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?




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


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."'

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-

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.

Recent comments

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  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • 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.