View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



July 2011



Game 95 – What Else Is On?

Written by , Posted in General

 Marlins 13, Cubs 3

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

What Went Right

  • Lone Star  Aramis Ramirez hit his sixteenth homerun of the season, a three-run line-drive to left-center field off Javier Vasquez in the sixth inning.
  • The Hawk Andre Dawson sang the during seventh inning stretch today.  It’s always nice to see Dawson back at Wrigley Field.  If I had only watched that part of the game, it might have been a better day.
  • Nothing Else  Zero.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.

What Went Wrong

  • Paltry Hitting The Cubs combined for four hits today–three singles, and Ramirez’s homer.  And they only took one walk, for a total of five baserunners in the game.  Those kind of numbers are only acceptable when your starting pitcher is throwing a no-hitter.  And today, he wasn’t.
  • False Start Carlos Zambrano has been on the DL for the last two weeks, and it showed.  He started out bad–giving up three runs in the first–and finished even worse, surrendering a three-run homer to Mike Stanton, his second of the game.  Starting pitchers have to give their teams a chance to win–today Zambrano didn’t.
  • Little Help  Ramon Ortiz gave up three runs in his relief appearance.  Jeff Samardzija gave up another two.  James Russell and–surprise, surprise–John Grabow both pitched effectively in their respective innings, but they were the exception today.

Game Notes

  • Flatliners  Javier Vazquez pitched very well, so give him credit for the win.  But the game seemed over before the Cubs ever came up to bat.  They were lifeless at the plate and in the field.  Mike Quade said after the game that he can’t quit on the team because they haven’t quit on him.  That may be the case, but there’s certainly no fight in this team either.
  • I Weep For The Future Earlier today at there was a story saying that the Cubs have told other teams Jeff Baker is not available to be traded.  Let that wash over you for a second–Jeff Baker.  The original story, by Ken Rosenthal and John Morosi, said other teams believe the Cubs see him as part of the team next year.  My fear is  Hendry has tagged Baker as the replacement at third base if he can unload Aramis Ramirez.  Someone needs to grab Hendry by his greasy collar and help him understand that Baker’s as valuable as he will ever be, and the Cubs should be pouncing on any chance they have to restock for the future.  The Cubs’ no-trade list should only be three or four names long: Castro, Marshall, Garza, and maybe Soto.  So to sum up, our plan is to protect our bench players for the future.  Baker is thirty years old now, and only occasionally cracks our lineup–that can’t possibly be a foundation we want to build on.


I’m not sure if this is the low point of the season, but you can see it from here.

Stars of the Game

Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Javier Vazquez (.200 WPA)

2nd Star – Hanley Ramirez (.188 WPA)

3rd Star – Mike Stanton (.100 WPA)


  • Lando87

    Jeff Baker, Alfonso Soriano, and Koyie Hill are definitely the type of solid foundations to build a team around. If we should be trading anyone it’s Castro, Barney, and Marshall they’re just not pulling their weight for what we pay them.

  • Evan

    I don’t know that Garza should be on the no trade list….I know we just got him and gave up a lot for him, but it really hasn’t worked out and if we get a good enough offer, I’m okay with trading him. Barney, however I don’t really want to see traded, but I wouldn’t go so far as to put him on the no trade list (which you didn’t). But again, I think it would have to take a really good offer to get him away. Of course, with Hendry as GM we’ll probably see Castro traded at the deadline to bring Mark Prior back…

  • Buddy

    Looking very hard for silver linings, so how about this? At least the Cubs didn’t sign Jason Werth or Carl Crawford.

  • Katie

    Soto shouldn’t be on the no-trade list. He’s not that valuable. Hendry sucks.

  • Eddie Von White

    No one should be off the trading list.

    Jason Werth always kills us no matter what team he’s playing on.

  • PackerCubBull

    It’s also turning into a good thing that we didn’t trade for Peavy. The guy is falling apart with the White Sox. I hope he continues to suck for them.

  • BuckeyeLakerCub

    When I saw the topic title I thought of the Simpsons episode where Grimes dies and Homer sleepily yells at the funeral: “Change the channel, Marge!” That would make a good headline for Sunday’s blowout loss

  • Doc Raker

    One person should be on the no trade list, Starlin Castro, no one else. This was a typical Cub series in which they win 1 out of 3 when they should of won 2 of 3, a perfect start to the post all star break schedule.

  • Doc Raker

    From MLB Homeplate on XM tonight, “Carlos Zambrano is the most over rated player in the game, only if the Cubs could trade him but there are no takers. I am so tired of hearing about this guy.” Me too, Carlos- go away and take Soriano with you.

  • PackerCubBull

    Great, so not only do the most overrated players in the NFL reside in Chicago (Urlacher, Cutler, and Hester), but so does the most overrated player in MLB. A proud day to be a Chicagoan indeed. Unless you’re a White Sox and Packers fan.

  • Buddy

    I’m with Doc. Castro is the only untouchable. Anyone else can be moved in the right deal. The trick is not to trade just for the sake of trading.

  • Buddy

    Regarding PCB’s post, I’d vote for Reggie Bush as the most overrated player in the NFL.

  • Buddy

    And Mark Sanchez of course.

  • @Buddy….As a long time Jets fan, I’ve been lukewarm with Sanchez and have given him plenty of mulligans so far. He’s out of mulligans in my book and it’s time to step it up and be the guy. Hopefully we get going with football again this week and sign some key WRs for him to throw to.
    I feel for you Bears fans. I don’t think Cutler’s the guy that will do it for you.

  • Doc Raker

    Reports say the Cubs won’t trade Jeff Baker since the Cubs have plans for him to be on the roster in 2012. Maybe Baker is one of the 3b options for 2012, can’t wait.

  • Chet

    Making Baker untouchable is really all you need to know about this club right now…..unreal. We champion mediocrity better then anyone.

  • Lando87

    I don’t think any other team in the Majors, even lowly stablemates such as the Royals and Astros, would already have plans for a player of Jeff Baker’s ilk to be anything more than a utility man for the 2012 season, and to call him untouchable is ABSURD, especially if there are teams interested. I’d take a couple prospects for him in a New York minute, unfortunately all we have are Chicago minutes.

  • Kris

    I think Carlos Zambrano knows I don’t like him and that was his birthday gift to me yesterday. I did, however, have some happiness when Quade announced that Marmol would not be our closer for the moment.

  • CubbieDude

    Happy Belated Birthday, Kris! I wish you all the happiness in the world.

  • Lizzie

    Happy Birthday Kris!!! I don’t like him either so I’m glad he wasn’t the sole source of your birthday happiness (or lack thereof!). Hope you had a great day! 🙂

  • Norm Bothwell

    When I hear a Cub person say Baker is ‘untouchable’, I’ll believe it.

  • Kris

    Thanks CubbieDude and Lizzie! The birthday was lovely, despite our beloved team. I’ve been missing VFTB lately, but there hasn’t been much to post about since this team is just sad!

  • flyslinger2

    spam word = strikes don’t see may of those from our pitchers)

    The signal that is sent by saying “a certain player is not trade-able” is “I’m pig headed and don’t want to consider all of the options that are available to me.” With a team that is as lack luster as the Cubs are right now they should have every and all options on the table to resurrect this organization into one that is both professional and worthy of being associated with. This is another indicator that major changes need to be made within the managerial and administrative areas of the organization.

    How long would I keep a customer if I told them that I wasn’t willing to try every technical solution available to me to make their IT enterprise more secure and sound? I would be broke.

  • Buddy

    I’m not exactly a Cutler fan, but he’s 10 times better than Mark Sanchez.

  • Buddy

    I agree with Norm. There’s only so much value I’m willing to give to a Peter Gammons “tweet.”

  • Larry Sproul

    Just another of so many crummy losses for the Cubs . Nothing will surprise me any more . Even a beating from the fish !!

  • Randy

    It could be a trap, but Hendry’s not that crafty. It looks like someone came a knocking and Hendry wasn’t expecting them to ask about Jeff Baker and this is the knee jerk reaction. As far as I’m concerned there are only a handful of “untouchables” on this team. Castro for sure, he’s just too young and hasn’t hit his ceiling. Other than that I’d only lock the gates on Marshall, his type is too rare to give up. The rest of the team is expendable, but ONLY if the it fills need. Just say no to pointless firesales to clean house. There is plenty of talent here, but no chemistry or synergy.