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The good news is that the Cubs are beating a team they should be beating. The bad news is that, the more games they win against bad teams, the more angry I get about that sweep in Milwaukee (in which the Cubs outhit the Brewers in every game), about the close losses in Cincinnati, and all of the blown saves this year.

But, tonight is a good night. Scott Feldman did all right against a crummy lineup by staying in the zone and making them hit their way on. The bullpen held things down, and Kevin Gregg got himself another save. Closer controversy! I kid.

Also, I must have magical reverse joojoo going on with Anthony Rizzo …

april 26 box

  • Matthew

    Off the interstate, baby.

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    Just go ahead and say it now Brett. Rizzo just needs to take the rest of the year off.

  • Kenster

    Hooray for everyone finally reaching .200 AVG!!! except for you Scott Hairston except for you….

  • fromthemitten

    HELLO MENDOZA LINE NEXT STOP GWYNN LINE (hitting over .338)

  • http://www.backingthepack.com Rynomite

    Just 6 more in a row to hit .500. Hey, look at the next 6. It could really happen.

  • Seth

    Anyone know how far Rizzo’s second monster shot went?

    • mysterious4th

      The first one was around 425′ and the second one around 415′. That first HR was a shot! That is a ballpark that balls have to be hit hard to leave the yard and he hit TWO in his first two ABs!

      • Seth

        Oh, I just assumed that the 2nd one was farther since it was upper deck power. But 2 400ft+ homeruns in one game, that’s some power. Thanks for the reply.

        • mysterious4th

          I assumed that as well. But the marlins park out to center is a long HR shot. The upperdeck made me think but going down the right field line is shorter. I can’t wait to see him at Coors Field or any of the other very hitter friendly parks.

  • StillCubsFan

    Glad to see the cubs win, they needed it.
    However, 1for7 with risp, only one walk and Castro needs to step it up. Last season was the contract extention, whats going on this year?!!

  • koyiehillsucks2

    Castro made good contact on a couple of at bats but still starting to get a bit worried, has not looked that good at the plate recently….

    • fromthemitten

      his belly fire hasn’t been looking good either

      • Die hard

        No with him it’s belly fat at rate of 5-10 lbs a yr until he looks like Big Papi

        • Can’t think of a cool name

          This is the second time you wrote this. I haven’t seen any articles that says Castro is overweight. How did you come to this conclusion. Please don’t say you see it because Castro does not look overweight. He may have flaws but being overweight is not one of them.

  • fester30

    I don’t suppose there’s a chance MLB can change the schedule the rest of the way so the Cardinals only play the Rangers and Braves and the Cubs only play the Marlins and Astros for the rest of the season?

  • X The Cubs Fan

    Castro was pretty solid he had decent at bats and made contact.

  • mudge

    gregg is not giving me an ulcer.

    • mysterious4th

      Gregg hasn’t given you an ulcer, yet! That is the keyword. I would still suggest stocking up on the purple pill and zantac or pepto.

      The bullpen as a whole gives me mini strokes when they take over WITH a lead. Sadly they pitch better without a lead. I sense a little bullpen pitching dyslexia since they have the concept ass backwards!

  • Hansman1982

    Ya know, or as much angst that has been spent on here about Feldman. If he can give us a 4-ish ERA…I’d say it was a good signing considering he was supposed to be battling for the 5th rotation spot.

    • PR Cajun

      Agreed

    • Rcleven

      If a game were only 3 innings long he would be the second coming of Cy Young. That fourth inning just kills him for some reason. He pitched out out of some tight spots and got out with two DP’s. Lets not get too high on him just yet. The Marlins are a very bad team.

  • @cubsfantroy

    Figures, I bench Rizzo in my fantasy league for the first time all year and he goes off. Le sigh…

    • Matty

      Me too. I expected him to get a day off with a lefty throwing for Fla.

    • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

      Never listen to Brett.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Safe bet.

        • @cubsfantroy

          To be on the safe side, I am keeping him on the bench today so he can get on base a few more times. If it means him doing well, I will keep him on the bench all year. It is only a $100 buy in league.

  • Jason P

    It’d be nice to see Castillo take a walk.

  • mudge

    he’ll take a walk before the trade deadline.

  • Big Joe

    Actually, I called the day off first. He STILL needs it…unless, that is, you really DO have the magic to turn Rizzo around. If so, please do!

  • Kyle

    Ditto. The awful start has been so frustrating because this team really is better than this. They aren’t good, but they shouldn’t be fighting Miami and San Diego for dead last. Some stupid fan part of me seriously believes we could sweep the next six against those two awful teams and get back to .500.

    It’s amazing how much ink has been spilled over a guy who now has 8 home runs. The Ks are a little concerning, but once the .176 BABIP evens out, he’ll be fine. He’s hitting a ton of fly balls, too, which is interesting and encouraging. I’m starting to believe he could hit 40 HRs this year.

    1 walk in two games against this pitching staff is maddening. It’s really stunning to me that we are in the second season of the Epstein regime and 30th in the league in BB%. Surely that’s going to come up.

    Darwin Barney’s play to save Feldman an error and turn it into a DP absolutely saved the game, imo.

    • jt

      I’ve been thinking of this post as I re-read some of the “debt service” stuff.
      Rizzo, Castro and Castillo are good players now but are yet to be finished products.
      I don’t think there is much doubt that Soler will join that group’s class by 2015 and perhaps as early as the latter third of 2014. Brett just did a piece on the internal options for the future of Cubs 2B’s.
      For 2015 they will have control of Shark, Wood, Jackson and the draft guy of this year. As of now, they are all good players but the only one of whom is a finished product is Jackson. In point of fact, he will probably be the lowest quality of the group by 2015.
      So they will have to add a CF’er, LF’er, 3B and 5th starter by 2015 along with the above players maturing into finished products. The 2013 team is not good because the above players are not “there” yet. The 2013 team is competitive because we can see many of them getting close.
      Sure they have to build a bullpen every year. Sure they have to fill the CF, LF and 3B slots if the internal whiz kids on the farm fail. But that is completely do-able even with the financial questions.
      In terms of the restaurant metaphor, we are now eating at a dinner counter. There are no tables with table cloths or waiters offering their first name and the other patrons are wearing jeans and tee’s. But the food pretty good and getting better. You can see the direction in which the business is headed while the full service venue is being constructed with in sight of where you are sitting.
      You either believe in the guy and want to support his efforts while enjoying his current offerings or …not.

      • Kyle

        I mostly agree, but the only thing I’d caution against is being too confident in assuming how linear the progress will be. There’s still a lot that can go wrong.

        Castillo is probably a finished product and definitely no guarantee to even be average at the big-league level. I like Soler’s chances (No. 1 in the system in my book), but he’s definitely no sure thing. I know a lot of people are excited about our 2b prospects, but I’m not a big fan of the “half-a-dozen mediocre prospects means surely we’ll get something out of one” assumption.

        And oh man, the pitching outlook. It’s better than it was a year ago, but having a couple of big-league arms approaching 30 and nothing interesting on the farm above low-A is not a great position to be in (still don’t think Vizcaino is anything but a reliever). The draft should help, but then we’ll have a couple of big-league starters approaching 30 and one interesting rotation candidate above low-A.

        But if we don’t get too much bad luck on the hitting side (bad luck? the Cubs? never!) and if we can hold the pitching together, things look pretty decent for 2015 to be the “flip the switch” year where we’re suddenly in the discussion for the best team in the division.

        • jt

          Payroll 2010 a high watermark at around $144
          salaries in $M
          Z: 18.875; Fukudome: 14; Silva: 12.75; Nady: 3; Grabow: 2.75; DLee: 13.25; Lilly 13
          Total 87.625
          Shark=>Z; Jackson=>Silva; Russell=>Grabow; Rizzo=>DLee; Soler=>Fukudome; Wood=>Lilly; Nady=>you or Brett

          ————————————————————————————
          Leg strength Shark will be at peak next few years…never know about the wing
          I have Jackson as the 4th best pitcher…back-end
          Didn’t mention Arodys as he may be the core of the bullpen yearly rebuild
          Soler is going to be a stud… to my soul I believe that
          Somebody else mentioned that Castillo is framing, calling and in general catching the ball much better this year. No question about his laser arm. If he hits avg then he will be an above avg catcher.
          The worst they can do at 2B is Barney and Valbuena, who is also only 27, may already be better.
          Yeah, the chef may die and the guy replacing him may be a hack. Such is life. Still the move forward is there with financial flexibility that was not there in 2010.

  • JulioZuleta

    Rizzo is “slumpimg” his way to a 59 HR, 132 RBI pace. Not too shabby.

    • JulioZuleta

      slumping

  • Die hard

    Wonder how good Rizzo would be with Soler ahead of him and Sweeney behind him?

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      As good as he is now?

  • Jason

    Darwin Barney justifying his gold glove.
    So glad he’s back, and it irritates me when there are trade rumors surrounding this guy.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Prepare to be irritated this Summer, because I anticipate his name coming up.

      • JulioZuleta

        I don’t know if it was the horror of having to watch the Lillibridge/Gonzalez era that changed my perspective, but I definitely have a greater respect for Barney this year than I did in the past.

        That being said, 2B might be one of the biggest strengths in our system right now. If we can get good value for him, you have to do it.

  • http://bleachernation.com RicoSanto

    The Cubs are now turning double plays since Barney has returned. The good news Both him and Rizzo are above .200.Just 3 more of the games we blew we would be .500 Sweep Miami and SD we will be there.

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