Rambling While Wondering, Can It Get Worse?

Hello again everybody, and welcome to another Friday filled with Ramblings for the Faithful.  The four weeks of the season have been an outright disaster, and unless Ernie and Billy walk through that door sometime soon, it does not have much promise of improving.

It is not as if you don’t know, but hopefully the next 20 bullets points or so can sum it up quite nicely.

  • Jeff Samardzija is 1-4 with a 3.03 ERA and a 1.1 WHIP.  That is 4-1 on over half of the other teams in baseball.
  • Just think about it.  The guy could end the season with a 2.93 ERA and be 6-17.  I mean, it is extremely possible at this time.
  • The Cubs offensive team stats look something like this: 28th in team OBP, 27th in Runs, 26th in Batting Average
  • I mean, we don’t even have to get into the sabermetrics here – these numbers are downright pathetic.
  • The Cubs gave up 5 runs total during regular time in the three games in Cincinnati, and lost two of those.
  • The Cubs starters are 2nd in ERA in all of Major League Baseball.   The Cubs are 7-14.
  • S-E-C-O-N-D!!!  In all of Baseball.  It almost doesn’t make sense.  It this close (my thumb an index finger appear as if they are touching) to not making sense, and then … then
  • Bowden, Marmol, Camp, Marmol, Marmol …
  • The Cubs bullpen is ranked 25th in ERA.  Combine that with a horrific offense, and you have what appears to be one of the worst teams in the League.
  • Marmol is 2-1 with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP. Those are some of the most deceiving stats I have ever seen.  I am not a huge sabermetrics guy, but this, right here, is why they must be taken into consideration on a regular basis.
  • The Cubs leader in Wins: Carlos Marmol.
  • Carlos Villanueva has started four games, pitched 29.1 innings and has an ERA of 1.53.  Naturally, he is 1-0.  Again, put him on another team, and he is 4-0.
  • And for the bashers, Villanueva appears to be a great pickup by McThoyer.  For the defenders, it’s only four starts.  But those were four great starts.
  • When do baseball teams normally score runs?  I would say it happens a lot when you have runners in scoring position.  Makes sense, right?
  • So, then this flows naturally … the Cubs have a .140 batting average with RISP.  Wow.  That is simply unreal.
  • In comparison, the St. Louis Cardinals have a .349 batting average with RISP.
  • I think Juan Pierre just stole another base.  Too bad he spent most of 2006 popping out weakly to the left fielder.
  • Speaking of popping out, what is with Rizzo popping out to the third baseman in foul territory multiple times this season?  It has happened to the point where I have noticed it …
  • Remember when I mentioned the Cubs Starting Pitchers had the second-best ERA in all of baseball.  Yea, they have a combined 3-11 record.  It is just friggin’ mind-boggling.  It makes my head hurt.  It also makes my heart hurt.
  • I will try to end with a happy note, one of the few … my apologies to James Russell.  I used to poke fun at the guy, and he has become a heck of a pitcher.  He has taken over for Sean Marshall nicely.  However, we would have won two World Series if we never traded Marshall, right? :)
  • My apologies for the final sentence, but I couldn’t help myself.  Enjoy your respective Fridays, enjoy the NFL draft if that is your thing, and get yourself some beautiful Spring weather this weekend.

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

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  • triple

    Maybe somebody has spiked my drink, but I think the Cubs can turn it around. There’s enough little signs of good things, that when (if) the law of averages turn in the Cubs favor, maybe they start looking like a decent team… Maybe try this line up:

    DeJesus
    Valbuena
    Schierhotlz
    Castro
    Rizzo
    Soriano
    Castillo
    Barney

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

      I agree. With starting pitching this good we should be better. Some of the hitting problems I believe will get better. If Rizzo and Castro both heat up and a few others start doing a little better we could win some games.

      • paulcatanese

        As you say, the starting pitching has been spectacular, but how to justify that it will continue is a mystery.
        I really don’t think Garza coming back will help the staff, unfortunately I believe he has become an injury after injury type player. Had great hopes for him, but it doesn’t seem it will happen.
        The Cubs have seen bright spots with
        Schierholtz ( I believe he will keep it up)
        and Valbuena ,(who will keep Stewart on the bench). And Castillo as well . Castro will continue to hit but is a very bad choice for batting cleanup, I don’t believe he has fared well when he hits in that spot, he is a good hitter, but not consistant with his at bats, too many soft hits and not enough power, and believe his strikeouts went thru the roof. Just have to wait and see with this bunch.

        • triple

          I know Castro doen’t really suit the cleanup spot, but I just like the idea of getting our 3 highest OBP guys up at the top of the order with our best hitter behind them. If those guys get on base, it would be some pressure on opposing pitchers. And the way Schierholtz has played so far, it couldn’t hurt to have him batting 3rd.

          • paulcatanese

            That’s a good choice, Schierholtz
            has performed well to this point.
            With Castro, I am still scratching
            my head thinking for the spot in the lineup where he would be best.
            Can’t recall off the top whether or not Castro was the best in the 5/6 spot.
            I do know number 2 in the order suits him with Dejesus leading off, as he will get the pitches to hit since Dejesus is not a threat to steal as was Campana and 1b would be occupied making them pitch to Castro.
            When Campana led off he was negated because
            it being held from stealing

          • paulcatanese

            Post kept coming off. Campana stealing with Castro behind him was often stopped to give Castro the opportunity to swing the bat,that was self destructive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

    To answer the question, it can always get worse. Here’s hoping it doesn’t.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Can it get worse? Of course it can! This is the Chicago Cubs!

    The Cubs will not continue to have the 2nd best starting staff in all of baseball. They are currently pitching way, way over their heads.

    Particularly, Scott Feldman is Chris Volstad, Act II. He makes all the mistakes of Volstad. You know, “he pitched a good game except for the 4th inning….he forgot to cover 1st base. If not for that, we would have…should have…could have won…

    Travis Wood cannot sustain this level of performance. Does anyone think he’ll have a 2.08 ERA in September? Lay off of the Kool-Aid.

    While Carlos Villanueva is a decent signing, he’s about a 10-14 game winner on a decent team. He’s not going to have a 1.53 ERA in September.

    Edwin Jackson is worse that Maholm, and his 4.76 ERA may even be higher in September.

    And just wait until Garza comes back. He’ll help you remember that you are watching the Chicago Cubs.

    • Ray Ray

      Carlos Villanueva will be a good trade chip if he has can pitch well for another month and a half. We are all seeing why Edwin Jackson has never gotten a lot of love from other teams. Teams never wanted to invest more than 1 year in this guy and now we have him for 4. Ugggghhhh.

      • DWalker

        yeah, that one is going to haunt for a while. 4 years was a bad signing

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

          No no-trade clause though.

          • Ripsnorter1

            When a player is way over paid, a no-trade clause is unnecessary.

    • 07GreyDigger

      How about Paul Maholm? Do you really think he’s still going to be leading the league in ERA come September?

      • Ripsnorter1

        No, I do not. I do expect him to repeat last year’s performance, plus about 10% improvement since he’s on a better team.

        Let me translate that for you: 15 wins.

        • 07GreyDigger

          Wins are arbitrary. Put Felix Hernandez on a good team and he’d post 20 wins. Any of the current Cubs starters should have 2-3 wins easy.

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

      C’mon rip, you’re basically saying everything going well for us will turn bad. Well using the same logic some things going bad should get better. Could you ever point some of those out?

      • paulcatanese

        Couldn’t let it pass, we now have Carlos Pena wearing Rizzo’s uniform and playing first base for the Cubs:)

        • Ripsnorter1

          Rizzo is struggling due to Mr. Dale Sveum’s coaching.

          Let’s extend Sveum now to keep Team Theo intact!

          • paulcatanese

            Right, and do you get the feeling that we are watching the “Keystone Cops” out there?
            Nothing seems to flow like it should.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Why didn’t he struggle from Mr. Dale Sveum’s coaching when he came up last here?

          • Ripsnorter1

            You didn’t read the article yesterday I posted from Keith Law. Sveum changed Rizzo’s hand position this ST. See yesterday’s post.

            Click here and read it:
            http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2013/04/no-support-for-samardzija-cubs-0-reds-1.php#.UXrnpKLAup8

        • SuzyS

          At $ 10 million less per season.
          Rizzo WILL be better…just not now.

      • Ripsnorter1

        It’s true: some of the bad things will improve. For example, Marmol is already improving.

  • redlarczykg

    Good to see David Cales pitching again in Daytona.
    Bad to see Rizzo batting .140 against right-handers and hitting only .100 with men on base.

  • Ray Ray

    Hey a good day in Chicago sports last night. Bulls won.Cubs won. Bears made a good draft pick……Well 2 out of 3 isn’t bad. lol

    RIP posted a good article on how Rizzo has changed his swing this year. Another 0-4 with 3 K’s last night. How long can they continue with him struggling like this? If this lasts much longer they seriously have to consider sending him down to AAA. He needs to go back to last years swing and try and get in a groove again. Baseball is not an easy game and Rizzo has a long way to go still to establish himself as a regular everyday 1st baseman.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Bears’ draft pick: another GM who cannot draft!

      It is going to be many more years before the Bears make the playoffs.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Man. You just hate everybody.

    • Tom U

      For anyone on Twitter, the Onion Sports Network had “so funny it will make you cry” coverage of yesterday’s NFL draft.

      Onion Sports Network ‏@OnionSports

  • Ray Ray

    Gordan Wittenmyer wrote that the Cubs will likely draft Appel or Gray. I am OK with that. Take the best college pitcher available.

    • John_CC

      Definitely. Appel will be pitching in MLB next season. Gray might need a year of seasoning. Either way, they have to one of the two.

  • cc002600

    Good ramble by Brian…while the offense and bullpen have been brutal as he pointed out, he forgot to mention how bad our defense has been too…I think we are leading league in errors if not mistaken. Unreal.

  • texcubnut

    Let’s see if I can put this succinctly…….We have one of the very best rotations in all of baseball that will keep games exciting and close for the first 6 or 7 innings and than we turn the last two or three innings over to one of the worst bullpens. one of the worst defenses and one of the worst hitting teams in baseball in terms of OBP and RISP. Bottom line……We are going to lose a lot more games than we win……A LOT!!!

  • daverj

    Rizzo’s BABIP is very, very low. He is (and will be) fine. Small sample size here.

    The real problems are the defense, the bullpen and the below average production from 2B, 3B and left field. Having Barney back regularly should help, but we still need better production from 3B and Soriano.

  • daverj

    Brian – What do you not like about Sabermetrics as part of player evaluation? The underlying skill stats tell us a lot more than Batting Average, Runs Home Runs and Steals … and RBIs are an almost worthless stat for player evaluation.

  • paulcatanese

    On the bright side, the game will be televised on WGN
    tonight, on the dark side, I wish I had a black and white TV. To look at that stadium In color will be horrible, the colors of the place has to be one of the worst I have ever seen. Lime green in all its glory.

    • Dorasaga

      Wrigley “stadium” was still fresh and clean, six years ago, the last time I was there. Yankees (old) stadium was already crumbling by then. It’s a shame a lot had gone wrong the last five years. You just can tell, when the owner before were hasty to pull out and sell, spending little to none on details and maintenance to keep Wrigley as it should be… Well, it never would be. *sigh*

      I guess a World Series will never come with this stadium.

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  • Andy

    What if Heaven is a never ending Cubs winning streak?