Chicago Cubs Leave White Sox Out To Dry

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Whenever the Cubs play the Chicago White Sox, something interesting happens; The Cubs play them hard. Last night, the Cubs pounded the White Sox and hung them out to dry 8-2.

Since all the trades that have been happening, I’ve made a case for Matt Garza to stay with the organization and last night’s performance by the ace pitcher may have provided enough proof that he should be the one to anchor their rotation.

“I think it’s picking up where I left off last year,” Garza said. “I just needed a couple starts under my belt and I’ll be right back in this thing, and I fully believed that.”

Matt Garza is a pretty intense guy and the type of player who wants to win all the time. unlike former pitcher Carlos Zambrano whose hot headedness often led to disruption in the clubhouse, Matt Garza gets excited and tries to rally his teammates. Folks, I don’t know about you, but the Cubs could use some enthusiasm from time to time.

Let’s talk about Alfonso Soriano. He’s the guy who has been in trade talks since 2009 at the least. He’s got a monster contract and it’s inevitable he’ll be shopped by the trade deadline of July 31.

He’s the guy I love to hate and he’s playing awesome! Last night, Fonzi destroyed the ball in the sixth inning giving him his 13th home run of the season.

“If they want me to stay here, I stay here. But if they don’t want me to, the door is open. I’ve had a good time. I just play one day at a time and enjoy my time.” Soriano said.

If he does end up staying with the organization, he could have to take a pay cut. At least that’s the most honorable thing to do and the Cubs could go out and sign a cheap quality free agent.

You’re making me a believer Alfonso!

Ok, Starlin Castro is in a slump. His numbers are down and what are the Cubs going to do with him? Well, the Cubs chances of making the post season are about the same odds as me being invited to the White House for a glass of Honey lager with President Obama to discuss the Cubs vs the White Sox.

Two things can happen: The Cubs can bench Castro in favour of a young prospect getting a shot at the big leagues or the Cubs should trade Starlin Castro. If Starlin’s going to develop into the kind of player the Cubs thought he was going to be, then now is the time to do a move like this.

Tonight, the Cubs host the LA Angels. Game time is 8:05.

How about that beer Mr. President?

—Mark

Back On Track

All is right in the world when the Cubs beat up on the Astros.  As the trade winds blow throughout the league it seems every time players who’s necks are out there seem to step up, er, um to the plate.  shoot, I thought I could avoid that one.

There’s another funny phenomena that happens when teams lose and then they win a game or two; they try to validate their losing season by saying that,”I’m back on track”  of course I’m talking about Carlos Zambrano.  Now to be fair, yes, they won a game and maybe they are back on track but to say that this time into the season is somewhat false.  If this were the beginning or middle of May, i would say that “Being back on track” is a good statement to make.  There would still be time to salvage the season and a clear focus towards the World Series would be Back on Track.

I think in order to be “Back on Track”, the Cubs need to do well in the trade Deadline and show and prove to fans that they are taking leaps forward to next year.  They have the money to do it, I trust the brains behind the Cubs will do well.

The Cubs are in the right direction, but not Back on Track . 

—Mark Gauthier

Something Fishy

Ok, I’m really a sucker for those kind of things.  The truth is that after Ryan Dempster threw a beauty of a game, the Cubs got whipped by the Marlins 13-5.  I don’t think it was Carlos Zambrano’s fault and I think the finger pointing is well left in the first half of the season.  The fact is the Cubs got beat up yesterday.  They got beat up in the kind of game where some teams just have your number.  Here’s an example:

A few years ago, the Ottawa Senators were in the playoffs and after going three rounds where they just destroyed any competition that came their way, they were expected to go on and win the Stanley Cup.  However, the Anaheim Ducks were just a better team than the Senators and beat up them to win the Stanley Cup.  Was it anything the Sens did wrong?  Should they have changed their game plan?  Fire their coach the next season?  There were so many questions, but it all boiled down to the Ducks simply were the better team and they won.  Congratulations.  When a team plays hard and doesn’t win, it’s just as good as winning.

Carlos Zambrano pitched a good game and the Marlins had his number yesterday.  I think maybe that’s why this season has been frustrating because too many teams have had the Cubs number.  We’ll get em next time.

—Mark Gauthier

Whoops part 2

Give Carlos Zambrano credit because he calls it like he sees it,”We stink” and,”It’s embarrassing, we played like a Triple A team”

Yesterday, the Cardinals beat up on the Cubs  3-2 in extra innings.

To add insult to injury, the Cubs were ahead of St Louis going into the ninth.  It was an old teammate, an old friend: someone with the nickname,”The Riot”.

Ryan Theriot got the hit to get the St. Louis Cardinals back in the game and into extra innings for the second straight day.  However, it wasn’t until the bottom of the tenth inning when Albert Pujols blasted the ball way out for the second straight day. Oh, let me say that again.  The second straight day.  Almost the exact same pitch.  Bam!  Who would have thought?  Well, great players know where the ball’s going to be.  Albert Pujols is one of the greatest players and he was doing his job.  Carlos Zambrano is right when he says it was Ryan Theriot’s play that beat the Cubs.  Albert Pujols did not beat the Cubs.

The Cubs have lost six in a row.  Their record drops to 23-34.  That’s unacceptable in baseball where every game counts. If this were hockey where points lie in overtime losses, and shootouts (which I disagree with) that would be all right because it’s a lot easier to crawl out of a hole.  Not in baseball.  Certainly not in Triple A.

—Mark Gauthier

Marmol-Aid?

 

Well, last night I tuned into the game in the eith inning all excited to sit and listen to the Cubs on a warm evening.  Isn’t that what baseball is about?  I checked the score and the Cubs are winning.  My excitement is mounting, the tide is turning, the Cubs are moving up in the standings.

I went to the fridge and got myself something to drink.  Here we go!

Well, I don’t know what happened between the fridge and getting back to the game.  Just a second, let me tell you.

Carlos Marmol, probably my favourite Cub player allowed 6 runs in the ninth.  He hasn’t given up a home run since last year.  It’s a pretty safe bet that when fans see Marmol walking to the mound, watch him look this way and that way as his ears poke from his cap(that’s not a slight Carlos) I get excited.  It’s Marmol-Aid time!

Perhaps he was having an off night.  I don’t know.

Carlos Zambrano provided some of the entertainment by breaking a baseball bat over his knee.

Back to Marmol; A pitcher with his talent will be back doing what he does best–Marmol-Aid!

—Mark Gauthier

Battered and Bruised

Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano tries but can't make the catch on a double by Pittsburgh Pirates' Neil Walker during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, May 28, 2011, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

You would think that Mike Quade would have gotten writer’s cramp with all the injuries that have happened to the Cubs this season.  Adding Alfonso Soriano to the list with a strained Quadricep.  Ok, let’s put a positive spin on this and say that it’s injuries that are plaguing the club.  Once everyone comes back from their prospective injury everything will be all right and the Cubs can get down to business.

A nice two-run homer by Carlos Pena.  Great job!  Tony Campana, where the hell did he come from.  He stole two bases.  Anymore and they’ll have to call Chicago’s finest on him.

Big Z gets the start tonight. 

—Mark Gauthier

Who is Tony Campana?

It always seems when I get on the Cubs case they rebound and upset their opponent.  Maybe I just think I’m their muse or something.   They won 9-3 over the Mets

 One of my biggest concerns is that in the National League, pitchers should know a thing or two about batting.   I’ve harped on this before but when Zambrano can go 3 for 3 that says something.  It means pitchers won’t do the usual bunt or sacrifice.  Carlos Zambrano is a huge threat when he steps up to the plate.  You know, the other thing is Zambrano has far exceeded his expectations this year.

Carlos Pena earned his money by hitting a home run.  I think he’s warmed up a bit and ready to go.

So, who is this kid Tony Campana?  Ok, I’ve asked that question before but I think few would disagree that he’s solidified his place in the lineup and I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves his way up in the order. 

One more time; who is Tony Campana?

My prediction is that the Cubs will make a run for the division title.

Holy Cow!

—Mark Gauthier