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?
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.