Let's Get Greedy: Dodgers 0 - Cubs 1

Yep, totally supposed to do this last night. But as the faithful readers of my hockey blog know, sometimes things just get away from me at night. Especially when I attend the event, and especially as fascinating of one as last night was. Yes, a 1-0 game might not interest most, but Jason Hammel staring down what might be the NL's best pitcher so far this year certainly holds the attention of most of us.

When this week started, looking the most brutal week of what's been the hardest part of the Cubs schedule, seeing Kershaw and Greinke at the top probably had most Cubs fans in a bargaining state. Let's maybe get one of these, or just split the series with wins on the back half of it, and if we finish the week 3-4 that really won't be the worst thing in the world when things get easier in July. Well, the Cubs beat both of them, and now have a chance to kickstart this season into a frenzy. Yeah, I know, baseball doesn't work that way, but you know how you'll feel if the Cubs come out of this week 5-2 or something.

Let's get to the minutiae, shall we?

-Obviously, the star of the show was Hammel, who gave up two hits, one walk, no runs, and wasn't even threatened until the 8th inning, basically. Hammel had a couple of wonky starts, getting off to a rough beginning in Cleveland last time out before recovering and being thwarted by a rain deal after getting basically shelled by the Reds. But in both of those he was able to hold the Cubs in it just enough for them to tie both games (and both became losses, sadly. According to BrooksBaseball.net Hammel really upped the use of his slider last night, throwing it almost nearly half the time. That's way up from his last two starts and actually the most he's used it all year. Good to see the plans change when needed, and considering all the power the Dodgers have staying away from the fastballs when you can is probably a good idea.

-As for the other starter, Greinke had to do a little more weaving out of trouble than his counterpart but always seemed to get the popup he needed with some high cheese. There's also something special about a guy who wields a curve that makes the entire stadium gasp when he throws it, which he didn't do as much last night. But the Cubs made him sweat through six innings, which is usually a good thing except that Dodgers' pen has been so good this year you're not really getting much of a break when you get to them.

-I've never understood how anyone hits Kenley Jansen, and am overly impressed that Denorfia was able to get solid contact when down two strikes.

-When Vin Scully says Joc Pederson is the best Dodger center fielder he's ever seen, you take notice because he's seen more baseball than any of us have seen of anything, ever. While Pederson didn't have to make any great plays last night, being at the game every time a ball was hit to him your gaze would shift from home right after contact and when it switched to Pederson he was already on the sprint and heading to the spot. A read off the bat is probably the most important thing for that position, and he clearly has it.

-Joe Maddon really hates bunting, huh?

-It was only natural that after complaining about Mike Baxter and Matt Szczur being back-to-back in the lineup on Twitter they would start the game-winning rally. I could stop a 100-care funeral procession, I tells ya.

Think that about sums it up. Onwards.

Comments

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  • The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed -- for lack of a better word -- is good.

    Greed is right.

    Greed works.

    Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary sporting spirit.

    Greed, in all of its forms -- greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge -- for a winning MLB franchise - has marked the upward surge of mankind.

    And greed -- you mark my words -- will not only save The Chicago Cubs, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.

    Thank you very much.

  • In reply to SteveBB:

    Gordon Gecko-"greed is good".

  • Szczur is the new Reed Johnson.

  • In reply to Reedo4:

    Sure, with a career batting line about 100 points lower across the board.

  • In reply to Reedo4:

    let's be careful with the reed johnson comps...

    http://m.mlb.com/video/v93088283/wshatl-johnson-trims-lead-to-one-with-an-rbi-double/?query=Reed%2BJohnson

    ...that kid was/is a flat-out "player." loved him in cubby pinstripes.

  • Sam, I like your writing and really glad you're taking part in these recaps. Hope to see more of them.

  • In reply to IThrewSomeRocks:

    Ditto, George would be proud.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    I second that Ditto. More please, Sam.

    Onward, indeed!

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    Great recap. Joc Pederson is a stud. I wonder if that's what Almora would look like out in CF when he gets here. ( AA is Prob a step slower ) From everything I have read, Albert's instincts in CF are top notch so here's hoping that watching Joc is a glimpse into the future of what we are in store for defensively at least !

    Let's knock Bolsinger around tonight and have the Dodgers playing desperate tomorrow vs Lester ! The Dodgers have the MLB low 14 steals and have been caught 17 times, so this should be just what the doctor ordered for Mr. Lester. Once he gets going...........those Redbirds are going to start having sleepless nights !

  • Speaking of Vin Scully - In 1984, I had the opportunity to briefly say hello to him before game 1 of the NLCS as he was being ushered from his private car to the broadcast trailer next to the players entrance. He could not have been kinder or more generous with this time and autograph!

    When I returned home, I watched the network opening broadcast for the series that I had beta-maxed which Scully had narrated. I still get goose bumps thinking about it - as it was so beautifully done. I lost the Beta-tape somewhere along the way and cant find it on YouTube. If anyone can - it's worth a watch.

    Anyway, it was a nice moment I'll never forget.

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    I saw some things to impress me in last night's game.

    1. The Cubs were Patient. They didn't get themselves out (with a couple of exceptions. They made Greinke work for every out. I saw lots of 4-6 pitch ABs. Those are good. While the Dodger pen is good it gave the Cubs a look at their best. I was worried Russell would K in the 10th. He made contact and was almost the hero.

    2. Hammel was VERY good. He went toe-to-toe with one of the NL's best and, I think, outpitched him. I was especially impressed that when Puig's "triple" fell in (the players obviously lost it in the lights) it didn't rattle him. It helped that Pederson skied one on the next pitch but Hammel was able to gather his concentration and didn't get flustered. Lots of pitchers would have come undone at that moment.

    3. We hit the ball hard. Pederson was running a lot. It took some nice plays from Rollins as well. A couple times I thought we had a double in the gap--Pederson impressed me as a CF--and hard contact like that usually turns into hits. It was good to see us doing that.

    Overall I was very pleased with the win. Now we go up against lesser pitchers and can clinch the series tonight and then, I hope, go for the sweep on Thursday.

  • Everyones talking about the Cubs trading for Chris Sale, even though its probably not going to happen.

    I would give the Sox anything prospect or player they'd ask for, excluding Bryant and Rizzo. It would probably take Schwarber and Soler, or Schwarber, Almora, McKinney, and Edwards.

    Sale would automatically become the #1 pitcher in the rotation, (yes he's better than Arrietta and Lester) and would be a terrific postseason option.

  • In reply to Morris:

    You are willing to give up your 4 and 5 hitters for the next 7 years for 33 starts? That is a very steep price.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I'm thinking Baez, Lake and Wood for Price or Zimmerman. Bryant, Soler, Rizzo and Russell are untouchable.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    Let me ask you why you would give up Baez when those guys can be bought for dollars-only in the off-season?

    And they could walk and you get nothing.

    If a trade was necessary, I personally would go after Chapman and Cueto before those guys in a trade. If Cueto walked you still control Chapman who I would consider converting to a starter. Or leave him in the pen and convert Rondon to a starter.

    I am equally happy staying pat and waiting for this offense to click. I think the pitching is fine.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Aren't trades sometimes structured that require a player to sign a long term extension before the deal is completed? Thought I had seen that before.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Sometimes. Not all the time.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    No way I trade Baez for a rental. None. Especially in a season where our offense is as much of a problem or more than the pitching. I don't care how good they make the rotation this year, the chances of them winning a WS with this offense is pretty slim.

    Baez in a deal for Hamels? Fine.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I've been pretty clear on my belief. No rentals. It just doesn't make sense this year. Not to mention that Baez is your minimum cost for almost any of them. No thank you.

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    In reply to rbrucato:

    "You are willing to give up your 4 and 5 hitters for the next 7 years for 33 starts? That is a very steep price."

    That is not what he is saying. I am not necessarily advocating for the deal, but what makes it particularly interesting is his salary schedule:
    2015 26 $6M
    2016 27 $9.15M
    2017 28 $12M
    2018 29 $12.5M (Team option--$1M buy out--somehow I doubt they will buy it out)
    2019 30 $13.5M (Team option--$1M buy out--somehow I doubt they will buy it out).

    That is the kind of team friendly contract we are so happy that Rizzo signed. It is not a 33 start rental at all!

    Again, I don't know that I would pull the trigger, but it would get my attention to have someone cost controlled and that good for that long for that low of a price. It might also alleviate our potential "log-jam" of players.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Really? "It would probably take Schwarber and Soler" is what he said. And that he would make that deal.

    How is that not what he was saying?

  • In reply to Morris:

    If you've got a good offense your staff doesn't have to be as dominant. Look at the Dodgers. They have two of the top arms & they lost both games. Once this offense clicks & bullpen gets healthy the rotation will be ok. Sale only takes the mound every 5 games so trading high end bats to me isn't worth the hit the offense would take

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    The Giants won 3 out of the last 5 WS with a offense much worse than ours right now. They won with pitching. Mad-Bum had more of an impact than Sanoval and Posey combined in that series

  • In reply to Morris:

    As pointed out a few days after the WS, Bumgarner came up through the SF system and Baseball Reference indicates he is under a contract structure similar to Sale's.

    What seems to be highlighted in the recent trade talk is that the Sox don't draft and develop position players, and the Cubs don't draft and develop pitchers. That's bitten the Sox in the behind most recently, but there wouldn't be this debate if both teams had a more balanced view of their drafts.

  • In reply to jack:

    The Cubs didn't develop pitchers or position players very well before Theo. They are developing pitchers now. They just take a little more time. Be patient.

  • In reply to John57:

    Theo hasn't, including this year, taken a pitcher as a top pick. There are reports including in some sources such as Bloomberg BusinessWeek that Theo does not believe in drafting pitchers.

    For instance, even if the order were reversed last year, I don't think Theo would have taken Carlos Rodon over Schwarber. I'm not familiar with the merits of the pitchers taken 7, 8, and 9.

  • In reply to jack:

    it's silly for BBW to make a statement like "theo does not believe in drafting pitchers."

    2012 - 15 of the top 23 picks were pitchers
    2013 - 15 of the top 30 picks were pitchers
    2014 - 15 of the top 26 picks were pitchers
    2015 - 15 of the top 32 picks were pitchers

    basic risk analysis demonstrates that injury likelihood is much lower for position players than pitchers. notwithstanding any addl/systemic risk, if a player representing significantly higher likelihood to become an impact MLB player is available and you choose instead to select another player with a much higher risk profile (given his position or development requirements), it's only a matter of time before that decision-making process will come back to bite you.

    i think we can comfortably say that the cubs' draft strategy hinges on acquiring high floor (likelihood to contribute) / high ceiling (likelihood to impact performance) selections. if that's your approach, you can't afford to swing & miss at the top of any draft.

  • In reply to ratay1:

    Thank you for explaining to Jack, what I thought was an obvious strategy.

    The outcome of this strategy won't be known for a few years but I feel as though it will be huge.

    Pitchers will come out of the wood work, you just have to be patient. And telling fans to be patient is difficult, considering some people's opinion's of players change from AB to AB. So getting them to wait a few years for pitching to come out of the system is a bit far fetched I guess.

  • In reply to Morris:

    Whoa. Good thing you're not making trades for the Cubs.

  • In reply to Morris:

    And our future would be gone

  • In reply to Morris:

    I think people need to hold off the trade for Chris Sale talk until after he finishes his streak of dominating starts. Is he a legit #1? Yes. Is he Sandy Koufax? No.

    The Cubs are going to be built around Rizzo/Bryant/Schwarber posting 400 OBPs and 500 SLGs for the next 7+ years. They are going to have an advantage over every team in the league on an every day basis, not an every fifth day basis. And oh yeah, they are all dirt cheap too. Breaking that up for a pitcher, no matter how good that pitcher may be, is just shortsighted in my opinion. No SP is worth that. Not Sale. Not Kershaw. Not Koufax.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Thank you. Said better than my "that is a steep price" post above.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    Just to play devil's advocate here for a second. Let's say the deal, if the Sox agree to it (far from a sure thing), was Schwarber, Soler, and another minor piece(s) that will remain unnamed and likely inconsequential.

    1. Sale is signed long term for less money than the last two years are team options with very low salaries and very low buyouts. It is actually maybe an even more team friendly contract than Rizzos for as much or more production (WAR).

    2. Concensus is that we have more hitting prospects with high floors/ceilings than pitchers. While trading Schwarber and Soler would very probably hurt (though they do not have anything like Sale's track record in the majors) it would give us another very good pitcher for our rotation. This would also allow us to move some guys around. Maybe Bryant to RF, Baez to 3B and then LF is available for McKinney, or Zagunis, or Coghlan, or even Happ 2-5 years down the road. Unless we do some kind of major shifting of players around the field it will be hard to keep all of them. And if we have to trade them, why not start with a LH TOR starter (production wise) signed to a very reasonable contract. I would rather make this kind of trade than a trade for Hamels (older and more expensive) or even the young starters (Walker, Syndergaard, etc.) that have been thrown around on here. They don't have Sale's track record.

    3. I don't know if it is just a string of dominating starts. His FIP has dropped each of the last 3 years. Last year his ERA+ was 173 and led the league. His bWAR the last has been 2012 - 5.9, 2013 - 6.9, 2014 - 6.6, 2015 - 2.7 (so far).

    If we are going to trade our young hitters for pitcher's someone like Sale would be a very good thing to try to get.

    Again, I don't know that I would jump at making this deal but he does have a history of very good production. I would certainly consider it.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Sale, given his contract, is definitely the most attractive option if the team were to make a huge splash in a trade for a SP. But I still don't give up Schwarber. If they were really willing to listen on Sale, I would offer Russell, Soler and other pieces. If the Sox insist on Schwarber then you just move on to the next team willing to trade a pitcher.

    The difference between Sale and a guy like Hamels in performance is minimal. And if Hamels could be had for either Baez or Soler as the centerpiece than I would prefer that deal to whatever the minor upgrade Sale would bring over him.

    The Cubs have plenty of ammo outside of Rizzo/Bryant/Schwarber to get a TOR starter. Not to mention money. I am not a fan of giving another FA pitcher 150M+ contract, but I would rather do that than trade Schwarber.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Schwarber is not Bryant. He will never be Ross or Montero behind the plate due to his size, which when he fills out, will be absolutely be an issue. I would do Sale for Schwarber straight up in a heartbeat, while the Sox would hang up the phone in a heartbeat.

  • In reply to Morris:

    I agree, Schwarber is not Bryant. He is better. I would not trade Schwarber for Sale. I don't care what the Sox would do, I am not making that trade.

  • In reply to John57:

    "I don't care what the Sox would do, I am not making that trade."

    Well you're not Theo, nor associated with the MLB in any capacity, so I don't care if you would or wouldn't make that trade.

  • In reply to Morris:

    think the second half of your message is being reciprocated

  • In reply to Morris:

    I would agree with you Morris. After seeing Schwarber I can see why he might be a great fit for the NL but a real star in the AL as a DH. I would include him along with a couple other prospects for Sale.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    So Schwarber is the sticking point for you? OK, I can definitely see that. I like Schwarber but it would be hard for me to turn down a contract like Sale's for a guy who may still wind up being a LF. But I can understand your reasoning.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yes. I don't care if Schwarber is a C or LF, his bat is special. He has a very good chance to be just as good of a player as Sale, and do so as a position player, as opposed to far more likely to get hurt SP.

    Rizzo/Bryant/Schwarber hitting 2-4 in the lineup for the next 7 years putting up steroid era numbers, at a dirt cheap salary, while every other team is putting up dead ball era numbers is the single biggest advantage the Cubs will have in becoming a championship caliber team. I do not pass up that opportunity for any SP in the league.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    You make an excellent point.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    "the next 7 years putting up steroid era numbers"
    Really!! they'll be hitting 50+ HRs every year!!? Where did you hear that?

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Sale is younger, cheaper and has a career FIP of 2.93 as opposed to Hamels 3.55, plus his WAR each season is as good or better and he's entering his prime while Hamels is not far off from leaving it and the contracts roughly coincide. I would make a trade for Sale where Schwarber was involved, I would not for Hamels. That being said I don't think either is happening. I'm beginning to think that Hamels going to Texas unless Houston jumps in and beats the offer to prevent him from going there. I'd be shocked if he comes to the Cubs.

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    In reply to TC154:

    mjvz makes a good point that Hamels may cost less in terms of prospects.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Well a couple of things, yes I agree with that mainly because you would have to bowl over the Sox to get them to consider it. To me it would be in their best interests with two more TOR types in Rondon and Fullmer in the hopper, not to mention Quintana on a cost controlled contract, but the prospects they would get to go along with Abraeu, Garcia and Anderson would probably have them winning substantial games again by 2017. Hang on to Sale and go the crapshoot method like they have and their future looks bleak. Still, they are who they are and dollars to donuts they ain't trading Sale.

    As far as Hamels, Amaro needs to hit a home run or he's through. Heck he's probably through anyway so he'll hold out til about two weeks from teh deadline and they'll probably bring in Andy MacPhail who will trade him but he still won't be cheap. I don't see it happening. Now the Marlins have a lot of pitching and might become a trade partner so don't ignore that possibility. You might be able to get Henderson Alvarez at this point, have him help you this year, shut him down for TJ surgery after the season and in 2017 you have him back. I'd certainly consider that and he'd be cheaper than any of these options.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I'll take a team with Hamels, Schwarber and Soler over a team with Sale and Baez.

    I'm not trying to field the team with the best SP. I'm trying to field the best team.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Sale > Hamels. Look it up.

    I'd take Bumgarner over both, so:

    Bumgarner > Sale > Hamels

  • In reply to Morris:

    I don't need to look it up. I know it to be true. In fact, I stated it quite clearly that Sale is better. What I am arguing is that the little bit that Sale is better than Hamels is not worth the extra cost of acquiring him.

    In comparison form that you seem to be comfortable with:
    Hamels/Schwarber > Sale/Soler

  • In reply to mjvz:

    one thing people need to reme mber about Sale-his pitching motion is terrible. Hes Jack McDowell waiting tio happen, Yes hes excellent, but around the 10yr poin t in his career I wouldn't be surprised if he blows his arm out completely, like McDowell did.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I expect that of every pitcher, not just the ones with bad mechanics.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    the Sale trade talk is ridiculous and isnt happening.. Even talking about is pointless imo

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    In reply to Morris:

    Everyone who is willing to trade Baez in deals that don't bring back multiple years and multiple controllable players, including pitchers, baffles me. Baez is within 9 and 10 months of the same age as the top 2 picks in this years draft....and the top 3 were all SS--while they put up great numbers in college(equivalent of high A ball)--Baez .314/.386/.536/.922 in AAA and has already tasted majors---was that taste bitter?? Yes.. it was a reality check--but if you think that Astros or D-Backs would tradae either of those top 2 picks for anything less than controllable, fairly-proven pitching + I would firmly disagree- The hitting middle-infielder, specifically shortstop, is the hot and top commodity currently(hitting in general)--just because a guy had a bad 2 month cup of coffee doesn't mean you give him away for Folgers coffee beans---

  • "Who are those guys?"

  • In reply to l’villecub:

    :)

  • These last two games are really telling to me. This is a glimpse of what we can be. Like a curveball that flashes plus. We are still growing, the pieces of this engine are starting to wear into place. We are not a surprise either. The Pirates and Cardinals can see us coming and they will get a taste soon. Can't wait!

  • The game certainly had the feel of October baseball. Simultaneously exciting and boring. Fans hanging on every pitch.
    So impressed with Hamel, how he didn't let the "triple" affect him and just went out and got the next guy. He really moved the ball in and out, up and down to keep the hitter off balance. His increased use of the slider was well thought out, credit to Montero is due.
    Kudos to the young hitters as well, working counts to get Greinke out of the game after 6. Strike outs, yes, but productive ones if there is such a thing.
    Thanks for the recap, Sam

  • In reply to Tnighter88:

    I think Bosio had a lot to do with the gameplan.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    100% agreed and failed to give him credit. Bosio is really an unsung hero. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • In reply to Tnighter88:

    Under Maddon, I feel like our advance scouts, coaches, and players are all moving in a similar path. I like what our hitters are doing under Mallee and obviously what the pitchers are doing under Bosio. I think more importantly than focusing on mechanics, they are equally adept at installing and executing gameplans. It's a welcome change to Cubs baseball. Very professional.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Absolutely correct. Although I believe he was trending there, anyways, Rizzo has really flourished this season due large in part to little adjustments to his approach. Knowing he can turn on the inside pitch, he stands closer to the plate. Accepting that solid contact is more liable to generate power, he's cut down his swing in pitcher's counts. He has a rediculous split on 0-2 counts and against lefties. So happy to see him mature mentally and looking forward to the other youngsters adopting those philosophies. Rizzo, Bryant, Schwarber for years to come.
    We'll pointed out on the effects of advanced scouting and coaching.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    "Cubs Way" - its one vision

  • Nice stuff - as usual Sam,.....

    The single two things that I see that I continue to find most intriguing for this year's Cubs team - especially compared to the last several years.

    9 walk-off wins for the season - and it is still only June,.... and they are 9 games over 0.500. And remind me again exactly how bad was the Cub's record last year when they went into the 9th inning tied or behind?

    And they are like 8 W, 3 L, in extra inning games so far this year.

    The 'Kids' are keeping most games extremely close,.... AND they are getting just enough late offense and solid relief pitching to come out on top far more often than not.

    39 W and 30 L,..... 3rd best record in the NL & behind only 2 division rivals with whom they have a lot of games left to play.

    This is a team that holds their own destiny and potential in their own hands,.... and they know it.

  • I'm a die hard Cubs fan but it's a pleasure watching Pederson play in CF. Personally, I think he might be one of the better ones I have ever seen also. One huge thing I think he does besides getting a great read right off the bat is he doesn't just glide to the ball like most he sprints to it. I think it was towards the end of the game, pretty sure it was Castro that hit a piece to dead center and he sprinted out to it and just sat under it. Was a really hard play for a CF, one of those right at ya and you can't get a good judgment how far or how short it is. Just really impressed me out there.

  • I'm really not sure why people hate Mike Baxter so much. He doesn't have much power, but he gets on base. The guy has done nothing but give professional ABs since he came up. He had the one bad looking 4 K game, but honestly on two of those Ks he got jobbed by the umpire on called third strikes that compare with anything Jorge Soler has seen. Everyone else can keep clamoring for more Matt Szczur, Mike Olt and Junior Lake because... upside I guess, despite the fact that people also want to simultaneously trade prospects for guys that will help this team win right now. I'll be more than happy to settle for Baxter over any of those guys right now.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I second that motion

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Grandel proved to be the excellent receiver that he was advertised to be last night, and Baxter was his punching bag. I agree Baxter needs to stick around. Great LH bench bat. I can't see any other option in the organization, and don't think his status calls for the Cubs to make a move and give up prospects. The glaring weakness is still SP depth.

  • In reply to cub since 89′:

    I wouldn't say he is great, not even good, but I know that up to this point Olt, Szczur and Lake have been nothing but bad (and that is probably being charitable).

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Great at BENCH bat, but I know what you mean.

  • In reply to cub since 89′:

    I hear what you are saying, but is it really depth or would we want to add another #3 type or better pushing Hammel down to the 4 slot?

    Jackson, Wood, Turner, Wada, Hendricks are all there for the 4/5 slots. Hendricks has been throwing well lately as had Wada, so is our rotation really a glaring weakness? I tend to think our offense needs a boost.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I like our top three pitchers. Hendricks and Wada show flashes of quality but aren't showing the consistency and not eating up a lot of innings. The dog days are approaching and every inning we don't have to go to the pen for should be a blessing. An over exposed bullpen can explode a team down the stretch. So, a starter with a mid 3 Era that can work through a line up more than twice would be a great addition in my book.

  • In reply to cub since 89′:

    Doesn't seem like they can keep Wada on the mound. The question essentially is why T. Wood seems irretrievable.

  • In reply to jack:

    T. Wood is Terry Mulholland reincarnate. Valuable in the pen for multiple uses and can contribute as spot starter if needed. Maddon is molding him into a specified role player and that role is better served not starting every fifth day. He definitely has value on this team, this year, in this role.

  • In reply to cub since 89′:

    Not sure you can "frame" a pitch 3 inches outside and get it called a strike. Baxter was just jobbed twice yesterday. Did you notice the cubs had a very low strike out total(for them). If Grandal was that good you would have expected Grienke to not be complaining so much about the strike zone. I think there were many pitches that Grienke didn't get that have been strikes all year and were actually touching the edges on pitchtrax.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Same question about the knocks against Jonathan Herrerra. Take a peek at his makeup and stats :

    ) Versatile (2b, 3b, SS, ...)
    ) Switch Hitter
    ) % = .977
    ) K % ~ .10
    ) No GIDP
    ) 3 SB, no CS
    ) .224 BA in very limited appearances and he IS putting the ball in play.
    ) Came within a web gem of winning the recent Reds game
    ) His perfect sacrifice led to key run in another recent Reds game

    Obviously, the man is not going to make the AS team, but he's done everything the Cubs have needed from their 25th man.

  • Joc is a stud no doubt. But how about the play of Szczur, hitting a HR Monday and then scoring the winning run last night. Me and my buddies got a chance to catch an Iowa Cub game last week on our way to Omaha to watch LSU in the CWS. He had 4 at bats with 2 singles and 2 very loud outs. No doubt he has been seeing the ball better as of late.

  • Nice recap Sam. I love your humor. Maddon does still hate bunting but it worked last night!
    It is way to early to talk about next year since this one is getting into full swing and one of the most exciting ones in recent memory, but Greinke will probably get out of his option with Dodgers next year. I would think he probably asks for similar deal to what Shields received. Maybe a little more. Historically not good at Wrigley and noted issues early in career, but I think this FO might be interested in him if they don't want to overspend on Price. He is two yrs. Older than Zimmerman but just as athletic. He also might be a little cheaper or command less years.

  • In reply to cub since 89′:

    Grienke already has a ctt better than Shields if he doesn't opt out. He gets almost 26M per yr for the next 3 yrs . Shields only gets about 21M per yr.

    I think Grienke wants 30M per year. Don't know if he gets it. Grienke will be 32 in Oct.

  • Sam, I like your write-ups, keep em coming!

    I too liked Russell's AB in the 10th. It resulted in the out, but this kid is a pleasure to watch.

  • 5-2 looks very probable/ Tat would be 10 over.

  • That last catch by Pederson was awesome. I'm still amazed he got to it.

    Let's not forget that late play by Castro. It was a thing of beauty. I like him soooo much better when he isn't counting the seagulls.

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    In reply to xhooper:

    I'm amazed he even tried. I knew off the bat that Szczur would score. Most outfielders are running past the SS as soon as that ball is hit. He ran out there and made a solid catch, turned and fired it into the infield. Szczur scored easily but at least Pederson tried.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I suppose you never know if a player might stumble or some other freak occurrence. Unlikely, of course, but it didn't cost him anything except a little extra effort. Denorfia doesn't care about his average, just wants to win the game.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    My point is that most CF wouldn't have exerted the effort. There is also a chance that the player doesn't tag up properly and would be out on appeal. But most CF would be trotting in as soon as they saw it would go over their head.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I know.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Peterson is a better version of the man John loved to hate, Jim Edmonds. Seems to have a fairly similar style and flair.

  • I really like Greinke and the way he knows how to pitch. However I definitely wasn't "Wow'd" by his stuff. The Dodgers are going to have to pay him a lot of money when he opts out this summer. I wouldn't feel comfortable giving him the money he is looking for

  • In reply to Cubswin2015:

    It all comes down to term with Grienke. If he would be willing to take say 75M for 3 yr or 90M for 4 yr, which would put him on par with Hamels, then I would be fine with it. But I would not be down with giving him more than 4 years.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Well considering Greinke has 3 years and 77 Million left on his deal with the Dodgers I would highly doubt he would opt out of that deal to take 3/75 from the Cubs. This is why I think he will want 5/125 at minimum. Which I definitely would not be comfortable paying him. I can't see him taking any less than 4 yrs/100 Million either. But i'm with ya if he wants to take a short term deal, just can't see it

  • Great game recap! The analysis on Hammel and the adjustments he made for this game is really spot on. Love to read that stuff.

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    probably the negative-thinking cub fan in me (50 years of following them will do that to a guy) but I was pretty sure they'd show up to play Greinke and Kershaw, am not as sure about the next two guys. Cubs are what, 15-7 against teams better than .500, meaning they're only one game over .500 with the weaker teams. They seem to let down when the competition isn't as strong.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Good point. But I'm thinking they're gonna start learning how to step on a lesser opponents' necks soon enough.

    I am sooooo excited for the rest of this week, next month and the rest of the season.

    And, forgive me for being a little snarky here, but over the last few days, I've also been thinking about a lot of the people here who last year, over the winter and even this spring were espousing views based on the notion that we won't be playoff team until 2016 at the earliest. You know who you are. ; o Of course, we might not make the playoffs this year, but by golly, we are gonna make a run at it for sure and this is just so much fun and so exciting.

    It's Our Turn!

    Let's Go Cubs!

  • I hope Baez's busted finger won't have an effect on his hitting. I really hope it doesn't. What do ya'll think?

  • In reply to Morris:

    There is a decent chance it does. Finger/hand/wrist injuries can really hinder a hitter. I'm not going to be surprised or concerned if Baez struggles upon returning. Finger is definitely better than wrist or hand though, and less likely to be reinjured, so I am not without hope. He should be fine next year though.

  • The silence on these boards is deafening...WHEN is someone going to admit the Lester signing was WORSE than the Soriano signing??? I challenge ANYONE on these boards to convince me that Epstein had no knowledge of Lester not having a fastball, not being able to hold runners close or even successfully toss over to the base and not being able to hit.
    Epstein LIVED with this guy for years in Boston... $150 MILLION? You're joking right? Lester is the 1200 pound gorilla in the room.

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