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— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

Monday, October 23, 2017

Looking to next year

For me at least, it’s time to start thinking about how the Cubs can get back on track in 2018.

So what is needed this off-season? I won’t say much about particular options, and instead lay out in order what I think are top issues:

1. A couple of starting pitchers. The Cubs have a solid core of Hendricks, Quintana and Lester to amend. Jake Arrieta will be on the free-agent market, where he may or may not be a good buy. John Lackey’s contract is up as well, and he will likely retire. ...

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Andere Richtingen Posted: October 23, 2017 at 02:04 PM | 299 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Friday, October 13, 2017

Five minute Los Angeles Dodgers Preview

First, let’s start by reminiscing. 

Wonderful.

OK, on to this year.  As everyone knows, for the majority of the season, the Dodgers were far and away the best team in baseball, just like the were Cubs last year.  There were comparisons and accolades, and then the Dodgers really stumbled down the stretch.  They still finished with the best record in baseball, but only fourth in run differential. 

There are some big differences between this year and last year’s team.  The biggest is Cody ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 13, 2017 at 10:35 AM | 105 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, dodgers, nlcs


Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Five minute Washington National Preview

You’ll definitely find better previews elsewhere (and feel free to link them here), but as is now tradition I will type up a quick preview based solely on my limited exposure to the Nats this year and their bb-ref page.

Starting with the lineup, what jumps out at you is how balanced it is.  They have a great offense - 3rd in NL in BA, 5th in OBP, and 1st in SLG - led by a couple of huge bats.  The middle of the lineup - Harper, Rendon, Murphy, Zimmerman - in whatever order is about as ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 04, 2017 at 10:46 AM | 182 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Playoff Roster Thoughts

Getting an early jump on this now that the clinch is behind us.  Almost everything is purely speculation, since Joe hasn’t said much yet.  Any thoughts or updates can be posted here up until the roster is finalized sometime next week.

Stone Cold Locks - 14
Contreras
Rizzo
Bryant
Russell
Baez
Zobrist
Jay
Heyward
Quintana
Hendricks
Davis
Strop
Duensing
Montgomery

Locks, but maybe… -  4
Schwarber
Happ
LaStella
Rondon

Should be, but injuries - 4
Arrieta: He said he wasn’t 100%, so if his start ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 28, 2017 at 11:23 AM | 77 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Saturday, September 16, 2017

15 To Go

Cubs:  6 vs. STL (2 home/4 road) + 2 vs. TBR (road) + 4 vs. MIL (road) + 3 vs. CIN (home). After this weekend’s series, the Cubs are done at Wrigley until the final series hosting Cincinnati.

Brewers (3.0 GB): 2 vs. MIA (road) + 3 vs. PIT (road) + 4 vs. CHC (home) + 3 vs. CIN (home) + 3 vs. STL (road).

Cardinals (4.0 GB): 6 vs. CHC (4 home/2 road) + 3 vs. CIN (road) + 3 vs. PIT (road) + 3 vs. MIL (home).

Andere Richtingen Posted: September 16, 2017 at 09:26 AM | 129 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Thursday, August 31, 2017

More Now

Should I just start every post from now on with a Javy play?  Ok.

First off, without looking, who’s 3rd on the Cubs in RBI?  Rizzo is first, Contreras is still 2nd.

If anyone missed it, yesterday it sounds like Russell had a setback in his rehab after 1 game in AAA, so he’s back in Chicago getting looked at.  That doesn’t sound good at all, especially since they were pretty vague about the ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 31, 2017 at 11:15 AM | 142 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Monday, August 21, 2017

That counted as Now

I can watch this over and over and over all day. 

Can’t say anything better than that.

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 21, 2017 at 11:41 AM | 93 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, javy baez


Monday, August 14, 2017

Now or Never

That makes things sound more dire than they really are, but for my sake at least, if the Cubs have any chance at still making noise this season, we really need to see another one of those dominating stretches over the next few weeks.  The Cubs padded their stats last year against the Reds, and it’d be nice to see some more of that.

It’s a little disheartening to see the Cubs roll out a lineup that still has Zobrist and his .662 OPS hitting clean-up followed by Schwarber and his .731 OPS and ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 14, 2017 at 04:40 PM | 117 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Friday, August 04, 2017

A Crucial Time

We are two series into a stretch of five that should tell us a lot about this team.

The just completed series against Milwaukee and Arizona were the first against winning teams since the All Star Break, and the Cubs split the six games. It would have been nice to come out ahead, but the overall picture was not bad. Four of the games were pitchers’ duels with six or fewer total runs, and the Cubs were not blown out in any of them—in fact, there has only been one blowout against the Cubs since ...

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Andere Richtingen Posted: August 04, 2017 at 10:05 AM | 107 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Sunday, July 23, 2017

What a difference a week makes

I was fortunate enough to witness in person the last game before the All Star Break, when Jon Lester gave up 10 runs (only 4 earned) and only got two outs in the first inning.

Since then:

7-1
.304/.355/.556, 6.38 R/G, 2.12 HR/G
3.63 (2.16 for SP)

And a big trade that brought a quality-controlled starter, who put up a game score of 83 in his first start. Lester has made two starts since the one I saw on July 9th, going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA, walking 1 and striking out 16 in 15 innings.

 

Andere Richtingen Posted: July 23, 2017 at 11:44 AM | 142 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Monday, July 10, 2017

The Biggest Fixes

Naturally, Theo Epstein’s carefully measured “the biggest fixes have to come from within the clubhouse” statement has been thrown around a lot in the last few days. This is the topic you tend to talk about when your team has been a tremendous disappointment at the All Star Break, three weeks before the trade deadline.

Epstein provided quite a bit of context with that quote, the crux of which is “don’t expect any trades,” but it’s more than just that.

Here is some of that context:

“This ...

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Andere Richtingen Posted: July 10, 2017 at 09:13 AM | 84 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Friday, June 30, 2017

Time for a Dose of Optimism

First, a bit of perspective.  The Cubs won the 2016 World Series.  The Cubs were the best team last year, from the moment pitchers and catchers reported all the way through the end of October.  Sure, there were bumps in the road along the way.  Us Cubs fans aren’t used to being that good, and throughout the year we were waiting for something, anything, to go wrong.  There were no guarantees, and there were quite a few times, especially in October, when it looked like being the best wasn’t going ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 30, 2017 at 03:27 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Monday, June 19, 2017

Meh

There’s really not much to be said about this team right now that hasn’t already been said, so it makes coming up with these posts hard to do.  The overall offense is still underperforming, and still over-reliant on home runs.  It’s also shockingly unclutch and surprisingly mediocre at best to downright bad in most categories.  While the bullpen has overall been quite good, it’s still had it’s share of meltdowns and blown games.  The pitching as a whole has been also disappointing, even though ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 19, 2017 at 10:33 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Thursday, March 30, 2017

2017 Chicago Cubs Prediction Thread

It’s time to put it on the record: What do you forecast for the 2017 Cubs? At least provide a win total for the 2017 season, but also feel free to add other predictions: Rank in division, success in postseason, highest WAR, the day Ian Happ will be called up from AAA. Anything you like! Some of you already started this in the previous thread, so feel free to transfer it here.

I’ll start:

96 wins, and first in NL Central. I say they make it to the WS, but won’t go so far as predicting another ...

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Andere Richtingen Posted: March 30, 2017 at 11:20 AM | 74 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What the FIP?

The Cubs pitching has been statistically extreme in some interesting ways.

First, let’s look at FIP.  FIP (“fielding independent pitching”) attempts to capture a pitcher’s performance, in a term similar to ERA, that does not depend on the fickle fate of balls hit in play. As a team, the Cubs have greatly outperformed their team FIP, posting a 3.13 team ERA (best in MLB), compared to 3.80 FIP (fourth in MLB).  I believe the last time a team finished the season with a higher difference was 2002, ...

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Andere Richtingen Posted: August 24, 2016 at 01:50 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Related News: babip, chicago cubs, fip


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Am Fine with This

As Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer assemble a 2012 team that looks to be, well, not very good, I find myself in an odd state of mind.  Of their six biggest contributors in terms of WAR in 2011, four (Matt Garza, Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Peña, Sean Marshall) are either gone or apparently on their way out, and in no case does it appear that the Cubs have clearly superior short- or long-term replacements.  Ramirez was one of three 10 and 5 players on the 2011 team. Only one, Ryan Dempster, is likely to ...

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Andere Richtingen Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:06 PM | 56 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Monday, August 22, 2011

GM Candidates

Now that the Cubs have finally fired Jim Hendry, I thought it’d be a good time to see if this blog thing still works.  I’ve decided to create a thread listing the potential candidates, and anytime I see any sort of update, I’ll put it in this thread.  If I miss a story, please feel free to add it yourself.

The early candidates include:
Billy Beane
Brian Cashman
Andrew Friedman
Rick Hahn.

Buster Olney mentioned on BBTN last night that he believes the top 3 are the Cubs top choices, while a lot ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 22, 2011 at 05:29 PM | 84 comment(s)
  Related News: astros, athletics, cubs, rays, white sox, yankees


 

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