View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



August 2011



Game 122 – Houston, YOU Have a Problem

Written by , Posted in General

Cubs 4, Astros 3

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game


  • Darwin Barney worked a 1st inning walk against Astros starter Henry Sosa. Aramis Ramirez followed with a single, sending Barney to 3B. Carlos Pena plated them both with a double to deep CF.
  • Geo Soto gave the Cubs some breathing room with a two-run double in the 6th.  He ended the night with three hits.
  • James Russell put out a fire in the 6th and preserved the Cubs advantage. The rest of the bullpen followed his lead and blanked the Astros.
  • Reed Johnson made a great diving catch in LF to keep a run off the board.
  • Marlon Byrd walked twice in one game. The end of the world must be near!
  • Denny Walling, Bill Doran, and Jose Cruz didn’t suit up for Houston. Instead, Brad Mills ran out a AAA lineup vs. Lopez and the Cubs.  I know this year has been disappointing for us, but at least we’re not Astros fans. Who are these guys anyway? Is Jose Altuve even five feet tall? Will they call up Frodo Baggins next? Oh well. Maybe the Texans will be decent this year.
  • Not related to tonight’s Cub game, but congrats to Jim Thome on home run number 600.


  • Tyler Colvin continues to swing the bat like a drunken lumberjack. He also threw the ball away to give the Astros their first run.
  • Soto brain cramped on the bases and ran into an easy out in the 5th inning.
  • Starlin Castro booted another ball at SS. That’s his 20th error if you’re scoring at home. His miscue and a Lopez walk opened the door to a pair of Astros runs.
  • I had to listen to another “visit with Cubs legend Steve Trout” promo. Steve Trout is a legend? Really?


On August 15, 1980, the Houston Astros battled for 20 innings to knock off the San Diego Padres. Rookie RHP Dave Smith pitched the final four innings and earned the victory. Yes, that Dave Smith.

For those of you who don’t remember, the Cubs signed the Astros closer on December 17, 1990. Smith was completely awful for the Cubs in 1991, to the tune of a 6.00 ERA in 33 innings. One year later, his career was over.

Smith had a nice run in Houston, racking up 199 saves and an ERA in the mid two’s over 10 seasons. Unfortunately, the Cubs picked him up at the end of his career when the tank was empty. Sound familiar?

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

1st Star – Micah Downs (.299 WPA)

2nd Star – Geovany Soto (.274 WPA)

3rd Star – Kerry Wood (.176 WPA)

  • Buddy
  • Norm

    I like Altuve! Guy can hit!
    Good draft for the Cubs too. Spent big bucks which was an important message to sent from ownership.

  • If they win the next forty they have a shot at the post season.

  • Worthy of note: our closer managed to avoid starting the ninth with two walks and a WP.
    Also worthy of note: our closer was Kid K.

  • mrbaseball2usa

    @Rich I was just running that same math… We literally need to win out to have a shot at the postseason. Whats the record for the longest win streak in the majors? Ouch!

  • Buddy

    Good question. In one season, I’ll guess 30. Does anybody know the answer?

  • chet

    1935 Chicago Cubs 21 games……longest streak without a tie

  • Buddy

    Interesting news from Tim Dierkes…

    “The Pirates spent $30.6MM on the 2008-10 drafts, more than any other team. This year they upped the ante, spending over $17MM on 24 players – the largest draft expenditure in baseball history. Yesterday, the Bucs inked first overall pick Gerrit Cole for a record $8MM bonus, and then surprised the industry by succeeding in signing second round pick/first round talent Josh Bell for $5MM. Bell, who had a strong commitment to the University of Texas, more than doubled the record for a player drafted outside of the first round.”

  • chet

    yes, the Cubs gave a 2.5 million bonus to a 14th rounder, Dillon Maples. This was almost equal to that given to their first round pick. Apparently it’s not just first rounders getting the money anymore.

  • Maddux

    the draft signing did make bank. why did we give dunston’s kid so damn much? i like that ownership is commiting to younger players but the problem is jum hendry drafting said player. are we really going to allow hendry to appoint his 5th manager this offseason (provided quade gets unjustly fired and falls on the sword)?

    I’m new to the site, die hard cubs fan, and i like what I see!

  • Buddy

    Welcome Maddux. I don’t think Quade is going anywhere next year. However, I do think the Cubs will have a new GM. Of course I picked the Celtics to win the NBA title last season, so what do I know?

  • Wonder if the junior Dunston has a cannon like his old man…

  • Buddy

    I was wondering the same thing J. Also, does he swing at every pitch he sees?

  • Norm

    It’s not that much. Would it have been better if it were $900k? $750k? Is it worth losing a guy over 300k or $500k? No. Doing what it takes to sign these guys was the right move.

  • Fuzzy memory…Shawan o Meter.

  • Buddy

    Dunston always made me question my sanity. I knew he was an outmaking machine and an erratic defensive player, yet for some reason he was one of my favorite Cubs. Perhaps I was dropped on my head as a child?


    Sosa can pitch?


    If Hendry isn’t fired after 2012, I am going to explode. And MLB really needs to rein in the salaries for draft picks. It should be slotted like the NBA

  • Doc Raker

    Jim Hendry overpaid for draft picks? It is as if Hendry believes that all he has to do is pay someone like they are a superstar and they will perform like a superstar. Dlee, Soriano, Dempster, Z, Aram, Milton and Fukudome for example.

  • Norm

    Slotting baseball draft picks means so long to the Bubba Starling’s and Archie Bradley’s of the world and high schoolers go to college rather than play professional baseball.
    Sports is the only profession where you can’t get paid what the market decides you’re worth.

  • Doc Raker

    Until free agency, then the market goes wacko.

  • Jedi

    Wilken is saying it is our best draft in his six years…that’s kind of like saying your latest car accident resulted in less damage than the previous five.