Futility game thread: August 24, Braves at Cubs

Statistics and common sense will tell you that the Cubs can’t possibly keep being so terrible with runners on base. Of course, statistics and common sense will tell you that the top franchise in the early history of baseball, playing in one of the nation’s largest cities, won’t go more than a century without winning the World Series.

132 thoughts on “Futility game thread: August 24, Braves at Cubs”

  1. I bet the Mets won’t roll over this weekend and the Braves will not steamroll them. That’s baseball. It seems like the main advantage the Phillies have over the Braves is the ability to beat the hell out of bad teams.

    Re Cubs. A man in my mother’s retirement home died last December after turning 103. This means that he was less than one when the Cubs last won the World Series. It’s almost inconceivable that a team could be that poorly run for that long.

  2. There are very real reasons for the Cubs historic futility, not least of which was the ownership’s refusal during the 1930s and 1940s to develop a farm system after everyone else had. Suckers.

  3. Damm, I got JC’d:

    Do you have more confidence in Smelms as a RH pinch hitter or Lugo come playoff time ? I think I’d lean towards Smelms. If Gonzalez gets hurts in the postseason, I believe Lugo could replace him on the roster, but then would have to miss the next series, but I could be wrong on that.

    In an emergency, I believe Prado could play the rest of the game at SS and then Lugo could replace Gonzo on the roster for the next game. I have no use for Lugo on the playoff roster, as I have no use for a third catcher, but I think both will be on there.

  4. What does being “JC’d” mean?

    At least the Cubs haven’t extorted the city into giving them a new stadium, although I imagine that will happen one day.

  5. Not only is Heyward back in the lineup today, but he got a promotion back ahead of Alex GonLOLez to 7th in the order! Good job Fredi.

  6. Today’s lineup: 1. Bourn CF, 2. Prado LF, 3. McCann C, 4. Uggla 2B , 5. Freeman 1B, 6. Jones 3B , 7. Heyward RF, 8. Gonzalez SS, 9. Lowe P

    You know, it’s funny – early in the season I was rooting for the Braves to bat Chipper right in front of Heyward in the lineup; I never imagined that it would be when they were 6 – 7. Just goes to show how much can change during the course of the season.

    On that note – hey Lowe, it’s almost September again, time for you to turn into Postseason Hero like last year.

  7. @4, Helms has about as much chance of being on the playoff roster as I do – I can’t imagine Fredi not having a real backup SS.

  8. #5 – Braves Journal Glossary

    JC’d: To make a comment roughly simultaneously with a new post or game thread going up. Happened to JC Bradbury a lot at one point. (Added May 30, 2011.)

  9. If we win tonight, not only do we gain a game against the Phillies, but we get to rub it in with the Mets that they’re helping us! Nice!

  10. Hey ububba – I am in Anchorage and just had the most amazing halibut and chips with a terrific Midnight Sun smoked stout at Humpy’s. A must have if you get up this way for work.

  11. Spike,
    Never been up that way. Really wanna go. My sister just came back from there & was bragging about it.

    As a consolation prize, she brought me a package of salmon jerky.


  12. Looking at Hill’s stats this year (.225/.270/.313, 6 home runs), it makes no sense that the Diamondbacks traded Johnson for him.

  13. @22

    I think they are recreating the 2007 Jays infield. That or they just really hate strikeouts.

  14. Everybody is looking for a lottery ticket. Hill is cheaper, but has less chance of a bounceback

  15. The wind is blowing out, and Derek Lowe is pitching. I’ll be happy to keep the Cubs to single digits.

  16. Official site headline:

    “Braves go for seventh straight win behind Lowe”

    They used this same headline about Lowe recently before this time too. It sounds so weirdly optimistic.

  17. If Lowe gets pushed around like he’s a little leaguer and at the same time we can’t hit yet another one of these no talent ass clowns like we’re a major league offense, I’m just gonna…!!! Gah!

  18. I don’t like to wish injury on anyone, but it would help this team if Lowe would pull a muscle on the next pitch and be done for the year.

  19. @33, I’ll remind you that you said that when Lowe only allows 4 ERs on 9 hits in 5.1 innings next start. You’ll be so embarrassed.

  20. @36 I’m sure that will give Fredi justification to start him in Game 1 at Milwaukee.

  21. Jim Powell: “Could have been worse!” And that, my friends, is what defines a good Derek Lowe outing.

    Meanwhile, Randy “5.72 ERA” Wells has 6 up and 6 down, 3 strikeouts. And he’s not even a strikeout pitcher! This is reminding me of last night’s game, where we went 4 2/3 innings of futility against a profoundly bad pitcher until we finally muscled up and got an infield single with two outs.

    Please bat around this inning, guys. Thank you!

    UPDATE: Great, another Darwin Barney web gem.

  22. 38: In my defense, the time to complain about a pronounced lack of hitting productivity in the early innings against the dregs of major league pitching is during the period of time when there’s a pronounced lack of hitting productivity in the early innings against the dregs of major league pitching.

    Last night’s chump retired 11 of the first 12 hitters he faced before we got lucky.

    Tonight’s chump has retired the first 9 guys he’s faced. Thus, frustration!

  23. Jim Powell: “One day, Bud Selig will be looked back on as the greatest commissioner who ever lived.”

    Don Sutton: “Might be in Cooperstown one day.”

    OK, guys… Stop it.

  24. 49- I think he really is going to Cooperstown. He’s only about four years from passing Landis to become the longest-serving commissioner ever. And ratlike in appearance as he is, he’s created a lot of the modern structure of baseball, for good and for ill.

  25. 51: I’m fine with Bud Selig going into the Hall of Fame as long as nobody outside of the Hall officially recognizes it and it’s never discussed.

    Presiding over a season-aborting strike cancels that out in my book. But that’s just me.

  26. Why is Lowe batting here? He’s up to 92 pitches, so he’s highly unlikely to last more than one more inning.

    Edit: And it works out anyway. Baseball is a funny game.

  27. Uh oh, Skip is starting with the ‘tip your cap to Wells’ crap. Thankfully, that appears to have jinxed him enough to walk Lowe.

  28. As little confidence as I have in Lowe to actually keep the opposing team under 5 runs, it would be great if the offense and defense didn’t decide to take collective offdays at the same time.

  29. Lowe has been awful, the Cubs are swinging at terrible pitches and bailing him out. As bad as he’s been, the offense is atrocious tonight.

  30. Yeah, he’s held it together pretty well here. He certainly is not solely to blame for the one bad inning.

  31. The man cancelled a World Series and ended an all star game. He oversaw the wild card and interleague play. He’s gonna get in, but I don’t have to like it

  32. Oh good lord. When he’s awful, he just hangs pitches in the middle of the strike zone and gets beaten to death. He’s allowed four hits. He hasn’t been awful. He hasn’t even been bad.

  33. 56—It deeply offends me when Chip is confused with one of the best baseball announcers of all time.

  34. The lineup we see tonight, I expect that’s the lineup we will be seeing in 2012.

    You think the Braves will bring Gonzalez back at short stop? After this season at the plate?

  35. @22
    Espn baseball today podcast made a pretty solid rationalization of the trade on today’s show. Made some sense, I guess. Not that it matters anyway.

  36. Come on, Brian. This is where you pick up some of those 5th and 6th place votes for MVP. Let’s do it!

    UPDATE: I said “Let’s” do it. So maybe that was partly my fault.

  37. I hope this isn’t one of those games where “Rusty” Linestink gives up 2 runs and then we score 2 runs in the 9th and lose by 1 run.

  38. @93 – McCann hit the ball hard yesterday, but yeah, today he’s looked terrible at the plate.

    Also, can we PLEASE get rid of Linebrink? Moylan can’t return fast enough.

    EDIT: Oh wow… Linbrink, you lucky bastard. Three outs on a crushed flyball and a line drive down the third base line. Guess he’s not rusty any longer?

  39. Seems we might be playing a double-header on Friday in NYC in anticipation of Irene.

    In related news, Linebrink has pitched himself into a mess.

  40. 4 guys who can crack one out of here coming up. How bout let’s pretend we still have a race and win this?

  41. I hate second guessing, but I promise if I ever in a million years thought Linebrink would be the guy coming in, I would have stopped to first guess it.

    I suppose it’s possible that nobody else was available, I don’t know.

  42. Well… it’s safe to say that Mac’s title, “Futility”, is going to apply to this game one way or another. Please don’t ground out to second, Jason. Please.

  43. On the bright side, you guys, I have Randy Wells on my NL-only team, and this win is very helpful in my quest for fifth place.

  44. Normally I’d be pretty critical of Jason for taking a pitch that was right down the middle.

    But at the same time, I’m a big believer in “If you can’t hit it, you shouldn’t swing.”

    So.. ya know.

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