The Return of Theriot and Other Off-Day Bullets – May 9, 2011

A scheduling quirk gives the Cubs two off-days in five days, and gave manager Mike Quade the opportunity to get a bunch of guys back-to-back days of rest. Hopefully it pays off in this week’s obviously important series against the Central-leading Cardinals.

  • Speaking of the Central-leading Cardinals, their shortstop position is manned by a guy you might have heard of. When Ryan Theriot joined the Cardinals this Winter after being traded from the Dodgers, he told the world that he was happy to finally be on the “right side” of the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry. He also said things about why the Cubs don’t win, and about the attitudes of his former teammates. Maybe he hit a little too close to home with that one – and we’re sure not going to admit it – but those rooting for an earhole might want to watch his first few at bats.
  • Ryan Theriot has eight errors at shortstop this season, to go with a .682 OPS. Maybe the Cubs already have their revenge.
  • Not that the Cubs don’t have their own myriad of problems. The team left 25 runners on base this weekend against the Reds. Consider that for a moment: the teams played just 27 innings, and the Cubs left 25 men on base. They somehow bested their season abomination with runners in scoring position by hitting just .167 in that situation for the series. If not for Kosuke Fukudome’s ONE clutch hit on Saturday, the Cubs might well have been swept.
  • I’m almost loathe to point it out, much in the way that you don’t mention a no-hitter in progress, but Jeff Samardzija has the look of an honest-to-God good pitcher right now (other than the pirate-stache). His fastball is popping and his breaking stuff is sharp. If he’s figured out his control issues, and summoned the command of three good pitches, there’s no reason to believe this is a mirage. And if he can reclaim that three or four inch tail he used to have on his fastball, watch out.
  • I often remark in the Enhanced Box Scores that the Cubs’ starters seem to be the only pitchers giving up runs. It turns out that, for the last 22.1 innings of relief work, it’s been true.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

8 responses to “The Return of Theriot and Other Off-Day Bullets – May 9, 2011”

  1. Michigan Goat

    Does anyone have some stats/rankings for our bullpen? I really think we have to be near the top especially in the last 30 days. They have been a real and overlooked bright spot.

    1. Dan0mite
  2. Michigan Goat

    As for Samardzija it’s time to either trade him while the irons hot or start to stretch him out and see if he can start, that was the original plan right? Of course the cubs specialize in over paid middle relief.

    1. @AaronHaag

      Given that Samardja is out of options-a trade might be the way to go.

      1. TWC

        Right, he *is* out of options, but he’s still relatively cheap – $2mil this year and club options for $3.25 the next two. That spent douchebag Grabow is making $4.8mil right now. If Samardzija continues to be good — even if he continues to be not-so-bad — he’s a pretty cheap arm, even in middle relief.

        Wait, did I just defend Spellcheck for three whole sentences? I must be coming down with something.

  3. Caleb

    Thanks for the stats, Dan.

    No need to jump the gun on any Samarshdzhia (sp?) stuff. Let him continue to pitch well. Our bullpen is already working, so don’t screw with it while we sort out either our clutch hitting or starting pitching. We just need 2 cylinders to fire at once, and we can’t suck all year at starting and clutching, right?

    Right??

    Uh oh.

    1. Joe

      Oh come on – no, no, no, no, no.

      You DON’T keep a guy just because he had two solid outings after two extremely questionable outings just somehow not allowing a run, those coming after two other solid outings but those followed 8 base-runners in 4 innings and overall 6 of his first 7 appearances being questionable to horrible before his.

      He hasn’t been that good – he just hasn’t given up as many runs as he probably should have…well, yet at least…

  4. Joe

    “Jeff Samardzija has the look of an honest-to-God good pitcher right now (other than the pirate-stache).”

    Which brings us to the only two logical possibilities

    1 – he is clearly Sampson (which is strange since he always reminded much more of Delilah)

    2 – we dont know who it is because its really some other dude with a pitiful, pitiful disguise but also much, much better ability…