Tagged: Kosuke Fukudome

Lighten Up and Have Fun

Did Milton Bradley get a memo saying that “Baseball Bloopers” was in town compiling footage for their new video?  On Friday, it sure seemed like he was trying to compile enough footage to fill up a whole video on himself.  Then again, Milton recently said the Cubs should “lighten up and have fun.”  I hope that this wasn’t the fun he had in mind.  In case you did not see it, on Friday, Milton lost an easy fly ball in the sun, committed a huge base running gaffe, and paid homage to Benny Agbayani in the eighth.  In that eighth inning with two on and one out, Milton caught an easy fly for out two.  The only problem was that Milton thought it was the third out and decided to endear himself to the Bleacher Bums by tossing the ball into the bleachers.  One run was able to score on the sac fly and the runner on first went all the way to third.  As Harry used to say, “You can’t beat fun at the old ballpark!”  Good times.

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AP                                                                                               6-12-09
We’ve got two more years of this, fans.
Yesterday, Lou decided to shuffle the lineup.  I guess you can’t blame him.  The Cubs have trademarked the 2-1 game over the last two weeks or so.  No one is hitting.  However, I do not like moving Fukudome around.  I believe Fukudome does not adjust well to being moved around.  When he stays in the same spot in the lineup for a while, he seems to hit better.  Perhaps he is a creature of habit who hits better when he feels comfortable.  I believe Fukudome went something like 5 for 29 over the most recent road trip and went 0-4 yesterday.  Hopefully, that second half collapse isn’t happening again.
So the Cubs are now 29-29.  Join the club.  Almost all of the teams are around .500 this year.    We’ve got a small handful of really good teams such as the Dodgers and Red Sox, one really bad team, the Nationals, and a bunch of teams in the middle.  Kind of like the NFL.  Pete Rozelle would be proud.  Parity has come to MLB.  Either the season is over and we can plan the Dodgers/Red Sox World Series already, or their will be some strange Wild Card matchup. How does a Rangers/Reds World Series sound to everyone?  I don’t know why, but seeing the Dodgers play the Rangers yesterday made me feel that that might be a World Series match up.  Are the Rangers this years Rays?  If nothing else, both leagues should have a great Wild Card race.
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Eight is Enough!

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Tonight, Mother Nature stepped in and decided there had been enough losing for the Cubbies.  The rain washed out the game in the bottom of the sixth giving the Cubs a 6-1 victory.  I’ll take any kind of victory right now, even a rain shortened one.  It’s supposed to rain tomorrow for the day game finale with the Pirates.  Maybe the Cubs are on to something here.  Get the lead after five innings and pray for rain.  In the words of John “Hannibal” Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together.”
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I got it!  The answer to all their problems is to create their own A-Team.  Lou would be Hannibal because he’s the brains of the outfit.  Milton Bradley would be B.A. Barracus, Ryan Dempster would be “Howling Mad” Murdock doing his Harry Caray impersonations, Reed Johnson could be Face.  The N.L. wouldn’t know what hit them!
Speaking of the A-Team, it was great to see Mr. T at Wrigley yesterday!
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                                 Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune / May 25, 2009

Even Fukudome got to play tonight.  And low and behold, he did something positive, like homer in the first to put the Cubs ahead for good.  Putting your best hitter this season in the lineup.  Got to love it when a plan comes together.
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                              Scott Strazzante/Tribune photo

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Did the Cubs make the April grade?

April has come to an end.  Twenty-one games are in the books.  Being a teacher, I’m used to grading my students’ performance.  I’m going to take this opportunity to grade the Cubs players’ April performance.

Outfielders
Alfonso Soriano, B
        He’s personally won at least two games this year.  His batting average has started to
        dip.  I’s now .284.
Reed Johnson, C+
        Outfield play has saved Cubs on a number of occasions.  Great attitude and seems to
        be a great team guy.  He is hitting only .216, though.
Kosuke Fukudome, A
        Solid start to season with his .338 average.  He leads team with 15 RBI.  We’ve seen
        this before, however.  Can he extent the hot hitting after the All-Star Break?
Milton Bradley, F
        Should be an incomplete, as he hasn’t played much.  His attitude and distractions
        earn him an F.
Joey Gathright, INCOMPLETE
        One hit in nine at bats.  The jury is still out.
Micah Hoffpauir, B-
        .303, two homers, nine RBIs.  Sloppy defense at times.
Infielders
Derrek Lee, C-
         Good defense.  Some timely hits, but still hitting only .189.  Time to move down in the 
         order.
Aramis Ramirez, B+
         When he’s in there, he’s the Cubs most dangerous hitter.  .358 with 14 RBIs.  Has
         battled injury issues thus far.  The Cubs CANNOT afford to lose him for any extended
         length of time.
Ryan Theriot, B+
         Hitting .317.  Plays hard and is dependable.  Base running gaffes are a weakness.
Mike Fontenot, B-
         Hitting only .232, but has four homers and ten RBIs.  A good team guy.  His defense is
         better this year.
Aaron Miles, C+
         Cubs are getting what they should have expected from this light hitting infielder.
Catchers
Geovany Soto, F
         This saddens me.  Slow start, hitting .109 with only five hits on the season.  Is he
         still hurt?  Can’t throw out any base stealers.  A Cubs Rookie of the Year off to a slow              
         start the following year.  Anyone remember Jerome Walton?
Koyie Hill, B
         A solid backup.
Starters
Carlos Zambrano, C+
         Can be inconsistent.  Still will let his emotions take over at times.  4.64 ERA.
         36 hits allowed in 33 innings along with 13 walks.
Ryan Dempster, C
         29 hits allowed in 30 innings along with 14 walks.  5.40 ERA.
Ted Lilly, C+
         2-2 with a 3.80 ERA.
Rich Harden, B
         If you take out the awful game I saw him pitch against Colorado, he’s probably been the 
         best of this bunch so far.  2-1, 3.86 ERA.
Sean Marshall, B-
         3.32 ERA is best among the starters.  He keeps the Cubs in the game.
Bullpen
Aaron Heilman, C+
         I was actually ready to give him an A- before todays game because of his 0.82 ERA.
         I’m so mad after tonight, I’ve downgraded him.
Angel Guzman, C-
         His 3.97 ERA now actually looks good in this bullpen.  Sad.
Kevin Gregg, F
         11 hits in 9.2 innings pitched and a 5.59 ERA is not going to get it done as a closer.
Davis Patton, F
         Threw a home run derby pitch to Pujols with the bases loaded.  Has a 9.35 ERA.
Carlos Marmol, C+
          Mr. Reliable started out strong.  Even he has struggled of late, even before his injury.
          6.00 ERA.
Neal Cotts, F
         Only because there isn’t a grade lower than F.
Jeff Samardzija, F
        You see Jeff Samardzija, I see Kyle Farnsworth.  6.75 ERA.
The Overall Grade = C
The Cubs finish April at 10-11.  They are a very average team right now with a lousy bullpen.  
They’ve scored 97 runs and given up 104.  They are 4-5 at home and 6-6 on the road.  The Cubs face a challenge right now.  They trail St. Louis by five games right now.  St. Louis has three more games against the woeful Washington Nationals this weekend.  The Cubs have three more games against the first place Marlins.  The Cubs don’t want to start digging themselves too deep of a hole.  There’s an old baseball adage that says while you can’t win a pennant in April, you can lose a pennant in April.  Thank God it’s May.