Monday, September 29, 2003

2003 Division Champs

Its been about a day since we clinched our first division title since 1989. To me its very special because the last time we won the division i was a freshman in highschool at the young age of 13.

Still one of my most cherished memories is Mitch Williams falling off the mound as he struck out the last batter to win it for us. And i can still see myself sitting on the floor watching the playoffs hanging on every play hoping for us to win.

I was just getting into baseball then and 1989 made me a Cubs fan for life. I guess you could of called it being a bandwagon fan then. But then again i havent left the bandwagon since. I have rode that wagon from the highest of highs thru the lowest of lows and it never diminished my love for the Cubs.

So now we head to Hot-lanta. It seems fitting. Bobby Cox in his 1st full season as manager of the Braves in 1991 took a 65 win team to a Division title. Dusty Baker took over a 67 win team to a division title. Atlanta rose to dominance on building a stellar rotation. The Cubs seem to be rising up based on the same model of dominate starting pitching.

In game three the future meets the past. Maddux vs. Prior. Its like its too good to be true huh? The last pitcher from the 1989 Division winning team still pitching. Its also the last time Maddux pitched a playoff game in Wrigley field. And it was also the place where he had his 1st ever post season start.

I mean are we getting the picture yet? Its like Yarbage says in the chatroom. Cats and Dogs living together, mass Hysteria!

Estes pitches a CG shutout - Sign #1
Houston loses 2 straight to Milwaukee - Sign #2
Cubs sweep double header - Sign #3
Cox and Dusty - Sign #4
Prior vs Maddux - Sign #5

Its like god has given the Cubs a green light to steal home. Lets just hope he isnt pulling a Charlie Brown on us again.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Reality Check

It really bugs me when people say Sosa is a bum, he is choking down the stretch, he isnt worth $16 million.

They point to his September average of .205 as proof of this point. But they fail to realize that when Sosa entered the Montreal series in Puerto Rico his average was staying around .292. Then he was hit in the head and since then his batting average has tumbled to .279.

In May into early June when he was also hit in the head, had an injury and was suspended his average was .238 for that month. He bounced back and hit .319, .305 and .286 in those months.

What am i trying to say? It seems only when Sosa is hit in the head by a 90+ MPH fastball are opposing teams able to shutdown and contain Sammy Sosa for a short period of time.

When i look at a player i dont forget what they have done for the team over the course of the season. Some Cubs fans tend to have very short memory span as they are more concerned with, "What have you done for me lately."

I seem to remember many games where Sosa provided all or most of our runs for victories. Games where if we didnt win we wouldnt even be thinking playoffs. I dont forget this. Some Cubs fans do. And i dont really consider them Cubs fans if they are that dumb to blow that off. They are more like bandwagon fans.

These are also the same people who just plain love Alex Gonzalez. Ya know because he has 8 walk off homeruns or some BS. Nevermind the fact he has a .230 BA, and hitting .189 since the break. He is our "Best" so called clutch hitter according to them. Yeah well a broken watch gets the time correct twice a day. It Doesnt mean its working, or in A-gonz case, it doesnt mean he is getting the job done.

As for the other gripe Sosa isnt worth $16million. Phoey. Moises Alou had a 30 RBI lead on him in June and Sosa blew past him. Currently Sosa ranks 10th in HR, 19th in runs, 15th in RBI. And thats from missing nearly a month. His numbers may not be at the top at the end of the year but when Sosa has played he has been a monster.

And besides isnt that why we got Lofton, AmRam, Simon? Even the best hitters cant do it everyday. When you stack your lineup with good hitters you have a much better chance of having atleast 1 or 2 of your hitters hot everyday. Right now AmRam is stepping in filling the void. Someone needs to. We all saw what happened most of the year when Sosa wasnt involved in scoring the run or driving in the run. We usually got shutout. Or only scored 1 run. Its about damn time some other people on this team started carrying some of the offensive load.

Cubs in 1st: Ah what a joy it was during my break at work to see the Cubs win and Astros lose to move us 1 game ahead of Houston. I still believe we need to win out to win the division. Houston may only get 1 out of 3 from San Fran but i fully expect them to sweep Milwaukee to finish out the season.

So that means if we drop 1 game to either Cincy or the Pirates we could head to a 1 game playoff. Something i would like to avoid. Though here is hoping that Milwaukee jumps up and bites Houston and we can escape from Cincy and the Pirates without too much damage.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Deny Deny Deny

Let me just re-post what Morris said.........

Morris said, "What's sad is that these clubs [the Cardinals and Astros] could go right to the end, battling and each team winding up winning three games while the Cubs could sneak in there unscathed. That wouldn't be fun.
"We've been battling way too long to expend our energy and then have the Cubs win."
Morris said, in fact, that if the Cardinals didn't win, he hoped Houston did. "I really have a respect for their players," Morris said. "When we compete against them, the games are intense but they don't have that, 'I want to kill you, I hate you' attitude. When it's over, it's easy to tip your hat to the other side.
"It's just the way they go about it and the way we go about it. There's professionalism involved."

Hmmm notice how Morris said if the Cardinals dont win it, he wants Houston to win it? Gee the Cardinals are already out of it, so why again would Morris want to pitch his best against the Astro's when they dont have a chance to win the division?

Now onto Redbird Nation....

imagine the Cubs Pundit retorting), it's not just the bad game alone. It's also Matt Morris' comments, where he said he wanted the Astros to beat the Cardinals. But is that what he said? If you read the news story, you'll find something different. Morris said he expected the Cards and Stros to battle it out, possibly even knocking each other out of contention. He also said that the Cardinals are the Astros' "intense" competitors, and that he wished the Astros would win the division, but only if the Cardinals did not. Does this sound like a guy who wants his team to lay down for the Astros? Of course not. The Cubs Pundit doesn't have any evidence to back up what he says, just a theory. Like alchemy or creationism.

This is getting to the point of shooting fish in a barrel. On Redbird nations own site he says on the 18th the Cards chances of winning the division dropped to 0.1%. They were toast, done, no chance of winning without a spectacular undefeated stretch run basically. This is before Morris started against the Astro's.

Ok so by time Matt Morris faced the Astro's the Cardinals were already finished for the season. They werent going to win the division. And in Redbirds own comments says, "Only if the Cardinals do not." Well the Cardinals werent going to win. So why would he pitch his best against the Astro's again?

YES it sounds like a guy who wants his team to lay down! The Cardinals gain nothing in winning. They arent going to win the division. You got the staff Ace saying i want the Astro's to win if we dont win. Cardinals werent going to win. So why not lay down? The Cardinals are gonna suck before the game and after the game.

I know its very hard to prove, almost impossible. But Matt Morris clearly said what he said. And he had no reason to pitch his best.

Oh well. If you're still not convinced, just check out today's game. Do teams that have rolled over go toe-to-toe with the division front-runners for 13 innings? Do they throw 7 shutout relief innings to one of the best lineups in the league? Do they bring their ace closer into a tie game? Do they hit walk-off homers and mob the hero at home plate afterwards? You already know the answer. Our team may have lost this year, but they haven't quit.

Yeah well did any of those guys in tonights game say they would rather the Astros win the division than the Cubs? I dont remember their starter or closer imply if his team didnt win they wanted the Astro's to win. Maybe some players dont want to quit, unlike Matt Morris.

But 1 win doesnt mean they havent quit. Since the Cubs took 4 of 5 they have quit. They have been in freefall mode. And the sad part is when the Cardinals quit they were only like 2 or 3 games out.

Also Redbird should know a few things about Mark Prior's comments. Yes we are winning but being 10+ games over .500 is no great accomplishment. This is not a WS championship caliber team. This team wasnt picked to win the division. Our time isnt now.

While we would love to make the playoffs i am sure Mark Prior is more concerned with fielding a better team in the long run than in the short run. Which is something i am very passionate about. If the Cubs make it GREAT. If not no biggie, we should be fielding an even better team next year. Like me, Mark Prior knows this team has alot of holes.

Redbird acts like we should be happy with one winning season. And Mark Prior is a fool for rooting for the Astros to win. Its a hell of alot more damaging to the Cardinals as a team to lose and lose bad than it is for the Astros to win the division over the Cubs. The Cardinals were the favorites, how damaging would it be to finish in 4th place for that team?

If the Cardinals completly fall to pieces they end up like the Pirates and Cincy. One less team in the playoff race for a few years. No more 3 way race. Prior knows this thing wont be decided in one season but in the next couple of years and decade. The Cardinals are on the brink of irrelevance, not the Cubs. Maybe the Astro's can push them off the edge. Only time will tell.

Redbird Nation Joins the Idiots

Its always nice to see a Cardinal fan try and take the high and mighty route when they are getting their asses handed to them day in and day out. And i am sure it really must hurt to be a Cardinal fan and know that it was the Chicago Cubs that put the nail in the Cards season, as they have pretty much given up. How sad and pathetic is that?

The Cubs and Astros are gonna play 162 games. The Cardinals decided to pack in after 140. What a bunch of little babies down their in St. Louis. Something doesnt go their way and they just up and give up. I mean where was the outrage when Matt Morris was hoping that the Astro's would win??? The Cardinals OWN stupid pitcher, full well knowing that he still had a start against them saying he would rather they win. And guess what? Matt Morris goes out and loses 8-1. I know i have no proof that he threw the game, but i am pretty sure he really didnt care or try his best. After all they had already packed in the season anyways.

So along comes Mark Prior's comments,

"I dislike the Cardinals so much that I will not even root for them. I hope actually that Houston beats their brains in and just sends them all the way back to whoever is in fourth place now." -- Mark Prior

And then Redbird Nation with his snooty little comment,

In other words, his vindictiveness is more important than the Cubs actually winning a pennant. Smart guy, that Prior. Well, he's getting his wish so far -- the Astros beat the Cardinals brains in tonight (although we're still 6 1/2 ahead of Pittsburgh in the race for third place) and the Cubs are a half game further back in the wild card.

It's actually quite hilarious if you think about it. The Cubs finally get a competitive team after all these years, and they're still, at heart, a bunch of losers.

Its even more hilarious to hear this from a fan of a team who cant even finish out the season without giving up. The only bunch of losers right now are the ones getting their brains beat in by Houston. If your not gonna even try, what should Houston do? Not play? Mark Prior is right, beat their brains in and humilate that pathetic team of all-stars. Its not like the Cardinals are gonna fight back. For once the Dead Birds motto rings true.

UPDATE: You know what i am just gonna come out and say it. Matt Morris threw the game. After his comments and pitching line. Its pretty damning evidence he intentionally threw the game out of complete spite.

I dont care who you are or if your team is in last place. You dont EVER intentionally try and throw a game to try and screw someone else ever. And you ESPECIALLY dont comment on it before that said incident.

Some WhiteSox players got banned from baseball for intentionally throwing games. I am not saying Morris is on that level but its pretty bad. If Morris kept his mouth shut we could of chalked it up to just being a bad game. But Morris let us in on his thoughts and motivations. He opened the door.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Morris Wins Idiot of the Year

Matt Morris from St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Morris said, "What's sad is that these clubs [the Cardinals and Astros] could go right to the end, battling and each team winding up winning three games while the Cubs could sneak in there unscathed. That wouldn't be fun.
"We've been battling way too long to expend our energy and then have the Cubs win."
Morris said, in fact, that if the Cardinals didn't win, he hoped Houston did. "I really have a respect for their players," Morris said. "When we compete against them, the games are intense but they don't have that, 'I want to kill you, I hate you' attitude. When it's over, it's easy to tip your hat to the other side.
"It's just the way they go about it and the way we go about it. There's professionalism involved."

Yeah winning 4 out 5 against the Cardinals had nothing to do with it? Sureee Matt Morris. For Matt "I am an Idiot" Morris we just got thru a month and a half of playing teams mostly over .500. Basically since the all-star break our schedule has been murder.

As for the, "I want to kill you" attitude, did you get the memo from Kerry Wood? Maybe one needs to plunk him in the skull, because something just isnt right in that boys head.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Ride the Horse

Just dont whip him to death for no reason. 5-1 game after 6 innings tonight in Milwaukee. Mark Prior had already thrown 100+ pitches. You would think any sane manager would lift the poor guy and give him a much need rest right? Wrong. Instead Prior heads out for the 7th inning gets in a little trouble gives up a 2 run HR and throws 129 pitches. It doesnt really matter in the larger picture, Cubs won 8-4 anyways. But.....

Since Prior has come off the DL his pitch counts are as followed...

8/5 - 79
8/10 - 116
8/15 - 118
8/20 - 100
8/26 - 116
9/1 - 131
9/6 - 129

Thats a pretty serious work load. And no doubt Prior was rejuvenated by his 1 month stint on the DL. But geez take it easy when you get a chance. I can understand against the Cardinals where we need to shut them down every single inning but Milwaukee also? With a 5-1 lead? Thats un-called for. He is pitching more innings than he ever has in his life no matter how great or how young he is. Even Mark Prior gets tired.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

A Cardinals Blog, and a Damn Good One

Check out the Red Bird Nation for news on and from the enemy! I have also added them to the side bar.

I've never thought much about it til this year, but Dusty and Tony seem more and more like two peas in a pod. Both have a fetish for "proven veterans," both tend to ride their pitchers hard, both make incredibly bizzarre bullpen choices, both can get too emotionally wrapped up in games, both play favorites to an extreme.

I dont know if Baker and Larussa are alike but atleast Larussa will try and play some younger players. Baker on the other hand thinks younger players are lepers that should stay in the minors so as not to infect the major league roster.

And i would just like to say, i loved it when Baker and LaRussa were arguing. Its about damn time Baker got fired up about something. He hardly moved when Alfonseca and Alou were trying to mug an umpire.

UPDATE: Hmm i thought i had put it on the sidebar, but then again Blogspot has been acting weird lately.

Great Series

Game 4 in the series looked all but over when J.D. Drew hit that grand slam. Alot of us sitting over in the The Cub Reporter chat room said, "Game over." Boy were we wrong. An offense that struggles to get 2-3 runs a game suddenly found its offensive stroke when we needed it the most. And even the more amazing part is they did it in the game 5 also. Some how finding a way to win on a day Estes went 5 innings giving up 9 hits, 3 walks and 5 runs.

I am not gonna say this is what is gonna propel us to a Division title. One day they look like they can out pitch and out hit anyone. Then the next day they get shut down by some scrub who hasnt pitched in over a year. Well they can out pitch any team, any day of the week. They just cant do it with the hitting.

For the most part Pujols, Edmonds, Renteria and Rolen were shut down. An incredible feat within itself. But the key to the series was none other than Jeff Fassero. I mean come on if Fassero is not good enough to be on the Cubs that should flash "WARNING SIGN." And sure enough we got our revenge on Jeff Fassero for screwing us so many times in his last year on the team. For once the Cardinals fans understand why Fassero sucks so bad.

They have Fassero we have Estes. They only good thing for the Cards is that they havent had the pleasure of having both on their team at some point. Maybe next year Larussa will need a token lefty for the sake of having a lefty? Well Shawn Estes is your man! Then the tri-fecta would be complete. Fassero, Estes, and Girardi.

Then their is Joe Borowski. Forget Mark Prior, forget Carlos Zambrano, forget even Sammy Sosa. Joe Borowski is our rock, our only reliable arm out of the pen that isnt named Mark Guthrie and i cant imagine where this team would be without him. He pitches on pure guts. After this series he deserves a new 3 year deal for $6-9 million. If anyone has earned it he surely has. Thank you Joe Borowski!

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

The Mickey Mouse Lineup

You got to hand it to Baker. He sure knows how to screw up things handed to him. We arent talking football where you are running and pushing on every play. Or basketball where an average player runs 5 miles during a game. We are talking baseball where you spend half the time standing at your position and the other half sitting on the bench.

I am sorry but in the biggest series of the year you dont make out a lineup in game #1 with Goodwin in center, O'Leary in LF, Womack at 2nd, and A-gonz at SS. And you certainly dont make out a lineup in game #2 with O'Leary in RF and Martinez at 3b, leaving out Sosa and Ramirez.

Less than 30 games left, middle of a pennant race and its rest time? They can rest when the season is over! The Cardinals started all of their big guns for each game. What are you telling me they are fresher after 130+ games than we are? It is no time to be playing musical chairs and everyone gets playing time. Your best players should be out there in September. After all this is why they get paid the big bucks!

If nothing else winning with a crappy lineup only encourages Baker to continue with this old one trick pony. He got away with it in the 1st game, even if it did take 15 innings. And he thought he could do it again in the night cap in a very important game and they cant score any runs.

Think about this for a second we scored 2 runs off of Simontacci and the worst bullpen in the NL before Sosa strode to the plate in the 15th. Thats not exactly lighting the world on fire. And then in the next game we expect with an even weaker lineup to score 2-3 runs to beat Matt Morris? Come on now, better pitcher, you need your best hitters. Otherwise your gonna get shutout. And thats exactly what happened. I dont want to say Baker was out managed, but Tony Larussa just used common sense, Baker didnt.

As for Wood he will just file this game and his last start under reasons not to sign a long term contract in Chicago. He has literally left his heart out there on the mound his last 2 starts after struggling in the 6 before that, and has nothing to show for it. Wood had a 11.00+ ERA against the Cardinals before his last 2 starts. He has stepped up big time by keeping that very good lineup down in the stretch drive. But hey if it isnt the bullpen blowing his leads its the offense not scoring runs to help him out. What man wants to go thru that for the rest of his career? He has seen it his last 5 years.

Walk away Wood, salvage your career! Dont end up like Grace, Sandberg, Dawson, and soon to be Sosa. I wouldnt blame you if you left Chicago. But i would still love it if you stayed Wood!

Morrissey on a roll

I tell you this man is hitting on all cylinders.

Whatever happens to this club from here on out will depend on all sorts of things that have nothing to do with luck or magic. The fact that Cubs relievers gave up just one hit in eight innings in the first game did seem to border on the miraculous, but it will take that sort of effort for the Cubs to win the National League Central.

It will take toughness, better defense and at least a halfway decent imitation of good baserunning. Oh, and more offense too.

And if magic wants to get involved, wants to help the Cubs in some tangible way, that would be a bonus. But there is not a whole lot magical about a team that is four games above .500. September is going to be hard work.

While it may be great to be in a pennant race, being .500 is a joke for a team that is supposed to be taking it to the next level with all of its veteran talent they have imported over the last few months. Is the best the Baker vets can do, 4 games over .500? Give me the rookies and younger players anyday. They can do just as well at booting grounders, striking out in key situations, and not driving in any runs as the old, washed up, never will be's we got running around now. Read the whole thing.

Morrissey on Estes

Its good to see a major publication finally take Estes to town for his comments. And slam Baker for his undying support of the worst starter in baseball.

It's even more unacceptable when a pitcher doesn't take responsibility for his pitching. What Estes was saying with his postgame comments is that he's unwilling to make adjustments to a style that has given him the highest ERA of any NL starter.


If the Estes situation says anything about the Cubs, it's that accountability isn't a necessity for employment.

So true, so true. Read the rest

Monday, September 01, 2003

The Unfinished Post

Well i have been kinda working on this over the last couple of days. I am not an accomplished writer and at times have trouble trying to explain my point or idea. Its in my little head, but for some reason its just really hard to transfer it from thought to paper or errrrrrr blog. I hope to fix some parts and expand upon them at a later date, or just totally scrap it as stupid, but for now this is what i got.........

There are 2 statistics that can help you evaluate the performace of a player if he is helping your team or hurting it. Sometimes looking at BA alone will not help.

I tend to look at OUTs divided by plate appearances. And EQA.

The OUT is decided as followed - known outs made by the player, defined by AB-H+CS+SH+SF.

EQA is defined as followed - Equivalent Average. A measure of total offensive value per out, with corrections for league offensive level, home park, and team pitching. The EqA adjusted for all-time also has a correction for league difficulty. The scale is deliberately set to approximate that of batting average. Average is .260.

Outs made by the player are very important. It means he is doing nothing to help his team. He isnt reaching base by either hit or walk. And if you make alot of them you start to hurt your team. Couple this with the EQA measuring your offensive performance and you tend to see who is more productive and who is the hollow or unproductive player.

This is my theory atleast, if you are making outs at a 62% rate and below you are in the upper echelon of star players in baseball. Guys like Manny Ramirez have a 57% out rate, Pujols 55% and Barry Bonds a god like 47% out rate. If you are in the 63% to 67% out rate you are generally an average player or a couple steps below all-star level. Productive major leaguers generally. Once you get into 68% out rate and beyond you start to hurt your team. And generally these are the poor major leaguers or below average ball players.

EQA as you noticed above, .260 is average, .280 is above average, .300 is all-star, .330 is MVP. Currently in the National League there are 5 players with an Eqa over .330. Barry Bonds .422, Pujols .364, Sheffield .344, Helton .341 and Edmonds .330. As you can see Bonds and Pujols are clearly way ahead of the pack and its no wonder its a two way race for the MVP.

Now what i did when i looked at the Cubs was take their 13 most often used players. Generally guys over 100 AB's. And this is what i came up with.

Out % from best to worst....

Sosa 62%
Alou 64%
Karros 64%
Grudz 64%
Choi 64%
Martinez 65%
Bellhorn 66%
Miller 68%
Patterson 68%
Goodwin 70%
Gonzalez 71%
O'Leary 72%
Harris 74%

As you notice we only have 1 player in the 62% out rate and below and thats Sosa just barely making it. 7 players are in the 63%-67% range of average players. And another 6 players in the 68%+ range of poor players. My feeling is you cant field a productive offense when you have just as many poor performing players as you do average players. They are just too close together in talent level.

But interestingly most teams have 6-7 players on their team in the 68%+ category of outs. They are generally bench players, and spot starters. The Cardinals for example have 5 players in such category but its offset by having 5 players at 62% and below and only 3 players in the 63% to 67% range. The good thing with the Cardinals is those 5 players with a 62% out rate and below are all starters. Which means 55% of their everyday lineup is extremly helpfull to the team. Where as with the Cubs and Sosa he only makes up 11% of our everyday lineup that is helpfull in this way.

The problem lies not in the poor players but in the players that are just average to good. Every team has its lousy players who make tons of outs and cant get the job done. But when you tend to field a lineup that is mostly average to poor players you get a horrible offense. This is not news or a great big discovery on my part. But the stats help back it up.

Where EQA comes in is to show how productive that major league player is regardless of what his out rate is. It tends to seperate the pretenders from the real thing.

The Cubs Eqa from best to worst is as followed....

Sosa .313
Alou .283
Patterson .283
Karros .280
Choi .273
Grudz .268
Goodwin .258
Martinez .257
Miller .245
Bellhorn .243
Gonzalez .235
O'Leary .217
Harris .166

Again Sosa is our only player in the all-star level of production. There are a few interesting things to note from this. Karros and Choi's Eqa's are very close together. They both have a 64% out rate. So this myth Choi was hurting the team is actually wrong. He may have been hitting .230, but he was just as productive as Karros as shown by Eqa and he was making outs at the same rate of Karros.

Grudz is another interesting point. He has a respectable 64% out rate, but his Eqa is barely over average. This is what i term a pretender. His overall stats look good but when you break it down, he is barely average. Remember the stats he was putting up before he was injured are career highs. And if career highs are gonna just make you an average baseball player, then what does an average Mark Grudz look like? A look at his career stats will give you an idea. And its not very good.

Another no big surprise is Ramon Martinez as our best bench player as he posted a 65% out rate and a .257 EQA. Which is awesome for the role that he plays. And its nearly as good as Grudz. The problem? Grudz makes $6 million. Martinez under $1 million. This is where the best bang for your buck comes in. Are you gonna dish out $3-6 million to resign Grudz or go with the just as good but lesser known option who makes less than $1 million. That is unless ofcourse your not gonna purse a FA for that position.

When you put Eqa and OUT % together and start evaluation of talent you tend to see who are your keepers and who you just need to throw away. Patterson for example has an ugly 68% out rate but he is a highly productive player with a .283 EQA. He was just as productive as Alou who had a 64% out rate.

The way i see it Grudz, O'leary, Karros, Miller, and A-gonz need to say good bye. Throw out the trash. Martinez, Goodwin, Choi are keepers. Martinez because he is just as good as Grudz and cheaper. Choi because he is just as good as Karros and cheaper. Goodwin because although he has a 70% out rate his EQA is .258 which means he is still productive to the team.

Now i havent included Lofton and Ramirez as i believe they have had too short amount of time on the team but at present Lofton has a 64% out rate and a .293 EQA which is better than Patterson in both areas. Ramirez has a 69% out rate and a .266 EQA. Not exactly stellar but far and way better than what we put out there before. While both have helped the Cubs alot other players during their stint have tailed off. Thus negating their improvements. Sosa is sorta in a slump, Alou is, Karros isnt hitting, Grudz got injured, Goodwin got injured, Martinez was injured and still is kinda. And well A-gonz hasnt hit over .230 for about 3 months straight.