April 25

media.jpgWhat a fun day.  In the afternoon the Blackhawks made a miraculous comeback in Game 5 of the 1st round of the playoffs, albeit after blowing a 3-1 lead.

In the evening the Cubs provided the entertainment with Carlos Zambrano’s first appearance out of the ‘pen.  He did a great job getting out of the 7th inning when the Cubs held a slim 2-0 lead, then contributed with a sac fly RBI in the 8th as the offense tacked on some insurance.  He swung so hard he actually came out of one of his shoes for a very funny moment.
53464320.jpgBig Z looked really nervous.  It has to be quite a difference trying to hold the lead late in the game versus starting a game knowing there are plenty of innings to make up for a few mistakes early.

The game was also the season debut of Ted Lilly after being slowed in the off-season with shoulder surgery.  His command was a little off, maybe due to him having some nerves too, but he still was able to shutout the Brewers over 6 innings.

The 3 Stars:

  • Lilly
  • Zambrano
  • Marlon Byrd:  3 hits and his usual hustle.  He has become a huge favorite of mine.

Yesterday’s Results:

Cubs 5, Brewers 1

Giants 2, Cardinals 0

Padres 5, Reds 0

Astros 5, Pirates 2

Standings:

Cardinals        10-7          ——

Brewers           8-9            2

Cubs              8-10          2.5

Pirates            7-10          3

Astros            7-10          3

Reds              7-11         3.5

 

April 24

media.jpgRyan Dempster led the way again, as has most of the starters so far this season.  He went 7.2 innings with only 1 run allowed.  After the Brewers’ epic 20-0 drubbing of the Pirates yesterday, Dempster’s effort is even more remarkable.

The Cubs offense jumped on Jeff Suppan early and often.  Every starter had at least one hit and Kosuke Fukudome and Tyler Colvin both connected on HR’s in the 8-1 win at Miller Park (shich looks like a nice place to watch a game).

The 3 Stars:

  • Dempster: 2-0 now.
  • Fukudome and Colvin
  • Rest of the offense

 


53453868.jpgYesterday’s Results:

Cubs 8, Brewers 1

Giants 4, Cardinals 1     Lincecum is 4-0

Padres 10, Reds 4

Astros 4, Pirates 3

Standings:

Cardinals        10-6          ——

Brewers           8-8             2

Pirates            7-9             3

Cubs              7-10           3.5

Reds               7-10          3.5

Astros             6-10           4

 

April 23

We had our chances against Johan Santana, but couldn’t break through in the 5-2 loss at the Mets.  Tom Gorzelanny pitched great for 5 innings, but did give up 2 earned runs and 2 unearned runs in the 6th.  But it was the 10 baserunner left on which defined last night’s game.

On to Milwaukee.

Yesterday’s Results:

Mets 5, Cubs 2

Marlins 5, Astros 1

Reds 8, Dodgers 5

Brewers 20, Pirates 0

Standings:

Cardinals         10-5           ——

Brewers            8-7              2

Pirates              7-8             3

Reds                7-9             3.5

Cubs               6-10            4.5

Astros              5-10             5

chi_u_piniella1_sw_600.jpg

Most fans are blasting Lou Piniella for his decision to put Carlos Zambrano into the bullpen as the new setup guy.  I think it is bizarre, but the game has changed where the end of the bullpen is just as important as the rotation.  The ESPN “Baseball Tonight” panel agreed with the move, but most pundits have called it desperate at best, and lucicrous at worst.

All I know is Piniella has led the Cubs to 2 division titles in his 3 years here.  That is the only stat I am concerned with as a fan.  Especially concerning the bad contracts and strange personalities he has been given.

Baseball, and all of life, is played by humans.  I love Strat-O-Matic and other sim games, but they are not realistic to the real world of humans.  Piniella is very unconventional, but he seems to have a keen understanding of his group of humans. 

A quick analogy:  pure socialism is the best economic system ever devised…on paper.  It allocates the resources the best and most efficient way possible.  But it doesn’t work with humans!!!  Human greed is not satisfied in pure socialism.  Pure capitalism doesn’t work either in the human world because it only satisfies human greed.  It has to be a mix of the two systems to have a chance to work with humans.  The debate will always be what kind of mix, but history has proven that the extremes of both systems have failed every time.

Sports work the same way.  If you just go by the pure stats and statistical models, I truly believe you will fail.  And if you only go by the eyeball test and gut feeling, then you will fail too.  It has to be a mix.  Piniella seems to side more with gut feelings and uncoventional means to motivate his players, but 2 titles in 3 years speaks for itself.  I’m not ready to kick him out the door when his success has been the best in the last 100 years of Cubs history.

Moving Theriot to 8th in the lineup and moving Byrd to leadoff doesn’t make sense in a logical statistical world, but it may make sense in a human world.  Theriot was put back to the top of the lineup yesterday and snapped out of his slump.  Not all of Lou’s moves will, or have worked, but I’m betting on the side of the only stat that really matters…winning 2 out of the last 3 division titles.

Let’s hope it works.

Go Cubs Go !!!

April 22

media.jpgCarlos Silva provided his 3rd wonderful start in as many trys as he held the Mets to 1 run on just 2 hits over 6 innings.

The offense finally came alive as Alfonso Soriano led the way with 3 hits, including a HR and a hustle triple.  (Yes, I wrote hustle.)

The 3 Stars:

  • Silva
  • Soriano
  • Soto:  2 hits and 3 walks.

Yesterday’s Results:

Cubs 9, Mets 3

Astros 5, Marlins 4

Brewers 8, Pirates 0

Dodgers 14, Reds 6

Cardinals 9, D-backs 4

Standings:

Cardinals         10-5           ——

Pirates             7-7             2.5

Brewers           7-7             2.5

Cubs              6-9               4

Reds               6-9              4

Astros             5-9             4.5

April 21

The losing streak has reached 4 games.  And 4 games against two struggling teams: the Astros and Mets. 

Carlos Zambrano pitched well, but the lack of offense is disturbing.  Everyone seems to be swinging at a lot of bad pitches in an effort to turn things around.  They will, but when?

I just have to keep remembering how long a season it really is…

Yesterday’s Results:

Mets 4, Cubs 0

Brewers 8, Pirates 1

Reds 11, Dodgers 9

Astros 7, Marlins 5

D-backs 9, Cardinals 7

Standings:

Cardinals          9-5            —–

Pirates             7-6             1.5

Brewers           6-7              2.5

Reds               6-8               3

Cubs               5-9              4

Astros             4-9              4.5

April 20

Another disappointing loss after a very good performance by a starting pitcher; this time Randy Wells went 6 innings while allowing just one run. 

The offense and bullpen continues to waste two weeks of very good starting pitching.

Yesterday’s Results:

Mets 6, Cubs 1

Cardinals 4, D-backs 2

Standings:

Cardinals           9-4            —–

Pirates              7-5             1.5

Brewers            5-7             3.5

Cubs                5-8              4

Reds                5-8              4

Astros              3-9              5.5

April 19

Another tough loss…

Ryan Dempster pitched a great game allowing just 1 run on 4 hits in 7.2 IP.  Unfortunately Carlos Marmol’s slider didn’t have as much bite as usual and couldn’t nail down the save.  The Astros went on to win the game in the 10th inning, 3-2.  Turn the page…

Hopefully the 20 inning marathon on Saturday has the Mets all tired out for this upcoming 4 game series.

Go Cubs Go !!!

Yesterday’s Results:

Astros 3, Cubs 2

Cardinals 5, Mets 3

Pirates 5, Reds 3

Brewers 11, Nationals 7

Standings:

Cardinals          8-4            —–

Pirates             7-5              1

Cubs               5-7              3

Brewers            5-7              3

Reds                5-8             3.5

Astros              3-9              5

 

95 Wins

The Cubs dropped another game in regards to my goals for 95 wins.  Hopefully this week is a lot better.

Go Cubs Go !!!

@ Atl (3), @ Cin (3)                    Goal = 3-3          Actual = 2-4, -1     Total = -1

Milw (3), Hou (3)                         Goal = 4-2         Actual = 3-3, -1     Total = -2

@ NY (4), @ Milw (3)                   Goal = 3-4            Actual =              Total =

Wash (3), Ariz (4)                         Goal = 5-2            Actual =              Total =

@ Pitt (3), @ Cin (3)                     Goal = 3-3            Actual =              Total =

Fla (3), Pitt (3), Colo (2)                 Goal = 5-3            Actual =              Total =

@ Phil.(2), @ Tex (3)                     Goal = 2-3            Actual =             Total =

LA (3), St. L (3)                              Goal = 4-2            Actual =             Total =

@ Pitt (3), @ Hou (3), @ Milw (3)    Goal = 5-4            Actual =             Total =

CWS (3), Oak (3), Ana (3)               Goal = 6-3           Actual =             Total =

@ Sea (3), @ CWS (3)                   Goal = 2-4           Actual =             Total =

Pitt (3), Cin (4)                               Goal = 5-2           Actual =              Total =

@ Ariz (3), @ LA (4)                      Goal = 3-4            Actual =             Total =

All-Star Game

Phil (4), Hou (3), St. L (3)                Goal = 6-4           Actual =              Total =

@ Hou (3), @ Colo (3)                    Goal = 3-3           Actual =              Total =

Milw (3), Cin (3)                             Goal = 4-2            Actual =             Total =

@ SF (4), @ St. L (3)                     Goal = 3-4           Actual =              Total =

SD (4), Atl (3)                                Goal = 5-2           Actual =              Total =

@ Wash (3), @ Cin (3)                   Goal = 4-2           Actual =              Total =

Pitt (3), NY (3), Hou (3)                   Goal = 6-3          Actual =               Total =

@ Milw (3), @ St. L (3), @ Fla (3)    Goal = 5-4         Actual =               Total =

SF (3), St. L (3)                              Goal = 4-2          Actual =              Total =

@ SD (4), @ Hou (3)                      Goal = 5-2          Actual =               Total =  

April 18

Roy Oswalt pitched really well against the Cubs yesterday as the Astros held on for a 4-3 win.  The Cubs rallied against their ‘pen, but fell short.

Tom Gorzelanny was hit hard by a line drive in his shoulder and had to come out early.  He says he’s fine, but the bullpen was worked hard.  Hopefully Ryan Dempster can provide 7+ innings in today’s series finale.

Yesterday’s Results:

Astros 4, Cubs 3

Mets 2, Cards 1   in 20 innings.  Hopefully both teams (we go to NY Mon.) are tired for awhile.

Nationals 8, Brewers 0

Pirates 5, Reds 4

Standings:

Cardinals           7-4           —–

Pirates              6-5             1

Cubs                5-6             2

Reds                 5-7           2.5

Brewers            4-7             3

Astros              2-9             5

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.