Woof indeed! Pirates 8 Cubs 4

August officially marks “The dog days of summer”. Old people say the term affectionately. Almost romantically. All too often, the phrase is code for “Get the Bears on the field already.” Well, the Dog days of summer showed up on time, panting, smelly, and ready to go for a walk. The game started off well with Castro parking his 11th homerun into the left field seats and you thought, “ Alright, the Cubs are set to have a good day.” If you had this thought, you were probably too lazy to pull your foot out of your mouth as the bats went silent for the next 7 innings. Shawn Camp decided enough was enough and absolutely soiled the bed- giving up 5 runs in no innings of work. How I have so many thoughts after kind of a nothing game is beyond me. But I do. So… Overture, hit the lights…


Travis Wood showed up without his mullet. This made him look less like Cooter from the “The Dukes of Hazard and more like…. well… Ryan Dempster’s little brother. But Travis rebounded with a nice effort. 5 innings, 2 ER and striking out 6. The second run on silly ass balk. (95% of balks are absolute BS. The umpire is supposed to determine if the pitcher INTENTIONALLY deceived the runner. But Umps look for opportunities to show how important they are.) While the three walks were not ideal, what was encouraging was a re-focus and re-dedication to what works. Use the fastball to setup a sharp breaking pitch. Samardzija went through the same thing. And since these two are the only ones for certain to be in the rotation next year, it’s good to see them working hard to correct their mistakes.


The Twitter verse started to hum pregame that B Jax and Vitters might be called up soon. And I’m thinking….”the sooner the better.” I’ve personally seen all I need to see of Luis Valbuena. Plays good D. But he seems to be reinforcing the path in the grass between home plate and the dugout that Ian Stewart did such a yeoman’s job creating. I know Vitters has his flaws- defense, swing happy. But he has his plusses too. Would like to see ‘em. And wouldn’t a fair assessment be that if Brian Lahair sticks around his role would be that of a Larry Bittner-Brian Daubach utility pinch hitter extraordinaire role? Why not take the last six weeks to get Lahair some PH reps. it’s not a demotion. It’s developing a skill. A skill he’ll eventually need.


OK, I’ve been reading John Arguello’s excellent minor league scout reports all year. I’m sure you have too. If you have, you know that John John gets happy in the pants when talking about Alberto Cabrera’s fastball. “What a fastball…best fastball in the organization. Love this kid’s fastball. Fastball, fastball, fastball.” So Cabrera gets the call to the major leagues. And what does he do? He strikes out Starling Marte and Josh Harrison on 8 killer sliders. 8 hard charging, bat avoiding, see Carlos-this-is-the-slider-you-used-to throw sliders. What Effin fastball are you talking about Arguello? Maybe that’s what Loxas is whispering to John in that cartoon. “Psst. John….That’s not a fastball. That’s a Slider. S-L-I-D-E-R. Slider….” Well, if John isn’t cacked on Scotch and the fastball pops like the slider we saw today, Cabrera might be something other than another one in the Novoa-Stevens-Adams-Caridad chain. (Do you know how many names I could have included in that list? Too many. It’s…kind of disheartening.)

So yeah. Kind of a downer. I think the WGN producer had the right idea. The camera was constantly showing babes in the stands and scenic outdoorsy shots. God knows I need to get outside after that one. Bow wow wow yippy yo yippy yay- the dog days are definitely here.


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  • fb_avatar

    You neglected to mention what a better job the team is doing of playing for draft position.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:


    You do realize the first pick in next year's draft might be the same person they had a chance to draft this year and passed on.....right?

    You do know this.....

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    The # 1 overall pick in baseball's draft is a longer shot to have a successful pro career than those in football or basketball. In baseball it's more about drafting the right players with the picks you do have rather than draft position.

  • Haha! This cracked me up. I knew you'd give me grief about that :)

    That is a good slider, better than he showed last year or this spring. Two out pitches...can't go wrong with that. In my defense, I did say the following in my Cabrera article..

    "The Iowa camera angle is often from above and behind the batters box, so it's difficult to get a good gauge on his slider. What I can see, however, is that batters are missing it, often lunging when it breaks low and away."

    Totally agree though. This isn't your run of the mill call up. He throws hard, but he's not Carpenter or Dolis. He looks like he puts it exactly where he wants to put it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Hey John ... That's some pretty good typing for a guy who's soaking in vat of Jack ... or whatever the hell it was Felzzie said!!!

    Guys asked me about the remainder of the schedule. I figured out that, starting with the 3 game roadie in STL, the Cubs play 49 of the last 59 vs the NL Central.

    So, if we can find a way to pitch Volstad and Coleman enough, we might just catch the Astros!! Oh, and if we keep Valenzuela at 3rd. (wink)

    John, one last ... getting the 7th and 10th best from TX seems like a pretty good deal, given that their farm system is well regarded. Thoughts? And congrats on the most excellent job covering the mania that is the trading deadline.

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    He said "cacked on Scotch." He'll be the first to admit he was quoting the Gospel of Mark there.

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    Haha! I think Felzzy thinks i drink a bottle of scotch everyday.

    I thought the deal was pretty decent under the circumstances. Its a two month rental and both prospects have a chance to be MLB starters, though I don't think they'll be stars. Still, if you get two starters for 2 months of a pitcher, you have to like it.

    And I know we missed out on Delgado, but we may wind up better off with Vizcaino anyway.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    With two plus plus out pitches and if things (control) have actually clicked this year. Would it be insane to try to make a starter next year? I'm sure he has at least 1 more pitch that could just Okay right?

  • In reply to Puma0821:

    This was supposed to go in the Cabrera stream.

  • In reply to Puma0821:

    They tried it. He doesn't sustain the velocity and didn't develop a 3rd pitch. He got lit up last year in that role.

  • John, aside from Roni Torreyes, who is worth watching on Daytona now that Matt Szczur got promoted?

  • In reply to drew:

    Arismendy Alcantara has the skills to be a big league SS. Also the new acquisitions 3B Villanueva and RHP Hendricks. Aside from that, lots of possible role players.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That being said, Alcantara hasnt played since July 11, an injury im guessing?

  • In reply to drew:

    Yes, he got hurt. Not sure what it is, but they called up Timothy Saunders to replace him.

  • fb_avatar

    Anybody catch Theo's interview regarding the trades and dempster/Atlanta situation? It's on the tribune site and I must say it was very refreshing to get the true story from the big man himself.

    Credit to Arguello because while we we're all flaming demp he was optimistic and it turns out John was dead on because what he thought happened was almost exactly what happened.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Thanks Marcel!

  • True that !! Hats off to John, when a lot of us were dissing Dempster, John was the calm, enlightened one . Dempster just needed more time and everything was blown out of proportion.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Thanks Steve!

  • man oh man i love flezz writing. please keep him around for years to come

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    He cracks us up too.

  • In reply to kingpro98:

    Thank you King. That's awfully kind.

  • Going to an ICubs game tomorrow night. Starting pitcher yet to be announced. Anyone to watch for besides BJax Vitters Sappelt and maybe JayJax?

  • Felzz--I'm not sure I want to know the answer to the question in your first sub-header. LOL.

    Man, it seemed that Camp saved up a whole season of suck for his outing today. Hopefully he reverts back to what he was doing earlier this season. He's been one of the few refreshing and unexpected performers this year.

    Count me among those that are ready to see someone else manning 3rd. It might not be a bad thing to see what Vitters has.

  • I got to go to my first Cubs game of the year today with two of my friends. Both are currently High School Baseball players, and both are better known for their pitching. One of them plays for a powerhouse team in Colorado. We sat in section 202, with a point blank view of the bullpen.

    I was talking with them about prospects, and I mentioned something about all of the closing prospects the Cubs have in the upper levels. When I got to Alberto Cabrera's name, I started raving about him (just as this site has brainwashed me to do). I then say "he better be called up in September". A few minutes later my friend is pointing to the pen, "isn't that who you were just talking about, Karp?" We watched Cabrera warm up in awe (in an effort to forget what was happening on the field that inning). His pitches seemed to be gliding to the bullpen catcher, and he was clearly not even throwing his hardest. I dismissed is as the fact that I just hadn't seen a guy pitch up close like that in a while, but boy was that assumption wrong.

    His turn came in a bad situation a la Shawn Camp. From our angle, we couldn't tell whether he was pitching a slide or a curve, but it was clearly effective. Still, I was waiting for him to ring up a heater to 95 or higher. I guess Josh Harrison had the same mindset, because he swung early, and looked foolish doing it.

    Needless to say, my friends were stunned. Who was this guy? Why hadn't they heard of him? My friend from Colorado has become a hybrid fan between the Cubs and Rockies since he moved away 4 years ago, and it was important that he saw something worthwhile. He needs a reason to keep his fandom alive. I think Cabrera did just that.

  • In reply to elusivekarp:

    by the way, the 200 section seats at the end of each line (201-205, 236-240) are easily the best value when buying within 2 weeks of gameday.

  • In reply to elusivekarp:

    He does have some easy heat doesnt, he? That delivery is effortless. The slider was nasty today too.

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