View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



September 2011



Game 155 – Not so Wells

Written by , Posted in General

Cubs 1, Brewers 5

Box Score / Highlights

The final 2011 night game at Wrigley saw the soon-to-be playoff bound Milwaukee Brewers knock around Cubs starter Randy Wells and get strong pitching from Shaun Marcum as Milwaukee beat the Cubs 5-1.

What went right:

  • Starlin Castro hit his 10th home run of the year to extend his on-base streak to 33 games. The hit also gave Castro 336 in his first two seasons, surpassing Glenn Beckert’s Cubs record of 335 in 1965-66.
  • The bullpen pitched well, getting 4 good innings by Ramon Ortiz, Andrew Cashner, and John Grabow.
  • We’re one game closer to the end of Mike Quade.

What went wrong:

  • Randy Wells. In the third inning he gave up 4 runs on 5 hits. He left most of his pitches up in the zone that inning and Milwaukee teed off. In the fifth inning, he unleashed two wild pitches with Nyjer Morgan on base who would go on to score on a fielders choice. Wells final line was 5 innings, 6 hits, 5 earned runs, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts.
  • The offense knocked a total of 6 hits to go along with 10 strikeouts and zero walks and was 0-5 with runners in scoring position.
  • Ramon Ortiz and John Grabow pitched instead of guys with a future on the team.


  • Aramis Ramirez left the game with a mild right quad strain. It might have been his last home game with the Cubs.
    *Update on Ramirez, he was asked after the game if this would be the last. Here are some of his quotes:
    “Probably,” he said. “There’s a good chance. I’m a free agent and I don’t know what’s going to happen. But it looks like I’m going to hit the market.”
    “We don’t have a GM, so I don’t know who you talk to,” he said.
    “I think we’re ready to move on”
  • Bob Brenly on Monday night’s Campana caught stealing: “CB Bucknor usually blows one routine call per game, and that was it.”
  • The Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts told scouting director Tim Wilken that he will be back in 2012. Longtime scout and Jim Hendry confidant Gary Hughes has told the Cubs he will not be returning next season.

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

1st Star – Shaun Marcum (.286 WPA)

2nd Star – Nyjer Morgan (.171 WPA)

3rd Star – Corey Hart (.068 WPA)

  • Buddy

    I missed the game. Did Brenly follow up his comment by reviewing the Gin Blossoms last album?

  • CubbieDude

    Nice recap, Norm.
    – John Grabow pitched “well”. Yes, he only hit one batter.
    – Mike Quade’s still here: Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.
    – Ramon Ortiz might have a future with this team. Jim Hendry’s gone but the muddled thinking remains.
    – Aramis Ramirez “strained” a quadriceps muscle running to first base. It’s sad that a highly paid, professional “athlete” can’t even run to first base without hurting himself. Does the word “stretching” mean anything to you? How about the words “warming up”? Let’s throw some more money at Aramis and bring him back next year, when he’s even older and stiffer.
    – Bob Brenly’s opinion of C.B. Bucknor’s efficacy as an umpire is spot on.

  • Norm

    Updated with some Ramirez quotes…

  • Buddy

    Maybe Ramirez will retire with Kerry Wood. The two of them could move in together and start a Chicago-based reality TV show. They could get Jim Belushi and Tom Driessen to host it. Then, my brain would explode.

  • Larry Sproul

    Brenley was right on the blown Campana call . The team showed no spark . I do beleive Ramirez can clean out his Chicago condo . However nothing would surprise me . As for Quade and the coaching staff the jury is still out .

  • Dusty Baylor

    I’d think A-Ram would be back before Quade and his staff.
    The jury is still out? God I hope not…

  • Gary

    Ram had a nice run here, but we can find replacements for the corners who can strand runners in scoring position at a fraction of the cost. PUT THE SAVINGS INTO PITCHING!!!

  • Doc Raker

    Let me translate Aram’s comments, “Looks like I padded my numbers enough to warrant more money on the open market than my 2012 option will provide. I am old and lazy so busting my fanny for the entire 2012 season in order to land another multi year deal thereafter just doesn’t appeal to me. I think I can now land a multi year deal on the open market which would allow me to continue my half assed ways. I figure the Cubs won’t give me a multi year because they know my schtick, but there are 29 other suckers out there that are going to buy into my agents bulldung and hand me a pile of money for hitting 3 months a season. I just hope it isn’t a contender that wants me because I need these late season games that don’t mean anything to pad my numbers, I don’t know how I would fair in a real penant race. And a contender would want me to hit before the 4th of July which we all know that can be a problem”…………Aram laughs and the gang of reporters all laugh with him.

  • Norm

    I’m surprised by all the Ramirez animosity.

  • Mark

    If this was really the last game for A-Ram I will actually miss him. Let’s not forget that he came to the Cubs at a time when we had ZERO consistency at the hot corner. He provided a huge spark for us in 03 and has been nothing but consistent since than. I for one have enjoyed having him around Chicago and wish him all the luck in his future.

  • ScottO

    Guess What – No Kids – again. Cept for LaHair. Aram has seen no love and here we are in Wrigly for one last game today. Aram’s mild right quad strain is an F-you moment for him. For what he has done, to have to hear nothing is rough.
    But if the Marlins want him, he’ll get a 3-year deal for some $$$ and it would be a decent pick up for them. ALSO – you heard it hear first, I have not seen the lineups for today – and think Q will not play LaHair with the 3 K’s last night. I wish it was not a lefty in Wolf pitching. Ah well, we’ll see Byrd and Soriano again today. Sweet!!

  • The same lot of people were sad to see the goddamned Cajuns leave town are now happy that Ramirez tenure is potentially over? Think about that for a second. We need talented players, and there aren’t many third basemen with more talent than ours. Good luck with the Vitters arguments…he sure isn’t getting it done in AA.

  • sales@Fleets

    I didn’t just look it up, but think I saw Vitters around .283 a few days ago for a season total. Still ARam is the best player out there to play 3rd next year.
    Also disgusted the Kids are riding pine..where are those consistent Colvin ABs the Q spoke of when Fukodome was traded?
    Loved Brenly’s Buckner analysis. I think CB is in the bottom3 of player ratings for umps. Not much accountability for that lot I guess.

  • Seymour Butts

    Damn computer memories…and I misspelled Heroine in the spam word to boot!

  • Dusty Baylor

    BTW…for all his shortcomings, Ramirez is batting .282/.358/.523 with RISP….so not like he’s stranding a ton of runners. With what’s available on the Free Agent market in pitching? Yikes!!!

  • Jedi

    I’m by no means happy to see Aramis leave, but the money & years he’ll command will likely make it the right decision. I think we knew all this long ago – 2012 isn’t going to be a good team either.

    There is a lot that has to occur before we receive a compensatory pick for him.

  • Dusty Baylor

    this team in 1997…might rival the 1997 team in suckage…or 2006 even. I wouldn’t mind if they were actually going to see if the kids can do the job, but I doubt they will do that.

  • Chuck

    For all the abuse Aramis takes, he is stil the best hitter the Cubs have and it is not really close. Pick up the $16M option. When the Cubs still stink next year, you can trade him. If the Cubs let Aramis walk, it could be 100-loss team here.

  • Buddy

    I agree with Norm. The anti-Ramirez sentiment is very surprising. He’s been a productive Cub, and it’s not like he’s old (currently age 33). I wouldn’t be at all surpised if the Cubs pick up his 2012 option, espeically considering the weak in-house and free agent options for 3B.

  • Eddie Von White

    To say Ramirez was running to first base is an abuse of the word run.

  • Norm

    Yeah, I wouldn’t be offering him a multi-year deal, but I’m sure not relieved to have the Cubs best 3B since the 60’s on his way out.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    I hate to see Aramis go, but now is the right time. He’s been great for us, but we can’t expect a meaningful return on any further investment in him. If you figure next year is going to be about rebuilding, paying him $16M for one more season would be a massive waste. I don’t like our other options at 3B, but it’s a problem that needs to be dealt with sooner than later.

    Ideally, he’ll find an AL team where he can split time at 3B/DH for a few more years.

  • The jury is still out on Quade?
    Time for some urine tests to disqualify some jurors.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Castro already has two hits on the day, putting him on 199 for the season. In what was most likely his last home at-bat of the season, he took a walk instead of hacking away for #200. Cubs are up 7-1 in the top of the 9th. Garza’s going for the complete game.

  • Chuck

    Go Garza, I almost did not strat him today for my fantasy team. He is a keeper for the long-term. Not, exactly, an ace starter, but he is a good #2.

  • Seymour Butts

    The only hittable pitch Castro saw was the 3-0, bittersweet to see him do the right thing, but not get 200 at home.

  • Doc Raker

    I would of given Castro the let it rip sign on that 3-0. The fans wanted it, a bright spot in a dismal season.
    * Thank you Bob Brenley for calling out CB Bucknor. Can’t they demote him to AAA and bring up a AAA ump? Oh I forgot, umps are another union protected job where merit doesn’t count, maybe he should teach at a public school in the off season.

  • Doc Raker

    Aram was the best 3b man we had since Santo. His finest years were his early years when he really worked hard to improve his defense and kept hitting. After he landed his large contract he became one of the laziest players next to Soriano and his defense has erroded ever since. What stat tells you he is lazy? His numbers are good but he isn’t a winner and the Cubs can lose without him next year. He had the talent to be a Hall of Famer and was paid like one, he choose not to work that hard, that is what is disappointing. His remarks yesterday were that of a business man, not a ball player. Plenty of time ahead for the ugly business of baseball to unfold, this Cub fan wants to root for ball players, not business men regardless of said numbers.

  • Eddie Von White

    Doc – agree 100%. It’s bittersweet watching him go, but it is time and if he stays next year will be just like this year. He filled a huge void from 2003 until the present, but you said it well…

  • Buddy

    I’m not trying to be a wise guy, but how do we know Ramirez didn’t/doesn’t work hard? And as far as I’m concerned, they should all think like businessmen. They’re professional athletes, not little leaguers. Same goes for professional entertainers. I’m pretty sure George Clooney and the guys in U2 are very business savy, mainly because they have to be. That doesn’t mean they’re not passionate about their craft. Having said all that, I won’t pretend to know how Ramirez thinks. Maybe he does lack motivation and inspiration these days. I would have no idea. I guess my point is, nobody else but Ramirez knows either.

  • Doc Raker

    My impression Buddy, from watching, no stat to lean on here. When I see a ballplayer waving at ground balls that go buy him instead of moving his feet to get in front of the ball I consider that laziness. I don’t know what Aram is thinking either but I have an impression of how he plays.
    *Business is a part of life, unless you are a protected public union employee, but a professional keeps business where it belongs, because to put business in front of your performance duties questions your integrity. I don’t begrudge a ballplayer his business acumen, I just don’t need to hear them negotiate out in the open and I certainly don’t need to hear bitterness come out of a ballplayers mouth who was given $80M dollars for playing baseball in front of the greatest fans in the world. A simple ‘thank you Cub fans’ or “I hope to be back” would have been an appropriate comment at the time.

  • Buddy

    Fair points all. For what it’s worth, I’ve seen some of those weak plays too, but I’ve also seen him bust his backside on defense many times. I’m certain all of us could come up with a pretty long list of players that describes. Not sure what all that means, but there it is. I absolutely understand your feelings about a ballplayer who sounds bitter. That doesn’t sit well with too many fans. Personally (just my two cents, probably worth less), I try not to pay attention to what players, managers, and executives say to the media. Alot of it sounds like BS anyway, and even if it isn’t, most of today’s media outlets would either drop the ball or editorialize the hell out of it.