Cardinals Smoked Wood and Shutout the Cubs – Cubs 0, Cardinals 7

Game Ninety-Four – Cubs 0, Cardinals 7
WP – Lance Lynn (12-4) LP – Travis Wood (4-5) Save – None

The Cubs began Friday night’s game in St. Louis in the middle of their best stretch of the season … and the Cardinals brought Dale Sveum’s team back down to earth over the weekend. Not only did the Redbirds complete the three-game sweep but the Cardinals outscored the Cubs 23-1 in the process. The Cubs only run of the series scored on a sac fly off by Darwin Barney in the second inning of Friday’s game.

After being shutout Saturday night on four hits with three walks, the Cubs managed only five hits and three walks on Sunday afternoon … and no runs over their last 25 innings.

The lone highlight from Sunday’s game was when the team clicked their heels in honor of Ron Santo as they took the field.

Travis Wood followed his miserable outing against the Marlins (eight runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings) with a horrible start and the first loss of his career to the Cardinals. The Redbirds came out swinging on Sunday afternoon and rode three doubles in the first inning to four runs … and basically ending the game. Wood completed six innings of work but that is the only positive that can be taken from his outing. Wood gave up seven runs, six earned, on nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts in six innings. Five of the nine hits off Wood went for extra bases and Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran went back-to-back on consecutive pitches from Wood in the fifth.

Jeff Beliveau made his big league debut in the seventh and pitched 1 2/3 innings of shutout ball. Beliveau surrendered three hits, walked a batter and recorded his first strikeout. Scott Maine recorded the final out in the eighth.

The Cubs offense was non-existent for the second time in less than 24 hours despite putting the leadoff hitter on base in five of the first seven innings of the game. After managing four hits and three walks on Saturday night, the Cubs notched only five hits and three walks on Sunday. Bryan LaHair (2-for-4), Starlin Castro (1-for-4 with a double), Anthony Rizzo (1-4 with a walk) and Darwin Barney (1-for-3 with a walk) were able to get on but the team finished the afternoon 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base.

With Sunday’s loss (8-8 on Sundays in 2012), the Cubs are 38-56 on the season … The Cubs could not capitalize on a leadoff walk by David DeJesus and came away empty again in the first inning. DeJesus took off for second on the first pitch to Castro and made it easily. Lance Lynn did not pay any attention to him. Castro did not advance DeJesus. Castro grounded out to short for the first out. Anthony Rizzo hit a 2-1 pitch off the end of his bat into center for the second out and Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging to end the inning.

The Cardinals picked up in the bottom of the first where they left off in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. The Redbirds hit three more doubles and scored four runs.

Tyler Greene popped out to Rizzo to begin the inning. Allen Craig singled to right center and should have scored on Matt Holliday’s ringing double off the left field wall. Craig stumbled on the third base bag and could not score. Carlos Beltran popped a 1-2 pitch into right for the second out.

Travis Wood intentionally walked David Freese to load the bases for lefty Jon Jay. Jay lined a 2-2 pitch down the left field line that hit the chalk. Craig and Holliday scored on Jay’s double. Wood fell behind back-up catcher Tony Cruz 3-0. Cruz drove a 3-2 pitch to the opposite field. LaHair fielded the ball in right as both Freese and Jay scored … 4-0 Cardinals. Daniel Descalso lined out to third for the final out of the first. Wood threw 37 pitches in the first, 22 for strikes.

At the end of one, the Cubs trailed 4-0.

Bryan LaHair blooped a single into center to begin the second. LaHair then swiped second on a 2-0 pitch to Clevenger. Lynn did not pay any attention to him. Cruz did not throw to second either and it confused LaHair to the point he started walking back to first before he was told to get back on the bag. Clevenger struck out swinging, Barney grounded out to third and Valbuena struck out swinging to end the inning.

Travis Wood retired the Cardinals in order in the second … 45 pitches for Wood after two, 28 for strikes.

The Cubs wasted another chance to get back into the game in the third. Lance Lynn retired Travis Wood (pop out to first) and David DeJesus (groundout to second) to start the inning. Starlin Castro took two out of the zone before pulling a 2-1 pitch into the left field corner. Castro ended up at second with a two-out double. Anthony Rizzo walked. With two on and two down, Alfonso Soriano grounded out to third.

Travis Wood fell behind Matt Holliday 3-1 before striking out Holliday to begin the inning. Beltran grounded out to third but Wood issued a four-pitch walk to David Freese. Jon Jay blooped his second hit of the game into left, but it was only a single. Tony Cruz popped out to right on Wood’s 69th pitch of the game (41 strikes) to end the inning.

Bryan LaHair led off the fourth with a broken bat single to center (2-1 pitch). Steve Clevenger smoked the first pitch toward third. Freese made an excellent diving stop and started a 5-4-3 double play. Darwin Barney walked but Valbuena grounded out to second for the third out.

The Cubs were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left five on base in their first four at bats.

The Cardinals played small ball and tacked on to their lead in the bottom of the fourth. Daniel Descalso reached on a bunt single to start the inning. Descalso could not have rolled the ball any better. Clevenger let one go off the top of his glove on the first pitch to Lynn. Descalso advanced to second on the passed ball. Greene lifted Wood’s first pitch to Soriano. Descalso scored, 5-0 Cardinals. Craig flied out to center to end the inning. Wood threw 75 pitches over the first four innings, 46 for strikes.

The Cubs did nothing in the fifth.

Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran went back-to-back on consecutive pitches (Wood’s first two pitches of the inning) to start the fifth … and put the Cardinals up 7-0. Wood finally pitched to Freese and struck him out. Jon Jay lined Wood’s first pitch into left … third hit of the game for Jay off Wood all to the opposite field. Tony Cruz lined out to right and Descalso lined out to center to end the inning.

Travis Wood threw 90 pitches, 57 for strikes, over five innings … and allowed seven runs on nine hits with two walks. Five of the nine hits off Wood went for extra bases.

Anthony Rizzo led off the sixth with the Cubs’ fourth hit of the game, a single to center … but the Cubs’ offense once again could not capitalize. Soriano struck out, LaHair flied out to the track in right and Clevenger was caught looking at a 3-2 pitch for the third out.

Travis Wood retired the Cardinals in order in the sixth. Alfonso Soriano made an excellent leaping catch at the wall in left center to take away another hit from Allen Craig for the third out.

For the fifth time in seven innings, the Cubs put the leadoff hitter on base. Darwin Barney started the seventh with a single to left center off Fernando Salas … but Valbuena struck out swinging, Joe Mather hit for Wood and flied out to deep center for the second out. DeJesus flied out to center for the last out in the seventh.

Jeff Beliveau made his big league debut in the seventh … and retired Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran on three pitches. David Freese singled to right (1-2 pitch) and Jon Jay floated his fourth hit of the game into left field. With runners on first and second with two down, Tony Cruz grounded out to third.

The Cubs did nothing against Fernando Salas in the eighth.

Daniel Descalso led off the eighth with a single to left (3-2 pitch) off Jeff Beliveau. Matt Carpenter fouled out to Valbuena and Beliveau caught Tyler Greene looking at a 1-2 pitch for his first big league strikeouts. Skip Schumaker hit for Salas and worked a two-out walk. Dale Sveum made the slow walk and went to his pen for Scott Maine.

Maine walked Holliday to load the bases for Carlos Beltran … but Beltran popped out to Barney to end the inning.

The Cubs did nothing against Marc Rzepczynski in the ninth, game and series over.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs open a three-game series in Pittsburgh on Monday night … Jeff Samardzija against Erik Bedard in game one.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO


  • cubtex

    Outscored 23-1 against the hated Cardinals……..Wow! Travis Wood shelled his last 2 starts. I think someone mentioned before that Wood has proven himself to be a solid #4.Proven? He has a chance to be a #5 and I emphasize #5. I like him in that he competes and is a good athlete but when he doesn’t hit his spots he will get lit up like a christmas tree. Hopefully Dempster and Garza will bring back POTENTIAL #3′s because if you subtract Garza and Dempster from next years rotation….you have Shark(who is not ready to be a frontline starter) and a bunch of #5′s.

    • Aaron

      This series just proved the Cubs are light years away from competing. Once the likes of Baez, Jackson (if he ever makes more contact), Vitters, Almora and Soler arrive in 2-3 years then they might compete (key word is the”might”)but it sure is ugly right now….and most of it has to do with lack of offense.

      And what’s even uglier is the pitching.

  • John_CC

    @cubtex I’m not sure what you think a #4 and 5 starter are supposed to do. I’m not defending today’s start.

    Here are the #4 Starters on all the first place teams:

    E Jackson: 5-6, 3.73/1.15
    Zito: 8-6, 3.75/1.37

    Phil Hughes: 9-8, 4.09/1.25,
    Doug Fister: 4-6, 4.04/1.26,
    Leake: 3-6, 4.09/1.32
    Derek Holland: 6-5, 4.84/1.29,

    Based on ERA and WHIP, Wood would fall in after Zito and ahead of Philip Hughes.

    Wood: 4-4, 3.92/1.20

    • cubtex

      Those pitchers you mentioned have all pitched full seasons in the majors. Travis Wood started the season in AAA this year. He was in AAA last year. He needs to pitch a couple of full seasons in the majors before he can even be compared to those players. As I said….I like the guy and want him to succeed…..but he is definately not proven.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I agree…we cannot really gauge Travis Wood until the league gets a look at him for a year. Right now he’s wildly inconsistent: one start is very good, the next start is awful.

        It’s like LaHair. The league adjusted to him. He proved to everyone that he is not better than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig (as he was the first month of the season). We are currently seeing what he really is: a bench bat at best for whom no GM wants to acquire.

        That said, Travis Wood could become a Paul Maholm–a 5th starter. But we shall have to see.

        Remember Casey Coleman’s first few starts?

        • John_CC

          I guess one of my points is that a #4-5 starter is always going take the occasional shellacking.

      • John_CC

        OK, I guess I wasn’t focused on the word “proven”, though he does have one very good season under his belt, and my point was that he is having a fine season judged against the other #4-5 starters this year.

    • BosephHeyden

      I think one of the big problems is that you can’t really appreciate a #4 pitcher without an ace. Like you mentioned, those are all first place teams, and those are all good numbers for #4 pitchers. But those teams are all in first place because their number ones, Strasburg, Cain, Sabathia, Verlander, Cueto, and Darvish (because Darvish is pretty much the ace for Texas), all do their jobs really well. When an ace can do as well as those guys listed above (with nasty stuff that can get any hitter out at any given time or situation), the expectations for the next guy is lower, and since that next guy is the second best pitcher on the team, he can usually do really well or pick the team up if the ace falters in the start before. And, with that, the expectations become less for the #3 starter, and less than that for #4, and then you get to the #5 guy and the team’s fans have no expectations for that pitcher, so when he does well, it’s really exciting, and when he gives up five+ runs, so long as he can last a few extra innings if the bullpen has been overtaxed, people don’t mind.

      The Cubs don’t have an ace. Right now the closest thing we have to an ace is Ryan Dempster, who relies more on the defense to
      get guys out than his stuff (not saying there’s anything wrong with
      that…that’s just not what an ace does). The next guy down is Matt Garza, who seems to be a different kind of headcase than Zambrano was and, right now, is playing at the level of a #3 pitcher. The there’s Samardzija, who may very well be in the right spot, followed by Maholm, who may be above his spot, and finally Wood, who is a good #4 playing at a #5 spot, which shouldn’t be that bad, but the lack of an ace highlights how out-of-place every pitcher we have seems to be.

      Heck, our lack of an ace can be highlighted all the way back to the 2007 and 2008 seasons…not so much the performances by Zambrano, Lilly, or Dempster, but the fact that we had Jason Marquis, and even though he won more than he lost, his mid 4 ERA in both of those seasons were such that we were always looking for upgrades to REPLACE him, simply because we didn’t have that pitcher that could go out and deliver an ace performance in our ace spot (and that’s not even mentioning the fact the guy behind Marquis was constantly changing both of those seasons).

      The solution is simple: we need to buy or trade for an ace next year (not this year, because it’s a lost season and our ineffective offense will inspire whatever ace we trade for to go elsewhere…and not this offseason, since we’ll likely demoralize said ace, but the 2013 offseason is when we should do this). We aren’t in the process of developing one, we are farther away from developing one of those than we are developing an entire offense through the farm system (another unrealistic goal for any major league team in a major market), and even if we trade for a top pitching prospect, the likelihood our farm system transforms him into the #1 starter we need him to be is slim.

      In the meantime, we need to get 2-5 set. Right now, 4 and 5 are set for the immediate future in Samardzija and Wood, and once we get more, those two will move to more natural spots. We’ll have 3-5 set if Coleman or Rusin proves to be competent as a major league starter (they’ll be #5 for sure), or if we can trade for a young arm that’s close to major league ready soon (because Maholm isn’t sticking around next season).

      • cubtex

        Valid points.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Cubs have a club option on Maholm. I expect he’ll be here if not traded in the next 9 days.

      • John_CC

        You are absolutely correct, sir.

        I think Shark has all the stuff be a #3 next year. He needs experience and he is getting it. Battling through starts when he doesn’t have his best and taking his lumps. He has bounced back from a really rough stretch which shows he has the makeup for the job.

      • triple

        You’re correct. And it just really shows how far away our pitching is. And we’d be really lucky to have all 2-5 set up going into the 2014 season and even have some depth beyond that (necessary to get through entire season). That almost feels unrealistic at this point.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Listen very carefully to Buster Olney talking about the Houston Astros’ rebuilding efforts, and then compare them to the Cubs’ rebuilding efforts.

    And I quote….
    “Meanwhile, other executives have noted that the Astros are positioning themselves to be this decade’s version of the Tampa Bay Rays, who finished so poorly in the standings repeatedly early last decade that year after year they picked at or near the top of the draft — and made a lot of right choices.

    The Astros had the No. 1 pick this year, they are strongly positioned to have the No. 1 pick next year, and their rebuilding could take so long that they may be picking at or near the top of the draft for several more years to come.

    What the Astros are gambling, of course, is that they won’t do mortal damage to the interest and faith of their hard-core fans. Houston was fifth in the NL in attendance in 2004, 10th in 2010, 13th in 2011. Right now, the Astros rank last, with no hope yet on the horizon and plans to move into the more competitive AL West next year.

    The San Diego Padres have been through fire sales, and they will attest: A strip-down strategy like this comes with risk and long-term costs. The covenant with some hard-core fans is irreparably broken. You can argue that this is the best strategy for the Astros to pursue in their effort to win ballgames, but as a business entity they are training a generation of fans to ignore them completely.”

    Well, who was the guy leading the San Diego Padres into irrelevance? Wasn’t his name….Team Theo?
    And this expresses why I do not like Team Theo. You won’t have a competitive team any time soon.

    • Ripsnorter1

      If the Cubs actually manage to deal Dempster, Garza and Maholm, what kind of a team will they be fielding the rest of the year?

      Our starting pitching has been 17th in MLB for quality starts; our hitting is 29th. If our starting goes to 29th or 30th the rest of the way out, how much fan interest will there be? And will the Cubbies do irreparable damage since the ChiSox are competing this year?

      It is possible to wreck a franchise….it really is.

      • triple

        I don’t think Cubs fans will switch over to root for the Sox. Well maybe you would. You seem to post alot about the them in here. I, on the other hand don’t give a 2 thoughts about the Sox. Don’t like ‘em, don’t hate ‘em. They are just irrelevant to me. And maybe we are terrible for a while before it gets better. That’s nothing new to a Cubs fan anyway. The key once you draft all these good players is development. That’s something Houston, Chicago and SD have never seemed to get right.

        • paulcatanese

          Thats not really fair. Before I moved out of Chicago(I lived on the South side) I attended as many White Sox games as the Cub games.
          Even attended some Negro Baseball games at Comiskey, that dosent mean I am not a Cub fan.
          I had freinds that played for the White Sox and enjoyed meeting with them.
          The one thing is, I like Baseball, and in those years I could go to night games (Cubs had no lights).
          Got to see some of the greats play, Dimaggio
          (both brothers) Williams, Boudreau, I dont know how old you are, but dont tell me that if the opportunity arose you wouldnt go to see some of those play. The Yankees were a powerhouse team in those years and as
          long as I could go see teams like that even if it was at Comiskey, I would go.
          I have been thru the years at Wrigley when the upper deck was never open and crowds were under 5000.
          I think the correct analysis you should put out here is we are all Baseball fans that just happen to like the Cubs (The lovable losers) and until that changes, and who knows when, we have all paid our dues and
          can complain anytime we want to.

          • triple

            Paul, I wasn’t trying to come off as if it’s a negative to root for the Sox, as a Cubs fan. I’m in my mid (I guess getting to the uppers) 30′s now. My dad, who grew up in Chicago has always rooted for both teams. He actually saw the Cubs play in the World Series in ’45. He was at the last game when they lost it. He does seem to lean a little to the Cubs side, but I totally get being a fan of both. I don’t have a problem with that. Like I stated, I don’t like or hate the ChiSox. I’m not the “hater” type. I only root for the Cubbies. I don’t even really care about the AL, but if I had to pick a team, it would be the A’s. I don’t know why, but I’ve always felt that way since I was younger. If I had to pick another NL team I would root for the GIants (been to Candlestick (even saw Jamie Moyer pitch for the Cubs there) and Pac Bell…er AT&T park for games and their fan’s passion for their team is contagious)!

            I wish I could have grown up in an earlier era and see all the greats play. Hell, I’m a musician, and my favorite music is Jazz! I always thought that I should’ve been born in the 40′s. Then I could have lived through all the great jazz music, experience the coming of rock and roll, and see baseball when it was pure. Music and baseball are my 2 biggest passions. And the Cubs are my team! I’m actually working on recording a rock album, and am seriously thinking about writing a song about the cubbies, but it’s hard to find the inspiration now when they are this low.

            I grew up in the burbs of Chicago, but haven’t lived there since I moved away for college. My first baseball game was actually at Comisky in ’83. I didn’t totally enjoy it. The next year I was taken to my first Cubs game. Talk about good years to be introduced to those ballparks? I felt right at home in Wrigley and my dad always kept taking me back. Once i was able to drive, my friends and I would drive or take the train to Cubs games. Or we would drive up to County stadium and watch the Brewers play. Our favorites were going to see them play either the WhiteSox or the Indians (my best friend’s team – a transport from Cleveland).

            And lastly, I wasn’t really analyzing what all the fans will do, but I see a large separation between the 2, and don’t think many will change. And yes, you are very correct. We’ve paid our dues and reserve the right to complain. I just hate hearing/reading alot of it, and if this place is filled with pessimism and negativity, I’m not gonna come back very often.

          • paulcatanese

            Thanks for the reply, I also was around for the 45 series, didnt get to go but listened to all the games and hated Hank Greenberg as he destroyed the Cubs in that series.
            The White Sox also financed a semi-pro team that I had played on in the early fifties,and even had the luxury of taking infield at Comiskey. One of the guys that played for the Sox was a person I played against in high school and the other was a teamate on an Army team and later with the Sox.
            Its great that you are a musician as I married one, a classical violinist from Chicago also.
            But have always been a Cub fan since Phil Cavarreta came to them in the late thirties,
            suffer as much as all the other Cub fans do, but there have been better times in the last decade.
            Point, I would hate to see it go back to the days of the fifties when very few fans showed up for the games, and very little support.

          • triple

            Very cool that you played semi-pro ball… and get to actually practice on the Comiskey field! I don’t think the team and fans can turn that sour, unless Ricketts has some really dark agenda, which I don’t think is the case. It sure seems like he wants to build this team the right way, as does Theo. Sure it is unsettling to see where the team is now, especially after how things have run for the last decade, but I think it’s important they just stay the course until they can turn the corner. Even with our severe lack of solid pitching and major offensive woes, I still see some bright spots. It may be 2-3 more years (which really does suck by the way), but as we near the end of next season (about a year from now) we will be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. By then the front office will have seen everything they need to see from our players to know who to go forward with and I think they will become bigger players in free agency to fill holes to get us to compete in 2014. After that season and the end of Soriano’s contract, they should have more money available to fill any other needs in free agency again. As long as they can avoid albatross deals like Z, Sori, A-Ram, and god forbid even considering guys with the makeup of Milton Bradley, they should be fine. You look at that bunch and Soriano is the only one who has the character that it seems Theo would desire. And I like that Theo has stated that the only guys worth big contracts are the ones that still have their prime ahead of them (which goes against the 4 signings mentioned above). So I wouldn’t mind the use of Rickett’s checkbook to sign a big contract to a can’t miss type free agent who is only 25 or 26 instead of 30.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

        Ive been a Cub fan through plenty of bad times, why would any of us actual fans lose interest knowing its for the greater good. There is nothing that could drive me to the South Side just cause they are competing. If thats the kind of fan you are, you can have the Sox, Ill stick with my Cubbies!

      • BosephHeyden

        The problem is a lot of what they’re saying is not really a plausible thing to do in CHICAGO. The Astros, Padres, Pirates, Rays…all those teams could rebuild purely via #1 draft picks because of the fact that they’re teams with low payroll potential (and are usually the less competitive team in their state, meaning that the fans can go elsewhere if their team isn’t doing well to enjoy baseball). Chicago’s a different ball game: besides the fact that the Cubs will always be Chicago’s favored baseball team, Chicago is also a major market team that never fails to at least come close to selling out a good amount of their home games.

        I’m not saying drafting players and trading for prospects is a dumb idea. But to expect they’re going to have a team of 25 homegrown guys is insane…in fact, to think they’ll have a team of 13 homegrown guys is insane. The realistic thing for them to do is get the infield settled in-house (Rizzo, Castro, Vitters or Baez or whoever they decide for third, and either keeping Barney or using Junior Lake), get one or two outfielders settled in-house (Jackson and/or Sczur), and two bench/utility guys (Cardenas and Valbuena). Bullpen development has proven unreliable (they do well in Triple A but get knocked around in the majors) and, while one or two guys might be very reasonable keepers, we’ll at least need to get a closer through free agency if Dolis doesn’t turn things around in a year or two. And, of course, the matter of an ace is also out there (and I’d say, if Dempster doesn’t get traded and then re-sign, a #2 needs to be addressed too).

        The rebuilding process is fine, but it can’t be a complete rebuilding process. If Cubs fans do get a whiff that this is going to be a process of over 5 years, they will (rightfully so) abandon this team and just pray the Bulls field a team that lasts them through until June and get started with the Bears and/or Blackhawks in late July.

      • RynoTiger

        to answer your question Rip, no the Cubbies will not do irreparable damage since there have been terrible Cubs teams before and the fans have been there.
        so the answer is no.

    • cubtex

      How about the job Billy Beane has done this year? Traded Gio Gonzales and Cahill off that staff and are competing this year. Cespedes has been really good and so has Josh Reddick.

      • triple

        Good point! I think that really kind of speaks to the model. You have to be willing to trade some good young prospects to really get more in return. And it doesn’t hurt to have 3 pitchers like Zito, Hudson, and Mulder on their ascension either.

      • paulcatanese

        The A’s made their season this year with the aquisition of Cespedes, so far he has met all
        expectations and then some.
        He was passed over by the Cubs.
        What do I know? I was one of the posters that
        hoped the Cubs wouldnt go after him.
        I guess the Cub front office and I are of the same mentality, we both stink:)

        • Ripsnorter1

          Two things, Paul…..

          1. He was a pig in a poke. A total unknown quantity. How do you throw $35 million into a sack and hope for the best? Especially since we are rebuilding with the draft, not free agency. [Haw haw haw! They signed Concepcion, didn't they? How about Soler? Why, they have signed some Free Agents after all!]

          2. He would never, ever make it here under Team Theo. Do you know he’s walked only 18 times this season? Why, that’s like Starlin Castro! And He is hitting a mere .306, which is a little less than Castro last year (.307).

          Can’t you see that he would not fit the scheme under batting guru Rowson? He doesn’t take enough pitches. He doesn’t walk enough. He’s not doing it “The Cubs’ way.” They would be pressuring him to take more pitches, walk more, stop being aggressive, etc. They’d have him hitting .189 like Castro has been hitting the last month.

          Nope. He couldn’t cut the mustard here. No. No way at all. Uh uh. No.

          • paulcatanese

            One of the problems here Rip is I dont think Rowson is really in charge of hitting per say, think he goes with what Sveum directs him to do.
            Wasnt Sveum a hitting instructor before he came over to the Cubs?
            Obviously one of the reasons Rudy left, they
            conflicted in their approach to hitting.

          • Ripsnorter1

            He was the hitting coach for 2009 and 2010 and 2011.

            SO how did the Brewers fare under Sveum?
            2009…with Fielder, Braun, Weeks,…9th in MLB, 130 runs less than the #1 Yanks.

            2010…12th in MLB….109 runs less than the Yanks

            2011….11th in MLB….154 less than #1 Yanks.

            How about BBs? Hmmmmmm?
            2011…19th in MLB….146 less than #1 Yanks

            2010…#10 in MLB….126 less than #1 Yanks

            2009…#6…53 less than the Yanks.

            Hmmmm. Why the digression from 2009 to 2011?

            And note that the Yanks are very, very good.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Billy Beane made a mistake dealing Gio Gonzalez. He didn’t expect to compete, but Cespedes has been good enough to carry them.

        Which brings us to this: If the Cubs had had enough foresight to acquire a couple of bats, the Cubs would have competed this year.

        • cubtex

          I think it proves that you can rebuild and still compete with the 2 wildcard system now in place.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Exactly.

        • RynoTiger

          actually Rip, you don’t mean “foresight”..you meant if the Cubs had thrown money at a couple of bats they would have competed and gotten the ultimate goal of a World Series
          oh wait..that had been the philosophy for the past 6 years or so…oh wait..0 World Series and little flexibility with payroll with declining production from such financial investments..oopss..I meant “foresight”

    • RynoTiger

      gosh Rip..with this post it sort of seems like your hinting that the Cubs fanbase is fickle and weak
      now for myself, I’m a Cubs fan of 28 years…I don’t think the Cubs fan base will leave in droves like the Astros
      sure there will be some who will display the “demand for immediate gratification” attitude of our society today..and if they choose to leave, then I don’t think they were real Cubs fans to begin with..

      • Ripsnorter1

        The Astros have been around since what, 1962?

        Are their fans fickle for not putting up with a bad product?

  • Ripsnorter1

    Cubs play Pittsburgh tomorrow.

    In the last 25 home games, Pittsburgh is 21-4.

    Pirates have won 6 in a row. They haven’t won 7 in a row since May, 2008.

    McCutchen is hitting .419 at home over the last 25 games.

    Pittsburgh has never had a winning record vs NL Central opponents. Currently they are 21-13 vs NL Central.

    • BosephHeyden

      And it goes without saying that the Cubs have been just awful in Pittsburgh over the past few years.

      • Ripsnorter1

        If Samardzija pitches like Samardzija can, we can beat them. Bedard is not that good. He’s a lousy 5-10 with a 4.55 on a decent Pirates team. He’s junk.

        They wish they had not dumped Maholm.

  • cubtex

    Casey Coleman gave up 9 Runs in 2.2IP yesterday and now Volstad is getting lit up today. These 2 are awful!

    • Ripsnorter1

      They will be your starters if indeed Team Theo deals Dempster and Garza and Maholm.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

        you say “your” like the Cubs arent your team. If youve jumped ship, then go already.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Let’s talk about another Cubs’ player that doesn’t walk enough. I haven’t heard any complaints at all about this guy: Darwin Barney.

    Do you know he’s walked only 18 times this year? Again, he’s down there with Starlin Castro. Rowson needs to be all over this guy. He has an OBP of only .306, and that’s less than Castro’s .307 OBP.

    Castro’s power numbers are WAY DOWN this year. He has only 10 doubles in 397 PA. Last year he got 715 PA and had 36 doubles. He’s on a pace for only 18 2B. Boy, have they got him messed up right now.

    • gary3411

      Or maybe Castro spent the entire offseason at nightclubs instead of working out? We don’t know.

  • Ripsnorter1

    With scoring only 1 run vs the Cards these last three games, the Cubs have now managed to earn last place in MLB in the runs scored category.

    • cubtex

      Josh Vitters with a 3 run HR! Hopefully he will force their hands so we can see him before September.

    • paulcatanese

      As I commented yesterday on the pitcher that the Cubs got from the Red Sox I will also comment on Jeff Beliveau today, thought he looked very good and was impressed, and maybe he has found a spot.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Let’s continue to talk players who do not walk enough:

    Reed Johnson. On a pace for 16 BBs if he had the same number of AB as Barney and Castro.

    Anthony Rizzo. Just THREE walks, folks. On a pace for 12 BBs.

    Tony Campana…on a pace for 18 BB.

    Soriano, for crying out loud, has just 21 BBs all year.

    Clevinger, has only 3 BB in 121 AB. Why, that’s only a projected 8 BB.

    Valbuena is projected to get only 15 BB.

    And Koyie Hill, of all people!, never drew a BB!

    • paulcatanese

      Agree Rip, they do not walk enough, but then could it be that they are such lousy hitters that opposing pitchers see
      no need to pitch around them and just dare Cubs hitters to either swing the bat or get called out on strikes?

      • Ripsnorter1

        Barney has a good line drive rate. You’d probably ruin him to mess with his philosophy. He might improve some over time anyway….

        Campana? Forgetaboutit! Hey, weren’t you shocked that he got an AB Friday? I was totally flabbergasted. That’s only his first official AB since July 3.

        • paulcatanese

          No, I wasnt shocked to see him get a bat, since it didnt mean anything, and he did walk yesterday.
          The meaningless at bats that he gets now do not do anything for him at all but put him in a position to fail, or make a fool of himself.
          He has been out of the lineup for so long that people don’t even know who he is anymore.

  • John_CC

    It’s funny how quite most of you guys are during the 12 – 4 run. You really find glory in the big losses don’t you?

  • Aaron

    Soler just homered

    • http://www.facebook.com/mike.simala Mike Simala

      maybe this guy aint to freakin bad! Is he playin the field tonite?

      • Aaron

        yes RF

    • http://twitter.com/SirGladiator Frankie Newton

      Its always easy to over-react to a single series. We didn’t show up this weekend, maybe it was the constant trade-talk that proved a distraction, maybe its the fact that our new hitting coach is actually worse than our old one, its obviously impossible to judge from a single series. Before this weekend, we had the best record in all of baseball since June 25th, thats almost a full month of being the VERY best team in all of baseball. Think about that a few moments, we are, or were before this weekend, the best team in baseball, and that doesn’t change because of one horrible series.
      There are obvious weaknesses, and they must be addressed. First, we need to stop Colvin-izing LaHair, let him play every day so he can get back to owning like he was earlier this year. Second, let’s get rid of Soto and let Clevenger be the main guy. Once we’ve made those adjustments we can take a serious look at this new hitting coach, obviously he hasnt had the job long, but he’s been pretty miserable. We got rid of the other guy because he sucked, well just because the first guy sucks doesn’t mean the second one can’t suck too. It also doesn’t mean you throw up your hands and give up, like we did with the Closer position. You don’t just say ‘Oh well, I guess we just cant find a good one’ and let the horrible guy stick around, you keep trying new guys until somebody gets the job done, and you don’t stop until you get it right. Thats what we should do with the hitting coach, and with Marmol. Get rid of Marmol, let anybody who hasnt had a chance yet, have a chance at closing. It isnt quite time to fire the hitting coach, but put him on notice that he’s working on borrowed time, we need to get another one in here as soon as possible if this guy can’t get it done, I don’t care if we have to try 5 or 10 different guys, we keep trying them until somebody gets it done, because that’s how you win. The Cardinals didnt win the World Series last year with raw talent, they didn’t have hardly any of that, they won it with a hitting coach named Big Mac, who could turn average hitters into great hitters. Our hitting coaches this year have been taking great hitters and turning them into average (or worse) hitters, that simply has to stop.
      We made a fantastic pickup when we signed Germano, he’s going to be a great replacement for whichever pitcher we trade away first. Hopefully the Dempster trade will only be a rental and we’ll have him back next year, but Germano can fill in for the long haul if we move Garza, he’s quite impressive. Our pitching has mostly been awesome this year, the bullpen has sucked, especially Marmol, but once again, its time to dump him and start the merry-go-round of closers, and not stop it until we find somebody who can actually do the job.
      Let’s just put this series behind us, we were the best team in baseball going in, maybe Oakland passed us this weekend, but who cares, we’re still the best in the National League. Let’s get our act together and show Pittsburg who the REAL best team in the NL Central is! Go Cubs Go!