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Three starts are still too few to really judge a pitcher, particular one who’s results have been as varied as Jeff Samardzija’s have been. That said, he just didn’t have the control today. He was all over the place, walking five more guys today than he’d walked in his previous two starts combined (one was intentional). When he was in the zone, he got hit. Not terribly hard, but enough.

The story for the offense remains the same: no power, no hitting with runners in scoring position. Darwin Barney’s bases-clearing triple was today’s only example of either thing (save for one double by Bryan LaHair).

  • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

    What? a loss already? I thought that started at like 1:15

  • Still Love the Cubs

    4 Holds in one game for the Marlin bullpen?

    Thanks for clumping the Lefty’s and Righty’s Dale. :)

  • ari gold

    I know it’s tough to lose 100 games, but damn the small sample sizes and it’s early talk. There is just not much talent on this team. Were going to be close to 100 losses.

    • HoustonTransplant

      Ha, if by close you mean 110…lol.

      Glad I was working during this one. So sad.

    • Joe

      At this rate, yeah, 100 is not out of the question. If we end up trading Garza, I’d think it’s likely. Not that one man contributes that many wins, but it would be quite the white flag of surrender on the season, wouldn’t it, even with the long-term benefits.

      Are we missing Aramis and his production as badly as I hate to admit it?

      • Drew

        “Are we missing Aramis and his production as badly as I hate to admit it?”

        Ramirez – .174/.235/.283

        Stewart – .233/.313/.372

        Neither is good, but no.

        • Njriv

          I see Stewart coming around, when he gets more at-bats under his belt. He’s already a plus over Aramis with the glove.

          • Ferrets bueller

            This.

      • art

        NO

    • BD

      As bad as they may be, can we really expect Soto and Byrd to not hit their weight for the whole year? And is Soriano really only going to hit singles? I’m not saying they will do any good, but they will at least finish ahead of the Astros.

      • Joe

        I wouldn’t take that bet.

  • MaxM1908

    Wow, this is getting ugly. BigPuma on here said the Cubs would have 7 wins at the end of April. I argued and put the number at 10. Boy, was BigPuma right. As much as I’d like to be hopeful, I’m not seeing 7 wins out of the next ten games. These Cubs seem to find new ways to lose each game. Today, we had 8 hits and only 3 runs. I’m beginning to wonder if the batting order is not at least partly to blame for losses like these. We seem to not have a consistent order which converts hits into runs. I really would like to see how we perform with this order: 1) DeJesus, 2) Castro, 3) LaHair, 4) Sori, 5) Stewart, 6) Barney, 7) Clevenger/Soto 8) Byrd/Johnson. Particularly with Clevenger/Johnson in, I think that produces more runs than the current configuration.

  • gratefulled

    Yeah, but those ground balls that Byrd hit right to Reyes could have been hits if Reyes wasn’t in position. Plus, those were accurate throws to first base. And, he only had ONE strikeout today. I think he is coming around.

    • Joe

      That’s good to hear about Byrd! *crossing fingers*

  • Ferrets bueller

    Marlon ‘most definitely NOT the word’ Byrd.

  • Papa Bear

    We were told not to expect much this year , but we were told we would have a motivated and fundamentaly sound team. I see neither one.

    • Joe

      That’s the most frustrating part.

  • cubmig

    Everyone must read Theo’s “Be Patient [Grasshopper]” counsel in Muscat’s article today. We have yet to suffer-it-out.

    • ty

      The word around camp is panic mode–this horrible start much worse than expected . The cool guys have a cell in each ear 20 hrs. a day instead of the usual 12 hrs. Spoke to a Boston in the know guy and he said hang on for two yrs and Theo will figure it out. He also said Theo has learned his lesson on long term contracts. Figuring out what to receive for Garza is the tricky aspect of this year.

    • rcleven

      If the losses keep coming The Cubs will be lucky to sell 2.25 M tickets this year. Which means less $ put to less payroll next year.

  • Gordy85

    I am not deterred. These kids will be fine. 90 losses this year, 80+ wins next year and consistency after that. I would much rather have that then up and down every year. I feel good about it.

    • rcleven

      I don’t see 60 wins at this point. Something needs to done to shake up this line up.

  • Chef

    This is the year!! (that the true blue fans will be sifted from the chaff, and the last of the 2003 bandwagoneers)

    • Amz

      Wait, they weren’t gone after last year? Or the year before?

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

    I’ll probably care more around halfway into the season. I hope they end up making some moves in the somewhat near future, so they can win on occasion. 5 losses in a row and being tied for the worst winning percentage in baseball is not encouraging. It seems like an epidemic for the Cubs, no matter how good they are that they can’t score runs when it matters. Looking at the average LOB when the Cubs play is atrocious. It’s also not encouraging to look at the stats of Byrd, Soto or DeWitt. They were all players who had been rumored to trade but now we’re playing them and they’re playing like crap. I’m glad it’s so seemingly easy for the organization to disregard the gratification of winning games, so they can keep onto their Minor League prospects a little bit longer. I’m also glad that they continue to play the guys who stand in the box looking completely lost. Soto…I can tell it’s your bat speed, but what the freak is Byrd doing up there? If he needs to gain back the 40 lbs to be a decent hitter again, someone get that man a damn milkshake! All I’m saying is that if you play the guys who deserve it, you’ll have a better team. If you bench guys who deserved to be benched, maybe they’ll concentrate a little better on their craft.

  • Guancous

    The Cubs shouldn’t lose 100. Tony Campana would already provide a win above replacement over Byrd. Vitters may be an upgrade over Stewart in the 2nd half.

    I hope.

  • Edwin

    So, how many more starts should Samardzija get?

    • Bric

      Zero. But unfortunately Sveum and Theo weren’t around to witness the Russell debacle so he’ll probably continue to start ineffectively until the all start break or they can somehow come up with an injury to put him on the 15 day. Projected record 3-6. No, I’m not a doom’s day naysayer. I’ve just seen this show before and if he was a legit starter Lou probably would’ve figured that out 3 or 4 years ago.

    • die hard

      One more for the Cubs and then many more for the Yankees who have been kicking the tires

  • Bric

    The only thing I wonder is if Ricketts and Jedstein are really set on writing off the season. A couple of things I’ve gleened so far-

    #1 As I suspected, it was a big mistake for the braintrust to award LaHair the starting job for basically no reason before he earned it and very soon they’ll have to explain why they gave him the job in ST only to bench him before the season basically started.

    #2 Sveum is not opposed to radical thinking whithout explanation and the management either doesn’t read these sites or doesn’t give an F what we think.

    #3 The stats guys will all swarm out with a bunch of inane stat abbreviations to explain what we already know: Shark isn’t a starter, Sori’s and Byrd’s contracts needs to be eaten, Soto is gawd awful (ever notice how many signs get shaken off?) and nobody wants Baker, DeWitt, Woody, Maholm, or anybody else on the current roster.

    Jedstein traded away the only players that another team would want so now we just wait out the season to save a year of service time on Rizzo and Jackson. Sweet.

    • MaxM1908

      #1 — What are you talking about? LaHair is one of the bright spots of the season thus far with a .357/.455/.679 line. His defense is solid. The only reason he’s been sitting is likely due to lingering back issues.

      #2 — Why would anyone who is paid to do this job give a f#$% what is said in a bunch of blog comments by amateur baseball enthusiasts?

      • Bric

        You’re right if you believe the lingering back issues but I don’t. I think it’s more about trying to showcase any players they can move like Baker and DeWitt which means they don’t care about winning right now, just cutting salary, moving unwanted players, and planning for the future.

        That leads to your second question- why would they care? Because we pay their salaries. Don’t think for a second that Ricketts isn’t worried about ticket sales. Think about it another way- the Marlins just swept the Cubs with an average attendance of about 15K (watch the game and you’ll know there weren’t 23,00 people there- come on…) If they don’t have a feel for their own fan base, well, here comes another hundred years…

        • Amz

          Your second point cancels out your first.
          If they don’t care about winning, why would they need to win in order to get ticket sales?
          And here comes Obvious Point #1: Wrigley — and by extension, the Cubs — don’t need to win to get butts in seats, ever. Gotta go with Max on both counts.

          • Njriv

            …. did he really say he doesn’t believe that back issues linger?

            • Bric

              Sure back issues can linger. And, sure, Kerry Wood only pitched 5 innings in ST because they were saving him for the regular season. I’m just saying don’t believe everything the front office says. They don’t seem to be any more wise or truthful than the last 50 years. But then why is Byrd still starting? His BA? His on field presence? His discipline at the plate? What are you people smoking…

  • http://facebook.com/thechoices WeedyMcChronic

    Did people really expect this season to be any different? If you’re losing might as well shoot for the #1 pick next year.

  • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

    LaHair is hitting .357. Why exactly is that a mistake to have him starting?

    • Bric

      It’s not. He should be starting. It was just a mistake by management to name him the starter and then not play him.

      • rcleven

        Bad back out of spring training. Looks totally lost against lefty’s . Had 3 good at bats today.

      • http://facebook.com/thechoices WeedyMcChronic

        He’s not played in two games, whats the big deal?

  • Hebner The Gravedigger

    With the first pick in the 2013 MLB draft the Chicago Cubs select…… Anyone have any ideas who the studs are for that year?

    • Kyle

      There’s no Bryce Harper all-world type yet, but it’s too early to tell for the most part. College pitcher named Stanek looks intriguing, iirc.

  • Edwin

    In fairness, we’ve had more than just 3 starts to judge Samardzija. We’ve had 183.1 Major League innings and 485.1 minor league innings. He may have pitched better recently, but his past performance still counts.

  • RY34

    this team will do no better than 50-112, book it. horrible horrible baseball!

  • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

    Just to clarify, LaHair wasn’t benched. He had back spasms.

    • Bric

      We’ll see.

      • Amz

        LOLconspiracytheory! Or do you have some inside info?

  • RY34

    i didnt expect greatness at all by this time or even .500, but i also didn’t expect them to look clueless, worthless, and like they have already mailed it in after 13 games. take a look at the next 20 games, cincy, st louis, philly, dodgers, st.louis, milwaukee, atlanta, it is gonna be real ugly by may 15th, we will be lucky to have 10 wins by may 15th.

    • cubmig

      Couldn’t agree with you more RY. I hate like hell saying this, but I’d just as soon see this group go down the toilet with losses galore taking them down the pipes. It may be the only way to get the replacement players (the youth if that’s the case) up to move this club in a new [winning] direction. Theo says how things are going now is not a fair sample to make decisions on players. Maybe getting flushed down the toilet will change his pt of view.

  • Deer

    Why can’t Joe Mather get any playing time?

    • Bric

      Because Byrd’s been ripping it up along with every other position that Mather can theoretically play. Anyway, the guy sucked in ST… oh, wait those stats don’t matter…

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      Mather is lucky to be on a 25 man roster.

    • Edwin

      Because he is terrible. He is 29, and has a career OPS+ of 76. His career batting average is .226. So far this season he has 2 hits in 11 AB. We’re not the Cardinals, so he won’t somehow magically be awesome. We’re the Cubs, so he’ll suck like he’s supposed to. He’ll probably find a way to suck more than he’s supposed to.

      The Cubs are like the anti-Cinderella. Instead of a magical carriage our pumpkin turns into Koyie Hill.

      • http://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

        You can say he’s not doing well, but .226 is still better than that abortion you’d call Byrds offensive production.

  • RoughRiider

    What happens first, 30 wins or 100 games lost ?

  • Amz

    What happened to February? Such promise. Such optimism. Message boards gleaming with rosy outlooks. Now it’s all 10-wins this, 10-wins that.
    I remember Bobby Scales. (looks off wistfully)

  • TSB

    In some movie, an officer after giving a battlefield promotion, tells the new sargent “you have the job until someone comes along that’s better.”That should be Sveum’s game plan. Play who ever is doing good now. Worried that Soto’s, Soriano’s and Byrd’s egos will get hurt? Tough, they are big boys, they can take it. Besides, they are all on borrowed time with the Cubs anyway.

    • Edwin

      Please tell me you’re not basing your baseball strategies on Starship Troopers.

      • TSB

        Actually, the original quote is attributed to Michel Ney, Marshall of France under Napoleon.

  • die hard

    winners: Quade and Sandberg
    losers: Non corporate season ticket holders

    • ty

      The average fan has no idea of the expense. I have never sold my seats and my son who resides said it is doubtful that anybody that we know will use them . Out of loyalty to fans who have had the same seats near us we are careful on offering them. When the prospects show up it will be more worthwhile to attend. Mike Maddux is the other winner as bro Greg must have whispered in his ear.

  • czechxican

    This is whats so difficult about this game- there’s no real basis on how a pitching staff will be, year in and year out. All we have is last few years to base these players on, and it ain’t good. It’s time we stop raising our expectations after a great few starts. We did it last year with Cashner, Wells, Garza, etc. All it gets us is multiple starters on the DL.

    Oh, and I ask again: why can’t Barney pull the ball?

  • ty

    Jeff took that hard liner off his pitching hand–Carrie M reports meaty part of hand–but soft tissue injury shows up as the day goes on–hopefully he got lucky.

  • The Dude Abides

    Jeff Samardzija looks tired already. Control is gone innings pitched after just three starts 82/3, 5, 32/3 innings all the while total pitch count 110 for 82/3 and 88 for 32/3 innings. I hope this isn’t an issue but history says he is about a 5 inning pitcher and that 82/3 game right out of the gate may have been a bit much for an inexperienced major league starter.

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