No Hitting Means No Margin for Error—Cubs Lose to Reds, 4-3 in 11

I didn't get to see all of Saturday night's loss, but the portion that I did catch was more than enough for me to get the gist:

The Cubs' woeful offense—over the last two nights, for example, the team is 0-for-17 with RISP—offers no cover for defensive mistakes and boneheaded baserunning.

If the starting pitching weren't so good, the Cubs wouldn't even be competitive.

Before the game, I wondered what problems Lou Piniella was creating by stationing a defensively challenged rookie in rightfield. Turned out that having a second baseman butchering the third baseman's job was problem enough on this night.

Randy Wells, who has been mostly brilliant but mostly without support from his bullpen or his team's bats, pitches Sunday against Bronson Arroyo as the Cubs try to escape Cincinnati with a series win.

Comments

Fact--This isn't a very good Cubs team at all. You hit the nail on the head--very good starting pitching is the only thing keeping this team from the basement. The defense stinks, the offense is truly horrid, and the team seems to be just going through the motions this year. Ugly.

Frankly, I don't know how things are going to improve with the current cast of characters. Explain to me where the offense is suddenly going to come from? This team has scored less than 4 runs a majority of its ballgames. That leaves absolutely no margin of error for the beleaguered starters.

Soto, Bradley, Ramirez, Soriano, The Fontenaught.

About two weeks ago you could've put Lee on that list too.

When are these guys going to come out of their slumps? I have to think Fontenot's struggles have been amplified by the team-wide lack of offense and the move to third.

About two weeks ago you could've put Lee on that list too.

Lee has been hitting since the beginning of May at this point. It has been many more than two weeks.

Peoria used a starter and a long reliever and a short man to hold Kane County to one run, and the offense pounded out 14 hits, including Flaherty's 6th HR and Vitters' (.352 .391 .613)10th double en route to an 8-1 win.

The cast of non-prospects in Daytona continued to illustrate their value and Ryan Searle was unable to get the bad guys to hit their ground balls at the fielders in a 10-2 ass kicking handed out by Charlotte.

The Curious Case of Darwin Barney continued as the Smokies' shortstop who was banished to the bottom of the order for a week, got moved up to the #3 spot in the order and went 1 for 3 with a BB and an RBI to maintain his .333 batting average as Tennessee beat Chattanooga. Gaub, described by one poster here as 1/3rd of 'nothing' threw 1.2 perfect innings with 3 K's in relief. He's now got 32 K's in 21.2 innings, though, 3 HR's over that time is not too good.

Atkins gave up no BB's against 7 K's in 7 innings (1 HR) in Iowa's 3-1 win over Round Rock. Matt Camp played 2nd and went 3-3 to raise his average up to .302. Another 3rd of nothing, Jeff Stevens, pitched 2 innings of scoreless relief, with 1 H, 1 BB and 2 K's. He's got a misleading 1.67 ERA, though he hasn't given up any HR's this year.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/16110...

''I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy,'' said Dempster, who has spent all season constantly commuting to hospitals, keeping vigil over 2-month-old Riley, consulting with surgeons, even giving blood for an operation -- then checking his sleepless reality at the door every fifth day to pitch for the Cubs.

terrible thing to have go through...

So, how about some supporter for Dempster?! His performance this year is nothing short of remarkable considering...

indeed...

Thanks for this link, Rob. It's easy to forget these dudes are human and have more to deal with than just showin' up to play ball.

Good luck to you, Dempster fam.

GO CUBS!

sori, riot, fuky, lee, font (3b), rejo, hill, blanco (2b), wells.

Felix Pie took such an awkard swing at the plate yesterday that the ball nearly took out his adam's apple...

VIDEO

ouch...

good news for Pie is that he has a not completey terrible 2.67 K:BB ratio...bad news is that he's striking nearly 25% of the time this year.

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  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 44 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 16 hours 55 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 17 hours 42 sec ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 17 hours 5 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 17 hours 17 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 17 hours 28 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 17 hours 53 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 18 hours 33 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 19 hours 46 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 20 hours 3 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 20 hours 7 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 20 hours 51 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 3 hours ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 1 day 4 hours ago view