Samardzija on Our Minds as Cubs Take Series from Marlins

August 17, 2008

Special to 100 Year Itch
Guest Post by: The Nug
The Sometimes Daily Nug

Jeff Samardzija didn’t start for the Cubs in Florida on Sunday after several reports surfaced online earlier this week. Lou Piniella announced right-hander Ryan Dempster will start on Sunday at Florida. The Shark’s starting debut as a Cub will have to wait for now.  

A few weeks back  a friend of mine, a die-hard USC fan, chuckled when I told him Jeff Samardzija had been brought up to the majors and will be pitching for the Chicago Cubs. “Isn’t he that slow, white, wide receiver from Notre Dame?” Slow? I think not. Dominant. I think so. Blue-Gray Sky pointed out Samardzija had more 40-yard plus touchdowns during his last two years for the Irish than Calvin Johnson, Ted Ginn, Dwayne Jarrett and Mario Manningham.  

The rookie right hander is being called one of Major League Baseball’s 25 Most Improbable Success Stories. Frankly, I’m not surprised. His rise to Major League success has been meteoric and although he’s not exactly Rudy, and it’s still early in his career, he brings some impressive stats to the table.
 

Piniella has used Samardzija predominantly for the middle relief role, but he does have one save. In 10 appearances his ERA is an impressive 1.23. Opposing batters are hitting just .157 against him. And he has only given up only two runs in those 10 games. Additionally, the Cubs are 7-3 when Samardzija gets the rock. And, two of those loses were by one run.  

Samardzija made a great decision by choosing baseball and the Cubs over the NFL. Guaranteed money and chucking 95 mph fastballs at batters as opposed to being hit over the middle by NFL linebackers. But many, including myself, hope to see him on the gridiron in the not too distant future. I just hope it’s not the Bears, because as ex-Bears receiver Muhsin Muhammad reminded us “Chicago is where receivers go to die.”
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The Cubs took the series today from the Florida Marlins with a 9-2 victory. A huge 7th inning propelled the Cubs to the win after being down1-0 for most of the game….Ryan Dempster struck out 10 and improved to 14-5 on the year. In lieu of our guest post today, we will not be providing a full recap…but a professional recap is available by clicking here

Daryle Ward Finally Comes Through!

August 16, 2008

 

Despite being stuck at work and being forced to watch Cubs games through ESPN Gamecast, on top of trying to look busy, I must say that Big Z’s been a tad uncharacteristic as of late.  I don’t have much to say about the game because I couldn’t watch it, and will see highlights tomorrow because I’m partying tonight after work.  I hear that Daryle Ward FINALLY came through.  This was a guy who was the butt of jokes from many of the forum alumni on ESPN.  He came up in the top of the 9th and pulled through.  I just have to say that Lou definitely sees something in guys others don’t.  That’s why I can’t deny Lou and what he does anymore.  Yes, we question his uses of Bob Howry despite Howry’s troubles and lambastings by fans.  During the St. Louis series, Bobby did come through after his much maligned month and a half when he kept the game going.  He didn’t give up a costly home run or meltdown, walk two guys, give up three hits, and surrender not only the lead but eventually the game.  I guess that mojo carried over to Daryle Ward a week later, who jacked that three-run blast off of a good closer in Kevin Gregg (whom I recall was trouble for the Cubs in that series split).  So here’s to Lou, for we believe in you!

Tonight was also the ninth straight road win for the Cubs.  This pushes their road record to 30-30 overall and now gets them off that subject of “can’t win on the road”.  Baseball just seems like a game people have absolutely no patience for anymore.  I see it when the Cubs drop a game and trolls storm the board like it was game 7 of the World Series!  It’s hilariously depressing.  Hilarious because of the off-color predictions, depressing because you’re trying to talk baseball and they keep hampering your conversation.  I digress, however, I just have to say that when a guy gets into a slump he HAS to bust out of it (unless it’s Corey Patterson or Richie Sexon).  That’s what Daryle did tonight and he put us at a cool 28 games over .500.

So the next time someone’s in a 0-40 slump, try to see the lighter side of it because baseball is a marathon.  Not a fucking 20 yard dash.

Click Here to Watch


Back to Life?

July 28, 2008

For the first time in more than a month, I actually did not see a Cubs game. Rumor has it that the Cubs had an offense. Rumor has it that there were high fives and smiling in the dugout. I even heard that the Cubs came from behind.

Could it all be true?

I spent the night before on the ESPN bullshitting boards beacuse my usual line up of sports blogs I regularly post on were eerily quiet. I sat there and endured all of the usual “bullshit” form the Brewers fans and the Cardinals fans. The one fan group that shows up in numbers when the Cubs do badly is the White Sox fans. I swear, those guys would trade the World Series ring that they won in 2005 if it meant that the Cubs would never win another ring. Weren’t both Chicago franchises, along with the Boston Red Sox under “unbreakable” curses? Now that the Cubs are the lone “cursed” team in baseball, I guess it makes fans of the team an easy target.

It is worth noting, that most of the homers who predicted the demise of the Cubs the night before, failed to own up to their comments when the Cubs won and the Brewers lost.

Well, today is game one of the biggest series of the year so far this season. A Four game set with the Brewers in Milwaukee will determine who is in first and who is chasing in the NL Central. Ted Lilly faces CC Sabathia at Miller Park in just a little more than 10 hours. Sabbathia has been as dominating as a pitcher can be in his last four starts, while Lilly has been fairly steady, but no where near as overpowering.

The Brewers have been on a tear lately, especially Ryan Braun, while the Cubs have been up and down more than a pogo stick. Will CC continue his domainance, or is he due for a letdown? Will the Cubs bats show up, or will they follow up a big win with another lackluster batting performance?

Strap yourselves in for an exciting four days of Cubs baseball.

If you want to read the recap…since I didn’t see the game – Click Here.


Just Read Yesterday’s Post

July 26, 2008

Cubs lose – No Offense – Marlins 3 Cubs 2

It is getting a little tiresome writing the same thing over and over and over for the game recaps. There is no offense in Chicago. There hasn’t been since the All Star Break…and despite flashes, it doesn’t appear that the offense is coming around anytime soon. Three is zero confidence coming to the plate for any of the Cubs batters. Sooner or later, the Brewers are going to catch the Cubs…and if the team is pressing now, they will be dry cleaning and ironing later.

If this is supposed to be the team that ends the curse they are going to have to stop reading the papers, stop watching the news, and ultimately, get out of their own way, and just let it happen. It is time to start beating the teams you are supposed to beat. I realize the Cubs arent going to go undefeated in the second half, and I also realize it is way to early to panic. It’s just that if I am going to be an objective Cub fan – I remember what the Cubs did to the Brewers last year, and it is beginning to seem likely the Brewers can return the favor this year. If the Brewers win tonight, and tie the Cubs for first in the NL Central, maybe it will serve as the wakeup call the Cubs bats need.

Jeremy Hermedia, the Cub killer, single handedly beat the Cubs today with two HRs and scored the other run in the top of the 12th. Harden struck out 10 again, and again got a no decision. Three starts 30 stirkeouts, 3 total runs given up…an .073 ERA …..one loss – two ND….

Time to go back to what worked in the first half….If it was just staying ahead of the Cardinals because the Brewers wern’t  a threat – It is time to come up with a new plan.


Schizophrenic Cubs Offense MIA in Loss v. Marlins

July 25, 2008

One day on, one day off. The Cubs offense has yet to show up in the second half of the season…en masse that is. Sure, they have had a game here and a game there, but no where near the consistent output they had in the first half of the season. The Cubs, my friends….are pressing. They hear the footsteps of the Milwaukee Brewers coming up the stairs and they are doing everything they can to stay just ahead. Well, the Cubs blinked first…and they have taken the ability to stay in first place alone out of their own hands.

It would be easy to blame a terrible non strike call right over the plate and right above the knees to Jeremy Hermida by Bob Howry for the loss. For all of the questionable calls umpires make when someone “paints” the outside corner, you wonder how right down the middle could ever be mistaken for a bad pitch…almost like it didnt have enough finesse. But it would be remiss no to point out that it seems like anytime – not just for the Cubs mind you – but anytime an umpire misses a call or a batter is given an extra strike they always seem to capitalize. Hermida was no different, taking Bob Howry deep a few pitches after the missed strike three call. Again, that would be the easy way out explaination….

In reality, the Cubs need to stop pressing and start having fun again, or it is going to be a long second half. The bats need some caffine…Let the Cubs start taking batting practice regularly again…it is clearly killing the offense, and while it worked a time or two, it is not the long term answer.

Fish win 3-2…Click Here for Professional Major Media Website Recap….

Brewers take on the Astros in two hours….we will be watching earnestly


Cubs Beat Fish to Maintain One Game Lead Over Brewers

July 25, 2008

Some May see this as being lazy….I’m just trying to spread the love…The Cubs doubled up the Marlins tonight 6-3 in the first game of a short four game homestand…Rather than read my take, let’s enjoy the ramblings and musings from other Cubs Bloggers from all over the internet…

Oh…and one Random Fish Fan

 

Nice to be able to lean on these guys when I have had a few too many in my home bleachers….