View From The Bleachers

July 6, 2012

Game 82: Over Before It Started

Filed under: Featured,General — Buddy @ 6:17 am

What Went Right

  • The Cubs were good a few years ago? Seriously, there wasn’t much to write home about tonight.
  • Geo Soto connected for his sixth homer (crickets chirping).

What Went Wrong

  • Matt Garza was completely awful tonight. There really isn’t much more to say, but I’ll give it a shot. I was drinking an adult beverage with some friends right before the game started, and I found myself defending Garza to a room full of Garza detractors. A few minutes later, it was 4-0 Atlanta. The Buddy curse continues.
  • Castro went 0-4, lowering his on-base percentage to .312.
  • The Cubs walked twice tonight. Twice. How did they even score three runs?

Mound Memories

OK, Matt Garza got his brains beat in tonight. Life goes on. If you really think about it, the last 15 years have seen some pretty impressive arms in Chicago. Of course we all cheered for the likes of Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Carlos Zambrano (early in his career anyway), Matt Clement, and Jon Lieber, but let’s go farther back and look at a few less-celebrated names:

  • Frank Castillo—Castillo’s Cub career wasn’t that exciting, but he did mix in a solid season or two. In 1992 he tossed 205.1 innings and racked up an ERA of 3.46. Not bad for a 23-year-old pitcher in his second year. Things went downhill from there, but Castillo bounced back in 1995 with 188 innings and a 3.21 ERA.
  • Mike Morgan—Signed by the Cubs in 1991, Morgan was a workhorse for two years. His first season in Chicago produced 236.1 innings and a 2.78 ERA. He followed that up with 240 innings and a 2.55 ERA. He came back to Earth in 1993 and 1994, and moved on to one of his many teams the following year. I had completely forgotten this fact, but Morgan pitched until he was 42, compiling 2,772.1 career innings.
  • Mike Bielecki—After battling injuries and generally underachieving in Pittsburgh, the Cubs caught lightning in a bottle with Bielecki in 1989. The former first-rounder made 33 starts and helped lead the Cubs to a division title. Predictably, he never duplicated that success in Chicago again. A little trivia…Who did the Cubs trade to the Pirates for Bielecki? The one and only Mike Curtis.
  • Jeff Pico—Just kidding. I couldn’t stand watching Jeff Pico.

While the pitching cupboard looks a little bare in 2012, I remain optimistic for next year and beyond. After all, you never know when lightning will strike again.

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  • chet

    If I remember correctly, Morgan had some pretty successful years for the Mariners at the beginning of his career.  I think we got him about 8 years into his career, which would be the younger half of it as it looks.

  • BLPCB

    I have never heard of any of these names on the list sans Morgan

  • Dusty Baylor

    Really?  Bielecki winning 18 games in 1989?  Frank Castillo, while certainly mediocre, pitched in 10 or 11 seasons..parts of a  couple more from 1991-2004. 82-104 with a 4.56 ERA.

  • Doc Raker

    Buddy tried to join the Rizzo fan club via the inter web and they told him no thank you in an email, “Thank you for your interest in the Anthony Rizzo Fan Club LLC but we would like Anthony to have a nice long prosperous major league career and feel it is best if you don’t root for him. We are returning your $14.75 membership fee. You may keep the RIZZO ARMY patch but please do not wear it to any major league game in which Mr Rizzo will be playing.”

  • Doc Raker

    I always liked Kevin Tapani, he had an excellent year in 1998 and gave the Braves their best competition in game 3 of the 1998 divisional series.

  • Doc Raker

    “The Cubs walked twice tonight. Twice. How did they even score three runs?” Um, they got hits. Most major league teams score runs on hits, of course walks help give you base runners to drive in but you need hits to score, not just walks.

  • Katie

    Apparently the Blue Jays, Windians, Reds, Boston, DBacks, and Cardinals were scouting Garza last night. That’s a lot of interested teams. He can go anywhere except St. Louis, please and thank you.

  • Buddy

    I tried to join the Frank Rizzo fan club too. Same result.

  • Buddy

    They only had five hits, which was also not good.

  • Buddy

    I always liked Tapani as well. He threw strikes. Tap can thank his offense for the 19 wins he recorded in 1998. His ERA that year was 4.85 and he allowed 244 hits in 219 IP.

  • BLPCB

    Walks clog the bases for guys who can run

  • Buddy

     Oh yeah. I forgot. Thanks Mr. Baker. Love your wristbands.

  • Doc Raker

    1998, lot’s of juice, lots of HR’s, I would think all era’s were skewed upwards.

  • Buddy

    Very true. However, the NL average ERA in 1998 was only 4.23.

  • Doc Raker

    So he was .62 above league average, factor in the .38 Wrigley Field factor and the .24 juice factor and the .88 Mark McGuire factor and his era falls 1.50 which is now .88 above league average for a 3.4GGMG index.

  • Buddy

     Something like that.

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