View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



September 2011



Game 154 – Color Me Surprised

Written by , Posted in General

Cubs 5, Brewers 2

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game


  • Somehow Casey Coleman kept the big Brewer bats off balance. Coleman tossed six solid innings and allowed only one run.
  • Geo Soto went absolutely nuts tonight. He smacked two homers and drove in five runs.
  • Darwin Barney and Alfonso Soriano walked in the same game! Isn’t that one of the seven signs of the apocalypse?
  • The normally shaky Cubs defense didn’t commit a single error.
  • For once Mike Quade used Tony Campana correctly. He pinch ran for Soriano in the 8th and moved to LF in the 9th.  See how easy it is?


  • I had to sit through yet another Casey Coleman start. Somehow he always seems to get the ball for my VFTB wrap-ups. Is this some sort of twisted plot? In all seriousness, Casey pitched well tonight, which I mentioned earlier. I’m just sick of watching the guy.
  • Jerry Hairston Jr. bit the hand that once fed him with a homer in the 3rd.
  • Carlos Marmol struggled again and gave up a run in the 9th. Believe it or not his ERA is approaching 4.00.
  • I was slow to react and couldn’t grab the remote before the 7th-inning stretch started. The guest “singer” was some NASCAR guy I’ve never heard of. Brutal.


Don’t worry Cub fans. Our long, painful nightmare (otherwise known as 2011) is almost over.

Soon we’ll learn who the next general manager, and possibly field manager, will be. Soon we’ll enjoy the Hot Stove League and arguing about who the Cubs should add and subtract. Soon it will be Spring Training 2012.

Until then, I’m trying hard to find the positives from this ugly season. Here goes nothing:

  • Maybe it wasn’t enough for some fans, but Starlin Castro showed improvement this year. I still can’t believe he’s only 21. Not even the Cubs will be able to screw up Castro. He’s going to be great.
  • Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez provided respectable power and on-base percentages this year.
  • Sean Marshall turned in another fantastic year out of the bullpen.
  • Matt Garza overcame six months of no run support to become the Cubs best starter.
  • Jeff Samardzija shocked almost everyone and developed into a useful reliever.
  • Randy Wells rescued a completely lost season with a 3.79 ERA in the second half.
  • The Cubs had a solid draft, highlighted by Javier Baez and Dan Vogelbach.
  • Bryan LaHair supplied some September excitement to desperate fans.
  • The hapless Houston Astros play in the Cubs’ division.

How’s that for optimism?

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

1st Star – Geovany Soto (.408 WPA)

2nd Star – Casey Coleman (.240 WPA)

3rd Star  – Johnathan Lucroy (.069 WPA)

  • CubbieDude

    Hey Buddy,

    Nice job on the recap. I agree: thank God for the 2011 Astros. And Mr. Campana was safe at 2nd.

  • Doc Raker

    Nice recap Buddy. Any hope Pena can reach that .500 slugging percentage within the next 8 games?

  • Buddy

    He’s at around .480, so he’s got a shot!


    Ramirez and Pena only hit when the games didn’t matter anymore. Where was this in April and May?


    And I’m happy for the win. I don’t want the Cardinals in the playoffs, but I would like to see the Brewers celebrate their division title somewhere else. As Homer Simpson would say: In your face, Milwaukee!

  • Norm

    Is that the first time Quade used Campana properly? I think it might be…

  • Buddy

    I think it was the first, and it will probably be the last.

  • Doc Raker

    BLPCBGIJOEXYZ- I agree, Ramirez always seems to ramp it up once the Cubs are out of the race. As for Pena, when does a .220 hitter hit? Answer: rarely in the clutch.

  • Dork64

    Couldn’t agree more with the guest singer for the 7th inning stretch comment. That schtick got old a decade ago. It’s not even amusing anymore.

  • Right. But the group sing-a-long to Go Cubs Go at the end of every win is tasteful and hip.

  • Norm

    haha, yeah, Go Cubs Go might be worse. Especially in a season like this.

  • Doc Raker

    I dig Go Cubs Go after the win but the 7th inning stretch gig is getting old. It’s one douche after the next. At least Go Cubs Go is because of a win, the 7th inning douche bag of the day pimping his TV or movie is just so Jay Leno.

  • Seymour Butts

    Is the term “Douche bag” incorrectly used? Overused? Archaic? I mean can one even buy such a thing anymore?
    The fluid pressure obtained by hanging a bag on a shower rod pales in comparison to that generated by a firm hand squeeze on a disposable plastic bottle.
    Let’s get with the times…perhaps a person of marginal usage can be referred to as a disposable douche bottle.

  • sales@Fleets

    We here at Fleets, the nations leading manufacturer of disposable Enemas, would like to lobby for usage in the vernacular similar to that of the brand-less ‘Douche bag”.
    Ours product conjures a much less sightly picture than theirs.
    Suggested usage: Oh that Joe Morgan, he’s such a Fleets Enema.
    Thank you.

  • Buddy

    I’m fine with “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” but you don’t need B-list celebrities to sing it. Play a recording of Harry from the good old days.

  • Larry Sproul

    Well we are flying the W flag again . Is this the same GEO we saw April-August ?? 2011 is almost history thank God …

    My wife asked me yesterday what are you taking to Mesa ?? Oh and did you call South West airlines yet !!

  • Doc Raker

    Lookin for a new nick name Seymour I presume? For the record, I never called you a douche.
    * Larry- you winter in Mesa or booking spring training travel?
    *Anyone going to AZ to catch the Arizona Fall League? If you want to know what spring training was like 30 years ago before the crowds check out the AFL. The weather in AZ in the fall is perfect.