Posted by sportsmaven on July 27, 2008
Somebody should have warned Rich Harden that life with the Chicago Cubs
was about to get maniacally interesting for the pitcher from Victoria, British Columbia. Western Canada is about as far away philosophically, as well as geographically, from the world of the Cubs, yet Rich Harden’s
performance in America’s Pastime has been nothing short of spectacular — with maddening results.
Cubs P Rich Harden
Harden was acquired on July 8th, along with P Chad Gaudin for Cubs P Sean Gallagher, OF Matt Murton, IF Eric Patterson, and C Josh Donaldson. Harden was Cubs GM Jim Hendry’s answer for the Milwaukee Brewers acquisition of P CC Sabathia the day before, and he was everything advertised and more.
After today’s start, Harden has been spectacular. Three starts, 17 1/3 innings pitched, 30K’s 8 hits, 2 ER, 1.04 ERA, 0-1 record. The Cubs are 1-2 in his 3 starts. Harden is 5-2 with a 2.04 ERA overall. The Chicago Cubs have wasted performances that have been absolutely dominant, so much so that they match up substantially to Sabathia’s performance as a Milwaukee Brewer.
Sabathia’s numbers are: 4 starts, 33 IP, 20 hits, 6 ER, 31K’s, 1.36 ERA, 4-0 record. Four wins for Sabathia, none for Harden. The Chicago Cubs have 59 games left in the season after today. Harden will likely have 12 more starts if he stays healthy. The Chicago Cubs badly need to take advantage of Harden’s dominance. Only in Chicago, could a pitcher post the numbers that Harden has put up and have no victories to show for it.
Posted in Chicago Cubs | Tagged: CC Sabathia, Chad Gaudin, Chicago Cubs, Eric Patterson, Jim Hendry, Josh Donaldson, Matt Murton, Milwaukee Brewers, Rich Harden, Sean Gallagher | Leave a Comment »
Posted by sportsmaven on June 30, 2008
No doubt, so far in the 2008 season, Chicago Cubs fans have been treated to great baseball above and beyond any fathomable expectations. The Cubs entered June with the best record in baseball and have played most of the month of June with that same label, but as June comes to a close, the Cubs are limping to a well deserved and needed break for the 2008 All-Star game at Yankee Stadium in New York.
For the first time this season, the Cubs are facing adversity. The Cubs have played so well that even fickle fans have been spoiled by the lengthy and meaningful success the Cubs have enjoyed so far this season. Their season long dominance at Wrigley Field has provided a sense of dominance in the somewhat weak National League, but injuries are starting to pile up and it’s beginning to take it’s toll on the Cubs dominant run.
When RF Alfonso Soriano went down with a broken hand in the Braves series, all was not lost, as the Cubs lost Soriano earlier in the season and responded as though he was never missed in the lineup. But with this injury plus injuries to RHP Carlos Zambrano, CF Reed Johnson, LHP Scott Eyre, and nagging injuries to CF Jim Edmonds and RF Kosuke Fukudome, the Cubs are finding that all is not well on the “It’s Gonna Happen” bandwagon.
During this weekend’s Sox series, the Cubs started an OF of a mis-cast RF Eric Patterson, injured CF Jim Edmonds, and just returned from injured RF Daryle Ward. The White Sox ran on Patterson all day on Friday and he has yet to see the lineup since. RHP Ryan Dempster also picked a bad time for his worst outing of the season, and P’s Sean Gallagher and Sean Marshall couldn’t stop the bleeding.
The Cubs can’t seem to shake the pesky, smoke and mirrors miracle of the St. Louis Cardinals, now only 2.5 games ahead in the standings. The Milwaukee Brewers are also sneaking up, moving to 4.5 games back. The Cubs played the Sunday night prime time game on ESPN tonight and now have to fly all night to San Francisco to start a 4 game series with the improving Giants (fortunately missing on all world Giants starter RHP Tim Lincecum) and a July 4th weekend series in St. Louis with the Cardinals.
I though Cubs manager Lou Piniella actually did a great job of reminding the Cubs and the fans that although the Sox series has serious emotional hooks in a north/south divide, that this series was one of many series over the course of a full season. Piniella elected to juggle his starting rotation a little, but rested key players such as 2B Mark DeRosa, Kosuke Fukudome, and C Geovanny Soto over the weekend, with the implicit message that the season isn’t won in June by overextending regulars in an interleague matchup that is more glitter than substance.
With Reed Johnson and Carlos Zambrano due to come back this week, and Alfonso Soriano healing very quickly, reinforcements are on the way. With the All-Star break in less than two weeks, much needed rest will soon follow. Once the Cubs are back to full strength, the cream should rise to the top again in the National League. Lets not panic just yet…..
Posted in Chicago Cubs | Tagged: Alfonso Soriano, All-Star Game, Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cubs, Daryle Ward, Eric Patterson, ESPN, Geovanny Soto, Jim Edmonds, Kosuke Fukudome, Lou Piniella, Mark DeRosa, Milwaukee Brewers, National League, Ryan Dempster, San Francisco Giants, Scott Eyre, Sean Gallager, Sean Marshall, Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Tim Lincecum, White Sox | 2 Comments »
Posted by sportsmaven on August 7, 2007
One thing I can say about last night’s game — Eric Patterson does look like his big brother, Corey. And he got the bunt down, which is also nice. He also turned a routine out into a close play with his speed out of the batters box. Now lets see what he does tonight as a starter. I will say that Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella has no fear in throwing the guys from the Iowa Express right into the mix with starting assignments and appearances in key, potential game changing situations. This is a clear departure of the Dusty Baker regime, where guys like Neifi Perez would steal valuable time away from the development of younger players (how did Dusty miss out on Ryan Theriot?)
(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
The Chicago Cubs lost another 1 run game last night to a Houston Astros team that is on life support. Their bullpen is about the worst in the National League, and their starting lineup would hardly scare a good little league team. The game wasn’t over for a minute before both Bob Brenly and Dan Pleasac of Comcast SportsNet were already throwing out the excuse that the Sunday night ESPN game forced the Cubs to arrive late in Houston, thus they didn’t get enough rest. Jim Hendry echoed the same in a Chicago Tribune interview. Better have gotten your rest tonight, boys because you have to win this series….
Posted in Chicago Cubs | Tagged: Bob Brenly, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Tribune, Comcast, Corey Patterson, Dan Pleasac, Dusty Baker, Eric Patterson, ESPN, Houston Astros, Jim Hendry, Lou Piniella, National League, Neifi Perez, Ryan Theriot | 1 Comment »