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Today, while I quietly honor those who were lost 10 years ago, I like to remember the feeling that came a few days after 9/11. And then built, steadily, over the following weeks. I never felt more proud to be an American, and more resolute in my belief that we are all incredibly fortunate to live in this country. God bless America. Again.

  • Randy Wells is on fire. In his last 10 starts – that’s a third of a season – he’s averaging 6.5 innings, seven base runners, and just 2.3 ER per start. His ERA is 3.15 over that stretch, and batters are putting up a mere .645 OPS against him. In his last four starts, he’s 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA. I said a month ago that he was going to have put together a dominant stretch for me to have some measure of comfort that he should be considered a solid back-end option going into the Spring next year. He’s done it. He should still have to fight for a rotation spot, mind you, but I’m feeling a whole lot better about his presence.
  • The Cubs are apparently waffling on whether Andrew Cashner will stretch out as a starter in the Arizona Fall League, or if he’ll stick in the bullpen (which would, presumably, set him up to remain in the pen next year). There could be medical reasons, and I’ll defer on that, but… what the hell changed between two days ago and today? As of the end of the week, the plan according to everyone was for Cashner to start in the AFL (indeed, that was the reason he was pitching in the AFL) so that he could be in a position to start in the Spring. Surely the changed tune can’t be Cashner’s ONE dominant relief outing in the interim. It just can’t. All I know is this: if Cashner, medically, can be a starter, he should be a starter. The Cubs don’t need another late inning reliever. The Cubs desperately need a quality starter.
  • It’s mid-September, and we’re still talking about the crappiness of the Cubs’ hitters with runners in scoring position. And Mike Quade is still banging his head into the wall. “Sometimes you’re not as patient as you need to be,” Quade said. “Pitchers attack you different and maybe make adjustments to how they have maybe attacked you in your first two at-bats when there were no RBIs involved versus now, and all those adjustments that go into it. I know Rudy’s talked till he’s blue in the face and worked with guys about it – but ultimately they’ve got to make the adjustments and try to get it done.
  • At least some Cubs are finding postseason success: the High A Daytona Cubs are up 2-0 in the best of five Florida State League Championship Series, and the AA Tennessee Smokies won the North Division Championship Series, which sends them to the Southern League Championship Series this week.
  • Catch a movie at Wrigley Field.
  • Jeff

    Congratulations to the guys at Daytona and Tennessee.  I’ve been following the games as close as I can through box scores and blog/twitter posts, and they seem to be playing some exciting baseball.  I know people are down on Josh Vitters, but he has been clutch all year, and is coming up clutch in the playoffs.  His numbers are looking pretty decent, I hope the team doesn’t give up on him.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think, given that he’s now headed to the AFL again, the Cubs really, really want him to “make it.”

      • philoe beddoe

        ah brett, you said I was crazy about Cashner( maybe I am)…but at the risk of taking another “written” beat down from you…don’t you think it is possible that if they get one or two more decent starters(which is a tall order I know) they could follow the Braves blueprint this year of just having a TON of big K guys in the pen…dominant relief can win you a pennant(see the Nasty Boys from Reds in 90’s) or when yankees had Rivera as a set-up guy…maybe Cashner feels stronger and more confident as a reliever..

        I will now close my eyes and wait to say “thank you sir may I have another”

        • CubFan Paul

          maybe the Cubs are waffling on Cashner’s future because there’s no permanent GM/Front Office in place. Randy Bush shouldnt be making any decisions so maybe its Ricketts who’s saying behind closed doors saying he wants Cashner in the bullpen for the time being – makes sense to me

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Hey now; I never said you were crazy. I said – and still say – a very good starting pitcher is far more valuable than a great reliever. If there are health reasons that Cashner has to stay in the pen, so be it. Otherwise, it’s a mistake not to see if he can be that “very good starting pitcher.” He’s a lot cheaper (and potentially better) than the “decent starters” the Cubs could go out and get.

    • Hogie

      It does seem like he can suceed, his adjustment period is just a little longer than others. He is still on pace with his age and level, he’s still only 21 and in AA. I just hope they can find a defensive position for him, he makes a ton of errors at third.

  • Cheryl

    Brett, NNice article, especially the first paragraph.

  • baaaahb

    In response to Quade, all I gotta say is:

    “Gee, Mike, maybe if they had some oh, I dunno…coaching.”

    The last time the Cubs had a good team (’08) they led the NL in walks taken and led MLB in run differential.

    Granted they reverted to shitty form in the post-season but at least during the regular season the Cubs hitters were patient and deliberate. I don’t understand why the culture of the team doesn’t understand the simple concept of “If you don’t get on base you can’t score”.

    Christ, even Joe Morgan understands that!

    Of course the shitty batting average with men on base doesn’t help.

    <Sigh.>

  • dreese

    The opening ceremonies for the bears game today were amazing!

  • T Wags

    Hey fellow Cubs die-hards, I’ve been reading this site for a couple months now and I love the material here Brett you run a fantastic site!

    Now onto my non-expert input and opinions… Love seeing Randy Wells excelling like this I’ve always been a big fan of his. It’s nice to have a inning eating groundball pitcher on the staff and we need him to be solid next year considering the holes in our rotation and the lack of solid starters on the market this offseason..

    I also agree that we NEED Cashner to be a starter (and a good one at that for the above reasons) if his arm allows him to be. He could be lethal at the back end of the ‘pen but thats not what we need from him. Great looking young pitcher when healthy though..

    And last but not least, congrats to our two minor league teams tasting some post-season success which is hopefully a sign of things to come with the big club in the near future!

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Welcome, be sure to check out the forum.

      • T Wags

        Thanks MG! I’ll be sure to do that. I’ve also followed a few links to your blog, good stuff over there as well keep it up!

  • RoughRiider

    Daytona just won the Florida State Championship.

  • Jason

    Congrats to all the Kids, Coaches, and all workers that had an imput in putting together a very good High Single A Championship Team. Way to Go !!! You are the Championships !!!!

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