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Chris Rusin’s debut wasn’t terribly effective, but the Cubs were still in line to win late. But James Russell, who’s going through a rough stretch right now, gave up a three run homer in the 8th, and a two-run lead vanished behind the center field wall.

At least Alfonso Soriano hit another homer, and Dioner Navarro exploded with the bat once again. It looks like the Cubs are definitely stretching Carlos Villanueva out to return to the rotation, as he essentially piggy-backed with Rusin to go almost three innings. It’s possible Villanueva is ready to start the next time through.

july 2 box

Full box.

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    After such an exciting day, this was a pretty poor end.

  • baldtaxguy

    Wow “BS 6th” Uggh.

    • wvcubsfan

      This is where we are going to be informed that the blown save statistic is indeed BS. There’s nothing to worry about because Russell is still doing great and that there is more to good relief pitching than garnering stats like holds or blown saves. You know like stranding inherited runners (oops), maintaining the lead (oops), or keeping the team close so they can come back (check I guess). No need to worry about antiquated stats like losses either, those are team stats.

      Bottom line is he hasn’t been good lately. I had zero issue with bringing him in to face Reddick, but once he walked the left hander (not even a really good LOOGY right now either, ouch) I did think Dale should have went and got him. If for nothing else just so he didn’t give up the lead again.

      • SirCub

        Ha, wow. This comment.

        This exemplifies what I was saying the whole time Marmol was getting lambasted: it doesn’t matter who he goes with, if a bullpen pitcher blows a lead, it’s Dale’s fault. Russell has been the best pitcher in this bullpen for the past two years…

      • CubsFanSaxMan

        I have to go along with ‘wv’ on this one. I still think that blown saves and holds are valuable statistics.

        • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

          What value do they add? A guy can have a blown save but still pitch fantastic. The BS or Hold doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of the actual pitching.

          • wvcubsfan

            You’re going to have to explain this to me. How does one blow a save while pitching fantastically? Isn’t the objective of fantastic pitching to not allow the opponent to score any runs? If you don’t give up any runs how do you blow a save?

          • Eternal Pessimist

            I think the value is it gives some indication of performance in pressure situations.

        • hansman1982

          It’s not that they are complete garbage, it’s just that there are SOOOO many more stats that will paint a much better picture for you and they are the stats that impact the W, L, S, BS and H stats.

          The W, L, S, BS and H stats are all like skipping the first 99% of a book and just reading the last chapter. Sure, most of the time you can get close to the right story but it sure won’t help you figure out what the sequel will be about.

          If you wanted someone to go buy art for you, you wouldn’t hire the old woman who had cataracts in both eyes. Why look at a stat that doesn’t really tell you much.

          • mjhurdle

            perfect analogy with the last chapter of a book Hansman. well said.

          • wvcubsfan

            I’ve never claimed that they are the end all be all, but the other day they were made out to be utter BS because they didn’t tell the entire story.

            I agree that you can’t judge the player by those two stats, any more than you can judge a batter by average and RBI. However, all four of those do tell you something and the last time I checked something is not nothing.

            • hansman1982

              Considering the wealth of information that is out there on players, those stats are as close to meaningless as you can get.

              • wvcubsfan

                Other than telling a person how many times a reliever gave up the lead or how many runs were driven in by a batter.

                Personally as a baseball fan I don’t find those two items meaningless. I do agree that they are pretty close to meaningless when it comes to evaluating the overall talent or “worth” of a player when it comes to trade value or contract value.

                I guess we’ll have to agree that our terminology here is not the same; because I’m not really sure we truly disagree.

  • On The Farm

    On the flip side, Parker got his first hold

  • Die hard

    Not Sveums fault– he didn’t put himself in this job– Theo dangled carrot so could run the show.. Might as well have uniform on during game too

  • KidCubbie

    Cubs to sign Eloy Jimenez.

    • KidCubbie

      Per MLBTR.

    • The Dude Abides

      He is 16 yrs. old, might want to hold off buying the jersey just yet.

      • KidCubbie

        Really? No way. I didnt know most of the IFA’s were 16 (sarcasm). I’m just glad the Cubs did very well in the International Draft this year is all.

  • EdgewoodDirk

    Did I see last night that the Cubs ‘lead’ the league with something like 17 blown saves?

    If that’s true, with even half of those converted, we’re close to a .500 team. That’s crazy food for thought.

    • DocPeter Wimsey

      It also is misleading for two reasons. One, the Cubs won some of those games, Two, the Cubs had 2 blown saves in single games. (I think that they might even have won one of those: but I might be remembering a game from last year.)

      • EdgewoodDirk

        That’s true; makes me feel better, too. :-)

        Thanks, Doc!

  • RD

    I’m not on the Svuem hating wagon but I really didn’t understand a few situations last night. If you are going to hit and run with Castro in the 9th inning, why not pinch run for Valbuena with Bourbon? Why not pitch run anyways with him representing the tying run and having Ransom available to play 3rd if the Cubs tie? I also recall a situation where I strongly felt Barney should have been bunting and Castillo grounded into a double play to end the inning… Frustrating loss overall.

  • Timmy

    Our manager is awesome, he can’t possibly win with a AAA quality team. He’s experimenting with players to see who has what before the trade deadline.

    • wvcubsfan

      “Our manager is awesome”

      Don’t know that I’d go that far out on that ledge just yet.

      • Timmy

        Everyone keeps posting about how the team should be competing according to statistics. We have washed up players and youngsters at best. Who do you think brings the best out of them on the field with mechanics?

        • JR

          It’s hard to tell how Sveum is or isn’t with the team he was given. The only thing I have noticed about Sveum is that his statements are often confusing/misleading/weird. Hopeufully he pulls his act together with the Media when the Cubs are competing.

          • ajbulls23

            JR it’s not hard to tell how good or bad Sveum is, you just have to judge him on how he has handled the team he was given. He has no depth, we can all agree on that but yet he plays his righty/ lefty line ups even though they average about 1 run a game through most of the season with his right handed line up with Sapelt and Hairston in the game. You can’t have two line ups when you barely have the depth to put one team on the field. He kept putting Marmol in to blow games in the ninth. He never takes the blame for some of his bonehead calls, but is quick to blame his players. Castro still doesn’t know the fundimentals of the game, who is working with him? I see nothing from Bosio or Rowson.

            • JR

              Like I said it’s hard to know how much of the lineup stuff is his call. But the regression of Castro on Sveum’s watch has to be the biggest strike against him in my book. Starlin sucking this yr is one of the worst things that could have happened to this club. So someone needs to answer questions on what is being shoved down Castro’s throat, and what’s changed with him at the plate.

              • ajbulls23

                Rizzo is having an off year also, so is Russel and Camp. I worry about what they are doing to BJax. He is disappearing. Rumor has it that they are waiting for Mike Maddox after next season, but I worry about how much damage Sveum and his coaching staff can do to these young players. I hated what he did to Campana last year. They called him up, played him, he was hitting over .300 and was stealing bases and then they sit him for 2 weeks because Sveum said they needed more pop in the lineup. You don’t sit a young guy hitting over three hundred that is making things happen on the base paths. You sit one of the guys who is hitting .167 and find more pop for the line up there. I don’t expect the Cubs to contend with the team they are putting on the field but judging Sveum and his staff by the way he handles the players he was given I have to give them a failing grade.

                • TWC

                  Hahahahaha. Sveum ruined Campana? Holy crap — funniest comment ever.

                  • ajbulls23

                    Never said ruined. Reading is fundemental. But it definitely showed his imcompetence as a Manager. You don’t bench a guy hitting over .300 when most of your team is hitting below .230. It’s inept.

                    • TWC

                      Amazing, kid. You’re amazing. You clearly have managing at the major league level all figured out, and don’t give a thought to “small sample sizes” or the like. How could I have doubted you.

                    • DarthHater

                      FTFY

                      [img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7314/9202286580_9de84cb7f1_m.jpg[/img]

                    • hansman1982

                      And you do bench a guy who was NOT getting on base at the time who also had a profile that indicated that he isn’t likely to continue getting on base at a decent rate and he provides no power.

                      What you should know is that batting average is a poor driver of runs scored when you compare it to OPS. Campana had a .704 OPS on the date he was “pulled from starting” and Mather had an .896 OPS. Mather was also getting on base more often than Campana.

                      But, I guess his BA was lower, so:

                      [img]http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u7/angrymob.jpg[/img]

                  • ajbulls23

                    Small sample sizes is your answer to everything. Campana may have only started for 2 weeks but it is moronic to pull a hot hitter when your starting line up has a number of hitters hitting below the .230. No excuse for that. That part is pretty simple.

                    • BluBlud

                      I actually agree with you AJbulls23, but not for the reason you are saying. It’s not so much that he benched Campana, it who really more about who he benched him for. He benched him for Joe Freaking Mather. The was the dumb part.

                    • TWC

                      My answer to everything is “you’re an embarrassing douche”, but I thought I’d be considerate.

                      Campana didn’t start for two week — after he was called up he was a platoon player, and not a particularly good one. He appeared in 45 of the first 50 games he was on the ML roster for, and his regression back to suckitude started after his 20th game.

                      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=campato01&t=b&year=2012

                    • ajbulls23

                      Campana was hitting .306 and started most every game until May 21st. Then didn’t start again until June 1st, 11 days later. So 3 days shy of 2 weeks. He pinch hit a couple of times. But didn’t start. Then when he was put back in the line up his avg kept dropping.

                    • ajbulls23

                      You know when you result to name calling TWC you know your argument is weak.

                    • DarthHater

                      I didn’t think I’d get another chance to use this. Thanks, aj.

                      [img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8249/8489339423_99f73a91a9.jpg[/img]

                    • DarthHater

                      Crap

                      [img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8249/8489339423_99f73a91a9_n.jpg[/img]

                    • bbmoney

                      Campana is also not a very good baseball player. Further evidenced by his 0 MLB games in 2013 and his career .605 OPS in the show. Do we really need to keep discussing Campana here?

                      One of the guys we got for Campana is also pitching well in the US already……so that’s nice.

                    • DarthHater

                      For all you other image posters out there, I think I just figured out part of the reason why images get cut off. The further down a reply thread you are, the narrower the field available for your comment. So the same image that fits at the top of a comment thread might be too wide at the bottom.

                      You may now return to insulting each other.

                    • hansman1982

                      “I think I just figured out part of the reason why images get cut off.”

                      Holy moley, took you long enough.

                    • DarthHater

                      Hey, I am the acknowledged master of making images fit, so:

                      [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3673/8763152824_bb5d86171d_o.jpg[/img]

                    • TWC

                      “Campana was hitting .306…”

                      But ZOMG!!!! He was hitting .600 on April 23rd! Dale really screwed THAT up.

                      Campana was a platoon player from the beginning, and not a very good one. Most folks who understand slightly-more-advanced-than-counting-their-own-boogers arithmetic can recognize that your small sample size and arbitrary stats cut-off dates are silly and myopic. You can’t. Shame.

                      I love love love that people still have Tony Campana boners. It amuses me.

                    • hansman1982

                      Defense of a scrappy player who doesn’t have the skills necessary to succeed in the bigs? THIS is what our forefathers were envisioning when they were finalizing the Declaration of Independance 237 years ago.

                      Campana was skidding prior to his 8-day “ruining” by Sveum (which, if 8-days of not being a starter ruins a guy, we really need to think about how good of a ballplayer he actually was).The week prior he had a whopping, .503 OPS to go with a normal .300 BABIP.

                      TONY CAMPANA IS NOT A GOOD BASEBALL PLAYER!

                    • hansman1982

                      “Hey, I am the acknowledged master of making images fit, so:”

                      I was originally looking for a “Go blow a goat” pic…

                      [img]http://funnypicturesplus.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/funny-goat-meme-264×253.jpg[/img]

                    • ajbulls23

                      He started 21 of the first 28 games and was hitting .306 with 12 stolen bases. AGAIN you are missing the point. WHY do you bench one of the few guys on your team who is getting on base and stealing bases when you have a number of other players who are not getting on base or stealing bases. You have a number of other vets you can bench for 2 weeks that aren’t coming close to his productivity that you can bench to find more pop for the line up. Use you head. I am not saying he would be well on his way to the HOF. But it is completely rediculas to bench a productive player when you have an Ian Stewart taking up space in your line up or a Joe Mather, or a Geo Soto. You need more pop from 3B or C. You want your centerfielder to get on base and steal bases, which he was doing. Why bench him at that time. It’s inept.

                    • DarthHater

                      FTFY (now, if I could only post it in the right place…):

                      [img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7314/9202286580_9de84cb7f1_m.jpg[/img]

                    • hansman1982

                      “I actually agree with you AJbulls23, but not for the reason you are saying. It’s not so much that he benched Campana, it who really more about who he benched him for. He benched him for Joe Freaking Mather. The was the dumb part.”

                      If we are using the sample size of April 1-May 25 of last year, putting Mather in over Campana was a good move as Mather was outperforming Campana at that time.

                      It’s similar to the BP discussion this year, we are bitching about Dale’s choice between two crappy players, not Albert Pujols and Bryan LaHair.

              • Timmy

                I really believe that this isn’t his fault – a guy like Castro is a natural contact hitter and hits when he’s protected in the lineup and given pitches. He’s clearly discouraged and annoyed that he has to sit on a sinking ship. This is in part a temperament failing by Castro; they’re paying you millions so do your job. But you can’t blame young players for never seeing pitches because ownership has dictated that the team won’t sign any experienced leaders to improve team morale or help younger players see better pitches.

                It’s like we’re social engineering to lose at this point.

                • BluBlud

                  Wow, so now team moral effects batting eye and what kind of pitches the other team throws. No wonder Theo and Comp hasn’t given up on Baez. I thought the whole time they kept him around because he is talented.

                  I wonder is Moral played a role in Marmol’s decline?

                  • Timmy

                    i don’t know if you ever played little league or college ball, but there’s no question that confidence and morale are key to consistency. no one goes in frustrated and is at their top level. and we’ve built a team almost in order to frustrate current players.

                    • BluBlud

                      I have played college ball, and i can tell you that the team Moral has no impact on my game, and anyone who lets another player effect their play, i don’t want them on my team.

                      Take Big Z. the guy done some crazy things, but calling him a club house cancer or anything else is just plum stupid. When i step into the batters box, the only thing on my mind is the at-bat. I’m not think team moral, wha who said to who or about who, what the guy in front of me did or anything else. I thinking accomplish what I was told to accomplish, and get the job done to the best of my ability. I think moral is a word that should be banned from team sports.

                    • TWC

                      “I think moral is a word that should be banned from team sports.”

                      Agreed. How ’bout using “morale” then, Jay?

                    • hansman1982

                      There’s a BIG difference in mental makeup between little league and MLB.

                    • BluBlud

                      TWC, you are not funny. Just wait til you have a brain lapse, I’m going to blast you with a Darth Hater type attack. Don’t let me catch you slipping. ;)

                    • BluBlud

                      Per Definition.Reference.com, Moral is :

                      1. of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong;

                      Who needs that in team sports.

                    • TWC

                      Heh. Keep digging, Jay.

                  • Timmy

                    the moral of the story is that morale is important for winning

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Wow, I think that you got all three classical logical fallacies into one short statement! Kudos….

                    • BluBlud

                      I beg to differ.

                      The Bull championship teams from 96-98, Jordan and Pippen went at each other constantly. Jordan Hated steve Kerr, Kerr hated Jordan. Rodman was a spectacle, Kukuc was angry about not being a starter and yet the combined for 3 chips in a row. All that in a sport where togetherness is much more important then baseball.

                      The Laker won with there 2 best player going at each other throats and making Diss songs about each other. Tell me team Morale is important. If you getting a paycheck, do your job. If something that someone else is doing hurt you job performance, then you are the one with the problem.

              • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

                Why does it have to be someone’s fault and not the player’s fault?
                This kind of regression happens all the time…

                • Timmy

                  yes i agree with this completely. but there’s also baseball common sense. if there’s no one before or after you who can hit no one is going to pitch to you if you’re a great singles hitter. this guy never sees a good pitch anymore because the rest of the team are sitting ducks.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    Baseball does not work like that. If it ever did, then it has not done so in a long time. Modern pitchers attack the blue zones of individual batters, regardless of who is batting behind them or who is on base.

                    This is also why losing “protection” has no impact on how batters perform: they are just as apt to bat better as they are to bat worse.

                    • BluBlud

                      Good Morning Doc. Long time no chat.

                      I actually agree with this. I think the only impact a player batting behind you may have is when it comes to intentional and unintentional intentional walks. Other then that, it really has no impact.

                      Walking a “singles” hitter, or pitching around a “singles” hitter bacause the guy behind him sucks, makes no sense. You attack his weak zones and if you get him out, then you can also get then next guy out. If he “single”, then you are in the same position you would be in anyway, if you pitched around him, or walked him.

                    • Timmy

                      this might or might not be statistically true, but it’s not real world true. motivation is a crucial intangible. and winners are built around chemistry as much as abstracted statistical variables conducted by quantification and survey analysis.

                    • bbmoney

                      Is it real world true because you say it is?

                • ajbulls23

                  Because in this case it is someone’s fault. Again, I don’t blame Sveum for not winning a World Series or for not making the playoff’s. I don’t blame him for the talent that has been provided to him to coach. I do blame him for the way he has handled himself and the team since becoming the Cubs Manager. The regression we are seeing in Rizzo, Castro, Russell, and BJax is concerning. These are not old burnt out players, these are young talented players. They are getting worse, not better under this coaching staff. How many blown saves does Marmol have? How many times do you keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome. Why do you keep benching Dejesus and Scherholtz (two of your best players) against lefties when the two guys you replace them with (Sapelt and Hairston) can’t hit over .111 against lefties themself? These are Sveums moves. They have 17 blown saves. Why didn’t Gregg pitch last night?

                  • TWC

                    I think it’s cute that you’re blaming Sveum for Brett Jacksons suckitude. Dumb, but cute.

                    • ajbulls23

                      Didn’t they make a big deal about changing BJax swing this year? How has that worked out so far? Look what is happening this year to Castro and Rizzo. Sori’s stats are lower also.

                    • bbmoney

                      Beat me too it. Except I think its just dumb……cute has nothing to do with it.

                      Gregg doesn’t pitch in the 8th often either. Did you even pay attention to the game? Do you even pay attention to who’s on the roster?

                    • hansman1982

                      Wow, so a guy with known strikeout issues comes to the bigs and strikes out 40% of the time but you think they shouldn’t tweak his swing?

                  • ajbulls23

                    No, I think a guy with known strike out issues should have his swing tweeked. But, and here is the important part, if he is working with a good coach shouldn’t his strike out percentage lower and his batting avg improve? Instead of getting worse.

                    • bbmoney

                      He isn’t working with Sveum…..that’s kind of the point, about it being dumb to blame it on him. He’s in AAA, in Iowa, he’s working with the guys down there.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      No. For one thing, batting eye is not coachable. It also is not BJax’s problem: he actually has a good batting eye.

                      For a second thing, contact ability is a fundamental tool. Yes, you can improve it: but although BJax has plus pitch-recognition, his contact skills are far from plus.

                      Most coaching operates without any theory. It’s “well, this player swung like this and got good results, so let’s try it.” In a lot of cases it’s like saying “Well, a car painted blue won the Indy 500, so let’s try blue paint on our racing car.” What is horse, what is cart, and what is just adornment get bunged together in one big “that motion reminds me of Tom Seaver’s in some way I cannot articulate; it must be good!” statement.

                  • Drew7

                    ” The regression we are seeing in Rizzo…”

                    Rizzo OPS:

                    ’12 – .805

                    ’13 – .797

                    And that’s with a .034 drop in BABIP.

                • Internet Random

                  “This kind of regression happens all the time…”

                  You got to get your’n before I get mine.

                  • Internet Random

                    No Gourds fans… shame.

            • mjhurdle

              If Sveum gets the blame for Castro’s struggles, then he must also get the credit for Schierholtz, Sweeney, Navarro, T. Wood, Valbuena, etc.

              Personally, i think the team handled Marmol about as well as could have been expected. Whatever they did worked, because they were able to trade him when no one thought it was possible.

              • Timmy

                yes

    • mjhurdle

      It is hard to judge Sveum due to the level of talent on the team. He makes some weird bullpen moves at times, but again, it is hard to tell whether that was a choice of his, or an attempt to build value in trade pieces.
      I will say that it appears that he gets the most possible out of some of the lesser talented guys. (Scheirholtz, Sweeney, Navarro, Valbuena, etc.) and i am impressed by his defensive shifts.
      Overall i like what i have seen from Sveum, but again, i won’t feel like it is the complete picture until he has a lineup that is built to compete

      • JR

        Yeah I’ve always wondered how much the Front Office tells him what to do with lineups and what not. There have been countless times when he says something that doesn’t add up to what he puts on the field. So it seems there is some disconnect between what he wants to do and the agenda with the FO. I would imagine managing a team when the ultimate goal of the organization is to maximize players trade value is pretty hard to do. And he does say some flat out weird ass things too, but overall I’m good with Sveum at this pt.

    • Timmy

      look the team is a disaster because Theo announced he was going to turn it into a disaster until our kids finish high school. we can’t blame a new manager for being given a bad team that knows it’s built to lose. he’s done a good job considering.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    Nobody has mentioned the Castro error that led to two runs. I didn’t see it, but I’m wondering if it was a double-play ball? Easy play?

    His errors are starting to get frustrating!

    This loss bugged me for 5 minutes, then I realized it’ll get waaaaay worse after the selloff.

    I believe that is 25 losses this year in games in which they’ve had a lead. Wow.

    • wvcubsfan

      It was a pop up into medium left field. Sori was calling for the ball and ready to make the catch. Castro kept going back and jumped into Sori trying to catch the ball. Their gloves collided causing the ball to drop to the ground. So instead of runner at first with 2 out there was runners on second and third with 1 out. Of course the next batter singles to drive in two.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        I think some hearing aids would fix Castro’s fielding problems. Brett needs to have a fundraiser for this soon.

  • Mush

    I was reading Norris’ interview saying he couldn’t believe Cubs didn’t bring in a right handed reliever. Sveum hates them all and doesn’t trust them. Except more moves today folks.

    • http://msn Sacko

      What? You mean we pitched lefty against righty in late innings?

  • YourResidentJag

    An article by Eno Sarris for all of you who get way to hung up on the totality of the bullpen thing: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/kevin-gregg-with-a-wider-base/

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