View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



June 2011



Game 77 – Cubs lose rubber game 6-3

Written by , Posted in General

Cubs 3, Royals 6

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

What went right:

  • The Cubs mounted two good offensive onslaughts – the first was in the third when Geovanny Soto homered to make it a 4-1 ballgame. During the fourth Reed Johnson hit a ball hard and landed on second – DeWitt doubled him home and the Cubs reduced the lead to two. Soto then doubled home DeWitt and the Cubs were back in business with a one run deficit.
  • In the sixth the Cubs had two nice defensive gems – firstly Reed Johnson made a nice shoestring catch to save a base hit. On the next at bat Starlin Castro ranged to the left and picked off a ball that was headed for left center and Pena made a nice pick at first digging a ball to complete the out.
  • Carpenter came in in the eighth and he was bringin’ it. I’ve been rather concerned about Cashner’s setback because this guy was showing us the kind of lightning that one would expect from a seventh or eighth inning set-up guy. Now Carpenter appears to fit that role and it’s nice to see someone come up from AA and fulfill a needed spot.

What went wrong:

  • Randy Wells struggled right from the get-go. The first six runners reached base and it was 4-0 before an out was even recorded. Later in the fourth Wells let two more runs in making it a 6-3 game. Wells looked good two years ago and had a poor sophomoric season that included some injury concerns. To me this is his “make or break” season – if he can’t do better than what we saw tonight then he should probably be let go or traded. His command was off and when he was in the strike zone he got hit. Starting pitching was our downfall tonight and that was what went wrong.

The Takeaway: The Cubs tried hard but they don’t have what it takes to beat a team like the Royals. Kansas City has been a whipping boy for so long that their draft picks have had no choice but to come to fruition. We are seeing the seeing the same from the erstwhile Pirate losers, a team that now finds itself eight games ahead of the Cubs. We have aging superstars like Ramirez and Soriano who are overpaid for what they do. We also have younger guys like Zambrano and Fukudome that get paid much more than what their performance merits. So I as a fan must watch the games patiently and hope for a miracle. Because that’s about what it’s going to take to turn this team around, I’m not confident that Mike Quade, Jim Hendry or Crane Kenney have what it takes to get the job done.

On this date in baseball history:

  • 1906: Baseball had it’s first death when Herbert Whitney of the Burlington Pathfinders was beaned by a pitch.
  • 1916: The Cleveland Indians became the first team to wear numbered jerseys.
  • 1938: Carl Hubbell got his 200th win against the Chicago Cubs. He was the first player to really master the screwball from what I’ve read.
  • 1960: Rookie third baseman Ron Santo made his major league debut. He went three for seven in a doubleheader and the Cubs swept the Pirates. Santo drove in five runs.
  • 1966: Ron Santo got hit in the face by Jack Fisher of the Mets. I remember reading about this as kid, he’s lucky it didn’t end his career like the ball that hit Tony Conigliaro.

Tomorrow the Cubs go home to play a makeup game against the Colorado Rockies. The game will be televised at 1:20 PM CDT on CSN.

Stars of the Game
Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Geovany Soto (.263 WPA)

2nd Star – Eric Hosmer (.112 WPA)

3rd Star – Chris Getz (.083 WPA)

Cubs Hitting: -.166 WPA

Cubs Pitching: -.334 WPA

  • Scott

    I said going into this series that the Cubs would be lucky getting 1 win, while several were calling for a sweep. It’s time to wake up people. You’re getting vintage Cubs baseball right now and I just don’t see it changing. When did base running become such a problem? Yikes. I’m just crossing my fingers right now that Hendry doesn’t do something stupid at the trade deadline now in desperation.

  • Aaron

    The Cubs are eight games behind the Pirates???

  • MJ

    I really don’t understand how anyone can think this team was going to be any good coming out of Spring Training. I listened to Mark Mulder of MLBTV interviewed on Friday, he summed it up. The Cubs are just not a good team.

    And of course, if someone is performing badly, “it’s time to trade them or let them go.” Yep. Poor performers, the Cubs will get a ton in return for that…..*Facepalm*

  • Doc Raker

    Why should the Cubs win more than 1 game in a series no matter who they play? They rarely win a series, they would lose two out of three against our little league team.

  • Eric

    Younger guys? Fukudome is 34…he’s younger than Quade thats for sure. And Zambrano is 30, he’s no spring chicken. Although I will agree 30 is not over the hill yet, especially for a pitcher.

  • Breaking News!

    Hendry trades Tom Ricketts for Frank McCourt! Hendry, “I just thought the Chicago Cubs financial situation ought to mirror their quality of play.” Players shocked.

  • Katie

    Did anyone not see Castro screw up two defensive plays? He should have made those plays, and they would have saved a run or two and/or ended an inning. His hitting is fantastic, but his defense isn’t. He’ll get better eventually, but right now, ugh.
    Also, Wells sucks. The Cubs rotation as a whole sucks. Everything just sucks.
    BUT, at least we aren’t the Astros.

  • Norm

    Quade called out Castro:

    ” It better not happen again, and he knows it. He just gets frustrated. He wants to make the play. He doesn’t make the play, and then just has a letdown. I’m sorry he didn’t make the play either. It would’ve been a great play. But stay after the play and stay involved. Then later on he dove for a ball and Reed was right there. That bothered me some.”

    I wanna know how he can do that publicly but ignore the veterans that are a lot worse.

  • chet

    Cubs currently hold the second worst record in the majors behind Houston.

    Two problems I see….

    1) We have youth making mistakes and much of the youth (outside of Castro and maybe one other) isn’t very talented. So we basically have Castro who is talented but makes a bevy of mistakes defensively and then we have all the other young guys who just are not that great.

    2) Our president and our owner are business guys not baseball guys. Our owner has $200 million to put forth to the triangle lot building but apparently has to spread $10 mill to Pena over three years.

    We are either going to have to buy some good players or farm them.

  • @Norm…Quade is in the position to sugar-coat the under performing vets’ performances. He needs new blood more than we do…his job is on the line. In fact, he should be in front of the press jawing nonstop about Kosuke’s OBP, Baker’s switch and versatility, and Z’s offensive prowess.

  • chet

    much easier to rip a rookie then a vet. When you rip a rookie you are not dealing with a history or an ego so much as with a vet.

    veterans have to be handled differently.

    I will say one thing though, Ricketts could find a soapbox somewhere and let off a little steam about the teams performance….might show that he cares.

  • Kris

    Norm–The updside is that Reed knew what to do the second time around and pre-emptively covered Castro’s rear!

    Quade ought to be calling out anyone who quite obviously quits on a play. There was no avoiding making a statement on that one, because he was going to get questions about it.

    Does anyone know offhand who has the most errors this season? I’m guessing Castro but can’t say it with 100% certainty. The kid has tremendous potential, but good gosh does he scare me right now.