Sunday Game Thread: Cubs (5-11) v. Brewers (8-8)

The Brewers go for the series sweep, their 7th win in a row overall, and their 17th win in the last 22 meetings with the Cubs.

Is that depressing enough for you?

Cubs v. Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.19; pitched well but took an ND in 4/9 game at Wrigley which the Cubs eventually won against the Brewer bullpen): DeJesus 8, Castro 6, Rizzo 3, Soriano 7, Schierholtz 9, Castillo 2, Valbuena 5, Barney 4, Feldman 1.

Brewers v. Scott Feldman (0-2, 6.00; pitching for the first time since a loss to the Giants 10 days ago): Aoki 9, Segura 6, Braun 7, Weeks 4, Maldonado 2, Gonzalez 3, Gomez 8, Betancourt 5, Peralta 1.



scott failedman...sigh.

Rulemasters: as per a play in the TB/OAK game. Pitcher A gets two outs and puts two batters on base. Pitcher B comes in and throws a wild pitch, scoring a run. The run is then credited to pitcher A because it is still his batter. Correct?

THE JOE: Correct. 

Just now catching up on my reading. Thanks Phil, I figured as much, just didn't like it.

cubs are 5-12.

is it 2014 2015 2016 yet?

Theo can probably extend Feldman's contract on the cheap right now.

Give him 8/40 so he doesn't burn Theo on the Free Agent Market

$8 million over 40 years?

Bobby Bonilla Mets special

...make your move...

Well, maybe they could do a 20 year contract, since everyone is going big these days.

So, are we back to having a manager who semi-bashes the most talented and valuable young players on the team and makes empty threats about calling up the totally non-existent AAA reserves? Because I'm opposed to that.

Why isn't the answer to questions about Castro's defense always simply, "We're working together with him daily to help him perform as well as he possibly can in every area of the game. He's still a very young player, but we'll see more payoffs to his consistent hard work soon." ? Then if you want to yell at him and scare him because you think that will motivate him (I'm skeptical, but OK), do that in private in the manager's office when there are no reporters admitted.

It might be different if Baez were rocking AAA or AA and could realistically put pressure on Castro, though if all else were as it is now that would only mean that either Castro or Baez would be manning 3B soon.

Isn't that what they have been doing for the past two years?

Can't say I am really surprised with the frustration, but I am sure Dale regrets the comments.

If the Cubs decide to move Castro to second, is this something that can be done during the season, or are they better off waiting?

It's a dumb comment by Sveum. What did he expect when he signed on with the Cubs? Help these kids grow instead of bashing them in the face. They're gonna send down Rizzo? Is that the threat? How idiotic is that? The guy has bungled a few ground balls in April and is off to a slow start but still leads the team in RBI. I expect Sveum to just do his job and work with the youngsters. When he proves his managerial mettle he can go work on a club with established veterans who don't screw up as much.

This is a tough thing. The kid has been here full time since 2010. He's had 27, 29, and 27 errors in the last three years. Arguably THE most important position. MOST players show improvement. He does not. He's got 4 errors so far, as well as several mis-plays that were not scored errors. On a team where ANY mistake is too much. For $60MM.No doubt Castro will break the 30-error plateau this year. And - he has demonstrated, O & B, it doesn't matter what Month of the year it is. Stop with the excuses.

IMO, he is playing out of position. But, unfortunately, this will not get addressed this year.

OR - I also believe it is not an impossibility that Theo will trade him for "his" kind of players - including young pitching.

He can hit, which is great, but at his position you need more than that.

I really don't have an objection to the frustration. I just think it's very unprofessional to call out any of your players in public. I see no reason to do that in any situation. All player and team issues should be addressed behind closed doors. As the manager, it's part of your job to keep up your professionalism every day even though the press is constantly hounding you (and everyone else) for something juicier.

I, too, would like to see Castro take more strides defensively. And I too wonder if he won't end up at 2nd base should another Cub prospect emerge as a better defensive shortstop, or should the Cubs have the opportunity to acquire a short stop in a favorable transaction. It's hardly pressing, though, considering the Cubs are going to suck big time either way. Without the carrot of the postseason, I don't see a reason do anything but keep working with him to see if he can improve. 23 is still young, even if he's going on his 4th year of MLB time.

The only reason I can think of is he would have better trade value if he could show the ability to play a defensive position at an acceptable major league level. Maybe that's second or third.

But your points are correct, Dale's comments were silly (and I am sure he regrets them) and there is no pressing need to move Castro now.

After reading your guy's posts again, it is an excellent point that we all want to be yelled at by our managers with the door closed in their offices.

I can't imagine, however, my current manager trying to manage multi-millionaires that have made the same mistakes on the job, relentlessly, for 3+ years.

It is a unique position and I get that Sveum is deserving more. Maybe he should just do this out of the press.

I'd say if we're going to look at it from that point, they were hasty in giving such a large contract so soon to a guy who still is a bit shaky out there. The mistakes Castro makes are often just dumb things that suggest a lack of concentration. That is where Sveum comes in. He should be making him take grounders till his hands hurt every day, not bashing him in the press, and honestly, maybe having him looked at for ADHD or even a 420 issue, or something, since the problem really seems to have something to do with him being a bit of a spacey dude, as we called them when I was young.

It's not just Castro, Rizzo was also the target of Sveum's whining, and it's just a dumb way to go. Sveum got hired to manage a young team. He needs to suck it up and manage them, and not go to the press with his complaints about their flaws.

Is "having potential" all it takes to play in the big leagues?

For the Chicago Cubs, apparently that's all it takes. This isn't little league, it's the big leagues. Players are expected to already know how to catch and throw the ball and do it reliably. Batting average.. meh, he can go hit a 400 average in Iowa for all I care. The thing about baseball is you have to catch and throw the ball.

Normally, I'm not terribly concerned about a manager riding a player, even publicly (if riding him privately doesn't work), but for the Cubs, it's different. Sveum must realize how quickly and how dramatically the fans can turn on a player like Castro because of poor play and he'll have to balance that along with all the other stuff he deals with.

One other problem I have with the comment is this- of all the things to complain about, shitty pitching, shitty bullpen, shitty everything, why single out Castro? Yes, Castro is a shitty defender, but let's not single him out. It's a shit storm.

Appel or Gray?

Gray. But I'll take Appel if Houston takes Gray.

The other thing I am dismayed about is this "Cubs Way" bullshit.

The EXACT negative things that move the team in the correct direction are still occurring at the same frequency as they have been.Fielding, OBP, RISP failures.

One thing that just burns me where the win margin is microscopic for the Cubs, is the Cubs' pitcher just being able to field their position or do "usual things" to save them from needless arm-wear and losses. Feldman is a case in point for TWO of his three starts! Just wait 'til Garza comes back. Even Samarj. fucked up so far. I mean for fuck's sake - they have been involved with baseball since grade school. And they are learning the Cubs'Way....Oh wait...

I don't know how the minor league players have looked from a fundamentals angle, but that is where you will probably start seeing some improvement with this whole Cubs Way thing. If I remember right, AZ Phil was reporting on some impressive walk numbers among the lower level guys. So if that is continuing, and the error rates are down, and the general play on the field at the lower levels is high, then things may improve. Right now, the major league play is crap, and, sorry to say, that reflects directly on Sveum, whether he likes it or not. I obviously don't know a damn thing about managing a team, so I don't know where it happens when I see a team play good fundamental baseball, but I do see it, almost every time I see another team not named the Cubs play. Does it happen because of good spring training routines? Or is it part of the daily routine every day before a game? I have no idea. Whatever it is, Sveum has not accomplished his task of getting a team out there with solid fundamentals, at least not yet. It's early, but so far, this is a very bad baseball team. Sveum himself said it was very important that they start the year off well. Whoops. What's plan B?

When a team is at the top of the charts two years in a row for errors, this is a problem with the manager. Although, to be fair, it's obviously really early in the year. These guys have all played the game long enough that their skill level at fielding their positions should all be about the same, aside from the standouts. I look at a guy like Rizzo and think to myself that he looks like a natural out there sometimes, and then he just nearly does a somersault as he bounds about making a bone head play. It's baffling.

Hell, E-Man, Garza alone is going to double the Cubs's errors. So it's not looking to get any better anytime soon.

The Cubs way, I believe, is about how the organization is planning to develop their farm system. What some are forgetting is that Castro was already in the big leagues when Theo took over. I don't think it was ever really an option to send him back down. That said, I don't think Theo would have promoted Castro when Hendry did. He likely would have spent more time in the minors refining his approach and defense. He's been rewarded for doing what the previous regime wanted, and that's hitting the ball without regard for a specific approach or stellar defense. Maybe he wouldn't have come out any different under Theo's direction, but I think it's a mistake to blame the problems of the current Cubs on the failure of the Cub Way

I agree with that pretty much but Theo did give Castro the mega contract. I think a lot of people agreed with his doing it. I know I did - seemed smart to wrap him up ASAP, given his age and early numbers. I still think he's really not at his ceiling yet, and one of the reasons the club hasn't made a lot of noise about moving him from short is that he has made some pretty amazing plays from deep in the hole. My biggest complaint about all this is Sveum and his public badgering of players. I've managed a lot of people and I would never consider going Glengarry Glen Ross all over them in a meeting if they have some kind of performance issues. Doors have hinges on them for a reason.

$42M over 6 years for a young player's age 23-28 seasons? Even with the player-friendly team option for age 29, it's not a "mega contract" ... it's a hell of a good bargain. All that contract says about Castro is that the Cubs think he's a solid MLB player (doesn't take a genius to figure that one out). He got $78 million less guaranteed dollars than Elvis Andrus did on his extension.

You stop bringing logic into this. Next you're gonna tell us that Theo was very explicit that the Cubs were going to work from the bottom up, teaching all the young kids the Cubs way and then spending money on FAs. And that he never promised we were going to compete these first years.

I tell you what, a GM telling us his plan and then actually working on it. What is this world coming too.

Re: The new Cub Way: Javy Baez, at Daytona: .234 BA, 24K, 2BB. To repeat: 24K, 2BB. At Single A. Seems vaguely familiar.

Success or fail, that's Hendry's guy, even though I'm sure the new regime hopes it works out. Baez started cold but seems to be swinging a little better the last 10 days.

Of course Hendry drafted Baez, and I expect that he will remain at Daytona until he sorts things out.

1 pitch...cubs lead.

the quest for .500 .400 .300 gets stronger.

t.wood gives up his 1st HR of the year...after 25.2 ip on the season. keep it up, guy.

cubs lead 2-1 in the bottom 7...throwing another great game tonight.

...and it takes 2 relievers to blow the win for t.wood (who was removed after 1 out and a single...81


tie game.

marmol throws a 10 pitch, 1K, 1-2-3 outing.

his last 6 outings...

6ip 2h 2bb 6k 0er

marmol going 2 innings tonight with no backup...odd

no one up in the pen.

he got an out...and has thrown 5 straight balls, walking 1.

make that 6 straight, and the runner stealing 2nd...and ibb on choo to put the double play back in play.

d.barney bobbles what would be a double play ball, but gets the out at 1st. sigh.

...and they're not gonna ibb votto (1-14 vs marmol).

make that 1-15...with another K.

to the 11th!

to the 13th...

...and the past 4-5 innings has been full of CIN rednecks going "WOOOOOOO!" back and forth to each other in a near-empty stadium because rednecks love to hear themselves be loud. at least it's not the ATL "tommy hawk chawp" i guess.

valbuena 2r HR...hell yeah.

4-2 chc/cin

no one up in the cubs pen...looks like bowden is gonna go 2ip.

tie game.

my god...

...and cesar f'n izturis wins it with a RBI single.


There are very few ex-Cubs I dislike more than Cesar Izturis. It had to be him?

Oh shit Sleepaway Camp is in

lulz. classic.

Don't let them walk you Starlin

Yeah, this team is 5-13, but its Pythag is 7-11!

Just to complain a little bit more about a guy who doesn't take the field on a 100+ loss team, a guy who in many other respects is a big improvement over past iterations (Quade, Piniella, etc.), what the hell was going on when Sveum took out Wood? He's seen our bullpen, right? I mean, they did well yesterday until Bowden's second inning, but there wasn't any reason to anticipate those several innings of success.

The manager is the least of the Cub's concerns.

Recent comments

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  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.