View From The Bleachers

April 24, 2008

Losses Feel Bad…Let’s Not Get Anymore!!!

Filed under: General — Joe Aiello @ 10:16 pm

First Star – Aaron Cook (.220)
Second Star – Felix Pie (.205)
Third Star – Daryle Ward (.155)
Top Play – Chris Ianetta’s home run in the 7th (+.197)

I sit here at the computer wondering what to write about. I hate writing long recaps of a loss, because I like to put it behind me and move to the game coming up. With that being said, I’d rather lead the discussion for you with some questions and points to ponder. We’ve been getting more traffic lately, which has led to more discussion in the comments. Thanks for keeping it civil and intelligent. It’s appreciated. Don’t forget you can always participate with posts of your own via the diaries.

  • Felix Pie had a couple hits today and has his average up to a staggering .237. Obviously this is not great, but are you starting to see potential in him if you were or are a hater?
  • Jason Marquis went seven strong innings today and kept the pitch count low, despite a first inning that saw his pitches go all over. Is he the third best guy in the rotation right now?
  • Am I the only one impressed with Kosuke’s range in the outfield? He seems to get great jumps on the fly balls and prevents balls in the gap like it’s going out of style. Is there anything that this guy can’t do?
  • Geovany Soto’s four hits in game one of the series was the second time he’s done that this season. In Cub history, only six catchers have done that in a full season. Michael Barrett and Joe Girardi were the most recent. No catcher in Cub history has ever had three or more games with at least four hits. I will go on record and predict that Geo will do it at least two more times this year.
  • What are your thoughts on the concept of using Mike Fontenot in the leadoff spot when Reed Johnson is out of the lineup? In his four at bats, three of them involved three or less pitches seen. His first at bat was very good though, with a six pitch single.
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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail

  • Blah

    I think I prefer losing in blowouts. Letting a close one get away because you couldn’t score more than one after loading the bases with no outs in the top of the inning and then the other team scoring the go-ahead run on a should-be-DP-turned-error in the bottom of that same inning is such a kick in the nuts. Sucks to waste a surprisingly good Marquis start, too.

    And jesus god, why is Fontenot still starting games?

  • Colin Wyers

    I don’t think Fontenot should be on the team, much less playing. And if he’s playing, I don’t see why he shouldn’t be hitting eighth except for the fact that Theriot should be.

    Of course, I still don’t understand why the Cubs think that using an odd Cedeno/Fontenot/Pie/Johnson platoon to fill in for Soriano is a good idea. For a team that claims that Murton is good enough to be a starting LF somewhere, they have a funny way of showing it.

  • Rich Beckman

    After that botched double play, Theriot should be released and Pinella fired!!!!


    Last year it seemed to me that the pitching was good enough, but the only offense we had was Ryan Theriot and he disappeared at the end of the season. Well, that was how it seemed to me….

    Clearly this year the offense is more than Theriot. Mostly the same players, but a completely different team at the plate. All that patience at the plate is kind of surreal to watch. The pitching still looks good to me.

    I think Pie should get plenty of more playing time (platooning with Johnson, who is a great addition). I’m glad I don’t have to decide who goes away when Soriano comes back (is eleven pitchers too few?).

    The only problem I see at this juncture is how Pinella manages to get Soriano into the middle of the lineup.

    Maybe we still swoon in August (maybe not!), but I’m enjoying the heck out of this year so far.

  • ddave

    Ryan Theriot and he disappeared at the end of the season.

    Theriot did not disappear at the end. Theriot was bad/mediocre most of the season, and he had one or two good/decent months.

  • ddave

    And seriously? The only offense the Cubs had last year was Ryan Theriot? Really?

    So much for ARam, Soriano, and DLee, eh?

    Shoot – DeRosa was better than Theriot. Floyd was better than Theriot. Murton was better than Theriot. Jacque Jones was better than Theriot.

    Theriot was one of the worst offensive players on the Cubs last year.

  • jose

    WOW, lots of Theriot haters. I guess I just do not see that. If we do not put Theriot at SS, then who? Cedeno? If we go by everyone’s favorite fall back argument – player statistics. Theriot is a better SS than Cedeno. He hits better and fields better. So if not Theriot, then who? Plus at least Theriot knows how to work a count.

  • ddave

    No… not a Theriot hater. I just think it is ludicrous to claim that Theriot was the Cubs offense last year, when he was one of the worst offensive players on the team.

    Theriot knows how to work a count? Last year Soriano (!) saw more pitches per at-bat than Theriot.

    And I don’t think that Theriot is a better hitter or defender than Cedeno. Or at least I don’t think he will be from here on forward.

    But again… I am not saying that Theriot should not have been playing last year, or even this year. But to say that Theriot was the Cubs’ “only offense” is as silly as someone saying that they wouldn’t be interested in Alex Rodriguez on their team.

  • ddave

    By the way, on the working the count issue… Cedeno is seeing significantly more pitches per at-bat this year than Theriot is (4.46 vs. 3.62), though we obviously have sample size issues.

    Last year, these are the players, on the Cubs, who saw more pitches per plate appearance than Theriot (min: 50 plate appearances)

    Kendall, Lee, DeRosa, Fontenot, Soto, Pagan, Monroe, Blanco, Murton, Pie, Cedeno, Soriano, Ramirez, Jones, Ward, Floyd, K. Hill, Barrett

    Then we finally have Theriot.

  • Matt Jacobs

    Pitches taken is another one of my least liked stats in this new fangled baseball mentality. Wow, he’s seeing 4 pitches per plate appearances. What if three of them were strikes? Or he’s watching the one pitch that’s in his zone and should hit? Not too worry, he’s seeing more pitches so it’s all good. For example, in my first game this year I saw, eight pitches (I’ K’ed), four pitches (I K’ed), and six pitches (I k’ed). Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    While we’re at it, 1 Run Losses? What kind of moronic record keeping is this? Why aren’t we keeping 1 Run Wins too? And what’s the difference? A win is a win, a loss is a loss.

  • archie

    I sit here and wonder what Murton did to Pinella. Man, he must have really pissed that guy off sometime.

    I can smell him rotting on the bench from here.

  • jose

    I do think pitches taken is a valuable stat, specifically if you bat leadoff. Regarding Theriot and Cedeno: Theriot strikes out less -about 50% less. He walks more -about three times more. He steals more bases -about 3 times more. I know we are all in love with Cedeno right now because he is hot. But I am not sold yet. Let’s see what happens to his game when his bat goes cold or he makes an error that gets into his head. Can he find other ways to help the team without getting a hit? Historically he has not. This team is better with Theriot in the lineup and on the field.

  • ddave

    Well… I am one of the biggest Murton fans around, but Murton’s inability to get any lift on the ball this year has been a major problem.

    He has not had one extra-base hit this year, in the minors and majors combined.

  • ddave

    I know we are all in love with Cedeno right now because he is hot.

    Nah… I have been a Cedeno fan long before the last couple of weeks. And I have long thought that Cedeno has a MUCH higher upside than Theriot.

    Can he find other ways to help the team without getting a hit? Historically he has not.

    He has been able to this year, as he has shown great patience and a new ability to walk and “work counts.”

    Don’t get me wrong – Theriot has been a better player than Cedeno up to this point. But Cedeno is finally starting to look like he “gets” it. And Cedeno is significantly younger.

  • ddave

    One more thing… Cedeno has flat out crushed AAA pitching over the last two years. That has continually been shown to be a good predictor of major league success.

    But again… this thread wasn’t about Cedeno. This comment thread started when someone claimed that Theriot was the cubs only offense last year, even though he was, unarguably, one of the worst offensive players on the team.

  • rob

    I think Theriot’s hands were too “scrappy” to turn the double play yesterday. :mrgreen:

  • ken

    “We” can still win 155 games this year. It will be ok.

  • Jacki R.

    Yay, I can post again. I didn’t post during the winning streak and didn’t want to jinx it. Yes, I am that superstitous. Anyway, I will let you guys battle out the Theriot v/s. Cedeno arguement. In repsonse to Joe’s question, the thought that Jason Marquis is the third best guy in the rotation rigt now, makes me very, very nervous.

  • Ginto

    Can’t look up the stats right now but our SP has underperformed thus far. Despite all the love being thrown at Dempster I don’t think his peripheral stats (from what I remember) suggest he’s going to keep performing anywhere close to what he’s done over his first four starts. Yes, at this point, Marquis has pitched like our third best starter. Given that it’s April that’s understandable for him. I really think our season will depend greatly on how/if Lilly and Hill’s fortunes turn.

    To comment on your post, Joe:
    I’d like to see Pie get more AB’s. He’s showing signs of improvement and getting better ABs. I don’t see the need for Fontenot on this club. He has terrible ABs. And I think we need to get Daryl Ward some more playing time. Against a slop righthander I’d like to see Ward in LF and Pie in CF with DeRo at 2B.

    Fukudome keeps impressing me everytime I see him. He’s a ballplayer through and through.

  • ddave

    Despite all the love being thrown at Dempster I don’t think his peripheral stats (from what I remember) suggest he’s going to keep performing anywhere close to what he’s done over his first four starts

    Not so sure about that:

    Dempster: 3.00 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 6.0 k/9, 4.1 BB/9, 5.3 h/9.

    K/9 are a little low, but not awful. If he can keep his walks/hits at 1 an inning, he will will continue to pitch well. Of course… that is a HUGE if.

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