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Browsing posts from May, 2011

Quade’s tinkering with lineup

By bullpenbrian - May 16, 2011 - 4:56 pm Leave a comment.

Mike Quade is not about to stop tinkering with his lineup.

Cubs have played 37 game. Quade has used 30 different lineups.

“We don’t have a set lineup. We have a set cleanup hitter and that’s it, ” Quade said.

“I’m not at the point of Lou yet,” Quade said with a chuckle. “Give me another week or two. I love this. I like the opportunity to explain why. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s all good.”

Hey, maybe it’s time to start using a set lineup?

After all…nothing else seems to work!


Name That Cub!

By bullpenbrian - May 16, 2011 - 1:01 am Leave a comment.

Batting .289 during month of May.
Has reached base safely in 10 straight games.
Drawn a walk in five straight games.
And reached base safely in 26 of his 31 starts.
His 22 walks lead the club.
Has three bunts for hits.
Name that Cub!


Minor cure for Tyler Colvin

By bullpenbrian - May 16, 2011 - 12:50 am Leave a comment.

Cubs may have minor cure for Tyler Colvin’s major issues.

I said it Saturday. Mike Quade said it Sunday. Tyler Colvin needs playing time.

But now the Cubs are talking about shipping Colvin off to the minors?

Why, why, why?

Is there truely no place for Colvin in the everyday lineup?

Not a single opening on a team that can’t score runs? Not one, maybe two, days a week the kid could start? Seriously, we’re sending Colvin to the minors?

Listen, I know Colvin has struggled offensively this season. But give the guy a chance. He earned his playing time last year and made a good go of it.

So why on earth demote the guy? Oh, because Reed Johnson is having a hot-run. C’mon.

Tyler Colvin is…and should be…the future of this club. Not Sori, not Marlon not Fukudome…and definitely not Carlos Pena.

Moving Colvin to Iowa is on course for the Cubs most ill advised move all season (although topping multiply starts from James Russell will be hard to best).

The Cubs won’t play any better without him, and Colvin’s confidence is sure to crash in Iowa with a thud.

Don’t do it, Mike. Just let the kid play. Who knows, he might just drive in a run.


Little help here? Billingsley’s 1-hit loss

By bullpenbrian - May 15, 2011 - 11:44 pm Leave a comment.

Billingsley joins list of pitchers to lose 1-hit game.

According to the AP, it’s the first time since a 1914 game against the Chicago Cubs that the Dodgers have lost a game despite only giving up one hit to the opposition.


Where’s Tyler Colvin?

By bullpenbrian - May 15, 2011 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

I don’t understand how Mike Quade can’t find at-bats for Tyler Colvin.

What has Soriano, Byrd or Fukudome done to intrenched themselves as everyday starters?

What has Carlos Pena done to deserve an everyday spot at 1B?

That’s four spots on an everyday lineup that’s utterly futile with RISP…and Quade can’t find playing time for his 25-year-old stud riding the pine?

Granted, Colvin was miserable offensively through April. But I’ll argue he couldn’t be any worse in the clutch than the current lineup.

The kid won’t break his slump watching from the dugout, either. Tyler needs to play…more often, if not everyday.

Watching Colvin sit makes me equally frustrated as watching James Russell being thrust into the starting rotation.

These are no-brainer decisions that are costing the Cubs wins…and steadily questioning my confidence in Mike Quade.


Mr. Cubs Race!

By bullpenbrian - May 14, 2011 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.


Cardinals Find A Way

By bullpenbrian - May 13, 2011 - 12:30 am Leave a comment.

Cards pound Cubs 9-1 to take series.

St. Louis finds a way…
16 hits, 6-for-16 with RISP.
No Berkman, no Theriot no problem.
Jamie Garcia improves to (5-0), ERA 1.89.
He’s one of the most over-looked pitchers in MLB.

Another dreadful day offensively for Chicago.
1-for-9 with RISP.
7 of 9 hits for singles.
No HR with wind blowing out.
Where’s the power…?
And why can’t this team score runs?
For what it’s worth, Marlon Byrd extended his hitting streak to 13-games.

Cubs continue to slip…
Five games back with June around the corner.
Cubs are 2-10 in the final game of a series.
Worse…2-6 in rubber games.

Defending champs are in town over the weekend.
Giants have won six straight…and didn’t need more than four runs per game to do it.

Bumgarner (0-5) goes Friday vs. Dempster (1-4).
Might be the Cubs best shot at a win.
Vogelsong (2-0) on Sat. & Lincecum (enough said) on Sunday.
Cubs counter with Doug Davis & Zambrano.


“It’s like, ‘Who do you love more? Your mom or your dad?” -Ryan Theriot


Samardzija’s Streak Over

By bullpenbrian - May 12, 2011 - 1:00 am Leave a comment.

Jeff Samardzija wasn’t himself Wednesday night, or was he?

It’s tough to tell given his tale of two stories this season: one as a pitcher who’s been plain awful, and the other as a pitcher who’s been plain brilliant.

So what exactly is Samardizija?

Is he the hot-mess from early April with an ERA of 7.50…or the pitcher who went 14-consecutive scoreless innings before allowing three runs to the Cardinals?

Right about the time I blasted Samardzija, saying he’d be off the Cubs’ roster by June, the kid turns un-hittable lowering his ERA to 2.33 entering Wednesday’s game.

Obviously, I can’t figure the guy out, but I’m thrilled with his short-term success, nonetheless.

A solid bullpen is critical to the Cubs’ chances at the division, especially for a team that lacks offensive run production.

If the ‘good’ Samardzija keeps showing up, and we all hope he does, the Cubs’ bullpen remains a saving grace.

Otherwise, the Cubs will certainly suffer in the standing…and determining Samardzija’s trade value will be one of many issues Jim Hendry must sort through come late July.


Difference Between Cubs & Cards

By bullpenbrian - May 11, 2011 - 1:01 am 1 comment.

There’s a reoccurring theme between the Cubs & Cardinals.

It has nothing to do with any rivalry, but everything to do with defining the success of St. Louis and the drudgery of Chicago.

The St. Louis Cardinals always find a way. They’ve done it successfully for years, this season being no exception.

Just consider that St.Louis lost Adam Wainwright before the season. Shortly after, they lost starting second baseman, Skip Schumaker, followed by starting third baseman, David Freese.

If that wasn’t enough, the Opening Day closer, Ryan Franklin, was bombed so hard even the well-mannered hometown crowd booed him off the field and into the dog house.

The rest of the bullpen stinks as much and, even Tony La Russa can’t escape the plight–he’s sidelined with Shingles.

You compound all this with a winless Chris Carpenter heading into Tuesday’s game and tell me how in the heck St. Louis is a first place team?

Given all the setbacks you wouldn’t expect much from these guys, right?

But as always, St.Louis is back atop the division. They hit with RISP, they get timely outs…they find a way.

The Cubs also find a way…to lose. Chicago has equal, if not greater talent, on its roster than St. Louis. But to no avail…no timely hits, no timely outs, no will to win against its fiercest rival.

I know, we’ve heard it all before, Cubs fans. The Cards are great. The Cubs stink. But the simple truth remains…the Cards find a way where Chicago doesn’t.

It pains me to say it as much as it pains me to watch it. The Cubs haven’t not just found a way…they’ve seemingly lost it, as well.


Low Temps Bring Low Attendance

By bullpenbrian - May 11, 2011 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

I walked past Wrigley this evening and thought: my gosh, what a beautiful night for baseball–67-degrees, light breeze, a deep red sunset over left field.

That thought, of course, is the first of its kind during this Chicago spring. A spring in which, mind you, a good day means temperatures above 40-degrees and scattered showers opposed to thunderstorms.

Granted, we didn’t suffer through the wrath of our neighbors to the south in Alabama and Mississippi, but in baseball terms, our Chicago spring has been nothing short of dreadful.

However, be it for just 24-hours, it truly felt like May weather today. The temperature reached 90-degrees by afternoon marking the earliest date the city has reached 90 in 31 years. I’d say we were due…like the Cubs with men on base…only Mother Nature actually delivers.


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