Sunday Funnies. Oh wait it's the Cubs. Make that Sunday Saddies.

Click to see gif.

Ouch.
Joe Mather had a rotten night with the glove.
I mean - plenty of effort, right?
But all Mather will remember is Matt Kemp saying he "had a little help" with his game-winning home run that bounced off Mather's glove like a mini-trampoline and then went over the fence.
Later, Mather would make another grand effort, diving at a line drive (can't remember who hit it) and having the ball stick for about .005 of a second, but then roll out.
Mather threw to second while sitting, then continued to sit there, looking at the grass and contemplating life as a Cub.

Chris Volstad pitched well enough to win. 
That's actually a very encouraging thing to say.
All odds against him as he was up against Klayton Kershaw, he pretty much shut the Dodgers down for 7 innings. 
Volstad is an enormous man, and he definitely has skills so you just hope he can figure out how to pitch.
More than any year ever, wins don't really mean a thing.
2012 is more like a big long spring training and after each game I half expect the pitchers to say something like "I was working on my cutter today".
It would be nice for Volstad's head to get a win since he hasn't had one forever.
But, you know... no cigar. 

Comments

@CarrieMuskat: Brett Jackson & Josh Vitters headed to LA. It's not a mirage. We'll send pix when they get here.

Baker traded 2 tigers 4 2 tbnl

I've been waiting a long time for them to let go of Baker. It's only icing on the cake that they're getting anything back for him.

Should be interesting to see how much Jackson can strikeout. But what the hell.

Campana back to Iowa
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@CarrieMuskat: Cubs lineup DeJesus rf, B Jackson cf, Riz 1b, Sori lf, Castro ss, Castillo c, Valbuena 3b, Barney 2b, Germano p
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I wonder why no Vitters?

Valbuena a key part of the Cubs future....his role in helping us get a high draft pick has been stellar.

Phils release Fontenaught

Chicago Cubs [email protected]
#Cubs lineup @Dodgers 8/5: DeJesus RF, B. Jackson CF, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Castillo C, Valbuena 3B, Barney 2B, Germano P

Jackson 2nd? Castro 5th? Not what I would have guessed.

How many K's today for Jackson?

Batting 2nd v. Joe Blanton.

Over/under: 1.5

I'll take the over...........but over/under on his HRs for the season? I say 8.

@CarrieMuskat: Expect BJackson to play a lot, Vitters will face RHP.
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??? Reverse platoon with Valbuena? Quade making lineups again?

What's the point of bringing Vitters up only to platoon him? Isn't the whole idea behind these last 2 months, to play both Vitters and Jackon every day and see what they have with them?

Exactly...indeed, I am not sure of any need to give Valbuena any more playing time. He wasn't considered to be someone to build on and he failed in his chance to disprove this limited expectation.

I don't believe this is about Valbuena.

I suspect they want to break Vitters in slowly so that (given his almost-inevitable adjustment to a higher level of ball that we've seen at every level) the fans don't turn on him, the media doesn't eat him alive, and/or his confident doesn't get busted. Right or wrong.

@CarrieMuskat: Vitters, Jackson have landed at LAX. Sveum sent BJackson text to not be late. They're en route.
---
So Vitters can be late?

LaHair's 15 minutes are up

Well hitting .194 in July will do it to you.

I blame that on Jaramillo! Swaim is so much better hitting coach....

I have no idea the real reason for bringing Jackson and Vitters up now instead of waiting, but it's not a bad idea to have a group of young players we hope will be our core all playing together from early on and learning together.

Totally agree.

Well, we scored our one run for the day. Let's all go home...

welcome back welly.

can we quit pretending jason kendall-lite is a better option than welly?

2-1 cubs.

As long as we don't have to call him "Welly".

+1000

WILL THIS F'N MANAGER QUIT TAKING OUT SP's FOR THE SHEER HELL OF IT?

about 70 pitches through 5.1ip of 1 run ball vs a powerhouse lineup...your day is done...let's see what a reliever can do with your game.

well, it was a 2 reliever effort, and it's a tie game again.

i feel like i've seen this before...many times...and recently.

make that a 2 run dodgers lead...

vitters debut...pinch hit vs. b.league with a man on 1st and 0 outs.

popout shallow left on a violently quick upper-body-driven swing.

probably just a little over anxious. He's got a pretty good swing usually from what I've seen.

CUBS LEAD FOR THE 3rd TIME IN THE TOP 7th!!

soriano just missed a homer...hit off base of LF wall...also, brett jackson is fast (though sliding hands first at home is STUPID).

5-4.

barf...dodgers lead AGAIN in the bottom 7th.

5-6.

CUBS TIE IN THE TOP 9th!

solo shot by the rizzard.

..and the dodger sweep the cubs.

"speed is a wonderful thing, len." - bob

a day game in the dodger stadium OF is deceptively harder than it seems...especially with a ball hit right at you in CF...but yeah, speed is a wonderful thing so far for brett jackson. there's been a couple of interesting routes.

I-Cubs having a nice little game in L.A.. Nice catch by Jax in 7th on a drive to the warning track, catching a ball any decent center fielder would have nabbed but making it look pretty easy.

"A Majestic Game Tying Home Run"
-Len

RIZZO

Again, made it look easy. Swatting it like it's a fly. Unreal.

Note to BJax: If you're gonna bat second, get the bat into Rizzo's hands when you're batting with 2 outs with men on base. Not that Jax has had a bad game.

Tony Four Sacks

sweet Castro play from the hole.

Ata babe.

Castro wonderful play extremely deep in the hole, big up-stretch from Rizzo.

Wang Chung

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoXu6QmxpJE

What were those round, spinning things on the wall at the beginning of the video???

Baez struggles in initial adjustment to Daytona...0 for 8 with 5 K.

Likely just an adjustment time....I doubt he struggles significantly the rest of the way. But these type of hurdles are good, IMO, for players like Baez, as the forced adjustment and confronting new challenges will make him better in the long run.

Paul [email protected]

Garza was sent back home after his arm felt stiff after bullpen session. Will see doctor, DL stint coming.

If is just so perfectly Cub that in a year which very well might go down as losses of historic proportions, they could get "beat out" by more than one team. How can more than ONE team suck this badly in the highest-professional level of the sport we love?

And, couple in the whole Garza mess...

I don't know if HoyStein realize that they have been Cubbed, but they certainly cannot be used to this utter shit-storm they have chosen to dive into.

They will have to earn their salaries, that's for sure. I don't really see the Garza situation as pure Cubbery. It's just yet another pitcher getting hurt. It really seems to me that pitchers who don't get hurt are the rarity these days. I was listening to John Schmoltz on the radio the other day and he attributes the injury plague to the way minor league pitchers are trained, or, in his view, NOT trained to be starting pitchers, and how this extends into the majors. His contention is that in the minors they aren't forced to go very long and don't build up the durability they once had. I really don't know if that is the case or not, since I don't have any empirical evidence either way, it's just one theory. He also contends they don't get trained on how to get out of trouble. If they get into the sixth inning and get a couple men on base and maybe a run or two in, the manager automatically calls the pen.

I think on a good team with good bullpen depth that is a good thing, because there are some really good specialists and relievers out there. But in the minors, Schmoltz seems to believe that starters should be extended deeper into games.

On the Cubs, I wouldn't mind seeing guys get stretched out a bit to get past a rough inning. Of course, in some cases (see Volstad, Chris) sometimes you look up one minute and see the score is 0-0, then look up a minute later and it's 6-0. I think they've done that some with Schamargia, so maybe that's the thinking here, too. I think Germano got a quick hook the other night if my memory serves, but he could be on a bit of a pitch count.

Anyway, overall, yes, they probably knew what they were getting into when they signed up for this. If Theo can overcome Cubbery, he will have overcome quite a challenge in his line of work, that's for damn sure.

Jake Fox to save the Phillies:

https://twitter.com/rydunleavy/status/2315162...

Ask BA with a question on Loosen & McNutt. Here's part of response:

Loosen is a prospect in the sense that he has a chance to get to the big leagues, but he's not a top prospect. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder works mostly with an average fastball and he can run it up to 94 mph on occasion. His curveball is better than his slider, though both are effective, while his changeup lacks consistency. He throws a decent amount of strikes but his control and command still need improvement.

At 23, Loosen is old for his level and needs to get tested by more advanced hitters. He projects more as a middle reliever than a starter, and if we slapped a BA grade on him, it would be 45/High.

As for McNutt, whom we ranked as Chicago's best pitching prospect entering the season, he has hit a wall. Though he flashed a pair of plus-plus pitches and showed promise as a potential No. 2 starter at two Class A stops in 2010, he hasn't been the same guy since.

Now relegated to the bullpen during his third stint in Double-A, he just hasn't shown the same stuff with any consistency. He no longer misses many bats and his command, never his strong suit, has backslid as well. He now looks like a definite reliever, and he's going to have to snap out of his funk to get a big league opportunity.
http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect...

This is a perfect reason why I like the idea of TheoCorp building on the non-existent wave of pitchers, and bringing waves of arms to the system. There will be prospects who do the opposite of McNutt - don't wow at first, but have some good stuff and then maybe pick up a pitch, maybe even an out pitch. It's a numbers game. This team's fans got all excited about McNutt, since he was pretty much the only pitching prospect worth watching. Then it seems calamitous when he hits the wall.

By bringing in a wave of juicy prospects, it doesn't matter as much when one of them hits a wall. Today, it's a wall, tomorrow an injury. It's a numbers game, and Hendry didn't play it.

McNutt hit a wall in 2010, when he had 15 innings in AA prior to a couple of forgettable playoff starts.

I wish he was Tampa's problem. Of course I didn't complain at the time, so this is not any sort of "I told you so"--but when the Cubs yielded Chris Archer to Tampa in the Garza deal, Archer had been effective through 70 innings in AA. The word at the time of the trade was that Tampa would have taken McNutt instead of Archer.

Archer would be in the Cub rotation today, whereas McNutt seems closer to Daytona than Iowa.

My takeaway is that the Southern League is a better test of talent than the FSL--that's why they call it the high minors--and that internet scouts, pound for pound, generate a lot of hype. I wonder if Sickels is going to give McNutt another mulligan this year.

per rotoworld...

The Yankees have shut down pitching prospect Manny Banuelos.

it happens to every organization. Waves and waves of pitchers is a good goal.

Shocking News Flash

White Sox Fan's Parents are Little Neglectful
http://deadspin.com/5932098/aj-pierzynskis-ho...

it's that time of year when Cesar Izturis gets traded...aka, Mark DeRosa's groin forces Nats to acquire Izturis

the ol' reverse chalupa strikes again (oof)

https://twitter.com/AdamKilgoreWP/status/2325...

http://t.co/Rvo43vLv

Dempster says he wasn't listening in on trade conversations with Coletti (he just had a stethoscope to the wall, while being in the room next door)

Recent comments

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  • Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).

    Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.

    Rob Richardson 44 min 26 sec ago view
  • Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.

    In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?

    Rob G. 56 min 35 sec ago view
  • Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.

    billybucks 1 hour 5 min ago view
  • Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.

    Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.

    Rob G. 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.

    Ryno 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.

    unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.

    they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.

    crunch 1 hour 54 min ago view
  • Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester

    Cubster 2 hours 2 min ago view
  • damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice

    crunch 2 hours 22 min ago view
  • Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 17 min ago view
  • Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.

    billybucks 5 hours 35 min ago view
  • Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.

    Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.

    billybucks 5 hours 40 min ago view
  • "Pitching prospects not looking so hot"

    That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 43 min ago view
  • Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 2 min ago view
  • Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:

    "Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
    "No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"

    billybucks 16 hours 43 min ago view
  • How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.

    billybucks 16 hours 47 min ago view
  • Ian Happ is hitting.733 after 5 games at Tennessee. He went into tonight's game hitting .667 -- and went 3-for-3 to raise his average.

    2-for-3, including a bomb, for LaStella at Iowa. Pierce Johnson very bad -- 2IP, 5ER. Pitching prospects not looking so hot -- Underwood has been awful.

    Did Jiminez get hurt? I noticed he came out early yesterday.

    billybucks 17 hours 35 min ago view