ICYMI: #Cubs lineup vs Sox

Kyle Hendricks gets the start vs. the White Sox Tuesday night. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Bryant DH

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist LF

Russell SS

Heyward RF

Baez 2B

Montero C

La Stella 3B


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Watching a constipated turtle may be the only thing worse to watch than an impotent offense. It’s hard to believe that this is the same Cubs offense that was bludgeoning teams in April-May, with an historic run differential. Granted, the starting pitching was better, and giving up fewer runs. However, the offense is been feast or famine since June. Shields is okay, but he’s not the caliber of starter that the Cubs could face in the post season. I wonder if adding another bat should be as much a priority as pitching. Chapman is a great closer, but think about it, how many save opportunities have the Cubs had this season? I guess consistency is the winning ingredient for both pitching and hitting, and both have been lacking. Meanwhile, the Cards and Bucs keep edging closer.

I think it’s time for Szczur to start getting a few starts in right field.

I don’t even have the energy to critique the loss. I’ll let my compatriot, Mahalo, take the ball. I’ll simply close with the new slogan for this team, “One step forward, two steps back.” Goodnight all…and no cursing.

I admire your sense of humor, Jason. This team has issues, and they extend far beyond what an elite closer can solve. There is no advantage to having a pitcher the likes of Chapman in the pen, if you are not even close to having a lead in the ninth, a lead we would want him to preserve. The offense has underperformed and the starting pitching has disappointed. Hendricks certainly pitched well enough tonight to win most games, but Big Game James was better. I have not heard Theo and the FO exclaim they are done dealing, and therefore expect more trades before the August 1 deadline. I`m thinking of not just one, but two starting pitchers, given Warren was subtracted from the roster, and he was being counted on to start some games to provide an extra day rest for our starting five going forward. You bring up the subject of an extra bat, and most fans did not anticipate the need for that for most of the season, and it may be necessary, but I doubt the FO will address that possible need in a trade. {I`ve heard it said that Chris Archer is a starting pitcher who`s available. If Cubs` fans considered that an option at the beginning of the season, they would have salivated over the possibility of being reunited with Chris, or more accurately, his being reunited with the Cubs. But given the way he has underperformed in 2016, he is not nearly as coveted these days. Ergo, that is why he`s available.}

Aloha Jason, Mat B & jhosk- well let us first start with the game. Sure it may not have been one of Hendricks best games this season but as jhosk said he pitched well enough to win. Hendricks record is not reflective of his overall performance this season and I wish when he does not have a “stellar” outing that his teammates would have picked him up after all he has done. It is not like Big James pitched a great game: Hendricks threw 97 pitches and 64 were strikes for a 66% rate, James had 70 strikes out of 117 for 60% rate; James walked more batters too. I take nothing away from James but here again patience at the plate as well as a set lineup, DH or no DH. Fowler should lead off then Zobrist-Bryant-Rizzo. Jasper brought up a good point that Russell feels comfortable in the #6 slot and having clutch hits and driving in runs. So place other folks in #5 for example Contreras or if Szczur had started he might not be bad to hit in front of Addy. Then your 8/9slot should be Heyward and you fill in around. But when you keep mixing around your lineup like it was 2013/2014, the results are not as fruitful. This is not 2013/2014. Yes there have been some injuries but you have to have a regiment a system, not this “loosey-goosey” ever changing lineup. It does not help with the stability of the team. I said this on another post: if for the most part all 5 starters were consistent today like they were in April/May, if the play in the field were consistent and set, if the offense was good enough meaning folks could advance runners, get some clutch hits take pitches thus consistency (does not have to be high-powered) and the only thing missing was a closer, I could understand the FO trying to get one but I still would not have given up so much for a rental. I wish before the FO sent Vogelbach and Blackburn to the Mariners for Montgomery that they would have presented a package of Vogelbach/Baez/Warren and possible Soler if needed for Miller to the Yankees. Why, because Vogelbach can play 1st base and mashes like Schwarber from the left side (something Cashman liked) and is an upgrade to an aging Mark T. Then Baez can fill in various locations now for the Yankees as well as Warren may do better being back in NY. Sure there is a chance that Baez gets even better but that is the risk one takes and a trade like this forces the manager to have to set his lineup. I think the Cubs not only get better with a Miller (under contract for 2.5yrs) in the bp over Chapman but the whole team too. Without Baez your regulars should be Bryant-Russell-Zobrist-Rizzo. You have LaStella that can play multiple positions and if someone is needed in the outfield you can put Zobrist or Bryant from time to time not often though. If Rizzo needs a day off, you could have Zobrist fill in. Then for the outfield you know you have Fowler playing CF but why not have Szczur playing left or right, his defense is very good. Sure he is not Heyward in right but again, he is pretty darn good and his bat is more clutch than Heyward. My father loved to say to his starting pitchers, do not look at me or the bullpen to get you out of a jam. He was training them to think of the bp not as a “crutch” but rather a last resort. It made his starting rotation stronger. Sometimes having too many choices or options is not a good thing either. Jhosk also brought up a great point, if the team cannot get to the 9th with a lead, then Chapman is of no use. Unlike Miller who could pitch both the 8th and 9th innings, Chapman is really just a 9th inning pitcher at this point. And as jasper likes to say about the future with a trade like I mentioned above for Miller instead of Chapman, you still have Torres in the system as well as McKinney. So if a time comes when Zobrist is playing less and Torres could slide into 2nd (I know he is a SS but I think he has the tools to play various positions), your covered as well as the outfield changing, I could have seen an Almora-McKinney-Heyward/? grouping, assuming Fowler is not with the team after this season. But that will not happen now. So, we can hope that a little more structure will now come into play so that this current team can grow and be successful. I do not want them to fail, I want to see them get to the playoffs and beyond. Hang in there and as Pat Hughes says, fasten them seat-belts! Mahalo!

To complete my thoughts regarding Chris Archer. He`s just 27, and under control until 2019, and could be rejuvenated with a change of scenery, and being reunited with not just the organization which traded him away as a prospect to the Rays, but with the manager whom he admired when a member of the Rays. Yes, he was one of the most outspoken Rays to protest when Maddon opted out of his contract to throw in with the Cubs, but that was only because Archer found it depressing to know he was going lose Maddon as his skipper. Think about it. He was once regarded as the ace of the Tampa staff. Bosio could possibly assist Chris Archer in returning to his former elevated status.

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