Some scores first…
9/25 @ Rockies L 5-10
9/26 @ Rockies L 0-6
9/27 @ Rockies L 5-7
9/28 @ Diamondbacks L 3-8
9/29 @ Diamondbacks L 2-6
9/30 @ Diamondbacks W 7-2
10/01 vs. Astros L 0-3
10/02 vs. Astros L 0-3
10/03 vs. Astros W 5-4
That’s how it ends folks! Those were the last results of this miserable season. I’m not going to go into detail and recap every game, because as you can see it was mostly losses and just a bunch of the same thing. Let’s talk about a positive story, one of the best things to happen this season. Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney tying the record for consecutive error-free games at second. He could have surpassed that record but he’s a Cub, we don’t tend to have luck on our side. In the first game of the final series vs. the Diamondbacks, Barney was charged with an error, his first in 141 games, and his first since April 17th. Justin Upton hit a grounder up the middle; Barney fielded the ball near second base and threw off-balance to first, first baseman Anthony Rizzo couldn’t pick it off the dirt. This happened in the eighth inning, he was three outs away from setting the new mark. He still did an incredible job and had a heck of a season defensively; he is tied with Placido Polanco, who also played 141 consecutive error-free games at second base in 2007 with the Tigers.
Now back to reality, the Cubs ended the road schedule with a win. It was their first road win against an NL West team this season. They finished with a record of 1-18 out west, Giants (0-4), Diamondbacks (1-5), Dodgers (0-3), Padres (0-3), and Rockies (0-3). They had a franchise record of 58 losses, which is the most since 1956 when they lost 56 games on the road.
The Cubs ended with 101 losses overall, second-most in franchise history, and behind only the 1962 and 1966 teams that finished 59-103. The 2012 Cubs’ record: 61-101.
Although the record does matter, I don’t like to focus on that. We have to look on the bright side, and trust me, this season did have a bright side. For example…
Jeff Samardzija showing that he can pitch, he finished off the year with 174.2 innings pitched and an overall record of 9-13, a 3.81 ERA, 180 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.22.
Anthony Rizzo looks like he’s the real deal; he ended the season with a .285 AVG, .342 OBP, .463 SLG, 15 homers and 48 RBIs.
Alfonso Soriano finished the season with a .262 batting average, drove in a career-best 108 runs, hit 32 home runs and improved so much defensively. He has two seasons left on his eight-year contract, but he knows that he will be in trade talks and has said that he is open to a trade if the situation is right. He does have 10-and-5 rights and can veto any trade involving him if he wants.
Starlin Castro also improved; he finished with 14 home runs, 78 RBIs and a .283 AVG. After Wednesday, he became the first player in franchise history to play at shortstop in all 162 games in a season. Castro is the first Cubs infielder to appear in all 162 games in a season since Hall of Famer Ron Santo did so in 1968. He still has some things to improve on, mostly mental things, but playing every day isn’t easy.
Finally, there is Dale Sveum.
We can argue about this all day, but MY personal opinion is that he did a great job. He had a tough season with not that many options or much talent, but we ALL knew that. So, how did I come to that conclusion? Here are some of Matt Garza’s comments regarding Sveum:
“I just told him we’re on the verge of (losing) 100, we’re a game away, (and) last year we were close to .500 and I hated every day of my life coming in here,” Garza said, “It was miserable. I said,” “This year, I’m not even performing and I enjoy it and look forward to coming here, and you brought that back, thanks.” “It’s huge for a guy like me. I like being here. Last year was a trying year, man. Mentally, this year’s a different kind of mental fight. I can actually enjoy this year.”
So what has Sveum done to earn so much praise from his players? Garza said the difference is Sveum is “more open, more sociable” and “treats us like players.”
That to me says a lot, with the trying season, there could have been several blow ups, fights between teammates, and the players could have given up and just not cared. It seems as though Sveum kept it light in the clubhouse but I also liked that he held players accountable, he made sure that they came in everyday and played their hearts out regardless of the W-L record. I honestly think they were trying, at this moment it just wasn’t transferring into wins, because there are still some pieces missing.
The Cubs might look into adding those over the offseason with a significant amount of money coming off the books with Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster gone. Maybe some pitching, a third baseman and some help off the bench would be nice.
On a personal note, I have a couple things that happened this season that I already talked about but I wanted to ‘recap’ again. I attended my first Cubs Convention this year, and not only did I have so much fun with my friends but I also got to meet Geovany Soto, my favorite player. If I had known that he would be traded later on in the year, I might have said something else to him, but of course I didn’t know that.
I also got to meet Ron Santo Jr. Ron Santo has been my only hero, so meeting his son was one of the best things that could have happened to me this year, since I didn’t get to meet his Father. Then, there is Ron Santo’s induction into Baseball’s HOF. I also wrote a blog about that…lol, you guys can look back at the previous posts and find those if you’re interested in reading them. This was a LONG time coming and it finally happened, this was one of the biggest highlights of this season for me, and I’m sure of many other fans as well.
And finally, being able to write about baseball throughout the year has been a dream come true! I want to thank Anno and Rice for giving me that opportunity. Although, like the guys said, we’re not going anywhere and we’ll still be blogging here and there throughout the offseason, but since the season is officially over, I wanted to openly thank them in a blog. I also want to thank all of you for reading and following our blog and Facebook page. My goal is to get better, and to bring you even better and faster information next season. Again, thank you. I cannot wait for next season to begin, there is nothing I love more than baseball and the Cubs, but I guess we still have a few weeks left so let’s enjoy the playoffs.
Thank you so much for reading and as always, Go Cubs! Since the Cubs are done this season…Go Rangers!