View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



September 2011



Game 149 – We Were Promised Rain

Written by , Posted in General

Cubs 2, Reds 7

Box Score Highlights

What Went Right

 March to 200  – Starlin Castro improved on his major league lead in hits with lead-off singles in the first and sixth innings. The pair of safeties gave the shortstop 192 hits on the season as he continued his quest to be the first Cubs player with 200 hits since Juan Pierre in 2006.

Sixth Inning Offense – The Cubs didn’t get much going offensively all night, but the sixth inning went exactly as you would draw it up. After Castro’s second lead-off single of the night he was moved up two bases by the third batter (Aramis Ramirez) and driven in on a double by the clean-up hitter (Carlos Peña).  Alfonso Soriano drove in the second run with a ground ball to the right side of the infield.


  • Casey Coleman’s Line: 3.2 innings, 6 hits, 6 runs, 3 walks, 4 K’s
  • Bullpen Line: 4.1 innings, 2 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 4 K’s

At Least It Was Quick – On nights when the Cubs are out of it early and aren’t putting up a fight, the best thing you can ask for is a mercifully quick game. We had that tonight with a game time of just 2:21.


What Went Wrong 

Casey Coleman – There were a few other things here and there (they only scored two runs, left another nine men on base) but the biggest obstacle facing the Cubs on Wednesday night was the hole dug by starting pitcher Casey Coleman. I feel like a broken record picking on the starters time and time again but what else is there to say. On the positive side, Coleman was around the strike zone most of the night. Unfortunately, he was getting a little too much of the plate and couldn’t get through four innings. At this point in his career, Coleman simply doesn’t look like a major league pitcher while giving up nearly a run an inning over the course of the season. On a side note, he should have kept the beard.


 Misc. Notes

  • After seeing Johnny Cueto leave the mound with an injury in the fourth I couldn’t help but flash back to the Dusty Baker-managed Cubs teams of yore and the repeated injuries to our young starters. Perhaps Baker gets a bad wrap for running pitchers into the ground (and yes, Cueto has only thrown 150 innings this season after starting the year on the DL), but it seemed like a typical Dusty move when he allowed Cueto to keep pitching in a meaningless game after he first showed signs of injury.
  • A foam finger found its way onto the warning track in the top of the 8th inning. I make note of this only because the foot speed of the security guard convinced me that if I was ever going to run onto the field and hope not to get caught, I would make sure I was at Great American Ballpark.
  • Reds reliever Sam Lecure’s mustache was fantastic…a real thing of beauty.


The Takeaway

The radar teased us all night but the Cubs certainly didn’t. Despite the positive tilt in the “What Went Right/What Went Wrong” section, Chicago never put up a fight. Ramon Hernandez’s 3-run home run off Coleman in the second inning was all the Reds needed (though they tacked on another four runs for good measure). After winning the series opener, the Cubs will need a solid start out of Randy Wells to salvage a split in the finale on Thursday.


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

1st Star – Ramon Hernandez (.228 WPA)

2nd Star – Johnny Cueto (.166 WPA)

3rd Star – Juan Francisco (.123 WPA)


  • Seeing Butts (and Breasts) in the D.R.

    Watched this one in Spanish as well. There is more baseball on TV here than anything short of Directv’s package.
    Dinner with the fam, multiple times a day, none of us famous though…

  • Buddy

    Castro also leads the NL in outs made.

  • Doc Raker

    Saw a stat that Starlin Castro has the most 3 hit games in the bigs since breaking in last May.

  • Katie

    We need to revamp our whole pitching staff. We should keep Garza (and maybe Cashner)and Marshall, but everyone else can go. We are just shooting ourselves in the feet with our pitchers. They are not good.

  • Katie

    And when I say they are not good, I mean collectively. We have a few decent ones, but I believe our rotation is the worst in the Majors (statistically)…

  • Norm

    A nitpick, Castro leads the National League in hits…third in the majors.

  • Buddy

    I know it’s too early for our annual “predict the Cubs opening day roster contest,” but today I would bet money on these pitchers as part of the 2012 staff (barring injuries, etc.):

    Garza, Dempster, Wells, Marshall, Marmol, Wood, Cashner, Carpenter

    That’s eight, so there’s obviously a few spots to fill. Who will the Cubs find to plug those holes? Or, do you think I’m way off base with those arms? If so, how do you see the staff shaping up? I’d love to get your thoughts!

  • Dusty Baylor

    my anti spam word is dusty..hmm..
    The pitching staff next season:Garza, Dempster, Wells, Marshall, Marmol, Cashner…Wood? Er…Reuschel, Lamp, Hernandez, Krukow and Caudill?

  • Katie

    Buddy – that sounds about right. It would be nice to see if we can get a few good guys from outside our organization, too. Maybe a David Price-esque guy, from a small budget team like Tampa would be fantastic.

  • Buddy

    David Price? Seriously? Why stop there? Let’s get Verlander, Kershaw, Steve Carlton, Bob Gibson, and Cy Young too!

  • Noah

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see our next GM shop both Marshall and Marmol, though. We should have shopped both of them this July, but we all know what happened. Either way, unless the Cubs unexpectedly compete next season I expect both Marshall and Marmol to be gone by July 31, 2012.

  • Katie

    Noah – the sooner they’re gone, the better. Marshall is worth something right now, and we might be able to get something decent for him. But Marmol is very inconsistent and his value is dropping, especially recently.

  • Unrelated, but Carlos Marshall is also pleasant sounding.

  • Buddy

    Kind of like “the all new Chrysler Cordoba.”

  • …Corinthian leather

  • Dusty Baylor

    Of course the flip side of shopping Marmol/Marshall is that the one real strength this team has, is the bullpen?

  • Doc Raker

    I think Marshall should get a shot at starting. I also think Smarja has earned a shot at the back of the bullpen spot. I also like Corinthian leather.

  • Buddy

    I would love to see the Cubs try Marshall as a starter. Also, I forgot the Shark in my earlier post. He’ll very likely be on the 2012 staff as well. Thanks for the reminder Doc!

  • Norm

    I’d rather the Cubs trade Marshall than try him as a starter.

    Velocity goes down when you convert a reliever to a starter. And a starter that relies on his curveball as much as Marshall does is pretty rare.

    Take what you can get for one of the best left handed RP’s in the game.

  • Buddy

    Marshall in the right deal would be fine with me, too. Selling high makes sense, assuming you get a fair return.

  • ScottO

    P-L-A-Y T-H-E K-I-D-S…13 games left – C’Mon! I like Reed Johnson, and Marlon Byrd but geeez, play the kids. Rotate them in with the infield too. We have not won with the vets, and when you look at this year, not playing the kids more will hurt knowing who has what for 2012.

  • chris in illinois

    Pssssssttttt….the kids suck.

  • Doc Raker

    PSSSSTTTTT……….the Veterans suck to. At least the kids can improve with development, Soriano ain’t gettin any better.