Cubs Season Well Past the Brink

To say the least, I'm not particularly motivated these days to write about the Cubs. The road trip disaster and the reality of the standings coupled with the anemic offense has pretty much put an end to the season. Never say never and all and Carlos Zambrano will be back this week, but I'm expecting nothing more than the same frustrating Cubs team the rest of the way. At 62-60, I figure 90 wins gets them in the picture and that means a 28-12 run over their last 40 and that still might not be enough for the wild card or the division. So as the season winds down, I'll probably be talking a lot about the new ownership and 2010 and the Chicago Bears. Live with it...

I did go to the game Saturday afternoon...happened to be the AngelFan Wife's birthday as well. I know how to treat the ladies. For her gift, I got her a washing machine...for Christmas I'm thinking a vacuum cleaner or a big screen TV.

Brief description of the day and photos after the jump...

We were the benefactors of 2 amazing seats just 2 rows behind home plate, something I doubt we'll be experiencing ever again. It's the "Dugout Club" at Dodger Stadium and what I'm sure is becoming a trend at most stadiums, it's for the "privileged" crowd or lucky bastards like myself. Just to get to the area is a roped off glass door that leads downstairs, and at every checkpoint I half-expected someone to stop us and let us know we don't belong there. Eventually you make it downstairs, pass by both clubhouses and to get to your seats you have to go through the all-you-can-eat buffet that comes with the tickets. Most people were chowing down before the game, but we headed right out since we had a big breakfast with the wife's family for her birthday. Another usher and yet another moment of expecting to be turned back, but he led us to our seats, a row ahead of CNN anchor Larry King who looks every bit of his age.

I won't bore you with the rest of the details of the game, even sitting that close you don't hear much from the field except the home plate ump between innings interacting with the fans. I'll say the Dodger fans don't like Milton Bradley much either, being warmly greeted with a serenade of "Meltdown" in his first few at-bats. Some photos below for your pleasure....

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Fun at the old ballpark as they say...


I guess the comments and descriptions don't go through on the slideshow. You can go here if you wish..

who sawed off paul sullivan's legs?

Nice pix.

I'm pretty you could put a beat down on Gordon Wittenmeyer(back to the camer)too.

Did you notice anything about certain players or the game in general that you wouldn't have on TV or in the seats for the great unwashed?

not really, Soto has a huge ass...they seemed to be swinging for the fences on Haeger's knuckleball. I was more interested in the food to be honest.

I know, bad Cubs blogger.

"He's not overweight." Hendry the enabler:

Does Soto need to get in better condition to avoid injuries like his oblique strain?

"No, he's naturally a big-boned guy," Hendry said. "I don't think* his weight is any different than last year when he won [N.L.] Rookie of the Year. He came to camp in real good shape, gained a few pounds after the [ World Baseball Classic]. He's never going to be tall and skinny, but he's not overweight."

*Maybe Cubs fans could chip in and buy the Cubs a bathroom scale.

Now that's just wrong.

Dodgers fans jeering at Bradley are the same group of rocket surgeons who drove to Vegas and cheered Manny during his suspension. Do Dodger fans know anything about baseball?

not really

I was there the night Weaver and Arronondo didn't allow a hit but lost. It was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of game. 90 percent of them had absolutely no clue what was going on.

from rotoworld:

Chris Perez has thrown 15 1/3 scoreless frames out of the Indians' bullpen.
It's the longest scoreless streak by a Tribe reliever since Rafael Betancourt tossed 19 straight shutout innings in 2007. Perez has rattled off 19 strikeouts against four walks during the stretch and is doing Cleveland management proud. The 24-year-old was picked up in late June from the Cardinals for third baseman Mark DeRosa, who is batting .237/.313/.443 with his new club.
the stl surge isn't about DeRosa but he sure filled a hole at 3B which is not going to be reflected in any hitting stats. Plus it's one of the larger things on the list of Hendry mistakes that have not only created a void on the team when ARam went down this year but then came around and bit us in the ass by helping our main competitor.

We needed to clear payroll for Aaron Miles

My theory is Geo & Hendry spent the entire offseason hanging out getting high.

Some December night in Geo's smoke-filled apartment, over a bag of Doritos...

Geo: Doooode, Mark Derosa is pretty good.
Hendry: Yeah, man, he's our secret weapon.
Geo: You know what you should do? You should trade him... pffftt!
Hendry: {manical laughing}
Hendry: Okay, okay, okay, okay... where should I trade him? What time is it?
Geo: It's 1:30, man...
Hendry: Ok, ok, ok, I'll call Sharpy in Cleveland.

picks up phone, dials number...
Geo & Hendry giggling while phone rings

Shapiro: Hello? Who is this?
Hendry: Hey Sharpy, it's Jim in Chicago.
Shapiro: Jim Hendry? Everything okay? It's 2:30am.
Hendry: Yeah, man...that's cool. Hey do you want Mark Derosa?

Geo: Ask him if his refrigerator is running!

... the rest is history.


Plus, Derosa still hits right-handed. What a goof!

Clearly, all the left-handedness helped against the Dodgers.

BillyBucks calculator now has the Cubs at 87 wins -- probably not enough.

The have had mediocre defense this year.

BABIP is down but not a lot.

They've hit plenty of home runs.

And of course... They've given up way too many walks.

None of this is too surprising, but it is interesting to see how FEW walks STL has given up. It's clearly the chink in the armor of our pitching staff. Just throw strikes. Unless you are Kevin Gregg, in which case... who knows... try something different.

Also, the Cubs have a lackluster road record.

CHC has a higher BABIP than STL. Nice.

Is UR/G unearned runs? Unearned runs are also a function of pitching. The Cubs are third in the majors in Defensive Efficiency.

Yeah, that's fair. UR is still relevant, imo, but maybe I shouldn't refer to it as "defense".


Wagner blocked deal to RSox, wants to pitch low-leverage to protect his arm for next season. Shouldn't the Mets just let him go then?

Rosenthal with the obvious Cubs are fucked next year because of all those contracts.


I think it might be a good time to revisit our pre-season predictions.

Probably worth a good chuckle at this point.

I predicted a shocking 2nd place finish for the Reds, right behind the Cubs. Whoops.

I'm looking pretty good on Smardijiza's innings, wrong on everything else.

I selected Milton Bradley to hit the most home runs. Think you go ahead and mark me down for a "loss" there.

That picture of Lilly is hot!! Quite the'd look better if he were on a bearskin rug, though.

TLFC porn...


...this is one of the Cubs' best seasons in the last 60 years.

Recent comments

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  • James Russell elected free agency.

  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.