Hey, how about that? That’s a series win against the best team in baseball, and it came on a walk-off!

Carlos Villanueva’s return to the rotation was about as good as you could have expected, given the quick turnaround, and the bullpen was fantastic from there, outside of one pitch in the 9th (ok, Hector Rondon wasn’t great). Even Kevin Gregg, who technically blew the game, looked good again – the game-tying homer he gave up to Starling Marte came after a long, battling at bat, and came on a great two-seamer just off the outside edge.

Scott Hairston provided the Cubs’ third run with a solo homer (off of a lefty, as he’s done increasingly over the past month or so), and Dioner Navarro played hero on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th.

Other than Gregg’s nominal blown save, the only real bummer on the day is that extra innings set the stage for Darwin Barney’s first error of the year.

july 7 box

Full box.

  • X the Cubs Fan

    Those trades look better and better everyday.

  • Zorag

    So do those ridiculous guys get flipped this year?

    • Bric

      It’s good to know I’m not the only one who thought these guys are just a building block to further trades coming in the next weeks but I wouldn’t been surprised if one or both had gotten flipped the very same day they got traded. And Brett, one thing you didn’t mention is the Pirates mid-season collapse appears to be right on schedule. I don’t usually celebrate other teams’ failures but this one was sweet considering that jack ass Pirate announcer’s comments about Castro the other day. Hey dude, news flash- don’t talk about other teams’ players when your mike’s on unless you want quick and bad karma.

      • dying cubs fan’s last request

        Thats right.

      • Whiteflag

        Can you elaborate? I missed it.

  • wvcubsfan

    Rondon escaped with limited damage; that’s about the best thing I can say. However, I’m starting to see the flashes that help me understand the pick and the roster stash.

    It would be nice if he had a minor strain of the pinkie ligament after today’s outing that would lead to a 60 day DL stint though.

  • BleedCubbieBlue

    Anyone else getting nervous about Gregg blowing another save? I’m thinking strictly from a trade value perspective.

    • MichiganGoat

      The S & BS stat are not really a concern to other FOs. They are looking at his ability to locate pitches and this BS was just a get hit off a great pitch.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Also, I think that the Cubs lead the majors in blown save victories. (That’s not surprising: they lead the majors in blown saves!) But that shows that Gregg knows “when” it’s “OK” to blow a save based on the magical ability to foresee that the Cubs will score first. That comes from relievers creating great team alchemy, and winning FOs will crave that.

        (Nope: I lost my straight face with 3 words to go. Damn, but I came close!)

        • MichiganGoat

          I was laughing I was waiting for you to say SCRAPPY

        • Roggan

          Those guys brewin some run fast potions with their great team alchemy? 😉 Reminds me of the Peyton manning part of NFL’s bad lip readings.

      • @cubsfantroy

        I couldn’t even get mad at Marte hitting that homer. He hit it 4 inches off the plate and got it with the end of the bat. I actually felt bad for Gregg, he didn’t throw one strike and had Marte 3-2.

    • #1lahairfan

      He just got unlucky today. It happens.

      By the way Marte hit the home run on a pretty good pitch in my opinion.

      • willis

        Yeah that pitch was very good. No doubt.

    • Tobias

      It was only his second BS. Marte just got a hit off a good pitch.

    • CubsFanSaxMan

      I would be one of the first to comment about a blown save, but I think that “Goggles” looked good today. Even the announcers commented that the batter hit a good pitch. It wasn’t even a strike. As I said, no concerns with Gregg today.

  • willis

    That was nerve racking but in the end awesome. 4 out of the last 5 series have been won and they were in and should have won in Oakland. Love seeing the team playing better. Even though it’s about to be blown apart, for now it’s fun.

  • jacob w

    Strop no guerrier maybe but probably not

  • #1lahairfan

    Is there an outside chance that we could flip Gurrier for maybe a fringe prospect.

  • Spencer

    I think it’s time for Rondon to come down with pinky toe injured-itis. He’s past 90 days, right?

    • willis

      Something, because he scares the shit out of me on the mound.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Hats off to Villanueva today who gave Cubs 4 good innings and 70 pitches. He looks like he is ready to step right back into the rotation and possibly bring us another nice return on the trading market.

    • willis

      Amen. He kept the Pirates down for as long as he could. Next time hopefully he’ll be extended a little more.

      And don’t look now, but Strop, Parker and Gregg could be a decent back end of the pen. Even with the BS Gregg looked pretty damn good today. You tip your cap to Marte there.

  • #1lahairfan

    Tyler Alamo signed.

  • Farley Flash

    Let us not forget that Marte gets paid to hit the ball and did so.

  • Die hard

    If Hairston can play 1st and 3rd wouldn’t he be logical alternative when lefty to spell Rizzo or Valbuena?

    • brunsmk

      His brother can.

      • Austin

        This Hairston is known to be able to play 2B so he could possibly play 3B if given a little practice there.

        (I’m not sure how his D is at 2B however and if he no longer plays there because of his D then nevermind on that. And this is the first time I’ve seen Die Hard on to something possibly.)

        • Die hard

          You’re not paying attention…. That’s ok — so much to digest on this site and so little time

  • Kenster

    Ya i really dont know how long the FO can stand to hold onto Rondon.. please DL him. They might think of it as him losing the opportunity to learn at the MLB level but I look at it as a possible other pitcher not gaining a good opportunity to pitch in the majors thanks to Rondon blocking them. I would like to see a Casey Coleman or a Yeonnir Negrin get a shot. Coleman really never got much experience in relief at the big level so why not give him a shot. He’s looking good at AAA.

    Also, Strop and Guerrier have looked great. Strop I believe will be kept thanks to the shortage on experienced bullpen arms going into next year.

  • praying the cubs get ready to win

    Any chance the Cubs can trade Garza and an OF for Washingtons Harper?

    • cubbie blue thru n thru

      Can’t tell if serious

    • dying cubs fan’s last request

      Schierholtz >>> Harper.

    • Die Hard Fan Club

      We couldn’t trade half of our team for Harper. Although the Cubs are working hard to get Werth. Castro and Rizzo along with Garza should do it. Oh, and the Cubs have to take on all the salary.

      • Die hard

        What planet do you live on?

        • davidalanu

          Wait… what????

  • Die hard

    Cubs finding a way to win rather than a way to lose– if can play .500 rest of way end up 76-86 which would even get Sveum some mgr of year votes

    • DocPeterWimsey

      No, the Pirates found a way to lose. The Cubs just happened to be there. Don’t you listen to Pittsburgh’s sports talk radio?

  • @cubsfantroy

    I hope they either cut the strings or throw Rondon on the DL. He is getting ridiculous to watch.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Why is everyone so surprised on Rondon? He should be in AA this year, but he will be on the roster for the big team all the way through the year — the Rule 5 draft is just another way to acquire talent in what are already deemed to be non-competitive seasons.

      • Tobias

        Rondon is light years ahead of Lendy Castillo. I don’t blame the Cubs for keeping Rondon on the Roster.

  • Stu

    Good win. It will be fun to see who gets traded.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Since we all agree now that the Marshall for Wood trade worked out well how about this proposal with the Reds. Castro, Soriano, and Garza to the Reds for Cingrani, Cozart, and Hamilton.

    • Carew

      Take out Castro and probably Hamilton

      • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

        Why? Reds need a long term answer at SS and they’ve moved Hamilton to the OF.

        • gocatsgo2003

          Perhaps because we also need a long-term answer at SS and Castro is still on a pretty team-friendly deal? It could theoretically albatross quickly, but he doesn’t even make $10MM in a year until 2018. For now, he’s being paid $5MM, $6MM, and $7MM over the next three years, which is pretty much at the median for starting SSs in MLB.

          • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

            Cozart is the bridge to Baez in 2015. Maybe even play Barney at SS and Valbuena at 2B and Lake at third next year.

    • Die hard

      We all haven’t agreed to anything — and worked out well for whom? And now you want to trade Castro without even trying to turn him around with rest and further instruction? Fickle pickle

      • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

        So you are not pleased with Wood’s performance this year ? Making the all-star team and 15 quality starts are not proof of a positive outcome in this deal for Marshall ?

        • Die hard

          Marshall was a top reliever and bullpen anchor. Bullpen is now adrift and could use an anchor

          • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

            Strop and Parker look like keepers in the pen.

          • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

            .188 AVG, 1.00 WHIP, 3 H in 5.0 IP, 0.00 ERA in July for Guerrier. Change of scenery, hello!

  • caryatid62

    Cubs have won four of the last five series. Competition hasn’t been great (aside from the last two), but that’s still good to see.

  • http://None Cubbieblue29

    Navarro Trade Value ^^^^^^^^^

    • Good Captain

      Is Navarro’s contract a 1 year deal?

      • Serious Cubs Fan


    • jpeck

      Navvaro trade value is 0.

      • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

        yes but Navarro’s trade value is at least
        a couple of prospects. remember Soto?

        • jpeck

          his trade value is ZERO no matter if you hit the wrong keys on your keyboard or not. smarta$$

          • Serious Cubs Fan

            To be honest I think Navarro has more value to the Cubs then to any other team. Mentoring Castillo and helping young cubs pitchers learn situational pitching at key parts of the game.

          • Jp3

            Somebody is very agitated this evening huh? Navarro has marginal trade value and is a nice thrown in piece like Reed Johnson was last year, remember him?

          • Michael

            Yes a switch hitting 29 y/o catcher who is batting nearly .300 along with 8HR’s and 19 R.B.I’s has no value. Honestly this is one of the more idiotic post I have seen.

            • Michael

              Sorry to name call but he has value maybe not much but we got something for Marmol so never say never

              • jpeck

                No problem. I realize that he CAN be traded. I dont see anyone making a push for him and give up anything of value. I think he actually has been with about 4 different teams already. and I actually like the guy. lol.

                • Michael

                  I really like him too, He seems to just hit when he plays And his outs always hard hit balls.

      • Hansman1982

        Navvaro probably doesn’t have much trade value. Seeing how he isn’t a MLB player.

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          I think the absolute max you’d get for Navarro in a trade is what we got for Geo Soto from Texas. But you also have to factor in that Geo was a starter at the time. Essentially I don’t think we’d get much but maybe if we were to make him an addition to an overall larger deal, to sweeten the pot then we might get a little bit better of a return. ex: Garza + navarro might get us a slightly better return then just trading garza.

          • http://www.hookersorcake.com hookersorcake

            Navarro has some value. If I was an AL team I’d look to get him as a extra piece in a Garza trade. He’d be a nice DH/BU Catcher/Bench bat. I don’t think anyone signs him for a starter but he’s ok behind the plate and seems to call a good game. He’s been Garza’s caddy for his excellent run… plus his Babip isn’t outta whack at .282 and his bb/k rates are inline with his career numbers though his bb rate is up 2% His insane 894 OPS is due to his crushing mistakes more than doubling his career ISO power. He’s probably not as good as his numbers, but he may have figured something out. Either way for a team that gets Garza it would assure that Garza would hit the ground running.

  • Tobias

    I wonder if the same people that want Castro gone because of his slump and opposed to Castro playing through this slump are the same people that were pissed that Colvin didn’t play enough and was traded.

    • Michael

      No I’m not, The only reason to trade Castro is if a deal is to good to pass up. Otherwise he will return back to normal offensively but man the mental errors and defense are a bad trend. Honestly if his defense was average to good people would give him more time and patience but with everything together his play has been horrible.

      • jpeck

        I hope he gets better, but here are my feelings. The pitchers have adjusted to Castro, but Castro hasnt made the next adjustments. He continually swings at bad pitches and does NOT walk enough for a top of the lineup guy. Numbers guys will tell you that he will automatically turn it around. I like to see him make adjustments before I say that. BTW: Castro has a very tradable contract and could probably get something for him now, but the trade deadline is the wrong time to trade him.

        • Michael

          I agree with tradable contract I wanna see him take another step forward at some point.

    • mudge

      Some are, some aren’t. There really isn’t a generic point of view here.

  • 5412


    Not to throw a wet blanket on the party but 1-7 RISP again is lousy. When we lose our starting pitchers and closer to trades it is going to get ugly unless that improves.

    We need some help with bats….


    • OCCubFan

      Cubs’ team BA overall is about .240. In 7 chances with RISP, the expected number of hits is about 1.7. That is, most likely two hits, with one hit being second most likely. So, 1 for 7 is not lousy. The way to score more runs is to get more runners in scoring position.

      • Drew7

        This. It’s like people expect 3-8 or 4-11 every day.

  • mudge

    Surplus in outfield – not at catcher. Already moved Clevenger.

  • ajbulls23

    RT @Ken_Rosenthal: #Cubs getting minor-league pitcher from #Nationals for Scott Hairston. Will be announced in morning.

    • Dustin S

      Kind of surprising since he was signed for next year also, but any pitching prospect depth is a plus. The more closely I’ve been tracking our farm system lately, the more I’ve realized how bad the state of pitching really is. Hairston’s recent minor hot streak probably helped build the Nats interest a bit to at least get something for him. Now I’m just curious to see what the A-ball name we’re getting back is.

      The other interesting part will be who takes his place. I’m not sure where they got the info from, but in the CBSSports article on the trade they said “The Cubs are projecting that prospect Junior Lake will be their righty-hitting platoon outfielder next year.” It’s kind of been assumed that if Lake makes the bigs it will be as a bench/platoon kind of player, but that is the first time I’ve read that the Cubs are actually projecting him to platoon next year.

      • Dustin S

        Adding a bit to this (Heyman also is where the Lake info came from):

        RT Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS 3h
        #cubs chip in small $ (less than 500 grand) toward hairston’s ’14 pay. #nats pay all in 2013. hairston deal was $5M/2 yrs

        So quite a bit of salary relief for a guy hitting .163 and barely playing. That’s what I meant by surprising that the Cubs got another team to take him, since his salary looked bad in light of this year.

      • ChicagoMike702

        Hopefully Lake is a September call-up this year. Only 32 games so far this year but he’s playing real well.

      • Turn Two

        No need to be too curious on the aball name, this was a salary dump. Surprised the cubs aren’t the ones sending an extra player considering this was a redo on a contract we clearly weren’t going to use.