Cub-Fan Misery Loves Company
It's not that there is absolutely nothing positive to say about the Cubs right now. It's that the positives are so deep beneath so much raw sewage, I just don't have it in me to go baling through the muck to uncover them.
Instead, I have decided that the best way to get through this latest low spot in this awful season is to find a National League team even more woeful than our Cubs.
There are some solid candidates:
— Our friends to the north, the Brewers, who have dropped three in a row to fall a season-worst 10 games under .500. They lost Monday to the Marlins when Ken Macha, whose job seems to be hanging by a thread, left his starting pitcher in one batter too long, and they lost Tuesday when Macha was forced to pull David Bush because of a blister and replaced him with Trevor Hoffman. Three hits, two walks, and three runs followed. Yes, that's Trevor Hoffman of the 11.65 ERA and imminent retirement party.
Of course, what's really miserable about the Brewers this year is that they're SO bad, they have dropped five of six to the Chicago Cubs.
— The Diamondbacks, who have lost nine games in a row, including a 10-inning, 1-0 defeat at Los Angeles last night in which Dan Haren held the Dodgers scoreless for eight innings, threw a career-high 126 pitches, and had to settle for an ND. That came on the heels on a defeat Monday in which Arizona coughed up a 4-2, eighth-inning lead and lost 5-4 on a walk-off balk, which according to the AZ Snakepit blog, has happened less frequently since 1954 than perfect games. And, oh, yeah—the Diamondbacks' upcoming schedule includes a stretch in which they'll play, in order, the Cardinals, Red Sox, Tigers, Yankees, Rays, and Cardinals again.
Sounds miserable to me. The thing about the Diamondbacks is, they won 100 games and made the playoffs in their second year in existence (1999) and then won the World Series just two years later, so my attitude about Arizona is what it has long been: shut up and suffer. By Cub standards, you used up your good fortune for the next several decades back in 2001.
— The Astros, who are last in the NL Central, 18-34, 12 1/2 games out of first, and 5 1/2 games behind the Cubs. Houston tough guy/poster boy Roy Oswalt says he doesn't want to be an Astro any more. And owner Drayton McLane has established such a record for knuckleheadedness that Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle is pointing to the Cubs (!) and in effect saying, "Dammit, Drayton. Why can't we do business like those guys?"
So who is the most miserable of all? Right now, I would have to give the nod to the Astros. They get special woefulness points for bringing up the rear in baseball's most woeful division. On the other hand, they did take two of three from the Cubs when the teams met back in April here in Chicago, and the two clubs will be meeting again in Houston over the next few days.
Who says the Cubs won't have anything to play for in 2010?
Wow La Stella sent to Iowa and Coghlan brought up. I'm not a huge Stella fan but he has been hitting lately and is to me better than Coghlan. Neither are good defensively but I guess Coghlan can play the outfield allowing Bryant to stay at 3rd more where he's better.
Not 2nd to last but Cubs are definitely bottom of the pack in the 2nd half in oWAR and wRC+. #1 in dWAR though which is certainly a good sign for the playoffs.
I was going to say that you wouldn't want Heyward to achieve Soriano's OBP--.317 with the Cubs--but now I see that he's already done that. Pitchers have lost their fear of him.
Oh, well, at least Chapman seems to be as good as advertised.
Thanks to E-man and Quiet Man for the link on Chapman in a previous post. It's funny because I never really noticed Chapman's delivery until I saw him doing it in a blue uniform. Two saves in a Cubs uniform already. I hope they don't need him today, despite that smooth delivery.
Cubs are middle of the pack in average, 5th in OPS, 2nd in walks, 4th in runs scored in MLB. Their runs scored ranks 17th in the MLB in July.
Boston, leading everything, continues to rake in July.
Lester has given up one run or fewer in 11 starts this year. So I'd answer yes. Three of his last four starts were duds, yes. Not worried about him at all. Arrieta is concerning, to be sure. I look it at as, what he was doing was historic, so the regression was bound to happen. He showed in his start against the Mets that he's still capable, and I'd bet on him regaining his form.
marlins getting a.cashner and c.rea from SD
This is not an attack...But In what stat are the Cubs second from last in MLB, in hitting? I don't see this.
How odd the stats:
Cubs 1st in pitching in MLB
2nd to last in hitting.
In May they were 1st in both.
trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.
eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.
we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).
As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.
I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.
Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.
Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!
What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.
Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...
Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.
Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.
I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.
Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?
Maybe the three-headed dragon?