Cubs Thursday Headlines: The wrath of Hairston

The Chicago Cubs were down 6-1 in the fifth inning when most of its fanbase was ready to check out for the game. Then came a stunning 5-run comeback to tie the game at six. With the bullpen performing well as of late, anyone watching the game would think the Cubs might have a shot to actually pull out a win. The final score being 11-6 in the Nationals favor states otherwise. The blow that put the Nats up for good came from former Cub Scott Hairston.hairston

In his 20th game with the Nats, it was Hairston’s ninth homer of the year and 11th pinch-hit homer of his career. After the Cubs intentionally walked Jayson Werth, Hairston stepped in and smoked a 1-2 changeup deep into the left-field seats, and the Nats put to bed any chance of the Cubs pulling off their largest come-from-behind win of the season (the previous high was four runs, against the Reds on May 26).

“I’m not going to let Werth beat you in that situation,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “We weren’t in the position to match up there with guys down, but the guy hasn’t had an RBI since he was over there. We got him to two strikes and, once again, just couldn’t put him away.”

Jake Arrieta, who had been sparkling in his first two Cubs starts, got the team in that early 6-1 hole by walking four and allowing a three-run home run Werth.

“You give guys free passes, you get guys to the plate like Werth, you put them in a hitter-friendly count, they can do some damage,” Arrieta said.

(snip)

“I didn’t do my job tonight,” Arrieta said. “I had enough weapons tonight to pitch deep into the game and get our team a win and I wasn’t able to do that.”

So what was up with Dale Sveum doing an about-face and putting Starlin Castro in the leadoff spot and having Anthony Rizzo hit second?

Manager Dale Sveum said he wanted to help Starlin Castro “get his swagger back” and didn’t want Anthony Rizzo to “have to think about being ‘the guy.’ ’’

(snip)

“Hopefully, we get [Castro] and Rizzo feeling good going into the winter,” Sveum said.

My first thought was that the front office encouraged Dale to get Starlin and Rizzo the most at bats possible, and that putting Starlin 8th in the batting order wasn’t the best way to make that happen.

21 thoughts on “Cubs Thursday Headlines: The wrath of Hairston

  1. Anonymous says:

    If indeed the FO didn’t like where Dale was hitting Castro, could this be a signal that Dale’s tenure with the Cubs may be in jeopardy?

    1. Doc Blume says:

      Dale isn’t going anywhere until the Cubs are actually competitive again…and even then I’m not so sure he’s going any where when they are good.

      One of the things Theo said he wanted to do was to have stability long term in the coaching/managing ranks…something which has plagued the Cubs for almost the entire history of the franchise. I think it will take an awful lot for Dale to be ousted….unless Terry Francona somehow becomes available.

      1. juliedicaro says:

        I really think it would be easier if Theo just had a shock collar on Dale. Every time he does something stupid, like bat Starlin 8th, Theo can just shock him without even leaving his office. Negative reinforcement.

  2. dabirdguy says:

    For those on the Ian Stewart watch…. his BA at Albuquerque is up .008 points from his performance at Iowa.

    1. juliedicaro says:

      Impressive. He’ll be back to the show any minute now.

    1. Doc Blume says:

      I hate the Cubs uniforms. I have for along time. In fact, I think they should get new ones…or got retro and go with some old school ones. In fact…just going back to the pre-pinstripes ones would be fine with me….

      http://exhibits.baseballhalloffame.org/dressed_to_the_nines/images/nl_1955_chicago.gif

      The current uniforms stand for nothing but futility. They actually won a pennant in those uniforms in that link above in 1945. That not something you can say about those little league pin-striped uniforms the Cubs have now.

    2. Doc Blume says:

      Oh…and I would put the Blackhawks, Bears and White Sox uniforms ahead of the Cubs’, with the Bears and Hawks pretty much tied for best uniforms in the city. In fact, I would put both of those teams’ uniforms at the top of their respective leagues.

  3. juliedicaro says:

    Oh — and the Cubs are in a rain delay.

    1. Doc Blume says:

      I blame Theriot.

  4. NotAgain says:

    Hey, did everyone see the bone-headed, failed double-switch everyone’s favorite ex-Cubs manager pulled in Cincy last night?? Still the genius we knew and loathed.

    http://atmlb.com/19My0aN

    1. Doc Blume says:

      There was at least one occasion where Dusty completely screwed up a double switch while he was managing the Cubs…ended up with a batter being called out for batting out of order.

    2. NotAgain says:

      Dusty to the home plate umpire afterwards:

      “I went back out and said, ‘You sure I can’t do that?’” Baker said. “He said ‘No, you can’t do that.’”

  5. Doc Blume says:

    In case you haven’t heard…Tampa put in a claim on DeJesus. Washington is currently trying to work out a trade with them.

  6. Doc Blume says:

    Tarp is coming off…first pitch at 3:20.

    1. juliedicaro says:

      Thanks for keeping us updated. I’m trying to work and keep an eye on the delay.

  7. Doc Blume says:

    And while I’m at it…today’s lineup:

    Fidel SS
    I miss Derrek Lee 1B
    Fluffy C
    Our best player RF
    Senior CF
    Marie 3B
    Bogie LF
    Fife 2B
    Tritt P

  8. Doc Blume says:

    This normally would be the time where I would rip on the fact that the Cubs old crappy ballpark doesn’t have a roof and saying if it did, the Cubs would have already started playing and that I’ll be going to a nice comfortable modern ballpark with a roof next week….but the Miller Park roof leaks. So never mind.

  9. J says:

    Holy Murphy!

  10. Doc Blume says:

    The 1 and 2 spots in the batting order (Castro and Rizzo) were 0-11 with 1 walk and 5 strikeouts last night.

    Ugh.

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