The kickball regular season ended last night, and the team remained undefeated (7-0-1). I went 2 for 3 with two RBI, which, by my rough count, put my season total at about 24 for 28. I bet you’d take an .857 OBP from your leadoff hitter. Unfortunately, the playoffs kick off next Wednesday, when I will be in Chicago. Hopefully they can survive without me…
- Dale Sveum and Randy Wells both sounded quite displeased with Wells’ abbreviated start last night. “The bottom line is walks with him again,” Sveum said of Wells. “He can’t seem to maintain innings without walking anybody.” We’ve always known that to be true of Wells: without overwhelming stuff, he’s got to hit his spots, and not walk guys. Otherwise, last night happens. From Wells: “Four walks is just unacceptable. I won’t accept it. They shouldn’t accept it. I don’t know what’s going to come after that.”
- And Dale Sveum doesn’t know what’s going to come after that, either. There will still be at least one more fill-in start to be had while Ryan Dempster is on the DL, but Sveum isn’t committed to giving it to Wells. “We got other people,” Sveum said. “The [Chris] Volstads and the [Chris] Rusins are down there. So we’ll weigh our options probably here in the next day to see where we’re at, what we want to do.” Not for nothing, but I think that kind of decision is going to come from the front office, based on whom they’d like other teams to see, and whom they think might have a chance of improving any (possibly non-existent) trade stock if he had success. It almost certainly isn’t going to be Rusin, who not only has been struggling of late at AAA, but also is not on the 40-man roster.
- This three-game Cubs/Sox series was the least attended in the history of the series, which dates back to 1997. The paid attendance of 95,808 sunk the previous low by a mile – it had been 106,563, which came at the Cell last year. Ouch.
- Some folks – including Alejandro De Aza – think De Aza was hit on purpose last night by Manny Corpas in response to Alex Rios trying to steal in the previous inning, with the White Sox up six. It certainly looked intentional to me, but if that was the reason – a stolen base attempt, up by six – then it was the lamest HBP ever. You’re telling me that the Cubs believe a six-run lead is insurmountable in the final few innings? No team should believe that. Eight, nine, ten runs? Maybe. But six? I say kudos to the White Sox for trying to add to their lead, and shame on the Cubs for crying foul.
- Casey Coleman was ultimately fine after taking a broken bat to the arm.
- Patrick Mooney takes a look at what the media circus might be like when Anthony Rizzo arrives. Just think about it: it’s going to be really, really hard for this kid to just focus on baseball, isn’t it?
- The Cubs pretty much collectively shrugged at Jake Peavy’s comments yesterday about how the White Sox should be beating a team like the Cubs. That was pretty much our reaction, too.
- SportsCenter was loving on Darwin Barney this morning. In a game the Cubs lost, a full 50% of the Cubs/Sox-related highlights in the episode featured adulation of Barney. First, on an attempted but failed diving catch (for which he drew heavy compliments), and second on a great play by Eduardo Escobar at third base, on which Barney was thrown out at first (for which he drew compliments for his speed).
- At the Message Board, Drew calculated the positional-adjusted OPS+ for a number of the Cubs’ starters (i.e., what would your OPS+ be if it was compared only with other starters at your position?), and the results are really quite interesting. Among the notable conclusions, Bryan LaHair and Starlin Castro are well above average for their position, and Darwin Barney and Alfonso Soriano are slightly above average.
- Vote for Wrigley Field in this ballpark competition, because ESPN loves them some bracket-style-not-actually-sports competitions. And because it would be really stupid to see Wrigley lose to AT&T Park, or, well, any other park.
- Want a guaranteed way to appear in the Bullets? Get your mom a BN shirt, and have her pose for a picture in said shirt at a Cubs’ minor league game. Win, win, win, win, win, win, win, from BN’er Chris: