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By bullpenbrian - April 24, 2009 - 1:09 am 1 comment.


Put this series six feet under. Dropping two of three against the NL’s worst hitting offense speaks for itself.

Reds outscore the Cubs 10-1 in the final two games. Cubs go 5-for-25 with RISP for the entire series.

Chicago gift-wrapped the final two games tossing the ball around like Detroit’s pitching staff in the ’06 World Series. Where’s the PFP from Spring Training???

I say it all the time: DEFENSE MATTERS!

Love Theriot in the two-hole. And, if Fukudome stays on track he’ll get prime RBI chances batting fifth. I like the move.

A veteran ballplayer should know better than to hide from reporters. But, Milton Bradley does what he wants too, good or bad.

Yet, here’s what M.B. doesn’t understand…when you run, the media chases.


No Runs No Win

By bullpenbrian - April 23, 2009 - 12:36 am Leave a comment.


Top third of the Cubs lineup combines for five hits. The middle third leaves eight men on base. As a team, 14 are left stranded, 0-for-4 with RISP. Can’t win if you don’t score.

The sore thumb sticking out is Bradley who went 0-fer with three promising opportunities to drive in runs. Strikeout, ground out, strikeout. He’s now 1-for-23 this season.

Cueto was dealing. Didn’t walk a single batter. He’s just 23-years-old. Good chance he’ll be a pain in the Cubs’ side for a long time.

Thought Lilly looked good, but the guy has no luck against Cincy. He’s now (1-6) lifetime vs. the Reds…(0-5) dating back to last season. Although, he did pitched well enough to earn a win…but no pitcher wins without run support!


Blame Dusty

By bullpenbrian - April 22, 2009 - 12:05 am Leave a comment.


The Cubs starting pitching vs. the Reds starting lineup is a total mismatch. Dusty penciled in six players – all starters – batting (.222) or less. That’s awful.

In turn, Cincy’s lineup was sweet tasting medicine for Harden, who didn’t work from the stretch until the fourth inning. Not to mention, it’s a nice rebound game after his short three inning stay against Colorado.

Theriot is flying under the radar. Two more hits tonight. He’s batting (.409)…and better, holds a (.412 avg.) with two strikes. The guy goes twinkle-toes with his left foot and suddenly becomes a (.400) hitter. He’s batting eighth in the order. Says a lot about the strength of Chicago’s lineup.

Hoffpauir is playing like he belongs on the Cubs’ 25-man roster…that’s a huge mental hurdle for a 29-year-old rookie.


Red Alert

By bullpenbrian - April 21, 2009 - 1:15 am Leave a comment.

Chicago staying with the all blue caps on the road is a good look. Funny thing is, I never particularly liked the red-brimmed road caps until last season…they actually started growing on me.

Cubs say sticking with one cap makes it easier on the equipment managers. Bullpen Brian say$ the tough economy call$ for cut$…good bye road cap$!!!

Side note: when are the Mets going to ditch the use of black on its caps and jerseys? It’s a terrible look, especially the two-toned batting helmets. The whole attire is better left buried with Shea.

The Reds are getting lots of press as one of this season’s IT teams, but they’re not there yet.


Chilly Willy

By bullpenbrian - April 1, 2009 - 12:15 am Leave a comment.

Willy Mo Pena is the definition of a five o’clock hitter.

Two hours before the game the guy smashes baseballs to the moon, but come that first pitch, it’s a if he’s holding a toothpick in the box.

In seven seasons he’s a career .253 hitter with 77 home runs.

Not bad considering he’s never played more than 110 games in a single season.

Problem is, Willy Mo isn’t a situational hitter and his outfield defense is atrocious.

Yet, his 6’3 frame and 215 lbs of muscle have kept scouts celebrating his potential as a legit power-threat for nearly a decade.


Jim Bowden Found Dirty In D.C.

By bullpenbrian - February 23, 2009 - 3:35 pm Leave a comment.

No way Jim Bowden last through Spring Training.

Allegedly, the Nats GM has partaken in illegal scouting practices – specifically, skimming signing bonus money intended for Latin American prospects.

Bowden can whistle ‘white rabbits, white rabbits’ – an old wise tale rehearsed to clear smoke from a camp fire – all he wants, but there’s no escaping the smoke from this fire.

It’s inevitable the Nationals will cut ties with Bowden. He’s dipped into the company’s ink and that’s unforgivable…even in the nation’s capitol. But losing Bowden might be the best move the franchise has made since ditching Montreal.


Seattle Right Move For Junior

By bullpenbrian - February 19, 2009 - 12:45 am Leave a comment.

Seattle just makes sense for Ken Griffey Jr., always has and always will.

The sacrafice of one more year (maybe two?) away from sunny Orlando saves a lifetime of work by Ken.

Had Junior signed with Atlanta it merely becomes a footnote to the season, perhaps, not even news-worthy enough for ESPN’s Bottom Line.

Instead, his signing with Seattle ignites a celebration that begins this weekend with his arrival at Spring Training and will last through September – whether Griffey is healthy or not.

Of course, being away from family comes at a price, but watching Dear Ol’ Dad get his praise should make life away from Florida worth while for the Griffey clan.

Besides, there’s no question Griffey’s return will rejuvenate his career, as it did for a brief time two years ago when he resurfaced at Safeco for the first time since being traded to the Reds.

Better still; the Mariners have an open spot at DH providing Griffey’s tattered legs a fighting chance to stay healthy for a full season.

Who knows, maybe, just maybe, he captivates the baseball world one final time with his towering home runs…giving baseball fans weary of PEDs, steroids and HGH headlines some much needed relief.

Forget about World Championships. Forget about his time on the training table in Cincinnati. This is the way Griffey’s career is suppose to end, and thankfully, Junior sees it that way too.

Jr batting during his return to Safeco in 2007


Dunn’s Passion For Baseball

By bullpenbrian - February 12, 2009 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

Adam Dunn’s passion for the game of baseball has been in question for many years.

He’s often viewed as out of shape and underdeveloped for a player who entered the league in 2001.

Yet, he’s also been voted an All Star, has averaged 40 home runs the past five seasons and most importantly, he’s averaged more than 152 games played per year through seven full seasons.

So, is Dunn passionate about his profession or not?

I think Dunn understands that he’s got it good earning a paycheck to play baseball, but his true passion for the game is still in hiding.

This better explains why the Big Donkey joined the god-awful Washington Nationals (59-102)?

Specifically, they’re two reasons: first off, the Nats paid top-dollar to get him and secondly, D.C. is a perfect sleepy market for Dunn to play his game without coming under fire to lose weight or improve defensively: comments that slowly ate away at Adam’s ego during his final months with Cincinnati.

Considering Dunn’s biggest supporter is GM Jim Bowden and that he’ll be reunited with good buddy Austin Kearns, and you find yourself one – fat, content and underdeveloped -  happy ballplayer.


Griffey & Dunn Together Again?

By bullpenbrian - January 30, 2009 - 12:41 am Leave a comment.

For the next 16 years the Cincinnati Reds own Ken Griffey Jr. $5 million per year, it’s all deferred money from Griffey’s original contract signed with the Reds in 2000.

Still, the sure fire HOF is yet to be signed this off season, a bit surprising considering Griffey isn’t in need of more dough and could be reeled-in on the cheap.

I still believe Junior would have been a better sign for the Cubs than Milton Bradley, but the Cubs’ miss is another club’s opportunity, yet who those teams are is still unclear.

The latest reports out of Griffey’s camp say four teams are interested in him for at least the 2009 season.

Seattle is obviously one of the bidders, but after that it’s anyone’s guess.

What we do know about Griffey is he’d prefer to play closer to his home in Orlando, wants to play for a winner and wants a regular deal, meaning no minor league deal or an invitation to Spring Training.

So, here’s what I’m thinking:

After watching the Red Sox gamble with Brad Penny and John Smoltz it seems reasonable they’d also take a shot on Junior.

Plus, Griffey could fill the void left from Sean Casey’s recent retirement and the Red Sox will again be contenders for a World title.

Tampa Bay appeared to lose interest with Griffey after signing Pat Burrell, but the Rays would be such a solid fit it’s hard to imagine there’s still not an opening for Griff, if for no other reason than location.

Speaking of which, location alone has the Marlins in positioned to be considered as well.

Not only is the location prime for a Griffey signing, but the organization’s strong personnel efficiency typically fields a competitive team.

And should Philly fall into a post World Series let-down the Marlins are sure contenders in the division against the questionable Mets and rebuilding Braves.

Of course, for years the Braves were included in Griffey trade talk but never appeared to be serious.

Although, Atlanta is about a close as Griffey can get to Florida without playing for either the Rays or Marlins.

Lastly, however, is Houston: perhaps close enough to Florida and a likely contender in the NL Central.

Not to mention, there’s still an opportunity for Junior to once again pal up with his good buddy Adam Dunn, an unsigned free-agent and a Houston native to boot.


Don’t Blame Woody

By bullpenbrian - September 7, 2008 - 12:31 am Leave a comment.

  • Sunday September 7th – Great American Ballpark
  • Game (143): Reds 4 – Cubs 3
  • Record (86-57) – 1st place NL Central

The skinny: You’re nuts if you think Kerry Wood blew this game; Ronnie Cedeno’s error – ruled hit- did.

Cedeno says the ball took a tough hop…maybe so, but he’s paid major league bones to make plays on tough hops, especially game-ending double play hops.


My guess is Ronnie keeps Fukudome company in Lou’s dog house the next two weeks.

Unfortunately, it’s a tough break for a guy I’ve been pulling for all season.

In Cedeno’s last 29 games he’s batting 15-for-43 (.348 avg.) and has 5 RBIs in his last six starts.

But, his gaff this afternoon is a deal breaker with Lou…the skipper won’t stand for such plays in September…(ie) see Fukudome.

Topping things off, the Cubs drop the series against the lowly Reds before heading to St. Louis for a three game set.

Believe it or not, the Cubs haven’t lost a rubber match since July 6th at St. Louis, a string of seven games.

Not to mention, the last time Chicago dropped a road rubber match dates all the way back to May 25th at Pittsburgh, some 15 weeks ago.

Sorry, but the remaining series down the stretch won’t come any easier than Cincy…missed opportunity on the Cubs part to feed off Marshall’s solid outing and to extend the division lead.

Back to business Tuesday.

W – Cordero (5-4)

L – Wood (4-4)

  • Notes: The Cubs have lost 7 of its past 8 games, ans 2.5 games on the division lead.
  • Geez, what do ya know, the Cubs’ bullpen allowed 15 runs in 10.1 innings pitched during the series: that’s an ERA hovering at 13.06.
  • Chicago has 19 games remaining.
  • Two cool headlines on milestone markers 456 & 552:

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