View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



June 2017



Don’t get all excited

Written by , Posted in General

Sure, they swept the Cardinals. Sure, the starting pitching was decent, the defense was good, the bullpen was lights out and they showed off some timely hitting for a change…but don’t get all excited. Oh, what the hell, go ahead and enjoy it. It was a wonderful weekend at the expense of St. Louis. Celebrate. Party like it was 2016. But not for long, because a hot Miami team is on the way in and they need to keep it up. One series does not a turnaround make.

First of all – where the hell were THOSE Cubs when we were watching them in San Diego? Maybe that WAS the cast from Anchorman playing the pAAdres.

Next – I enjoyed listening to David Ross. Now, he’s not polished (yet) as an announcer, but he was interesting. I loved the line “the crew had an over/under on how often I’d use “we” and I think the number was four.” Dan says “Yeah…you sailed by that early on…” Boone and Ross together were very entertaining. Two ex-ballplayers able to relate to the game and talk stories that human ears enjoy hearing. Boone is great, anyway, in my opinion. No Jessica made the whole thing a LOT better.

Baseball happened. Positive signs of life from Cub camp.

John Lackey pitched well. Kyle Schwarber showed patience and power…and also had a clutch grand slam to ice game two. Ian Happ, who seems to have a little bit of trouble walking without falling down, also crushed a couple of bombs to lead the way in game 3 but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Anthony Rizzo awoke and had three big hits. And a dumbass base running gaffe, but hey, it’s the Cubs.  Ross tried to credit Rizzo with the attempt to get to third. Boone said “nope – BAD baseball play.” I agree with Boone in that situation. Anthony is forgiven, however, as he did eventually score the winning run.

Albert Almora – huge pinch hit

Jhon Jhay – huge pinch hit

Italian Breakfast Cookie (Piscotty) did feel so bad about his 3-run homer, that he gave back some runs with a delightful “Ole!” play in right field, and oh yeah, also tried to cripple his own second baseman.

The bullpen had a great weekend. What a difference having a lead is. Hint hint. Here’s my only question (other than scientifically? How does Carl Edwards the Junior throw the ball so hard? How does he not fall over just holding the ball? How did he catch that line drive?) I know the last one…he didn’t turn his back after throwing the ball. Good form, young CEtJ.

Biggest question I have. Why the hell didn’t Wade Davis pitch the ninth? Sure it worked out, but you are paying him to close. This is a division rival, and a HUGE game for the standings and emotionally, and you REST him because he’s “worked two days in a row?” “Because he threw 11 pitches on Friday and 23 on Saturday?” Seriously? He’s that tired? From that? He’s making what? About $8M a year? That’s $50,000 a game, whether he pitches or not. WTF? Cap’n made a great text point last night (and we should really publish our in-game text threads, because I have to admit…they’re brilliant) which was why didn’t Davis call the dugout and say “Oh, hell no, coach! I’m pitching…” Uehitmeharda got it done. I’m thrilled. But you pay Davis to be the GUY in that situation, so why not use him. A world class athlete and he needed a day off? After what? Two weeks of not having thrown a ball in a game before this weekend? Fire the trainer.

Defense was solid. Good to see. I don’t like to see Baez and Russell “rotating” at short. Especially with Javy starting to get hot at the plate. Zobrist hasn’t had a hit in a over a week, and Baez is the better 2b (by far) so screw the politics and play the guy who gives you a better chance at winning.

Schwarber down in the order. Hmm. Wonder why WE didn’t think of that.

Rondon and Montero – BAD combination. FYI – Yadi Molina steals on you? You should be fired. Still don’t like Montero. He’s slow behind the plate. Real slow.

I have no game preview for you. Let’s relish the sweep. And hope that Eddie the Butler can get back on track and keep Miami in the park.

As always, I don’t offer a minor league report. Adbert didn’t pitch, so there really is no news. Also, I don’t care what Tommy LaStella did or didn’t do.

Have a great Monday – enjoy the coffee. Today, I’m pressing my own Colombian beans (and no, CAPS, that’s not dirty.)


  • cap’n realist

    Brilliant stuff Sherm. Davis not closing was stupid, but Uehara in that scenario is straight nuts. If you MUST rest Davis, than Edwards has to pitch the 9th. Yes, I realize that with Strop and Rondon, you’re probably not leading anyway, but still. By a show of hands, who here thinks Lee Arthur Smith or even Gregging Gregg wouldn’t want the ball on the 3rd straight day to close out the Cubs fiercest rival? Stop treating Davis like a figurine. And yes, I think if Davis had some testicular fortitude he’d have just warmed up and told Joe and Bozo that it was his damn job and he was gonna go do it.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Things like this are why Joe Maddon is not a good manager.

      • Sherm

        Maddon is not a BAD manager. He’s just not as good as people think he is. I don’t recall the players in Tampa making any noise when he left…although they were pretty upset about losing journeyman infielder Logan Forsythe.

        Respect 90 was cool. Joe came in a with a good slogan for a young team to get behind. Then, it became marketable, something that had never happened to Maddon in Tampa Bay, because, well, do I really have to explain it? So, marketing rears its ugly head – and he MUST keep creating T-Shirts or mankind will perish. Probably. So, we get the somewhat clever and funny “Try not to suck.” Okay, not bad. Not great, either, but sold a ton of shirts with Joe Maddon/Harry Caray glasses on them. And now we have “holy Fuck people are looking at me and expecting more clever shit! That won’t fit on a shirt. What do I do? Who plays where? Please VFTB tell me what I should do? Please buy more shirts? How’s that? Is that good? Carrie Muskat has a wanker. Will that work? I’m all out of clever. Shit! Dammit.”

        Less marketing, more quality baseball. If you play great baseball? Marketing happens.

        I have an idea for the pitchers. New shirts that say “Respect 60.6”

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        For Lester it should be respect the throw to first.

      • Is Logan Forsythe the 2017 NL MVP?

      • Brad Lyerla

        The problem is that Maddon is not as good as he thinks he is. A tiny bit of humility would go a long way. He uses up a lot of energy burnishing his reputation and not enough being self-critical.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I agree he needs a tiny bit of humility, but with the sharks in the media, I understand not being self-critical, those media guys would eat him alive if he was self-critical.

    • Bruce Fritz

      Maybe Maddon employed a mini-fireman method here. Crabman pitched the 8th against the 5-6-7 hitters. Uehara faces 8-9-1 in the 9th, but gets the save because the 9th inning against the bottom of the order is higher leverage?

      Or maybe I’m giving Maddon too much credit and he is just doing the political thing by giving the veteran the chance at the stats.

  • Doug S.

    Great job Sherm.

    A nice series sweep to get back above .500 feels good, but the Marlins always worry me. Maybe this goes back to 2003, don’t know.

    Liked Ross on the telecast. Apparently some the players were ragging him about his press pass, funny.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    I keep hearing people say that the cardinals will eventually be above .500. What I saw was a bad team that should stay below .500 for the rest of the season. They Cubs are fortunate to be in what is now a bad division.

    • Dork

      That was the biggest surprise to me on the series. How bad the Cardinals outfield defense is. I think they gave up what turned out to be the winning runs each game. Still the cubs took advantage and it was a great series, keep it up.

  • Adam Peters


  • Eddie Von White

    I didn’t see any of the games until I read the post. Good job.

  • Doc Raker

    The dancing with the stars guy was pretty good, better than tJessica.

    • Sherm

      Yeah, but that’s kind of like saying that Greg Maddux was better than Warren Brusstar

      • Doc Raker

        The umps squeezed Brusstar, he had moxie.

      • Sherm

        Even Mrs. Brusstar didn’t squeeze Brusstar. He had crabs.

  • They *have* to sweep that series.. nobody is breaking out in the Central, and the Wild Card chase will be all East for sure. Crash should pitch whenever there is an opportunity. Got away with one there for sure.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      Don’t you mean that the west will provide the wild cards, as everyone in the east except the Nationals are well below .500

      • Sherm

        He calls it east because he is facing south

    • Denver is East of me.. Phoenix is due South. I beefed that up but there’s my NL WC prediction.

      • Doug S.

        So, by my gorilla U.S. knowledge, you’re in Fresno. Always wanted to go there, I think.

      • Bozeman, MT.. we’re practically neighbors

      • Doug S.

        Just messin jswan, knew you were in MT, but the name Fresno makes me laugh, just like Moose Jaw does. Don’t want to go there either.

  • Doc Raker

    Encouraging signs: Schwarbs and Rizzo hitting the ball to the left side and up the middle. Imagine how good they could be if the D cannot shift on them. Bunts would help also as we have pointed out over and over and over and over again.

    CAPS- I think we are up to 6 different lead off hitters.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Someone here should email Muskrat about it. Hell I’ll do it when I get back to Boston. Redeye flight tonight.

      Happ is leadoff hitter number 6. Him, Salad Man, Jhay, Baez, Schwarber, and Zobrist.

      Re Happ:
      If you’re Happ-y and you know it, say a swear
      If you’re Happ-y and you know it, say a swear
      If you’re Happ-y and you know it and you really want to show it,
      If you’re Happ-y and you know it, say a swear.

  • Brad Lyerla

    When the Cardinals scored 4 runs in the top of the fourth, we decided to walk to the lake and watch the sunset. It was a gorgeous night in sw Michigan. A perfect sunset over the lake.

    When we got back to the house, the Cubs had scored 5 runs and were now ahead again. Nice. But the sunset was better.

    Going to the game tomorrow night. It’s a long season and great to be rooting for the World Champs.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    It is clear the rose is off its bloom, the Cubs sweep the Cards the year after Winning the World Series and we only get 25 comments, and no one is excited.

    • Eddie Von White

      The six game losing streak notwithstanding.