Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Game Recap: Rays 5, Cubs 4; uh oh


Hey, I warned you. Tampa Bay is a dangerous team, and give credit where it's due - so far, I've been dead on about this series. Not spend too much time talking about ME! but so far I've predicted ...

  • Every game should be close and might be determined by one run. Check.
  • Carlos Zambrano has been less than dominating as of late and he might be vulnerable. Check.
  • The Rays are a tough team to beat at home and are going to make the Cubs look like the Royals. Check.
  • The Cubs could get swept. Check.
  • All of this is a tease for October - the Cubs will get roughed up by the Rays in Tampa, the AL will win the All Star Game, and the Cubs will enter their first World Series in 63 years without home field advantage against one of the few teams they couldn't beat on the road. Pending.

Hey, no team can win every game, no team can win every series, and no team will go a full season without getting swept at least once. I'm not saying for sure that it'll happen tomorrow, but if it does it is by far not the end of the world. This is just God-However-You-Perceive-Him's way of scripting an interesting story. If the Cubs were a juggernaut and plowed their way through every team they play all year long, where would be the drama? The tension? The nerves?

Fine, so there would be all of that stuff anyway, but it still makes for a good story. And if it happens, I demand that you start calling me Nostrakurtis, and you tithe me 10% of your earnings. On second thought, just give me the money, "Nostrakurtis" is pretty lame.

Before I jump into the actual details of the game, I feel the need to point out three more things, quickly. First: Humor-wise, while I may be tipping heavy on the silliness scales right now, I feel like I'm in a pretty good groove when it comes to blogging about the Cubs. So, naturally, I will be away from the internet for the bulk of three days this weekend, which means that when I get back to it on Sunday night, I'll have to requisition my groove back. B) For those of you keeping score, I did not doze off at 8:10 tonight. I made it until roughly 8:45. And Third) If you've ever noticed the whole 1st, B, 3rd thing, it's lame and intentional. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, then that's fine too. Onto the specifics:

  • Ah, the second triumphant appearance this post of bullet-points.
  • Sonnanstine proved vulnerable, as we suspected. He surrendered 7 hits and 2 walks in his 5 innings of work, but the Cubs just weren't able to capitalize. And while the Cubs did lead briefly in the third, it was brief indeed.
  • Carlos's strikeout totals are down, and he's been walking a lot of guys lately. Despite his rough outing, he still went nearly 7 innings and he only looked particularly bad in the 3rd, but it's times like these when I wish the Cubs were in possession of a competent pitching coach who could actually figure out what's going on.  Additionally, it appears as though Carlos left early due to "shoulder discomfort."  Hmmm.  That could be a problem, and perhaps an explanation for the loss of stuff and increase in walks.
  • Derrek Lee struck out with runners in scoring position twice tonight. I don't want to get on D.Lee, who remains a solid bat in the Cubs lineup, but c'mon, his strikeouts are way up and his discipline is way down. He needs to be dropped down to the cleanup spot. I'd rather see Ramirez in those situations.
  • Fukudome got on base 2 times in 5 plate appearances. For those of you far too lazy to do your own math, that's an OBP of .400.
  • Jim Edmonds left the game with a sore foot. Kenny Lofton?
  • In the 9th, the Cubs again teased a comeback on Troy "Frankenarm" Percival. They again came up short. Since I'm Nostrakurtis, I predict ... if Percival comes in to close out a 1-run game tomorrow night, the Cubs are going to rip him a new elbow wound and a new ass hole.

Ultimately, while this was a painful loss, let us not forget - the Cubs hold a commanding lead on most of the teams in the NL Central, and as I write this the Cardinals are trying their hardest to lose again to the Royals. The Royals! Keep on smiling, Cub fan nation, and stay skinny.

DLEE is overrated

Finally somebody said something about DLEE. CubNation ive been telling all my friends for a year and a half now, 2005 was his career year, he will never ever come close to that again. I would trade him for Adrian Gonzales quicker then a Kerry Wood fastball. In fact I could name 7 firstbasemen I would rather have: In order Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman, Prince Feilder, Adrian Gonzales, Justin Morneau and Mark Teixeira.
Most of those guys are lefty hitting power hitters.
For some reason we think DLEE is one of the best 1st basemen, but 7th or 8th best is hardly an elite player. His defense has been good not Gold Glove this year, and he hasn't been great in the clutch either. So lets start petition: AGone for DLEE.

Not sure I see how this

Not sure I see how this would work for two reasons ...

1. Derrek has a no-trade clause

2. Why would the Rangers trade a 26-year-old who's performing better for a 32-year-old?

Anyway... I'm not calling out Lee, I'm just suggesting he be used differently.

It could be done

I think you meant the Padres..But what if say next winter Gonzales who is closer to free agency, wants big money say 17 mil a year, wont the notoriously cheap Padres want something good for him, AKA a a player they originally drafted like DLEE. Who could finish a nice career with them, while AGONE comes to wrigly and hits 40 homers a year for the next 8 years. Do you really think DLEE would block a trade to southern Calif, especially after learning the Cubs dont want him anymore.
Am I wrong but didn't the Padres trade Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez so they wouldnt have to sighn Alomar who was coming up on free agency.
Come on KURT and the rest of GROTA, you guys can get this idea out there, and hopefully it will get to Hendry who might give a chance call to SD, who might consider it. YOU NEVER KNOW.
I gotta stop drinking Kool Aid.

If the notoriously cheap

If the notoriously cheap Padres are going to lose Gonzalez, they're not going to trade him for a guy who's already making more than 12 million a year. We're also talking about a last place ballclub compared with a first place one, so yes, I don't think San Diego would rate high on Lee's list.

Here's the thing - no team except perhaps the Yankees can have superstars at every position. Just because Lee's had his career year and may never again do better than .300-30HR-100RBI doesn't mean the Cubs should be unhappy with .300-30HR-100RBI. Those are great numbers. Were I you, I wouldn't spend too much time thinking about upgrading Lee's position, and for a number of reasons, I'd worry more about the starting rotation.


If the Big Moose is out for any period of time, we can't stop gap with Lieber, Hill or Marshall. Hendry better be getting extra batteries for his cell phone and get schmoozing with other GMs.

Yes I know Pitching is the priority

I wasn't saying we should get him now.I was thinking for the future. We havent had a true power hitting left hand hitter since...Dam cant think of one, Mcgriff was one year, before that I guess Henry Rodriquez. Could anyone explain to me why is that my whole life as a Cub fan, they have been so righthanded hitting. Every team seems to have more Power balance then we do.
for the present yes we need a big time starter, Ive been foaming at the mouth over C.C or AJ Burnett since the season started.
Lee's days of .300/30/100 are numbered, he may go .300 25 90 this year and then regress further and further, while I dream of Adrian Gonzales and his left handed power. If he becomes a free agent and Lee's contract which will be ending around that time, the new owners might want to think BIG.

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