Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 04/24/12

Game Eighteen: Cubs (5-12) vs. Cardinals (11-6)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/908
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 5.71/1.62) vs. Adam Wainwright (0-3, 9.88/1.61)

The Cubs stole game one of the series with an impressive ninth inning, can Dale Sveum’s team make it two in a row tonight behind Jeff Samardzija?

This is a rematch of the first game of the year between the Cubs and Cardinals. Sveum’s team got the best of Adam Wainwright following a long rain delay and the first of two on field celebrations. After a decent start Jeff Samardzija also had a bad game that Friday afternoon and both of tonight’s starters are in need of a good outing.

Bryan LaHair will be back in the lineup tonight, but what about Steve Clevenger? Samardzija gave Clevenger a lot of credit for his first outing and Samardzija has been really bad over his last 4 2/3 innings.

The last time the Cubs hit a home run was April 13 off Adam Wainwright … the nine game drought is the longest since the Cubs went homerless for 10 games in 2007 (June 30 – July 13).

Tonight all starts with Jeff Samardzija

Tonight could be considered a huge game for Jeff Samardzija as a starting pitcher. Samardzija is coming off two poor outings and has looked more like the old Samardzija than the one that reported to Mesa.

Samardzija posted his second win in has many outings against the Cardinals on April 13 despite giving up five runs on 10 hits with a walk and five strikeouts. But it was his last outing that was concerning. Samardzija gave up five runs again but this time in 3 2/3 innings and he walked five batters. In his last 4 2/3 innings he has allowed 10 runs on 13 hits.

When Samardzija struggled early in his career he issued too many walks and got himself into trouble. If his last two outings become the norm and not the exception, Samardzija’s days in the rotation are likely numbered.

Tonight is Samardzija’s second start of the year against the Cardinals (1-0 with a 9.00 ERA and a 2.20 WHIP) and in 14 career games, three starts, Samardzija owns a 3-2 record with a 6.59 ERA and a 2.16 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija

  • Carlos Beltran – 3-for-3 with a walk
  • Matt Carpenter – 2-for-3 with a triple
  • Daniel Descalso – 0-for-6 with two walks
  • David Freese – 1-for-5
  • Rafael Furcal – 0-for-3
  • Matt Holliday – 3-for-8 with three walks
  • Jon Jay – 5-for-10
  • Yadier Molina – 1-for-1
  • Skip Schumaker – 2-for-8 with two walks
  • Adam Wainwright – 0-for-1

Adam Wainwright has not been Adam Wainwright, yet. Wainwright has struggled mightily in his first three starts but showed improvement in his last outing against the Reds. After allowed eight runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts to the Cubs in three innings, the Reds scored four runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts in five innings.

Wainwright has been very successful throughout his career against the Cubs (6-5 in 24 games, 15 starts, with a 4.68 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP) and has never lost a game at Wrigley Field (5-0 in 11 games, six starts, with a 3.98 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP).

Cubs Career Numbers against Adam Wainwright

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-6 with a walk
  • Darwin Barney – 4-for-7 with a double
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-7 with a walk
  • David DeJesus – 5-for-13 with a double and a home run
  • Blake DeWitt – 5-for-15 with two doubles
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-3
  • Bryan LaHair – 1-for-2 with a home run
  • Alfonso Soriano – 6-for-30 with two doubles, a triple and five walks
  • Geovany Soto – 5-for-22 with two doubles, a home run and two walks
  • Ian Stewart – 2-for-7 with a double, a home run and two walks

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    DeJesus – RF
    Campana – CF
    Castro – SS
    LaHair – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Stewart – 3B
    Barney – 2B
    Soto – C
    Samardzija – P

    • Zonk

      I might switch Campana and DeJesus, but DeJesus seems pretty comfortable leading off.  Barney was doing OK in the 2-hole, but we can’t have all 3 at the top of the order.

      • Chadaudio

        I was thinking about that too.  When Campana gets on, you need some one to just punch the ball around with good bat control (hit behind the runner, bunt, foul off bad pitches for a hit and run, etc.) so Campana can do his thing.  I actually think I would just drop Campana to the bottom of the order if you aren’t going to have him lead off.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree Zonk, Campana would be my choice for leadoff, but as you say DeJesus is doing a credible job at leadoff. (I really didnt think he would), but he is.
        Barney is at his best in the two spot, but looking at the lineup he seems best at seventh to give some kind of security to deliver.

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

          DeJesus has been solid.  No reason to drop him for Campana.  

    • Aaron

      I would be shocked if Samardzija had a good game. How much evidence do they need to have to make Clevenger his personal catcher?

      • cubtex

        Let’s see they are 5-12..18 games?

      • Chadaudio

        I don’t really get it either.  I get playing Soto, but come on, hasn’t Clevenger earned a bit more starts then this?

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

          To me that is the biggest head-scratcher of the year.  Why isn’t Clevenger in more?

      • RICK

        He had a good game as we saw except Marmol blew it again. How many game is it that he blew 3, 4, 5?

    • BosephHeyden

       So we go from Marlon Byrd being the focus of the “Why is he still starting?” talks to Geovany Soto.  The man has six hits.  Six.  What’s more, we’re 3-1 in games that Clevenger is behind the plate, and those three wins were the best game for Samardzija, the best game so far for Garza (and his only win so far), and by far Paul Maholm’s best game as a Cub.

      Meanwhile, by contrast, the Cubs are 2-11 with Soto behind the plate (including yesterday).  In most of those losses, the pitching was not, by any means, great, and a lot of questionable pitches were thrown.  And, again, the man has six hits.

      Pitchers seem to perform better with Clevenger.  Clevenger is doing better at the plate.  Clevenger should be starting.  The only way this is completely stupid is if Soto winds up being traded in the next week, but, realistically, I don’t see any teams out there in need of a catcher right now.

      • cubtex

        And Caleb Hanie was a quality backup too..Sorry different sport but along the same thinking. Fans get so caught up with a small sample size that they think a player will perform like that on a daily basis. Look at his scouting report. Average defensively. Won’t win any gold gloves. Average to a slight above average arm and will be passable in the majors defensively.
        Soto caught 141 games in 2008 and the team won 97 games! Has he performed well this year? No…We are 17 games in the year. Albert PuJols hasn’t hit a HR yet. Soto has a track record. Soto threw out more runners in 2011 than any catcher in the major leagues. Let the season play out. The Cubs aren’t going anywhere this year. Do you really think that the Cubs would be 12-5 if Clevenger caught all the games? Many on here think this is fantasy baseball. Cut this player…..bring up this player…..This is not fantasy. You have contracts to deal with. You have a 40 man roster to deal with. You have a lot of factors to deal with.

        • Chadaudio

          I don’t think most are saying Clevenger should be the everyday catcher… I think the thought is that he has earned more starts then he’s been given, and he should play more now before he cools off.

          • cubtex

            Let’s let Clevenger be Volstad’s personal catcher and see how his record will be :) I hear what you are saying but you want to get Soto untracked as well. He is not a terrible catcher and should be given most of the starts.

          • Chadaudio

            I don’t think I’d say that Soto was a terrible catcher.  I was just stating that Clevenger is the “hot hand” right now, and that should be take advantage of by starting him a bit more.

            If he was Volstad’s personal catcher, at least he’d be starting more then he has so far. :)

          • Ripsnorter1

            I’d like Castillo to be Volstad’s personal catcher….in AAA. Volstad is awful. 

        • BosephHeyden

          Spare me the “small sample” argument, because there’s three years of data to back up his decline.  Soto had plenty of opportunity last year and he wound up hitting .228.  He hit .218 in 2009.  What about 2010, you ask?  He hit .280, but anyone who watched those games could tell you he wasn’t close to the same catcher that received all those accolades in 2008.  A good amount of the singles he had in 2010 should have been doubles, but all of a sudden he couldn’t hustle because he started hurting.  And those singles that should have been doubles often times lead to him being thrown out at second at the start of a double play that may have been avoidable if only he had a bit more hustle.

          This isn’t Marlon Byrd in the uncharacteristically slow start level (and don’t think I’m saying the trade was a mistake:  he wasn’t performing, he was eventually going to be replaced anyways…he had to go).  This is a situation where a catcher who’s been iffy as far as pitch calls even so far as 2007 when he was called up to be behind Jason Kendall is finally having that part of him become a highlight simply because the offensive power that was supposed to offset that is gone.  It’s been going for the past three years and it’s finally gone.  That’s what happens when catchers that are slightly more than one-dimensional lose their biggest dimension.

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

          I agree with you Tex.  Very rational post…

      • paulcatanese

        Kind of like the “ten little indians” one by one they are going away.
        Catchers with Major League experience should be attractive by any number of teams, even as a backup.
        Has to be the money that Soto is making that keeps other teams away, or the asking price is too steep.
        At any rate he is still with the Cubs.
        Maybe they like him more than those who want him gone.(myself included).
        I would like to see Clevenger start, at this point in the season I think he has earned it. He just looks like a natural hitter and fears no-one at the plate.

      • Zonk

        I am agreeing with cubtex (which I do not that often), judging players based on 47 ABs is foolish.  He wasn’t great offensively last year, but he wasn’t terrible; he posted an OPS+ of 97, and did a nice job throwing out runners last year.  His BABIP so far this year is .147, so he is hitting into tough luck.  It’s not like he’s struck out more than normal. 

        I agree Clevenger has earned more time, but let’s not get too carried away on him based on 10 for 17.  Nice streak, but I bet Soto had a couple nice streaks last year. 

        Soto is 29 years old.  He has it in him to be an above average ML catcher.  The reason we haven’t traded him is because few teams make trades in April or May, unless they are desperate due to injury or performance. 

        Play both Soto and Clevenger, and see where the league sits in July when it comes to demand for Soto’s services.  If Tampa and/or Miama are in contention, they will be interested.

        • cubtex

          you’ll come around and start agreeing more often than not :)

        • cubtex

          What is comical is that some of the same people on here who want Clevenger to play all the time based on this small sample……are the same people who defended  DeJesus and Stewart saying don’t look at just last year, look 2 or 3 years ago. They were quick to defend DeJesus and Stewart and say give them a chance based on the track record…but when it comes to Soto…..he doesn’t deserve it.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MCTINSDIF4ZSEQGJJ7KUNU256I Horatio Vonsnackster

          Dale needs to ride the hot bat of Clevanger.  And when he comes back to Earth, play him because he’s better defensively and calls a better game than Soto does.  I’m also not saying Clevanger is the long-term answer, but Soto is struggling and trotting him out there everyday clearly isn’t helping him or the Cubs.  And when Soto does perform offensively, it will still be very average.  His defense and play-calling are consistently sub-par for a major league catcher.  There is little rationale for a guy who gets 3 hits and then doesn’t start in place of a struggling incumbant for the next few games.  Zero Logic.  Zero.

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

            Agreed…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Brett Jackson: 0-for-3, 2BB, SB, 2K; Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-4; Welington Castillo: 2-for-4 in Iowa’s 4-0 loss Tuesday  afternoon

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rodrigo Lopez cleared waivers and accepted outright to AAA Iowa where he will be a starter.

    • Chadaudio

      Good news… we needed the depth.  I wonder if he will be in the AAA rotation or pen?

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

         He’s going to start.

        • Chadaudio

          Thanks… that’s good news too.

  • paulcatanese

    One thing with Soto batting eigth, he will get some pitches to hit, as I am sure they fear the Shark more with the bat. They wont pitch around Soto.

    • Chadaudio

      LOL. Niicceee.

  • Zonk

    Recent Ex-Cubs Update:

    HOT:
    Carlos Pena   304/451/536 
    Zambrano       2.84 ERA in 3 Starts
    Colvin:    .323 in 31 ABs  (only 1 BB though; that’s Colvin)

    DOING OK:
    Marshall    0-1   3.38 ERA   3 saves
    Cashner     2.08 ERA, but 7 BBs in 8.2 innings
    Marwin Gonzalez:    .250 avg, .604 OPS for Astros as SS

    NOT GOOD:
    A-Ram:    164/224/295, but he makes up for that by playing a brutal 3B

    Ryan Flaherty:  0 for 4, 3 Ks buried deep on Orioles bench
    Fuku:   3 for 16, all singles

    MIA:
    John Grabow
    Doug Davis
    Justin Berg

    • BosephHeyden

       I thought Doug Davis retired once he hit his pension date.  I’m pretty sure he did, anyways, because I remember that being the one positive I took away from last year:  the club clearly wasn’t going to compete, Davis needed a few more games to reach a point where he could retire from the game and get the perks that come with lots of years of service, and immediately after, he disappeared (or he might have stuck around, I barely paid attention last year).

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Justin Berg is still in the Cubs org. Recovering from TJ surgery

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

      Colvin will come back to earth. Carlos Pena has produced everywhere he’s been including with the Cubs.  If we were a team on the precipice he should have stayed, but with our future plans it’s good he’s somewhere he can contend.  

      Pena is a solid player.  Sometimes great.  Even last year he was one of few bright spots.  I wish him the best. 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Very efficient first inning for Samardzija, 1-2-3 on nine pitches, three groundball outs.

    • WidespreadHisPanic

      That’s the key for Shark tonight I would say :)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    DeJesus missed the plate … and Molina missed the tag. 

    • JimBo_C

      … And the ump missed the call (with an invalid safe call)

    • BosephHeyden

       In his defense, DeJesus did step on the plate while going back to the dugout while Molina immediately started yelling at the ump.  So there’s that, I guess.

      One thing I am liking about some of these younger guys (and a few of the not-so-young guys) is the way they do very minor things that the Cubs haven’t done before.  LaHair struck out in his first AB, but the second he noticed Molina didn’t catch it cleanly, he took off.  And he didn’t stop until Molina threw the ball to the first baseman.  In fact, he made Molina chase him half the way, making me think Molina figured he’d just give up halfway there.  And Mather, either in Spring Training or this year, when caught between first and second on an iffy flyball that had the potential to get caught, rather than freeze and watch the ball, knew he was dead in the water regardless, so he immediately kept going to third.  Ball drops, Mather at third instead of second or getting forced from second.

      Fundamentally, they seem to be doing a lot of small things right.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        You’re exactly right and I should have mentioned that. And I agree on your other point.

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

        Sveum

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    Jeff how in the world you can walk the number 8 hitter ughhhhhhhhhhhh

  • gary3411

    Shark straight dealin’

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Excellent turn on that double play by Barney and Castro to nail Furcal

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Soriano with his first extra basehit of the season … a double

    • JimBo_C

      His batting average is finally different than his slugging percentage

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    ughhhhh ian stewart you are pathetic

    • BosephHeyden

       I just don’t understand what’s wrong with him.  I mean, yeah, he doesn’t necessarily fit into the Cubs’ long term plans (and with play like this, he’s probably heading to the bench full time the second Vitters proves he’s ready), but at least play like you belong somewhere.  First pitch was a decent curve for a strike…forgivable.  Second pitch is high and getting higher, slightly less forgivable.  But pitch three…that was a curveball that started off down and was heading to the dirt…even IF you’ve already committed to swinging, make an effort to run the play out to second, especially after Yader Molina had already committed one throwing error today.

      Barney gets only a slight pass because he’s hitting over .300.  Stewart does not get the same break, because he’s not even hitting .200…his defense would give him a bit of leeway if not for the fact we’re 10+ game under .500.

      • gary3411

         Vitters sucks. Stewart will be there for a while. He will get better. Has had a lot of hard hit outs earlier in the year.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Petersma/565104388 Trevor Petersma

    Well this is frustrating.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Petersma/565104388 Trevor Petersma

    Shark is getting some good hacks in here.  Be nice to connect on one.

    • BosephHeyden

       I thought for sure he was going to connect on any of those pitches.  It’s good to have a natural athlete at pitcher, and you just get that feeling that we’ll forget all about Zambrano if Samardzija gets more BP in.

  • GaryLeeT

    Nice to see Garza, and Samardzija tame the 4th best offense in baseball. Why these guys, and Castro, don’t have their contracts extended, is beyond me.

    • BosephHeyden

       Castro isn’t really a big worry as far as a contract extension.  When it gets close to his free agency eligibility, then you can extend his contract.

      Samardzija is due a nice pay raise if he keeps this up, because right now he just resigned for a year contract I believe.  It’d be foolish for the Cubs not to resign him.

      Garza…Garza’s going to look for ace money.  And he’s not an ace.  A team like the Yankees will likely give him ace money and he’ll fit in nicely with their rotation (since Sabathia is their ace and Garza will just be that really good #2 pitcher, which is what he is).  Chances are pretty good that, once Garza’s near the end of his contract, or even near the middle of this year, he’s heading elsewhere via trade.

      • GaryLeeT

         Why wade through the arb years with Castro? I think that’s insulting to to a player of his caliber. He should be getting the Evan Longoria treatment.

      • GaryLeeT

         So pitchers like Garza are a dime a dozen? The Cubs should be trading FOR pitching, NOT trading it away. You do know that the farm system is devoid of starting pitching, right? Since pitching wins championships, just how do the Cubs get from point A to point B?

        • BosephHeyden

           Yeah, and there’s someone that will be desperate enough to trade away a really, really good starting pitching prospect you can mold into an ace or #2 pitcher with some other mid-level prospects for Garza at the trade deadline.  Just look at the trade that netted the Diamondbacks Daniel Hudson.  All they gave up to the White Sox was Edwin Jackson, who was already near the end of his contract.

          • GaryLeeT

            Hudson is an ace, or even an ace in the making? Not sure what stats you are looking at. Any way, why trade a #2 starter for a POTENTIAL, #1 or #2 starter?

          • BosephHeyden

             He’s not an ace, but he’s certainly a solid #2 on any team.  And all it cost them was a pitcher that was only going to be around for a year anyways.  Meanwhile, Hudson isn’t going to need a new contract for at least another two years or so, and he went 23-12 in the first two seasons he pitched for the D-Backs.

            And, like I said, Garza is going to cost a lot of money.  The money he will cost…just not worth it.

  • GaryLeeT

    Wow. Back to back 3 pitch strike outs for Castro. That’s as rare as Cub home run at Wrigley.

  • Agustinrexach

    samardja is another dude

  • Agustinrexach

    wow wow wow jeff notre d

  • BosephHeyden

    Okay, I can start to see why Mather, DeWitt, and Baker are splitting time with Stewart rather than Stewart clearly being “the guy” at third.  His approach at the plate is awful.  It’s like he gets that one really good plate appearance where the defensive player makes a really good play to get him out.  And, rather than just keep his head up and keep pushing, he starts panicking.  Or just not trying.  But he’s definitely not making good decisions at the plate.

    Example:  his last AB he got ahead 3-0.  Then Wainwright, who is on top of his game and then some today, throws that curve down the middle.  And you can just tell by his approach that he’s going to do something ill advised on the next pitch even though he’s 3-1.  And he swings at a pitch that he should have just taken.  Mainly because he’s expecting something better, and it’s not coming.  Wainwright’s smart enough to recognize this.  Heck, if I recognized this, then ANY pitcher will recognize this.

    Someone in the dugout needs to explain this to him, because we don’t need another headcase.

    • Baron_S

      Stewarts swing looks more like a Golf Swing than a Baseball Swing

  • Aaron

    Great pitching by the Shark….HORRIBLE offense….what a joke!

    Prediction time….

    Hayden Simpson will be released after the amateur draft this year. He now has a 7.94 ERA, and tonight his line was 4 1/3 IP, 8 hits, 6 runs, 5 earned, 7 walks, 2 K’s, 1 hr allowed. His totals on the year are:
    4 games, 17 IP, 26 hits, 16 runs, 15 earned, 4 hr allowed, 12 walks, 5 K’s

    The only reason he’s even lasted THIS long is because of the bout with mono and the bonus…..but this year, he’s supposed to be at full strength, and it’s one of the most brutal performances I’ve EVER seen from a first round pick. Oh, and by the way, he turns 23 in May. Righties that throw mid-to-high 80’s with minimal command are not valued, nor are in demand. He will go down as one of the worst first round picks in Cubs history, and will likely spell the end of Wilken’s tenure in Chicago. I just can’t see them forgiving that pick….not when most teams had him pegged as a 2nd-3rd rounder at best.

    • Ripsnorter1

      2 K’s by Simpson? That’s an improvement. He only had 3 K’s all together in 3 previous starts. 

      Aaron, things are looking up! LOL

      Frankly, all the teams with scouting Simpson saying that he was even a #2 or #3 pick ought to be fired, too.

  • Kojak Osborne Jr.

    oh great shawn awful camp in the game

    • BosephHeyden

      They only needed him for one out, which he got.  The real worry came when the stuff that’s below this post happened.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    An Marmol blows it …

  • BosephHeyden

    Hey look, Carlos Marmol still can’t close games.

    • BosephHeyden

      And he still can’t throw pickoffs either.

  • Baron_S

    How about some freakin offense eh?

    I think Dolis should get a shot at closer!! Marmol should go back to his  7th/8th situational role….

    Shark worked real hard — its a real F#$# shame for him

    • gary3411

       marmol in 8, dolis in 9. Won’t make either throw strikes and won’t make Marmol’s slider start biting again. Dolis has more groundball stuff and can go 2 innings easier he’s better in the 7/8 than Marmol would be.

    • BosephHeyden

       I don’t know how much of this was offense and how much of this was the fact that Adam Wainwright decided to be GOOD Adam Wainwright all of a sudden.  I mean, there were two situation where they had guys in scoring position with no one out and Wainwright wound up striking out Barney and Stewart, then getting Shark to pop out, and then Campana bunted through a pitch, which you absolutely cannot do against Molina, leading to that pickoff, then struck out.  But even those two instances aside, Wainwright has been really good tonight, and it doesn’t help that he rediscovered his curve midway through the third inning.

      • paulcatanese

        Boseph, what led to the DeJesus pickoff was him breaking a cardinal rule. The very first thing a player is taught is make sure the bunt is on the ground and dont anticipate. Thats exactly what he did, anticipate the contact, and as you said with Molina that cannot be done, he will eat baserunners for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

        • gary3411

          At the same time, if the bunt is a tapper in front of the plate, he’s eating him for breakfast at 3rd. Higher level baseball players are sometimes taught to anticipate and use instinct, along with knowing the bunter.

          If it was me, I’m probably leaning there as well. Dejesus kind of lost his balance which is the primary reason he was thrown out IMO. If he stuck his foot in the ground even after taking a few extra steps toward third, he’s probably safe.

  • BosephHeyden

    Well, hopefully here comes Bowden.  It’d be really nice if he showed some good stuff in the ninth…you know, maybe like setup guy or closer good?

    • BosephHeyden

       Well, I guess if the quality of the two above type players were going by current Cubs standards, he’s a lock for a future closer right now, because, as nasty as his splitter looks, he looks to have no control over it, and less control over his other pitches.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Wow! Bowden, in times past, has made an excellent “game-ender.” You know, the manager brings him in, and he gives up a walk-off…HR, double, or even a BB. 

  • cubtex

    Watched the Ranger game today. Darvish is the real deal! How would have Darvish, Garza and Shark have looked for the next couple of years?

    • BosephHeyden

       Expensive.

    • gary3411

      Would have looked decent. We’d still have ZERO bullpen, and even with Rizzo and Jackson and maybe an Ethier added, below average offense. Maybe make the wild card one year if we get lucky and have a real healthy year. I want championships.

    • BosephHeyden

       And just out of curiosity:  you got on people for getting on Soto earlier based on a supposed very small sample that was actually the last three years of his career.  Darvish has pitched in a total of three games in the majors.  Three.  He looked just awful in that first game, and, had he been playing for any other team, would have lost that first game.

      There have been numerous other pitchers who have had good starts, but once players figure them out, they wind up doing not so good.  In fact, last pitcher that kinda fits that description:  Daisuke Matsuzaka.

      • cubtex

        Did you watch any of the games Darvish has pitched? He has top of the rotation stuff. He has a clean delivery and was throwing mid to high 90’s in the 9th inning last night after 115 pitches. He is head and shoulders above Dice K. Dice K had that herky jerk delivery and has to hit his spots. Darvish is special and you can contend with starting pitching.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    LaHair CAN HIT lefties!

    • BosephHeyden

       Opposite field, no less!  He may be our only power threat, but the man is clutch and then some.

    • brent carmona

      Man crush has increased to higher levels!

      If soriano can play lf, I’m sure lahair can be adequate just enough. That is if soriano is traded.

      • Baron_S

        I cant BELIEVE they play Baker over him!

        • BosephHeyden

           Well, after that, I think they may have lost the whole “Baker bats lefties better” argument.

    • RMercer

      I would hate to play Lahair against lefties…

  • Baron_S

    LAHAIRRRRRRR

  • John_CC

    I just keep liking LaHair more and more!

    The obvious problem now is how is going to pitch…

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

      I couldn’t agree more.  Lahair looks like a ballplayer!  

      Maybe a Nelson Cruz type?  I remember in the AL Championship series last year they talked about what a late bloomer he was.  Didn’t he not start to rake until like 26-27?  I guess it happens.  When Lahair steps in he almost looks like he has a smirk of confidence, like “I got you right where I want you.”  Personally, I never called him a AAAA player but I never took it upon myself to question anyone that did.  At this point you have to say he is looking like the real deal.  

      With Fielder and Pujols gone, could Lahair compete with Votto for an all-star birth?  Obviously it’s very early, but who else is there, with Howard injured? 

  • Ripsnorter1

    Now who have we got in our bullpen to work the 10TH?

    Lenny Castillo.   NO.Okay, that leaves….Jeff Russell.

    • John_CC

      Hate to say it, but I wish Chi-Chi was still there…

    • BosephHeyden

       Turns out, Russell is not too bad against righties.  In fact, his stuff looks pretty solid so far.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Russell can be as good as Marshall….in another year.  

        • BosephHeyden

           Oh definitely.  He’s a keeper so long as they don’t overdo it with him this year.  Slowly transitioning him into taking on righties and lefties is the trick, but the key word is “transition”, not throw him into the thick of it one day.

  • BosephHeyden

    Agh.  Mather just got Kenny Powers’d.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Campana should steal 2nd on the 1st pitch.

  • BosephHeyden

    Any time Campana gets to first, the other team should just concede him second.  It’s going to happen.

    • cubtex

      But stolen bases are overrated?

  • John_CC

    How bad does Castro look lately?

    • gary3411

      He just can’t recognize pitches at all. His raw talent will only take him so far. And he doesn’t go to the plate with a plan whatsoever. In that last inning, you have to KNOW you are not going to get a fastball or anything decent to hit really with 1st base open and 1 out when you’re the best hitter on the team. He should have gone up there looking offspeed in the zone only, he did not.

  • BosephHeyden

    CUBS WIN

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Petersma/565104388 Trevor Petersma

    Some good luck goes our way, I’m not complaining!!  Good win!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs beat Cardinals 3-2 Tuesday in 10

    Alfonso Soriano: 3-for-5,GW RBI in 10th, 2B; Jeff Samardzija: 0R, 4H, 2BB, 9K in 6.2IP; Bryan LaHair: 2-for-4, HR, BB; David DeJesus: 2-for-5, 2 2B, R

    James Russell gets the ‘W’

  • Baron_S

    No better way to end a Tuesday night than by beating the Cards…. !!

  • gary3411

    LaHair= 3rd in the MAJORS in OPS after tonight (best ‘basic’ statistic to evaluate a hitter’s value). Whoda thunk it?

  • RICK

    Hey Theo the Giants need a closer. Its time to send Marmol west

    • gary3411

       Another Byrd type trade? No chance, we have NOBODY out there down the left field line. And we will get zilch in return.

      Better taking the risk hoping Marmol can regain the bite on his slider, if not he’s another player that’s dead money/weight once again.