A Predictable Loss – Cubs 2 Dodgers 5

Game Twenty-Eight – Cubs 2 Dodgers 5
WP – Clayton Kershaw (3-3) LP – James Russell (1-4) Save – Jonathan Broxton (7)

When the Cubs announced Monday would be another ‘Bullpen Day‘ and James Russell would face Clayton Kershaw it was easy to see that the Cubs would drop the first of three at Dodger Stadium.

To James Russell’s credit he put together a better outing than expected and the Cubs defense stepped up behind him. The Dodgers’ all right-handed lineup hit the ball extremely hard against Russell but the Cubs situational lefty trailed only by one run entering the fifth inning.

Monday night’s game changed on another strange play. With the Dodgers up 2-1, one out in the fifth and Rod Barajas on second, James Russell struck out Clayton Kershaw swinging on a ball in the dirt. The ball got away from Geovany Soto and actually hit Kershaw’s bat on the follow through. The ball was pushed away from Soto, which allowed Kershaw to reach and Barajas to advance to third. Jerry Meals, the homeplate umpire, missed the call. Mike Quade argued but the play stood and the inning unraveled soon after.

James Russell threw out Barajas at the plate on an attempted squeeze, but Jerry Sands doubled to right center on a 2-2 pitch and gave the Dodgers a comfortable 4-1 lead. Andre Ethier extended his hitting streak to 28 games with an infield single that drove in the Dodgers’ fifth run of the game.

The Dodgers would not score another run but the Cubs could not string together any hits against Clayton Kershaw.

The Cubs second run of the night came in the seventh on a leadoff homer by Alfonso Soriano. Soriano’s Major League leading 11th longball cut the Dodgers lead to 5-2 but Vicente Padilla and Jonathan Broxton retired all six batters they faced to close out the game.

James Russell lost for the fourth time as a big league starter after allowing five runs, four earned, on six hits in 4 2/3 innings. Russell kept the ball in the yard and did not issue a free pass while striking out three on a career-high 83 pitches. Russell recorded his first 1-2-3 inning as a starter and retired seven at a row at one point … and Russell even recorded the first hit of his career.

The Cubs’ brass once again did not put James Russell in a position to succeed. As Mike Quade stated two starts ago, Russell is a situational reliever … too bad the decision makers within the organization could see that.

Alfonso Soriano’s 11th home run of the season was really the only offensive highlight Monday night … of Soriano’s 11 dingers, seven have been hit leading off innings.

Clayton Kershaw owned Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney. The top of the Cubs lineup was a combined 0-for-8 and left five on base.

The Cubs had chances early in the game before Kershaw found his rhythm but once again Q’s offense could not hit with runners on base. The Cubs out hit the Dodgers (8-7) but just 1-for-4 with RISP with six left on base.

With Monday’s loss, the Cubs slipped four games under the mediocre mark with a 12-16 record …

The Cubs jumped on Clayton Kershaw in the first inning … but it should have been more.

Marlon Byrd reached on a two-out single to center and advanced to second on a single to center by Aramis Ramirez. Geovany Soto then blooped a double down the right field line on a 1-1 pitch. Byrd scored and the Cubs had runners on second and third with two outs.

Alfonso Soriano had a chance to give the Cubs a nice lead against Kershaw but he hit a weak blooper to short to end the inning.

The Cubs scored the first run allowed by the Dodgers at home in the first inning this season … but they let Kershaw off the hook.

James Russell retired the Dodgers in order in the bottom of the first, it was the only time as a starter that he sat the opponent down 1-2-3. Russell was sharp early but started leaving up pitches in the second.

Matt Kemp led off the second with a single to left. Kemp stole second on a 1-0 offering to Juan Uribe. The former Southsider then ripped a double into right. Kemp scored and tied the game at one.

Marcus Thames fouled out to Castro and Rod Barajas flied out to center. With first base open and Clayton Kershaw on deck, Mike Quade decided to let Russell pitch to Ivan DeJesus, Jr. … and it cost the Cubs a run.

DeJesus, Jr. fisted a 2-2 pitch down the first base line. The ball rolled into foul ground and was touched by a fan. DeJesus, Jr. ended up at first and Uribe scored the go ahead run on the first career RBI for Ivan DeJesus, Jr.

Clayton Kershaw flied out to left to end the inning … further proving the point Russell should have not been allowed to pitch to Ivan DeJesus, Jr.

The Cubs defense stepped up behind James Russell in the third and fourth innings Marlon Byrd took away extra bases from Jerry Sands with a catch against the wall in right center in the third. Reed Johnson made a solid running catch in right center to take a hit away from Matt Kemp in the fourth.

James Russell retired nine of 10 and seven in a row before falling apart in the fifth.

Rod Barajas led off the fifth with a double off the wall in left center. DeJesus, Jr. grounded out to short then Russell struck out Kershaw on a ball in the dirt. Kershaw hit the ball with his bat, which allowed it to roll away from Soto. Kershaw reached and Barajas advanced to third on what should have been an out.

Kershaw touched the ball with his bat, which makes it a dead ball and the batter should have been out. The home plate umpire, Jerry Meals, missed the call. Quade argued to no avail … and the game slipped away from the Cubs at that point.

Don Mattingly called for the squeeze but Jamey Carroll bunted the ball right back to Russell. The lefty made a nice play and tossed the ball to Soto as he fell to the ground. Soto tagged out Barajas for the second out.

Jerry Sands ripped a 2-2 pitch into right center. Kershaw and Carroll scored … 4-1 Dodgers. Sands ended up at third after Byrd’s throw got away and he scored on an infield single by Andre Ethier to the hole at short. Ethier extended his hitting streak to 28 games and drove in the Dodgers fifth run of the night … and the fourth with two outs.

James Russell was lifted at that point after 83 pitches, 57 for strikes.

Justin Berg retired Matt Kemp on a ground out to short to end the inning.

Alfonso Soriano led off the seventh with his 11th home run of the season and cut the Dodgers lead to 5-2. Reed Johnson singled to center with one out to keep the inning going. Blake DeWitt hit for Justin Berg and punched a single into right on a 1-2 pitch. Johnson advanced to third … but Starlin Castro (struck out looking) and Darwin Barney (fly out to center) could not push across another run.

Jeff Samardzija pitched two more scoreless innings Monday night and gave the offense a chance … but Vicente Padilla and Jonathan Broxton retired the six batters they faced to end the game. Padilla and Broxton recorded six outs on a combined 19 pitches, 17 for strikes. The Cubs overly aggressive offense struck again …

It’s a Way of Life

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Ryan Dempster will face Chad Billingsley in game two Tuesday night.

Quote of the Day

"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." - Arthur Ashe
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
    • paulcatanese

      Lilly not staying? After all didn’t we get DeWitt? Great trade, as we don’t need left handers,Lilly,Gorzo, we have Grabow. I dont think that got out at the time of the trade,that lilly would have re-worked his contract.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Sun-Times:

    But Hendry isn’t in any rush to join the sellers market anytime soon and sees reasons to think a surge could be coming.

    ‘‘The makeup of this ballclub is very strong,’’ Hendry said. ‘‘It’s a bunch of guys working hard, staying on the same pace together. And hitting can be contagious either way. So far, with men on base, it hasn’t been contagious the right way. That can change quickly.’’

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/5152524-417/cubs-bow-to-dodgers-as-key-players-continue-to-struggle.html

    • Wickitkevin

      Make up is one thing winning is another. I have always given Hendry the benefit of the doubt, even if I didn’t agree with the moves he has made. But the time has come for Hendry to be fired, Ricketts to step up and make their mark on th Cubs.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Hendry is right: the Cubs are wearing too much makeup.

      • paulcatanese

        Rip,love it,good one. Their eye shadow must be melting in the sun and is clouding their vison. No wonder they can’t hit,,can’t see it.

    • Tony_Hall

      One thing JH has gotten really, really good at…excuses.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Ain’t that the truth.

    • paulcatanese

      Neil,all I can say is,WOW!! what a guy, didn’t know we were that good. He also needs to know that their are many things that are contagious like Measles.

      • paulcatanese

        JH is correct saying they are on the same pace together,otherwise they wouldnt be where they are,spiraling downward.

    • John_CC

      He is correct: they are, for the most part, staying on the same pace together! And isn’t that great!

      Seriously though, I think the contagious hitting is spreading…Castro is now fighting off the virus that turns hitters into zombies when there is a man on base.

      • paulcatanese

        Correct John,it seem that Castro is now overswinging at everything and going through a bit of a slump. Needs to take a step back and relax a bit. He is trying to do too much.

    • diehardcubfan

      First of all he is in denial and delusional. Second JH has been singing that same tune for three years now and the worst part is he has been off
      key.

      When is he finally going to have a clue?

  • Tony_Hall

    Ah yes, IT A WAY OF LIFE!

    Who knew, that pitching Russell against Kershaw was not going to work?

    Russell has been used like a sacrificial lamb, especially last night.

    He did pitch, above expectations, for a stretch. That’s the main point, last night WAS better than could be expected!

    JH still thinks this is the year, and will make more short term moves, to try and save his himself, and push back this team a few more years. He needs to be gone and gone now! I don’t want to hear how he has done this or that, he is DESTROYING our beloved Cubs, present and FUTURE. This is not the year, never was gonna happen.

    If you think April was hard to watch, you ain’t seen nothin…May is going to be against much better teams, one right after another.

    • Niteowl049

      You would think the Cubs would have someone better in the minors than Russell that could have started games.

    • paulcatanese

      Tony,what JH must not be aware of is that a “surge” can have two directions. As usual the “surge” will come after they are about 15 games under if not more.They havent had any kind of “surge” since last fall, when it didn’t matter to anyone. Right now the “surge” is in the opposite direction,down,down ,down.As someone had quoted before “turn out the lights,the partys over”.

  • Tony_Hall

    One other topic. Anyone see how well Bartolo Colon has pitched.

    He DID NOT win the starters job out of ST, just like Silva.

    He was told to go to the bullpen, to wait his time (sound similar).

    Colon got his chance the 1st weeks of the season (Silva would have to).

    Silva is now in the minors, Colon is starting for a major league team, just like Silva would be right now, for the Cubs, if he had acted like a professional.

    Colon is going to stay in the rotation, just like Silva would have if he performed like last year.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Colon, who is huge–must weigh as much as Silva–is throwing 96 MPH.
      Silva, on the other hand, is shoveling food into his mouth at 100 MPH.

    • BosephHeyden

      I was actually a huge fan of picking up Bartolo last year and this offseason. He was showing brief flashes of brilliance before he just disappeared last season, and now he’s getting the shot he needed.

      And I’ll give credit where it’s due: the Yankees are the team Larry Rothschild was designed to coach for. That’s his game: developing pitchers with major league experience elsewhere. And that’s on Hendry that he didn’t use HIS guy properly: if he was going to stick with Larry like he did, he should have started trading away starting pitching prospects for established pitchers instantly, and we might have had a divisional title last year (not 2009…Milton saw to that).

    • Dorasaga

      Yes, I did. And it’s not easy to pitch for the Yankees. If you can’t pitch quality for at least 6 innings, the fans and media will literally throw things at you.

  • Niteowl049

    Soriano is hitting a lot of home runs, but has hit nine solo home runs and is hitting .179 with runners in scoring position. If he were hitting with runners on base he would be leading the NL in runs batted in.

    This could be his best season as a Cub.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Yes, his best season as a Cub for sure, but still hitting .179 with RISP.
      Not exactly a clutch player, wouldn’t you agree?

      • Niteowl049

        I agree with Ripsnorter 100 percent that Soriano is not a clutch hitter. He has a .325 on base percentage, with only 3 walks in 27 games. Still don’t know why he was leading off for Piniella so much, since he strikes out so much.

        Won’t even go into how bad a fielder he is.

        • paulcatanese

          Actually Soriono hit leadoff for a lot of his career,it was recognized he was not very good with men on base,but did well when up with no one on. Thus the leadoff spot. I believe his best years were at leadoff in the lineup, may be wrong but thats what I remember.

          • Niteowl049

            That is not saying much for Soriano, that he is leading off because he was such a lousy hitter with men on base. I agree that it might be the best place for him in that case. If he plays long enough to have a chance at Hall of Fame, his failure to hit in the clutch will probably keep him out of Cooperstown.

          • paulcatanese

            I would agree that he has had a problem with runners on base,but lets be fair, with the rest of the lineup(power lineup) not doing anything at all why be down on Soriono for his past? Until he wears out he is at this point the only legitimate power threat we have. If we were to use past records to evaluate, why would Pena be here at all? .196 BA is not someone you would give 10mil. for.The best policy would be “what you did yesterday was great,but what are you going to do for me today”? Thats the only way you can look at it. New game tonight,Dempster has my best wishes all of them do. And even though I bash Pena, I hope he gets it going.

          • paulcatanese

            Although I really havent taken into account the intelligence of JH and his signing of contracts over the last few years.

  • paulcatanese

    Lets hope the Cub’s humilation of Russell is over.

  • BosephHeyden

    I know I haven’t cared nearly enough about the Cubs this year, but if they’re not going to make an effort to win, I’m not going to make an effort to watch. I’ll start watching again if/when they get back over .500.

    • paulcatanese

      Do you mean that you are not going to watch them until 2012? Come on,I have seen you post many times and know you are a good fan. You as I will not be able to resist it,you will watch,I know you will,I do not want to suffer alone.

      • BosephHeyden

        Actually I think a combination of bad weather and me voluntarily offering to work nights at my job might assist me with going “cold turkey” here. And since no one at my job likes sports (communists), they’re going to even go so far as to prevent me from listening to Pat on the radio.

        • paulcatanese

          I did the same thing last year,would not even read the sport section,but I gave in and turned them back on. That happend when Castro came up. Don’t give up though, somehow the kids will be there and interest will come back.

  • studio179

    Random thoughts…

    * April was suppose to be easy. Look how that month turned out. May is worse schedule wise. At the rate of ball they are playing, in a couple weeks it will be hard for even Hendry to sell excuses. Not saying he won’t try hard though.

    * I do not see the Ricketts thinking now is not the ‘baseball’ time to blow up Hendry’s roster or Hendry. But when the weather warms and the Cubs fall way out of it, they will see a lot of green. The Ricketts need a clear direction soon.

    * I know stolen bases are considered overrated. Still, I would like to see one from a Cub here and there. Ok, no team speed. You don’t need team speed for hit and runs. More hit and runs would be nice from the manager. Ok, you have to make contact. More patience at the plate would be nice and not swinging at first pitches. Hmm…back to Hendry’s roster, Quade’s managing and poor player performance. All are guilty.

    * I like LIlly’s in between the lines comments in the Tribune article Neil posted.

    * I was thinking last night if I saw another position player in their first year as a Cub starting off so poorly as Pena in the last 25 years. Again, just position players. There are plenty of names that started slow. Even Dawson and Lee started slow their first Cub year. They obviously picked it up. Blauser, Jones, Hundley, Miles and Bradley are names that come to mind as starting off bad and staying bad. Though Jones did have a mixed stay in Chicago. But I am talking about their first month as a Cub, not the whole time. Pena is one and done anyway. Yesterday, someone posted Pena is approaching where his slugging percentage is almost lower than his batting average. That sums it.

    * I see Davis (and Wellenmyer) is pitching a minor game. The Cubs have been saying Davis will be up after this next start. I don’t know if I am looking forward to this move by Hendry. Maybe it saves the pen a bit and Davis is better than Russell starting.

    • John_CC

      In all honesty, I do not think that Doug Davis will be any better than Russell. None better. Russell actually did well (comparatively) through the first 4 innings. Davis has now pitched two minor league games in the last year and we think he is going to be able to go deeper than 5 innings? I do not.

      This move could hardly be considered plugging the hole in the leaky hull. This is putting a fresh piece of duct tape on the broken handle. This is Cubs baseball. This is a way of life.

      • BosephHeyden

        The difference between Davis and Russell is that Davis is supposed to be a starter. Do I think he will do well? Not at all. But he could easily do what Jason Marquis did for the Cardinals back in the day once he’s around 90% healthy: eat up innings and take one for the team in blowout losses (heck, that’s kinda why Marquis got the notice from the Cubs that he did).

      • studio179

        Agreed. I have my doubts this move is any better at all. That’s why I was saying I don’t know if I was looking forward to this move by Hendry. It’s like you said, duct tape. Usually, good duct tape works most everywhere and is quite handy. Good duct tape, not Davis duct tape.

      • Niteowl049

        Doug Davis has a 91-101 lifetime record, has had only three winning seasons in 12 years, plus led the NL in walks in 2009 with 103. He was 2nd in walks in 2005, 2006 and 2007. He led the NL with 5 errors which is a lot of errors for a pitcher.

        Davis may be the worst hitting pitcher in MLB. He had 1 hit in 64 at bats in 2004 for a .016 batting average and was 0 for 13 last season for the Brewers in 2010.

        Batters hit .533 against him from the 76th to 100th pitches, so won’t go deep into games.

        Wish I could say something positive about Davis, but if there is a positive I can’t find it.

        Hendry is grasping at straws…he just as well have signed Kevin Millwood who was 4-16 last season, if he wanted to sign a lousy pitcher.

    • paulcatanese

      The other sign that Pena may be done is the three balls he hit last night. I am sure he got all of it and all ended up on the warning track or close to it. And he really has trouble catching up to the fast ball,thats a sure sign of a demise. But then again who knows,look at Soriono right now,power still there,but contact most of the time,,no.

    • Niteowl049

      Tom Ricketts may do something if the attendance doesn’t pick up. He understands lost revenue. Looks like Cubs fans are tiring of paying good money for tickets for a less than stellar team. Attendance is down over 52,000 after 14 games which comes to about 3,000 something less fans per game. When Ricketts figures that each of those 52,000 fans would have spent $20-$35 at a game he will find he lost a lot of money. If each of those fans had spent $25 for parking, tickets and concessions which is very conservative estimate, the Cubs would have lost $1.3 million after just 14 games with 67 home games to go.

      • studio179

        I could not agree more. The Ricketts ownership are not dumb business people. Right now, bad play, bad weather and a bad economy have held the attendance down. Other teams are facing the same situation with one two or all three of these situations.That’s why I stated if the team keeps playing the way they are now, ownership will see a lot of green (empty seats) as the year progresses. They will eventually have to do something.

        • Niteowl049

          Only 10 MLB teams have an increase in attendance this season. Even the Yankees have over 61,000 fewer fans in 2011. The Cubs are still 7th in MLB in attendance with 487,213 fans which is third most in the NL behind the Phillies and Dodgers.

          I wasn’t aware of the bad weather in Chicago since I live in Louisiana, so that could be a major factor in attendance. Cubs drew 92 percent of capacity in 2010 and 86 percent of capacity this season. Will be interesting to follow that number during the year.

          Aramis Ramirez is really a puzzle this year with only one home run if I remember right. He is on a pace to hit six home runs, but we all know he will have 25-30 when the season is over.

          • Dorasaga

            Indeed.

    • diehardcubfan

      “* I know stolen bases are considered overrated. Still, I would like to see one from a Cub here and there. Ok, no team speed. You don’t need team speed for hit and runs. More hit and runs would be nice from the manager. Ok, you have to make contact. More patience at the plate would be nice and not swinging at first pitches. Hmm…back to Hendry’s roster, Quade’s managing and poor player performance. All are guilty.”

      Now if you throw in our poor base running and fielding you will cover everything we do poorly.

      Wake up JH!!

      • studio179

        Believe it or not, I was going to cover those bad Cub areas and bad starting pitching from Dempster. I thought the post would end up looking like a novel, so I left it alone for now. But yes, there is bad all around.

  • paulcatanese

    I see tonights lineup features the power hitting three of Aram followed by the power stroke of Byrd and then finished by warning track Pena. Oh Boy,can’t wait for the game. Pena can’t get through on the ground and over anyone in the outfield. Aram will continue hitting fouls behind first and Byrd,well who knows?

  • paulcatanese

    Congratulations to Barney on rookie of the month in April, thats really cool for him,and he worked hard to get it.

  • Aaron

    I am speechless over Hendry’s comments, but at the same time, it doesn’t surprise me in the least. If I were as sh$tty of a GM as he is, I’d be looking over my back too, trying to do everything in my power to rectify the situation, and maintain hope.

    The problem is, the “hope” is at least 1, maybe 2 years away from contributing, and that is the Cubs’ minor league system. Nobody, even Hendry, could’ve predicted that Ridling and Flaherty would be off to their hot starts. LeMahieu, Jackson, Clevenger, and others could’ve been predicted, but not the former two, as they had disappointing 2010 seasons, with Flaherty even getting demoted. So, I’m certainly not faulting Hendry for signing a veteran at 1B, though, I believe nearly all of us on this site questioned why he’d give so much money (or even trust in him for that matter) to Pena, a guy coming off a downright embarrassing season in which he hit just .196 with a paltry 95 hits. But if the price was that outrageous (which it clearly was), then he had an internal option with transferring Colvin to 1B. The decision not to do so has indicted him even more as a poor decision-maker, especially after he couldn’t deal Fukudome.

    Now, Colvin is rotting on the bench, and Pena has been benched several times already and we’re barely a month into the season, due to his pathetic performance as an overpaid 33 year old that can’t hit his way out of a paper bag, but MUST play, according to Quade, because of his outrageous salary.

    The biggest problem I had with Hendry’s decision-making was the fact that he re-upped with Hill and Baker, allowed DeWitt to remain with the club, even though he has an option, and signed an aging, 34 year old Reed Johnson.

    My contention was that he should’ve gone after the likes of:
    Jeff Franceour-27 yrs old, .308/.350/.579, 6 hr, 21 RBI
    Chris Carter-28 yrs old(minors).329/.359/.482, 2 hr, 18 RBI
    Milledge-26 yrs old, 2 games, .250/.250/.500
    Melky Cabrera-26 yrs old, .283/.304/.433, 2 hr, 14 RBI
    Josh Fields-28 yrs old (minors), .313/.400/.612, 4 hr, 13 RBI

    I said at the time that if these guys performed up to expectations and their potential, Hendry could then decide if he wanted to build around them for the immediate future, or trade them, and continue rebuilding. If they tanked, their salaries weren’t outrageous with only Franceour ($2.5 million) and Cabrera ($1.25 million) earning more than one million, otherwise, the rest of them are signed at MLB minimum, so it wouldn’t be difficult to cut ties with them.

    In fact, Hendry could’ve signed them all, and paid Wood what he’s truly worth if he’d just gone with Colvin as his 1B.

    The roster, at least in my opinion, could’ve EASILY been:
    C-Soto, Ramirez/Clevenger/Castillo
    1B-Colvin, Carter
    2B-Barney
    SS-Castro
    3B-ARAM, Fields
    LF-Soriano
    CF-Byrd, Cabrera
    RF-Fukudome, Franceour

    The Cubs still could’ve kept Baker if they wanted to for 2B depth, and gone without Carter, but this would’ve been an ideal roster in my opinion, especially in a year of transition.

    But Hendry backed the Cubs into a corner, and they couldn’t improve the team even if they wanted to, due to bad, untradeable salaries

  • The Maven

    Trade Update:

    Brandon Guyer (27 Games) .370, 8 doubles, 6 HR, 18 RBI, 2 SB
    Robinson Chirinos (18 Games) .183, double, 2 RBI, SB
    Chris Archer (5 starts) 0-1 22.2 IP, 5.96 ERA, 23 K, 10 BB, 1.81 WHIP
    Hak-Ju Lee (15 Games) .419, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 SB

    Sam Fuld – well, you know….

    • Aaron

      Garza has turned things around, and Rosscup looks good, but I stand by my original opinion on the trade, and that was the fact that the Cubs weren’t expected to compete this year, and Garza is earning $5.95 million this year.

      Given Perez’s complete uselessness, the Cubs are left with just Garza and Rosscup for Fuld (solid contributor for the Rays), Guyer, Archer, Chirinos, and Lee.

      I agree that Fuld and Chirinos would’ve been blocked by guys like even Guyer if they’d held onto him, and Castillo for Chirinos, but the fact remains that the Cubs paid dearly for Garza in terms of prospects and a HUGE monetary commitment to Garza, who is entering big $$ arbitration years, and they weren’t even positioned to succeed this year. I saw the Garza trade as purely reactionary to the Brewers moves, just as the Harden trade was in reaction to them acquiring Sabathia a few years ago.

      Those trades made sense for the Brewers, as they already had a young, core group of hitters, but for the Cubs, it made absolutely NO sense.

      I firmly believe Lee would be a huge contributor at the top of any lineup in the near future, and I believe Archer has too good of stuff not to come out of his recent funk.

      The funny thing is, including this season, the Cubs won’t even be in position to make a long, sustained postseason run for another 2-3 years anyhow. At that point, guys like Lee, Jackson, LeMahieu, Vitters, Flaherty, Guyer, Archer, McNutt, Carpenter, etc. would’ve been primed for break-out seasons, or the Cubs would have other guys like Ha, Szczur, LePage, Lake, Kirk, Simpson, etc. to pick up slack if they couldn’t get the job done.

      As it stands now, the Cubs are primed to waste away Garza’s starts for another 2 years, at which point he’ll reach free agency and be even more expensive than he already is. So what sense did it make in dealing away top prospects for a guy that wouldn’t make the least bit of difference in the seasons leading up to his free agency with the Cubs?!? It was truly senseless, and I’ll continue to be proved right the worse the Cubs do.

      It’s like this…..
      Does it really make much sense to pay a guy like Soriano or Zambrano, or Dempster $14-19 million/year to play for a last place team?!? It sure doesn’t make sense to me, because the whole point you spend that kind of money on any player, is if you know you’re going to be a playoff-caliber team.

      That was the trouble the Giants got into a few years ago, when their roster was absolutely loaded with aging, underperforming, highly paid veterans. They suffered through several terrible seasons before they committed first to a youth movement on the staff, then integrated youth in the field. The White Sox used a similar strategy when they won the World Series as well.

      It doesn’t make much sense to go with a youthful look in the field if you don’t have a solid youthful base in the rotation.

      My observation has always been that a lot of young pitchers take a year or two to be successful at the MLB level. Good hitting prospects are usually successful right away, then the league tends to figure them out the following year. Therefore, if the Cubs had committed to a youth movement, and just gone with Archer, McNutt, Jackson, Wells, and Cashner in the rotation, they would’ve had a year under their belts before the likes of Lee, Jackson, LeMahieu, Flaherty, etc. were ready, and they’d be primed for a significant postseason run in 2012….but I digress….we’ll never know.

      • The Maven

        Nice to see you have come around on Szczur and LePage. I know that it was a long time ago, but months ago, I threw their names out as possible lead-off hitters and you weren’t impressed.

        I know you do your homework, so for you to include them as part of the Cubs’ future makes me feel good. Keep on growing!

  • John_CC

    Broxton is a bum. A little patience pays off here, his control is junk. Come on, Carlos…0-2…

  • John_CC

    How bad does Soriano want this? Can he lay off this garbage? Take some pitches!