Cubs v. Dodgers, Live Blog

  • Sunday, May 31, 2009 3:17 PM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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It's Marshall v. Milton.

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Getting Fired Up: Lessons from Zambrano

  • Thursday, May 28, 2009 1:48 PM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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As any baseball fan that even casually perused the newspaper today will tell you, in the midst of a stellar pitching performance last night, Carlos Zambrano went berserk and verbally assaulted the home umpire. Zambrano, showcasing excellent command and control over the ball, demonstrated that his control extended no further than the trajectory of the ball when he completely lost it over a call at the plate. After throwing a semi-wild pitch (it's been scored as a wild pitch, but I was in attendance and that ball should have been snapped up by our ace catcher and reigning rookie of the year Geovany Soto) Nyjer Morgan made a break for home. Zambrano scuttled over to the plate and applied the tag just a nano-second after Morgan's outstretched fingers graced the corner of home. Carlson, the home plate ump, correctly called Morgan safe, sending Z into a tirade the likes of which we haven't seen since that fateful day in 07' when he punched out Michael Barrett in the dugout. For a better review of Big Z's explosions over the years check out Paul Sullivan's article from this morning in the tribune.

The result of the tantrum? Z has been handed a six game suspension and as such will miss just one start, all things considered, it could have been a lot worse. With Dempster punching the gatorade dispenser, Bradley bumping umps and Zambrano throwing equipment this Cubs team is fired up and that's exactly what we need right?

I've been perusing blog posts about this stuff all day and there seems to be a strong contingent that believe that emotional flare is exactly what this team needs to pull itself out of the mediocrity we seem to already be reacquainting ourselves with. Zambrano's theatrics, although often quite pricey, considering not only his current suspension but also the fact that when his emotions run high it frequently negatively impacts his pitching, are undoubtedly quite useful in smaller doses. Consider if Zambrano harnessed this energy and shared it with the team. Think back to days of high school or even junior high when you played for a team. Weren't there a few individuals that always provided that spark right before game time? Teammates with that glint in their eyes, the ones that spoke up at halftime when the chips were down.

I think that players with an excess of emotion, like the three I mentioned earlier need to view their intensity as a tool to be wielded for the good of the team. I wrote a few weeks ago about the danger of nonchalance on the diamond; harnessing this energy and transforming it into focus will all but erase lackluster play.

That's all well and good but this isn't going to solve the problem of what happens when a extremely close play drives a Cub over the edge, right? Well, no, but think about it like this. Generally when one of our guys gets really upset about something it's because we absolutely need the call to go our way, yesterday Morgan's run tied the game at 2 a piece in the 7th. It is simple. Winning teams, like the Cubs last year, and the Cubs in a few months this year are much less likely to be in these situations. If, for example the Cubs were pounding the Pirates, 8-1, as should have been the case considering the potential strength of our lineup and rotation, I guarantee Zambrano would have stopped himself pre-blow up and realized "meh, they can have that one."

Anywho, whatever it is the Cubs need, I hope they find it and soon. Maybe Jake Fox will be the catalyst we need ...

--- Charlie

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Skid Marks

  • Tuesday, May 26, 2009 8:41 AM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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The Cubs lost their eighth straight Monday, which dropped them into dangerous territory. No World Series champ this decade endured a losing streak longer than eight. The 2006 Cardinals actually had two eight-game skids, one in June and another that bridged July and August.

The Cardinals, though, never trailed in the NL Central by more than three games. The Cubs have fallen five back and have the Cardinals and the Reds between them and the Brewers.

This circumstance --- eight-game nosedive and a five-game deficit --- is not favorable, but the wild card can be an equalizer. Here is a look at the champs this decade, their longest losing streak and biggest deficit:

2008 Phillies: Lost six in a row in June. Biggest deficit was 3.5 games on Sept. 10.

2007 Red Sox: Boston had three different four-game losing streaks. They never trailed by more than a game and that was the first two weeks of the season.

2006 Cardinals: We already documented the Cardinals' situation. Here's the footnote: St. Louis finished with 83 wins, which ranked 13th in MLB but was good enough to win the division.

2005 White Sox: They had a seven-game swoon in August but they never had to play catch-up in the standings.

2004 Red Sox: There was a five-game stumble in the beginning of May. The Red Sox claimed the wild card en route to Reversing the Curse.

2003 Marlins: Florida had two six-game slides, both coming in May. The Marlins changed managers, won the wild card and we won't go into further details.

2002 Angels: They had a six-game streak in April, which had them playing for the wild card early.

2001 Diamondbacks: When they lost five straight in July, four were to pitchers on top of their game: Oswalt, Mulder, Hudson and Zito. Biggest deficit was 3.5 in mid-April.

2000 Yankees: The Bombers closed out the regular season with seven straight losses, which was part of a 2-13 finish. They were three games back in late June. --- Triple Cheesebuger.

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Horrible Road Trip Finally Over

  • Sunday, May 24, 2009 6:42 PM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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In their latest road trip the Cubs managed to play some horrendous baseball. I am not one to miss or turn off games, but a few were literally un-watchable. Straight up unbearable. Painful. Whatever horrible adjectives you can think of, that describes the Cubs latest road trip.

The Friendly Blogfines has a wrap up of the road trip, calling it "the worst road trip in Cubs history" While this may be hyperbole, when broken down the numbers really are horrendous.

A few low lights (from The Friendly Blogfines):

5 total runs scored. That's less than 1 run scored per game for those of you that may struggle with math or can't believe what you just read. A .160 batting average.

A .074 batting average with runners in scoring position.

6 extra-base hits. Derrek Lee had 7 of the 30 total hits, and didn't even play in the last game(illness). So take out his hits, and the team has 23 hits over that span, which is less than 4 hits per game.

33 runners left on base, including 13 in Friday's game at San Diego where they didn't score a run. Alfonso Soriano and Ryan Theriot are the 1-2 hitters in the lineup. On this road trip, they went 4 for 45, with no walks, 1 extra-base hit(Theriot double), no runs batted in, and 12 strikeouts.

If every time you reached 3rd base rather than home plate counted as a run, they still would've only scored 11 runs. That's less than 2 times per game they got to 3rd base.

As a Cubs fan, I'm really at a loss. How do I make sense of this disastrous road trip? Well, we can be glad that this didn't happen in September. We can also remember that the Cubs next face the Pirates at home. Hopefully, we can beat up on them and get our confidence back. I've been pretty optimistic all season about our talent, especially when it comes to our offense, but after this pitiful road trip I am extremely confused. The passion and optimism that got the Cubs off to such a hot start, has now evaporated. How do we get it back? Hopefully, with a few solid games they can recapture that optimistic spirit. All of those people who have those "believe" bracelets on, don't take them off quite yet. But, if you did take them off after these last 7 games, I understand.

And Lou--This is on you to get your team out of this rut. I hope you can do it. Your smugness makes me nervous. There is a fine line between being confident and over-confident. Think of it as a tight-rope, with under-confident on one end and over-confident on the other. Lou needs to keep his team nestled in the middle, balancing on that confidence rope. Let's be honest, Lou may be a statistician and know the game, but he doesn't seem to have mastered team psychology. He may be able to tinker with a line-up extremely well, but dealing with a intense fan culture, crazy personalities, and a seven game losing streak is a whole different ball game. I'm officially nervous about the rest of the Cubs season. Are you?

--- Daniel.

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Swept Under the Rug

  • Thursday, May 21, 2009 5:40 PM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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This series with the Cardinals has not been pleasant to watch. The Cubs got swept for the first time this year, and boy, was it ugly. And, to add insult to injury, the series was boring. A total of 10 runs were scored, with the Cubs only scoring 2.

In the simplest terms possible (for all you blog skimmers): Cubs score 2 runs in 3 games, Cardinals play extremely good baseball.

Now for the important question, what does this all mean? Well, I don't know for sure, but here are few thoughts, broken down into pros and cons.

Pros:

1) Cubs Pitching. On the blog thus far we have been harping on the Cubs pitching, especially the bullpen. One of the few pros from this series is that the Cubs staff only gave up 8 total runs. I'll take that over any three-game stretch. Also, Guzman pitched great in relief tonight. He seems like he could add to the bullpen in a productive way.

2) Fukudome. He was the only Cubs player to hit decently this series, continuing on his extremely hot start. Right now it is as if the baseballs he sees are the size of beach balls. He is making it look real easy. Fukudome, you are officially back in my good graces after last year's second-half meltdown. Just promise you won't do it again.

3) For once, the bullpen is not to blame. In this season that has been marred by inconsistency thus far, the bullpen was always an easy scapegoat. Now we have the offense to blame! This is especially good for the casual Cubs fan. When talking about this series around the water cooler, instead of having to remember the name of Neil Cotts or Marmol, you can talk about Soriano-- you know, that guy with the big smile that you always see on TV.



Cons:

1) Cubs Offense. Well, this is pretty obvious. Only scoring 2 runs in 3 games means that there is a problem with your offense. Maybe it is just because I was a psychology major in college, but I really feel like many of the hitting woes this series can be combatted utilizing psychology. The entire team needs to approach every at-bat as if they are going to get a hit. They have lost their confidence. This is why hitting slumps are vicious -- you need confidence to hit, but you only gain confidence from hitting. It is the same thing as the guy who can't get a girlfriend because of his lack of confidence, but cruelly, they only thing that will give him the confidence he needs to be attractive is some success with girls.

How do we fix this problem (the Cubs' hitting problem, not the girlfriend-less guys confidence problem)? Piniella needs to tell his team to focus on what they can control. For example: Getting a good at-bat each time they go to the plate.

2) The Cardinals are better than anyone expected. Yes, even better than that drunk German guy at that bar in St. Louis who thought they may give the Cubs a run. Honestly, after watching this series, if they pitch this well through the rest of the year, I have no idea who will beat them. This does not bode well for the Cubs winning the NL Central, but then again, the Cardinals can't pitch this well in every series. I hope.

The Cubs need to get out of this funk. More than anything, they need to get away from Chicago media who are talking about this team as if they are the biggest disappointment in Cubs history. After 101 years of losing, you think they would lay off a little. How about some positive reinforcement? But then again, it's easier to be heard in the sports media world when you are yelling and angry. This is known as the Jim Rome approach, and he has his own TV show. I do not.

The good news is that the Padres are under .500 and may be the perfect confidence boost, and the weather in San Diego is beautiful this time of year. The Cubs need a vacation, and a three-game series against the Padres in May might be just that.

Funny thing I thought about during the game tonight:

What if Adam Wainwright and Rufus Wainwright were related?



--- Daniel.

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The 2009 Cubs Have a Plan to Shock the World

  • Monday, May 18, 2009 11:52 AM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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The Cubs split their series with Houston yesterday. Some blogs, namely, Another Cubs Blog, think that this is unacceptable. What's more, for Another Cub's blog, splitting a series with Houston reflects a season that has no potential -- and a Cubs team that will not be a playoff contender.

I'm not so sure. Yes, splitting a series with Houston is not exactly the best of scenarios, but I don't think it means that we should give up on the rest of the season. It's not even the All-Star break. Everyone just needs to calm down and hope that the Cubs will peak at the right time. Now, I know that historically this isn't so likely, but there is something about this team that makes me think we haven't seen all that they can do.

Over the past couple of seasons, the Cubs have peaked too early, and failed to take momentum into the playoffs. Maybe this average start thus far is actually a blessing in disguise, and the Cubs will peak later in the summer, taking the right momentum in to the playoffs. While a great start is important, a cohesive team with confidence yields the kind of fall success that the Cubs want. Yes, you just read that sentence right, I am slightly upbeat. I'd rather have a team with potential than a team who peaks too early.

One of the best storylines in all of sports revolves around the team who starts off slow, then comes together to change history and shock the world. That's the story-line I'd like to see from the 2009 Cubs, and although it may not be pretty to watch, the plot thus far is unfolding perfectly. --- Daniel.

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Healthy Ham For Zam

  • Monday, May 18, 2009 11:51 AM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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Even though their five-game winning streak went down the tubes, the Cubs had reason to be upbeat on Sunday. Carlos Zambrano emerged from his Class-A rehab start with a thumbs-up from the medical staff. This pegs Zambrano's return to the rotation for Friday against the Padres.

Zambrano wasn't on top of his game Sunday with four earned runs in 3 2/3 innings. But this was his first game since May 3 when he pulled his hammy trying to leg out a bunt. The operative phrase from Zambrano was "no pain" (which is what Rocky's corner kept yelling at him as he was getting jackhammered by Ivan Drago).

Zambrano's return gives the Cubs a nice problem. They will need to make a roster move when they activate him from the DL. The Cubs promoted Randy Wells from the minors when Zambrano got hurt. Wells hasn't figured in the decision in either of his games, but he has worked 11 scoreless innings. Based on what Lou Piniella has said, the call on Wells won't be a matter of staying or going back to the minors. It's whether Wells stays in the rotation or gets shifted to the bullpen.

Wells was on the verge of earning his first Major League win Saturday until the bullpen, namely Kevin Gregg, imploded in the ninth inning against the Astros. There's no doubt Wells will get that victory if he keeps pitching this way. But we don't know when his next start will be with Sean Marshall penciled in for the series finale Thursday against the Cardinals and Zambrano for Friday. --- Triple Cheeseburger.

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Strange Injuries Continue

  • Tuesday, May 12, 2009 12:04 PM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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After playing 20 straight games without a day off, the Cubs finally got to take a much-needed break yesterday. Our boys came close to getting swept by the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend, but they got their only win in the series, 4-2, Sunday afternoon. For once, the reason the Cubs lost wasn’t the messy bullpen. Strange and serious injuries came at the expense of Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Freel and Chad Fox.

The Cubs lost Ramirez early in Friday’s game when a diving catch in the third inning dislocated his left shoulder, the same injury that forced him to miss six weeks in 2000. At the moment, the Chicago Tribune says he’ll be out for a similar period of time. It has already been an injury-plagued spring, and the newly-acquired ex-Oriole Ryan Freel joined Ramirez on this weekend’s injury report. Before he even had a chance to step onto the field in a Cubs uniform, Freel was ruled out for Saturday’s game with a tight left hamstring. Freel did return for Sunday’s win against the Brewers and get a hit for his only at-bat of the game.

Finally, Chad Fox left the game with an injury to his right elbow after pitching to only one batter in the eighth inning. And these three injuries are in addition to the losses of Derrek Lee, who got an MRI for a neck injury, and Carlos Zambrano, who is out with a strained left hamstring. Spring has not been treating us Cubs fans well so far. Thank goodness we have the Blackhawks.

In better news, tonight’s game against the San Diego Padres is NU Day at Wrigley Field. Thousands of students from nearby Northwestern University will be in attendance and one lucky student is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Wildcats football coach Pat Fitzgerald will also be in attendance and he’ll be singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch. Let’s hope his singing voice is better than Denise Richards. No one deserves to listen to that again.

And if you’re like the majority of Northwestern students and are attending tonight’s game for the first time, here’s a nice guide to hot spots around Wrigleyville to hit before, during and after the game. Check it out, grab some grub and settle down in the bleachers as the Cubs are sure to play well against a weak San Diego Padres team. --- Katie Tang

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Team Assessment, One Month In

  • Saturday, May 9, 2009 6:28 AM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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The Chicago Cubs were extremely hyped this year, picked to take the National League (Sports Ilustrated). A few ESPN writers even picked them to win the World Series.

One month into the season, are the Cubs living up to these high expectations?

Well, sitting right around .500 does not seem to be a World Series type pace, and the word "inconsistent" best describes the Cubs’ season thus far.

Starting Pitching: Our starting pitching has been decent, and a few outstanding performances come to mind. First, Ted Lilly’s lights-out performance on May 2 against the Marlins, where he struck out 10 over eight innings. Or how about Harden’s strong six innings against the Cardinals on April 26? And of course, in arguably the most memorable pitching outing thus far, Big Z pitched seven gorgeous innings and was one hit shy of becoming the first ever pitcher to hit for the cycle against the Astros on April 28. Now, these are the positive outings. The list of negative outings is equally as long, but not as fun to write about, and not as memorable, as I have tried extremely hard to repress them all.

Bottom Line: Our starting lineup has been dazzling at points and horrendous at others. Big Z, Lilly, Harden and Dempster have all shown promise, if they can stay healthy I feel pretty good about our starting rotation.

Offense: Our offense has had some spectacular nights and it really feels like it is possible for us to score 10 runs every single night. Injuries have stifled us a little recently, but it seems that as one big time hitter sits, another source of power emerges. Theriot, Fukudome, Soriano and Hoffpauir have been especially great thus far. Hopefully, Kosuke won’t have a second-half meltdown like last season. Hoffpauir is emerging nicely and seems like a wonderful replacement for the slowly decaying D-Lee.

Bottom Line: We have the offensive firepower to challenge the best in the National League, and it has been one of this season’s high points. Keep in mind, however, that it is still extremely early, and who knows what will happen as the season progresses.

Bullpen: Every time someone from the bullpen is called up, I literally break out in a cold sweat (attractive, right?). When the seventh inning comes around I am expecting the worst, ready to go home furious, dejected, and usually a little bitter. Watching the Cubs’ bullpen blow a save is a bit like watching a horribly awkward scene in a movie—you know it’s going to turn out badly, but you watch anyway. In the movie however, the awkwardness is usually resolved, unfortunately the bullpen blowing a save does not generally have a sugar coated ending.

Gregg, who was touted as a future Hall of Fame closer by some, has been shaky at best. Marmol has also been decent, but consistent bullpen pitching has been harder to find than a dentist at candy store thus far. A strong bullpen, or at the very least a great closer, is necessary if we want to make a run deep into October.

Bottom Line: Gregg has the Gagne glasses and looks the part of the intimidating closer, but just doesn’t seem to be getting the job done.

A month in, while at times shaky, the Cubs seem to be showing a passion that was definitely missing last season. Call me crazy, but I am going to give some credit to Milton Bradley for playing with an intensity and ferocity that seems to be contagious. To be fair, playing with passion and purpose is easy at the beginning of a season, and extremely difficult at the end. Hopefully, the Cubs will keep hitting well, improve their bullpen, and play with a fire that reflects the passion of their fan base. --- Daniel.

Manny's Suspension Overshadows Every Baseball Story, Including Cubs' Game

  • Thursday, May 7, 2009 3:11 PM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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So, Ted Lilly is facing off against Russ Ortiz and the Astros right now, but it's hard to pay attention to the game when Manny's positive drug test has overshadowed every other baseball story today.

Good things about Manny's suspension (if you're a Cubs fan):

1. Slightly alleviates the sting from last year's playoff thrashing at the hands of the Dodgers. We now have a something else to blame, besides our own poor play!

2. Relativism: As injury prone as many of our big time players are (I'm looking at you Milton Bradley), the 15-day DL is nowhere near as bad as 50 games.

3. When it comes out that Manny tested positive for weed and not HGH (you heard it here first), drunks everywhere (Wrigleyville included) will have another excuse to judge a lazy stoner.

In any case, as I write this, the Cubs are down one in the top of the 3rd inning. So, let's try and focus on the game and not think about "Manny being Manny." If you would like to however, here is a great Manny moment, where he plays translator; dude could work at the UN:



--- Daniel.

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When Giving 100% Isn't the Right Move...

  • Monday, May 4, 2009 2:09 PM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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Zambrano is a work horse but do we need him to be more careful?

In an earlier post i commented: "I cannot stand when I see my beloved cubbies not sprinting into first base on every single ground ball. I don't care if 95% of the time it's going to be an out, there is no excuse for not hoofing it." Upon further pontification, mostly spurred by yesterday's unfortunate incident, I've found myself wrestling with a difficult question: Is there ever a situation in which it is better for a club if a player does not push himself too hard when running to 1st base?

In regards to yesterday's game, I'm not sure I'm happy with the idea of Carlos bunting in the first place. Big Z is one of the those players that will always change the landscape of a game, not only as one of the best pitchers in the league but also as, one of, if not the best, hitting pitchers. I mean for crying out loud, we've got a 2 time silver slugger award winning with a '08 BA of .337, that's just nasty, he shouldn't be bunting. Something tells me it wasn't Lou or Sinatro who signaled for Z to bunt. Doesn't really seem like an appropriate play call for a man of his...oh let's say carriage.

Anyway, he did it, and it was beautiful. Had he not put that extra hamstring-yanking oomph into his gait there is a good chance we wouldn't have had men on for the D-lee crank that followed. Or maybe we would have had less than bases loaded, which would have resulted in a hr of lesser magnitude. With the sloppiness of the bullpen we might have lost that game. So...was it worth it?

It pains me to say this but stepping into Lou's stinky shoes, I'm leaning towards no. Sure, as soon as the bunt was down and there was an off chance of him being safe he better be doing all he can to make it happen, but I'd hope that the ace of my staff, a man that I cannot go without would know better than to put himself in a situation where he is in danger of injuring himself. Additionally, while for some pitchers it would be ok to leg out it out at breakneck speed to 1st, Zambrano's build doesn't seem like it is designed for this sort of exertion and sure enough his hammie disagreed.

Anyway, I'll have to rethink my policy on sprinting to 1st base with pitchers and other potentially non-athletic ball players. What do you think cubs nation?

On a side note: remember the days when all your favorite sluggers were fatsos: Tony Gwyn, Cecil Fielder, Albert Belle, John Kruk, Kirby Pucket, Mo Vaughn, etc.

--- Charlie

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Rating the Cubs' fantasy value

  • Sunday, May 3, 2009 3:43 PM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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Here's a quick little breakdown of the fantasy value I feel the Cubs' starting lineup has at this point in the season:

Aramis Ramirez: A-

Aramis might be the Cubs' best fantasy player. .352/.386/.574? Yeah, I'll take him on my team. He's played in less games than other players in the lineup, but expect those HR numbers to jump up and the average to dip. Still, one of the premiere hitting 3B in the league.

Alfonso Soriano: B+

He's come back down to Earth recently, but Fons is still a great hitter and provides a fantasy lineup with a great blend of speed and power, which is invaluable when trying to account for SBs and HRs.

Kosuke Fukudome: A

Whether he can keep up his ridiculous .329/.462/.575 remains to be seen (probably not), but at this point, he should be in every single person's starting lineup who owns him in their league.

Derek Lee: C-

Abfus had a post about D-Lee a week ago, but he's in trouble. Maybe he'll pick things up, but without the power numbers and a terrible BA, Lee is going to be hurting lineups. He's definitely hurting the Cubs' right now.

Ryan Theriot: B

I have some reservations about his ability to maintain his fantasy value throughout the entire season, but at this point, he should be getting plenty of PT in the fantasy realm. And Grand Slams definitely don't hurt his cause.

Mike Fontenot: C+

Not a bad guy to plug in for favorable match-ups if your league can be changed day-to-day. The average isn't great, but 4 HRs and an OBP over .350 makes Font a guy worth having on your bench.

Geovany Soto: C-

Injury problems make Soto tough to grade, but when he's been in, he hasn't done much at the plate to make him a good option. I do expect that to pick up though, so nobody should get too carried away and drop him right now.

Milton Bradley: F

Milton has been a non-factor for the Cubs so far. I heard a Cubs fan say this week that if they don't win the World Series this year, they'll blame it on Milton. Somewhere, a goat is smiling.

Aaron Miles: D-

Not worth your trouble.

Next week: Cubs' pitchers. Stay tuned. -Gotty

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Theriot Comes Up Big, Cubs Still Inconsistent

  • Saturday, May 2, 2009 6:12 AM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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Well, Theriot came up big last night, crushing his first career grand slam to give the Cubs a huge win. In negative news, Harden pitched horribly, giving up five runs and six hits with four walks in 3 2-3 innings. Cubs fan booed Rich as if he was a dentist at a candy factory.

I love that Theriot got the grand slam because he is such an unlikely source of power. After the game, Theriot explained that he took Lou's advice and attempted to start pulling the ball, rather than just making contact. It seems to have worked. Maybe Theriot will become a new power source for the Cubs? If Soriano, A-Ram, Bradley, Hoffpauir, and D-Lee are fossil fuels, maybe Theriot can be some wind power? "Clean" Coal?

While this grand slam was a nice little distraction, i'm still worried about the Cubs consistency. On Thursday, Charlie wrote about how we are like a see-saw, going back and forth between wins and losses. Depending on your level of optimism, this either means that the Cubs should be winning every game and are not playing to up to their potential, or should be losing most games and are merely winning based on luck. A month into the season, we don't know how good the Cubs are, we've had glimpses of their potential greatness and flashes of ineptness that would confuse any fan or baseball analyst.

Hopefully, as this month progresses we'll get a better sense of this team, and whether we can expect greatness or disappointment down the road. What do you think?

Here are some links to some more Cubs fan analysis. Be sure to watch the game today that begins in an hour.

From Sharapova's Thigh: Denise Richards sang the 7th inning stretch yesterday at Wrigley. Here is some video of the event. Hot, crazy, or both?



Baseball Prospectus wonders if Harden is hurt or merely gassed, as his velocity yesterday was significantly down.

Bleed Cubby Blue has a great recap of yesterday's game.

Enjoy your Saturday and Go Cubs!

--- Daniel.

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We win one, we lose one, we win one, we lose one

  • Thursday, April 30, 2009 2:50 PM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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At least we're not losing every game by 10 runs. On the contrary, it seems that every other night we're in the zone, cranking out some major base knocks and throwing fire. Seriously, let's take a look at this phenomenon.

It all began on Saturday, when the Cubbies stunk it up against the hated Cards, allowing eight and failing to muster more than two runs ... L

Then, as if the day before had never happened the Cubs' bats came alive, clobbering everything in sight and putting the Cards away 10 to 3 ... W

Monday, the Cubs looked just awful. Dan Haren pitched a complete game leaving the Cubs reeling and wondering where power from the day before had gone ... L

Tuesday, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the men in blue played one of the their best games this season marshaled by a masterful performance from Zambrano from the rubber and the plate ... W

Wednesday, yikes, truly a low point. There are few things worse than being shut out. If a guy like Lincecum shuts you out, tip your hat and get ready for tomorrow. But when an aging Doug Davis does it, you shouldn't be able to look at your own reflection ... L

Considering the pattern here, the Cubs should not only win tonight they should absolutely dominate. On the odd day when the Cubs are dealing, just plain watch out, because we aren't just winning, we are destroying teams.

--- Charlie

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Offensive Firepower is a Beautiful Thing

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2009 5:50 AM
  • Written By: Cubs Diaries

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The Cubs dominated last night dulling the Diamondbacks, with an 11-3 win. Soriano and Zambrano played absurdly well, with Soriano one triple away from the cycle. Zambrano pitched 7 and homered as well. It was one of those games that made you wonder, what if we played like this every night. Well, the long and short of it is, we'd win every game. Unfortunately, we're not playing the Diamondbacks everyday and Zambrano can't pitch for us every night.

The Cubs face off against the Diamondbacks tonight with Dempster taking on an oldie but a goodie, Doug Davis. Davis is what some like to call a "junkballer", loosely translated as an old dude who lost his pitching velocity and didn't take steroids, so now he's extra crafty. Hopefully the Cubs will smack Davis' junk out of the park tonight (see what I did there?).

Here are some links to get you caught up on your Cubs news for the day, if my intricate and in-depth analysis does not satiate your appetite for Chicago Cubs news.

Developing story on the possibility of A-Ram going to the DL: Wax Paper Beer Cup

Al, from Bleed Cubby Blue has an impassioned rant: Triples are hard to hit! Seriously, that's his rant. Love Al, but come on buddy, that's more of a bone to pick than rant don't you think?

Enjoy your day, and let's hope the Cubs can keep this offensive firepower going! --- Daniel.

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