Home Sweet Home

So the Cubs left for this road trip on the winds of winning 7 of 8 and being a half-game up on the Cardinals. They come home losing 6 of 10 and dropping 3 back (3.5 games total). It leaves their road record a paltry eight games under .500 at 25-33. To rehash the trip in all its glory...

Game 1: 5-2 Loss @ Florida

Cubs tie it up in the top of the 7th with 2 runs, Marmol walks two in the 8th and gives up three runs total.

Game 2: 9-8 Win @ Florida in 10

Cubs enter the 9th up 8-5, Kevin Gregg blows it, then Derrek Lee unblows it with a solo HR to leadoff the 10th and Aaron Heilman notches an unlikely save.

Game 3: 3-2 Loss @ Florida

Cubs enter the 9th up 2-1 and Kevin Gregg blows it by giving up back-to-back home runs. Then notifies the team that his arm may have been tired over the weekend and he needs some rest. 

Game 4: 4-2 Win @ Cincinnati

Mike Fontenot's 3-run HR is most of the offense and fill-in closer Carlos Marmol tries to, but fails at blowing the game.

Game 5: 6-3 Win @ Cincinnati

Fukudome leads off the game with a home run and Gorzelanny sparkles in his Cubs debut.

Game 6: 4-0 Loss @ Cincinnati

The Justin Lehr Game! Complete game shutout for the 32 year junk ball journeyman.

Game 7: 6-2 Loss @ Colorado

The Rockies have been playing good enough that the Cubs didn't need to handicap themselves for the series. Z doesn't make it out of warm-ups and Sean Marshall and the bullpen are called into action and the results are predictable.

Game 8: 6-5 Win @ Colorado

It looks like the Cubs were paying attention during those Jason Marquis starts and take 5 walks and score 6 total on the game. The bullpen holds the one run lead without any drama. The Cubs still lose though when Aramis Ramirez leaves early with shoulder stiffness.

Game 9: 11-5 Loss @ Colorado

Randy Wells was due for a correction, although he probably didn't need his defense doing the correcting for him. 3 errors that the Rockies capitalized on and then finished off Jeff Stevens for the blowout win. The Cubs managed 5 runs on 17 hits.

Game 10: 11-5 Loss @ Colorado

Gorzelanny was well on his way to getting shelled anyway, but a comebacker off his ankle/foot and an odd landing trying to make a play claimed another Cub to injury. Lou deemed Esmailin Caridad as the sacrificial lamb of the bullpen and the Rockies bloodied him up over 5 innings of work with Troy Tulowitzki doing the bulk of the butchering - a cycle and 7 RBI's. A meager 9th inning rally made the score look more respectable than the game. The Cubs left about 3,241 runners on base during the 4-game set (unofficial tally).


 

So back to Wrigley come the Cubs, 33-19 on the year and 132-82 (.616) since Lou took over in 2007. That's probably more a reflection on the talent than any magic on Lou's part, but I suppose a flimsy case could be made that he's cracked the day-game code that has befuddled many a past Cubs team (hint: schedule more night games). The Cubs will host the Keystone state for the next 6 games, before heading back on the road to my side of the country and 7 versus the Padres and Dodgers.

First up at home though are the World Series champs, but they're also the losers of 7 of their last 10 including a sweep at home against the Marlins. They'll throw Randy Wells' Rookie of the Year competition J.A. Happ (8-2, 2.74 ERA) in the first game. The Cubs will counter with Rich Harden and his 1.80 second half ERA. Then Pedro Martinez makes his debut on Wednesday against Jeff Samardzija's starting debut. Finally Cliff "Complete Game" Lee goes on Thursday against Ryan Dempster. If the Cubs can manage 2 out of 3 wins against Philadelphia, it could bode well for a nice rebound homestand as they finish off against the Pirates who have already started their spring training.

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Comments

And in the 'stating the obvious' category, the nominees are:

"The Cubs have not won a series against a team with a winning record since April, which is a trend that has to end if they expect to make the postseason."

Since Lou got ejected (this time for a real cause) it bodes well for a renewed vigor to put all the pieces together, although this year has been a touch and go season for injuries. It's OK to use that as an excuse for a while but things are not looking up for a return from Ramirez and Zambrano at 100%. Soriano has to carry the team? Bradley getting hot helps too, but personally I'm hoping Soto finds his stroke soon.

It's exciting that every game is important, but loading the bases twice in two innings and not scoring seems to indicate Lou's tirade didn't light a fire under anyone but the umps.

Rothschild seems befuddled again.

I'm predicting another trade...for offense this time. Just a hunch. This could be the Hendry/Pinella swan song if things don't turn around soon.

"Since Lou got ejected (this time for a real cause) it bodes well for a renewed vigor to put all the pieces together"

did you miss last night's game?

besides, for all the lip service that goes on about that stuff it's highly overrated even if funny.

len/bob were going on a for a short while last night with dugout shots about how dead the team seemed. i guess that's better than month 2-3 of bob disgusted with what soriano gets away with as a player.

losing like this will make a team look dead. they're hitting, but doing nothing with it that's timely, though.

the pitching is just falling apart all around...injuries are killing all around.

I'm expecting the worst from Arams MRI.

Sound familiar?-

"It was Piniella's feeling upon taking over in 1988 that the Yankees were too righthanded, and he pushed for the Phelps deal.

Unfortunately, Phelps' power was mostly to left-center, which made it an ill-fated deal, especially when Buhner went on to stardom with the Seattle Mariners. But Piniella felt compelled to get Phelps into the lineup as much as possible and that meant taking away some of Clark's DH at-bats."

Frank Constanza should have been yelling at Lou.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees...

I wish we had any home games left against St. Louis, Colorado or San Francisco. I wish BP thought we had a better than 4 percent chance to win the Wild Card. I wish St. Louis didn't have so many games against Louisville and Indianapolis. I wish the injuries would happen to the guys on the Cubs who I wish would go away, not the guys we need to actually play baseball well. I wish the Cubs appeared to care as much as baseball as Chicago's other pro athletes do about $1.20. I wish the Cubs' GM was an engineer and not a painter. I wish there was room in the payroll and flexibility on the roster to make me believe it's not going to be mostly the same team next year but maybe with more questions in the bullpen. I wish Wilken was Nostradamus. I'm thankful I wasn't able to secure season tickets to this paperweight.

Just a note about the 2001 DiamondBacks team not having a shut down closer. Yeah they did, his name was Byung-Hyun Kim.

98 IP, 58 hits, 113 Strikeouts.

He is forgotten because he could have had a long career as a dominate closer but he always felt working out of the bullpen was an insult. He just wanted to be a starting pitcher.

He took his lumps in the WS, but i don't think i have seen a pitcher as filthy as he was coming out of the bullpen since K-rod was a rookie.

Kim was actually a mess by the time the playoffs rolled around. He put up his big K numbers primarily in the 1st half of the season. I would take about 4 Lidge seasons and one or two Marmol seasons over Kim's 2001 (and Nathan, Rivera etc).

While talking to a SF friend this morning on conference and b/s'ing about baseball I noticed the giants record vs. their power production...pretty slick stuff.

17 HR leads the team and only 1 other guy with more than 10 HR...1 with 9 HR.

slick.

meanwhile, the Cubs have no less than ten players who reasonably can be in double figures by the end of the season--- Theriot being #10 with seven homers.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/stats/sortable_player_...

Rumor has it that John Smoltz has cleared waivers. Any takers?

if Rsox pay part of his deal and Smoltz agrees to go to the pen, I'd take a shot....of course with the injuries, we could use a starter.

correct me if i'm wrong here, Sandy, but can't anyone pick him up at veteran minimum right now while he still gets paid full pop from the Sox?

He was DFA'd I think 3 days ago, so he's still RSox property for 7 more days. Clearing waivers in this case just means that no team wants to assume his full salarly, the same way Alex Rios did not clear waivers and the Blue Jays said here take his contract. Smoltz is now free to be traded to any team. If after 7 days or whenever it expires, no trade partner is found, RSox can release him or outright him to the minors, but Smoltz can refuse that assignment if he wishes.

another clarification: so when players get put on waivers after the deadline (the all do for the most part) that is the same as getting dfa'd?

no, those are revocable waivers and a team can pull back that player if someone claims them. Also when DFA'd you're removed from the 25-man and the 40-man roster of that team, which is not the case in the post July 31st waiver process.

In the case of a DFA, if a team puts a waiver claim in, Smoltz's was there's along with his full salary, no 48-hour negotiating period, do not pass go. I apologize now for using the Alex Rios example as they are slightly different situations. They're both waivers, but one is revocable and one is not.

AZ Phil of course has a more thorough breakdown here on DFA'ing

http://thecubreporter.com/sunday-funnies-0#comment...

 also, the 40-man roster page explains many of the procedures..

http://thecubreporter.com/cubs-40-man-roster

 

i thought that was the case. which is why i thought that smoltz was now a free agent. or i guess can accept a minor league assignment.

Funny... I watched that video (Motley Crue performing "Home Sweet Home") and I thought it was a Spinal Tap tribute/parody.

First Cub minor-league pitcher to 100 strikeouts is . . . Beliveau (100), followed by Carpenter and Atkins (99) and Archer (96).

Beliveau is 4th in K/9 (11.52), behind Gaub (11.54), Buchter (11.94) and Huseby (12.35). Beliveau is the only starter in this group.

Here's a number for you: Huseby has issued 8 walks in 45.2 innings to go with his 62 Ks.

speaking of atkins...after last night's performance, use, and schedule without a break why isnt katydid back in AAA?

Weren't they high on Caridad last winter and during the spring?

They may give him another inning or two to try to get a glimpse of the pitcher who struck out 12 in 6 innings on August 5th.

he has great on paper stuff, but both his fastballs are lamely straight and his slider doesn't have much break.

i'd be willing to hold off judgment on the slider til i see it outside colorado, but he had no movement on those fastballs.

he's got great stuff...maybe it's just colorado.

As someone who was at the game, with a view from the 4th row next to first base, I thought that he clearly made more than one mistake pitch, but I really thought that he handled that game pretty well, given that he had never pitched in the majors before, and was being thrown into a game that had all the makings of a blow-out. He really fooled some hitters badly, and he was regularly hitting 97 on the radar gun. Aside from facing Tulowitzki, who would have hit almost anyone hard last night, I thought he did pretty well. I am not saying that i think he is the second coming of Bob Gibson, but I don't think he did badly at all. To me, he pitched like a fairly competent rookie pitcher.

he hung his slider a lot...mostly cuz it didn't have a lot of break. how much of that is COL and how much is him...no idea.

i've only heard about the guy...never seen until last night.

Lilly rehab start on Wednesday in Peoria

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090810/...

Team sold yet?

Soon.

Justin Lehr is pitching for Cincy vs Stl tonight...I predict, he turns back into a pumpkin tonight. The Cardinals love salted pumpkin seeds.

I'm just sayin'.

Is ARam back tonight, he asked hopefully but fully aware of what the answer will likely be.

nope - cortisone shot - expected to miss 2-3 more days.

Jambalaya. edited for your pleasure.

It's Ryne Sandberg bobblehead doll night at Wrigley...sponsored by National City/PNC Bank...our TARP money finally gets us something of value.

that's funny...it happens to be the 17 year anniversary of cindy sandberg's bobblehead night at wrigley.

...oh snap.

LOL CRUNCH!!! LOL LOL LOL!

*drops monocle in his tea*

SIR! ...do control yourself and be civil. *scoff* this is the internet, sir.

Dave Kaplan apparently doesn't like Carlos Zambrano very much:

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/david-kaplan-chica...

Although the article is over the top, he does make some legitimate points.

jesus f'n christ...damn.

someone get kaplan a tissue and a diaper change.

also...

"Pack your bags Carlos, it's time to take your act to another team. We've tired of you and your immaturity."

we are? also...we?

Kaplan is a little punk. He was on WGN radio today saying he had the Patrick Kane situation solved. Kane should just have to wear his Hawks sweater and drive a cab in Buffalo for charity for two weeks and everything is good.
Sorry, the guy has been charged with committing a significant enough crime that the punishment is 5 to 15 years in prison, and Kaplan thinks donating money to charity fixes the problem? I'm tired of Kaplan's act, he's phony and thinks he's the big man in town.

you know, I generally avoid the critiquing of articles on the Cubs,  because just about every other Cubs blog does it, but I may have to pull a Fire Joe Morgan on that one. That's the most asinie piece of drivel I've read in a long time. He even suggests that  Z is faking his injury.

I guess someone is trying to step into the void Jay Mariotti left of insufferable windsock.

Well I have a second submission for Brain-Cell Killing Articles for Wiklified...

Muskat has Zambrano and Ramirez updates posted.

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/08/811_ram...

Santo just advised that the Rockies are only 3.5 games back in the divisional race... behind the Phillies.

I'm working late, and I decide to check on the game.

I call up Cubs.com, the the left side of the page loads first:

Harden hasn't allowed baserunner through five
Tonight at Wrigley Field, Rich Harden has kept the Phillies off the bases for the first five innings. Jake Fox hit an RBI single and Alfonso Soriano lifted a sacrifice fly in the third.

Why, that sounds promising! I wait for the box score to load.

When it finally does, I see that it's tied at 2 in the sixth.

And the Cubs’ two runs have come on seven hits.

And the Phils’ have come on one.

My mother on Marmol:

"Why can't he get hurt? Everybody else gets hurt."

This is the most painful Cubs team I've endured in some time.

EDIT: Although I've been saying almost every year for about the last 40 years

After exhaustive research, I have reached the following, inescapable, conclusion:

Carlos Marmol is a fucking idiot.

parachat not working for me so this is all I got.

1. Why would anyone bat Aaron Miles for Angel Guzman?
2. Why would anyone bat Aaron Miles for Angel Guzman?

thanks

crap. Gregg is in and they're giving us the "he's tipping his pitches" excuse. The one before that was, what? Tired arm?

Aaron fucking Miles, this little fucking midget is such an epic fail it boggles the mind. For Christ's sake Hendry, eat the money and release this choad. God-dammit.

Nice Len comment. Guzman? Set up at least?

Bradley has had a real nice game.

ok dammit. I want these guys to show some fucking inner fortitude. Even if they hate Gregg as much as we do they need to pick him up here.

Show that Jake some respect! 4-0 walk.

Cards lose at least, rockies losing late, giants up 1-0 in the 5th...

So Guzman is gonna take over set-up duties anytime right?

I don't care anymore. I never did.

Fuck this team
Fuck their friends and fuck their families
Fuck Lou and Hendry
Fuck Soriano and Marmol for wasting their talent, and fuck Lou again for creating an environment where they are allowed to
Fuck the entire truckload of bad second basemen and fuck Hendry again for the stupid, unnecessary trade of DeRosa
Fuck Matt Sinatro, for pete's sake

This is a ridiculous team and a ridiculous season.

Fuck 'em.

video of Youk/Porcello fight that MLB.com seems to be hiding...

http://www.freep.com/article/20090811/SPORTS02/908...

Phils get 4 runs on 3 hits, and Eyre gets the win.

"2009: It's not gonna happen"

WAIT!

That's MY line!

Sorry, E-Man -- rage-fueled plagerism.

Do we know if the cubs put any players on waivers,I would
think it is time to see,shame on hendry if he did not consider this and do it.

Submitted by rokfish on Tue, 08/11/2009 - 10:17pm.
Do we know if the cubs put any players on waivers,I would
think it is time to see,shame on hendry if he did not consider this and do it

================================================

ROKFISH: Trade Waivers are supposed to be kept confidential, although occasionally names leak out.

As for strategy, most contending teams (the "buyers") put their entire roster on trade waivers the first week to ten days of August (a club can place no more than seven players on Trade Waivers per day, and waivers cannot be requested on Saturday and Sunday) to determine ASAP who they can trade and who they can't trade.

Also-rans (the "sellers") usually do it a bit differently, trickling players onto Trade Waivers over the entire month of August, sometimes holding back the players they think will be most attractive to the contenders until the last week of August, when other options are few and when the remaining contending teams start to get really desperate.

So it's likely that the Cubs have already put most of their roster on Trade Waivers (at least the guys they would most likely have to trade to acquire a player of value), although whether any were claimed is unknown.

Remember, any player with "no trade" rights can be put on Trade Waivers, but if he gets claimed and his club doesn't pull him back, the player can refuse the waiver claim (as well as a trade) and remain with his original club.

Also, minor league players who are not on the 40-man roster never have to go through waivers to get traded, and players on the 40-man roster who are on optional assignment to the minors can be traded without having to go through the waiver process as long as the player remains in the minors for the rest of the season. And ONLY MLB players on the 15-day or 60-day DL and minor league players (both those on the 40-man roster who are on optional assignment to the minors and those not on the 40) can be a PTBNL in trades made during the season (including August). To be eligible to be a PTBNL, a player cannot be on an MLB Active List (25-man roster) at any time between when the trade is made and when the PTBNL is announced.

And if a player is claimed off Trade Waivers during August and is pulled back when no trade can be worked out with the claiming team within the 48-hour "window," the player cannot be put back on Trade Waivers again for at least 30 days (taking it past the August 31st deadline for playoff roster eligibility), and the second time a player is placed on Trade Waivers in a given season, the waivers become irrevocable and the player cannot be pulled back if claimed.

A few years ago, Mets GM Steve Phillips put in waiver claims on dozens of the best players in baseball after the Mets had fallen out of contention in August (a club can claim up to 50 players per week), pissing off a lot of the other GMs who then had to withdraw the waiver requests or risk losing their best players to the Mets for the $20,000 waiver price. Phillips claims he didn't do it to be a nuisance, he really wanted the players he claimed. He just didn't want to give up any players to get them.

I fucking hate this team.

...on a new note, I am moving to Arizona in a few weeks to start a new job. I'm hoping that college football will help fill the void. Even TheRiot is pissing me off. Sell everyone and do the Marlins thing. Let's at least lose on the cheap.

This game would make for a delightful year end video recap of the entire season. This game perfectly sums up the season to date for me.
- Good starting pitching
- weak offense, high LOB
- Marmol walks in run
- Gregg gives up game winning HR
- Aramis didn't play.

This team is very unlikeable. Not nearly as much fun when you are rooting for a uniform and not for a strong fundamental team of great guys who are exciting to watch.

Great post.

Stat of the day:
14.73
...Marmol's August BB/9 rate.

Another stat of the day:
6.75
...Gregg's August HR/9 (is that even a real stat?)

One last stat:
A LOT
...how much I dislike this team.

Hey I'm not sure how this will effect the likability of this team, but some people who were at the game last night were calling into WSCR 670 AM saying that during the game Milton Bradley was seen flipping off certain fans and making the money sign (rubbing fingers together).

But the way I see it this doesn't really matter because Milton Bradley is a switch hitter... DeRosa was just a righty.

UPDATE: Happened top of the 5th inning.

Did any of these Mensa candidates that called the Score explain what was being said to Milton Bradley before and after that?

It's become clear this is a very pro-Bradley crowd.

After getting a couple hits the bleacher bums were booing him saying that he "still sucks".

if the bleacher bums boo him, he's alright with me.

they need to get back to complaining about "kids" like they have for a decade+ and talking people into throwing balls back with certificates of awesomeness they hand out to those visitors that comply.

maybe they can watch a game and enjoy it between the blue-collar social event.

sorry, bradley isn't going to cal ripken jr. it out there and be a movie-of-the-week "aww gee golly shucks, yall!" will clark type.

they should go yell at soriano. he may be nice and all, but i'm seeing him do a lot more lazy and selfish crap than milton out in the field. not many accounts of milton lack-of-hustle going on in the OF that i've seen (as long as he can remember how to count to 3).

i guess being nice is more important that busting your ass...what game they wanna watch out there...the one that leads to a W/L or the one that leads to a story for the grandkids?

why is this a story? he is simply saying you are a scrub in the bleachers working a desk job and I am a millionaire, so heckle all you want, you are still the loser. I am not sure it means anything more than that.

True Story:
Many years ago I sat in the bleachers and Rickey Henderson was in center. We were all grilling him all game. He would flick us off, grab his junk, and do all kinds of stuff. No one called the score then. so.....in the 7th or 8th, EY jacks a home run (which is rare in its own right) and it comes right for me. I reach to grab it, someone tips it, it hits my shoulder and I trap it there. My first (and only) caught home run - something I will never forget. Anyway - the cameras hit me and everyone was going nuts. I decided that was the time to give it to Ricky and proceeded to give him the double bird. TV coverage cut, go to commercial.....ahhh good times. I still have that ball.

Moral of the story....sh!t happens in the bleachers with the outfielders. Its just part of it and I am sure Milton is just playing the crowd.

Good story, but I couldn't disagree with you more.

If Rickey Henderson was on the Cubs and was flipping the bird to his home fans I'm sure that would have been a story.

Cubs are the only team that Rickey didn't play for.

:-)

I have a feeling Piniella is getting close to a Jim Mora-esque press conference. "PLAYOFFS?!!"

Hope so..that'd be great!

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