View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



July 2011



Game 82 – Walking Off is Fun to Do

Written by , Posted in General

Cubs 5, Giants 2

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game


The Bullpen – Carlos Zambrano left the game after just one inning with back soreness. This coming in a series where the Cubs played a double header and in a situation where they do not have a day off again until the All Star break, and a game that went deep into extra innings. That’s a tough time to leave that early. Enter Marcos Mateo who not only came in and ate five innings, but did it without giving up a run. He was absolutely awesome considering the situation. He even chipped in with a sacrifice bunt. It’s been a pen that has ups and downs of late, but every reliever that pitched did the job they needed to do to keep the Cubs in a position to get this win.

Clutch Hitting – It was another game that pissed me off from an offensive standpoint until late. We couldn’t get runs on the board and I felt like it was going to be a loss due to lack of offense. Instead, another clutch hit for Aramis Ramirez, this time with a home run off of the bearded one to tie it in the 9th. We fell behind in the 13th only to see Darwin Barney knock in a run and then Geovany Soto make Lizzie all hot and bothered with a three run walk off home run to win it.


Zambrano – My biggest complaint about Zambrano is his propensity to leave starts in the middle on a consistent bases due to injury. Sometimes, I almost wonder if he’s faking it. I’m not sure why I wonder that, but I just feel like he’s not as much of a bulldog as people say he is. I wonder if there are days he just doesn’t feel like pitching if it doesn’t seem like it’s going to go his way. It’s almost like when I was in middle school. Every now and then I just didn’t feel like being there so I’d go down to the office, put on my palest face and say I didn’t feel good. I’d get to take a nap on one of the cots in the sick room for a little while and make the day go faster.


We’re heading into another series with the White Sox, this one on the weekend, like it should be. I’m not getting my hopes up, but it would be nice to win the series. Look for the Cubs to make at least one roster move today with Kerry Wood scheduled to come off the DL. My guess is they’ll bring in an additional arm as well.

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

1st Star – Matt Cain (.513 WPA)

2nd Star – Geovany Soto (.384 WPA)

3rd Star – Marcos Mateo (.378 WPA)

Cubs Hitting: -.026 WPA

Cubs Pitching: +.526 WPA

  • Doug Bagley

    i never thought i’d say this but mateo really saved the day today…absolute clutchness for the second day in a row. Let’s hope this is the start of something beautiful

  • Norm

    Roster move: hopefully its to release John Grabow.

  • Dusty Baylor

    Oh to drop the worthless Grabow… wonderful that would be…

  • Doug Bagley

    i agree, grabow has got to go. Id rather deal with the growing pains of a young arm in the bullpen then bring in grabow and watch him just walk people and suck it up in general

  • That was fun!!

    The first thing that went through my head when Z called the trainer out was “He doesn’t want to pitch today.”

    I understand that after the game Quade said that Z had been complaining about the back stiffness before the game even started. Although that does not automatically acquit Z of the accusation…it just means he knew he did not want to pitch before the game began.

    The best employee in the organization is no better than the worse employee when he or she does not show up.

    Bullpen won that game. They managed a nine inning plus stretch without giving up a hit!

  • Norm

    I think its a bit much to say that about Zambrano. Just because he’s crazy doesn’t mean he doesn’t go out and give it his all each and every time.
    We complain about not hustling/trying and now we’re accusing one of the few guys WITH that passion everyone so desires to see of giving up?

  • Doc Raker

    Best game of the year, reminiscent of the Sandberg game in that the Cubs were down in the bottom of the ninth and the bottom of the thirteenth only to tie it up in both innings and then go on to win the game. An unexpected quality performance from Mateo, albeit against the worst hitting team in the bigs, which is much welcomed from the worst pitching staff in the bigs. Great victory. Thanks for coming to town Champs, enjoy you flight out Meat.

  • Doc Raker

    As jswanson pointed out a few days ago, Grabow makes $5M which leads to the question, which contract is or was the Cubs worst: Grabows, Soriano’s, Pena’s, Zambrano’s, Hasbro’s, Todd Hundley, Nomar’s, Juan Pierre’s, Bob Howry’s, Latroy Hawkins, Scott Eyre- so many to choose from over the Hendry years.

  • Buddy

    Norm has it right once again. Grabow should be dumped ASAP. And I’ll vote for Soriano’s contract as the worst from that list.

  • PackerCubBull

    Grabow is a pretty bad deal, he has to go. Samardzidja too. They should be the next 2 out. Hasbro and Hundley were bad deals, and for the record Hendry did not sign Hundley. But give Hendry credit for unloading them and in the Hundley case, getting talent back. Howry was okay for us in 2006 and 2007, Eyre was good in 2006 and after he got fat again in 2007. Hawkins just plain sucked. Nomar was a one-year contract, and when we got him in 2004, it was meant to be the final piece to winning the World Series. Aren’t we also forgetting Neifi and Tubby?

  • Man, I’m sorry I missed this Cubs win. Let’s take care of the white sox, OK?

  • I think Grabow’s awfulness takes the cake. We knew Sori wasn’t going to go 40/40…he snagged his contract when everyone in the NL wanted to put up AL scores. The last two games might be more along the lines of the new (old) style NL ball. Which I suspect we all welcome. That said, I have no idea why Grabow snagged that contract. Or, why these stupid GMs all like garbage bullpen lefties in general.

  • Oh, and I think we should chip in and get TP2 a bunch of RedBull and a seat as close to Konerko as possible. Let him jaw off all game and get in his head.

  • Norm

    And Zambrano hits the DL….Grabow is safe. For now.

  • PackerCubBull


  • PackerCubBull

    Or as a Japanese fan would say: SHIMATTA-BAKA-NI!

  • Buddy

    The worst part of the Soriano contract (and I said it at the time) is the eight years. He can really only play LF, so you’re stuck with a one-dimensional ball player until he’s almost 40. For some reason I’m instantly reminded of old George Foster near the end of his career with the Mets. Maybe not the best comp, but that’s what popped into my head while typing.

  • Doc Raker

    We got Karros and Grundzy for Hundley- Hendry was a genius after that trade. I agree Soriano’s contract is the worst, not because of 8 year but because of the money. Eight years at the minimum would of been OK, it is the $18M per for 8 years that calls out OUCH.

  • Doc Raker

    Soriano should play 1b in 2011 and beyond.