View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



August 2017



Well, that wasn’t any fun at all

Written by , Posted in General

Fine. No one is signed up, so I’ll do it. Thanks to TBS, I was able to see yesterday’s game, although I kind of wish I hadn’t. Again, there are more negative takeaways than positive ones, and I find that frustrating. I am having difficulty understanding this Cub team – with all the “perceived” talent they have, shouldn’t they be better than they are? Was last year a fluke? Some crazy one hit wonder to satisfy the universe and shut us up for another 108 years? Are the Cubs the musical equivalent of Paper Lace? (Yeah, you can read into that one if you want to…) Go with Dexy’s Midnight Runners if you feel more comfortable.

And to make matters worse? For me, anyway? Is the theme trip to the west coast again. I read two very interesting articles this morning about very different Joes. One on Joe Girardi, who benched Gary Sanchez and called him in for a talk about improving his fundamental defense because Girardi believes that Sanchez is costing his pitchers an extra ten pitches per game. That’s managing, folks. The other article was about Joe Maddon, who had two things to say: 1) Schwarber catches that ball he flubbed 101 out of 100 times, which is both stupid and mathematically impossible, and, by the way, he’s 0 for 1, Joe. He’s lucky it didn’t break his shin. The other thing Maddon said was that the team wasn’t having “enough fun” so he was really looking forward to the “Easy Rider” theme trip and wearing the cool new leather vests.

I’m not going to write more about that last paragraph. I think it speaks for itself. Well, except for this: one of those teams is getting better.

There were a few bright spots. Lester pitched well. Well enough to win. As Raker pointed out – Lester had to throw a lot of extra pitches thanks to shaky defense. That’s a problem. Last year, the defense was excellent. This year, there’s a slippery slope (and it’s called Left Field) and the trickle down isn’t good. Ask any Cub pitcher and I bet they say “we want Almora in CF everyday.” If you like Jay’s bat, put him in left. The occasional Schwarber bomb is not worth the K’s and E’s.

Contreras is on fire, and needs to play. Bryant needs some time off. He’s got a couple of nagging injuries and needs a little bit of rest.

The Nationals have a strong back end to that bullpen. They gave up very little and got a lot better at the deadline. Plus, they have some studs who will be back by the playoff, too. They might be good enough that even Dusty can’t muck it up.

Darling was outstanding on TBS. He’s honest and knowledgeable. I’m so NOT used to that.

Except for Adbert, who didn’t pitch yesterday, the farm is dead to me, so there’s your report.

I know. The Cubs are in first place, Sherm. Be happy. Sorry. I can’t. I WANT to see good baseball, and this team is not giving us that, and it frustrates and infuriates me. I want coaches who coach. Who teach a young team how to execute solid fundamentals of the game.


  • Doug S.

    The Easy Rider theme trip? Uh-uh. I’d make it the Shawshank theme trip, You’re going to see 2 things – your hotel and the ballpark, Win the series and you might get redemption on Thursday.

    • Bryzzo1744

      And then when they return home, American Legion week. Just come to the park and play.

  • Kyle

    Is there something wrong with Edwards? That’s 2 out of his last 3 outings he cost us the win. And the other one he gave up a run while only 1 down.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    Even though the baseball sucked, I would like to thank Sherm, Micheal, and Doug for providing us content to comment on.

    • Michael S.

      Much appreciated!

  • Michael S.

    Ok, so Joe Girardi benches a guy because of poor defense…which we know for certain is the reason, because he went out to the media and told them as much. Sources say shortly thereafter, young Master Sanchez was seen crawling through the clubhouse with the tire tracks of the bus he was thrown under by his manager still visible on his back.

    If a guy is being benched for performance, it’ll be obvious on its own why he’s sitting/on the DL/in the minors; if those discussions are taking place with the player and the manager and/or a positional coach, we don’t need to know that; in fact, it’s probably better that we don’t.

    Just like we don’t need to know that the kid at McDonalds who put onions on your burger (when you said very clearly, Daniel, NO EFFING ONIONS) got yelled at or not. It’ll become obvious when Daniel is either working the mop bucket or somewhere else what happened.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Sadly the onions are on the burger no matter how many times you tell them no Gregging onions. The people working these jobs make too many mistakes. I saw it for 7 years when I worked alongside them. The minimum wage is just fine where it is. There’s going to be a question on the MA ballot next year to raise the minimum wage, and I’ll be voting no.

      • 7 years?

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        2.5 GPA

      • Doug S.

        He was doing the extended undercover boss thing.

  • Doc Raker

    The Cubs win that game if the OF was JJ, AA and JHey left to right. Lester gets into the 8th inning if that is the defense.

    Note to Genius Joe: It’s hard to have fun when you are getting your ass kicked no matter what you wear.

  • Bryzzo1744
  • Bryzzo1744

    Instead of Bryant Rizzo Contreras 2-3-4, I’d like to see Happ in the 2 spot in front of them, and then them hitting 3-4-5. Would be much better. This team is loaded with talent, and Maddon is terrible at managing them.

  • Thanks for posting those articles, Sherm. Such a joke..

  • Doc Raker

    Sherm has valid points about Maddon. In 2016 Maddon’s focus was to distract the team from feeling the weight of the wait, as Sherm aptly termed the championship wait. But in 2017 the focus needs to be sustained excellence and a continuation of development. You have a bunch of young players that still need to improve and few of them are, save the red hot Contreras.

    The poor pitching and poor defense is a big difference also. The Cubs have gone from the 2016 top ranked BABIP defense to being the worst in 2017. We have to look at the beloved Schwarbs for that, it has a trickle down effect that makes the pitchers work harder and brings in the bullpen sooner than they should need to come in. In 2016 it was difficult for Genius Joe to get the bullpen work, in 2017 the bullpen has been over worked.

    It is no wonder the Cubs are at their best when Schwarbs is DH’ing. Let’s move to the AL.

  • Dork

    Yeah at this point it is hard to see this team playing too long into October, but people always say anything can happen if you just get in.