As you read the following, furrow your brow and in your head use your sappiest, most serious voice.
Ryan Dempster, he of a 0.95 ERA on the season, goes tonight in search of his first win in his last 13 starts. That win was versus the Nationals last year on August 11th. It's his 5th start of this season and he hasn't given up an earned run in 14.1 straight innings.
Taking advantage of two costly Cub errors, the Angels rallied for three runs in the top of the 8th and edged the Cubs 4-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
Freddy Sanchez (2011 shoulder surgery rehab) had three hits and Jonathan Jones blasted a three-run home run, leading the Giants past the Cubs 6-4 and 3-2 in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.
Both games were seven-inning affairs.
As Cubnut pointed out on Twitter the other day, the Cubs have fallen into an alternating win-loss pattern since April 24th. Unfortunately, today is the day to bet against them.
IF-OF Blake DeWitt was Designated for Assignment on Sunday to make room on the Cubs 25-man roster for LHP Travis Wood, and in the process DeWitt (at least temporarily -- see below) has been removed from the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster), although he will continue to get paid and accrue MLB Service Time while he is on the Designated List.
The Cubs now have ten days to decide his fate.
While many Cub fans couldn't care less and probably just wish he would go away, here are the Cubs options (and DeWitt's options):
There was a big, bad moon rising tonight over Principal Park about the time New Orleans' Luke Montz boomed a Randy Wells s(t)inker through the teeth of the brisk zephyr blowing in off the Des Moines River to break a 1-1 tie and launch the visitors to a 7-3 series-evening win.
The Giants swept the Cubs by scores of 3-1 and 2-1 in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training Cinco de Mayo doubleheader this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
Both games were pre-scheduled as seven-inning contests, but the game on Field #2 was extended an extra half-inning so that Alvido Jimenez could throw a second inning.
Denied the walk-off RBI by his once-burned, twice-shy skipper, Anthony Rizzo instead scampered across with the game's only tally in the bottom of the 9th tonight at Principal Park to give the I-Cubs a 1-0 win over New Orleans.
Right now, the Cubs have 14 Home Runs on the year, Matt Kemp 12...the race is on. If you're in the area, apparently there are some $4 tickets available thanks to the wonders of dynamic pricing. I'd certainly pay that to see Kemp and Castro play.
Dundee-Crown HS alum Ryan Court reached base five times on two doubles, a single, and two walks, leading the Diamondbacks to an 11-4 drubbing of the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
D'backs Stephen Drew (2011 broken ankle rehab) arrived at Fitch Park after the game started and played the middle three innings at shortstop, batting once each in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings.
Same lineups that were suppose to play yesteday.
Javier Baez slugged a solo home run, singled, stole a base, and scored three runs, Jeimer Candelario ripped a pair of RBI doubles, reached base on an HBP, stole a base, and scored a run, Eduardo Gonzalez singled and tripled, drove-in a run, and scored another, and Garrett Schlecht reached base four times on three walks and an RBI single, as the Cubs rallied for a run in the 8th and one in the 9th to edge the Athletics 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
The game was extended an extra half-inning so that Pete Levitt could throw a second inning.
Manny Ramirez was the DH for the A’s, and made four Plate Appearances (batting once in each of the first four innings).
A look at the have and have-nots down on the farm.
Justin Bianco hammered a solo home run leading off the bottom of the 5th to break a 1-1 tie, and it was just enough as the Diamondbacks edged the Cubs 2-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Whirlwind Field at Salt River River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Junior Lake continued his rehab, batting six times (once in each of the first six innings) and playing shortstop for seven innings.
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.