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I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a Pirates fan staring at that game last night as it unfolded. Well, I guess I can imagine, because it had a certain Cub-ian flavor, but there is a difference: the Pirates are trying to hold onto a winning record for the first time in 20 years. Try to put yourself in a Pirates fan’s shoes …

  • Brett Jackson is expected to be OK after his scary collision with the fence in Pittsburgh last night. His head jerked and his knee slammed into the wall as he caught a deep drive from Andrew McCutchen. His head was the big worry, but, even setting that aside, it seemed impossible that he would avoid serious damage to his knee. But, apparently he did. “Did a little inventory check while I was down, but got my knee pretty good,” Jackson said, per the Tribune. “It’s good though. Looks like it’s just going to be a pretty bad bruise. The X-rays were negative. Just got it right on my kneecap. I guess I was pretty lucky. The doctor was saying if my foot was down when I hit [the wall] it would be a [posterior cruciate ligament]. But because my foot was in the air, it was able to bend …. I got my head pretty good. I was seeing stars – just got a little dizzy seeing stars. My head hit the chain link, and that gives. Whatever I hit my knee on didn’t give very much. I’m walking fine, but apparently it’s going to be a little stiff in the morning” Whew.
  • Jackson also dropped a money quote: “That’s the type of player I am,” Jackson said. “I’ve always been that way. I’ll go through a wall for the team and that was a big moment for Travis [Wood] and for us. We’d lost six in a row, and seven runs didn’t seem like it was enough at the time. I don’t really have a second gear. I’m going to go for those balls. I’m sure people will tell me to take care of my body, but making that play was a little more important at the time.” I dig, but, like, yeah … take care of your body.
  • Jeff Samardzija on being shut down early, from the Trib: “It’s unfortunate. I’d really like to finish the season pitching the whole time, and that way I could look back and really see how i went from beginning to end. But I’ve given everything I had in every start, and you have to respect what they’re planning on doing, what their plans are for the organization and for the team. I talked to Dale about it and I put a lot of faith in him and [pitching coach Chris Bosio,] too, that this is the right move for the right reasons.” That’s pretty much all that you would expect him to say, but did you, like I did, pause on that last bit? Does Jeff wonder if there might be unseemly reasons for shutting him down early? If so, what might they be? Reducing his value in arbitration slightly? Creating more losses for the Cubs? Those things are possible, but I have no doubt that this is 100% being done out of an abundance of caution to protect Samardzija’s arm for next year and beyond.
  • Dale Sveum doesn’t agree with his bench coach’s apparent position that the Nationals were being uncool the other night by swinging 3-0 and stealing bases when they were up five in the fifth. “I didn’t have any problem with it,” Sveum said of the Nats’ effort to keep scoring. “It was the fifth inning. It was as if they were up 5-0 in the fifth inning. I don’t expect my team to stop playing in the fifth inning. There is a time when you stop. I mean a five-run lead, to me, I didn’t have any problem with anything they did.” Good. Now we just have to figure out why Bryce Harper was thrown at …
  • The Onion with a rare Cubs-related miss. Cubs fans are fat is pretty much the thrust of the joke.
  • CSN has a video feature on Jorge Soler, most of which is already known to you, but it’s still kind of fun to watch.
  • In case you missed Brett Jackson’s crazy catch from last night:

  • MoneyBoy

    The catch was just crazy. I noticed he had the presence of mind to make sure the ball was secure in his glove. Kid can play CF on my team every damn day!!

  • TKO

    If that happened at Wrigley he would be dead now.

    • Wem

      or they would need kerry wood to do another ivy double check

    • RY34

      classic!~

    • 100 Years of Tears

      I thought the same thing after it happened. Dead.

    • cubchymyst

      When one of the minor league players came up for the first time (I think it was Cardenas) I though he mentioned that the ivy was softer than he thought it would be. I went looking for some information how much padding the ivy provides, but couldn’t find any. All I found were articles saying it was planted to enhance the experience of the fan to make Wrigley a place to visit.

      • cubchymyst

        Found the article, and it was Cardenas. However, he said he was surprised by how thick the ivy was, not by how soft it was.

        • DarthHater

          The Cubs should replace the current ivy with poison ivy. Then maybe fans would stop trying to pick it and players would stop running into it.

  • EB

    Brett Jackson destroys walls and Jorge Soler breaks porches

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yes! I almost forgot about the breaking porches. Don’t let me forget that one.

  • King Jeff

    Has it come out that Harper was definitely, purposely thrown at? I mean, I’ve watched Castillo pitch a few times, and I’m still not sure he could hit Harper, even if he was told to or wanted to.

    I hope BJax has some better instincts towards the wall when he tries to make that play at Wrigley in the future. That could be a disaster waiting to happen.

    • Quintz

      If he wasn’t trying to hit him he needs to tell Clevenger that his job is to catch the ball, not stare at it without even making an attempt then looking up at Harper to see if he is going to charge the mound.

      • King Jeff

        I didn’t see the game, so I was asking because I don’t know. If Clevenger went that far then it’s pretty apparent. So, let me ask you this, is it possible that the throwing at Harper wasn’t because of anything he did on the field, but a retaliation for the Nats coach coming over to the Cubs dugout without consequence? Not that it’s right either way, but I’d rather see the Cubs stick up for themselves in that regard than throwing at someone because they are getting their butts kicked.

        • Quintz

          I would guess it was a combination of all the stuff you described coupled with the fact Harper tends to annoy people with all that silly hustling.

    • Njriv

      Why would Sveum, Castillo or Clevanger come out and say, “Yeah, we threw at Harper.” That wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do, because they know as soon as those words come out of their mouths it’s an automatic suspension.

  • Carew

    The Onion has been missing the mark lately. This last one was bad

    • cas-castro

      Yeah, they were way off base in that column. Good thing its satirical and not reflecting real life. That said it will surely cause a stir amongst Cub fans. Cardinals fans on the other hand, whew doggie!

      • Quintz

        Let’s be honest, if Miller Park was built 100 years ago that stadium would look like a muffin top from outer space.

  • TKO

    I think Castillo was trying to hit Harper, but I don’t think it came from Sveum based on Sveum’s post game comments. He said “there was no reason to throw at him”, which isn’t what managers normally say when denying they threw at someone. Usually they say “Well, they shouldn’t have done what they did, but we didn’t throw at him (wink wink).”

  • Stinky Pete

    “seven runs didn’t seem like it was enough at the time.”

    So is almost killing yourself running into a wall considered showing up the other team with a 7 run lead?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Pirates would have thrown at him, but he was already in the clubhouse.

  • mudge

    Jackson showed a near-mythic scrappiness on that play. Shades of Aaron Rowand.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Shades of Aaron Rowand.

      Who, incidentally, has been a shadow of his former self since his epic scrappy play. Let’s hope that Jackson does not suffer similar lasting damage.

      • DarthHater

        Right. That would explain why his batting line in the year AFTER the wall catch was: .309/.374/.515/.889. Fail.

        • mudge

          better point.

  • mudge

    good point. Rowand hit the wall a lot harder than Jackson did. Jackson’s gotten a warning. Live to fight another day.

  • DarthHater

    Somebody should tell Jackson that playing hard like that will destroy his reputation at this site.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Your handle is appropriate. I’m intrigued by where this is going…

  • Frank

    Did anyone read the article on SI by Tom Verducci?

    Cubs’ wanna-be tough guys embarrass sport and themselves

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/09/07/zach-britton-orioles-cubs-beanball/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

    • cubchymyst

      I read the article, but did you look at the comments. Most of them are about how badly the article was written.

  • rich

    I think shutting down Samardzija is rellay doing him a disservice ! It,s very unfair . Make me wonder what their motives are !

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The motives are simple: saving Shark’s arm for the future, when it might help a competitive Cubs team. He’s never had a workload like this, after all.

      Strasburg is done for the regular season, at least. Of course, he’s not looked sharp in his last few outings at all. It could just be a coincidence, but he might simply have been running out of juice.

      I suspect that, regardless of what is said, he’ll be available for the playoffs, especially if they get past the first round. (So far, the Nats are playing well in September, and that always bodes well for the first round.)

  • rich

    Say what you want Doc , it’s still wrong . How many more start,s this season maybe 4 more. I don’t understand all this B.S. He’ll the whole season to rest his arm .

    • http://bleachernation loyal100more

      its a wise precautionary measure taken by the team… nothing more. the guy threw 88 innings last year. he has had a huge success of a season starting, and the team is not competing for anything. shark will work hard this offseason like he always does and will pitch the whole season next year. nothing lost by shutting him down aside from the possibility of him getting hurt on the mound in a meaningless game. true it kind of sucks to cut a guy short, but i like to see the club looking after there future pieces. try to remember how short the club is in the starting pitching dept.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Last season Samardzija pitched 88 innings. This season he is already up to 165.

      That’s a huge jump in work loud over the span of a single year. The Cubs would have been justified shutting him down two week ago.

      This isn’t going to hurt Samardzija’s future contract negotiations either. He’s going to finish the season with a WHIP around 1.250 and K/BB over 3.00. His K/9 should allow him to finish the season among the league leaders. Sitting down for the last couple of week will not in any way prevent him from getting paid.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      It’s not about resting Shark’s arm. It’s about making sure that he does not do any permanent damage to his arm. It’s taken baseball a long time, but they’ve finally started to realize that using pitchers like cannon fodder is dumb.

      • die hard

        Pleeeeeeeze!!…Satchel Paige, Fergie Jenkins, Warren Spahn, Nolan Ryan, et al all pitched more innings at a much older age…..now if this is just an excuse to see what the others have to offer, ok…but to save his arm?..no way

        • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com dabynsky

          You do realize that Satchel Paige had a huge arm injury and just by being a freak of nature his arm came back after the injury. Look the deal is that there were far fewer pitchers and so plenty of guys burnt their arms before they even made it to the big leagues.

        • Carew

          Also they were able to pitch like that after several, several years of full-season pitching. This is Shark’s first year of over 100 IP, to my knowledge anyway. You gotta be careful with the players you have that could help in the long term during a meaningless year.

          • die hard

            If he and other pitchers lay off the weights and just throw and run and stretch, 200 or more innings per year would be a snap…

            • Flashfire

              lay off the weights

              You don’t think that might have a negative impact on their pitching?

            • Carew

              I guarentee the pitchers you rattled off still worked out with the weights that they could well into their “advanced” age…

    • hansman1982

      4 starts 25 innings. If he pitches well and throws 10 pitches per inning that is another 250 pitches…add in 6 pitches between innings (150 more) and 50 throws before the game (200 more that adds up to 600 pitches saved or a hair over 10% of a season. It is significant and then he won’t be throwing side sessions for the next month. We are talking about a 1000 pitch swing.

  • Pat

    Probably five more. And while having all offseason to rest you arm is a good thing, needing all offseason to rehab it is not so good. There is absolutely no reason to have him throw 210 innings a year after throwing 88. It is all risk and no reward.

  • art

    now if he (Jackson) can hit we’d have something.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    not to mention this guys work ethic is legendary… i see shark having an even better year next year. try and remember the “shark as a starter” was an experiment that he worked hard and earned and in my opinion is the BIGGEST reward the club is taking from this season. can anyone think of anything better we are taking from this turd of a season? we found us a QUALITY starter within the orginazation… doesnt work in that fashion to often. we should be very grateful for this discovery and protect it.

  • rich

    i’m just an old man who grew up in a different age . I guess i’ll never understand it.

  • Rich ( different Rich )

    I was thinking that if the Cubs don’t trade or can’t trade Zambrano, Shark is probably in the bullpen most of the year…and we never see how effective Jeff was this season as a starter..
    I was glad that he worked hard to be a starter..
    A good sign by Hendry,,,I just hope as the young guys develop and more come up that he decides to stay the Cubs…

    Anyone know what his contract status is ?

  • rich

    You win doc. go give out out some meds.

    • Drew7

      Ha! He’s the Dino-doc!

      • DocPeterWimsey

        And I’m most certainly not a body technician!
        ;-)

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Dale Sveum going Tony LaRussa for Shark’s last start: he’s batting 8th, Tony Campana batting 9th.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Ah, smart. That will generate an extra run every 10-11 games!

    • MoneyBoy

      McCutchen has to be talking to himself after getting robbed by both Sori and BJax

      • DocPeterWimsey

        As are his fantasy league owners….

        (“Owners” is such a wrong word; I would rather be called “patron” or “sponsor.”)

  • Emily

    Rizzo brushing off Jackson’s back after he sat up is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

  • Steve

    Just like crying, there’s no cute in baseball …

  • Brandon – AA Correspondent

    Solid effort by his bullpen teammates to help B-Jax with that catch. They did not even flinch. WOW.

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