Yeah That One Hurt
“We had a plethora of wasted opportunities.”You don't say. Before we play the blame game, let's look at a few positives: - Ted Lilly threw yet another quality start and on a night when it seemed he didn't have his best stuff. At least early on he seemed to be missing his locations by quite a bit and getting hit hard, a cruddy Pirate offense certainly a contributing factor. - The top two spots in the order continued to produce going 6 for 13 with a run, three RBI's and two stolen bases. Unfortunately the middle of the order decided to take the night off. - Some nice defensive plays to keep the game going by Soriano and Theriot, although both looked like they were umpire-aided calls. The umps owed us a few from earlier in the year so file it under baseball karma. - Will Ohman performed his LOOGY duties to perfection and has only allowed one hit to a lefty all season on top of four walks in 19 plate appearances. It's the righties that have been giving him more trouble than usual. - Scott Eyre's three shutout innings lowered his ERA to 8.47. - Lou Piniella actually had a relief pitcher left for the 15th inning and a pinch-hitter for the 14th. Baby steps. Oh but much went wrong, beginning with the eight inning: - Lou brings Felix Pie into the game in the top of the 8th as a defensive upgrade over Cliff Floyd. One-run lead, a flyball pitcher and the middle of the Pirates lineup due up, seems like a smart move. But Lou negates all that in the bottom of the inning. Lee and Ramirez reach to start the inning and the Pirates bring in a lefty to face Pie. Lou, going for the kill, brings in Murton to counter and he pops out rather unceremoniously. If you're playing for defense in the top of the inning, why change your mind in the bottom half? With zero outs and runners on second and third, it would have been a good time to try the squeeze with Pie for that insurance run. If it fails, the team should still have a runner on third with less than two outs and you would have set yourself up with a better defensive outfield for the 9th even with a groundball pitcher coming to the mound. And of course... - Ryan Dempster issues a one-out walk to Nate McClouth although I didn't think it was a bad 3-2 pitch. Tailing two-seamer that just missed the plate that most lefties will chase thinking it's going to be a strike. A single later and Jack Wilson hits a flyball to right field. Jones should be out there if not for Lou's substituting in the eighth and while he may have just thrown it ten feet to either side of the plate or in front of him, he does have a stronger arm that would have had a better shot to nail McClouth. - More adventures on the basepaths that I could do without. Soriano gets thrown out at third when a ball doesn't get far away enough from the catcher. Theriot gets doubled off second when a liner by Murton that is in FRONT of him gets caught and Barrett gets thrown out at second base on a missed hit and run by Jacque Jones. - Neil Cotts is no longer invulnerable giving up his first run of the year. I'll pass out equal shares of blame on the offensive ineptitude in the eight to add insurance runs when we had two runners in scoring position and zero outs and Ryan Dempster for blowing his first save of the year against the bottom of the Pirates lineup. And of course Lou for some more questionable decision-making which of course would have been less questionable had Dempster, Murton or Jones done their jobs. While I wasn't nearly as up in arms about Sunday's game as some were, I did understand the concern. The concern was for games like today. Using up bench guys when you're losing to gain just the slightest advantage has a sort of Old West nobility about it. Better to go down with no bullets in the chamber than be left with a loaded gun and a bloody corpse. But when you're ahead or tied, I think the roster shuffling has to be more controlled. That's the time to save those bullets until you have an absolute clear shot and make sure that bloody corpse is in the opposing team's dugout. Well last time we blew a win against the Pirates we reeled off five straight, I'll take that trade-off.
bradsbeard 3 hours 13 min ago (view)
You say that in jest, but just from the 2016 draft, which did not feature a first or second round pick, the Cubs drafted 4 players who were added to 40 man rosters this winter (Hatch, Miller, Rucker, Short) with Mekkes, Giambrone, and several others being potential mid-season additions.
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 29 min ago (view)
So I guess he's the first guy since Rondon we've taken in rule 5 with a shot at making the roster. That's kinda cool
crunch 3 hours 35 min ago (view)
"Megill is a guy we tried to trade for, actually, prior to the Rule 5." - hoyer
Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 44 min ago (view)
That's a bummer. He does what few on the big league club do: put the bat on the ball.
Also hate to lose Rucker. He's a perfect type to be on AAA shuttle and cheap middle relief at minimum.
QuietMan 3 hours 45 min ago (view)
Good stuff indeed.
crunch 3 hours 47 min ago (view)
A's trade for machin...probably not getting him back.
crunch 3 hours 58 min ago (view)
cubs seem to be using the minor league phase of the rule5 to attempt to build a farm system...better than their recent non-1st-round draft record so far, i guess.
crunch 4 hours 3 min ago (view)
he was rumored as a cubs trade target from SD last year...along with rowan wick and brad wieck...
they seem to have a real focus on the SD minor league system.
cubbies.4ever 4 hours 8 min ago (view)
is Trevor Megill worth a spot? Probably better than most of the bullpen last year
crunch 4 hours 9 min ago (view)
cubs/giants GMs stepped out of the Rule5 "draft room" to talk shop.
someone might be getting traded related to the draft.
crunch 4 hours 11 min ago (view)
carlos sepulveda to the dodgers
crunch 4 hours 13 min ago (view)
cubs lose faustino carrera. was hoping he would go unnoticed in the system.
crunch 4 hours 17 min ago (view)
machin expected to be traded.
crunch 4 hours 19 min ago (view)
vimael machin to phillies
trevor megill (RHP) to the cubs from SD
cubbies.4ever 4 hours 22 min ago (view)
Cubs lose Michael Rucker
Mike Wellman 4 hours 38 min ago (view)
"And while there was no question about Clemente's talent and upside, he was very inexperienced and nowhere near MLB-ready in February 1954..." Same here - I was born that month of that year...