By the time I get to Arizona... Cubs 7 D-backs 2

By the time I get to Arizona... Cubs 7 D-backs 2

The Cubs avoided going O’fer the NL West on the road with a 7-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was a win that consisted of gutty starting pitching, strong bullpen work, and timely hitting. It was also the kind of win that made you scream “why couldn’t you do that a couple more times during the year?” But while going 1-18 on the road against the NL west is naked-in-gym-class levels of embarrassing, not getting the donut ( MmmMmMMm Donuts…Ghghjgjjhlll…) is relieving.  Diamondback manager Kirk Gibson decided to lift the biggest mustachioed man in the majors, Josh Collmenter. With Tyler Graham. Rizzo and Soriano greeted him with singles and Castro would get on with an error to load the bases. Luis Valbuena would strike out with the bases loaded YET AGAIN, drawing praise from his manager and probably getting moved to third in the batting order for the rest of the season. But pinch hitter Dave Sappelt would tie the game with an infield single and Tony Recker would give the Cubs the lead by getting hit by a pitch. Hey, whatever works. Brian Lahair would single in two more runs before deciding to run into the fielder with the ball. Kim Dejesus’ husband sealed it off with a dinger in the 9th.  Let’s head out on the highway and look for some adventure…




Good on Chris Rusin to overcome some early problems and keep the Cubs in it. Spotted a one run lead, Rusin got in trouble in the 1st, loading the bases. Luis Valbuena would over run a ground ball and with the catcher out of position, Justin Upton would score from second base on a ball that went all of 45 feet. Usually this would unsettle a pitcher but Rusin buckled down, got out of the inning, and kept Arizona in lockdown. 5 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) while striking out 4. Rusin only threw 68 pitches, so it’s fairly obvious that before Rusin ever came up, the game plan was for him to throw 5 innings max. Rusin is all but headed to Iowa next year, unless he converts to the house of LOOGY-ism. But he ended on a good note. Bowden-Russell-Camp- Marmol were stellar in relief.




Kind of funny to watch Gibson and Sveum play chess in the 6th inning for the win. Gibson made 3 pitching changes in the inning, even though Mr. Mustache was pitching just fine. But Sveum forced his hand and went to Sappelt to replace Brett Jackson. Thus getting the effective reliever (if you call striking out Luis Valbuena with the bases loaded effective. I mean, so many pitchers have done it…) out of the game. Nice to see that even in the dying days of one of the worst seasons ever, Sveum still has his head in the game and knows when to go for it. It will be interesting to see him manage a team with talent.




I don’t think there’s a place for Anthony Recker on the 2013 Cubs, but I like the cut of his jib. And with all apologies to Bob Brenly’s kid, the Cubs could use some catching depth. Hopefully, he sticks around, goes to Iowa, and can improve enough that he can fill in for 15-day stretches and maybe develop a little more. He’s been a modest surprise and after watching Koy-I-e Hill, Blake Lalli and an army of bad catching, Recker’s even keel audition was fine by me.


So that’s the last road game. Valhalla, I am coming. 3 winnable games against the Astros to avoid 100 losses, which is kind of silly- it’s just a round number after all. As a heads up, I will say that I’m watching the Bears with my brother tomorrow night. So at best you’ll get a half drunk paragraph or two so there’s at least a thread for discussion. And Tuesday and Wednesday I’m indulging in two “theme” oriented wraps. I hope for a sweep to end it. But something tells me they might get stung once and the army of stupid can wail about 100 losses as if it’s any worse than 99.  But I’m happy to write about a win on the road.


Homeland in two hours…


Box score.



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  • Can't take this, Thursday morning will check ESPN reverse
    standings and hope the Cubs have the 2nd pick. Until then
    no baseball for the next 3 days.

  • Public Enemy!

    Encouraged by the outing from Rusin. Looks pretty good when he keeps the ball down.

  • I kinda hoped that they'd be able to avoid 100 losses, as it was a team goal, and you like for them to be able to reach goals. At any rate, I find it less stupid to hope for them to avoid 100 losses than hoping that they lose every game so that they get a higher draft pick.

    I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those seasons that I'll forget almost completely about pretty quickly. There just hasn't been much of consequence. I think in ten years I might look back and think things like, "Wow, Brian LaHair was an All-Star?" or maybe, "I remember when Barney was shafted out of the Gold Glove, even though he tied the major league record for consecutive games without an error." Hopefully, I'll be able to look back and think, "That's the season we all got a glimpse of how good a player and team leader Anthony Rizzo would turn out to be." For the most part, though, I'll probably be on the Baseball Reference site one day saying things like, "Who the fuck were all of those pitchers? I don't remember half of them!"

    I've been holding out hope to see a Ben Folds Five reference, since Felzz and I seem to maybe be in the same age bracket, and with their reunion (I saw them two nights ago in KC). Could be they're not his bag, which is okay. I liked the Rage Against the Machine reference well enough.

    Three more games. Thank God it's almost over and we can get to the exciting part of the season.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    I'm thinking we should shelve all draft pick talk until after the season, or at least until the pick is set, which should be any day now.

    It'll be a weird season. I guess from a positive standpoint I'll remember the debut of Anthony Rizzo and hopefully the season that Starlin Castro started to mature as a player. Time will tell I guess.

    Can't wait until the offseason starts and the Cubs can continue the building process. They added some key pieces this year, Rizzo, Castillo, and the conversion of Shark to starting. Another 3 key additions next year would be ideal.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    We are all going to have to remember to be patient. We had a great season in the low minors, but that wave of talent is 2-3 years out. It will probably take at least that long, particularly since we really lack impact starting pitching in the minors. Vizcaino is closest, but he is a project more for 2014 IMO; 2013 is for getting him healthy and stretched out.

  • Yeah PE was the truth.

    Did Rusin throw a lot of innings in Iowa? This is the second or third time Rusin could have gone deeper and Dale pulled him. My guess is they said he has x starts and Y innings to give so don't extend him beyond Z innings.

  • In reply to felzz:

    He's pitched about 25-30 innings more than last year, which is acceptable but at this point they're probably more concerned about keeping him healthy for next year. Even a small risk is probably not worth taking.

  • I guess the Cubs had a little trouble on the road against NL West teams this year. It is good that they ended the season on a winning streak out west.

  • john, did rizzo forget how many strikes there was on soriano's at bat. Also it is funny that how fast the local media turn on teams in this city, at first the white sox were so smart when they got liriano, youk,and myers. Now they are saying the franchise has no farm system,and aging stars and now they want williams gone. I really don't care for the sox but they made a list of players that was in there system before williams was GM and during his time they had daniel hudson,gio gonzalez just to name a few.So I hope when we are ready to compete theo and jed won't change there way and trade prospects because that could be very dangerous down the line.

  • In reply to seankl:

    This was the Sox big shot. They got the big years from all their high contract guys: Rios, Peavy, and Dunn...this was the year where those risks finally paid off,but it looks like they'll come up sort.

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    RE: Recker, if it isn't him, we will need to add a catcher to the 40-man this offseason. You really need 3 catchers on a 40-man due to injury, and to me Recker is probably as good as any other FA candidate that doesn't cost too much.

    You also correctly point out or organizational problem at Catcher. We have nobody in the minors, at least not above A-ball. We have some outfielders and Infielders in the pipeline, but I would add Catcher to our draft needs, in addition to Pitchers. At least Castillo looks OK, so we have some time.

  • Recker is okay... he is what he is. An organizational and average AAA catcher. If he was more, the A's wouldn't have swapped him for Lalli. Though I think we got the better of the two. Remember when we broke camp, Beef was #3 on the depth chart and our only real prospect at the position. We needed to see if Soto could rebound and if Clev was a decent LH platoon guy.... All those questions have been answered, imo. The lack of depth & quality was exposed when we signed Koyie Hill from the Reds AA team. IMO, thye need to sign a veteran b/u that can help Beef develop and draft/sign 2 prospects to enter the system at the lower levels. This is a good draft for that.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Good depth at catcher this year in the draft.

  • Don't know if this is true or not...

    I hear that if the Cubs lose a game to the Astros the next game would mark the first time two 100 loss teams have ever played each other.

    Gee, wouldn't that be exciting???

  • In reply to eaton53:

    I don't know offhand if it is true either, but that sounds like can't miss TV :)

  • Actually, it happened 50 years ago, when, unfortunately, the Cubs took on the expansion Mets in a battle of 100 game losers....

  • In reply to felzz:

    Yes, but has any team done it twice? C-U-B-S, Cubs,Cubs,Cubs!

  • It's about time the Cubs were 1st at something.
    Go Cubs Go!!

  • Now here is a vexing question...

    If the Cubs win the first two games vs. the Astros but lose the third , did two 100 loss teams play each other?

    The Cubs 100th loss wouldn't be in the books until the game was over so they never would've actually played the Astros when they had 100 losses.

    Inquiring minds needs to know...

  • And it's all a moot point.
    Let's get ready to rumble!!!

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