Cubs Round-Up, Week of 4/16 to 4/22

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Nice hat.

This week sure wasn’t that much fun. I don’t know about you guys but I really don’t want this to be our “Way of Life” I really think they should stop using that slogan until they actually start playing better. At the same time, I ask all Cub fans to please be patient. I read the most ridiculous ideas all the time. You guys have to remember…THIS TEAM IS IN A REBUILDING PROCESS. Now let’s say that again 3 times and take some deep breaths :) I think Cub fans are made of passion and hope, but we also have to be realistic. You can’t expect this team to go out there and be good, to win lots of games and definitely not to contend. Maybe in 2-3 years we will have the team that hopefully gets us a…you know what. In the meantime, let’s be patient, and let the actual baseball masterminds do their job. Let’s go ahead and get into all the news that came this week along with the recaps of the two series they had.

Injury front:

Kerry Wood was placed on the 15-day DL with right shoulder fatigue. Scott Maine was called up from AAA to take his spot in the roster.

Ryan Dempster was also placed on the 15-day DL with a right quad strain. Randy Wells was called up to take his spot on the rotation.

Trades:

Marlon Byrd was traded to Boston along with cash considerations, in return the Cubs will get reliever Michael Bowden and a player to be named later. Byrd plays the game the right way, he plays hard every single game, is a great example to the young guys and is such a great “team guy” but unfortunately his bad start at the plate didn’t keep him a long time here in Chicago.  This is good for both clubs, maybe the change will be good for Byrd and he can get back on track with Boston who needs a center fielder after losing Jacoby Ellsbury. Now you will see a platoon of Campana, Johnson and Mather in CF.

Other news:

Prosecutors decided not to file charges against Starlin Castro over the alleged sexual assault…they found there was not enough evidence to charge him. I’m glad this is over because Castro admitted that he hasn’t been able to focus enough because he’s had this on his mind.

Now let’s look at the recap of the two series:

Series vs. Marlins:

4/17- L 2-5

4/18- L 1-9

4/19- L 3-5

Series vs. Reds

4/20- L 4-9

4/21- W 6-1

4/22- L 3-4

Standings:

St. Louis 11-5

Cincinnati 7-9

Milwaukee 7-9

Pittsburgh 6-9

Houston 6-10

Chicago 4-12

The Cubs were only able to get one win out of the six games they had, and they were swept for the first time this season. The biggest problems I saw, well actually I saw a lot of problems but the two major ones I got out of these two series were the following…

Where’s the offense? In the lone win, which actually was the game that Anno and I were at, they scored 6 runs. The last couple wins they had, they showed some signs of power and offense, but these two series didn’t really show that. They left many runners on base and the big hits with runners in scoring position were just non-existent. The Cubs need to score more runs to take some pressure off of our starting pitchers. They need to have those big hits, they need a clutch hitter. We were spoiled with Aramis Ramirez for so long, but now we just seem to have no one with that ability, at least not at this point. In today’s game alone the Cubs stranded 12 runners and had various opportunities to get runs, but it just didn’t happen.

Defense. It wins games. The Cubs lack it, that’s why they’re not winning, at least one of the other reasons they’re not. The Cubs have a total of 12 errors so far this season, 9 were committed between these last two series.

The good: Minus some of his defensive miscues Castro had been one of the few bright spots so far. He has reached base safely 55/56 times since last August 15th, has a 10-game hitting streak and is currently batting .425.

Looking ahead:

The Cubs will start a 3-game series vs. The Cardinals tomorrow night at Wrigley Field. Here are your probable pitchers for that series:

April 23, 7:05 p.m.: Matt Garza (1-1, 3.66 ERA) vs. Jaime Garcia (2-0, 3.06 ERA)

April 24, 7:05 p.m. Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 5.71 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (0-3, 9.88 ERA)

April 25, 1:20 p.m.: Chris Volstad (0-2, 6.19 ERA) vs. Lance Lynn (3-0, 1.42 ERA)

The Cubs will have an off day on Thursday where they will travel to Philly to start a 4-game series there. They have two good teams to play against, but let’s hope that everything clicks together and they are able to win at least 1 game from each series…c’mon, we have to set our hopes a little low with this team, maybe then we’ll be happily surprised. As always, Go Cubs!

-Ivy

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