Jason Berken took what the Reds gave him (that is to say: a crappy lineup), and he mowed ’em down. It’s nice to see, but it’s also the very definition of why you have to take September stats with a grain of salt.

Then again, not everyone had it so easy …

  • CubbiesOHCubbies

    Manny corpas isn’t even close to being Candice Bergen.

    • DarthHater

      Perhaps Edgar Bergen…

      • wilbur

        No, more like Charlie McCarthy …

        • bluekoolaidaholic

          No, more like Mortimer Snerd

  • MightyBear

    Perhaps Mortimer Snerd. Looks like Chapman had another solid outing.

  • Stu

    I guess LaHair’s showcase for the Japanese league wasn’t so hot. At least he got his 15 minutes of fame with the All-Star game.

    • art

      soriano came in for defense.

      • cubchymyst

        Soriano came in for defense? That is one line I never thought I read.

    • Cub Fan Dan

      Is that, perhaps, the dumbest all-star selection ever? Im sure its definitely arguable.

      • Josh

        Especially when he made it over Soriano

  • Spencer


    • Diesel

      It wouldn’t have happened if Natalie Portman was still the Cubs rep.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        That’s my bad.

        • Diesel

          It’s ok. We are going for a good draft spot so I guess it’s for the best. I just love Natalie Portman. Oh well we can have her as a rep again next season right?

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Oh, she’ll be back. (Assuming the She-View is back next year …)

            • Fishin Phil

              Don’t toy with us Ace.

            • Myles


  • Patrick G

    Nice to see Chapman throwing well

  • CubsFan4Life

    Soriano has a realistic chance to win the NL RBI title this season. It is currently a 3 man race between Chase Headley with 105 RBIs, Ryan Braun with 104 RBIs and Alfonso Soriano with 103 RBIs.

    I would love to see Soriano win both the NL RBI title and the NL Gold Glove for left fielders. Soriano has had a remarkable season, and he has been a great role model for Castro and the rest of the young Cubs.

    • cubchymyst

      If that is not an indictment on why RBI is not a useful stat I don’t know what is. RBI is dependent on other players getting on base in order to have the opportunity to drive in runs. Soriano is batting 0.261 and is competing with Chase Headley and Ryan Braun who are batting 0.284 and 0.313 respectively.

      • Drew7

        Your statement is correct: RBI isnt really all that useful, but that argument would make more sense if Braun didn’t have guys getting on in front of him and Soriano did. The fact that Soriano has driven in those runs with Luis Valbuena, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney hitting in front of him – resulting in him getting 43 less PA’s with men on base than Braun – is still impressive.

        • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

          and you should never try to say a stat is worthless and then use BA to back that up…

          • Stevie B

            Hansman, you can throw any stat you want at me, but telling me that BA is a worthless stat will never get my attention. Well, not anymore than it has this am…

            • EQ76

              I’m not a metrics junkie but do know it provides a different & sometimes more detailed look at a player’s performance… but NEVER in any circumstance should anyone even think that BA is a worthless stat.. I can’t even comprehend how a person can type that out by their name.. What are the 3 stats by a player’s name when they come to bat??? BA/HR/RBI..

              • Drew7

                A stat that is designed to measure a hitter’s ability that: A) assigns a single and a HR the same value, and B) does not credit the hitter when he takes a walk should be used sparingly.

                • EQ76

                  which is what slugging % and OBP are for. I’m not saying BA is perfect and the only tool that should be used, but it’s ridiculous to say it is a worthless stat… same goes for RBI..

                  • dob2812

                    It is not ridiculous to say it is a worthless stat.

                    It is a worthless stat.

                    There is no reason to use it unless you’re trying to jimmy an argument, in which case your argument is worthless.

                    Do they still count RBIs?

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      I like Doc’s explanation for why RBIs are still “useful.” The gist is something like this:

                      They are not a predictive stat, which is by far the most important, but they are a nice narrative stat: they tell a story. It’s interesting that Soriano drove in almost as many runs as Braun, even if it doesn’t really tell us as much as WAR or OPS, in terms of how good Soriano was or will be.

                    • EQ76

                      Dob2812.. you saying it doesn’t make it true any more than my opinion is. It’s just your opinion. I feel like i’m in the twilight zone here with some of you.. all of the sudden some basic stats no longer matter?? wow.

                      Listen, we all know what goes into an RBI. We all know what consists of making up a BA. That doesn’t make them less important. It just means that we have to look at all the stats.. they all mean something.

                      This 2012 team sucks, if Soriano, who’s been terrible the past few years, knocks in 100+ runs on a terrible team, I say that means something.. If a guy bats .300, it means he’s a good hitter..yes, SLG% and OBP are every bit as important, but you cannot simply dismiss one of the most important stats in history simply because YOU have an opinion.

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    How is RBI useful? It is not an individual stat. It’s more of a team stat than anything. A player has no control if a player in front of him gets on base or not.

                  • Drew7

                    RBI is different, and is even less useful than RBI.

                    When someone is trying to use a stat to measure individual performance, it makes little sense to utilize a counting-stat that is so dependent on what other players that hit in front of you do. If you want to use a triple slash to compare players across baseball in the same year, avg should always be accompanied by obp and slg%, and RBI really serves no purpose.

            • Drew7

              Its not that BA is a bad stat so much as it is a bad standalone-stat
              When coupled with OBP & SLG, it is very helpful; if we didnt have BA, Ace wouldn’t have been able to coin the new saber-term “isoD”.:)

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                It’s catching on!

                (Said no one ever. But I’m going to keep using it. IsoD, and IsoP.)

                • hansman1982

                  I think I started using IsoD around the same time you did…good to know how often the batter can get on base without hitting the ball. Very useful in my opinion.

              • Sircub

                I think that batting average is a perfectly useful stat… over the right sample size. It just so happens that it takes ~1000 PA’s (about two seasons) for batting average to stabilize. Meaning, it’s pretty useless to say a guy is a .300 hitter over the course of a season. But if he bats .300 over multiple seasons, or for his career, then it does tell you something about his ability as a hitter (even if it conveys little information about his true value).

                • hansman1982

                  Yes…batting average, RBI’s, W-L are good as descriptors for overall talent level but an individual season of batting .300 or 100 RBI’s or 20 Wins may not tell the whole story.

                  • Cedlandrum

                    I think we can all agree that the W/L stat is the worst and most useless stat. Like the other night Cabrera gets the loss because he has an easy 1-2-3 inning and DeJesus can’t make an easy catch.

                    • hansman1982

                      for relievers is it a stat that shouldn’t even be tracked. For SP it does have ***SOME*** use but again, it is by no means a stat one should hang an argument on.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      For starters, I prefer the stat on the number of games started that a guy’s team wins. For relievers, the number of games where they entered and did not allow a run, either “soft” (no runs charged to them) or “hard” (no inherited runs scoring, either).

                      On a side note, one stat that needs to be kept are “blown save victories.” Every year you’ll read people saying “if we had won those 30 blown saves, then we’d have had 90 victories last years!” when some of those blown saves actually were victories (that’s a huge chunk of wins for relievers) or were multiple blown saves in one game. We’ve seen games with 4 blown saves between both teams; those are oddities, but they make up a notable proportion of save opportunities!

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  To follow up on that, this illustrates the probability of a “true” 0.300 hitter (i.e., a mythical guy who has a 30% chance of getting a hit in every AB) hitting anywhere from 0.250 to 0.350 over 600 ABs (i.e., about one season):
                  As you can see, it’s not too implausible that a 0.300 hitter will bat 0.280 or 0.320 in a year. If we take into account variation in pitching (real!), variation in game conditions, variation in physical health, etc., then the variation goes up.

                  BA is one of those useful “starting” stats for predicting future performance. You do really need to break it down into its constituents (K rate, extra base hit rate, singles rate, etc.) to get a complete story.

                  However, in a game, a single is a single, be it a swinging bunt (luck!) or a line drive that bounces off of the wall and straight into the outfielder’s mitt (luck in the other direction!). So, it correlates well with outcome. However, if you want to know if your team will repeat those outcomes, then you had better break BA down.

          • cubchymyst

            I used BA to back it up because it is rare for a walk to cause a run to score so if your not hitting the ball it becomes very difficult to drive in an RBI. Which makes Soriano inclusion on the list more impressive but the point still stands that RBI is not a solo stat.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              That’s a good thought, but it is actually slugging that is more important the BA. It’s not just driving yourself in on HR: it’s driving guys home from first on extra base hits that really correlates well with the proportion of runners on base that a guy drives home.

              (Prop. of base runners driven home varies quite a bit from year to year, too, even for the “proven” RBI guys.)

              • Stevie B

                Sorry to jump back in, but let me ask you this. What would happen if Adam Dunn could raise his batting average to , say, .295 over the course of a whole season? Would his other #’s not go up as well theoretically?

                • cubchymyst

                  Theoretically all of his numbers would increase, but the question is would they increase proportionally. Unless he hits a home run Dunn require people on base to record an RBI. If the extra hits comes mostly with no one on base then his RBI will not increase proportionally to his average increase.

                • Drew7

                  If Dunn were able to maintain the same XBH-rate while getting the required # of hits to raise his BA to that level, then it’s probably safe to assume those numbers would go up.

                  However, Dunn’s selectively-aggressive approach is what gets him those XBH’s and walks. In order to hit .295, he’d almost certainly be doing so at the expense of a good amount of HR’s and walks, thus lowering his OBP and Slg% (See: Brett Jackson).

        • EQ76


  • Brian Peters

    I wonder if Manny can spell tomato?

  • calicubsfan007

    The positive is that a your name here pitcher did pretty well against a bunch of backups. All sarcasm aside, I hope that Mr. Berken can be a worthwhile asset to the Cubs in the future.

    • MoneyBoy

      Cali … Very nice to see 6 solid innings from Berken … looks like he may get 2 more starts … COL & HOU … but stringing 3 good starts would be a nice going away present

      Nice to see 6 walks too!!

  • RY34

    just another shit sandwich of a game by the cubs; great job corpas, you really fooled those red hitters today buddy!

  • Eric

    Wow colorado is determined to catch us. We just got swept yet didn’t gain a game on them. They got swept also and are still only half a game behind us for the #2 pick.

  • PeteG

    I know this random but I miss Ted Lilly. Our pitching is so shitty and Ted was my favorite pitcher in the last 10 years.

    • Sircub

      Tell me about it. You know what I miss? The TLFC.

  • Dingo

    Who the hell is Jason Berken?

  • Jed

    All I can say is Jaye Chapman is a beast. Definitely a pleasant suprise for the Cubs in such a cruddy season. Lets hope Vizciano comes back from tommy john even better than he was before. Trade could go down as one of the best trades in Cubs’ history if that happens.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    I think the spin is great on Soraino, the kool aid could net some salary relief and a modest prospect if he can be convinced to take his winning ways elsewhere. But I was struck by the stat argument or discussion above. The metric thing, seeming drive modern baseball today, I think is most explicative in terms of this. Yes Soriano has amazingly found what Ponce couldn’t for his knees and his power stats. Its not very common that players at his age, pick one find that without special help. More importantly though, it ignores the fact that he has a quite limited market for all this incredible spin.

    More importantly I think there is simple explanation. The role model nonsense is like my daughter is beautiful, its arguable but it really can’t be proven so push that aside. Here’s what using metrics can proven value. Using metrics David DeJesus offers more value for your dollar. Using metrics, David offers considerably more value and post season performance at lesson than a million. Using metrics a guy like Ryan Ludwig offers greater value especially when you factor in a 2.5 Million and no long term obligation unlike the 36 Million the Cubs owe Alfonso.

    And here’s the biggest problem of all, Alfonso talks about winning and be a role model, but what kind and especially in season so bleak approaching 100 wins. Thats the risk of bloating the ego of under-achievers and if you really analyze the career of Alfonso in Chicago, even including 2012, he is a metrically and value wise under-achiever. I don’t see what role modeling he actually can point to, but then we heard all this crap with Ramirez too.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    The second David was Freese too. And the whole point of the 3 examples is the whole Beene and James thing of metric value and performance.

  • Curt

    I wonder what emperor selig thinks about the potential pr blunder that is nelly Cabrera winning the batting title sitting on a suspension and confirmed ped user and ten trying to cover it up hmmmm don’t let it happen bud.

    • Quintz

      Not that I disagree, but since there is no actual award given out, I’m not sure what the commish is supposed to do? Hack sports websites and prevent them from calling him the “batting champion”? Prevent stat guides from putting his average in “bold”?

      I guess theoretically you could do the “erase his stats from existence” thing, kinda like when a college program cheats and they vacate wins, but that always seems hollow and might draw more attention to this issue than it really is worth and if we head down that path we are opening up a mighty can of worms as it pertains to PEDs.

  • SFCCubbie_Fan

    I know I may be a little late, but the Cubs did walk more than strike out…

  • EvenBettersV2.0

    2014 can’t get here soon enough.