Cubs Drinking The Brew

It was a low scoring game with the only run being scored in the bottom of the 8th inning to give the Cubs a 1-0 win over Millwaukee.  Darwin Barney raced home and scored off a fielder’s choice from Aramis Ramirez.

Now, it’s that kind of hustle that’s going to win it for the Cubs and against divisional opponents.  in fact, I would say that the Cubs have nothing to lose.  The All Star break is coming up and the Cubs should pull out all the stops if they have any chance of making the post season.  They have the young hitters and hurlers, combine that with the experience of the veterans there isn’t any excuse why they shouldn’t make it to October.

After a shaky start to the season, it’s great to see Ryan Dempster get his groove back.  He’s undefeated in his last 8 games.  However, Kerry Wood is set to go out on the disabled list today. It looks like Alfonso Soriano will return soon and same with Reed Johnson and Marlon Byrd.  Things are looking up.

Also, I want to share this link to The Sweater 

it’s a neat story.

—Mark Gauthier

Not So Bad

There’s an old cliche that says, “They’re great on paper.”  This applies to the Chicago Cubs.  It’s funny you know, the Toronto Blue Jays on paper have an Ok team, but this year, they’re exceeding expectations.  The Cubs on the other hand, for some reason can’t get it together.  They have one good game followed by a really poor one and then climb out of the woodwork and pull together an amazing game.  That’s baseball.

The Cubs are seven games back.  A few years ago they were ten games back at the start of August and came back to win their division.  That’s also baseball.

There have been some outstanding performances this year like Darwin Barney and Starlin Castro who should have no problem making it to the Allstar game.  There havy been some great surprises like Tony Campana and returning stars like Kerry Wood and Reed Johnson.

To be fair, Andrew Cashner has been injured and now Marlon Byrd so injuries have played a crucial part in this year’s fluctuation.  I’m confident the team will turn around.  I think after the Allstar break, we’re going to see a much better Cubs team.  No, a more consistent team.

—Mark Gauthier

Since 1918

The Cubs got beat up at Fenway.  Hey, the pageantry was felt and what I’ve learnt from baseball is that even in the losses, baseball is an intriguing game.  Now, I only watched a little bit of the game on Sunday but it was pretty cool to see the Green Monster.  My dad and I were watching snippets of it and we both concur that the magic of baseball unlike some sports is the strategy goes right down to the wire.

I saw a clip of Marlon Byrd getting nailed.  I hope he’s ok.  It looked pretty bad.  Today, the Cubs are off and I have a funny feeling that they’re going to be making some crucial changes in the lineup.

I like interleague play.  Maybe not as many games, maybe one series I don’t know.  Boston is a powerhouse and maybe the Cubs having to change their plan is rough.

It was a treat to see the Cubs at Fenway and I look forward to the Yankees at Wrigley.

—Mark Gauthier

Cubs Snagged a Marlin

Ok, maybe the spelling is wrong.  Marlon Byrd hit his first home run in, well a long time.  Yes, the game kind of went like the Cubs season.  Back and forth.  Now, the Cubs record stands at 18-23. 

I think they did it for the Gauthier. 

So, let’s just see how the Cubs won the game.  They got big hits by the big guys in the top of the order and how about that home run by Reed Johnson?  I don’t know if Reed will ever make it to Cooperstown, but here’s my argument for why he should be considered or at the very least made an honourary member if that makes sense.  Reed Johnson doesn’t get the big numbers but his consistency and heart exemplify what ballplayers should be and that alone is a great reason why he should be there someday.

All right, where did Tony Campana come from?  Holy Crap he’s quick.  Did you see that play for home?  Wow!!

I can’t wait for the weekend.

—Mark Gauthier

The Boys Are Back!

It just seemed yesterday that everything was firing on all cylinders.  Carlos Zambrano got his tenth straight road win and Marlon Byrd blasted one to the bleachers.  Maybe it was the throwbacks, if it was, keep em’ for the season.  The final score, 5-1.

They’ll be wearing their 1918 uniforms when they face the Red Sox later this month.

The Cubs are almost back to .500 ball  with their record at 14-16.

You can use all the cliches like “taking it one game at a time” or  “There’s still lots of ball to be played” but the truth of the matter is that the Cubs are very good and with such good players it takes time to gel.  Or they could be just like me, waiting for the summer and the heat to kick in.

—Mark Gauthier

The Cubs in LA LA land

The Cubs lost the series opener to the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2.  However, Alfonso Soriano sent another ball into the atmoshere, his 11th homer of the season.  Now, he sits atop the National League.  I’ll tell you folks, we’re on the verge but I’m staying cautious because the Cubs need to pick up the wins by the All-Star break or they don’t have a chance, then again anything is possible.

No, I think the key is Marlon Byrd and when he’s hitting the ball the Cubs are going to be up there.  Also, Carlos Pena.  He’s starting to get his groove going so it won’t be long.

Then again, I’m superstitious.  Once we see the Green Ivy, the Cubs will win.

Well done Soriano!!!!

—Mark Gauthier

 

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

NL Player of The Week-Starlin Castro

Starlin Castro was named player of the week.  Congratulations!!  Remember, it was here that I said he’s a potential MVP candidate.  Also, he gets his own bobblehead doll.  Nothing says you’ve made it in the big leagues than a bobblehead.

Seriously, baseball has needed the enthusiasm and energy this kid brings to the game everytime.  They’ve needed it for a long time.  I’d have to say it was an omen that his first big league hit was a home run.

Ok, he makes mistakes, but the kind of mistakes he makes usually get ironed out over time.  Whether it’s hanging on to the ball instead of throwing it.

“He’s a superstar in the making.” says Marlon Byrd.

To think that last year, I picked up his rookie card for $5 bucks!

Congratulations Starlin!!

—Mark Gauthier

Cactus League is Done

Cactus League play wrapped up on Tuesday with a 15-8 victory for the Diamondbacks.  Matt Garza finished Spring Training with a 10.38 ERA.  Although, under ordinary circumstances that would be a disastrous number, this is Spring Training.  As I’ve said in previous posts, it’s a chance to get the kinks out(Carlos Silva), see the new players like Matt Garza and Carlos Pena and watch the rookies strut their stuff.

So, what am I looking forward to this year?

Andrew Cashner will join the rotation this year.  I’m excited about this rookie who compiled a 4.41 ERA.

Starlin Castro will follow up his stellar rookie season and become a great leader for the club.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he competes for MVP honours this year.

Marlon Byrd will anchor the club in the outfield.

Overall, I think the Cubs are in great shape for the season.  I’m predicting they’ll finish second in their division.

Ok, Let’s play Ball!!!

—Mark Gauthier

 

 

 

Working Out The Kinks

So, I missed yesterday’s ballgame.  We had company, but It looks like I didn’t miss much.  Spring Training is a time for working out the kinks, clearing the dust and cobwebs  from the corners and finding out just where things go.  Spring cleaning works pretty much the same way around our house.  I love cleaning.  I love spring training.  People think I’m crazy,”It doesn’t count.”  or,”What’s the point?”

So, I after seeing the score against the Padres (and for those of you not in the know, it was 14-4) a pretty bad score by any other standard but this being Cactus League play, let’s break down the Box Score:

Fukodome got one hit and a run. He continues to shine in the lead-off position.  Let’s keep him there. 

Marlon Byrd wasn’t in the lineup.

One word:  TYLER COLVIN.  ok, that’s two words but he got one hit, one run and two walks.  He’s going to be a star this year.

Reed Johnson is his usual best with a hit and a run.  The Cubs did a great job getting him back.

Pitching is still a little shaky.  Matt Garza is struggling but he got off to a rough start but you know, the best players bring their game come the regular season.  I’d give him some rest.

Despite yesterday’s loss, the Cubs are in good shape for Opening Day.

—Mark Gauthier