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SWEEP! Bet you didn’t think you’d hear that just a few days ago.

The Cubs’ battled back today, and capped off their comeback with a game-winning homer by Darwin Barney. It was awesome, and a reminder that the game can still be exciting and fun, even when the Cubs are (probably) terrible.

Ryan Dempster was up in the zone today, and he paid for it. He gave up six earned runs in just over four innings, and would have deserved the loss if the Cubs hadn’t come back. The bullpen was great, and even included a scoreless inning by Carlos Marmol (naturally with two walks and a strikeout).

Joe Mather had a nightmarish day, and I think we can all finally agree that a three hitter he is not, and a full-time player he is almost certainly not. He’s nice in a utility role, but, as a starter, he’s exposed.

  • Spencer

    It’s like they only had a nine game losing streak! Hooray!

  • MaxM1908

    I still can’t believe Barney had a walk off home run. Unbelievable.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I have no knowledge of such things.

    • art

      when power hitting Barney gets hot, he can carry a team for day.

  • rbreeze

    DARWIN BARNEY FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • CapnCub

    You forgot to mention that nobody expected to see a Darwin Barney walk off homer. What a game, Go Cubs!

  • Spencer

    Also, Carlos Quentin needs to go away.

    • SirCub

      Seriously, just leave us alone man.

    • hardtop

      hes like that gold chain wearin’ sonofabtich with the diamond backs…. cub killer.

  • Still Love the Cubs

    I can’t lie. I was one of the guys who was clamoring for a little more Cardenas and a lot less Barney. But I gotta say it, he has had a really good stretch here.

    That is different from last year considering he tailed off in late May for the rest of the year. Not a bad OPS for 2B either.

    • njriv

      Same here, Barney has been playing good baseball, I still would like to see Cardenas play a little more.

      • koyiehillsucks

        He can play for Stewart who has really sucked…

        • The Show

          Yeah Cardenas is pretty versatile but he is not really known for his defense, however, Stewart isn’t really more than a .250 hitter

          • josh

            nope, he’s less than a .200 hitter ;)

            • art

              beat me to it, lol.

    • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

      I appreciate the honesty from you, and you too njriv. I have been trying like hell all year to tell you that there is nothing wrong with Darwin Barney. The guy has a track record of being a winner. He is a smart, solid defender and will hit between .265 and .285. Not Hall of Fame, but not all Cubs second basemen can be Ryne Sandberg. It’s just good to see him finally get a little credit…

      • Njriv

        I like Darwin Barney, I like his attitude, work ethic and his defense. I just want to see more of Cardenas than just PH appearances to see if he can really help this team at the major league level. He was tearing up Triple-A and has had a good minor league career. He could be a Four-A player but at least we would know for sure.

      • art

        agree, I’ve been saying the same thing since last year. he may not be a starter but, he’s the best on this team.

  • Weber

    Just noticed the same guy caught one of Quentin’s homers and Barney’s

    • hardtop

      yeah but, he only gets to take one ball home cause surely he threw the other back.

      • SirCub

        That would be the best day ever. Catching, and throwing back an (ultimately) insignificant home run from the most hated player on the opposing team, then catching a walk-off hit by the Cubs’ least likely candidate (other than Tony)? Oh man.

        • hardtop

          shit yeah. i would literally piss myself. really, i know me, i’d piss.

          • Diesel

            Yeah beer would do that to you at that point.

  • MaxM1908

    I love watching the video of Barney rounding the bases. He looked like a little kid. I like seeing that in Cubs’ players.

  • Noah

    The nice thing about Barney is that he’s so good defensively that he’s pretty valuable if he can put up an OPS above .700.

    And I agree wholeheartedly on Mather. I don’t really get why Campana isn’t starting. I’m not someone who thinks Campana is the answer by any means, but might as well play him until the Cubs want to bring up Jackson. And it’s not Campana’s fault that Sveum let his speed turn him into a 1980s style manager. There’s no reason Campana can’t bat 6th in front of Barney and the catcher. If Campana gets on, you have a good chance of Barney, who is at least above average at avoid the K, being able to move him over at the very least.

  • hansman1982

    4.2 IP of shutout ball by the pen, 7 freekin walks, Wells and Coleman emerging as incredibly viable pen options, 7 freekin walks, Mather showing why he is not a regular starter, 7 freekin walks, Campana showing his value, 7 freeeeeeeeeeekin walks and a longball in a “non-pants crapping” Barney AB

    this game was the Cat’s lingerie

    • Still Love the Cubs

      cats lingerie lol

      I couldn’t agree more with what everyone has been saying about CF. I like Mather but he has done absolutely nothing as a hitter since he got regular playing time. I’m sure he knows the count and that he has to perform and maybe he can’t handle the pressure.

      I think they didn’t want to put Starlin #2 hole with Campana in there cuz there wouldn’t be a good place for him to hit in the lineup then. He isn’t going to hit 3,4,5 for sure and I think they want to keep LaHair as #4. So who do you put in #3 hole? Mather of course. That is just the way that I see Dale’s thought process going there.

      • Joe

        Mather is not a hitter. Everybody knows this but Sveum , it seems.

      • SirCub

        I like Lahair in the 3-hole. You could do L-R-L top to bottom. That’d be sweet.

        • Brady

          When Rizzo comes up I’d put him there. If Lahair starts gaining a reputation people are not going to be able to pitch around Rizzo and he should get good pitches. If he starts doing really well it will protect Castro.

      • Noah

        With the way Soriano has been hitting in May, I’m fine moving the order around to go:

        RF DeJesus
        SS Castro
        1B LaHair
        LF Soriano
        3B Stewart
        CF Campana
        2B Barney
        C Whomever is healthy (hopefully not solely Koyie Hill).

        Let Campana run and try to manufacture something after all the guys with the regular ability to take the ball out of the yard come up to hit.

        • ferrets_bueller

          The best lineup they could put out, both offensively and defensively, without calling up Jackson or Rizzo, would involve replacing Campana in CF with Dave Sappelt.

    • Ol’CharlieBrown

      Agreed hansman, 7 freekin walks, and would also like to add:

      Castro showing hustle and determination by busting his ass down to first base to beat out what certainly seemed to be an inning ending grounder to third. Not a huge fan of the head-first slide into first, but I’m not sure he would have been called safe had he stayed on his feet. The cats jammies it certainly was.

      • hansman1982

        I would like to see the stat on successful head-first slides into first base. Seems like NOONE ever is called safe on those.

      • Noah

        Actually the problem with the head first slide into first is that it’s slower than running through the bag. The reason you need to slide into other bases is because you need to be able to go from running full speed to stopping at the base in a very short period of time. A runner only maintains his speed while his legs are moving. The running motion is in fact what is propelling the runner. Once he slides, he replaces his source of velocity with a ton of friction. It’s faster to just run through first base. The play would have looked even less close had Castro just run right through the bag.

        Think of it this way: if you were running the hundred meters in the Olympics would you rather run the whole way, or run 98 meters and then try to dive for the last two? Movies and video games have made us believe we maintain speed or go faster when we jump, but it’s just not true.

        • Patrick

          Generally speaking, in fact, 100% you are correct that sliding slows you down, but watching the play, in this situation, I think it was beneficial to do, because it stopped Castro at 1st base, in such a way that the umpire had the CLEAREST shot of getting the call right. If he runs through the bag, 99% of the time the umpire is going to get the call right and call him safe, but if Castro’s footwork was just a little off, meaning his stride was going to cause him to pull a leg back to touch the base, go ahead and slide, guaranteeing you get to the bag and the ump can see you there before he hears the ball hit the glove.

          • Ol’CharlieBrown

            Yes, exactly. I agree that it’s basically always better to run through the bag, in terms of speed efficiency and injury prevention. But on this particular play, and seeing the replays from several angles, I’m just not convinced that he would have been safe if he had ran it all the way through. I’m actually fairly convinced that if Castro had stayed on his feet, he would have lunged in his final stride trying to beat out the throw and it would have made the play look even closer. Castro basically went from running to diving through the air, allowing him to keep his momentum without being slowed down by sliding across the dirt. The slowing due to friction that would occur when sliding across the dirt never really happened because he dove more than slid. By the time his belt hit the dirt, his hand hit the base. Similar to a runner on first base who dives back to the base on a pickoff attempt. He never really slides across the dirt, instead just diving through the air towards the base.

  • Robert

    Did anyone notice that? the SAME guy who caught Carlos’s homer caught Barneys homer! i guess god gave him a gift for throwing Carlos’s ball back and gave him a cubbies ball! WHATA GAME! HEY HEY CUBBIES WIN! HOLY COW!

  • calicubsfan007

    Clevenger= good luck for the Cubs. Nice job again, Darwin Barney.

    • Brady

      I think Clevenger adds that thump we have needed in the bottom of the lineup to help bring guys in and not have nearly 2 shutout frames of AB’s before we get a chance to get a run.

  • JL

    The Barney homer was of course awesome, but the play of the game for me was Starlin Castro’s head-first dive for an RBI single!

  • Joe

    Again. What ARE the Cubs doing? Hey Pudres, take the top draft pick.

    • SirCub
      • calicubsfan007

        Love the video (=. Hilarious.

        • SirCub

          I thought this was America!

      • Ogyu

        And there’s no better place for jackin’ it than San Diego!

      • Joe

        That is hilarious!

    • TWC

      Anyone who actually roots for the Cubs to lose just so they get the top draft pick is an asshole.

      • Joe

        Not really. Just makes good business sense this year.

        • Billy

          No, it makes you an asshole. You root for your team no matter what. Good thing the Cubs haven’t taken to your thinking or else we’d be celebrating and 8-4 loss today. Good business sense is winning games, since that brings fans to the game, not the promise of the 1st overall draft pick.

          • hansman1982

            yes, although I would be torn on the last game of the season and the #1 pick riding on the line…

            • Billy

              True, but I still hate the idea of losing a game on purpose. It’s a sissy way of doing things, in my opinion. You play your hardest every game and try to win

              • hansman1982

                I agree the players should play that way and I will root for the Cubs to win each and every game this year but in my scenario I could at least enjoy a loss.

              • Joe

                I would never condone losing on purpose! I beg your pardon. What I was suggesting was to simply play your players that are tradeable, need evaluated, etc. Why Clevenger played today was silly! You don’t tip your ace in a card game do you? Not saying that’s what he is, but why show your cards? Another mistake .

                • Edwin

                  I don’t think this team needs to try very hard to lose games. They seem to be naturals at it. They’re probably the best team I’ve seen at it in awhile.

      • hansman1982

        I don’t root for it but I certainly will not complain if they get that #1 pick.

        • Joe

          Likewise Hansman.

      • Joe

        Do really think Theo wants to win this year? Of course he can’t come out and tell the club to lose. But anybody can see the benefit of having lost all three games to the Pudres in a lost season. Surely TWC, you are that mentally challenged.

        • Noah

          The historical value of the number 1 compared to the number 2 pick just is not great enough to be trying to not win.

        • Still Love the Cubs

          I honestly don’t think that anyone really minds losing this season…..As long as they don’t do something like lose…oh….say.. TWELVE IN A ROW!!

          We all know its going to suck, and that we’ll probably lose two out of three more times than not. But the fun part about losing like that earlier in the year is that we were almost always competitive and we won some every couple days. That’s enough to keep all but the most sour of people at ease in this understandably tough year IMO.

        • TWC

          “Do really think Theo wants to win this year?”

          Yes.  Yes, I do.  I think that he’s well aware, however, that it’s extremely unlikely that the Cubs will be successful this year.  I think, too, that he has made decisions that have made ‘winning’ this year — however you define it — less likely to happen.

          “But anybody can see the benefit of having lost all three games to the Pudres in a lost season.”

          No.  No, I can’t.  You play the game to win.  You don’t play to lose.

          Can I see the benefit to having the #1 draft pick over having the #11 draft pick, or the #6 draft pick?  Of course.  But this is baseball, not the NBA or NFL.  Draft picks — even #1 draft picks — are far more of a crapshoot.  In the last 10 years, only half of the #1s are regular players (including Strasburg & Harper).  Two had middling careers and two others are out of baseball.  And the ratio for the #2 picks I looked at was comparable.

          “Surely TWC, you are that mentally challenged.”

          Hey, Joe: I’m thinking of a number between 1 and go to hell.  What do you think it is?

          • Joe

            Well I know it’s NOT #1(as in draft pick)

            • TWC

              Ha!

            • Babe Ruth

              Bravo!!!! lol that made me laugh a little.

  • rocky8263

    I can’t believe the same guy got two home run balls in one game. He did throw the first one back. A middle aged guy can go to like 500 Cubs games in his life and he’s only caught a foul tip. At least it was from Ryno!

  • Spencer

    “SWEEP! Bet you didn’t think you’d hear that just a few days ago.”

    We heard that, like, four times in a row. :)

  • Evan

    The bullpen was good for once. Even Marmol managed to pitch a scoreless inning albeit an ugly one.

  • Richard Nose

    What a tremendous looking broom graphic!

    • calicubsfan007

      That was a broom? lol

  • hansman1982

    Wait, the Cubs are allowed to win more than 2 games in a row?

    They were on a win 2, lose 2, win 1, lose 1, win 2, lose 2 streak before this recent 12 game loser – how about a 12 game winner?

    • calicubsfan007

      That would be nice (=.

    • HoustonTransplant

      I’d shit a brick….like–seriously.

      • calicubsfan007

        That might hurt then, (=

  • koyiehillsucks

    Can we all agree that Stewart really sucks and Cardenas should get some playing time at 3rd?

    • Still Love the Cubs

      I’m going to go with no on that one. He has played one game there this year and he committed TWO errors in that game. I’d rather have Stewart’s OBP skills and amazing defense and hope his BABIP luck evens out.

      I wanted Cardenas at 2B over Barney because I think that is his more natural position and Barney has no OBP skills really

    • calicubsfan007

      Prefer Stewart’s defense over Ramirez’s defense

  • Eric

    Brett, I can’t figure it out. Is that a fork or a spatula?

    • ferrets_bueller

      Definitely a spatula.

    • HoustonTransplant

      I’m going to go with pen in ink well.

    • calicubsfan007

      Spatula

      • Patrick

        That’s not a fly-swatter?

        • calicubsfan007

          Maybe…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I hate all of you, but I also love you, and find you hilarious.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    wow I was ready for an extra innings game. I don’t know what we do about 3B. I am happy for Campana being able to come in and swipe two. I like the idea of him batting 6th ahead of Barney and Clevinger. So what do we do at 3B? Stewart pretty much sucks and there is no way anybody can defend him. I just gotta believe he is one of the roster guys the TheoJed would love to change i.e. get rid of. Maybe we just bite the bullet and throw Baker in at 3B until roster changes can get done. I don’t have an answer but what would be wrong with giving Vitters a shot real soon? I don’t think he would hit .198. I say let Baker play for a little while and get him hitting a little bit so we can trade him for a prospect.

    • die hard

      If you want a new 3B, look no further than Barney…then move Castro to 2B…then bring up that hot shot minor leaguer to play SS…forgot his name but slick fielder

      • SirCub

        Love it. But what I’ve been trying to figure out is where do we put Soriano? Any ideas?

        • hansman1982

          clearly your defensive roster would look like this:

          2 – Alfonso Soriano
          3 – Tony Campana
          4 – Starlin Castro
          5 – Tony Campana (yes, he is that fast)
          6 – hot shot SS in the minors so it has to be Profar Jurickson – clearly Lake is not a slick fielder
          7 – Tony Campana
          8 – Matt Kemp (after we dump Theo and hire Dick Tidrow as GM we trade Marmol for Kemp)
          9 – God

    • CubFanBob

      I noticed Campana when entering as the pinch runner had a batting glove in each of his back pockets. I wonder if the gloves create enough of a wind break to slow him down a step.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    Walks = wins. That 2008 Cubs team that won 97 games set a franchise record in walks. Is there a connection? Damn right there is!

  • die hard

    Like I said yesterday….gimme 25 Barneys and Cubs win it all…enuf said

    • SirCub

      Quadruple liked.

  • Spoda17

    Time to start Campana again!

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Actually, doesn’t this emphasize exactly why you don’t want to start Campana?  On the bench, you can insert him into the game as a pinch-runner in close games where his steals might make a difference.

      • SirCub

        Yea, dude is a serious weapon off the bench.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    This was by far the Cubs’ luckiest win of the year.  No, I’m not talking just a game winning homer by a guy who usually puts the zero in 0PS (although there is that).  The Padres bested the Cubs in Total Bases + Walks (TB+BB) by 6.  That might not sound like much: but teams besting other teams by 6 TB+BB are 46-5 (yup, a 0.900 winning percentage).  And it is not just that they win 90%: half of the victories are by 3+ runs!

    In case you are wondering, there have been 358 games in which a team performed worse relative to its opponent than the Cubs did today; those teams won 18 times, so this is one of the 25 “luckiest” wins of the year so far!  And, no, those 18 games were not all Cubs loses: they include only that May 3rd disaster against the Reds.  (I think that was a game where the Cubs were leading comfortably only to have Marmol come in and toss batting practice.)

    Now, on the whole, I’d rather be good than lucky: but, what the heck, this was fun!

    • Joe

      How is this fun? The two worst teams in baseball squaring off and the Cubs come out on top. Seriously. This is as bad as it gets.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Fun, funny, whatever floats your boat.  But, yeah, these two teams are pretty bad.  The Pads have a lot of talent in their farm system: I expect that they are about to fire sale the vets and call up the youngsters.

        Still, at least they have Cashner to prevent any blown leads late, eh?

        • Joe

          Right! And that brings me back to the point of fans screaming about the Marshall trade. Marshall was gonna make “big” bucks.(I loved Marshall by the way) But would have no sense to keep him with a team that was not going to compete.

    • necusfan

      I know it’s just the avatar, but am I the only one that hears Bender’s voice when I read Doc’s comments? Hey Doc, is there a name for that phenomenon? I love that there are so many people smarter than me on this site.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Transference?

        And my observation is that stupid people never think that there is anybody smarter than themselves around;  So, you likely are on the good half of the Bell Curve!

        (But you can still bite my shiny metal….. ;-) )

        • KyleNovak

          I’ll take it a step further. There are a lot of smart people who often think that they are on the elite side of the Bell Curve, when they may just merely “above average.”

          Let’s face, most of us think we are smarter than we really are in the scheme of things.

          Since when is admitting uncertainty and expressing desire about learning new things bad? Or *gasp* actually being wrong once in awhile? “Smart” people can be wrong as often as “stupid” people. It’s okay, we’re allowed to be wrong, if it means we can learn from that.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Wasnt it Albus Dumbledore who said that by being more clever than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger?

            Seriously, baseball is great for learning that you are wrong. McCracken first hit on Fielding Independent Pitching because he was positive that Maddux and Pedro were just making excuses when both attributed inflated ERAs to more balls just dropping in than in prior years. A lot of the best research in many fields comes from this sort of “that meatbag must be smoking crack” reaction leading to “hey, the meatbag got it right!”

            • Njriv

              Baseball in general is a game of failures, as a hitter you are considered good if you are successful 30% of the time.

              • ferrets_bueller

                thats not necessarily true. A guy could hit .300, never take a single walk, not hit for power, and that would make him an absolutely horrible hitter, despite .300 success.

                A hitter is a good if he is a success .375 of the time- whether through hits or walks.

                • The Show

                  True, but how often does that happen?

                  • coal

                    Exhibit One – Starlin Castro.

                    • ferrets_bueller

                      Lmao, I never realized that Castro kinda does fit that profile…
                      There is a lot of debate as to what a good OBP is, or rather, what the equivalent of a .300 BA is in OBP terms. I’ve always thought somewhere between .370-.380, although some will argue all the way down to .350 (which is castro-range, ish). And that obviously doesn’t factor in power, which is why OPS is such an awesome stat. Castro’s OPS isn’t anything to write home about yet, either, but most young hitters’ OPS aren’t either.

                      Although, when you factor in the fact that he’s an SS, suddenly it does become quite good. Which is the primary reason why moving him to another position is ludicrous.

      • KyleNovak

        He just needs more random insults and drunken ramblings peppered amongst his arsenal of statistical analysis.

  • Daniel

    Crazy idea, I think. Why not bring up vitters? He has hit for some power in the minors…pretty decent average. Why not give him a look? Would it hurt his development? Personally, I’d send Cardenas down in favor of him to get 3/4 of the starts.

    Am I just being silly? Be nice if I am, haha. I’m new to this minor league stuff. (like we ever had a reason to pay attention to it before, lol)

    • Joe

      No it’s not a crazy idea! I think it would be a great move.

  • LEO L

    Dempster housld consider pitching poorly again so the cubs can win again

    • Joe

      Headline: Dempster pitched a great game! Didn’t get any breaks.

      • Cooper R

        Demp probably had his worst outing of the year…

  • Cubs1967

    jamie moyer has been DFA; don’t tell Jed; he’s not a JH player; but an ex-cub so maybe he can be paired with koyie hill for the most incompetent battery in baseball. we’ve won 3 in a row; gotta put a stop to that before the jed’s ex team the padres pull away from worst record in baseball and jed loses his bonus for compiling the worst team in baseball……….Oh Jamie………….

  • magilljl

    I’m not so sure on Mather after a very small sample size. I mean he’s started 8 games now and before today’s game was 8-25 over the stretch (.320) raising his averge from .260 to .278, obviously those numbers will fall after today’s 0-5. But I still hold out some hope for Mather. As for hitting him in the 3 hole? No, I don’t think that’s a great spot…. but tell me who on this roster is a good fit in the 3 hole? Stewart? No. Castro? No. LaHair? Maybe(preferably not). Soriano? No. I think you get it.

    I very much enjoy watching Campana on the base-path and will say, although he doesn’t provide many “extra base hits” a single for him most likely puts him automatically on second. But Campana is far from an every day guy either (and an incredible weapon off the bench).

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