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Browsing posts from March, 2011

Cubs HRs, NCAA Picks & St. Patty’s Day

By bullpenbrian - March 17, 2011 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

1.) When’s the last time that happened?
2.) My NCAA Bracket.
3.) Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

1.) Any idea who hit the last inside-the-park home run for the Cubs? What about the last pinch-hit grand slam for Chicago? Below are the answers to these questions and many more in Chicago Cubs home run history!

-Game-ending Walk-off HR: Aramis, 5.17.10 vs. Colorado
-Pinch HR: Aramis, 8.4.10 vs. Milwaukee
-Grand Slam: Aramis, 10.2.10 vs. Houston
-Three-homer game: Aramis, 7.20.10 vs. Houston
*A small example of why I call Aramis “Mr. MVP.”

-Game-opening HR: Tyler Colvin, 7.24.10 vs. St. Louis
-Pinch-hit Grand Slam: Mike Fontenot, 5.7.10 vs. Cincinnati
-Inside-the-park HR: Geovany Soto, 5.19.08 vs. Houston
-Pitcher to homer: Big Z, 8.30.10 vs. Pittsburgh
-HR in first MLB at-bat: Starlin castro, 5.7.10 vs. Cincinnati

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Castro vs. Jeter, Looper & Young

By bullpenbrian - March 16, 2011 - 12:01 am 1 comment.

1.) Starlin Castro is a young Derek Jeter.
2.) Braden Looper is the best story in Cubs camp.
3.) Michael Young is a Cubs difference maker.

1.) However unfortunate, it’s likely Starlin Castro will never play in 147 postseason games or win five world championships like Derek Jeter. But that doesn’t mean Castro can’t reach the level of the Yankees’ captain.

If healthy, Castro has all the tools necessary to match, if not surpass, the sparkling career statistics of Jeter, a career which I belive is HOF worthy.

Some say Jeter is over-rated, that he’s a product of the Steinbrenner money-machine playing in the game’s largest market. But I’m not one of those people.

To me, Jeter is the ultimate pro, a true leader, and above all else—a winner. He has the stats, the rings and the respect of his peers to back it up. What Derek Jeter means to the Yankees as a player, teammate, and captain is exactly what Starlin Castro should be striving to achieve with the Cubs.

What’s more, while it took Jeter multiply championships to become a true Yankee, Castro needs only one ring with Chicago to become forever a legend.

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New Start For Silva, Bill James & Rich Harden

By bullpenbrian - March 15, 2011 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

1.) Carlos Silva needs a fresh start–with the Cubs.
2.) Bill James’ 2011 projections for Cubs starters.
3.) Rich Harden, Kyle Farnsworth & Corey Patterson.

1.) I get the feeling many Cubs fans have given up on Carlos Silva. No doubt the guy’s had a terrible spring, and he’s done little, if anything, to back up his macho talk since the Cubs Convention in January. With a little more than two weeks until Opening Day, Silva’s gone from competing for a rotation spot to simply competing for a job–in the bullpen. Time to cut your losses, right?

Well, I haven’t given up on Silva as the Cubs’ fifth starter. Sure, he’s been dreadful in Mesa, but the guy showed real promise last year before health issues ended his season early. So does a bad spring mean he’s washed up? I don’t think so.

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Cubs’ 2010 Season By The Numbers

By bullpenbrian - March 14, 2011 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

Here’s a quick review of the Cubs’ 2010 season by the numbers…

-Record by month

April (11-13)
May (13-15)
June (10-16)
July (12-14)
August (10-19)
September (17-9)
October (2-1)

-Water Marks

High: (.500) four times: 4-4, 5-5, 10-10, 13-13
Low: 23 games under twice: 50-73, 51-74

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Should The Cubs Dump Carlos Silva?

By bullpenbrian - March 11, 2011 - 12:01 am 1 comment.
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Spring Stats, Bautista & More Sheen

By bullpenbrian - March 10, 2011 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

1.) Spring stats mean what?
2.) Which current Cub can match Jose Bautista’s 54-HR season?
3.) Results of my Charlie Sheen Cubs Poll.

1.) During my youth I poured over spring training stats. I was giddy with excitement when my favorite players hit well over .400, and felt down when they struggled. But what I soon came to realize, beginning Opening Day, is that spring stats mean very little, if anything. Once the opening bell rings, spring is over and so are the Cactus League statistics.

Consider the following: Marlon Byrd is currently hitting .650. Soriano is at .364 and Bobby Scales tops out at .375. We know that’s not-gonna-happen come April 1.

So what do spring stats mean? Nada. Basically, I’m looking for guys to stay healthy. That’s about it. The real fun begins in less than a month. So do yourself a favor and forget the spring stats sheets–and that includes withholding judgment on Carlos Silva.

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Zambrano, Wood & Maddux

By bullpenbrian - March 9, 2011 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

1.) Zambrano is on the right track, for now.
2.) Which Cub teammate did Kerry Wood fight?
3.) Greg Maddux McNutt.

1.) Cubs fans have had every right to be angered with Carlos Zambrano. Not only did his immaturity squander some of his best years, but it squashed the Cubs’ clubhouse chemistry and regularly embarrassed the organization. All this for $91.5 million bucks?

I’ve been particularly hard on Z, given his dizzying bouts of silly business, to the point where I’d be fine seeing the Cubs trade him. But that doesn’t mean I’m rooting against him, either.

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Burgers, Beck & Preseason Bets

By bullpenbrian - March 8, 2011 - 12:01 am 4 comments.

The Kuma’s Corner of Closers

1.) Why Kuma’s Corner is the Rod Beck of Burgers.
2.) What is Through The Fence Baseball.
3.) Playing Pepper Cubs Style.

1.) I’m convinced the best burgers in Chicago come from Kuma’s Corner. Their delicious meat patties remind me of former Cubs closer Rod Beck: husky, sloppy and good. Monday I went with the Black Sabbath burger–Blackening Spice, Chili, Pepper Jack, Red Onion. Now that’s a burger!

2.) Jamie Shoemaker is the founder of Through The Fence Baseball. It’s a fulfilling site for any seam-head. Jamie also answered a few questions I emailed him about the Cubs and the upcoming season:

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Cubs Spring Stove Report

By bullpenbrian - March 7, 2011 - 12:01 am 1 comment.

1.) How long have the Cubs trained in Mesa, Arizona?
2.) A breakdown of the Cubs’ spring roster.
3.) Short review of the Cubs’ first week of spring games.

1.) Chicago’s held spring camp in Mesa, AZ for 33-consecutive years. That’s the longest active streak in the Cactus League. The Giants have the second longest streak at 31-consecutive years in Scottsdale, AZ. Meanwhile, Detroit tops all lists having called Lakeland, FL home for 66-consecutive years!

2.) The Cubs have 60 players in camp…31 pitchers, 13 infielders, 10 outfielders, six catchers, 21 non-roster invitees and a Partridge in a pear tree.

3.) So far, nine spring games are in the books. Cubs are 3-6 overall, 2-3 at home and 1-3 on the road. After losing five of its first six games, the Cubs have rebounded to win 2-of-3.

Defense was the largest contributing factor for the Cubs’ slow start. The first five games saw 15 miscues. However, the defense has gone errorless in three of its last four contests. The Cubs’ 16-errors are the most in baseball this spring.

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Charlie Sheen Cubs Poll

By bullpenbrian - March 4, 2011 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.
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