Archive for the ‘General’ Category

NLCS Game 5 Notes

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Cubs 8 @ Dodgers 4 (Box Score)

We’re going back to Chicago, folks!!! When I last posted, things looked grim with the Cubs mired in a slump of scoreless innings. Since then, we’ve busted out and now have the momentum. Here are my notes from last night’s win.

    • Jon Lester has been the ace of this staff all year and he showed it again last night. Of all the pitchers on this staff, I have the most faith in Lester right now. We worried a little about the idea of stolen bases and the running game that the Dodgers planned to employ, but overall it wasn’t much of a factor. There were times, but I didn’t feel like Lester was ever rattled by it like Rich Hill was when he had Anthony Rizzo on first base in game 3. I sometimes wonder if Lester is hustling everyone and is going to one day bust out this wicked pick off move in a massively huge situation and blow everyone’s minds. All he had to do was throw to 1st and he had guys picked off last night, but he chose not to. This might be a situation like in White Man Can’t Jump where Sydney and Billy are just hustling their opponents.
    • Joe Maddon went with the Aroldis Chapman two inning “save” and I hated it from the moment he started warming up. Chapman has said repeatedly he doesn’t like the multiple inning outing, but has gone to Joe and said he is available if needed. I don’t see the need last night to call on Aroldis in the 8th. Why do we have guys like Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon, who have been in big situations before, if we’re not going to use them. Has Joe forgotten that Strop has the power to call on the souls of his dead grandparents? Use these guys and put Chapman in a position he is most likely to be successful. It’s almost like Maddon’s manager button got spilled on and it’s now all scrambled. Stick to the plan that got us here. Stop over managing.
    • For the 2nd straight game, the offense has delivered, particularly Addison Russell. Another two run homer for Addy and it was a huge one. I jumped out of my seat and yelled “He did it again!!!” as soon as he connected.
  • In a rather creepy interview in game, Matt Szczur revealed that Rizzo had used his bat before and that the night before, Russell had worn Szczur’s underwear.

  • Javier Baez is a bad man. His play last night even had Doc Raker send me a text apologizing for wanting him traded. You’re forgiven, Rake.
  • Cap’n Obvious had the opportunity to attend the game in person and sit next to the one, the only, Marla Hooch from A League of Their Own.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

GirlieView (10/20/2016)

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

GirlieView Definitions

  • Lizzie = A funny, timely, and/or interesting quote made on the VFTB site by our writers or commenters.
  • Lizard = The best Lizzie.
  • MVL = Most Valuable Lizzie’ers: Those with the most Lizzies in the period under review (usually the past two weeks.)
  • Top 10 of the 2016 Post Season = The folks with the most aggregate Lizzie points YTD (1 point for every Lizzie, 3 points for every Lizard.)

As you already know, this is all completely subjective and according to my whims.


  • On a night where the game offered little of interest, it was nice to hear the news that Theo will be with the Cubs for the foreseeable future.
  • He very much had a reason to get said colonic critter.
  • Almost astounding that Len has not spent the last 5 years musing about that possible relationship on air.
  • He will now because we all know he reads this blog as do Theo, Jed, and the others including Ricketts. Otherwise, why did he suddenly sign them on for five more years?
  • Any tips on how to keep from finishing arrears of Butts would be kindly welcomed.
  • Wake me up next Friday.
  • I want there to be no chance that the Cardinals can even think about ruining our parade.
  • CED- Green Spot Irish on me! Rum Chalada with an umbrella for Big Toe Joe!
  • Why does the MLB play 162 games in 180 days and then schedule playoff games every other day after a 4 day layoff?
  • I moved to NC 4 years ago, though, to get closer to Joe.
  • I might need a few shots of bourbon to calm the nerves.
  • Heyward has improved this past month. He still can hit better than Montero.
  • I have the same roster, except me instead of Montero.
  • I’m going to think outside the box and let Joe Maddon and Thed select the roster.
  • I am rooting for a 38 inning marathon tonight between the Met’s and Giants so Angel Pagan or Captain America has to pitch on Friday.
  • If we beat Cueto we will win the series.
  • Hello, Raker? It’s Friday. Wake up!
  • For a while it looked like I would be Jerry in MN, TN, IN, MI, or OH.
  • Jon Lester was outstanding.
  • Tonight – it’s the professor vs Mary Ann
  • my memory of Marriane has been tarnished forever.
  • What a relief to get that game.
  • Other than the 2-0 series lead, my favorite stat is Hendricks leading the team in playoff RBIs.
  • I believe the rule is if you are tagged off the bag, you’re out. Why not learn to stay on the bag?
  • Where is Jerry from Wisconsin?
  • Presumably Wisconsin
  • Listening to his wife.
  • You cannot end a game because you ran out of pitchers.
  • The sun is a little brighter this morning, the birds a little chirpier, and the morning wood a little pithier this fine day.
  • It’s simply insane that real fans have to struggle to watch the games. MLB, what are you thinking?
  • Well, that was an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday evening.
  • Rizzo and Russell could really lift us if they would start hitting the way that they are capable of doing.
  • How about the Dodgers walking heyward to get to javy – were they looking at 2015 stat lines?
  • I’ve ripped on Montero as much as anyone, but I said to myself when he was up, “Miggie, you get a hit here and I’ll never badmouth you again.” As so it will be.
  • Box sums it up bud.. Riz and Russ swung their purses. Kyle vs Clayton and we shit the bed in Wrigley.
  • Kershaw was dealing but I thought we had a shot when Rizzo walked on 4 pitches to start the 7th or 8th. Then with Zobrist up I said to myself, “Here is a guy who will make Kershaw throw strikes, it could be 1st and second if Kershaw is starting to lose his legs.” Boom, Zobrist swings at the first pitch up out of the zone. Pops up to the catcher but the catcher drops it. I say, “Son of a gun, Zobrist swung at the first pitch out of the zone after a 4 pitch walk. That isn’t suppose to happen. Boom, Zobrist swings at the second pitch that is out of the zone, now 0-2. I say, “What the heck is going on here.” Then Boom, Zobrist watches a fast ball go right down the middle. Good morning, good afternoon and good night. I say, “That is the worst AB I have seen Zobrist take all year. Game over, let’s head to LA for game 3 tied 1 game each.”
  • That game was a bummer – it was there for the taking
  • Soler is over-matched by every pitcher he faces at this stage in the season. He may be able to hit the fastball, but no pitcher in his right mind will throw him a strike because he swings at balls all the time.
  • Going to go Buckless tonight.
  • If anyone does get on, they basically get a free pass to second with Arrieta on the mound and Montero behind the plate.
  • He’s a wise old toe, so let’s follow that advice, and take a look at the positives from last night’s game: […crickets…]
  • 2nd inning I was sure we were going to start pummeling Hill. He was laboring, you could see it on his face. The throwing hand was troubling him, the Lester-esque throws to hold the runner at first. All we had to do was lean on him and he’d fall over. We did not.
  • Right now our number one fear is our number one fear.


  • Cubbies feast on inadequate pitching…problem is that you don’t get much of that in the postseason. I’ve been thumping this all year – they need to have productive at-bats all game long: move runners over, sacrifice when called to, etc. It’s been the greatest deficiency of this club all year. They’ve had enough talent, and faced Reds enough to overcome it during over the stretch of the marathon, but this is now a sprint – and there is far less room for error. Ask the Giants.

Shout Outs

  • Since we’re starting anew for the Post Season, everyone who had a Lizzie this time around had their first Post Season Lizzie. Thanks for being here Adam Peters, Brad Lyerla, Doc Raker, Dork, Doug S, Eddie von White, Jerry in Wisconsin, Joe Aiello, jswanson, Junior von White, Seymour Butts, and Sherm! You make my work here fun!


  • Congratulations to Doc Raker, Eddie von White, and Sherm, our Most Valuable Lizzie-ers this time around! Thank you all!

Top 10 of the 2016 Post Season (one point for each Lizzie, three points for the Lizard) – Actually the top 12 this time since that’s everyone!

1. Doc Raker
2. Eddie von White
3. Sherm
4. Seymour
5. Brad Lyerla
5. Dork
5. Doug S
5. Joe Aiello
5. jswanson
10. Adam Peters
10. Junior von White
12. Jerry in Wisconsin

Chit Chat

  • I’m composing this on Wednesday morning (yes, the Wednesday morning after the 6-0 loss to (gag) Rich Hill … the only thing I could think of that is more ironic than losing to Rich Hill would be to lose to Jeff Samardzija, for completely different reasons (Hill’s talent vs. Samardzija’s ego) but thankfully we didn’t go down that path.) Anyway my point is, it’s hard for me to anticipate how we’ll be feeling by the time this posts tomorrow and what we’ll feel like discussing. We might be elated by a Wednesday night win, or reeling because we’re one game from elimination. Let’s hope it’s the former, but either way please feel free to chat about whatever’s on your mind.
Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Happy Days Are Here Again

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Cubs 10 @ Dodgers 2 (Box Score)

Last night, during the top half of the fourth inning of the baseball game contested between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers, the nation witnessed a bona fide miracle. The Cubs’ bats, long believed to be dead and buried, arose like Lazarus from the grave and scored 4 runs. In the top half of the fifth inning the Cubs added another run. And then in the top half of the sixth inning, the Cubs added another five runs. The resurgence of the Cubs’ offense was even more surprising because shortstop Addison Russell and first baseman Anthony Rizzo each hit a homerun during the unexpected offensive onslaught. Each had been rumored to be hopelessly overmatched by the Dodgers’ vaunted pitching staff. But no, dear friends. The nattering nabobs of negativity who had pronounced the Cubs “done” for these play offs were proven wrong. The Cubs are very much alive and, after beating the Dodgers 10 – 2 to square up the series at two games apiece, have reinstated themselves as the favorites to represent the National League in the 2016 World Series.

That was fun last night. Let’s do it again tonight.

Little elaboration about the game is called for. The Cubs returned to being the team we watched for most of the 2016 season. They hit. They defended. And they pitched the baseball.

The only down note for me was that John Lackey did not last long enough to qualify for the win. He is fun to watch compete. Don’t misunderstand me. I agreed with Joe Maddon’s decision to pull Lackey, after he walked the first two hitters he faced in the bottom of the fifth. But it was a shame nonetheless.

Here are your stars:

The third star of the night was Wilson Contreras. He gunned down Corey Seager picking him off second base on an amazing throw in the top of the first. He also made an athletic diving play to tag out Adrian Gonzalez at home to preserve the 0 – 0 tie in the bottom of the second. He finished with one hit, one RBI and one run scored.

The second star of the night was Anthony Rizzo who had three hits, one home run and three RBIs. An honorable mention goes to Matt Sczcur’s bat. Rizzo used it for all three of his hits.

The first star of the night was Addison Russell. He made a fabulous catch and tag on Contreras’ throw to pick off Seager. He hit the ball hard all game and finished with three hits, a home run and two RBIs. His home run in the top of the fourth was the signature hit of the Cubs’ night. It was after that home run that Cub fans knew the Dodger’s dominance of our hitters had been dispelled.

The last post-season game in which the Cubs’ had two hitters with three hits, a home run and at least two RBIs each was game one of the 1989 playoffs when Mark Grace and Ryne Sandberg did it against San Francisco.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

NLCS Game 3 Thoughts

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Cubs 0 @ Dodgers 6 (Box Score)

So, as you can tell, Joe wrote the title and the teaser, which is probably good because mine would not have been nearly so “nice.” And Joe added the graphic, because a) I don’t use graphics here, and b) I don’t know what a leverage index is, which is good, because I don’t care.

That game was a big, heaping pile of shit. Joe did a lot of tweeting last night, and he also spent some time using Twitter (rim shot, please.) The gist of his tweets was don’t freak out and stay positive. He’s a wise old toe, so let’s follow that advice, and take a look at the positives from last night’s game:





Okay, that was fun. Oh, wait, I missed one. I did get a lot of work done since I wasn’t distracted by baseball stuff happening.

Without further ado, let’s move on from our underwhelming “bucket o’ positives” and break down THAT debacle.

Kind of like the Cub offensive approach at the plate, these are in no particular order and without any forethought whatsoever:

Can Contreras catch Arrieta now? Jake wasn’t sharp. Montero still can’t throw the ball past the mound on the fly, and c’mon people, the grand slam was fluke. Did you really think he was going to start ripping the ball?

Finally. Anthony Rizzo got a hit. Sure, it was a 48 foot dribbler in a shower of splinters, but…(he did have better at bats yesterday and seemed to be seeing the ball better, but for a guy who is an MVP candidate? He couldn’t be much worse this post-season.)

How about Heyward’s pinch hit at bat? Possibly the worst pinch hitting effort in the history of baseball, since the beginning of time and the big bang and the birth of the world as we know it. Took two fastballs down the pipe for an 0 – 2 count and then gave the most pathetic swing since the, well, you know, and missed a pitch that damn near hit him in the foot by about 3 and a half feet.

Heyward was pinch hitting for Addison Russell, whose body has been taken over by Rosalind Russell, the old-time actress, who is also very dead.

Jorge Soler’s “line” from last night: 0-1 with a K, an overthrow home, and almost went “All Schwarber” on Fowler. It was nice knowing you, Jorge. Have fun on your next team.

Jason Hammel spent the entire off-season trying to turn into Jake Arrieta. It backfired, and like a bad “switcheroo” movie, Jake has turned into Jason Hammel.

So, anyway – buckle up, Cub fans. I don’t know if Lackey can beat this lineup of lefties, and the pressure our (lack of) offense is putting on the pitching staff is overwhelming. That said, I don’t think the Dodgers can beat Jon Lester or Kyle Hendricks (this time) and I think it is going to go to game 7, at Wrigley, with Jake Arrieta on the mound.

I did think of some positives from last night – Bryant had some good at-bats and re-confirmed what I’ve been saying for months…he should be hitting third or fourth. Baez had some good at-bats, and is showing control that I NEVER thought we’d see from him, which is great.

The Dodgers are playing well – clicking on all cylinders at the right time. This Cub team has been streaky all year, and it’s time to get hot or go home…I sure hope they get hot. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of waiting for next year. It’s time to take 3 of 4 from the Dodgers…starting tonight.



Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us:

Cubs Are One Step Closer

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

We’re steadily inching closer to the impossible. After winning the NLDS, the Chicago Cubs are one step closer to the World Series. They narrowly escaped a tough series against Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants thanks to some terrific performances by Javier Baez and clutch pitching from Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester. Now, the team is taking on Clayton Kershaw (who just recorded his first-ever professional save) and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.

The Cubs have been pegged as the favorites to win it all since the beginning of the year and they’re living up to those lofty expectations. It’s been an incredible 108 years since the Cubs last won the World Series—the same number of stitches in a baseball!—and fans are trying to remain as optimistic as possible. But they’re also avoiding potentially jinxing the team. Based on Chicago’s post-season play so far, though, Cubs fans are riding high with plenty to be excited about.

No one denies that the Chicago Cubs have one of the most talented rosters in baseball, if not the most talented. Jake Arrieta has been on fire this post-season and is still among the favorites to take this year’s NL Cy Young Player Award. The 30-year-old pitcher began the season with 6/1 odds of winning his second Cy Young and continues to perform well down the stretch. That includes a notable three-run homer off Bumgarner that actually ended Madbum’s streak for scoreless innings in the playoffs. Other members of Chicago’s terrifying bullpen are also in contention with both Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks making their own cases for the award.

However, some of the biggest talk of the postseason has been about Javier Baez. He has been positively electric for the Cubs on both offense and defense so far, and we have a feeling that the 23-year-old Puerto Rican infielder is just getting warmed up. Baez rocked a solo home-run off of Johnny Cueto in the bottom of the eighth to sew up Game 1 for the Cubs. The homer marked the first time the Cubs had won a playoff game 1-0 since the 1906 World Series. Baez became a hero once again when he managed to clinch Game 4 with a crucial single. He has become a human highlight reel during the playoffs through his reliable hitting and acrobatic throws.

As the series with the Dodgers gets underway, we can only hope the Cubs will continue their run of terrific form all the way through to the World Championships. Regardless of what happens, it’s going to be the end of a long drought for either ball club. The Cubs are trying to earn their first National League championship since 1945, and the Dodgers are aiming for their first since 1988.

Like what you see here? Never miss new content. Follow Us: