View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



August 2009



You Want My Support Down the Stretch? Earn it this Week.

Written by , Posted in General

I’m about done with this team. I watched a grand total of 4 innings of baseball this week, and I have to say it was quite enjoyable. Today is an off day and then we come home for a key home stand it this team is going to find itself in the race for the month of the September. We’re 8 back in the division and 7 out in the wild card. With Washington, New York, Houston and one game with the Sox on the schedule, I need to see 8 wins out of those 10 games and us cut the lead to 4 or 5 games or I’m probably going to back up my baseball watching for the season and shift to football and network TV. Who’s with me? What do you need to see on this home stand that continue to care?

  • I need the Cubs to invent a time machine and go back to a time when they can play and then beat a winning baseball team. As it stands right now, they could sweep all 10 home games against these crappy teams and it won’t mean a damn thing.

    They will gain (at most) four games in the standings, but still have the inability to play on the road or versus a team that is competent. They had the opportunity to make a statement in LA and they failed miserably.

    They are done.

  • Truly the hole this team has dug demands a sweep over Washington, which will not be as easy as it sounds, and no more than one loss on the homestand. Do we see this happening? Not likely.

  • sherm

    Washington should be easy. They have that crummy Adam Dunn in the line up. Thank goodness we didn’t sign him and that awful defense of his (and the what? 32 homers? 33? 89 rbi. Ridiculous OBP and OPS. BIG left handed bat) over Milton Bradley. We lucked out on that one. Thank God we didn’t add those errors he’d have most likely made to our already stellar and virtually inpenetrable up-the-middle defense this year. Phew.

    For the record, so I don’t get called out on this — I don’t hate Milton Bradley. I LOVE him. I just love Adam Dunn more. I love everyone.

  • I thought the Cubs made a clear statement in LA. It just wasn’t one any of us wants to hear.

    It is the same statement the team has been making all season.

    From what I’m seeing in the few Cubs blogs I read, it looks like many are beginning to hear it lately.

  • cubbiedude

    The chances of the Cubbies making it to the playoffs decrease with each passing day. The confidence I have that the Cubbies will do well in the playoffs, should they make it there, also decreases every day. But that’s not the end of the world.

    The Cubbies seem to do better when Alfonso gets hot (not likely this season), when Milton catches fire (not lately), when Geovany hits like a superstar (it’s been almost a year), and when Aaron Miles hits like a banshee (I’m still waiting).

    The Ace in the Hole, if you will, is that the Cubbies seem to generate more offense when the “3 Effs Outfield” plays (witness yesterday’s game). My confidence also increases when Fox, Fuld and Fukudome start, and when Miles doesn’t.

    But Lou’s the manager and, if past performance is any indicator, he will probably start the guys who aren’t hitting right now, thus dooming the season.

    The Cubbies don’t owe me anything, but I’ll continue to watch each game. I’ll appreciate good pitching, I’ll take note of good defense (or the lack thereof), and I’ll have my eye out for good hitting, should it occur. I will focus on the little things which make baseball great.

    Enjoy the rest of the season.

  • silk

    The drop-off in Bradley’s offense is unreal.

    Last year Bradley led the AL both in OPS and in OPS+ with 163. I thought we were getting a slightly crazy and injury-prone superstar who gave you pretty solid defense in RF.

    This year…his OPS+ is 99 and his outfield stats are mediocre. We’ve basically gotten an insane version of Corey Hart…

  • The drop-off in Bradley’s offense is unreal.

    I agree that the drop-off is strange, but not completely unexplainable. The biggest question is why his power has disappeared.

    But his batting average has plummeted from last year, largely due to a .388 BABIP last year dropping to a .302 BABIP this year. His career BABIP is .321. So you could argue that he got really damn lucky last year, and has been a little unlucky this year.

    But the bad news is that his ISO (isolated power) has dropped a lot, both well below his career numbers and his numbers in recent years. If he can recover some of that power, he will be a very productive player for the Cubs.

    We’ve basically gotten an insane version of Corey Hart…

    Well… the good news is that he really hasn’t been insane, at all. He has both kept out of trouble and stayed relatively healthy.

  • MJ

    I bet he wears sunglasses at night though.

    Oh wait, wrong Corey Hart. Sorry.

  • Seymour Butts

    Our Schedule from here on out is pathetically easy, but the hole is deep.

    How about a contest…no prize, but bragging rights.

    Last week I pointed out that aron (giving it all he’s got) Miles had all of 26 hits this season. Well, the number has not changed. Our starting pitchers have 40. The question is…How many hits will Miles end up with. Now if Lou is awake on any given day, aron will get zero more starts and zero more pinch hit tries. But we all know Lou will not be awake for the next 5 weeks, so any thing can happen. I’m gonna guess he gets 32. We can make that an over and under if you like, I’d go under if I had to choose.

    Any takers?

  • Ooh… are there prizes?

    I’ll take the over.

  • Doug

    I know I’ve kind of given up, but maybe I’m just a dumb Cubs fan who can’t completely abandon ship until the until the water’s up to my neck.

    A little arithmetic. 40 games left, I’m going to suggest that 90 Ws gets us in the post season. 28 wins and 12 losses .700 ball the rest of the way. I find myself laughing stupidly as I type. No way it can happen, can it? This team??? Weirder stuff has happened I’m sure. Bail me out Cubs.

  • lizzie

    Doug, that would be ok except you forgot that they can’t beat teams playing over .500, they can’t win away from home, or when Aramis is hurt, or when Soriano is slumping, or on the West coast, or when Harden pitches during the day, or when Zambrano gets pissy (assuming he remembers to work out), or any game which requires a closer, or when it’s chilly, or on and on and on ad nauseum. I’m sure there are many more fine reasons to be found on 🙂

  • lizzie

    P.S. I’ll take the under. No prizes necessary. No need to celebrate suck.

  • sherm

    The prize should be an AAron Miles baseball card.

    Loser gets one, too, but it’s signed.

  • cap’n obvious

    The photo of Aron Miles on his baseball card is life sized.

  • I will take the under.

    Good news, the Tribune is reporting that Milton Bradley recovered his ISO. He left it in his old condo in Texas, the new owners found it in the closest. They are fed exing it up to Wrigley, wew just in time.

    If single A ron showed up at fantasy camp you would hit him 13th and still be an automatic out.

  • Kris

    In case anyone was still on the fence about what a doofus Carlos Zambrano is, check out this gem:

    They have asked for him to cut down on his swings, especially in batting practice. The theory is he torques his back trying to emulate Babe Ruth.

    But he took a full round of cuts in the cage Thursday afternoon, hitting six balls over the fence in 46 swings, some of them full-bore rips.

    Zambrano smacked three homers left-handed and three from the right side.

    “Looks like I’m ready, huh?” Zambrano asked a group of Chicago media members as he walked off from the mid-afternoon round of swings.

    Zambrano did not bat because Class A uses the DH.

    So he doesn’t follow directions from the organzation. Goes to town on batting practice from both sides of the plate. And he isn’t even hitting in the game. Pure genius!

    We won’t even get started on how he offered to show a female reporter his shirtless physique to prove he isn’t lazy. I’m sure there was some humor there somewhere.

    Courtesy of,0,7149498.story

  • So he doesn’t follow directions from the organzation.

    Actually… that isn’t what the article said. Len/Bob reported that Z was supposed to take batting practice before his minor league start.

    And just because he was hitting home runs doesn’t mean that he wasn’t cutting down his swing.

    Don’t get me wrong – I am no big fan of Zambrano. I believe that he has the “stuff” to be a top five or ten pitcher in baseball, but hasn’t had the mental ability to put it together.

    But I really don’t think that the batting practice home run thing is a big deal at all.

  • Kris

    They have asked for him to cut down on his swings, especially in batting practice. The theory is he torques his back trying to emulate Babe Ruth.

    Okay, I thought the article was a little biased, but it does say he was asked to cut down on his swings. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Zambrano swing without looking for the fences. Since it is impossible not to use your back and abs while batting, I don’t see why he needs batting practice before a game in which he isn’t even batting.

    I absolutely agree, though, that the guy has the physical stuff to be a top pitcher but doesn’t seem to have his head (or attitude) in the right place.

  • MJ

    Len/Bob reported that Z was supposed to take batting practice before his minor league start.

    Don’t listen to Len and Bob. They’re shills for the organization. Everything they say is all LIES!