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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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.