Browsing posts from June, 2011
For the first time this season the Cubs exceeded my expectations.
Winning two games on the recent 10-game road trip was enough to keep Chicago out of the NL Central basement, where last week I predicted they would be as of today.
However, only one win and a mere .027 winning-percentage points separate the Cubs from last place Houston.
But after facing two first place clubs and four 20-game winners on the road trip, a second challenge awaits the Cubs–a seven-game homestand against the division leading Brewers and the New York Yankees.
With the prospect of a winning season long gone, all we have left to enjoy are the smallest of victories. A series win here, a series win there…not letting Albert Pujols win another game in extras…and maybe, a three-game winning streak, which has yet to happen either.
A series win against the Yankees, however, would be a lasting highlight to a dreadful season which has left Cubs fans long in despair.
So, yes, I’m asking the Cubs a favor before its roster is blown to smithereens over the next few weeks…do us right, if for for only three games, but don’t embarrass us against New York this weekend.
Do what it takes to win this series, and do it for the fans.
Batting .305 vs. right-handers.
Batting .235 vs. left-handers.
Has 15 multi-hit games.
Has drawn a walk in 29 of his last 51 games.
Went 10-for-38 (.263) on the recent road trip.
Name that Cub!
It’s a shame if Sean Marshall doesn’t make the NL All Star team.
But snubbing the 28-year-old is a real possibility given no one outside Chicago is paying much attention to the bumbling Cubs.
Marshall, (3-0) with a dazzling 0.95 ERA, has been sensational setting up Carlos Marmol, as was the case Thursday night when Marshall got the win after posting a season high 2.0 innings pitched and improving his scoreless innings streak on the road to 20.0.
At this point it’s hard to call a Cubs’ victory a Big-Win, especially when it snaps an eight-game losing streak.
But Wednesday’s 4-1 win against Cincinnati was just that–at least for Mike Quade and Jim Hendry.
Another loss would have likely set the Cubs on course for an (0-10) road trip given they’re up against Halladay, Lee & Oswalt in Philadelphia this weekend.
So getting this one win is huge, comparatively speaking, to a trip that very well could have turned into a winless nightmare for the manager, GM and ownership.
I feared the worst for Cubs baseball on May 17th during its last trip to Great American Ball Park.
After Mike Quade delivered his tongue-lashing following the club’s disastrous 7-4 loss–another sloppy game in which Chicago surrendered a late inning lead–the Cubs again played flat in Game 2 allowing Cincinnati to score the winning runs courtesy of four Cubs errors.
The gift wrapped series for the Reds dropped Chicago six-games below .500, and essentially spit in the face of its manager.
I quickly issued my second Red Flag of the season. If the Cubs weren’t taking Quade’s message seriously, how on earth would this miserable campaign ever get turned around?
Not surprisingly, it hasn’t.
Although the Cubs can’t seem to win at Great American Ballpark, it’s not all bad news coming from the Queen City.
JB is a childhood friend of mine. We played Little Baseball together and ran amuck getting in all sorts of boyish trouble together.
But it wasn’t until recently JB caught baseball fever, thanks to his soon to be fiancée.
Here’s the rest of the story taken from an email sent to me from JB…
-I wanted to tell you that I got engaged, but more particularly how I got engaged!
You will really like this one, she is a huge Reds fan (and an even bigger Dodgers fan). Anyway, I knew that her dream proposal was to be at a ball game and on the big screen.
I still can’t believe this as she is not a very public person. Needless to say, I would not have done that anyway–not romantic enough for me.
So, I contact Great American Ballpark and was lucky enough to get a reply. I was able to arrange a private tour of the ball park, and the plan was for us to be left alone in the Reds dugout, but as it was under construction we had to settle for the visitor’s dugout.
And it’s there in the dugout I got the chance to propose. However, all she seems to remember…and this is a quote: ‘How many people get to make-out in the dugout at GAB!’
The tour we received from the Reds’ staff was wonderful. We got to see things behind the scenes that I had never seen before and learned plenty of other stuff along the way too. According to her, this was better than what her dream proposal was.
Good man, that JB. And best of luck to you two lovebirds:)
Chicago’s despicable 3-2 loss on Sunday put Cubs fans, including myself, over the edge.
To allow Pujols a second opportunity to win a game, on consecutive days, is unfathomable to me. That just can’t happen.
By the time Albert circled the bases as the winning run, my confidence in Mike Quade sank to a new low. What on earth was the skipper thinking?
Quade’s questionable decision to pitch to Pujols, both Saturday & Sunday, will haunt the manager for a long, long time.
The Cubs will have the worst record in the NL come the end of this 10-game road trip. And that’s acknowledging Houston’s upcoming homestand against St. Louis and Atlanta.
With just 19 quality starts, the fewest in baseball, and a .170 average with RISP over its last eight games, the Cubs have dropped five straight, fallen 10-games below .500 and remain only percentage points ahead of of Houston in the Central’s basement.
The formality of the standings is all that keeps it from being official…Chicago is the National League’s weakest competition.