Swim out past the breakers. Watch the world die. Dodgers 7 Cubs 6

Rare is the day that a team carrying a 4 game losing streak generates buzz for its next game. But buzz there was when it was reported that Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson were being called up for today’s game. The buzz got louder when word got out that this wasn’t Carrie Muskat being off her meds and seeing faces in her food, this was actually happening. Jackson batted 2nd and started in center. Vitters sat on the bench and watched Luis Valbuena do nothing. They’re hear to stay which means we now have more reasons to watch these games. It also probably means Arguello elbowing me off of a few wraps. Such is life. However, some questionable managing and bullpen that couldn’t find the plate lead to the Cubs losing a heartbreaker 7-6. Cubs had 3 different leads and came back twice. But wound up getting swept as they head down the 5 to San Diego. Let’s examine a little further.

GEEK THE PITCHER.

Justin Germano made his second start and was fairly OK. Germano is pretty much a younger version of Rodrigo Lopez, except without all the hate. Brought in cheaply from an AL team to be a 7th or 8th starter. And his line is admirable. 5.1 innings, 3 hits, 2 ER, no walks and struck out 3. Germano throws several pitches, but none of them extremely well. Still, it’s not like the Cub defenders were saving him at every turn. Our own Tom Loxas got a nice little twitter convo going as to whether Germano would be a nice cheap 5th starter going forward. I don’t think we’re there yet. Ask again in a month. Right now he’s there because someone has to pitch. Let’s see how he does. Today he did well. Although abbreviated because….

YOU ARROGANT ASS, YOU SUNK US!!!!!

Dale had some head scratching moves today. The first was his impulsive decision to go to the bullpen early and often. Why? Germano wasn’t showing any signs of stress. It clearly backfired. While the ump was clearly squeezing young Cabrera, the big C didn’t have command and neither did Scott Maine. And the Cubs wound up walking three, letting in 3 and turning the momentum downward. And they wouldn’t recover. The other puzzler was Castro batting 5th. This not only made the lineup kind of lumpy with three lefties followed by two righties, but asked a scuffling Castro to produce in a more demanding spot. Curiouser and curiouser.

I KNOW SOMETIMES I GO OUT OF MY MIND. BETTER LEAVE IT BEHIND…

But there was a lot of good in today’s game and almost most of it was from the youngsters. Brett Jackson had got two hits and plays that sexy I’m-athletic-so-I-can-play-shallow-and-move=back-on-baseballs center field. This allows Dejesus to play right where he looks more comfortable. Anthony Rizzo had 3 RBI including a home run in the 9th to tie it. “Shake hands with Beef” Wellington Castillo hit a home run. Once Vitters starts playing, the Cubs will have 4 players under the age of 24 in their line-up that makes you smile.

So the Dodgers swept the Cubs. If it’s at all possible to be swept by a team and not be impressed by them, the Dodgers are it. I still see them losing to the Giants and Ned being gas canned at the end of the year. This loss sucks, but it’s not as bad as the last two, and with two interesting exciting kids here for the next 2 months, not to mention a team we can actually beat, I feel better times ahead.

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  • Bring on los padres! (off topic, if we are served up unlimited womens beach volleyball on the olympics, shouldn't the bikinis be required?)

  • Being swept by the dodgers isn't so bad. Anyway to help keep the crapinals out of the playoffs works for me!

  • Rizzo, Castro, Jackson, Vitters, Biaz, Soler......the future looks good.

    Now we need to go draft/trade for good pitching!

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    It would help if our best trading chip actually had a right elbow at this point.

  • IThrewSomeRocks, you just restored my faith in life. When I originally wrote that, I said " Who in the hell is going to get that reference?". Because nobody I knew heard of that album back then. But how many Germano references can you really make? So I figured if one person gets it, it will be totally worth it.

    Anyway, bonus points for the rock thrower.....

  • Is this a Lisa Germano reference on a Cubs blog? What's going on here?

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    Anyone notice that Rizzo isn't the only one who has lowered his hands in his batting stance. I went back and checked video of Jackson from the spring and last year jst to make sure I wasn't seeing things, and while hasn't gone all Eric Davis like Rizzo has, the hands are definitely lower. Anyways, nice debut by the rookie.

  • Man the bullpen was awful today. Frustrating.

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    eff Baker may not be the last player going from the Cubs to the Tigers. According to MLBNR, the Tigers had scouts at the Dodgers series, presumably to watch Soriano. He would certainly be an upgrade over what they have in left-field now both offensively and defensively. So questions beg.

    1. Would Soriano waive his 10 and 5 rights to do to Detroit? Because if not, any possible discussions are moot.

    2. How much of Soriano's contract would the Cubs have to eat versus what they're willing to eat? The answer will have a lot do with whether or not Soriano can even be dealt. It will also have a lot to do with what kind of prospects they get back. Assuming the Cubs are willing to eat a large chunk of the remainder of Soriano's contract, there is every reason to expect the Cubs should receive something more than organizational filler because Soriano is playing so well.

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    If they were there to watch Soriano, one would imagine there has already been general agreement that he would go to Detroit. That has, obviously, bitten the Cubs recently, but Soriano appears to be handling this much better than a certain unnamed pitcher.

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    Here is Soriano on being the last remaining position player from the 2008 team:

    "I feel comfortable here, but everybody's left. I'll see what happens in two months. If I'm going to stay here, I've just got to keep working and play the game the right way. I've got the control, my no-trade clause, but they have control too. They can do whatever they want. I don't want to watch the game. I want to play, whether it's here or somewhere else."

    That quote says all you need to know about Sori's mentality. The bottom line is he wants to play. If I'm Epstein and Hoyer and I don't trade him in August, I'm having a meeting with him and his agent on September first, and I'm telling them how it is, and how it is, in my opinion, is that he should do everything in his power to make himself more tradeable between now and the end of the season, because he isn't going to be the starting left fielder for the Cubs whether he is on the roster or not. I make sure he understands it isn't personal, just business, and I also tell him that I will do everything in my power to get him to a team he wants to go to, but if that isn't possible, he needs to be prepared to sit the bench and be a part time player. If worst comes to worst, I grant him his release before opening day of 2013, and I eat the contract, but he can't be allowed to stand in the way of player development.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    And who is he blocking, in terms of development? The Cubs don't have an exciting young corner outfielder banging on the doors to the big leagues. The Cubs should only trade him if they can get something decent in return, because they aren't going to find someone to put up his numbers without adding to the payroll.

    I didn't get the Germano reference, but I used to enjoy me some Everclear back in the day. I hope Felzz keeps the gig, though I obviously appreciate the work that John and Tom do.

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    In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Exactly right. I don't know who benefits from having $18-19 mil. on the bench. I don't see Soriano blocking any real pieces to our future, certainly noone who is going to have his kind of production or positive influence on the young guys.
    The money owed to him is pretty much a sunk cost at this point. Unless we get real prospects or someone dumb enough to eat most of his salary, there's no benefit to moving him and certainly not cutting him.

  • I'm with you sinister Urge. Sori isn't blocking anybody's path. He isn't in the way of any "player development". If anything, he's been a solid veteran that young player's look up to. He's helping development. If a team wants to acquire him fine. But no that he simply won't be given away, and no that he has a no trade and that there are risks with that. he already made t clear he doesn't want to go to the Giants. And Theo and Jed were complimentary of letting them know early so as not to waste anyone's time or effort.

    I'm pretty sure there's enough posts to keep everyone busy. John's probably putting together a minor league round up as we speak.

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    Listen guys, I'm not down on Sori. He has been solid this year, but keeping Soriano around means someone younger isn't going to get to play, and if Soriano keeps producing, it ultimately affects draft position. I'm of the opinion that, if the Cubs have no realistic chance to make the playoffs, they might as well be playing for draft position, and I don't want any veterans around who might screw that up, unless they're stable ponies for the young colts.

    The only reason to play Sori now is to keep his trade stock up, but if he can't be traded this winter, after the season he is having and the Cubs' supposed willingness to eat most of the contract, then he likely can't be traded at all. That's just reality. No matter what happens, it's a mistake if Soriano is on the Cubs roster on opening day of 2013.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    There is another thing this front office has to consider in regards to Soriano, and that is the upcoming Rule V draft. Soriano needs to be dealt before then because he is taking up a roster spot that the Cubs could use to protect a player who might actually be able to help the Cubs win in a few years.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    who exactly is soriano blocking not named campana? camp is not starter material unfortunately. as far as draft position, are you saying the cubs should field a team in order to lose games?

  • In reply to matt:

    I think they should, yes. It's all about the future. And while he's not blocking anybody's path right now, if you can get something for him, & you should be actively shopping him, then you move him for a piece that can help when the Cubs are ready to contend in 2014/15.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    obviously they should trade soriano if at all possible. that's not even debatable. i was just pointing out the fact that he is not blocking anyone at his position which is true. as far as intentionally fielding a team to lose games. that is not only unethical, but also unrealistic

  • I love Vin Scully, hope he continues to broadcast till the vultures circle, but father time is raping his frontal lobe a bit. About 50 flubs during the series. Sveum was Mike Quade in game 1, and today Wellington Castillo was Wellington Castro and Wellington Cruz. I was waiting for Beef Wellington. But I'm always waiting for Beef Wellington.

    Jackson looked good. I'm looking forward to Vitters getting a start, though I haven't written off Valbuena yet.

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    In reply to Carne Harris:

    Brett knows baseball.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Agreed about Scully. Plus, he never shuts up.

  • Not a Scully fan.

    IMO, he blew the most important call of his career. That's why you hear Jack Buck's call of the Gibson HR so often. It was a hundred times better.

  • At least we all can agree that Brett Jackson looks better with shaved head than long hair.

  • I still am amazed at the difference in Soriano last year to this year. Sveun? Young and old have been more focused. I expect those call ups to play well for him.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Is he still using the lighter bat? I would think that has a lot to do with it if he is.

  • Thanks for the recap; I couldn't follow the game live. But it didn't need a snide remark at Carrie Muskat. She is more competent than many other mainstream reporters.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I think it needed twice as many (and maybe a pantsing immolation combo), so he averaged out about right.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    She hasn't misled us with false rumors and made-up garbage. No need nor reason to be mean-spirited. There are plenty of hacks out there who have misled us with trade "rumors" if you have to pick on somebody (which I don't see the point of either).

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