When Winning Is A Bad Thing

Gee, you get tied up for a full day and the comments explode and forget to put Matt Garza and James Shields in your fantasy starting lineup.

(kicks dirt)

Anyway, the Cubs have managed a 4-game winning streak, in close proximity to a 3-game winning streak (wth a 5-game losing streak in between) and it's about the most enraging thing that could happen besides Hendry sleeping through the trade deadlne. If Q-Ball goes on another second half run, Hendry and him are gonna be validated that it was just the injuries and the pieces are in place to be a good team. Not to mention screwing up their draft spot for next year.

(heavy sigh)

That being said, nice to see the Pirates falling back to Earth a little. Neat story and all, but the offense is bad (of course so is the Giants), but I don't really believe in their pitching talent much, unlike the aforementioned Giants. That being said, they're seemingly on their way back to respectability and can start considering diving back into free agency in the upcoming offseasons.

Also nice to see the Brewers leading the division because that's what I predicted and I get extra points on my blogging rewards card for possibly picking the right door numbered one through six.

Let's look at some post ASB numbers to fill space...

  • Byrd 324/360/577 3 HR/6 RBI/10 R
  • Soto 295/358/459 2 HR/9 RBI/6 R
  • Castro 321/349/436 2 HR/8 RBI/10 R/2 of 6 SB
  • Ramirez 221/236/515 5 HR/16 RBI/9 R
  • Pena 200/347/333  1 HR/4 RBI/5 R
  • Barney 231/265/338 0 HR/3 RBI/6 R/1 of 2 SB
  • Soriano 154/154/415 5/11/5

I don't know what it all means except for the love of Santo, someone put Soriano out to pasture.

On to the pitching...

  • Garza 2.41 ERA/33.2 IP/30 K/9 BB/2 HR
  • Grabow 2.45 ERA/7.1 IP
  • Marshall 2.70 ERA/10 IP
  • Wells 4.13 ERA 17 K/ 8 BB/4 HR
  • Dempster 4.70 ERA 27 K/5 BB/1 HR
  • Zambrano 5.01 ERA 17 K/10 BB/ 4 HR
  • Samardzija  5.40 ERA 8 K/5 BB/0 HR
  • Marmol 9.72 ERA 12 K/9 BB/0 HR
  • Wood 10.80 ERA 4 K/4 BB/1 HR

Wherever that magical pasture is that makes million dollar contracts go away, may Zambrano find his way there as well.

Be nice in the comments.



that was last week, fun times.

Last day and a half has just been work hell.

what island did you go to?


stayed in Wailea almost the entire time, where went on our honeymoon and this was for our 10-year.

mostly poolside, some ocean, a little snorkeling, ridiculous good food and spent part of a day in Lahaina bringing back gifts for people.

very nice...glad you had fun...and that you found good food (can be tricky).

when im done with my current adventures in medicine i'm going to spend a few weeks on kauai, myself. a lot more boring than maui, but quiet.

Somewhere near there there's a little place that sells amazing fish sandwiches, just in some little strip mall on the coastal road. They're so good that when I ate one I nearly wet my pants and screamed like a woman rooting for the Pirates.

You are my hero.

When I make it to Maui, I spend most of my time in Lahaina. It's just so much more laid back there. The best food I have had in Maui is just south of there. Sweet prawns tahitian.

Always wanted to go to HI but went to Carribean. St John FTW.

anything seafood there I've always found amazing, so much fresher. and the whole island (and helps we've been on vacation), just has a cool, laid back vibe.

you better be laid back when all you got is a single island. HI is a chain of islands, but there's no ferry. If you want to island hop you either got to have a boat and places to dock or take a plane.

besides, when it's 80s-low 90s year-round (with record highs being in the mid-90s, never hitting 100+) it's hard to be too pissy.

I was saying that Lahaina is much more laid back than the rest of Maui, even. More of a "local" feel and much less commercialized.

could see that, the shaved ice I got at Local Boys was one of our favorite parts of the trip. I never thought I'd be so passionate about shaved ice.


We were 8-16 against the Bucs the last two seasons before this series, so I'm thoroughly enjoying the sweep so far.

When their pitcher started crying last night, I laughed, but I hear that a lot of women Cub fans started rooting for the Pirates!

A lot of the commenters here said they were gonna be Pirates fans from here on out. I dunno if they're women or not.
Apparently they weren't serious.

I'm rooting for the Pirates.

I'm tooting for the Pirates. Had some beans with dinner.

it's really nice (imo) to see people at the park in pitt...it's a great ballpark.

lot of kids at the games in this series having fun.

at 2:58 that line is for you

"I told you to lay off the beans, you whore!"

subscription article on Szczur from BA allegedly, let me know if there's anything interesting.


speaking of Chirinos, 2/2 with 2 RBI's as a pinch hitter today

including the game tying hit in the bottom of the 11th and GW hit in the bottom of the 12th.

Umm.. How did he get 2 AB as a PH? Are they playing a Doubleheader?

came in as a pinch hitter, sorry.

Rays fans will forever refer to this as The Chirinos Game.

well played Mauer

Technically you can do it if they bat around, I think.

The Reds kind of did this to the Cubs earlier this year in a very cold and annoying game in Cincy in which I unfortunately attended. But I guess Miguel Cairo only had one AB in the 6th, not two- the other plate appearance was a BB.

saw the video of it, about 6 inches each time from being groundballs back to the pitcher. Better to be lucky than good.

"about 6 inches each time from being groundballs back to the pitcher."

Sorry to be finicky, but I think you're referring to something that I'm just starting to get used to: on the highlights, they show the same play several times from different camera angles and I think from different broadcasting crews.

It was only the first hit that went near the pitcher. The second was to the third-base side of short--also not a great hit, and the shortstop could have gotten a glove on it, but either way it was good enough with the winning run on third.

Soto with a HR and throws out a runner.

Buy a lottery ticket while he's at it.

dewitt hits the cubs 10th homer of the series...think all the runs the cubs have scored have come on the long ball.

in case you didn't notice, the Cubs are building a winning organization


I know you said be nice, but ...

Asked what changes the team might undertake this upcoming offseason, Ricketts was noncommittal."I don't know just yet," he said. "It's something we'll decide at the right time."

Thank fucking time. Even if I am taking it out of context, let's imagine I am not.

Changes will Ricketts is looking at likely include more food choices and a season ticket like charge for an express restroom. Hendry isn't going anywhere.

"Todd did a very nice job. It was a big commitment," said Ricketts. "He had to take off a week of his life, grow a beard and stay away from the park a month before the filming. He took one for the team. I still walk around the park every home game and someone will say, 'I loved you on Undercover Boss.' I'm, like, it wasn't me."


This man is lauding his brother for fucking off, growing a beard and going on a stupid tv show, as 'a big commitment.' Now, maybe he was laughing a little when he said this...?

Because I'm pretty sure reality has, again, left the building.

3 rbi double given up to the pitcher with 2 outs giving up the lead...there's that cubbery we know and love.

Officially added to the list of signed draft picks:

ROUND 26 (789): Michael Jensen, RHP (Hartnell JC)
R/R, 6'1, 185, 20 years old
COMMENT: JC sophomore... Pre-season JUCO All-American... Went 6-3 with a 2.00 ERA for the Panthers in 2011... Will transfer to USC if he does not sign with Cubs...

to the bottom 5th...

- R. Ortiz relieved R. Lopez

oh yeah, your 2011 cubs.

I know, what year is this again??

fwiw, Michael Burgess having a nice July/August after an ugly first half of just walk, K's and HR's

It figures, now that the trade deadline has mostly passed, and all the vets who were rumored to be going are all still here, they relax and start winning. Hendry and Quade will be saying how this proves all along the team is ready to contend in 2012.

Cubs-ASU partnership proposed at Riverview.

Riverview Park is located two miles east of Packard Stadium in the City of Mesa (but right near the Mesa/Tempe border), and Packard is located on the far N/E corner of the ASU campus, just east of Sun Devil Stadium.

The City of Tempe has developed a shopping, restaurant, and theatre complex called "Tempe Marketplace" on Rio Salado Parkway halfway between Packard Stadium & Riverview Park, and the City of Mesa has devloped a shopping, restaurant & theatre complex (with a hotel) a mile east of Tempe Marketplace at Dobson Road & 8th Street (Rio Salado Parkway) across the street from Riverview Park, so the area's businesses are desperate to attract crowds to the area for more than just Cubs Spring Training.

"ASU would practice and play rent-free in the stadium"

in this economy...and, unfortunately, in AZ where taxation, revenue, and services offered are all in decline...this is almost too good of a deal to pass up.

a modern ballpark with no grounds upkeep costs or employees for maintenance.

i don't know how much they make on concessions or how the selling of ASU gear at the park will be handled, but it still looks like a nice offer from the outside looking in.

This was the Cubs first four-game sweep in Pittsburgh since June 1959.

Here are the box scores from those games (Roberto Clemente was injured and did not play in the series)...

1. Tony Taylor had four hits and Ernie Banks knocked-in three runs with a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly, as the Cubs pounded out 17 hits en route to a 10-5 thrashing of the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field (Friday June, 5, 1959 box score)

2. An Ernie Banks RBI triple and a Moose Moryn two-run HR keyed a six-run Cub 1st inning and Moe Drabowsky tossed a complete game to even his record at 4-4, as the Cubs coasted to an 8-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field (Saturday June 6, 1959 box score)

3. Tony Taylor had three more hits (giving him nine hits in the first three games of the series), Bobby Thomson clubbed a two-run HR, and John Buzhardt threw 7.2 IP of four-hit ball, leading the Cubs to a 4-2 win over the Pirates in Game #1 of a Sunday doubleheader at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh (Sunday June 7, 1959 - Game #1 box score)

4. In what was to be the last start of his big league career, 39-year old ex-Pirate Elmer Singleton and two relievers combined to throw a three-hit shutout in Game #2 of the doubleheader as the Cubs blanked the Pirates 1-0, moving past the Bucs into 3rd place in the National League, while improving their season record to 28-25 (Sunday June 7, 1959 - Game #2 box score)

This was the Cubs high-water mark for the 1959 season, as they ended up finishing in 6th place with a 74-80 record (there were eight teams in each league and no divisions back then), 12 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Braves, who finished in a dead-heat tie for 1st place. (Dodgers then won a best two-out-of-three playoff over the Braves, and defeated the White Sox four games to two in the World Series).

Ernie Banks hit 304/374/596 with 45 HR & 143 RBI for the Cubs in 1959, and won his second consecutive N. L. MVP Award.

Nick Struck is settling in at Iowa. Last night:

6 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts.

Struck is 21, drafted in 2009. Iowa was his second promotion this season.

Va Phil

What's his strengths?

What's his strengths?

He's the Cubs only minor league starter who's been worth a shit this year.

I would have to say that minor league pitching has been an even bigger disapointment than our MLB starters this year.

Robert Whitenack sure was looking good, so I guess you could say he was worth a shit. The whole TJ surgery thing definitely is kick in the nads, though...

some guys near the league leaders in ERA that I could find

Eric Jokisch 107.2 IP/30 BB/90 K/2.93 ERA/1.17 WHIP (Peoria)
Austin Kirk 118 IP/27 BB/101 K/3.43 ERA/1.02 WHIP (Peoria)
Raley 109 IP/40 BB/59 K/13 HR/4.29 ERA/1.59 WHIP (AA)
Rusin 99.1 IP/20 BB/65 K/7 HR/3.81 ERA/1.248 WHIP (AA and AAA)

McNutt, Hayden Pawelek, Jackson have had rough years...

What's his big pitches?

Matt Loosen is making progress as well.

113 IP/87 K/36 BB/2 HR/1.460 WHIP in 3 stops this year

not bad, not great...

doesn't seem to be much of a groundball pitcher either

being 21 in Iowa though and not sucking is neat though.

"What's his strengths?"

I'm a box-score scout, Jacos, so I can only describe Struck as a 5-11, 185 lb. righthander.

I do keep a ranking of Cub pitchers based on strikeouts and (fewest) hits allowed. Current Cub starters (and sometime starters) with more strikeouts than hits allowed are Kurcz, Loosen, Searle, Greathouse, Kirk, Whitenack and Rosscup. Antigua, Liria and Jokisch are close. Struck does not fare well in this ranking.

On the other hand, strikeouts and hits allowed are not everything, and Struck is at Iowa at age 21, as Rob says, and he's doing well and helping solidify the starting rotation. Three of his last four outings were quality starts.


This is from toonster on another cubs site:

Athletic kid, hearing that he's hitting mid-90's more this season. That said, he goes to his 2-seamer/sinker quite a bit (better pitch than reaching back and ripping with the high heat), so his average fastball velo is typically more low 90's. Solid control. Has to improve the secondary pitches, but have heard a couple times this year that the pitches, which were inconsistent last year, look sharper this year and are at least average pitches with the chance to be better (and the curve is probably above average).


I'm a lot more bullish on Struck than that. Fastball is supposedly topping out in the mid-90's (slight increase from last year numbers that I had), and have heard that his secondary stuff, change and slider, are both looking solid.

That's encouraging to hear about Struck stuff-wise. At 5-11, 185lb perhaps he's got some Saberhagen in him.

Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet

Brett Jackson for the week .462/.576/.962 (12-for-26), 4 HR, 1 2B, 6 RBIs, 9 R, 7 BB, 6 SO, 0-for-1 SB
Jackson was sidelined by a broken finger in May with Double-A Tennessee. It took a little time, but he has gotten back on track and hit his stride after moving up to Triple-A Iowa in mid-July. The Cubs' 2009 first-round pick owns a .293/.400/.573 line in 75 Triple-A at-bats after hitting .256/.373/.443 in the Southern League. One thing that never suffered was Jackson's eye at the plate, and he has drawn 59 walks in 88 games between the two levels. Jackson led off two games with home runs this week, and he had four multi-hit games.

And the Not So Hot Sheet:
• D.J. Lemahieu, 3b/2b, Cubs. Lemahieu struggled during a short callup to the majors, batting .216/.216/.243 in 37 at-bats as an injury fill-in for Darwin Barney. He had been doing well since going down to Triple-A Iowa at the end of June, but the 23-year-old was perfectly imperfect this week, posting a .000/.000/.000 line after going 0-for-19 with four strikeouts. Just for good measure, he did reach base on a fielder's choice in last Saturday's game but was promptly thrown out trying to steal second.


Good to hear those things about Brett Jackson. Is he passable defensively? Does he have an arm?

He's sort of like our current center fielder. Range probably plays (and down the line definitely) better in a corner, but arm that is a bit short for RF or long center throws. Not an embarrasment but not Bo Jackson, either.

3 OF assists in his past 11 games or so at AAA. It's definately good enough.

Campana jus thit an inside the park HR....Damn is he fast.... The LF misplayed it a bit off the padding, but wow.....

That was fun. It got me thinking about Sosa's inside the park grand slam vs the Pirates (which Len mentioned but failed to note it was a grand slam). I wondered how rare an inside the park grand slam is. Shockingly, not very rare at all. 224 in MLB history, and Honus Wagner had 5 in his career.

that was indeed fun to watch...


Standing up!

Jae-Hoon Ha starting August hot (533/529/667) after a terrible July (222/269/349)

"Ha starting August hot (533/529..." that's our Cubs prospects we've come to love. Even when they're tearing the cover off the ball their OBP is lower than their BA.

k.hill is totally worth 800K.

But not 850K?

absolutely not.

Who needs Brett Jackson when we have the Mighty Midget patrolling CF? Nice to see someone run their ass off after a ball (and make it look almost routine).

I still doubt Campana can hit enough to be more than a end-of-bench type player, but who knows. It's more fun than watching guys like Mike Restovich and Kal Daniels.

Slappy for team MVP!

chapman just threw a ball through the net behind home plate...wow for missing that badly and wow for putting a ball through the net.

he's been showing off a slider in the 88-92 range...unreal.

6 wins in a row...lulz.

AZ Phil- How would you compare Wes Darvill and Marco Hernandez? Who is the better prospect? Darvill is struggling at Boise and Hernandez is tearing up the AZL. Would it benefit the two to switch? I've never seen either in person but based off the stats, Hernandez looks like he needs to be challenged. Thanks as always

Submitted by W Flag on Fri, 08/05/2011 - 4:10pm.

AZ Phil- How would you compare Wes Darvill and Marco Hernandez? Who is the better prospect? Darvill is struggling at Boise and Hernandez is tearing up the AZL. Would it benefit the two to switch? I've never seen either in person but based off the stats, Hernandez looks like he needs to be challenged. Thanks as always


W FLAG: Both Wes Darvill and Marco Hernandez have just passable arms, so both probably are better-suited to play 2B, although there is no reason to move either of them at this time. Darvill is smoother and more-consistent defensively of the two.

Darvill is one of the most-patient hitters in the organization, and he has a good eye, too. He still struggles as a hitter and he has no power, despite having a frame that would make you think he has the potential to develop a power stroke even if he doesn't hit for average. Darvill is also a good base-runner and base-stealer (he is a long-strider), and is a sure-handed defender with good ball-handling skills. If he continues down the present course without developing XBH power, he would probably project as a LH version of Nate Samson.

Marco Hernandez learned to switch-hit at AZ Instructs last fall, and he is good hitter. He drives the ball with occasional HR power when batting left-handed, but is more of a slap-hitter right-handed. He also is a good bunter. He has adequate range to play SS, but his arm strength & accuracy are an issue. That's why he probably projects long-term as a 2B. He runs OK (average speed for a middle-infielder), but he is not a burner by any means.

It's possible that Marco Hernandez could get moved-up to Boise before the end of the 2011 season, but I don't think Darvill would get moved-down. A more-likely scenario is that things will remain pretty much as they are right now through the end of the regular season, and then Darvill and M. Hernandez will attend AZ Instructs at Fitch Park in September-October to work on improving their game.

Then Darvill, M. Hernandez, and Arismemdy Alcantara (despite the high error total, he has the best arm, range, and speed of the three) will battle for the starting SS job at Daytona next March, with the other two ending up at Peoria, one as the starting SS, and the other as the #1 back-up middle-infielder. If I had to bet on which one would be where, I would say Alcantara will start the 2012 season as the #1 SS at Daytona, Hernandez will be the #1 SS at Peoria, and Darvill will be the back-up SS-2B at Peoria.

Arizona Phil - Assuming Lake's not picked up in the Rule V draft, will he split time at SS in Tenn next season with Logan Watkins? I've been impressed with Watkins after starting the season off so slow offensively, he's really picked it up. Does Watkins have enough arm/athleticism to stay at short?

Moving to 2B, Zeke DeVoss wasn't in Arizona very long for you to get see him much, but how does DeVoss compare to Eric Patterson when he was in the Cubs system?

Also, thanks for the recap of the last 4 game sweep of the bucs in the 'burg ... that Ernie Banks line of 304/374/596 with 45 HR & 143 RBI is crazy good.

Submitted by Eric S on Fri, 08/05/2011 - 9:22pm.

Arizona Phil - Assuming Lake's not picked up in the Rule V draft, will he split time at SS in Tenn next season with Logan Watkins? I've been impressed with Watkins after starting the season off so slow offensively, he's really picked it up. Does Watkins have enough arm/athleticism to stay at short?

Moving to 2B, Zeke DeVoss wasn't in Arizona very long for you to get see him much, but how does DeVoss compare to Eric Patterson when he was in the Cubs system?


ERIC S: A Zeke DeVoss comp to Eric Patterson is a good one.

I do believe both Junior Lake and Logan Watkins will begin the 2012 season at Tennessee, and I think both will probably be moved around quite a bit, Lake at SS-3B-CF, and Watkins at 2B-SS-LF-CF. And I suspect Matt Cerda will play 3B-2B. Whenever possible the Cubs like to have a player move around to different positions in the minors to help develop the player's versatility, in case the player arrives in MLB as a bench guy (as most do).

Watkins has the athleticism to play SS, 2B, LF, and CF, but his natural arm angle & release point probably fits best at 2B. And so if he ever becomes an everyday player in the big leagues, it will probably be at 2B. He reminds me a bit of Mickey Morandini.

Thanks AP


amusing tweet
@The_Heckler Mike Quade: Manager of the year when it don't matter 2 years in a row!

and this from Muskat

#Cubs Campana says All-Star Game might want to add sprint competition. Here's the field: Campy, Nyjer Morgan, Bourn, Gomez & LA's Gordon

no e.bonifacio? cold.

How about an HGH competition?

How about an HGH competition?

They had that for years, it's called the Home Run Derby.

Good point!

Recent comments

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  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 4 hours 16 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 4 hours 17 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 13 hours 58 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 16 hours 56 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 17 hours 9 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 17 hours 17 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 17 hours 23 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 17 hours 41 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 18 hours 17 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 18 hours 35 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 18 hours 37 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 18 hours 55 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 19 hours 2 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 19 hours 58 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 20 hours 15 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 20 hours 20 min ago view