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Unlike this afternoon’s game, the Cubs had more than a couple chances to break through tonight, including the obligatory teaser rally in the 9th. But a lack of clutch hitting – and some ill-timed bunting – conspired to keep the Cubs at bupkis. That’s a shutout for the doubleheader for those scoring at home. Which is no one. Because anyone scoring at home today has already long died of boredom.

Michael Pineda looked pretty good tonight, and the ball wasn’t really flying much. Travis Wood was hit hard quite a few times, but didn’t actually give up a whole lot of damage – just a crap-ton of singles. At least Zac Rosscup had a nice outing in his one-day look-see.

As for the game …

april 16 box 2

Full box score.

  • CeeDeeVee

    If there’s one thing I hate, it’s freaking pop-ups! Unbelievable. How many were there? About 10-15?

    • burque

      No kidding and how many broken bat singles did Wood give up?

    • Don Eaddy

      Combine Travis Wood’s 44.9% flyball percentage with Michael Pineda’s 45.2% rate and that game is what you get….

  • Jojo1691

    What is Kalish’s roster situation, can he be sent down? I wouldn’t mind a Vitters for Kalish swap

    • Jason P

      I wouldn’t mind a [insert outfielder here] for Vitters swap. I don’t care. Take any one of them.

    • ROCKME12

      Why is Kalish on the major league roster!!

  • itzscott

    The Plan is working to perfection….. This is a really, really, really bad team. I can’t imagine them not getting the #1 draft choice next year.

    O/T…. It wouldn’t surprise me if Alcantara gets called up before Baez does.

  • diamonddon

    Same old problem Cub’s have been having for years, can’t hit with runners in scoring position. Unless they improve this problem, they will not win many games.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      People can keep barking up this false tree all they want, but hitting with RiSP is *not* how teams score runs, and it’s not why the Cubs aren’t scoring. Again, the Cubs have 3 fewer hits wRiSP than you would expect given their batting average otherwise. Randomly drop those three hits into Cubs games, and there is a really good chance that they get zero extra victories out of that.

      However, there is a key RiSP number that tells you why the Cubs are not scoring: 119. That’s the number of *plate appearances* that the Cubs have wRiSP. It’s the 7th worse in baseball, and it’s 24 lower than the *average* for NL teams at this point. Why? Well, they don’t take a lot of walks, and they are not getting a lot of doubles.

      This isn’t a question of the Cubs being bad rifle shooters: it’s a case of them bringing rifles to a fight where the winners use machine guns.

      • itzscott

        I think that’s a great point. If they had more runners in scoring position they’d have more opportunities which would likely turn into more runs and the whole conversation about not being able to score with runners in scoring position would be moot.

        • willis

          It is a great point. And with a better roster, that can happen. Right now the roster is just poor. So we’re seeing this.

        • FFP

          Gentlemen. BB, SLG, PA; not merely AVE.
          Doc’s comment was about machine guns. And we just report back with storied but incomplete weaponry?

          • FFP

            Meant for double d and Edwin

      • diamonddon

        I think the Cardinals led the majors in batting average with runners in scoring position. Look how their season turned out last year.

        • Edwin

          A team can hit .400 with risp but if they rarely actually get runners into scoring position, it doesn’t matter.

          If the cubs want to score more runs they need to get on base.

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          The Cardinals also did a lot of other things very well.

          If ba/RISP was a good correlate with winning, the Cards would have won 110 games.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Indeed, the Cards actually won *fewer* games than expected given their overall numbers. (Relatively poor hitting in high leverage hitting throughout the first part of the season contributed to that, although a late spurt brought their high leverage BA over their overall BA.)

            At any rate, the Cards had the highest BAwRiSP in over 30 years. Literally scores of other teams have made post-season some other way.

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              Damn logical thinking and facts.

      • Medicos

        DOC PW: What was the # of “plate appearances” with RISP last year when the team was among the NL leaders in doubles and HRs, but near the bottom in singles???

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Last year the Cubs were 5th to last in PAwRiSP, with 119 fewer than average for an NL team. The Sox led MLB with 417 more PAwRiSP than the Cubs (1847 vs. 1430). Hence the machine gun analogy: the Sox got only 3-4 more hits per 100 PA with RiSP than did the Cubs but doing that so many more times resulted in a lot more “clutch” hits.

          • Medicos

            DOCPW: With that reasoning how do u analyze that the White actually lost games than the North Siders??? Shouldn’t they have finished with a better W-L record???

            • Brocktoon

              The Red Sox

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Yes, the other sox had all of 1 more PAwRiSP than did the Cubs. Given that they are an AL team, that really sux.

              (I was comparing the Cubs to a good offense that was heavily influenced by the current FO: the Sox led MLB in that number.)

              How about this convention: Sox = Red Sox, sox = ChiSox?

      • ssckelley

        I see you keep making this argument over and over, basically the crap you shoot is just another way to say the Cubs stink. When you are 0 for flipping 9 with RiSP us fans have the right to bitch, a few of those PA were with a runner at 3rd with less than 2 outs. Even if the Cubs would have hit a putrid .111 w/RiSP last night they would have been playing extra innings, heck if Kalish could have done anything but strikeout they could have been 0-7 w/RiSP and still had a tie game!

    • willis

      Well, the FO has to actually try and put good players on the roster for this problem to go away. They haven’t been able to do this for years, because the FO hasn’t been able to add quality to this roster. Expect it to keep happening.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    I just made a post on the message board. Soon the pressure to bring up the kids and dump the under performers will be overwhelming.

    regards,
    5412

  • ClevelandCubsFan

    Unbelievable when Castro singled, Valbuena walked, then 1-2-3.

  • cubs2015

    I’m all for the not bunting, but if Kalish more or less makes contact with runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out they at least score a run… Next time Castillo just popped up so then it was 1st and 2nd 1 out and now Kalish has to get a hit. The percentage to score has to be higher with 2nd and 3rd 1 out than 1st and 2nd doesn’t it?? Like I said I’m all for letting them hit but with how they were hitting today I can understand why RR bunted

    • cubs2015

      Just saw post game comments from RR said Castillo bunted on his own in the 5th, so there’s that…

    • ROCKME12

      Who put Kalish on the roster!!!???

      • Medicos

        Mrs Kalish his mother

        • ROCKME12

          Embarrassed again! Please sign someone that can play the game of baseball!!

  • Kycubs

    I just wish they’d stop giving up free outs on sac bunts. Somebody tell Renteria to do some research.

  • FFP

    Bosio. Good work.
    Rosscup. Good work. See you again soon. (Sit down, Jacoby!)
    Caught the 2nd game on a distant, NYNY AM radio broadcast. MIxed feelings about that. I’ve missed long drives with the game zizzling along with the truck tires–the static making the game nearly unintelligible under high voltage lines and overpasses. But, the broadcasters themselves were bit of a trial (The Yankees are the Cards to me. Brash bragging bastards.)
    And then there was the bunt attempt. And then there was the hope anyways. And then there was the score.

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    FUCK ING SAC BUNTING WITH FUCK ING WELLINGTON CASTILLO

    • itzscott

      I KNEW they’d have problems when the bunting competition went away with Sveum.

      • Funn Dave

        hahaha

      • Kev

        +1,000,000

  • willis

    At least we got to see the future left hand stud tonight. Soon enough they’ll hopefully dump the trash and get Rosscup up in Chicago for good.

  • Jason P

    Just posted this on the Pregamin’ post, but I meant to post it here…

    I think we definitely have something in Rosscup. But unlike most on these boards, I don’t have a problem with keeping him in AAA until mid-season. He legitimately has some control issues that he may be able to work out with more time in the minors.

    I think Wright will be fine as long as this velocity ticks back up to where it’s been in previous years. If it stays at 88, we could have a problem. Russell sucks and has sucked 4 out of his 5 big league years, so I wouldn’t mind seeing Rusin get his shot.

    If Kalish doesn’t heat up soon, Vitters should get the call. Our outfield desperately needs slugging.

    • willis

      He showed stones tonight though. 1 day appearance, in Yankee Stadium, against Ellsbury with two on. Awesome stuff.

      I’d rather see him sooner than later, but there’s no where to put him right now so we’ll have to wait awhile anyway. He has a live arm though. He’ll be a good one for this organization.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      …but if Rusin can’t prove it in AAA why would we expect him to surpass Russell in the ML. both have career OPS splits against righties just over 850 and look like Loogy pitches (more of Russell’s numbers come against MLB players). It is probably time to accept that Russell can’t go against righties w/ sufficient stuff and should generally be reserved for lefties only.

      • Jason P

        Yeah, to be honest, I don’t really care Rusin or Russell. I don’t think either have long-term ML futures, but if Russell stinks up the joint sufficiently, at least Rusin can go a few extra innings and save the bullpen when we’re getting blown out or blowing someone else out (lulz).

  • Blackhawks1963

    Many prognosticators said the Cubs would be the worst team in baseball this season. And that the offense and outfield situation would be putrid. Well guess what, they were right.

    • 70′s Cub

      Really don’t think the Cubs would miss Barney does not have a big league bat and Sweeney does not drive the ball weak out field bat. Those two should be replaced ASAP and have no business in a starting MLB lineup.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The Cubs are nowhere near as putrid looking as the Mets, DBacks and Astros right now. The DBacks in particular are absolutely appalling: the close games we whine about losing are moral victories for them right now. (This cannot possibly last: no pitching staff can continue to give up HR and walks at this rate before euthanasia laws take effect.)

      ((Oh: I’ve just been informed that Arizona’s Euthanasia For Crummy Athletic Performance Laws were struck down.))

      • Jon

        The mets have an even run differential. I’m not sure how they are more putrid than the Cubs

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          It’s because their GM decided to go all White Sox and DO SOMETHING this offseason.

          Err…wait…um…

        • DocPeterWimsey

          A -0.112 net OPS is pretty putrid. The Mets only got back to even on RD courtesy of the DBacks, who gave the Mets +15 in RD in three games without the Mets doing much to elevate net OPS!

          The DBacks are the truly astounding team right now. Yes, it has been only 2 weeks, but good teams should have even 2 week stretches like this.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Whoops: correct that. The DBacks helped elevat the Mets netOPS by nearly 0.05 in just three games. Ouch.

      • Kev

        Four game series with the D-Backs coming up! I guess we’ll see how things stack up.

  • David

    Funny how we all want to draft and sign free agent pitching.

  • Jon

    It’s really this simple, the outfield of Schierholrz, Ruggiano , Sweeney, Kalish, Lake…2 of these guys are backups at best on a standard MLB roster. The rest are AAAA players. When you field a roster like that, these are the results. 2014 is a deliberate tank job, there is no argument otherwise

    • Voice of Reason

      Thank you, captain obvious.

    • FFP

      “there is no argument otherwise” therefore the rest of this comment is blank.

    • Blackhawks1963

      I don’t think anybody would disagree with you Professor. To include Theo, Jed and Ricky. The insane love affair certain Cub fans had for non big league capable Ryan Kalish shall be officially dead a whole 3 weeks into the season. Sweeney is playing like the journeyman AAAA ballplayer he forever has been. Ruggiano is a 31 year old nobody. Lake is a spare outfielder at absolute best. Schierholz is by far the best of the current outfielders, but is a platoon player only. Meanwhile Olt is exactly what most people said he was. A faded prospect who doesn’t make nearly enough contact and is a fringy utility 3rd base / 1st base type at best.

      Patience Grasshopper

      • Jon

        Three years into the job and the offense is still a laughing stock. Meanwhile in one offseason Rick Hahn has turned the WS offense from putrid to one of the best in the game. Seriously man, it’s time to stop canonizing these theo/Jed. It’s possible they aren’t their smartest guys in the room

        • Jason P

          Let’s give it a month or two before we call the White Sox offense “one of the best in the game. We’re still only about 2 weeks into the season. Alexei Ramirez is hitting .415 and Dunn .294. They’ll come back to Earth.

          • Jon

            They have scored the most runs in baseball, so even if they normalize, good chance they remain top 10

            • Jason P

              To their 29th ranked offense in 2013, they added Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton. Solid additions, sure, but not enough to transform them into an elite offense unless some of the other guys play way beyond their abilities.

              • Rebuilding

                Gillaspie is much better than the black hole they had at 3rd last year. Flowers revamped his approach and looks like a different hitter. De Aza and Viciedo in LF is a nice platoon. Semien provides more offensively than Beckham. Garcia was an upgrade before he got hurt. It’s not just Eaton and Abreu. The White Sox are superior to the Cubs at every position on the field

                • YourResidentJag

                  Some of how the White Sox got their though was by taking some of the risks I’m not sure I see this regime taking. Trading for Eaton, resigning a SP like Danks, signing a 27 year regardless of where he plays to a big contract…so there’s that.

                • Jason P

                  They had Gillaspie last year. He’s like a clone of Luis Valbuena playing beyond his abilities in 52 at bats this year. Flowers has a 5% BB% and a 42.5 K%, yet he’s hitting .342. Let’s see how long that lasts. Semien has a .290 OBP and is yet to show anything to suggest he’s significantly better than Beckham. In 1273 big league AB’s, Viciedo has a .309 OBP while also being one of the league’s worst defenders in left.

                  I know they’re better than the Cubs, I just don’t think they’re “good”.

                  • YourResidentJag

                    I think they are good. Sale, Danks, and Quintana are better than the Cubs top three and will be around for a while. Abreau and Garcia are solid players and Eaton looks solid in the leadoff spot.

                • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                  Gillaspie and Semien still suck and unless Flowers’ revamped approach includes a skill set that would shatter all BABIP records, he will come back to Earth a bit.

                  The White Sox are having something happen called “positive variance”. The players on the Cubs that are sucking are having “negative variance”. Now, none of the Cubs players are going to be All-Stars and the best we could, probably, hope for is for Kalish, Sweeney, Olt and Ruggiano would be league average but it is the Cubs and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if a hot streak was .500 ball for a few weeks.

                  The team is a 70-some-odd win team. The White Sox are probably not much better. They are just getting two different streaks of luck.

                  • Jon

                    At this rate both Eaton and Abrue are projecting to be 4-6 win players. Abrue has been far from lucky but it’s possible he might always have a low BABIP. At first blush Eatons numbers look unsustainable, but then again he’s done that the majority of his minor league career

                    Both these players were available for the taking , one via FA and the other by the dumbest GM in baseball that loves to give talent away

                    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                      We had what power hitter to give the D-Backs?

                      I wanted Abreu…BAD. It appears, early returns, the FO screwed the pooch there (a .900 OPS batter would easily make up for his lack of fielding in LF).

                    • Jon

                      Hector Santiago is what they had to send out. I like to think we could have beaten Santiago but maybe we couldn’t have

                    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                      Young rotation arm?

                      He’s not great by any stretch but neither is Eaton.

                      In the end, the Angels will have the best end of that trade…by a wide margin.

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          Getting an OPS over 1.000 from Alexi Ramirez certainly doesn’t hurt.

          Granted it probably won’t continue but the White Sox are getting all of the positive variance the Cubs haven’t had in eons.

          • mjhurdle

            The Cubs Front Office obviously wanted to tank. Otherwise they would have all our players performing twice as well as they ever have in their careers.

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              There is no TWTNT (The Will To Not Tank)

        • BT

          The two front offices are operating under different mandates. They traded for players who can help them now, and they signed players who can help them now, since they can’t rebuild like the Cubs can, or their 12 fans will abandon them. They also have half of their lineup with an OPS+ of nearly twice their 2013 level or higher. If you think Rick Hahn’s brilliance doubled Tyler Flowers and Ramirez’s ability to hit the ball, then you are sillier than I thought.

          • Jon

            Hahn got his law degree from Harvard and his MBA from Northwestern. I’m curios why it’s hard for people to admit that this dude might be pretty smart in his own right.

            • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

              Not sure how you got that out of BT’s statement.

              Facts are that the White Sox current performance levels, barring an entire season’s worth of Cardinal voodoo magic, is unsustainable.

            • BT

              Because that’s not your damn argument. That’s NEVER your damn argument. You didn’t say “Hey, Rick Hahn’s doing pretty well for the White Sox”. You, OF COURSE said “Hahn has the White Sox hitting, and Theo and Jed don’t, so they clearly are doing something wrong”. Because every goddamn freaking point you make has to be framed in a way as to how it can reflect poorly on how the Cubs front office is doing. You bash everyone on the board as Theo worshipers. I almost NEVER say anything positive about him. I simply spend a ton of time dispelling all the nonsensical negative crap you consistently spout.

              NY Times Headline: “Where is Malaysian Flight 370?”
              Jon’s response: “Theo and Jed haven’t been able to find it yet. Isn’t it about time to admit maybe they aren’t the smartest guys in the room?”

              • waittilthisyear

                BT- having a discussion with Jon is like having an argument with a long time girlfriend. rather than address the main point you make, he nitpicks one thing and steers the conversation in that direction. then, he honestly feels as though he disproved everything you said, eben though he never addressed the one thing you actually said. if you leave nothing to nitpick, he does not respond.

              • mjhurdle

                you have to remember that you are trying to reason with a poster that once claimed that the only reason Rizzo was so involved in kids cancer charities was that it deflected from Rizzo’s poor performance on the field last year.

                take it all with a giant grain of salt.

                • waittilthisyear

                  where is diehard when you need him?

                  • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                    +1, his stuff is fun and great satire. He is as valuable to this site as Tidrow’s stashe.

                • baldtaxguy

                  No way someone posted that. Sick thought.

                  • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                    Yes he did

                • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                  Nothing he has ever said is worth reading, he has one purpose here- to complain and twist and spin everything to complete his bullshit narrative. Unfortunately others actual believe what he says is valuable. It’s not.

                  • ssckelley

                    I am starting to think Jon and Candyman are the same person. They were both spewing this shit during the game.

                    I am fine with arguing FO moves in the off season and on off days but during the damn game when we are all going off about the bunts these 2 jokers step in and remind us how shitty the FO is.

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      They are just working on thier off-broadway show, “Two men shoveling shit into gold.”

                    • Jon

                      Bunting sucks, but it’s a needle in the haystack of problems for this team . If RR hadn’t sacrificed one this season do you think circumstances would be much different ?

                    • ssckelley

                      I have no idea, the percentages indicate a better chance of scoring runs when you do not give away outs.

                      The point is we were discussing the game and questioning the decisions when you and Candyman pop on and decide to take the opportunity to bash the FO along with anyone supporting them. I believe you made a statement to the effect of “dying drinking the koolaid”?

                      I am a true Cubs fan, have been my entire life, but the problem with being a fan is I have zero control over who runs the team and makes the decisions. As a fan I have 2 choices, I can either bitch about every move they make or since I have no control over what they do simply sit back and watch and HOPE they are making the right decisions for the future of this franchise. Since I want to enjoy being a Cub fan and I hate being miserable I choose the 2nd option. I am going to listen to what almost all the baseball experts are saying and believe that the Cubs future is bright.

                      Having typed all of that I still enjoy debates about the moves the FO make, didn’t make, or have made. I have been pretty vocal on here myself during the off season wanting the Cubs to acquire another slugger for the outfield. I was vocal about voicing my displeasure over the Cubs not getting involved with Abreu, which seems like a hot topic these days even though when I was making these arguments it seemed like 95% of the posters on here were against it. Since they did not acquire another right handed slugger for the outfield I felt like they should have given Vitters more of a chance to earn the job this spring instead of just handing it to Ruggiano. But when the Cubs broadcast comes on evidently I turn into a “FO koolaid drinker” because I forget all of that and I watch the game hoping to see a Cubs win.

                    • Jon

                      I know you are a big time Cub fan Kelly, with passion. I see it everyday here. But I am too and it’s a bit disingenuous to think I’m not because I bash the FO. We cheer for the Cubs and not the Cubs FO.

                      I’m also Bulls fan and ironically, when Rose went down, I had the opposite attitude that i do with the Cubs. I wanted them to tank tank tank! I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t, but over the season, I kind of got it. When you see the heart of that team, from the leader Noah, to Thibs, to the 8th guy off the bench..tanking would damage what that team is all about.

                      I’m sick of tired of this FO just disposing of seasons like it’s nothing. I really am. They give this team no real statistical chance to compete at the outright. I’m at my wits end about it. Maybe i need to take a break for a bit…

                    • mjhurdle

                      Take a break and go back to following the As. You know that is what you want anyway. :)

          • YourResidentJag

            The Cubs can’t rebuild like the White Sox. Really?

    • Jason P

      I do wish we would have gotten at least one FA starting caliber outfielder. Castro and Rizzo are out there on an island right now. No support in the lineup whatsoever.

      Essentially, the Cubs front office has created the exact scenario they said they wanted to avoid — where the young players and first wave of prospects are going to have to carry the offensive load with absolutely zero productive veterans on the roster.

      • willis

        I was thinking about this during the game actually. Knowing that at some point, the argument will come up of “just wait for the kids blah blah blah” and yet, what is happening is exactly what Theo claimed he didn’t want to do. But, they couldn’t spend like other teams and the result is others’ garbage. Rizzo and Castro are good, not great players. And it will be them and bunch of young hopefuls that people are foolishly thinking all have a shot to make it. That won’t happen and that plan won’t work. It has to be an even balance. I’m afraid 2015 will surely be no different than what we’ve seen so far, and a ton has to bounce right for 2016 to be competitive. Pretty ugly stuff.

        • Jon

          all the big 4 prospects could pan out and you still have holes on the roster
          Let’s say Olt isn’t the guy so Bryant plays third in the majors, Soler and Almora are your only big time OF on the near horizon . And nothing is promised with Soler. They can look to add talent without blocking any prospects. It’s a systematic choice to suck this bad

          • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

            If all of the big 4 pan out that leaves 2 “holes” on the offensive side and one of the highest OPS’ing IF in the majors.

          • cubsfan08

            According to your assessment of the White Sox it only takes 2 players to become the “best offense in the league” (your words). So if the Cubs have 4 players show up it should be smooth sailing!

    • ROCKME12

      Kalish should be sent to AA ball. Maybe he can learn the fundamentals of hitting at that level. The Cubs front office is atrocious!

      • ssckelley

        So wear were you telling us how much Kalish sucked back when he made the roster out of spring training?

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    I love Bosio. Losing his marbles at the ump, defending his young pitcher. Fantastic.

    More important than the teams record this year is the bounce back of both Rizzo and Castro, and it seems to be happening. Both are hitting the ball hard, and AR showed great instincts and hustle on his triple.

    • ssckelley

      Bosio is probably the best non player asset the Cubs have at this point. The job he has done with the pitchers is absolutely amazing and I hope the Cubs can keep him for a long time.

  • diamonddon

    If it is tank job, than why don’t they play the kids of the future? If they are going to lose, I would rather see the kids and give them the experience so that when they are ready to win, they all have MLB experience.

    • Voice of Reason

      Don’t say that here.

      You will get one of two responses from many:

      1. They have to earn the right to play.

      Or

      2. Its too early to give up.

      Both reasons are laughable.

      • Jon

        They are trying to give the starting job to Olt, he just won’t take it

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          He’s not doing too bad, especially if he has a bum shoulder.

          He needs to do better and I’d stick him on the 15-day DL to get over it but it’s early.

      • Jason P

        Yet when the Cardinals force their young players to earn their playing time, they’re geniuses. Fans who clamor for Olt and Lake every day want a bone — they want something to cheer for in an otherwise (likely) lost season. However, baptism by fire is usually not best for the player’s development long term.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      It’s about putting them in plate appearances where they have the highest liklihood of success.

      If they can’t succeed in those situations…they won’t succeed in tougher situations.

      Plus the “vets” aren’t old fogies but players with about as much upside as Lake and Olt.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    June can’t come fast enough. Bring up Alcantara, Baez, and Rosscup and let them at it.

    This year after the trading deadline, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team actually win more games than before. If Shark is dealt like many believe, then that might not be the case, but…

    • FortyFour

      I too believe the Cubs will be a better team in the second half this year. I base that on having more hitters in the second half (Baez, Alcantara, and a possible September call up of Bryant). Our pen will be better with Rosscup and Vizcaino, regardless if Fujikawa returns. We will undoubtedly face the annual trade of 40% of the rotation but this season we will have a higher caliber replacement in Hendricks and Rusin will likely show improvement as he will be more experienced. Shark has pitched well so far, but we can’t assume he won’t have issues being consistent as he did in the second half of last season. The last comment on the rotation is that we will have lost nearly a month of Arietta in the first half and that is not expected to be the case in the second half. I also believe we may benefit from whatever MLB ready players that come back in return for the expected trades of Shark and Hammel (last year we received Strop & Arietta – this year may contain more). I personally still prefer Kalish over Vitters and feel it is too early to pull the plug on him, Olt, or Lake. These guys need time to show what they can do and thus far each of them surpassed anything I recall from Vitters or Jackson in the past.

      • Medicos

        44: So you’re basing your statement “the Cubs will be a better team in the 2nd half this year” on your prognostication that a group of minor leaguers who have had absolutely no MLB experience will somehow lead the Cubs to a better record??? If they “flip” both Hammel and Shark in a couple of months, this team will even be worse than what happened in 2012-2013. Rookie players need time to become acclaimated to the ups and downs of playing in the majors. rarely does a Yasiel Puig appear out of nowhere to accomplish what he did for the LA Dodgers in 2013. Give these young players time to adjust to playing at the Friendly Confines. Things can’t get much worse than the 66-96 average of the past three years under the Hoystein regime

        • FortyFour

          We’ll see Medicos but you seemed to skip over the parts of my post that stated Rusin will be better, because he has experience in the Majors from last year and that we will likely receive some MLB ready players as we did last season. Finally, I like Hendricks and see him as having an impact in the 2nd half along with Baez and Alcantara. I agree that rookies need time and few will ever be instant successes like Puig/Trout etc. but that is not my claim. My claim is that the 2014 Cubs will be better in the 2nd half than in the first half and that really should be true, even with Shark and Hammel’s being traded. Do you think they can do better in the first 14 games of the second half than .286 winning percentage?

  • willis

    Bonafacio crashing back to earth is making things seem worse too, at least we had him to watch early on.

    I know the argument will be that Olt can’t make contact and Lake is erratic, but at this point, let them play. Let them play every damn day until they beg out of the lineup. This season is already over so there is no point in not seeing what these guys can do if they are just handed the job. They may flop completely, but at least the FO will know. Play Valbuena at 2nd.

    • Blackhawks1963

      Well gee wilikers, what a shock ! Bonafacio is turning back into a pumpkin Cinderalla. Seriously, spend 10 minutes examining his nomadic major league career of mostly nothingness before you profess shock that his hot start was cause for excitement. The KC Friggin Royals of all teams were the latest to dump this guy for nothing. Speaks volumes.

  • Patrick W.

    Nobody is worried about the closer now, so there’s that.

  • Voice of Reason

    I said it before season started and I will say it again.

    Worst cub team ever.

    • Medicos

      They are on a pace to go 53-109 and it could be worse than that once Hoyerstein begins “flipping” pitchers to contenders the end of July and into Aug.

  • Blackhawks1963

    So a practical question. Where do we forward the apology letter to Dale Sveum?

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    Hey, positives from today…SP was excellent and 3 shutout innings from the pen! Rizzo and Castro continue to perform.

    • willis

      One other huge positive…Arrieta went 5.2 and looked good, again in Tennessee. I think he’s back soon…

  • JCubs79

    0-9 RISP “The Cubs Way”

    • DocPeterWimsey

      What I found amusing was the Yankees going 4-12 wRiSP: and scoring only 2 runs. That gives new meaning to “posers.”

  • waittilthisyear

    i understand the negativity folks, i really do. but fuck, it is the same tired shit over and over again. keep it to yourself, one time. even those of us who choose not to bitch and moan are disappointed by whats going on. go grab a beer and keep your, and here is the big thing, POINTLESS, complaints to yourselves, please.

    • Jon

      Then what is the point of having discussion area?

      • waittilthisyear

        bitching and moaning is not a discussion. like when you said earlier something to the extent of “any other argument is invalid.” great discussion, jon

    • another JP

      Don’t waste your time with the bashers on this board wtty… you’ll get Jon and his merry bunch telling you how f’d up you are to complain about the complainers. It’s just the way it is on Bleacher Nation anymore, which is why I don’t even bother with ‘em.

      • Jon

        You don’t have to bother because the record speaks for itself. The roster is still as pathetic as it was in 2012

        • waittilthisyear

          if it speaks for itself, why must you speak for it over and over and over and over?

    • JCubs79

      The negativity is warranted. The ML team has gotten worse every year since Epstein took over. They should be getting better.

      • waittilthisyear

        i agree the negativity is warranted. in fact, i said so in my first sentence. but when the same people say the same thing over and over again, it becomes burdensome

      • FortyFour

        “The ML team has gotten worse every year since Epstein took over.” That is in fact false, but maybe it makes you feel better to say it.

      • ROCKME12

        I will give Epstein until the end of 2015 to show he has the brains to turn the AAA Chicago Cubs into a major league team! Let the tourist go to Wrigley and save your mental health!

  • EB

    It’s sad that the most exciting part of the doubleheader was our pitching coach getting tossed. I wish Bosio would have come out of the dugout after getting the boot and really let the ump have it. I miss that part of baseball.

  • FortyFour

    This is not the worst team in baseball (see Arizona’s record) and there is another team not named the Diamondbacks with a worse run differential than the Cubs. While the FO had hoped Barney would start better along with Veras, their original option for closer, neither player was figuring in the team’s long term plans. The only remaining areas of significant weakness reside in the outfield and the backup catcher (we know the pen is otherwise improved with additional improvement expected by June/July). Our Cubs are poised to do better than the past couple of years. Yes this is a low bar, but one they can still clear even with this team and the help that is expected to begin arriving at mid-season.

    So I disagree with the anyone that says “the Cubs would be the worst team in baseball this season”. They will be in the bottom 8 teams this year but not the bottom 3.

    • 1060Ivy

      Cubs may not be the worst team in MLB but don’t believe that the D-backs are either.

      Let’s check back after the upcoming 4 games with D-backs next week regarding who’s currently worse.

  • BennyTheJet

    Does anybody know when Soler will be back? it should be real soon!!

    • JasonP

      Soler should be back about 4-6 weeks before he goes back on the DL with another injury.

  • ssckelley

    Yesterday was a classic example of how the Cubs do not have enough in their lineup to beat good pitching no matter how they use the platoons. Both Pineda and Tanaka look like they are going to be good for a long time if they stay healthy.

  • Satch

    I predict the season record for the Cubs in 2014 will be :(drum roll) 59 – 103

    That’s their record from 1962 – the last time they were shut out in a doubleheader. Might that be good enough for the first pick?

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