The Cubs banded together and punched the Brewers in their collective nuts this evening. It was a reminder that, even when the Cubs’ season is a virtual lock not to end in a pretty place, there can still be a fun game or two sprinkled throughout.

Ryan Dempster was perfect through five innings, and then merely very good for another couple innings thereafter. He finally got his first win of the season, and his first win since last August(!). Have I mentioned lately how stupid the “W/L” stat is? I have? Well, tough.

The Cubs’ offense provided plenty of support, including *another* Alfonso Soriano homer, and another – long-awaited – homer from Bryan LaHair.

And Starlin Castro had a nice game (below is just a joke) …

  • Carew


  • Zogie

    Advanced Box Score
    I have to apologize for my absence for several days. I work about 50 hrs a week now resulting in no time to evaluate the cubs hitters. I will try to post as much as possible, but I have an extremely busy schedule. The cubs needed one of these games. It was pretty much a perfect day for the cubs. Great starting pitching, good relief pitching, great defense, and 10 runs put up by the offense made it an easy win. I cannot remember an easy win for quite some time. Campana 1-5 3k. Campana struggled making contact, but it was mostly against lefties. 3 Ks for a leadoff hitters is way too many. Castro 3-5 1K 12B had a great day at the plate. He consistently hit linedrives. DeJesus 0-2 2BB 1SAC. As always, he did a great job getting on base today resulting in 3 runs. Sori continues to stay hot going 1-3 1BB 2K 1HR. The 3 run opposite field homerun jump started the offense in the first inning and the cubs never looked back. LaHair 2-5 1K 1HR hit the ball hard today against righties. He continues to try and figure out lefty pitching. Clevenger 1-5 has simmered down since his crazy start to the season. Lefties have caused him problems, but it is good to see he had a hit off one tonight. Barney 1-4 2K continues his hitting streak, but did strikeout twice. Stewart 0-3 2K 1IBB has been battling injuries causing him to miss playing time. He does not look good at the plate and seems to be having problems picking up pitches. Cardenas 0-0 BB, Baker 1-1 1HR. I believe Asencio had his first outing as a cub. He looked good in his inning of relief and hopefully we have another reliever that can stick. Lastly, my shout out goes to Dempster. He pitched brilliantly and got his first win of the season. Too bad he may be moved soon after the draft.

  • Mysterious4th

    Finally! Crooked numbers put up with tons of support! Great game to watch since they won AND shut out the brewers!

  • calicubsfan007

    The Cubs were pretty perfect there. Its been awhile. Ascensio looked good this game. Looks like a good addition so far. Homers galore this time!! And Demps rocked, and his team let him win!!! Good day to be a fan. Good day.

  • Cub Style

    The Cubs just put salt in the wound of Milwaukee county. Which is fine by me ūüėÄ

    • Homer J. Simpson

      Take your politics somewhere else, douchenozzle. :-)

  • Njriv

    Nice win for Dempster. Even though Starlin had a good game at the plate, I think he needs a day off, I think that is why we’ve seen a little cluster of mental lapses lately. I would also would like to see Cardenas play more, maybe for Stewart? I almost forgot he was even on the team. All in all, a great performance by Dempster and nice to see the offense put up double digits.

  • rcleven

    Heard Sveum had a little talk about Mental mistakes to the whole team and not just Castro. Must have worked.

    • Joe

      I wish he would have had that talk at the beginning of the season! Yikes(LOL)

      • Wilbur

        I think coaching is like raising kids. You give them rules, advice, train them, and make suggestions along the way. Then you have to give people room to play the game and let them make their mistakes. See how they do.

        Then when they make really bad ones you come down hard … in this case it’s comments to the press and discussions behind closed doors.

        The interesting part is how does someone like Castro react? Does he realize the importance of “doing the little things correctly” and actually start to make changes?

        You won’t know until the end of the season when you can look back and see fewer stupid plays and how he’s changed – assuming he changes. Of course, he could take the attitude of the pampered star and say to hell with that. In that case he’s an asset you trade versus build around.

        Good hitting shortstops are very valuable, but undisciplined players on a team that has a specific way of playing the game lose a lot of that value.

  • Patrick

    Nice Dempster and Sorianos trade value keeps climbing, well more of Dempster, but hopefully Sori can stay hot and be moved

    • CityCub

      Hopefully Dempster can continue having some starts like these to get some clubs interested in him. Soriano on the other hand. It still might end up costing the cubs a few more bucks than they’d like to get rid of him.

      • Joe

        It’s gonna cost the Cubs a few bucks, no doubt. But didn’t management?

  • CityCub

    Great to see 10 runs on 10 hits. But still shakey about the team line on RISP. Still went 3-7. Great game all around tho. Demp was fantastic, sori stayin hot, Lahair heating up, bullpen looked good. And best of all. Shut the brewers out at home!!

    • Joe

      Ya. We are on a roll! Unfortunately to last place.

    • djriz

      you do realize that 3 for 7 is above a .420 avg.

      • Joe

        Ya, for this one game!

        • CityCub

          That’s what I’m referring to. Yeah I understand it’s above a .420 average. But how many games this season have you seen that line be an ofer or 1fer 6-8 or more?

      • DocPeterWimsey

        I do sometimes suspect that people “feel” that batting 0.300 means getting hits over half the time. ¬†After all, if a guy batted 0.350 in the clutch (which nobody ever does for any extended period of time unless they are 0.350 hitters!) often is labelled “automatic.”

  • Kyle

    Nothing wrong with Castro’s baserunning on that play. Just awful luck.

    • Joe

      Well, it do look like he broke for 3rd early.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      It looked to me like he just misread the ball off of the bat.  Unfortunate, but it happens: and the ball was hit kind of funny,  (It probably would have been an infield hit had Castro not erred, which is a good sign that the fielders misread the ball, too.)

      • Joe

        Doc, I understand what you’re saying, but. You know there’s always a but. Castro “misreading” a ball and it was hit kind of hit “funny” gets no sympathy from me. Probably 75% of grounders are hit that way to infielders. No, no sympathy from me. Castro just plain messed up AGAIN!

      • Can’t think of a cool name

        The Brewer 3B als misred the hit, he initally went to the position by the mound for a cutoff. The ball did have a funny little squib to it.

  • koyiehillsucks

    So why is Stewart still out there everyday? I’d rather see cardenas get a fair shot and suck everyday than put up with stewart…

    • Joe

      I don’t think Cardenas plays third.

    • Kyle

      Because Stewart was hitting the ball well most of the year despite some awful at’em luck, and Cardenas has somehow managed to be even worse at the plate than Stewart.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Stewart has provided some pretty stellar fielding, too.

      • Njriv

        True, Stewart was hitting into bad luck and I like his defense, but Cardenas has not really had a lot of consistent playing time. He has roughly 30 AB’s and most of them came from pinch hitting,

        • hardtop

          cardenas had 2 errors in the one game he started at 3rd right? ¬†hitting is one thing, but you cost more runs than you earn with that type of defense. ¬†that being said; ¬†i’d support this change, or baker, or mather, or brett for that matter.

          stewarts defense seems average to me, at best.  it seems, for every above average play, he makes a mistake.  the rest of the time he seems on, or slightly above, par.

          let the numbers do the talking:

          he has one less error than aramis rameriz in 50 fewer innings and 18 fewer chances! (lets smoke 18 liners  his direction adn see where his error totals end up)  his fielding percentage is .002 pts better than aramis.  so, technically, hes an itsy bitsy teeny weeny bit better than aramis, whom,  we all claimed to be one of the worst defensive 3rd basemen in the game.  if negligibly better than ramirez = stellar (even though hes played less due to his bat sucking) than whats that make placido palanco?

          welcome to another episode of make “lets make excuses for ian stewart show”


          • Cyranojoe

            Oh, wow. Good call on the stats, there. Brett, maybe it’s time to review Ian’s performance? Is Aramis just performing above his career average, or what?

          • Drew7

            We should at least be letting stats that mean a little more do the talking.

            • hardtop

              ok, are you saying errors and fielding percentage dont matter when evaluating a players defense? ¬†i’ll keep an open mind: what defensive statistics do mean more? ¬†i honestly want to know, im not even doubting you, im just not that familiar with advanced fielding stats (generally i dont love any fielding stats, advanced or traditional, including the ones i cited)

              i did say that, to my eye, he looked about average or slightly above average.

              it cant be WAR as it factors in offense? Stewart’s WAR is 0.2 btw.

              How a player compares to other 3B? Stewart is 7 out of 10 qualified NL 3rd basemen in FP.  Not horrific,  but far from stellar and definitely below average (average is .963 but pedro alvarez brings the average way down, stewarts is .958)

              Look, I’m not saying¬†Stewart¬†is a bad 3rd baseman. ¬†I would say he’s better than he’s shown the Cubs to date. ¬†I am just saying his defense has not been ¬†“stellar” this season, as many claimed in the previous comments. ¬†Thats it. ¬†I tried to show this by comparing his statistics to 3rd baseman we are all familiar with. ¬† I’m also saying his very average defense (despite his stats being below average)¬†doesn’t¬†make up for his terribly below average offense (dead last among qualified NL 3rd baseman in OPS)


              • DocPeterWimsey

                The ones that mean the most are the estimates of how many more/fewer outs a guy makes relative to Joe 3Bman (or SS or RFer). ¬†In it’s simplest form, it is thethe numerator of fielding % but with a new denominator that decreases for a guy like Stewart or Castro with good range and increases for a guy like ARam or Jeter with bad range. ¬†That’s why Stewart is scoring +3 on dWAR (according to FanGraphs).

                More sophisticated versions take into account where the error is made. ¬†An error at the end of Castro’s range is a clean single given Jeter’s range: i.e., pretty much the same end result. ¬†However, an error on a ball hit right at Castro is a play that Jeter could make. ¬†So, those errors are more commensurate among players.

                Ultimately, there is subjectivity involved because “true” fielding chances include not just plays, but plays that could have been made and are scored base hits. ¬†However, given that these metrics correlate strongly with how much better/worse staff ERA is given K’s, BB’s and HR, they clearly are picking up a strong signal.

  • TherealPattyP

    Stewart’s D has been stellar and a breath of fresh air, but this hitting into hard luck talk is becoming an urban legend. I think he’s good as a placekeeper, but won’t be the guy when the Cubs are contending

    • daveyrosello

      Gotta think at this point that Stewart is a one-year placeholder for Vitters. Cubs won’t contend in 2013 either, so that’s the year to see whether Vitters can cut it or not. If not, there’s always Junior Lake and Javier Baez waiting in the wings.

      But Stewart’s got nothing in his bat, that’s obvious at this point after his Colorado sucktitude and now this year. At least he only cost the Cubs an equally-disappointing Tyler Colvin.

      • Joe

        I don’t think Lake or Baez will be going to 3rd. I could be wrong. Vitters is not very well. It’s just a sorry situation at 3rd. I hope theo does have some kind of plan for 3 rd base!

        • Njriv

          I think Baez is the third baseman of the future, I like Vitters, I just don’t think he’s the answer, to me Baez has much more upside.

          • rcleven

            “I think Baez is the third baseman of the future”

            Have you seen Baez play on the field? If his bat continues to develop I can see Baez at short pushing Castro to third.

            • Cedlandrum

              I believe you went on a night where he made a couple of great plays. Guys like Goldstein and others project as more of a 3rd baseman because they feel he isn’t a SS athlete.

      • Dick McCheesedoodle

        A one year placeholder for Vitters?

        Vitters is the 4th youngest player in the PCL. He isn’t exactly lighting it up other than one hot streak.

        Ian Stewart has way more power and is a much better defender.

        Vitters is the Cub prospect I root for the most, but if you run him out at 3B next year as the starter in Chicago you’ll find yourself asking “I wonder what Ian Stewart is doing right now?” somewhere around April 20th.

      • CityCub

        Personally I see The cubs contending around 2015-16. And by that time, well figure out if vitters is going to pan out, hopefully lake and Baez continue to develop. And soon we’ll figure out the line that boras is feeding almora. If he skips college( which I hope ) who knows what level he’ll be at by that point, along with future draft picks. Future looks pretty bright on the north side.

        • Njriv

          Don’t forget possibly adding Soler to the mix. *fingers crossed*

          • Joe

            Just a *possibility* for sure.

            • CityCub

              That would be pretty sweet to land him. Kinda would wonder what a future outfield lineup would be with him in the mix.

              • Njriv

                I would love to see a Baez, Castro, Rizzo across the diamond and a Jackson, Almora, Soler outfield.

                • CityCub

                  That would be solid. How’s Scurzur playing this yeah in daytona? Possibly have lake at 2B in the future as well

                • Joe

                  Whoa! What makes you think Baez is coming up anytime soon? And Soler is sill a BIG question mark.

                  • Njriv

                    I think he’ll be up by 2016, its a safe guess

                    • Joe

                      Whom? I assume your talking about Baez. It’s possible.

                    • CityCub

                      I’d say that’s a good starting point with guesses on when you’ll see him in a Chicago lineup.

                • Edwin

                  It sounds like in your scenerio the future Cubs would be contending with a team built almost exclusively of Hendry picks, or players aquired by trading Hendry picks.

                  • Twinkletoez

                    Hendry didn’t have a problem finding hitters, its Pitching that he had the issue with.

        • Joe

          What do you mean by contend? For the WS? No way in hell!

          • mjhurdle

            The important thing is to contend for your Division. Once you make the playoffs, anything can happen. See 2006 Cardinals.

        • CityCub

          Kinda forgot about him….probably like the rest of the world lol even tho there has been some stuff here and there about him. And he did get his shit established in the DR. By contending I don’t specifically mean a WS. That’d be nice. But that’s not what I mean. By contending I mean winning a division and making a push in the playoffs. But by no means am I saying world series.

          • Joe

            Playoffs? Yes! I think most pundits would agree, the playoffs are coming, well within sight.

            • Njriv

              You just have to get invited to the dance.

              • Joe

                So true.

            • CityCub

              With the hiring of theo and co. By no means do I expect anything out of this season and the next. I would hope by 2014 their “rebuilding” process is showing enough by then to kind of preview what the near future from that point is going to look like. Everything takes time. You don’t rebuild a team over night.

              • Joe

                No, we were talking 2114-2115 for the division.

                • CityCub

                  Haha god i hope it’s not that long

                  • Joe

                    Well. There is no way the Cubs contend next year(Of course I hope I am completely wrong, and everyone calls me an asshole)

                    • CityCub

                      As much as Id love that too. I don’t see that happening as well. I’m still going to mark my starting point for things to start happening at 2015-2016. But I also could be wrong.

          • Joe

            I should probably take that back! With Theo at the helm, you never know! Could see a “blockbuster” trade. I would not count on it, but it is possible.

            • CityCub

              Anything is possible. With any trade. No matter what sport. Just get value in return. Personally. Id hate to see garza go. Specially because you gave an arm leg and eye to get him. I understand that one of those prospects sent suffered an injury. But still. I just want value in return.

  • CityCub

    I wonder often what kind of splash in free agency theo and them will make at the end of this year. Lots of names could possibly hit the market. But alot of the big names will probably resign with their current clubs.

    • Joe

      Yes. But theo is not going with BIG names. Look. They got rid of Zambrano, Pena, and Ramirez! I think Soto and Dempster are next. And if there is a buyer, Sori follows! What does all that mean? A brand “NEW” Cubs team! Sort of like pulling out of the car dealer with a brand new car.

  • The Dude Abides

    First win since May 14 against any team not called the Padres and we all know the Padres don’t count since aren’t trying. Let’s make it two in a row!!!

    • Joe

      That’s lame! Not True!

    • Joe

      Ya, you are right! I think I am in the denial stage.(LOL) Sorry!

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Most of this timetable stuff is just getting ridiculous. If our opinion of Theo is justified, he understands all to well the nature of this business. First, the OCD on the draft will now shift. I believe there’s little doubt major deals will be made, Dempster, Garza and some of what they added as well as lesser pieces will all be gone. I think the only question is just how far do they go and do they move Castro in a block buster and I think that’s probably possible.

    They will lose more than a 100 games this year. They are unlikely to do much more than improve slightly next season. And if this team isn’t a 500 team by 2014, trust me in a major market like this, given how the honeymoon is already wearing thin, and how 1 year of big losing may be palatable at the gate two at these prices with the prospect of more in 2014 would be more than even Cub fans will tolerate. If that is Ricketts plan to lose until 2015 and think he’ll be able to leverage the fans and Theo’s ego will allow that, well then Tom is sniffing model glue. I firmly believe Theo is going to do all he can to speed this up. It doesn’t mean he will accomplish it, but his plan isn’t to gip the fans and wait to the end of his contract to win while charging winning prices.

    It makes me laugh how many are willing to bet Sveum is gone in the next 18 months and then buy into this losing thing is somehow magically going to end in 2015. They may never win a WS, but if Theo doesn’t have this team contending by 2014 I think he’s going to put himself in so much despair, he as any winner will want out. Winners want to win. And while too many hear have made peace with losing, I just don’t think Theo Epstein would take this job to spend 4 or 5 years losing, establishing a culture of losing, and be able to live that. Ricketts might, but certainly there’s nothing in Epstein’s past to suggest he enjoys or accepts losing.

    • Leroy K

      perfect. Simply perfect.

    • Grant

      We’ll be a .500 team next year, and I see 2014 as our first year with a real chance at contention.

      Jedstein were cheap last year as there wasn’t any point in paying tens of millions of dollars for what was obviously going to be a lost season. This year, I expect them to be a lot more active.

      Dempster’s as good as gone (he’s too valuable a chip to stay on this team, and a contending team with some injuries in their starting rotation would love to pick up someone who’s been pitching like a #1/#2 mid-season).

      Garza’s gonna stick around unless we either get a damn good offer for him, or he’s asking too much to extend his contract.

      We’ll sign either Greinke or Hamels, which will give us a pretty solid rotation next year.

      Soriano’s gone at the end of the year, if not sooner. His legs just can’t hack it anymore, his defense is a liability, and we need his roster spot. I’ll honestly be surprised if we don’t see him dealt to an AL team needing a DH with some power before the trade deadline this year.

      The OF is a work-in-progress, but with a number of good options in the pipeline (and I expect there to be one more when we sign Soler).

      Areas where we’ll need to work this offseason will be 3B and the bullpen. Bullpen is easy to just throw some money (and not even that much money, to be honest) at to fix. 3B could be difficult. I like Ian Stewart, he’s got some great defense, and I think he really can hit but has been hampered by injury and bad luck. Still, we can’t have a starting 3B who can’t hit above .200. Unless Stewart turns his season around and soon, we’ll go shopping for another placeholder at 3B, presumably until Lake or Baez are converted to 3B (since we don’t really have a use for 3 potentially all-star SS, and they both have the power to move over to 3rd).

      This is a lost season. Accept it and you’ll have a lot more hair left in your scalp. That said, it doesn’t take a lot to turn this team into one that can at least win half their games next year, and with the money Jedstein are gonna have to spend this offseason, it’s gonna happen.

  • die hard

    Dempster trade value could not be higher…pull trigger…..

    • CubFan Paul

      agree 1,000% pull the trigger now. The sooner Dempster is traded the “more” Theo&Co will get for him. Kevin Goldstein said Demp was easily worth an organizational Top 15 player. For a team to have Demp 7 weeks before the deadline and all of August, Septemper, & presumably October I could see a couple nice prospects coming back. Hopefully one thats major league ready

      • Leroy K

        What would you guys like to see in exchange for Dempster?

  • Cubbie Blues

    The Cubs banded together and punched the Brewers in their collective nuts this evening.

    Hopefully they stayed away from Braun. That stuff is contagious you know.