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Although a rare rough inning from Pedro Strop made things closer than they needed to be late, the Cubs pretty much had this one in hand from the moment Junior Lake’s first inning grand slam reached the left field bleachers.

sept 6 box

Full box.

  • Die hard

    There goes the draft choice – a Bud wise conspiracy – yea I know he’s not supposed to be involved with the Brewers — yea like Braun is clean which by the way should be grounds to impeach Bud — who cares ? Bears by 6

    • MichiganGoat

      Hmmm… Get ready for you mind to be blown die hard…

      Today the Cubs made a deal for a big “Bud-Wiser” sign.

      Coincidence?
      NO!
      ULTRA RADICAL CONSPIRACY between Selig – Beer – Baseball = TOTAL BUD SUPREMECY.

      Next step – rename Cuba, Budba… SIGN ALL THE DEFECTORS (for the right payoff)

      Next step… ABSOLUTE PROFIT

      • mjhurdle

        this….is…..AWESOME

  • Bilbo161

    Jr. Lake!! Part of the answer next season.

    Loved the bunt single after the grand slam.

    • Scotti

      “CHICAGO – It simply doesn’t happen often. A player hits a grand slam and then bunts for a base hit in the same game.

      According to ESPN Stats and Information, Chicago Cubs outfielder Junior Lake is just the fourth player in five years to accomplish that feat. He went deep in the first inning of the Cubs’ 8-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday for his first career grand slam. He followed that up two innings later with a bunt hit, his seventh of the season. That’s the fifth most in the majors — and Lake has played less than half a season. ”

      http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/19673/junior-lake-becoming-a-dual-threat

  • RD

    We would have all laughed hysterically if someone told us Kevin Gregg was going to save 30 games for the Cubs before the season…

  • http://bleachenation Sacko

    Lake, Sweeney, Schierholtz starting out field next year, (possible free agent out there) OR another infielder moves out there.
    Rizzo, Castro..um ok whos at 2nd and 3rd to start season?
    Castillo and we should sign Navarro, catching

    • ssckelley

      Cubs need to acquire a right handed bat for the outfield in the off season. Corey Hart might make an interesting target if he is healthy. I think they start Lake in center and use Sweeney as a 4th outfielder.

      • Patrick G

        I think they need a lefty more. Yea there is Rizzo but Schierholtz and Sweeney are not part of the future(I believe both free agents after next year?). If the Cubs are trying to build for the future and sign someone to a 3-4 year deal when they expect to be competitive with all their RH prospects

        • Patrick G

          Meant to put at the end they’ll need a LH bat

        • ssckelley

          I would not expect them to sign someone like Hart to a 3 year deal. But going into next year the Cubs already have Schierholtz and Bogusevic under control. Sweeney is a free agent but I hope they resign him. All 3 of them are left handed bats, even if you are looking past 2014 any of those players could get extended.

          • Hansman1982

            I wouldn’t be shocked if they included Lake in a deal for Stanton and signed granderson plus Choo for next year. That’s an OF that could do some damage and not break the bank.

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

              If we’re trading for Stanton and Lake was apart of the trade. Lake would be a complete after thought in the overall package that the marlins would receive.

              • Adventurecizin’ Justin

                Well then, I don’t want Stanton!

                • Rudy

                  How bout a package of Lake and Castro plus some b level specs?

                  • turn two

                    No where near enough, Castro has plummeting stock. Lake is fun but in the big picture a non factor here and then b level prospects?

                    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

                      You may be right about Lake. But seriously, the sky is the limit with his potential & I doubt he will be a non-factor.

                    • cub2014

                      Castro’s numbers: 9hr .246avg .638obp
                      Stanton’s: 18hr .248avg .823 obp
                      both are having off years. But please
                      quit trying to get rid of Castro. He will
                      be back to .290 hitter with 15 hr next year.
                      Unless we get Choo our best hitter in 2014

            • Rudy

              I like that but not so sure on Choo… Why not just sign Sweeney, DDJ, or let Schierholtz be the other OF’er until one of Almora/Soler or possibly Bryant/Otl are ready to take an OF job?

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

      Sweeney should NOT be a starter for us next season. I have no problem having him be the 4th OFer

      • Cubswin

        Sweeney has done nothing but perform this year when he plays. If he can stay healthy there’s no reason he shouldn’t start. Only reason he shouldn’t is if we sign an outfielder, if we don’t he definitely should. Still young, shows pop, great defender and team guy

      • marc

        I think using sweeney and shierholtz as the starters getting 5 starts a week and using lake 4 starts a week would be effective. Of course we would still need an impact bat in lf.

  • http://bleachenation Sacko

    hmm not bad idea, I think Theo wants to make a big deal out of finding Sweeney like Schierholtz having career year. Someone like Corey or better could make him 4th of.

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

    I think the Yankees maybe crazy if they consider giving a qualifying offer to phil Hughes. $14M for 1yr if Hughes?

    @JonHeymanCBS: #yanks had been mulling qualifying offer for phil hughes. but how feasible is that now? http://t.co/gcUFh7tjIv

    • ssckelley

      If the Yankees are dumb enough to make Hughes a qualifying offer then I would be surprised if Hughes did not take it. $14 million is as much money he has made in his entire career to this point and I doubt he will find multiple year offers worth much more than that.

  • Featherstone

    Loved Villanueva’s 2.1 innings of perfect relief with 5 punch-outs. Sucked that Rusin couldn’t get out of the 4th, but Carlos certainly picked up the slack nicely.

    • http://bleachenation Sacko

      Carlos needed a good outing, he’s a big piece in BB next year.

    • willis

      Dude, I agree and I LOVED Grimm coming in and taking care of biz. I think if they mold him into a bullpen arm he can stick and be effective.

  • MI6

    I was at the game today, in the left field seats where foul balls go to hunt. Some slick fielding by Barney, Sweeney and Murphy should not be overlooked.

  • Adventurecizin’ Justin

    I liked what I saw from Grimm. He definitely has plus stuff. Dale should have let him pitch the 8th instead of Strop. 5-run lead…why waste Strop?

    • Starlin Backer

      Absolutely. Overuse of Strop last year was likely why he was having an off year in 2013-which is why he was available. We will look back on this trade as an absolute steal for the Cubs.

  • Die hard

    Whoever drinks Bud Lite ought to six pack it in

  • Tim

    Kevin LIGHTS OUT Gregg

  • willis

    And draft position be damned, I hate the brewers. Especially Lohse. Glad the boys tattooed him today.

  • CM

    There should be a definite effort to sign Sweeney in the off season. Dude is a gamer. Plays great CF and has a good AB the majority of the time. For a team searching for inexpensive value, he’s the ticket.

    • http://bleachenation Sacko

      I have little doubt they will sign Sweeney, mentioned earlier this is one of Theo discoveries and he would really like a success story out of him.

  • Lou Brown

    How about some love for Maples? 6.1 shutout innings of playoff baseball, 7 K’s to 2 BB. After the injury delays, I think he is rounding into shape. Our pitching-weak system is not so pitching weak anymore.

    • Jason P

      Until he gets out of short-season ball, there’s no way to know whether his improved walk-rate is a product of worse-disciplined hitters at that level or an actual refinement in his control/command. Short-season ball isn’t *that* much worse competition than Low-A ball, so I’ve got to believe it’s at least some of the latter, but I’m guessing it’s a mix. I’ll still be a skeptic until he proves what he can do in full season ball.

      • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

        Agree with that assessment on Maples. Look at the pitching stat line and it shows Maples only threw 47 pitches to pitch 6.1 innings. The total pitches for the 9 innings for the 3 Boise pitchers was a mere 63 pitches. Not very patient hitting by the opposition low minor leaguers from the BlueJay system.

  • Jason P

    Sweeney should be given a shot to start next year. Even if you set aside the 137 PA he’s had this year and chalk it up to small sample size, Sweeney’s career line suggests he could be an average regular.

    His career OPS is .728, and his wOBA .321. In MLB this year, the median OPS for CF’s is .718, and the median wOBA .316. Add in at least average defense, and likely a very reasonable contract, and I think he’s a perfect stop-gap option.

    I’m thinking for next year, we should sign Choo and move Lake to third. That would give us an outfield of Choo-Sweeney-Schierholtz and an infield of Lake-Castro-Barney/Watkins/Villanueva/Alcantara-Rizzo with Castillo catching. That lineup may not lead the league (or close to it) in runs, but it could be at least average. The bullpen will be better, and if we sign Tanaka as well to bolster the rotation, we may have a shot to grab a wild card spot.

    Keep in mind progress is not linear, and we may be closer to competing than it seems. We were 48-55 at 1 point this year with Samardzija and Jackson pitching below their peripherals and Garza out to start the year. We also have a bunch of breakout candidates on offense going into 2014 (Castro, Rizzo, Castillo, Lake, even Baez or Alcantara).

    Luck goes both ways, but at the point when we were 7 below .500, I think it’s fair to say we had experienced more bad luck than good.

    • http://bleachenation Sacko

      Luck and Cubs don’t go together, the last lucky Cub moment I remember is when Sosa put up his hands on a ground rule double that he could have fielded and it saved 2 runs.

      • http://bleachenation Sacko

        Harry was laughing is ass off

        • Alec

          Best comments of the season^^^

      • MoneyBoy

        Sacko, wasn’t that game against the White Sox?? Didn’t the ball land in the gutter underneath the padding on the wall?

        If that’s the game… I believe that play – or non play by Sosa was pretty instrumental in the Cubs winning that game!

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      I don’t think we’re putting Lake at 3rd when we already have 3 near-ready third basemen, 4 if you count Baez. More likely we move Olt or Vitters to left and the other to 3rd until we find a taker on one or the other. Lake can try to hang in center in the short term. If (big if) Lake can become an everyday player I think he’s ultimately headed to left, but he obviously has more value at center. For all 3 (Vitters, Olt, Lake) I think the Cubs are going to try to find out next year if they can be regulars. One might stay but eventually I think 2 will be traded.

      • Starlin Backer

        I see zero room for Vitters in this organization. Sad.

      • Jason P

        Of those 4, the only one that could plausibly break camp with the Cubs is Olt, and even that’s rather unlikely (I think Vitters gets traded this offseason, and even if he doesn’t I’d rather see Lake start than him). I’m not saying anoint Lake the 3B of the future, but someones got to play there everyday to start next season.

    • ssckelley

      I like Sweeney as much as anybody but his value is as a 4th outfielder. But I think even in that position he can earn himself plenty of playing time and at bats. Keep in mind Sweeney is a free agent and the more he keeps hitting the more money it will require to keep him. Financially it might make more sense to have Bogusevic in that role, he has shown a few things at the plate and he comes with 4 years of control. But unless Sweeney turns into a starter and Lake becomes a super utility player there is no way you keep 2 left handed outfielders on the bench. I still expect the Cubs to go after a right handed slugging outfielder in the off season.

    • jt

      players have ups and downs. teams have depth or not.
      good teams have depth for when good players have downs.
      The Cubs have some good players who can carry the team for a time.
      The Cubs have lacked depth for when those good players are in a down.
      Just before the 2012 trade deadline The Cubs were one of the hottest teams in MLB.
      That caused no one but no one to mistake that 2012 team as being good.

      • cub2014

        Cubs should sign Choo for LF and bring
        back Dejesus, we can get him cheap he
        wants to come back. He would be a solid
        piece if one or two other guys fail. If you
        need a 6th OF you would have Vitters who
        can also play 3rd and 1st.

        • Starlin Backer

          Vitters CANNOT plat third. Did you see him at all last year? Pathetic!

    • Rebuilding

      Lake can’t play the infield at the major league level. If he could he would be doing it during this lost season. A spot start here and there maybe, but not as a full-time starter.

      I would be shocked if we signed either Choo or Ellsbury – they just don’t fit with where the organization is going into next season and by 2015 hopefully Almora and/or Soler will be knocking on the door. A resigning of Sweeney and a combo of Sweeney, Bogusevic and Lake will prob play CF in 2014. Barney will likely start the season at 2b holding it down for either Alcantara or Baez (if Bryant can stick at 3b). Ideally heading into 2015 you have Rizzo, Alcantara, Castro and Baez as your infield. And Bryant (RF), Sweeney and Lake/platoon partner as your OF with Almora and Soler close.

      • Rebuilding

        If that scenario, or something close, plays out you have a ton of money to spend on pitching and you have all of the guys at Daytona very close to the majors

      • cub2014

        I think Choo fits the plan. He can play all
        3 outfield spots. So when Bryant or Soler
        or Almora make it, he can move accordingly.
        (all 3 arent going to make it and all 3 hit
        right handed) Sweeney and Lake will be
        great bench players to have by 2015.
        Schierholtz,Sweeney,Lake might surprise me
        and have good years again in 2014 but more
        than likely they all wont.

        • Rebuilding

          I agree that all 3 are likely to regress. Schierholtz has really come back to earth already. I like Choo a lot, and think he would be a nice addition, but I just think he’ll want too many years and too much money. He seems like a Yankee to me. Ellsbury scares the crap out of me as an injury risk

      • Jason P

        “Lake can’t play the infield at the major league level. If he could he would be doing it during this lost season.” Not necessarily. I think it could just as easily be explained as the Cubs wanting to get him as many reps in the outfield as possible because of his complete lack of experience playing there in the minor leagues. And how can you say with any certainty he can’t play third? I’m sure that’s what we all would have said about his chances in center before his call-up. If the Cubs waited until AAA to move him off of short, it’s hard to believe he could be bad beyond acceptability at third.

        I like Choo’s patience/power combo, but I don’t like his age or line against lefties. The former isn’t as big a concern if the deal’s limited to 4 years, though. It’s possible by the 4th year we could be paying $15 million a year for David Dejesus-like production, but I think that’s a risk worth taking considering what having his bat in the lineup could do in terms of taking some of the burden off Rizzo and Castro.

        And the Cubs aren’t at a point yet, as an organization, where we should be worried about blocking prospects. Even if Choo is signed, the only spots that would be blocked are 1 of the outfield spots, 1B, SS, and C. Even if all 4 of the big 4 pan out (extremely unlikely), we’d still have enough open spots to fit all them in.

        • Dustin S

          If you watched Lake in the infield at Iowa you’d see why they moved him to the OF. He was absolutely abysmal. If I recall he averaged almost an error a game for a couple weeks before they gave him a couple days off and then moved him out there. His value to the team would be a whole lot higher hitting .270-.280 with some speed and pop as say a 2B vs. the OF. But it would be a longshot. It’s pretty rare for guys to improve defensively that drastically at the ML level.

          • Jason P

            In 65 games at third in his MILB career, he’s averaged about an error every 4 games at third. That’s terrible, but he’s only played there 65 games — about a third of an MLB season. Of course he’s going to make mistakes as he’s learning. That’s why numbers that indicate his runs saved with range/reaction time would be much more useful than errors (but of course we don’t have those numbers for minor leaguers).

            I’m not saying I think he can successfully play third in the bigs, nor am I saying he’s the long term answer there. I get that his value is highest if he can become an above-average defender in center. But if were talking about next year alone, I think we have a better chance to win with Sweeney in center and Lake at third (if he can handle it defensively) than Lake in center and Murphy and Valbuena at third. And I don’t think Lake’s lack of reps at third in the bigs is a sure-fire indicator that the Cubs have abandoned hope of him being successful there.

            • mjhurdle

              errors aren’t everything, but when you try a guy at 6 different positions, and his worst fielding % by far is at 3B, then maybe that is your sign that he won’t make a good MLB 3B.
              If needed, maybe he can make that transition and improve enough to be average defensively. but why try to force someone into 3B when you have a glut of potential 3B prospects coming up?

              • cub2014

                Lake in 40 games at 3rd in AAA had a fielding %
                of .920 pretty good seeing as he had only played
                3rd a few games before in his career. Murphy has
                a career .930 at 3rd and Valbuena has a career
                .960 at 3rd. So lets dont say he would be horrible.
                In fact if he had time and experience he could
                probably be pretty good. Remember he was a better
                fielder at short than Baez is currently.

  • CGruegs45

    Yo I need erbody to hit that follow button on the Twitter @CGruegs45 #TeamFollowBack

    • BlameHendry

      Fuck you.

      • hansman1982

        Is team “follow back” like Team Holla Back?

  • ruby2626

    Has anyone noticed that in 49 at bats Lake is hitting .388 against lefties and in 131 at bats against righties .260. Too bad DeJesus and his sub .200 average against lefties isn’t around anymore of course Schierholz is hitting .196 against lefties so maybe the perfect plattoon is still there.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Lake is a very intriguing tools kid. He is consistently under-rated by fans and the web site crowd of so called experts, unlike a guy like Olt. He has more value in a deal than many here think.

  • Bret Epic

    He came up and immediately started smashing everything he saw. Pitchers looked like they adjusted to play to his weaknesses, and he slumped a bit. He ended up making adjustments and started laying off balls outside of the strike zone, working deep in counts, and started having great at bats. His defense needs work, but I also think he has more than enough tools to become a successful player at the MLB level. Great bunter, very good contact skills, decent power, strong arm, very good speed. Most players don’t have the combination he has, he just needs to continue to polish himself as a player. I’m not close to ready to give up on Lake.

    • Starlin Backer

      Couldn’t agree more. It’s almost as if the modern numbers/advanced stats guys want him to fail to prove all their models correct. There are always variations and exceptions. Lake is young and has tremendous tools. Let’s see what happens.

  • Bilbo161

    I’m not sure you want to platoon with Lake next season. He wouldn’t get enough at bats. Sit someone else against most right handers. His tools are needed on offense.

  • cub2014

    In CF you platoon Sweeney and Lake. Lake can
    also spell Schierholtz in RF. He may not hit as
    well next year in fact all 3 may not. But you work
    it out so all 3 get around 400 AB unless one of them
    gets really hot.

  • dan

    The cus for 2014 have alot of outfield options they need to urgade at 3rd and 2nd hopfuy from within. The pitching has to be tweeke but we could put a nice team on the field tell the rookie are ready. Cncentrate on 3rd and 2nd need more power and opp there

  • Rich H

    Hopefully Olt and Vitters go neck and neck for 3rd next spring. Then if Olt wins the job Vitters slides into our corner guy. This year that lack of corner bat off the bench that can kill lefties has hurt us.

    • Starlin Backer

      Again, Vitters is clueless at 3rd!!!

  • http://bleachenation Sacko

    I don’t see us going after Choo. He’s another left handed bat. We have 3 already and they are going to get every opportunity to start. If they don’t and we have Choo then we have another lefty one the bench. No just don’t see it. I agree with a solid right handed bat out there through FA.

  • N.J. Riv

    Corey Hart on the cheap would be nice.

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