Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Up One, but Really Up Two

The Cubs took it to the Brewers for the second straight day last night after a 12-4 win. The Cubs now the lead the Wild Card by 1 game, but they are up two in the all important loss department. I can't remember a stretch of wins that the Cubs have looked so strong.

Who's Hot?

Moises Alou
Last Seven Days .407/.500/.926 for an OPS of 1.426 He also has 4 HR's and 13 RBI(6 Last night), but still on fire. Another great fact is that he has only 1 K.

Corey Patterson
7 Day .483/.518/.828 for an OPS of 1.344. He has 5 SB and no CS, also he has scored 10 runs and driven in 5. The one problem is that he has 1 walk, but I guess when you are hitting over .400 in a stetch a walk does not mean much.

We hear at the Yarbage Cub Review have finally named their favorite player: Drum Roll.............

Michael Barrett. I love this kid. He plays the game hard, now his defense is not the best I have ever seen, but just seeing him do the small things is worth it.

Last 7 Days he is .440/.481/.640 Ops of 1.121 Not bad for a catcher. He has 4 RBI with 3 doubles and 1 triple. The thing is that if you take away June when he hit .220, his average would be somewhere around .321. For me that is all you can ask of a catcher. He alread has about 20 more hits than Miller did all of last season.

Of course just about every other player is hot right now, other than Sammy, but I think it is a matter of time before he finds a groove. The Cubs go for the sweep today, but I probably will not get to see it.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Take A Look At 6 Things

First off I have to say finding a job out of college is a lot harder than I every could imagine. I have now been done since May and I am still without a job. Things could be looking up. I received an email last week from the El Dorado Times. This paper is located in El Dorado, Arkansas. At this point I would work in Alaska, but that is not the point. The job seems like a good one, but I have to get the job first. On the plus side they did email me, so I guess that is a plus. The main reason I want this job is the fact that it is a sports writing job. My goal is to become a baseball writer one day and I have to start somewhere, and El Dorado is just as good as anywhere else.

On to the Cubs:

A few points about today's game.

1-When in baseball does it state that pitchers can't hit a batter. Baseball needs to take a look at the quick hooks that they are giving them. Oswalt probably hit Barrett, but do you need to toss him? Hitting batters has been a part of the game for a long time, and it cost Wood today.

2-The offense is cliking on all levels right now. It was funny as Aramis came up before his homerun, Chip had stated that a hit would score two, and then my brother looks at me and says, well a homerun scores three. Then next pitch, bam homerun. The Cubs have scored a lot of runs the last couple of days and lets hope it goes through the next couple of series. Today was impressive because Nomar sat out and we scored 11.

3-Speaking of Nomar, lets hope this taking two days off in a row does not become a trend. We still need his bat in there putting the ball in play.

4-Question of the Day; When is the last time Derrek Lee had a day off? Answer is a little bit more down the post. Derrek has been the only true everyday player we have. Also look at the stats. He is on pace to set better numbers last season.

2003 .271 avg. 31 HR 92 RBI .887 OPS
2004 .296 avg. 26 HR 76 RBI .914 OPS

And for those Choi Lovers:

2004 .262 avg. 16 HR 44 RBI .854 OPS

Don't get me wrong, I think Choi will be a very good player, but Lee is at the top of his game.

Answer to the question:
If you guessed April 27th, then you were right. Lee has not sat since. With Todd out it looks like he will not miss any more games any time soon.

5-Farnsworth where are you?

Let me say I have long been a Farnsworth fan, but it is getting a lot harder to stay in the fan club.

His August spilts

15. 15 ERA 4 IP 8 Games 11 Hits 2 HR 4BB/2K .478 BAA

These are serious problem numbers. First off .478 BAA, that is one of the worst kind of splits I have seen in a while. Almost half of the batters he has faced got a hit off him. .300 would send alarms, but this is dangerous. He gave up another HR today and looks like the player from last year, or even earlier in the season. September 1st can't come quick enough.

6-September 1

The Cubs should really get some help from expanding thier roster. First off the bullpen will have a lot more options.

Joe Borowski will be back. Of course will it be 2004 Joe or Old Joe. Lets hope that the shoulder is 100% and he is ready to regain that form.

Micheal Wuertz-He has pitched well in 2004 at times and has 17 saves in Iowa.

Todd Wellemeyer will be back, he pitched well enough never to leave, but it is a numbers game.

Ok, well I am off to bed. The Cubs are .5 games back right now, so lets hope the Cubs keep winning.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Lets Get it Started

Sorry about the steal from the Black Eyed Peas, but it is that point in the season to start the real games up. The Cubs open up a series today against the Padres. The Giants are still right there. The Cubs have a chance to put som ground between them and the Padres. The difference could be 5, 3, 1, or worse 1 game behind. Prior, Zambrano and Wood go in the series.

At this point the Cubs are playing pretty good baseball right now, exluding the 7th inning of Saturday's game. The Giants face the Pirates and Phillies this week. The Cubs face the Dodgers this weekend. The next 6 games could start to seperate the Wild Card race a little.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Hello 300

Well, I'm sure it was a great sight, but Fox saw fit to give us the Braves and D-Backs. The worst thing about it was the fact that once the game was over the Cubs were still playing and they just ended coverage in this part of the nation. A++++++ for Fox and thier coverage. The Cubs go for the series Win tomorrow.

Friday, August 06, 2004

The Cards Counter Back

The Cubs get Nomar last week and tonight the Cards bring in a lefty in Larry Walker. The Cards will be really tough to beat down the stretch. The question is can thier pitching hold during the last two months. More later.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Let's Make a Deal

Everybody has read about Nomar by now, but hey I have not received my chance. Saturday was a interesting turn of events that led to 48 hours of true fun. Lets do a timeline of the events and my reaction to them.

Saturday Morning: 8:30 a.m. - I get up and turn the Laptop on, but that lasts about 5 minutes as the entire phone system in the house goes down. Not the way I want to start the Day. I turn on ESPN news and see that Jayson Stark says that Nomar to the Cubs is not dead, but not really alive.

Sat 12:00 p.m. -To my surprise the Cub game will be on in Birmingham today. At least I get to watch some baseball. Every minute or so I check back with ESPN news to see if there are any moves around the leage and with the Cubs.
Jim Bowden reports that Nomar to the Cubs is 50/50. Now what I do not understand is how they get 50/50. The problem have with trade rumors is who do they get this info from? Do they get them from GM's, agents, or interns inside the office of the these teams? I'm not sure, but I guess people love hear rumors regardless.

12:20 p.m. - First pitch with Matt Clement and Alex "K" Gonzalez in the game. At this point I knew for a fact that the Cubs would not make a big move to get a huge upgrade, but I did think that they would at least add a relief pitcher. In the second inning the Cubs let Matt Clement down with an error, and then he gave up two HR's on the day after each error. He loses the game 4-3 and the Cubs fall 2 games back of the Padres.

3:00 p.m. - The deadline comes and goes. The Cubs do not get Nomar and to that effect they get nobody. The one saving grace was that deals could get anounced. I keep watching ESPN News and nothing for 45 minutes, so I fire up the Playstation 2 and get ready for some MVP 2004. Sammy hits two HR's as I crush the Cardinals 9-0. Clement improves to 8-1 with a 1.75 ERA and the Cubs win their 11th game in a row.

4:15 p.m. - I turn the TV back to ESPN and see the greatest sight I think my eyes have ever seen. The Cubs get Nomar. THE CUBS GET NOMAR! THE CUBS GET NOMAR!!!!!!!!!!!!! I fire up the phone as fast as possible. The Problem is that I can't get any internet sources on the story because Bellsouth has seen fit not to fix my DSL connection. So I give Scott Lange from The Northside Lounge to see if he knows anything. On a side note this is the second time I have called Scott about trades, the first was the Lee deal last year.

4:25 p.m. The more Scott and I find out about the deal, the more I love. Jim Hendry just pulled off the greatest Cub Trade in history. He did not give up Clement or any the untouchable prospects in the system. Let's look at the deal:

First about what the Cubs gave up.

Alez Gonzalez- I think I am ok with this one. The Give up their worst player and get one of the leagues top SS.
I will not miss his K's either or his game 6 error that really cost us.

Francis Beltran- A quality Major League reliever. Beltran will probably be a very solid pitcher for many years, but this in a system that is rich with pitching a reliever is easy to give up.

Brendon Harris - This is the one prospect that I did not want to want to see leave the organization. He could have filled in as a cheap spot at 2B next year, but again not the end of the world. The Cubs could bring back Todd Walker or look somewhere else.

Justin Jones- It is always tough to trade left handed pitching prospects, but this seems to be the player that was a deal breaker. It seems like Jones has had some arm problems this past year.

All in all not a bad day for the Cubs, now lets look at what the Cubs get:

Matt Murton- He looks like a descent hitting prospect, but he is still in A-Ball. I would think that he could be traded down the road in another deal, or maybe not.

Nomar Garciaparra- The replace their worst hitter with a future Hall of Fame SS. More important the Cubs get a player that puts the bat on the ball. The intangables are the fact that Nomar will give the Cubs a spark to make a post-season run. If the Cubs sign Nomar in the off season, then it will be even better, but the Cubs can make the case that a rental is well worth it.

Sunday Morning- I wake up thinking that Saturday was a dream, but I was still happy to find that Sunday would mark Nomar's first day in the Cubbie Blue.

Sunday during the Game- How I wish I could be in Chicago for this game. Maddux does not get win number 300, but the Cubs come from behind and win. Nomar is 1 for 4 with a RBI in the win.

I have to say that this was not the perfect start, but hey it is a win.

Sunday Afternoon- I call up my good buddy Dan Loflin, who happens to be a Red Sox fan. The first thing out of his mouth even before I said hello, was something to the effect of " you guys robbed us blind." He did bring up some interestin points about Nomar. He had said that Nomar was being a cancer in the clubhouse, but reports out of Chicago today seem to say different. Somebody is lying or trying to save face. His shock was in the fact that the Cubs pulled off the best part of this deal without giving up a ton. Dan really did not like the fact that Clement was not in the deal. I would have to agree, but hey our team got the better end. I do think that Hendry stayed to his word that Clement would not be delt or guys like Angel Guzman and Felix Pie would not be del either.

The questions remain did Nomar hold the Red Sox hostage? Is his ankle ok? If not how much time will he miss? Mr. Loflin seems to think he hosed the Red Sox. That may be true, but it seems like Garciaparra is happy to be out of Boston.

Like any trade it will be fun to look back at and say that was a great deal. This may or may not work, but it is something the Cubs had to do.

Tonight the Cubs start a little rocky with the 3 runs in the first, but they come back with 5 in the third. Nomar also picked up his 2 RBI which is 1/4 to the total of Alex Gonzalez.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Bellsouth How I Hate Thee, but Hey We Got Nomar

My internet has been down for 5 days and I have not been able to post any good news on the trading front. I am so happy that Jim Hendry is a great GM. His moves just look like gold at every front. I know some people think we should have kept Choi, but Derek Lee is a quality 1B. Now that Nomar can be happy, we might just get Hall of Fame Nomar for the rest of the season. I only have a second more, but these next 12 games will prove a lot. The Cubs face the Rockies, Padres, Giants and Dodgers during the next two weeks. The Cubs could start to pull away in the wild card or put themselves in a hole.

I think good things are coming.