Anarchist's Brunch- About last night. Pirates 5 Cubs 3

Last night, the Pirates and Cubs waited out a two hour rain delay before eventually playing a baseball game Saturday night. Sadly fans should have been rooting for the rain. Too many old Cub mistakes- defensive lapses, thoughtless pitches, misguided at-bats etc. led the Cubs to give away a game they were leading and a series they were leading to be tied. The Cubs got on the board after falling behind on a Jordan Mercer home run. I know as a writer of a baseball Blog I should be able to tell you about Jordan Mercer. Well I can't. He plays for the Pirates and apparently has some pop. Anyway, Anthony Rizzo erased that lead in the 4th with what looked like an "excuse me" Home run swing. He was fooled on the pitch, hesitated with his swing, drove the darn thing out of the park anyway. When you're going good…. Well, that would be sort of it for the Cubs offense, and two innings later the Pirates would get the lead back. Jordan Mercer would score (Of course) on a Josh Harrison single and he would score when Andrew McCutchen got his 98th RBI against the Cubs or so it seemed. The Pirates would get two more on a Josh Harrison home run that didn't have to be and that would kinda be it. Eli Whiteside did something positive- RBI double or something….No one cares. Good night, drive home safely. Make sure you mumble something of an apology after urinating on a lawn.



For some reason it took Travis Wood almost 100 pitches to not get through 5 innings. Converse that with the bespectacled and not nearly as talented Vance Worley, who only needed 90 pitches to carry the game into the 7th. Worley threw 68 strikes to Wood's 57. And Worley's 29 foul balls should've been a bigger hinderance than Travis' 19. Just a clunker for Travis tonight- 4.2 IP 4 H 3 ER 3 BB 4 K. Schlitter got the Cubs out of the 5th. Everyday Grimmy got knicked up a little in his two innings of work and the good house Villanueva was fine through his two innings of work.


So the old National news went to their tired narrative of the baseball spectrum last night. Down 3-2 with two outs in the 7th, Pittsburgh rookie Gregory Polanco grounded a routine ball to SS Starlin Castro. Castro mistook Polanco's hyper speed and gave a routine throw over to 1st…..which Polanco beat out. And allowed the next hitter-Josh Harrison to go BOOM!!!!! 5-2 Pirates. CJ Nitkowski was all over Castro, and all of last year's deficiencies were brought up AGAIN, even though Renteria BEFORE THE GAME had talked about how Castro had improved tremendously in that area of his game. Castro should have thrown him out, but it very well could have been a case of Polanco out hustling the throw. And that was never brought up.


So during the off season in my pursuit for one measly hitter to help protect Rizzo and Castro and actually start putting the "Build" in rebuild I meekly suggested Nelson Cruz on a one year deal. I was immediately hopped on Popp by several draftniks about how we'd not only lose our sandwich pick but we'd lose several dollars of draft pool money.  So, okay, we don't draft Jake Stinnett, and maybe….MAYBE we lose enough money that we don't draft a Dylan Cease, but meanwhile we have an extra 23 HR and 60 RBI in our lineup, might possibly be winning baseball games and at the very, very worst have an MVP like trade asset to go with Samardzija and Hammel that would likely get you prospects as good as Jake Stinnett………..right? Where am I wrong here?

1,2,3 YOU'RE OUT……..1,2,3 YOU'RE OUT!……..1,2,3…YOU'RE OUT!

How silly was that 9th inning against "new" closer Mark Melancon. He threw 12 pitches- 9 strikes against Castro, Valbuena and Junior lake and got 3 strikeouts. If their eyes were open for more than 2 of those pitches I'd go ahead and call myself blind.


So Theo made the airwaves to pretty much let everyone know that barring something incredibly unforeseen, we're not going to see Kris Bryant ( and possibly Javier Baez) till June of next year. And there's a part of me that's fine with that. If we're punting this season, and it sure looks like they're trying to punt this season, than may as well adhered to those kind of rules. But you can't tell us that "The player will tell us when he's ready"  because Bryant has been doing that all year. Just tell us there are bigger wheels turning…..Like the business side keeps all the money in Pringle cans and it's hard to get the deals done. Once again he talked about the need to have veterans in place when the kids are called up. And I'm fine with that too. But shouldn't a veteran or two been in place for Castro and Rizzo, two players you signed long term to be part of your core?


Is today's musical Sunday choice. Although I've been playing a lot of Beck as he graced the music pavilion I live across the street from. So if you need a Beck album- today it's "Guerro"


"Dazed and Confused" was on last  night. I've been looking for 25 years, it still doesn't get much better than Parker Posey in 70's shorts for me…..


Cumpton vs. Hammel for the Cubs third series in a row. They give such hope in their wins and crash with such a thud in their losses, who knows what to make of what. I say we hope for the best. Onwards.



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  • Nobody's worser than Jordy Mercer.

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    So Theo more or less said they we will be throwing away next year as well. We can finally change our mantra from wait til next year to wait till two years from now! Boy am I excited-NOT!

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    You want a reason for 100 pitches through 5 verses 90 through 7? How about the idea that Worley was getting an extra 6 inches below the knee on strikes compared to what any Cubs pitcher was getting.

    I normally do not get into griping about the umpires but come on be consistent. If you are giving the low strike then call it for both sides. If they do that then you would have seen a lot more pitches by Wood tomahawk into the ground than popped up to the infield.

    It was cause an effect after watching Worley get that call time and again by the time the Bullpen came in the Cubs were swinging on everything down in the zone. So I have to give a pass to the swings where they looked totally lost in the 8th and 9th innings.

  • If Theo is to be believed and they intend to add a veteran bat at some point soon, are we talking this offseason or a proactive move this offseason?

    Do we think the more likely course is a trade (CarGo, one of LAD's surplus, Stanton, Heyward?) or a FA-maybe Rasmus?

    Thoughts? I'm still an advocate of an aggressive move for CarGo if he's available. Saving that , I think Kemp can possibly be "stolen" from LAD(i.e money back & non-gouging prospect cost).

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    You are asking "are we talking this offseason or a proactive move this offseason?" There seems to be only one choice and that is "this offseason" I can see something happening this offseason.

  • In reply to John57:

    My bad, meant @ trade deadline or this offseason. I think this might be a slightly different deadline , in terms of the moves made. I can see teams like BOS being interested in making moves , as much for '15 as '14. I could also see is doing same thing if guys we are targeing(i.e Cargo) get put on mkt, sooner rather than later).

  • Is anyone else concerned about Castro's arm? He started throwing more sidearmed last year. Looks like a second baseman.

  • Mercer is a female ironwowan and paddleboarder not related to Bobby.

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    In reply to CubsBuck22:

    That's not surprising considering Bobby spelled it Murcer

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    Going to Snapper/Cougar games next weekend?

  • Easy to say 23 HRs and 68 RBIs but there is no way to predict what Cruz would actually do here. Maybe he wouldn't like the batting eye. Maybe h would not adapt quickly to so many day games. Maybe he would enjoy the bars after the game more then losing during the afternoon.

    A one year deal for any guy that you have to give up a draft pick for is completely stupid unless you intend to contend (like the Orioles). A 3 year deal? Okay. I don't remember anyone that said we should sign Cruz for multiple years. And even if the FO would have been foolish enough to do it, why would Cruz choose a crappy Cubs team over the Orioles offer?

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Some good points here, but don't forget when playing the "maybe" game that it could work the other way too. Maybe he adores the batting eye and hits 10-20 points more, maybe he decides to be a teetotaler and day baseball is a refreshing change for him, etc., etc., etc. In other words, you're right that we can't automatically pencil in the same numbers, but they could be better as well as worse.

    Also agree that signing him for 1 year wouldn't have been that wise. But I truly, truly hope that after this trade deadline that the FO starts building up the OF and starting rotation with some veterans who can support and protect the youth and with the aim of actually winning some games at the ML level. Happily, that does appear to be their plan.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    Agreed. It's really easy to say "oh it's just Jake Stinett" now, but who knows.

    #45 pick would've still been the 1st supplemental round before the last CBA. A lot of really good players were picked in the early 40-ish picks.

    Josh Donaldson was picked at #48 by you know who. We traded him the next year for Rich Harden.
    Rich Harden actually played pretty well, and that was a season where we actually made a run. (sorta.... oh god .... I promised myself I wouldn't cry...). And back then, when we traded him we probably said "who cares it's just Josh Donaldson?"

    So you want Nelson Cruz instead of the #45 pick, so we can get to what? a record JUST under .500? Giving up a draft pick before the draft isn't much different than trading a draft pick after the draft.

    In hindsight, I'd rather have Josh Donaldson than Rich Harden, but I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time.

    So go ahead and talk about how sweet it would be to have a 33 year old outfielder who is performing FAR better than any reasonable expectations during a season when he would NOT have made us a contender.

  • Hopefully, Jed Hoyer follows through on his promise to sign some vet FAs during this next offseason and goes after Nelson Cruz with a 2-3 year contract. IMO, he'd look really good as our anchoring RF cleanup hitter as the first wave of prospects flows in.

  • I recall a call last winter for the Cubs to sign Grady Sizemore, "a veteran bat" and all that.

    Sometimes the best signings are the ones you don't make.

  • In reply to Jim Hickman:

    Agreed - Although I will admit I was in the 'sign Sizemore on a flier' crowd last Winter. Often fliers don't work out.

    Too bad - as he was really a great power-speed combo guy several years back for Cleveland. Some injuries are just ones you can't come back from completely. Assuming his career as a player is done - I wish him well in post-player life.

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    I seem to recall they did sign some vets the last few years. Its just that they are 14'th string outfielders or 8th string utility infielders. Only players they go for are for are the cheapest they can get, at least for now anyway. Can that change, sure. I am not holding my breath on that time though!

  • Good analysis Felzz, and I agree with all of it.

    I appreciate greatly the sabermetric crowd, but one or two fine players can greatly alter a baseball season.

    Consider the many 1 run games a team loses during the course of a year, or even 2 run games. You can't tell me we couldn't possibly be a drastically better team with the likes of Cruz in left, Valbuena at 3rd, (instead of Olt's .150 average), and just about anyone replacement level or above average in center field and right field.

    Of course, this comes with the benefit of hindsight, as I think Olt should have been given a shot, Lake perhaps, but it's been a lost season by Nate S, Olt has shown power, but ultimately been a bust, and Lake is full of talent and promise, but not yet a major league hitter at this time in my opinion.

    Good news is, they have made it clear they want to get some veterans in the mix, and that's great news. 5 years from now, we might find out that we were doing nothing but covering "other team's prospects and our busts" here at the Cubs Den, but either way, it sure is fun. :)

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    Point taken. I believe Len Kasper mentioned that the Cubs were now 10-24 in games decided by 1 or 2 runs.

  • You observe "if their eyes were open for more than two of those pitches..." Ah, what we have here is the Cubs" Way.

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