Archive for August, 2010

Game 121: Hapless Cubs lose third straight to Padres

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Today’s game was over in the top of the first when the Padres scored two runs. It doesn’t take much these days to beat the Cubs and Matt Stairs’ double off the ivy proved to be the decisive hit as the Padres won 5-1 over the North Siders. Today’s highlights:

  • Top 1st: Coleman starts out shaky but Castillo fires out of the block and cuts down Venable. Coleman looking real shaky now after walking the next two and hitting a batter. Stairs knocks in two with a double off the left field ivy. Headley thrown out 4-2 at the plate two outs, Coleman gets out of the inning.
  • Bottom 2nd: Soriano doubles past Gwynn man on second one out. Richard ignores Soriano at second, Soriano steals third with one out (Cubs are last in the league in stolen bases.) Baker doubles to left center 2-1 Padres. Stairs robs Coleman with a diving catch to keep the lead at 2-1.
  • Top 3rd: Gonzalez lines a solo to the left field bleachers, 3-1 SD.

The rest of the scoring was icing on the cake as the Pads took a 3-0 advantage in this four game series. The Cubbies took a long look at prospects today – Barney started and led off and went 1-4 for the day. Castro had a walk and a hit; Wellington Castro went 0-3 but had a nice throwout at second catching a decent base stealer in Venable. Coleman looked ineffective again, I’d like to see him finish out the rest of the season in Iowa (where the I-Cubs are embroiled in a playoff race 2.5 games ahead in their division.) Likewise with Diamond and Mateo, who have ERAs of 7.20 and 12:46 respectively. Since the Cubs have nothing to lose why not take another look at Samardzija, Mitch Atkins and a first look at Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who sports a 5-0 record and a 1.97 ERA for Iowa.

One assumes that Micah Hoffpauir will be brought up for yet another cup o’ coffee with the Cubs – Micah has 22 homeruns for Iowa but it’s hard to consider him as a prospect any more. I’m more interested in seeing what Brad Snyder and Bryan LaHair will do when it’s time for September callups. I’m impressed with the young San Diego team – they find ways to score and they don’t beat themselves. This is where I’d like to see the Cubs in 2013; tomorrow the Cubs get a look at 2006 eleventh round draft pick Mat Latos who presently sports a 2.32 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP.

In other news it is generally reported that Derrek Lee is on his way to Atlanta for something other than a top prospect. Lee will reportedly accept the trade because it’s evident that the Cubs’ 2010 chances are over and the Braves are in the thick of it. While the Cubs are not likely to get much in return it does save them $3 million in salary which counts for something if you are the general manager or the owner. My best wishes to Derrek on the rest of his career; he is the third-best first baseman the Cubs have had since I began rooting for the team in 1968 (behind Mr. Cub and Mark Grace.) It remains to be seen as to whether or not the Cubs have finished trimming salary, my guess is that they are not.

Update:  According to MLB.com the Cubs have received right-handed pitchers Robinson Lopez and Tyrelle Harris and left-handed pitcher Jeffrey Lorick in exchange for Derrek Lee, who will be in uniform for Atlanta when the Braves come to Wrigley on Friday.  Lopez is 3-8 with a 4.41 ERA for Class A Rome, he has 70 strikeouts and 43 walks in 92 2/3 innings pitched.  Harris appears to be the centerpiece of this trade – the 6’4″ righthander has struck out 60 in 49 2/3 IP and carries a 2.90 ERA with three teams this year.  He’s held opposing batters to a .210 batting average.  Lefthander Jeffrey Lorick also plays for Single A Rome; despite his 3-6 record he sports a 2.24 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings pitched.  In summary, not a bad haul for a player the Cubs had no intention in bringing back for 2011.

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Book Review: Coach

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

The complete title of this book is: “Coach – Lessons on the Game of Life”. The author is Michael Lewis. It was published in 2005.

Michael Lewis, you may remember, is the author of “Moneyball” and “The Blind Side” among other titles.

I have to admit, I have not, as yet, read the book. Instead I listened to the audiobook version, “Read by the Author”.

As Mr. Lewis explains it in this book he, as a 43 year old, looks back at a man who changed his life. That man, Billy Fitzgerald (aka “Coach Fitz”), was his baseball coach back when he, the author, was a 14 year old boy “who could pass for 12 years old”.

The action in “Coach” takes place in New Orleans, where Michael Lewis went to school, and where a somewhat unusual situation is occurring. Former students (and their parents) think the world of Coach Fitz. But many parents of current students want Coach Fitz fired.

The collective memory of students seems to be: “Fitz changed my life”.

On the back cover of the CD jewel case are printed these words:
- “The coach’s message was not simply about winning, but about self-respect, sacrifice, courage, and endurance. In some ways, and even now, thirty years later, Lewis still finds himself trying to measure up to what Coach Fitz expected of him.”

Names with which you may be familiar, who are mentioned, quoted, or referenced in this book include:
- Sean Tuohy
- “Pistol Pete” Maravich
- Rusty Staub
- Lou Piniella
- Rollie Fingers
- Catfish Hunter
- Peyton Manning
- Archie Manning
- Aesop
- Mark Twain

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

- “There were the written rules, and there were the rules.”

- “Success, to Fitz, was a process.”

- “Privilege Corrupts”

- “All this is about a false sense of self-esteem.”

- “What’s fun to you is death to me.”

- “He was teaching us how to cope with the two greatest enemies of a well-lived life: fear and failure.”

- “You never give up on a team, just like you never give up on a kid.”

There are some names in my life who had an effect on me similar to that of Coach Fitz in the life of Michael Lewis. Each deserves a story all his own, but for now I’ll simply list the names here in chronological order of their appearance in my life:

- Mr. Terrance Willison

- Coach Sam Brunswick

- Coach “Crazy Ed” Mitchell

- “Coach” Dobrath

- Coach Herb Hassenburg

- Coach Jack Rapper

- Sensei Shojiro Sugiyama

Listening to the audiobook was very easy and I recommend it to everyone. It consists on one (1) CD, one hour in length. Because the audiobook is so short, I was able to listen to it a number of times.

Nowhere on the CD cover does the word “unabridged” appear, so it is possible that the audiobook leaves out some segments of the printed version. On the other hand, the audiobook is read by Mr. Michael Lewis himself, so that adds its own cachet.

I recommend the book “Coach” by Michael Lewis very highly to anyone and everyone. I enjoyed listening to it. I’m sure that either the audio or printed version will prove to be worth your while.

This recommendation does not apply only to boys, nor does it apply only to jocks.

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Game 120: Bring On The Fourth Quarter

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

 

120 Games…..only 42 left.

I wonder what I will be thinking next year when we reach this mark?

Will it help if I start drinking now?  Will it make the latter innings easier to stomach? 

Stay positive, stay positive…….find your happy place.

The following are some random thoughts from tonights game……..as they happened to enter my brain throughout the game.

Randy Wells is my new favorite cub to hate, and low and behold, he was tonights starter against the Padres.  Right off the bat he reaffirmed my feelings by loading the bases in the first inning and giving up a run.   Gifting the other team runs in the first inning basically takes the air out of this Cubs team.  However, this team looks flat regardless of the situation.

Jon Garland took the bump for The Fathers.  I am not sure where to place that trade with the Sox but the Cubs definitely got the used side of the toilet paper.  Matt Karchner was our side of the take and from what I remember he stunk.   Meanwhile, Garland is ham and eggin’ a nice career for himself.  

I was a little dissappointed to see Xavier Nady in the lineup tonight.  I wasn’t dissappointed in the fact that Lee wasn’t playing, or that X-man was manning the bag,  I just wish we had some young talent that could get the experience at the position.  It doesn’t say much when you are plugging in Nady at this juncture of the season.  It seems like a wasted opportunity for one of the young guys…..but who?  These are the things that scare me about this team, we dont have depth at some key positions for the near future.  Right now would be the perfect time to showcase that talented, power hitting first baseman that the Cubs are hiding in the minors, except he is not there.

Len and Bob were raining down compliments on Blake Dewitt’s offensive presence since joining the Cubs.  He then promptly hits into a double play with no outs and two on in the second inning…… such is 2010.  On another note Len and Bob sound a little tired and I can’t blame them.  This season must be wearing on them a little.  Not only is this team playing sub par baseball but they have no identity what so ever.

  • The third inning spelled out the Cubs troubles.  The pitcher gets on base to lead off the inning and Fukudome hits into a double play.  When your pitcher gets on to start an inning you have to plate a run!  Yet again, we kill what could be a big inning with the top of the lineup.  Both Castro and Byrd get on base, but with two outs, that leaves little room for error.

By the way, two players that stand out for me this season are Marlon Byrd and Starlin Castro.  They are both gamers and look like they are enjoying themselves.  Marlon seems to take a lot of pride in his craft which is nice to see in an otherwise dreary year.  Starlin adds a little excitement for the future (Yes, Colvin is a close second).

Fast Forward to the sixth inning……(yah it’s an uneventful one folks)

  • Here we are in the sixth inning and Randy Wells has managed to keep the Padres to one run!  My best guess…..he is on the verge of unfolding!  Then again, wouldn’t hurt if our Cubbies could grab a few runs but once again this offense is making another decent pitcher look like a Cy Young candidate! 
  • Castro, DeWitt, and Nady just turned a tough double play.  The take out slide at second looked a little suspect, the runner literally stuck his leg out in the opposite direction to take down DeWitt.  It wasn’t pretty but Wells gets out of the jam.  Nady made a Derrek Lee-like play at first to cap that DP off. 

The Cubs are really starting to churn through the at bats quickly now.  Thats six up and six down through the sixth and seventh innings. 

Randy Wells gave up 1 run on 3 hits through six innings.  You know what, Good for Randy! I bashed him at the start but he showed me something tonight.  On that note, does anybody think he could have kept it going for a seventh inning?…….. didn’t think so.  Now we get the bullpen…….

  • Sean Marshall pitched a nice eighth inning.  Spotless would be a better word.  Sean is about the only bright spot in this bullpen so far this year.  He has been fairly consistant with an occassional blip here and there. 
  • Tyler Colvin at the plate to start off the eighth.  Len and Bob state that Tyler has been MIA as of late.  Apparently Lou wanted to give him a break as they were starting to see his production slide a while back.  Len and Bob were also commenting during the seventh that Colvin may not be making the adjustments needed unlike Castro who has adjusted better at the plate in his first season….now if we could only get him to field a little better?  All of this leads me to think, what will our outfield look like next year?  Where does Fukudome go? 
  • Castro singled to right field with a nice piece of hitting in the eighth inning.  Fukudome, with some exceptional baserunning, gets to third base.  Marlon up…..game on the line…..double play!  I give you your 2010 Chicago Cubs!  Sweet mercy!!!!

Ninth inning…….Marmol Time!

  • Marmol gives up nothing while of course flirting with danger. 
  • Blake DeWitt launches a ball to the ivy but Ludwick is there to make the grab.  Two more feet and that ball is gone for a two run homer and a Cubs walkoff victory……

…….such is 2010.

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In the News: Pain, suffering and the Cubs

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Well, I’ll be honest, Cubs fans: My morale has been pretty low the last few days. Even with the series win in St. Louis, I’ve been really struggling with the very existential essence of my Cubs fandom. How do you stay motivated to follow a team when it’s 19 games under .500? (Waitaminute … that can’t be right. Is that right?) I guess I should ask a Pirates fan.

In any case, I’m going to use today’s “In the News” to get us all up to date on the pain and suffering — that is, the injuries — being dealt with among the Cubs’ players.

Derrek Lee’s bulging disc has flared up again. He received an epidural yesterday (Monday) and won’t return to the lineup until Thursday at the earliest and probably not ’til Friday against the Braves. So expect to see a lot of Xavier Nady this week.  DLee’s cranky disc has become a perennial concern, which will obviously be perennial no longer if he doesn’t return to the Cubs next season.

Carlos Silva is feeling better. He threw off the mound yesterday and will do so again on Wednesday. He’s expected to make at least one rehab start before returning to the rotation after undergoing cardiac surgery last week. And, yes, I did read somewhere that Silva will return to the rotation, not the bullpen. I guess the Cubs feel he’s earned that, even though it would be kind of nice to leave a rotation slot open for rookie tryouts.

Speaking of which, Thomas Diamond is now out of the rotation. Casey Coleman is in and will be making his first start tomorrow (Wednesday) vs. those high-flying, unstoppable Padres. Oh, and I believe either Sweet Lou or Jim Hendry has gone on record saying Jeff Samardzija will get a start in September. So we’ve got that to look forward to.

Geo will take batting practice today. He’s still on the DL, recovering from a sprained ligament in his right shoulder but apparently feeling better. I wonder whether Lou will start Koyie again tonight. If so, I’d imagine Wellington “Beef” Castillo would get another start for the day game tomorrow (Wednesday).

Aramis Ramirez is, technically, not injured (though he always seems to be hurting in one way or another). He’s also not going to be an Atlanta Brave. Bruce Levine shot down a rumor floating around that the Cubs and Braves were discussing moving Aramis down south now that Chipper Jones is done for the season. It doesn’t feellike Hendry is going to move Ramirez. He’ll probably finish out his contract next season, still playing third base.

Starlin Castro is not injured. He was just resting yesterday. And he’s still awesome. And congrats to Darwin Barney on his first major league hit.

Sorry to be a little lazy with the links today. You’ll just have to trust me on most of this stuff. Mwahahahahaha.

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Game 119: Like A Sharp Stick In The Eye!!

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Thank you, lizzie, for the kind introduction.

This is my weekly recap of a Cubs game, specifically the Monday night game against the San Diego Padres, but before we get into that I have to say a few words about yesterday’s game against the Cardinals.

The first lesson which yesterday’s game demonstrated is that it is better to be ahead 9-2, than to be trailing 9-2.

Secondly,  I heard analysts bemoaning the fact that the Cubs “almost lost” the game in the ninth inning, that the Cardinals “almost came back” late in the game.  Here’s my point:  “Almost” only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades (and, I’m told, in thermonuclear devices).

Thirdly, have you noticed that the Cubs seem to beat the Cardinals, while, counterintuitively, they lose to the Pirates?  I guess it all sort of evens out.

Lastly, regarding DLee’s sore lower back.  Setting aside, for the moment, any personal feelings about Mr. Lee’s performance (at times)  during the past two seasons, let me say that I’ve lived with back issues, and I wouldn’t wish backaches on anyone.  Get well soon big guy.

Now, let’s recap the Monday night game against the San Diego Padres.  For purposes of this recap I’m going to assume the persona of “Mr. Expert On Everything” (my alter ego).

I have to tell you that watching this game was better than putting a sharp stick in my eye, but not much better.

The Cubs started off pretty good, but eventually they reverted to their default setting which resembles a slow spiral descent into hell.

On the offensive side, the first two Cubs batters got hits, resulting in runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs.  Somehow they managed to score no runs while leaving the bases loaded.  Amazing!

Tom Gorzelanny pitched a true quality start.  He had a no hitter through three innings, and a shutout through four innings.  Justin Berg was warming up in the 6th, because it was obvious that Mr. Gorzelanny was out of gas.

But Gorz got out of the 6th inning without too much damage.  After 6 innings he had given up 2 runs, 6 hits, 3 walks & 2 strikeouts.  Like I said, a “quality start”.

My jaw dropped when, inexplicably, Gorzelanny came out to pitch the 7th.  I actually made a note at that time: “This will not end well!”.

Before we move ahead to the later innings, let me say that Darwin Barney made a really nice relay throw to home plate in the top of the fifth.  At the same time, I feel compelled to point out that Alfonso Soriano was his usual self in the field and on the bases tonight.

Earlier today I was reading some football analysis by Peter King, who quoted a coach saying: “They don’t play better just because you pay ‘em more money.”  Case in point, Alfonso Soriano.

In the eighth inning Alfonso drove a ball against the wall in right center, for what I thought was a sure triple.  But, with his superior base running skills, Mr. Soriano turned a sure triple into a stand up double.

I don’t want to describe the 7th, 8th & 9th innings in great detail, because we all know the drill.  The Cubs bullpen is a work in progress, and there you have it.  I will say that LHP James Russell struck out the side in the top of the 9th.  (Unfortunately, the Padres managed to score 2 runs on a single, a walk and a triple in between the 3 Ks.)

I want to congratulate Padres shortstop Miguel Tejada on a stellar performance this evening.  Four hits in five plate appearances, with a double and three singles, two RBIs and two runs scored.

And I especially dig Darwin Barney’s exaggerated gum chewing when he’s at the plate.

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Great Moments In Cubs Busts History: Jeff Blauser

Monday, August 16th, 2010

We all have players who we like for no good reason. Infielder Jeff Blauser was one of those guys for me.

During his first full season with the Atlanta Braves in 1989, Blauser showed decent pop for a SS/2B, swatting 12 homers and 24 doubles in 142 games. As those young Braves teams improved, so did Blauser’s productivity. By 1993, he was the everyday SS, flourishing in the two-hole. After a few up and down seasons, Blauser ripped off the best campaign of his career in 1997 (.308/.405/.482). I had officially become a fan.

Cubs followers surely remember how he routinely pounded the ball at Wrigley Field. I can’t tell you how many times I heard Harry Caray say, “That guy would look great in a Cubs uniform. He always hits well at Wrigley Field.” The obvious problem with that plan was that Cubs hitters didn’t get to face Cubs pitchers. At any rate, management must have been listening to Harry, as they signed the free agent Blauser during the winter of 1997. Even though I had that soft spot in my heart for the scrappy SS, this deal had trouble written all over it.

Trouble arrived quickly in the spring of 1998. By May, Blauser was scuffling along at a .663 OPS. June and July saw more of the same, and by late summer, he was sent to the bench. Blauser finished the season at a disappointing .219/.344/.299. The former Braves standout didn’t exactly “party like it’s 1999” the next season either. The Cubs saw Blauser struggle through an injury-plagued summer that limited him to 200 unproductive at bats. On October 28, 1999, he was out of Chicago and out of baseball at only 33 years old.

Gordon Gekko once said, “Never get emotional about stock.” The same is true for mediocre middle infielders. I guess it’s finally time to send that Blauser jersey to the garage sale pile.

Jeff Blauser’s Cubs Stats

Year Age PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1998 32 435 49 79 11 3 4 26 2 2 60 93 .219 .340 .299 .639 69
1999 33 238 41 48 5 2 9 26 2 2 26 52 .240 .347 .420 .767 96
CHC (2 yrs) 673 90 127 16 5 13 52 4 4 86 145 .226 .343 .342 .685 79
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/16/2010.
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Game 118: Voices

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to the game today. After a morning filled with yard work I found myself done and ready to recap about 40 minutes before the game started. 12:39pm, to be precise. Ahhhh, done. I’ll just stretch out here on the couch until the game comes on…………..

OOPS! I think I dozed. It’s the bottom of the third! Didn’t TiVo the game since I fully planned to watch it. So you get my Gameday-driven-type-recap for the first three innings and if anything exciting happened that the computer isn’t telling me I’m sure you can read about it. You’ll just have to read about it elsewhere. Sorry everyone. Not like me, but so goes this season. Maybe if I had more reason to watch I wouldn’t have been so likely to snooze. So it’s the Cubs’ fault. Yeah. That’s it. It’s their fault!

1st inning: Derrek Lee got the Cubs off to a nice start with a solo home run. Alas, short-lived as Albert Pujols returned the favor in the bottom half of the inning and we’re back to square.

2nd inning: Most exciting thing to happen in this inning seemed to be Xavier Nady’s HBP. From the perspective of GameDay (pitch #2), this did not look like pleasant positioning.

However he stayed in the game so I’m guessing the cartoon characters aren’t anatomically correct. Lucky for him!

3rd inning: Well I’ll be dipped! Derrek Lee homered again! Go DLee! This time Pujols did not return the favor, Cubs lead 2-1.

I’m awake now! Just in time for some fun!

4th inning: The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs before Koyie Hill drove in two runs on a ground-rule double, scoring Nady and Byrd. Cubs lead 4-1. Which I accidentally just typo’d as “cups” lead. Made myself laugh. Dempster helped his own cause by singling in Blake DeWitt. Still no outs!! That marked the end of Kyle Loshe’s day. Cubs lead 5-1. Fukudome kept it going with a double scoring Hill. Still no outs! Dempster made like a professional baserunner when MacDougal threw a wild pitch and scored even though the ball didn’t get two far away from Molina. The risk paid off, he was safe! Castro grounded out bringing up DLee. Can he do it again? Nope! Strikeout. But that’s ok. Ramirez walked to keep the inning alive, bringing up Marlon Byrd for the second time this inning. Byrd singled in Fukudome giving Nady his second chance this inning. Cubs lead 8-1. I haven’t had this much fun while watching a Cubs game in months! Nady ended the inning with a ground out. Nice comfy lead now. Why do I hear a voice in my head wondering how they’re going to blow it? Bad, bad Lizzie.

::::::::snip::::::::::

No, I didn’t fall back to sleep. This time the game was the snoozer, not me. The Cardinals managed one run in the fifth making it 8-2. DLee left the game with lower back stiffness (which should come as no surprise if you watched yesterday’s game, he looked hurt) and that’s about all that transpired for awhile.

Saw a lot of ads for Curb Your Enthusiasm, which premiers September 13 on WGN. Have you seen the show? Anyone? It’s fantastic, I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t, especially if you were a Seinfeld fan. But for those of you who know the show, is it just me, or can you not even imagine how they can make it acceptable for mainstream television? Then again they managed to do it with Sex and the City. In fact that came up in conversation today. Bozo the Bush. That’s all I can say in mixed company.

9th inning: Colvin doubled and scored on a Ramirez single in Cubs’ half of the inning, making it 9-2. In the Cardinals’ half, my “how can they possibly blow this?” voices started again as Steven Hill hit his first career major league home run making it 9-3. While ignoring the voices and considering what I might cook for dinner, Marcos Mateo managed to load the bases giving up two singles and a walk. No outs. James Russell replaced Mateo and struck out Skip Schumaker for a big first out. After walking in a run Russell was relieved by Carlos Marmol. Since he’s entering the game with the tying run on deck, he qualifies for a save in what originally began as a blowout. Oh those voices! Felipe Lopez promptly singled in Aaron Miles and Brendan Ryan bringing the tying run to the plate in Randy Winn. Marmol walked him to re-load the bases. Allen Craig represents the winning run for the Cardinals. A nice double play ball was bobbled by Castro but they did get an out at first, with another run scoring. 9-7. Here’s Steven Hill again. He too grounded to Castro but this time he fielded it cleanly and ended the drama. Dempster gains his 11th win, Marmol his 21st save. Whew.

BTS after the game:
mrbaseball2usa = 6
Dragon = 5
Big Bob = 3
Gabo = 3
Ben = 1

This is the first two-game winning streak (? do you call it a streak at 2?) for the Cubs since mid-July. Guess who they beat two times in a row? The Cardinals. This also marks their first series win since mid-July (also vs. St. Louis, in the same series that they won 2 in a row.) Back to Wrigley for tomorrow night’s game against the Padres. Tom Gorzellany will take the mound. Join my good pal CubbieDude for the recap!

Win Probability

First Star – Derrek Lee (WPA = .226)
Second Star – Blake DeWitt (.108)
Third Star – Albert Pujols (.090)

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Game 116: Who Is That Guy?

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Tonight was my first look at rookie Thomas Diamond. My first thought…It’s Kent Bottenfield! My second thought…Is he related to Dustin Diamond? If so, did he like “Saved by the Bell: the College Years?” My third thought…He was great in “The Jazz Singer.” Anyway, on to the game.

The Cubs started quickly against the recently paroled (from the Indians) Jake Westbrook. Taking the mound with a 2-0 lead, Diamond quickly surrendered a solo shot to Albert Pujols (no shame in that). A quick sidebar…I was lucky enough to see Pujols play several times while he was in the minors. His time in Peoria, Illinois gave no indication of what he would become. Even though I can’t stand the Cardinals, it’s a blast watching Albert swing the bat. I hope baseball fans truly appreciate how good this guy really is.

A two-out walk from Kosuke Fukudome didn’t lead to a second-inning run, but it did make me wonder about his future. Will the Cubs be able to move Fukudome in the offseason? If not, I’d like to see him in the leadoff spot vs. RHP next year. If nothing else, the guy gets on base at a decent clip.

As future star Colby Rasmus stepped to the plate in the bottom of the second, Len and Bob tortured viewers with lame impressions of Dana Carvey doing Johnny Carson. Seriously, could the Cubs employ two worse announcers? Part of me hopes Brenly does manage next year just so I don’t have to listen to him anymore. Oh yeah, some bad baserunning by Rasmus helped Diamond escape the inning.

The Cubs bats went silent against Westbrook, a solid pitcher who has struggled to stay healthy since a 15-10 season in 2006. As per usual, LaRussa and Duncan are working magic with a veteran starting pitcher. He should really help the Cardinals down the stretch. Diamond took his lumps in the bottom of the third. Matt Holiday doubled in the tying run, and the completely annoying Yadier Molina gave the Redbirds their first lead with a sac fly. A very sweaty Thomas Diamond limped to the dugout down 3-2. Did I mention it was hot in St. Louis?

Len and Bob started the 4th with a riveting conversation about mosquitoes. Soriano followed their lead by swinging the bat with mosquito-like authority, grounding out weakly to third. Somehow Koyie Hill managed to reach base, but the Cubs couldn’t take advantage of such a rare opportunity. Please come back soon, Geo Soto.

After cruising through the top of the 4th inning, Westbrook led off the bottom half with a double. A surprising sacrifice by Brendan Ryan moved the runner over. However, the gift out did little to energize Diamond, who surrendered a run-scoring single to Jon Jay (you have to like a player with two first names). A wild pitch advanced Jay to second base, but Mr. Pujols couldn’t blow the game open.

Trailing 4-2, the Cubs wilted in the summer heat. Westbrook and the Cardinals bullpen attacked the Northsiders like Jim Gray “taking down” Corey Pavin. It was an all-too-familiar story the rest of the way. Final score: 6-3.

It’s worth noting that Len and Bob are at their absolute worst when the Cubs are out of it. The rest of the evening brought us painful discussions about red seats and more bad impressions. Tonight I actually missed Josh Lewin.

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GirlieView (08/13/2010)

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Hello and Happy Friday. I’ve got to hand it to you guys (and gals!). This week provided some of the best quotes I can remember reviewing! I think we’re all in the same boat. We’re all disgusted with our team and misery loves company so I think we collectively cheer ourselves up using humor and a sense of collective friendship. Man that sounds sappy even to me. Nevermind. Let’s move on!

Beat the Streak

After yesterday’s Giants game, here’s where you all stand:

  • Rich Beckman = 5
  • Dragon = 4
  • mrbaseball2usa = 4
  • Scott = 4
  • Big Bob = 2
  • Gabo = 2
  • Joe L. = 2
  • Shane = 2
  • Ben = 1
  • Brent Huelsmann = 1
  • Doug S. = 1

Lizzies

  • The Cubs came close today.  Close, but no cigar.
  • the Cubs are contenders right now….They are contending for the title of “Doormat Of The National League”.
  • I’ll bet Lou is counting the days until this mess of a season is over.
  • The Cubs lost another game?
    Big deal.
    Byrd didn’t get me a hit for BTS.
    Bigger deal.
  • Is that something fun flying? or mating? Having never mated with a dragonfly before, I would say the flying is the something fun.
  • As irritating as Carlos Zambrano has been this year, there is still something fascinating about him.
  • Zambrano HAS to do well, so that the Cubs can get rid of him!
  • I don’t know how family relations work in your neck of the woods, but if you didn’t get two sets of grandparents, somebody somewhere made a very terrible life decision.
  • I kill me.
  • General Manager Jim Hendry was seen shrieking into his cellphone earlier today as he tried to refill the Cubs 25-man roster after every single player in uniform for last night’s depressing 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants asked to be placed on the disabled, bereavement or restricted list before tonight’s game.
  • Not to be outdone, starting left fielder Alfonso Soriano told the team that his best friend in the world — his Hummer — is suffering from severe transmission problems and needs his support immediately.
  • [Fukudome's] tersely worded (er, lettered) statement to the team, sent via text message, was simply “BRB.”
  • I wonder if Samardzija reads VFTB…poor guy might have his hopes as high now as his breaking balls were in April.
  • Samardzija should realize how lucky he is that he’s been in Iowa all year, and thus can’t have the disaster of ’010 placed on his doorstep.
  • doesn’t it seem as though we have suffered a string of losses that blurred together in a mosaic as if it were happening in a parallel sports universe.  Kind of like we were being stabbed over and over but couldn’t feel it because we were already dead?
  • Hey, Look Big Z is punching out our new first baseman in the dugout!
  • if I have to watch one more game with such terrible, horrible, not-even-a-fitting-adjective-for-this-level-of-disgust defense, I might explode.
  • I remember a translucent set of round Kool-aid glasses and a matching pitcher with that smiling face on it. We had cool shit in the 60′s
  • No more Cajuns. I guess we will have to go back to enunciating our terminal Ts.
  • this is where overpaying for a “veteran” relief pitcher really bites you in the arse.
  • he can’t hit worth a damn. But Lou loves him.
  • The Tea Totallers have a good-looking young prospect who can play every position at once. A kid named Bunny; looks like the Cubs could use him. Here’s some video from a scout: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzqxIql0Pnk
  • They were the Cadillac of buns, only out done by J-Lo.
  • I deadpan that I don’t have any dogs to the cashiers
  • I really don’t like cashiers fondling any of my goods.
  • Cornhole..I guess the Carolinas are a bit closer to Kentucky than I thought.

Lizard

  • The unlucky dragonflies, the ones with maimed wings or unfavorable mutations, die frustrated and unfulfilled. Those dragonflies must have a moment at the end where they say, “what was the point?” Those dragonflies know what it’s like to be a Cubs fan.

Enjoy the Cardinals and the weekend (not necessarily in that order!)

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