Bad. Cards 7 Cubs 0.

Maybe it was the foul stench of last night's Rams performance mixing with the already present toxins in the St. Louis sky. But tonight's Cardinals-Cubs game had a cloud of doom hovering over it since about 3:00 this afternoon and made tonight's drubbing very gloomy and hard to watch. Unless you were a Cardinals fan. If you were a Cardinals fan you probably had a cousin in each arm, a Budweiser tall boy resting comfortably on your one functioning testicle, and an 8-10 tooth grin across your face. The first class baseball team, with the first class organization and the 8th class fans, just battered around the Cubs from the first inning and didn't let up.  And the Cubs balsa wood bats were pretty much reduced to toothpicks against the hairy Lance Lynn and the four Cardinals relievers. We closed last year with themed wraps. No sense messing with a good thing. let's sift through the ashes.


So, the plan going in was to give Travis Wood one inning of work so that he could reach the 200 IP plateau. Now if Wood has a clause in his contract that 200 IP triggers some kind of bonus, then yippie for him. Because, otherwise, it's just a round number.  And since the Cardinals tagged Wood for 3 runs in his one inning of work, his ERA rose from 2.98 to 3.11- the name of a truly awful band. Wouldn't a full season with an ERA under 3 be every bit as impressive as a season where you throw 200 innings? Len asked JD this question and he said he'd rather have the ERA under 3. Truth is there is no wrong answer. Which kind of speaks as to how stupid it was to have Wood throw just one inning in first place.


So as Dale Sveum went from Brooks Raley to Alberto Cabrera, to Blake Parker to Hector Rondon, to that pitcher that isn't Kuji Fujikawa, and as all of them struggled ( Rondon was fair...) you think Sveum just kind of asked himself " I'm fighting to keep this job?".  I'm sure Sveum would love to see three to four new arms in the pen next year, if he's even thinking of next year. But other than Strop, I don't think there's another spot that should be guaranteed to someone. Parker's been good, but he should have to win a spot in spring training too.


I take some heart that Castro is playing hard. He might be the only one. Castro went 3 for 4 and seems to be playing like someone who's been freed from some constrictions. While he still loses focus, his errors have gone down for a second straight year. And he at least seems to be taking advantage of the opportunity presented to him. Saying this team is going through the motions is an embarrassment to mediocre method actors who actually go through motions. But to see Castro putting it into a higher gear is.....something I guess.


Cardinal fans are just a migrane but man you have to love how this baseball club does business. This fat guy Matt Adams was a 23rd round pick. Matt Carpenter is a 13th round pick.  Their MVP Yadier Molina was fourth round pick. Draft and develop. Draft and develop.  They can dump a handful of prospects and get whoever they want. I'm actually quite shocked they didn't trade for Tulowitzki. But maybe they trade for David Price. Because they'll just draft and develop more. And they'll never care about where they draft. Ever. I yearn for those days.

So a third team just shoves the Cubs to the side as they rush onto the mound to celebrate winning. And the possibility, more likely probability, of Sveum being gas-canned has made these games more than meaningless. Arguello could list prospects 75-100 and simply make up names like  Albazhar Jiminez, Jorge Anaconda, and Trevor Gretzky, and it would draw more interest than talking about this game. But as the them of this wrap suggests, I'm gonna let it go. And so fade away. I'm wide awake and not sleeping. There's still a chance the Cubs could prevent the Cards from having the best record and home field advantage through the NL playoffs. Multiple Ed takes the mound supposedly against Adam Wainwright. But they might alter their plans with the central locked up and playoffs looming. Speaking of altering plans, there's rain forecast in St. Louis tomorrow evening, and what with Cardinal fans having a mass phobia of running water and standing under showers, the game has been moved to 3:15.  This gets the game over earlier. So Cub fans are all for it. Onwards.





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  • Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  • Dylan Thomas.... Nice.

    Thought about using him for closing wrap. But will probably stick with Billy the kid.

  • I feel your pain, pal. I hate the birds because they have so much organizational moxie. I don't handle envy, too well., I'm making a short trip, home Oct. 10 to visit my son, Max, for, perhaps the last time. I hope to hook up, with someone you know. Onward!

  • Well, I for one hope it's not the last time you visit your son. And I know my dad would love to see you too.

    Onwards indeed my friend.

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    I can't recall a year when the bad teams laid down more down the stretch more than this year. And the Cubs certainly aren't the worst culprit. I'd give that distinction to the White Sox, who seemed determined to hang onto that No. 3 draft pick.

  • I can't wait to see Jorge Anaconda take on the D-Backs. On a more somber note, pitching Wood for one inning was even dumber that using Barney in the last meaningless exhibition game so he could open the season on the DL. Even if there was a contract provision that rewarded him for reaching 200 innings, announcing beforehand that he'd only pitch the one inning was dumb.

  • I'm looking forward to passionately rooting for whoever is playing those damn Cardinals!

  • "While he (Castro) still loses focus"...

    I'm really starting to get tired of the myth of Castro losing focus.

    We had the Bobby Valentine deal 3 seasons ago. A baserunning blunder last year and the 2-out deal this season.

    Will someone PLEASE list the all the other times Castro has "lost focus" this season?

    I'm not saying he hasn't been bad, but holy urban legen Batman, this is getting tired.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Well Irwin,

    Two days ago he had two lapses where he let a routine grounder and a routine liner go right by him.

    I didn't mean it in a headline way. In fact, my Castro blurb was mostly, if not all, positive. But Castro, for all his wonderful skill, is not always locked in. His mind drifts. Even he has said as much.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Those aren't mental lapses, are they?

    That is just being bad.

    I think that Castro is pretty focused for a guy who consistently plays 160 games a year in a very important position.

    Cubs played the Braves a week ago and Sweeney was at bat. Hit an infield dribbler over the Pitchers head and Simmons (Braves young stud SS) couldn't make the play. Replayed the play from behind the plate camera and it showed Simmons upright and legs locked when the pitch was being delivered. JD commented on it but it went nowhere else.

    If that was Castro, he would have been crucified by Paul Sullivan, Wittenmeyer and all the media dopes out there.

    I just think this guy is getting pushed out of town because guys in the media have nothing else to do.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Well, Starlin's job is to prove them wrong. All that will require is for him to play up to his ability.

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    In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    To be honest I agree with this. Aside from those 3 instance he hasn't had any "mental lapses". Throwing rhe ball into the bleachers or mispplaying a ground ball is not a mental lapse its an error. Which are a part of the game.

    Also agree on the Simmons thing. Castro would have been shot out of a rocket if that was him. But again, chicago is unforgiving, nobody how many errorless months he has the second he makes one all of that never happened and its back to square one. (Talking about fans and Media of course, not Felzz)

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I think Castro has gotten a raw deal from the media, but so what? If he can't handle Bobby V. and Paul S. I don't like his chances against Clayton Kershaw when the game is on the line either. Actually, he seems to be handling it better than his fans. I think he's finally having a little fun.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agreed. I think he's tougher than we think. Quiet, maybe but sometimes those guys have an inner confidence. I think that's the case with Castro.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    It's not that Castro "can't handle" it. He can and has. But I agree wholeheartedly with Irwin and Marcel: This whole "Castro-mental-lapse-can't-focus" thing has been blown way out of proportion and is much more myth than fact. And even the limited actual instances of "lapses" should be no big deal given how young he was/is when they occurred.

    So the big problem with perpetuating the myth is that it fuels this constant, unwarranted drumbeat to ship him out of town and nearly every beat in that regard erroneously references his alleged "mental lapses" and alleged "problems with focus."

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Not to worry. Theo has you covered. If he gets traded it will be because we have better players rather than the media running him out of town.

  • I die sir, but not killed.

  • Just one final weekend left to swallow
    One last Rizzo K, errant Castro throw
    Come Monday Theo will end Dale's limbo
    Then promise better prospects to follow
    As I feel the pang, you'll share my sorrow
    All Cubs fans live for, know no tomorrow

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    It was worse than stupid. It was wrong. The Cubs should not do something so that one player can pad his personal stats.

  • Who exactly came up with the idea for Wood to only pitch one inning? Did this come from the front office? If so, they are doing Sveum a favor. If not, Dale deserves to be fired.
    Just disgusting. This is not how baseball works.

  • Thats what happens when a team isn't judged on wins and losses. Let everyone play an inning and give them a participant trophy.

  • In reply to kansascub:

    So if Girardi lets Rivera play an inning in CF this weekend, do we not want Girardi as a manager?

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    You think he would do that if they were playing the Red Sox with playoff implications involved?

  • Though the Cards hadn't clinched going into the evening, they had done all but clinch. Cubs would have needed to sweep Cards and Bucs needed to sweep Reds. Not likely.

    I'm fine with it.

    They probably wanted to shut him down and he asked to pitch one inning to get to 200. I'm fine with it.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Only way the Cardinals got into the playoffs last season, was because Charlie Manuel played his best team all out to win the last weekend of the season, and the Phillies swept the Braves out of the playoffs. Teams are still jockeying for home field advantage, and playoff matchups(avoid playing the Dodgers is the Cardinals goal this weekend).
    Complete bush league what the Cubs did last night.

  • On the Girardi front , if he were to come aboard, I wonder if that give a little boost to possibility of Grandy coming aboard on a short-term deal. I still maintain he'd make a great bridge to the young guys. A homecoming for both Yanks?

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    I agree, Granderson is a quality player, just can't commit to many years to him.

  • I think 2/25 ish would work well for both parties. As it stands, he's probably looking at QO from Yanks. The near-term outlook for NYY isn't very compelling.

  • The Cubs re playing hard to keep that 4th pick.

  • My patience with the way this team is playing is losing steam. Anyone who thinks that a manager only makes the difference of a few wins is underestimating the need for strong leadership at the top. This whole rebuild will suffer if the Cubs don't get the right guy in here and start winning more games in April.

  • Dale should look in to that opening in Seattle.

  • I can see limiting Wood to 5 innings but 1 inning. Cubs trying to teach hitters to see alot of pitches to get to a teams bullpen so Sveum does Cardinals a favor by yanking their best pitcher after one. Bush league.

  • In reply to kansascub:

    I probably wouldn't have much of an issue with the 1 inning thing if the Cubs were playing the Padres or Milwaukee or some other team totally out of it. (It's still weak, but it would merely ellicit an eye-roll) but you're right that basically giving the Cards a competitive advantage by rolling with an all bullpen type game is really weak since this game had playoff implications.

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    Felz-you're an awesome writer! Very entertaining. The things the traditional media couldn't say-good stuff man!

  • In reply to Dale Miller:

    Thank you very much sir. Very appreciated.

  • felzz you say castro is giving effort, but the idiots on the cubs website that are commenting is saying he is lazy ad should be sent to the minors and later traded.

  • Well I can't get into what others say. My saying he drifts was meant as a garnish and not as a main course. I'm totally pro-Castro. But it is a "buzz" word that gets everyone's defenses up.... I don't think we have to worry about Castro being traded for awhile....

    Two more games.....two more games....

  • In reply to felzz:

    I know your pro castro, and you do a great job with your writing.

  • Great article again, felzz. I loved the U2- Bad references.

  • Dude... 311 rules. You never seen them live? Go back and listen to Grassroots. They helped create that '90s funk sound with Incubus an RHCP. ...Which Limp Bizkit and Lincoln Park then turned into something more reminiscent of this Cubs effort.

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