I spent part of Saturday at Wrigley Field for the Under Armour All-America high school game, which showcases some of the best talent entering their senior year, won by the "American" team 8-7. I have to say, the quality of talent and quality of play wasn't nearly as good this year as in the 2012 game, which featured two players (Clint Frazier and Austin Meadows) who were No. 1 picks this year.
I didn't see anyone that I think will be a first-round pick in 2014, though that could change during the season next spring. The best hitter was Jacob Gatewood, a tall, skinny kid from California who smacked a ball to the base of the wall in left field. There were also two sons of former big leaguers: Luke Dykstra (son of Lenny) and Dazmon Cameron (son of Mike). Larry Bowa, the manager of the team Luke Dykstra was on, was a teammate of Lenny Dykstra with the 1985 Mets. Tempus fugit, etc.
About 3,000 people were there (just an estimate on my part); among others, Jim Hendry, now a special assistant for the Yankees, was there scouting.
One final note from Friday night's game -- via MLB Trade Rumors, the Padres have DFA'd Edinson Volquez.
Now, on to Cubs baseball, if you can stand it.
August is the cruelest month.
No, that's not the saying you normally hear (it's "April"), but over the last two Augusts -- right after the Cubs have made trading-deadline deals -- the team is 15-37.
Coincidentally -- or maybe not -- that's exactly the record the 1981 Cubs, possibly the worst Cubs team of my lifetime or any lifetime, had before the strike hit.
So if you're too young to remember 1981, and wonder what it felt like, August 2012 and 2013 combined are what it felt like.
There! There's a cheery introduction to tonight's game. Try to enjoy it anyway.
Castro ss, Rizzo 1b, Navarro c, Murphy 3b, Lake cf, McDonald lf, Gillespie rf, Barney 2b, Samardzija p
Venable RF, Amarista CF, Alonso 1B, Gyorko 2B, Headley 3B, Forsythe SS, Hundley C, Decker LF, Stults P
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Jeff Samardzija||7-11||26||26||2||1||0||0||168.1||160||83||77||17||63||168||4.12||1.32|
|2013 - Eric Stults||8-10||29||26||2||0||0||0||163.0||169||75||67||10||35||102||3.70||1.25|
Jeff Samardzija threw his second complete game of the year in his last outing, but he still has a 6.29 ERA and 1.603 WHIP this month. He faced the Padres April 29 at Wrigley Field, a game the Cubs actually won! (Not that Shark had much to do with that.)
Eric Stults has a 4.91 ERA and 1.31 WHIP this month; he threw 6⅔ decent innings against the Cubs May 2 at Wrigley Field, where Scott Hairston's two-run homer accounted for the only runs off him. Clearly, we are doomed.
Today's game is on WGN.
Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.
You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.