Out of The Box – July 31

July 31, 2008
  •      You had a feeling the Brewers were going to implode when the third strike on Reed Johnson rolled to the backstop and Prince Fielder dropped the throw to first. To their credit, they didn’t implode…right away. 
  • -Ryan Theriot has hit .462 for the series thus far. Any votes for offensive MVP of the series for him? 
  • -Does it seem to you like Lou has the Cubs more aggressive on the base paths? That’s because it’s true. The Cubs have stolen more bases in the first three games of the Milwaukee series (7) than they have in the rest of July (6). Chicago is currently 7-for-8 in steals in this series. They only made seven previous attempts all month.  Aramis Ramirez was picked off on July 23rd against the Diamondbacks, but I don’t count that as an attempted steal. Neither would he.
  • I love the Cubs being more aggressive. Is it because the coaching staff knows Jason Kendall a little better than most rival catchers? Whatever the reason, I hope they continue to force the issue a little more.
  • -While I’m mentioning Kendall, here’s some more Ned Yost logic head scratching. So Yost sends his CATCHER on a steal attempt in the fifth with one out and the pitcher up only to see him completely beaten by an entire era. Maybe it was miscommunication on a sacrifice attempt, but it didn’t appear that way. Parra hits a triple after that and though you can never predict a pitcher hitting a triple, Yost may just be the weakest link. Brewers, demand better. Ask Brett Favre to manage. How much worse could it be? At least HE’S been to and won a championship game.
  • -Speaking of Favre (I know: “sigh”), I have to jump off the Cubs game for a second. Did anyone else see the sign Manny Ramirez was holding up in the dugout while his Red Sox were getting clobbered (9-2) last night? It suggested he would be traded for Favre. My question is: Who helped him write it?
  • The Cubs have scored 20 runs in three games so far. Don’t you think it’s time they get Harden a few today? Me too. Sure, it’s greed, but I don’t care. It’s the Brewers- pile it on.
  • -Though I haven’t seen the lineup card, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jim Edmonds in today. He’s hitting David Bush at a clip of .375 with a .750 slugging percentage. Mark DeRosa should also feast well today.  He’s hit Bush to the tune of .364 with a .636 slugging percentage.

Observations from The Man in the Box

July 30, 2008

While perusing the internet and other blogs for content….we come accross some good insight and observations….we are going to start highlighting some of that here…Here are the notes and insight form last nights Cubs win over the Brewers…

Insight from The Man In the Box

-Aramis Ramirez busts out of his slump in a big way with three doubles in going 4-for-5 with an RBI. Like to see that. The one-two punch of him and Lee only works if both pistons are firing. Lee has warmed his bat up a bit and it looks like Aramis is now as well. Let’s hope it continues.

-A double and a triple for Fukudome. I hope that’ll get his confidence at the plate back. Although, you could probably credit that triple to the Milwaukee outfield.

-Speaking of that outfield for Milwaukee- Cameron got a Web Gem for his play at the wall on a Lee blast. It was a good play, but a Web Gem? Especially when he and Hart combined in the miscommunication game to allow a double to Ramirez.

And then there’s Braun. He’s a second-year player, but a rookie to the outfield position. He looked pretty silly out there. In fact, the one triple he allowed making a bad dive for the Fukudome ball that rolled to the wall was particularly interesting. It looked like he was nonchalantly running to the wall to get it. Now maybe he was winded, but he certainly didn’t look like he was on his horse to make up for his bad decision.

I started disliking him earlier in the season and I can see I’m not alone here. At one point, I suggested to my girlfriend that maybe Lou should have Edmonds pinch hit (even though it was a lefty/lefty situation) just to see Jimmy slice one to left field and have Braun chasing it like a dog all over again. I can be devious.

-If I were a Brewer fan, I’d lay some of that loss on Ned Yost. He left Ben Sheets out there for much of the sixth even though he was clearly not hitting his locations and the Cubbies were smacking him around with nobody out. I don’t think a pitching coach came to the mound until after the line had already started rolling* (bases loaded and runs scored). He had 100 pitches before they yanked him in the sixth with one out. That’s just bad coaching in my opinion.

-Z looked pretty much in control for the most part. Samardzija showed the signs of a guy just up from the minors. His control and location were a bit off and his 17-pitch inning is evidence of that. At least he had a big cushion and until they invent the seven-run homer, there wouldn’t be too much to worry about.

*Per Bob Brenly’s season-long catch phrase.

Who is Man in the Box? We liked his recap we found on The View From the Bleachers…..in the comments section…we are trying to recruit this talented dude to help us out around here…you can learn a little about him by clicking here