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?
At the start of the season the book was that he was trying to pitch to more contact so he could stay in the game longer and it seems to be working so far. Contact against is 77.5% this year and it was 70.2% the year before. He averaged 6.7 IP/game last year and so far it's 7 IP/game. His actual pitches per game are only down to 106.1/game from 107.2/game last year but if he's able to go a bit farther into games without throwing more pitches and without giving up more runs that is a good thing.
sale's skills and insane value makes it almost too hard to have a market for the guy...he's got 3/38m owed to him over 3 seasons (2 team options). he could easily pull in 30m/yr if he was on the market as a FA.
he's throwing a bit differently this season, especially with more sliders and less changeups like earlier in his career, but all his stuff still looks great even if the HRs are a little elevated and the Ks are down.
Torres, Happ, McKinney, Jimenez, and Candelario for Sale. Deal or no deal?
"The White Sox are reportedly asking for “five top prospects” for Chris Sale, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports."
Unless he develops 30+ HR power and keeps his walk rate close to his K rate at the MLB level, he's not going to turn into Prince Fielder. And even if he does turn into Prince Fielder, he's gonna have a short prime. His very limited athleticism is likely to also detract some value from his ability to reach base--I don't buy making an out as being preferable to base clogging, but you'd certainly prefer just about any base runner other than Vogelbach, David Ortiz, etc.
seeing as arod has played a total of 27.1 innings of D at 1st/3rd and somehow managed a -0.5 dWAR with his 1 error at 1st and an overall positive total zone rating...he might end up even more in the shitter via the characteristics/flaws/whatever of how some sites determine various WAR values. dWAR doesn't directly lead to a WAR value, but the 2 main entities pushing the most popular variations of WAR sometimes lead to some interesting discrepancies in value.
I have a lot of faith in Baez that he's going to turn into a more consistent, solid player. It looks like it took him about a half season or so of futility at the plate to figure out he was not talented enough to get away with the crazy approach he had. I think his running game will eventually have a more measured aggression.
I hope the D and bullpen show up. Cubs haven't had much luck against Davies, and he's been going well lately. A little uncomfortable with the Cards only 6.5 back--feels like they're right on our tails compared to the 11 game lead I've grown accustomed to.
Cardinals, stop that. Right now.
In a year or two, a lot of fans are going to point at trading him as a mistake. He'll probably be slashing something like 280/400/480 for Seattle at the time. Of course, by WAR, he'll still be worth less than 3, since we're talking zero defensive value.
vogelbomb debut for tacoma (AAA SEA)... 3-3, 1bb, 1 HR, 1 double...DH'd.
while he mostly played 1st considerably more than DH for AAA CHC, DJ Peterson is probably going to see most of the time at 1st for AAA SEA.
Carl Jr.! Very nice!
Baez with another "WTF?" play trying a delayed steal with a runner on 3rd and one out.. Remarkable talent, needs to make better decisions.
m.montgomery up in the pen with a man on 2nd, 2 out, and rondon 20 pitches into the inning.
...and rondon ends it 22 pitches in with a popout to RF.
I gotta say with the crappy defense the Brewers have displayed outside of Fowler I'm pretty disappointed the offense hasn't shown more and Rizzo seems to be very swing happy lately. That said my god am I happy Madden has finally given Carl Edwards a chance after multiple times up with nothing. I don't think he could handle a starting role with his body frame but his stuff plays so well in a relief role and he seems to be able to handle high stress situations very well.
2nd at bat. Fowler is good for the Cubs run differential.
welcome back fowler.
More slow news...
Did Davey Martinez have to bring the shotgun?