A Homely Return Home: Cubs Lose to Florida, 4-2

The Cubs lost for the sixth time in seven tries as the Marlins scored three times in the 7th inning to overcome a 2-1 Cub lead and go on to win 4-2 at Wrigley Field.

You wouldn't think a team could pack so much failure into a simple 4-2 loss, but well...

The good:

  • Ted Lilly held Florida hitless into the sixth inning and wound up allowing 5 hits and no walks through seven innings
  • Alfonso Soriano raised his average to .340 with three more hits, including a double; he also drove in both Cub runs
  • Soriano gunned down Hanley Ramirez when Ramirez tried to score from second on a single by Jorge Cantu in the 8th inning
  • Geovany Soto reached base two more times, on a single and the 23rd walk he has accepted this year, and his OBP for the season remains around .500

The bad:

  • Though Florida starter Nate Robertson came into the game with an ERA a shade under 5.00, Cub hitters did little against him—just two runs and seven hits over Robertson's six innings—and they did nothing against three Marlins relievers after Robertson left
  • Starlin Castro made three errors; one led to Florida's first run and another saw him boot a ground ball hit by Hanley Ramirez, after which Castro lackadaisically retrieved the ball, allowing Ramirez to scamper all the way into second base
  • Lilly fell completely asleep twice (I mean that metaphorically, not in a Ken Griffey sort of way), allowing Chris Coghlan to take a running lead on his way to stealing third base in the 6th, and then again in the 7th, when Cody Ross got a running start off of third base before scoring on the front end of a perfectly executed double steal
  • Coghlan's double off of Lilly in the 6th inning, which ended Lilly's no-hitter and his shutout, was Coghlan's first extra-base hit in 105 at-bats this year
  • Aramis Ramirez struck out two more times and were it not for a wind-blown popup single, he would have gone 0-for-4...again; Ramirez is now hitting .163

The defeat leaves the Cubs a season-worst five games under .500 at 14-19. They're now 6 1/2 games behind the Cardinals and just 3 games ahead of the last-place and NL-worst Astros.


With 129 games remaining this year, the cubs are on pace for roughly 69 wins. The last few days has been a collection of an anemic offense, an immature bullpen, and shaky defense. In fact, the Cubs could put together instructional videos of how not to win baseball games. Granted, the chemistry may be better in the clubhouse, but the product on the field is not really looking much better. This team is obviously not "clicking" on all cylinders. Will it? Probably at some point, but will this team be good enough to start winning close baseball games? I do not think so. The offense is struggling and I do think they will start to score runs when Ramirez and Lee start hitting again the next 2 weeks. I do not however, think that the bullpen will turn things around. Hendry may be running out of rope to hang himself with.

Well-played, sir.

This will go against everything everyone thinks, especially me since I'm used to Cubs teams being stupid and barely watchable.


The season is still young. I see some things I like. Soto, for one. Alf looks a little better at times, too, as long as it's not a night game and his much needed contact lenses, which don't seem anywhere on the horizon, don't come into play.

Castro is gonna be good. The kid can put it all over the field. Reminds me a little of Mark Grace. He'll be ok in the field -- too many scouts like him out there. Just some jitters I think. Nice booing, btw, Cubs fans. Morons.

Really, the other day where Castro's error led to all those runs? The real game turner was Derek Lee squibbing that check swing into an out with the momentum on our side.

We can't have 3/4 hitters doing what they are doing.

If not for those two dudes we'd be having an okay season.

I don't know what the answer is. They are the dudes. If they die, I guess the team goes down in flames.

Although, if I was Lou, I'd be very tempted to put Soto in the 3 spot and see what happens.

EDIT: by 3/4 I mean lee/Aram.

More parachat recaps leads to more wins. Just sayin'.

I’m going to the game tonight.

Even before the season began, this has been the least interested I’ve ever been in the Cubs. I just can’t muster up anything for them, it’s depressing.

A horrible skid of losses, rain, temps in the 40s… Yeah, tonight should reignite the magic.

this team is showing all the early earmarks of one that would dump its manager in mid-season if its manager wasn't a celebrity...last night they lost @ home in a battle of teams that had both dropped 5/6 coming in; castro booed in 1st game @ wrigley is ominous...know we're not as good as stl, but is it really possible that a $150 million club could fall by the wayside before memorial day!?

I'm freaking tired of the booing. At least wait until it's really deserved. Booing a player because he gets a single instead of a double out of a ball he hits off the left field wall because he thought it was a homerun is appropriate. Booing the 20 year old up from AA because he has some fielding issues (which we all knew about) is not appropriate.

Booing the umpires is always acceptable.

I agree that booing your own players is counterproductive, but I have to think that what people were booing was the lollygagging after the ball that allowed Hanley to take second.

A physical mistake is forgivable, mental mistakes less so.

But yeah, he's just a kid, and I'm sure he was really frustrated with his play. Booing isn't going to help. I REALLY hope some leaders in the clubhouse take it on themselves to teach this kid the right way to play and how to forget about mistakes quickly.

What was Castro brought up to fix exactly?

The hitting from SS? Uhhhh no Theriot was doing fine, and the Cubs were so impressed with Castro's hitting they put him in the #8 spot.

His defense maybe? I know its early and all but he wasn't exactly polished in the minors. Range don't mean jack shit if you can't make the play once you get the ball.

You bitch and whine about Theriots defense but your gonna give a pass to Castro? I find that a tad hypocritical.

You either make the play or you don't and you face the consequences....anyone who has a 3 error game is going to get booed. This isn't baby pampering school. This is the major leagues.

"You bitch and whine about Theriots defense but your gonna give a pass to Castro? I find that a tad hypocritical"

Castro's 4th mlb game?

I believe Castro projects to be a much better a SS then Theriot.

I'll back you up on that. The scouting reports all peg Castro as an average fielder at worst. Jitters, bad luck, who knows. This is not a prediction, this is just me saying it's too early to condemn Castro.

Theriot is a different matter because he's a known quantity. Terrible range, weak arm. He needs to be at 2B or, ideally, on the bench.

As for the boo'ing, I could care less. Starlin Castro shouldn't care, either. Part of being a professional is ignoring the background noise.

How many 20 year old kids do you know who are ready to be "professionals" at anything, much less one getting yelled at by an angry horde?

This kid is the youngest player in the major leagues right now. Of course he's going to make mistakes. How about the fans try not to shatter his confidence before the end of his first home game?

no matter how he projects and how awesome his range is he's yet to have a consistently stable defensive game at any level.

i still think castro is the solution to a problem that didn't exist in the first place.

to me it's more like spinning wheels doing nothing rather than upgrading or downgrading, though.

Oh yeah, Theriot is gold-glove perfect at SS. Didn't have any problem there, did we?!

I'm just kidding. I actually don't care enough about this team to argue with anyone about it.

so we replace theriot's steady yet unspectacular D with someone who's cost the team 2 runs in the past 4 games with his 4 errors.

i find castro being here useless, yet not very harmful...total deck chairs on the titanic stuff...the answer to a problem that didn't exist.

Crazy conspiracy thought of the day-

Lou put Z in bullpen, Hendry got pissed and said "alright you want changes, try a little of this!!"

Bam! Brings up Castro.

when one of castro, baker, or fontenot becomes a right handed relief pitcher, i'll be impressed.

Will you shut up and listen to me! Shut down all the garbage smashers on the detention level, will ya? Do you copy? Shut down all the garbage smashers on the detention level! Shut down all the garbage mashers on the detention level!

other crazy thought of the day

there's 120+ more games of this shit to watch

I think you need to check your accounting. Two balls he got errors on Theriot doesn't get outs with either.

castro made errors in 2 innings in 2 games (out of his 4 errors) that helped lead to 2 runs.

that's not theoretical.

It's not theoretical, it's real world. Show me the last time that Ryan Theriot went into the hole and got an out at first base.

No, I'm serious, dude. I really don't care enough to argue about this.

If the "you" here is general, then I agree that the organization and fans should realize based on Castro's minor league record so far that he's going to make a lot of errors early on.

I'm not sure Castro was brought up for any direct production so much as to bring some excitement to the team and try to spark something. Smaller moves have been credited for significant changes (like Lou getting ejected in 2007), even though I personally am not superstitious enough to call it causal.

If the "you" is me, I don't believe I've ever bitched or whined about Theriot's defense.

Castro is supposed to bring some speed to the lineup and be able to make plays in the hole at short, something Theriot probably hasn't done since he was 12. It's also supposed to improve our second base defense, which based on the DP turned saturday and the 3-4-1 play last night, looks to be working.

I think it should have also pushed Ramirez to the bench for a few days.

I think we should release Castro, though, because he had a bad game.

Mike give it a fucking rest.

Castro isn't supposed to fix anything. He's just a kid who is ready sooner than anyone thought.

This team is a 500 team, at best.

So just have some fun.

Or, just stick something further up your butt to make you more angry than you already are.


I love you.

don't get fresh

Castro has tied the combined HR total of Theriot and Fontenot this year -- the mighty mites have combined for 9 XBH in 216 AB.

Maybe the Cubs want more than opposite-field singles out of the SS position. For a team with no speed, XBHs become more important.

What the hell is wrong with ARam? He looks like he's 15, and he's hitting like it. Scary.

15? More like 45.

Last night's line up




That is the definition of a shit sandwich.

I know, it will be pointed out about the $ 3 million manager but he is in charge of the line up right?

Maybe when they drop 10 out of 11 he will flip Lee and Xavier Nada.

But remember, it had been 28 hours since Colvin had hit a HR to give the team a lead, so really, why wouldn't you play Nady? Colvin has to hit HR's to give us the lead during batting practice, during fielding drills, during the Sunday night Yankees or Red Sox broadcast and while Lou is dreaming to crack the lineup.

Nady did look pretty good last night, though. Aramis looked like a guy who is totally lost. His batting was the equivalent of Castro's fielding. It's time that he gets a 5 day mental break and The Fountenaught gives us some more lineup balance.

That's what I was hoping with the Castro callup. Theriot, Fountainofcrap and Castro in the 4-5-6. Withouth Aramis getting a break, Castro's callup doesn't make much sense, though I'm still glad he's up.

Yes, I don't understand why our worst hitters are in the middle of the lineup. Someone said maybe Lou is trying to get fired. That seems unlikely, but you never know.

Was it just me or did anyone else see Lilly mouth the word "fastball" like three times before Hanley Ramirez's first at-bat. Wouldn't have stuck me as odd (maybe he was talking to Geo), but he threw the first pitch right down the cock and Ramirez smoked it to left. Almost as if he knew what was coming...

I'm betting this team never sees the good side of .500 this season.

if bobby d is right - not a very big 'if' as we speak - lilly will be swapped @ the deadline, lee will not be courted to return, cashner will be up [among others ?]& the greening of the team will commence in earnest simultaneous w/ the ongoing cleaning of the toilets @ tfc...still ticking is carlos zamBOMBo...

Bobby Denier?

I've reached the acceptance phase of grief and I would fully support a housecleaning. I like Lee, Ramirez, and Zambrano, but if it isn't working, it isn't working. Lee to a lesser extent, though, I'd really really like to see Lee stick around until he's really old.

So you want Lee to stick around through the 2007 season?

Who are you? Doc Brown?



A podcast from fangraphs about Cubs, Castro, and the team from the only city in America I would like to see nuked.


Great, now you (and TCR for that matter) are on some FBI watchlist.

I couldn't possibly imagine listening to that unless it was playing in the dentist's office and I was all hopped up on silly gas.

Seriously, don't these people have friends who can do an intervention?

Carlos Marmol is on pace to get 147 K's.

Gorzellany is on pace to have 177 K's, a 2.83 ERA and a 5-20 record.

Carlos "The Stopper" Silva is going to go 15-0 with only 34 walks.

Tyler Colvin is set to be expunged from the world's collective memory.


Silva may not even walk 34. He's walked 36 in 202IP and 35 in 202IP before.


homers given up if he gets 200ip?


and other rookies called up this year

Jeff Passan is by far my least favorite sports 'writer'.

"He was too skinny, too frail, too scrawny. Castro stood 5-foot-10 and weighed 140 pounds after a big meal. He required a dreamer."

I want to pee on Jeff Passan...and not in a sexy way.


"the Cubs are replenished with position players. It begins and ends, however, with Castro, on whom all the pressure falls, much like …"

wtf does that mean?

passan has gotten lazy, imo.

he submitted that story yesterday and kept editing his mistakes until past midnight, evidently.

the original "he went 0 for 2" thing at the end of the article didn't mention the errors the first go around.

Disregarding the errors (grammatical and otherwise), I just wanna know how the cubs new batch of prospects begin AND end with Castro.

Guess who is .194/.279/.258 in 93 at-bats and is about to see a specialist?

"I'm starting to wonder if it's something physical. I mean, a slump can only last for so long," he said Monday. "It seems like ever since I hurt this thing it's been downhill."

A) Derrek Lee
B) Aramis Ramirez
C) Mark DeRosa
D) Milton Bradley
E) All of the above


believe that's DeRosa?

correct, but E is a close 2nd choice.

shuffled titanic deck chairs...tonight Byrd under chair #3:

Fukudome, Theriot, Byrd, DLee, ARam, Soriano, Soto, Castro, Wells

I vote that we bat Lee and ARam 8th and 9th, after the pitcher. F'em if they get their feelings hurt. They are worse than most of our pitchers right now, and if they choose this game to pull out of their slump, then maybe we'll have them on base for the people who are actually producing right now...

soriano...bat him 1st...bat him 6th...bat him anywhere but the middle of the lineup where he's belonged since he got to chicago.

It's good to get Mr 50% ground balls back into prime GIDP position too.

When a hat with slips of paper is smarter than your manager - it's time for a change.


I'll be watching the Hawks tonite, rather get riled up in a playoff game.

No Nada??

How about flipping Dlee and Aram with Soriano and Soto for shits and giggles?

Honestly, I think you should just leave Soriano where he is. The closer he gets to the #3 slot the more excited he gets about hitting 4 HR's a game. Soto has shown he can hit in the 3-5 slot before, though. I just wish one reporter would question Lou about it.

re: griffey napping in SEA

"We don't think there are two players who said that (about Griffey sleeping)," said Mike Sweeney, who spoke out in support of Griffey. "I challenged everyone in that room - if they said that to stand up and fight me. No one stood up."


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 mlb.tv 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 equation...plus 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.