A Close One

The Brewers beat the Cubs 6-5.  This has become the unsung leading story this year with the Cubs.  They lose the close ones.  Which isn’t a bad thing this early on.  It’s a problem they can fix.  Whether they steal more bases(the Cubs are last in the league with 0) or get on base more, the ultimate answer is they have to score more runs.

The Cubs are pretty much in the middle of the pack in all offensive categories.  It’ll all come together.

Another thing too that will improve throughout the season is stranding runners on base.  I have a big problem with that only because it’s something that needs to get fixed.  Bringing the runners home should be the top priority.  I’m a big fan of the long ball but chipping away at the scoreboard is far more effective I think.

Ok, I believe they’ll get better and Castro, Marlon Byrd, Ramirez, Pena and Soriano are all just getting started. 

Mike Quade said it best,”There were a lot of miscues.”

—Mark Gauthier

Cubs Bring Out The Aces

Yesterday, the Cubs shelacked(I hope that’s the right spelling) the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-1. The money guys played like money guys. Alfonso Soriano got a huge Home Run putting to rest any rumour of his demise.  Carlos Pena whacked in an RBI which if he keeps that up, he’ll be chipping away at the scoreboard all season long.  Aramis Ramirez proved that he’s the big play guy as well with two hits.  Check out the box score!

Who needs Carlos Silva when we have Randy Wells.  Early on in the spring training, and I mean early on, I made a case for Carlos Silva, but I was wrong.  Randy Wells is the right man for the job and he did just that yesterday picking up his first win of the season.

In the end, the big aces won the game yesterday and that’s what they got to do if the Cubs want to win their division this year.

—Mark Gauthier

 

Carlos Silva Released

I’m sure everyone else is weighing in on the Carlos Silva situation.  I might as well too.  I like Silva and thought he pitched well last year, but as Spring Training 2011 has shown, there has been a lot more pitchers that are better than him.

Here’s the thing:  Carlos criticized the Cubs for the way they’ve handled him this spring.  Last year, Milton Bradley was made an example.  History repeats itself.

The Cubs have a business to run.  They have a World Series to win.  They have to provide quality entertainment for the millions of fans who lineup at the gates, tune in to the radio and tv and purchase all the memorabilia that their basements can fill.  That’s professional sports.

Carlos Silva is not acting professional.  There are plenty of kids who attend spring camps with hopes of wearing the same uniform as one of their heroes.  In this case, Silva was out played and underachieved.  Get over it, move on and play somewhere else.

I would rather have a young kid up on the mound proving to everyone and himself why he should be there.  If he loses, who cares?  As long as he tries, he will get better and he will earn the respect of the fans.

In this case, we have Cashner, Mateo and Coleman who want that job more badly than Silva and most importantly, they’re not whiners.

Jim Hendry said it best,”He seems to make a continual habit of blaming everybody but himself”

—Mark Gauthier

Andrew Cashner

A few weeks ago, a great blog Strictly Cubs Baseball  made a post regarding Andrew Cashner and you can find it here.  It was a good article and lately I’ve been thinking about that article because of the way Andrew Cashner has been playing.

Why not put him in the starting rotation.

1. Ryan Dempster

2. Matt Garza

3. Carlos Zambrano

4. Carlos Silva

5. Andrew Cashner

 

Yup.  I think it’s time to give the young guy the nod.  The Cubs have had great success with their young talent so they should keep that up.

I was thinking Jeff Samardzija, but now it’s Andrew that needs to fill that spot.

—Mark Gauthier

 

Cubs Busted By The Texas Rangers

Ok, I was thinking of a really good cliche and the title was all I had.  Not a bad loss loss yesterday considering Castro wasn’t in the line-up and Zambrano went three scoreless innings.

Todays game against the Royals should be interesting with Matt Garza getting the call and Tyler Colvin trying 1st Base.  Brett Jackson is going to be in centerfield.

In regards to the squabble between Silva and Ramirez, Quade didn’t say too much rather chalking it up to frustration.  I’ll buy that.  Everybody’s tense, just don’t let that happen again. 

Anyone want to bet on a Soriano/Byrd scuffle?  I think that would be a good match-up.  I’m kidding.

—-Mark Gauthier

Filling the Hole

This is going to be the rotation for the Cubs this year:

1. Ryan Dempster

2. Carlos Zambrano

3. Matt Garza

4. Carlos Silva

5. Jeff Samardzija

I think it could be a toss up between Andrew Cashner and Jeff.  Although Randy Wells will be a strong candidate, his inconsistincies may strike against him.

Jeff will be training hard and I think this will be his year to shine.  He was sent down last year and went 11-3.  That’s pretty decent numbers. He won’t let the team down.

Of course, the list is in no particular order.  I’ve said before that Dempster will be the Opening Day pitcher, but then again Matt Garza might be the pick because he’s the Cubs stallion right now.  Which I still hope Ryan starts.  He deserves it.

—Mark Gauthier

Who will Start Opening Day?

Now that the Matt Garza situation has been resolved, there’s a new one on the rise.  Who will start the 2011 season?  In the past few years Zambrano has led our team and set the tone for the season.  Maybe it’s Ryan Dempster that’ll create an example of the season to come. 

Carlos Silva had a good year in 2010 and maybe it’s his time to shine on Opening Day.  Or the Cubs can send a message that Matt Garza was the right choice.

The decision is a tough one.  It won’t be Randy Wells, I know that,  or Gorzelanny.  They’ll get their shot.

Zambrano had a shaky season last year and let down a lot of fans.

Opening Day is the most important day of the season and the pitcher has to get the crowd into the game and keep them into it throughout the season.  It’s the game that will determine the kind of season the Cubs will have.  No pressure. 

I think Dempster should get the start.  I’m biased towards the Canadian. He’s paid his dues and it’s his turn for the start of what’s going to be one of the most intriguing seasons yet.

—Mark Gauthier