Monday, August 29, 2005

A Day To Remember; Sandberg Style

Yesterday was a fantastic for true Cub fans. Not only did the Cubs pound the Marlins, but Ryne Sandberg was forever solidified as one of the Cubs all-time greats.

The number 23 will never be worn by another member of the Chicago Cubs. Ryno joins the ranks of Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, and Ron Santo as the only 4 Cubs to have their numbers retired.

Sandberg was my hero growing up, and is still my favorite player of all-time. He truely played for the love of the game, and gave 100% every time he was out on that field. He may not have the kinds of numbers that players today have, but his defense and his hardwork will be forever remembered, at least by me.

A few weeks ago while on vacation, my brothers and I had a debate about which Cub will be the next to have his number retired. My initial thought would be Greg Maddux (#31), but after I thought about it, I remember that Fergie Jenkins also wore that number before Mad Dog's time. Fergie is a Hall of Famer, just like Maddux will be. If the Cubs do retire Maddux's number, does that give disrespect to Fergie? my 2nd thought was Sammy Sosa (#21). During the "golden years" as I like to call of Sosa's career (1993-2003), it would be hard not to give Sosa the respect that he deserves for what he accomplished on this team. But it could very well be that his last year here could remain a sour taste on the North Side, but we'll have to see how that plays out.

For now, I think it will be some time before another number is retired. I do think that there have been some players that were well overlooked and should have their numbers retired, ie Hack Wilson. I'm not in charge though. But if I was...well I guess thats a whole nother post for a different time.

Friday, August 26, 2005

It's not over till the fat lady sings!!

Okay, so the season is coming close to the end. The Cubs haven't played as well as we would have liked them to so far. We are 19.5 games out of our division and 7.5 games out of the wild card. Now some people are already giving up on the season. I know 7.5 games are hard to overcome, but we have 35 games left this year. Now we can't do it all by ourselves this year, we do need a little help from other teams. There are 6 teams ahead of us in the wildcard. The Cubs have 3 games coming up with Florida, 7 games left with Houston, and 3 games with the Brewers. But you say even if the Cubs do play well in those 3 series there are 3 other teams ahead of us. The Phillies hae 6 games with Florida, 3 with Houston, 6 with the Mets, and 6 with the Nationals. The Mets also have 6 games with Florida and 6 more with the Nationals. The Nationals along with the series against the Phils and Mets, have 7 games against Florida. Houston also has 4 games with Florida and 6 with Milwaukee(along with the 7 against the Cubs and 3 w/ Phils.). (Also look at bottom of article for games left among teams). Now looking at this I really believe the Cubs are still in it. Some of these teams are going to beat up on each other and help the Cubs cause. The Cubs are still going to have to play good ball and put a lot of W's on the board, but I Know they have it in them. It would be all that much sweeter to see the Cubs come from behind and make it to the playoffs while watching it, then giving up on them now and hearing about their comeback from other people. So Cubs fans keep your gear out and keep up the cheering cause the Cubs are going to make the stretch run.

Games left:

Cubs- 3 w/ Fla. 7 w/ Houston. 3 w/ Brewers
Houston- 7 w/ Cubs. 3 w/ Phils. 4 w/ Fla. 6 w/ Mil.
Milwaukee- 3 w/ Cubs. 6 w/ Houston
Philly- 6 w/ Fla. 3 w/ Houston. 6 w/ Mets. 6 w/ Washington.
Florida- 3 w/ Cubs. 6 w/ Mets. 7 w/ Wash. 6 w/ Phil. 4 w/ Houston.
Mets- 6 w/ Phils. 6 w/ Fla. 6 w/ Wash.
Washington- 6 w/ Phils. 7 w/ Fla. 6 w/ Mets.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

This Doesn't Help

Do I still have hope? Yes. It's what makes me a true die-hard Cubs fan.

But seeing this site doesn't help. Ramirez was one of the guys the Cubs were counting on going into September to make a real run at the NL Wildcard. With Ramirez out for an unknown period of time (I would suggest the rest of the season so he can rest and not make things worse), and the Cubs without someone in the minors who can play 3rd in his stead as well as Ramirez offensively, the Cubs are really going to need to hit the miracle machine hard during the offday Thursday to even stand a chance.

And no, Jose Macias starting at 3rd for the rest of the season will not be that miracle.

Beat the Braves

12:56 CST: Coverage is about to start in Today's rubber game against the Atlanta Braves. There is nothing I like more than beating the Braves. A series win here gives the Cubs a slight playoff chance.

1:02 CST: I finally got to see some of the highlights from last night's game. I was working last night. Good to see the offense finally break out a little.

1:06: A nice little feature on Jerome Williams about his family and playing in Chicago. He is also kicking the MP3 Oakleys. Nomar Garciaparra is on the bench as Neifi Perez is still starting, but Nomar will not go on the DL.

1:10: Jorge Sosa back in the starting rotation for the Braves. He is 6-0 with 1.98 ERA on the road this season.

1:15: Burnitz is hitting .409 in his last five games with 2 HR and 9 RBI. We need that production to continue. Almost time to play some ball.

1:30: Top of the First.......Furcal grounds out on two pitches and that is not a bad start. Did not know Prior was 0-3 against the Braves with a 7.88 ERA against them. After a close couple of pitches, Marcus Giles walks with one out. Walker makes a nice play to get the lead runner, but I was worried for a second that ball might end up somewhere other than 2nd base. Prior strikeouts A. Jones to end the inning. Braves 0, Cubs 0

1:42: Bottom of the First..........Matt Lawton leading off today. Lawton reaches on a chopper after Sosa dropped the ball on the throw. A nice hit and run for Todd Walker. First and third with no outs. How many times have we seen this? Derek Lee unable to pick up another RBI. Aramis Ramirez does down tripping over 1B. I don't know how bad it is. Braves 0, Cubs 0

1:51: Top of the second.........Jose Macias is not in for Ramirez. This just sucks. The "Old Man" of Baseball Julio Franco grounds out to start the inning. Super rookie Francour flies out to Walker for the second out. Prior has thrown 37 pitches so far. Braves 0, Cubs 0

1:58: Bottom 2nd...............Burnitz flies out to left to start the inning. Neifi Perez makes his team high 95 start at SS and we wonder why the Cubs are not contending? Perez then flies out to centerfield. Corey Patterson is 6 for his last 33...scratch that 6-for-34 as he strikeouts to end the inning. Braves 0, Cubs 0

2:03: Top 3rd.................Prior issues a leadoff walk to Atlanta's backup catcher. Here comes the sac bunt, but Sosa pops out for the first out. Furcal beats out a DP ball to keep the inning alive. Derek Lee digs the throw from Perez to end the inning. Braves 0, Cubs 0

2:16: Bottom 3rd.............Why did the Braves ever take Sosa out of the rotation? Henry Blanco flies out to start the inning. Wow, Prior tries to bunt for a basehit. Chipper Jones just gets him. Lawton walks to keep the inning alive. Braves pitchout but still can't get Lawton. Ramirez is listed with a left quad injury, of course you could see that on TV. Walker has a great AB as he rips a double to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Not have Ramirez has led to the Braves walking Lee to get to Macisa. Macias then flies out to end the inning on a first pitch swinging. Cubs 1, Braves 0

2:29: Top 4th.............High chopper by Chipper, but Neifi makes the play for the first out. A. Jones ends Prior's no-hit bid with a one out single. Blanco and Prior have a meeting at the mound during the Franco at bat. Franco k's to end his AB. Super Rookie runs the count full and gets his first career walk. Langerhans up with two men on. Prior battles back from 2-0 to get Langerhans on a 3-1 groundout. Cubs 1, Braves 0

2:36: Bottom 4th............Soas gets Burnitz to groudout to start the inning. A. Jones plays center with such ease as he retires Neifi. The boo birds out in full force as Patterson strikeouts again to the end the inning. Cubs 1, Braves 0

2:45: Top 5th...........I get up to do one thing and come back and the Braves already have an out. Prior then strikeouts out Sosa for the second out. Prior has another full count at bat and then walks Furcal to bring up Giles. Furcal steals his 37 base this year. Prior gets Giles to strikeout to end the inning. Cubs 1, Braves 0

2:54: Bottom 5.......Hey Blanco singles to start the inning. Prior has to get the Sac bunt down, but he pops it up. Both pitchers have done it now. Great play by Furcal to get Lawton. Cubs can't score Blanco. Cubs 1, Braves 0

3:00: Top 6...........Chipper flies out for the first out. A. Jones swings with his whole body again. Another 3-2 count for Prior, but he gets Franco to groundout. Cubs 1, Braves 0

3:07: Bottom 6..............The Cubs really need some extra runs now. Looked like Lee was going to get a HR, but the wind knocked it down. A. Jones gets a glove on it, but can't hold on as Lee gets a double. Macias lays down a good sac bunt to put Lee at 3B. Burnitz fly was not deep enough to score Lee. A nice dig by Franco to get Perex and the Cubs leave another scoring chance at third. Cubs 1, Braves 0

3:30: Top 7.........Braves get the leadoff man on a bunt hit. An error by Mark Prior allows the Braves to get runner's on first and third with no outs. That was the 87th error of the year. The Cubs only had 86 in all of last year. Prior gets McCann to strikeout for the first out. Adam LaRoche up looking for his first hit of the series. No double play to end the inning as Prior throws a wild pitch. Prior follows that up with another K. Two outs and Furcal up to the plate. Blanco blocks his second ball in the dirt to save a run this inning. Furcal gets a single to give Braves a 2-1 lead. Giles then singles to give the Braves a 3-1. The game is looking bad as Prior is being pulled. Ohman comes in to face Chipper and gets him to groundout.

3:38: Bottom 7........Patterson k's for his third time. He has to go and I will trade him for a bag of peanuts. Blanco pops out for the second out. Hollandsworth K's to end the inning. Again I say...Patterson must go. Braves 3, Cubs 1

3:48: Top 8...............Roberto Novoa in for the Cubs. A. Jones grounds to Neifi for the first out. Have to go register for my Free Roll Poker tournament. Novoa strikeouts Franco for the second out. Then Francoeur singles to keep the ining alive. He does cause trouble. Braves 3, Cubs 1

3:59: Bottom 8.........Dusty pulls another bonehead move as he he pinch hits for Lawton. The bench is thin and you have Patterson possibly to come up with another AB. Haisrton almost gets a hit and then Walker is out. Two outs and here comes "The Farns." Lee gets a double after A. Jones can't catch a ball in CF. Macias grounds out and the Cubs are still down 3-1.

4:09: Top 9....Kerry Wood comes in and strikeouts the first batter he faces. A groundout and a nice catch by Todd Walker ends the inning. One last chance. Braves 3, Cubs 1

4:15: Bottom 9.........Burnitz, Perez and Patterson this inning. Farnsworth still in to start the inning. Burnitz gets ahead 3-0 but then strikeouts. Niefi ahead 3-0 and not it is 3-2. Neifi strikeouts for the second out. Patterson walks for the love of God, but Barrett strikeouts to end the game. Hope is dying my friend.

The 6.5 games back game log

Join me today for a game log as the Cubs must beat the Braves to have any shot at the Playoffs. A win and we can still talk, but a loss and it looks like '06.

A win is good

First win in three days. Lets hope we can string a few more together. I missed the game because of work, but it looks like Williams was on top of his game.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Frustration Reaches a New High

I, more than anyone else, have faith that the Cubs can still make a run at the NL Wildcard in the final month of the season...provided they play like Major Leaguers in September.

The Cubs will enter this weekplaying the NL East Division leading Braves for a 3 game set. The past couple of weeks have seen the Cubs really take it to the better teams in the NL, so hopefully this series will be no exception. The Cubs seem to really turn it up against the better teams, which they should be doing every game. But when the "leagues worst" record wise play the Cubs, its like the Cubs forget how to play BASEBALL.

Despite the times, BASEBALL isn't about winning with homeruns. The White Sox enjoyed success this season getting base hits, and moving runners along on the basepaths. Speaking of which, and I hate to use this post as something Sox related, but has anyone noticed that since Scotty P has been out for the Sox that they have been struggling big time???

Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez have basically been the Cubs entire offense this season, and Ramirez started off very cold. The Cubs have never had a consistent offense where they could theoretically put up 5-6 runs per game and win games easily because their starting pitchers are top notch. The Cubs lack the ability to score runs that are not from homeruns. Yes there obviously have been runs scored this season without the longball, but the majority of the time, the Cubs really count on that HR on the scoreboard.

And even when the Cubs DO get those basehits, they then decide that they have forgotten how to run the bases. Simple careless mistakes, like not paying attention, and simply not hustling have cost the Cubs many a time and have taken away run scoring opportunities. For a guy like Patterson who is really a speed demon, you would think he would be able to run the bases a little better. When I was a kid, I used to play Running Bases all the time with my friends. At the time, you think you are just having fun laughing at each other cause they keep running back and forth. But now that I am much older and still playing ball after all these years, I really appreciate the fact that my friends and I played such a simple game growing up. My coaches over the years really trust my instincts on the bases, and its very rare that they try to tell me what to do when I get on base. I looke at the Cubs, and I dont see that trust, that knowledge. Maybe a game of Running Bases before every game could become benificial.

And obviously, you can't ignore the bullpen problems. Granted Dempster, although at times can scare the crap out of you before he finally shuts the door, has been great as a closer. But why did it take so long for the Cubs to utilize him in that role? Why did Hendry refuse to upgrade the bullpen in the offseason after the collapse last season? And why did he STILL not address that problem at the trade deadline? The bullpen is awful, depsite its bright spots throughout the season. Kerry has been solid so far, i'd like to see him used more often to see if he really could be a great setup man.

Despite Dusty's "great" managerial descisions this season (and I say that with extreme sarcasm), you can't really point the blame finger at Dusty. As easy as it is to do, or no matter how bad we want someone else managing this team that will lit a fire under these players, Dusty isnt playing on the field. Dusty is not at the plate swinging for the fences. Dusty is not getting picked off base. Dusty isnt coming in from the pen in the 8th and blowing the game wide open.

These 2005 Cubs really need to step up their game heading into September. There is a long way to go still, and it is possible for the Cubs to do what the Astros did in 2004. But its going to take a lot of effort. I saw it against St. Louis. I saw in in Houston (after Monday night of course.) I want to see it for a month consistantly. GO CUBS!!!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Well, Friday could have been much worse

The Chicago Cubs held on to win 5-3 on Friday against the Colorado Rockies. I caught the first half of the game on TV, before having to sit outside in the heat to watch a high school football scrimmage. The second half of the game I caught on XM and I have to say the Rockies crew was a little bland, but I guess losing does that to you.

Mark Prior threw a lot of pitches as he picked up the win. He had 10 strikeouts and a double at the plate. The bullpen gave up one run in three innings of work and that is not half bad.

This play by Corey Patterson was just plain bad. First he did not break right away and even after that he just slid and let the catcher make the tag. How about sliding around or jumping over, but just to slide rigt into him was not the best thing I have ever seen.

There is more good news as we speak. Our friends the Pittsburgh Pirates were able to beat Wild Card leading Philadelphia to let us pick up a full game. Also the Nationals lost to the Mets, but the Marlins did beat the Dodgers. Right now the Brewers are winning so this could be a good day.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Seven teams with only one dream

I was trying to be clever with title, but I guess it falls short of greatness. The Cubs have now won 5 of their last 7 against the Cardinals and Astros. That was a must after the terrible losing streak that preceded this play. I know many people think I have fallen off the cliff to think the Cubs still have a chance to make the playoffs, but that being said we still really do have a chance. It may be a small one, but if I give up on the season then it means football season is really here. While I like football, there is no reason to think I have to focus on it yet. Well, except for my job covering the Smackover Buckaroos (yes the town is named Smackover) for the El Dorado News-Times.
Carlos Zambrano has given us at least two more days of Hope as the Cubs held on in wild fashion to win 4-2 on Wednesday. The Cubs are now 5.5 games back with five teams ahead of them and one team tied with them.
The Cubs have a series with the Colorado Rockies and again it is a must to win 2-of-3 , but a sweep would be lovely.
Time to look at the teams involved in the Chase for the Wild Card.

1st Place, Houston Astros (64-56), Philadelphia Phillies (64-56)

The Astros fall into a tie for the Wild Card a 2-4 record against the Cubs and Pirates over the last six games. The Astros have the Brewers (4), Padres (3), Dodgers (3) and Reds (3) coming up in the next two weeks. This is a very interesting stretch for the Astros who are struggling at the wrong time.

I am sure being a Philly fan is a lot like being a Cub fan this year. They have played really well at times and real bad. They are a hard team to figure out. Ryan Howard has really started to shine at first base as Jim Thome has been injured. The Phillies just took split two games with the Nationals heading into today's double header. The starting pitching has been up and down all year with the exception of Brett Myers, who has been the best starter Philly starter this year. The Phillies have Washington (2), Pittsburgh (3), San Francisco (3), Arizona (3) and New York (3) coming up on the schedule.
2nd Place Washington Nationals (63-56) .5 games back

The Nationals have been the story of the year without a doubt. In Montreal they were left for dead and a move to the Potomic has them in the heat of the Wild Card Chase. A sweep of the double header today would put them in first place again. If there was one team I would think that might fade it would be the Nats because of the offense. So far that has not stopped them. The Nationals have tough games with the Phillies (2), Mets (3), Reds (3), Cardinals (3) and Braves (4) coming up before the end of the Month.

3rd place Florida Marlins (62-57) 1.5 games back

If I had to pick a team that was going to win the Wild Card right now it would be the Marlins. Their three top starters are just plain sick. Dontrelle Willis, Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett have been leading the charge for the past few weeks. Willis just threw another complete game and in any other year he would be the Cy Young front runner. The thing that makes the Marlins dangerous is their offense is really starting to play well. Miquel Cabrera is having his wonderful season. They have still have Juan Pierre, Mike Lowell and Carlos Delgado. The Marlins have upcoming games with the Padres (1), Dodgers (4), Cubs (3) and Cardinals (3).

4th Place New York Mets (61-58) 2.5 games back

Now we have a team that I am not too high on and I really can't tell you why. The Mets have been in the hunt all year and then they lost their starting right fielder (Mike Cameron) last week. They signed Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran during the off season and for the most park they have worked out. Martinez has been better than expected. Kris Benson has had a breakout year, maybe because his wife might has said it is that or she sleeps with the entire team. Jae Seo has been great in his return the rotation. The Mets finally relized that Kaz Matsui was not the answer and Jose Reyes has shined for the Mets. I still think the Mets will fall out of the race.
They have games upcoming against Pittsburgh (1), Washington (3), Arizona (4), San Francisco (3) and Philadelphia (3).

5th Place Milwaukee Brewers (59-62), Chicago Cubs (59-62) 5.5 games back

Who knew the Brewers would still be in the race and have a chance for .500 this late in the year? Well, regardless they are here to stay. They have quality starting pitching in Ben Sheets and Chris Capuano. They are trying have their first winning season since 1992. Carlos Lee has been exactly what they needed and things look good now for the Brew Crew. With all the talent in they have it looks like there might be a new force in the NL Central. As for this year, Milwaukee has a chance. They have a nice offense and their pitching is solid, but will all they put it together. They have thier chance staring with a four-game series against Houston today. The rest of the schedule has them playing the Marlins (3), Braves (3) and Pirates (2).
That leave the Chicago Cubs. I have already said my peace about the Cubs, just like every other Cub Blog Army member. I know the Dusty Baker is terrible. I know we never take a walk. I know we probably have no chance to make the playoffs and if we did we would lose quickly. That being said, we still have hope. The next two weeks are huge for the Cubs. The one thing I do like about the Wild Card is three teams are from the NL East and three are from the NL Central. That means a lot of teams playing each other. The have Colorado (3), Atlanta (3), Florida (3) and Los Angeles (3).
That is about it for now. In two weeks time a lot of things can change. If the Cubs go 9-3 during this time then we might get back in this thing. At worst they have to go 8-4. Winning each series is crucial at this point when you are fifth in a six team race.
Remember Hope is a Good Thing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mad Dog keeps the Hope Alive

That was a huge outing from Greg Maddux on Tuesday night. He threw 71 pitches in 7 innings of work as the Cubs won 4-1.
Aramis Ramirez hit a pop fly home run and the Mad Dog himself had a RBI infield hit.
Big Z goes tomorrow to keep our playoff hopes on life support. A win and the Cubs would be 5.5 out. Not great odds, but again better than no odds. There is nothing we can do about Dusty or players, so it is time to rally the troops and support the Cubs we do have. It is time for the "Drive in '05" and not the "Let's see in '06."

Monday, August 15, 2005

Cubs Week in Review: 08/08/05 - 08/14/05

This week started off last the last one ended, losing. The Cubs were swept by the Reds Monday thru Wednesday in what I would classify as games that weren't even close. For the sake of repeating what has been said in the past, I will simply say that heading into a 4 game series with the Cards, the season was all but lost.

But then the rain came down Thursday afternoon, and delayed the game for almost 2 hours. Strangely enough, maybe the rain did the trick, as the Cubs scored 11 runs to beat the Cards 11-4, with Maddux going the distance. Derrek Lee added 2 bombs and seemed to be locked in the zone.

Friday was no exception. Zambrano pitched 6 great innings, and the bullpen kept it together for another victory against the Cardinals, this time 4-1.

Saturday was a tough loss to swallow, especially with the Cubs taking 2 games in the series already. But Chris Carpenter was extremely solid for his 17th victory of the season. The Cubs just couldnt figure him out.

Last night, the Cubs were once against on the winning side, winning 5-4 after a very scary 9th inning. Patterson went deep to put the Cubs ahead 2-1 early in the game, Nomar added 3 hits showing he is really finding his stroke, and Macias put the Cubs ahead for good with a 2 run single in the 7th. The Cubs win the series 3 games to 1.

3 games to 1?!? are you nuts?!? The bset team in the NL gets wiped out by a team that just lost 8 in a row?!? I couldnt believe it myself. But if this weekend has taught me anything, its a renewed sense of hope. Sure, the odds are greatly against the Cubs, but you know what? I don't care. Their play this weekend really got me re-engergized for the rest of the season. Sure the Cubs may not be playing in October. But i'll wait til the Cubs are officially eliminated from playoff hopefuls until i give up.

08/08/05 - 08/14/05 Final Grade: B

My grade is a little higher than most people would probably expect, especially after getting swept by the Reds. But with a solid weekend of play against the best team in the NL, I stand by my ranking.

08/15/05 - 08/21/05 Preview:

Monday thru Wednesday - @ Houston
Thursday - offday
Friday thru Sunday - @ Colorado

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Calling out the Army

After a conversation with Joe Aiello from The View from the Bleachers,, it has become apparent that it is time to rally the army. What army am I talking about? I am talking about "The Cub Blog Army."
I was reading through my archives last night and read many posts during the 2003 season. There were many times that season that I referred to the season as "being over."
This season has been hard to deal with. There are many glaring problems here are just a couple:
1. Dusty Baker - Yes he is a terrible game manager. There is no method to the lineups that he runs out on the field. Why do you pitch to probably the best hitter in the game with first base open? Only Baker can tell you.
2. Being Healthy - All season we have battled through injuries. Nomar Garciaparra went down along with Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. Aramis Ramirez has been gimpy for a month. There is nothing we can do about this stuff.
3. Erratic play - There is no team in the majors other than the Cubs that could lose eight straight and then take 3-of-4 from the Cardinals. I can't understand it, but the good news is we play a tough schedule the rest of the way out.

Those are three really big problems, but guess what? We are only 6.5 games out of the playoffs. Too big of gap? Maybe. Too many teams in front of us? Maybe. Will we make the ground up? Not likely. Here is the thing we still have a chance. With all the terrible play over the last month, somehow the Cubs have found a way to keep hope alive.

Getting back to my conversation tonight with Joe. He has given up and thinks we should lose every game. I for one can't do that. It is time for the Cub Blog Army to action. I remember when the Army was formed during the summer of '03. Now it is time to rise to the challenge again. As a sports writer, I know the Cubs have just about no chance to make a real run, but as a fan it is my job to root for my team no matter what. Somewhere as the CBA grew we lost sight of what made us write in the first place. We are all fans of the Cubs, if you are not a fan then why write? The Army has to be strong this next week. It starts with a three game series against the Astros. We can be right back in the thick of things if we can take two of three.
We have had many members come and go, but the heart remains. We must put aside our bitter thoughts towards Dusty and get ready for the rest of the season.

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. - Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption.

Hope is all we have now and I would rather have hope than nothing. The games still matter and that is enough for me. So if you think the season is over then go away, because we might as keep playing the games while they matter. I am not ready to give into 2006 just yet.

6.5 games and five teams to make up. Sounds like a good time to me.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Shh!!!!!! Don't Tell Anybody

In case you did not hear, the Cubs won on Thursday big over those hated Cardinals. Mr. MVP that is D. Lee and not Pujols (who by the way committed a great error today).
Not much say at least the 8-gamer is over and today was a little brighter than yesterday.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I'm glad that I missed it

I thought to check the Cubs game about 9 p.m. CST and I found out quite quick that I missed nothing. The Cubs were down 8-0 and I quickly went back to work.
It was a long night at work, so I was not phased by the Cubs this time. By as Scott Lange would say "We suck."
We really do suck. This team has just fallen flat like last year's team at the end of the year and there is no relief coming it seems like.
We were teased in 2003 and now we quickly have been reminded about what it means to be a Cub fan. We might somehow finish with a .500 record, but because of one playoff run that is no longer good enough.
We need change in a bad way but I doubt we see it anytime soon.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Cubs Week in Review: 08/01/05 - 08/07/05

Even though i was gone for this entire week on vacation, I still was able to follow what was going on in the world of the Cubs. Based on what I saw, it was a good week to be gone.

The Cubs had a much needed off day on Monday, and begin a 6 game road trip to Philadelphia and New York. Tuesday would be the first game for Matt Lawton in a Cubs uniform after Sunday's deadline deal with the Pirates, who went 2-5 in his Cubs debut. Carlos Zambrano and Vicente Padilla had a scoreless pitcher's duel into the 8th inning, when the Cubs finally put 2 runs on the board, which was enough to win the game 2-1. Dempster had a shaky 9th, giving up 4 walks, 1 of those scoring the Phillies' only run. Everything was downhill from there.

The Cubs haven't won since, losing 5 straight, including a series sweep in New York. The big story this week was where has the offense gone, with the Cubs being outscored 15 to 28. While the Cubs did face good pitching in New York, it still does not account for the lack of hits and runs. After I found out that Hairston was out of the lineup due to injury and saw Macias starting in centerfield, for the first time all year I wished Patterson was back in the big leagues.

On the plus side though, Nomar Garciaparra, Kerry Wood, and Scott Williamson were all activated on Friday. Wood had a good relief outing Friday, only walking 1 and allowing 0 runs to score. Garciaparra went 0-4 Friday, and 2-3 with a walk on Sunday. Williamson allowed 1 hit while striking out 2 on Friday night, and allowed 1 hit and 1 strikeout Sunday night.

Something has to change big time this week, especially with the Cardinals coming to town for 4 games over the weekend. If the Cubs are going to seriously contend for the wildcard, the offense needs some kind of spark bad.

08/01/05 - 08/07/05 Final Grade: D+ (only because of Maddux's start Saturday, and Zambrano's start on Tuesday)

08/08/05 - 08/14/05 Pitching Probables

Mon - Reds @ Cubs: LHP Claussen (6-8, 4.85 ERA) vs RHP Williams (3-4, 4.60 ERA)
Tues - Reds @ Cubs: RHP Harang (7-10, 3.90 ERA) vs RHP Prior (7-4, 3.64 ERA)
Wed - Reds @ Cubs: LHP Milton (5-12, 6.75 ERA) vs LHP Hill (0-1, 7.00 ERA)
Thurs - Cardinals @ Cubs: TBA vs RHP Maddux (8-9, 4.57 ERA)
Fri - Cardinals @ Cubs: TBA vs TBA
Sat - Cardinals @ Cubs: TBA vs TBA
Sun - Cardinals @ Cubs: TBA vs TBA

(all photos from ESPN/AP Photo Gallery)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Carlos Zambrano was on Tuesday night and the Cubs start the post deadline with 2-1 after a rough 9th inning. Ryan Dempster walked four men in the inning and there was not even a visit to the mound. I guess we can say "Dusty being Dusty." For some reason David Bell went up there hacking after all the walks, but we will take it as the Cubs gain ground on the Nationals.