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Beat. Down.

Matt Garza had a decent start, at times looking great, but was once again victimized by the long-ball (the wind howling out at 40 mph didn’t help). It’s been his story of the season – if you dig deep enough into his peripherals, you see a guy who’s pitching almost as well as he did last year, he’s just giving up a heck of a lot more home runs on his fly balls. Bad luck? Bad pitches? I tend to think it’s the former. Of course, tonight, it didn’t matter.

Starlin Castro was squaring up the ball, Alfonso Soriano was doing what he always does when he DH’s (*LOUD, INSTRUCTIVE COUGH*), Bryan LaHair took to right field like a powerful gazelle, and Geovany Soto returned to the lineup with a bang.

  • Juan

    Love the caption.

  • TC

    AND IT FEELS SOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOD

    • MichCubFan

      I like the (i think) 311 reference…

  • Carew

    Beautiful.

    and I liked the the LaHair as a gazelle statement

  • Professional_High_A

    how did lahair look in right?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Like a powerful gazelle, apparently.

    • Mrp

      He made a pretty good running catch to the wall. I think that was pretty much the only ball hit to him.

  • http://bleachernation.com #1lahairfan

    Everyone. Had a hit except dejesus.

    • NCMoss

      However, he did get on base and have good at-bats.

    • npnovak

      he got hit twice in the same inning though

  • Cooper R

    did the chicago cubs win today? – Shelby Menge

    • Jp

      You mean yesterday did the 2012 Chicago cubs win in 2012 yesterday?- Shelby menage

      • ibcnu2222 (John)

        Where did the shelby menage thing start? It’s pretty funny.

        • Jp

          Brett- you should tell the story how this guy/girl broke the record for most robotic question in 1 hour, she should’ve been around when you blogged for 24 hours straight. That would been amazing

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Now that I’m on board, it is, indeed, hilarious (in limited doses…). Basically, John, there is an occasional commenter named “Shelby Menge” who posts nothing but questions, phrased bizarrely, about really obvious things.

            “how many cubs draft picks of the chicago cubs in the 2012 draft do you think they will sign this year?”

            • ibcnu2222 (John)

              Just to get this straight, in 2012 on the bleacher nation website, a person named shelby asks poorly phrased questions about the 2012 chicago cubs in 2012.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                yes is the answer to the question that you asked on bleacher nation site.

  • http://www.backingthepack.com Rynomite

    So we’ll see if it lasts, but I’ve been calling for Valbuena at 3B for over a month. Stewart was a worthwhile gamble, but it’s Valbuena’s turn for an extended look. Guy has raked in the minors and was a solid prospect, reaching mlb at a young age. Perhaps after not finding immediate success he has made some adjustments and will stick this time.

  • Mrp

    MERCY!

    A game like this made having to watch Hawk and Stone much more tolerable. YES!! YES!!

    • Tim

      len and bob were on wciu

      • Mrp

        Yeah I know, I can’t get WCIU though.

    • djriz

      Mrp. I have one comment and one question for you.

      Comment: NOTHING makes watching Hawk tolerable.

      Question: Did Hawk go nuts after DeJesus’ first HBP? Tell me yes, please.

      • Brady

        He went on insisting that like 7-8/10 batters HBP were diving or leaning into the ball. Also that “put it on the board” sh*t needs to stop. I mean we had hit like 3 by the time they got their first one and I was like “Really? A solo shot HR means more to you in a 5-1 game where the opposition already hit 3 HRs? Nothin to brag about…” Other then that it was great to see us beat somebody senseless and 5/9 batters with a multi-hit game is very nice to see. Garza had an ok outing other then letting 2 pitches get ripped. Oh one last thing about the dumb announcers that irritated me, when they would talk about the pitch and say something like “Garza left that one right over the middle just look at the Pitch trax!” They then show the pitch trax and its on the high inside corner “See right over the middle”. Or visa versa when we are at the plate “Good pitch right on the lower outside part of the zone. Lets look at the pitch trax to see it again” pitch is way outside, “See right on the corner!” My head is sore from all the times I had to facepalm during the game.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          Lets all agree Hawk is the biggest homer ever and is probably the most intolerable broadcaster to listen too. Pardon my French but Hawk literally talks straight out his @s$! Can’t stand him. I wish Bud Selig when he had that talk with him would have banned him from the game. “HE GONE!!!”

          • Serious Cubs Fan

            This is pretty rando but if Bob ever leaves the broadcast booth I think they should get Mark Grace to replace him so he talk about his big pimpin days with the Cubs during the games with Len lol. Highly entertaining. But in all seriousness he’s actually a pretty dang good guy broadcaster. He did great work for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

            • Brady

              Agreed. I heard a lot of those broadcasts and he is pretty good.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Soto’s 2 hits looked good, but his two of his outs were well-hit, too.  He was bitten badly by the BABiP demons before he went down; he’s not “owed” any luck, but it’s improbable that he’ll continue to be unlucky.  (But, then again, he could easily have been 4-5 tonight!)

  • mpope30

    If I were managing against the Cubs, I would give my right-handed starters a few days off and pitch strictly lefties the entire series. That way you wouldn’t have to face a decent lineup all series, walk away with a sweep, and rest your regular starters. No, I’m serious. I would really do that.

  • DaveB23

    So I may be mistaken but after the Sox swept us at Wrigley earlier this season, I vaguely remember seeing a clip of the Sox holding up the Crosstown Classic Cup (or whatever its called) after the 3rd game.
    Based on the rules that they made in previous seasons for the Crosstown Classic, if the series ended in a 3-3 tie, the team that won the last game wins the Cup. Therefore, even though the Cubs got swept in the 1st series, if they swept this one they would get the Cup. But this would obviously contradict what I *think* I saw after the first series with the Sox already hoisting the Cup after winning the first 3 games.
    Am I going batshit crazy and the Sox haven’t won the Cup yet, or did they change the rules this year?

    • Jim L

      BP can take their effin’ Cup and throw it in the Gulf of Mexico.

      • Mysterious4th

        Hell no BP isn’t puttin another damn thing in the gulf. Were still cleaning tarballs up! Even though their agreement with LA/MS/AL/FL was to clean the beaches for 10yrs. They’re not here doin their jo. So can we throw it in the water of lake michigan?!

    • http://bleachernation Allen

      They changed the rules. If it ends in a 3-3 tie the cup goes to the team who won it last year which the sox did. So unfortunately yes the sox have already won the cup

      • DaveB23

        Thats an extremely stupid rule change. I mean, I understand its difficult to come up with a solution that everybody is happy with when it comes to picking a ‘winner’ when a series ends 3-3, but I think the whoever-wins-the-last-game as a tiebreaker is much smarter than whoever won the series last year… Who the fck cares about what happened last season? That has nothing to do with right here, right now.
        Oh yeah FUCK THE WHITE SUX

        • Tim

          why wouldnt it go to the team that scores the most runs or gives up the least

          • Josh

            It’s the BP Cup. Who cares haha

  • calicubsfan007

    Nice game, kept track of it through fox sports. So I couldnt physically see it. I am wondering how LaHair did in RF. It’s we can knock the crap off of some nameless pitcher that the Sux threw in at the last min (might be wrong there, I thought Danks was supposed to start there.) All in all, nice job Cubbies.

    • rcleven

      Stewart was the same pitcher we nailed when the Sux were at Wrigley. He is a relief pitcher that throws no more than 30 pitches a game. Was in the mid 70’s(pitch count) and was toatly gassed by the time of the Castro HR.
      Danks was injured and aggravated the injury two day ago. Sox are having pitching problems right now.

  • bluekoolaidaholic

    Hawk?

    He gone!

  • Vladimir

    I’m not going to comment about LaHair’s defense or ability to stick anywhere but 1B right now. But just seeing LaHair in RF gets me excited because I know it means Rizzo is coming up real soon. Woot!

    • Brady

      He looked pretty comfortable out there, though maybe not as much range as others but didnt seem to have a problem and the extra power in the lineup of Clevenger+Soto could really help our batting woes.

  • rcleven

    Garza did a good job tonight. Konerko is just one of the best hitters in baseball so I can excuse that HR. Made Dunn look foolish and held him in check all night. Just got his pitch count up later in the game.
    Once he had the lead his job is to throw strikes and that job he did well.

    • Cooper R

      Also wind really helped Konerko HR since it hit the top of the fence.

  • http://bleachernation.com grace17

    They played a great game. GO CUBS!!!!! I don’t want to rain on the parade, but whenever they win this big the next game they almost always tank. And I’m not talking just this year, I’m talking every year since I can remember. Anyways I loved the mix up in the outfield, camp got some confidence back too, I hope. And soto didn’t suck. I’d say all in all a great night especially against the poop dick white sox.

    • Brady

      Yea I remember this pattern too. I always cringe when I see a blowout win (behind the smile and chuckles) because it means we have used this weeks allotment of runs. Solid wins have been rare so far this year due to well you know… (I honestly blame injuries for how horrid we have been, we are bad but without injuries we wouldnt be near this bad, for god’s sake I saw Koyie Hill in a Cubs uniform again!)

      • bluekoolaidaholic

        Great post, grace17, took the words right out of my fingers.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    As far as I am concerned… We now have a 3rd baseman! I am soo happy that we got some contribution from a 3rd baseman! I think Luis Valbuena is here to stay! Mr Ian Stewart lost his job! He’s already hit almost as many home runs than stewart in half of the games! And his defense has been great!

    • GoldFinch

      There is no “doubt” Luis deserves the job right now.(but can he keep it up?)

      • calicubsfan007

        Gold Finch: Good question

  • devman

    I would rather have Valbuena in there instead of Stewart

  • devman

    I’d rather have Valbuena in there instead of Stewart

    • calicubsfan007

      Devman: Why do you have that twice?

      • Leroy K.

        It was important!!!

        • calicubsfan007

          Leroy: Hahahaha, nice.

  • NCMoss

    I’m happy to see the powerful gazelle in right field. I’d much rather move him to the outfield than trade him. Honestly, I was hoping to see him smack another homerun against Ohman so Sveum will give him more starts against lefties. Not like full time but pulling him out of the line up every time we face a lefty is detrimental. It’s not like he’ll get better at facing lefties if he never faces them.

    • cubs4life

      Well said!!

  • BD

    Perfect.

  • Mysterious4th

    I am excited to have Valbuena at 3rd, but do not count your chickens before they hatch. I want him to be our answer, but I am not getting my hopes up on such a tiny sample size. Stewarts issues and lack of power and offensive production could stem from his ongoing issues with his wrist. Rizzo, lahair, valbuena (if they produce like expected or keep on producing) is pretty sweet!

    • GoldFinch

      I don’t know that Valbuena is the answer at 3rd. But how long do you put up with Stewart wrist issues. This was going on way before he became a Cub. I think the gamble went “bust.” What say you?

      • Josh

        I think Valbuena is the short-term answer at 3rd, not long. I think the long term answer is Baez, but I think Valbuena may be able to hold down the fort for another season and a half or so until Baez or possibly Vitters is ready to take over.

        • Brady

          I know I am going to be criticized for this but I like Stewart. Not for his real life play ofcourse but in my season of MLB The Show he is well in the running for the Triple Crown. Um, yea it’s cause I am beast. (Everyone else has normalish stats compared to the rest of the league but I still have Stewart batting like .436 and have HR’s led by like 10 and RBI’s by 15. So I like him, in a video game.)

        • Andrew

          Vitters will probably have a chance at the job next year, but given his mediocre defense, I dont think he has as much potential as valbuena. Baez will probably not be on the big league team until 2015 and even then he’ll be only 22 so we might not even see him then. He also still has a lot of proving to do in the minors regardless of how good we project him to be.

          • Kyle

            Vitters has much, much, much more potential than Valbuena.

            Valbuena is a 27-year-old scrap heap scrub. If we are still rebuilding next year and want a stop-gap, he fills the “warm body” criteria, but that’s about it.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              He’s not 27 yet, but yeah.

  • Mr.Boring

    Hawk and Stoney are arrogant and obnoxious.

    I liked Stone when with the Cubs, but he is like AJ………… you hate him when your against him and hate him less when he’s in your dugout. I hope the Cubs smash these arrogant asses for 3 straight.

    I would love hear what 1:20pm afternoon would say after that. Who would they make fun of then? Chicago, those guys are the biggest asses in the world. Do yourself a favor and turn the dial at 1:00 from 670am.

    • Toby

      I can put up with Stoney, but I can’t stand listening to Hawk who has to have the entire broadcast revolve around him.

      • ETS

        I’m pretty sure the Hawk compared his career to Scottie Pippen’s last night. -_- not sure if kidding or senile…

    • Kyle

      I pretty much always disliked Stone when he was with the Cubs, too.

      • Steve

        What could any of you have against Steve Stone?? He LOVED being a Cub broadcaster..His days with Harry were some of the best memories I have. It’s a damn shame he was forced to leave. A SHAME!!!
        Maybe it’s due to many of you not being around back then, at least I hope that’s it. Steve is a brilliant baseball mind and very quick witted.
        It truly pains me to think of him sitting next to dick face Hawk calling the Sux games.
        If thoughts of Ryno, Dunston, The Red Baron,The Hawk and Sarge aren’t there for you, then maybe you wont be a Stone fan.
        May the “Hounds of Baskerville” have mercy on your soul.

        • Edwin

          Stone is also a smart ass know it all, who can easily rub people the wrong way. He is very smart and makes good points, but he goes too far with it sometimes. He loves to talk about These Things That Only He Knows, as if only someone as super smart as him could dispell such wisdom upon the unclean masses. I loved a lot of his time with the Cubs, but seeing him on the other side, I can understand why fans of other teams don’t like him.

          • King Jeff

            I agree. I always liked Stone when he was a Cubs homer, now he’s a Sox homer and I want to punch him in the ear for siding with Hawk so much. If he came back to announce for the Cubs, I would probably like him again. I’m fickle like that.

          • bob

            I was pleasantly surprised that Hawk and Stoney were quite complimentary of almost all of the Cubs’ players last night. I also REALLY enjoyed the deafening silence after Soriano’s bomb. Hawk didn’t say another word until the inning was over!

            • Steve

              Well, funny how each of you mention the same theme. He WAS a Cub, and was very devoted to the organization.
              I can only speak for myself, but it disappoints me that folks seem to lack loyalty these days. Turning your back on SStone, to me, is inexcusable.
              The only thing he was guilty of was voicing his displeasure and opinions.
              If you and i did that, we’d all be divorced and unemployed.

  • cubs4life

    Soooo…. LaHair in RF, i wonder how those conversations about Sori are going then???

  • Jeremy

    Castro is heating up! 6 for 9 with 1 HR, a triple, a double and 3 singles + a HBP. Would love to see him go on a tear so we can put all of this nonsense trade talk to rest.

    • GoldFinch

      He’s not getting traded(Oh crap here, I go again)

  • mudge

    Let’s hope all the players heat up, so we can trade them all! Then we can trade the new ones too! YOWZAAAH!!!!

    • GoldFinch

      Right! Are we stuck on a merry-go-round?

  • mudge

    Dunno. But sorta thrilled about the notion of NOT trading Bryan LaHair. I think Randy Wells could put together some respectable starts and be moved though. This Dempster DL stint may have a silver lining. LaHair, Soriano, Konerko each hit their 13th tonight. Good company. Soriano’s power is spectacular this summer. Seems like emotionally the Cubs are becoming more of a close-knit a team in defense of him. WIsh they’d try Soto in the 3-hole. High OBP with pop, when he’s on, and he will be.

    • GoldFinch

      Lot of us believe Dempster has already been traded off the record. In other words, he is being “safeguarded” by the DL.

  • Jeff

    I say the Dempster to the DL is a smoke screen and that he will be traded shortly. His last start was his trade audition, now they are putting him on ice till all the bids are in..I’m looking at Atlanta to do something, especially after Beachy went down. I think Dempster makes more sense in the NL than the AL.

    • GoldFinch

      Jeff, you got your comment in right before mine. See above.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    i don’t believe Dempster has been traded and they are safeguarding. That just makes no sense whatsoever as the more positive starts and more induced buyers the higher value. Sorry this is just silly wishful thinking and too much conspiracy and there is no conspiracy.

    • GoldFinch

      The argument goes what he if he has a bad start and gets injured? He might not be injured at all right now! He was placed on the DL list, thats all we know. How often do pitchers get placed on the DL for a pain?

      • Leroy K

        Well I hope we got some good prospects. 2014 here we come!!!

        • GoldFinch

          I do think you got the right year partner! should be very good!

  • Leroy K

    Conspiracies!!! So Lahair had no reason to play RF because Rizzo isn’t coming up anytime soon!!!! J/K We all know that’s the ONLY reason Lahair was in right.

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