Cubs Win and Bradley is Suddenly Very Chatty
The Cubs and Nationals battled to a 2-2 tie through 6 innings, before Milton Bradley drove in his third run of the night on a fielder's choice to score Koyie Hill in the bottom of the 7th. Bradley had homered earlier in the game for the Cubs first two runs. The Cubs piled on in the 8th with five runs and ended up winning easily 9-4. 38 games left to bear unless we luck out with some rainouts.
Following up yesterday's comments, Bradley claims he has no regrets signing with the Cubs, but says he dreads extra inning home games:
"...so I can be out there the least amount of time as possible and go home."
Not quite as poetic as "I'd play this game for free", now is it?
He goes on to talk about facing hatred on a a daily basis including at restaurants, but sarcastically doesn't believe it has anything to do with race.
"America doesn't believe in racism."
That one made me chuckle.
Then he pulls a little Stuart Smalley on us.
``I feel love for me, because I love me,'' he said. ``I look in the
mirror and go out there and play and feel love for my teammates and
love for the coaching staff and for myself.''
That one made me laugh out loud.
The original link from the Daily Herald above has the more measured and objective article on Bradley's recent comments. The Sun-Times seems to have made it a mission to drive Bradley out of town if they can, with articles from Wittenmyer and one from Chris DeLuca saying that Milton Bradley will be the symbol of failure of the 2009 Cubs. Yes, Milton Bradley is what went wrong with the Cubs this year, not Alfonso Soriano's laughable 85 OPS+, not a disabled list longer than the Dead Sea Scrolls, not Lou's slow descent into Alzheimer's, it's Milton Bradley struggling in the first half and having the audacity to speak his mind on occasion. He's got to be the first free agent in the history of baseball to start slow, right? But I understand, after all he is the
highest, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th highest paid player on the team, he certainly deserves the brunt of the criticism.
Bradley has not had a good season, certainly not what the Cubs expected and some of his "act" even grates on my generally patient nerves, but he is far from the Cubs most glaring problem in 2009 . He's not even in the top 5 (Soriano, the DL, the Bullpen, Hendry/Lou, Soto and Fontenot would be a good start). Bradley definitely makes himself the story sometimes and that's the part that grates on my nerves, but it's hardly enough to warrant the smear campaign that the Sun-Times is hellbent on pursuing, but I guess you have to try something when you're in a dying industry.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.