Brewers Beat Cubs and Suddenly, Ron Santo Seems Quite Articulate

Things have gotten so bad with the Cubs that Ron Santo's heavy sighs and plaintive wails and exclamations of "C'mon!" and "No!" actually capture precisely the way I now feel while listening to or watching the action.

Tuesday night the Cubs fell to a season-worst 15 games under .500, losing their seventh in a row, 4-3, to the Brewers. (Lest we forget, the Brewers had lost five in a row before this series began.)

Thomas Diamond, the starting and losing pitcher for the Cubs, was making his first Major League start and wound up tying Mark Prior's franchise record for strikeouts by a pitcher making his Cub debut with 10. Diamond also managed to keep the Cub bullpen on the sidelines until the 7th inning, throwing 122 pitches in the process, which was the highest pitch count by a player making his first MLB appearance since 2001.

The Cub offense provided the usual mix of flat-out failure—1-for-11 with RISP—and comic ineptitude. The game essentially ended right after Starlin Castro drove in Mike Fontenot with the Cubs' third run in the final inning. Castro slipped while trying to stretch his single into a double and was thrown out in a rundown between first and second. Derrek Lee then fanned for the final out. 

Aside from dropping seven games in a row, the Cubs have now gone 49 innings without even having a lead.


"Castro slipped while trying to stretch his single into a double and was thrown out in a rundown between first and second."

RS: Jeeez.

There aren't many points on the continuum past "Jeeez." We may reach "Goddammit!" by the end of the week.

I haven't been paying that close attention, but wasn't Wellman saying Diamond had been on a pretty strict pitch count his last few outings?

so wtf if that's true?

They were saving his arm for this critical series against our hated rival, the Brewers.

64 pitches for Diamond in his final Iowa start...

one more time, Diamond threw 6 innings and 92 pitches on the 24th

in 21 starts @ iowa diamond barely averaged 5 innings per...

innings don't matter as much to me as his pitch count, hopefully he gets an extra day of rest or limited to 100 next time.

From Muskat last night on Twitter:

Thomas Diamond pitch count high at Triple-A Iowa was 115 on July 19 vs Oklahoma City. He had 101 after 5 IPs

Ted Lilly tossed a gem. Retired 20 in a row.

he will love Dodger Stadium at night, that's for sure.

over 21 starts @ iowa diamond averaged 88 pitches w/ 4 in excess of 100...on 7/11 he threw 42; in next start on 7/19 he threw his minor league season high of 115...

lilly is a pro...

Maybe they will call Diamond up to Iowa, I hear they are in a pennant race, whatever that is.

"Carlos Zambrano will return to the Chicago Cubs' starting rotation on Monday against the San Francisco Giants, manager Lou Piniella said on Wednesday."


"I've been in this game for nine years," Zambrano said. "For seven years, I've been doing a good job and the last few years unfortuiantely I haven't. But it's not [too] late. It's not [too] late. We still have two months to go to try to finish over .500."

So that's the new goal? Finish over .500?

Does he know they would need to go 35-20 the rest of the way to make that happen? When is the last time the Cubs have played .636 ball for a two-month stretch?

Sadly, I like his attitude, but, damn it, I don't want them to win games. I give less than a shit about pride, I want a draft pick. I'm a Cub fan, I have no pride.

The night of the fight you're going to feel a sting. That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride.

Marsellus Wallace'd

Ohh geez dude he has a goal of wanting to help the team win more games. What would you like him to say to be more Politically Correct for you? He kinda did that when he yelled out Lee. The team is playing like horseshit and we haven't got a shot in hell of doing anything? So i am just gonna play half-ass baseball because no one gives a fuck anymore?

For a 140 million they should sack up and try and play for some fucking pride. But with sleepy Lee, and dopey Ramirez the Cubs will be stuck in "I don't give a fuck" mode for awhile.

Remember we tried to add a little fire to the clubhouse in adding Bradley because our two-current team leaders are about as boring and lifeless as the baseball they currently play.

I am just saying the old blood of the Clubhouse is the shrug your shoulders type of guys who say, "Ohh well we will get them tomorrow," as they hop in their limo.

I'm thinkin' the new team slogan for the next two months should be:


Not only do they get us a better pick, but hopefully they'll get our pick protected in case we decided to go after Dunn in the off-season.

I think it should be individualized for each player and their role on the team--go even smaller scale:

Every hit batter helps.
Every missed cutoff man helps.
Every GDP helps.


Jeff Baker 2010 vs. Aaron Miles 2009.


Ooooo, I like. Miles did suck worse tho

Cubs lose.

That's not fair, you are ignoring the days off.

and sometimes they lose after can actually mix it up a bit.

Cubs lose.

Cubs lose.

Cubs prepare to lose the next day.

Cubs lose.
Cubs run production


For some positive news...

- Soto is a damn good hitter, with a higher OBP and SLUG than any qualifying catcher, though Soto doesn't qualify. With unqualified folks, he has a higher OPS than everyone but Posey.

- Castro and Colvin are looking more and more legit every day.

- The Cubs just scored some runs.

By the way... do people still really think that the Cubs are not better off with Castro at SS rather than Theriot?

clearly inspired by my mocking them

"By the way... do people still really think that the Cubs are not better off with Castro at SS rather than Theriot?"

Who thought that?

There was more than one comment about how Castro didn't make the team better, and at best it would be a wash between Castro and Theriot.

I had not seen that.

Can you rat him out?

I think it was crunch:)

It was crunch, but in the end he was basically correct. His main point was not that Castro wouldn't be better than Theriot, but that the upgrade - offensively and defensively - from Theriot-Fontenot to Castro-Theriot would not significantly improve the team's performance. And the Cubs have not played better since the call-up and have probably played worse. They went from what 7 games under .500 then to 15 or so now? I believe he said the Cubs were trying to fix what wasn't broken - namely ignoring the 3-4 hitters, the real problem.

You should change your handle to "new crunch"


He's got a little crunch in him.

Soon I will start saying that managers don't matter...

sounds about right...or we can pay one $7m...for that price they'll have to be good!

I don't remember seeing the comment about Castro either but maybe some clown jumped to conclusions when he struggled in June. I remember early on it seemed like he wasn't hitting anything at all to left field, outs or not, and now, after his own adjustment maybe, he is. I dunno about everyone else but I like this kid a lot. I'm even positive right now about DeWitt, who, if he was just coming up from the minors, I'd say is can't miss just based on what little I've seen. Nice swing, good instincts in the field. He's 24 and appeared in just a little more than a season's worth of MLB games, and of course was a first rounder. So I'm really interested to see how he does from here on out.

Yep...there were more than a few comments on that....

You can go back and check. There were a few of the regulars. I am surprised that he's hit as well as he has (numbers look particuarlily good after yesterday's big game). At this point, it doesn't take a lot of effort to say he's the favorite for the RoY, with Heyward (hype) and Posey (hot streak) being his main competition.

curious to know why you're surprised. He's always looked pretty good up there and doesn't flail much at bad stuff. When he was struggling he seemed to going to the opposite field on everything, including inside stuff, easily correctable. If we could get some damn steroids back into baseball, he may even start hitting for some power soon.

Does Castro get more votes than Colvin? And do they split the vote?

You have to also figure that Strasburg is going to get a significant number of votes.

I don't think Strasburg will get any votes, at least not at this point. If you go by BP's VORP:

Rank Player VORP
1 Jaime Garcia 28.8
2 Buster Posey 23.8
3 Starlin Castro 22.8
4 Jonny Venters 20.9
5 Gaby Sanchez 19.7
6 Chris Johnson 18.1
7 Stephen Strasburg 18.1
8 Mike Leake 17.6
9 Jonathon Niese 15.7
10 Jason Heyward 15.4
11 Jon Jay 14.2
12 Neil Walker 13.5
13 Tyler Colvin 13

Hard to argue greatly with that, at this point. I see Posey and Garcia coming down the rest of the way, and health permitting Straburg and Heyward moving up. I don't see any way for Colvin to even get third place votes, unless his BA goes way up or he starts driving in runs.

While I agree that Colvin (or Strasburg) shouldn't get votes, that doesn't mean that they won't.

The voters don't go by VORP - they often go by things like home runs (Colvin) and hype (Strasburg).

I would be surprised if Strasburg doesn't finish in the top 3, especially with a few more starts under his belt.

Keep in mind who won the award last year, the voting is goofy, but they're rarely swayed by hype. Playing time is a big part of it. I can't remember they gave it to a player who played just half a season.

Ryan Howard played just 88 games in 2005 and won, Raul Mondesi played 112, Bob Hamelin 101 games - so it happens. Castro will probably end up at around 110 games played.

Posey will be behind that in games so I doubt he gets much consideration. Jay, Johnson, and Walker won't have even close to enough. Venters, as a middle reliever, probably won't get much consideration either. I can't see Niese getting any more than a stray one or two votes. Leake will get a few back-end votes because of his W-L, but he hasn't really impressed that much.

Strasburg will get some votes just because of this dominance, but with only 9 starts, many voters will shy away and he won't likely get many first place votes. But he will get a couple just because voters are stupid like that.

Haywerd figures to finish with a low average, but 15-20 homers, and 75-80 runs and RBI. Colvin's average will be about the same, and he will have more HR (20-25?), but probably 15 fewer runs and RBI. Sanchez will have similar runs and RBI to Heyward, and a much higher average, but fewer homers than either Heyward or Colvin. When compared to those three, Castro will have the highest average and will get credit for defense, but falls well short on HR, RBI, and Runs, and doesn't have any stolen bases to make up for it.

Garcia will finish with 12-15 wins and a solid ERA and I think gets a lot of consideration.

In two months a lot can happen, but I see something like:

1. Heyward
2. Garcia
3. Sanchez
4. Strasburg
5. Colvin
6. Castro
Others with a few votes - Posey, Leake, etc. mainly from the writers who cover those teams.

Competition plays a role in it as well, and there's going to be a lot of guys this year. I assume when Howard won no one else finished third in the league in hitting over 110 starts. It's probably the best crop of rookies to hit the bigs, maybe ever, but at least as far back as I can remember.

Heyward, Garcia, Posey and Leake are going to get a bit of a boost from playing for contending teams, and Sanchez probably takes a hit because the Marlins and Chris Coughlin aren't very good this year.

I think Posey will finish higher than Colvin if he keeps hitting.

Well, if he keeps hitting like this, he's gonna finish higher than everyone. Just how much regression he goes through will determine his chances. I doubt Castro's triple slash line finishes quite this good, but I could see Colvin improving on his BA and OBP a little.

Consider that if Castro continues to bat at the top of the order he's going to qualify for the batting title. And right now his .318 BA ties him for third in the NL.

No way. Castro would have to play every single game for the rest of the way and average about 4.7 plate appearances a game to qualify. It won't happen.

No idea where the 4.7 PAs/game comes from.

Castro has 305 PAs, and needs 502 to qualify.

The Cubs still have 55 games remaining, which would mean he would need to average 3.6 PAs a game from here on out. That is definitely doable. Derrek Lee has averaged 4.2 PAs per Cubs game this year. And there is no reason to think that Castro won't play almost every game.

Yep. And Castro's already averaging 4 PA's/game with the Cubs this year.

You guys are right, my fault. Not sure how, but I screwed that math up in my head pretty badly. Trying to do too many things at once it seems.

Hey, not your fault, you went to Wisconsin, after all.

(from an Illinois grad)

I am actually going to be defending and finishing grad school sometime in the next couple of months, at which point this handle will become a bit of a relic, but I suppose after 5 years or so, it's my identity around here.

rename yourself Manny Trillo
And then don't be a whiny bitch like the old one
Love you, Manny, wherever you are
And Chad, too
And John Hill

But not you, Trans.

more july, less june.

LaTroy Hawkins just got ejected for hitting Soriano. His argument is pretty legit: "You think I have that kind of control? If I tried to him, I wouldn't be able to."

great game, what the hell is going on with the formatting of this website?

Don't know what's going on, something got messed up with the theme although I can't think of anything that changed.

Working on it.

Looks like you've been Drupalized.

Hot drupal'd

i'd just like to throw this into the technical difficulties pile...

go simpsons go...

net neutrality about to disappear

our president before being elected promising it never would

Good times.

not to start a political argument because you could do that with any president over lots of topics through history, but this particular case could very well affect TCR down the road.

It's complicated.

from the article:

"The F.C.C., meanwhile, favors a level playing field, but it cannot impose one as long as its authority over broadband is in legal doubt. It has proposed a solution that would reclassify broadband Internet service under the Communications Act from its current designation as an “information service,” a lightly regulated designation, to a “telecommunications service,” a category that, like telephone service, is subject to stricter regulation."

Oh goodie. Faster porn.

just as long as they don't take my guns!

"Google has dismissed reports that the company is in talks with US telecoms operator Verizon that could bring an end to net neutrality."

I know this is nothing new, but man there were so many drunken, loud idiots (rooting for both teams) at the game yesterday. Was hoping for a nice, relaxing day at the park and it turned into quite the opposite.

I can't even believe they kept serving the guy behind me.

I was thirsty


Don't get too bothered by it. This happens at every arena in the country, probably one out of three times you go. Just bad luck.

just because it's become commonplace doesn't make it less bothersome

I remember a game at Wrigley as a kid, Stargell's Pirates were in town, late 70's. Some guy is wearing a Pirates jersey and the fans heckled him the whole game. Of course the Pirates were a good team then, and they were kicking our asses. Finally some drunk fan got up and got into a fistfight with the Pirates fan late in the game. I just remember thinking that I didn't like hearing the Pirates fan cheer for his team all day, but he had just as much of a right to be there as we did.

I met Paula Faris!
I met Paula Faris!


(Sorry about that, guys.)

Is she as pretty as she looks on TV?

Prettier. And a very cool personality. And very sharp -- she knows her stuff really well. She talks with that "sports is my life" kind of knowledge and excitement about the subject. I'd be in love except she's married with two kids. (sigh)

Anyway, it was great getting to meet her and talk to her for a bit.

Did you give her my number? :)

Yup! 867-5309, right?

Funny you mention that:

On 100 One Hit Wonders, Tommy Two Tone (wrote that rock classic) is now a "computer programmer".

He didn't quit his day gig.

Did not see the game, only the box score, where he looked as good as I would expect from someone just getting called up again and knowing this may be a chance to impress for next year (i.e. not great control, quality start and lots of Ks due to good stuff and adrenalin).

Did he look as good as the line? Or are there things that are not seen in the box score (like lots of hard hit balls right at people that were outs or most of the hits being bloopers that fell in the right spot, for example).

Thank you for any insight.

His fastball was really disapointing to me. Looked a lot like Kevin Hart part2 to me.

Yeah, the fastball was around 90, didn't look anything special. He did look much more like a big league pitcher than Casey Coleman. Maybe Diamond sticks as a middle reliever.

So he struck out 10 players with an average fastball? Slider? Anyone?

Essentially, yes. He got a few calls, and the Brewers strike out about 8 times per game as it is. The Cubs relievers struck out 7 in three innings yesterday, just mopping up.

Diamond's FB ranged mostly from 88-90 mph (per Gameday), twice touching as high as 92.

I wonder if he'd pick up some velocity in the Pen?

Or if he could only throw to Koyie Hill.

Those were cutters.

I'm no expert but he's the first pitcher I've noticed whose cutter has more velocity than his straight fastball.

castro's hitting well, but...well...there's june vs. july...he's going to swing.

he's also trying to turn everything that's a marginal double into a double...i guess his youth comes in handy there because he's not been snagged being stupid on the basepaths too much.

the major thing that bothers me is 17 of his 21 walks are in the 8 slot (96 of 277ab). he's going to put pretty much everything in play unless there's a pitcher hitting behind him it seems. so far having dlee behind him is working out, but he's picked up "only" 2 walks in 116ab.

...and yeah, i should use PAs, not ABs, but we can get the gist of it.

rick sanchez (CNN) has spent the last 3 minutes ranting about how no one gives a flying f**k about arod and his 600HR...good commentary, sharp and to the point.

he put MLB (the whole organization) #1 on his piece "The List You Don't Want to Be On." he blamed MLB pretty sharply for allowing a game so closely tied to numbers to enter a lost era that effects the numbers.

Probably nuts, but....Soto at 1B next year?

Gets his bat in the lineup more frequently, where he could become a 25 HR guy, and improves D at the catcher position.

1B is the only "hole" in next year's lineup.

I think AZ Philbo suggested this too. Soto at 1B and backup at C.

Moving Soto to 1b only creates a hole at C, which is even more difficult to fill.

We could fill it with Neifi Perez, like we did when Lee went down in 2006?

neifi perez at 1st what?

john mabry and phil nevin...nevin took a while...and it was all for "whatever" anyway

Some advocates of this approach would tout promoting Wellington Castillo (AAA) or Robinson Chirinos (AA) to the big league club -- at least in September for a look-see.

So it would be about yesterday when Lou and Jim had a talk with D.Lee and told him you are only going
to start at first about half the games left because we want to look at options for first for 2011.

Would they be forward thinking to let someone besides Nady or Lee play first.

Maybe they learned from not playing Theriot at second in the spring.

Hendry is freshin up his resume, lou is looking at brochures about condos at del boca vista.

I'm sure the 2011 first base situation is the top of their lists.

ha...chad tracy is a marlin. he's in their dugout and supposedly available.

Jayson Stark: Red Sox tried to acquire Sean Marshall.

Kerry Wood: "In Chicago, the 100 years of living and dying with losses does matter. You can be out there going great for five or six innings. Then you walk two guys and give up a base hit, and right away you hear the moaning. The groans. You tell yourself to shut it out. But you hear it because it's coming at you from 40,000 people."

Suspend him! How could he question the greatest fans in the world? What a piece of shit, Wood is. Good riddance.

Well it was game 7 of the nlcs.
You're in for a shock when the yankee fans start swearing and throwing bags of urine at you when you have a bad game.

He gave up runs early in game 7 of the NLCS.

Actually Kerry I believe it wasn't the 100 years of lossing that caused the moaning and groaning. It was your history of pitching well and then having an inning where you could find the plate.

The "Edit" button is your friend ROB RICHARDSON.

Proof reading would help too.

How do I get to a new post? Is there a new post?

They've said that they're making no new posts until Lee isn't slotted #3 in the lineup. Should be some time around Feb 24th of 2011.

Recent comments

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  • Not as a major factor, but could be a tie-breaker. But, yeah, on performance and experience, it's Coghlan.

    billybucks 38 min 20 sec ago view
  • Arrieta’s 2.85 ERA would be good enough to lead 26 other teams. He's 3rd on #Cubs behind Hendricks (1.99) and Lester (2.28)

    Rob G. 44 min 43 sec ago view
  • jacos 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.

    [Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]

    Charlie 2 hours 48 min ago view
  • tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.

    crunch 2 hours 55 min ago view
  • I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.

    Tito 5 hours 19 min ago view
  • I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.

    And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.

    When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 24 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 5 hours 29 min ago view
  • 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.

    Tito 5 hours 32 min ago view
  • 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.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 45 min ago view
  • 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.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 49 min ago view
  • 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.

    Arizona Phil 5 hours 54 min ago view
  • Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?

    Hagsag 9 hours 39 min ago view
  • It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.

    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 9 hours 41 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 16 hours 35 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 16 hours 39 min ago view