Two steps behind. Rockies 4 Cubs 3

The Cubs and Rockies continued their less-than-stellar baseball series Saturday afternoon. It was hard to tell whether one team was trying to win or the other team was trying to give the game away. In the end, a missed double play allowed the Rockies to get the go-ahead run and hold on for a 4-3 win. The Cubs got out to a 3-0 lead on the strength of a Brett Jackson 2 run homer. But pinch hitter Josh Rutledge quickly reversed Colorado’s fortunes with a 2 run homer onto Waveland. An Andrew Brown home run would tie it in the 6th. Then in the 7th, former Cub DJ Lemahieu aggressively went from 1st to 3rd on a single to right. Then scored when the Cubs couldn’t convert a 3-6-1 double play.  There was some good. There was some bad. Let’s sift through the ashes.


Well, I for one thought that Brooks Raley got a quick hook. 80 pitches through 5 innings didn’t strike me as overly taxing. (Although only 43 strikes could use some work…). But Dale seemed fine with it in the press conference. Said he had a rested pen and got what he wanted out of his starter. Fair enough. What I like about Raley is his approach. He obviously has a game plan. Every pitch to Cargo was on the outside. Colvin was constantly jammed. (Even had a pitch behind him.). Raley is seeing lots of “situations” and I doubt they’ll try and build any stamina with the season winding down. But Raley should be “in the mix” next year for the Cubs. Corpas came in, Hinshaw pitched, Russell…yada…yada…


After harping over and over how lost the Cubs looked at the plate, the Cubs actually started to approach at bats the way Cubs management wants them to approach at-bats. 25 pitches in the first. Over 20 pitches in each of the next two innings. And a tired rookie gives up a two run homer in the 4th. Yay!!!!!! Nothing has been turned around. Not by a long shot. But it’s nice to point to something done right. More of this please.


Even though he made a terrible play in the field yesterday, DJ Lemahieu has probably been the best player so far in this series. I know, I know, he was 0-4. But he seems to be in the middle of the action. And if you want to videotape his recognition of Jordan Pacheco’s single and the way he put his head down and hauled ass to third and set it as the example that all Cubs base runners must follow, well that would be just swell. I’m sure if DJ Lemahieu had stayed here he’d look every bit as Adrian Cardenas as Adrian Cardenas has. But seeing as how we traded him and Colvin for 3B Jack Squat, it’s fun for at least this weekend, to think how he would have fit in here or at least who was better that we could have traded him for.

So back to back happy wraps just weren’t in the cards today. And they simply might not be. Chris Volstad takes the mound tomorrow in a “now or never” bid to end his winless start streak. And Jhoulys Chacin takes his 1-3 6.16 Era presence out to the mound against him. I’m not going to tell my friends about it, but I’ll be watching. Enjoy your Saturday night.


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  • Makes up for yesterday

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    I think it's worth mentioning that Josh Vitters scolded the ball 3 Times today. Unfortunately right at people but this was the best he's seen the ball yet. Hopefully a sign of things to come.

  • Really nice to see Jackson coming around. I see him as more likely to be a piece for next year than Vitters.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Just when you're ready to write the guy off, he shows you why he's been the top organizational prospect for 2 years. If he could just cut down on strikeouts, he's the idea CF/7 hitter.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    You can see why he's been a good player for most of his career. He does everything well except hit for average. I'll take a 4 tool player with OBP skills in CF. If he can hit .250 and walk at his minor league career rate, I'll be happy given everything else he brings to the table.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Both strike me as starting next season as AAA. The timing of when Jackson and Vitters got called up just screamed to me that the Cubs were trying to replicate what Anthony Rizzo went through to be successful.

    Plus, I'm not sure the Cubs are done trying to make Ian Stewart and Bryan LaHair into trade assets. With how well Colvin and LeMahieu are doing this year, I don't see Theo and Jed just giving up on a pair of left-handed power hitters, albeit ones with some flaws.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    If Jackson continues progressing he won't be going back to Iowa. It's not like they called Jed called Rizzo up last year in San Diego with the hope he'd fail. He made a mistake. Now maybe that's what happens. But if Jackson improves each week, and then has a productive winter, he'll probably come into camp with a chance to lock down the starting job.

    And I don't see Lahair and Stewart being developed into any kind of trade asset either. Lahair is under team control for eons. And Stewart, if he comes back at all, will be on a very friendly deal. What kind of asset do you think either one of them will fetch? A low "A" player...? Maybe? The Cubs have plenty of those.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Even with his wrist issues, Stewart brings an above average glove at third and a power bat. If he can stay healthy and hit for a couple months while Josh Vitters puts the finishing touches on his minor league career, the Cubs might be able to salvage something decent. Who would have thought they could turn Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson into Arodys Vizcaino?

    The team control on LaHair works both ways. Theo and Jed can use that to drive up their asking price for him. Take a team with a super-tight budget like Tampa Bay. If LaHair can hit until mid-June or so, he can be worth grabbing one of their #15-25 prospects, who almost assuredly becomes one of our top 10.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    Well put.

    Agree with everything you say.

    I just wouldn't put it down as Plan A....

  • I like how Sveum says that the bullpen was rested and so he took out Raley early.

    I'll translate: The guys not named Camp and Russell haven't worked a whole lot lately. But I still had to get Camp and Russell in there so I had to take out Raley early to have the innings to give the rested guys.

    It's really insane how much those guys get used.

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    Would like to have seen Raley pitch more too. Made one mistake the whole game.

  • I would have liked to have seen Raley go longer too. But Svuem sounded pleased. And with a Samardzija shut down coming, and god knows what from Volstad, maybe Sveum is saving some extra innings for SePtember...

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    Another step closer to Stanek or Manaea.

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