Suddenly, the Cubs have to win today to avoid losing EVERY SINGLE road game to the NL West this year, and have to win all four remaining games to avoid 100 losses on the year. Neither seems particularly likely.
- I’m not sure Dale Sveum meant it to sound like this, but he essentially says Justin Germano is a sacrificial lamb at this point, and doesn’t have the stuff to actually compete as a starter in the bigs right now. “You’re basically just overmatched,” Sveum said of Germano’s start last night, per the Tribune. “You can’t sugarcoat it or anything like that. He has done the best he can, but it’s tough to go out there against lineups, especially good lineups, five, six left-handed hitters and try and get away with 86 mph [fastballs]. I feel bad for him because he has done everything we’ve asked and gone out there every time. So I appreciate that.” Ouch. I mean, does that sound like a manager talking about a guy who has any hope of cracking the roster next year? Doesn’t sound like it to me. The start was Germano’s last of the season for the Cubs, and it’s almost impossible to imagine the Cubs keeping him on the 40-man roster throughout the Winter. He could be back in Spring Training on a minor league deal, but it’s hard to justify more than that.
- Sveum had a closed door meeting with a number of veterans on the team yesterday, to talk about offseason preparation (keep in shape), Spring Training (what to expect and be ready for), and how he did as a manager (wanted feedback). While he might not know for certain at this point, Sveum is clearly expecting to be back next year. There’s no real reason for him not to return at this point. Speaking of which …
- Alfonso Soriano on Dale Sveum’s season with the Cubs: “Sometimes when you have a losing season like this, they blame somebody, but I think he’s the wrong guy to blame. He did the best he can. He talked to the young guys, he talked to the veteran guys. We don’t have anything negative to say. He’s a great manager so far in his first year. He’s smart enough and he knows what he has to do. It’s not his fault. [Our record] is because we have a young team and not a very good team, but it’s not his fault.” It’s actually perfect that Soriano is the one saying this, because he’s been neither young nor bad this year.
- I’m digging these numbers on Darwin Barney’s now-ended streak, from Carrie Muskat: “Barney’s 141-game errorless streak, which lasted from April 18-Sept. 27, featured more total chances per nine innings (5.30) than any other second baseman in baseball. During the 141 games, Barney had far more putouts (293) than any other second baseman in baseball in that span (Gordon Beckham was next closest at 259) and Barney’s 676 total chances trailed only Arizona’s Aaron Hill (687).”
- More on the end of Barney’s streak, if you can stomach it.