Cubs Wilt in Desert Heat
The Cubs drop the finale in Phoenix and the series, finishing the roadtrip at 2-4. Hey, they won 2 games.
Why the Cubs Lost: Ryan Dempster came out of the gate rolling breaking pitches up in the hitters' eyes while generally missing the plate. He did settle down for the most part after the first inning, besides a Chad Tracy home run in the third, but the Cubs offensive funk didn't need the degree of difficulty to start the game. It looked like Dempster was done after six and allowing four earned runs, but a Mike Fontenot double play to end the top of the 7th sent him back out for the bottom of the inning. Dempster walked the leadoff batter on four straight and was promptly removed and had another run tacked on to his total. He ended the day with 97 pitches, 61 for strikes, 5 earned runs in 6 innngs pitched and a 5.10 ERA in April.
That's when the bullpen got its chance to piss all over itself as Carlos Marmol came in showing the signs of a four day layoff...22 pitches just 5 for strikes. After walking in two runs, it was Jeff Samardzija's turn and he did strike out two, but sandwiched them around a bases clearing Justin Upton double to put the game from joke to laugher' territory. Kevin Gregg got his shot in the ninth and after 35 pitches of which only 18 were strikes, he walked in a run (3 walks total) and then had some parting words for the home plate ump, who I don't think actually ejected him. If he indeed did not get ejected, and considering the argument went on a lot longer and Gregg seemed as agitated if not more than Milton Bradley did, there seems to be a bit of a unsurprising double standard going on by the umpires.
On the other side, Doug Davis dazzled with junk ranging from 68-83 mph taking 50 pitches to get through the first 2 innings Naturally, the Cubs start hacking and Davis gets through the third in eight pitches and just 66 over the next five innings.
Armchair Managing: Let's start with Lou deciding to give Geovany Soto the start over Koyie Hill after saying Soto would rest a few days. Soto went 0-3 with a walk, two strike outs, a passed ball and two stolen bases allowed. The other questionable decision was to bring in a in a rusty Carlos Marmol with a runner on, in what was still a close game. I would think you'd want to ease him in a little but more and Marmol was predictably wild, effectively putting the game out of reach.
Death Pool: Cubs still seem undecided about whether to put Aramis on the disabled list or not, but he's probably closest to being replaced on the roster. Neal Cotts remains safe by virture of not pitching since Sunday.
The Cubs are back home for four against the Florida Marlins, aka Cubs kryptonite, and then two versus the San Francisco Giants.
Except that he gave up Russell and McKinney for a half-season of Hammel...
Beane cam at least point and laugh at Hammel.
The genius Angelo traded Olsen at Martzs request
Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"
To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.
HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.
Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.
"they just fade away"
(Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)
Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.
I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.
AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?
He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.
Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.
I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.
I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).
Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.
"What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "
As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.
Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.
Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer
-0.3 WAR in 7.1ip last year...
-3 WAR projected over the course of a season.
the cubs just added an all-star reliever's worth of work by losing b.schlitter.