Just liked it looked like the Cubs might get on a roll, the wheels fall off. After Tuesday nights win against Milwaukee, and Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano on the mound, everything was looking good. The Cubs were won 11 of 15 games, and are 17-10 since beating Milwaukee three straight at Miller Park July 7-9. But then the Cubs seemed to regress and fell back into their losing ways. Horrific starts by Zambrano and Prior, poor fundamentals, and more losses have increased the chatter about Dusty’s job security. The name that keeps getting brought up; Joe Girardi.
Tuesday- Cubs 6 Milwaukee 3
Carlos Marmol came into the game knowing that he had to throw strikes. In his last seven starts, Marmol issued 36 walks in 35 2/3 innings. It makes me wonder if he needs glasses like Charlie Sheen’s character in the great baseball movie Major League. Luckily, he was able to go 5 1/3 innings, giving up only three runs on four hits and four walks. Milwaukee starter Tomo Ohka, who spent the majority of the season on the DL, was tagged for five runs in the first inning, thanks to a pair of two run home runs by Jacque Jones and John Mabry. The Cubs got ahead 6-2, but almost blew the game. In the sixth inning, Marmol walked Kevin Mench and then struck out Bill Hall. He then walked Geoff Jenkins, his second walk of the inning. Michael Wuertz came in to relieve Marmol, and immediately walked David Bell. An infield hit by Jeff Cirillo got an infield hit by off Wuertz’s glove to make it 6-3. Will Ohman was brought in to relieve Wuertz, and almost gave up a grand slam to Corey Hart, which was caught by Jones on the warning track.
Wednesday Brewers 6 Cubs 3
With ace Carlos Zambrano on the mound, it looked like the Cubs were going to take the series, but as usual, another mediocre pitcher makes the Cubs hitters look foolish. The Cubs were no-hit for 5 1/3 innings by Brewers right-hander Dave Bush , while Carlos Zambrano lasted only 42/3 innings, allowing six runs on five hits and four walks. Thank God I don’t bet on sports, this one would have cost me. It really was a series of unfortunate events that cause Carlos to lose this game. With two outs in the Brewers’ third, pitcher Dave Bush struck out swinging, but the third strike skipped away from catcher Michael Barrett for a passed ball. Bush was safe at first, and Clark followed that up with his third home run of the year to take a 2-0 lead. The Brewers loaded the bases in the fourth on back-to-back walks to Prince Fielder and Gabe Gross, and an infield single by Geoff Jenkins. First baseman Phil Nevin’s flip to Zambrano, who was covering first on Jenkins’ hit, appeared to beat the runner. David Bell followed with a two-run single to make it 4-0. The Cubs tried to make a game of it, with Aramis Ramirez hitting a monster 440 foot three run blast in the sixth, but by that time, it was too late. Zambrano again ran his pitch count into the 100’s, but he insists that it is not a problem.
"I’m not tired,I still have some gas in my tank. I have 10 more starts to go. … I’ll just get a new streak."
Carlos has got to learn to let his defense work behind him. There is no doubt he is a phenomenal pitcher, but sooner or later, that arm is going to get beat down, and he will have nothing left. I am worried if the Cubs ever make a post season push, he won’t have any gas left in his tank. It may ruin his promising career.
Thursday Brewers 8 Cubs 6
This game seems like it was over before it really began, and Cubs fans can’t help to wonder if this is the end of Prior, myself included. Prior looked absolutely horrible. It looks like he doesn’t even know how to throw a baseball anymore. The first inning was a disaster, and it wasn’t even all Prior’s fault. The defensive combo of Angel Pagan and Jacque Jones looked like a comedy team. Prior started the first giving up a walk, a single and another walk, loading the bases. He then almost put a fastball in Kevin Mench’s ear. Mench responded with a two run single, which Pagan misplayed off the wall and had a throwing air that allowed the runners to advance. The Brewers added two more runs on sacrifice flies by Gabe Gross and David Bell, and a hit batter. Jacque Jones made poor throws on both fly balls, sending one over catcher Henry Blanco’s head and sending the other one up the third-base line. By the time the mess was over, the Cubs were down 4-1. After giving up two more runs in the third, Prior’s day was over, allowing six runs on four hits with four walks, a wild pitch and a hit batter, throwing only 58 pitches. Saturday’s scheduled starter, Juan Mateo was forced to come in and will now missed his scheduled start on Saturday, giving Angel Pagan a chance to try to win a spot on the rotation. The Cubs offense tried to come back, but missed opportunities were the story. The Cubs had the bases loaded in the third with one out, but Phil Nevin and Jacque Jones both struck out. The Cubs had two run homers in the fifth and the eighth, from Aramis Ramirez and Henry Blanco. In the ninth, Cesar Izturis walked and Ramirez reached on an error by Brady Clark, putting the winning run at the plate with no outs, but Brewers reliever Franciso Cordero got Nevin to strike out swinging and Jacque Jones to hit into a game ending double play. After the game, speculation continued that Prior was injured and may miss his next start. Obbiously something is wrong and needs to be addressed before his next start.
Baker vs Girardi
Rumors started to swirl after Florida manager Joe Girardi got into a shouting match with Marlin’s owner Jeff Loria. Apparently Girardi was angry that Loria was giving home plate umpire Larry Vanover a hard time. The rumors started that Girardi may be fired for this incident. There was also talk that Girardi and Jeff Loria have an agreement that if the Cubs job was to open up, then Girardi would be free to persue it. Of course, Florida had denied all of this, but it did seem to get under the skin of Baker. Baker was asked if he would take a one year extension next year and he said;
"I don’t know, dude. I’ll worry about that later. That’s my attitude. … I have a choice too, you know. Both sides have a choice."
When reminded that all season he has talked about wanting to be back, he replied;
"Yeah, but I still have a choice."
Then he took a swipe at the media and the Girardi contreversy,;
"You can’t control what other people say. All I know is that it seems like all of a sudden, a lot of people have gotten smarter and more knowledgeable than me in a short period of time. I don’t say what I’ve done or where I’ve been or where I’m going. All I know is what I know."
Look Dusty, you may think you are this super smart manager, but no one hear in Chicago has seen it. Yes, you won manager of the year, but a lot of your managerial success was in San Francisco, real close to a company named BALCO, which supplied illegal drugs to athletes to make them perform better, especially your star Barry Bonds. The fact that so many players had successful years in San Fran have many people wondering. Perhaps that is why Baker is scheduled to meet with lawyers Aug. 2 in Chicago regarding the investigation that former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell is conducting for Major League Baseball concerning steroid use. Maybe you are a good manager on a wrong team, or maybe you aren’t so good but your numbers, like the numbers of many of your former players, where inflated by the drugs coming in from BALCO. I also don’t expect you to be honest, even if you do answer any questions from Mitchell.
A Final Thought on Ryan Dempster
After Dempster earned his 22nd save of the season against against the Brewers on Tuesday, Dempster again copped an attitude with reporters;
"Let’s see someone write something bad about that," Dempster said.
Well, here goes Ryan. You are an *** hole. You have blown numerous games this season, almost blew many more, and embarassed the Cubs by allowing Pierzynski to hit a ninth inning home run to win the city series. You don’t have the right to have an attitude towards the media or the fans. The Cubs used to be known as the "Lovable Losers", but after 2004 and 2006, you guys are no longer loveable, you are just losers. Dempster, Ramirez, Nevin, Eyre, and Jones have all acted like unprofessional *** holes. You are lucky that the Pirates are in our division, otherwise you would be in last place. Your team has the seventh highest payroll in all of baseball, yet you guys ****. How’s that Ryan?
I probably will repeat this, but I am sorry this is not a blog that is all sunny and cheery. I guess I could be like other Cubs fans and feed you that line of bull **** that other blogs feed you, about how lucky we are to be Cubs fans, and how beautiful it is at Wrigley Field, but I promised to write what was on my mind, and right now, I am disgusted with this team. I watched Boston end their curse, I watched with shame as their was a parade in this town for the South Siders, and now I am angry. This is a group that has acted like jerks all year, underperformed, and just don’t seem to care. I will always stay a Cubs fan, but I am not going to paint a pretty picture when all I see is ****.