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Kiss the floor. Reds 2 Cubs 1.

Kiss the floor. Reds 2 Cubs 1.

Does an acceptable loss after an unacceptable loss count as progress? If so, then the Cubs made incredible progress this afternoon losing to the Reds 2-1. If not than they just lost. Travis Wood did a wonderful job keeping the Reds at bay. But the Cubs could only muster a Nate Schierholtz solo home run for offense. So brandon Phillips RBI single and Todd Frazier's solo home run in the 7th were all that were needed as Mike Leake and Alroidis Chapman had the Cub hitters swinging like blindfolded eight year olds at a piñata. Let's wallow in the mire....

THE PITCHER WITH NO NAME.

Travis Wood  might be the Cubs best pitcher. He certainly has been their most consistent. Anyway, along with "Sorry, I'll tone it down next time...." and "You're right I did mis-spell that" the most common thing I've written is "Travis Wood had another good outing" and today was no exception. 7 innings while only allowing those two runs. Wood has been wonderful. I keep waiting for the moon pounding, most likely by the home run ball, something that bugabooed Travis last year, but it hasn't really come. And I doubt it will. Something in Wood has definitely clicked. He totally deserved better. James Russell and Save Bot 6300 closed up shop.

YOUR LOVE HAS GOT A HOLTZ ON ME

So Nate Schierholtz continues to be a better than expected contributor. Of course, his "fairly good" play is highlighted more by everybody else's "poor" play. Schierholtz had the Cubs only run, a homer no less. Now, the common thinking,  unfortunately, is to try and trade him for some "prospect" in the hopes that this prospect might turn out to be.......well.....hopefully someone as good as Nate Schierholtz currently is. I doubt people are coming to come calling on Schierholtz, probably preferring the quickness of versatility of Dejesus. And it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to show agents that if you sign with Chicago and do well you might get rewarded instead of traded.  He's not costing anything, and there are vacancies in the Cubs outfield for the forseeeable future. A 1-2 year extension would not be the worst thing.

TOP OF THE POPS.

So what is it with the one and two slots in the lineup that turn the Cub hitters into goo? Castro doesn't hit well there, tried Barney, tried Ransom. Moved Valbuena into the two slot and he was the Cubs leading OBP, and he does kedukkis as well. Is moving Soriano, who leads the Cubs in BA and steals and whose been struggling with RISP to boot, to the top of the order the worst idea in the world. Some versatility might actually enhance Sori's trade value and well..... it's not like the other solutions are actual solutions.....

I'm really looking forward to taking a break from the Reds for awhile. This team clearly has the Cubs number. As well as being a significantly better team. Well Shark tries to end the 13 game winning streak Dusty's crew has against the Cubs in Wrigley field. At least the game was well pitched and the Cubs didn't embarrass themselves with themselves with their play. Anyway, Go Hawks, and Onwards.

 

Box Score.

 

Comments

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  • Well, there are the Hawks, and Royal
    Pains returns tonight.

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    Schierholz is under club-control for next year, his final year of arb eligibility. So, a 1-year extension is there if we want it, albeit at a likely raise over this year's $2-ish mil salary

    Hairston is also under contract, so Cubs may just go one more year of this platoon while waiting for the farm system to provide the impact

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Hairston is just plain bad this year, I really hope to not see him next year in a Cub uniform. I'd prefer to see Sweeney or schierholtz or lake or jackson or my 6 year old nephew play more than Scott Hariston. The error in last nights game he looked like he was afraid of the ball.

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    Series like this make you wonder how close we are.

  • Not sure we can tell much from one series, but stretches like this make it clear how FAR we are...

    The entire core may be in the minors, with possible exception of Smarj and T. Wood. Jury still way out on Castro and Rizz, unfortunately.

  • The Cubs performance in series like these proves that we are not that clsoe to being a contender.

    The pitching is starting to become respectable, but the offense, to be blunt, is atrocious. At this point, the C, 2B and SS positions take an otherwise average offense and render it vacant.

    As I predicted in the spring, this team is still on track to lose 90+ games.

    One silver lining - I decided not to renew my MLB TV subscription as I did not want to suffer thru another year of ineptitude.

    I've already doen that gig.

  • I try not to make large picture assessments during the season because it will drive you insane. Right now, a lot of things look bleak. But a whole second half can change everything. Hell what if Wood goes 2-9 with a 4.99 ERA the second half...things will look even worse. Of course, Castro could hit .330/.360/.480 and change everything too.

    Too many blank pages to be written in. Hollow words I'm sure. But. Still true....

  • 'Most of these kids will absolutely break your heart'
    http://www.chicagonow.com/world-series-dreaming/2013/06/chc-prospects-heartbreak/

  • Part of the problem is that there are no impact solutions at AAA OR AA. Some contributors maybe, but no difference makers. Next year could look a lot like this one.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agreed. Looks like any prospects are at least 2 more seasons away. 2016?

  • Well....nothing new in that article. Been writing that for awhile.

    Truth is, if TWO of that list make it, and two are traded for a frontline starter, than that's a success. That's why getting a great farm system is so important. Because of the attrition rate. And if a....Let's just Albert Almora doesn't pan out.... it only cost you a draft pick and a few million as opposed to a FA who would cost you tens of millions of dollars....

  • This is really a longterm project. I'm part of season ticket package so I get down to games relatively often and in about six games this year I have yet to see a win. You just have to realize we are going to have this kind of baseball for at least 2 years more and then when the first group arrives, there will be growing pains.
    When the rebuilding program really started about a year and a half ago with Epstein's arrival I figured about two and a half years and we will be right back in the middle of things. Well I think I was going back to my youth on the north side when the real Leo came in and did the rebuilding or turn around job of the late 60's. For those of you who can remember or were around for those days Leo inherited three future hall of famers in Banks, Santo, and Williams, along with a wonderful shortstop/second base combination of Don Kessinger and Glenn Beckert, who were just coming into there own. In addition John Holland, the VP, started to make some good deals the first of which brought a very good catcher, Randy Hundley and a right handed pitcher, Bill Hands who won 20 games in 69. Then Leo said the missing piece was a center fielder and Holland got him Adolpho Phillips from the Phillies , who promptly flopped, but the third player in the trade was a young pitcher named Ferguson Jenkins, who in time became the fourth member of that team to make it to Cooperstown. All Leo did was teach them all how to win with a snarl and a swagger.
    The point is that wasn't rebuilding from the bottom up, but this version is. Guys, it's going to take time and when the anointed group arrives be prepared for more than our share of mistakes. The key will be a few smart free agent acquisitions, the play of at least three of the anointed, and a couple of farm system surprises like Beckert, Popovich, and Hundley. If that happens we will have a lot of fun at the ball park
    Have patience!

  • Before we gush and drool in excess over the wisdom and abilities of Durocher, let us please remember that when he took over the Cubs as manager, he said the team was not an 8th place team, and he was right. They finished in 10th the next season.

    He was also very certain that John Bocabella was going to make everyone forget about Ernie Banks.

    But wait! There is something to learn here. First, the Cubs had not bottomed out. They had to scrape the vey bottom before they could start to rise. Two, not every young phenom with a fancy name is going to make it. Three, not every noisy manager knows how to go all the way, and Leo didn't. Moses could not take the team to the promised land either.

  • I like the outside the box thinking on the 2 slot.

    I would consider trying Beef at #2. His OPB is on a par with Sori's, and he seemed to be able to execute hit & runs earlier in the season.

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