Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Game and Series Recap: Cubs 4, Pirates 1 -- SAM FULD!!!!! (2 games to 1)

Game Recap
If these Cubs are going to do anything in October, they've gotta be able to take a regular season, three-game series from a team like the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Fortunately, they were able to do that today.

Aside from Randy Wells continuing to outdo himself, the story from tonight's game has to be the pleasantly surprising performance of one Sam Fuld. Sam went 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot, including a double to start a game, and also walked once.

One other special surprise: Fukudome hit a home run! Crazy!

One more Randy Wells comment: he's chalked up another start in which he allowed one or fewer extra base hits. His allowed slugging percentage is a paltry .328 at this point.

It kinda feels like the Cubs can't win unless they hold the opposing team to zero or one runs. Fortunately, they've been able to do that fairly consistently.

Kudos to Wells, Fuld, the Fook-ster, Derrek Lee, and perhaps most importantly, the New York Mets, who took down the Brewers tonight. Three and a half out, with a whole half-season to go!

Additional Notes from Kurt
Although the Cubs held the lead all night, Lou Piniella finally exploded in a fit of ANGER and got himself expelled from the game.

The short of this series is that -- although the Cubs got shut out by a pitcher coming soon to a softball game near you -- the Cubs took 2 of 3 on a road series (something they haven't done a lot this year) against a crappy team overplaying their talent. Naysayers -- also known in some circles as "realists" -- will point out that beating the Pirates means about as much as successfully breathing. But I say that, on the contrary, every win is important even if they are to be expected. Besides, the Cubs are playing two out of their next three series against the Brewers and Cardinals -- if they had entered the up-coming four gamer after having lost to the Pirates, I think we'd all be going to games with our hangin' nooses around our necks.

I will say that I completely understand the negativity -- obviously. We've been saying since May that the Cubs are only a few games out, and all they need to do is string together a series of wins and it will suddenly be their division to lose. That's true but it's a lot harder than a three-dozen-or-so word sentence makes it out to be. In fact we've been saying it for so long that the season has now slipped into July, with the All Star Game looming. And we're probably wrong for feeling this way but the Cubs are playing with every appearance of time running out on them before they get their acts together.

Then again, if we were fans of the Brewers or Cardinals, I suspect that in our secret places we would be pissed off and perhaps even a little terrified of the fact that our teams have failed to spread the field with a team as potent as the Cubs creeping along behind them.

Perhaps we are so used to this being the Cubs, for gawdssakes, that we are forgetting how we would feel if the Cubs were in the place of the Cardinals right now. We'd be in a panic. We'd be furious at our team for failing to take advantage of a weak division. In other words, even if things were different we'd still be acting the same -- and that says a lot about our sanity or lack thereof. So I'll conclude my tack-on recap with the following, indesputable (not even by you, Rob) observation:

Perhaps it really still is ours to lose.

Rob: indisputable.  Anyway, only a moron would state that, statistically, the Cubs are out of the running when they are 3.5 games out with 85 games to go.

However, the Cubs have played .493 ball this year.  It is indisputable that they have the capability to play better ball.  You may believe they will, due to the logic that they are better than this.  I have not seen anything thus far in 2009 to lead me to believe that they are.  They have looked like a .500 team from day one.  They have some decent days, and some miserable ones. 

So do we all, I suppose.  Then again, I haven't deluded myself into thinking I am going to win the Employee of the Year at my job, and I am also not going to delude myself into thinking that we will win four more games than the Brewers AND the Cardinals the rest of the way.  The Brewers have a better lineup than we do on our best days, and the Cardinals are better managed, both Generally and on the Field. 

So, unless we make a good trade, or unless guys like Soto, Bradley, Zambrano and Soriano do an about-face, we won't be able to make up even the meager deficit we have now. 

Current Record: 37-38
Position in the NL Central: 4th place, 3.5 games out
Best Possible Record: 124-38
Worst Possible Record: 37-125
Record needed to win 110: 73-14
On Pace For: 80-82

correction

"Besides, the Cubs are playing their next two series against the Brewers and Cardinals"

There is a series with the Braves in between the Brewers and Cards series.

You are correct, sah!

You are correct, sah!

Fuld!

Sam Fuld made a great throw to nail the runner at home. I saw the highlight on ESPN where Fuld flipped after throwing it, but can't find it online. Nice to see a cheap, corner outfielder outperforming our $10M guys.

The Cubs, for what ever

The Cubs, for what ever reason, are under achieving (to say the least) so far this season, yet they are still only 3.5 out. If even a few of the slumpers get their numbers back to normal, and the Brewers and Cards continue as they have been, then we will start to make up ground. I don't think it's reasonable to expect the Cubs to continue to under achieve, and like you guys said, if I were a card/brew fan I would be real nervous right now. The Cubs are a sleeping giant, and that's not the Cool aide talking.

Baseball Prospectus Voodoo

Baseball Prospectus, using their PECOTA voodoo, gives the Cubs a 25 percent chance of making the playoffs (18 percent to win the division, 7 percent for the wild card).

I think that sounds about right.

I don't know how to post a link, but here's the URL:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/ps_oddspec.php

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