Cub-Fan Misery Loves Company
It's not that there is absolutely nothing positive to say about the Cubs right now. It's that the positives are so deep beneath so much raw sewage, I just don't have it in me to go baling through the muck to uncover them.
Instead, I have decided that the best way to get through this latest low spot in this awful season is to find a National League team even more woeful than our Cubs.
There are some solid candidates:
— Our friends to the north, the Brewers, who have dropped three in a row to fall a season-worst 10 games under .500. They lost Monday to the Marlins when Ken Macha, whose job seems to be hanging by a thread, left his starting pitcher in one batter too long, and they lost Tuesday when Macha was forced to pull David Bush because of a blister and replaced him with Trevor Hoffman. Three hits, two walks, and three runs followed. Yes, that's Trevor Hoffman of the 11.65 ERA and imminent retirement party.
Of course, what's really miserable about the Brewers this year is that they're SO bad, they have dropped five of six to the Chicago Cubs.
— The Diamondbacks, who have lost nine games in a row, including a 10-inning, 1-0 defeat at Los Angeles last night in which Dan Haren held the Dodgers scoreless for eight innings, threw a career-high 126 pitches, and had to settle for an ND. That came on the heels on a defeat Monday in which Arizona coughed up a 4-2, eighth-inning lead and lost 5-4 on a walk-off balk, which according to the AZ Snakepit blog, has happened less frequently since 1954 than perfect games. And, oh, yeah—the Diamondbacks' upcoming schedule includes a stretch in which they'll play, in order, the Cardinals, Red Sox, Tigers, Yankees, Rays, and Cardinals again.
Sounds miserable to me. The thing about the Diamondbacks is, they won 100 games and made the playoffs in their second year in existence (1999) and then won the World Series just two years later, so my attitude about Arizona is what it has long been: shut up and suffer. By Cub standards, you used up your good fortune for the next several decades back in 2001.
— The Astros, who are last in the NL Central, 18-34, 12 1/2 games out of first, and 5 1/2 games behind the Cubs. Houston tough guy/poster boy Roy Oswalt says he doesn't want to be an Astro any more. And owner Drayton McLane has established such a record for knuckleheadedness that Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle is pointing to the Cubs (!) and in effect saying, "Dammit, Drayton. Why can't we do business like those guys?"
So who is the most miserable of all? Right now, I would have to give the nod to the Astros. They get special woefulness points for bringing up the rear in baseball's most woeful division. On the other hand, they did take two of three from the Cubs when the teams met back in April here in Chicago, and the two clubs will be meeting again in Houston over the next few days.
Who says the Cubs won't have anything to play for in 2010?
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump
Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.
j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.
felix pena, your turn.
it's been a while since joe's over-managed a game...it's gotta feel good for him to be back in the saddle making people's scorecards look like their pens blew up.
Fuck a bench spot on the playoff roster, Coghlan is competing to bat cleanup.