Rambling While Getting A Little Too Excited After Two Games

Last week I took the ramblings in a different direction, but on this off day, I return to my normal random written steam of consciousness that is sometimes funny, sometimes witty, normally illogical and always entertaining. Well, at least I like to think it is.

So, let’s get back to my positive, upbeat, fun-loving style and ramble on while trying to figure out a few things.

  • So, who exactly was that team I watched the past two games?
  • Seriously, I really want to know because l like whatever team that was. And I want to see them play baseball again.
  • Wait … that was the Cubs. That could not have been Dempster or Zambrano. Really? It was?
  • Wait, I know I can’t see to well, but who is that over, Carlos Pena?
  • Okay, I think you get it by now.
  • On Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon, the Cubs looked like an above average baseball team. They converted in clutch situations and pitched like, well, good pitchers.
  • And guess what, it came against a respectable squad with good players.
  • I know … I know, it is only two games. And this is what it takes for the Cubs to win. Great execution, great timing, great pitching.
  • But I just beg of us, let’s enjoy it when it happens. Maybe Pena, Demp and Zamby can build from this. Maybe not. But let’s appreciate it.
  • And while we are appreciating things, let’s appreciate what Jeff Samardzija has been doing. Thanks to my best pal for uncovering some stats.
  • The Shark has a 2.45 era, 20 K’s in 18.1 innings with a great average of 3.9 hits allowed in 9 innings and has only given up 4 hits in his last 8 appearances.
  • Yes, he still walks way too many guys, but he seems to be coming around and showing some of the talent he displayed in 2008. It would be great if the bullpen could rely on him.
  • And it would be great if Mark Riggins had something positive to point to when asked about his impact on the pitching staff.
  • Ok. The trade has happened. It’s over. It is time to come to the realization that Matt Garza in on this team.
  • He has only given up four earned runs in his last three starts and is second in the majors in strikeouts.
  • And it can be argued that he should be 3-3 because Marmol’s two blown saves have come in games where Garza would have gotten the win.
  • Fine … I like Matt Garza. I think that is abundantly clear.
  • I just wanted to take this opportunity to say hi to Heidi DeRosa. I haven’t given her any love on the CCO in awhile. She deserves it. I know she was a favorite of many of you.
  • Soto really has hit the ball hard. I expect that average to climb. And it is a really good sign that his OBP is almost 100 points higher than his average. I like what I have seen lately.
  • I have gone way too long without mentioning Sean Marshall. He is awesome. Just such a great guy to have in the pen. His ERA is 0.75 in 12 innings.
  • That is just ridiculous. In fact, it is tots defs ridic. Any 26-year-old girl reading knows what that means. At least that is what I was told by a 26-year-old girl who was a classmate in grad school.
  • Oh, wait, did I get off-topic? Sorry.
  • Nonetheless, two games do not a season make, but it is good to see. It is fun to watch. We saw what happens when it all goes right. I know it is not going to happen every day, but if some guys continue to contribute, this team might not be half-bad.
  • And by saying half-bad, I am saying no more than .500. I am not saying anything more.

I hope the faithful enjoyed the Dodgers series as much as I did. Two wins and no more starts from James Russell. I would say that is a good outcome. And no offense to Russell, he is just not ready to start. Let’s hope the West Coast momentum continues this weekend at 1060 W. Addison. Go Cubs!

And until next time,

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

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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  • D4orkealey

    I love this fan site. But I don’t understand this weekly article. I’m sure Brian is a nice guy, but this is neither witty entertaining, nor informative. Anyone else want to try?

    • Tony_Hall

      Not sure you get it, then. I look forward to Brians ramblings every week, and I believe so do most people. As with everything else, if you know you don’t like it, don’t read it. There is plenty to read on this site.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YO4BT5UAVFHQIS4OZ3SJSBNRCU Michael

      Completely disagree… keep bringing it Brian!

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I like it too!

    • paulcatanese

      The whole site is entertainment and is presented as such. I enjoy Brian,Tom Neil and look forward to it every day. It is always informative, all of them,and it you cannot get something out of them as they test your’e inner feelings about the Cubs and the minor league players, well,then you should probably take Tony’s advice. I suggest you look a little deeper into the posts,there is always something of value there.

    • Brian

      D4orkealey,

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I wish you felt differently, but no one appeals to every single person.

  • Wickitkevin

    I disagree with one statement a respectable team. The dodgers have a number of injuried players and an awful bullpen. The cubs beat a battered team, but they did play well. Let’s see how they do against the team in the division.

    • Ripsnorter1

      You mean to say that without Ethier in the lineup, it wasn’t a fair game?
      LOL

      I agree that the Dodgers are just one notch above pink panty-waisted sissies, but to imply that the Cubs’ two game winning streak is somewhat tainted, ….WELL!

      LOL

  • Dorasaga

    Talking about “respectable,” here are some interesting facts:

    The Cubs relievers as of today have tossed a collectively 4.97 walks per nine = WORST of NL. The Dodgers bullpen are 4.74, right along this “league.” Both teams probably respected opponent-batters too much.

    The Dodgers bullpen threw away 9.47 hits per nine innings = second worst of NL. They could have easily been the worst if not for the Astros’ amazing inability to keep balls dead: 11.29 H/9.

    LA batters, among NL lineups, have been the dead last six of getting on base (.314), while Chicago at .323 is top six.

    I’m not saying “any AAA team can beat Dodger pitching this year,” but it looks like the Cubs exploited a weak defense. That’s good, as long as they keep the lit on.

  • Mozob

    I have always felt that Marshall should be a starter. If so, we need a another left hander in the Pen

    • bacboris

      Been there, done that. With all due respect, there cant possibly be a worse idea for how to improve this team. Marshall as a starter was worse then Dempster was as a closer.

      • Teluton

        Marshall was an adequate starter in ’06,( in his first season) Given his development w/a devastating curve ball, sneaky fast ball and reliable command you have to wonder how he might do starting.again..Mozab’s idea is worth consideration at least. As of now Marshall is too valuable in the pen. Too bad we don’t have another strong lefty who could allow this

        option. By the way, I wish we had a few more players with Marshall’s attitude, professionalism; he’s a model TEAM player..

        • The Maven

          From what I remember about Marshall as a starter, it was never a question of his “stuff”. Rather it was stamina. Marshall would cruise through the first time around the batting order, then would start to lose it. He had trouble pitching past the fifth or sixth inning.

  • xaxinho

    Come on… This is a great post… What are u asking for? If we loose, our players cant hit, and our pitchers give too many hits and walks… If we win, the other team has injured players, an awful bulpen…. If marshall becomes a starter, Jim is crazy and “tries to see what nobody can see”.

    Our team played as we wanted them to play.

    Lets save the criticism for when the team play poor baseball.

    Go Vasco! Go Cubs!

    • Dorasaga

      It’s simple: The pitching staff need to cut down their walks, if they want to stay competitive and play good baseball. The batters are doing OK, despite earlier concern. I once pointed out: the whole league is not putting balls in play enough (not much to hit); the Cubs didn’t look like an anomaly.

      Jim Hendry should be fired not because he brought in Castro and Barney to the big league, but because this is THE time to change. Eight years under his reign without a championship are too long for Chicago. I guess if this ballclub is called “Kansas City Cubs,” then that’s no big deal, but at this point of my fanhood, I would even be satisfied with a National League Champ.

      Fire Hendry, Change.

  • Tony_Hall

    You are right Brian, enjoy this team when it looks and plays well.

  • Craig Y

    Every Thursday morning during my lunch break at work, around 2 or 3 a.m. this is the first thing I run to. Brian’s articles are awesome and when the Cubs are struggling they keep me entertained and when they are winning they give me some Cubbie hope haha

  • Ripsnorter1

    Let’s hope we can rock Volquez. He gives up a HR at a rate of one HR in just less than 5 IP, and he walks 3 every 4 IP. IF****IF****IF the Cubs could practice a little patience with him, he might help us score some runs.

    Meanwhile, Garza needs to stay on top of his game. If we sweep the Reds, we’d be in 2nd place at least.

    THIS POST WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
    CUBBIE BLUE KOOL-AID. BUY CUBBIE BLUE KOOL-AID WHEREVER IT IS SOLD.

    • Dorasaga

      Is there a 50% per cent discount if I buy a 6-pack? Wait, did I hear it’s a rare item, so fans buy like it’s vintage wine? What? Last bid drove that tag up to A million!? Some one said that number coincides the loss of gate receipt and concession for an Ameritrade owner? Not a lot of happy Cubs fans around, I suppose!

  • studio179

    Much of what was ‘rambled’ sums it up. The team is far away from where they need to be or should be in areas, but there were some brighter spots than what has been seen lately on the road trip. It is when you catch a team up /down, injured / healthy, ec. Take the win and some positives for at least something.

  • Tom U

    Todd Wellemeyer and Doug Davis make their first starts of the season for Iowa and Daytona respectively.

    Chris Rusin takes the hill for Tennessee today, while Hayden Simpson starts for Peoria.

  • John_CC

    This team might not be half bad (which certainly is arguable) but it is definitely NOT half good! It is majority mediocre with the good sometimes outweighing the bad, but not regularly enough.

    I enjoy the hell out of the Cubs playing well and particularly when they beat the Dodgers. And when Dempster beats them, well, it’s bittersweet. But I will not apologize for not jumping on some ridiculous wagon after two wins against another marginal team. I disagree, Brian, this LA club is far from respectable. Dorasaga already pointed out the stats to back it up.

    The definition of Kubbie Kool Aid: ignore the entire miserable season to date and the recent 8 Ls out of 10 games but then after two game win “streak” jump on board with the “if they play like this…” Give me a break! “tots def ridic”? I don’t know which is worse.

    • Ripsnorter1

      You are totally missing the point, John: this is the longest win streak of the season. ENJOY IT! When one is drunk with Blue Kool-Aid, a two game win streak means the World Series is not far behind!

      BTW, which team is better? The Pink-Panty-Waist Dodgers, or the Cubbies?

      1B–Looney (.214/ 1HR/ 12 RBI)vs Pena (.169/ 2HR /8RBI)
      2B–Miles (.260 / 0 HR/ 4 RBI) vs Barney (.324 /1 HR/ 14 RBI)
      SS–Carroll (.280/0 HR/ 3 RBI) vs. Castro (.313/ 1 HR/ 12 RBI)
      3B–Uribe (.245/ 3 HR / 15 RBI) vs. Aram (.282/ 1 HR/ 11 RBI)
      LF–Sands (.188/ 0 HR/ 7 RBI) vs. SorryOhNo (.257 / 11 HR/ 21 RBI)
      CF–Kemp (.352/ 6 HR/ 20 RBI) vs Byrd (.295 / 1 HR/ 8 RBI)
      RF–Ethier (.370/ 3 HR/ 17) vs. Funko (.357/ 0 HR/ 2 RBI)
      C–Barajas (.213/ 5 HR/ 11 RBI) vs Soto (.242/ 3 HR/ 11 RBI)

      By my count, Miles, Carroll, Uribe, Sands and Barajas could not start for the Cubbies at this time, and James Looney is so bad that I might even keep Carlos Mr. 196 Pena. I would really only want Ethier and Kemp on my team.

      SO, it appears that the Cubs have the better starting 8! WOW!
      Add in that the Cubs have a better bullpen, and suddenly you begin to think that the Cubs OUGHT to beat the Pink-Panty-Waisted Dodgers!

      • John_CC

        I told you, I enjoyed the hell outta that streak! O wait, it’s not over yet, they are in the midst of the longest winning streak of the year (doesn’t it sound great when you say it like that – longest of the year?)

        • Dorasaga

          LOL. John, I love baseball facts.
          :-)

          Emotionally–I know this is weird coming from a Cubs fan–but sometimes I feel like this organization is so rotten. And in order to change, a lot must be sacrificed on the long term just for one World Series, and I really, really want the Cubs to just win in a long term. Say, like the Braves. They didn’t even make it to the World Series in their last 20 years of postseason appearances.

          I still hope, like Brian rambled, the Cubs will carry some momentum and transfer themselves from half-bad to a push on a winning curve. Sometimes, on this level of pro. sports, the mentality is all that differentiates a winning team from a losing one.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    I think that stat about 10 straight homeruns without an RBI is a serious cause to take another look at the lineup. Hello Quade…

  • paulcatanese

    Maybe the Cubs should keep on wearing the throwback unies.I was around to see those other than the white ankle color, I liked them. I believe then the socks were wool. I wore a few like that and they were warm.

  • skavoovee

    Someone please let me know if this is crazy…

    Per Quade’s recent statements : “That’s probably the toughest thing for me right now,” Quade said. “Whether it’s spotting Marlon [Byrd] a day or spotting [Alfonso Soriano] a day, it’s a very difficult situation for Colvin.”

    Currently, he is batting .132 in 23 games, but really hasn’t gotten the chance to play regularly to heat up at all.

    I definitely understand the situation, but why have the Cubs not considered sending Colvin down to AAA to get at-bats (which is what he needs and more experience at 1B) — They could bring up Perez or even better Tony Campana who is raking at AAA and would provide a LH PH, a backup OF, and an awesome pinch runner late in games. (something the cubs really need right now)

    • paulcatanese

      Very good idea,but way,way too logical for Cub management.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Perez? You haven’t seen him “field.” The guy is even worse that Alfonso Sorry-oh-no. I could not believe my eyes when I saw him in the field. How, oh how, did they trade for this disaster?

      • paulcatanese

        I would like to see that Rip,I keep missing all these “gold glovers”

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Another great read thanks Brian.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    I like Colvin but he isn’t playing and isn’t hitting when he is playing, I wish they would send him down to AAA so he could play everyday and get things figured out.

  • Tom U

    Congratulations to the Daytona Cubs. The D-Cubs are the first team in the organization to win 20 games.

  • Aaron

    Man, I love that Tennessee team. Nice to see at least one team in the organization continue to battle hard til the bitter end.

    Top 9, down 1, bases loaded, 2 outs, and LeMahieu rips a single to plate 2 guys. Carillo comes in, shuts ‘em down, and they win.

    LeMahieu came within a triple of hitting for the cycle. Brett Jackson got back on track with 2 doubles, a walk, and 1 RBI, and Vitters contributed big time, keeping the 9th inning alive with an infield single to load the bases, then Jackson walked, plating a run, setting the stage for LeMahieu’s heroics.

    Hopefully we can get some of these guys up north very soon.

    • Tom U

      Glad to hear that someone else besides Neil and myself were listening. It certainly was exciting.

      With the success of Barney and Castro, here’s hoping that ownership feels it totally mis-read the fan base and starts moving toward youth rather than the tired old vets that are usually supported through other media outlets.