Archive for September, 2011

Game 158 – Welp, So Much for That.

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Cubs 1, Cardinals 2

Box Score / Highlights

What Went Right:

  • The First Three Pitchers: Lopez pitched a stellar 6 innings, giving up zero runs on 4 hits. Cashner threw a scoreless frame, as did Marshall. It’s nice to see our pitching come together like that. I’ve covered Lopez’ last 2 starts, and he’s been pleasantly surprising by keeping his opponents on a short leash. Hopefully Cash will be a solid rotation guy for us next season (and stay un-injured).
  • Defense: There were three plays that stood out from this game – Marlon Byrd’s diving catch to rob Skip Schumaker of a base hit, Pena’s awesome stop at 1st base in the 4th, and Soriano’s rocket throw to third to snag Holiday. Soriano is by no means a great outfielder, but that throw was spectacular.
  • Soriano’s Bat: He had our only RBI today. He was the hero last night. Way to show up 100 games too late.

What Went Wrong:

  • Marmol: Carlos Marmol has never been so infuriating as he was today. HE WAS SO TERRIBLE! If a pitcher gives up a hit and proceeds to walk the next 2 batters, TAKE HIM OUT!! It’s only natural for him to walk in the tying run, then throw a wild pitch to lose the game. Obviously.
  • Quade made some bad decisions today.

Notes:

  • I’m not going to complain about DeWitt today. He was not productive, and he was not that great at third, but he was not directly detrimental to the team. So for that, I will give him a pass.
  • Castro is everyone’s favorite Cub.
  • Every time Soto was up to bat, I couldn’t help but wonder why Lizzie finds him so attractive. To each her own, Lizzie! :)

The Takeaway:

Today’s game was a decent summary of what the season has been for the Cubs. Disappointing. As much as I love the Boys of Summer, summer is over, and today put the nail in the coffin for that realization. The game looked good for the first 8 innings; my hopes were high for a win! But Marmol blew it. It’s time to rebuild. We’re a step in the right direction.

Stars of the Game
Base on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Ryan Theriot (.391 WPA)

2nd Star – Rodrigo Lopez (.381 WPA)

3rd Star – Adron Chambers (.346 WPA)

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Game 157 – Soriano’s Blast Eliminates Cards From Central Race

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Cubs 5, Cardinals 1

Box Score / Highlights

What Went Right

Starlin Castro – he removed the suspense in the first at-bat of the game, singling solidly to left field for his 200th hit of the year. He collected his 201st in the 9th inning on an RBI single to center. Since 1959, only one player has had more hits than Castro in a single season at age 21 or younger. Alex Rodriguez. It might be a mere numerological milestone, but seeing as how only one other person has done it at Castro’s age or younger in 50+ years it’s fairly significant – congrats Starlin!

Pena – this is the Pena we’d been told we were getting. A game tying RBI double into and over the shift, 3 walks (one intentional). Carpenter didn’t have any clue how to get him out.

Barney – scored the tying and go-ahead runs in large part due to his aggressiveness on the bases. He scored from first on Pena’s rocket to RF; a play on which lot of our guys wouldn’t have attempted to score. Then he led off the 8th with a standing triple in part because he busted it right out of the box. The fact that he was on third instead of second to start the inning put the Cards immediately on edge – yeah, Soriano hit the bomb so Barney would’ve scored from second as well, but Barney’s occupation of third seemed to make McClellan uneasy on the mound.

Soriano – a timely three-run bomb to untie a 1-1 game in the 8th. There was little doubt when he hit it.

What Went OK

Ryan Dempster – a glance at his box score and you might imagine he had a really good game. His result was really good; the course he charted was a bit treacherous at times. He walked six batters, but also stranded 10 and held the Cards to 0-for-8 with RISP.

For once he didn’t look overmatched against Albert Pujols either. His slider was effectively wild; it wasn’t particularly sharp, but when he was missing it was way outside – not on a platter over the heart of the plate.

It wasn’t ever comfortable, but the fact is he surrendered a single run on a squeeze by the pitcher. He also ended a bases loaded threat in the bottom of the sixth with a double play (5-2-3) from Ryan Theriot. The result was fantastic – the performance was ok.

What Went Wrong

Nothing – not anything worth discussing.

The Takeaway

Don’t…Get…Eliminated! I believe I mentioned this a few weeks ago when the Cubs were in San Francisco pushing the Giants further out of the NL West race. Last year the Cubs managed to march into San Diego on the second to last series of the season, and steal three of four from a Padre team that was fighting for the playoffs. Once the Cubs left, the Padres needed to go to SF and sweep the Giants for their ticket to the playoffs – they couldn’t and the Giants went on to win the World Series.

Last night the Cubs & Cards were roughly an inning behind the Brewers & Marlins (playing in Milwaukee). With the game tied 1-1 in the 8th, Ryan Braun launched a 3-run homer that catapulted the Brewers to a 4-1 victory. As John Axford was pitching to the eventual final batter of the game, Miller Park erupted in excitement as they saw the Cubs take a 4-1 lead over the Cards in the top of their 8th inning. Soriano’s bomb in the 8th did for the Cubs what Braun’s had done just minutes before for the Brewers.

Why does it matter? When Marmol slammed the door on the Cards, the Brewers clinched the NL Central crown (their first division title since Harvey’s Wallbangers in 1982). And with the Braves beating Stephen Strasburg and the Nats, the Cards now sit 3 games in arrears for the Wild Card. With a bit of luck, the Cubs will head for San Diego on Sunday as St. Louis prepares their Thursday morning tee times.

 

Stars of the Game
Base on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Chris Carpenter (.263 WPA)

2nd Star – Carlos Pena (.260 WPA)

3rd Star – Darwin Barney (.251 WPA)

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“And now, the end is here…”

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Apologies for the short, tardy post today.  For the last couple weeks, I’ve been getting up much earlier than usual to exercise with a couple friends–one of whom is a former Navy SEAL.  For someone like me, whose  usual exercise regimen consisted of periodic laps between the couch and the fridge, it has been a shock to the system to say the least.  The good news is that I’m slowly becoming slightly less of a lazy slob.

Just a few scattered thoughts as the Cubs enter the last weekend of the season:

  • A lot has been said and written this week about the future of Mike Quade.  While his contract guarantees he’ll be paid for the job next year, it seems like a forgone conclusion that he won’t be the Cubs’ manager next season.  No serious Cub fan would argue that he was dealt a winning hand this season.  But even if you strip away all the ineffectiveness on the roster, all the injuries, and all the mistakes made by his bosses, he still didn’t do much to help the team win.  Just how much difference can a manager make in the course of the season?  Between writing up the lineup card, putting players in the best position to succeed, monitoring his starting staff, making shrewd use of his bullpen, executing timely pitching changes, defensive switches, and pinch hits, and policing his players on the field and off, the manager can and should make a significant impact on his team.  Looking over that list, there’s not one area Quade didn’t occasionally fall short in throughout the season–including some where he never excelled.  As a manager, he makes a great third base coach–which is good news, since Ivan DeJesus never really got the hang of that job, either.
  • And Quade’s hits just keep on coming!  The controversy-that-isn’t (yet?) over him ordering suggesting that Matt Garza strike out to secure one more at-bat for Starlin Castro on Wednesday is a bizarre punctuation for the season.  What strikes me is that if Garza chose to strike out of his own accord, we’d probably laud him as a good teammate (he grounded out).  But Quade stepping in makes the whole thing unpleasant and divisive.  No one’s individual achievement should supersede the game, and I’d hate for any of our guys to be ordered to take dives for Castro or another player.  The whole thing reminds me of the game where Cal Ripken Jr. broke the record for consecutive games played.  I forget which inning it was, but the Orioles stopped the game and brought out a parade of gifts, like a new car, a pool table, and some other stuff I can’t remember.  Then Cal took a lap around the field.  It was a great achievement to be sure, but I can remember thinking that it must have been miserable for the rest of his team who had to keep playing once the celebration was over.  Even if Castro getting one more at-bat isn’t nearly as much of a distraction, you still don’t want your manager putting one guy before the rest of the team.  Especially when he’s got six more games to get his 200th hit.  Not smooth, Quade.
  • Somebody asked me the other day when I thought the Cubs would hire their new GM, and I was surprised by how little consideration I’ve given it since Hendry was fired.  It seems like the same set of names has been circulating almost form the start: Gillick, Hahn, Friedman, Epstein, Byrnes, Colletti, etc.  Some of those guys are about to wrap up their seasons, while others can expect at least a few more weeks of intense work as their teams head to the playoffs.  My point?  While Ricketts doesn’t seem to want to show his hand too much, expect the wheels–which have hopefully been in motion for months now–to speed up now that the season is coming to an end.  The Cubs have a laundry list of needs (pitchers, 1B, 3B) and pressing issues (Zambrano, Ramirez, Pena), so expect a decision sooner than later.  I hope the new front office will be up and running in time for the winter meetings, but it might take until then to get the new guy in place.  Any longer than that and it might officially be time to panic.
  • There hasn’t been much to cheer for this season, especially the last couple months.  But the baseball schedule has given us one more meaningful weekend of baseball to close out the season (surprise!).  The Cardinals sit two games out of the wildcard, and start a three-game series tonight against the Cubs in St. Louis.  Maybe you don’t harbor the same animosity I do for the Cards, but the chance to knock them out of the playoffs is enough to get me excited.  And before you think I’m mimicking the White Sox fan’s attitude of “I don’t care if we lose, as long as you lose, too,” let me say that I think the Cardinals’ potential playoff run has far-reaching implications for the future of the NL Central.  Specifically, I think keeping the Cardinals out of the playoffs significantly decreases their already-low hopes for resigning Albert Pujols.  For starters, they’ll miss out on the bonus postseason revenue, shrinking their ability to give him the kind of raise he’s looking for.  But it also gives him an extra two or three weeks (or more) to be away from his team, to weigh his options, and to watch as more successful teams fight for pennants and rings.  I know Cubs fans are divided about whether or not to sign Pujols, but what we can all agree on is that we don’t want him to return to St. Louis.  Keeping them out of the playoffs might go a long way to send him off.  I know I’ll be watching.
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Game 156– Garza Turns Out the Lights at Wrigley

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Cubs 7, Brewers 1

Box Score Highlights / Condensed Game

What Went Right

Garza’s Gem – Matt Garza, the undisputed ace of the Cubs’ staff this season, closed out his first season at Wrigley Field with one of his best performances of terrific season. Garza pitched his second complete game as a Cub striking out 10 and allowing only an unearned run in the third. Garza hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his last nine starts.

Offensive Output – The Cubs offense produced from the top of the lineup to the bottom with each starting position player tallying at least one hit. Soto led the way with three of his team’s 13 hits, including an RBI double that closed out the Cubs’ scoring for the day. Marlon Byrd hit the big blast of the day, pounding a Randy Wolf cutter into the left field bleachers for a 3-run homer in the 6th inning.

One More for the Road – With two hits, Starlin Castro put himself just one hit away from 200 with six games left to play. His hits came in the first three innings of the game but, thanks in part to two walks, he was unable to reach the milestone in front of the home crowd.

What Went Wrong

Castro’s Miscues – There wasn’t too much to complain about on a day when the Cubs recorded a six-run win over the NL Central Champs-in-waiting Brewers, but if I’m going to nitpick I have to point at two miscues by Castro in the early innings – one on the base paths and one in the field. He led off the game with a drive into the left field corner then attempted to stretch an easy double into a triple, only to record the first out of the game at third base. That mistake was followed by an error in the 3rd in which he errantly flipped a ball to Baker in an attempt to start a double play. That error, his 28th of the season, allowed the only Brewers run of the game to score.

Misc. Notes

• Third baseman Aramis Ramirez made it clear that he has probably played his final game in a Cubs uniform at Wrigley Field, stating before the game that he will opt for free agency this off-season, leaving a huge question mark at third for the Cubs next season.

• Manager Mike Quade, on the other hand, announced that he’s planning to be back managing the Cubs next season. Unlike Ramirez’s announcement, this proclamation probably isn’t founded on reality. As it turns out, I also plan to manage the Cubs in 2012.

• Congratulations to the Cubs marketing staff on eclipsing the 3 million mark for season attendance for the 8th straight season. As someone who is in the business of marketing sports and entertainment events, I can guarantee you this is the hardest they have had to work in a long time.

• They Cubs begin their final home stand of the season on Friday in St. Louis and the opportunity to play spoiler to the Cards’ post-season hopes makes me positively giddy.

The Takeaway

This winter when I think back on the 2011 Cubs season and my mind starts to replay all of bad days, I’m going to close my eyes (really tightly) and try my best to remember this game instead. The sun was shining, the bats were smoking, and Garza was dealing…it was a perfect memory for an otherwise forgettable season. It was exactly the type of day that spawned the Cubs fan’s eternal “Wait ‘til next year” optimism, now we’re left only to hope for many more days like this in 2012.

Stars of the Game
Base on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Matt Garza (.272 WPA)

2nd Star – D.J. LeMahieu (.192 WPA)

3rd Star – Starlin Castro (.080 WPA)

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Chet’s Corner: Hot Corner…or not so much?

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

The Cubs are lacking a serious replacement at both First Base and Third Base for the 2012 season. 

Aramis wants a multi-year deal and Pena, well, one word……Boras.  I hate the idea of loading up on either one of these guys.  I am hoping whoever gets hired as GM will hate the idea as well.  Then again, maybe Tom Ricketts will take care of that little chore for the next GM and just lock each one of them up for the next 4 years! (I am just kidding, I hope)

As we did last week with pitchers,  I figured we would take a stroll on over to Cot’s Contracts and see who might be available for the corner spots through free agency….

First Basemen

* represents player with an option on contract

Lance Berkman STL
Russell Branyan LAA
Jorge Cantu SD
Prince Fielder MIL
Brad Hawpe SD
Eric Hinske ATL *
Ross Gload PHI
Nick Johnson CLE
Derrek Lee BAL
Xavier Nady ARI
David Ortiz BOS
Lyle Overbay PIT
Carlos Pena CHC
Albert Pujols STL
Jim Thome MIN

Third Basemen

Wilson Betemit KC
Casey Blake LAD *
Eric Chavez NYY
Mark DeRosa SF
Greg Dobbs PHI
Edwin Encarnacion TOR *
Wes Helms FLA
Melvin Mora ARI
Aramis Ramirez CHC
Miguel Tejada SF
Omar Vizquel CWS

 

As you can see,  this is a tale of the have’s and have not’s.  The Third Base outlook being the “Have not’s”.

Without a trade, we have to choose between the market, which you see above, and our club internally.  I would not be totally against the signing of Aramis for a year or maybe two, but he is said to be looking for something in the neighborhood of four years and it does appear that he has a desire to test the market.

Once again, play GM for the day, what do you do? Do any of the above look like good options? What about our system as a whole, anybody worth trying there?

*Update (4:15pm): In regards to Aramis….

 

 

 

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Game 155 – Not so Wells

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Cubs 1, Brewers 5

Box Score / Highlights

The final 2011 night game at Wrigley saw the soon-to-be playoff bound Milwaukee Brewers knock around Cubs starter Randy Wells and get strong pitching from Shaun Marcum as Milwaukee beat the Cubs 5-1.

What went right:

  • Starlin Castro hit his 10th home run of the year to extend his on-base streak to 33 games. The hit also gave Castro 336 in his first two seasons, surpassing Glenn Beckert’s Cubs record of 335 in 1965-66.
  • The bullpen pitched well, getting 4 good innings by Ramon Ortiz, Andrew Cashner, and John Grabow.
  • We’re one game closer to the end of Mike Quade.

What went wrong:

  • Randy Wells. In the third inning he gave up 4 runs on 5 hits. He left most of his pitches up in the zone that inning and Milwaukee teed off. In the fifth inning, he unleashed two wild pitches with Nyjer Morgan on base who would go on to score on a fielders choice. Wells final line was 5 innings, 6 hits, 5 earned runs, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts.
  • The offense knocked a total of 6 hits to go along with 10 strikeouts and zero walks and was 0-5 with runners in scoring position.
  • Ramon Ortiz and John Grabow pitched instead of guys with a future on the team.

Notes:

  • Aramis Ramirez left the game with a mild right quad strain. It might have been his last home game with the Cubs.
    *Update on Ramirez, he was asked after the game if this would be the last. Here are some of his quotes:
    “Probably,” he said. “There’s a good chance. I’m a free agent and I don’t know what’s going to happen. But it looks like I’m going to hit the market.”
    “We don’t have a GM, so I don’t know who you talk to,” he said.
    “I think we’re ready to move on”
  • Bob Brenly on Monday night’s Campana caught stealing: “CB Bucknor usually blows one routine call per game, and that was it.”
  • The Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts told scouting director Tim Wilken that he will be back in 2012. Longtime scout and Jim Hendry confidant Gary Hughes has told the Cubs he will not be returning next season.


Stars of the Game
Base on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Shaun Marcum (.286 WPA)

2nd Star – Nyjer Morgan (.171 WPA)

3rd Star – Corey Hart (.068 WPA)

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Game 154 – Color Me Surprised

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Cubs 5, Brewers 2

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

WHAT WENT RIGHT

  • Somehow Casey Coleman kept the big Brewer bats off balance. Coleman tossed six solid innings and allowed only one run.
  • Geo Soto went absolutely nuts tonight. He smacked two homers and drove in five runs.
  • Darwin Barney and Alfonso Soriano walked in the same game! Isn’t that one of the seven signs of the apocalypse?
  • The normally shaky Cubs defense didn’t commit a single error.
  • For once Mike Quade used Tony Campana correctly. He pinch ran for Soriano in the 8th and moved to LF in the 9th.  See how easy it is?

WHAT WENT WRONG

  • I had to sit through yet another Casey Coleman start. Somehow he always seems to get the ball for my VFTB wrap-ups. Is this some sort of twisted plot? In all seriousness, Casey pitched well tonight, which I mentioned earlier. I’m just sick of watching the guy.
  • Jerry Hairston Jr. bit the hand that once fed him with a homer in the 3rd.
  • Carlos Marmol struggled again and gave up a run in the 9th. Believe it or not his ERA is approaching 4.00.
  • I was slow to react and couldn’t grab the remote before the 7th-inning stretch started. The guest “singer” was some NASCAR guy I’ve never heard of. Brutal.

DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME

Don’t worry Cub fans. Our long, painful nightmare (otherwise known as 2011) is almost over.

Soon we’ll learn who the next general manager, and possibly field manager, will be. Soon we’ll enjoy the Hot Stove League and arguing about who the Cubs should add and subtract. Soon it will be Spring Training 2012.

Until then, I’m trying hard to find the positives from this ugly season. Here goes nothing:

  • Maybe it wasn’t enough for some fans, but Starlin Castro showed improvement this year. I still can’t believe he’s only 21. Not even the Cubs will be able to screw up Castro. He’s going to be great.
  • Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez provided respectable power and on-base percentages this year.
  • Sean Marshall turned in another fantastic year out of the bullpen.
  • Matt Garza overcame six months of no run support to become the Cubs best starter.
  • Jeff Samardzija shocked almost everyone and developed into a useful reliever.
  • Randy Wells rescued a completely lost season with a 3.79 ERA in the second half.
  • The Cubs had a solid draft, highlighted by Javier Baez and Dan Vogelbach.
  • Bryan LaHair supplied some September excitement to desperate fans.
  • The hapless Houston Astros play in the Cubs’ division.

How’s that for optimism?

Stars of the Game
Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Geovany Soto (.408 WPA)

2nd Star – Casey Coleman (.240 WPA)

3rd Star  – Johnathan Lucroy (.069 WPA)

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Game 153 – The Basket Giveth, and the Basket Taketh Away

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Astros 3, Cubs 2

Box Score / Highlights / Condensed Game

What Went Right

  • Starlin Castro led off he game with hit number 195 on the season, a double to left field.  Barring another educational benching by Mike Quade, he’s got 9 games left to get 5 more hits–not a sure thing, but very likely since he’s reached safely in the last 31 games.
  • Aramis Ramirez came off the bench in the eighth to hit a sac fly that scored Darwin Barney, giving the Cubs their second run.  At the time it looked like the beginning of a game-winning rally.  In the end, it was just another productive at-bat for a dynamic hitter who might be playing out his last days in a Cubs uniform.  I have to assume that the dominoes will start falling soon after the season for this Cubs team.  The new GM’s first moves will probably involve decisions on Ramirez and Carlos Pena.  If these really are Ramirez’s last days at Wrigley Field, I hope the Cubs fans show him the appropriate levels of love and gratitude.

What Went Wrong

  • The Cubs only took one walk today–Castro in the eighth.  Because when you’re getting dominated by a starting pitcher and you’ve had trouble scoring runs all year long, by all means, swing away.
  • If you watched the game or the highlights, you already saw the Pena home run that wasn’t.  If you didn’t yet, what you need to know is that Pena hit a long double that appeared to be a home run, bouncing out the basket and back onto the field.  At first, the umpires adamantly ruled it a home run, telling Pena to continue on from second base, where he had stopped.  Only after the Astros ‘ manager complained did they head in to look at the replay.  Upon review, it was clear the ball hit off the front edge of the basket.  The real bummer is that they ordered Castro–who had been on first base–back to third, taking the tying AND go-ahead runs back off the board.  Quade came out to argue the call and got himself ejected from the game.  The rain delay began after Marlon Byrd flew out to end the inning and the possible rally.  I almost never leave Cubs games early, even during the worst beatings, but all that plus the hour-long rain delay might have been enough for me to hit the road.
  • Ryan Dempster lost his fifth decision in a row.  I like Dempster, but I think his best days are far behind him–or at least his best days for the Cubs.  A three-run deficit wouldn’t be nearly as big a problem for a team that scores early and often.  But for our anemic bats, it presents more of a threat.  Dempster pitched well enough for the next six innings, but it didn’t make a difference.  I can’t help but think he’d be better off with a team that could climb back from an early deficit and make a game out of it, and that the Cubs might be better off taking a chance on a young arm they could develop (you know, if we ever did that kind of thing any more).
  • Just a quick thought about Mike Quade’s ejection.  I don’t often agree with Quade, but in this case I think I would have done pretty much the same thing he did.  First of all, I’m not sure what he could have said to umpire Marty Foster to get himself thrown out so abruptly, but it certainly looked unwarranted to me.  Regardless of what he said to the ump though, his frustration resonates with me.  There’s something unsatisfyingly arbitrary about how runners are assigned to bases in those instances.  You can make a reasonable case for Castro scoring from first on the play, and an equally reasonable one for him stopping at third.  What’s frustrating is that the game came down to a judgement call like that instead of an actual play.  It would have been nice if the Cubs had wrestled the outcome back out of the umps’ hands, but we’re just not that kind of team this year.
  • And just to be clear, the basket is not to blame here.  I’ve written recently about my love for the bleachers at Wrigley, and certainly the basket is an indivisible part of the bleacher experience.  I’ve seen small children and even grown men fall into it for the sake of securing a baseball.  I once saw a drunk guy drop himself out of the bleachers and land on he warning track on his head before getting up and humorously eluding the security staff.  When I was a kid, we once reached down through the basket, trimmed off a small piece of the ivy and nurtured it all the way back to California on the dashboard of our car (back home it briefly sprouted before dying off completely).  So you won’t hear any “Let’s tear down the basket!” knee-jerk reactions from me.  Any longtime Cubs fan will tell you it results in far more home runs than it might cost us.  I love it–even if it kinda hosed us today.

The Takeaway

Castro’s race for 200 hits; the future of Old Man LaHair and the kids; and what could be Aramis Ramirez’s final days in a Cubs uniform–there’s still at least a couple good reasons to watch these last few weeks of the season.  Go Cubs!

Stars of the Game

Based on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Mark Melancon (.388 WPA)

2nd Star – Brett Myers (.209 WPA)

3rd Star – Darwin Barney (.148 WPA)

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GirlieView

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Much like smoke signals a fire, the cooler weather means fall is upon us. To baseball fanatics, this grounds them to the reality that their team will either be one of the eight “elite” heading to the playoffs, or among the others that are going home for a long, cold winter. We all know where this Cubs team falls, so there’s no need to touch on that. Instead, let’s take a look back at this week in review at VFTB.

The Wizzies

  • Colvin brought his average up with 2 hits and Campana got the start in center (even though he has Aunt Mable’s arm).
  • By the way, does anyone else see LaHair’s career arc and think about Micah Hoffpauir? I sure do…
  • When they score 12 or more, they’re pretty good. That should be on a t-shirt for next year.
  • Starlin Castro actually walked! However, it was against Dontrelle Willis, so it probably shouldn’t count.
  • Len Kasper spent what felt like forever giving us the heights and weights of Reds’ players. Maybe tomorrow he’ll tell us the color of their eyes.
  • No $100M contracts to anyone this offseason. Rebuild, rebuild, youth, youth, get money off the books, get money off the books then fill your hole. Not your pie hole either.
  • Watched the Sunday night game on ESPN Deportes…in Spanish. I thought it was last year and Joe Morgan was having a stroke on air.
  • The Reds broadcasters were commenting on how they were surprised Tyler Colvin wasn’t in the line up with his 4 HR’s off of Leake. That’s bad when the opposing broadcasters understand your foolishness.
  • The Reds broadcasters also commented on allowing Dempster to hit late in the game. Maybe Quade is mentally fatigued from this season of hell. I know I am.
  • Yeah let’s blow out Dempster’s shoulder/elbow. Both to try to get him 200 IP…a meaningless stat in a meaningless season. Bye Quade, don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you.
  • Reds reliever Sam Lecure’s mustache was fantastic…a real thing of beauty.
  • The secrets of hitting with runners on base is as mysterious to this Cubs team as the mechanics of time travel, the meaning of the Sphinx, and the Colonel’s eleven secret herbs and spices.
  • Vogelbach is going to weigh nine hundred and seventy three pounds by the time he is ready for the league…and that is before Unos and Old Style.
  • Vogelbach has John Kruk’s body before he has any of John Kruk’s accomplishments…I’m not holding my breath.
  • From what I remember, Quade was a fine third base coach – he’s a horri-awful manager.

Top Wizzie Contributors

Buddy-30

Doc Raker-27

jswanson-25

Doug S.-20

PackerCubBull-20

Seymour Butts-19

Aaron-17

Chet-11

Jedi-8

Larry Sproul-8

Rich Beckman-7

Eddie Von White-7

Poll of the Week

How do you feel about the end of the 2011 season?

a) Good riddance. Bring on the football.

b) Glad to see it go, but going to miss baseball.

c) Look forward to watching the other teams in the playoffs.

d) Wish this season could last forever (haha…)

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