Castro and Barney: Double Trouble for the Dodgers – Cubs 10 Dodgers 8

Game Twenty – Cubs 10 Dodgers 8
WP – Jeff Samardzija (2-0) LP – Matt Guerrier (1-1, BS 1) Save – Carlos Marmol (5)

wflag.jpgSaturday afternoon was anything but boring at Wrigley Field. The Cubs jumped out to an early lead against Ted Lilly just to see Ryan Dempster blow it … and then some. The Cubs trailed 8-5 going into the bottom of the eighth in large part to another horrible outing by Ryan Dempster.

Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with three strikeouts) led off the eighth with what appeared to be just a late inning single. Reed Johnson (2-for-3 with a walk, a RBI and a run scored) dropped a bunt to third that Casey Blake could not make a play on. Kosuke Fukudome hit for Jeff Samardzija and walked to load the bases.

Starlin Castro stepped in and ripped a 0-1 pitch into right center. Soriano and Johnson scored with Fukudome advancing to third on the play. Darwin Barney then hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice. Fukudome scored and the game was tied at eight.

After a two-out bloop single by Aramis Ramirez, Don Mattingly went to his pen for Blake Hawksworth. Jeff Baker greeted the former Cardinal by ripping his first pitch into right center. Barney and Ramirez scored … 10-8 Cubs.

Carlos Marmol retired three of the four batters he faced in the ninth and picked up his fifth save of the season.

The Cubs never quit in a game that should have been over well before the eighth inning.

Starlin Castro (4-for-5 with a double, two runs scored, a stolen base and three RBI) and Darwin Barney (3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored, a stolen base and three RBI) not only sparked the Cubs offense but made several big plays in the field. Castro and Barney combined for seven of the Cubs’ 16 hits, scored four of the ten runs and drove in the other six. For as mediocre as Q’s squad has been, where would his team be without them?

Ryan Dempster put together his worst outing of the young season … and that is saying a lot. For the fourth time in five starts Dempster was given a lead and could not hold on to it. The Cubs needed a long, quality outing from Dempster and he could not deliver.

Ryan Dempster lasted just 5 2/3 innings and gave up a season-high seven runs on nine hits with three walks and three strikeouts. The Cubs staked Dempster to a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth before he started serving up longballs.

Dempster gave up six runs (three in the fifth and sixth … four on three home runs) before departing with the game tied at five. Sean Marshall surrendered the two-run RBI double to Andre Ethier that gave the Dodgers a two-run lead and closed the book on Dempster.

Ryan Dempster threw 103 pitches, 64 for strikes, and has yet to notch a quality start this season. Dempster’s command issues have become a problem but not as big an issue as the eight home runs he’s served up in 30 2/3 innings this season … all three of the Dodgers’ homers Saturday was hit off Ryan Dempster.

Jeff Samardzija put together another solid outing. Samardzija pitched a perfect 1 1/3 innings in relief of Sean Marshall. Samardzija struck out the side in the eighth (Miles, Blake and Ethier) and earned his second victory of the season.

The Cubs were aggressive on the bases Saturday afternoon. Q’s squad swiped three bags and was awarded a fourth after James Loney interfered with Darwin Barney. Barney and Byrd even executed a double steal in the third.

Ted Lilly made his return to Wrigley and the first start of his career against the Cubs. Lilly was not good and left the game in the fifth with the Dodgers down 5-1. Lilly allowed five runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings with a walk and three strikeouts.

With Saturday’s win the Cubs evened their record at 10 wins and 10 loses. The Cubs are the first team in Major League history to begin a season with ten consecutive stops at the .500-mark. Ryan Dempster put himself into a jam in the first inning but wiggled his way out of trouble. Casey Blake reached on a bunt single to Dempster that the Cubs pitcher misplayed. Andre Ethier worked a walk and the Dodgers had two on with one out with Matt Kemp coming to the plate.

Matt Kemp ended up hitting a soft liner to short on a 0-2 pitch. Starlin Castro appeared to drop the ball … and that is what the umps ruled. Kemp was out on the liner to short for the second out of the inning.

Castro should have caught the ball and turned two as Blake was off the bag but Castro appeared to over think the play.

Jerry Sands grounded out to second to end the inning … and Castro’s decision only cost Dempster three pitches. Dempster threw 17 pitches, 12 for strikes, in the first inning.

The Cubs came out swinging against Ted Lilly but managed only one run after three straight hits to start the inning.

Starlin Castro worked the count to 3-2 before hitting a bullet off the top of the wall in left. Jerry Sands played the ball perfectly and threw out Castro at second. Castro ran hard out of the box.

Darwin Barney hit a fly into left center on a 1-1 pitch that Matt Kemp misplayed. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and Barney reached second with a stand-up double. Marlon Byrd blooped a single into right. Barney held at third with one out.

Aramis Ramirez gave the Cubs a one-run lead with a sacrifice fly into center. Barney tagged and scored while Byrd took second on the throw home. Jeff Baker flied out to right center on a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

Dempster kept the Dodgers off the board in the second … but gave them a run in the third.

Casey Blake worked a one-out walk in the third, Dempster’s second free pass of the game. Andre Ethier hit a soft grounder to second. Barney made sure of one as Blake advanced to second on the productive out.

Matt Kemp then fisted a 1-1 offering from Dempster into right and plated Blake with the tying run. Dempster struck out Jerry Sands swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning. After three Dempster’s pitch count stood at 56 … 36 for strikes.

The Cubs caught a break in the third but could not take advantage. Starlin Castro hit a high pop fly into left on a 2-2 pitch. Jerry Sands positioned himself to make a routine catch but lost the ball in the sun. To Castro’s credit he ran out of the box and slid into second with a gift double.

With Barney at the plate, Lilly uncorked a wild pitch. Castro took third and scored on a single to right. Barney’s RBI gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead.

Marlon Byrd singled to left and the Cubs had runners on first and second with one out.

On a 1-0 pitch to Aramis Ramirez, the Cubs pulled off a double steal. Barney swiped third and Byrd followed with a steal of second. Ramirez ended up swinging and missing on a 2-2 pitch that was well inside for the second out.

With runners on second and third, Jeff Baker popped out to second to end the inning.

The Cubs took the lead but let their old teammate off the hook in the third.

Geovany Soto led off the bottom of the fourth with a single to left on a 1-2 offering from Lilly. Alfonso Soriano struck out for the second time against Lilly, in the fourth he swung and missed at a 0-2 offering.

Reed Johnson ripped a 0-1 pitch from Lilly into the gap in right center. Soto scored all the way from first. Johnson stopped at second but saw Matt Kemp’s relay throw get away from Jamey Carroll. Johnson took third on the error.

Ryan Dempster grounded out first for the second out of the inning.

Starlin Castro put together another impressive at bat. Castro laid off a 1-2 pitch that a few of the Cubs veterans could not earlier in the game. Castro then ripped Lilly’s 2-2 offering into left. Johnson scored and gave the Cubs a 4-1 lead.

With Barney at the plate, Lilly appeared to pick Castro off at first but Castro put his head down and beat Loney’s throw to second. Barney then delivered a single into right. Castro scored and the Cubs took what appeared to be a commanding 5-1 lead.

Lilly appeared to pick off Barney from first but the Cubs second baseman got caught in a run down and Loney kept Barney from getting back to first. Barney was awarded second on Loney’s obstruction. Marlon Byrd predictably grounded out to short to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster took the hill in the fifth with a 5-1 lead … but it quickly evaporated.

Aaron Miles singled to left on Dempster’s first pitch. Casey Blake ripped a 1-1 pitch into the bleachers in left and cut the Cubs lead to 5-3. Dempster retired Ethier on a ground out to first.

Matt Kemp made it 5-4 with a long homer to left center on a 2-0 offering. Dempster retired Sands and Loney but the damage had been done and the writing was on the wall.

The Cubs loaded the bases and chased Ted Lilly from the game in the top of the fifth. Jeff Baker singled to center to chase Lilly then Mike MacDougal walked Geovany Soto. Soriano struck out for the third time in the game.

Reed Johnson walked to load the bases. In a one-run game, Quade let Dempster hit with the bases loaded and two outs. Dempster struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.

The Dodgers exploded in the sixth for three more runs and turned another ugly outing by Dempster into an embarrassing one.

Rod Barajas led off the sixth with a home run to left center that tied the game at five. Barajas’ homer was the third consecutive hit off Dempster that left the park.

With one out and the game tied at five, Tony Gwynn, Jr. hit a 3-1 pitch into left. Soriano tried to make a diving catch. The ball got past him and Gwynn ended up at third with the go ahead run. Aaron Miles grounded out to short, Castro kept Gwynn at third and threw to first for the second out.

Dempster walked Casey Blake to end his afternoon. Dempster departed after throwing 103 pitches, 63 for strikes … 16 in the sixth alone, only six for strikes.

Sean Marshall came in and could not get out of the jam. Andre Ethier extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a double to right. Blake was running on the play and scored the Dodgers’ seventh run of the game. Marshall struck out Matt Kemp to end the inning.

Ryan Dempster gave up seven runs, all earned, on nine hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Dempster served up three more home runs and once again let his team down.

The Dodgers tacked on another run in the seventh. Jerry Sands singled to left on a 0-2 offering from Marshall. Sands stole second and advanced to third when Soto’s throw ended up in centerfield. Rod Barajas put the ball in play and grounded to short. Castro threw home and Soto could not scoop and hold onto the ball in the dirt … 8-5 Dodgers.

To the Cubs credit they never quit and mounted a huge comeback in the eighth … and it all started on a 0-2 single to center by Alfonso Soriano.

Matt Guerrier left a 0-2 pitch up and out over the plate. Soriano reached out and dropped the ball into center. Reed Johnson ended up dropping a bunt down on a 1-1 offering. Blake could not make a throw and the Cubs had two on with no outs down by a score of 8-5.

Kosuke Fukudome hit for Jeff Samardzija and worked a walk. With the bases loaded and no outs, Starlin Castro stepped to the plate. Castro ripped a 0-1 pitch to right center (just to the right of straight away center) and Castro’s fourth hit of the game cut the Dodgers lead to 8-7.

With runners on first and third with no outs, Darwin Barney hit a grounder to the hole at short. Fukudome scored the tying run on what should have been a 6-4-3 double play … but Aaron Miles could not get the ball out of his glove. Barney reached first and advanced to second on a two-out bloop single to left off the bat of Aramis Ramirez.

Don Mattingly went to his pen and brought in Blake Hawksworth to face Jeff Baker.

Baker lined Hawksworth’s first pitch into right center. The ball rolled all the way to the wall. Barney scored easily and Ramirez lumbered around the bases … two runs scored on Baker’s double. 10-8 Cubs and Carlos Marmol picked up his fifth save of the season with a walk and a strikeout in the four batters he faced in the ninth.

The Cubs never quit and they won the game. With that said, in order for the Cubs to leave the .500-mark in their rearview mirror, Ryan Dempster must put his horrible start behind him and lead the pitching staff … both on and off the field.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Carlos Zambrano will face Hiroki Kuroda in the rubber game on Easter Sunday.


  • Wickitkevin

    Ok now imagine if we had Brett Jackson in the lineup. The Cubs would have one of the youngest and most atheltic 1 thru 3 in baseball.

    • GaryLeeT

      I am sure that will happen, but first, they need to trade Fukudome before his June swoon, and then slide Byrd over to right.

      • paulcatanese

        Byrd can’t throw from centerfield,what makes you think he can from right ? He has the weakest arm out there, and I believe he has indicated that he prefers center, although not sure on that. Center is the easiest of the three outfield positions, he can see exactly where the ball is going. While I agree I would definatly like to see Jackson in center, I would like to see Byrd traded instead of Fukodome.1st of all Byrd would bring a higher return and 2, Fukodome has too much left on his contract that the Cubs would have to eat.

        • GaryLeeT

          You do remember that Fukudome is worthless after May, right? He’s in his last year, so who cares how much of his contract they have to eat? Especially if he’s blocking the path of a player with star potential. As far as Byrd goes, I just don’t see him as the defensive liability that you do, and over the entire season, I would take his bat (but not in the 3 hole) over Fukudome’s, hands down.

          • paulcatanese

            Gary,if you classify Fukodome worthless after May why do you not include Byrd and the complete collapse he had the second half of last year,so that comparison is pretty even. On defense have you watched Byrd how shallow he plays, and lobs the ball into the infield and does not go to the wall with any confidence? I will say the one time Quade moved down in the lineup (which was proposed by many,including myself) he(Byrd) seemed relaxed and swung the bat much better. When moved back today to the number 3 spot he looked improved. I would like to see Byrd improve himself in all areas. They do not run on Fufodome and he plays right feild with the best,Wrigley has a very tough field out there and he patrols it well. Byrd is not a three hitter as you have admitted and Fukodome?I hope he can pull it off at the leadoff spot. Actually both players have good results from the leadoff spot. Anyway thanks for the response,youre opinion and mine is what makes the site go.

        • Tony_Hall

          Trade both of them, but if I had to keep one of them it would be Fukudome. Byrd has another year on his contract, and I would rather not see either of them come next year.

          Fukudome is better on defense, and works the count at the plate, versus Byrd swinging at almost anything. Byrd is a nice 4th OF on a team, but has been, set-up to fail, by batting him 3rd.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Some interesting facts . . . .

    James Loney, whom some said the Cubs should have acquired to play 1B over the winter, is hitting a Carlos Pena-like .165. In 88 PA (85 AB) he has 1 2B, 1 HR, .191 OBP, .212 slugging. He looks awful up there. 14 K’s as well, with 3 BB.

    LA is next to last in MLB for bullpen ERA with 5.55 (before today’s fiasco). Only the BoSox were worse (6.09).

    The Padres ran into the Cubs’ buzzsaw, but don’t put too much into that. The Padres have bee shutout 6 times already this year (in 19 games!). Shamefully weak offense.

    Samardzija is throwing strikes, and he’s been effective, too. I am very glad to see it. Now if he’d just get a haircut. . . . .

    Aaron Miles . . . Aaron EUGENE MILES . . . is outhitting Carlos Eugenio Pena. AARON MILES!!!
    Miles .214 BA, .238 slugging.
    Pena: .176 BA .196 slugging
    Give that boy a raise in pay!! (Miles, I mean).

    Cubs are #2 in MLB for batting average. Sure helps with Castro and Barney doing their thing at the top of the lineup.

    • GaryLeeT

      If I remember right, Pena’s contract is mostly performance based, and if so, the team would not lose much by sitting him. I would be in favor of looking at a Baker/Colvin platoon, over what they are getting from Pena right now.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Gary, Pena’s contract is a flat $10 million from the way I understand it … just spread over three calendar years.

        Pena received $2 million in December when he signed. He is being paid $3 million during this season and will receive the remaining $5 million in January of 2012.

        • GaryLeeT

          It’s a Hendry contract. I should have known better.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Don’t feel bad. I was under the impression that Pena got paid to make outs, not hits.

          • Tony_Hall

            He does have an incentive for taking pitches, extra bonus if they are for strike 3.

          • paulcatanese

            Tony,Rip, as I have said before, they need to buy him a left-handed bat.

  • Shingledecker5

    Is there any reason Quade has not gone to Kerry Wood since April 16th?

    • Chriswicker16

      Was gona on DH as closer but never got there. Was gona today if game stayed tied but Cubs got lead and marmol came in. The chance really isn’t there but I see him going in the game tomorrow for sure.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      No, Kerry is fine. As Chris mentioned Wood was going to be the closer in game two of the doubleheader on Wednesday and Quade said he wanted him to pitch today. Wood was warming but when the Cubs took the lead it was Marmol time. I would think Wood will be the first option Sunday regardless.

    • GaryLeeT

      They are secretly stretching him out with side sessions, so he can be a starter again.

  • paulcatanese

    Can’t add much more to the Casro-Barney act, they keep getting better all the time,I just knew they would compliment each other. They were fantastic today,put on a clinic offensively and defensively and overcame all of the negatives for a win.

    • GaryLeeT

      I think the Castro-Barney tandem looks great in the field too, so I was a little surprised to see that they are dead last in DPs turned. That is probably more of an idictment on their 29th ranked pitching staff failing to get ground balls with runners on, and less than 2 outs, than it is on their defensive abilities.

      • paulcatanese

        Wow, I didn’t know that,ranked last in DP, that is amazing.It goes back to the 50s when the Cubs did not have the combo the White Sox did but turned more DP because the pitchers were in fact allowng a lot of baserunners and did throw ground balls.Good observation.

  • GaryLeeT

    Castro simply does not have one single hole in his swing. I haven’t seen that since Gwynn Sr. He has only 5 Ks in 89 ABs, and went 22 ABs with out a swing and a miss, I mean that’s just crazy good. The only problem I see with Castro right now is that his abilities are so great, that he puts balls in play that he should probably lay off (4 walks) of. But that will improve, because as hard as it is to believe, he’s still a kid and will only get better. If he bats 3rd most of the season, and the HRs start to come, I think he’s got a legitimate shot at a MVP.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

      Castro doesn’t show enough power yet to be a legit MVP candidate unless he can do something very special (like bat .350 or higher). That being said I think that we need to remember that Castro hasn’t struggled yet this year. He will maybe not much but he will.

      Lets keep praising the kid for what he has shown so far but not put him into the HOF until he has at least been in the majors for a full season.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Party pooper.

      • Tony_Hall

        Richard – His last line was “IF he bast 3rd most of the season, AND the HRs start to come, I THINK he’s got a legitamate shot at a MVP”

        – IF he bats 3rd most of A season – not this season, and you have to bat 3rd/4th to get the RBI’s.

        – AND IF the HRs start to come. He looks like he will hit HR’s in a few years.

        – Then he THINKS he’s got a legitatmate shot at an MVP

        I think those are all fair statements. It is future related with some real possibilities for this kid. He wasn’t annoiting him into the HOF, he was saying he would see him developing into an MVP candidate.

        On the other hand, I for one say get his bust ready for Cooperstown!

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

          All I was doing is trying to keep some realistic expectations for our Shortstop. Not start thinking he is going to be something he has not showed yet. Alot of people have a power hitters projection but until they actually do it you can’t think about what they are capable of yet.

          Wasn’t even saying he would not be in a MVP conversation just that he still has some struggles to do and lets be ready to praise the stuff he is doing well then when it isn’t in the box score or the highlight reel.

          I see the Cubs faithful putting one of there own in the HOF conversation from the first time they see them. I remember Mark Grace coming up and everyone thinking he would develop 30 home run power to go with his great eye and all those doubles. Well didn’t happen had a nice career but not a HOF’er one.

          • Tony_Hall

            I get it. But I don’t recall ever watching Grace, thinking he drove the ball on every hit, like Castro.

          • paulcatanese

            I agree, and without taking anything away from Grace I always thought he was more of a contact hitter hitting the ball where it was pitched and not with much authority, He was a good hitter though, just not the same as Castro who is on the screws almost 95% of the time.

  • JedMosley

    While many of Quade’s moves have been second guessed, I thought he did a great job today. He played Baker and Johnson who both did well, and he stuck with Baker vs. the right handed reliever, when he could have gone with Colvin or Pena. Good work Q.

    • Tony_Hall

      Yes, he did a masterful job today.

      Lets give him credit for the following brilliant moves

      – Started right handed platoon players against a left handed pitcher. ABOUT TIME! How long was he going to do a lefty/lefty platoon in RF and bat Pena against lefties so that Baker could play 2B, so Barney, a right handed hitter, could sit the bench. Those have to go down as some of the dumbest platoons EVER, in MLB.

      – Dempster – Brilliant again, who knew that he was allowing him to stay in the game, when everyone else knew he was done, again, just so the Cubs could have an exciting come from behind win.

      – Allowing Baker to bat against a right handed pitcher. It’s not like Pena or Colvin are better options, Baker’s 100 something batting average against RH’s, is right there with Pena’s 186, and Colvins 130 something averages.

      Of course Q gets second guessed, he is MLB Manager. But to call his job today, “Good work” is hard to imagine. I will give him this season, to see if he “develops” into a major league manager. I consider this a development season anyway, I just wish, we would have cut some of the dead weight from this roster, and developed some of our own future players, if we were going to be spending the year, “developing” our manager.

      • paulcatanese

        Yes Tony,Quade does have a problem with Dempster. He has not realized that Demp come apart more quickly this year than before,it’s hurt Dempster as well as the team.Can’t leave him out there that long, it’s desroying him mentaly if nothing else,self confidence can carry a person so far,and Quade has pushed him to the point that he may well be starting to doubt it. It looks like at this point we are missing three starters (Cashner,Wells and now Demp.).One other little thing, allowing Byrd in the 3 spot and Pena in the 5 spot for so long, wasn’t doing them any favors either.

      • The Maven

        Making decisions on when to take out a veteran pitcher is one of the hardest ones a first time manager can make. I remember a young Tony LaRussa with the White Sox always being intimidated by Jerry Koosman, and almost always leaving him in one pitch too long. LaRussa doesn’t make those kind of mistakes now.

  • paulcatanese

    Todays game was the kind of game that made new Cub fans. They like a winner and had a great time today. I watched the game today and it had everything suspense,disapointment,joy, all of the elements that make baseball exciting. These are the games I enjoy,back and forth,up and down and the home team pulls it out at the end. I for one am aCub fan,whether they play good or bad as long as they put effort out there.I can enjoy the way they win and I can sit back and find the reasons they lost and come back for more. It’s an institution with me, I have watched several hundred in the stands and thirtey thousand.I am finding out on this blog that there many well informed baseball fans out there and even though people dis agree there is something to be learned from all that. Different opinions and when they are posted says one thing, this is a democracy and everyone has their say. And run very well.

    • Ottawabob

      Its amazing how much energy the kids are bringing to the team. I’m really starting to think Jackson would be no worse than Byrd in center..

      • Tony_Hall

        Jackson will be better. He will have more range in CF, an arm to throw it to the infield. He won’t have to dive on mid-range fly balls, he will coast under them. He will have growing pains, like Castro, but the positives, way outway the negatives.

        • paulcatanese

          Totally agree Tony,there will be no comparison once this comes about. Hopefully soon as it will be nice to have a legitimate center fielder (speed,arm,contact bat) out there. Getting tired of watching others running down the gappers we hit,and the ones on the warning track they catch.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Sam Fuld: 1 for 3, 2 BB, 1 SB
    Batting .365
    .407 OBP (great leadoff man!)
    .541 slugging! EXCELLENT!

    • paulcatanese

      Rip, add to that the catch he made in left,then again thats becoming routine for him. He’s just playing outstanding baseball, I for one as you are very happy for him. All the players don’t have to be 6′ 3″,200lbs to get it done,he’s proving that.

  • Ripsnorter1

    FACT: the Cubs can hit lefthanded pitching–at least for batting average.

  • nick_baird

    This lineup will be much better when Pena and Soto decide to produce as well. The home runs will come. The weather in Chicago has been awful. Plus when Jackson comes up we’ll hopefully have our lead off man.

    1 Jackson CF
    2 Barney 2B
    3 Castro SS
    4 Ramirez 3B
    5 Pena 1B
    6 Soriano LF
    7 Soto C
    8 Fukudome/Colvin RF

    That’s a lot of athleticism in the top 3 and hopefully a decent amount of HR’s/RBI’s from 4-8. All we’ll need is some consistency from 4-8.

    I also think our pitching will be fine when Wells and Cashner get back. Dempster will hopefully figure it out and it looks as if Garza is starting to as well. I’d really like our pen to end up as

    CP Marmol
    SU Wood
    SU Marshall
    MR Grabow
    MR Carpenter
    MR Russell/Maine
    MR Guzman(if healthy) or Mateo/Samardzija

    • Tony_Hall

      What makes you think that Pena and Soto can “decide” to produce?

      The weather has been awful, but how does that explain the Dodgers hitting HR’s and the Cubs hitting routing flyballs?

      The Dodgers do not have a homerun hitting lineup, yet they have hit 5 HR’s in 2 days, while the Cubs have hit ZERO!

      • Last_ginger

        why is the sky blue?

        • Tony_Hall

          I know, it will all even out, at some point. But this is the best month of the season for this team to get ahead, and they are wasting their opportunity, against an easier schedule.

      • cubs1967

        pena does suck; 10M for a LH defensive platoon is a waste; but why pick on Soto???
        3 yrs in the majors; 1 bad yr, 1 ROY and last yr has 2nd highest OPS for catchers next to mauer. i would say soto will produce.

        don’t hate on them all…………

        • Ottawabob

          Soto has been very good behind the plate so far, defensively speaking. And I agree he will eventually produce.with the bat.

        • Tony_Hall

          I don’t believe I was picking on Soto, just pointing out that players can’t decide to turn it on.

          I’m sure you are basing this comment on past comments I have made, since you know I would have traded Soto already, and would have gone with Chirinos/Castillo/Max Max. I don’t believe in paying much for catchers, or giving them long term contracts. Catchers (unfortunately for them) have a very difficult job, that results in a shorter career. I would not be spending almost $4M for my catchers.

          Also I don’t hate on them all – Castro and Barney are 2 that are fun to watch.

          We as Cub fans deserve more players like these, playing at Clark and Addison.

  • paulcatanese

    The golden glove opened up the flood gates in the first inning. That ground ball should have been fielded and instead ?

  • paulcatanese

    Wow, Aram, Byrd, and Soriono K with baserunners,real ralley killers. Pena,ok.