Posted on 30 September 2011 by Lou
The Cubs have a LOT of work to do this off-season. They finished a whopping 25 games behind the 1st place Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. A 71-91 record just doesn’t cut it. Especially after finishing the 2010 MLB season with a 75-87 record – 16 games back of the 1st place Cincinnati Reds.
The lone positive – the NL Central is a very winnable division – each of the last 4 years has brought a new division winner. So who knows – if a few things go their way in 2012, maybe the Cubs can make it a 5th straight different division winner.
The Cubs first need to hire a new GM to replace Jim Hendry. Then the new GM with his staff will have to figure out a way to plug up a TON of holes without a lot of money with which to work. Owner Tom Ricketts has already said that the payroll will not increase much from what it was in 2011. Sure there is a lot of money coming off the books this off-season – no Kosuke Fukudome; no Milton Bradley/Carlos Silva salary; no full Carlos Zambrano salary (assuming they can shovel him off to another team); and maybe no Carlos Pena or Aramis Ramirez salary. Will Ricketts be able to stomach making a run at the Scott Boras-led Prince Fielder? How will the Cubs plug the gaping holes in their starting rotation? Who will play right field on a regular basis? Will Manager Mike Quade keep his job under the new GM?
There are no easy answers, so it will be an interesting off-season to watch and we’ll keep you posted every step of the way here at MyCubsToday.com.
Posted on 28 September 2011 by Lou
Ryan Dempster’s disappointing 2012 MLB season ended on a down note with the Cubs 9-2 loss. Dempster suffered his 14th loss of the season, allowing 9 ER on 8 hits and 4 walks in 5 2/3 innings pitched. He did strikeout 7 Padres hitters but he gave up 2 home runs. Dempster finished 10-14 with a 1.45 WHIP and 4.80 ERA – not good numbers for an aging 34-year old starter. He lost 6 of his last 9 starts on the season and did not win a game since August 11th. He did make 34 starts and pitch 202 1/3 innings, but he also gave up 211 hits, 82 walks and 23 HR’s. Dempster has one more year left on his deal and he will likely be the Cubs #2 starter heading into 2012 behind Matt Garza.
The one bright spot – Andrew Cashner tossed another scoreless inning. He walked one and struck out one and finished the season with a 0.66 WHIP and 1.69 ERA. He made 6 relief appearances for the Cubs down the stretch, pitching 5 1/3 innings and allowing just 1 ER on 1 hit and 3 walks with 6 K’s. Cashner will likely stay in the bullpen in 2012 in an attempt to show that he can stay healthy for a full MLB season.
Starlin Castro finished his excellent 2012 season without a sophomore slump – he had 1 hit with 1 RBI and finished the season with a .307 batting average.
It should be an interesting off-season for the Cubs…
Posted on 27 September 2011 by Lou
Congrats to Matt Garza – who put the many distractions aside and kept his composure in picking up his 10th win of the season in last night’s 6-2 win over the Padres. As usual, it wasn’t easy and he almost didn’t get that double-digit victory.
Garza threw 122 pitches in 7 innings, giving up just 2 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 8, but left the game trailing 2-1 as the game entered the 8th inning. Fortunately, the Cubs bats rallied in the top of the 8th. Two walks put the go ahead runs on base and then Alfonso Soriano delivered his 26th HR of the season, a 3-run shot that gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead. And when Blake DeWitt knocked in 2 insurance runs with a single in the 9th, it secured Garza’s 10th win of the season. Garza has been the lone bright spot in the Cubs 2011 starting rotation. Garza made 31 starts, going 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. He He led the team in wins, ERA and strikeouts (197). His 1.26 WHIP was also the best among starters. Ryan Dempster was #2 in each of those categories. Garza turns 28 in November, so he should be a fixture atop the Cubs starting rotation for years to come (assuming they sign him to along-term deal at some point in the near future – maybe even extending him this off-season). Garza should have won a lot more games too. He lost 5 times when he gave up 3 ER or less. He also would have had 2 more wins if not for blown saves. Given those stats, Garza had more of a 15-win season, than a 10-win season.
Here’s looking forward to the new Cubs GM making extending Garza to a long-term deal a high priority in his early tenure. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything.
Posted on 26 September 2011 by Lou
As the season winds down, Casey Coleman has made a big statement during his last 2 starts. Coleman worked into the 6th inning before giving up a home run and RBI double that gave the Padres a 2-0 lead. Coleman gave up just those 2 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks. He had 7 strike outs. In his previous start, Coleman picked up the win over the Brewers with a 6-inning gem against one of the better-hitting lineups in the National League. Coleman held the Brew Crew to just 1 ER on 2 hits and 3 walks with 8 K’s.
Coleman also broke up Matt Latos’ no hit bid with a 1-out triple in the top of the 6th inning. The Cubs managed just 1 other hit on the night – Starlin Castro’s single to lead off the 7th inning. Despite stealing 2nd base with nobody out, Carlos Pena, Bryan LaHair and Steve Clevenger could not bring him in.
With their 3rd straight loss, the Cubs fell to 70-90 on the season.
Matt Garza looks to continue his solid end to the 2011 campaign with his last start on Tuesday night. A win would give him double-digit wins in his 1st full season as a Cubs starter. Garza has not allowed more than 3 earned runs in any of his last 10 starts dating back to August 3rd – hello ace!!! Let’s hope he finishes off the great streak with his 10th win on Tuesday…
Posted on 01 September 2011 by Lou
After taking 2 of 3 from the Giants in San Francisco, the Cubs return home for a weekend series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Cubs are 59-78 and they trail the 1st place Brewers by 21.5 games in the NL Central race.
Ryan Dempster starts Friday’s matinee affair at Wrigley Field.