Shiver me Timbers, I'm a sailin away! Cubs 4 Pirates 2

Alfonso Soriano mashed a 2 run home run off of Jason Grilli in the 8th inning to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead and the Cubs went on to sweep the Pirates for their first 3 game winning streak since July 15th. Soriano’s blast was one of three home runs in the game for the Cubs. The first one was a Josh Vitters shot that snapped a 0-for-27 streak and the second was by 3rd string catcher Anthony Recker who was making his very first start. Recker’s home run was doubly enjoyable when a Pirates attendant had to march through the Shrubbery in center field to retrieve the ball. Cue Monty Python. .  Carlos Marmol would come on in the ninth and quickly make everyone queasy by loading the bases. But he got out of it with a strike out of Gaby Sanchez and Fly out by Pedro Alvarez. Let’s dance into the fire and all we’ll see is a view to a kill.




Good to see Chris Rusin revert back to his game 1 form and away from his game 2 fire drill. Rusin went 5 solid innings, surrendering 1 run on an Andrew McCutchen home run. Overall 5 IP, 5H, 1R, 3W and 4K. Rusin and Raley are pretty much the same guy. And while both are 95% likely to start in Iowa next year, there’s no chance both are in the rotation for the Cubs. You simply can’t have two soft tossing lefties. Look for Rusin to make the conversion to reliever next year. Speaking of relievers, Jay Chapman has had 3 solid appearances now. This time pitching the 6th. Again, probably back in Iowa but the make-up looks good. Yada, Yada and Yada finished it out.




Soriano is having an awesome season. I’m going to continue to say it because people will quickly try and turn the conversation to “is he tradable now” or “how long can he keep it up?” But nobody ever says “ Good to see Sori mashing…” Well I’m happy he is. Throw in the defense he’s been showing this series, (He mad a great read on a ball hit by Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke when it bounced off the the 3rd base stands) and that it’s the middle of September and he’s still bustling his butt…. well He deserves some applause. He’s having his best year as a Cub at a time when EVERYONE said he was finished. Good job #12.




Let’s also give a shout out to Josh Vitters. 0 for 27 has to be all kinds of suck. And that home run was sweet. I still love this kid’s swing. Yes, he needs work. Yes, he’s probably going to Iowa (or most likely traded in the off-season to a team that likes aggressive swings.) next year. But if that’s the worse that happens, he goes back to Iowa, works on it and comes up again next year at the exact same age Rizzo did this year, and in the exact same fashion, that’s not bad at all and in fact fits with the timing of this rebuild. So I’ll take the good and hope he builds off of it tomorrow against whatever left handed zero the Astros are slinging.


So that was totally unexpected and totally enjoyable. Naturally it comes against the Pirates who I kind of want to see edge the damn Cardinals. But the Pirates have issues and I’ll look for another team to push out St. Louis. Off to Houston for our last series against the Astros. Chris Volstad against something called Dallas Keuchel. …Ok…if you say. Guess I’ll go re-order my methadone prescription.


How about those Bears.





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  • Let's hope some team can use Soriano next year as a DH.
    The Cubs should pay whatever of his salary to get any
    good prospect. If not, he can mentor the young Latin players.

  • ( I heave a lot, I'm a sailor )

    I really would like to see Vitters' approach at the plate get corrected, he'll make a nice utility player once it happens. Do we have a team hypnotist?

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    As much fun as this is, our once untouchable lead over the Rockies is starting to look a bit tenuous. It would be so Cubs to go on a run and blow the draft pick in a completely worthless September.

  • Aww man. It looks like Boise lost tonight. Oh well ...good season out of them and hopefully most of them will progress.

    I'm just not hung up on the draft pick. There's no superstar talent in next year's draft. And whoever they would have wanted with the 2 pick will undoubtedly be there wth the three. And if we miss out on the 2 because Vitters, Rizzo and other rookies play well and develop, then that's a trade I'll make every time

  • In reply to felzz:

    I think this is a really good point. The talent gap between the second and third place pick is not likely to be that significant. It's not usually a choice between Mike Trout and Mike Krukow. Sometimes there is a huge talent gap, but I don't think it's likely.
    It's far more important for the Cubs' future that young players shine, so that is what I'm hoping for.

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    In reply to felzz:

    We don't know that yet. We won't really know what's in the draft until next summer. Mark Prior was an incredibly late bloomer. No one saw him coming until the last minute.

    But it also affects how much money we have to spend on International Free Agents. And how much we have to play with our signings.

    Every single "rule" about the importance of the draft is out the window with the new CBA. The Astros have figured this out big time (otherwise Singleton would probably be on the team right now).

  • In reply to felzz:

    If they sweep Houston they will have the 5th pick.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    How do you figure that? Right now it's Houston, the Cubs, Colorado, Minnesota and Cleveland, and the Cubs are a full 5 games worse than Cleveland with 22 left to play.

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    6 games left against Houston. They could easily win all 6 of those which puts them ahead of Minnesota and Colorado. In fact probably cinches no better than 4th. Then, if Cleveland loses 4 of 6 comparable games -- doable -- the Cubs just have to play a little bit better to get 5th. That sweep may cost us a World Series.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Wow! Now there's some convoluted logic. I laughed out loud when I read that last sentence!

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    On the margin, it hurts. With the new CBA -- that again is the key here -- that significantly reduces the talent we can get. The great Yankees teams used to bring in talent through the IFA draft. We can't do that. Will any of it help win a World Series by itself in the next three years? If we lose out on the college pitchers, then it has a huge negative effect on the 2014-2015 team. Other than that, of course not. However, we need talent in the system to TRADE for the players that get us over the hump. The higher we finish, the less talent that enters the system -- and not by a little, but by a lot. It really is that simple. You're basing your logic on a CBA that is long gone.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Whether the Cubs draft 1st or 6th, that player will have tools. Those tools will have to continue to develop for that player to become a productive Major Leaguer. It's not where a team drafts that matters, it's how they develop the players they draft. I'll continue to root for the Cubs to win on the days they play.

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    That simply isn't true in the new CBA. Better talent goes earlier in the draft. Guys like Nick Castellanos, Dillon Maples, and Zach Lee simply aren't going to slip because of signability concerns. Again, your logic is based on a CBA that is gone.

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    Hell, just look at two of our best prospects: Jorge Soler and Juan Carlos Paniagua. Under the new CBA, it is almost a lock we wouldn't have gotten Soler finishing fifth and Paniagua would have been a stretch. Essentially he would have been the only significant IFA we could sign. That is a very real feature of the CBA.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I apologize. I didn't realize Soler and Paniagua were drafted in the June amateur draft.

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    They weren't. But our ability to spend on international free agents is directly tied to our record. Worse teams get to spend a lot more.

  • I expect the Cubs to finish with the 2nd or 3rd worst record in MLB, unfortunately. Here's hoping whoever they draft next June can help them win a World Series someday, whether as a Cub or as a trade chip.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Only 3 left. Let hope they only win 1 or 2 out 6 against
    the Reds and SL.

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    6. 3 in Houston then 3 in Wrigley to close the season. Also 3 against the Rockies. It could get ugly for us.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    My mistake. I know its crazy to want the Cubs not
    to win, but more draft pool money is at stake.
    Extra wins don't mean anything.

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