4/20 Sveum: These are rookie ball mistakes

Dale Sveum has met with the players, they’ve done the drills, they’ve practiced the plays, and they have the talent, which is why Saturday’s game — and this season — is so frustrating. The Brewers took advantage of the Cubs’ sloppy play to post a 5-1 win in front of a sellout crowd of 42,230 at Miller Park in what looked like a repeat of past games this season.

“It seems to be the story every night,” Sveum said. “It seems to be continuing that we can’t seem to catch the ball or make a play when we have to make a play. Edwin [Jackson] pitched a great game, but he was part of that, throwing the ball into center field. We’ve got to step up and somebody has to start making plays and driving runs in because this is obviously getting old.”

Jackson’s throwing error in the sixth led to two of the Brewers’ runs and was one of three miscues by the Cubs in the game. Of the five runs scored, four were unearned.

“I’ve talked,” Sveum said about how he’s dealt with the Cubs. “We’ve been doing this quite a bit. You don’t want to have meetings every night.”

Maybe the problem is youth? Shortstop Starlin Castro committed his fourth error.

“We’re making a lot of the same mistakes,” Sveum said. “Obviously, they’re young but we’re making mistakes that rookie ball people make.”

Jackson (0-3), who signed a four-year, $52 million contract this offseason, took the loss. It’s the first time the right-hander has opened a season winless in his first four starts since 2007 when he went 0-8 with the Rays.

“Everybody knows they can make plays,” Jackson said. “It’s nothing that anyone is panicking over. Clearly, we have to play better and execute better. It’s not an issue that anyone is panicking over. I can’t speak for everyone but nobody is panicking. We just have to make the plays when we have a chance.”

What’s going on?

“I think it’s just a matter of slowing the game down,” Darwin Barney said. “Starting pitching has done such a great job and a lot of the jams they’ve been in have been attributed to miscues. It’s unfortunate. I think a part of it is pressure. I think guys are putting a little too much pressure on themselves and they take that onto the defensive side. As a unit, we need to be better from pitchers to infielders and just all around. It just comes with slowing the game down and being confident and just making the routine plays and keeping them routine.”

Alfonso Soriano also felt the Cubs may be pressing.

“I think we’re better than this,” Soriano said. “I think we’re trying too much. That’s why the team isn’t doing well so far. I think everybody is pushing too much and trying to do too much. We have to come back tomorrow and be relaxed and just let the talent play the game.”

In Spring Training, the Cubs knew they had a rough schedule in the first month and needed to get off to a good start.

“Everybody in this clubhouse, we want to win so bad, we want to show to the other team and the fans that we can do it,” Soriano said. “I think that’s our mentality here. We just have to play the game and have fun and not try to do too much and not worry about making mistakes and play the game.”

The Brewers began the season 2-8, and have won six in a row.

“That’s what drives me crazy, the coaches crazy,” Milwaukee manager Ron Ronicke said. “We try to figure things and how to get the team going and next thing you know they do it themselves. It’s baffling, this game’s very baffling.”

Sveum would like to see the players figure it out. He said he has “options” if the mistakes continue. He admitted to becoming impatient with the poor play.

“To win in the big leagues, you have to have people who perform, and perform 162 games, not once in a while,” Sveum said. “You have to perform. It’s the big leagues. Otherwise, you lose your jobs.”

– Carrie Muskat

6 Comments

Sounds like that was an ugly game. There are advantages to not having access to Cubs` broadcasts, as is the case with myself. Just reading about the results is often sufficient, and less painless. All those hours one utilizes watching Cubs` games is time one can never get back. Is not an issue if they perform well, but it is the case lately that the results are negative. I welcome days when the Cubs are off or are rained out, as I can tell my friends the Cubs did not lose that day. What a pathetic commentary!

“You have to perform. It’s the big leagues. Otherwise, you lose your jobs.” Really? As if Soriano, clean up hitter paid to drive in runs, NOT doing his job. Rizzo, Golden boy three batter paid to be a hitter, “hitting” a paltry .190, NOT doing his job. Valbuena at third base …uh, nuff said. Castro at SS paid to play the most demanding up the middle positions NOT doing his job. Schierholtz our right fielder paid to be a run proucer, NOT doing his job….is Sveum going to “fire” them???
MAYBE DeJesus is doing his job with a .300 ba and a .364 OBP but even so he is hardly the threat on the bases a REAL lead off man is. Russell is doing his job. Hard to come up with a long list of people doing their job. In fact Sveum is hard pressed to do HIS job as a cattle rancher can’t produce Angus beef if the owner delivers a truck load of chickens. The best baseball I saw so far this season was “42” GREAT MOVIE, GREAT STORY. God bless Jackie Robinson. C’mon trade deadline!

Pingback: “This Is Obviously Getting Old” and Other Bullets | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

Went to the game last night…it was a joke. Time to trade Castro while his stock is high. To play in the National League, you have to be a two way player. That includes defense. He has proven that he cannot play the position. He can go to the American League where he can become a DH. Also, in the 8th inning, all three batters took 2 strikes without swinging. Ridiculous. Sveum is another worthless manager in the long line of crappy managers the Cubs have had. I don’t understand how the Cardinals can continue to be good every year with a middle of the road payroll. The Cubs don’t just need to figure out their front office, but scouts, etc all the way down the line. They have to be the dumbest team in baseball when it comes to baseball intelligence.

I can’t help but think that part of Castro’s problem is that he played so little in spring training. Sure he was injured for a short time, but he was held out for much of rest of SP just so Baiz could play longer. Not a good way to run spring training, when you have a young player who still makes a lot of mistakes. He needs to play as much as possible. Edwin Jackson needs to speed up his game more. He pitches way to slow, the players are back on their heels. Not good for holding a game together. When they make too many errors, sit them out for a day or 2, yes even Castro and Rizzo. Those 2 need to wake up.

You have summed it up very well, Mamma Mia – we do seem to have run out of options at this point. I do think that yesterday may have been a big “wake-up call” to the players! There are some things that will probably not change – I do not think Castro will cut down on his errors any time soon. No amount of Spring Training can address his attention deficit problem. His offense is the best as long as he continues to pay attention on the bases. Soriano’s error was very surprising. He had only one error last year. I think he will address the issue and not commit more errors. Rizzo seems to be in a fog lately. Can’t figure what is going on there. Jackson was imitating Garza’s fielding maybe? I like that Sveum is not giving them any slack on this one. Play well or lose your job. I think the guys want to play well from this day forward.

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