Friday, May 22, 2009

White Sox give up 20 runs in one game, win series. Cubs give up eight runs in series, get swept. That's baseball.

Before we get into Thursday's game, I thought it'd be fun to check in on some former Cubs. Let's have at it:

Kerry Wood, Indians
Many Cubs fans were sad to see him go this past offsesason. While part of me was sad as well, I didn't think it was prudent to spend $20 million on a closer. Wood is 6-for-8 in save opportunities, and has an ugly 7.71 ERA and 1.86 WHIP (the ML average is 1.42). Wood might be wishing he'd chosen a different team to sign with--the Indians don't have the worst record in baseball (Nationals), but they do have the second-worst.

Mark DeRosa, Indians
With DeRosa's contract up at the end of the year, it would be a shock if DeRosa doesn't get traded away from the Tribe. His .253 average is his lowest since 2005, but he's still providing decent production with six home runs and 26 RBI.

David Aardsma, Mariners
The player who will forever be listed first in an alphabetical listing of baseball players is on his third team since the Cubs (White Sox, Red Sox, Mariners). The 27-year-old has pitched in 19 games for Seattle and has five saves and six holds with a sparkling 1.37 ERA.

Rich Hill, Orioles
In his first start since last May, Hill won his first game in over a year by beating the Royals last Saturday. He'll start again Friday against the Nationals.

Ronny Cedeno, Mariners
Cedeno has played in 15 games for the Mariners, and is batting just .200 with two home runs and five RBI.

Jason Marquis, Rockies
Marquis started the season red hot, but has come back to Earth a bit in his recent starts. As is his custom, he has recorded a decision in all eight of his starts (he seems to either be great or terrible in all of his starts); he's 5-3 with a 4.75 ERA. His most recent outing was a good one, as he held the Braves to one run over eight innings.

Thursday: Cardinals 3, Cubs 1

Okay, that was painful. And dreadful. And woeful. The Cubs forgot something at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport--their offense. Hopefully they retrieved it on their way to San Diego.

The Cubs' recent struggles have been frustrating, no doubt. But when you step back and realize that Derrek Lee, Geovany Soto, Mike Fontenot, Milton Bradley, Reed Johnson and Aaron Miles are hitting under .240; that Aramis Ramirez is on the DL; that Carlos Zambrano has missed nearly three weeks; and that Ted Lilly is the only starter with an ERA under four, what's really amazing is that the Cubs are still three games over .500.

The Cubs have holes in their lineup and in their bullpen, but Piniella has coaxed 21 victories out of them to this point. While it's taking way too long, Soto and Bradley are going to hit (and hopefully Lee will, too), and Ramirez will be back for most of the second half. With so many new faces in the clubhouse, Piniella seems to be pulling a 2007, i.e. using the first couple months to figure out who belongs in what role. Add to that the fact that Hendry should have some flexbility to make a move or two in July, and the Cubs should be okay.

But in the meantime, Hoffpauir and Koyie Hill should both see some increased time at the plate if you ask me. Somebody needs to jump start this offense, and Hoffpauir has been perhaps the Cubs' most consistent hitter all season, and Hill played well when Soto was hurt earlier in the year. It's worth a try.

Getting swept at the hands of the Cardinals was not even the least bit pleasant, but as Walter Sobchak once said, "Nothing is f---ed here, Dude." Believe it or not, the Cubs have not yet played a quarter of their schedule. Let's go get a couple (or a few) wins in SoCal before coming back home for a seven-game homestand.

MLB pitching notes
-The Dodgers have four lefties--Randy Wolf, Clayton Kershaw, Eric Stults and Eric Milton--in their rotation.

-The Nationals have a rotation consisting of four rookies--Craig Stammen, Shairon Martis, Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler--and a second-year pitcher, John Lannan. But no worries, they're backed up by a bullpen with a 1-15 record and an ML-worst 6.68 ERA.

-Remember how the Mets' biggest offeseason priority was fixing their bullpen? Well, it appears to have worked: Mets relievers lead the league with a 2.83 ERA.


  1. Since I don't really want to talk about the Cubs (Momma never told me there would be days like these), do you think Berkman was safe or out at the plate in last nite's game? I think he was safe, and not just because I wanted the Astros to win.

  2. I think he was safe. Maybe the Twins will score 20 more runs against the Brewers tonight??