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Edwin Jackson struck out a lot of Pirates, but that’s about all the positive you can say about his rain-abbreviated start. The Pirates did enough damage off of Jackson in the first two innings to secure a sweep of the Cubs, despite a great effort from the bullpen thereafter.

At least something near historic happened …

may 23 box

Full box.

  • Cyranojoe

    Sigh.

  • RSquared

    Does anyone see any drastic moves in the near future? Demotions, releases, call ups, in the near future? Pathetic excuse for a team. I’d rather watch BJax strike out swinging corkscrewing into the ground than watch our last two batters watch the ball go by!

    • Edwin

      I don’t think drastic moves work as well in baseball.

      • TWC

        “Now is not the time for bold changes.”

        • NyN

          Haha i was going with the same quade quote

    • MichiganGoat

      Every single loss this becomes the reactionary mantra. CHANGE SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING, JUST DO SOMETHING. I hope everyone realizes that changing for change sake is one of the worst decisions any organization (sports, business, life) can ever make.

      • fromthemitten

        with the way that people are reacting you would think we were actually supposed to contend this year

        • MichiganGoat

          but mitten if they would just change the batting order or trade for a couple of players… WE ARE WINNERS

          • Rsquared

            As if what we are fielding right now is any better than putting our young guys out there. That’s all I’m saying. I didn’t expect a series but, I did expect a change. Change is what makes the world go around.

            • MichiganGoat

              Changing a older turd with a younger turd is not a change… its still a turd. Wait until you have diamond or at least a cubic z before making changes.

              • Die hard

                What about a scout who swallows a diamond- eventually will come out disguised as a turd?

                • fromthemitten

                  that’s frickin deep yo

            • Hansman1982

              Apparently you weren’t around for the discussion earlier today about how the Cubs have a decent offense and pitching.

              • MichiganGoat

                We loss so BOLD CHANGE bro

                • hansman1982

                  Don’t worry, we will win a series and they will go away.

  • Rcleven

    Hum! Starting pitching does great bull pen blows it.
    Starting pitching sucks bull pen looks great.
    WTF!

  • Rich

    1-7
    6.11
    52 million..

    PRICELESS

  • Crockett

    Rizzo’s swing looks horrible. Something changed after the Rockies’ series.

    • EuroCub

      Brett jinxed it ! :D

    • Die hard

      Going for HR– stop reading the box score Rizzo!!! and you earn your huge salary over time not in one series– relax!!!!

  • jay

    If you’re only going to score six runs in a three game series, doesn’t matter which half of the pitching staff is sucking.

  • willis

    Hmmm, Villanueva with another two scoreless. You make the right move Tuesday night, this isn’t a sweep.

    Really disappointed in EJax so far. Was excited to get him in a cubs uni, but damn he just can’t get it together. A lot of money out there for him. I’m hoping he can turn it around at least to be a formidable 5 in the coming years.

    Getting swept sucks. Every time. But, oddly enough there were two outstanding things about this series, well three. 1. Garza looked awesome. 2. Shark looked insanely good. 3. Villanueva looks to have accepted his role and looks ok so far in it.

    Sori and Rizzo have to get their heads right. You can’t have ineffective 3, 4 hitters game in and game out and expect to win.

    • Edwin

      So far, Edwin Jackson has been almost exactly the same pitcher as last year. His K% has gone from 21.3% to 20.1%. His BB% has gone from 7.3% to 9.2%. His GB% is actually at a career high of 50.6%. His HR% is basically the same as last year. It looks like his Velocity, while down from last season, is pretty much in line with what you’d expect, considering it’s April.

      The biggest difference is that his left on base% so far this year is 57.8% (against a career 71%). This is due to shitty sequencing. So I wouldn’t worry too much. Jackson has pitched well, and unless something drastic happens, going forward the results should be there.

      • Hansman1982

        You mean May.

        Ya, you know you have terrible luck as a SP when you give up 4 runs on only 1 XBH.

  • dying cubs fan’s last request

    Rizzo hasn’t hit since he signed that big contract.

    • Edwin

      And?

    • Freshness21

      Slumpbuster needed ASAP

  • J Wilson

    Whatever happened to the “Cubs Way”? It should be in writing in a bound booklet somewhere: “Take pitches, work counts, hit the ball behind baserunners, don’t swing at anything with 2 strikes….oh, above all, GET ON BASE!!!” Wasn’t the OBP a part of “The Cubs Way”?

    It surely hasn’t materialized.

    • MichiganGoat

      You realize that just because an organization wants a player to doing something doesn’t mean they are going to do that? The Cubs Way is rhetoric and is more about the minor leagues development than the current MLB players. You can’t just tell a player hey here is the Cub Way Manual no do something you’ve never done before. The Cubs Way will take time to show as players under Theo start to come through the minors (remember this is only his 2nd year). Regardless this is just rhetoric something like saying “players sure are playing the Cub Way” is like saying “this player is missing the belly fire, TWTW, and sCRAP we want.” If you don’t have players with the skills good batters need no amount of rhetoric will every change that. The Cubs Way is neat bowtie for the organization Theo wants from the Cubs not a immediate plan for MLB success.

      • J Wilson

        Last time I checked, Castro has talent. He just doesn’t understand, apparently, how to play the game. I’m so sick and tired of people saying “he’s still young”…that’s such a load of BS. He’s a veteran now. Last time I checked, his OBP was sub .300. That’s inexcusable.

        I understand the “Cubs Way” will take time to implement, but someone as talented as Castro should be able to ADAPT, correct? Instead, he just keeps going up there trying to hit anything and everything.

        I don’t expect immediate success, I respect and believe in Epstein and Hoyer, etc. But, I do expect some players to improve, and they aren’t, at all.

        • MichiganGoat

          A veteran? Really? He’s younger than the majority of minor league players and you are tired of people saying he’s young? Wow losing really gets the belly fire in you fuming out of control doesn’t it.

          • Jeffrey Wilson

            The Term “Veteran” Applies To ABs, Not Age. Any Other Interpretation Of The Word Is Ludicrous And Runs Counter To Logic.

            • MichiganGoat

              So less than three years equals a veteran for you? Still on the right side of 25 equals veteran. Alright then.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              No, it runs counter to your assumptions! After all, “all elephants are green; the giant mammal with tusks, a trunk and big floppy ears is brown, not green; ergo, that mammal is not an elephant” is perfectly logical. (It’s horribly unsound, but that’s different!)

              • MichiganGoat

                Ah real logic

              • Rich H

                you are on a roll Doc now my dinner is not Logical.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Ah, but every 5 year old knows that dinner is part of the most basic deduction in life.

                  If you eat dinner, then you get desert.
                  No dinner?
                  no desert…..

                  (There is another one involving 20 year olds and sex, but I’ll leave that to your imagination.)

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    d’oh… that’s dessert, not desert.

                    *grumble*

              • hansman1982

                I have no idea what you just said.

        • MichiganGoat

          This is also where Doc should step in and discuss batting eye.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            blah blah blah basic tool blah blah blah almost never gets better blah blah blah Sammy Sosa blah blah blah I want a beer blah blah blah……

        • Falselife

          Age isn’t the issue, it’s just an easy scapegoat. The issue is development, or lack it, over the last season+.

          • baldtaxguy

            Yes, in part. When compared to even younger players such as Harper and Trout, they all have talent, but Castro has the least discipline with it, and (in my opinion) fails to perform where we all believe and hope he can. I don’t think expectations are that high for Starlin, but he just seems to do the difficult things pretty well and the routine things below average, so he is a bit frustrating.

            • MichiganGoat

              Comparing anybody to Harper and especially Trout is unfair to anybody. They are two players with a level of talent that few players will ever even touch.

              • baldtaxguy

                Yes, I know. I was trying not to do that. My point is relative to each of their respective levels of talent, it seems Castro does not get the most out of his. Difficult for me to say I guess, but he seems to make the silly mistakes and fails to execute the basics, which diminishes all the great things he can do, while Trout and Harper don’t appear to do so as often, or its less pronounced with them.

            • jt

              Harper and Trout can put the ball in the bleachers. Castro can put the ball on the warning track.
              Pitchers are not so apt to walk guys who hit singles.
              Me thinks Starlin needs to find a way to get that extra 10′ of oomph.

              • DocPeterWimsey

                Harper and Trout do not get more non-strikes than does Castro: Harper and Trout simply swing at a much lower proportion of non-strikes than does Castro. If anything, then guys like Trout and Harper get fewer non-strikes than guys like Castro. if batters are good a laying off of pitches that they cannot drive, then pitchers have to hit particular spots of the strike zone to get weak contact or a complete miss. It is when pitchers miss those spots that they get killed.

                For guys like Castro, pitchers will target areas just outside of the strike zone in order to induce weak contact or a complete miss. The same number of non-strikes that will walk Harper or Trout will probably get you through two PAs for Castro: and with neither ending in a walk.

                Steve Stone summarized this very well when discussing whether Sammy Sosa needed “protection” in 1997 (i.e., the year before Sosa started mega-carotine injections!). Pitchers didn’t “pitch around” Sosa because they were not afraid to walk him: pitchers threw Sammy non-strikes because that was how you got Sammy Sosa out. Until Sammy learned to lay off of non-strikes (which, quite amazingly, he did the next season), he was not going to get strikes of any sort: and as most “sweet” pitches are missed strikes rather than missed non-strikes, that meant that Sammy was not going to see any sort of strike as often as guys with good batting eyes.

                (On a side note, I think that it should be a rule that all broadcast booths have one retired pitcher and one retired hitter: what former batters think that pitchers are doing [and what former pitchers think that batters are doing] often is very different from what former pitchers think that pitchers are doing!)

                • jt

                  Doc, I understand that argument and agree to a “general” point.
                  However, IT SEEMS TO ME, that pitch just off the plate that is thigh high is one that Castro dives into and drives down the RF line. The knee to ankle just off the outside corner has been one he pops over the 2B’s head with, I might add, some success. But all things change and the way defenses are aligned and the manner in which pitchers attack also change.
                  The “seems to me” means I’m goin’ to have to gander Fangraphs. Your point is valid. I just think there is more happening here.

                  • hansman1982

                    Here’s a better page (it gives you league averages):

                    http://statcorner.com/bat.php?id=516770

                    Castro just isn’t making as much contact as he used to. I’d guess that opposing pitchers have adjusted and Castro is having a hard time adjusting back.

                    • jt

                      Thanks.
                      I wrote this prior to reading your post.
                      I’ll have to have a look see. Thanks again.
                      *
                      Castro
                      form of ball batted to %LeftSide/%Center/%RightSide
                      career 34/39/27
                      2013.. 28/43/29
                      *
                      form of BA to LeftSide/Center/RightSide
                      career 359/386/285
                      2013 . 333/323/296
                      *
                      He is hitting fewer balls to the left side with less success in those balls hit that way.
                      He is hitting more balls to center with much less success.
                      He is increasing both the amount and success in hitting balls to the right side.
                      *
                      Career 36% of his xbhits were to the left side
                      2013 only 4 of 14, 29%, have been to the LS.
                      Career he has hit 37% of his doubles and triples to the left side so there has been no real advantage for him to pull the ball.
                      Career he has hit 14 HR to the LS, 14 to Center and 2 to the RS.
                      His HR per non K AB has been close to 1 in 60. Not something to be feared.
                      *
                      I don’t know when this change of increased batted ball to the RS took place. I suspect it was late last year when is Bat Avg started to drop.
                      What he lost in hitting to the RS he had gained by hitting to the center. Again, there was not real reason to pull the ball.
                      I suspect he is seeing more pitches away and the defenses are playing him that way along with being more shallow.
                      It seems to me that he has been recently hitting more balls to the warning track than he did earlier in the season. It would seem the way to defeat that pitching strategy would be to smack a few dingers to CF and Right center. He can’t quite get that done.
                      Perhaps another biscuit for breakfast?

          • Jeffrey Wilson

            Exactly, But Then The Defenders Come Out Of The Woodwork. Some People Will Never Change Their Opinions.

            • hansman1982

              Yes, it;s SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more satisfying to just say that Castro is a bum and be happy about that.

  • J Wilson

    The Cubs are last in the league with walks w/ 100 BB. OAK, CIN, ATL, BOS are all at the top.

  • Loren Feldman

    Some times the best perormances come from the least expected…ain’t a lot coming if you are not asked for much.

  • another JP

    Bad sweep is right. Now we can travel to Cincy and get drilled there, and once we’re 13 games under .500 we’ll officially be sellers in 2013. Much of what our line-up is going thru is the result of playing against some good competition and having a bunch of young guys/journeymen on our roster. But when the turning point of this season is identified we can point to the Met series we let get away and the bonehead bullpen management against the Pirates this week. We’ll come around to playing better ball this season at some point but winning more than 75 games ain’t gonna happen. At least we’ll get another top ten draft pick in 2014.

  • Edwin

    Interesting way to consider Jackson’s start:

    For the game, he had a LOB% of 42.9%. His BABIP for the game was .667. His FIP was .03, his xFIP was .51, and his ERA was 12.

    Baseball is a cruel game.

    • dying cubs fan’s last request

      Its just ‘bad luck’.

    • MichiganGoat

      BABIP is killing him

  • cooter

    Marmol is quietly doing better.

  • Kenster

    I’m also waiting for him to double his season HR total… his power has not been there I’ve been seeing a lot of singles and groundball outs.

  • Dustin S

    Taking a step back, I think we’re nearing the territory where we can safely say that the intentional tank is coming. .391 when we’re 46 games in isn’t anywhere close to what would be needed to go for at least a Wild Card in 2013. As of today we have the 3rd worst record in the NL and 4th worst overall. It feels very much like 2013 again. And honestly I’m with Theo when he says .450 or .475 doesn’t do the team any good. If they’re not going to make the playoffs, tank away for a better draft. It won’t be fun, but it’s probably coming. There was a little good to come from last year’s pain, and it will be coming June 6th at the draft.

  • fromthemitten

    Did anybody else see that we’re getting more RBIs out of the 9 hole than from cleanup? baseball is wacky especially when your lineup is horseshit

    • MichiganGoat

      Easy fix – the pitchers are now batting 4th… see CHANGES MADE ALL IS GOOD

      • cjdubbya

        Perfect. This is completely logical. We make this BOLD CHANGE and boom. Instant offense out of the cleanup spot. World Series 2013!

  • Kyle N

    EJax’s FIP for this start: 0.03

    Sometimes I think the editor at Fangraphs is drunk and just messing with us.

    • hansman1982

      if by “editor at Fangraphs”, you mean the God of Baseball…then yes.

  • Jp3

    Oh well, we’ll get’em next time!!!😝 If you want a little sunshine tonight you should follow the Kane County game tonight, Dillon Maples on the hill as well as Almora’s second start with Vogul and comp

  • dying cubs fan’s last request

    Stats can’t mask how much Edwin sucks.

  • patrick

    I was frustrated, saw this and made me smile a little… Enjoy

    [img]http://l.yimg.com/a/p/sp/editorial_image/07/0732d22c80747596abc631a692517dc0/is_this_cardinals_fan_racist_or_just_stupid.jpeg[/img]

    • MichiganGoat

      thats like a stock photo around here… but still always enjoyable

      • fromthemitten

        this one too[img]http://s3.amazonaws.com/fleaflicker/t44575_1_150x150.jpg[/img]

        • cubmig

          Is what we see in that Deadbird pic called “Team chemistry”?

  • Clark Addison

    Good teams win close games.

    We’re not.

    • hansman1982

      No, all sorts of teams win close games. Good teams win blowouts.

      • DarthHater

        Winning teams find a way to score more runs than their opponents. :-P

        • DocPeterWimsey

          heh, I remember Eric Byrnes of the 2007 Diamondbacks trying to explain how the Dbacks had made the LCS with a negative run-differential. It was all about team chemistry, he raved: they were so tight that they knew that they could win without scoring as many as the other team. The interviewer paused, stunned, and said: “but you had to score more runs to win the game.” That seemed to throw Byrnes. (Byrnes seemed like he was playing Spicolli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High the entire time, so maybe that was his usual state.)

          So, I guess opinions differ on that!

          • DarthHater

            That damn 316-2 game was an outlier.

            • jt

              Nats are 8W 4L in one run games
              Nats are 4W 8L in Blowouts
              For those 24 games Nats RS = 87; RA = 125
              There is a run differential of 38 or 1.5 runs per game.
              In terms of wins what was the value of those 38 runs?

          • hansman1982

            But, hey, he’s the genius GM that the Padres wanted over Hoyer…

            • DarthHater

              smh

        • hansman1982

          No…winning teams find a way to not let their opponents outscore them…

          • DarthHater

            Nuh uh. Cuz then they could just play an infinitely long extra-innings game without ever winning. If they’re a winning team, sooner or later they find a way to score more runs than their opponent.

            • hansman1982

              No, cause then the better team will just destroy the other team with their Belly Fire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

              Booger-brains.

              • DarthHater

                Brett!!!! Hansman is name calling!!!

                • hansman1982

                  Wait, you called me a name too!!

                  BRETT…NAMECALLING NINNINES!!!!!!

                  • DarthHater

                    Yea, but you called me a mean name. :-P

                    • hansman1982

                      How do you know that Hansman wasn’t initially a really super-duper mean name?

                    • hansman1982

                      I’ll just say it now…

                      BOOM, you were incinerated by my belly fire…

                    • DarthHater

                      Sorry, man. It sucks to be you. ;-)

              • DarthHater

                If you incinerate the other team, I think you forfeit. ;-)

  • http://Bleachernation.com Frank

    Rizzo is becoming a streaky hitter,I don’t like it but it’s true. Dale has always sucked at handling the pen. Some just didn’t recognize it because he was new and a good manager of player off the field. I thought part of the “Cubs way” was playing solid defense. Don’t tell me none of these players have ever played defense or for that none of them ever learned to hit a sac fly or hit the ball to the right side. Good teams make the plays,bad teams make excuses or in this case fans make excuses. To the credit of the players and coaches they haven’t made excuses!

    • Die hard

      He’s always been streaky– if .250 with 40 hr and 120 RBI also he’s earned salary even if 100 KO

    • hansman1982

      “Rizzo is becoming a streaky hitter,I don’t like it but it’s true. ”

      Let’s see here, it was 56 degrees here yesterday, 68 today. By next Thursday it will be 974 degrees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jim

    LETS FACE IT. The CHICAGO CUBS
    DO “NOT’ HAVE IT! OVERPAYING JACKSON
    turned out to be a “fatal” mistake! They do
    NOT have “WINNING CHEMISTRY” IF the
    CUBS are extremely LUCKY,THEY will finish
    in 3rd place. Then they can have a nice
    VACATION! :)

    • dude

      To Jim,
      Your caps lock button is broke.
      From,
      All of us who hate your posts

      • Cyranojoe

        Dear dude,

        That’s probably all of us. ;-)

        CJ

      • jim

        Hey Dude!

        I was a CUBS fAN for more years than
        you are alive. Actually I grew up 2 1/2
        miles from Wrigley Field. I went to
        many games before I got married.
        The Cubs have had their chances & blew
        everyone of them. At least I can face reality,
        which, obviously is pissing some of you
        Cubs Fans off that see everything through
        rose colored glasses. Everyone has a right
        to their opinion in the USA.

        • DarthHater

          Fine. My opinion is that you express your opinion in an utterly assholish fashion. God bless America.

        • dude

          OH!! You turned your caps lock button off! FINALLY!!!!

          • DarthHater

            Everybody has a right to use their caps lock button in the USA.

            • hansman1982

              It’s the 43RD AMENDMENT TO the CONStitiuTION”: OF the uNITED States oF AMERicA()

    • Rcleven

      Third place? Hell no.
      Bottom or bust.
      I want that draft pick.
      Then I want everybody to move out of the city so we become a small market team. Need that supplemental pick too.

    • DarthHater

      You use an awful lot of punctuation for someone who has no clue what punctuation is.

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

      Wow, he was playing with a broken hamate and hit over .300 in his first year of pro ball?

      Impressive.

      • Jp3

        Wow, I guess I could not pick and say he doesn’t have a BB but through 2 games almora is 7-11 with a few doubles… 0 Ks!!! Wish I could see this guy play a little CF.

  • http://Bleachernation Loyal100more

    I still believe at the end of the year Jackson’s numbers will resemble what he consistently puts up… Off to an unlucky start… But his stuff still looks good… His era at or above six isn’t sustainable over 200 + innings… He will do exactly what he was paid to do… But there won’t be any dramatic uptick either… He’s hot and cold and never just warm… But his streakimess has always balanced his numbers through out his career… He wii certainly have dominant starts this year.

  • X The Cubs Fan

    Bad start good bullpen? Something different everyday… Tyler Beede anyone?

  • http://Bleachernation Loyal100more

    In reality this team has shown some very good things… I believe our rotation though over achieving in some cases (wood) has been much better than I expected. There are some nice pieces in the bullpen although it is surely a work in progress… That I believe will be solidified this year with a few young arms coming up and into the equation. The offence has been very streaky and Inconsistant but the players that make up the offence have been Inconsistant there whole careers. There are some bright spots with the bat and with the glove… But we need a corner 3rd baseman to really see if our infield is what it should be to contend. The outfield is where our offence will come from in the future… A solid defensive infield with a few big contributes and a speedy disciplined outfield will be productive as well as make our starters more effective with solid glove work… The order is tall, but there are some bright spots that I didn’t see coming… Get contention out of your mind and you will probably notice the positive developments as we go forward instead of the gaping holes that a rebuild often does. My take

  • jt

    At most, Soriano has 177 more games as a Cub. He ain’t hot. He ain’t a long term solution.
    What diff does it make if Hairston or Fonzie is makin’ the out. JD mentions that Hairston could benefit from seeing more live pitching. Maybe Sweeney could get some AB’s from LF.
    I’m not calling for Soriano to be benched. I’m just sayin’ a bit more time on the pines may be a good thing for the team as a whole.

  • Die hard

    Another oblique injury- Phillies 2B– Pinella may be right that players lifting weights and not resting during off season and possibly seasons too long all contribute

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