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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  • ...and the Bryant RBI jinx continues in the 3rd....crap.

    billybucks 1 hour 31 min ago view
  • bryant's in the dugout filling a police report BECAUSE HE JUST GOT ROBBED.

    f'n cabrerra...

    crunch 2 hours 8 min ago view
  • chapman showing up and available tomorrow night.

    i'm sure he'll be a bit hit. hope he doesn't choke. dude has a rifle for an arm. he'll add a bit of punch to the bullpen.

    crunch 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • the 'crosstown classic' sure has lost it's magic with interleague. the excitement level is barely noticable...maybe it's a bit more hype in the city, itself.

    crunch 2 hours 14 min ago view
  • Well he didn't leave a mark so its not that bad.

    Fuck that.

    Facts:

    He choked her.

    Her brother tackled him to separate him.

    He cooled off by shooting his gun in the garage.

    I don't have to like him on the team I follow.

    And you are others are free to not give a shit about his personal misgivings if you so choose as well.

     

     

    Rob G. 2 hours 33 min ago view
  • Sure, no marks and some inconsistencies in the witness's statements. But firing your gun into garage wall immediately after an argument and punching out your car window is still threatening and out of control behavior. There was certainly enough for MLB to think it warranted a 30-game suspension.

    Charlie 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • I'd prefer they be flexible with the closing situation depending on matchups. You're not really adding a lefty reliever if you use him strictly as a closer.

    Charlie 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • Stockpiling young talent isn't only for trading for someone like Chapman though. Even with an elite closer winning the World Series is basically a crap shoot so the key is to get to the playoffs as much as possible and not just mortgage everything on one year. Once you get there an elite bullpen certainly helps but the playoffs can be won by one hitter or starting pitcher getting hot (Murphy, Molina, Baumgardner) and a closer might not be able to stop that.

    johann 4 hours 9 min ago view
  • I'm also not crazy about press convictions. As the police report noted, there were no marks on the lady in question. There's a TMZ link (of course) to her police pictures, as well.

    I think the only way this trade goes real bad is if Cubbery intervenes and Chapman is suddenly bad for some reason.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 12 min ago view
  • I am right there with you closing in on 60.

    I don't care that much about "mortgaging" one player who is not only blocked by two guys, but is not ready to hit the majors for at least a couple years.

    There is no reason why this team, this year, can't have a real shot at something NONE of us have experienced.

    Further, I don't feel that even if they fall short that they have ruined their farm system.

    I have made my opinion clear here, with others, Warren was shit on the Cubs save one spot start.

    The E-Man 5 hours 42 min ago view
  • Trading for Warren, Warren sucking, getting Warren back for Chapman plus 3 prospects, sounds like Revenge of The Yankees on the former Boston executive. Old rivalries never die.

    I pray to the heavens above Chapman doesn't suck for some reason, or he'll be booed out of town faster than a Todd Hundley revival meeting.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 49 min ago view
  • I'm kind of nostalgic for the Schwarber-for-Miller rumors.

    Brick 6 hours 1 min ago view
  • This offseason, after some ridiculous playoff run and Chapman saving every game from here until the end of the postseason striking out 27/9innings, I welcome anyone to quote this thread and call me a dummy: I hate this trade, and my hate is 2 parts Chapman makes this team less likeable and 1 part that's a ridiculous overpay for 30 regular season innings and, at tops, 10 postseason innings. Already hoping they don't extend him.

    Charlie 6 hours 3 min ago view
  • btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.

    Cubster 6 hours 25 min ago view
  • I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.

    Cubster 6 hours 26 min ago view
  • Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.

    billybucks 6 hours 34 min ago view