Cubs split the series against the Braves, win series against the Reds: L-W-PPD, W-L-W
Cubs Series Record through Wednesday: 8-6-8 (28-26 overall)
News and notes:
- After his win in Cincy, Carlos Zambrano says he’ll retire after his contract is up. ESPN.com’s Nick Friedell doesn’t believe him. Neither does Rick Morrissey. I also think he is full of poo, just for the record.
- Wojo (Gene Wojciechowski) wants Oprah to buy the Cubs. “You get a right fielder! You get a right fielder! You get a right fielder! And you get a right fielder!”
- Not surprisingly the lack of offense, injury to Aramis Ramirez and White Sox recent call-up of 2008 dreftee Gordon Beckham has gotten the Tribune talking about 3B prospect Josh Vitters.
- Rich Harden deals cheddar in his first rehab start.
- Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer credits Kosuke Fukudome for keeping the Cubs from the N.L. Central cellar.
- Carol Slezak tries to get inside Zambrano’s head. And I say from the most sarcastic, insincere part of my heart: good luck, sucker.
- Minor league recap for the Baby Bears. [Bleed Cubbie Blue]
- 2009 Cubs draft chatter. [Another Cubs Blog]
- What’s wrong with Geo? [GoatRiders of the Apocalypse]
Through intense research and analysis (guess-work) I have decided that if the Cubs are to make the playoffs the bullpen must pitch at a B average for the entire season. So, in order to determine if there is any accuracy in this statement I am chronicling the work of the Cubs’ pen.
Tuesday: F. You blew it! Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg, report to the prinicpal’s office immediately. I don’t know which is worse, Marmol walking and hitting every thing in sight (a 2.00 WHIP?? Really?) or Kevin Gregg giving up dingers to a FRENCHMAN! Honestly, I have never … this is America!
Wednesday: A. Four innings of no run baseball, and a W for Angel “El Pobrecito” Guzman, who is now 2-0 with a 2.39 ERA. If you were to tell me a few years back that El Pobrecito would be the Cubs’ most consistent reliver, I would have scoffed at you. Why? Because he should have had a fw Cy Youngs on the mantle by now.
Friday: B. Carlos Marmol gave up a run-scoring triple to Brandon Philips, but the Cubs got 2.2 IP of relief and saved Zambrano’s strong outing.
Saturday: B-. Sure, Sean Marshall, now a member of the Cubs’ ‘pen, lost the game, but I give a B- here instead of say a C or lower because they went four innings waiting for the inept offense to scratch across a run. That never happened, and the relievers got saddled with a loss they didn’t deserve.
Sunday: A-. Another good news/bad news scenario for the Baby Bears. Carlos Marmol went crazy — again — and blew Randy Wells’ shot at his first major league win (the guy cannot catch a break: 1.82 in 6 starts, 5 quality starts, 31/8 K/BBs – ZERO WINS) but the Cubs won the game thanks to seven innings of scoreless relief that followed, including Jose Ascanio’s impressive three scoreless innings.
Bullpen season GPA: 2.85(B-) GPA through 53 games, down .01 from last recap. These are the ups and downs Cubs fans are used to, but the lack of run support is brightening the burning light of failure that has been glaring at the bullpen.
Hero/Goat season leaders:
When it comes to team MVP, people usually stick with the numbers. But at the end of the season, I want to know which player had a direct impact on the outcome of the game the most. To name my Cub season MVP (and LVP), I am keeping track of the game’s heroes and goats in order to determine a winner. Usually it is one game, one hero/goat, but that is by no means a written-in-stone rule.
Tuesday’s Goat: Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg. (shakes head disapprovingly).
Wednesday’s Hero: Micah Hoffpauir. Game winning single in the 11th.
Thursday’s Goat: Low pressure weather systems. Damn you Mother Nature! And you wonder why your children are slowly destroying you.
Friday’s Hero: Carlos Zambrano. Strong pitching, dingers and insane predictions. Zambrano is in mid-season form.
Saturday’s Goat: Geovany Soto. Geo gets saddled with the “goat” label because on the game-losing play in the bottom of the 11th, Mike Fontenot had to throw over the runners head ultimately leading to a bad throw, because you did not get out from behinn the runner to make yourself a target for the throw. Fontenot isn’t the Green Lantern, he doesn’t have super powers, he cannot throw the ball through the runner spriting home and into your glove Geo. Unacceptable.
Sunday’s Hero: Jose Ascanio. Three impressive innings of scoreless relief allowed for Alfonso Soriano and company to break the long tie later in the game. Plus, middle revliers receive very little love, so here’s to you Jose!
Hero Squad: Number is games chosen as hero/goat.
4 – Johnson
3 – Lilly, Zambrano
2 – Fukudome, Ramirez, Theriot
1 – Ascanio, Bradley, Dempster, Fontenot, Gregg, Guzman, Harden, Hoffpauir, Lee, Marmol, Marshall, Scales, Soto
3– Cotts, Fontenot, Hoffpauir, Patton, Soto
2 – Gregg, Heilman
1 – Fox, Harden, Lee, Marmol, Marshall, Samardzija, Scales, Soriano