I probably could have written a wrap last night for the Cubs 3-2 victory over the Padres last night and still had enough to come up with a Brunch this morning. But, as has been the case much of this Cubs season ( and possibly career) alcohol was needed. Or a movie. Or both. Some kind of distraction. August truly is the Dog Days of a baseball season. Especially when you're team isn't winning. And the Cubs, well they aren't winning.
They did win last night. And it was a noticeable win. Because Shark was Shark for 8 innings and being a top of the line starter that everyone wants him to be. That's two in a row for killer Samardzija starts. And once again it was easy to see coming. When Samardzija can get strike 1 early in the count. And the batter has to guess split or slider , they're usually gone. What was most encouraging was Sveum leaving Shark in there for the 8th inning. Granted that decision seems like a no brainer after watching this bullpen in action. But Strop has been lights out and 9 times out of 10 that's usually the button Sveum will push. But Shark is "the ace" of this club at least, and Aces should get the benefit of the doubt, especially when they're barely 80 pitches through 7. And when Shark got into trouble, And he got into trouble quite early that inning, Sveum let Shark decide his own fate. So when Shark got Uber-annoyance Jedd Gyorko to strikeout, his fist pump was very well warranted, as it was matched by Dioner Navarro's fist pump, my fist pump, and I'm sure countless other Cub fan's fist pumps too.
But this win comes off the heels off a beyond goofy loss, and won't mean much unless it's the start of a nice winning streak. Which, with the Dodgers next and a return to the allergic grounds of Wrigley Field, probably isn't gonna happen. And that's hard to take. This Cubs team shouldn't go into the tank like last year's team did. There's no Jason Berken, Justin Germano, or overmatched Chris Rusin going to the bump every fifth day where you simply don't have a chance. Rusin has been great. Arrieta, with one game exception, has been good. Dejesus was middle of the road, and while Soriano had some killer hot streaks, Junior Lake replaced it with one of his own.
And yet this team continues to flirt with 20 games under .500. That should be unacceptable. I know, I know, another draft pick. Add him to the fantasy team everyone has in their heads. Everyone has this Almora--Castro-baez-Soler-Bryant-Rizzo-Alcantarra-Olt lineup that's gonna lead us to the promise land when everyone that follows minor league ball says it will be above expectations that a third of those players might make an impact. When Rizzo got here everyone said he was the first and the rebuilding would start around him. But now everyone's ready to bus toss him so we can draft some 18 year old from Alabama or Florida or who knows be cause this guy, THIS GUY is the future. And when he hits .240 We'll bus toss him and root for another top 5 pick.
Losing begets losing. Winning begets winning.
I want the Cubs to win. And I don't see why they can't win more right now. Rizzo should be hitting .280, Castro around .300 because that's where he's always hit. The offense shouldn't be this punch and judy. The stating pitching should be strong and with Strop not giving up any hits and Save bot 6300 being more reliable than not, yeah the bar's kinda low down there, then wins should be more common than they are. And if that means picking 8th then so be it. Javier Baez was picked 9th by the way. Can be done.
Granted, this ends in a week or two. Brooks Raley, Ryan Sweeny and some other insignificant call ups will be here and the games will feel like running out the string games and individual performances won't be as encouraging because they're in September where all meaningless games are skewed differently. But I'd still like to see some winning baseball. Life is more fun when the Cubs win. Like last night, but hopefully longer.
FRICK N' FRACK
So we got our "Darwin Barney has power" game last night. Usually good for one or two of those a year. Only one or two.
So Kim's husband goes to the Nats who immediately flip him to the Devil Rays, who gave the Nats two pitching prospects. Nice work if you can get it huh Mike Rizzo. Of course, that decision to shut down Strasburg.....
Kim Dejesus living in Derek Jeter's off season home town.......I smell tabloids.
Oh, I never got to answer Tom's column earlier this week. But I would love to see the Cubs sign Jacoby Elsbury. It's Boras, so he'll probably price him right out of it. But I would love to see the Baez's and Bryant's come to Wrigley and find a veteran star player that's won a ring and won't be afraid to get into someone's grill about it. Elsbury ticks those boxes.
All this talk about losing a father figure in Dejesus. The Cubs don't need father figures. They need older big brothers.
Count me among the millions just ecstatic that Vin Scully is coming back for his 65th season next year. Man has become my voice of late night the past few years thanks to the Baseball package.
Here's something from what I like to call the Meatball Sabremetrics file: Alphonso Soriano has the week of his life, hitting 18 RBI in four games, setting a record for most RBI in a four game stretch and helping the Yankees win 6 out of 7 and briefly re-light their playoff hopes ( which were quickly put out). How in the world isn't Soriano's WAR at least 4? I mean, even if he goes 0-for the rest of the season, he single handedly won the Yankees those 4 games.Ergo his WAR should never go below 4 right? WINS above replacement. A replacement player didn't win them those 4 games. Soriano did. Hence his WAR has to be at least 4 right?!!??? No? this is why I don't care much for WAR....
While looking up San Diego Bands to quote in the wrap this weekend, I was delighted as all get out to rediscover the Beat Farmers. What a fun and ridiculous band.
Revolver is my Beatles music of choice today for those keeping score.
Haven't heard from Arguello since the Under Armor game. What did you guys do with him?