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Not very hard to handle

Not very hard to handle

In a game that felt over before it started, the Cubs slept-walked through nine innings in losing to the Atlanta Braves 4-1 Friday Night.  Once again the All righty  plus Rizzo lineup was very feeble with the bats, getting a meager 5 hits off of Brave pitchers Mike Minor, Darren O'Day, and Craig Kimbrel, who apparently is never going to give up a hit to anyone ever again.Justin Upton would give the Braves all the runs they would need when he homered in the 1st and knocked in Alderton Simmons (what a name) with a Sac fly in the 3rd. A Scott Hairston HR in the 5th would get the Cubs back in the game and Beef followed up with a line shot to center and it felt like the Cubs were on to something.....and then Brent Lillibridge came up......and hit into a Double play.....and they weren't. There isn't much to say here so let's put the wives and kiddies to bed and go hunting for dinner.

THE BIZARRO KRAMER

The very amish looking but jewish sounding Scott FELDMAN!!!!!!! took the bump tonight to try and continue the strong run of Cub starting pitching this year. He failed. FELDMAN!!! made it just 4 2/3 innings, throwing 100 pitches in that span. Dale tried like heck to get him through 5 as his turn was up in the 6th. But he was dead tired in the 5th, walking two and hitting a guy. Dale kept him in, somebody named Juan Francisco hit a 2 run RBI. Bal game. 53 of FELDMAN's 102 pitches were strikes. That's awful. It's 1 game. But still, first stinker. Yeoman work by Micheal Bowden to go 2 1/3 innings and save the bullpen. Rondon threw a lot of raw but hard stuff in the 8th. Interesting player.

WAY OVER YONDER IN THE MINOR KEY

Meanwhile, the Cubs offense made Mike Minor look very Kershaw-y. Which shouldn't happen because his stuff isn't nearly as good. No real good at bats. What has to be a tad concerning is just how lost Anthony Rizzo looks against lefties. His career OPS against lefties is under .600. Not good. Hairston hit a HR (making yours truly look like he knows what he's talking about.) but it was one of those HR's that wouldn't be a homer in 30% of NL parks. As Len and JD pointed out, nothing was getting squared up.

HE'S GRADUALLY GETTING AWAY CHEIF QUIMBY...

Hilarity struck Turner Field this evening when 260 +lb. Dioneer Navarro tried to steal 2nd base. You simply had to take a double take. The Braves catcher did and he still threw Ol' Dioneer out by 25 feet. Now, I just have to pray that Luis Valbuena missed a sign. But even then.....I mean....have you seen Dioneer Navarro run. Or whatever Dioneer Navarro does that marginally passes for running? I've heard of the element of surprise. But I've never heard of the element of surprising amusement.

 

Only thing missing from this game was a sad trombone. It seems an early April ass whoopin in Atlanta is par for the course. I seem to recall Zambrano losing his mud here in an early game... Whatever, it's just one, and I will certainly take .500 on the road. Carlos Villanueva takes the mound against Uber-rookie Julio Teheran. Teheran is the rookie that Atlanta refused to part with for anyone. Should be interesting.

Boxscore

 

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  • One of the things I love about being a Cub fan is this: for me, every Cub that put on a Cub uniform is always Cub. From Andre Dawson, to Ryne Sandberg, to Mark Grace, to Dave Clark, to Jon Lieber, to Moises Alou, to Rod Beck (RIP), to Geovany Soto, to Starlin Castro, to Alfonso Soriano, to Brent Lillibridge, to Nate Schierholtz to Steve Christmas...they are, or were, Cubs. Cubs fans are the best, because we always believe in our team. That's why we are so passionate about our Cubs. We want them to achieve, and we want them to win, no matter what the odds. We believe in whatever team they put on the field, because we have faith. Our team resides on the North Side, in a residential neighborhood, full of people, politics and possibility. Possibility is what it is to be a Cubs fan. I am a die hard Cubs fan, since 1985. Not because of a division championship Ofrom 1984, but because of Harry Caray an Stone, because of Jody Davis' stance at the plate, because of a grab of a line-drive grab by Ryne Sandberg, because Davey Lopes played the infield and outfield, because Shawon Dunston thru so hard and Mark Grace would reach for his wide throw and barely make the catch....he would do the splits to make the catch, because Andre Dawson would throw out a player at 1st after the player hit a single to right and Andre would still try and throw him out, because Moises Alou was upset over the Bartman grab, because Rod Beck had heart, because Luis Salazar would stretch his arms out before, and between, an at-bat, because, Jim Edmonds wanted to keep playing, because Gary Gaetti wanted to keep playing, because Starlin Castro shined in spite of playing only at AA ball before being called up, because Lou Pinella wanted to bring a championship to Wrigley Field, because Mark Grace rallied the fans at Wrigley in 1989 to enjoy the moment, because there's nothing like living far away from Chicago and, getting off of the "L", and getting on a bus in Wrigleyville, full of houses, and walking along and suddenly seeing Wrigley Field smack in the middle of the North Side, seemingly out of place, but belonging there at the same time, established there some 100-odd years ago, a field that is meant to stand the test of time, full of history and memory...a field that has seen many-a-fan experience their first Cubs game, seeing our heroes wanting a championship almost as much as the fans want it. I experienced my first Cubs game in 1987, thanks to my Dad, in 1987, who let me see two Cubs games, thanks to a rain-out, and I got to see Andre Dawson smash a home run vs. the Braves in August vs. the Braves. Cubs fans are the best. The reason Cubs fans are the best is because, to me, they have heart and soul. Where else, in a big city, or, the so-called Second City, can you root for a team that has lost so much, but wants to gain so much, that you embrace a complete stranger in a hug over a home run by your favorite team? It's not New York, it's not Los Angeles, it's Chicago. Home of the best hot dogs and cheesy fries on the planet. Home of the biggest heart and the most loyal of people. Cubs fans.

  • Feldman did nothing to dispel his rep as a middle reliever masquerading as a starter. Hurry on back Matt Garza!

  • Feldman needs to pitch with better command than this or it's going to be a long season. His stuff is okay, but not good enough to get away with his location today, especially against the Braves, who have one of the best lineups in baseball..

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    Kind of a rough day for the Cubs all around:
    Rizzo 3 Ks against a tough right hander.
    Jackson now has 4 Ks in 10 PAs.
    Cubs as a team had 9 strikeouts and no walks and , more disconcertingly, Atlanta's starter averaged only 11.5 pitches an inning.
    Javy Baez did flash the power bat, but also has a fairly high 4 strikeouts in 9 PAs.

    The good news is, it's up from here!

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    *tough left hander, not right hander.

  • Yeah, I see a reliever as a starter too. But it is just one game. And there are options if it were to continue. Garza getting healthy, Rusin in Iowa and Alberto Cabrerra striking out 9 in Tennessee..... But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Those TN pitchers dominated tonight.

  • My wife, who is from the Philippines and knows nothing about baseball, was amazed when she first saw Dioner Navarro in a baseball uniform. Her astonished question to me was, "Do they pay him?" (My response: "Of course they do...in burritos.")

  • Rondon's stuff had more velocity than his previous outing, he was hitting 93-94 mph consistently... That's up from the 90-92 mph I saw him throw during ST.

  • In reply to Caps:

    He was 89-90 vs. Pittsburgh. I missed tonight's game, but glad to hear his velo is up.

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    Feldman wasn't great, but he was one pitch from getting out of the fifth with only 2 earned runs--which really isn't terrible for a first start. The depressing part of the game was watching the incredibly anemic lineup. Lilibridge is brutal. Sappelt and Valbuena are about the same--fringe major leaguers getting significant playing time. But the most depressing part was watching Rizzo, who didn't have a clue what was going on in his at-bats. I know it's one game, but look at the team batting stats through four games. It's going to be hard for this team to score as many runs as they did last year--this is not a major league offense.

  • It was still over 100 pitches to get through the 5 innings, the 5th inning was a slog, and there wasn't any inning where you said "well, if he could pitch like THAT...." It wasn't a very good start....

    But you're right, the offense has been a sad clown... And Every time a left handed pitcher takes the mound, we're probably reaching for the Tums....

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