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Browsing posts from July, 2010

So Long Sweet Lou

By bullpenbrian - July 21, 2010 - 1:00 am 2 comments.

Lou was the right man for the job in 2007.
Now he’s leaving at the right time, too.

Of course, we didn’t get the championship or the explosive Lou
of years past, but who won’t miss those classic post-game
press conferences?

The long pauses, the play-by-play of the game and those
all too familiar Lou-isms!

My personal favorites:
–”winning is like a massage, it’s very relaxing.”
–”he’s stroking the ball well, he really is.”
–”I don’t care about feelings.”
–”what can I do?”


Video Of Roy Halladay At Wrigley Field

By bullpenbrian - July 20, 2010 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

Here’s some video I shot from the Skybox On Sheffield Sunday Night.

It’s the pre-game bullpen session of Phillies ace Roy Halladay,
who entered the game riding an 18-consecutive scoreless innings streak!

That ended with the Cubs scoring four runs in the second inning
en route to an 11-6 win.

Halladay took the loss allowing 6 runs (5 earned) in 6-innings.
Soto and Soriano homered off the right-hander, as well.



Give It Up For Tom Gorzelanny!

By bullpenbrian - July 19, 2010 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

Huge series win for the Cubs!
Should’ve been a four-game sweep, but 3-of-4 ain’t bad.

After watching Marmol’s meltdown and Soto’s missed hurried tag on Saturday,
I figured the Cubs would split the series facing Roy Halladay Sunday night.

But who thought Tom Gorzelanny would outduel the Phillies’ ace, who
was riding an 18-consecutive scoreless innings streak!

Gorzo’s made a strong statement since spelling Zambrano in the rotation.
He’s 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA in his last three starts, having allowed
three or fewer runs in 10-of-13 outings, including the last four.
That’s Big-Time!

No question Gorzelanny’s name resurfaces in trade rumors this month.
But the Cubs shouldn’t deal this guy. He’s young, affordable, and a solid
back-of-the-rotation starter. At the very least, he’s more dependable
than Carlos Zambrano.


A Classic Marmol Meltdown

By bullpenbrian - July 18, 2010 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

It’s scary how quickly Carlos Marmol falls apart.
And yet, remarkable how often he escapes his own jams.

The guy’s made an art form out of walking the bags
full, then striking out the side.

But Marmol has to be more efficient and more
accountable than he was Saturday
in the season’s
second half.

Although unlikely, it’s still possible for our Cubbies
to make a little run at the division title.

The starting staff continues to lead the majors in quality
, and the offense is clicking as well as it has all season.

But sustaining aspirations of a second half run means the Cubs
must rely heavily on Marmol to close the door.

Far more than they did in the first half with the closer
getting just six save-opportunities in the Cubs’ last 34-games.

With the clock ticking away on the 2010 season, and the pressure
to win cranked-up, there’s not a better time for Marmol to show he’s legit
closer material…for this season and beyond.


Will Jim Hendry Trade Ted Lilly?

By bullpenbrian - July 17, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

Ted Lilly has two more scheduled starts before the trade deadline.
Both are against Houston–July 21 & 28.

Lilly made it clear in his meeting with Jim Hendry Thursday
that he prefers to stay with Chicago.

If the Cubs keep winning, chances are he stays, at least
through both starts against the Astros.

But if the Cubs revert back to its first-half form, Lilly’s
most likely gone by the end of next week.

The Met are pushing hard for Lilly, followed by Minnesota
and Tampa Bay. All three teams individually have enough
trade pieces to swing the right deal.

No doubt Hendry feels the rope tightening around his neck.
He’ll be desperate to turn any deal that might improve
the Cubs’ chances in 2011, and Lilly’s his most valuable trade bait.

My gut says Hendry will attempt to sell Lilly on the idea of
trading him for prospects, then re-signing him in the offseason.

It’s a risky move for sure, but Hendry’s in no place to be patient.
With two weeks to save his job, re-signing Lilly this winter
is simply an after thought.


Welcome Back, Aramis Ramirez!

By bullpenbrian - July 16, 2010 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

There’s not a more important bat in the Cubs’ lineup than Aramis’.
He’s the best clutch hitter on the team, a proven RBI-man, a guy opponents pitch around.

No surprise, obviously, the Cubs suffered offensively while Aramis
slumped through the first half of the season batting below .200.

Lately, however, Aramis has found his old self at the plate.
He hit .429 during the recent seven-game road trip, including four
home runs and nine-RBI. He drove in four more runs in the Cubs 12-6 win
against Philly Thursday night.

If Aramis stays true to form, we’re looking at a different Cubs
offense than what we saw the first three months of the season.

It’s probably too little too late. But without Aramis’ bat,
our Cubbies have no chance at all!


Joey Votto Disses Marlon Byrd

By bullpenbrian - July 15, 2010 - 10:39 am 3 comments.

I voted 25 times for Joey Votto’s All Star selection.
When that wasn’t enough, I ‘voted Votto’ again in the Fan’s Choice voting.
No way would I let the NL’s first half MVP get left behind…
even if it was a Cincinnati Red and not a Chicago Cub.

But after Votto’s Bush League move Tuesday night,
refusing to congratulate his fellow teammate Marlon Byrd
because he plays for the rival Cubs, I’m through voting Votto for anything…other than ‘Jerk’ of the NL.

“I don’t like the Cubs,” Votto said.
“And I’m not going to pat anybody with a Cubs uniform on the back.
But because he made that really cool play,
it turned out to be a really cool experience.
I’m really glad we got the win today.”

Somebody on the Reds, perhaps a veteran like Scott Rolen,
needs to check this young man. There’s a time and place for division rivalries,
the All Star dugout isn’t one of them.

Votto needed a ton of support just to be in Anaheim.
The National League needed Byrd’s performance to win.
If Votto can’t recognize this, or Byrd, then why vote for the guy in years to come?

No body is asking Votto to like the Cubs.
But acting with a little professionalism wouldn’t hurt either.


Many Thanks Marlon Byrd!

By bullpenbrian - July 14, 2010 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

The Cubs finally have a big-game player!
Too bad Marlon Byrd wasn’t around for the playoff runs in ’07 & ’08.
By the looks of it, he wouldn’t have faltered against Arizona or Los Angeles.

Terrific at-bat against cross-town rival Matt Thornton!
Instead of being overly aggressive, Byrd draws a patient walk.
Then comes around to score a huge insurance run for the NL!

Byrd’s ninth inning spin & throw was the play of the game.
He read the situation perfectly, made a spot-on throw and saved the game.
It’s one of the best plays from a Cub all year!

Hendry took much heat for signing Byrd to a starting position…
and not just from Cubs fans, but from all around baseball.
Byrd, however, has been worth every penny, and then some!


Steinbrenner Vs. LeBron

By bullpenbrian - July 14, 2010 - 12:05 am Leave a comment.

Like so many baseball fans, I disliked George Steinbrenner for one reason–jealousy.

He’s the owner every baseball fan dreams of…a guy fully committed to winning, no matter the money.

By opening his wallet to the game’s best players, the man took a pitiful Yankees
organization to the pinnacle of baseball, and better, he did it year after year.

What other owner can say that? What other owner would you rather have running your organization?

Playing in New York is a huge advantage, but I have no doubt “The Boss” would’ve won championships had he bought the Cleveland Indians, the Kansas City Royals, or even our beloved Cubbies.

And as far as Clevelanders go…I’d take George over LeBron any day!


Cubs Past Records At All-Star Break

By bullpenbrian - July 13, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

The Cubs’ average record at the All Star break since 2000…
(43-45) – 3rd, 6.7GB

Here’s a closer look:

2010: 39-50 – 3rd, 9.5GB
2009: 43-43 – 3rd, 3GB
2008: 57-38 – 1st, +4.5
2007: 44-43 – 2nd, 4.5GB
2006: 34-54 – 5th, 14.5GB
2005: 43-44 – 3rd, 12.5GB
2004: 47-40 – 2nd, 7GB
2003: 47-47 – 3rd, 3GB
2002: 35-51 – 5th, 12.5GB
2001: 51-35 – 1st, +3
2000: 35-51 – 5th, 15.5GB


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