Where’s The Relief?
With the Cubs returning home after an exciting, season long six game win streak, Cub fans finally had a team to get truly excited about for the first time this season. The Cubs began a five game home stand against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday afternoon. The weather was warm, the beer was cold, and……….the bullpen forgot to show up. Now, as you read this, please know that I am very happy about our play after the All-Star break. Hitters are getting key hits at the right time, starting pitching is not giving up a run in the first innings….being able to beat anyone for 6 consecutive games after how the Cubs played before the break is really great to see. I just don’t think fans were expecting this train wreck to occur against our rival at home.
The were able to come out of the gates fast by getting on the board first. After a Ben Zobrist single to center the Cubs second half MVP (after 6 games), Willson Contreras, came up and delivered a two run shot (14) to center field off of Carlos Martinez. The Cubs had some great bats off of Martinez our last outing against him and jumping on him early was a great sign for our offense. Jake Arrieta (4.11 ERA) had a great outing on Friday. He went six innings giving up 2 runs (HR by Randal Grichuk and double by Dexter Fowler) while striking out 6. His pitching after the break was the type of effort that we have been wanting and expecting all season long. That is the type of effort that he needed to show to get him the maximum deal as he heads into free agency at the end of the year.
After a shaky 7th inning, as we watched Strop somehow get through the inning, the Cubs still had a 3-2 lead. Then we got to watch our bullpen take a big ol grease filled, rotten egg smellin, peanut butter oozing crap down their leg. I hate lumping the whole bullpen into this circus show that we watched so I will tell you that Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon, and Justin Grimm sucked yesterday. There is nothing that gets me more pissed than watching pitchers give up walk, after walk, after walk, after walk, after walk, after walk. 6 total walks in the 8th inning. I know that players are going to have off days. But I expect players to come into the game and compete. I expect pitchers to know that if they are not hitting their spots then they better start grooving pitches down the center of the plate. I would rather see 700 ft home runs than the bases looking like a merry-go-round. The Cardinals had 11 batters come to the plate in the 8th, score 9 runs before they registered an out. Someone should send out an apology to the fans who have to witness that crap…and especially since the Cubs have allowed at least 7 runs in an inning in three of their last five home games (per Carrie Muskat).
I am going to call out Hector Rondon and Justin Grimm. Ladies and Gentlemen, these guys are absolutely terrible! There was a reason that Rondon did not see the mound last postseason. There is a reason that Grimm cannot find the strike zone. These players get paid money to do a job. If I failed as often as these guys do, I would be unemployed. Arrieta made a statement after the game yesterday, “That was just the turning point of the game. A couple of guys had a pretty RARE outing. You will likely never see that again from those two guys”. Ummmmm….which two guys are you talking about? Hopefully you and Junior. Cause what we saw yesterday from the other two was 1) not rare and 2) we will likely see that performance(s) again. Then Rondon had the balls to add on that “it was a weird, weird inning. First time I’ve seen something like that”. PFFFTTTTT! What?!?!?! Pack your bags and get outta here…both of yuns. I don’t want to see your face again for a long time.
By the way…Cubs got beat 11-4.
If you have been keeping up in the twitter world, word is spreading that the Cubs have made call to the Tigers for Justin Wilson and the Padres for Brad Hand. I don’t know what it would take to get those guys but after witnessing yesterdays crap show bullpen performance I’m sure Theo Epstein is ready to pull the trigger at any moment. New flash….Rondon and Grimm are horrible.
Yu Kidding Me, Clark?
Other news in the past week has the Cubs in talks with the Rangers about Yu Darvish. Darvish is a career DL guy who is having one of his best, and injury free, seasons of his career. Darvish is in the final year of his contract with the Rangers so unless a team can sign him long term, Darvish would be a rental for the rest of the year. Wonder if the Cubs sent a scout to Tampa Bay yesterday? Darvish (3.44 ERA) turned in an 8 inning performance giving up 3 runs while striking out 8. Darvish did give up 3 homers in that game…..good for Wrigley? Another potential trade candidate, Alex Cobb of the Rays (3.57 ERA), started and went 5 innings giving up 3 runs (2 home runs) and striking out 4.
Cubs and the Cardinals face each other in game two of the three game series. First pitch is set for 3:05 CT at Wrigley. Cubs will send Jon Lester (6-6, 4.07 ERA) to the mound against Adam Wainwright (11-5, 5.08 ERA).
Down On The Farm
AAA: Oklahoma City Dodgers 4 Iowa Cubs 3
SP: Williams Perez (ND, 4.98 ERA)- 6 IP, 7 Hits, 3 Runs, 2 BB, 5 K
LP: Dylan Floro (3-2, 3.02 ERA)- 3 IP, 2 Hits, 1 Run, 1 K
1B: Chris Dominguez (.342 Avg)- 2-4, 2 Runs, 1 Double
AA: Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 3 Tennessee Smokies 2
SP: Trevor Clifton (ND, 4.00 ERA)- 3.2 IP, 2 Hits, 1 Run, 5 BB, 3 K
LP: David Garner (2-2, 2.42 ERA)- 1 IP, 2 Hits, 1 Run, 1 BB, 2 K
LF: Daniel Spingola (.270 Avg)- 2-4, 1 Run, 1 Triple, 1 HR
Advanced A: Down East Wood Ducks 5 Myrtle Beach Pelicans 1
SP: Justin Steele (L, 6-6, 2.66 ERA)- 5 IP, 8 Hits, 5 Runs, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
C: P.J. Higgins (.238 Avg)- 1-3, 1 Run, 1 RBI, 1 HR
A: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 5 South Bend Cubs 3
SP: Jose Paulino (L, 5-3, 4.75 ERA)- 5.1 IP, 6 Hits, 4 Runs, 3 BB, 6 K
LF: Kevonte Mitchell (.248 Avg)- 1-4, 1 Run, 2 RBI, 1 HR
Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds 4 Tri-City Dust Devils 2
Rookie: Arizona Cubs 7 Arizona White Sox 5
DSL: DSL Rays2 9 DSLCubs1 7
DSL: DSL Cubs2 8 DSL D-Backs2 5