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The Pirates took care of business, and the Cubs’ bats didn’t muster much.

Or you could say this, I guess …

sept 12 box

Full box.

  • Die hard

    Felix Pie looking across field at young Cubs thinking they have no idea what could be waiting for them

    • BT

      Yes, but the corpse of Gabby Hartnett ALSO looks on realizing what ALSO could be waiting for them, further realizing that both his and Felix Pie’s career arc’s are equally important when it comes to impacting Javy Baez’s skill sets.

    • AB

      Pie’s career was derailed by injuries more than anything. If you can’t stay healthy in your early to mid-20s, and its a mix of various injuries and not just one nagging sympton, its a bad sign. Same things is happening to Vitters.

      • Grant

        And Almora. :(

        • ssckelley

          It is a little early to write off Almora as a prospect due to injuries. He is only 19 years old and has plenty of time to recover and have a productive career.

          Vitters injuries has been very bad timing. He is still only 23 years old but this was supposed to be the year he proved he could be a MLB player. He might get 1 more year to prove it, possibly getting into the running for 3rd base next spring or being a right handed bat in the outfield. But with what the Cubs have coming up through the minors Vitters time is quickly running out.

          • ETS

            Also, Almora’s injuries aren’t red flags. Hamate bone and strained groin scare me much less than if it had been shoulder issues.

            • ssckelley

              Exactly, Almora’s injuries are not red flags at all. The Hamate bone is not a big deal and many players play through a strained groin. The Cubs are being cautious with Almora, as they should, since he will get plenty of work in the off season.

          • AB

            “He is still only 23 years old”

            That’s kind of the point. A 23-year old that can’t stay healthy year after year (wrist, shoulder, leg; can’t remember the history of Vitter’s other ailments) usually doesn’t have a future as a servicable player in professional sports, no matter what the sport or the talent level of the player.

      • Grant

        I’m just glad we could help the Pirates in their pursuit of the Cardinals.

  • kscubfan

    Hi all,
    Long time reader (Brian Roberts trade rumors) and long time Cubs fan (got cable in 84 and was hooked since) first time poster (don’t post much and the the last time I posted on a Cubs site it was over run with trolls and I really like this site didn’t want to bring it bad luck) so please forgive me in advance if the same thing happens here.

    I was read/thinking about Junior Lake and was compelled to post. With the Cubs changing the player/development in the minors and Junior having a ton of raw tools (with most scouting reports saying he just needs to be constant) could this be the true Lake effect and no real regression is going to happen. Philosophy has changed so maybe the past isn’t as relevant as it once was.

    Not saying this invalidates past performance but so much has changed in the last 2 years that it throws a new wrinkle into the stats.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I just saw three very large and very ugly people sitting around a fire and arguing about the best way to cook dwarf…..

      • N8theGr8

        Tom, Bert and Bill certainly wouldn’t appreciate being called ugly by the likes of a bender.

        • kscubfan

          Beaty is on the inside, sometimes deep, deep down inside. Doc no question about it “smoking” is the best way to cook dwarf. Adds flaovr and makes the meat tender.

    • Eric

      I’ve followed Lake’s career since the early beginning. The guy has always impressed me with just beastly athleticism. For this year, at best I was hoping he’d get a cup of coffee in September. He’s been really good so far, but I honestly believe he can get better. I think there will be regression but I certainly don’t think it will be as much as some are thinking.

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      I’m with you…I think Lake could be very special.

    • mdavis

      could be just one of those guys that really needed the challenge and hype of the big leagues to rise to the occassion. sure there will be some regression, but we’ve been saying that since the first week he got here. i’ve been impressed, and the thing about him is even if hes slumping, he can drop a bunt and beat it out, beat out a chopper deep in the hole, etc. it’ll be exciting moving forward to see what he becomes.

    • CubsFaninMS

      kcubsfan:

      I switched to this site PARTLY due to the trolls at Cubs.com. One in particular rules the comment board like Kim Il-Sung and has been doing it for years. Although he provides alot of good information, he makes that message board less enjoyable.

      Regarding the Cubs’ organizational philosophy.. we can safely say they are taking a totally-new, refreshing approach to building an MLB organization as opposed to the other owners/managers of the past. You have to admire their efforts to have a plan. Whether that plan will work remains to be seen and will take awhile to bare fruit, but it is certainly looking optimistic at the moment at the minor league level.

      • kscubfan

        Yeah, something of a trend is that when a promotion happens this year that guy tends to put up better number at that harder level. Lake is one, but Baez, Bryant, Volgs and Edwards seem to take off even more.

        Always wanted that to be the case for the Cubs, kind of Braves like. They don’t need to learn to play the game they just need to play. Could be a very fun next few season to watch these guys develop.

  • college_of_coaches

    In other news, Soriano just robbed Machado of a homerun with a really nice grab over the fence at Camden Yards.

  • Aaron

    “You hate to keep beating it up, because the players hear it. But the bottom line is when you hit .220 with men in scoring position, in those close games you just can’t add on. You get people out there, and you lose by two, you lose by one. It’s timely hitting that’s going to end up winning a lot of games for you.” Dale Sveum.

    Last night the Cubs were 1 for 7 with men in scoring position. That represents a .143 RISP. The team will continue to lose alot of close games with not having a roster with hitters who do not perform well under pressure and do not make enough contact and get more hits with runners in scoring position. This is the key stat for the 2013 season.

    Dale can only due so much. It’s now time for the front office to give Dale a better lineup to work him. I understand we have some players in the minors who can steal bases, hit for power, hit for average, etc. and that is exciting to know. But do we want next season to be repeat of this one? Absolutely not. Time for the FO to do something this off-season and bring in at least 1 impact player such as Jacoby Ellsbury or Shin-Soo Choo.

    When the 2015 comes around we’ll have a decent base of players to start adding our best minor league prospects to. Exciting times are ahead. However it’s time for Ricketts to open up the wallet this off-season to improve the major league club to give it a jolt while positioning it for long-term success.

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      Is it true that Dale had Donnie Baseball bunt with runners on 1st & 2nd with nobody out? If so, that’s a very bad decision in my opinion.

  • Aaron

    AJ – Sveum’s decision to bunt with his chosen game clean-up hitter “Donnie” was a terrible call and poor execution on the actual bunt attempt.

    I don’t think Sveum is a winning manager and will probably not be the Cubs’ manager after next season. He was chosen by the front office because he’s a tough guy who can take a 3 year beating on the field. Top management had a game plan from the start of blowing up the team and trade for minor league players with high upside but who wouldn’t be on the team’s roster for at least 2-3 years, That is unfortunate for Dale and his staff, but he does need to do a better job of managing the ball club, even though there is hardly any room for error.

    • C. Steadman

      the trick is to let Sveum go while retaining Chris Bosio…that’s the trick the FO needs to pull

  • SenorCub

    Lake just looks like he belongs in the bigs.

  • cubmeister

    Dale calling for a bunt in the ninth is one of the most depressing and dumb things I’ve seen. Stop it with the bunts. You’re out of the race, two runs down, on the road. Let the guy with some power swing the bat. Bunting is a waste….

    • Voice of Reason

      Cubmeister… Dale should not try to win games because they are out of the race? Talk to the Cardinals and Reds about them wanting the Cubs to beat the Pirates! Dale knows he needs to play his best lineup, especially against teams in the playoff hunt, and try to win every game.

      Dale thought bunting would give them a chance to win the game. You can debate whether or not bunting is a good move statistically, but you cannot say because you’re out of the race and two runs down that it doesn’t matter.

  • arta

    yes, he’s been a disappointment. i believe with a good team he’d still make mistakes/moves he doesn’t or shouldn’t make. at first u could make excuses for some moves, like he’s learning, he has a bad team, etc. but he seems to be getting worse.

  • Aaron

    If the Cubs don’t add any impact players, even just one, in the off-season, and Dale and the same team are back on the field in 2015 and they get off to a terrible start, it could get really ugly in Chicago with fans, the media, etc.

    • Adventurecizin’ Justin

      I believe our minors will supply a couple of impactfuls by then. With the depth we are gaining, I see a trade or two coming that will also add to the mix. I’m optimistic!

  • Aaron

    AJ – I don’t believe while fans wait patiently for an exciting team in 2015 and beyond that the organization can simply write off the 2014 season.

  • FastBall

    I think you are right about Sveum. I doubt the Cubs re-sign him after next year. Reason they didn’t bring in a hi-profile top notch manager was because one of those guys would have gone nuts during this 2-3 year process. Sveum will be back in Milwaukee as the hitting coach in 2015. I think that’s why Francona wasn’t hired or decided he didn’t want the job. He had a choice – manage a sucky ass team in Chicago or at least have chance to win in Cleveland. He wasn’t ready to accept this kind of role. I doubt many if any really good managers would have signed on for this. If you could have gotten one it would have cost a bunch of $$ so why bother. About August next year Sveum will be under so much scrutiny in the media because we won’t be a contender that it will be easy for Theo to whack him and have an interim guy until the off season when they hire the manager they want for the competitive run. Just my opinion on how things will shake out.

  • FastBall

    damn that was a run on sentence from hell. Sorry :)

  • Aaron

    FastBall. I concur. Sveum is a place-holder manager for the 3 years of growing pains for the Cubs as they build a winning team for 2015 and beyond. He was supposed to be a great teacher for our young players like Castro and Rizzo, but that hasn’t happened this season either.

    • gocatsgo2003

      … and I’ll counter by pointing out that Welington Castillo has made tremendous strides with the bat the past two seasons. Same with Luis Valbuena. Neither are exactly “elite” offensively, but they’ve both improved significantly.

      With any luck, Castro and Rizzo are just taking a little more time to adjust to the new approach and will have better results next year.

  • willis

    I would like to see/read what the staunch Sveum defenders/supporters, especially those who hate giving yourself up on a bunt with runners on, have to say about this decision. My company was sponsoring a big real estate event last night so I didn’t see it.

  • Aaron

    gocatsgo2003…good points.

    But what about Darwin Barney’s season…the second under Sveum?

    • mjhurdle

      My biggest problem with the anti-Sveum arguments is that, most of the time, they involve ignoring the good and focusing on the bad.
      I have been labeled ‘pro-Sveum’, and i suppose i am because i feel overall he has done a good job.
      But i do not agree with everything he does. I think some of his lineups are mystifying. I think sometimes he uses relievers in situations that i would not.
      But he does a really good job with platoons, getting the most out of sub-par role players, and his defensive alignments are very good in my opinion.
      I don’t see how you can point to Castro and Rizzo and say ‘see, Sveum sucks at teaching’ and ignore Castillo, who was a sub-par offensive catcher in the minors and is really becoming a good hitting catcher.
      In my opinion, his technique works well with some players, and not as good with others.
      If you want to argue that developing Castro is more important than others, and so we need a new manager that relates better with Castro, even at the possible expense of others, then i could respect that opinion. Because at least then you are dealing in reality.
      It is just hard to take some arguments seriously when the person deliberately ignores the possibility that Sveum is good at anything.
      Every manager has strengths and weaknesses. If an opinion consists of someone believing the weaknesses outweigh the strengths, then i can respect it.
      if the opinion is that Sveum does nothing right, then i find it hard to give it any credibility, even though that causes me to be lableled as a blind Sveum supporter.

    • C. Steadman

      you say Barney…I raise you Schierholtz

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