View From The Bleachers

April 25, 2013

Game 20 – One Lousy, Stinking Run

Filed under: Featured,General — Jeremiah Johnson @ 12:50 am

Cubs 0, Reds 1

Box Score / Highlights

The Good  Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d type: Jeff Samardzija looked like an ace today. Maybe that’s overstating it a tad, but I’m very impressed with him and the Cubs’ starting staff in general to start this season. ESPN Chicago beat writer Jesse Rogers wrote about just how effective the starters have been through the first twenty games of the season, and how their performance has made the team’s weaknesses all the more infuriating. Wednesday was no different, with the Cubs wasting another quality start from Samardzija. The first batter he faced hit a high bouncing grounder back up the middle and he made a stab at it with his pitching hand. The result was a bashed index finger that looked pretty gnarly for the rest of the game, but didn’t inhibit his performance. He was dealing for most of the afternoon–be sure to check out the pitches he threw to strike out the side in the 3rd–and his only hiccup came on a Todd Frazier homerun in the 6th. If the Cubs had any consistent offensive presence, they could have walked away with this game.

The Bad  But they don’t. Dale said it best: “We’re just having trouble hitting the outfield grass when we get people on base.” Yup, that’s pretty much it. I will say I can handle this kind of loss a little better than another heartbreaking blown save, but it still stings. The Cubs go to 6-14 with the loss, and and all twenty of those games have been decided by four or fewer runs. If the bats ever heat up, this might be a fun team to watch.

The Ugly  The biggest threat the Cubs posed to the Reds today was in the 8th inning. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, pinch hitter Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging (for my money, Soriano’s to excitable a hitter for those types of situations, but whatever) and David DeJesus came up hoping to get the Cubs on the board. With a 2-2 count, DeJesus hit a grounder up the middle that looked sure to drive in a run. Instead, Zack Cozart ranged over to nab it, throw to first in time for the out, and stomp his cleat right through my chest. And with that, another winnable game slipped through our fingers. Oh well, on to Miami.

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  • LVCubFan

    8 games upcoming against the Fish and Priests. If we can win 5 or 6 of them, let’s continue the optimism. Any less than that, then we are who we thought we were.

    Sorry gang, Denny Green stole my sign in ID.

  • BLPCB

    I wish I was in Miami to see the Cubs lose. Last years trip was 0-4 (Bulls lost too)

  • Chuck

    On pace for 49 wins. What I wouldn’t give to have a certain stone-handed 3B back on the team. Sigh…

    This team is desperate for a big hitter.

  • http://pinterest.com/j0s1395/ Josephine (D)

    If we can’t at least take the next series from Miami, we’re doomed IMO.

  • Doc Raker (BG)

    Doomed for what? Not to win the world series? Not to contend? Not to play above .500? I got news for you Josephine (D), we are doomed for all of the above.

  • BLPCB

    Is it football season yet?

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    Rami sucked and it was time for him to go. He sucked.

  • BLPCB

    A lot of people wanted him gone because of his unreasonable contract demands.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    Whatever dude. You have pulled out the ‘Rami didn’t help the team when Lee got hurt’ card too often to keep yourself out of that bandwagon. Quietly enjoy Vitters and the rest of the plunky alternatives to actual talent.

  • BLPCB

    Yes I still stand with my belief that he needed to go. I don’t care that he is hitting good for the Brewers. Because this team wouldn’t be in the playoffs even with him, and by the time we are good again, he’ll be done for.

  • Eddie Von White

    Can you be a little more gentle? Her heart has not yet become calloused like so many.

  • BLPCB

    The younger they learn the better. I didn’t get reality with the 1998 team. It wasn’t until the 2001 team that I learned reality (when I was 13). That team did good, was leading the division for most of the year, but they blew it in September and missed the playoffs.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    Right…a lineup like DeJesus, Castro, Rami, Sori, and Rizzo probably couldn’t produce enough runs to make a run at the Central.

  • BLPCB

    Hindsight is Gregging 20/20. His contract demands were unreasonable.

  • Jedi

    Loved Aramis when he was here…still think it was the right time to part ways. I fault the Cubs for the inactivity since then, not as much for letting him go. It never had to be “re-sign Aramis, or ignore the position entirely for two years.”

  • BLPCB

    Jedi is happy too that Ramirez is gone:

    http://viewfromthebleachers.com/blog/2012/12/04/the-offseason-up-to-the-winter-meetings/#comment-727764485

    Ramirez was hitting .200 for the Brewers in May last year. had Braun’s suspension not been overturned, they would have been toast before he got back.

  • BLPCB

    Thank you

  • Seymour Buts

    Gregg Gregg it, I hate agreeing with you.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    I fail to see any viable alternative…the weak state of the farm was known, so why not pay the best guy out there to do his thing for another three or four years. That decision is independent of developing young talent…this whole ‘reuild’ thing has been used as a total catch-all for stuff like this.

  • Jedi

    Then chalk it up to misplaced optimism. I genuinely believed they’d be able to broker a deal for a regular 3B by now. Didn’t expect we’d still be stuck waiting for a can’t-hit cripple to return.

    And if you forced me to choose to between what has happened or Aramis – I’d take Aramis every day of the week. But that wasn’t really how it was supposed to go 18 months ago.

  • Jedi

    Don’t go lumping me in with you – I’m not part of the crowd that thinks Aramis only hit when it didn’t mattered and is to fault for the Cubs’ playoff and regular season failings while he was here.

  • Doug S.

    Poor Shark, looking up at Marmol in the W column.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Exactly how I feel.

    When he walked, we believed we could get younger/better at the position for cheaper. The last 18 months prove that was the wrong decision. And if you don’t think we would have been better with him in that time, that’s just willful ignorance.

  • BLPCB

    I think it is fair to criticize him for that.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    Still not buying it. He was one of the best free agents when he walked, and certainly the best third baseman. No farm to speak of eliminated both trade fodder and an in-house option…not signing the check for him was as painful then as it is now in hindsight.

  • Jedi

    You’re right – the last 18 months has proven that. But the Cubs had plenty of other positions that they needed to fill – CF, 1B, C and several pitching spots come to mind…and to varying levels the front office has taken care of them. I couldn’t have possibly imagined that they’d neglect the position entirely for 2+ years. Neglect – I really mean that, there’s been no effort to get anything resembling an MLB player at 3B. Zero. There’s a big chasm between neglect and Aramis…I thought we’d be much more satisfied with the option at 3B by now.

  • Jedi

    I think it is fair to criticize you for that.

  • http://swantron.com/ jswanson

    We did manage to land Cody Ransom. Which is nice.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    I was OK with letting him walk because I never thought they’d try to replace him with Ian Stewart.

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