Cubs Season Well Past the Brink

To say the least, I'm not particularly motivated these days to write about the Cubs. The road trip disaster and the reality of the standings coupled with the anemic offense has pretty much put an end to the season. Never say never and all and Carlos Zambrano will be back this week, but I'm expecting nothing more than the same frustrating Cubs team the rest of the way. At 62-60, I figure 90 wins gets them in the picture and that means a 28-12 run over their last 40 and that still might not be enough for the wild card or the division. So as the season winds down, I'll probably be talking a lot about the new ownership and 2010 and the Chicago Bears. Live with it...

I did go to the game Saturday afternoon...happened to be the AngelFan Wife's birthday as well. I know how to treat the ladies. For her gift, I got her a washing machine...for Christmas I'm thinking a vacuum cleaner or a big screen TV.

Brief description of the day and photos after the jump...

We were the benefactors of 2 amazing seats just 2 rows behind home plate, something I doubt we'll be experiencing ever again. It's the "Dugout Club" at Dodger Stadium and what I'm sure is becoming a trend at most stadiums, it's for the "privileged" crowd or lucky bastards like myself. Just to get to the area is a roped off glass door that leads downstairs, and at every checkpoint I half-expected someone to stop us and let us know we don't belong there. Eventually you make it downstairs, pass by both clubhouses and to get to your seats you have to go through the all-you-can-eat buffet that comes with the tickets. Most people were chowing down before the game, but we headed right out since we had a big breakfast with the wife's family for her birthday. Another usher and yet another moment of expecting to be turned back, but he led us to our seats, a row ahead of CNN anchor Larry King who looks every bit of his age.

I won't bore you with the rest of the details of the game, even sitting that close you don't hear much from the field except the home plate ump between innings interacting with the fans. I'll say the Dodger fans don't like Milton Bradley much either, being warmly greeted with a serenade of "Meltdown" in his first few at-bats. Some photos below for your pleasure....

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Fun at the old ballpark as they say...

Comments

I guess the comments and descriptions don't go through on the slideshow. You can go here if you wish.. http://www.flickr.com/photos/41793328@N03/sets/72157622013196475/

who sawed off paul sullivan's legs?

Nice pix. I'm pretty you could put a beat down on Gordon Wittenmeyer(back to the camer)too.

Did you notice anything about certain players or the game in general that you wouldn't have on TV or in the seats for the great unwashed?

<p> not really, Soto has a huge ass...they seemed to be swinging for the fences on Haeger's knuckleball. I was more interested in the food to be honest. </p> <p> I know, bad Cubs blogger. </p>

"He's not overweight." Hendry the enabler: <b>Does Soto need to get in better condition to avoid injuries like his oblique strain? "No, he's naturally a big-boned guy," Hendry said. "I don't think* his weight is any different than last year when he won [N.L.] Rookie of the Year. He came to camp in real good shape, gained a few pounds after the [ World Baseball Classic]. He's never going to be tall and skinny, but he's not overweight."</b> *Maybe Cubs fans could chip in and buy the Cubs a bathroom scale.

maybe he needs glasses... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nJfaMkAl2c

Now that's just wrong.

Dodgers fans jeering at Bradley are the same group of rocket surgeons who drove to Vegas and cheered Manny during his suspension. Do Dodger fans know anything about baseball?

not really

I was there the night Weaver and Arronondo didn't allow a hit but lost. It was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of game. 90 percent of them had absolutely no clue what was going on.

from rotoworld: Chris Perez has thrown 15 1/3 scoreless frames out of the Indians' bullpen. It's the longest scoreless streak by a Tribe reliever since Rafael Betancourt tossed 19 straight shutout innings in 2007. Perez has rattled off 19 strikeouts against four walks during the stretch and is doing Cleveland management proud. The 24-year-old was picked up in late June from the Cardinals for third baseman Mark DeRosa, who is batting .237/.313/.443 with his new club. --- the stl surge isn't about DeRosa but he sure filled a hole at 3B which is not going to be reflected in any hitting stats. Plus it's one of the larger things on the list of Hendry mistakes that have not only created a void on the team when ARam went down this year but then came around and bit us in the ass by helping our main competitor.

We needed to clear payroll for Aaron Miles

My theory is Geo & Hendry spent the entire offseason hanging out getting high.

<i>Some December night in Geo's smoke-filled apartment, over a bag of Doritos...</i> Geo: Doooode, Mark Derosa is pretty good. Hendry: Yeah, man, he's our secret weapon. Geo: You know what you should do? You should trade him... pffftt! Hendry: {manical laughing} Hendry: Okay, okay, okay, okay... where should I trade him? What time is it? Geo: It's 1:30, man... Hendry: Ok, ok, ok, I'll call Sharpy in Cleveland. <i>picks up phone, dials number...</i> <i>Geo & Hendry giggling while phone rings</i> Shapiro: Hello? Who is this? Hendry: Hey Sharpy, it's Jim in Chicago. Shapiro: Jim Hendry? Everything okay? It's 2:30am. Hendry: Yeah, man...that's cool. Hey do you want Mark Derosa? Geo: Ask him if his refrigerator is running! ... the rest is history.

Awesome.

Plus, Derosa still hits right-handed. What a goof! Clearly, all the left-handedness helped against the Dodgers. BillyBucks calculator now has the Cubs at 87 wins -- probably not enough.

The have <a href="http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AX37-tFMKBuwZGYzM243Y3ZfNmQ5dmN4dmht&hl=en">had mediocre defense this year</a>. <a href="http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AX37-tFMKBuwZGYzM243Y3ZfMGN4bndtNGNx&hl=en">BABIP is down</a> but not a lot. They've <a href="http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AX37-tFMKBuwZGYzM243Y3ZfM2d6NGN0Mmhn&hl=en">hit plenty of home runs</a>. And of course... They've <a href="http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AX37-tFMKBuwZGYzM243Y3ZfMWc2bm12dGQ2&hl=en">given up way too many walks</a>. None of this is too surprising, but it is interesting to see how FEW walks STL has given up. It's clearly the chink in the armor of our pitching staff. Just throw strikes. Unless you are Kevin Gregg, in which case... who knows... try something different. Also, the Cubs <a href="http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AX37-tFMKBuwZGYzM243Y3ZfNWd4bjl4cmdo&hl=en">have a lackluster road record</a>.

CHC has a higher BABIP than STL. Nice.

Is UR/G unearned runs? Unearned runs are also a function of pitching. The Cubs are third in the majors in Defensive Efficiency.

Yeah, that's fair. UR is still relevant, imo, but maybe I shouldn't refer to it as "defense".

DER...lulz.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/08/wagner-blocked-deal-because-of-health-concern.html Wagner blocked deal to RSox, wants to pitch low-leverage to protect his arm for next season. Shouldn't the Mets just let him go then? http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9979394/How-will-Cubs,-Mets-GMs-turn-things-around Rosenthal with the obvious Cubs are fucked next year because of all those contracts.

Rob, I think it might be a good time to revisit our pre-season predictions. Probably worth a good chuckle at this point.

I predicted a shocking 2nd place finish for the Reds, right behind the Cubs. Whoops.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AjMn1XXWev7FcHNQWHBXUFAzeUYtQTV1RU5RRHVOQmc&amp;hl=en

I'm looking pretty good on Smardijiza's innings, wrong on everything else.

I selected Milton Bradley to hit the most home runs. Think you go ahead and mark me down for a "loss" there.

That picture of Lilly is hot!! Quite the seductress...it'd look better if he were on a bearskin rug, though.

TLFC porn...

TLILF.

...this is one of the Cubs' best seasons in the last 60 years.

Recent comments

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  • "never been a fan of using closers in non-save situations." Tie game at home in the ninth, there can never be a save situation. So you're saying, don't use your best reliever today.
  • Sorry if this was covered in a different thread, but while I overall like this new design, the white type on the dark background is a killer. I may be in the minority on that. But again, nice job.
  • It was almost like Javy was saying, "see, O&B, same old Javy here." Guy's gotta learn you don't need to swing hard to knock a Chapman ball out of the park. Choke up, dude, follow Rizzo's lead.
  • The magic number is now 24.
  • Kershaw uses his 132nd pitch for his 15th K (Marlon Juice Byrd, with the tying run at 2nd), and the Dodgers sweep the Giants. Also, Pirates lose to the Brewers for the 5th straight time. So...with 30 to play, we are 6.5 up on SF (7 in loss column) and 8 up on the Nats, and still in contact (4.5 back) of the Pirates. Man, what a roller coaster the last 2 days -- fantastic stuff.
  • Schlitter still pitching for Iowa? Guess nobody wanted him?
  • JOHN B: Pierce Johnson and Rob Zastryzny were likely 2015 AFL candidates (I mentioned them as likely candidates to get assigned to the AFL in an article about the AFL last month) because they are starting pitchers who missed part of the season due to injuries and they need to accrue more innings.
  • I personally don't think managers use closers enough in tie games in the 9th. The mindset and adrenaline should be just like a save situation. You get the outs, you have a great chance of winning. You don't your team is screwed.
  • Also - what did Bosio say when we went to talk to Rondon? "OK, Hector, tie game, 9th inning, 2 outs, 2-0 count on the hottest hitter in the game. Let's try the ol' fastball right down the middle and see how that works, hmmm?" Terrible pitch. I've never been a fan of using closers in non-save situations -- they are used to pitching with adrenaline pumping and celebrating the last out of the inning. I realize it was a a swinging bunt and an error that caused the problem, but that may have been the worst pitch I have seen Rondon throw in a long time.
  • Ugly series save a few clutch Homeruns. 2 first inning Homeruns allowed. 2 complete innings (out of 27) with a lead (8th and 9th game 2). 6 Leads/Ties given up top half of the inning after scoring. 9 9th inning unearned runs. Brutal roadtrip coming up while SF plays 22 straight against teams with losing records. Like the Cubs odds, obviously, but long way to go.
  • No more f'n Pajama Parties, Joe! Losing a series at home to the Reds (who have a worse record than the Brewers) in September is not what we are looking for, gentlemen. 3 series losses in a row -- let's get that fixed immediately. Bad error by KB as Crunch describes -- almost like he was surprised the ball was hit to him. I think if he makes that play we win the game.
  • solid smack to him...right through his legs. he wasn't even in motion, totally stationary. no bad bounce, either. it was hit very hard, but also squarely wiffed...not even any glove contact. it happens...not a good time for it to happen with 2 outs, though. that was the inning ender, easy.
  • Can someone tell me about Bryant's error who saw the play? You cannot give the Reds (or most teams) 4 outs. In this case with Joey Votto coming up.
  • un...fucking...believable... tie a game in the bottom 8th, give up 3 runs in the top 9th...why the hell not. awesome.
  • DAT TIE THO.
  • Ugh Hammel...the new Haren. The 3-5 starters have imploded and killed yet another series.