First, the good (and interesting) news. As Darrell told me a few days ago, today’s starter, Casey Coleman, is a third generation big-leaguer.  Now for the bad news. Coleman is way too hittable to be a useful ML pitcher.

Even if his dad was a genetically engineered combination of Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, and Tom Seaver, Coleman would still be nothing more than a dime-a-dozen, AAA arm. How did the Brewers not crush some of those meatballs today? In his defense, he did battle and keep the Cubs in the ballgame (here’s where Len usually says “swagger” or “moxy” or “grit”).

I don’t mean to pick on Casey Coleman, but the next time you’re on, check out his minor league strikeout numbers. I’m no scout or pitching coach, but that looks like big trouble to me.

How about some more brutal honesty? After all, it’s always better to know the truth (or at least my warped version of it):

1)      Today’s 2-0 loss to the Brewers is yet another reminder of this team’s major weakness. Unless the Cubs significantly upgrade their offense, 2011 will be just as unpleasant as 2010. In case you forgot, the Cubs are currently 10th in runs scored and on-base percentage. Even the lowly Diamondbacks have generated more firepower.

2)     The offseason MUST include a bullpen overhaul. Check out this collection of gas cans:

  • James Russell (43.2 IP, 10 HR, 5.36 ERA)
  • Justin Berg (35.1 IP, 18 BB, 5.60 ERA)
  • John Grabow (25.2 IP, 5 HR, 7.36 ERA)
  • Thomas Diamond (23.2 IP, 15 BB, 7.23 ERA, before the bomb to McGehee)

Even though he’s been awful, I’m not listing Andrew Casher for two obvious reasons. First, there is a 99.9 percent chance he’ll be on the roster next year. Second, unlike the pitchers mentioned above, Cashner actually has significant upside. Hopefully he’ll improve his command, which has been dreadful in 2010 (26 BB in 44 IP).  My fingers are also crossed for an Angel Guzman recovery.

3)      I’m not one of those Cubs fans who hates Kosuke Fukudome. Although he’s been less than originally hyped, Fukudome is a useful player vs. RHP. Having said that, it was still a little frustrating to watch Gallardo toy with him today. High fastballs and breaking balls in the dirt made Fukudome look like a drunken lumberjack. At least he learned his lesson and drew a walk later in the game.

4)     I know that radar guns are usually cranked up for television broadcasts, but come on! There is no way on Earth that Casey Coleman was throwing 93 mph. Maybe his cousin works for WGN.

5)     As much as we all love Starlin Castro, he has to improve the glove work.  That third-inning throw to Yao Ming was his 25th miscue in 108 games.

So the Quade caravan moves on to St. Louis. Maybe the Cubs can play spoiler and finish off the Cards once and for all.

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