View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



July 2011



Game 102 – Three In A Row!

Written by , Posted in General

Cubs 5, Astros 4

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

What went right:

  • Offense – Back to back doubles by Byrd and Soto to lead off the 2nd gave us the lead, then 1 out later Barney drove in Soto. Garza got his first career RBI with a single that scored Barney. The second inning was a great show for the offense. Soriano had the game-tying RBI single in the 8th inning to score Byrd. When the game went into extras, Marlon Byrd led off the 10th with a triple. The Astros then decided to intentionally walk Tony Campana (What??), who stole second base without a fight. Then Darwin Barney got a free pass, and Jeff Baker had the RBI single to end the game.
  • Defense – Soriano made a surprisingly good, waist-high catch. Soto had a great arm by gunning down a man trying to steal second. Those kinds of plays are my favorite.
  • Garza – Once again, Garza pitched an excellent game. He gave up 2 ER in 7 IP while striking out 9. He even helped his own cause with his first career RBI in the second inning. Let’s keep him around for a while.

What went wrong:

  • Clint Barmes hit a solo home run with 1 out in the first inning.
  • Garza gave up a leadoff walk in the 3rd, then loaded the bases.
  • Samardzija
  • Marmol had some control issues and loaded the bases, but luckily he got out of the jam without allowing any runs.
  • Barney failed to execute a sac bunt to move Soto over. Why does Quade try to move Soto on a sac bunt? He is so slow. It makes no sense. Have Barney hit or do a hit and run. Or even better, pinch run someone (Campana, maybe???).
  • Castro took too long to get set and allowed an infield hit in the 9th. That same runner advanced to third on a misplay by Campana (the dugout did not offer him any help on that play, though. They should have gotten out of the way.).


  • The Cubs finally won three in a row!!
  • Why does Quade stand in the corner of the dugout like that? He should be conversing with his team or something.
  • Marlon Byrd played his 1,000th career game today.


Despite getting no help from his bullpen, Garza was fantastic. We need to get guys that can back up his great outings. He lowered his ERA to 3.72 and leads the team with 119 Ks. On that note, our bullpen stinks. Samardzija gave up the go-ahead 2 run homer to Carlos Lee in the 8th. Quade should not be using him in those situations. Lopez wasn’t completely terrible, but I like him as a starter more than as a set up guy, and Marmol needs more work.

It was great to see our offense come through in the clutch. Campana stole 2nd without contest, and everybody’s favorite Cub (sarcasm, people) Jeff Baker came through in the clutch. Thank goodness that we beat the Astros.

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

1st Star – Marlon Byrd (.455 WPA)

2nd Star – Michael Bourn (.299 WPA)

3rd Star – Matt Garza (.254 WPA)

  • Norm

    Koyie Hill was sick, so a pinch runner was probably out of the question. But I agree, it’s not like Soto would score from 2nd on a single. I hate the sacrifice bunt! Only a few things dumber; like intentionally walking Tony Campana! WOW!

  • PackerCubBull

    Finally got that monkey off. Now let’s start losing some games and get a better draft pick. I know the draft is nothing but a crapshoot in MLB, but hey, every little bit helps.

  • There it is!! Three wins in a row!!

    Declare the season a success and start trading!

  • Doug S.

    A circling shark just about ruined the party but a great job by the guys to pull out the win and sweep.

  • Buddy

    I wonder what the Cubs would get in return for a package that included Dempster, Fukudome, and one of the key relievers (Marmol or Marshall). I would think more than one contending team would have serious interest in that group.

    • Norm

      Dempster won’t allow himself to be traded though…

      • Joe

        It’s a shame because he’s a good guy, but not part of the future

      • Buddy

        Has Dempster stated that? If so, I missed it.

    • Doc Raker

      I hope Hendry’s is trying like heck to bundle Soriano into any possible trade.

      • Buddy

        I’m sure he’s trying, but they’re won’t be any takers. Soriano will be a Cub next year and beyond.

      • Eddie Von White

        Maybe Hendry can work his magic like he did when he managed to get rid of Milton Bradley.

    • Kris

      Why would we want to trade Marshall? Can’t we keep at least one good player?!

      • Norm

        Depends on what your expectations for 2012 are. If you think the Cubs can win 90+ games in 2012, then you keep him. If not, you trade him now, while his value is the highest.

      • Kris

        My only expectation would be to start piecing together a better team. If we fire-sale everyone or our best players, we’re starting from scratch. Personally–I’d prefer not to start with nothing. Or maybe I’m just scared we’ll pull our usual and trade good players away for a bag of balls.

      • Buddy

        I doubt the Cubs are dying to give Marshall away, but if you can get a desparate contending team to overpay for a reliever at the height of his value, I say pull the trigger.

      • Norm

        @kris, well, he’s a free agent after 2012. So if you want him after that, you have to be prepared to offer him a 3 year deal for probably $4 million per year on the free agent market.
        Signing relief pitchers to multi year deals is usually a bad idea.
        So really, it all comes down to what you think the team is going to do in 2012…not beyond that since he’ll be a free agent.

      • chris in Illinois

        Is is crazy to want to see Marshall in the rotation by 8/15?? If memory serves, we’ve had issues with the rotation this year…why not see if Marshall might grab one of those spots???

      • Buddy

        It’s been said many times by many VFTB posters…Marshall in the rotation is a fine idea.

      • Doc Raker

        I would hate to see Marshall go but if anyone would take Soriano in order to get Marshall also I would do it.

  • Doug Bagley

    Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! 3 games in a row…maybe the cubs have just been “playing hard to get”

  • Yavelberg

    I found the following things both interesting and hysterical:

    A) That the Astros thought it was a good idea to walk Campana. He’s batting .259 and his OBP is .302, and that’s AFTER yesterday’s game. Albert Pujols, he is not. Thanks, Houston, for demonstrating why you’re the worst team in the league instead of the Cubs.

    B) Samardzija’s hair, both on his head and on his face. I still can’t get over how ridiculous he looks.

    C) The fact that Katie only had to write “Samardzija” in the “What Went Wrong” section and we all knew exactly what happened, whether we saw the game or not. (Although, to be fair, those were the first earned runs he had given up after 12 scoreless appearances.)

    • Eddie Von White

      Agreed Yavelberg – All Katie needed was one word. Although those may have been the only earned runs he’s given up in 12 appearances – how many inherited base runners has he allowed to score in those appearances?

      I thought they may as well have talked to the ump when Campana came up and said, “We’re going to give him an intentional double. Just put him on 2nd base.” Unless there’s a part of the game I’m missing, that was ridiculous.

  • Buddy

    Former Cubs propsect update. Chris Archer (AA Montgomery)…

    100.1 IP
    112 hits
    57 walks
    92 K’s
    4.84 ERA

  • Kris

    I started thinking this weekend that maybe it is time to pay more attention to the Cubs again. Then I realized how pathetic it is that I’m excited about a three-game streak. But I should take what I can get, right?!

  • Eddie Von White

    Brenly got somewhat worked up when the Cubs bullpen just sat there while Campana kicked the ball around under their chairs. He said something along the lines that you’re own team should be helping you, not be a hindrance. There must be lazy pills in the water down there. If I was Quade I’d be all over those guys. Oh I forgot, he’s a players coach.

    • Buddy

      Brenly then went on to review the latest Depeche Mode album.

      • chris in Illinois

        Did he like it??

      • Buddy

        I think he said, “Depeche Mode is OK but they’re no Gin Blossoms!”

      • chris in Illinois

        …or Toad the Wet Sprocket…

  • Jason

    12:45pm comment from Jim Bowden on ESPN’s Trade Chat:

    “Cubs are “not” seller believe it or not…they are in “buyers” mode. Disappointing, they’re missing a golden opportunity to build for the future.”

    If that is the case he is correct, what a waste.

    • Buddy

      That’s interesting. SI is reporting that the Cubs and D’backs are talking about Carlos Pena. I also read that the Indians are one of several teams talking to the Cubs about Fukudome.

      • D Backs on Pena: “nice contract, Cubs.”
        Tribe on Kosuke: “nice contract, Cubs.”

      • Doc Raker

        Cubs: “We have other contracts available, Soriano, Zambrano, Ramirez. You are little late on Dlee and Milton Bradley. Which one or ones would you like?”

      • Grabow: “Who put together those contracts, really? My god.”

  • Buddy

    The D’backs don’t have much room to talk. They gave a few million bucks to the completely useless Melvin Mora and Aaron Heilman.

  • Jason

    I feel like Marshall has found his nitch pitching out of the bullpen. If it’s not broke, dont fix it.