Let the Race Begin

This is the time of the year when clever folks hand out arbitrary letter grades to evaluate the first half performance of the Cubs. I prefer the cliff notes versions....underperforming bats + injuries + shaky bullpen equals .500 team despite really good starting pitching. What do the Cubs need to do in the second half? HIt like there suppose to, stay healthy, don't blow games late(don't blow them early either) and the starters need to keep pitching well.

There's some expert baseball analysis in three sentences.

I know when it comes to the Cubs it's pretty much doom and gloom until they win the World Series and while that .500 record isn't what most of us expected, it's also like judging a movie after only watching the first half. Sure, sometimes you know within the first 20 minutes if it's worth sitting through the whole thing, but sometimes there's just enough there to make you want to stick around for the ending. For the Cubs in 2009, I want to see if they can redeem the first act with a big ending(let's call it "The Usual Suspects"), unlike the 2008 Cubs which were great until the final act and ruined everything with that abomination of an ending(kind of like "Heat"). So if I were to hand out letter grades, it would be an "I" for incomplete, because judging the season on the first half doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Look, I have no idea if they're going to put it together to get in the playoffs and if they happen to do that, how they'll fare in the playoffs this time. I know there is enough talent to put a run together and the team has pretty substantially underperformed their talent level. You can blame Lou, Hendry, luck, a goat, racism, Jason Marquis (oh that was last year), or my mother, but this team is in the thick of the race and I'll take that over seasons like 2006 or (gasp) 1997.


They are in the race. And that is something to remember. The suspense is who, if anybody, will be joining them to help. I wish I felt better about the shoulder of the 3rd baseman.

...about the shoulder of tonight's pitcher.

I may drill down a little farther, and say the main culprit with the offense is .218 .326 .359 (with the nice ISO OBP being driven by 23 IBBs, but a .245 BABIP), and the main problem with the relief pitching is the remarkable 5.5 walks per 9.

STL is on pace to win 87 games. If they do, the Cubs would need to go 45-31 (.592) in their remaining games to beat them. Only 2 teams in all of the MLB have played better ball than .592 thus far this year (BOST & LAD). I am not saying it can't happen, but it is hard to think this team will just flip and switch and turn it around. Also working against the Cubs is that they are T-3 in the division with CINC only 1.5 games behind & the WC race is even uglier.

prolly so...you should stop following them.

"you should stop following them."

Why? I am a Cubs fan, win or lose (even if some like to think differently on here). If I were to quit following the Cubs because they can't win a WS, then I would have stopped years and years ago.

While this team, and organization, is very frustrating at times, I still bleed cubbie blue and can't see not ever rooting or following them.

In that case, how many times did they go 45 and 32 last year?

What does last year's team have to do with this year's team?

Thanks for playing...

Now looking at it in a optimistic light, the Cubs are only 1 game back in the loss column. Also, it is hard to imagine a few of the offensive players hitting any worse than they have so far this season. If the starting pitching can maintain their outstanding level of play and the offense can even play up to luke warm expectations, this team should be in the hunt down to the wire. And it is nice to have meaningful games in September.

NL Central since May 1st..

Cards: 33-35

Cubs: 33-32

Brewers: 33-33

Reds: 31-35

Astros: 35-31

Pirates: 27-40

So the Astros are going to win the division?

you never know...they're 24-15 since June 1st...could be another one of their annoying runs.

Johnson, Theriot, Bradley, Lee, Ramirez, Soriano, Baker, Hill, Harden.

Good thing Harden is in the lineup - he has a better OPS against LHP than Fontenot or Hoffpauir. :)

"Look, I have no idea.... (etc.)"


Nice LouPa impression, Rob.

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  • Phil, any updates on eight Oscar de la Cruz or Luis Hernandez?

    azbobbop 1 hour 12 min ago view
  • One miscommunication in outfield and the Cubs would have another no hitter

    jacos 2 hours 23 min ago view
  • Bruce Levine [email protected]

    Sex Fowler out with sore heel

    Pretty epic nickname

    johann 2 hours 55 min ago view
  • Mike Olt lives!

    The E-Man 3 hours 29 min ago view
  • Screw the closer.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 21 min ago view
  • He's had so few save opportunities that it might be difficult for him to get the All Star nod but Rondon has an absolutely ridiculous 1.05 ERA and 1.06 FIP after this game so far (and I think his worst outing was in the 10th inning non save situation) so I do absolutely think he is worth considering.

    johann 5 hours 24 min ago view
  • wood(4)/grimm/strop/rondon combine for 7ip 0h 0bb 8K


    crunch 5 hours 38 min ago view
  • 3ip 0h 0bb 3k for t.wood...nice.

    28 pitches.

    wonder if they'll let him go another.

    4ip 0h 0bb 4k...and probably done f'real this time. 43 pitches and in line for the win.

    crunch 6 hours 26 min ago view
  • And stay off the keyboard too

    Eric S 6 hours 35 min ago view
  • Depends how long he'd be gone but if not too long I would assume they'll use Wood or Cahill and limit them to 4 or 5 innings and call up a reliever to use in the bullpen.

    johann 6 hours 53 min ago view
  • hopefully it's a carlos-zambrano-special and he just needs to drink more water and less coffee+redbull before starts.

    crunch 6 hours 59 min ago view
  • Assuming Hammel needs some DL time for the hammy, who do the Cubs call up: Glasnow or Taillon? Too many starting pitching prospects at Iowa to choose from.

    Eric S 7 hours 2 min ago view
  • "cramping in right hamstring" according to the booth.

    btw, it was his left hamstring that was injured last year.

    crunch 7 hours 3 min ago view
  • hammel is injured and done..."leg cramp" or some other leg issue...was down behind the mound coming back from commercial and seemed to have injured himself warming up on the mound between innings.

    crunch 7 hours 25 min ago view
  • heyward with a bit of starlin castro disease...you're great D dude, but you can't range 200ft in all directions even if you're playing CF.

    that said, he almost had it...though zobrist or baez should have had it if heyward wasn't coming on at 100mph.

    hammel is quite wild today even if he got the first 2 outs on Ks that were result of swinging through stuff not in the zone.

    crunch 8 hours 9 min ago view
  • she did fine, fwiw.

    bombs were bursting in the air...ramparts were watched...all that stuff.

    zoobrest kissed her afterwards and got about 20lbs of the 100lbs of makeup she was wearing on him.

    crunch 8 hours 22 min ago view