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 don't hate Coghlan as a PHer but he's leading off today which is as bad as Austin Jackson doing so last year. He doesn't even have the speed.

    johann 3 min 42 sec ago view
  • TLS has options. He will be up again in Sept, and maybe earlier.

    Rob Richardson 14 min 24 sec ago view
  • Very odd -- TLS .308/.419 in July (in 26 AB). Strange move for a team struggling to score runs. Hard to imagine Coghlan doing better than that. Maybe they like Coghlan better as a PH?

    billybucks 24 min 49 sec ago view
  • Sorry to nitpick -- but the first game wasn't a save.

    billybucks 39 min 33 sec ago view
  • Wow La Stella sent to Iowa and Coghlan brought up. I'm not a huge Stella fan but he has been hitting lately and is to me better than Coghlan. Neither are good defensively but I guess Coghlan can play the outfield allowing Bryant to stay at 3rd more where he's better.

    johann 41 min 2 sec ago view
  • Not 2nd to last but Cubs are definitely bottom of the pack in the 2nd half in oWAR and wRC+. #1 in dWAR though which is certainly a good sign for the playoffs.

    johann 46 min 7 sec ago view
  • I was going to say that you wouldn't want Heyward to achieve Soriano's OBP--.317 with the Cubs--but now I see that he's already done that. Pitchers have lost their fear of him.

    Oh, well, at least Chapman seems to be as good as advertised.

    VirginiaPhil 54 min 44 sec ago view
  • Thanks to E-man and Quiet Man for the link on Chapman in a previous post. It's funny because I never really noticed Chapman's delivery until I saw him doing it in a blue uniform. Two saves in a Cubs uniform already. I hope they don't need him today, despite that smooth delivery.

    Old and Blue 56 min 41 sec ago view
  • Cubs are middle of the pack in average, 5th in OPS, 2nd in walks, 4th in runs scored in MLB. Their runs scored ranks 17th in the MLB in July.

    Boston, leading everything, continues to rake in July.

    Old and Blue 59 min 8 sec ago view
  • Lester has given up one run or fewer in 11 starts this year. So I'd answer yes. Three of his last four starts were duds, yes. Not worried about him at all. Arrieta is concerning, to be sure. I look it at as, what he was doing was historic, so the regression was bound to happen. He showed in his start against the Mets that he's still capable, and I'd bet on him regaining his form.

    Tito 1 hour 55 min ago view
  • marlins getting a.cashner and c.rea from SD

    crunch 2 hours 2 min ago view
  • This is not an attack...But In what stat are the Cubs second from last in MLB, in hitting? I don't see this.

    Dusty Baylor 3 hours 8 min ago view
  • How odd the stats:

    Cubs 1st in pitching in MLB

    2nd to last in hitting.

    In May they were 1st in both.

    The E-Man 3 hours 25 min ago view
  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 12 hours 4 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 12 hours 24 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 12 hours 25 min ago view