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The Cubs gave it up yesterday, so today was their day to come from behind (though not by much). Chris Rusin was fairly effective, and then the bullpen was nails.

The offense slapped Cliff Lee around, relatively speaking, but the hits weren’t the most impressive part …

aug 31 box

Full box.

  • Jon

    Rusin the leading candidate for no5 spot next year?

  • HVAC Bob

    Am I the only one who is bored to death listening to Jim Deshaises?He brings nothing of interest on the broadcast. I miss Bob Brenly. Since Bob is gone, I think Todd Hollandsworth would be a huge upgrade on the TV broadcast.

    • Chris

      Nah I agree – Deshaies is not nearly as good as he was advertised to be. Very bland in the booth…Kasper is salvaging the games…but Brenly > Deshaies

      • cubspong

        Agreed…For now…It took me a few years before I started to really like Bob Brenly. So maybe in a year or two Deshaies will be better than he is now.

        • Cyranojoe

          Agreed with all of you. Where is this guy we were all supposed to really like? I’ve not watched a ton of games, but whenever I catch one, it’s vanilla city. Bob’s ‘tude really helped balance Kasper’s mellowness, but Deshaies seems to just deliver a weaker sauce version of Len, without the great voice.

          Would be nice if this drives Len to have a little more spice in his work, though… I think he could be really great if he brought a bit more personality to the job, even if (and maybe especially if) it’s that geeky/nerdy side that he shows every once in a while.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Did you expect Deshaies to go on blast right out of the gate? I did not.

            • jaslhill

              Kind of. He’s been a broadcaster for, what, 15 years? His job is to provide commentary and entertainment and complement Len. Honestly, what would be holding him back?

              (I don’t mean that rhetorically … I literally mean what would be holding him back?)

              On another note, how in the world do MLB teams get jerseys with name and number so quickly. Morneau was just traded to the Pirates today, yet they already have a jersey for him …

            • Cyranojoe

              If I understand “on blast” correctly, then no. I didn’t expect (and don’t) sharp criticism of the team or players — that’s unusual and if done right it’s special. I guess I expect(ed) more charm? Some people walk into a booth with a charisma that, even if not finely tuned for their new audience, is nevertheless undeniable. Somehow I got the impression that we were getting something more like that. Frankly, I’ve been surprised by the amount of his commentary that falls under the “describe exactly what everybody else saw” category. “He timed his swing and drove the ball into left field.” Why, yes, JD, he certainly did that. Thought you were supposed to be a color guy?

              I’ll be the first to admit I don’t watch a lot of other teams, so I don’t know how he compares to the rest of the league’s broadcasters. Most of the national guys give me the fits with their inanity and inaccuracies, so he’s better than that, by and large. And I’m not saying “dump the bum!” I guess I’m just marveling that *this* is what’s considered hot stuff in terms of baseball broadcasters…???

              Maybe deep down what I want is a booth of guys who deliver a broadcast version of what we get here at BN — insightful, rational, clear-headed, and often funny. :) That’d be nice!

              • Pat

                While still not great, I think he is way better than Brenly was. And if nothing else, he doesn’t try to turn the fan base against the players who are actually good (Soriano, Ramirez), while spending two full seasons telling us at every opportunity how Ryan Theriot plays the game “the right way”.

            • http://bleachernation Vinniethefixer

              People forget even Harry Carry minded his P”s and Q”s his first couple years with the cubs!!!!

            • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

              I don’t need “blast” from my commentators, but I do like to come away from watching a game feeling I’ve learned something, or given some insight into the game or a player. This *never* happens on a Deshaies broadcast.

              This broadcast team provides nothing but platitudes, cliches, and painfully predictable observations (I couldn’t think of a synonym for “observations” that begins with P).

    • Matt R.

      This was a good game by the Cubs, I sat in the field box area on the visitor side and had a very good look at the action.
      Rusin pitched well but Rizzo tried so hard(on back to back players) to give it away…

      Anyhow, when Holly was in the booth, I really enjoyed him during the game(earlier in the year when JD was gone). I think Holly would be a 100X better pick then JD, and i like JD. Just not with the cubs.

  • http://bleachenation Sacko

    Holy.. nice to see Castro hitting and getting RBI has been awhile since he has got 2 hits in a couple games. Looking at Barney’s BA..was he that bad early on this year? He seems to be hitting well lately. Really surprised w Mcdonald and Gillespie, I really hammered them the other day, thinking they are just a waist of time. I’ll take it believe me. I wanted Schierholtz to get some ABs versus lefties, but would rather have the W.

  • josh ruiter

    what do you do next year with shark, jackson, wood guaranteed spots, and rusin, grimm, arrieta, all in line to compete, we got baker on the mend (i know he has no contract, but discount for a year of b.s.?) we got hendricks rising quickly (and deserving a long look), and vizcaino will be back. that is 8-9 guys who will get a look at the least, and that doesn’t include ultra-swing man villanueva. Do we need to bring in anyone this next year or do we sit on our staff for one more year and see who develops and rises to the occasion? maybe we end up with a good 2 in vizcaino, a great 3 in baker, a great 3/4 in twood, jackson as a damn good 5, and only needing one more guy, a true ace. Trade Shark for an Archie Bradley or Taijuan Walker type and we still haven’t thought about Hendricks being a potential 3 as well. That is a very low dollar high output rotation potentially. Just livin on a prayer.

    • http://bleachenation Sacko

      I think they are going to sign another pitcher. Shark Wood Jackson are the only regulars and something could happen to one of them. The others have not done anything ML level lately or not at all except Rusin

    • Stevie B

      They way we churn up pitchers, Id like to into the season 15 deep.

    • willis

      That’s one hell of a prayer…

      Vizcaino is a bullpen arm, Baker is a maybe “prove it” for almost nothing type, Hendricks needs another year, Rusin isn’t the answer, Grimm isn’t that good, probably long term a bullpen arm. I think someone you didn’t mention who will get a look is Cabrera, although I suspect they will give him another chance to start in AAA.

      We could view another “year” of Baker as a FA signing, seeing that he did shit this year and would be a new addition…I think Arrieta has the potential with some more seasoning and instruction to be a good 4/5. So it could very well be Shark, Wood, EJax, Arrieta and Baker to start things out.

      I would like them to kick the tires at least on bringing in another proven arm though.

  • Segal27

    I went to the game today and I got a question. Why is Junior Lake the only one with walk-up music?

    • Fenway Frank

      Not true, Starlin Castro has star wars music and Anthony Rizzo has some racist Italian music.

  • RWakild

    Javier Baez with another homer. Seems like Baez and Bryant hit a home run every day. Can’t wait till they do it for the big club.

    • David

      Man – what if those two guys come up and rake. then Rizzo, castro and Lake hit to their potential???!!! that’s 5 guys out of 8. Castillo catching, that 6 of 8. Possible free agent, that’s 7 of 8. We’re on the right track, dude. we just need an ace and a bullpen – that’s all!!

      • Benjamin

        That’s a lot of ifs.

        • Cyranojoe

          *woosh* ;)

        • David

          Yes, perhaps. Not as bad as saying we need Baez, Bryant, Solar, Almora & Alcsntara to come up and be superstars!! My point was that if we can get 2 of our guys to pan out…..

      • jaslhill

        See, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Passion.

      • Jp3

        And then if we made a trade for Simeon established, that could be 8-8. Wow we’re close😝

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    Does anyone have a video of Castros HR?

  • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

    Brett: in the last podcast you guys talked about the Ricketts willing to spend $ and link with the debt they are paying off. If you could write a piece about that I’d be extremely interested if you could expand on your thoughts in writing. You mentioned that you were kind of waiting for someone else waiting to write about the story and then you could throw in your ideas and add to it I guess. You should never be timid or nervous to write about a story that you think could be controversal. I mean you don’t feel you know enough information about the topic I see your point but I was a little surprised to hear you say you were hesitant to write about the topic. I know you have a reputation to up hold and integrity to writing but you got to be will to ruffle some people’s feathers and it is a good thing to have people question you and debate you to be bring the topic to the surface and enlighten some people.

    Brett I really enjoy your work and I’ve been a long time reader basically since a few months since the sites creation and I’m pretty framiliar with your writing style and kind of when you decide to draw the line in story and what you report. I feel like ever since you had the incident earlier this season with the whole Carlos Marmol meeting in the lobby of his apartment with his agent and someone taking a picture and you shared it in a story you took a lot of heat for that post and it caused quite a stir among the media and baseball world. I mean this with all due respect but I feel like you have very timid which I see why completely. I just hope you never get to nervous to write story bc you think it’s too controversal and want to ruffle feathers. You already know cubs management and players read the site. I know you don’t want to be considered a blogger who is trolling for hits on the Internet and get that stigma but I feel that shouldn’t stop you from taking a controversal stance like questioning the payroll situation and bringing to light the touchy subject of is Theo/Jed being given the resources (payroll) they need to succeed with rebuild? Is ricketts not funding the payroll at a high amount until the debt is no longer an issue and until the renovations are completely in place. I would love to hear your thoughts on that. If write the post don’t have any regrets and I’d say don’t be afraid to piss some people off

    • Blublud

      What the hell are you talking about?

      • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

        Listen to the podcast and you’ll know

    • MichiganGoat

      From the years I’ve been active hear Brett is amazing at avoiding the link-baiting speculation that saturates the market. He’s not going todo something to “ruffle feathers” unless he is certain of its validity. Since he will never have access to the Ricketts financials he won’t throw something out there just to stir debate. This is not ESPN and why so many of us love it.

      • mike

        thanks Shirley.

        • MichiganGoat

          ?

          • Justin

            Mike, you are probably new to BN but you’ll soon learn that goat is Brett’s number 1 fan. In a kinda creepy way I might add

          • spearman

            “Airplane” reference I’m assuming.

        • Jp3

          Mike: Thanks Shirley **drops mic**
          Goat: **dealt with**

          Just kidding of course MG

      • Losing makes u better 62-100 > 75-87

        I understand. I guess “ruffle feathers” was a bad word. I more of less meant not being afraid to make a bold statement. Brett is great and I’m not questioning he does anything wrong but any means but I think going out on a lim and reasonably questioning things with in reason is always a good thing. I understand if you have no substantial evidence to back something you don’t report it but I think in this case with ricketts spending money on payroll I think there is enough evidence to bring the question up of will he spend. Gordon whitmeyer obtained financial documents that brought to light the the ricketts debt issues. Brett never fishes for hit or anything, always has kept a high integrity which that’s what love about BN. I just more or less meant that reporters or bloggers should never question writing a story bc it’s a bold statement and might raise some eyebrows and have people question you. Any great reporter will tell you that the best stories they’ve ever written were the ones that led to much debate. I understand if anyone doesn’t feel confident they don’t have enough evidence to make a bold claim or anything but if your just bringing an interesting topic to light and not making unproven claims then nobody has the right to question you.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Generally-speaking, I appreciate the thoughts.

      On this from the podcast: “You mentioned that you were kind of waiting for someone else waiting to write about the story and then you could throw in your ideas and add to it I guess” – I was talking specifically about Epstein’s comments in that MLBN Radio interview. Not writing about them (I did include it in the Bullets) wasn’t about the controversy, it was about timing and stuff going on in my life that week.

      On the financial stuff, I have written about it quite a bit – it was just a lot earlier this year: http://www.bleachernation.com/2013/04/26/yeah-ricketts-family-debt-service-payments-are-probably-coming-out-of-cubs-revenue/ That’s one example.

  • ryanissamson

    That bare handed play by Utley makes me look forward to instant replay so much. Was what he did cool? Sure was. I would have even been happy for him had the call been right. Should the umpire be expected to make a call that close with the naked eye accurately? No, he should have some replay backup. The “human element” or “that’s the way things have always been done” arguments are just old. We’ve got the tech to do it so lets make this game more fair and accurate. A batter who hits a chopper and runs out the throw should be safe – regardless of whether it was by three steps or a split second.

    Heck, I think it would be awesome to have multiple high speed cameras on bases to get good looks. Might attract new fans.

  • Barry

    Olt is hitting .457 with 7 walks in his last 7 games. I would really like to see him in September at Wrigley.

    • Cubswin

      agreed

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