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August 2017

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Beatdown on Addison!

Written by , Posted in General

I was begrudgingly painting my daughter’s loft tonight, when the line from Bull Durham about how the world was made for people not cursed with self-awareness floated through my head.  I smiled.  Then I thought, “Oh crap!  I have to write the VFTB post for tomorrow morning!”  So I dutifully turned my recording of the game on, only to discover that the game was blacked out in my area.  Now, the only games that are supposed to be blacked out in my area are the Nationals’ and Orioles’.  So I was more than a little pissed.  Then I saw on my ESPN app that Javy Baez stole home in the 2nd inning, and I got really pissed.  Then I used the voice command feature on my XFinity to call up “Chicago Cubs,” and find what the hell channel the game was actually being broadcast on.

I turned it on as the replay of Ian Happ’s double was playing.  That double had just made the score 6-2 Cubs.  Next up Jason Heyward lined a single to center to score Anthony Rizzo to make it 7-2.  Next Javy roped a double into the left field corner to score Happ and Heyward and make it 9-2.  Then Jose Quintana lined a single to left to score Baez and make it 10-2.  The Kyle Schwarber hit one into the left field bleachers to make it 12-2.

At that point I figured it wasn’t going to get any better, and whatever happened from then on out was bound to be pretty lame so I went to bed.

But as I was cleaning my paint brush I wondered, “What exactly are the Cubs, from Thed on down to Maddon, trying to accomplish with their treatment of Kyle Schwarber?”  He of the .197 average, who, incidentally, started in left field and batted second–AGAIN.  And I’m not just trying to stir the pot here.  What do you all really think they are doing?   Why didn’t they leave him in Iowa?  They didn’t desperately don’t need another “outfielder.”  And obviously his play hasn’t warranted the playing time he’s gotten.  I mean, if you are going to play left field like Manny Ramirez, you damn well better hit like Manny Ramirez.

So, what’s going on in Cubland?  Discuss…

  • Dork

    The cubs offense has been very good in August. Even before last night the were scoring more than 6 runs per game. Schwarber has been fine since coming back. Yes the strikeout rate is too high at 36% but he has an ops of 873 and a woba

    • Sherm

      Love you like a dorky brother, but no, he hasn’t.

      You can use all the numbers you want. In fact, I know wonder if you aren’t really “Joe Maddon’s iPad.” My eyes don’t deceive me. I know what I’ve seen – both before and after the seven minutes he spent in Iowa. Look, numbers are fun – and much of the time? Given enough data? I can make any argument I want to look reasonable…but Kyle Schwarber has been FAR from one of the Cubs better offensive players. The data doesn’t take into account the simple fact that when it matters he hasn’t been there. Early in games (i.e. the FIRST inning?) he can’t even make a productive out. He’s 0-2 constantly, his pitch selection is brutal, and he’s tight-assing everything trying to hit 900 foot homers. Last night with a 35 run lead he loosen up and put the bat on the ball, which is what we’ve been saying all along. Loosen up. Which means don’t bat him first. Or second.

      He’s a major reason why Kris Bryant – a good hitter, and a clutch hitter at that – has 14 RBI’s this year.

      If he MUST play – and I can’t imagine that anyone is going to cite defensive metrics about why he should be playing in the outfield (ever) – drop him to a less stressful spot in the order.

      • Kyle

        I was kind of hoping that he was K’ing himself out of the 2 spot early in the game, but then he had to go hit 2 dingers in garbage time, which I’m sure will be enough to keep him there.

      • Seymour Butts

        Sherm you ignorant slut…
        Last night the Homers put up a chart of some sort making me wonder about Schwarbs actual productivity. So I channeled my inner Dork and rustled up some numbers.
        I compared Schwarbs to our “studs” (KB, El Mago, Contraras, who missed the name game, and Tony). Yes his BA of .199 pales, but even compared to KB’s .292 it is a difference of 1 hit per 3.44 games. 1 hit per series difference from MVP to major embarrassment.
        So how is his productivity affected. He’s kind of a bomb or K kind of guy. So I took RBI per at bat and added runs per at bat. Schwarbs .288, Baez .320, Contraras .336
        Rizzo .375, Bryant .327. Kind of pales. But I am comparing him to our studs.
        MLB average runs per at bat plus RBI per at bat is .269. Schwarbs is above average in terms of productivity.
        Lets take a more conventional stat. OPS.
        ML average .756 , Schwarbs .756 (Cubs .779)

        He is not the giant sink hole in the line up that we are routinely making him out to be.
        Let’s convince some AL GM of that and ship him elsewhere..

      • Sherm

        blah blah blah.

        It’s not IF you 1 – 5, it’s WHEN you 1 – 5.

        Four RBI’s AFTER your team jumps to an 8 run lead? Against the dregs of the bullpen? Not impressed. He homers his FIRST two at bats yesterday? Different story. But he was pathetic the first three times against “decent” pitching.

        But, the last two lines in your comment saved you.

  • Bryzzo1744

    Ian Happ was a triple short of the cycle, and Len goes from now on when a player needs a triple to finish the cycle I won’t mention it anymore. The triple is the hardest one. If they need a double, single, or HR I’ll mention it. Along with some other random jargon. I only half listened to him. I had to be up at 3:30am this morning.

    • Sherm

      Don’t care about your bedtime, but loved the Happ “non-triple” and here’s why:

      I’d rather see a guy run hard NOT KNOWING if the ball was caught or not, than ASSUME it’s a homer or will be caught and jog. I’ll say it right now. I’m an Ian Happ fan. (For now) I hate to see guys pop up and throw the bat in disgust and loaf to first. I know it’s rare, but balls have been dropped before, and they will again…

      • Bryzzo1744

        I liked his hustle too. I thought it would fall in, and if it had, he would have hit for the cycle.

      • Ben

        I where you are going with the hustle hard thing. It’s kinda like Jason Heyward throwing his helmet in the first inning don’t do it. If it’s the ninth and that hit was the have winning run then I get but not the first inning pls

  • Brad Lyerla

    I agree with Dork that, by some metrics, Schwarber has been more productive than you might expect given his batting average and many hopeless looking Ks. But he does not make sense batting second, even given the metrics Dork cites.

    Plus, Schwarber’s defense is simply awful, while Almora wastes away on the bench . . .

    Schwarber has become a mystery to me. I like him, but can’t figure out what’s going on with him or what to do with him. I think he belongs in the American League.

    • Sherm

      The American Legion? That’s pretty dramatic.

      Oh, American LEAGUE. Got it. Couldn’t agree more.

      • cap’n realist

        Actually, an American Legion TEAM could use Schwarber, but I think the age limit is 19….

    • Bryzzo1744

      I’m on the trade Schwarber bandwagon too now. We have too many outfielders. The only way I keep him is if the NL gets the DH.

  • Doug S.

    Had the Pirates feed again. These guys are so vanilla/monotone, it’s difficult to describe. A full season of them would be tough to take. Sound familiar?

    • Doc Raker

      I listen to the Pirates feed all the time. During this series they came to the realization that their playoff hopes are gone. They were hoping to win at least 2 of 3 and stay relevant within the playoff race. At the end of game 1 they were so depressed talking about being 8 back with 3 other teams ahead of them and basically being out of it so the series took on a tone of disappointment and depression with the Pirate announcers. They are honest announcers, unlike Len and JD, it was just a bad series for the Pirates so it was a bad series for them.

      • Doug S.

        Yeah, very much a someone just died vibe.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    I have figured it out! Schwarbs is batting second because Maddon is remembering how Schwarbs took all of those Arizona and Simulated at bats, and then was a World Series hero. Joe is making sure Kyle has the same number of at bats, he wants his World Series hero back.

  • cap’n realist

    Rene Rivera looks like he ate Cecil Fielder with a side of Prince. Cubs should trade him to the Nats so he and Fat Albers can be the largest battery since ever. Pirates broadcasters officially gave up after Monday’s loss. We should be so lucky. Baez may have a reptile brain, but his instincts are amazing. Sure, the catcher he faked out was a no name AAA guy, but those guys are still damn good players. Schwarber’s 2 garbage time home tuns were just that. Didn’t stop Len and JD from falling all over themselves talking about the beautiful swing and amazing power. Horrible corporate line. The guy was completely lost the 3 prior at bats, and they can’t say squat about that. Who do they think they are fooling? Maybe Joe’s Ipad watches CSN.

    • Doc Raker

      I PAD: Len and JD are corporate fools. I send them talking points daily from the front office.

      • Bryzzo1744

        iPad: Joe Maddon pulled a Homer to win the World Series last year, but everyone is too stupid to realize it

  • Doc Raker

    Schwarber has been better in the second half of the season going to left field but he is still scuffling along at .200 and getting easily beat against good pitching when we really need a quality AB. Quality AB’s in garbage time are nice but there will not be much garbage time in the playoffs.

    Schwarbs has 23 home runs and 46 RBI’s. He doesn’t get many other hits other than his home runs. Schwarbs should not be in the everyday line up, Almora should, not Schwarbs.

    IPAD: These VFTB guys are smarter than Genius Joe.

    • Yes. They will face exactly ZERO garbage time pitchers in the playoffs. So while two 17-run games in a week are fun, they don’t mean much as far as playoff success potential is concerned. Except maybe in getting there.

  • Eddie Von White

    I went to bed when it was 12 to 2. This morning I see we actually won by two touchdowns. Amazing.

    • Sherm

      at 12 – 2, it appeared that the bullpen strategy was Rondon, Wilson and Pena. I think I saw Wade Davis mouth “oh shit” and start lacing his cleats.

    • Michael S.

      Naturally, this means the Bears-Steelers game this year will have a score along the lines of 3-0.

  • Karen Hirsh

    You can’t say anything more about Schwarber. He gets lucky sometimes but belongs in the American League. His defense is awful. Was happy to see Quintana do better. Almost gave up on him. Rivera needs to go. Contreras and Avila are the best. I ths ink Maddon needs to go back to his original hair color. That formula isn’t working either.