View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



July 2009



Well…At Least Soriano's Hitting

Written by , Posted in General

Forget about last night’s route and move on. I don’t care if we lose 4000-1 or 4-1, a loss is a loss. Because we swept Washington, we really only need to win 1 of the games in this series to come away from the road trip successful. Let’s work on getting that done tonight and moving on. Look on the bright side. Soriano went 3-for-4 and Jeff Stevens went two shutout innings in relief. I’ll take that and get ready to win tonight.

Scouting Tonight’s Starters

Rich Harden opened the second half in much better form than he closed it. In his two starts prior to the All-Star break, Harden gave up 11 runs on 15 hits over seven innings. In his first post-break start, the right-hander held the Nationals to one run — unearned — on three hits over six innings. He seems to like the road grays. Harden is now 5-1 with a 2.17 ERA away from Wrigley Field.

Joe Blanton’s last start on Saturday was wiped out after 1 1/3 innings because of a postponement at Land Shark Stadium, but instead of losing his turn in the rotation altogether, manager Charlie Manuel figured the 28-year-old could use that as pretty much a bullpen session and start him three days later. Blanton threw 24 pitches — giving up two unofficial runs — and will be on 10 days’ rest when he takes on the Cubs. The 28-year-old has a team-high 10 quality starts this season, including seven in his past nine outings. Over that span, he is 4-1 with a 2.44 ERA. And he has been especially dominant lately. On July 5, he outdueled Johan Santana with 7 1/3 scoreless innings, and on Friday he allowed just four hits and one run over 7 1/3 innings. It was the first time he threw more than seven innings in consecutive outings since April 2008. (

Throws darting low-90’s heat, a slider and curveball–all with tremendous command. Has the endurance to finish what he starts well after 100 pitches. Doesn’t have one truly dominant pitch to rack up high strikeout totals, so he realies heavily on his defense. Is a little too hittable. A strong mid-rotation starter. (

Blanton’s Pitch Usage

Farm Notes

  • Ryan Searle only allowed one run in 6.0 innings pitched
  • Melvin Camarena was 4-for-5
  • Hector Suarez was 4-for-5
  • Greg Rohan hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Aaron Shafer struck out 5 batters and only allowed 2 earned runs over 6.0 innings pitched yesterday

Photo Op

Ryan Searle is 6-7 with a 3.78 ERA in 18 appearances this season. (Mark LoMoglio/

  • Doc Raker

    Winning one of three in Philly might make this a winning road trip but it won’t make for a winning October, if the Cubs are lucky enough to get there. A team with October sights needs to beat contenders also, not just the bottom of the league.

  • sherm

    Okay. Wait for it. Wait for it. Here it is…long whistling sound followed by a soft thud. Think of the coyote after he’s chased the roadrunner too far off a cliff. Can’t find traction on the air and falls. Whistle. Thud. Same sound the Cubs made last night against the Phillies.

    Nothing like falling back to earth, and in baseball all it takes is a game against a good team after a four game set against a bad one. I mean, this should have been our game, right? Our allstar vs their nobody and we’d just swept the mighty might Nationals. Sure, they’d won eight in row, but that won’t stop us. And THAT didn’t, but the Phillies bats and pitching did. That’s a pretty good baseball team. We can be one, too, but we have to prove it and there is no better way than to bounce back and win tonight against that same team. I think that whichever team wins tonight’s game will win the series.

    Have to agree with Senor Raker — got to beat the contenders to be a contender.

  • Seymour Butts

    Nice thing about having baseball as my religion, it’s a long season. A game like last night, where things go to crap from the outset, allows you to accomplish something else that day with the game on in the background, or not. It seemed the win/loss decision was made early on, and I moved on, as did some of you, I’d guess. But it is not a life-ending blow like in football season, where you feel just rotten for weeks, no for baseball, that has to wait until October to really crush you. So, last night we lost, today is another day.