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Below are a few photos I snapped at Wrigley Field during Wednesday’s game, including the Cubs celebration of Darwin Barney’s thrilling walk-off home run!
You can see more of my Cubs pictures by following me (BullpenBrian) on Instagram & Twitter @bullpenbrian
Three wins in a row. How Sweep it is…
You couldn’t pick a better time for Alfonso Soriano to get hot at the plate.
With the imminent arrival of Anthony Rizzo one month away (June 24) this might be the Cubs best, and only shot, at dealing Soriano if Tom Ricketts is still willing to eat an enormous $40M of Soriano’s remaining $50M dollar contract.
That’s a lot of dough for Ricketts to swallow, but it’s also one of the most important business decision on a laundry list of moves in the name of rebuilding.
Sunday marked the seventh time in Cubs franchise history the team has lost 12-straight games.
Six of the 12 losses on the current streak have been decided by 1-run.
Andrew McCutchen’s comments following the Pirates’ 10-4 win on Sunday speaks to my post regarding the Cubs energy hog.
The Cubs are on the brink of slumping to depths the 2011 team never sank to–losing nine straight games.
Mike Quade’s club lost a season-high eight straight in early June, but also had five more wins at this point last year.
Chicago’s 15 wins ties Minnesota & Colorado for the fewest in baseball. The Cubs .349 winning percentage, however, ranks dead last in the majors.
Granted the Cubs have a lengthy injury list, but the lack of overall talent has been exposed badly in May.
You could circle any number of games during this awful stretch as the season’s low point. But the lineup looked worse than ever Tuesday night.
Is it wrong to think Alfonso Soriano should be the Cubs leadoff hitter?
“Don’t be surprised if Alfonso Soriano ends up in the leadoff spot this season. It won’t happen anytime soon, or necessarily come as a permanent change, but dire circumstances could place Soriano atop the Cubs order once again.”
Dale Sveum is desperate to shake-up his rag-tag offense that’s gone cold during this seven-game losing streak and now ranks 14/16 for runs scored in the National League.
Soriano, however, is one of the few Cubs producing at the plate, hitting .353, 2 HR, 4 RBI during the recent homestand, but is still hitting nowhere near what you expect from a true cleanup hitter.
“This isn’t the end of the world, folks. We know Soriano isn’t the answer at cleanup for the long haul, maybe not even through May.”
Granted Soriano is playing on one healthy leg and can’t steal bases the way Sveum wants to, but Soriano could easily transition to the leadoff role, and by all accounts, would welcome the move.
Alfonso Soriano is holding down the cleanup spot–barely.
Despite leading the team with 6 RBI, Soriano has squandered numerous chances to drive in runs, which, of course, is the main objective of a true No.4 hitter.
Having been at the plate 14 times with RISP, most on the team, he’s delivered but three hits, twice drew a walk and once grounded into a double play.
It’s no wonder all five of the Cubs losses have come by three or fewer runs.
Most notably, however, is the absence of an extra base hit for Soriano–in any situation.
Tom Ricketts found David James “fascinating.”
How does James, a professional and very successful sports prognosticator, work his magic? And how did James size up the Cubs’ chances before the 2011 season?
As usual, James was spot-on during his happen-stance meeting with Ricketts at the 2011 owner’s meeting at Camelback Ranch.
He assured the Cubs newly minted owner that his team, hampered by albatross contracts and underperforming stars, was heading in the wrong direction, destined for a spot near the basement of the NL standings.
A disappointing 91-loss season confirmed James’ prediction.
Of course, any Cubs fan could predict last year’s team wasn’t in line for greatness, but James doesn’t make his name stating the obvious.
I recently interviewed James about his success predicting both the potential success and failures of professional athletes. What is his method, and what’s in store for the Cubs in 2012?
James’ answer to his method wasn’t what I expected–that being some secret formula of statistical calculations. Rather, James focuses his attention on a player’s “it factor.”
So what exactly does that mean?
Don’t be surprised if Alfonso Soriano ends up in the leadoff spot this season.
It won’t happen anytime soon, or necessarily come as a permanent change, but dire circumstances could place Soriano atop the Cubs order once again.