Laborius Day. Nats 2 Cubs 1

Dale Sveum wrote out a lineup card today that told all Cub fans it was OK to get in their fairway times, BBQ’s, and last pair of white pants. And the players in the actual lineup proved him right as the Cubs went down meekly to the Washington Nationals 2-1, was ting another excellent outing by Jeff Samardzija. The Cubs mounted what some might call a “rally” in the 9th. But Josh Vitters might have swung three times at the last Tyler Clippard change-up and the game was over. It’s a Holiday so let’s go through this like Joe Mather through a goose…




Well, time to throw more platitudes at de-facto ace Jeff Samardzija again. Shark was fabulous. 7 innings of s hit, one run ball while walking one and striking out 8. Sixth straight game Shark has gone 7 innings. Maybe he’s a 3 pitcher on a good staff. Or a 2 or a 4. But since the Cubs traded away Demp and Maholm, and Garza went down with an injury, Samardzija has looked at the extra work, pressure and responsibility and just said, “Bring it on”. Beliveau and Bowden came in to make things worse for the Cubs.




Dale Sveum continues to pledge his allegiance to an all right handed lineup even though most of the right-handed hitters on this team shouldn’t be in the major leagues. Joe Mather and Darwin Barney in the 1, 2 holes helps them, not the Cubs. Thus if /when Rizzo, Soriano, and Castro get their hits, (and each of them got at least one.) it’s a bases empty nothing. Shouldn’t the fact that your best pitcher is on the mound necessitate having your best line-up talent wise? Isn’t that the “got to try to get wins against playoff contenders” mishigas that Sveum was talking about this weekend?




Two at bats late in the game kind of summed up the current state of the Cubs.


1st at bat.


Wellington Castillo, with a runner on second and two strikes, fouls off three consecutive pitches off the spastic looking Tyler Clippard, including a killer change up. Clippard, out of options throws a fastball that Castillo muscles into left center for the Cubs only run. Welcome to how Cubs want to approach at bat’s in the future.


2nd at bat.


Josh Vitters swings at two fastballs and is quickly down 1-2 in the count. After watching a change-up go by, Clippard doubles up with the change as Vitters corkscrews himself into the ground. Welcome to what the Cubs are trying to get away from with at bats.

There was a time not too long ago, maybe even two years ago, when a road trip of Washington, Pittsburgh, and Houston meant 8-9 wins. Now it probably means 8-9 losses. They had a chance to get a win today. But the manager helped this one slip through their fingers. At least the fingers on their right hand anyway.


Happy Labor Day y’all.


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  • Samardzija is probably getting used to this, as it seems to be happening a lot, such is life being the defacto ace of a team trying to build its entire organization from the ground up. While I think he has the stuff to "someday" be an ACE, I don't think he's there yet. Regardless, of the stat line, he was hit hard and even some of the outs were squared up pretty good today.

    Hang this loss on Sveum for starting Mather & Barney @ lead off & #2. I believe Mather has proven that he is NOT a part of our future, and should not even sniff the field right now except for an occasional ph off the bench/defensive replacement for Sori.

  • Let these guys play, it might be their last time in the majors.

  • LaHair should've hit fr Vitters with the tying run on 2nd.
    It's like they're not even trying to win. Kind of pissed me off.

  • John, is Evan Crawford considered a prospect? Other than his age and injury this year, he had a .307 BA and .362 OBP in Daytona last year

  • I am for them losing to get the draft pick but this is getting ridiculous, I want them to at least be competitive (and somehow entertaining) and score some runs.

    Dempster screwed them, even more so in the short term. At least we would have had another young starter in the rotation if he didnt nix the Atlanta trade.

    Id think our young players could produce more offense then they have. We are making most opponents look like Bob Gibson in his prime. Its getting frustrating and too painful to even watch, think I might quit following them for the rest of the year.

  • I know we should give josh vitters a chance to play third....but he is over matched at the plate. How many more games are left? Thank God Bears season starts soon.

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    In Vitters defense the only two strikes he swung at we're good pitches to hit and he JUST missed them, fouling them right back. The final pitch was too close to take and not good enough to hit. Clippard magically found his pojo/command when Vitters got up. He fouled off a few other pitches as well and laid off the bad ones. I thought it was a pretty good at bat for him. Just my two cents. good recap

  • I hate to be so negative or impatient but I think Im ready to give up on Josh Vitters, at least as a major league starter. You can usually see flashes even when someone isnt ready yet. I dont see anything out of him. Funny, I was higher on him then Brett Jackson and Jackson looks to be the far better of the two but Im not really sold on either. The true blue chippers are a few more years down the road.

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    In reply to Behn Wilson:

    I understand where your coming from and it' warranted. But when a guy is so young and has shown the willingness to work hard you can't give up on him. This year is a learning experience for this kid. The same was said about Rizzo last year who was arguably just as bad. Jackson while having less natural talent was a more polished, college player while Vitters came out of high school. Hes older and more developed so it makes sense Bjax would be a bit ahead. Let's give this kid another year of instruction and see if he can't pull a Rizzo.

  • I haven't given up on Vitters. Not by a longshot. But I think I've given up on this callup. If for no other reason than it appears the Cubs have. I thought each at bat Vitters showed some good patience and his swing is really sweet. But it's clear that the breaking stuff is giving him trouble and Dale refuses to let him build off anything good or rebound from anything bad... So what's the point? He's still very young. He can have a half season and really work on some things in Iowa and try it again as a 23 year old. In fact, it's probably the best course of action. So then why all the yo-yo ing with "he's gonna play", "He isn't".....?

  • In reply to felzz:

    Vitters has lost that "deer in the headlights" look. I think he's slowly been getting better quality PA's. I'm optimistic that can continue, and I don't fault the FO or Sveum for trying to protect him. The only possible explanation I can have for all the yo-yo'ing is that he wasn't as far along as they had hoped/thought.

    The biggest knock on Josh was his defense. But from the times I've seen him, he's been pretty good and made some great plays. So even though he's struggled more than I'd like at the plate; he still has a ton of potential and I can see this call-up as a being a great learning experience for him.

    I hope him & B-Jax both spend this winter in the Venezuelan league to work on their games and then maybe half of the year at Iowa he should be ready. B-Jax looks like he's able to slow the game down and should make the 25 man roster out of spring training.

  • A question for John/Tom and especially the scout-types on the board...Do you think that in general managers overplay the match-up odds in terms of lefty/righty?

  • In reply to TheFiveYearPlan:

    I think any good manager will try to use favorable match-ups whenever they can. However, you also don't pinch hit for a guy like Soriano, EVER! because you just never know. Having said that, I think Sveum over uses the match-ups. He would rather start Joe Mather simply because he's a RH batter vs. a red-hot DeJesus?

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