Down in a hole, losing my soul. Nats 4 Cubs 2.

Down in a hole, losing my soul. Nats 4 Cubs 2.

So a day after breaking out the bats against Jordan Zimmerman, The Cubs went into super DUH mode against a very ordinary against Uber-hittable Dan Haren.  The Cubs could only muster 2 runs, both on solo homers and one of those in the 9th. And it simply wasn't enough as the Cubs lost 4-2. Chris Rusin battled. But he and the bullpen made enough mistakes that this game was really never in doubt. And that includes when Brian Bogusevic tied the game at 1 with his homer in the 4th. Let's get sushi and not pay....


The best thing you can say about Chris Rusin battled. His line shows that. 5.2 innings 10H 2ER 2BB 2K. How do you "scatter" 10 hits? Somehow Rusin did. Some double plays helped. But Rusin induced several popups by jamming National hitters. Another encouraging sign was that Dale Sveum, with a fully rested bullpen, didn't yank Rusin at the first opportunity. Sveum gave Rusin the ball for the 6th and gave him several hitters to work out of it. Blake Parker bailed Rusin out to keep the game 2-1 and pitched a scoreless 7th. Pedro Strop got through the 8th. But Russell and Gregg were stink foot in the 9th.


It's painful watching Rizzo and Castro struggle. 0-8 between the two tonight. Castro is 3 for his last 36. Rizzo is 4 for his last 38 .They're both in terrible slumps Rizzo is just getting jammed, jammed jammed and he's over protecting and it's in his head and it's getting worse. Castro got moved to the 8 hole and if it was suppose to serve as a wake up call it failed. These two were suppose to take that next step. That step went backwards. it would seem to me that someone on the Cubs should care. The manager, the elite brain trust that committed over 100 million and the immediate future of the team to them... Someone.


Wasn't there suppose to be a "Cubbie way" book that was going to be an organizational philosophy and was going to state, no, mandate, how Cub players were  to play the game. The Cubs have scored 25 runs in their last 10 home games. And that includes two games of 9 each. If they don't hit home runs, they don't score. I guess what I'm trying to say is it's an awfully thin book these days.

Well that's that. One up, one down. Jake Arrieta goes for the Cubs against a really hittable Ross Ohlendorf. But this offense is hitting on a cylinder to a cylinder and a half. I still see a way the Cubs end this season strong. But the two "core players" have to hit and right now they are out where the busses don't run. Ahh, but tomorrow is a new day. Onwards.





Leave a comment
  • Lets rake Rizzo and Castro through the press some more. This has nothing to do with the quality of our manager and coaching staff, right? Give 'em a chance and Lake will eventually get problems addressed in the press too. Gol dang it, the other day Sveum took Castro through the press, and the next day everything I read was crap about Castro. Sveum needs to learn how to deflect questions about players when it's appropriate to do so. I really question that he has the capability to manage young players. I'm hoping that we get a real manager after next year.

  • In reply to Tinker Evers Chance:

    After tis year is a much better idea. Girardi is in a contract year, and it isn't fantasy to suppose that he has the Yonqui blues. I've been a doubter from the start.

  • What is the point of Castro hitting 8th? He is only going to see crap, especially with men-on-base. A totally counterproductive move, IMO.

    If the intention is to have Castro as an RBI guy, then put him in an RBI spot and leave him there, slumps be damned.

  • Thank you for the AIC title, now I'm going to listen to the song, which is better than to think about today's game.

  • In reply to Caps:

    No problem Caps. My brother is going to Seattle next week. And the mood fit too.....

  • In reply to felzz:

    Awesome, never been to Seattle, kind of far from FL lol, but it sure does feel like Seattle here with all the rain outs in the FSL lol.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Cubs have played this way for the last decade it seems, score 10-11 runs in a game, then next to nothing for 3-4 games. It's like the same broken record over and over.

  • I've been critical of Sveum. But in the end, Castro and Rizzo have to hit. I don't doubt for a minute that Sveum and Rowson put too much into Castro's head. But in the end, it's up to Castro to get right and start hitting again.

    I'm not defending Sveum. I don't know if he's good or not. The fact that there isn't any urgency to find out is somewhat infuriating....

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to felzz:

    I agree about Castro and Rizzo....I'm not so worried about Rizzo, I think the light will click on again for him, I think he's trying to do EVERYTHING since that extension was signed and if you notice when runners are on , he's not as patient and really needs to be but he's still a really good fielder and takes walks, he'll right the ship...Castro seems to me like he's lost his confidence..compared to last year he seems further off the plate and is getting exposed at anything low and away....I wish that Junior Lake would inspire him to bring some energy back to his game...The talent oozes out of this kid, he needs to think

  • In reply to felzz:

    The reality is that it's not just Castro who is struggling. Look at our 5 core hitters. Their OBP and OPS are all down with the exception of a small bump in Castillo's OBP. That leads me to the conclusion our hitting coaches, including Sveum, aren't performing well.

  • In reply to tharr:

    "That leads me to the conclusion our hitting coaches, including Sveum, aren't performing well."

    Or, our hitters aren't adjusting or just aren't responding to the coaching.
    As armchair critics, we don't know the dynamics of what's being taught and what's being learned.

  • Quiz Kid Donnie Murphy continues to burnish his Chicago folk hero status. Shades of Bryan TheHair. Quick, Let's trade him to the Nippon-Ham Fighters for cash and a case of Pocky.

  • fb_avatar

    I've actually defended Sveum before, saying he can't do much with a crap team.

    But I fail to see the point of repeatedly shitting on Castro VERY publicly and moving him to the 8 spot in what seems to be an attempt to ludly embarrass him. It seems almost like bully behavior.

    IS there any count of how many different lineups we've used, or at least how many different spots the regular players have filled?

  • One flat loss and the sky is falling again. To wit, the Cubs never had a chance in a 4-2 loss. The two stars are slumping and pressing but "no one cares" (which I sincerely doubt).
    Nonetheless, Felzz, the sun came up this morning.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Oh Hubbs-y,

    You know my wraps carry an extra dose of P & V when they follow up a big win with a flat loss. It always evens out. But the bigger picture the past three weeks has been the offense relapsing into awfulness.

    And while I might have over did it with saying no one seems to care, I find the number of people adopting the "eh Eff Castro, We've got Baez coming." attitude to be truly offensive. Because once he starts hitting .240 then what..... I remember this blog in March the general consensus was "I don't care about what the record is, I just want to see Castro, Rizzo, and Samardzija take the next step...." It was universal. Well, that so far is 0 for 3. And yet people want to say it's a good year because we had a draft. Ummmm.......OK.

    But you're right. the sun did come up this morning, and Elvis Costello's "this year's Model" is putting me in a better mood as we speak.

  • In reply to felzz:

    I prefer Costello's "Punch the Clock", which is my analogy to this season: Keep plugging away.
    And we will need Castro AND Baez AND all the rest to make it a great set of paydays.

  • I'm not worried about this game or about this season. But I am worried about what will happen to the Cubs many prospects when they get to the majors. If Baez, Bryant, Soler, Almora et. al. have early struggles will we have coaches to help them adjust and make the most of their talents, or will we see confusion like with Castro and Rizzo? This needs to be addressed before next season.

  • It's odd that Rizzo is getting off the hook so much. You'd think he should slide down to 5th or 6th.

    This team of hitting coaches in Sveum, Rowson and Deer is obviously a disaster. They tried to change Barney too - regression. Castillo - regression. Good grief, that's the entire core! Castro is so wide open, his stride doesn't close enough... He is lunging for everything. How can this "trio of hitting coaches" not correct such obvious flaws?

    I am looking forward to big changes. I love Bosio and McKay. But we need a real hitting coach. We eventually need a better manager.

    I like Bruce Bochy. Very much.

  • It's amazing they can't take the same approach at the plate from one game to the next. Patient against Zimmerman and swing at everything Haren threw. Especially Rizzo I beleive he swung at the first pitch his first 3 times up.Castro on the other hand actually saw quite a few pitches.

  • IDK, I'm trying to keep an open mind and be positive about Sveum and his staff, but aside from Bosio (lukewarm) & McKay (red hot baby!) there's nothing there exciting me.

    James Rowson was barely a .200 hitter (as a corner OF to boot) in 3 seasons of A ball and 1 season of independent ball. Not sure how he was considered for a hitting coach to begin with. But since he spent 6 seasons as the Yankees hitting Coordinator and Theo/Jed had him in our system for a year in a similar role before handing him the job as MLB hitting coach, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Then we have Rob Deer a career .220 hitter and a career 31.2% K rate. He is the definition of a 3-outcome hitter. That hire just reeks of a Sveum favor to his buddy. Sveum was the best of the bunch as a career .236 hitter. But has any of the successful MILO hitters credited him for anything? Did Braun or Fielder decline in his absence?

    Now I'm not saying that you have to be Barry Bonds or Pujols to be able to effectively "teach" hitting. There's far too many nuances involved then just what you were physically able to do. But I don't see where any of these three have had any real positive impact anywhere... have they?

    200 hits in a MLB season is a big deal. No really, it is... Castro did it his first two years. The league hasn't finally started to catch up to him and adjust after all this team. The influence of these instructors have caught up to him and has him clouded, fuzzy, lack of confidence and not using his god given talents. He's lost up there because for the last 13-14 months (the tinkering started mid way last year) Castro is not allowed to be Castro....

    Somethings gotta give. We can't expect this to just magically right itself. So if I have to choose between our incredibly young, talented, and accomplished SS, or our very uninspiring and un-accomplished hitting instructors/coaches... well, that's just too damn easy to make that call.

  • I hate the what if game but I'm going to play it anyway. What if this team next year plays like these last 2 years? What if the core players struggle next year as bad as they have this year? This team is being carried by veteran journeymen and the young core is getting worse. I think the FO is going to have to decide whether Sveum is helping this team or hurting it.

  • The bottom line is probably that some players will not fit the Cubs 'work the opposing pitcher' system of approach. Basketball players who like to run the floor suck when the coach insists that they slow down to be a cog in a half court offense. Next year I would let Castro be Castro. In the end he may not be the best guy for the job after all.

  • Too bad about Rizzo's slump. He really looks pathetic up there right now. This offseason, we have to get a RH-hitting bench guy who can play 1B (who could spell Rizzo once in a while). Mu goodness, this guy was an absolute beast in AAA. What happened?

    I think (and have thought since last year) that the Cubs FO "jumped the gun" a little bit too early in signing Rizzo and Castro to long-term contracts.

    This looks like a classic case of the Cubs FO "out-thinking" themselves in order to get maximum value out of a contract.

    Let's all hope they turn it around fast (for their sakes and our sanity).

  • OK, seriously... didn't we hire Sveum because of his abilities as a HITTING coach?

    This looks bad right now.

Leave a comment