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Sometimes it’s better that the Cubs aren’t in contention.

Were they in a race right now, my night would be completely ruined. Up 5-0 with Jeff Samardzija cruising in the middle innings, this game looked like a lock to the Cubs. Then the Phillies strung together a bunch of hits, the bullpen gave up the lead, and the bats stopped doing anything. Game over. Cubs lose. Unbelievable.

Or, well, totally believable this year.

aug 30 box

Full box.

  • jamie

    It’s a slap in the face for me when I see Sandberg managing a different team. He should have been the Cubs manager and not Sveum. Pisses me off

    • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

      I know its been said here before, but if Sandberg was the manager the past two seasons, the record would have been just as bad (if not worse) and he would have tarnished his Cubs legacy. I’m glad he’s not the manager during these crappy rebuilding years.

      • Sean T

        Agreed

      • BlameHendry

        yeah, I’d like to see the Cubs make him an offer once they get their shit sorted out and decide they want to try competing again

      • CubbieBubba

        The cubs would be in the world series RIGHT NOW if Sandberg was managing (j/k)

        • Bacboris

          “Who would win in a fight Ditka or God? Trick question, Ditka is God!”

      • Cyranojoe

        This.

  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    Is it just me, or is there no reason to leave Gregg as the closer at this point? It would seem its time to let Parker or Strop have a shot at it. I doubt Gregg will even get a minor league contract offer from the Cubs for next year, so I would think at least he should be cleared out of the closer spot, if not removed from the roster altogether.

    • Sean T

      I’m sure Theo/Jed love Gregg in the closer role. Ups the loss total and gives us a better draft pick. At this point Loss > Win

      • BlameHendry

        well yes, they do love him for that part, but I’d also like to see Parker or Strop get a chance to learn how to close in a throw-away season so they have experience doing it when it matters. The other part, however, is that Gregg is even worse in a non-closer position…

  • BlameHendry

    Holy crap I didn’t realize Halladay’s ERA was almost 8!!! He was once my favorite pitcher in all of baseball but I stopped paying attention to him, how many innings does he have this year?

    Oh and also, Junior Lake is a bad.

  • Sean T

    I think sveum does certain things well such as line-ups, defensive shifts, putting hitters in favorable position, but he handles his pitching staff horribly… His bullpen decisions are highly questionable. I mean to his credit he’s not been given the most talented bullpen but I think the way he handles his pitching staff is highly questionable and will ultimately cost him his job.

  • Sean T

    I wouldn’t pick up Sveums option yr for 2015 yet. See how 2014 season plays out and then revaluate. Personally i think sadly is just keeping the seat warm for another manager in the future. It really sucks for him but I think Mike Maddux was a very smart man turning down the job.

    I think Theo/Jed want to find their own Joe Maddon, and clearly Sveum isn’t that. I really hate judging managers who are given bad teams. I don’t blame Sveum at all for the record but just his body of work when it comes to decision making I don’t like. But we will see what happens

    • Cyranojoe

      A much more reasonable attitude regarding our manager and the selection thereof. I like. :)

  • Rizzofanclub

    Lake is bad and will show us the rest of the season exactly what every expert has been saying since his call up and that is he is not an everyday player. I like him as a 4th outfielder but not as a starting cf. I am starting to get soooo excited for this offseason b/c for the first time in many years I have no idea what the Cubs will do. I could see them saying that they are going to stay course and suck for another year and spend money next year (but next years free agents are worst then this years) while picking up some buy low guys or I could see them pulling a Boston Red Sox and picking up about 6 free agents that will put the Cubs as a team that has a legit chance on really making a wild card spot or anything in between. All I know is this offseason is going to show us where the front office thinks we are in the building process and I am VERY pumped.

  • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

    Shutup. That’s all

  • cubzfan

    Listening on the radio, Pat was not so subtly hinting that the heat was probably sapping Samardzija’s strength, so as soon as he gave up a couple of hard hits, Sveum should have had someone up in the bullpen. Pat said “85 pitches on a day like this is like 100 in mid-May” just before the Phillies starting hitting everything.

    • cub2014

      misplayed all in center and samardijza
      lost his concentration, walking batters
      and missing his spots.

      • cub2014

        “misplayed ball”

  • Dr. Leroy Quackenbush

    How did Lake’s at bats look? Is he still attacking the pitch or is he starting to look over matched? I have watched that many lately but I really like his approach at the plate.

    • MichiganGoat

      The holes are showing more and the legend is returning to reality.

  • http://bleachenation Sacko

    We are getting a definite pattern with Gregg, which is obviously not good. Is Dale gonna f.. around like he did with Marmol? Greg won’t be here next year any way. Let’s look at the bp that will be here next year and see what they’ve got in that situation. Stop this BS Now.

    • cub2014

      dont expect very good results when
      you put in the closer in non save
      situation

      • DarthHater

        So, if the definition of a “save” in the scoring rules was changed, would that change the situations in which a manager should use his best reliever?

  • Justin

    On the bright side, Rizzo and Castro with 2 hits and a walk each. Where has that been all year… Also I like bogusevic as a 4th outfielder for next year. Good lefty bat

    • cubmig

      Rizzo & Castro did have a good day at the plate yesterday. The question is: Can they remain as effective the rest of this season? I’m getting nervous about next year if they can’t show they can turn it around. I know slumps happen, but the ability to adjust and turn things around is a sign one needs to see.

      ….sorry for this very late response, but I’m 8 hrs ahead and feel pretty screwed-up time wise here in the UK.

  • CM

    Scioscia is going to love managing this team.

    • Jason

      Very possible that Scioscia could be our next manager.

      • willis

        God willing.

  • Aaron

    Cubs blow a 5-0 lead over the Phillies this afternoon. This team doesn’t know how to win games, but does a great job of giving them away. Some of this needs to fall back on the team’s manager and certainly the players. Dale is a great guy but I don’t think he’s a winning manager that can take the Cubs to the promised land – World Series championship.

    • Die hard

      Better late than never to realize that the hiring of Sveum was based on US automakers policy in the 50s 60s and 70s of built in obsolescence — that’s why Detroit is bankrupt

    • http://bleachernation FERRIS

      connie mack couldnt take this team there…just to be fair we arent very good and even our young stars are having poor seasons……238-21-70…not aweful but we all thought it’d be much better, and casro 239-7-35….line is far less than the future h.o.f. ppl were talking like on here the last couple yrs. The fans deserve a winning team, next yr i think we bring in choo to leadoff and play left field and bronson arroyo possibly on a two yr deal.samardija would be a great trade piece, and so would castroand poss. shurholtz.., the cubs could land four to six solid specs next july……..then 2015 we would be far better than mediocre and have a top five system. fft

  • Drew7

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/marc-hulet-prospects-chat-8302013/

    You guys seem like you could use a little pick-me-up.

  • Eric

    If you expect to be paid like an ace you better be able to hold a 5-0 lead against a team like the Phillies. For the most part, Samardzija has been pretty disappointing the past couple of months. The heat isn’t an excuse and neither is Sveum.

    • Die hard

      Bears need WR with Marshall out — everytime Shark lined up would be a shark attack

  • Lou Brown

    With the talk of Smardjia wanting to “ace money”, it would be nice if he actually started pitching like one.

    • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

      Samardzija old school 4.00 plus ERA, line one stuff 60% of the time, command of a line five, equals EJAX career results. Question how much is a 200 inning, 4 plus ERA, worth to the Cubs? Please FO weight contract VS. real trade value before signing this guy to long term bucks.

  • Die hard

    That old magic 6 attained by Ryno knowing Cubs don’t have enuf juice at the helm or on the field or bench to get more than 5 — ho hum who cares cause getting a Jumbotron

  • Die hard

    Wonder if Bud Black is looking for a change of scenery ?

    • macpete22

      That would be nice. I don’t think Scioscia would be bad either

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Well some of the critics need to find something else to complain about. Jeff is certainly as valuable as Rizzo or Castro both of which got paid and are certainly dramatically underperforming. Time would be better spent, less waisted discussing just how disappointing and costly their performance as the core this season has been.

    Yes consider Jeff’s trade value, but damn you sure as hell do Starlin’s too, even first.

    As to Scioscia, don’t kid yourselves, isn’t happening. He’s old school and doesn’t want any interference. He also won’t go through the kind of interview they put people through. Zero chance of it happening and people are kidding themselves. If anything the Cubs may extend Dale.

    Interesting how losing, what everyone wanted brings out the vampires. And then people wonder why Hendry and GM’s failed. Maybe its because owners through the years have realized we as fans enjoy bitching and complaining and place a greater premium on that than winning.

    • Eric

      Rizzo and Castro got paid after performing well and have had down years. Shark supposedly turned down an extension to potentially break the bank – distinct differences between those situations. I have no problem with Samardzija betting on himself but his inconsistency has left a lot to be desired when you see what kind of arm he has. At some point the performance has to match up. Not to mention he is not 23/24 years old.

  • Joey

    Yahoo takes a look at a potentially big issue involving guaranteed contracts and the Cubs are prominently mentioned:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/are-mlb-teams-trying-to-make-contracts-more-like-the-nfl-s–132156423.html

    • SenorGato

      Boooo

  • Larry Bittner

    I was at the game. But since its almost 12 I’m sure no one’s reading. A few points. 1) lake made good contact but he hit the ball right at the center fielder. He needs to learn to hit opposite field. 2) Smarj was wearing a long sleeve shirt, WTF? Is he impervious to heat? 3) Dale’s big mistake was not pinch running for Navarro in the 7th. He’s too freakin slow. 4) we didn’t get castrizzated today.:) Big leg kick worked for Castro. Seems like he’s had enough of the swing tweaks. 5) umpires are consistently inconsistent this year. They are awful. The strike zone was every where today. 6) I’m amazed that Murphy stands so close the the plate.

  • Jason P

    I wonder if Olt has played his way into a September promotion. Hitting .357 in the last 10 games. The stat line overall still looks horrible, but I’d like to see him get a shot.

    Other intriguing guys who could plausibly be up tomorrow:
    Ha
    Rosscup
    Lim
    Cabrera (seems like a long-shot , however given his struggles in AAA and already-large innings jump.
    Jackson (40-man roster spot on the line, nothing to lose giving him one more shot)
    And of course Sweeney and Valbuena

    • SenorGato

      Cabrera actually threw 130+ innings twice in a row before last year.

      • SenorGato

        I wouldn’t mind him getting a September start this year btw to see where he is. Cabrera strikes me as a guy who might turn into a very good high leverage reliever and the Cubs are having him throw innings to build arm strength. He did come up and strike out 27 in 21 during his debut last year.

  • Tobias

    I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned this and if they have I apologize, but Matt Szczur will have a full feature on ESPN’s E60 Sept 3rd at 7pm eastern on ESPN 2 per Szczur’s Twitter account.

    • mjhurdle

      best last name in baseball imo

  • sven-erik312

    Last week, I heard Vince Skully doing the play by play for one of the Dodger Cubs games, it was the Wood/Kershaw matchup. In the 8th or 9th inning he took a few minutes and went through all the team stats for the Cub’s bullpen. Yes the RISP stat is a problem, but the bullpen has to improved. going after Sveum at this juncture is unrealistic. Casey Stengel could’nt win with these guys. As he used to say: “What’s the point of having a man excecute if he can’t excecute?

  • TOOT

    I would trade Samarzidah in a second. The guy thinks he is all that when he isn’t. He is no ace pitcher. Deserves no more from the Cubs. The dude has sucker puncher the organization.

    • mjhurdle

      so you would trade Shark for Jake Westbrook in a second?
      or did you leave out a qualifier or two from your statement?

      • TOOT

        I didn’t say all that. I certainly would not give into “Sharks” demands, if that is what you want to call him.(Oh wait, he is a Shark, a money Shark)

        • MichiganGoat

          Or he is trying to get paid as much as possible… because no player in history ever wants to get paid as much as the market will pay him.

          • BlameHendry

            he gambled on himself and lost. Instead of taking the team-friendly deal and guaranteeing himself something like a Rizzo contract ($6-7 million per year for 5-7 years – which i mean come on, how is anybody supposed to live a comfortable life with such a low income??? God forbid!!!), he bet on himself. And lost. He now has less leverage than he did a year ago and the FO is probably happy he didn’t take whatever deal they offered him after all.

            • BlameHendry

              *taking a Rizzo-like contract WITHOUT YET PROVING HIMSELF, nonetheless…

            • Pat

              He hasn’t lost anything yet, since he has one more season before free agency. If he has a really solid year next year, he will get a long term deal for more than the extension offer.

        • mjhurdle

          so you agree the ‘i would trade Samarzidah (if that is what you want to call him) in a second” is a stupid statement without adding any qualifiers?

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