Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Gamecast (August 8, 2010) Reds @ Cubs

Yesterday's gamecast was thrown together very quickly while a five year old Princess (admittedly the most beautiful young lady on the planet, FWIW, and most sweet and, ok, I'm boring you now...) was breathing down my neck. I hope to spend a little more time today. The Cubs, as we all know, are playing poorly right now. They are losing the blowouts (except for one) and the close games, also. They are the double threat!

Today's Matchup: Travis Wood (44.2IP, 2.42ERA, 4.09xFIP) vs Thomas Diamond (6IP, 4.50ERA, 2.63xFIP)

Two severe fly ball rookie pitchers going today. Wood has a nice shiny ERA built on HR luck but he has a ground ball rate of less than 30%. To put that in perspective, that makes him a much bigger fly ball pitcher than Ted Lilly was. Diamond is a noted fly ball pitcher also. I, for one, am hoping Diamond can duplicate his strike out ways from his last start. If the wind is blowing out today, this could be a slugfest.

Who's Hot: Today's Starlin watch. Castro is hitting .312 on the season. His current triple slash number is .312/.360/.449 which gives him a beautiful wOBA of .346. He does have a mildly inflated BABIP of .352 which should come down. I also think his K rate (currently 14.4%) will drop also. That .312 batting average is for real and the power is great for a slick fielding 20 year old shortstop. I also found his realization that he could have gotten Ramon Hernandez yesterday on that great play he made moving to his left to be quite promising. He's learning but I think it's possible that in about 30 years, there will be a statue dedicated to him somewhere around where the Cubs happen to be playing at that time.

Who's Not: I've been pointing out all year how unlucky the Cubs have been and they have been unlucky but they have also been bad. Unlucky+Bad=5th place (gulp!) in the NL Central. Still, after yesterday's loss, they have now played 39 one run games, most in the NL, and have lost 26 of them. Now, I know it's hard to believe this because we've been watching them lose these games all year but a team's record in one run games is usually more luck than skill related. Most teams hover around .500 in one run games.

Both the Reds and the Cardinals are .500 in one run games. The Pirates are 16-17. The Astros are 10-12. The Brewers have the best record in the NL in one run games at 18-11. If the Cubs were .500 (or a game under because they have played an odd number of them) in one run games, they would have six more wins than they do. Their record would be 53-57. Now that's not great and I'm not suggesting that the Cubs would be in contention but there would be less concern and worry in the land of the Cub than there is today.

Conclusion: A win would be nice boys! When that fourth run scored yesterday I removed myself from the TV room and went into the laundry room to pound the wall for awhile. I know it's a small thing but it was at that moment that the frustration finally bubbled over for me. I am still focused on baseball with a left eye still on the Cubs but it's getting harder to watch them. There are good things happening on this team and I hope they can prevent the Reds from sweeping them today but I have to admit, it's becoming torturous to watch. Enjoy the game today and remember, baseball is supposed to be fun so win or lose, I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Sunday!

HOLY ****

We're terrible. I can't believe I'm still a Cubs fan after all they've put me through. What I think we should do...


Center this team around Starlin Castro and give us hope. Look at the pitching staffs of the teams that compete for a championship and look at ours. Year after year we put our faith in the hands of Zambrano, Dempster (our ace, but would and should be a #3 pitcher on any decent rotation), Lilly and the variable slots we move back and forth with each year. Anyone who has played the game at any competitive level knows that it all starts and ends with pitching. Look at the Reds, Braves, Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees and the Rays. They have 3 to 4 household names on their staff (just like everyone else), but there is one difference...They each have an ace (or two) that is 100% #1 and will give them a great shot at winning when they take the bump. They compete.

Dear Jim Hendry,

Sign a f***ing pitcher who has proven success and will anchor our staff. Where were you when Derek Lowe or Cliff Lee were being dealt? Yes...we have Dempster, but remember when no team in their right mind would give him a chance to pitch, much less start? We did and he turned out to be a gem. That is 100% luck and we happened to hit the jackpot getting 15 wins a season out of him. He's still not an ace.

Dear Lou Piniella,

Please retire. I'm tired of look at your unshaven a** in the dugout glaring at a major league lineup with a minor league pitching staff.

Dear Derek Lee,

What is wrong with you? Get your s*** together. You're getting paid enough to be working every second that your eyes are not closed while your head is on the pillow. Go to the batting cage.

Dear Ryan Theriot,

I've never seen such a talented player with so many stupid errors before in my life (I'm sure there are more where you come from, but I'm only 24). You used to be one of my favorite ball players until I was able to turn on a Cubs game and expect to see you make an error. You are having an awful fielding season. That is all.

Dear Tom Ricketts,

I'm sorry you bought such a s***ty organization. Please dump more money into the club so I can get some sleep at night.

I love the Cubs. I hate the Cubs. I love the Cubs. I hate the Cubs. I love the Cubs.

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