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
---
@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.
---
??? 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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  • That's a hell of a first impression by Montgomery. Brian Cashman having a good laugh on that debut.

    Eric S 2 hours 14 min ago view
  • ...and it's a 3 run homer.

    hey, vogelbomb had a HR on his 1st game with SEA AAA, too!

    crunch 2 hours 34 min ago view
  • montgomery comes on with men on 1st/2nd, 2 out, in the 8th.

    crunch 2 hours 36 min ago view
  • from rotoworld...

    "Tommy Stokke of FanRag Sports reports Chris Sale was sent home from U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday after cutting up throwback jerseys that he did not want to wear.

    crunch 2 hours 43 min ago view
  • I thought the same. It'd be great luck to face these non-contenders after the trade deadline.

    Charlie 4 hours 26 min ago view
  • ...why isn't j.lucroy playing for TEX yet?

    :(

    2r HR on a 12-pitch AB.

    crunch 5 hours 28 sec ago view
  • nathan to join the cubs tomorrow.

    crunch 5 hours 34 min ago view
  • Wow in deed.

    Rob Richardson 5 hours 38 min ago view
  • FOX Sports @MLBONFOX
    Chris Sale was scratched from tonight's scheduled start due to a clubhouse incident before the game

    ...wow

    he was sent home by the team, too. the wsox released a press statement and everything. they stated it was non-physical in nature.

    crunch 5 hours 43 min ago view
  • He was scratched from his start today. No reason given.

    Rob Richardson 5 hours 48 min ago view
  • 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.

    johann 6 hours 52 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 8 hours 47 min ago view
  • 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."

    John Beasley 9 hours 36 sec ago view
  • 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.

    Charlie 9 hours 31 min ago view
  • 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.

    crunch 9 hours 46 min ago view
  • 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.

    Charlie 13 hours 40 min ago view