Cubs Season Well Past the Brink

To say the least, I'm not particularly motivated these days to write about the Cubs. The road trip disaster and the reality of the standings coupled with the anemic offense has pretty much put an end to the season. Never say never and all and Carlos Zambrano will be back this week, but I'm expecting nothing more than the same frustrating Cubs team the rest of the way. At 62-60, I figure 90 wins gets them in the picture and that means a 28-12 run over their last 40 and that still might not be enough for the wild card or the division. So as the season winds down, I'll probably be talking a lot about the new ownership and 2010 and the Chicago Bears. Live with it...

I did go to the game Saturday afternoon...happened to be the AngelFan Wife's birthday as well. I know how to treat the ladies. For her gift, I got her a washing machine...for Christmas I'm thinking a vacuum cleaner or a big screen TV.

Brief description of the day and photos after the jump...

We were the benefactors of 2 amazing seats just 2 rows behind home plate, something I doubt we'll be experiencing ever again. It's the "Dugout Club" at Dodger Stadium and what I'm sure is becoming a trend at most stadiums, it's for the "privileged" crowd or lucky bastards like myself. Just to get to the area is a roped off glass door that leads downstairs, and at every checkpoint I half-expected someone to stop us and let us know we don't belong there. Eventually you make it downstairs, pass by both clubhouses and to get to your seats you have to go through the all-you-can-eat buffet that comes with the tickets. Most people were chowing down before the game, but we headed right out since we had a big breakfast with the wife's family for her birthday. Another usher and yet another moment of expecting to be turned back, but he led us to our seats, a row ahead of CNN anchor Larry King who looks every bit of his age.

I won't bore you with the rest of the details of the game, even sitting that close you don't hear much from the field except the home plate ump between innings interacting with the fans. I'll say the Dodger fans don't like Milton Bradley much either, being warmly greeted with a serenade of "Meltdown" in his first few at-bats. Some photos below for your pleasure....

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Fun at the old ballpark as they say...

Comments

I guess the comments and descriptions don't go through on the slideshow. You can go here if you wish..

http://www.flickr.com/photos/41793328@N03/sets/72157622013196475/

who sawed off paul sullivan's legs?

Nice pix.

I'm pretty you could put a beat down on Gordon Wittenmeyer(back to the camer)too.

Did you notice anything about certain players or the game in general that you wouldn't have on TV or in the seats for the great unwashed?

not really, Soto has a huge ass...they seemed to be swinging for the fences on Haeger's knuckleball. I was more interested in the food to be honest.

I know, bad Cubs blogger.

"He's not overweight." Hendry the enabler:

Does Soto need to get in better condition to avoid injuries like his oblique strain?

"No, he's naturally a big-boned guy," Hendry said. "I don't think* his weight is any different than last year when he won [N.L.] Rookie of the Year. He came to camp in real good shape, gained a few pounds after the [ World Baseball Classic]. He's never going to be tall and skinny, but he's not overweight."

*Maybe Cubs fans could chip in and buy the Cubs a bathroom scale.

Now that's just wrong.

Dodgers fans jeering at Bradley are the same group of rocket surgeons who drove to Vegas and cheered Manny during his suspension. Do Dodger fans know anything about baseball?

not really

I was there the night Weaver and Arronondo didn't allow a hit but lost. It was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of game. 90 percent of them had absolutely no clue what was going on.

from rotoworld:

Chris Perez has thrown 15 1/3 scoreless frames out of the Indians' bullpen.
It's the longest scoreless streak by a Tribe reliever since Rafael Betancourt tossed 19 straight shutout innings in 2007. Perez has rattled off 19 strikeouts against four walks during the stretch and is doing Cleveland management proud. The 24-year-old was picked up in late June from the Cardinals for third baseman Mark DeRosa, who is batting .237/.313/.443 with his new club.
---
the stl surge isn't about DeRosa but he sure filled a hole at 3B which is not going to be reflected in any hitting stats. Plus it's one of the larger things on the list of Hendry mistakes that have not only created a void on the team when ARam went down this year but then came around and bit us in the ass by helping our main competitor.

We needed to clear payroll for Aaron Miles

My theory is Geo & Hendry spent the entire offseason hanging out getting high.

Some December night in Geo's smoke-filled apartment, over a bag of Doritos...

Geo: Doooode, Mark Derosa is pretty good.
Hendry: Yeah, man, he's our secret weapon.
Geo: You know what you should do? You should trade him... pffftt!
Hendry: {manical laughing}
Hendry: Okay, okay, okay, okay... where should I trade him? What time is it?
Geo: It's 1:30, man...
Hendry: Ok, ok, ok, I'll call Sharpy in Cleveland.

picks up phone, dials number...
Geo & Hendry giggling while phone rings

Shapiro: Hello? Who is this?
Hendry: Hey Sharpy, it's Jim in Chicago.
Shapiro: Jim Hendry? Everything okay? It's 2:30am.
Hendry: Yeah, man...that's cool. Hey do you want Mark Derosa?

Geo: Ask him if his refrigerator is running!

... the rest is history.

Awesome.

Plus, Derosa still hits right-handed. What a goof!

Clearly, all the left-handedness helped against the Dodgers.

BillyBucks calculator now has the Cubs at 87 wins -- probably not enough.

The have had mediocre defense this year.

BABIP is down but not a lot.

They've hit plenty of home runs.

And of course... They've given up way too many walks.

None of this is too surprising, but it is interesting to see how FEW walks STL has given up. It's clearly the chink in the armor of our pitching staff. Just throw strikes. Unless you are Kevin Gregg, in which case... who knows... try something different.

Also, the Cubs have a lackluster road record.

CHC has a higher BABIP than STL. Nice.

Is UR/G unearned runs? Unearned runs are also a function of pitching. The Cubs are third in the majors in Defensive Efficiency.

Yeah, that's fair. UR is still relevant, imo, but maybe I shouldn't refer to it as "defense".

DER...lulz.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/08/wagner-block...

Wagner blocked deal to RSox, wants to pitch low-leverage to protect his arm for next season. Shouldn't the Mets just let him go then?

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9979394/How-wil...

Rosenthal with the obvious Cubs are fucked next year because of all those contracts.

Rob,

I think it might be a good time to revisit our pre-season predictions.

Probably worth a good chuckle at this point.

I predicted a shocking 2nd place finish for the Reds, right behind the Cubs. Whoops.

I'm looking pretty good on Smardijiza's innings, wrong on everything else.

I selected Milton Bradley to hit the most home runs. Think you go ahead and mark me down for a "loss" there.

That picture of Lilly is hot!! Quite the seductress...it'd look better if he were on a bearskin rug, though.

TLFC porn...

TLILF.

...this is one of the Cubs' best seasons in the last 60 years.

Recent comments

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  • 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.

    Charlie 13 min 19 sec ago view
  • 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?

    QuietMan 1 hour 37 min ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    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.)

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 37 min ago view
  • 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.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 44 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 1 hour 47 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 51 min ago view
  • 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.

    billybucks 2 hours 25 sec ago view
  • 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.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 2 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 2 hours 8 min ago view
  • QuietMan 2 hours 16 min ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 35 min ago view
  • 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.

    The E-Man 3 hours 13 min ago view
  • 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.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 57 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 8 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 9 min ago view
  • So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?

    The E-Man 4 hours 28 min ago view