Goatriders of the Apocalypse

GameCasts

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/managed/grota/drupal/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

Gamecast: May 11th, 2010 - Cubs vs. Marlins

Randy Wells (3-1, 4.86 ERA) vs.
Ricky Nolasco (2-2, 4.08 ERA)

Overview

Three errors and a HR, not to mention a fourth loss in a row. This is getting ugly for all of us. I think a few things are coming from this losing streak.

1. Jim Hendry could very well be on his way out of town.

2. Lou Pinella is probably going to retire and enjoy a life on TV.

3. Derrek Lee and Ted Lilly's time as Cubs are coming to a close

4. The Cubs should get younger.

5. 2011 might be very interesting.

6. 2010 might get really ugly.

Who's Hot

Teams playing the Cubs - Need a winning streak? Well, playing the Cubs can help.

Who's Not

Starlin Castro's Defense - Ehh, I didn't see the errors last night, but it read very ugly.

Conclusions

Better times will come and I'm sure the Cubs will play some ok ball at some point this year.

Gamecast: May 10th, 2010 - Cubs vs. Marlins

Ted Lilly (1-2, 5.29 ERA) vs.
Nate Robertson (2-3, 4.85 ERA)

Overview

Wow, the Cubs are historically bad right now with the exception of one good game on Friday. They just went 1-5 against the Pirates and Reds. That is not good.

I will not be long today, because I have to meet the wife at her doctor's appointment. We are preparing to bring the newest Cub fan into the world in a few weeks. Hopefully, the Cubs will be better by the time Ben enters the world.

Ted Lilly goes today, and hopefully he starts to build a little trade value, because that is what the Cubs should be worried about now.

Who's Hot

Marlon Byrd - Man this is guy is good. He's the perfect player for most teams, but the Cubs haven't been able to support his fast start.

Who's Not

Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee and Xavier Nady - None of these guys are hitting much and it is no surprise to see the Cubs record reflecting that fact.

Conclusions

It's a long season, and things can turn around. This is important, because I don't want to seem totally negative. I like to see bright side, but it is really hard right now.

Gamecast: May 9, 2010 - Cubs @ Reds

Ryan Dempster (2-2, 2.95) vs. Mike Leake (2-0, 2.94)

Overview
Well, the Cubs come into this Mothers Day contest trying to win the series.  Yes, the game last night was effing atrocious.  However, you don't get style points for your wins or losses, and with a win today the Cubs will get 2 of 3 @ Cincinnati and that's OK in my book.  Ryan Dempster takes the mound for the Cubs, and quite honestly, there's no one else I'd rather have on the mound trying to turn it around after a tough loss than Ryan.  He pitched pretty well last time out on Tuesday in Pittsburgh, but got the L because the Cubs couldn't score more than 2 runs.  He has allowed 2 dingers in each of his last 2 times out, so that's a bit troubling, especially given the bandbox where today's game is taking place.

This Mike Leake character made his big league debut against the Cubs the first week of the season (remember, he was the cat that skipped the minor leagues entirely).  That game he walked 7, and was generally pretty sketchy, but the Cubs only managed 1 run, and he survived his wildness.  His control has got quite a bit tighter since then, and he's only allowed 1 run in each of his last 2 starts.  The Cubs could use a major bounceback, however, I don't know if it's going to come today.  I feel a low scoring game today honestly.

Who's Hot
Soriano.  It pains me, but we have really needed him the past couple weeks.  And last night, he, the Byrdman, and Theriot (who's still hitting well at the top of the lineup) were the only Cubs with more than one hit.  Honestly if you told me that by this point in the season, that Byrd and Soriano would be raking..both hitting about .320, I'd have told you we'd be in real nice shape.  Oof.

Who's Not
Everytime I write one of these, I mention Rami's name. So there's him. Apparently Jeff Baker lit his ass on fire, so he's not doing so well..(or should I have put him in the "Hot" column?). And of course Jeff Gray's not doing well either. (This is what I wrote Friday, and it still applies..and Jeff Gray's now in AAA). - Also apparently John Grabow has a knee issue and has been sent home for an MRI.  Can we just give him the same treatment that you give lame racehorses?  Just put him out to pasture to graze? 

So here we are.  It's Mothers Day, and our season is in trouble.  You can't fix it all in one day though.  All the Cubs can do today is win the one game, and then head home and try to right the ship.  I'm feeling a W, are you?  Go Cubs!  And Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there!

-MW

Gamecast: May 7, 2010 - Cubs @ Reds

GameCastCarlos Silva (2-0, 2.90 ERA) vs. Homer Bailey (0-1, 6.04)

Overview
Last time I did the Gamecast, I noted that the Cubs had the decided advantage in the pitching matchup, and we lost...as Charlie Morton had the best game of his season. So..this time I'm not going to disparage Mr. Bailey, only noting that he's got 4 ND in 5, and that he had the best start of his season last time out against STL. We'll see what we get with Silva, who struggled some last Saturday against the Snakes (in a game we came back and won - I was there...good times). However there have been some reports of Silva having a sore hand. Hopefully he's ready to give us at least 6 good innings tonight.

Also for tonight, you might have heard..the Cubs have promoted Starlin Castro. Since everyone has an opinion on this, I'll editorialize some more, and give you mine... I think this is the right move at the right time. I don't care that Castro is only 20, I don't care that he only has 250 plate appearances in AA, and I especially don't care that he's skipping AAA since fewer and fewer elite prospects are spending serious time there these days. Its becoming more and more than AAA is for players on the way down and guys that couldnt quite hack it in the bigs...guys like Micah Hoffpauir, Sam Fuld, Bryan LaHair, etc. This team needs a shot in the arm, and hopefully Castro can do that. I don't think that this situation is anything like what's happened in the past with other highly touted prospects in Patterson and Pie. Castro has a LOT better plate discipline and control of his bat. Give him time Cubs fans - I assure you it will be worth the wait.

Who's Hot
Starlin Castro baby! - He was 9 for his last 17 in AA, finishing his tenure there with a .376 average. And now he's here, upgrading the defense and 2 positions. I'm excited, can you tell?

Who's Not
Everytime I write one of these, I mention Rami's name. So there's him. Apparently Jeff Baker lit his ass on fire, so he's not doing so well..(or should I have put him in the "Hot" column?). And of course Jeff Gray's not doing well either.

Big night tonight. Everyone tune in, and if the way this season's gone is any indication, we'll follow up those 3 Pirate losses with 3 wins in Cincy.

-MW

Gamecast: May 6th, 2010 - Cubs at Pirates

Randy Wells (3-0, 3.45 ERA) vs. Brian Murres (1-1, 6.00 ERA)

Overview

I watched my DVR last night instead of the Cubs, and I'm glad I did. The Cubs are tough team to watch, because you never know which team will show up.

Hopefully, they have enough to pride to take at least one game in the series.

Randy Wells continues to pitch well, and he remains a bright spot on this otherwise lackluster team.

Who's Hot

Octavio Dotel - Dotel couldn't help give up a runs before the Cubs came to town. Now, he's nailed two down two saves in a row.

Who's Not

Aramis Ramirez - It's hard to see him like this, because he looks lost and slow at the plate.

Conclusions

The Cubs are rough and so are the chances in 2010.

Gamecast: May 5, 2010 - Cubs @ Pirates


Ted Lilly (1-1, 4.91 ERA) vs. Charlie Morton (0-5, 12.57 ERA)

Overview

T'Lil makes his 3rd start tonight as the Cubs try to get back to their winning ways of late after dropping a 3-2 decision to the Buccos last night. Lilly's had one really good start and one fairly miseraable one. Often guys are up and down when they come back from shoulder surgery, so let's hope that tonight's more of the former. The Pirates' offense certainly isn't a formidable one, and I feel good about a nice outing for Bulldog #30 tonight. Opposing him is Charlie Morton who's been downright miserable this year. He's lost all 5 of his starts, and that 12+ ERA is just startling. Recent rumors have him pitching for his rotation spot tonight, so we'll see if that has any bearing on his productivity. His last start on April 30th was his best (least bad?) of the year, going 6 innings and allowing 6 runs (only 3 earned) on 6 hits. 6-6-6. Eek.

Who's Hot
Ryan Theriot has a lucky 13-game hitting streak going on, during which his batting avg has risen from .222 to .357. He's certainly seeing the ball well. Alfonso Soriano has that fun little 4-game homer streak going on as well. Also hot is Milton Bradley. He's hot at his team, his manager, the home plate ump from last night, etc. Word is he walked out on his team mid-way thru the game last night. Classy, Milton...classy. I'd be lying if I said that I'm not rooting for that to end as poorly as possible and I don't care if that makes me a bad person.

Who's Not
Rami's batting average has fallen below .150. It's officially start time to become concerned. What to do about it? Drop him even further in the lineup? Also not hot are Pirates IF Ronny Cedeno (something like 4 for his last 40) and Jeff Clement (hitting far less than his weight). Oy. I'm glad I'm not a Pirates fan.

Get another winning streak going tonight and get back to .500.  Gotta get moving on these Cards, they're not showing signs of slowing.

-MW

Gamecast: May 4th, 2010 - Cubs at Pirates

Ryan Dempster (2-1, 2.78 ERA) vs. Paul Malholm (1-2, 4.83 ERA)

Overview

Who thinks they know the Cubs? Well, it looks like we all do. They are either really good or really bad, which has led us to the .500 record thus far.

The Cubs travel to th Burgh for the first time this season while trying to get above .500. The Cubs had a chance last week, but ended up losing three straight to put that out of the question.

The Cardinals are already 5 games in front in the NL Central, but there is still tons of time left in the year. The Cubs still are looking for stability in the bullpen, but the Carloses have been pretty good.

Today, Xavier Nady will probably get the start against the lefy along with Jeff Baker. It would be nice to see Nady get going to go along with our other guys with the DH coming soon in interleague play.

The Cubs are stroking the ball at the plate up and down the lineup. So, lets get to the last seven days.

Who's Hot

Ryan Theriot - There is no way he keeps this up. He's hitting .423 in his last seven with five runs scored. He only has one walk during this time.

Alfonso Soriano - He gets like this a couple times year, and the only question how long does it last? He's hitting .420 with 4 HR and 10 RBI in his last five games played.

Kosuke Fukudome - He's played way better than I thought and now he's driving the ball. In his last six, he's walked six times and has a 1.298 OPS.

Who's Not

Tyler Colvin - He's not getting at bats and has one hit in his last nine at bats.

Aramis Ramirez - Hopefully the day off helped him the most. He's hitting .190 in his last five games.

Conclusions

The Cubs are an interesting team, but I would love to see a long winning streak continue through the Reds series this weekend.

Gamecast: April 30th, 2010 - Cubs vs. Diamondbacks.

Randy Wells (2-0, 2.49 ERA) vs. Rodrigo Lopez (1-0, 4.88 ERA)

Overview

Can we just go back to Tuesday and try again? The cubs were right off winning their fourth straight and every thing was looking up. Fast foward three days and the Cubs are now floundering once again.


Yesterday, the Cubs couldn't get going early and the bullpen once again took a beating after Ted Lilly got a beating of his own.

The Cubs offense was mainly late on a meaningless grandslam that makes Kosuke Fukedome's season look better. The Cubs really need to figure some things out, and why not against Lopez today.

The season is still early, but the Cubs really haven't improved much from the beginning of the season. These things will need to change if the want to compete or if they want to trade some guys to improve the farm club at the deadline.

Who's Hot
Kelly Johnson -
I remember hearing people say the Cubs should pick him up possibly, and it looks like those people were right. He had four hits yesterday and a HR.

Who's Not
Derrek Lee -
Lee's 0-for-4 dropped him to .192 on the season. It looks like it is another slow April for D-Lee.



Conlcusions

Randy Wells has looked good this year. Hopefully, he will continue to add to his legend and rack up wins for the Cubs.

Gamecast: April 29, 2010 - Cubs vs. Diamondbacks

GameCastTed Lilly (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Ian Kennedy (0-1, 4.43 ERA)

Overview
Ted Lilly tries to break a 2-game losing streak for the Cubs this afternoon at Wrigley Field. On Saturday, in his first start of the season, T'Lil looked very strong, tossing 78 pitches over 6 scoreless innings. He'll try to duplicate that feat this afternoon. The visiting Snakes will send Ian Kennedy to the mound. This will be his first ever appearance against the Cubs, having come over from the Yankees during last offseason's Granderson/Scherzer/Edwin Jackson/Austin Jackson three-team deal. So far this season, he has just 1 quality start in 4, that being last time out..a nice 8-inning start versus the Phillies. His start before that was 5 scoreless innings against the Padres, and while that's nice, it doesnt count as an official QS by MLB's standards. Kennedy is finesse/flyball type righty, so if the wind's blowing out, the Cubs have a chance to throw up quite a few runs.

Who's Hot
Me - My frustration is getting at an exceedingly high level after yesterday's "effort" with runners in scoring position. Several innings in a row we had runners in scoring position with 0 or 1 outs, and we couldnt get them in. That can't continue to happen. We just lost 2 of 3 at home to the Nationals, after losing 2 of 3 at home to the Astros the home series prior. I dont know if the Cubs are a "good" team or not yet, but "good" teams have to win home series.

Who's Not
The mendoza twins of Lee and Ramirez. Their non-hitting routines are getting old. Lee's average has plummeted to .203, and Ramirez is stagnating at .155. I'm not advocating sweeping changes, and I'm hoping you're not either, but they need to pick it up. They're a large reason why we lost 2 of 3 to the Nats.

Finally, you might have heard that Bruce Levine wrote an article about Starlin Castro yesterday. Paraphrasing, I believe it said something to the tune of: "The Cubs might be calling Castro up soon, there are front office types evaluating when a potential call-up might occur, no one knows when it will happen, but it could happen soon." So basically, Levine said nothing. Which is par for the course for him.

Keep the faith.
-MW

Gamecast: April 28th, 2010 - Cubs vs. Nationals

GameCastRyan Dempster (2-0, 2.60 ERA) vs. Luis Atilano (1-0, 1.50 ERA)

Overview
I missed last night's game because I was busy defending my thesis. So, you can blame me for the loss, because I was not there to offer my support. You know what? I will take the loss just to be done with that stupid paper. Now, I can focus on the Cubs again for at least seven weeks, which is about how much time I have until Baby Yarbage enters the world. Then, all bets are off.

As for the Cubs, Dempster takes the mound once again. He's been good so far, so hopefully that continues.

The Nats trot some guy out there that I've never heard of or know anything about. It would be nice to finally light one of these guys to claim a victory.

Who's Hot
Livan Hernandez -
Seriously, what is up with this guy? My bets on a deal with the deal at the crossroads. He will dominate this year, get traded to the Yankess in July and win a World Series MVP, before disappearing off the face of the earth.

Who's Not
John Grabow
- His ERA is now topping 7 runs a game. Nice job, John!

Conclusions

There is no reason the Cubs can't win today. It would put the Cubs back at .500 before a four-game series with the Diamondbacks.

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award