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What do the Cubs, with the worst record in MLB, gain by sitting Bryan LaHair vs. left-handed pitching?
The Cubs are (4-17) against southpaws. Their .221 avg. against left-handers ranks 15/16 in the National League.
Jeff Baker, who often serves as LaHair’s replacement against lefties, is hitting .228, 1 HR & 5 RBI against left-handers–not exactly tearing it up.
LaHair’s not hitting left-handed pitching any better (.086, 1 HR & 1 RBI), and he never will without an opportunity to prove otherwise.
Post updated June 30 to include Paul Maholm’s walk issued against opposing pitcher Bud Norris yesterday afternoon. Ahh!
I’ve had it watching the Cubs staff walk the opposing pitchers.
It happened three times during the Mets series: once by Randy Wells on Tuesday and twice by Jeff Samardzija on Wednesday. Paul Maholm joined the party Friday afternoon against Houston walking opposing pitcher Bud Norris.
The Cubs have walked an opposing pitcher nine times this season. NINE TIMES!
That’s the second worst mark in the majors only behind the Braves, who’ve issued 10 free passes to opposing pitchers.
Atlanta, however, actually has a run-scoring offense and a record 5-games above .500. In theory, they can overcome such a bone-headed mistake.
But when you’re the Cubs, where run support appears a foreign language to the lineup, walking an opposing pitcher is intolerable.
The only positive I could draw upon while walking away from Wrigley Field Wednesday afternoon was the nice weather–87-degrees and sunny.
I mean, what positives are there after a 17-1 drubbing against the Mets? Here’s the short answer: there are none.
The real kicker, however, was the Cubs lone run scored despite a continuous breeze blowing straight out to centerfield. That’s unheard of under such conditions.
Everyone knows the first order of business upon entering Wrigley is checking the centerfield flags–then comes the Vienna beef hot dogs and Old Style.
For once the Cubs actually had a timely win.
Not the kind with huge implications in the win/loss column, those are nice too, but the kind of victory that feels right in the moment.
A timely victory entails winning on Opening Day, winning on national television, winning the cross-town series, winning when the lights are brightest.
It’s the keen awareness to understand that big moment or special occasion and deliver the best possible gift any fan in attendance could hope for—seeing the home team win.
It’s been awhile since that’s happened on the North Side, which is why a 5-3 win against the Mets was just what the organization and its fans needed on the evening Anthony Rizzo made his Cubs debut.
It was something to root for, something exciting, a reminder of what Cubs baseball should truly be all about: good times, good memories–a good win.
Travis Wood’s faced three-straight former Cy Young Award winners.
For good measure, you can make it four former Cy Youngs he’s faced in his last five trips to the mound: Barry Zito (’02), Justin Verlander (’11), Jake Peavy (’07) & Johan Santana (’04-’06).
I mean, talk about your run of tough luck!
Yet Wood’s pitched exceptionally well posting a quality start in all four outings, including two wins with hardly any run support.
I’ve offered to host a hot-debate between two @BullpenBrian Twitter followers.
The matter at hand is whether or not Jim Hendry should have traded 5-prospects for Matt Garza on January 8, 2011. (Hak-Ju Lee, Chris Archer, Robinson Chirinos, Sam Fuld & Brandon Guyer).
Below is a summary of each case. Please vote to determine the winner. May the best case win.
Court’s now in session:
My head could explode from the Cubs’ lack of execution in the Arizona series.
Chicago played like a team expecting to lose, as they did, getting swept in three straight games while being outscored 21-7.
The Cubs failed on countless occasions to manufacture runs. They didn’t move runners over, they didn’t hit with RISP (3-for-25) and the biggest clutch hit came off the bat of Paul Maholm–a pitcher for heaven’s sake.
The fielding was nearly as poor. The pitching, not much better. It was Quade-ball all over again. It was embarrassing.
If there was any drive to win, any want from this team, it didn’t show collectively the past three games–and that’s a problem.