Today the Cubs try to avoid being swept by the second-worst team in baseball. To do so, Doug Davis will have to pitch well for the first time, and the Cubs will have to get to Brett Myers for the first time in what seems like years. On paper, this was the least winnable game in the series.

  • Sigh. Mike Quade suggested yesterday that there are no plans to play Tyler Colvin regularly (and Quade’s nickname stuff is getting all kinds of annoying): “Colvin will play tomorrow. I just don’t know where. He and Campy. Blake will be involved. Obviously, Monty, especially against left-handers. Snyds. We’ll mix and match. Fuke’s done a real good job in right. We will probably try to leave him there. I’m not beyond playing Colv in center. I’m going to give Campy a day. Some of the kids that we’re counting on down the road are going to get opportunities, and we’re going to see that they get some.”
  • Carlos Marmol was as down as you’d expect after blowing last night’s game. On the subject of the boos with which he was showered upon exiting: “It doesn’t bother me, because I deserved that. I gave up the lead in the ninth. What can I say? I can’t say anything.”
  • In case you were wondering why Mike Quade would pinch hit for Carlos Zambrano – one of the Cubs’ best hitters this year – before taking him out last night, look no further than the bat Zambrano broke over his leg earlier in the game (which was awesome). Quade was not happy about it, and my guess is he didn’t want to risk Z doing it again. “I don’t like that. I’m glad he’s OK.… I get his frustration, but do something else. I cringe because he can hurt himself. Guys snap all the time, but that’s a dangerous one. I saw what was coming, and I decided I was not going to pay attention. Just look elsewhere, in case. I was glad he came out and pitched well.”
  • Matt Garza’s throwing schedule was jacked up by the rain, so he’s expected to return on Monday now, as opposed to Sunday.
  • The Cincinnati Reds would love to add another starting pitcher, but – as if in a defense of recently-maligned Jim Hendry – Reds’ GM Walt Jocketty says there’s not much to be done: “There is not a lot of pitching to be had. It would be tough to get anyone if we do need someone.”
  • Dean

    I don’t care what Fukodome is hitting, he should not be playing in front of Colvin. We’ve seen the potential Colvin has, so he has to get at bats if he is to get back on track. This team does not have the roster to make a run and it did not have the roster whe the season started, so there’s no reason for a rightfielder with 1 HR and 4 RBIs to be getting the bulk of the playing time.

    There’s no reason to be playing Dewitt or Fukodome in front of Colvin. In fact, I’m not even sure Campana should be playing in front of Colvin right now. Colvin’s only 25 and you have to find out if he can be a corner outfielder for you for the next 5-7 years. Colvin sitting on the bench anywhere makes no sense.

    • Ace

      Cubs have to keep showing off Fukudome, though, in the hopes that they can trade him. There’s no reason Colvin shouldn’t be starting in LF every day while Soriano’s out, though.

  • jstraw

    Quade was right to hit for Z after that stunt. Besides, when he didn’t bust it on the first try, he looked like a jackass going for the second shot.

    That said, I’m done with Quade. He’s an idiot. Colvin wasn’t getting regular at bats off the bench so he wasn’t improving at the plate so he got sent down where he could get some work. Now with Soriano, Byrd and Johnson all on the DL, Colvin is suddenly without a doubt, one of our best options to start in the OF. So now he’s back up with the big club riding pine.

    Campana can cover some ground…tries hard (how many times have we already heard “great effort by Campana on that ball but he *just* couldn’t get to it?” He’s a cute story and I want him for my dashboard bobblehead. I mean I want *HIM* for my dashboard bobblehead. But he’s not a factor in this team’s future championship roster. Maybe Colvin isn’t either but we need to know…and either way, he’s at least a trading chip. He needs the reps.

    I could cope with Quade’s folksy motor-mouthedness if he was successful. Right now it’s just blather and spew from a guy that’s trying too hard to sound like he’s not in too deep.

    • Ace

      “He’s a cute story and I want him for my dashboard bobblehead.” HAHA!

      • Jeff

        Of course, he’s the illegitimate love child of Doug Dascenzo, who wouldn’t want a bobble head.

        More Quade b.s. being shoved down our throats every day. So now Luis Montanez, Brad Snyder, and Tony Campana are more important to the future of the Cubs than Tyler Colvin???? For a team lacking home run hitters, and with two starting outfielders on the DL, they sure are acting pretty stupidly in regards to distributing playing time.
        I think it’s absolutely the stupidest thing that Quade is doing this year, bench someone who could be a future cornerstone in order to play some almost 30 year old, career minor leaguers. Probably for the sole purpose of keeping his and Hendry’s jobs for a little longer.

  • Spencer

    I think more perplexing about Colvin is the fact that he isn’t starting in front of Blake DeWitt, who before this year had as much outfield experience as Zambrano. It just doesn’t make sense. Why call him up from AAA and have him sit the bench after sending him down because he was sitting the bench and not getting enough ABs? I don’t really have a problem with Campana starting in center because of his speed, but put Colvin in one of the corners.

    • Ace

      You’ve convinced me.

      Zambrano should be playing left field.

      • Ron

        I bet he would be good for an assist or two.

  • willis

    Quade’s handling of this roster is about the same you’d get from a mule. Colvin was a #1 pick, and has shown signs of being a decent outfielder. He’s still very young and with regular Abs, showed he has a lot of power last year. He should be playing every day Soriano and Johnson are on the shelf.

    Quade has fallen in love with Campana, which is a mistake. But I think we all saw it coming from far away. Quade’s in way over his head.

  • JR

    It’s gotten to the point that I can no longer watch this train wreck. Quade is an idiot and, of more relevance, a horrible manager. The idea that Colvin is not going to play every day just about does it for me. I have tickets and it’s a beautiful day, but I can’t stomach going to today’s game. And maybe any other game. (Well, other than those Yankees games.)

    Hendry mortgaged the future a few years ago and we are certainly living with a lot of that. I have to assume, or at least hope and dream, that he will be gone by year end. But Quade’s a more pressing concern. The only possible reason I could imagine the Cubs choosing him over someone more experienced was a commitment to building a fundamentally sound team built on good pitching, defense, timely hitting and hustle. The pitching sucks, the hitting sucks, the defense sucks, the baserunning sucks, and the team generally does not play for him. Time to cut losses. Fire him. Bring in Brenly or someone who knows how to manage at the major league level, can handle veteran players, and start building for the future–which includes, possibly, Colvin. Or maybe not, but what better time to find out?

    • Michigan Goat

      I too am done with Quade, but I think the right thing is to allow the new GM to pick the manager… Hopefully the search for a new GM (that I hope is happening behind closed doors as we speak) will also consider a new manager.

  • Jeff

    Colvin is starting in left today.

  • Jeremy

    According to Len & Bob, as well as Carrie Muskrat…er Muskat on twitter, DeWitt will be lf and Colvin will play cf.

  • TWC

    For as much as I (still) love Ryno, every day I’m happier and happier that he didn’t get the job.

    I mean, Quade has made some really terrible decisions, but those decisions have probably only contributed to 4 or 5 of our losses this year. We’d still be a trainwreck of a team, sitting ~.500 with no real prospect of competing beyond the All-Star break. Not hiring Sandberg might have been the most humane thing that Hendry has done in his whole career.

    It’s pretty clear that Quade isn’t cut out to be a MLB skipper. I’m sure he’s a fine coach — teams have thought so for two decades — but he doesn’t appear to be one of the top 30 baseball minds around. Possibly not in the top 300. I always had the impression that he was a bridge pick, someone non-offensive to fill out the end of Hendry’s term and the beginning of the new era… whatever that may entail.

    I just hope to see that new era start as soon as possible.

    • Dan0mite

      I agree with you on Quade. For all his mistakes at the end of the day this team just sucks. There isn’t a whole lot that can be done with an aging, underproducing team that is riddled with injuries.

  • Serio

    HA! I love the Hulk

  • pfk

    I’m not a Quade lover or basher. I do think he is strange and the nickname thing is just plain weird. In his defense, he can only play what the GM has given him, which isn’t much. I do agree that some of his lineup choices are questionable. No matter, Hendry isn’t going to fire him because the old adage is that a GM is allowed 2 managers (not counting those who retire or whose contract runs out). So, Hendry has run his limit and isn’t about to fire Quade and go through the whole selection process again. Besides, if they are going to get a new GM, then that person should be the one who hires the next manager.

    • Michigan Goat

      As disappointed as I am with him and typically want him gone with Jimbo, I do have to wonder how much influence Hendry has on him. Is he telling him to start Dewitt because he wants to raise his trade potentential or telling him not to play Colvin because he does not like the kid for some reason. However if who plays or doesn’t is Hendrys decision, it does not excuse the poor game management on q’s part. Such a baffling season.

  • EQ

    I wonder how everyone will feel about Quade if they pull off a little winning streak? We still aren’t at full strength, and I’m believing that when Garza returns and Wells is back up to strength, we can be more competitive.. We won’t stay the worst rotation in the bigs if we can just get the pitchers on the mound. I hate to say it but I’m regretting us dumping Gorzelanny right about now.

    • Ace

      I will feel the same – not itching to fire him, but completely unimpressed/baffled by his decisions on a daily basis.

    • Jeff

      Problem is that Gorzelanny is on the DL with arm problems too. Who’s to say he wouldn’t be on the DL if he was still with the Cubs?

      I agree the team has potential to put together some winning baseball, but they always seem to have an excuse as to why they don’t. When they pitch well, the bats are cold, when the bats are hot, the pitching stinks, the bullpen is great, but the starters stink, some of the team gets tired playing too many day games, some of the pitchers stink in night games. Every talking head for the Cubs has had nothing but excuses, and don’t seem to address any of the problems except to say they’ll look into it. They wait until a problem arises and try to a quick fix approach. This year the manager has been applying that approach to game strategy, probably because it won him a job last year. Until this changes, it won’t matter who manages, as long as his decisions are made on a whim, with short term best interest in mind, the Cubs will keep losing.

  • EQ

    Jim Hendry has made both good & bad moves.. It’s hard to imagine them winning anytime soon unless they pull off some terrific trades and signings.. that said, they really need to power up their rotation. Garza is a good start, Wells could be a solid #3 or #4 in the future, Cashner could end up being great.. Big Z could finish strong, Demp could be a 15 game winner.. but I’m sick of the “could be’s” every year.. we never seem to be in the running when guys like Cliff Lee and Halladay are available.. we balk at getting Adrian Gonzalez, we politely decline to hit the “home run” trade or signing.. Next year we could potentially have close to 50 mil. to spend if we let the FA’s go and we trade Byrd.. I’m not sure I trust Hendry to spend that money wisely..

    If SF can win the world series with a below average offense why don’t we load up a dominant rotation over the next couple years? It ALWAYS works, yet we never seem to have the balls to go for it.

    • http://Bleachernation Bric

      The only difference I have with you is that I am sure Hendry isn’t the guy to lead this club. And Ricketts is quickly showing his true colors, too. I know all the presidents and GMs have to do a little PR- put on a brave face-kinda thing but Hendry (and Ricketts) have crossed over into delusional. When he started talking money “while” (which means over) winning the reds flags went up.
      Now we can all see the clear but subtle posturing both are making for the future. If Hendry gets fired in the next 10 days I’ll eat all of these words but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Ricketts is banking on signing Pujols, and he knows that Hendry can get that deal done. That’s why he’ll still have a job. But if you put Pujols in the line up instead of Pena, the Cubs maybe have two more wins than before. Still doesn’t matter in the standings, but it does in the ticket and merchandise sales. Make no mistake, unless Hendry is fired soon Ricketts will’ve shown it’s only about the money. Winning a ring or even a division is ancilary.

  • EQ

    I agree with all that..I don’t believe Hendry is the guy anymore.. but, like you said, I think they’ll keep Hendry for just that reason.. and it’s a stupid reason.. Pujols wants way too much money and Hendry’s dumb enough to give it to him.. I’d much rather invest the money into pitching and defense.. that would have us over .500. Shoot, I’d rather give Fielder 25 mil a year than sign Pujols for what he’s asking.

    But if we’re stuck with Hendry, then all we can do is hope and pray he doesn’t screw it up anymore than he already has.. in a way, there’s a bit of a new slate next year with all the money coming off the books.

    It’s time Cubs ownership takes a look around at the teams that win year in and year out and starts following what works.. not only do they play like a cursed and doomed team, they also run the organization that way.