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The Chicago Cubs are now 1-7 in the games that would have been started by Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner. If they split those games instead, they’re 15-13, in a virtual tie atop the NL Central standings. God’s wrath, indeed.

  • Chicago Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry is singing a familiar, but totally correct, tune: “The one thing we really need to improve on, obviously, is hitting better with men in scoring position.” It’s been a story for going on four years now – the Cubs “hit” a lot better than they “score.” The reason is always hard to put a finger on, as stat-guys tend to eschew any suggestion that “clutch” hitting actually exists. But when you watch a team, collectively, be un-clutch for a few years in a row, your gut starts to tell you otherwise.
  • Oh, and Jim, you could also improve the back-end of the rotation. Just sayin’.
  • Speaking of which, Mike Quade is saying exactly what you would expect him to say after James Russell once again failed to go five innings, and once again failed to give the Cubs a reasonable chance to win: “It’s tough, one pitch away from a great outing or a little bit of a disaster. He’s gotten better. His approach is better. We’ll see what happens down the road.” Awesome. With an off-day coming up, the Cubs might be able to push back the fifth spot a bit, at least.
  • Ted Lilly still doesn’t understand why the Cubs decided to dump him last year rather than sign him long-term. “It didn’t get very far,” Lilly said. “I made it clear I was willing to get creative to try and stay. Once they made up their mind I needed to go, at the end of the day, I didn’t know how much they needed to dump on salary, or how much they were able to save. That’s what they wanted to do. I don’t know if it was money or what the real reason was.” Ted, my friend: it was the money.
  • Lou Piniella says having family ownership of the Cubs once again will be the solution to the championship drought. Longer interview with Sweet Lou here.

 

  • http://SOI veryzer

    I understood the need to trade Lilly, but I wish they wouldn’t have. The trade was made with the future in mind, but wouldn’t signing him long term have been a move towards the future?

  • N

    There’s a lot of things I don’t miss about Lou and I’m sure he wouldn’t be the right manager for this team, but I’m sure this James Russell bit would be long over if he was manager.

    • Ol’CharlieBrown

      Well said. I agree, I don’t think Lou would have stood for this.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    How about some opinions? I believe the 2011 Cubs have a realistic chance to lose over 100 games. Would Hendry lose his job if that were to happen?

    • http://SOI veryzer

      I say we lose 100 games and find out.

  • Butcher

    Part of the reason we’re hitting well but not scoring well is that our lineup is built out of almost all singles hitters. I know Alf has been hitting homers, but for the most part, we’re going station-to-station. It’s hard to score many runs that way — especially when our team isn’t all that fast, either. A team full of slow, lumbering singles hitters just isn’t going to score all that much — even if they all have a high BA.

  • TSB

    August 4, 2011 newsflash: Despite a 1-22 record, with an ERA of 8.54, Cubs Manager Mike Quade said of James Russell, “It’s tough, one pitch away from a great outing or a little bit of a disaster. He’s gotten better. His approach is better. We’ll see what happens down the road.” Meanwhile. the reacquired (via a trade for Andrew Cashner and Randy Wells) Milton Brandley cintinues to slump, blah blah blah

  • Jeff

    I wonder how moronic this makes the Cubs organization look to the rest of baseball? They continue to trot a guy with an era over 8 to start every 5th day when the guy has shown absolutely no signs of pitching well enough for his team to win. The Pirates and Royals even know better than to let someone that bad start for them for more than a couple of turns. I wonder how many times Russell, Quade, and Hendry need to bang their heads against the wall before they realize that this doesn’t work? Forget walks and hits per inning pitched, this guy gives up more runs than innings pitched. I can’t think of enough foul words to express my discontent with Russell and Quade over this.

    • Raymond Robert Koenig

      As compared to how moronic they’ve looked to the rest of baseball in the past?

      • Bric

        Another bit of head scratching… Gorz’s ERA is now 2.93 after five starts. Jim Jones traded him (the only legit lefty starter going into ST) for Micheal Burgess who’s batting a crisp .211 at high A Daytona. But he does have a bunch of meaningless homers off some scrub 18 year old pitchers. Woo-Hooo.
        Let’s drink some more of Jim’s kool-aid as we “wait for the missing two pieces to come back from the DL”. Of course, unless Wells and Cashner have learned how to clutch hit in the three hole I don’t think their presence is going to change much. Fire that M-Fer now.

        • Ace

          I try very, very hard not to think about the Gorzelanny deal (and rarely mention it). Obviously it looks so freaking awful right now, but at the time, I thought trading him made a lot of sense.

          • BT

            That’s because it did make sense. If someone had told Hendry that 40 percent of the rotation would go down after one start, I’m sure he would have held onto him. As it was, keeping him around as the 6th or 7th starter, and paying him 2 million dollars to do that, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

            But Burgess has had nearly 100 at bats to prove he doesn’t suck. I guess that’s enough (even if he is on pace to hit over 40 home runs), so this deal is officially a win for the Nats.

            • Bric

              The Braves don’t seem to have a problem with 7 legit starters going into ST. They’ve rebuilt their team in about two years as opposed to the Cubs, who seem to be on a perpetual 5 year plan filled with stop gap free agents. And let’s face it…everybody with an ounce of common sense could see that Silva was not a legit 5th starter, and hoping that Cashner pans out isn’t good management- it’s wishing and hoping.
              So in my mind Gorz was the 5th starter because he earned it on the field. Trading him away to “recoup some farm talent” is like deciding to throw it into 4 wheel drive after you’re eight feet deep in mud. BTW: Lee is batting around .430, Guyer’s hitting around .350, Sam Fuld (well,we know that already) and Archer’s ERA is 2.6. Burgess is years away, Garza’s jury is still out and Perez is batting about .190- in AAA. Nats and Rays, you’re welcome.

              • BT

                Usually you wait more than a month before declaring such things.

                Silva was the backup if Cashner didn’t earn his spot. If he didn’t work there was Coleman. If he didn’t work there was Jackson. Or Looper. Or McNutt. Or Diamond. Or Coello. Or Bibbens Dirkx. Or Russell. Or Mathes.

                Gorz was expendable. Not useless, but he was expendable.

                But you’ve convinced me that we are not the Braves. Most teams aren’t.

                • Ace

                  I know it wasn’t your main point, but, given the Cubs’ financial advantage, shouldn’t we be kind of pissed that the Cubs aren’t the Braves?

                  • Raymond Robert Koenig

                    Exactly. Hendry has proven he doesn’t know how to use his resources wisely. One example. He obviously has a budget for his major league roster. That’s fine. That doesn’t mean it has to be maxed out all the time. Make better financial signings and leave some room in the payroll for acquisitions if the team’s contending.

                • Bric

                  Agreed. No trade is decided that day, a month or even year later. It’s just that Hendry’s entire reasoning in the last four years makes no sense to me. Even if Burgess is a star outfielder in three years the deal will still make as much sense (none) to me as the day after Garza got traded and suddenly Gorz’s name is all out there for whomever wants him. Perhaps if Burgess were a 1st or 3rd baseman it would make a little more sense, but still… I didn’t see the need then and don’t see it now. Hendry continues to astound me…

                • Bric

                  And seriously… fellow Cub fan- if you’re ready to put your faith and trust in cast offs from “good systems” (Coello and Diamond), a career minor leaguer (Mathis), a washed up vet (Looper), a kid that for some strange reason J.H. doesn’t like (Jackson), and a couple of never proven anything minor leaguers (Bibens-Dirxx and McNutt) then we truly have become the Pirates. Even Coleman was questionable going into ST and hasn’t shown much yet to prove he’s ready. Same with Russell. J.H. dreaming about how things could come together doesn’t neccesarily make it F’in so.

                  • Ace

                    Stop pooping on McNutt! He’s only been a pro for like two years, and he’s torn shit up in the minors both years.

  • awesome

    it’s a combo of slow and no baseball smarts. you should be able to tell as soon as most balls are hit if you can run for the extra base or not, along with knowing the fielder. I’ve noticed most Cub runners don’t move till the ball is almost in the fielders glove, by then you can only advance one base.

    watch Castro and Barney, most times they are off as soon as the ball is hit cause they read everything right. in fact Barney is always thinking 2 bases on a single, always watching how the fielder plays the ball. always hustling. the veterans and Quade could learn from those 2 guys.

    instead he always talks about what a young guy has to learn and leaves the vets alone, another Louie.

    maybe the slow not so smart runners are scared to be thrown out cause of their slowness.

    • TSB

      It seem M. Quade is playing not to lose, rather than playing to win. I recall watching many Cub games last year, from the safety of my bunker here in LA . I got tired of hearing the commentators say “Mike Quade holds the runner at third”, even on long hits to right field. Most of the time, the runner died at third. come on Mike, take some chances, maybe can score a couple of more runs.

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