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   1. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: September 10, 2008 at 02:43 PM (#2935510)
Derrek and Jimbo could use some time off. Unfortunately, the recent lull is likely to prevent that.

I don't think Soto made a bad play at home to end the game. It was just one of those things. The real travesty was the pitch selection to Lopez. I don't understand why Marmol and Soto elected to go with a barrage of breaking balls on a full count.

What is Lou's plan with Fukudome? He's been sitting quite a bit lately.
   2. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: September 10, 2008 at 02:45 PM (#2935511)
Oh, and the decision to bunt with Soto was ridiculous for three reasons: Soto is a good hitter, Soto is not an accomplished bunter and the fastest player in the entire system was standing on first base.
   3. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: September 10, 2008 at 02:46 PM (#2935513)
A fourth reason: Soto is so slow that the Cards would have time to try for second base on any play remotely close there.
   4. Spahn Insane Posted: September 10, 2008 at 02:47 PM (#2935514)
Wake me up when it's over.
   5. God can’t be all that impressed with Charles S. Posted: September 10, 2008 at 03:05 PM (#2935535)
I'd like to see Lou shake the whole thing up tonight. Hoffpauir at 1st, Fontenot at second, Pie in Center, even Fukudome back in right (he often has good days the day after he pinch hits, and DeRosa could use a day off). That'll give us a few extra lefties against Looper, and I won't have watch Derrek Lee stare at an umpire in disbelief again tonight.
   6. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 10, 2008 at 03:53 PM (#2935581)
Soriano sure seems like one of the worst hitters ever with runners on. We thought he was gonna go on one of his super streaks after the game in Cinci Saturday, but that didn’t happen. I bet he’s left more runners on base this year than anyone else on the team, and that’s saying something with all the time he’s missed. And is it me, or is that stupid hop in LF getting more exaggerated? One more drop, and I’m gonna lose it.

Soriano 2008 with RISP: .280/.377/.617 (130 PA)
With men on: .290/.331/.559 (182 PA)
Overall: .285/.344/.548

Nothing much there.

The hop is lame, and he's got a Dusty-era dumb approach at the plate. But overall, he's not part of the problem.

And the problem is...I'm not sure there is a problem. If the Cubs continue to play like this for the remaining games, then yes, there is a problem, and even if they make it to the post-season they will fall flat on their faces, a book I've already read and don't care to repeat. But I really think they're going to turn it around. I'd rather see them go through this now than in three weeks.

Here's what the Cubs have done in this bad stretch of 9 games:

They've hit .306/.429/.447, which looks pretty good. However, they only scored 34 runs in that period, or 3.77 per game. Worse, 21 of those 34 runs came in just two games, where they scored seven runs in a loss to Houston, and 14 in the win in Cincinnati. The 13 runs in the remaining seven games is pretty bad. Also, they hit nine HR in the last nine games, but all of them came in those two games. They scored three runs or fewer seven times, and of course, lost all of those games, plus one more where they scored seven. Overall this sucks, but I'm not seeing a sign of the apocalypse, more a week of tough luck.

The pitchers have put up a 5.80 ERA, which looks pretty bad. The starters had a 4.65 ERA in that stretch, and made six quality starts. That's not very good, but it's not a terrible stretch by any means. In 52.1 starter IP, they gave up 52 hits, walked 23, struck out 37, and gave up 5 HR. Not great peripherals, but you could see a lot worse in a stretch where you go 1-8. The bullpen had a 8.01 ERA and gave up at least one earned run in each game. In 28.1 bullpen IP, they gave up 32 hits, walked 12, struck out 28 and gave up 5 HR. Actually, not bad peripherals except for the HR -- it just converted into a lot of runs. So, the bullpen has been the major problem here, but we are not looking at a lot of games, and I'm not sure whether it reflects any kind of real trend.

I really think it's just a bad stretch. So far this season, the Cubs offense has been fantastic, better than projected. Maybe they are regressing toward their mean, but I think they'll get their fire back. The recent stretch of bad offensive performances coincided with a tough patch from the bullpen, exacerbated by getting just one start out of Zambrano and Harden in the nine games. Otherwise the rest of the rotation was not terrible.
   7. Spahn Insane Posted: September 10, 2008 at 03:58 PM (#2935589)
Here's what the Cubs have done in this bad stretch of 9 games:

They've hit .306/.429/.447, which looks pretty good.


Wow. That they've managed to lose 8 of those games (and score so few runs doing it) given those numbers is pretty amazing.
   8. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 10, 2008 at 04:16 PM (#2935606)
Here's what the Cubs have done in this bad stretch of 9 games:

They've hit .306/.429/.447, which looks pretty good.

Wow. That they've managed to lose 8 of those games (and score so few runs doing it) given those numbers is pretty amazing.


Actually, I made an error there: the OBA should have been .393. Still, pretty good.

However, in the seven games other than the two where they scored seven or more runs, it's .282/.355/.317. Five doubles, one triple and no HR in 217 PA.
   9. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: September 10, 2008 at 06:16 PM (#2935723)
Even though I wasn't going for accuracy, Andere, I'm still honestly shocked Soriano's RISP numbers are that good. Goes to show how much the negatives stick out (for instance, he had chances to push across meaningful, and potentially difference making runs in about half of these games they've lost this week). Last night, he had the bases loaded and lined out in the 6th (maybe?) and ground into a DP in the top of the 9th. I know my initial reaction to seeing him up with runners on is to assume the worst. I was also shocked when he hit the 3 run bomb the other night (HR#3 of the night) because there were 2 on and he "usually" (according to my clearly faulty memory) fails in that situation. Since he didn't, I thought that meant he'd be on a hot streak coming up, again, also wrong.

And as you say, I'm still fine with this team. But like Lou said after the game last night, I'm tired of watching all this failing.
   10. McCoy Posted: September 10, 2008 at 06:28 PM (#2935735)
Edmonds is cooked. Pie and Johnson should be getting the playing time with Johnson getting the bulk of playing time.

Hopefully Lou continues playing the hot hand and willing to sit the slumping vet. He did it last year and I am hoping he continues it this year.

Edmonds always looked like he was cooked but he got the occasional homer that kept him in the lineup.
   11. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 10, 2008 at 06:53 PM (#2935770)
I'm not sure how cooked Edmonds is. In the last 28 days he has a .188 BA, but he still has an OPS+ of 100 over that time because he is drawing walks and hitting for extra bases when he makes contact. His overall August and September marks:

August: .200/.371/.509
September: .214/.421/.429

That's just 89 plate appearances, and he's really been protected from LHP, but I'll take it from a guy who can competently play CF any day.
   12. DJ Endless Grudge Can Use Multiple Slurp Juices Posted: September 10, 2008 at 06:55 PM (#2935773)
Since this has apparently become my new obsession - Dempster shouldn't have batted in the sixth with the bags loaded. C'mon, seriously - you have expanded rosters!
   13. DJ Endless Grudge Can Use Multiple Slurp Juices Posted: September 10, 2008 at 06:57 PM (#2935779)
That's just 89 plate appearances, and he's really been protected from LHP, but I'll take it from a guy who can competently play CF any day.


I wouldn't bet against Edmonds' bat right now, but I'm not entirely sure he's a competent CF at this point.
   14. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: September 10, 2008 at 06:58 PM (#2935781)
Good point, Colin. Dempster had been cruising along at that point, but I see the argument. I didn't think of it before, but I totally agree.
   15. Andere Richtingen Posted: September 10, 2008 at 07:04 PM (#2935796)
I wouldn't bet against Edmonds' bat right now, but I'm not entirely sure he's a competent CF at this point.

He probably isn't good (-4 DRS in fairly small amount of playing time) but that's not a disaster either. Dial has him at +7.20 overall. I think you could do much worse.
   16. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 10, 2008 at 11:29 PM (#2936063)
They don't bring Edmonds back next year, do they? I mean, Felix needs to put it all together, but they're going into next season assuming it'll be his job to lose, right?
   17. McCoy Posted: September 11, 2008 at 03:12 AM (#2937072)
If Dusty was still coaching the team they would probably bring back Edmonds, but I don't see them bringing back Edmonds. I think it will be thanks for the games, best of luck.
   18. paytonrules Posted: September 11, 2008 at 02:10 PM (#2937687)
As great as Ramirez has been in the 7th inning or later..... his numbers are down across the board (outside of walks). He’s always been a bit of a streaky hitter, but he’s had quite a few more of the lows this year than any other year I remember. This last week his defense has gone in the crapper too, most of his errors are of the concentration variety. It’s not his fault he’s coming up with the bases empty a lot lately (see Lee, Derrek), but 24 HRs? That’s sad.


Worth noting, Ramirez is not a great HR hitter, just a good one. Last year in 506 AB 24HR. This year he's had 511AB, and he has 26 HR. He only had one excellent HR season, 2006, and his slugging percentages as a Cub look like this: .578, .568, .561, .549, .501. He's on the decline. Unfortunately Cub brass probably won't realize it until he has two poor seasons in a row.
   19. McCoy Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:41 PM (#2937913)
Well, what exactly are they to do if they realize it today?

Aramis is signed through 2011, if it takes them two poor seasons in a row to realize Aramis is in decline then that is good since by the end of that second season his contract will be up and they will not pick up his option.
   20. Lassus Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:45 PM (#2937920)
I hate under-ripe bananas!
   21. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: September 11, 2008 at 04:54 PM (#2937940)
his slugging percentages as a Cub look like this: .578, .568, .561, .549, .501. He's on the decline. Unfortunately Cub brass probably won't realize it until he has two poor seasons in a row.

And his EQAs look like this: .307, .302, .292, .294, .291. I don't think Aramis Ramirez is really a point of concern.

Anyhow, Josh Vitters is their 18 year old 3B of the future and he hit .328/.365/.498 in A- this season.
   22. McCoy Posted: September 15, 2008 at 04:12 PM (#2942042)
Man, they should shut Carlos down until the playoffs. They are risking everything by letting him pitch. What if he isn't healed? Sorry, just venting ;)

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