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Well, at least the Cubs won the series, right? Today’s game was fun in the sense that I had a great time in the bleachers with BN’er hansman, but it was no fun in the sense that the Cubs lost.

Bryan LaHair went deep again, which was swell, but that’s about it for the upside today. Chris Volstad was cruising along with a nice start until David Freese took him deep. And that was more than the Cards needed, because Lance Lynn was dominant.

At least I got to watch hansman nearly get ejected/put in the holding pen for trying to snake some ivy off the wall.

  • Spencer

    Uh. That last sentence is going to require some explaining.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Hansman really wanted to take some ivy – just a leaf – and you can reach it through the basket if you lean over the wall. He didn’t get within a foot before a security guy sprinted and pounced and told him that was a no-no.

      • Ogyu

        Gee, who would have thought that picking the ivy is not allowed?

      • Rob

        I have what’s left of an ivy leaf I plucked after a Cubs-Cardinals game several years ago. Nobody seemed to notice or care that I did it then. What I’m trying to say is, I’m cooler than you.

      • Dustin S

        The Brewers game on the 12th we were in the lf bleachers front row, and the security guard in that area named Clyde was by us most of the game. He was a great guy and we talked Cubs history through a lot of the game. The person I was with (who was fairly intoxicated by the end of the game) without my knowing leaned over and grabbed a leaf at the end of the game. That changed Clyde’s tune quickly and he made him leave Wrigley immediately. Even though it wasn’t me, since it was the guy I was with I felt bad and embarrassed. So the lesson here is leave the ivy be.

        • Spencer

          Did he have to give the leaf back?

          • ClydeR

            Yes, he had to give the leaf back!!! lol

      • gratefulled

        I’ve seen the basement of Wrigley Field because of this…

        • Spencer

          I think I heard somewhere a while ago that they don’t like people taking the ivy because they don’t want people to grow it or something.

      • hansman1982

        Ok, for the record…I informed you before I did it that me actually doing it would probably result in some sort of punishment, so I was fully aware of the consequences. I did at least get to touch the ivy, which is good enough…for now.

        All-in-all, was an incredibly swell day with an incredibly swell dude. Thank you for the ticket. Even though the game was tough once the Cards took the lead, it was fun chatting with you.

        • hogie

          Bwahaha! I was at a game a few years back when a guy fell into the basket trying grab some ivy. It took two security guards to pull him back out. Easily the funniest moment I have ever had at Wrigley.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Likewise on all counts, though I secretly hoped security would rough you up. Would have made for a great story.

          • hansman1982

            Eh, I could have taken the guy in our section…

  • Zogie

    Advanced Box Score
    The cubs had their chances early, but they failed to come through. 0-5 RISP. DeJesus 1-3, BB is hitting the ball hard and continues to get on base for the cubs. Campana 0-4 2K. Campana did not look good today at the plate especially with runners in scoring position. You cannot have those strikeouts. Castro 1-4 1K. He did not look good at the plate again today. LaHair 1-4 HR, 2K. LaHair continues to hit the ball hard and strikeout. Keep hitting the ball hard big guy. Soriano 1-4 K. He hit a few balls hard, so hopefully that continues. Stewart 0-3, BB GIDP. He continues to struggle, but at least he is not striking out. Those balls will eventually find holes. Clevenger 1-3 2B, GIDP. He had a couple bad ABs today, but you will have that at times. Barney 1-3, 2B K. He also had a couple bad ABs, but he almost hit his second HR of the season. DeWitt 0-1 a 3 pitch groundout. Volstad pitched well until the 6th inning. Hang with them kid. Scott Maine pitched a scoreless frame again. It was a decent effort, but the cubs need to come through more with men on base if they want to win. Lastly, my shout out goes to LaHair. Back to back games with tying opposite field HRs.

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    Volstad looked good early. Had me excited about a sweep. However, he has until Dempster gets back to have a good start or he’s out the rotation. IDK if it’s the pen or not, but I think he has some value there.

    I’ve said before, LaHair is a star. I know this sounds a little crazy, but if LaHair continues to hit like this, and Rizzo could possibly bring us a frontline pitcher, a potential Ace, what do you do. Just a thought.

    • Njriv

      Yeah that does sound crazy.

      • drew

        Yep

        • Spencer

          Yuppers.

          • MichiganGoat

            Yuppest

            • Ferrets bueller

              Indeed, I do concur.

            • Jay Anderson Jr

              Honestly, I think Theo and Co. Would be dumb to not atleast consider it. I don’t think they’ll trade Rizzo, but it is a thought. Rizzo has more trade value then LaHair, but I’m not sure he’ll perform any better, though he obviously has more years to perform. With Vogelbach in the future and the opportunity to get a young frontline starter, you have to atleast consider it.

              • MichiganGoat

                Trading Castro is also a thought just not a good one.

                • TC

                  but what if you could get something stupid valuable back in return? Everything should always be on table, and if something great were offered you’d have to be willing to take it.

                  Though I don’t agree with trading Castro based off of his current value, because he’s likely to develop into a much better player, if someone came to us with a top 10 pitching prospect (think Matt Moore, Julio teheran, shelby miller, etc.), a current 2/3, and a top 50 prospect (like another jackson or rizzo), plus a few more team top 20 prospects, I’d almost have to take it.

                  • Cubs Dude

                    Yeah, I agree that everyone should always have a price. But it’s tough to say that a guy like Castro could be had because it would take another teams like top 5 prospects or something. Also, if we were able to obtain Rizzo for only a relief pitcher (granted a very hard throwing rp). How much value has he gained in the first month of the year that would require a huge haul of top prospects?

              • drew

                You dont trade a guy who some consider the best 1B prospect in baseball just because you have Vogelbach. Lets let the guy play a season or two in a league above HS before we consider him a big part of the future.

                Im crazy excited about how LaHair has been hitting, but we just havent seen it for 600-800 PA’s yet. I am a lot more optimistic about that now than I was a couple of months ago.

                The bottom line: A problem generated by having a cheap, productive 1B, the best 1B prospect in MLB, and a 19 yr old mold of Prince Fielder is a great problem to have.

                • Cheryl

                  One thing we have to wait on in Rizzo is will he be as good as people say or will he have the same problem in the majors he had before? Is there any reason why Rizzo couldn’t learn third base?

                  • drew

                    He’s left-handed… I dont think thats in the cards.

                    • Cheryl

                      Good point! But just for the heck of it I wondered if there had ever been a left-handed third baseman in the majors. There was but you have to go back quite a ways. His name was Hick Carpenter.

                    • David

                      Cheryl- Mike Squires played a little 3B for the White Sox back in the 70’s, usually as a sub, but started a couple of games, too. He even got into a couple of games as a catcher one year.

                  • JustSwain

                    I just watched the tape of Rizzo hitting some of his homers and singles. Man does that kid have a sweet swing. He’s going to rip it up once he starts to feel comfortable in the majors. All he got was a cup of coffee, can’t blame him for not chugging it. He’s got a homer for every 10 plate apperances so far this year in the minors, and a few doubles to boot. At this rate he’d shatter Lahairs Pacific Coast League record if he’s given a full season in Iowa. He’s also got gold glove potential. He’s the real deal.

                    • Cheryl

                      Sounds good. Know how Vogelbach is doing? If we have three good first basemen possibilities, like somebody said, that’s a pleasant problem My problem with it is I’d want to make use of all three.

    • Dustin S

      Taking a step back and looking at it with an open mind, would it really be that hard for LaHair or Rizzo to learn left field? Heck, if Soriano can anyone can. As bad as we need offensive help there has to be a way we can shoehorn both Rizzo and LaHair in the lineup someplace.

      • FromFenwayPahk

        Take a half a step foward again. That was the Cardinals. That was Lance Lynn pitching pretty damn well. Volstad is pretty good (and getting better). LaHair is pretty damn good. Relax, Chicago. This is a good team. It is gonna be a sweet team. Seasons are long.

        • Jay Anderson Jr

          Lahair is pretty good, but Volstad pretty good? Haha. All I can do is laugh.

    • josh

      LaHair and Rizzo both stay imo. LaHair to Left field. He will have to learn to play outfield to stick next year though.

    • ThereWillBeCubs

      Totally digging LaHair, the “Cardinal Killer,” but I think you have it backwards. We trade LaHair to an AL team (maybe in a Garza package to the Tigers?) because he has no other position besides DH. Neither LaHair or Rizzo would bring an ace back unless a boatload of our own prospects were involved (not long-term). Also Aces are super expensive and can have Zito/Zambrano-like consequences.

      I don’t know anything about projecting minor league players, but I doubt LaHair’s bat would over compensate for his defensive liability, especially at 29 or however old he is.

      He’s really easy to root for though.

  • MichiganGoat

    Just remember guys it took like 4 months for the Cubs to get a series win last year under Quade (someone look up the actual date), this year we’ve done it in less than a month and against the reigning champs, things are better than they appear.

    • cjdubbya

      I hate to be the voice of defiance here, but the Cubs won two of their first four series in 2011. April 4-6, took two of three from the D-Bags, then two of three from the Asstros April 11-13.

      • MichiganGoat

        Ah shit maybe I’m thinking about a sweep, dealing with a puking four year old all day will do that.

    • Diesel

      You’re thinking of how long it took to win three in a row.

      • MichiganGoat

        Yeah that’s the ticket – thanks everyone. Damn me and my wishful thinking, go ahead back up the truck trade Rizzo, Castro, and Garza ain’t no hope here. ;)

      • gratefulled

        bingo

  • TonyE

    Hey Brett

    What’s up with Jorge Soler? Any news?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No. If there were, I promise you wouldn’t have missed it. If there’s even the slightest change from the status quo (still waiting on residency in the DR), there are going to be gigantic and numerous posts.

    • Ogyu

      He was last seen in the vicinity of Loch Ness, Scotland…

  • Cubs1967

    When do we start to worry Stewart is headed toward another .151 avg like last year?
    Time to play Lahair against lefties and Baker at 3B when lefties start.

    • Cubs Dude

      Good point, I wonder why we haven’t seen Baker at 3rd?

      • EvenBetterNews

        Almost seems like a platoon is in the works until we see which one of these kids in the minors ends up at third and takes over.

    • Njriv

      Eh, I’d give him more time, hes in a mini-slump. He was making good contact but the ball wasnt fallin. He needs more playing time since he had lack of at-bats last year.

    • JustSwain

      Stewart looked good out of the gates, but has really let us down for a few games. Baker plays a serviceable 3rd base, but Stewart is a plus defender. I’d be up for letting Baker get a shot with a hard lefty on the mound, but we have to give Stewart a chance to prove he’s better than his stats from last year.

    • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

      Stewart will be just fine over the long-haul. He was hurt last year and has had some pretty good AB’s with nothing to show for ‘em. Give him time…

      I wanted to trade Marmol two years ago when his value was at it’s highest. Hendry told me to go pound salt…I think we all know who was right…

  • Njriv

    When ever the Cubs lose, does anyone else check the box score of the Iowa games to see how the youngins are doing or is it just me?

  • rcleven

    Let’s not rush Rizzo to the MLB club just yet. He still has a lot to accomplish at Iowa. He still having a problem hitting lefties(4 for 23 .197 avg.) He also has 4 errors. I can’t see bring him up till roster expansion in September.

    • JustSwain

      I could see leaving Rizzo in the Minors for a full year if Lahair keeps ripping it up, but if he swoons at all Rizzo is going to take his job. He’s got 7 homers in around 70 Plate Appearances. Not at bats, plate appearances. I Didn’t see his splits against lefties though, thats a little discouraging. Hopefully he’ll start seeing them better; 23 is a pretty small sample size.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Can someone tell me what the Cubs are doing with Marmol. Saw the skipper gave him a big vote of confidence, is that really how the people running this club feel?
    The guy is nothing like the pitcher he was two and three years ago. We all know how bad he was last year, and I am not seeing anything that looks any better. Worse if anything.
    Scary stat I saw today on Marmol. In the games he has pitched this year, he has thrown 144 pitches, and had 11 swing and misses. For a power pitching closer who blew guys away in 2008-2010, this is a hideous sign. He just doesn’t miss any bats anymore.
    What is the alternative, Russell?

    • Tony S

      Zych. Might as well have someone throwing wayward bullets as opposed to wayward BP.

    • Spencer

      I think your last sentence is key…they just don’t have anyone else, especially with Wood on the DL. Very little bullpen depth. They have no one else with closing experience. It sucks that Marmol is the best option.

      • Melrosepad

        If memory serves, hasn’t Maine and Bowden closed at AAA?

    • JustSwain

      My guess is that if Marmol pitches himself out of the closer job, we’ll just have to rotate in our better relievers and see if someone manages to shine in that role. Russell wouldn’t necessarily be my first choice because he’s a soft throwing lefty, but he is probably first in line to take a shot at it as things stand now. I don’t see anyone in the bullpen right now who would be handed the role and told “You’re our closer now.” It’d be closer by committee until someone stepped up and demonstrated that they deserve the position.

  • EB

    Gerardo Concepcion was roughed up a bit tonight in his debut: 5 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 5 ER

    • JustSwain

      All the runs were in the first, and after he settled down he only allowed 3 more hits. He was apparently getting the ball up, and throwing too many breaking pitches in the first inning. Ron Villone the pitching coach says he is talented and eager to learn.

      • EB

        That’s good to hear

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