Mitch Yost should get back in the game. Padres 4 Cubs 3.

Mitch Yost should get back in the game. Padres 4 Cubs 3.

On an agonizingly slow Sunday, the Cubs blinked and saw their 1-0 lead turn to a 4-1 deficit and were as equally slow an agonizing in trying to get back into the game. Turns out, the Cubs wouldn't get back into the game, losing 4-3, and taking a split series 2-2 with the Padres before heading up north to face the National league leading San Francisco Giants. The Cubs took a 1-0 lead when Junior Lake smacked a home run just over the left field fence. It was so close that Lake actually stopped running between 2nd and 3rd because he didn't know if the left fielder had caught it.. 1-0 Cubs in the 6ht. But the bottom of the 6th would be Jason Hammel, and the Cubs undoing. A single by someone named Tommy Medica, a walk to Evereth Cabrerra and a walk to Seth Smith loaded the bases up with one out and Chase Headley coming up. THAT'S HEADLY!!!!!! Anyway, Headly would line out to Junior Lake but it was deep enough that we would have a tie game. Ricky decided he had seen enough of Jason hammer and brought in James Russel. Bud Black saw James russel on the mound and brought in the very angry Carlos Quinten, who deposited a ball into left field. 2-1 Padres. Rich Rent would then go to Brian Schlitter…. Only Jedd Gyorko greeted him with a two run double to center. 4-1 Padres. And even though Starlin Castro would hit a 2 run moon shot off Houston Street in the 9th it wasn't enough.  Let's warm up the grill.

MY KINGDOM FOR A CAR

Jason Hammel seemed determined to want to give the Padres the lead. And this was while he threw 5 shutout innings. The sixth inning fell apart and fell apart quick…. So his line of 5.2IP 3H 3R 3ER 2BB 5 K seems about right.  Everyday Jimmy and Duck Dynasty threw okay, but seemed to have failed the BABIP gods. Also didn't help that Emilio Bonifacio bounced the ball like Nate Archibald out in centerfield. Nate Archibald?  Really? That's the point guard reference that comes to me…..???!!!!?? Doesn't help that Emilio Bonifacio bounced the baseball like Russell Westbrook after the Gyorko hit……..Much better. Schlitter threw another inning and was fine and so was Everyday Grimmy in his inning.

OLT MY LOVE, OLT MY KISSIN, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'VE BEEN MISSING

Every time Mike Olt kills a pitch for a home run Cub fans scream for Mike Olt to play more. But they're eerily silent when he has days like today. 0-4 with 3 strikeouts. AAnd this was Ian Kennedy and his 89 MPH fastball. I want to see Olt succeed but he simply has too much swing-and-miss in his game right now. So I don't mind the occasional game from the bench until he shows he's going to eliminate more games like this one.

I SPELLED M. A. M. MAN

Just to drop my two cents in on the weirdness of the Cubs signing Manny Ramirez to a player coach contract. I think it's fabulous. Manny's approach at the plate is everything Epstoyer wants. And Manny can probably relate it to todays kids better than some of the coaches. It sure can't hurt. My worry is if he starts to hit and the giant swirl of stupid calls for him to be promoted or to be traded for an asset. I really want to see how Manny can teach hitting to young players. Especially Mr. Baez. Let's see how this plays out.

Boy that series seemed to take a year and a half. Maybe it was because I had to listen to it through 90 year old Dick Enberg. Or because the games were long. Whatever, nice to see Petco in the rear view mirror. Onwards to pac Bell and the hot San Francisco Giants. Jeff Samardzija goes for win #1. Speaking of giant swirl of stupid overhyping stories…… here's one I'd love to put to rest. Here's hoping that happens. Happy Holidays, a hat tip to everyone that served our great country, and onwards.

Box score.

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    Rizzo is in a slump, sit him for a couple of games, a breather, a chance to refresh his mental approach. The cubs have to do everything possible to make sure he doesn't get into a prolonged slump like he got into last year.
    I am ready to say Olt's days as a starter is numbered. I believe he career is destined to be a back up corner infielder (1B/3B) with occasional LF and RF duties. He will have a fine career as the number 1 pinch hitter off the bench. And his defense will keep him in he league for a while. It's not necessarily a bad thing if he is used properly.

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    In reply to Cubsforlife:

    So 130 plate appearances for a rookie and the book is already written, huh?

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    In reply to Giffmo:

    Wasn't Rizzo hitting about a buck fifty at that same point?

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Rizzo's first 131 plate appearances (at San Diego): .175/.260/.246

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    I think I screwed that up. Try .140/.292/.262

  • In reply to Cubsforlife:

    Rizzo's home/road splits:
    Home .321/.470/.462
    Road .213/.333/.427

  • Is anyone with me that Lake is the most intriguing cub on the Major League team. I think that the sky is the limit with him.

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    In reply to CubsBuck22:

    I think he's about at his limit.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Well, he battles and seems willing to learn. With his physical tools I'm looking to give him more time.

  • Felzz, give the Governor harumph! And while you're at it, please explain why, even though we have 87 pitchers on the roster, RR still has a lefty face CQ.

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    I missed that part of the game, but if Felzzy's description is correct, RR brought in Russell to face the lefty and Black countered with Quentin. RR could do nothing as he already had made the switch.

    Now, a good manager would think, do I want Hammel to face XYZ or do I want Russell to face Quentin (he has to know that Black would likely bring in Q to face the lefty).

    Now maybe he did but he still went ahead with it. Didn't work, duh.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Irwin --- correct, have to be thinking 2-3 moves ahead and Ricky doesn't seem adept at that at this point. In my mind, Russell is one the least trustworthy guys in the bully right now, so UNLESS he's guaranteed to face a lefty, I would sure rather about 6 other guys be brought in to the game in a high leverage spot like that....

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    My thoughts exactly. FAR too often, Ricky finds himself one step behind in these key situations. Cubbies end up with a lefty hitter facing a lefty specialist when we bat, but somehow when we make a pitching change, our guys don't have that advantage. I hope Ricky is learning OTJ. Because in order to win close guys, you have to be on the correct side of these key, late inning moves. And it seems like we are not. Which is partially why our record is simply horrendous in close games. Today was another case in point. On the flip side, got to see Baez in person today and he did not disappoint --- grand slam was pretty to watch.....

  • In reply to ErnieB:

    It should also be noted that Baker was setting everything to be outside, while Russell was missing (or purposely pitching) inside. JD mentioned this.

    If anything, I think Ricky Ticky waited too long to relieve Hammel.

  • I think Renteria deserves some slack here. HAMMEL was dying and needed to come out. It was the 6th inning and Black was on his 5 hitter. I sure as heck didn't think Black was gonna PH for his 5 hitter in the 6th inning. And HAMMEL was done..... Hat tip to Black but I don't think this loss was on managerial X's and O's.....

  • Just going to say this,.... another very winnable game - where the Cubs managed to NOT win.

    The real difference between good teams and what the Cubs are currently - good teams win those close games more often than not.

    I continue to love the direction that this team is moving,.... but man the work-in-progress is hard to watch at times.

  • Felzz, I think your Nate Archibald simile was right on, given their comparable stature.

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