. Brewers got a bit lucky early on, we didn't. Hope it evens out a bit as the year goes on.

Dodgers look like a juggernaut though. Toughest schedule in the league so far and winning.

Nice to see the Cubs actually beat the teams they are supposed to beat. If they can keep it up against the Bucs, then there is at least hope they'll step up when its "nut cuttin' time" against the Phils, Mets, and Sox.

Of course, hope is the Cub Fan's cruel mistress...

Great article Cubnut: I was at all three games and it did feel like we were the kid that everyone had beat up lately, who had finally found someone weaker to steal lunch money from.

I read somewhere that they changed the contract to some new company for scheduling this year. They switched from some mom-n-pop shop that did a really good job in the past. No reasoning behind the switch, but lots of head-scratchers in the schedule this year. Absolutely crazy.

The Cubs have now beaten two of the game’s most pitiable teams five times in a row.

Tell me, what team is more pitiable than the Cubs? We finished last in the NL last year.

For the record, LAST YEAR ON MAY 7th the Cubs were 6 games behind first place Cincinnati (21-11) with a record of 14-16 after losing six in a row.

This year we're 15-14 and 5 back of first place Milwaukee (21-10).

Buck Coats is a good ole boy. I guess that shouldn't suprise me.

Speaking of odd schedules. Who are the Brewer's AL enemy? Seems like the White Sox would be the closest, but they're already claimed. Or are the Brewers one of the two NL teams without one of those?

brewers vs twins

It took a few innings but SEAN MARSHALL finally gave up a hit today (2K 0 BB). He still hasn't allowed an earned run in his rehab starts for Iowa.

Iowa Cubs 3 NO 0 in the 5th. Hoffpauir HR (5).

Leicester called up by the O's

The ICE MAN Cometh!!!!!!!

What I love about minor league baseball on the radio is you hear phrases like 'the best pizza in central Iowa'. That's sort of like 'the best shorstop of the Cubs'.

Ronny is supposed to be starting tomorrow for the I-Cubs.

Here's why I hate this schedule.

Counting today's off day, we've been scheduled to play 30 games and have had 5 off days. Average of 6 games between off-days.

Not counting the Astros make-up, we have 132 games left in the year. We have 11 off-days left (4 of those are at the same time). That's an off-day every 12 games. That number is significantly less for those people who lose the off-days for the All-Star Game.

We don't need all these off-days in April and May. Guys are still fresh at the beginning of the year. We need them later in the year when we play 46 in 48 days from 7/24 until 9/9. We're off only 8/13 and 8/27 in that span of games.

How in the heck is it that the schedule plays out with 2 off days in a month and a half span IN AUGUST when we've played only a month and four days this season IN APRIL and have already had 5 off-days?

Ridiculous.

Thanks Rob G.,

Do you know what happened to the other allbaseball sites? I want to make fun of that Yankees guy who though Igawa was as good as Dice K.

Thanks Rob G.,

Do you know what happened to the other allbaseball sites? I want to make fun of that Yankees guy who though Igawa was as good as Dice K.

whoops!

Marshall was just yanked from the I-Cubs game..
87 Pitches, 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 3 SO, 1 HR
The one homer happened against the second-to last batter. He then struck the last guy out...

The HR was a 333 foot wind-blown flyball that may have bounced off Kinkade's glove according to the broadcast team.

for once, the cubs get helped by their interleague schedule (a little, minny tougher than white sox, at detroit is tough, but KC at home is a nice extra series):

cubs play white sox home and home, seattle at wrigley and at texas

brewers play minnesota home and home, at texas, at detroit, KC at home.

At any rate, it appears that the Cubs have another option for SP... They don't appear to need one right now, due to Angel's start yesterday, but it is always good to have backup...

I say it again: if and when Marshall is needed, I really think it would be unwise to use him in a rotation that alredy features two other lefties with very similar stuff. If you can somehow find a way to not pitch him against the teams that face the other guys, okay, but how will that work?

Do you know what happened to the other allbaseball sites?

most migrated to MVN as far as I know....

I don't recall an AB Yankees site though since Bronx Banter left with Alex Belth to Toaster.

Check out the Yanks site here and see if that was one of the writers though.

Andrew:
I say it again: if and when Marshall is needed, I really think it would be unwise to use him in a rotation that alredy features two other lefties with very similar stuff.

This might sound naive, but does it really matter? I don't think so... are there any other clubs with 3 lefties in the rotation?

… are there any other clubs with 3 lefties in the rotation?
-----
yes, the Pirates 3 lefty starters are Zack Duke, Tom Gorzelanny and Paul Maholm

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

MLB draft will be televised this year.

love the trib webpoll...its mega-slanted/loaded in how they word it. one is true, the other option..while you might agree with the person in it, the way they described him is pretty loaded against picking him. go journalism. at least it means nothing...still...that's f'n loaded.

----

You cool with rookie Felix Pie staying up, while Ronny Cedeno was sent down?

Yes, Pie is the future

No, Cedeno is proven

well, i guess it doesnt have to be loaded...it could just be straight up ignorant. =p

I don't mind being the bully if we're successful at it. It's more embarrassing when we're supposed to be the bully, only the crappy team pulls a Ralphie to our Scott Farkus and pummels us once we make them cry.

I heard the Cardinals were interested in Wade Miller, that can't be right, can it? And if it is, can we please get it done, maybe send them Will Ohman while we're at it?

Wade Miller would probably be an improvement for them. Their second best pitcher right now (by ERA) is Reyes at 5.46. Their starters are a combined 7-16. Take Looper out of that count and it drops to 3-14.

TRN--Best pizza in Central Iowa???

Had to be Papa Georgio's in Colfax.

I'm just sayin'

Joey from Iowa...starting Monday from Mankato, MN

great stuff jake

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers...
Luke Winn (who?) with a piece for CNN/SI. Nice writeup on Rich Hill.

Yanks optioned Igawa to single-A Tampa...ouch

and yeah I know they do that cause it's easier to keep tabs on them down there, but that's still one expensive minor leaguer.

I hadn't heard about this, but it's completely awesome. From Muskrat's mailbag.

-----------------------
I was at the Cubs-Cardinals games on April 27-28, cheering on the Cubs, and my seats were right next to the Cubs' bullpen. I noticed one of the Cubs pitchers had a pink Strawberry Shortcake backpack. Do you know whose backpack that is, and the significance?
-- Caleb W., St. Louis, Mo.

The backpack is loaded with bullpen essentials, such as gum and candy, and is carried by whoever is the youngest member, which, in the Cubs' situation, is Rocky Cherry.

Coincidentally, Rocky Cherry was Strawberry Shortcake's boyfriend.

BA-DING!
Thanks for the LMAO

Hey nut -- Your contributions have deteriorated from the erudite snide Cubnut I once knew into standard Cubbie-fan-blog-pap. C'mon -- get your edge back!

Rob G.:
"Yanks optioned Igawa to single-A Tampa…ouch

and yeah I know they do that cause it’s easier to keep tabs on them down there, but that’s still one expensive minor leaguer."

Woo...The Cubs don't have the most expensive minor leaguer anymore (Prior).

"The backpack is loaded with bullpen essentials, such as gum and candy, and is carried by whoever is the youngest member, which, in the Cubs’ situation, is Rocky Cherry."

Aardsma, IIRC, carried it last year. He had a photo of himself carrying it on his Myspace. (Yes, I've been on his Myspace)

Eric the Great:
I heard the Cardinals were interested in Wade Miller, that can’t be right, can it? And if it is, can we please get it done, maybe send them Will Ohman while we’re at it?

Dave Duncan could probably turn him into a .750 wpct%, sub 3.00 ERA pitcher.

Jace:
Luke Winn (who?) with a piece for CNN/SI. Nice writeup on Rich Hill.

I knew about the funky side-arm thing he does, maybe, once a game, but this article makes it sound like he has two different curveball deliveries. Neat.

433.

that is priceless incidental information. great stuff.

thanks

Perhaps somebody can enlighten me as to what to WHAT THE HELL TONY LARUSSA IS DOING.

Scene: St. Louis, MO. Top 9. Game tied a 2. Rockies batting with 1 out with SS Tulowitzki at second and LF Holliday on first. Lefty Tyler Johnson pitching to right-handed hitting 3B Garrett Atkins. Gets to a 2-1 count on him, and LaRussa decides to walk him to load the bases. (Note: Al Hrabosky, "Johnson has been known for being a little eratic from time to time.") First base was not open. Third base was open.

So he loads 'em up to get to left-hander Brad Hawpe. Johnson then walks Hawpe on 6 pitches without the big fella ever taking the bat off his shoulder.

I was absolutely stunned that he did that. I know you don't really want to face the righty there, but it was 2-1 and Atkins had taken an absolutely hideous swing at a Johnson slider. I don't know what he's doing. At all. Just plain stupid.

i only heard the game on the radio, but didn't Johnson just strike out Helton? And I think Hawpe is historically pretty bad vs lefties.

From what the radio guys said, Tulowitzki was robbed of a homer by the umpires, so obviously the baseball gods needed to correct the situation.

"Dave Duncan could probably turn him into a .750 wpct%, sub 3.00 ERA pitcher"

Maybe he should have done that with Marquis, Reyes, Wainright, and Wells. A pitching coach is only as good as his talent or their willingness to learn. Hence the cantonazation of Leo Mazzone stopped two years ago.

Wes:
I was absolutely stunned that he did that. I know you don’t really want to face the righty there, but it was 2-1 and Atkins had taken an absolutely hideous swing at a Johnson slider. I don’t know what he’s doing. At all. Just plain stupid.

Drunk?

chifan3887:
Maybe he should have done that with Marquis, Reyes, Wainright, and Wells.

You're right, but I was referring to Duncan's general knack for making good pitchers out of marginal talent. Marquis is the big exception to the rule, I guess. Who the f* knows why he didn't do better under Duncan. Also, Reyes's numbers this year are attrocious... and why not, he's marginal pitcher, at best. But looking at his starts, 3 ER, 3 ER, 3 ER, 4 ER, 4 ER, 3 ER... he takes the ball does his job and keeps the Card's offense in the game. Don't think I'm defending the guy, I think he's fruity and annoying, but he does his job.

If only some of these bullied victims could take out their revenge on the Brew Crew...

If the Cardinals never won another game in the history of their franchise, it would be too soon for me. Ditto the Mets.

Anyone else here starting to think that it is gonna take a lot more than 83 games to win the Central this year? The Brewers seem like this year's Tigers. Are they a legitimate threat to win 100? I hope not because, let's face it, we are not going to win 100 and probably not even 90. If we have a chance at the playoffs this year, it would seem that we have to win our division. But I just kind of wonder if we are seeing the beginning of a strong run of five or so years from the boys up north. Who'd have thunk it? We were all set, weren't we, for a balanced division in which winning 90 surely would be enough. But I don't think that is the case any longer.

It's still plenty early, ARM.

If the Brewers, Mets and Braves - ALL - go at their current pace for the rest of the year, the Cubs are probably too far back already.

But Someone is going to fall off a bit. So all we can do is keep playing hard, winning home series and beating up the dregs of baseball. No way this team is buried, even if the Brewers did somehow win 100.

Anyone else here starting to think that it is gonna take a lot more than 83 games to win the Central this year? The Brewers seem like this year’s Tigers

How many wins did Cincinnati get last year??
SEE POST #13

Re "CubswinthePennant" it is interesting to compare records with last year, except the Cubs were at the start of a stretch of abysmal play and with having to start stiffs like Glendon Rusch and Jerome Williams and young pitchers not ready for prime time (Gallagher, Hill on his first call up, Marmol, and Guzman), it was about to get worst with Maddux slumping. Meanwhile, we had Juan Pierre and his 300 slugging percentage in center, Nefi and his 250 OBP at second, and Todd Walker bringing his okay 2d base production over to 1st base where it was dreadfully inadequate. This team is a lot better (not great, but better). As for the Pirates, I think they may finish with a better record then the Cardinals and Houston, as both teams appear devastated by age, injuries, and some strange management decisions (In Houston's case, that you can have a consistent offense with three line-ups spots taken up by Ausmus, Everett and the Ghost of Craig Biggio, and in the Cardinals case that you can replace three starters out of hide with a weak farm system and that you can have an outfield of "flotsam" and "jetsam" sandwiching the "Ghost of Jim Edmonds" and defend your World Championship. The Cardinals remind me a lot of the 1983 Orioles, who won a World Series with a young superstar surrounded by a group of aging stars and role players having a "Last Hurrah" and who collapsed the next year.

pennant . . . yeah, I hear you about the lesson of the Reds from last year. But don't you think that the Brewers this year, on paper, have a much better group of players than the Reds did last year?

Well the Cardinals are a bit worse than the Orioles. They didn't even attempt to bring back their free agents. Weaver, well, you can see that was a good call, but the first place team is currently trotting the Cards' number two starter out to the mound every 5 days.

The Cardinals quite obviously intend to ride on their laurels with their fans for a year or two. It would piss me off, if I liked the Cards, but then again, at least their management actually wins a WS every 20 years or so, and goes to the WS more frequently.

Yeah, it must be a bit tough for Cardinal fans to see that Suppan and Marquis are among the best pitchers in the league so far this year and, worse yet, they are playing for division rivals.

I agree with Altman, I hope the Birds lose all the rest of their games this year. I have absolutely no sympathy for a team that has finished last only once since 1918. Actually, I'd love to see them finish last two years in a row, just to test the theory that they have the "greatest" fans baseball.

Re: 39

TRN–Best pizza in Central Iowa???

Had to be Papa Georgio’s in Colfax.
I’m just sayin’
Joey from Iowa…starting Monday from Mankato, MN

You're moving to Mankato? You've got to check out the MoonDogs games. June 1st is Opening Night. Bob Feller is throwing out the first pitch.

I think it will be a reach for the Brewers to make it to the 100 win mark, but they certainly have the potential to make it over the 90 wins. Unlike the Reds of last year, the Brewers are a well balanced team, with a lot of good young players who are coming into their own. The question will be will the Brewers defense hold up, will their pitching (sheets) avoid injury, and will their young players respond to the pressure of a pennant race.

*I hope the Birds lose all the rest of their games this year. I have absolutely no sympathy for a team that has finished last only once since 1918. *

It's hard to finish last in the same division as the Cubs.

ARM:
But I just kind of wonder if we are seeing the beginning of a strong run of five or so years from the boys up north. Who’d have thunk it? We were all set, weren’t we, for a balanced division in which winning 90 surely would be enough. But I don’t think that is the case any longer.

That happens when you build a club the right way. I agree the lack of experience will end up biting them, but they have a lot of good pieces to the puzzle. And it appears at this point at least, they will be the only club challenging the Cub's for the pennant this year.

Yeah, it looks like the Brewers will be good for a few years, until their top players become free agents, and then their ride will be over.

People have been saying the Brewers have all the right pieces in place for a few years now. I don't doubt they'll be good, but a lot of things will have to go their way for them to finish with 90+ wins.

Ummm the Brewers are one of the most profitable franchises in baseball. They will pay to keep their young talent together. They just were unwilling to dump a crap load of money on Carlos Lee.

It took them awhile to get to where they are now, but don't mistake that for them being cheap or not caring.

The Brewers rotation, offense and bullpen is more than enough to get them to 90+ wins. They are a good team (baring any major injuries), just get used to that fact.

I have noticed over the years some of you guys just don't give division rivals as much respect as you should. I don't know how many times i heard Houston was on its last legs and they suck only for them to finish ahead of us each time. Or how the Cardinals can't keep winning with the talent they have, but sure enough they keep doing it and finishing ahead of us.

I guess if you keep saying the sky is falling the sky is falling your bound to be correct someday, case in point the Cardinals currently. It only took what? 4 years and a World Championship for some of you to finally be correct? I think it is time for the golf for your guys prediction abilities.

Uh, I have plenty of respect for the Brewers. They've done a helluva job building up from nothing, and I won't be surprised at all if they rattle off a long string of .500+ competitive seasons.

That doesn't change the fact that right now they have three starters performing way over their heads (Capuano, Suppan, Vargas), a bullpen that will come back to earth, and an offense they can't sustain. They've also had an easy schedule and relatively good health.

Do you honestly think they're going to get career seasons from half their roster? That's what would have to happen for them to keep this pace up.

The Brewers are for real...right now. Living along the IL/WI border I get both Chicago and Milwaukee local stations, and FOX Milwaukee is already doing Brewer stories prior to the weather....and it's only May.

I doubt the Brewers will be able to hold up over the year as the pressure begins to rise. They play in a half empty dome night in and night out...what happens if the standings remain the same through August...and with a full dome they drop 3 of 4 at home and the fans realize that they aren't quite there yet?

The story of this division is....Milwaukee has promise, the Cubs have played well below their potential, the Cards aren't that deep as they have been in years past, Pittsburgh is on it's way up, the Reds are mediocre at best, and Houston is still in shock knowing that "Rodger is in George's box!"

"I guess if you keep saying the sky is falling the sky is falling your bound to be correct someday, case in point the Cardinals currently. It only took what? 4 years and a World Championship for some of you to finally be correct? I think it is time for the golf for your guys prediction abilities."

Well then, I for one will be very careful to only listen and heed what you say. You are the mostest observant and correct poster here. Gee wilickers!

Excuse me, it's time for the golf for me.

The Cards and Astros have been amazing healthy in their starting rotation the last four years. This year, without Suppan, Morris, Clemens and Pettite, healthy was about all they could hope for, and the Cardinals didn't get it. If Oswalt goes on the DL, the Astros will be right down there with them.

If the Brewers stay healthy, they will probably be a 90 win team. That's still a big IF.

If the Cubs stay healthy, they're probably a 94ish win team. Also a big IF.

At this point, the only other team I would say has a chance to hang with those two is the Pirates. They are going to need LaRoche to take more/less Redlin, or whatever his problem is, though.

Well Vorare, I agree to a point on the Brewers.
Supppan is pitching above his norm, but is still good for 12-16 wins....Capuano won 18 games in 2005, showing that he is capable of doing so, and Vargas is over his head, but did win 12 games for a mediocre Arizona tream last season.
The bullpen is pretty solid...Cordero has pitched in stretches like this before, and Turnbow has too, although he could blo at any moment.

The 2005 White Sox got some career years didn't they? Buerhle, Conteras, Dustin Hermanson?
Even Garland's 18-10 was marked by an ERA of 3.50, which is almost a full run under his career average.

I dunno....the Cubs need to get hot, and hope that the Brewers falter.

The Real Neal:
"If the Cubs stay healthy, they’re probably a 94ish win team. Also a big IF."

Is that a typo and you meant 84ish or did you really mean 94ish?

They just had one of these stat guys on the radio who applied the "Baseball Pythagorean Theory" or something to the Cubs at this point in the season. It has them on pace for a 99 win season at the moment. He did admit that obviously they aren't going to stay this hot all year but it all points to good things for the Cubs. I'm not sure what the formula was but it seemed like it was Runs Scored divided by Runs allowed or something, said the Cubs were #1 in the NL at the moment.

Well Stevens, and Real Neal that was the major problem people were betting against a team like the Astro's who put Clemens, Pettitte and Oswalt in the same rotation. I think we all remember the laughing that was going on at TCR about Roger signing with the Astro's and how much they would suck? Its archived check it out.

It was just silly crap like that based on nothing more than a deep dislike of a team like the Astro's, without looking at the talent they have on the roster.

The same crap is happening with the Brewers now that they are getting better. I don't know why Cubs fans can't respect the talent of the teams in their own division. It is the same fault in which you guys get over attached to fringe players who had 1 good season in the midst of 10 failed ones.

(Warning: you guys doesn't mean Stevens and Real Neal exclusively, just the general mood from posters in general from what i have read from other Cubs sites)

its all pretty arbitrary anyway.

hey, i predict a 104 win team. no wait, 98...no wait, 89...

dlee/aram/soriano... jones/barrett/murton-floyd... theriot/derosa/pie/etc...

z/lilly/hill... marquis/guzman... howry/wuertz/dumpster/cotts/etc. etc.

cubs arent exactly gambling with tallent or getting by through the skin of their teeth. hell, the bench actually has 2+ guys at any given point who are capable of hitting someone in...not just glove-guys who's best power hit is a double and a random homer every now and then.

what's kerry wood up to anyway?

he still resting or he tossing?

crunch:
"he still resting or he tossing?"

I heard tossing salad. And he prefers syrup.

Classy, Manny.

Crunch, they said during the broadcast a few nights ago that he was "still rehabbing" but they didn't go beyond that. I'm guessing that translates to not throwing yet.

I don't have time to check the archive, but after the Astros added Beltran, I remember wondering if they would lose at all the rest of the way. That particular Houston team started ice cold but got so hot from July on that it nearly felt like they would win out at one point. I doubt many posters felt Clemens was "done," either - just whether he would be inspired. Clearly he was.

But there's no team in the NL Central that has nearly the talent that the 2004 Astros had. And if there's one that's even close, it's the Cubs.

yeah, last i heard he was doing...nothing.

then again that's what you do for tendinitis...leave it to kerry wood to turn a 1.75m good deal into a 1.75m bad gamble.

hell, if he can put in at least a 1/2 season of decent ball he'll at least earn his money. he's gotta actually show up to work, first, though.

Sheesh Manny, that's kinda harsh, don't you think?

Besides, I'm a jelly man mayself.

houston has a bad habit of mortgaging their future for 2-month pickups.

they got a pretty nasty little list of guys theyve given up to add that extra superstar for the stretch run the past many years.

at least they try...more than can be said for minnisota which cheaps its fans/team out every year when it comes time to go get an extra push for the playoffs if needed.

manny's joke is fine...at least by me. sounds like TCR parachat banter more than TCR posting banter, though. hehe

OT -- Sorry...

Tonight: 7:05, Ch. 26, 720-AM. Ian Snell (2-2, 2.31 ERA) vs. Ted Lilly (2-2, 2.82).

Wednesday: 7:05 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, 720-AM. Tom Gorzelanny (4-1, 2.97) vs. Jason Marquis (4-1, 2.09).

Thursday: 1:20 p.m., Ch. 9, 720-AM. Paul Maholm (1-4, 5.31) vs. Carlos Zambrano (3-2, 5.80).

From the Chicago Sun-Times

We'll see 4 sub 3.00 ERA pitchers in two days. Then, Maholm and Z both above 5.00. Something's gotta give. Could this be the "law of averages" series? Maybe.

Manny,

Is that a typo and you meant 84ish or did you really mean 94ish?

84 wins from the talent, +10 wins from Dusty being gone.

Just kidding, any team that think Matt Murton is a 5th outfileder must be good for 90+ wins though.

p.s. you know a little too much about the niceties of tossing salad.

No Zach Duke? Amazing! Maybe we can sweep.

Manny, you're so gross. :-p

skip

Piniella defends bubble gum cards

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

''Bubble-gum cards don't lie,'' Piniella said of assessing the career numbers on the backs of the collectibles. ''I have confidence in our hitting. These guys have impressive numbers, and when you look at the back of those cards, there's some history there. These players are going to hit.''

‘’Bubble-gum cards don’t lie,'’ Piniella said

Somewhere Bill James is crying.

It was only a joke guys. It is from a Chris Rock stand up routine. No offense meant to Mr. Wood. Sheesh...

just a screwed up way of saying 'these guys have a history of hitting.'

that said, he seems to approach the cubs D by looking at what they've played in the past in the stats, not how well they play it.

jones for some reason is married to CF and lesser RF'rs are playing there while pie sits on the bench. wish someone would go find out if he's getting extra pre-game instruction or what his role is there aside from occasional play.

Can't say exactly how much instruction he's getting, but he and Murton both took a lot of swings in BP before Sunday's game -- particularly after they flipped over to a lefty bullpen pitcher.

particularly after they flipped over to a lefty bullpen pitcher.

Whaaat????

must have found one of the last lefty batting practice pitchers left in captivity.

The Cubs signed this guy in February and put him on the AA Smokies' roster. 24, 6'3" , RF who the Diamondbacks signed out of high school and thought would be starting in their outfield by now.

Alas, after rushing through their minor league system and getting a brief call-up in 2004 things sorta fell apart.

But check it out, JOSH KROEGER looks like he's back on track.....

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats...

"jones for some reason is married to CF and lesser RF’rs are playing there while pie sits on the bench. wish someone would go find out if he’s getting extra pre-game instruction or what his role is there aside from occasional play."

When a righty pitches, I don't understand why the outfield isn't Soriano, Pie and Jones. And if Jones wants to play center, then put Pie in right.

Yeah, Rob G... did the same double take... I thought the Cubs didn't have a lefty BP pitcher, and have been looking for one for more than a year...

I love the 'overacheiving' game. you could say the same about hill, marquis, lilly, or dempster. both teams have guys over or underacheiving right now. some of them will obviously revert, some will surprise.

brewers obviously aren't going to continue at a .680 clip or whatever they're at. but they have the early wins in the bank. they're a pretty well-built team. only major hole on offense is at 3B and they have braun in the minors, who could help them on that front. rotation that's 4 deep and vargas is fine as a 5 even when he falls off. and they've got gallardo waiting when the inevitable sheets injury comes along.

that said, they've been doing most of their damage against crappy teams -- the houstons and pittsburgs of the world. and they've had more than their fair share of home games and sucked on the road last year. it'll be interesting to see how they react if they struggle when they hit the road against better teams.

it's early, but it's really looking like a 2-team race. honestly, the reds would be my pick to be the third most dangerous team in the division. that's pathetic.

"it was Runs Scored divided by Runs allowed or something, said the Cubs were #1 in the NL at the moment."

No. What John DeWhan stated on Murph's segment on WSCR radio around noon today was that the Cubs were #1 in the NL in run differential currently. That is, the number of runs scored, compared with the number of runs given up. It is a very positive sign. And, certainly most of us would agree this is an opposit trend from the majority of the Dusty regime.

Also, Ryan Theriot is second on the Cubs in runs scored on the team.

For you stat-heads, Mr. DeWan is on Mike Murphy's show Tuesdays at 12:00P. He's a Sox fan, but a Bill James protege and became very wealthy after selling Stats Inc.

Josh Kroeger, huh? I had NEVER heard of him. His numbers do look good this year... Not sure I can see how he would fit into the OF situation if he continues at this pace... He has Chris Walker, Angel Pagan, and Buck Coats above him at AAA...

FWIW - Murphys stated that Lou Pinella did the best single game managing he has ever seen re the Sunday Nats game.

His point: managers DO NOT help you win games, but THEY CAN make you LOSE them.

"Dusty would have lost that game"

I'm just the messenger.

The Cubs haven't had a left-handed batting practice pitcher since Glendon Rusch.

"And, certainly most of us would agree this is an opposit trend from the majority of the Dusty regime."

how about giving the ballplayers some credit there?

maybe...

get off this whole "dusty" thing. he's gone. so are a lot of his players. i wouldnt go around comparing the play of what's left vs. how they performed under him, though...that might hurt. but it doesnt matter...its the players doing it, not the hand of God called a manager.

I think the Cubs are #2 in run differential behind the Mets without checking.

Who is Murphys and why does he have such an oddly spelled name?

yeah, Cubs are second

Mets +52
Cubs +34
Brewers +33
Dodgers +24
Padres +20
Braves +17
Giants +12
Reds +7
Astros +1

Cubs have played 3 less games than the Brewers and Dodgers though and 2 less than the Mets.

Man imagine what our record in one run games would be if we had a bad manager!

Pitching Eyre for more than one inning was hugely stupid to everyone who observed the game. Let's take our crappiest reliever, double switch him into the lineup in the 6th so that we can burn out the entire bench by the 10th inning, and have the privalege of watching him attempt to go two innings after he barely escaped the first without giving up runs. Then let's take our 2nd best reliever and let him face one or two batters, in an inning where we blow the lead and go through 4 pitchers. After we have done all that, let's pat ourselves on the back because our last position player, the worst hitting position player of all time (at least according to his fan site) manages to get a hit in the 10th. Oh yeah, we burned up our best hitting pitcher to pinch run in the meantime as well, so good thing it didn't go 11.

After all of that, when the Cubs win, praise the manager as a genius. Good call.

Just out of curiosity, did anyone else, besides crunch, actually watch the game or read the boxscore?

blanco getting the hit with the bad back, too.

ya know..sorry if some dont like it...but how about praising guys like blanco/floyd for being injured yet both producing.

they were used in the 9th/10th pretty much outta necessity and both cashed in for the cubs.

E-Man:
"No. What John DeWhan stated on Murph’s segment on WSCR radio around noon today was that the Cubs were #1 in the NL in run differential currently."

Well, Rob G. just shows that the Cubs are not #1. And this guy is suppose to be a stat guy??? Oh Brother....

#114

Neal, not only did I watch the game, I came here and pretty much said everything you did, just less succinctly. I agree with you 100% there. Thanks for putting into a language that may be understood around here. I seem to speak Greek.

Real Neal, I personally like the strategy. A poster over at Desipio said it best about Piniella using every bullet on his roster in order to try and win a game instead of keeping players in reserve for anticipation of a long game like Dusty always did.

The difference in strategy is striking, and it may not be your cup of tea but its the way Piniella will run his team.

He is going to be aggresive, try and play the numbers, use his entire roster (not just his pets), go with the better player no matter of age or service time, and hold people accountable for screwing up their job.

The attitude of Dusty's blause style is slowly creeping away. Mound visits alone are more entertaining than they have ever been. The pitcher doesn't know if Lou is coming to yank them out of a game or bitch them out. Dusty's fat ass only came out to make a pitching changes, in between his long bouts of sleeping on the bench.

We got better players for sure, but the guy leading this team isn't an ass hat, clueless, moron either. The team is finally in competent hands with a "Real" major league manager. Get used to it, i know its hard after the Dusty era.

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