Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 0, Pirates 1 – May 25, 2012

The only part of tonight’s game that wasn’t recycled was the fact that it marked the Cubs’ 10th consecutive loss, rather than the 9th or 8th or 5th or 4th.

Ryan Dempster was superlative. The Cubs had a whole bunch of singles, but no extra base hits. They were an hilarious 0-12 with runners in scoring position. The bullpen didn’t implode, but, then, the Cubs didn’t have a lead to give up. So the story still fits. And it’s the same story.

And I have other concerns, which indirectly explain how the Cubs were able to have so many base runners and not score any runs.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

74 responses to “Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 0, Pirates 1 – May 25, 2012”

  1. mick6x

    Could Dempsters trade value get any better than right now??

    1. mick6x

      I would hate to see him go but what could we get for him now this far ahead of the deadline?

  2. Jeremy

    Well at least Castro showed some more patience tonight to go with his 2 hits. He saw 29 pitches in 5 AB’s.

    1. Cheryl

      Yes and he batted second. That should tell Sveum something

    2. Brady

      Except the 1 AB we needed him to be paitent and actually get a hit. But aside from that he did look a lot better in the 2 hole.

    3. DocPeterWimsey

      Castro wasn’t showing “patience.”  He was fouling off quite a few pitches, that is all.  (He lost at least one walk because he fouled off non-strikes.)

  3. Cubs1967

    curse of rahm at 10 games and counting………

  4. magilljl


  5. Zogie

    The hurt continues. 10 hits but 0 runs 12 Ks and 0-12 RISP. Dempster pitched another gem, but again no run support. DeJesus 1-4 2k, 1 BB had a tough evening. His knowledge of the strikezone does not mean a thing when the umps call strikes ½ foot outside. Tough break. Castro 2-5 2K 1SB has been more patient at the plate recently which is good to see. He saw 20 pitches in his first 3 ABs. Mather 2-4 1K made a good case to play every day hitting wise. IDK what he was doing dancing so far off first base. Start him where people need a day off. 1B, 3B, OF, but tell him to stop dancing. LaHair 0-4 2K keeps struggling, but he had some good swings today. Soriano 2-4 2K it was an ok day. Cardenas 0-3 BB has been unlucky. At least he does not strikeout too often. Barney 2-4 1K 1SB had a decent day. Hill 0-3 2K. Please give him a day off. Johnson 1-1 and Campana 1 SB. Overall, the cubs are looking terrible. Too many little mistakes cost them this game. My shout out goes to Ryan Dempster. Keep pitching Demp, eventually you will get 2 runs of support.

  6. Frankum

    You know the worst part? Statistics say you are 7% more likely to score a run of you don’t sac bunt. But we keep doing it AND FAILING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Why can’t we bunt? How are you a major league ball player who can’t bunt?

    1. Mrp

      Honestly I think it was done there because Sveum feels that Hill is has a great chance to hit into a double play. His first 3 at bats most likely would have been DPs in that situation. If Hill gets that down, the game is probalby still going.

    2. OCCubFan

      My source http://www.tangotiger.net/re24 says the penalty for a successful sac bunt is “only” a bit over 2% (the probability of scoring at least one run is reduced from 0.44 to 0.42). As you point out, however, if you cannot bunt it gets much worse. In the case of a forceout, the chance of scoring at least one run is reduced from 0.44 to 0.28. And that doesn’t even take account of the possibility of a double play.

      Furthermore, a successful sac bunt with no outs reduces the expected number of runs scored from 0.94 to 0.72. That is, the chance of scoring two or more runs is greatly reduced. This is not a trivial factor when you are down by a run.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        but… but… how did Gene Mauch win all of those pennants if sacrifice bunts decrease your chances of scoring?

      2. fester30

        You can make statistics say whatever you want if you use them correctly. When is it you sac bunt? Usually it’s with the bottom of the lineup. That might move a guy over, but it still doesn’t guarantee those guys will be on base for your run producers. When do you not sac bunt? When you have 3-4-5 guys up to bat. I think if those numbers took into account who is up it may be a different story. Are you more likely to score a run if you don’t sac bunt the pitcher with a runner on first and 1 out? If you let the pitcher swing, does that increase your chances? Like a previous guy mentioned… with Koyie Hill up to bat, your chances have to go way downhill if you let him swing away.

        1. Ian Afterbirth

          Thank you for pointing out why statistics are always misleading.
          I would MUCH rather have Hill bunt than swing away (for the very reasons Mrp – and you – mention) in that situation.

          Of course that assumes the hitter is actually capable of laying down a successful bunt, but Hill still didn’t hit into a double play….

        2. DocPeterWimsey

          No, you cannot make summaries of the data say whatever you want. However, blanket summaries of the data do fail to capture variation, and you are correct that how much a Sacrfice Bunt hurts depends on who is batting. It is not just with the 3-5 batters: you shouldn’t bunt with anybody getting on base 30% of the time. And you shouldn’t be starting anybody who has an OBA under 30%.

          Hill obviously is an exception to that.

          1. Mrp

            Yeah you’re right, we should sit back and wait for that 3 run home run with this team. Hopefully the stars will align. If we were the Red Sox or Yankees or any team that had a decent offense, I’d agree with you. We are very far from that though.

            1. Kyle

              There’s a whole world between “wait for a 3-run homer” and “waste outs.”

              Trading an out for a base just isn’t good math unless the batter in question was almost certain to get out anyway.

              1. Mrp

                Koyie Hill was the guy. Anything else to add? I’ll be one of the first people that will be pissed if Starlin is asked to bunt again. But Koyie Hill is like having a pitcher at the plate. Just use some common sense sometimes. Deciding to bunt Koyie Hill doesn’t have to turn into a complex equation for God’s sake.

                1. DocPeterWimsey

                  Yes, Hill is that guy, but it’s very rare that a position player ever is. And, let’s face it, he’s effectively the Cubs’ 4th string catcher.

                  However, Cubs fans seem to want the Cubs to find that “other” way to score that does not involve slugging and drawing walks.  You can do that: but you have to be playing football, basketball, hockey, soccer, etc., instead…..


  7. Cheryl

    I think LaHair is starting to come out of this slump. it didn’t show today, but tomorrow we’ll begin to see something. I have a feeling he’ll hit two home runs either tomorrow or the next day.

  8. Mrp

    I hope so, but he is still chasing off speed out of the zone. He has to shore that up.

    1. Cheryl

      Yes, he does. I have no crystal ball but the guy is too patient a hitter to have slumped for this long. He knows the strike zone and it isn’t as if he hasn’t hit curve balls and off-speed stuff before now.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        eh, I wouldn’t worry about it.  LaHair isn’t getting the love from Eris that he got earlier, and although he hasn’t gotten any extra base hits, the rates on those are sufficiently low that this sort of dry spell frequently happens just by chance alone.

        1. calicubsfan007

          Anthony Rizzo is being called right now, lol.

  9. Frankum

    Is there no better option than Hill? Dude was hitting below the Mendoza line in AA. But he is starting for us. He missed a tag tonight. He short hopped a throw on a steal….please tell me why he is onthe majors at all?

    I’m quickly losing faith in this coach. I hate him sac bunting all the time. I hate that he rarely pinch hits for starters. I hate that he won’t play lefty guys against lefties. He is awful.

    1. Mrp

      When you are 23rd in the league in XBH and Slugging you become a little more desperate to get runners in scoring position. Dale is just working with the hand he has been dealt. It’s tough to string 3 singles together to score runs. If Koyie Hill gets that bunt down, the game is tied at 1 so I personally have no problem with it. The players need to execute.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        And the Pirates’ players need to execute, too: and that means trying to force a bad bunt and getting the lead runner!

  10. lou brock lives

    Seven guys on this team have trade value. As follows : Garza – 2 Top ten propects
    Dempster – 1 Top 10
    Maholm – 1 Top 15
    Wells – 1 Top 20
    DeJesus – 1 Top 20
    Soto – 1 Top 20
    Marmol – 1 Top 20
    Marmol with Cubs paying at least 50% of what he is still owed.
    Camp, & R. Johnson may get you a lower level prospect/suspect. at the trading deadline.
    Target teams like Toronto, Phillies, Rays, Tigers, & Reds.

    1. nkniacc

      Wells won’t get that good of prospect right now. I Can’t see Maholm getting that either.

    2. djriz

      There is no hurry to make any trades.
      We will get better value if two teams are competing for the same player, so let’s just wait.
      It’s not as if we have tons of talent in the minors knocking on the door.

      1. Jzwizard

        Only problem is Dempster couldn’t be pitching any better and he may lose value if he starts to struggle at all. I mean if he pitched like this for a team with a real offense, he could be in early CY Young talk

  11. MichiganGoat

    Damn Cubs, back to drinking beer at least Oberon doesn’t disappoint.

  12. calicubsfan007

    Arghhhhhh!!! I hate losing!!!!! Just as much as I hate when Hill starts!!! They will get out of this funk, I hope. Still have faith though!

  13. emrac

    the never ending nightmare still continues

  14. HoustonTransplant

    This is when living so far away from the Cubs is a good thing: I can’t torture myself by watching each and every game. It’s much easier to ignore the suck when you can only watch a few games a week.

    Of course, I do stream them on the radio…so never mind. Pat sounded absolutely exasperated when they lost. “10 in a row” as if he really wanted to say, “son of a bitch, you’ve got to be kidding me.” At least, that’s what I wanted him to say. That’s what I said. We knew this was going to suck, but this is significant amounts of suck. Tomorrow’s another day, though, so hopefully we can stop the streak at 10. Keep looking for positives?

  15. Carew

    Alright. We’re gonna start a 10 game win streak now

  16. Jzwizard

    Batters 6-9 are always dismal. We need to trade Dempster ASAP, not only for the Cubs sake but for his. I mean seriously we are talking about a 0-3 SP with a 2.14 ERA. I though run support was bad for Garza last year. Cubs need to upgrade 2B, C, and 3B or we will suck unless we can put Verlander on the mound every single game.

  17. MikeL

    In honor of the Cubs 10 game losing streak……I thought this video was appropriate…..


    1. TrueblueCubbie

      Now I am even more sad after watching that video.

      1. MikeL

        LOL, I thought it was a way for us to keep our sense of humor during this painful stretch.

  18. gutshot5820

    Bottom line? Fundamental baseball, smart baseball, aggressive base running, blah, blah blah. If the talent isn’t there, bunting or hitting doesn’t really matter. A few changes in the lineup doesn’t matter. Cubs need a lot more talent if they are going to compete, so it’s useless to complain about these little things and we should just accept that the Cubs are exactly who we thought they were. Just enjoy baseball and pretend we are in the 1980′s.

    1. MikeL


      You just hit the nail on the head!!! There are too many people on here who think that great managers can turn bad players into great players….NO….Casey Stengel, John McGraw…Tony LaRussa, Whitey Herzog…etc…could not win with this team in a million years!!! You can try and blame Dale Sveum for the poor performance of this team…..but you would be an idiot. It does not matter which lineup Dale throws out there….The talent is not there….and it won’t be until 2014 or 2015 at the earliest….sorry.

  19. Bric

    Remember in ST when so many here were claiming there’s no reason for doom and gloom, ST numbers are meaningless, samlpe size and all. And reactionary posts were considered panicky and got replies like- “Oh my gosh, the sky is falling!”

    Well, 10 game losing streak. Yes. The sky is falling. Be careful when you say it can’t get any worse because clearly it can.

  20. Curt

    I feel awful for our starting pitchers if u don’t throw a shutout yr screwed

  21. Cubs Dude

    It’s amazing what with one big bat (LaHair) not hitting can do to the lineup. When he was playing at an all star level the Cubs offense was a lot better (still not great). I really hope they haven’t tried to change too much with Lahair at the plate. Just because Cal Ripken changed his stance all the time doesn’t mean it’s a good idea…

  22. LouCub

    I’m pissed at losing 10 straight, but lets be realistic, the only guys in this Cubs lineup over the past week and a half that still may be regulars here in the next month or two are Castro, LaHair and Stewart..Hill should be an ex Cub once again, Soriano can leave, DeJesus may draw some serious interest and Barney should go back to being a solid utility guy…This rebuild hasn’t really even started yet, there are moves to be made and after the draft, I reckon we’ll start to see them in abundance!!!

  23. LouCub

    This organization, was destroyed by the Trib, Zell and Hendry/MacPhail…It took a very long time to rip it apart, it’s gonna take time again to put it together properly..There hasn’t been a full fledged rebuild of this franchise since 1966 when they brought Leo in and dealt the likes of Bob Buhl and Larry Jackson to Philly for Fergie Jenkins and Adolfo Phillips and Lindy McDaniel to the Giants for Bill Hands and Randy Hundley etc…Dallas Green tried to do both the minors and majors at the same time and almost pulled it off in 84 but Theo and Jed need some time, and ‘mI content to give them some. we all should..As an organization they are focused on this draft and rightfully so..there is no more skipping over a talent like Matt Weiters because Zell wouldn’t give WIlken/Hendry the funds to secure him and we settle for Josh Vitters (who still may help one day), but Weiters is a potential all star catcher and dumb decisions by ownersship prior to Mr Ricketts are still plaguing this franchise!!!

    1. Cubs Dude

      Agreed. It literally will take many years to fix that farm system. By that time Thed will be gone.

      1. LouCub

        It took Jason MacLeod and Jed Hoyer 2 drafts to get the Pads from a bottom 5 to a top 5 system and they don’t have the Cubs deep pockets!! Be patient

        1. supercapo

          I think it is unrealistic to expect a complete turnaround in the Cubs minor league system in just 2 years. You are right that they were able to turn it around quickly in San Diego, but that was before the changes brought about by the new CBA. Those changes could slow a lot of things down and will cause other teams to be a careful and creative as the Cubs are going to be. The competition for hidden gems got a lot more challenging.

          1. Kyle

            The minor league system didn’t need a complete turnaround. It was already considered a middle-of-the-pack riser and it already had the No. 6 overall pick coming up.

            1. supercapo

              With the way that most of the high prospects have played so far this season, I seriously doubt that the farm system is still considered a middle-of-the-pack riser.
              Rizzo has been great, but very few other prospects have taken the next step forward.

              1. Luke

                They had several players get off to slow starts (normal) or be slowed by injuries (usually unavoidable), but the only major prospect who has really struggled is Jackson.  Rizzo is having no trouble, Baez isn’t playing yet, Szczur started slow in April but has played well in May, Maples isn’t playing yet, Castillo is inured, Dolis is a major league closer, Lake got a late start but has been playing well, and Vitters, like Szczur, started slow but has been playing well lately.  Volgelbach hasn’t started yet.  And that’s the Top 10.

                Compared to last season in particular, things are going well for the Cubs farm system.


        2. Luke

          Don’t forget, the Cubs already have one very good draft in the books, the 2011 draft.  The CBA could slow things, but I still expect the Cubs to have a Top 10 system at the end of this year.  They could easily be in contention for Top 5 status at the end of next year, depending on how many prospects are dealt in trades.

          1. supercapo

            I realize you understand the Cubs system better than I do, I hope you are right.

          2. CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

            Yeah, hopefully you aren’t the next Jim Callis…LOL, JK.

    2. Kyle

      So if it’s going to take many years of bad teams to rebuild, is it really worth it?

      You can rip the MacPhail tenure all you want, but the Cubs won 3 division titles from 2002 to 2011.

      If we throw away a huge chunk of 2012-2021, there’s not much time left to improve at the end.

      1. MichiganGoat

        Do you mean Hendry?

        1. Kyle

          No, I meant MacPhail.

          Hendry had severe problems in his execution, but if you are talking about organizational philosophy, he was just a part of the MacPhail era. The last few years after MacPhail was fired were really just an extension of his time here, as the club was in waiting mode until the team was sold and a new executive put in place.

      2. Hansman1982

        But I thought the cubs should be winning the division every year. 3 playoff appearances in 11 years for a team with the payroll capabilities of the cubs is not anything to write home about. If we can turn some of the middling talent that we have into good players then why the hell not. The previous method of focusing our efforts solely on free agents didn’t produce spectacular results.

        Interesting that people are doubting a gm’s strategy where the year he was ran out of town was a 90 win season. Part of that success was having a strong farm system which he is in the process of evaluating and developing that farm system. Have some patience.

        1. Kyle

          That GM also inherited a 90-win team. You can’t use that as proof that the current strategy will work when he never employed the current strategy before.

          I’m not saying 3 in 11 years is that great. I’m saying that when people are talking about some sort of massive, long-term rebuild that takes many seasons, I’m wondering how they expect to beat 3/11 when they want to start out 0/5.

          1. King Jeff

            By starting out 0/5, which I hope it is not that bad, they are laying the groundwork for a team that should be in contention for a championship every year after that. A run of 5 or 6 straight years of making the playoffs would be the payoff for building a team from the ground up with young talent.

            1. Kyle

              I think the evidence that this sort of approach actually works is pretty scant, at best.

          2. DocPeterWimsey

            In a way, inheriting the ’02 Sox made assembling the ’07 Sox more difficult, not less. Theo & Jed did not get the advantage of high draft picks, even after the “rebuilding” year in ’06.

            However, your caution is correct: there are a lot of teams that have been trying and failing to build from within for years now.

            1. djriz

              Yet, it seems teams can do it. The Marlins have won two Series, and Tampa Bay has been to one. Both teams have been in contention often, and neither has been reliant on Free Agency.

              If Leo and Co. aren’t showing results by 2015, they wont be around.

              1. DocPeterWimsey

                The 1997 Marlins was a very veteran team of free agents or trade acquisitions about to become free agents.  The ’03 team was based on some internal development, but also a lot of the guys that they acquired when they traded away the ’97 team in the 97/98 off-season.

                That leaves the Rays.  We have to remember the Royals, Pirates, etc. also, as these teams have been trying to build from within for (literally) decades now.

                1. Hansman1982

                  The one thing that’s easy tO forget is that Pitt kc Seattle forget that they need to add big name free agents when the rebuilding phase is over. They consistently add the mediocre players when they need a big name. If this front office still doesn’t add any big time free agents (who sign reasonable contracts) after a couple years then we can be worried.

              2. Kyle

                The Rays are the one example. The Marlins are definitely not.

  24. Roughriider

    Yes.” Be Patient” I can understand people saying that and that’s really what Cub fans need to do. But, when you’ve been following the Cubs since the 1950s it’s getting to be a word that makes you feel ill. “Be Patient” has been the Cubs mantra since 1945. Some people just don’t have the time to be patient. I understand the frustration of being a Cub fan and at times I call it the family curse. But, I’ll be patient or a patient.

  25. nkniacc

    I knew this was going to be a long season but with the knowlege that a bunch of money was coming off the books and that after the year the front office would have a good idea of what they have in the minors. It will be interesting with the new CBA what the Cubs do in the draft now that they can’t “buy” talent. The thing is when you talk about a middle of the pack minor league system its because the cubs just don’t have a lot of players at AA or AAA that you look at and think could be All Stars.

  26. Big Joe

    This team is, just…so bad. I can’t watch anymore.

    1. Jzwizard

      I agree. I can’t stress enough how bad the back end of the lineup is. Barney, Stewart, and Soto need to go. I don’t care if it’s via trade, prospect, or free agent signing but this team will struggle with any of those guys in the everyday lineup let alone all three. Maybe we should trade Garza to the Tigers if we can get their stud 3B prospect in return. I believe Baez has the potential to play but I am losing faith in VItters and Baez is still a few years away.