Why oh why didn't I take the blue pill? Reds 5 Cubs 3

Why oh why didn't I take the blue pill? Reds 5 Cubs 3

It just figured that when I got done saying that the Chicago Cubs bullpen had been doing a great job recently and that Jason Berken might be the worst pitcher in the National League that a game like today would happen.  Jason Berken shutout the Louisville Bats, err, Cincinnati Reds for 6 innings only to have Manny Corpas come in and pee on the cake. The Reds scored 5 runs in the 7th inning off Corpas and while the Cubs would rally, they would also miss opportunities and wind up losing the game 5-3 in front of the smallest paid attendance of the year.  The Reds leave town with their magic number at 2, and I find that my foot tastes terrible. Let’s cut up the pizza.




So Jason Berken bounced back from his awful first start to throw what very well might be the last “quality start” of the year. 6 IP, 2H, 0R, 2W, and 5K. The cynic in me will point out that Votto, Phillips, and Bruce were all out, but when Ryan Hanigan is lurking in the lineup you better bring it. And Berken did his job. Still don’t think it means much. He’s probably the pitching equivalent of a donut tire. But he did his job, so he gets the props today. None for Corpas, as he was awful. Dolis was maddening too. And Chapman was good once more. Maybe we see him with games on the line in the final two weeks? Please.




Wellington Castillo continues to take more steps forward than back. but his missteps really grind the teeth. He had a HR and his positioning behind the plate seems to inch in the right direction. But again, in the 4th inning with Castro on 3rd and one out, Castillo didn’t go for simple contact in a direction that would get the run home, choosing instead to go for Waveland. Lot of good it did as we popped out weekly to left, and our best scoring chance against Johnny Cueto up and vanished like a fart in the wind.




So Dale Sveum seemed like he was going to pull his hai- err, douse his scalp with gasoline at all the “Brain farts” that had been occurring. Well, today might make Sveum get the Zippo too. Castro got picked off. We already mentioned the ineptitude to score Castro after his leadoff triple. Even Sori, who should have just been given the day off, came in to pinch hit and ended a good scoring opportunity with a double play on the 2nd pitch of the AB. And to compliment the sky being blue and the sun setting in the west, Brett Jackson Struck out to end an inning with a runner on base. That kind of day/month/season…


This whole week has been turned on its ear ever since that Monday game that went till 1:30 in the morning. This series was won big walk in the fog. And unfortunately, The Cubs didn’t stay off the Moores. The Hillbillies go rolling out of Chicago and the Red Necks come marching in as Waffle Houses all across downstate Illinois close for the weekend and the creepy Cardinal fans come to use their food stamps in our fine city. I really don’t ask for much. So an early victory over the Cardinals and AssHat exemplar Chris Carpenter and knocking them out of contention for the Central would really be nice. Like really really nice. And after this series, I think we’ve earned it.


I’m gonna go wash my feet.






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  • I'm really happy with Castillo. 3 years ago I thought he was going to wash out but he has really improved steadily since then. It's hard to believe now that both Texas and Tampa insisted on getting Robinson Chirinos instead of Castillo in trades. Of course, Tampa eventually got Chirinos in the Garza I guess those guys don't know everything.

    As far as the draft watching goes, it's looking more and more like the Cubs have locked up a top 3 pick. They're going to face Colorado mano a mano for #2 next week.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    They need not to win 2 of 3 against SL. Too many easy teams

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I'm not rooting for St. Louis to beat the Cubs. That's not going to happen.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Well said, John, as always. I'd like to see the Cubs sweep the freaking Cardinals right out of the second Wild Card spot.

  • I'm actually rooting for Milwaukee for that 2nd spot. Can't get myself to root for either St. Louis or LA

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Written like a true Cub fan.

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    Really not cool questioning his fandom because he wants the draft pick above everything else. No one is questioning your level of support because you actively want them to have a worse draft pick.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Oh please, let's not even pretend that comparing the two is reasonable. If somebody says that the Cubs should lose the series to their traditional rival, I think it is fair to question one's fanhood. All things being equal, if you could have the Cubs win AND get a higher draft pick, you'd take it. All things are NOT equal though, and things like putting a competitive team on the field while rebuilding DO matter when you have a franchise that will want some extra money to spend on free agents when the young guys come around. With crowds like today's, that isn't going to happen. You've got to keep butts in the stands and the media on board, so even while you wait for the likes of Almora, Baez, and Soler, you've got to at least put a compelling team on the field to keep the masses happy. Losing to the Cardinals doesn't do that. If you truly believe in the mission and capabilities of this front office, then you'd better hope they put a competing team on the field so that they'll get enough time to complete their task of rebuilding the team. Two things that might derail that long-term plan are ticket sales and impatience that is driven by the Chicago media.

    In addition, look at who the Cubs are trotting out there every day to take the mound. The only pitcher in the rotation that has a chance of staying with the team more than a year or two is Travis Wood, and maybe only to become another Maholm down the road (a piece to trade to a contending team once his contract isn't quite as friendly). With the pitchers being sent out to the mound you root for the team to compete, and winning under poor odds helps these young players gain confidence and grow. It's not like this team, with its pitching, is going to all the sudden go ape shit the last two weeks of the season and roll off 10 straight wins.

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    In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Okay, you hate the rebuild. All well and good. But your statement is again unfair to half the posters on this board. And there is not a single person I've seen post here -- not one -- who isn't a dyed in the wool live-and-die with the Cubs fan. We disagree on the rebuild. Fine. But this board should be above name calling and personal insults.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I never said that I hated the rebuild. I just don't think that it's as cut and dry that the team has to completely suck while players are being drafted and developed. The MLB draft is simply too deep to pin your hopes on a super early pick. Talk to the Pirates, who have sucked every year for the last 20 years. Success in the draft and development of players is not dependent upon draft position, but on scouting and instruction. I believe that the new front office has committed itself to improving minor league talent, and it will take time for the kids to come through the system. However, they also have to realize that they are in a large market, which is currently shared with a first place team that also happens to have a championship within the last 100 years (7, if you're counting). The average fan doesn't care about the rebuild, and the media isn't going to cut them any slack. Ricketts may want a winner, but he is a businessman first, and he knows that losing doesn't bring in nearly as much income. By all means, develop players. Hire better instructors. But don't pin your hopes on getting a top five pick every year, because that means that the product at the top is subpar every season. Plus, after the first round, it's 100% about scouting.

    Bring in short term talent that keeps the team competitive while the kids develop in the minors. Win a fee games and keep the fans happy.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Rooting for the Cubs not to win is not my thought process as a Cub fan. I apologize if anyone is offended.

  • I thought we're supposed to lose as much as possible to improve out drafting position and get the best prospects until we're loaded with the best prospects at every position at every level. Maybe after our 4th or 5th WS win we'll be at that level and then can feel good about actually hoping the Cubs win.

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    In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Very well said Sinister!!

    I am not saying this is a correlation, but it's more then a coincidence.

    What team KO'd Boston last year with a ridiculous series the last week of the season? Yup, the same team fighting with the mighty Yankees for 1st place this year, the Baltimore Orioles.

    I think that series did more then we think for the development of that team and it showing this year. Esp w no Steven Strasburg, A-rod, Ken Griffey Jr, Upton brothers out there in this draft, I really want these young Cubs to win this series in what is their personal World Series this year !! ( I just wish we had Shark and Garza to really put the pressure on the Cards)

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm not as big a fan of Castillo. I think he's shown enough that we should enter next year with him as our starter; he's got some pop, can throw runners out, and catchers don't grow on trees.

    I don't like his approach at the plate much. Maybe he just needs to grow into it. Again, I think enough of him to start.

    Clevenger OPS with Cubs: .560 Koyie Hill OPS with Cubs: .555. And fans thought Hill was terrible? At least he was a good defensive catcher, while Clevenger is so-so. I'm surprised Clevenger doesn't get more scrutiny, because he really isn't good.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    He does have a 10% walk rate, which is one of the better rates on the team.

  • As I watch Corpas in the 7th, I thought how I picked the wrong week of stop smoking.......

    Any chance we can have a Cubs pitcher with a ERA over 10 on the next 'Survivor" and get tossed in a lava pit by the other Survivors?

    Pitchers locked in for 2013......Marmol, Russell, Samardzija, Wood, Garza....maybe Marmol could be traded in the off season...but right now, there are SEVEN pitching spots doubt Vizcaino will have an extended spring there will be two starting and five relieving spots open for free agents........whoever Theo / Jed signs, these pitchers will have to know they could be treated the same way as "Maholm" when July deadline comes around.

    If Cubs break camp with Dolis or Castillo next March, I will go mad.....

    Now Felzz, I hate to be a Lovie Smith on you, but we have to go back about how to be a gerat journalist. If I was your instructor teaching Journalism 101, I will remind my students not to mention the Seven dirty words in a column, take no sides, do not insult the other team, and especially not use the term "fart" in your article. Did you ever hear Walter Cronkite use the term "fart" on the Evening News?......Or Dave Nightengale or Phil Rogers in their columns?......

    Don't you want to work for ESPN someday?

    What kind of pizza do you have and where from?

  • Cubs Talk,

    Your lectures are always on target and I usually have no defense. I might make the argument that Cronkite might not make the comment, but Jon Stewart or Matt Taibbi might? I would then try and argue that this isn't a traditional news outlet and more of a Blog. And before I got to the part of quoting Shawshank Redemption (for which I would be incorrect because I didn't use quotes.) you would throw me out of class. But oyu're spot on and I will raise the bar and not insult the opponent or their creepy fans..... starting tomorrow.

    The pitching is totally up in the air. Which is why I don't go for the whole thing of predicting a lineup with Soler, Almora, Baez, and the rest as at least one of them will be traded for pitching. I think one pitcher will come FA, one will be acquired in trade and one might be a reclamation project you never see coming. And yes, I think someone like, let's say, Edwin Jackson, would totally be amenable to a one year (maybe two) year deal with the understanding that they will be traded at the deadline. Some people are fine with the hired gun tag.

    Last Pizza I had was a clunker. It was called the Wise guy and it had italian Beef, Italian Sausage and giardanaire. Not a good call. I'm usually a canadian bacon and mushroom dude. And deep dish-Art of Pizza. Thin crust- Marie's.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Great pizza at a place called Palermos at 95th and Cicero in Oak Lawn....their beef sandwiches are also great........

    the pitching on the FA market is thin, so below average pitchers will get higher market value this much riding on Garza to produce and get at least two quality prospect pitching in return.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Let's not pretend that ESPN really is about journalistic integrity. Felzz isn't doing anything in his posts that is any worse than what sportscenter anchors already do. In fact, as far as I can tell (and I hope this is true), what Felzz is doing is a major improvement because he's not the typical Missouri-grad douchebag that finds his way to Connecticut.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    "the Red Necks come marching in as Waffle Houses all across downstate Illinois close for the weekend and the creepy Cardinal fans come to use their food stamps in our fine city."

    In what way does is this not journalistic integrity?
    I can easily picture Murrow or Cronkite speaking these words.

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    At least we are starting to separate out pitchers a bit. Corpas was a long-shot to stay anyway, but it's a virtual certainty he's gone. Dolis continues to impress on the radar gun, and not much else.

    Chapman and Bowden, meanwhile, have closed out the year strong enough to suggest that they'll be contenders for bullpen slots in the spring. Even then, who knows; Esmailin Caridad had a good September too, not terribly long ago.....

  • Beef Wellington really looks like he has a bat that plays at the ML level. Of course, I thought the same about Soto...

    Not sure why Sveum chose to have Manny's Corpse pitch to three left-handers in a row when he could have started with a LH pitcher to start that inning. Especially baffling considering how slavishly he sticks to the all RHed line-up against lefties. Corpse was dreadful, but shouldn't have been out there to begin with...

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    In reply to Pura Vida:

    I assume it is because of two things. First, Sveum wants to see pitchers in tough situations. Second, Sveum wants the Cubs to lose for a better draft pick.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Great post - both the nickname and the point.

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    I agree with Zonk about Chapman and Bowden. Does anyone else notice any changes in Bowden's delivery? The ball seems to be coming out with zip and his FB looks better.
    Vizcaino needs to be brought along carefully next year. He should just spend the year in the pen and build him up for a starting role in '14. With that you have Marmol, Russell, Cabrera (yeah, he needs some work), Chapman, Bowden, and Rusin/Raley. That would put them far ahead of where they started this year.
    Add on 2 or 3 other FA RP's, and the pen might hold.
    SP is where the challenge lies for the FO this winter. Need at least 2 serviceable starters who can be flipped at the deadline.
    Might need a CF too. Jackson is not improving at all and he and Vitters probably stay in Iowa until July.
    Man, this is gonna take awhile.
    What's your favorite Scotch, John? (seriously)

  • In reply to AdolphoPhillips66:

    I usually don't drink scotch in the summer, but the last bottle I had was one called Aberlour A'Bunadh. I'd highly recommend it if you haven't tried it. I'd say that's been my scotch of choice lately. Now that it's cooling off a bit, may be time to pick up another bottle!

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Have you ever tried Ardbeg or Ileach? Had to import Ileach but Ardbeg is highly recommended!

  • In reply to AdolphoPhillips66:

    I've had Ardberg. I don't drink the peaty ones that often, but that is a very good one.

  • If the Cub's sweep the Cardinals, the red turds (Cubs Talk, unlike Felzz, I am a mere commentor, and have no use for journalistic integrity) may miss the playoffs, and for that I will smile all offseason. If the Cards sweep us, they could make the playoffs and hell, we've all seen the damn horseshoe around their necks. They win it all, we're all pissed off. The second or fifth pick won't pan out for several years, nor our extra international or draft dough. I know we're in it for the long run, but please, please don't wish.... ever... no matter what... for a Cardinals victory.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    I could only root for the Cards if it meant a playoff spot for the Cubs somehow. Obviously that's not the case this year.

    We had a chance to knock them off last year and it didn't happen. I want that draft pick, but right now, unless there's a big change, it looks like the difference between 2 and 3 in the draft. I'm not going to sweat that out.

  • If Dusty was healthy, how long does Cueto pitch today? No disrespect to a man in pain right now, but it may be helping the Reds prepare for the playoffs. This is a team that needs to be able to rest it's best pitchers now for the playoffs. In my mind, it is their year to take the NL. As long a Strasburg is shut down, it's theirs to lose.

  • In reply to elusivekarp:

    They've got a great shot at it. I'm rooting for the Braves, who are also playing well.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Even without Strasburg, I'll take the Nats. That's a really good team, top to bottom.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    They're definitely more than Strasburg. They'll be tough to beat, but I don't think there's a dominant team in the NL.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    As much as I love the way the Braves are consistently able to stay competitive, I just don't understand how this could be the year where they put it all together when it matters. Maybe some sort of "we are not letting Chipper go out like this" fire will catch, but I doubt it. I'll still root for them, but they are relying on youth and inconsistent play from the rotation.

  • In reply to elusivekarp:

    I think it's pretty open. Braves have their flaws, but so does pretty much every team. I think all of the teams in the top 4 have a good chance in the NL.

  • I love your recaps! Being in SoCal I don't get local news so I depend on this site. Please, no Redbirds!

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