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Randy Wells wasn’t terrible today, he just wasn’t getting any calls on the periphery of the zone. And, if you know Wells, he absolutely has to get those calls, or he’s not going to have a good, long day. He was fortunate to give up only two earned runs. The Cubs had a scare when Starlin Castro took a Johnny Cueto fastball off the elbow, but he stayed in the game.

The Cubs came back from an early 2-0 lead to tie the game in the bottom of the 5th inning, only to give those two runs right back in the sixth. And I mean give – the Reds scored both runs without the benefit of a hit. The Cubs’ bats were good enough to get lots of opportunities, but not good enough to take advantage of many of them.

Alfonso Soriano had a particularly frustrating, but typical, Soriano at bat: he comes to the plate in the 7th with the bases loaded and one out. The batter before him walked on five pitches by a reliever who’d just come into the game. What does Soriano do? Naturally he hacks away at the first two pitches he sees, and then strikes out on a low and away slider that never even sniffed the strike zone.

The Cubs get enhanced today, but, if they’d loss, you could have done the same thing to the Reds…

  • Cubs Dude

    Why is sorino still on this team? Even if the Cubs have to eat 49 million of the 52 million so be it…. He is sooooo bad in soooooo many ways.

  • Cheryl

    I agree, bring up the best of the kids and let them sink or swim. Don’t just look at AAA Iowa, look beyond. I’m betting you have some pretty mature kids that can play (Leave Baez where he is. He needs to get his head together from the sound of the report on him) but start the wheels rolling. Trading Byrd was a start. There’s more to do. Even Maples should get a cup of coffee at the majors to get a taste of what’s ahead. Plus, if the seats are empty I’m betting if the fans get a look at the potential for the future they’ll start coming back and the kids will be enthused about the chances too

  • Ivy Walls

    OBP without a key hit leaves men on base. Soriano is a waste of time….be it lead off, clean up, 5th, 6th or 8th.

    Just so many zeros; 0000000.00 and let us see probably minus $1.5M as we are two weeks into the season.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      And yet teams with high OBP always sore a lot of runs and teams that yield high OBPalways yield a lot of runs.

  • H

    Release sori, play clevenger at c and trade soto. Then the team will be somewhat competitive and fun to watch. Bring up young kids when the time of service clocks says they should later this year and let’s see how the teams does. The starting pitching has been decent as a whole. Still wish we would have kept Marshall, he is an awesome late inning reliver and we got little for him. Don’t thing that wood kid will ever produce in majors.

  • KWAH-dee

    The last sentence says trade Soto….

    Clevenger is hitting .588 (10-for-17) in seven games that include four starts. The Cubs are 3-1 in his starts and the pitching staff has posted a 1.03 ERA (four earned runs in 35 innings) when he has caught.

    • Pat

      Correlation does not equal causation.

      • MightyBear

        Sometimes it does.

  • Kevin

    Can we talk about how good Castro has been since he ended his on-base streak? The kid has been on a tear. I would say the 3-hole is treating him pretty well.

  • JustSwain

    I just checked out Michael Bowden’s stats. He’s had some problems breaking through in the majors, but he currently has a 3.00 ERA in 3 games. He’s allowed a solo homer, but still…why did the BoSox DFA him? Was DFAing him just a way of dangling him in front of prospective trade partners? His minor leagues stats look pretty good with an ERA that got as low as low 2s, and rarely topped mid 3s. He might end up being a long term solution in the Bullpen, and considering that Byrd is in a contract year, and he is not performing, I think we did pretty well on the trade. Anyone know any reason for me to be skeptical of Bowden?

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Yoo Hoo…. Mr. Cherington… We have a left fielder for sale. We could make you a very interesting offer if you take him in next 48 hours…

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    This is not the NFL or NBA where it pays a team to have the worst record & wind up with a draft pick who might be a superstar (Cam Newton or Derrick Rose). If Soriano had trade value it would have been in Spring Training when he had 6 HR’s & nobody wanted him then. They certainly don’t want him now.
    Dale Sveum – if he wants to gain his players & the fans respect – must play the players who give him the chance to win that day’s game. Clevenger & Mather should both be playing every day. DeWitt, Soto, & Soriano should all be released if they cannot be traded – period.
    Bring up Cardenas, Castillo, & Rizzo & play LaHair or Mather in LF. We can accept the kids losing & gaining experience but we should not accept veterans stinking up Wrigley because the management group doesn’t want to eat some significant salaries. Don’t worry Ricketts family, you will make plenty of money over the next few years with a $ 50 – 75 million dollar payroll of kids who play hard & vets who lead by example like Barney & Garza.

  • czechxican

    How quickly *Spring Traing Soriano* is a distant memory. The guy refuses to be an efficient batting threat. Rudy Jar- what the HELL are you doing about it? or the subsequent super slump of Geo Soto, for that matter. Fire Rudy before Sori, and see what happens next

  • Roughriider

    Bringing up young minor leaguers before they are ready can do more harm than good. I maintain that Jackson is not yet ready especially since he has more than a strikeout a game and a .239 batting avarage in AAA and Vitters isn’t ready either. Rizzo looks ready but to be honest it could do him harm just being on such a bad team. This team should “sink or swim” with the players that are now on the 25 man roster and with players that may be brought into the organization through trades or waiver claims. At least until August.

    • GraceSanberg

      I agree.. though the strategy on the field should be about looking to the future (if the team isn’t ready to move Rizzo, Jackson & Vitters), then I propose that Sweum request that Cardenas be brought up & let’s see if he can handle 2nd (his numbers warrant that he’s MLB-ready and a roster move is required regarding DeWitt or Baker) move Castro to third base and shift Barney to short. Barney looks like a natural shortstop & allows Castro to focus on offense.. Frequency of this defense doen’t have to be daily – maybe once per series. Don’t think it would adversely affect team performance or individual confidence. Keeps young guys challenged while re-building.

  • Roughriider

    I wish it wasn’t so but this year we would all be better off reminding ourselves that none of the truly knowledgeable prognosticators expected the Cubs to be good and they aren’t going to be this year and we shouldn’t expect it. It’s going to take time for that to happen. Every day I hope the Cubs will win but I don’t expect it. I do expect that the players that are on the team to improve or at sometime in the near future be shown the door. By the time the Cubs are good again at least 18 of the players on this team now, will be gone.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com ichabod

    how long will it take for sori to recognize a effing slider. maybe the worst ab ever. patience for the kids, but you have to ride the hot players; cleve, mather,etc. im starting to wonder about sveum.

  • Kevin

    Do you really think the Cubs field manager is making lineup decisions all by himself? I thi k not!

  • Chris S

    22 LOB is a new baseball record.. Previous was 20.. If I’m reading Baseball Almanac correctly.

    • Spencer

      I think that 20 has to be team LOB, not individual guys leaving guys on base after each AB.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Correct – you look down in the box, you can see the total LOB for the Cubs.

    • Drew

      If I had to guess, you are looking at runners stranded; LOB can be as many as 9 if the bases are loaded with nobody out and the inning ends without a run. In other words,its an individual stat, with each AB having its own calculation.

      Runners stranded is a team stat; the number of runners left on base at the end of each inning add up to make this number.

      If it were a new baseball record, the Reds would have it, not the Cubs, since they left 27 on base yesterday.

      S/N: Heard on the radio the Cubs stranded 12 runners yesterday, just to give you some perspective.

  • Brent

    I’m just curious – about 3 months ago, there were people on here saying they would never boo Soriano at a game. In fact, it was predominant theme in an unusually pro-Soriano post and commentary. I wonder if all of those same people still think that after, as you put it, a typical Soriano at bat in the 7th (“Is there a runner in scoring position? Let me find a bed to crap in.”). My wife and I had a bet before the at-bat if he would strike out or ground into an inning-ending DP. It’s sad when one of us is always right.

  • Tarheel Cub

    I have to agree with Diamond Don, although I don’t think anyone out there wants Soriano either (unless he is released and someone can have him free and clear). I suggest we go with the players swinging the hot bats at the present time. If they cool off, go to plan B.

    Mather was very hot out of spring training, yet went straight to the bench while veterans were given bulk of playing time. We know what these old schoolers can do (or can’t). I thought the purpose of this year was building to the future.

    I think management is wondering when to throw in the towel on Soriano and just eat the 50 million owed. Coach Sveum would get more respect from me by playing the best players, regardless of contract size.

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