Two! Two wins in a row! Ten more to go…

Jeff Samardzija was cruising today until the 8th inning when he allowed a double and a triple, setting the stage for the Padres to tie up what had been a 4-2 Cubs lead (fortunately Shawn Camp came in and prevented that runner at third from scoring thanks, in part, to a diving catch by Jeff Baker at first). It was probably one inning too many for Samardzija, but it’s hard to blame Dale Sveum given that Jeff was at just 84 pitches at the time. Ultimately, it mattered not.

Alfonso Soriano homered (again) today, and also made a diving catch in the outfield. Anyone interested yet? His OPS in May is through the roof.

But, from my vantage point, the story today was Shawn Camp…

  • MaxM1908

    I think Camp is a great story. I remember a ton of folks on here bemoaning the signing when it happened. Some implied that Theo and Jed had their heads up their you know whats for signing him. This success may not last, in which case the naysayers will have their day, but for now, I’m happy that he’s proven the value of pursuing high upside guys with little to no risk.

    • Brett

      Bingo. Even if he’d flopped, it was a no-risk, with-upside move. And when they trade him in July for a not-completely-insignificant prospect, we’ll all be happy.

      • MaxM1908

        Really, you think someone would bite on him? I’d be happy if it happens. Of course, then people will act like it was the Marshall trade all over again depriving our bullpen of its only decent arm.

      • MaxM1908

        Also, I hate to dream, but how awesome would it be if the Cubs turned Mather AND Camp into above-average prospects. It would really show how the Hoyerstein plan can work above the din of pissed off fans.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          It would be extremely awesome, as it would require the invention of time travel!   :-)

        • Bric

          I prefer the term Thedstein. Come on man. If you say it, too, everyone will think you’re cool.

          • MaxM1908

            What about “Joyer Epeo” or “Je-o Hoystein”? How about just Thed?

            • Joshua Edwards

              Team Epstein or Jepstein are my favorites.

              • Hansman1982

                How about Team Holstein?

            • Njriv


    • Joe

      But your missing a great story also! That would be James Russell.

    • Joe

      I don’t think anybody thought James Russell was capable of doing what he is doing.

    • Brady

      I think its funny we got 2 people on our ball club that Seattle dropped and are now performing. (Lahair and Camp)

      • King Jeff

        Yeah, think maybe we should take that flyer on Chone Figgins?

  • Fuzzy Cheeks

    So is James Russell our new closer? If so, I am totally down with that. Wondered why we gave Dolis the job over him in the first place.

  • Patrick

    I think I commented on this at the signing. People here in Seattle were surprised when he was released but it was a simple matter of him being a 36 year old pitcher on a team that had to make an early cut because they were on their way to Japan to open the season early.
    The Mariners took 14 pitchers with them to Japan, so nobody really has a good idea of what facilitated the release. He was on a $750K Major League contract after all, and in spring training he gave up 2 runs in 8.1 innings and had a 2:1 SO/BB ratio. It is still confusing, but nobody here frets too much about these things.

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    Alfonso Soriano has scored 13 times this season and 7 out of 13 came because he hit a Homerun. Kind of sad statistic

  • Cubs Dude

    Just a thought, and I could be off. But Soriano limps so much more on his homerun trots than he normally does in a regular jog. Is this him saying I’m a badass and still playing hard? Or, I am completely gimp so don’t trade for me… I think the former, which pisses me off. He looks completely jacked rounding the bases and it’s really pissing me off. Sorry for the lack of compassion, but I want that guy out asap.

  • coal

    Don’t think he saves it for HR trots. He looked pretty gimpy live yesterday running out a double. My knees hurt just watching it. Hopefully the scouts aren’t paying attention :).

  • mark

    Castro didn’t do too much offensively today, but he does seem so much more comfortable batting second. So I like the lineup with Superjoe batting 3. Too bad they had to subtract Tony from the lineup. How’d ya like to be benched with his stat line? Think about it, if you took his SBs and counted them all as doubles, how awesome would his stats be? And he’s benched for the sake of what looks to me like better chemistry in the lineup. Crazy game.

  • Cerambam

    After his diving catch today he limped back to the dugout i don’t know if they showed it on tv or not but it was very obvious

  • Cheryl

    I’m all for Rizzo coming up as soon as possible. LaHair apparently has missed the opportunity he had in the defensive area and has lost the confidence of Sveum in terms of facing left hand pitching. Unless there is a dramatic improvemwnt on his part i can’t see him as part of a long-term solution for the cubs.

    • die hard

      unless he platoons with Sori in LF and bring Rizzo up..may be where Cubs go on this issue

  • die hard

    Smard is a pleasant surprise and could be undefeated or 7-1 if a decent team behind him…Sori is doing something to enhance his abilities..hope its legal…with Barney what you see is what you get….above avg all around with tremendous desire to win but no hall of famer……wish we had one of him at every position and on the mound…25 above avg players with his attitude could win a WS for Cubs

    • Drew7

      Well, it had been at least a week since my last Diehard facepalm…suppose I was due

      • Carew

        at least he’s being somewhat positive

  • florida Al

    cmon you can bring yer green hat…

  • Joshua Edwards

    Soriano’s knees don’t hurt him that much as long he hits. He was/is only going to an AL team: nobody wanted his defense before his bad wheels became obvious to the world.

    That said, there’s no denying his effort, heart, or good attitude. I’m rooting for him to do well and help out somebody as a DH.

    But his days in Chicago are numbered and everyone knows it. No hitting streak or defensive play changes that. He just needs to show he can still be an occasional offensive force despite the bad knees. He’s doing that.

    • Kyle

      If you took the 30 starting LFers in the majors at any given point, and ranked them 1-30 in defense, I think you’d be surprised how well Soriano would rank.

      • necusfan

        29th? Soriano’s been red hot since he started noticeably limping. Someone should have given him the Nancy Kerrigan treatment a long time ago.

        • calicubsfan007

          Love the idea. (=

      • JungleDrew

        Seriously for 3 years he had the worst flding % 2009-2011, and it’s not much better before that. And he has never had a positive dWAR… he ranks last. He plays left field because he would be worse anywhere else.. There is a reason we all dump on his defense.

        • Kyle

          Fielding percentage? Yeah, we’ll just ignore that to move on to the things that actually matter.

          As you mention, he’s never had a positive dWAR. But he’s also never had a severely negative one either. He’s been a slightly below average defensive LFer.

          “We all” dump on his defense because he’s made a few high-profile gaffes that have little to do with his day-to-day defense.

    • ottoCub

      It seems doubtful that the Cubs are going to be able to trade Soriano this year. My hope is that Soriano plays this year out, with bad knees and all. Hopefully he hits around .250 with 20 HRs, and gets a ton of cheers and bows from the left field bleachers (he deserves it for all the hard work he puts in) And then, near the end of the year, around September call-up time, when his knees are really hurting, he sees the potential the Cubs have in outfield prospects… So he calls a press conference and announces his retirement.

      This would be a great way for him to go out. And this would be best for the Cubs organization. Maybe he could stay on as a coach/scout in the Dominican Republic?

      • rhino70

        I can think of 54 million reasons why this won’t happen…..

        • Edwin

          Well, technically you can think of 1 reason 54 million times.

          • CubFan Paul

            Sori will probably be released this offseason. The remaining $36M could easily fit into next year’s payroll (lots of money coming off the books after this season

            • hansman1982

              Agree (wow this is weird) – there is a -500% chance that Soriano is on the roster come opening day 2013.

              • CubFan Paul

                If Theo&Co get lucky and AL team might trade for him in the offseason and agree to pay $2M of his 2013 & 2014 salaries. Anything more than that is unrealistic because of Sori’s age and health

                • hansman1982

                  Ya, I used to think we could convince someone to take on $5-7M a year but that is not going to happen and I hope Team Holstein can either find an extra $36M in this year’s budget to dump him in December, convince Tom to pony up whatever they are short, or cut him in January and move forward. I don’t even want a negotiated buyout where we pay him over 10 years – just gotta, gotta, gotta, cut loose.

                  Hopefully he will sign on to another team for league min and we save $500K on next year’s salary, he has a career year and someone signs him for $2-3M in 2014 and we save that.

  • calicubsfan007

    I knew that Russell should have been given a stronger opportunity to be the closer sooner. I am just surprised that Soriano is hitting the ball now. In a rut, just play the Padres, they’ll make you feel better about your team!!!

    • Brady

      At the very least it helps us stave off the title of “Worst Team in the League”. Last year that title was given to the Astros, this year it seems to be going towards the Padres. As long as its not the Cubs I won’t have to drink myself to football season. (I only drink during gamedays so that is an improvement though I made a game of everytime garza makes an errant throw to first).

      • calicubsfan007

        Heh, it is kinda like the old Kiefer Sutherland’s 24 drinking game, eh? The one that people drank to whenever he swore during the show… That one is fun to observe.

        • hansman1982

          The Secret Life game is much more fun – drink every time they say sex or repeat a line for the third time – gonna need a 5 gallon bucket of the Drank to get through an episode.

  • calicubsfan007

    Like how Bleacher Report is saying to promote Vitters now in order to speed up the rebuilding process, I am personally not sure that he will be ready this year. Maybe next year to promote him would be smarter.

    • Jimmy james

      He definitely needs a year at Iowa, possibly in line for a mid season call up next season if he keeps improving. I think team Theo preaches patience and vitters is not ready

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    I don’t like the contract, don’t like the situation and frankly would love it if AS retired, but let’s get real. Soriano is no more or less human than any of us. He’s not going to have knee surgery, he doesn’t have to pass physical as in football, and as long as he wants to keep up the mirage and no doctor orders retirement, with arthritic knees and all, he as some 14 or 15 million reasons to run out there this year and another 36 million reasons to keep running out there through 2014. No one is likely to trade for him, and unless they have the guts to bench and humiliate him, he holds all the cards. And his situation would any of us really thumb our noses at 50M. Right now the Cubs are doing the only think they can, run him out there, hope he gets hot, and pray someone will take some portion of that contract in July. What the hell else could the regime and Sveum do? I guess we could release and put ourselves on the hook for another 50M, but I think before you do that, you give him some time as MLB highest paid bench warmer and pinch hitter hoping he gets the message. But that’s a mute message in comparison to 18m chants of get me a year. Soriano is not the regime or sveum mess of their making.

  • poot007

    sometimes Brett I think you just talk out of your ……Samarzdija pitched well enough and we played good small ball. Camp went 1.1 innings with no ER. Big woop. That’s what he’s paid to do!!

    • JNasty

      You watch the game? Camp came in with a runner on 3rd, nobody out. He got out of the inning giving up no runs. That is difficult for the best relievers in the league to do. I’m not saying that Camp is anything special, but he did an exceptional job in this game.

    • Brett

      Thanks for reading!

      • cjdubbya

        Spunky. I dig.

    • Andrew

      Poot – you realize that with that argument Samardzija also did exactly what he’s paid to do. No big deal. Actually, he’s paid to keep runners from crossing the plate, so 3 times in the game he didn’t do what he was paid to do. Soriano’s homer… who cares. That’s what he’s paid to do. You’re setting yourself up to never get excited about what a team does if they’re just expected to play well because it’s what they’re paid to do. They will only disappoint you when they don’t do what they’re paid to do.

  • fester30

    I find myself wondering how much Sveum is learning on the job and how much is a type of move he’ll continue to make. Sori hit a homer, had a great play (that was great seemingly because of his limited range), but then in the 8th he was still limping around left field instead of having a defensive replacement out there. That triple in the 8th easily could have been held to a double had there been someone with fresh young legs in there to chase it down in the left field corner. Sure, Cubs still won, but these are the sorts of little things that could cost you games; that one extra unnecessary base.

  • EQ76

    Is it me or are we undefeated since the goat arrived at Wrigley?

    • Brett

      Bite your tongue.