The Cubs’ losing streak has reached 11 games, and I can’t take it anymore. I’m done with the Cubs. I kid, of course, but I won’t be able to take in the Cubs’ game today – instead, I’ll be going to the Reds/Rockies game in Cincinnati with The Wife and The Father-in-Law (insert obligatory joke about seeing what good baseball looks like). The EBS might be slightly delayed, as the Cubs/Pirates tilt goes at about the same time as Reds/Rockies. Maybe I’ve been the bad luck for the Cubs – without me watching, maybe they can finally win.
- Dale Sveum is getting a ton of heat in the comments, but, aside from a one-off disagreement here and there (the Castro bunt being the big one), I still don’t see what folks are so bent out of shape about. By this time last year, Mike Quade was consistently (every game) making decisions that made absolutely no sense. Sveum, on the other hand, has generally been good about lineup management (dropped Byrd early, dropped Soriano when it made sense, uses platoons, and – contrary to the calls – starts bench guys when appropriate), bullpen management (what the heck is he supposed to do with that motley crew?), and defensive alignments. I just don’t see what everyone is freaking out about. This team’s problems start and end with the roster, itself.
- Sveum sounds displeased with “closer” Rafael Dolis, who walked two, gave up a single, and hit a guy last night in the 9th to lose the game. “You’re not going to come out on top when you walk that many guys,” Sveum said. “You can’t throw strikes to finish a game off. So, we’re having trouble with Dolis right now, throwing back-to-back strikes.” Dolis has a 12.00 ERA in his last six appearances.
- Sveum on Bryan LaHair’s deep struggles: “He’s getting to the point now where he’s starting to guess along with the pitchers. You can’t do that. You have to get up there and hit. The guessing gets to be a little too much sometimes – guessing and worrying about what the pitcher is going to do and how many good pitches to hit and all that. The thing is, he’s not taking his walks. He’s not taking his walks now and swinging out of the strike zone and trying to do too much and put all the weight on his shoulders.”
- Sveum also noted that Starlin Castro’s extreme lack of walks – he has four(!!!!) all season, and only one(!!!!) in May – is becoming an issue that needs to be addressed. I’m not saying anything, I’m just saying: Rudy Jaramillo’s teams have never been known for patience at the plate. So, if we’re seeing a bit of a disconnect between manager Sveum (who used to be a hitting coach) and Jaramillo, I’m not surprised.
- The Hardball Times looks at other Cubs’ losing streaks and poor season starts. The lesson, if there is one? This season will not end well.
- Ryan Braun is developing a prima donna reputation, demanding the roof at Miller Park be moved to a certain spot to accommodate his preferences. (That link also has a note that maybe the Marlins will be interested in Reed Johnson, in light of Emilio Bonafacio’s injury. Even if they are, a Johnson trade will not net anything truly notable in return.)
- Phil Rogers looks at the early season battle for the worst record in baseball (currently held by the Cubs), and it’s going to be a tight one as the season goes on. I’m still not rooting for Cubs losses, but I will say that there’s very little value in finishing second-to-worst, instead of worst. If the Cubs are going to be bad, they better be REALLY bad. Rogers says the Padres have the best chance to finish in dead last, thanks to a tougher schedule ahead.