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…
WHAT KIND OF WOOD WOULD A WOOD PITCHER PITCH IF A WOOD PITCHER WOULD PITCH WOOD?
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.
MALACHAI? ISAAC? PREACHER BOY? TIME TO HEAD EAST….
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.
JOHN ARGUELLO IS A FRAUD. A SHAM. A MOCKERY. A FRAUDULENT SHAMOCKERY.
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.