Going Gets Tougher, Can The Cubs Keep Going?

GAME 49 PREVIEW CHICAGO CUBS (24-24) at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (26-23) Dodger Stadium, 7.10pm CT, TV: ESPN, FSN2
SP *Wilson Alvarez SP Greg Maddux
2B Jerry Hairston SS #Cesar Izturis
SS #Neifi Perez RF Jayson Werth
1B Derrek Lee CF *JD Drew
3B Aramis Ramirez 2B Jeff Kent
LF Jason Dubois 1B Olmedo Saenz
RF *Jeromy Burnitz
d>LF *Ricky Ledee CF *Corey Patterson 3B Antonio Perez C Michael Barrett C Jason Phillips Pitcher's spot Pitcher's spot These days a week of games hosting the Astros and Rockies is about as easy as they come. The Cubs played some good ball, their oppositions some quite bad, but the sum total of it all was the Cubs going 5-2, the minimum requirement in my eyes, and with that dragging themselves back up to five hundred for the first time since the terrible losing streak that began the month. Now though we'll see what the Cubs are really made of. They've largely squandered a pretty comfortable schedule thus far, and being at five hundred, even despite the injuries, is not something of which they should be proud. Now the next three weeks bring encounters with nothing but good to excellent teams. The Dodgers, Padres, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Marlins and Yankees; this is a nineteen game stretch born to give us a better idea of just where we stand. Are hopes of playoff baseball unfounded? Newsflash - Dusty Baker picks same lineup two days in a row! Sadly, that means more Neifi Perez batting second, and less Todd Walker playing second. If I didn't know better, I'd say Dusty's given Walker's job to Jerry. If so, it's great that Dusty's come to the realisation that getting on-base by whatever means possible is a good thing. It's not so great he's not yet realised he doesn't need to relegate Walker to pinch-hit home runs to do so. Hairston for left field! Maybe Walker's still hurting though. In which case, Dusty, carry on. And carry on Cubs, too, let's run this winning streak to four!

Comments

step 1: get over .500

step 2: ????

step 3: postseason

we're 1/3rd there!

It feels good!

Yes, they can keep going. With Z on the hill tomorrow, Aramis and Corey starting to heat up, I am confident we extend this streak to 5.

I am unsure of Koronka, though. Don't we have better options? I guess I just really want to see Brownlie in the big leagues, if only just once. I know he has had a terrible year and looks to be more like a bust every start--but for someone I was looking forward to for some time, I really want to see him pitch.

Oh well. Good luck, John. Hopefully you'll help the Cubs complete their first 3-game sweep of the season.

Koronka's entering his 6th full year of minor league ball..its a kinda use him or lose him thing at this point...see if he can do it or not.

im not holding my breath.

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • I agree, but just wanted to point out that Hendricks didn't really have a significant difference between his first and second half like Hammel did. Instead he had alternating good and below average months last year, without much fluctuation in his peripherals except a BB-heavy August and some up-and-down in opp avg. Mostly the team just couldn't win games for him in the months he pitched well. His 16 starts in May, July, and Sep/Oct (in which he limited opponents to OPS+ of 88, 75, and 44) resulted in a 4-2 record.

  • I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.

  • Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.

  • CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.   

  • Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.

    Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
    Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.

  • I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.

    I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.

    Weird.

  • It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.

  • Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.

  • My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.

  • In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.

    One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.

    I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.

  • Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.

    What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?

  • A-Team

  • Ha

  • I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.

    there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.

  • I certainly am digging the RISP machine Zobrist version.