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.


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.

''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...


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.


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...



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.

Recent comments

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  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.

  • Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined). 

  • BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.

    If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).

    As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).