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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 70% krate following and realizing it really is pretty close to the best option at the moment.  Jay seems to have established himself as an everyday, or near everyday player, locking down the leadoff spot.  Bryant and Rizzo both are going through mini-power slumps again*, and this is where Contreras’s injury really hurts the Cubs.  I guess Baez has been on a good streak lately, but there’s still something about his ABs that is different with runners on or in a big spot (and then he runs into another hanging curve and it’s easy to forget the 3 pitch Ks where none of the pitches are close to the zone).  Heyward - again, still yuck.

If Schwarber doesn’t have a big series, I’d be tempted to just bench him and write off this season (not sure they’d send him back to AAA, but I’d consider it).  Give Almora and LaStella more regular starts, and at the expense of Heyward and Zobrist.  When Russell comes back (and I haven’t see anything on him for a while now), leave Javy in the rotation ahead of Zobrist.  I’m fine with Happ starting every other day or so when perhaps the matchup is better for him, but I would rather see him playing than Zobrist or Heyward. 

I think the starting pitching is beginning to sort itself out, but at this point, I’m really focused on the offense as I think the arms are what they are at this point, including the inconsistent pen. 

*Bryant’s HR was the best part of yesterday, and they’ve talked a lot about how his pinky injury seems to still be bugging him.  How fun was that .818/.867/1.273 series he just had, by the way?

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 14, 2017 at 04:40 PM | 117 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. McCoy Posted: August 19, 2017 at 09:43 PM (#5517125)
I've mentioned it before but I absolutely hated that Neifi was on the team and that Dusty would use him. But it seemed like every time in 2004 that Dusty brought Neifi into the game he didn't something good. Every time Pat Hughes would announce that Neifi was entering the game I'd yell at the radio in disgust at the stupidity of it and of course Neifi would do something good. My coworkers thought it was very funny. Like everyone else I was very upset when Hendry decided to give Neifi a multiyear deal and not only that but he did it for a pretty good amount of money and early in the FA period which was a hallmark for Hendry.
   102. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 20, 2017 at 09:24 AM (#5517203)
Aug. 20:

1926 Cal McVey dies
1937 probably Paul Derringer's best day at the plate: 3-for-4 with 2 doubles & 5 RBIs. His Reds beat CHC 6-4
1941 Dodgers take Larry French off of wavier from Cubs
1958 injury-plagued CHC use Dale Long as catcher. 1 in hospital, 1 HBP, and 1 ejected, so use 1st lefty catcher of the century
1961 Pitchers duel: Cubs 1, Pit 0 (11). Bob Friend: 10.2IP, 8H, 1ER, 3W, 3K. Don Cardwell: 11 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
1961 CHC & PIT play their 3rd consecutive extra-innning game
1971 Fergie Jenkins lodges 20th win: fifth straight season doing that
1974 Davey Lopes hits 3 HR in one game & LAD record 15 total bases: 2B & 1B also. LAD 18, CHC 8
1996 Sammy Sosa broken hand from HBP. He already has 40 HR, leading the league
1997 1,000 hits: Sammy Sosa: 1,053 games
2001 MLB debut: Carlos Zambrano
2006 Cubs trade Neifi Perez to DET
2016 COL 7, CHC 6 (11). Ryan Rayburn w/ walk-off 2-run Little League Homer: double off the wall & Javier Baez completely throws the relay away

   103. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 20, 2017 at 11:47 AM (#5517248)
Rene Rivera and Koji Uehara activated, Victor Caratini and Rob Zastryzny down to Triple-A


Rivera is catching Hendricks today. Weird lineup, with Bryant getting the day off (TLS at 3rd):
Almora
Schwarber
Zobrist
Rizzo
Baez
Lastella
Rivera
Jay

Doesn't Joe realize how bad zobrist is?
   104. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 20, 2017 at 12:17 PM (#5517257)
Doesn't Joe realize how bad zobrist is?

I'm with you mostly, but he has shown some signs of life the last week: 4 for 14 with three walks, a double and a triple. He belongs deeper in the order but with that crazy lineup, what does it matter? He is getting days off regularly, which seems to be a good idea.
   105. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 20, 2017 at 06:43 PM (#5517562)
This Wilson guy .... has he had a single good outing yet with the Cubs? (looks it up). No. No, he hasn't. I assumed he had but I was just remembering the bad ones, but eight outings - and shaky each time.

Aug. 2: two walks & a hit in one inning.

Aug. 3: Two hits in one inning.

Aug. 5: a walk & a hit in one inning.

Aug. 8: Two hits in one inning.

Aug. 11: A walk & a hit in a third of an inning.

Aug. 15: Two hits & a walk in one inning

Aug. 17: Two walks in ..er, no innings. Not a single damn out.

Aug. 20: Two walks in a third of an inning.

---

Not only has he failed to have a 1-2-3 inning. He's let at least two runners reach base each time.

So that's 36 batters faced. 9 hits & 9 walks. Smooth .500 OBP for opposing batters. WHIP? 3.176.

When he came, I liked it because I don't trust Wade Davis these days. But Wilson is far worse. Yeah, yeah small sample size -- but nine outings and none good. Not a single damn one.

Oh, he's walked 4 of the last 5 batters faced, and 6 of the last 14.

   106. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 20, 2017 at 07:06 PM (#5517569)
What a game today. If this doesn't light a fire under some butts, then they don't deserve it.

Back to the season high water mark of nine games over.
   107. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: August 21, 2017 at 09:44 AM (#5517764)
Aug. 21:

1876 first NL forfeit as Chicago leaves field in protest of ump's call in game versus St Louis
1898 Walter Thornton, CHC, no-hits Brk 2-0
1917 Chief Bender PHI (yes, Phillies) has 3rd straight CG SHO. PH 6, CHC 0
1929 Charlie Grimm sidelined for the year w/ a hand injury. Will be OK for the World Series, though
1935 Chuck Klein scores 5 runs in a game for the only time in his career. PHI 19, CHC 5
1945 2,000 hits: Stan Hack. 1,736 games
1968 Billy Williams collects a personal high 7 RBIs: 3-for-4, 2 runs, 1 2B, 1 HR. 1 SF.
1975 CHC 7, LAD 0 - as Paul Reuschel reliefs brother Rick. They do all 9 IP in SHO
1978 Jason Marquis born
1987 Andre Dawson homers twice in game for 2nd straight game. Fourht multi-HR game of month (8-6, 8-20, & 3 on 8-1). 8th of year
1989 Jerome Walton's 30-game hitting streak ends in CHC-CIN game
1999 Sammy Sosa homers twice for second straight game/day
2011 on ESPN, Bobby Valentine blasts CHC SS Starlin Castro for not even facing the plate during some pitches vs. STL

   108. Brian C Posted: August 21, 2017 at 10:52 AM (#5517830)
Here's a fun trivia question:

Three guys have played an entire game at 1B this season for the Cubs. Without looking it up, name those three players.
   109. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 21, 2017 at 11:02 AM (#5517842)
Rizzo, Contreras, Caratini?
   110. Brian C Posted: August 21, 2017 at 11:08 AM (#5517847)
You got 2 of 3 (Rizzo, Caratini)
   111. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 21, 2017 at 11:47 AM (#5517868)
Zobrist or Bryant as the third.
   112. Brian C Posted: August 21, 2017 at 01:22 PM (#5517945)
Nope and nope.
   113. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 21, 2017 at 01:26 PM (#5517948)
Wow. I dunno...Javy? Montero? Bryan LaHair?
   114. Brian C Posted: August 21, 2017 at 01:55 PM (#5517963)
Nope, nope, good guess but nope.

I'll say that you're on the right track, in that 2 of those 3 guys you just guessed are no longer Cubs.

   115. Voodoo Posted: August 21, 2017 at 01:59 PM (#5517965)
Must be Jeimer?
   116. Voodoo Posted: August 21, 2017 at 02:05 PM (#5517969)
Speaking of Jeimer, he's slashing .237/.256/.461 in 76 games for Toledo. Had a cup of coffee with Detroit and got a hit in two at bats, but has been in AAA ever since.

Dan Vogelbach has slashed 297/393/467 for Tacoma this year in the PCL after doing not much in a brief stint with the big league club in Seattle.
   117. Brian C Posted: August 21, 2017 at 02:45 PM (#5517990)
Yeah, Jeimer.
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