View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



August 2011



Game 133 – "Wrigley North" No More

Written by , Posted in General

Cubs 4, Brewers 6

Box Score / Highlights

What Went Right

  • Not Much  Alfonso Soriano had a productive evening, driving in all 4 of the Cubs’ runs on a pair of hits.  Aramis Ramirez also had 2 hits to extend his hitting streak to 16 games.  Marlon Byrd had 3 hits and a nice catch in the 3rd to rob Ryan Braun of at least a double.  And Tyler Colvin stayed on the comeback trail, putting up 2 hits of his own.

What Went Wrong

  • Pitching  Ryan Dempster had one of his worst starts of the season Saturday night, giving up 5 runs in 4 innings of work.  For much of the night, it looked like he was throwing batting practice, as the Brewers hit two long home runs off him, along with 3 deep doubles and a 4th that Marlon Byrd played into a triple for Corey Hart.  Ramon Ortiz (2 innings) and Sean Marshall (1 inning) held the Milwaukee scoreless, but James Russell gave up a homer to Hart, who was a single short of the cycle.
  • Hitting  Infuriatingly, the Cubs out-hit the Brewers tonight, but failed once again to hit with men on base.  The 2nd inning was a microcosm of this season’s offensive woes–Pena led off and reached on a throwing error by the pitcher Gallardo.  Colvin followed that up with a single to center.  So with men on first and second with no outs, it looked like the Cubs might be able to counter the 3 runs Dempster had surrendered in the bottom of the 1st.  Instead, Byrd struck out, Soriano singled to center to drive in Pena, but any hope of adding on was killed by back-to-back strike outs for Soto and Dempster.  In fact, Soto struck out 3 times tonight, each time with at least one runner on base.  Forget about getting hits–I would have settled for productive outs tonight.  When you lose by 2 runs after leaving 8 men on base, a couple well-timed deep fly balls could have been the difference in the game.

The Takeaway

  • Tomorrow the Cubs will try to avoid the sweep.  If you’re so inclined, you can watch at 2pm ET/11amPT on CSN or (weirdly) TBS.
  • But if you’d prefer to watch competitive, entertaining baseball, let me encourage you to tune into ESPN at 12pm ET/9am PT for the final game of the Little League World Series.  Hoping to defend the title won last year by their countrymen, the Japanese team will face off against the US squad from Huntington Beach, CA–the hometown team of All Star VFTB commenter Doc Raker.  If nothing else, it’s a game that matters.  We Cubs fans haven’t seen one of those in a while.


Stars of the Game

Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Yovani Gallardo (.208 WPA)

2nd Star – Corey Hart (.157 WPA)

3rd Star – Alfonso Soriano (.155 WPA)

  • Doc Raker

    Jswanson- Sorry about the loss for the Big Sky MT team. They played very well and should be very proud. Now if we can all get behind the US Champs from OVLL to beat Japan Sunday AM. Go OVLL! Did I mention over 8000 teams start this tournament and only 2 teams are left?


    8000 teams start? But then how come only like 16 make it to PA? How many rounds of qualifying are there and such? What exactly is the format? When does your kid get to lead the team to the World Series?

  • cap’n obvious

    They OVLL kids would be winning, I believe, their 7th straight double elimination tournament…the kids haven’t been home in weeks, in the case of the Japanese kids, even months. I’m rooting hard for Redondo Beach’s neighbor to the south, but with all the Japanese people have been through in the past 6 months, I’d be happy if they got it done, too. The NCAA WS and LLWS have gotten me through a summer of otherwise completely unsatisfying baseball. Hopefully the Hendry dumping is a turning of the corner.

  • Doc Raker

    Back in late June OVLL began the DISTRICT tournament then onto SECTIONALS then onto SoCAL SUB SECTIONALS win that and play a best of 3 for the SOCAL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP (California is split into 2 states, South and North so a representative from each go to regionals.). Win that and earn a trip to REGIONALS. Regionals is where ESPN picks up the tournament. There are 8 regions in the US and there are 6 states in the Western Region, So & No CA, AZ, NV, UT and HI. Win regionals and move onto WIlliamsport were 8 US teams and 8 international teams compete. OVLL is now something like 21-2 during this tournament winning out through 6 levels when you include the Williamsport US Championship.*****************************************************************************

    For regionals the entire team and coaches must stay in dorms at the complex just like Williamsport so these kids and coaches have been living in dorms for the past 3 weeks. I don’t know how these coaches can afford the time off, it must be stressful on several levels.**************************************************************************************

    My son will be league age 12 in 2012 and will have an opportunity to compete in this tournament then. He may make the team as an 11 yo next year he may not. He swings lefty like that Nick Pratto and throws righty. Plays a great ss and P but he is just starting to learn the cutter that these boys are throwing in the strike zone to make them so nasty. He currently throws a fastball and off speed knuckle ball. At the travel ball World Series in July he pitched a solid game but did hang a knuckleball to a kid that hit it a mile. After the ball left the yard he looked over at me laughing and smiling because I would tell him, “Don’t leave that pitch up because it will get crushed” so he was like, “yah it will get crushed did you see how far that went’. Lot’s of fun watching your kids develop and learn the greatest game or any sport really as most of you know.***************************************************************************************
    The coaching here in SoCal is abundant and exceptional and these kids play baseball all year round. They are so polished it is hard to believe they are only 12, the way they command the strike zone with all their pitches is big league in my view- better than some big leaguers I have watched. I grew up in suburban Chicago and played up into college in the D 3 level and never got the coaching these kids get. My son had more coaching at the age of 8 than I ever had. I just got, “Hey you hit the ball really hard, go up and hack.”
    Go OVLL!