Professor, what's another name for Pirate treasure? Bucs 2 Cubs 1.

Cubs tried to take the upper hand in their series with the Pirates. But a more talented team with a helluva lot more incentive to win proved to be a bit too much for the North Side nine. The Cubs got on the board first. Nate Schierholtz's first inning double scored Starlin Castro but Anthony Rizzo, who was on 1st, was tagged out trying to score. That would prove to be costly as Gerritt Cole would find his legs and put his foot down on the Cubs offense. The Pirates would tie the game on Jose Tabata moon shot to center field. And in the seventh, Marlon Byrd, Marlon!........Byrd!..... would center to right center field. This would cause the Pirate announcers to scream "The Bird is the Word" and that would cause this blogger to toss up dinner. The rest of the game involved both teams making 256 pitching changes. 2-1 Pirates. YARRRRR!!!!!!!!!'


The great Scott Baker experiment went into phase 2 tonight. Well he made his second of three starts. That counts as phase 2 I suppose. Anyway, an encouraging start. The good is that Baker only threw 75 pitches in getting through a very effective 6 innings. And of those 75 pitches, 54 were strikes. Needles to say Baker didn't walk anyone, just allowing one run on 3 hits. The caveat is that all but two of his outs were flyball outs. That's alarmingly high. Even for a flyable pitcher. If Baker returns to the Cubs, I'm sure that's a note "the Boz" will want to address. Everyday Jimmy got the loss, followed by Carlos Villanueva, Zack Rosscup and almost everyday Blake Parker finished the game for the Cubs.


Can't say for sure if there's a fault on Rizzo being thrown out at home. But seeing as how it was the difference in the game and he was thrown out rather easily it's worth examining. On the replay you see David Bell waving Rizzo home as Castro was still midway down the third base line. Bell had the play in front of him so he obviously thought Rizzo could make it. Rizzo didn't break stride or look back or anything. Might just be a case of the Pirates making the perfect relay. But how could such an obvious send call be out so easily?


Since coming back from injury, Luis Valbuena has been hitting a robust .208.  And while he's been admirable with his OBP andhis fairly steady glove, he's a sub-par 3rd baseman. As a utility player I think he'd be great going forward. But if the Cubs are serious about the BUILD part of the rebuild, a .223 hitting 3rd base shouldn't be acceptable.

Oh well ( One of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs.). One of those games where the better team won. And since I'd like to see the Pirates in the playoffs before the Cards or the usual Dusty el fold, this is not that stinging of a loss. Battle of lefties tomorrow for the finale as Travis Wood takes on signing of the year Francisco Liriano. Yeah, a lefty. Over/under on Cub hits is 4.5 and I'm taking the under. Doubt there will be a wrap as my eyes will be focused on the Bears. But the world spins in many different ways. Heck, Cubs might even get some runs tomorrow. We shall see. Onwards.





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  • Scott Baker. Smoke and mirrors.

    I can't sing I ain't pretty and my legs are thin.

  • In reply to kansasblackhawk:

    This is the glass half-empty perspective. The glass half-full would say that the dude knows how to get by without his best stuff and once his stuff comes back he could be a very solid pitcher. I like this explanation better.

  • Well it is a loss but I also wouldn't mind Pirates beating the Cards for the division. Another good thing is Scot Baker looks like he is recovering well from TJ surgery. We should resign him. I think he could provide some needed veteran leadership in the starting rotation next year.

  • Baker looked solid. I still don't get lake not getting starts vs a righty. Is he that bad vs a righty? Lets give another lefty a chance to pitch out of the pen first.

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    Next year's Scott Baker return could be a better than this years Feldman.

  • Can anyone make a good case that the 2013 3rd Base Coach position can't/shouldn't be upgraded next year? I live in California so I don't typically catch the games and appreciate the game summaries here. That said, it seems, for whatever reason, we've had a significant number of runners "easily" cut down at home. Have I drawn a wrong conclusion here?

  • In reply to Good Captain:

    Even my son who's in youth baseball said before I could open my mouth, "He should never have been sent." This isn't the first time, especially with Rizzo. The 3B coach should "know" his runners abilities and the opposing outfielders' abilities. Bell doesn't have a clue. Your conclusion is, unfortunately, dead-on, my Good Captain. Hopefully Bell is gone before next February, even if Sveum isn't. Same with Rowson. This is a very poor collection of coaches, (i.e, unless your're trying to lose games).

  • Part of it is we have no speed.

  • Baker is looking OK,.... but yes - the number of fly-balls from an allegedly sinker-baller, ground-ball 'specialist' is somewhat worrisome.

    That being said - he's got all Winter to get his stuff going again - and it's just good to see some milage being gotten out of his contract for the year.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Good game by Baker in Pittsburgh. However, play this game in Wrigley with its power alleys that are more shallow and the score might have been 4 or 5 to 1. Some of those fly balls would have been in the seats in Wrigley. But let's keep him around for next year.

  • In reply to Tinker Evers Chance:

    Agreed - especially if he is willing to sign for a realistic, incentive-laden contract, that could either keep him here and in the rotation, or that would make him 'flippable' like Feldman come next season's trade deadline if the Cubs don't appear to be challenging for a playoff spot.

    The 'old' Baker like he was a few years ago in Minnesota would be a solid add for a rotation including Shark, Wood, and Jackson.

  • More evidence of Sveum's lefty lineup problems. Batting order has #2 thru #6 all loaded with lefties. In the 8th inning Pitt brings in a LH who proceeds to put the heart of our lineup down 1-2-3. Rizzo is .178 vs LH and Schierholtz .188.
    In the 7th Russell comes in to face Morneau and then has to face RH Byrd. Game over. Predictable.

  • In reply to tharr:

    It just doesn't occur to ol' egghead to alternate a righty in the middle of all those lefties.

  • Booty! Booty!

  • In reply to Greggie Jackson:

    That's what it is.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    'Cause I'm the master blaster
    Drinking up the shasta
    My voice sounds sweet 'cause it has to!!!

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