And not in a good “family game night” kind of way either.
If only Lee didn’t wait so long to turn it on this season.
Today’s broadcast of Prose and Ivy Cubs Blog Talk Radio went really well I must say for the first live broadcast. I didn’t get word out nearly early enough for people to know about it, mark it on their calendars and call in. But the technology is really cool and I think it’s going to be a blast to do in conjuction with the written aspect of Prose and Ivy. I’ll be sure to let you all know when the next broadcast is going to be well in advance this next time so you can call in and share your thoughts. Talk radio is a whole lot cooler when people call in…er, even listen for that matter. Next time, more advanced notice for sure.
Cubs v. Reds again tomorrow at Wrigley. Mr. All-Star Theodore Roosevelt Lilly on the mound for the Cubs. Go get your W Teddy Mustwin (see a couple of posts below this). Go Cubs Go!
The Rockies have surged their way to a last at-bat victory once again and matched the Cubs sweep of the Pirates with a sweep of the Reds.
There is an old children’s joke that reminds me of this Cubs season.
“Why is six afraid of seven?”
“Because seven eight nine.”
As soon as we hit seven games back I felt that it was too much to overcome and that loss ate up any chances we had of winning this thing in ’09. Add to it the fact that the Rockies keep winning and the rest of the pack keeps losing and they are separating themselves even farther in this wild card race.
Both the Cubs and the Rockies are 5-5 over their last 10 games. However, the way those wins and losses fell, we’ve lost ground on the Rockies and are now eight games back in the wild card standings. I can’t believe publications and outlets like ESPN even include them on their NL Wild Card standings/contenders lists any longer. I mean, again, it would take a miracle. So why not list the realistic chances only. Anyone who hasn’t been mathematically eliminated would require a miracle to make it in, so in that case if you list the Cubs, might as well list everyone.
Our line up was sorely missing Lee as his return to the lineup included a couple of home runs and a victory against the Mets. Putting all of that pressure and urgency on Wells’ starts in September is just too much for a rookie to realistically come through with so it’s no great surprise that Wells is proving to be unable to carry his weight through September. Zambrano’s been touch and go, Demp hasn’t done anything special and there’s been no run support for Lilly or Wells. So in that case we have to keep hoping Wells, a rookie, figures out a way to win and it’s just been too much.
Another Cubs loss today and a Rockies win. An unfortunate pattern as of late. I think I had the Dodgers winning the West and the Giants taking the wild card before the season began so if not the Rockies or Cubs, I suppose for my own record, the Giants are welcome to win the WC.
The way this season is ending will raise lots of questions in the off-season. Another starter needed? A closer? A new manager? Use some of these class, talented youngsters to get a big name to win now with guys like Soriano, Lee, Ramirez and Bradley playing and getting up there in years? Trade any of those guys in a blockbuster trade and perhaps that will make a difference? I don’t know. But the off-season will provide a ton of questions, predictions, analysis and trade proposals. Hendry will have his work cut out for him in figuring out the last few moves necessary to mold this roster into a World Champion team.
Until then, we still have 27 games left. Eight games out. Has seven ate ’09? Probably. But if the math works in our favor, then history may as well. And if that’s the case, the off-season business may be a lot different, the chemistry may be okay and the language we hear will be something entirely unexpected. First of the 27: Lilly against the Pirates. We’ll always have Pittsburgh is a popular saying here at Prose and Ivy. Tomorrow, we’ll see if that’s still true and if so, whether it makes any difference or not in the standings. Go Cubs Go!
It happened. We’re seven games back.
I thought six games would be a lot to make up in a month…seven I think is going to be too much. Any result that puts us in the playoffs this year I’m afraid would be a miracle at this point. Harden pitching today against the Mets. Heading to see some family for the annual Labor Day weekend luau. Hope my cell phone has some good news for me later today. Full recap of my time at Citi last night for the Cubs/Mets game is listed in the post below this. Go Cubs Go!
Zambrano earned some clout. Soriano’s out. And Lee missed another game on paternity leave for the birth of his second child.
Congratulations D-Lee, hope baby Lee and Mama Lee are doing well! Adding one baby to your 2009 stat line after writing this, just because, why not!
Had fun at the Cubs game tonight at Citi Field…until about the eighth inning that is. Zambrano, who has struggled in the two games he had prior to this one since coming off the DL had a strong outing. His control seemed to be a bit off but he still got results. He gave up a solo shot to New York’s up and coming left fielder Cory Sullivan in the second inning but aside from that he was effective getting out of any self made jams and keeping the Mets off the board. From my seat in the second row of the front section of the upper deck behind home plate, I had a great view of pitches as they crossed home plate. The point of view up there (section 514 for the record) is amazing and makes it real easy to agree or disagree accurately with the ump’s balls and strikes calls. I think Zambrano got robbed a bunch, but then again, was the recipient of a few gifts as well. Parnell benefited the same for the Mets so all is fair in love and strike zones.
Parnell has had a rough go of it for the Mets but he was strong through his seven innings as well. Not as strong as Zambrano though. The Cubs managed to load the bases three times in the game and unfortunately only came away with a run during the eighth inning. Timely hits was not this team’s strong suit tonight and I’m sure it didn’t help having Soriano on the bench and Lee’s bat home by the crib.
Soriano is out indefinitely and I must say…I think we’re looking at 2010. I hate saying that before we are mathematically eliminated and I love our bench guys, I just don’t think we have enough to do what it takes this year. When I left Citi to the pumping fist of K-Rod and the smiling faces of Mets fans, the Rockies were up 2-0. Currently as I type this, the D-backs are up 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth. If the Rockies come back and win, putting us seven games out, I think that’s exactly what we’ll be, figuratively. Out. Seven is too much to over come without some ground-breaking miracle that MLB Network will talk about for ages. Without some kind of miraculous finish to the season, I think we’re done. I didn’t think that before I left today for the ballpark and I won’t think it until we are officially seven out. But if it comes to that, I believe we’re done.
I got to the stadium in time for batting practice. I don’t normally get to the stadium that early and it was great. I was standing right by the outfield wall where all of the Cubs pitchers (most) were stretching and warming up their arms. Marmol looked great (too bad we didn’t see him tonight). Lilly was there and I took the opp to shout some praises. Berg was having a blast with kids asking him for baseballs, you could just tell he was digging it. And Grabow was being harassed by two 10 year old kids for a baseball. The same baseball he was currently warming up with. Funny what kids don’t get. Even after he said to them point blank, “I’ll give it to you when I’m done with it”, they still pestered him for it, asked why he needed it, and then began harassing another pitcher for the ball at his feet that he wasn’t using. This guy was warming up right next to Grabow, the guy who promised them his ball. Ah, the New York City public school system.
One kid next to me during BP was pretty cool. Little Mets fan but clearly a baseball fan in general. He had asked me if I could help him point out where the Cubs were on the field during warm-ups that he had in his stack of baseball cards. Of course I could. He was very excited to see Ted Lilly in person and was hoping to get an autograph. I don’t know that that happened, but it was fun taking in BP with someone who still sees the game like an eleven year old kid. Baseball the way it should be.
Once again Cubs Nation turned out and there were more Cubs fans around me than Mets fans in my immediately portion of the section. One Cubs fan who had never been to Citi before was surprised that there aren’t any bleachers. ‘That’s just not right’, he said. Funny how bleachers are such a part of Cubs baseball. He was floored that the stadium had no bleachers. As if it made the game of baseball impossible to be played without them…like the Mets’ new ball field had no place for shortstop. Funny. Good guy to watch the game with. Unfortunately after we celebrated the Cubs tying it up in eighth, I was correct when I told him the Mets would take the lead again once Gregg came out to pitch in the bottom of the same inning. I really dislike Gregg. He needs to be off this team in 2010. He has done nothing but hurt this team in the greater picture and he needs to go.
Mets played great defense tonight aside from their couple of mishaps in the field. One easy pop up that should have been an out dropped in for Bradley and I believe it was Bradley again who benefited from an error at first. To make up for it all was Parnell who had bases loaded at one point and got out of it with two strike outs and then a brilliant defensive play on the mound when a shot up the middle fired at him and he was able to stop it and get the out at first. Unreal. Mets win 6-2…scoreboard watching time. Let’s hope we don’t let the GB mark reach seven.
Tomorrow’s another day at Citi and I believe Lee will be back. No Soriano, but we’ll see if Fuld can make something happen. And while Zambrano did his thing today, he deserved a win he didn’t get. That’s to the fault of the Cubs inability to score guy in position and keep the stranded total down. Hopefully that changes tomorrow and Marmol gets to show his stuff successfully in more than just the warm ups. Get the W tomorrow boys….Go Cubs Go!
Heading out to Citi Field in a little bit. Seats in the upper deck behind home plate, good seats to scoreboard watch from and root for the D’backs to beat the Rockies and the Cubs to beat the Mets. Hoping to catch Cubs batting practice. Not expecting a lot of home runs tonight with Citi’s horrible dimensions when it comes to the long ball. If it’s true that chicks dig the long ball, I doubt chicks dig Citi Field.
Let’s hope they keep Zambrano under control if he takes BP. Don’t need him pulling anything or adding to his back problems trying to yank one out of Citi when it doesn’t even count. Zambrano needs to have his first quality start since coming off the DL. Last time he faced the Mets he was extremely ineffective. Hopefully he’s worked out the mechanics issue he’s had of late and is back to his old self tonight. Mets will have Parnell on the mound. With a record of 1-4 after five starts and an ERA of 10.29, this is another guy looking to get on track so I guess it’s a race to see which pitcher can put it together the fastest. With the park dimensions, it’s going to take a lot of small ball to beat the Mets at their own game tonight. 81 degrees and partly cloudy at game time is the forecast. Should be a beautiful night for baseball. Expecting to see a lot of others at the game wearing Cub blue. You know how we do in turning out at road games. LET’S GO CUB-BIES! I’m sure to be matched by many LET’S GO METS cheers. Can’t wait. Go Cubs Go! Back later tonight with a recap!
We have no shot at making up ground in any race if we decide to match those above us win for win, loss for loss. The Cubs just wrapped up a pathetic 5-0 shutout effort against the crosstown Chicago White Sox. And the whole game was a horror to watch, aside from Dempster that is.
Another strong pitching outing by a Cubs starter thrown away by the team’s hitting and defense. Like Lilly as of late, Dempster controlled the Sox for a majority of the game until a couple errors put the Sox up 3-0, all three runs unearned. No run support for Demp and no quality defense either. One error on Soriano was ridiculous. He slipped running over to catch a fly ball. We all know what was coming next…the hop. Now is the hop the reason for the slip? I don’t know. The Heckler recently had a headline about the Cubs initiated a prayer section in left to help out Soriano’s defense. Wouldn’t be a bad idea honestly. Yesterday I applauded the decision to replace Soriano with Fuld as a defensive replacement and that should’ve happened today. I believe Sori should only be playing through seven innings. Give him his at bats to see what kind of damage he can do with the bat, then, late in the game, prevent him from doing damage with his glove in the field. I like having him on the team, he’s a vital cog to the Cubs success. Unfortunately lately he’s also a huge reason why we get the L’s that we do…whether it’s his slump, his hop or his glove…we can’t afford anything but perfection right now. Oh, and honestly, if this cortisone thing isn’t working out, pull him all together. He may be in so much pain right now it’s effecting his play. Anyone else notice how pathetic those three swings were when Sori struck out to end the game? It’s like he wasn’t even trying and just wanted to get it over with. If he’s not able to do the job, sit him. The few games we have left are too valuable to take a chance on a guy who may or not be feeling good enough to do what it takes. Especially when there are no signs that he is healthy enough to do so. Think Lou, be smart when putting that lineup card together man. If he can’t go, put in someone else. (sigh)
The Rockies are currently down against the Mets in the seventh inning 6-2. Chances are they will lose. The Cardinals are losing 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth. As we all know, with the Cards this year, anything is possible. But if they lose, yet again we’ve successfully combined our outcome with the Rockies and Cards and matched them result for result. Forget the division, no threepeat, I get it. But the Wild Card is not impossible. Not if we win and they lose. Will they lose? Yes. SO…WE HAVE TO WIN. A pathetic 5-5 showing in the homestand and now off to New York to take on the Mets. The Mets, who could only potentially take one of three against the Rockies, not helping the Cubs at all. The Mets, who could possibly find a way to turn it on against the Cubs this weekend and do some more black cat voo-doo by sweeping the series while the Rockies blow up, not guaranteed or likely, but it wouldn’t be surprising the way things are going.
And to the Sox! Vomit. I said yesterday, no one better to play spoiler against than your crosstown rival. Unfortunately the Cubs ended up on the wrong side of the final score and the fans in black left Wrigley happy today. With the Rockies losing we lose a chance to make up ground but at least if the Mets hold and close this thing out, we won’t lose any ground. Just such a shame to see the scoreboard and see the Rockies losing and know that we blew a chance to make up valuable ground in the WC race. Have to take advantage of these opportunities. The match game won’t do us any good at all.
Heading to Citi tomorrow to watch Zambrano take on the Mets. Let’s hope the bananas and fluids are on the menu this evening and the mechanics come out to shine. Need Z to dominate tomorrow and for the first time this season, Go Arizona (they’ll be playing the Rockies). Tick tock boys. Let’s get some runs and make up some ground! Go Cubs Go!
When my brother was about seven years old or so, he got a toy called Teddy Ruxpin. This robotic creature was a cross between a teddy bear and a boom box. It had everything. Cassette deck in the back to play the storylines, storytelling ability, soft exterior making it an attractive soft teddy bear best friend and a mechanical inside making the whole thing work. Wasn’t a whole lot this little guy couldn’t do. Was the go to toy that year and was easily the most popular kid’s entertainment around at the time. Had a best friend named Grubby who was a fatter, sloppier version of Teddy Ruxpin, yet still had the same mechanical make up, great for entertainment, just not as sharp on the outside and not the number 1 guy in toy sales that year.
This year, Ted Lilly is the Cubs Teddy Ruxpin. Sounds ridiculous I know. But this guy is the man this year and there isn’t much he doesn’t offer. Eight solid innings today giving up only four hits shut down the Astros and gave the Cubs a much needed series win. Like I said yesterday after the night cap W, currently quoted on the MLB.com home page (at the time of posting anyway….September is the season for scoreboard watching. And now after Lilly did his thing, we have to sit and wait.
But Lilly was the man today. Eight innings, base hit…trying to generate and manufacture runs by attempting to even steal second base. Unsuccessfully of course, but still the fire and desire was there. Aside from Lee’s going yard for 2 runs, today was all Lilly. Can’t blame him. All quality starts since the break and just one win to show for it. The Cubs offense hasn’t shown up to support his brilliant pitching so of course he was out there trying to grind in the runs himself. Whatever he can do to get the W because the Cubs need them now more than ever. Hardly any season left and it’s on every Cub to give it all the way Lilly did today. Go a little further. Push a little harder. Do the extra things that help the team end up victorious at the end of the day.
Lilly’s effort, heart and desire today is what we need day in and day out. Clearly the wild card victory is Colorado’s to lose, but let’s keep winning and keep the pressure on them to win or else give up ground to us DAILY. No time to waste. Our lone all-star stepped up and set the standard that all other Cubs should look to live up to and surpass if possible. Lee is finally healthy and he’s inching closer to a potential .300 30HR 100RBI season and it couldn’t come at a better time. Bradley prides himself on the fact that the media was wrong to harp on ‘can he stay healthy’ considering he’s hardly missed all that many games. Ok, great. But you need to produce in these games Bradley. Stay hot and produce. Support great pitching performances like the one Lilly put in today. And don’t stop putting the pressure on those above us.
Colorado has the Mets, hopefully the Mets can pull their JV team together and upset the Rockies tonight. If so, we’ll pickup a full game in the standings. Atlanta beat Florida last night. Best thing that can happen tonight is for Florida to beat Atlanta. Let them share the beating and games lost in the standings during their intra-wild card standing series this week. If that were to happen and the Giants lose as well. We could be looking at five teams within five games of each other with a month left to play. Gotta love it.
Going to Friday night’s game at Citi Field against the Mets. Zambrano will be starting for the Cubs. He would be the Grubby to Ted Lilly’s Teddy Ruxpin. When Lilly pitches, those games are absolutely must-wins. Same with Wells and also Zambrano. Lilly is the unofficial ace of the staff this year with his all-star status and Wells has high expectations to live up to with a stellar rookie campaign as he and Lilly share the team lead in wins at 10. But Zambrano needs to step up and deliver the great story with the mechanical side of him and not continue to simply produce the sloppy, fiery, entertaining outside of Zambrano. He is the official ace of this ballclub and we need to be able to count on him. His games are must-wins as well, so come Friday, that’s exactly what he needs to come away with.
Tomorrow we get the White Sox and those games are always interesting. If any one team is going to play spoiler to another, can’t think of any other team better to do so against than your crosstown rival. Let’s hope the pitches keep finding their places and the bats stay hot. First thing’s first though. We did our part today in getting the win. Now, once again, something we’ll be getting real used to over the course of September…time to sit back, stress out…and keep a real close eye on that scoreboard. Thanks MLBlogs for showcasing Prose and Ivy on the MLB.com home page today. I’m sure it helped attract a whole new batch of MLBlog readers, perhaps some Cubs fans, and hopefully some return readers over the course of the final month of the regular season. Feel free to comment regarding anything Cubs/MLB related in the blogs or in the chat section to the right…and enjoy the rest of the season. This one is getting REALLY interesting….Go Cubs Go!
(And just for fun, for those of you unfamiliar with Teddy Ruxpin and Grubby, take a look at this):
Cubs win tonight over the Astros 4-1 at Wrigley with a strong outing by Wells (the kind of outing I expected last week when I bet on the Cubs to beat the Nationals in Vegas) and a dominant performance by Marmol. Timely hits didn’t hurt the cause either and now it’s time to see what the other NL wild card hunters do this evening. Here’s how the NL Wild Card standings look right now:
This doesn’t take into account the fact that the Cubs won though the Giants loss is reflected. Currently the Rockies are up on the Mets 8-3 in the 7th inning with the bases loaded. Not good. Atlanta and Florida have an NL East rivalry showdown series going so that will be convenient watching them beat each other up as long as the Cubs continue to win. Four teams to catch. We’re in this position due to inconsistency throughout the year along with a number of other reasons. It is what it is. September is the season for W’s and scoreboard watching. Let the season begin! Way to go today boys. Great game Wells and Marmol. And was it me, or did Lee and Ramirez actually look like they were having a good time? Love having Baker out there. Feel like when he plays we win. Same kind of feeling I get when Wells pitches. Also enjoyed the late Fuld for Soriano defensive replacement. This is all part of what I mentioned earlier today regarding what the Cubs need to do in my opinion to claim the wild card…a position that has repeatedly resulted in teams making appearances in, and at times even winning, the World Series.