Cubs ticket to Philly is a ticket to Legitimacy, USA.

It's about time for this.

The Cubs go to Philadelphia to play just the kind of team they loaded up for in the off season: A playoff team.

They won't see lefty Cole Hamels, but they will see the World's Oldest Crafty Left Handed Veteran, Jamie Moyer, on Wednesday.

At this point in the season, I don't really care about injuries or apparent career-lows from any member of this 2009 squad.

With this series, the Cubs have an opportunity to become... legitimate.

If the Cubs go into Philly and come away with 2 Ws, it'll send out a tiny ripple.

Not the biggest deal, but they haven't sent even one out yet this year.

Wouldn't it be nice for Tony LaRussa to suddenly look up in the sky and say, "There's a disturbance in the force"?

Right now, you probably wouldn't like to be playing the Cubs.

They're still not quite defined, and they just might be starting to play a little more like they were supposed to.

Alfonso Soriano - he just hit some pretty big homers two games in a row.
That alone should make Phillie manager Charlie Manuel a little gassy.

Anyway, a real important series.

Am I wearing this Cub hat for a reason?

Let.

Me.

Know.


PS: Yesterday the Cubs finished their 4 game sweep of the Washington Nats.
As it should be.

Comments

This Day in Cubs Misery
July 20, 1989

This is the 20th anniversary of the Les Lancaster Game, a.k.a. the Moon Landing Game. Cubs beat the Giants 4-3 in 12 innings on national TV on a Thursday night at Wrigley

For those not familiar with Les Lancaster, imagine a guy with stuff with worse than Kevin Hart's or Shawn Boskie's throwing 30 straight scoreless innings.

You've got to get up pretty early in the morning if you want to get to Legitimacy.

Back in May (pretty sure - not checking) they swept the Padres at home and it felt like the Cubs were cruising. Then they got swept by them in S.D. and it's been crapola ever since ... some weeks less so than others. But I agree, if they can win this series they are back.

I like the way you talk.

Three out of four against Milwaukee I thought was a turning point until Braves came to town.

'In 18 years as the Mets' team psychiatrist, Dr. Allan Lans witnessed player insecurities, depressions and griefs "all the time." But this recent wave of major-leaguers becoming so stressed that they have been assigned to the disabled list has moved Lans, now a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, to call social anxiety disorder "the swine flu of baseball; it's crazy."'

http://www.physorg.com/news167210850.html

Until the Cubs relievers quit pitching like they got their killer instinct from PETA, they’re no threat to do anything. Guzman, Marmol, Gregg, and especially Heilman come in and either get behind immediately, or if they do get ahead throw pitches so bad that only Soriano would be tempted to swing at them. They continue to throw obvious balls until they get back behind and have to come back in. Keep that up against teams other than the Nationals and the Cubs won’t have to worry about any long winning streaks.

Back when the Bulls were in their heyday I waited for seven years to hear an announcer say “Kukoc, rebound in traffic”. Never happened.

I’m beginning to feel the same way about ever hearing “That’s a 1-2-3 inning by Heilman”.

Yeah, Kukoc's lack of inside rebounding was a real detriment to those title teams.

no but Hugh Hollin's whistle on the other hand...

I think I the relievers need better control.

I never heard "Rodman knocks down a clutch three."

Regarding #7:
Back when the Bulls were in their heyday I waited for seven years to hear an announcer say “Kukoc, rebound in traffic”. Never happened.

I’m beginning to feel the same way about ever hearing “That’s a 1-2-3 inning by Heilman”.

And right on cue, Heilman pitches a 1-2-3 inning tonight in the 7th in Philly.

The relievers have pitched well of late. They will never be the best in the NL, but, at least recently, they seem adequate enough to get by as long as our offensive performance picks up.

I agree. I'd prefer Heilman to be lower on the pecking order (Jeff Stevens is already a more consistent arm), but the trio of Guzman, Marmol, and Gregg, with Marshall's excellent support, has been solid for a while now. Gregg, in particular, deserves kudos - he's been very good since his blown save against the Tigers a month ago.

Speaking of relief pitching, Chris Huseby down in Peoria is putting together a dynamite season. 52 K in 38 IP, with a 13 to 1 K:BB ratio and WHIP below 1. Anyone know if he might get promoted to Daytona or Tennessee before long?

I think I read the bullpen's ERA was now sixth in the NL. Heilman still sucks.

In case if you were looking for a Ligue update or evidence for more birth control in the world-

http://deadspin.com/5317107/william-ligues-son-sti...

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?arti...

Few teams are more aggressive scouting the Pacific Rim than the Cubs are, and Lee was seen as the big catch last year, although Tommy John surgery delayed his stateside debut. It's turning out to be well worth the wait, as the 18-year-old Korean is 13-for-29 in his last six games and batting .324/.388/.417 overall while leading the college-heavy Northwest League in stolen bases (12), and ranking third in hits (35) and second in runs (25). A plus-plus runner with a quick line-drive bat, Lee's size and athleticism separates him from most Asian signees, and he's already among the best prospects in the Cubs' system.

also a blurb about E-Patt...
One of my favorite scout quotes in recent years concerned Patterson, when an evaluator, comparing him to his brother Corey, said of Eric, "Half the athlete, and twice the ballplayer." Acquired from the Cubs last year in the Rich Harden deal, Patterson has been playing multiple positions for the RiverCats and hitting in every one of them, as a 7-for-13 weekend that included two doubles, a triple, and a home run upped his season line to .318/.387/.517 with 33 stolen bases in 39 attempts. The A's have dreams on him turning into a Chone Figgins type who can provide roster flexibility while producing in multiple positions.

Brett Jackson is off to a nice start in Boise as well - great plate discipline, although the power is lacking (just a triple and homer in 49 ABs (.286/.453/.388).

Marmol giving up his pose is the turning point of this pen. "In Koyie we trust" is the new motto, and getting Aaron Miles (Sparkie) back is key.

Just kidding. Getting Milton to hit the ones he misses...

so if Hendry and McFail do discuss a deal with George Sherrill, what kind of prospect(s) is he gonna fetch?

Do you consider a Casey Coleman, Jeff Stevens? More? Less? Probably some of the talent at Boise would be on that list.

I've no clue but would love to see what others who know the minor league system better think.

Though I would love to see a killer lefty arm in the bullpen... this trade just doesn't seem to make much sense. We don't need a closer, but they're going to want a premium because he's a closer and because it's at the trade deadline (or approaching) and he's the only one on the market. He's going to cost more than Gregg. I would guess two real prospects.

wittenmeyer twitters...

Lineup vs. Champs: fuky, riot, lee, rami, hoff (rf), sori, font, hill, lilly.

Bradley works with Lou before game. Testy when asked about it. Actually said less verbally than he has with bat LH.

Media: how did your session go with the skipper?

(RATM) MB: mumbles under breath, Hey yo, so check this out Yeah! Know your enemy!

Media: Ah, testy today?

Looking forward to another blackout of a national game that I can't get locally. Thanks, owners!

And right on cue, Heilman pitches...
---
Clutch performer.

Hasnt Hendry learned not to deal with Mcphial anymore,
we still have not got the ptbnl for Rich Hill trade

Perhaps we could trade the Orioles back their PTBNL from the Rich Hill deal, add another PTBNL, and get Sherrill. Would that work?

No, but if we offered that PTBNL swap theyd probably give Hill back.

...guess this means the cubs are illegitimate

Well, they are bastards.

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  • Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.

    chitownmvp01 2 hours 2 min ago view
  • Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.

    He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.

    chitownmvp01 2 hours 10 min ago view
  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 43 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 7 hours 46 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 16 hours 49 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 17 hours 31 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 17 hours 42 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 17 hours 49 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 17 hours 52 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 18 hours 3 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 18 hours 9 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 18 hours 25 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 18 hours 26 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 21 hours 17 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 23 hours 49 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 1 day 22 min ago view