From this morning's Tribune and Steve Rosenbloom...
If you're rating the last 10 games for each team, the Sox get more style points than the Cubs. Sure, the Cubs went 8-2 while the Sox went 7-3, but the Sox did that on the West Coast, while the Cubs were at home.
Sure, the Cubs played better, won more games, faced teams with a higher combined winning percentage (.488 to .455) and outscored their opponents by a wider margin (+27 to +13), but the White Sox did it while they were sleeping with their road groupies and the Cubs players got to sleep in their own beds. That makes all the difference in the world...because this is the NBA all of a sudden.
The Sox also did it against the one good team that either team
played, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County of
California of the United States of the Northern Hemisphere of Earth,
Haha, see what Steve did there? He took a joke that's three years old and recycled it.
coming back in the last two games to get a split.
Wow, the White Sox split a four-game series on the road versus a good team that just got back its best starter for that series and is still missing Kelvim Escobar, Howie Kendrick and Chone Figgins. That's incredible work there by the White Sox. I mean they managed to play .500 baseball versus a depleted team. Print up the playoff tickets for winning 5 of 6 against two teams with winning percentages at or below .400.
To be fair, The Cubs did play against some lightweights in the last series, the just-below .500 Pirates, the woeful Padres and the Diamondbacks, who just happen to have the best record in baseball.
Now, you can tell me that the Cubs' first opponent on this
homestand, Arizona, is a first-place team, and I'll tell you that the
Diamondbacks play like a last-place team. Like the last-place Padres,
the Cubs' second opponent, for instance. Specifically, the D-Backs play
like slugs outside of the NL Worst.
Haha, NL Worst? Get it? That's a little word play there by Rosenbloom because the Diamondbacks and Padres play in the NL West. See what he did there? And that's why Rosenbloom gets paid the big newpapers dollars.
It's also one of the reasons the newspaper business is crumbling...terrible writing and poor research.
The Diamonbacks have played the second softest schedule in the majors, but Rosenbloom didn't want to seem to bother researching that the White Sox have played a pretty soft schedules themselves. Specifically, the 6th easiest in the majors. BUT THEY MANAGED A SPLIT versus the Angels. Great work, "Hawk" Harrelson is appalled by that level of homerism.
Here's the deal: Against NL Central and NL East teams, Arizona and
San Diego each have won a measly six games. San Diego beats up its own
division, but nobody out west can win outside of its own sandbox.
Except the Dodgers who are 10-10 versus the rest of the NL. And the Diamonbacks were still a respectable 6-7 versus the rest of the NL before the Cubs series. And what about the +52 run differential the Snakes are sporting, 2nd best to the Cubs? But they've beat the crap out of the crappy teams in their division, clearly they're an inferior team.
I guess Rosebloom's article basically boils down to whether a four-game
road split versus the Angels is more impressive than a three-game home sweep
versus the Diamondbacks. And of course it's not. The Diamondbacks are ahead of the Angels in ESPN's RPI Index and way ahead of them in BP's adjusted standings (look for the W3 and L3 numbers). The Angels are just a +6 in run differential compared to the Snakes at +52. The Angels have been fighting injuries all season, while the Diamonbacks were just missing Doug Davis and I guess Chad Tracy, if he even counts.
And would this be a good time to mention the AL Central that Rosenbloom's beloved White Sox are riding on top of? Wait, that's not nearly as clever as NL Worst, and I'd really like a newspaper writing job one of these days. Let's see what I can come up with here...AL Entrail. See, it rhymes with Central and it's considered disgusting. Damn, that's awesome...AL Entrail it is. I can't wait to write for the Trib.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is more like 6'5 or 6'6. He reminds me a lot of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses. Because of his size, he could grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy and generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.
it's been a while since joe's over-managed a game...it's gotta feel good for him to be back in the saddle making people's scorecards look like their pens blew up.
Fuck a bench spot on the playoff roster, Coghlan is competing to bat cleanup.
barely any...especially for an evening game. place looks 1/2 full at best to start the game.
Listening on the radio. Are there any fans in the stands at all?
"An MRI taken Monday on the right side of Jorge Soler showed no major damage."
rare air though if he can keep it under 2. Sounds like Maddon already made up his mind though and Hendricks seems like the sort that would want to earn it. Guessing he gets a quick hook if he's still under 2 after 5 innings.
Fwiw, he can give up 1 ER in 5 innings (or more) and still be under 2. If he gives up 2 ER, he would need throw 9 IP to keep it under 2. 1 ER in 4 IP would give him an ERA of exactly 2.
In terms of WAR, it's still Scherzer by a lot (6.4), then Cueto (5.6), Lester (5.5), Kershaw (5.5), Roark (5.4), and then Hendricks (5.1)