Yay! They did it! The Cubs will not set an ignoble record by losing every single road game to the NL West this year, and they also staved off 100 losses for another day (against the Astros, so that day might never come).

(I did draft a Pre-Gamin’ today, by the way – just forgot to click the ever-important “publish” button. That no one called me on it is a testament to just how exciting Cubs baseball is in September. The post was remain in purgatory forever, and you’ll just have to wonder what witty thing I said about the Cubs trying for the above.)

The bats came to life – most notably David DeJesus and Anthony Rizzo – and the pitching held down a less than impressive Diamondbacks lineup. In case you were wondering, the Rockies are about to lose to the Dodgers, setting up a situation where the only way they can claim the number two pick in 2013 is by being swept by the Diamondbacks, while the Cubs simultaneously sweep the Astros. Not an impossible scenario.

  • da_cubs

    How do you get a hold and a loss?

    • bob

      Came in with the lead, left still leading, so gets the Hold. Allowed the winning run to reach base, so gets the loss.

      • OCCubFan

        Thus illustrating flaws in both the Hold and the Win statistics.

  • #1lahairfan

    Magic number down to one. One Rockies win or one Cubs loss gives us the second pick.

    • cubchymyst

      Looks like you can earn that when all of the runs are unearned.

      • cubchymyst

        clicked the wrong message

  • fromthemitten

    YO I am really digging those bullpen ERAs some of those guys (especially Bowden) have really upped their game in the past couple months.

    • fromthemitten

      also shout out to Marmol maybe he can be moved for a return comparable to what we got for Marshall in the offseason. no shout out to Dolis though he’s been awful

  • Steve

    Cubs w…..Cubs wi……Cubs wwwww…..

    Hold on, let me try that again….

    Cubs win!!!

    for a second I thought I had forgotten how to say that!

  • mudge

    Mudge has a question about DeJesus; was he signed at a discount because he was coming off an injury? He has 9 homers now, and it seems like most of them have come in the last couple months. Is it just possible the Cubs right fielder hits 18-20 next year?

    • calicubsfan007

      @mudge: i thought the discount was a combination of the past injury and the fact that his wife is from the Chicago area, so technically a hometown discount? I think. It is possible for him to reach those hr numbers, being a year removed from having any serious neck issues.

    • art

      early on Dale said he has the power to hit 20-25.

    • Mysterious4th

      If I am not mistaken his wife and family live in wheaton, illinois.

  • gutshot5820

    “In case you were wondering, the Rockies are about to lose to the Dodgers, setting up a situation where the only way they can claim the number two pick in 2013 is by being swept by the Diamondbacks, while the Cubs simultaneously sweep the Astros. Not an impossible scenario.”

    If the situation was reversed and the Cubs needed to sweep to make the playoffs and the Rockies needed to lose all three games for the Cubs to make the playoffs, then it would be seen as next to an impossible scenario. But now that we have something to gain, with an almost certain lock of the second pick, it’s considered “not an impossible scenario.” LOL Cub fans.

    • D.G.Lang

      Check the rules, if two teams are tied for a position, the team with the worst record the previous year gets the better position.

      I read this earlier today and I just read it again from some other web site purporting to be showing the rules.

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        If you are going to look for the rules of the scenario of a tie breaker, take the extra two seconds and see we had the worst record between the two last year and would win the tie breaker. Our magic number for the second pick in the draft is 1. One loss, or one Colorado win.

        • D.G.Lang

          That was my point exactly, barring something really wild, it is now ours. The ONLY way not to get it is if something really wild happens like one or more games gets cancelled.

          My reply was to the immediately preceeding remarks which posed the situation where they Rockies lost all their remaining games while the Cubs won all of theirs. In that case they would finish the season TIED and the tiebreaker would give it to the Cubs.

  • Steve


  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    Not a bad way to end the season for Rusin. He should be back in the majors in some capacity next season. It may be as an emergency spot starter flying in from Iowa, but I think he’ll be back one way or another.

    • calicubsfan007

      @Luke: What do you expect the Cubs starting rotation for 2013 to look like?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Samardzija, Wood, and your guess is as good as mine.

        Garza will probably be in there for a while, but I would not be surprised to see him traded in the spring or soon after the start of the season.

        And then we have a long, long list of internal candidates. And another list of free agent candidates. And then more candidates off the trade market.

        • Jeff

          They might as well sign Garza to an extension. Everybody likes to think he can be traded in spring training (that never happens) or during the year. What everybody is forgetting, is that with the new CBA, teams are not offering quality players in trades with players who are in the last year of free agency.

          Remember Dempster??? If this front office doesn’t trade or sign Garza to an extension in the off-season, that will be a fatal error in judgment. If they do trade Garza, next years rotation will suck ass, and we will be bettering the 100 loss season of this year. we might go 40 and 122 if the ball rolls are way in a few games.

          They have really put out a shitty product that they ought to be ashamed of. This front office really has put themselves behind the 8 ball in starting pitching, that 4 year rebuilding (MAX) you are hoping for might turn into 8 years of pure misery.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            I remember the Cubs landing a league Top 100 third base prospect and a pretty decent pitcher for Dempster. I also remember the Cubs landing one of the best arms (albeit an injured arm) in all the minors for Maholm.

            Teams will still over talent for talent, even on a one year rental. Not as much as in the past, and not as easily, but the trades can still be made.

            • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

              Oh come on Luke… We could have kept those players and maybe won 67 games (sarcasm). The trades weren’t worth the lottery tickets!!! We could have won 5 more games (sarcasm).

              • hansman1982

                Just think…had the FO known that half of our offense would be inept compared to 2011 and that we would be on a fourth string catcher and spent the money to get amazing we wouldn’t have needed to trade those guys at the deadline and we would be looking at 77 wins right now!!!

                • Kyle

                  It is always easy to mock that which challenges our favorite misconceptions.

                  • hansman1982

                    Oh, I have no misconception about how hard this FO went after playoff contention this year. I also have no misconception about the position we are in now compared to a year ago.

                    Our Cubs have still missed the postseason, we have had to suffer through all of 12 more losses but now we have the 2nd highest amatuer spending budget next year, a wave of prospect talent and a (mostly) clean slate budget wise.

                    • ssckelley

                      Would you agree that the Cubs are in a better position today then they were a year ago?

                      The way I see it the Cubs have shed some contracts and are in position to go after free agents, hopefully ones that help the team long term. Plus with the moves the FO made through trades, draft, and international signings we finally have some prospects to be excited about. IMO this team looks much more “fixable” than it did a year ago.

                    • hansman1982

                      I firmly believe that we are in a better position today than a year ago.

            • Kyle

              I think “top-100” is really overstating Villanueva. One publication rated him 100th going into this season, but the vast majority did not. I doubt anyone has him there going into next season.

              • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                Why would that be overstating him? He was a top 10 talent on a deep and talented Rangers farm. If he was top 100 on the most reputable scouting service, then why would it be crazy to believe he is in that range when he produced this year? We know you doubt he will be there, because you have underestimated every move Jed and Theo have done since they have been here. How did that Rizzo trade workout? Yep, they really screwed up 1st base didn’t they? Have they shed bad contracts? Check. Have they laid a good foundation of talent in the minors? Check. What have they done to really piss you off?

                • ssckelley

                  He is bitter because the FO did not sign a bunch of free agents in the last off season just so the Cubs would come within 2 games of making the playoffs. The post is somewhere on here and I am to lazy to go dig it up.

                  • Kyle

                    You don’t have to dig it up, I’ve been posting the general idea for a year now. Everyone is familiar with my stance. Fetch me a soda, newb. :)

                    Everyone also knows that I know the Cubs minors pretty well. We have four legit top-100 guys (maybe five if you like Szczur), and Villanueva is not one of them. He is in the next tier down, which still makes him an interesting prospect.

                    BA is the only place that had him on their top 100 list last offseason, at 100. BA has a history of outliers like that, usually trying to guess which teenagers will break out in the transition to the mid-minors. Villanueva had an okay season but not abreakout one. It is very unlikely he makes any top 100 lists this offseason.

                    If making one list at one point in your career makes you top-100, then there are about 250 top-100 prospects at any given time.

                    • ssckelley

                      Glad to see you took the bait but did you have to swallow the whole damn hook? 😀

                • Kyle

                  You are overreacting quite a bit. I have stated many times that I may disagree with the direction the FO has taken, they have made many excellent moves in pursuit of it.

                  It is not a shot at Villanueva to say he isn’t top-100. Out of the many top-100 lists out there last season, he squeaked on to one (one with a habit of going off-board, so to speak, for low minors guys). He had an okay season, but not one that will shoot him up the lists.

                  He is a nice prospect and easily in the top 10 oganizationally. But ask a dozen experts if he is top-100 right now and you’ll get at least 11 no’s. Probably 12.

                  • Jeff

                    Kyle, I tend to agree with you more than others on this board. However, I do not believe this front office has done that great of a job rebuilding this team.

                    With the loan exception of Rizzo for Cashner, most trades have been marginal and Cashner was a power arm going over for a power hitting first baseman, it was a net equal trade. For what we gained, we lost.

                    We have eliminated some payroll, but we were in a position to do that at the end of the year anyway.
                    (Zambrano, Dempster, Soto, Johnson, Baker)

                    The prospects we obtained are marginal at best, the best one being Vizcaino but you can argue that given the state of the starting pitching, it might have been better to hold onto Maholm than trade him. Vizcaino is still two years away from being able to pitch more than 150 innings.

                    We failed to move Soriano & Marmol, which would free up money or Garza & LaHair, when they were preforming the best and had the most value.

                    Everybody is in love with these guys, but to be blinded to what they really have accomplished is to fall into the same trap they so advise against, “Don’t over-pay for past performances!”

                    I would grade them a C- and maybe even give them a F for the pitching staff.

                    This off-season will be bleak on the free agent crop and starting pitching will be fought over and the lowly Cubs will not be attracting any decent pitchers to go play on a 100 loss team.

                    I’ve watched 38 years of Cubs losing and my weather forecast predicts more lousy weather for the next few years.

                    If this FO thinks it will organically build this team up from the ground through the draft, I will be dead or lose interest before that ever happens.

                    • ssckelley

                      They sold high on Maholm and he was under control only through next season. I doubt Maholm would be the difference for the 2013 Cubs as they have many more holes to fill, after that you pay high dollar to retain him (which they still can) or lose him for a compensation pick. The FO had a swung a sweet deal for Dempster that he nixed but they rebounded and got a couple of decent prospects. The return for Sean Marshall (Torreyes, Sappelt, and Wood) may turn out to be a win. Getting Bowden and another prospect for Marlon Byrd turned out to be a steal and trading Soto saved money and opened up playing time for Castillo.

                      So far I like the results of their first draft and I like how they went after international prospects like Soler and Paniagua.

                      The only deal they made that has not turned out is Stewart for Colvin and LeMahieu. So overall I think your C- to F assessment is way off. Time will tell what the true grade should be but at this point I would give them a B.

                  • ssckelley

                    This is one of those rare times I kinda agree with Kyle. Villanueva was a good prospect to get for Dempster considering the corner he backed the FO into and how bad the Cubs need third base prospects. But after the season he has had there is no way he comes close to being a top 100 prospect. Yes he had a good season at Hickory in 2011 that earned him the #100 rank but he dropped considerably when advancing to A+ level at Myrtle Beach and Daytona. You never know Hendricks could very well end up being the prize in that deal.

        • Josh

          I hope we get Brandon McCarthy and hold onto Garza as well

        • ssckelley

          There is no way the Cubs will not sign at least 1 starting pitcher in the off season. The Cubs cannot go into spring training with Rusin, Raley, Germano, or Berken competing for a spot in the rotation.

  • mudge

    yeah, Rusin’s the only AAA guy + Volstad I want to see more of.

    • gutshot5820

      LOL. Rusin and Volstad, the only reason you may be seeing more of them next year is if the FO decides they want to compete with Houston for the number one draft pick again.

  • gutshot5820

    Bright spot this year is Soriano. I wonder what he can accomplish if he starts out the year with a lighter bat and is able to play all 162 games as a DH. No worries about his legs and defense, and able to concentrate only on hitting. His numbers may be very, scary good. I hope he has built enough value to get a legit prospect or otherwise just keep him.

  • cubsin

    There were plenty of bright spots this year. Castillo looks like an improvement over Soto. Rizzo has proved he can hit. Barney’s defense has been brilliant. Castro has improved his defense and signed a long-term deal.Soriano turned back the hands of time. Samardzija blossomed into a bona fide starting pitcher.Several of the kids got MLB time. which may help or hinder their development. Koyie Hill got an unexpected encore, but now appears to be gone for good. The farm system is vastly improved.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    So has Castro put the doubters to rest? He has shown that he can adjust to his flaws, and now that we know that he can adjust, we know he will only get better. If Castro can get the mental aspect of the game down he could become the best SS in the game very, very soon.

  • Harry Ramirez

    HUGE WIN!! Go LaHair! Go Cubs! now if want to sweep the Astros and avoid 100 losses, Brett, you must let Natalie Portman represent us in the She-View Series Preview.

  • Stu

    I went to the game yesterday here in Arizona. Got my military discount (1/2 off on Sunday) and had great seats.

    Good to see some hitting, but the baserunning needs some attention, Rizzo and LaHair being thrown out. My wife thought some of the players looked like they were mailing it in.

    Good to see the ONLY win on the West Coast.