One streak ends, another one begins. Right? Matt Garza goes tonight, and I would imagine he’s hoping that the offense and the bullpen aren’t back to their screwing-Matt-Garza-at-every-chance ways…

  • Randy Wells was actually fairly pleased with his start yesterday, in which he gave up six runs. “I knew kind of early it would be one of those [Wrigley Field] days,” Wells said. “All in all, I felt good and thought I made some pretty good pitches. I’m really happy with how I finished [he retired the last eight he faced], and the offense and defense really picked me up.” I still like Randy Wells, and think he was criminally underrated in 2009 and 2010. But this is kind of becoming a thing with him this year: pitch crappily, say you thought you pitched well. He’s still not hitting his spots this year, and his fastball is down some three MPH. I can’t help but believe the forearm injury just completely derailed his season.
  • Marlon Byrd says the condition of the outfield grass after the Paul McCartney concerts and rainstorms contributed to his crucial slip in the 8th inning yesterday. “I don’t think [the field conditions were] OK,” he said. “But you have the concert, you’ve had the rain the past couple of days, and that didn’t help. When I landed, I slipped and went a good three feet. It’s one of those things, you try and get the field ready, but when it’s raining every single day, what can you do about the outfield? The infield grass is great, but that gets covered. The outfield doesn’t. We have the drainage system we have here, but at the same time, it’s hard to get the outfield ready when you have a lot of rain, and the concert too.”
  • The legend of Tony Campana grows: a seventh inning takeout slide at second base – a CLEAN takeout slide, Matt Holliday – by Campana yesterday helped the Cubs come back to take the lead. Somewhere in Florida, Sam Fuld just flinched.
  • Starlin Castro’s 150 hits this year lead the National League. In a very Ichiro-like way, he also leads the league in at bats, but hey, who’s counting that part?
  • Cubs’ top prospect, center fielder Brett Jackson hit two homers yesterday to increase his AAA line to a ridiculous .291/.392/.616 in 24 games. Remind me again why the Cubs held onto Marlon Byrd at the trade deadline?
  • The return of the NFL is sapping MLB of some of its mojo. Interest will kick back up in late September and October, but, it’s hard to deny that football rules the roost in American sports after returning to such excitement after a money-grubbing lockout. It took four *years* for baseball to return to its pre-1994 strike interest levels. With football, well, I can’t wait for my fantasy draft.
  • TheBigMustafa

    In the spirit of our nation’s current status, we ought to merge the NFL and MLB; outsourcing any leftover elements to Gambia.

    We’d finally have full-contact baseball.

    Matt Holiday could be gang-tackled, instead of being tagged. Adam Wainwright would need to avoid a sack before pitching. Joey Votto could be savagely thrown to the ground during a routine pick-off play.

    I’ll make some calls and see about getting this done.

    • Brett

      Kyle Farnsworth’s value would skyrocket.

      • Fishin Phil

        And Soriano would still suck at it.

  • MichiganGoat

    The sad part about the outfield is if Soriano, Byrd, and Campana are still around Jackson will get nothing but a few spot starts and defensive substitutions. It is these love affairs/legends of scrappy bench player that really damper the development of our actual prospects.

    • Jeremy

      If this were to indeed happen, I cannot imagine the outcry of cubs fans to just send him back to AAA and let him get ABs. Either someone would need to sit or just let him stay down. Ideally, give me Colvin, Jackson, and Campana in OF and call it a day. Don’t get me wrong I like Byrd a LOT, but we need to get these kids, our future, some playing time in the bigs to see what we have.

      • Brett

        Yup. I just can’t see it playing out the way you do, MG.

        • MichiganGoat

          I hope I’m wrong but the “Q School of Winning Meaning Games” has specific infallible rules:

          1-Play all vets over prospects
          2-The best way for prospects to learn is to sit
          3-Start a man-boy love with a scrappy player that doesn’t have the skills to be a starter and start him regularly
          4-Publicly berate your best young talent, ignore poor performance from vets

          So yes I am worried that Jackson won’t get regular starts

          • Fishin Phil

            Maybe if we tell Q that Jackson is in reality “scrappy as hell”. Just a thought.

            • MichiganGoat

              Let’s start calling him Scrappy Jackson…

          • hardtop

            im with you MG. q’s approach is poor and potentially damaging.
            not to mention, he’s just a shitty manager. plain and simple. How many times have we all been sitting at home, tearing our hair out, as someone gets shelled for 6 or 7 runs an inning while Quade stands “pat”?
            Very very rarely have I heard local and national broadcasters question a managers moves or non-moves out loud during the course of a broadcast. Its just something they dont do. But when you have a team of ESPN announcers and analysts going “what is he doing” multiple times in the SAME GAME! …you know something is very wrong. His choices are just so mind boggling dumb, that the the professional code of silence must be broken. He wants to be pals with the vets and he always gambles on them because he thinks they are his buddies. its really pathetic, even more so, becasue they are not his buddies.
            here’s the thing: anyone who watches baseball, anyone who considers themselves a fan of the game, knows that quade’s a bad manager (though i think hes improved slightly over the course of the season). if ricketts doesnt fire him, he knows nothing about winning a baseball game and we should be very afraid (assuming he doesnt hire a real baseball guy to run the show)

      • hardtop

        campana is not the future, he’s a future late inning pinch runner, but he better not be a future starting fielder for the Cubs. We definately need to play Jackson to see if he is part of the future. Is next year the year? or should he be in the minors one more season? I dont know much about the best way to handle prospects, but it seems the cubs have a way of f’ing them up when they are brought up too early or not used correctly. need to make sure this kid gets handled right to give him a fair shake at playing in the bigs. colvin still isnt hitting. its looking like last year was a maybe not telling of his future. i know he has two long balls this week, but, thats about it. it’s likley that he is not part of the future of the outfield at this point either. I guess we’ll see in the next 40+ games, assuming quade doesnt continue to bench him the second a left hander ties his shoes in the opposing teams bullpen.

        • dreese

          I believe Colvin has a ML bat. he was just heating up in the minors and then they call him back up to the bigs and then Q-ball sits him over Reed. Dont get me wrong I love Reed but Colvin needs his AB’s

          • hardtop

            i was with you for awhile, and you may be right, but I’m doubtful at this point. He’s has started 6 of the last 7 games. I know its a small sampling but just to paint a little portion of the picture: In only two of them did he have a hit, one of them he had multiple hits, one of them he had 1 hit. .222 during the win streak, which is, sadly, a huge improvement over his season average (he did get ejected one game and pulled for a ph in one or two others, so who knows if he could of improved his 4 zero hit games). the remainder of the picture: he was batting around .160 for the rest of the season. Im not giving up on him yet, but he needs to be a very high 200 hitter and hit at least 15+ knocks for him to be a slight improvement over kosuke, whom I wouldn’t even consider a very valuable part of the cubs offense. For Colvin to be a noticeable improvement over ichiban, and be part of an improved Cubs team, i’d like to see him hit 270+ and around 20 homeruns…. but that’s all just wishful thinking at this point. August and September should be very telling for this kids future, assuming Quade doesnt fuck it up too badly.

            • dreese

              I agree his numbers have not been that impressive but I think that this calling up and moving down effects these kids a lot more than we think. Look at DJ and Carpenter. If he looks good in spring training next year I say leave him in right for an entire year and I bet he will impress all of us!

              • Brett

                Something to consider about the calling up/down. The Major League minimum is almost $500k. Guys at AAA might be making the prorated portion of $50 to $60k. How much would a 1000% raise – and the subsequent removal – mess with your head?

                • dreese

                  Im not sure I can answer that because I love money but in my mind the minors a pretty good step down from ML pitching and i guess everything wise. My point is that Colvin should have been hitting better immediately because the pitching is “worse” but he didnt it took him to time to readjust or something to not-as-good-as-ML-pitching.

                  Thats just how I think about it

  • JP

    Love the work you do Brett. Also wanted to add Brett Jackson has 6 homers in his last 10 games… WTF are the cubs waiting for? I know Colvin’s sub .150 average is impressive but… I understand the need to want to see what you’ve got in colvin but he wasn’t even hitting all that well in Iowa. Let’s give BJ a look see since he’s earned it, what else are we playing for this season?

    • MichiganGoat

      BJ’s definitely deserve all the respect, I’m thankful for all… Sorry couldn’t resist

    • Brett

      Thanks, JP.

  • Jp

    Knew someone would come through. That’s what she said…

  • Jim

    Love the picture. Boiler Up!

    • Spencer

      that was my first thought too! btfu

    • MichiganGoat

      Bobby Knight would kick all their asses

  • RY

    The fact Randy Wells was pleased with his piss poor performance should scare everyone. I thought he pitched like total shit; i mean giving up a two run jack to Renteria is an embarrassment. Thank God Sean Marshall didn’t say he was pleased with his performance because he sucked major ass too; his arm has got to be dead with his performance yesterday although i still don’t understand why idiotbox Q didn’t go to wood or samardizia like four right handed batters earlier!

  • RoughRiider

    I see Colvin taking some time off at the end of the year and then going to play winter ball somewhere. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking but I’m hoping his struggles this year are a combination of the “sophmore slump”, going from Chicago to Iowa to Chicago and the after effects, both mental and physical, of being stabbed in the chest by a vampire stake.