View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



July 2011



Game 98 – Phils Phight to the Phinish

Written by , Posted in General

Cubs 2, Phillies 4

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

The Baseball Gods just couldn’t allow a team as bad as the Cubs to beat both Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in consecutive games.

What went right:

  • Cubs came out swinging in the first against Cliff Lee. Reed Johnson started things off with a line drive double to right. Starlin Castro followed that up with his 3rd home run of the season; a rocket into the left field basket. Aramis Ramirez stayed hot with a double of his own, but Lee would get out of the inning by retiring the next three batters. All in all, the first five men hit the ball hard.
  • Matt Garza was excellent. He didn’t give up a hit until the 5th inning and finished with a line of 7 innings, 4 hits, 5 strikeouts, 3 walks, 1 earned run……and a no decision. He is single handedly making the case that ‘wins’ for pitchers is a meaningless statistic.

What went wrong:

  • The first two Cub batters of the game scored. The next 36 batters did not.
  • Alfonso Soriano was 0-4 and prior to the game was hitting .188/.220/.229 for the month of July in 48 at bats.
  • I was hoping I wouldn’t have to rip Quade, but, 2-0 game, bottom of the 7th, the pitcher spot leading off with a new right handed relief pitcher on the mound for the Phillies. Seeing as how Garza had 113 pitches at that point, sounds like a great pinch hitting spot for Kosuke Fukudome, does it not? Well not if you’re Mike Quade. Garza strikes out and would throw four more pitches before being replaced. Those four pitches must have been pretty darn important.
  • Sean Marshall. After Quade pulled Garza, Marshall gave up a single and then a two run double, tying the game up. He’d later give up a few bloop hits and two more runs and take the loss. At least he was kind enough to get the game over with so I could go to bed.


  • Ryan Howard was signed to a five year contract extension on 4/26/10 even though he was already locked up for two more seasons. He’ll get five years (age 32-36) at $125 million guaranteed. That would be like the Cubs signing Derrek Lee to a contract after his 2005 MVP caliber season that went from 2008 through 2012. How would we feel about THAT right now? Howard’s contract is one of the worst in baseball and it doesn’t even start until next season.
  • Bob Brenly noticed the Phillies Carlos Ruiz flashing multiple signs to Cliff Lee, even with no one on base. Do the Phillies think the Cubs are stealing signs?
  • Tweet seen from Yahoo Sports Jeff Passan: Reed Johnson has 17 doubles in 132 at-bats. The next-highest doubles total with so few ABs is Casper Wells with 10 in 113. I’d think Reed would make some decent trade bait to a team needing some extra outfielder.


  • Sign Garza NOW. Get this guy signed to a three or four year extension, buying out a free agent season or two. He IS the best pitcher on the staff and one of the top 10 or so in the National League. Mark my words, the trade will prove to have been a good one!
  • Bring on the trades. We desperately need something else to talk about.

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

1st Star – Michael Martinez (.586 WPA)

2nd Star – Matt Garza (.352 WPA)

3rd Star – Chase Utley (.279 WPA)

  • Buddy

    Another great game by Garza, and another episode of no run support.

  • Norm

    Spam word: suckage
    That is all.

  • PackerCubBull

    What happened? The Cubs lost?

  • Jedi

    Nice recap Norm – Jeff Baker as our cleanup hitter was another peach of a decision by Quade. Use the guy who hasn’t started in almost ten days to anchor your lineup. Baker’s got two hits this month so he must be due.

  • Well, Castro had a nice game!

  • Joe

    I turned the game off after the 7th because I was tired. There was a fear in me that thought I might wake up to find out we lost. That fear was realized that 6:30a EDT.

  • Yavelberg

    Slightly delayed because he wasn’t airing new episodes last week, but Conan O’Brien said the following on last night’s show:

    “Don’t know if you guys heard, but Cubs manager Mike Quade was stopped by TSA officials at the airport on his way home from the All-Star Game. Turns out the TSA was wondering what someone from the Cubs was doing at the All-Star Game in the first place.”

    My wife laughed particularly loudly at that. I did not.

  • Yavelberg

    Speaking of shots at the Cubs, check out ESPN’s Page 2. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see Kurt Snibbe’s cartoon on the right:

  • mrbaseball2usa

    In order to get some Cubs into the Stars of the Game section, can we also examine minor leaguers?

  • Doug S.

    I, like Joe, had to abandon the game after the 7th. Wasn’t expecting the Cubs to join me.

  • Seymour Butts

    I do hear a number of folks speaking about the late hours of ballgames, having to go to bed before the end, being tired, etc. I have an answer!
    Move to the best coast!
    There are many advantages to living westward. Much less population density, less crime, the people on the streets are friendly, but the biggest plus is nationally televised sports.
    A 7 PM (Central time) Wrigley game ends well before dark out here, and there is time to watch a couple hours of other stuff afterwards. The NFL is laid out the best. 10 AM game, followed by 1 PM, then 5PM.
    And of course when the big one hits, everything east of California is going to fall into the Atlantic ocean.

  • PackerCubBull

    But they’re bankrupting everyone in Cali! And living there is very expensive.

  • I can make some very similar arguments for Mountain Standard. If the big one hits, I won’t have time to blink though, with that whole supervolcano thing to the South.

  • Yavelberg

    So I’m watching the game on at work and it’s a good thing I was able to restrain myself because I almost just screamed some extremely inappropriate language about Starlin Castro after that terrible error on the infield fly in the top of the first…

  • cap’n obvious

    multiple signs with no runner at 2nd usually means the first sign is the pitch, and subsequent signs are location. It might mean the think the Cubs are relaying in/out location verbally…but they are likely just working on getting polished for the playoffs. Possibly they think Cub hitters are peeking back on their practice cuts. I’d love to think that the Cubs are putting forth ANY kind of effort to gain an advantage, but I am really doubtful.

    Either way, props to Norm for noticing some of the game within the game. Gives us something semi-interesting to discuss now that we are 20 some odd games under .500.

    WNBA All-Star game is Saturday. Should be awesome.

  • Buddy

    I think the real Cubs resurfaced today.

  • Jedi

    2-5 since the break, I’m not sure the real Cubs ever went away.

    By the way, since the break in 7 games, we’re 2-0 when our opponent scores less than 4 runs. We’re 0-5 when they don’t. Also, we’ve only lost one of those 5 while scoring more than 3 runs. As bad as out hitting can be, it really won’t matter until/unless we start pitching better.

    Allowing almost six runs/game since the break – ouch!

  • Buddy

    Yeah. I was referencing the first to competitive games in the Phillies series.

  • Buddy


  • Katie

    If I was Garza, I would get the blank out of Chicago ASAP. He’s pitching way too well to be a part of this pitching staff. If he wants to get a ring, he’s gonna be waiting for a very long time if he stays with the Cubs. I wasn’t a fan of him at first, but he’s definitely become my favorite starter. It’s a shame that he doesn’t get any run support.

  • @Katie: Testing