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The Cubs homered three times, ending their scoreless streak at Wrigley Field, but it wasn’t enough, as they fell in 11 innings. Jeff Samardzija once again wasn’t quite as sharp as you’d like him to be, and Eduardo Sanchez couldn’t hold the Reds down in the 11th after a nice stretch of innings by the rest of the bullpen.

Those two 11th inning runs were aided by a ball that got between Donnie Murphy’s legs (though he did homer) …

august 13 box

Full box.

  • Walter Sobchak

    Ok Ok Ok……..can we please hope that The Shark(Minnow) has a few more good starts so that we can hook up a great trade this winter….. this is not an ace pitcher….this is not a #2 or #3 ……this is a 4 sometimes 3……a good game every 4th start does not mean he shows potential….it means he is a 28/29 yr old #4 starter who is not consistent….as much as everyone wants him to be great its just not gonna happen……he has minimal control over the strike zone and gets hit HARD a lot…….these are the trades that need to be made when other teams still see the potential that I hope this FO is starting to realize is just not there……Sorry Im just done hearing how the shark/minnow will put it all together soon

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      I think/hope Shark will improve as the team/offense improves. Just a gut feeling…but if he has more confidence in his team, he will get sharper.

      • willis

        I think there may be something to that actually. I don’t think Shark is the smartest pitcher around, he throws more than game plans. But his stuff allows for him to get away with it at times. I also think when you compound the pressure of having a poopy offense with that, it can lead to overthrowing and trying to be just perfect. Against good lineups that’s going to lead to some struggles. Good point dude.

    • JM

      Can we PLEASE not get into this ” he’s a 1, 2, 3, or 4 pitcher” stuff again.

      For now, he is what he is. Let’s let the front office decide.

      If you want to get into the trade him or not discussion, there are plenty we’ve already exhausted!

      • waittilthisyear

        thank you

  • Jp3

    STFU Donnie.

  • Jon

    3rd in the fecal league now!

  • Ben

    The glaring issue with this team is lack of production from the do-called core. Rizzo and Castro, where are you?

    • ssckelley

      I think Castro has been fine, he has been hitting his usual stuff lately and I think we need scale back our expectations of what Castro can do at the plate. Rizzo has been disappointing, he may not be that offensive beast we saw when he first got called up. His struggles against left handed pitching is glaring, when the game is on the line all the other team has to do is bring in their best lefty and game over. But on a good team Rizzo can be that good glove first baseman that can hit for decent numbers, right now he is being asked to carry the team. Next year it would not surprise me to see the Cubs sign a right handed bat who crushes lefties that can play both at first base and the outfield.

      • Chad

        I think this is the key. Castro and Rizzo are not going to be superstars. On a good team they will be very good players, but we should not expect them to be superstars. Otherwise you probably would have seen even bigger contract extensions.

        • On The Farm

          I think that is reasonable, these guys are superstars on their current team, but I think it is very feasible that Rizzo on a good team would be comparable to Jay Bruce. I think that is a real good comparison, Bruce and Rizzo struggle to hit lefties, but still provide you 30 HR power, have the ability to hit in the .280-.300 range for average, and so on. Castro on the other hand has a chance to be a more valuable player because his ability to hit a SS could make his a superstar. If he is an All-Star two out of every three years, that is pretty much a superstar. I think some people need to temper expectations of our core. They have an opprotunity to be really good players, we just need to let them grow into their roles.

          • Chad

            Is it really a superstar if you are the only all star because every team needs a representative? Would he have been an all star if we had another player that actually played to a level of an all star? I don’t know, and Starlin’s numbers will likely improve when the team around him is better, but I just don’t think he’s a perennial all star.

  • Ben

    *so-called

  • caryatid62

    I think the most important thing from last night was Epstein’s comments about having to be very selective in free agency. This team is set for only a $55 million payroll next year and they’re already talking about being selective and “not going crazy.”

    Mooney called them a “mid market team.” Teams with $55 million payrolls that talk about being very selective in free agency because there’s not much money to spend aren’t mid-market teams. They’re small market teams.

    (Cue the chorus of “they’re finally doing it right! Free agency is a disaster!” folks….meanwhile, Darvish, Cespedes, Puig, Ryu, and others say hi.)

    • ssckelley

      55 million is a small market teams budget.

    • cubchymyst

      I would not call Darvish or Ryu free agents, they required 1 time blind binds. Schierholtz has outperformed Cespedes this year. Puig hasn’t played half a season yet and his BABIP is still above 0.450 (it is getting to the point that it is impressive it has remained so high). Lets wait until after the Cubs sign a few free agents before we start complaining about them not spending money in free agency.

      • Caryatid62

        Those are nice excuses, but it all comes back to money. This ownership was/is way too highly leveraged in their purchase of the team, and it has set back the rebuild a number of years.

        • cubchymyst

          Those are excuses those are facts. A one time blind bind is not a bidding war, it is lets try to guess our opponents number and beat it slightly. They were heavy on Sanchez last year for a number close to 80 million, but he preferred to play in Detroit. The front office has been active in free agency and done a nice job bringing in players. Just this past year the FO added Schierholtz, Feldmann, Fujikawa, Baker, Hairston, Jackson, and Navarro via free agency.

          • cubchymyst

            *Those are not..

        • Cubbie Blues

          They are highly leveraged for a reason. It was a stipulation in the contract when buying the team. It’s also a reason why many suitors backed away.

          • caryatid62

            That’s total speculation. And, if true, the leverage associated with the purchase could have been paid off using other funds after the purchase. From what we can tell, the ownership is actively using revenue generated by the team to pay down debt.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “(Cue the chorus of “they’re finally doing it right! Free agency is a disaster!” folks….meanwhile, Darvish, Cespedes, Puig, Ryu, and others say hi.)”

      There isn’t a single person who says that in the way you’re saying. At most, they would simply cherry pick right back at you and say Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols and many others say hi.

      I think you’ve exaggerated Epstein’s comments, about which I’ll be writing later today.

      • hansman1982

        Yes, no matter how much money you have, you still have to spend it wisely. Basically, Theo is telling FA that just because the Cubs have a ton of money to spend ($40-50M next year), it doesn’t mean they are going to go crazybuckets.

        • caryatid62

          They’ve flat out missed on multiple players that could have helped this team both now and in the future. I, for one, do not think that it was the Front Offices choice to make lower offers to these players–I think they were hamstrung by an ownership group that is having a more difficult time than we think paying the bills.

      • Oswego Chris

        Brett, you should be doing a touchdown dance this morning after Theo validated your speculation on his strategy…

        Reading this little tussle about the ownership and money, let me just say that I am in the process of doing research for Reason 105 for the 2nd edition of my book and Theo is not crying poor, it’s just that the Cubs\Ricketts family would be in much better shape if not for Sam Zell.

      • caryatid62

        I’ve seen that written multiple times in these very comments. Every time the team misses on a player, there are defenders of the miss, stating that, in some way, that was part of the plan and implying that the Cubs should not go after free agents “until we’re ready to compete.”

        To say that they should have gone after every and any free agent is ridiculous. To say that the Darvish, Cespedes, et. al. misses were not massively problematic to the rebuild is entirely another.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I try not to veer too much in one direction or the other – I’m a middle ground guy – but, ultimately, I am also disappointed that the Cubs did not land Darvish, in particular. I imagine the front office is disappointed, too.

          • caryatid62

            …and this is where I’m at. I’m getting more and more disillusioned with this ownership group. For all their “we grew up in the bleachers!” posturing, they are clearly underfunded, and clearly did not have the political skill to negotiate a deal with the city/alderman/et. al. in a timely fashion (they should have better anticipated the level of ruthlessness and greed in the alderman’s office).

            So far, judging them by the factors that make up good ownership, they’ve failed more than they’ve succeeded. Time will tell if they can right the ship, but as of now, it’s not an impressive body of work.

            • mjhurdle

              “So far, judging them by the factors that make up good ownership, they’ve failed more than they’ve succeeded.”
              I would disagree with this.
              They haven’t been perfect, but they have done a pretty impressive job of turning around the direction of the team. They have hired competent people to run their franchise, and this has resulted in a better minor league system (in terms of prospects, scouts, coaches, etc.)
              They have gotten approval for some much needed renovations (and i have a hard time holding the current Chicago political situation against them).
              Again, not saying that they are perfect, but it seems to me, in my own layman’s opinion, that the Chicago Cubs are vastly better off today then they were 5-10 years ago, which indicates to me that the ownership is doing something right.

              • caryatid62

                I tend to think that being in better shape than they were 5-10 years ago is a pretty low bar.

                The Epstein hire was a great move. That’s pretty much the only impressive thing I’ve seen from them that couldn’t have been accomplished by any of the other suitors the Cubs had in 2010.

                As far as the political situation in Chicago, you absolutely can blame them for it, not because of what happened, but because they couldn’t have anticipated what would happen. It’s not like Chicago’s political situation was news to anyone. They needed to better anticipate what the environment was like and bring people on staff who could have effectively worked within the corrupt system to get the best deal for the team. That’s a pretty massive political mistake.

          • Jon

            That’s like being disappointed you didn’t win a 150K bid you put on a house that is worth 375K

    • college_of_coaches

      To begin, we are dealing with multiple levels of interpretation here, beginning with the way that Mooney chose to present the discussion. Then, of course, there is the way that you and I (and the rest of the BN world) choose to parse Theo’s words. Remember, these words are mediated by Mooney, and it is important to acknowledge the impact of his added comments on our own interpretations. But for me, what is more interesting is the fact that Theo has always been tight-lipped and very careful about what he says to the public. If the Cubs were in fact going to operate as a mid/small-market team, would he actually admit this publicly? What advantage would this create? What would be the point? In short, I suspect that this was not what Theo meant.

  • Cheese Chad

    Who’s out there to go “crazy” on?

    • Rebuilding

      From last night: “I was reading a little more about Abreu from Cuba tonight. It seems that The Davenport system has attempted to translate Cuban numbers into their major league equivalencies. For example, the system predicted that based on his Cuban numbers Yeonis Cespedas would hit 258/319/471 and Cespedas’s career numbers so far are: 262/328/469 – that’s about as close as you can get. The Davenport system estimates the following line for Abreu: 358/468/754 based on his 2011 season – basically Barry Bonds from 2001-2004

    • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

      Exactly, thank you. Most of the people that complain are the same people that wanted to sign Pujols or Fielder and then sign Hamilton and others. How would that have worked out for the Cubs. So they missed out on a couple foreign players NEWSFLASH so did almost every other ball club.

      • caryatid62

        No, they are not the same people.

  • Walter Sobchak

    JM what is not to get into ? This is a site for fans is it not? This is a site for fans to express is it not? Theres really not much of a discussion …..at no point in time has shark show any type of consitency between 2 starts…..hold on to him till 2015 and hope he improves….no extension and see what happens…..but openly put him on the market this winter

    • Jp3

      Calmer than you are

  • Lokanna

    Thanks for starting my day with a smile. Anytime we can fit a Lebowski reference into the EBS is a good time for me.

  • Walter Sobchak

    I dabbled in pacifism myself once……not in Nam of course

  • JOE

    I missed the game yesterday, but the thing that sticks out to me in this box score is the combination of Rizzo/Lake/Castro putting up a big goose egg in the hit column…. ouch.

    • willis

      I mentioned that late last night. I got to see the first little bit then hopped a bird over to Atlanta so missed some of the game, but that’s the thing that jumps off the page. The 0-fer from those three is quite disheartening. Losing is awful regardless. But it’s a little more tolerable this time of year when your future is playing well. Add Shark’s bummer start into what you mentioned, sad panda I am.

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