Just When You Thought it Was Safe to Go Back to the Ballpark, Nationals (I lost count at 10), Cubs 0

Just When You Thought it Was Safe to Go Back to the Ballpark, Nationals (I lost count at 10), Cubs 0
See, Addison Russell!!!! This game never happened.

As everyone here knows, Jeff Samardzija put up a 1.46 ERA in his first 10 starts and was rewarded with an 0-4 record.  The Cubs put up a 1-9 record in those games as a whole.  In their first game following the departure of the staff ace, the Cubs celebrated by losing one the old fashioned way.  Poor pitching and non-existent hitting.  Let's show a video of Addison Russell.

Let's go over the concept of "Innings eater" again, Carlos

With the staff decimated following the Samardzija/Hammel trade, Carlos Villanueva got the start with a simple mandate: get the game to the middle innings so Ricky could stick the kid from Iowa in and not torch the bullpen.  Well, he did get to the middle. Of the third.  Averaging about 10 pitches per out, he was done

How about that Addison Russell video again?

Rus(h)in' back to Iowa?

Poor Chris Rusin came on trailing by 3-0 with nobody out and a runner on second in the third inning.  Adam LaRoche reached on a swinging bunt.  For reasons that are unclear, Castillo tried to get the lead runner at third -- gotta cut off that all important fourth run -- and wound up getting no outs.

Then the nationals started beating down Rusin like he was an idealist on Capitol Hill.  By the time Denard Span came up for the second time in the inning, the Nationals had jumped out to a 7-0 lead and this one was over.

Rusin looked like he was settling down and would at least save the bullpen -- a necessary task with the mop up guy starting the game -- when the Nationals struck for two more in the 6th.

I've been a big proponent of Rusin as a #5 and in fairness to him flying to Washington from Oklahoma City overnight is not the best way to ease him in.  However, he really did himself no favors today.

Justin Grimm entered the game in the sixth was nice enough to help the Nationals improve their triple slashes even more.  In the seventh Renteria asked if there was a slaughter rule in baseball.  After the ump told Renteria no, Wesley Wright drew the short straw and had to pitch.

Hey Look, it's Jed Hoyer!

Hoyer stopped by the booth and, understandably, they talked as little as possible about what was actually happening on the field.  "Now we'll play the Addison Russell video again.  See, this game isn't really happening.  Addison Russell is the story here."

Gio Wiz

All the while, Nats' Starter Gio Gonzalez was automatic over 8 innings.  Rizzo was 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts.  Junior "The .257 OBP Leadoff Man" Lake was 0 for 4 but only had 1 strikeout.  I think Olt managed to strike out 7 times in 3 at bats.  At least Castro kept the no-hit streak going.

So that happened.  Jake Arrieta starts tomorrow.  Hey, did you know we got Addison Russell?

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  • As much as it sucks its best for us to lose these games. Its how we got baez almora Bryant schwarber and high upside arms. Fact is the more we lose right now the more flexibility we have in the draft

  • In reply to INgold91:

    I diagree. The Cubs were doing well. They would be better off with no trade. It left the team down in mood as they pictured another year of wasted time and effort in their short careers. Like speed, losing kills.

    The cubs obtained more of what they already have,. This was a stall to save money. The cubs needed to be buyers. Or traders. Everyone would be a winner. The fans the player and the GM and scouts.
    You can not predict or count on next year in baseball. You must play to win when you have such a good record from May, 17th on. The rest of the league is playing average in their division. Bring up kids as a last resort. CXreate excitement and a sporting attitude of trying to win. Watch attendance dip on TV and at the park. I do not think this wa theo's idea. Only Rickets is responsible as he squeezes every dollar. he bought the club for $800 million and it is worth at least 300 million more right now. It may be time to be a sox fan as Ricketts is worse than Jerry R. Sad, but true. Maybe I will focus on the bears and bulls and I do not mean the stock market. DEPRESSING. Wait till next year.

  • In reply to race:

    Well that's very short sighted thinking. I understand you want to win but when you play in one of the best divisions in baseball and have the offense we have you have to sell mlb talent that has no future with your team at the deadline. Hammel was on a one year deal and shark wasn't signing an extension. As an organization you have to look ahead and that was by far the best decision for the cubs and their future

  • In reply to race:

    ."a stall to save money." Conspiracy theories, without a shred of justification, are just boring.

    You're right. It's time to be a sox fan. Here's where you need to be:

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Hey Cliff1969 (Soxfan) go back to your soxtalk and quit worrying about the Cubs. If Sox fans put in as much work to root for their team as they do to root against the Cubs they would have the greatest fans.

  • In reply to jbrantt:

    Hey J; Do you really believe that by what Cliff said to race made Cliff a Sox fan? (moving on) The rest of what you said is so true!

  • In reply to race:

    So a trade POs you and now you're going to just show them and switch teams. LOL! I've heard of fair weather fans, but that one takes the cake.

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    In reply to INgold91:

    don't go there.

  • In reply to INgold91:

    Yeah we gotta continue the White Flag Rebuild cause you gotta have a top 3 pick to draft impact players like Addison Russell. Oh, wait, he was the no. 11 pick the same year we took Almora 6th?

    I have to wonder if today's performance was the result of the air coming out of he sails of a team that had been spilling blood, sweat and tears to go 25-19 over the last six weeks, and then seeing their two best pitchers traded away based on concerns for 2016 and beyond. Everyone understands why it had to happen. But it's no less deflating.

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    In reply to TTP:

    Their two best pitchers....

    You mean besides Arrietta, who has been heads and tails better than Shammel?

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    In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    I love jake the snake more then most here. I was labeling him a poor mans roger Clemens when he was still pitching at TCU and was shocked he lasted until the 5th round.

    Anyways my point is, I am a huge fan of his ESP after his last few starts, but its even obvious to me ( being bias) that Hammel and Shark have been our two best overall starters since the season started.

    Do I think Jake could surpass them as the season goes on? Most def

  • In reply to TTP:

    And where was Bryant? Number 2. Its a lot easier to spot high end talent within the first couple picks. If I remember correctly the draft Russell went 11th most people thought that was very risky. Ya you can draft talent anywhere but its easier at the top especially when you get your choice to pick before most teams. Not to mention you have more money to play with and more IFA money. Ya we can say trout went 20 something and wacha went in the late teens but thats few n far between bro.

  • In reply to INgold91:

    Look, there are all sorts of rationales for losing - including being a loser. Just like there are rationales for suicide. I hate losing and react violently to losing by design. To me it's the easy way out. I think Mike Ditka would call this White Flag Rebuild the losers way. Despite having Bryant, something still stinks about losing badly on purpose. I feel sorry everyone in that Cub clubhouse who saw our two best pitchers walk out the door. I feel sorry for Cubs fans who now accept the losing, especially those that hope for more of it. Stop drinking the Kool-Aide.

    Thank you for watching, we now return to our regularly scheduled Minor Leagues programming.

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    In reply to TTP:

    OK, first of all, the cubs are not "losing on purpose." These are professional ballplayers and MLB has a draconian history on "throwing" games. Even if these guys WANTED to "lose on purpose" it would be disastrous for their economic future. It is also not the front office's goal to lose on purpose. They know and acknowledge that the roster, as currently constructed, is not going to be a playoff team. Could they spend a bunch of money, use their minor leaguers in trades and suddenly field a really good team? Sure they could. See 2007-2008 Cubs. But the price for that is the 2010-2012 Cubs (and, to a lesser extent, 2013-2014 Cubs). Bloated contracts with No Trade Clauses hamstringing our ability to transition to another group of "Core" players.

    There are guys on this team that probably look at the rest of this year as a "tryout" for every other major league ball club. Would they prefer to go 50-17 the rest of the way? Sure, but that is (was) not realistic. They are in 8th place in the WC standings. That means 6 other teams have to, somehow, do poorly the rest of the way for us to get into the playoffs.

    While I don't know about McKinney, Russell looks like he could be a cornerstone player, or could get us a REALLY good starting pitcher in return. He also provides insurance when one of our other prospects doesn't pan out (which is likely to happen). If we are not going to be likely to compete this year why not get players that will be better able to help us compete next year or the year after that and well into the future. Why shed tears over each loss for a team that is going to lose a lot of them.

    Finally, for those of you whom this four game winning streak gave you hope for this team. Let's look at what would have happened in each of those games had we not traded Shark and Hammel.

    Game 1: 2-0 win over Boston. Shark/Hammels impact: 0. Did not play.

    Game 2: 2-1 win over Boston. Shark/Hammels impact: 0. Did not play

    Game 3: 16:9 win over Boston. Shark/Hammels impacts: 0. Did not play

    Game 4: 7-2 win over Washington. Shark/Hammels impact: Hammel: 6IP, 5H, 2ER, 2BB, 7K. A very solid start. Would the cubs have won if someone else had pitched? Probably. It is not common to score 7 runs and lose.

    "But if Shark had pitched we probably would have won yesterday." I doubt it. First of all, we didn't score a single run. No one wins a game when 0 runs are scored. Gonzalez has had the cubs number this year too. 15IP, 0R, 6H, 3BB, 14K so while some of the Washington runs were probably team let-down after the emotions of losing 2 teammates I don't think it would have changed the result. Also, Shark hasn't exactly been the same pitcher he was in April-May.
    April: 5G, 34IP, 2.38 ERA
    May: 5G, 34IP, 1.32 ERA
    June: 6G, 33IP (quite a drop off in IP/G), 5.45ERA. Even if we remove his supremely ugly 3IP, 8ER performance in MIL his ERA still comes in at 3.60. Not nearly as bad, but over a run/game WORSE than his previous 2 months (though close to the SUM of their ERAs). Also, his last time out against these same Nationals: 5IP, 5ER. Though his peripherals were pretty good 6K, 0BB he gave up 7H including 2HRs. In short, yesterdays end to the the winning streak was going to happen. It might have been less of a blowout, but it isn't likely that we would be playing for a 2nd consecutive road sweep and a 6 game winning streak with a win today.

    For 30 years I lived and died with each win-loss. I crumbled each time a "prospect" failed to live up to expectations (which were usually unrealistically high). Then I came to the conclusion it really was not worth the emotional energy. Whether I agreed with the front office or not, I couldn't change what moves they made. I couldn't change the moves the manager made. I couldn't hit/pitch/field for our guys (and as much as I bemoaned some of their inability to hit I would make a pitiful spectacle of myself were I to switch places with them).

    My honest reaction when I saw the score last night: Laughter. Bewildered laughter. My thought, "Well, that was an even worse let down than I expected." But today is a new game. Both teams start out 0-0. And we might win today. And there is nothing that Shark/Hammel could do about it even if they were on the roster so while they were solid players while they were here I am happy with what we got back for them and wish them luck on their new team.

  • That,... was by no measure 'pretty' from either Villanueva or Rusin,.....

    Well - at least they can only lose one game at a time,...... Here's hoping that Arrieta can go 7 innings tomorrow and we can salvage a series ending win.

    Let's roll that Addison Russell video now,..... again,....

  • Operation Tanksalot was initiated last night , Do it well boys , there is no awards for the 2nd worst record so let the Cubs dive deep into the cellar the rest of the year and grab 1 more impact guy and the lovely slot cash before the mashers arrive next year and screw it all up by winning ,.

  • I really hate fans welcoming the worse record in baseball. I bet the players feel the same way. I just hope jake can stay healthy for the rest of the season.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I disagree only somewhat, as I do want the Cubs to have the #1 pick but also hate when then lose - my feeling is I want the Cubs to win every game but (if we are not a contending team) want them to have more losses than anyone else.

    My comment on your post is more about the irony of your moniker when viewed with respect to your post. Personally, I'd rather wait til next year with the #1 pick and hope for a good future.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    As long as we get production from our core players it doesn't really matter how much we win. Of course we wanna see certain players do well and win but the truth is every win from here on out means nothing because we aren't in contention. For me personally i'm not rooting for losing I'm just rooting for our future. And with the current CBA the higher you are in the draft the better for your draft and IFA

  • So CV did himself no favors if he wishes to be moved. Whos next and where is the IFA trade cubs?

  • John/KC regulars: It appears Hanneman may be hurt, as he has been out of the lineup the last few days. Has anyone heard anything?

  • In reply to springs:

    I think Hanneman is serving a suspension from his incident a week or so ago.

  • The Cubs haven't scored on Gio Gonvalez in his last five starts against them. If the trade hadn't happened, the Cubs would have lost 3-0 instead on 13-0, which matters only to the pitchers whose ERA's were trashed and fans who think net runs scored-allowed is a meaningful statistic.

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    Albert Almora has 2 hits so far tonight. Don't look now but his average is up to .270! He's on fire!

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Very nice to hear Bobby.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Woo hoo!!! Thanks for the update Bobby!!

  • Well Felzz, since you posted the Russell scouting video, I will now have to post the Billy McKinney scouting video, lol.

    Check out that smooth left handed swing on McKinney:

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    Wow!! Dawg... that is a quick, smooth swing. Thanks for the video!!

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    I really hate hearing guy's like Joe Buck running off at the mouth. The worst play by play guy there is.Huge homer and associated kisser too.

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    I think (and for all I know this may have happened) after a 13-0 blowout the day after a major trade, this is a time when Theo himself has to go into the clubhouse and hold a team meeting. There's gotta be some resentment bubbling up to the surface there, some fear of job insecurity, some confusion about whether this trade sets the timeline forward or back (just like here!), a lot of "what does this mean for me?". I think this calls for the head honcho clearing the air, handing out reassurance, and most importantly reminding the guys that there's a season to be played, we're not tanking the rest of the season, we're not looking for the #1 draft pick, we have the talent to continue the recent winning trend, and we owe it to the fans showing up at the park every day to still put out full effort, every inning of every game.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I have no problem with Epstien addressing the troops, but I think they already understand that Villanueva's start was a stop-gap move, as was Rusin's appearance. Many of the players have played with Beeler and Wada, two replacements that are already on the way. They were beaten today by a first place team who started a pitcher they've never done well against.

    Hopefully, everyone already understands what's it means for each individual: earn your keep or be replaced.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    If you earn your keep, they will just trade you for more prospects.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    You have an interesting anti-positive mental outlook there WaitTil,....

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    "If you earn your keep, they will just trade you for more prospects."

    It got Shark and Hammel onto a WS contender.
    If I were them I'd be pretty darn happy about this.

    There's a decent chance Shark gets to do it all over again next year.

  • In reply to hoffpauir6:

    Exactly, and "IF" Shark performs up to what he IS capable of and dominates in the post season... what will that do for his FA market value?... Everyone blasts the FO, but in the end, they did the right thing for everyone. And I was a HUGE proponent to re-signing Shark. But in the end, I think we are better off and so is he.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    All but a few position players they must know that having all of these mega-prospects means their days are numbered.

    But that's life in the big city. Best players play.
    Play hard if you want to stay in the Major Leagues.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    RR had a team meeting this morning. As Cliff said, CV was a stopgap starter. The older guys know they are playing for their next contract. I saw an interview with Russell where he said that after the poor start, they knew it was probably happening soon. The hardest part is the personal relationships they had.

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    While we are making roster moves, how about sending Justin Grimm to Iowa? He's been flat awful lately, and not fooling anyone. Blake Parker would be better.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    His last 3 outings have been brutal, Zonk... but he's been pretty reliable overall IMO. Shrug

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    I would agree with that.

    Next move that would make logical sense to me would be to call Blake Parker up and send Grimm down to Iowa to stretch him out as a starter, and see if he can fill one of the 2 open spots as a starter that we have after he builds up some arm strength.

    In the very least, it would be smart to see for 2015 if Grimm could potentially be a starting candidate. We already know he can be a really decent 7th inning reliever type, today's outing notwithstanding.

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    In reply to thunderbird1245:

    I been hoping they would have tried this months ago ESP since they knew they were going to trade two starters.

    Apparently some in the organization thought Chris Rusin could come in after a trade and be serviceable. M

    F that, let me see what Justin Grimm has after working w Johnson in Iowa. He wasn't horrible in his few starts last yr w Texas.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Grimm is barely adequate as a reliever right now. You think he is going to magically get better results as a starter? He is in the best role for him already. He just isn't very good unfortunately. Hendricks, Jokisch, Beeler and maybe even Rusin are better options as a starter than Grimm.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Rusin was solid at the the nend of last year in the rotation. He has been inconsistent this year, dominant at AAA at times... terrible at others.

    But Grimm was told to report to ST as a starter. he did and they quickly nixed that notion and shifted him to the pen. I'm not saying they wont try again, but if they do; relievers are typically stretched out over the winter, not middle of the season.

  • If they hadn't traded JS, this is one of the games where he loses 2-0. Was high comedy listening to Jed visit with Pat & Ron during the beatdown, interrupted by "And there's a liner in the gap!" and "There's a base on balls, and the inning continues."

  • The cavalry has arrived in Tennessee as Jorge Soler & Addison Russell have joined the Smokies tonight. Hopefully both will be in the lineup tomorrow against Birmingham. With Soler & Russell joining Bruno, Geiger, Cutler, Flores, and Kevin Brown who has been on fire since arriving, the Smokies suddenly have a very formidable lineup.

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    Life goes on.

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    Cubs management more or less told this club you have no chance. Very demoralizing if you were a player. I feel for the manager right now.

  • In reply to Dave Cookfair:

    I disagree. They are professionals. I think the players understand it is a business and do not begrudge the FO for making business decisions.

    Anyone, fans, players, etc that cant see that is just emotional and not logical at all. Despite playing the best we've seen in 3 years for the past 5+ weeks.... we're still 8+ games under .500 and all but mathematically eliminated from the post season this year. Hammel was going ot be a FA and they tried to extend Shark.... so sell the s/t assets for the l/t assets.

    The only struggle the players have is they do form persoanl relationships and friendships with the other players and so they hate to see them go. Then again, they form those relationships players from other organizations too as evidenced by Soler & Bryant reaching out to Russell who they know from the AFL.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    It's not logical to expect players and fans not to have emotions. Life isn't worth living without them.

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