A League of Her Own

Friday Headlines/Open Thread

Nice try, Sean.

We'll start with some good news, from Paul Sullivan:

Making his third start, Sean Marshall held the Marlins to one run on six hits over seven innings, leaving to a standing ovation. Marshall had one of his best outings ever, but saw it go to waste.

"Most of the time that's good enough to win," Piniella said. "Today it wasn't."

So what went wrong? According to Gordo, just about everything else.

As the Cubs finished the first month of the season, they ranked in the lower half of the NL in hitting, scoring, pitching and fielding -- and were headed the wrong direction in all three areas. They had almost as many errors (three) as hits (five) Thursday, and the bullpen was a disaster.
Want some more specific blame? One player called out D. Lee, who had a couple of prime chances to redeem himself:
. . . after striking out to end the fourth with a runner on third and again in the ninth with a runner on second.

"A lot of [the problem] is [he's] batting fourth, and [he's] not hitting [or] driving in runs. It makes it hard. So, [him] being in the middle of the order, [he] has to find a way to pick it up." . . . "[Lee is] bad right now," he said. "Really bad. [He] has to make some adjustments . . . figure out what adjustments there are to make, and make 'em."

The big-mouth, throwing Lee under the bus? Derrek Lee. So good on you for admitting you suck, D. Lee. How about instead of standing up and taking responsibility, you try just not sucking?

Speaking of sucking, there's the bullpen, who gave up the game-losing six runs after allowing in the tying run in the eighth:

Not with Carlos Marmol walking the first two men he faced, then allowing the tying run to score on a throwing error to first on Cameron Maybin's sacrifice bunt.

Marmol now has walked six batters and allowed five runs in his last two innings of work since returning from a knee sprain. Piniella didn't think the knee was affecting him and theorized it was because of four days of not pitching while letting the knee heal.

"I don't feel very good," Marmol said. "I don't know what happened to me. I have to get back to throwing strikes. My knee feels good. There's no problem with that."

With the game tied at 2-2 in the 10th, Heilman gave up a bloop double to Alfredo Amezaga before walking Wes Helms. Emilio Bonifacio hit a sharp grounder to Lee, whose throw to second for the force glanced off Ryan Theriot's glove for an error as the go-ahead run scored.

What's the solution? Not meetings, says Lou. How about someone showing some kind of interest in winning for a change?

The fight of a revamped team trying to win a third straight division title has been questioned in recent days by Soriano and Piniella.

"Would you like to see more intensity and more fight? Always," said shortstop Ryan Theriot, who had two errors and two hits. But he pointed to injuries that have kept key hitters out of the lineup and forced others to play out of position. "That's like me in the outfield a few years back. Am I giving everything I've got? Of course. But do I look terrible? Yeah."

Meanwhile, a team that spends $140 million on players couldn't buy a hit as April drew to a close.

"The one thing that I don't want to see is players hanging their heads," Piniella said. "I know it's a tough game to play. I played it for a long time. But, boy, you've got to fight it when you're struggling. You can't give in to it. And that's something that can be said."

Frankly, after a loss like that, there should be some head-hanging, in my opinion.

Happy May. Turn the page of the calendar and let's try to move on.



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