But I don't wanna be a Pirate.....

But I don't wanna be a Pirate.....

Travis Wood and his redneck beard took the bump and threw six shutout innings while Nate Schierholtz ran his good game streak to 2 as the Cubs beat the Pirates 3-1 Thursday afternoon. The Cubs opened the scoring in the third inning when travis Wood singled the second pitch he saw into centerfield. He would score a batter later as Starlin Castro would line a shot to Centerfield for a 1-0 lead. Travis and a whole host of relievers kept the Pirate bats asleep. Nate "The Great" Schierholtz would hit a 2 run homer in the 8th, possibly out of the horror of seeing Carlos Marmol warming up for the 9th. They would need those runs as Marmol went all Marmol in the 9th. Allowing a single to Starling mart, walking Russell Martin and an RBI single to Andrew McCutchen. Gaby Sanchez would single in Martin and the sphincter scale would hit 22 carats high. But Marmol rallied, striking out Pedro Alvarez and getting usual Cub killer Neil Walker into a double play. Easy peezy, japaneezy. You be me for awhile and I'll be you.


The only thing nastier than Travis Wood's beard was his curve. Or maybe the only thing nastier than Travis Wood's curve was his beard. Debate for a later time I suppose. But Wood was great. 6 innings of 1 hit ball. He walked two and struck out 4 in that span. Dale probably could have let him go another inning, but Travis might not have it as cranked as Shark or Jackson. Still, great outing. Camp and Russell shut down the 7th. And Fujikawa, whose name I will spell 80 different ways this summer, was very impressive in the 8th. Which brings us to...


Sad that Carlos Marmol has reached the vitriol stage with Cub fans this early in the season. Twitter was all the rage during his outing. And he deserved it. What happened to the fastball. He got back to being a good relief pitcher last year by doubling, sometimes even tripling up on his fastball. Now it's back to frisbee nation. Hey, he got the save.  Big trees from small acorns and all that... Hopefully this sets him off on a good run. But with Cub fans expecting, and apparently eager for the worst, he's gonna have to turn it around really really quick for a really really long time. And consistency isn't in Marmol's arsenal right now.


Anyone see the preview this morning? See who ol' Felzz said to look for?  Yeah?....Huh?....pretty smart right? That's just how I role.... 1 for 162 probably, but hey today it's 1 for 1. Anyway, like the start Mr. Schierholtz has gotten off to. Kind of reminds me of Jeromy Burnitz. Dodn't know why, but he does.

So that takes care of our Pittsburgh share of the road trip. Off to Atlanta. Scott FELDMAN!!!!!!! will take on a Mike Minor. Oh dear... a lefty.....that means.... Hey the Cubs won, that's what counts.

Onwards. Oh and if you're in Kane County and you see a weird dude drinking scotch telling Dan Voglebach that he loves him, that's Arguello.





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  • A win is a win, but Marmol makes me wanna pull my hair out. I was on break at work and turned the game on in my car. As soon as he came in I went back inside. I probably wouldn't have made it back in if I'd have been listening.

  • In reply to GZUS:

    Don't actually have much hair left myself at this stage in my male pattern baldness progression,... but do feel I need a rolaids.

    Marmol will get it (mostly) figured out,.... hopefully sooner than later,... just gotta keep in mind that he keeps things interesting,...

  • "Marmol went all Marmol" - LOL. That was funny, felzz.

  • Yeah. He wasn't good. But. He's done this before. And he eventually will get to being a better closer. It's what he does. The key is to not have the blood pressure at 230 over 80 everytime something goes wrong. It's April 4th....

  • I will give Marmol a little more credit today. He was at least coming after the hitters, and they all lined nothing but singles against him.

    I want to see him come in and go after these hitters in the 9th, rather than throwing sliders on 0-1 counts. MOST of the time, the guys at the plate are going to foul it off, miss, or hit it right at somebody.

    The biggest issue I can see with Marmol from the outside looking in is his confidence. He used to be a very confident, if not slightly dramatic reliever, with the aggressive head turn he used to make towards the batters when he was hot.

    He isn't as good as a couple of years ago, but if he can minimize the head trash, go after hitters, and mix in that slider occasionally, he should do fine.

  • In reply to givejonadollar:

    One thing Ive noticed about when Marmol struggles is that he cant throw his f/b for strikes. Take yesterday, for instance. Threw 1st pitch FBs out of the strikezone to Martin, McCutcheon and Sanchez. Threw first pitch FB strikes to Alvarez and Walker. Coincidence who were the ones he retired?

  • Edit above: I meant 1-0 counts. :)

  • Hey John, my last comment had to be approved by an administrator? What's up with that? Hope you don't ban me like MLBTR. They didn't like my jokes about Chien-Ming Wang.

  • Well, it didn't come to me Raymond. You know your comments are always welcome here....

  • In reply to felzz:

    Thanks, felzz. Keep up the good work!

  • As soon as someone make a good? offer for Carlos trade him

  • Wouldn't sit on any stoves while waiting for that offer Mr. Martinez...

  • In reply to felzz:

    Your right, some do call me Mr

  • Might want a do over on the Haren trade...

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    I guess the devil you know is better than .... Carlos Marmol

    Tigers re-sign Jose Valverde

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    I know the timing is only coincidental. But it's almost like the Tigers wanted to see Marmol in action in the real season first. Then after seeing him, said "Yeah... we'll sign the other wild guy we're comfortable with and not give up any talent in a trade." Lol.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Funny, but didnt you not get to re-sign your own FAs to after May 1st if they went past the first week of December deadline for filing for FA?

  • LOL funny article, especially the last remark about John... Thank you.

  • Heh, if you'd have told the Pirates going into the series that they'd hold the Cubs to six runs on just 11 hits over three games, they would have assumed that they'd earned a sweep, or at least two wins. The story of this series was the Cubs starting pitchers. There was no margin for error, and those pitchers didn't make many. They held down a Pirates lineup that's going to score a LOT of runs this year. The next time we meet them, they'll be out for revenge.

  • Progress !! According to reports, Matt Garza threw 25 pitches off the mound today in Arizona.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I guess it's time to start up all the "Time to trade Garza" posts...

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    It's not enough to be a winning club, but a rotation of Shark/Garza/E-Jax/Wood/Feldman is actually pretty good. Like top-10 in baseball good. Let's hope he's back soon.

    Too bad that can't carry our below-average offense

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Especially our RH "hitting" line up. Take Sori and Castro out and everyone else needs a huge improvement(well maybe not Beef-he hasnt been too bad). Sappelt looked like a little leaguer against WRod, and Sori has sorry career numbersagainst WRod. Maybe it might have been the cold weather, but Sappelt, Lillitrudge, and Gonzo look like not-ready-for prime timers so far.

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    Not sure what i'm looking forward to the most....Felzz's great recaps or how bad(in a hilarious way) he butchers Samardzija's and now Fujikawa's name.

    That alone always floored me, the rest is icing on the cake lol

    Anyway good game by Travis, he looks like a different guy this year. Nate the great gonna have a good season now that he'll get playing time.

    The big 2(for now) Castro and Rizzo played great defensively and got rallies started. Fujikawa was nice.


    Good game.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Yeah.... Fujikawa is gonna be tough. As long as I don't call him Takahashi, Which I know I'm going to....

  • What to do with Garza is the big ? Sign him to a 3-4 contract at
    market cost or trade him in July for the best package. If we
    draft Appel or Gray and sign a top pitching prospect in the
    international market in might help in making the choice

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    If the Cubs draft Appel or Gray and can sign Garza to a team friendly deal if he stays healthy, that could be quite a rotation. Appel/Gray, Shark Jackson, Garza, & Wood would make a nice rotation.

  • I still optimistic on Wood becoming a #3 in a future rotation. Remember, he is only 26. The next step he has to make is becoming a guy who can go 7-8 innings. If he is a 5-6 inning guy, the max value he would have would be a #4.

    Encouraging, but only one start...

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    It's a cliche but left handers are known to mature a bit later than their right handed counterparts.

  • In reply to Hubbs16:

    As a lefty, I know. I've been going to Cubs games since the Ernie Banks glory days, and I still haven't matured.

  • If anyone is looking for more info on Cubs pitching prospects check out this series at NorthsidersReport. I think it is being run as a free teaser sort of thing.

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    I apologize in advance - I posted a version of the following comment on another blog, but right now I am so steamed about Marmol I would shout this from a moutaintop, if, you know, there was a mountaintop within 50 miles of wilmette illinois.

    It is one thing for Sveum to try to smilingly continue the illusion/delusion that Marmol is in any way, shape or form a closer. If he wants to peddle that canard, good luck to him, even though there is not a GM this side of Somalia that’s buying it. But is it inexcusable that he didn’t have someone warming up to sweep up the inevitable debris after Marmol was through. We’re all aware that this year is not about winning – you know it, I know it, Theo knows it, the bat boy knows it. But on the other hand the Cubs are charging premium prices for people to view a product on the field, and they owe it to those people shelling out recession-era money to see said product, to at least try. At least fake that you’re trying to win. What would you say about a grocer that was selling rotten tomatoes, or a doctor using rusty instruments, if they said, yeah, it sucks right now but if you keep giving me your money it might be a lot better in three years. You’d walk.
    “We need to pump up some value so we can trade him” – yeah, um, no, it ain’t happening. You don’t gain value by having him destroying your starting pitcher’s efforts day in and day out. You gain value by keeping him away from sharp objects, hot stoves and tight save situations – put him in where he can’t hurt himself or anyone else; maybe with the pressure off and the spotlight out of his eyes he might be able to bring his ERA below his shoe size, in which case you MIGHT be able to get an injured A ball reliever for him.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Shout it from the top of Mt. Prospect!

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Hey, that's where I grew up.

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    And where I work. And home of the immortal mike quade, may god rest his soul.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    And where two other Cubs-of-the-past played HS and Legion ball: Dave Kingman and Tom Lundstedt.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I hear you SKMD, I feel the same way. The probability that he bounces back and gets us a nice prospect in return is so low, that is not worth the hassle. We couldn't trade him in the offseason, even after his nice second half.

    Who leads the cubs in hits allowed, runs allowed and tied for walks granted after three games?? Marmol with just an inning and a third pitched...

  • Thanks for the link.

  • While Schierholtz was playing in SF, the announcers (including Mike Krukow, an awsome guy behing the mike) also called him Nate the Great.
    You're really gonna like this guy - great pickup by Theo/Jed.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Krukow and Kuiper are the best radio tandem in all of baseball, IMO. Of course, I haven't heard them all, but those two are great analysts as well as announcers. Great morning show, too.

  • I'd like to see Fujikawa as the closer just as much as the next guy but in fairness to Marmol he was let down twice in that 9th inning. His 1-2 slider to Martin was a strike according to PitchTrax and in the exact same spot as the previous slider that was called a strike. The ump missed that one and Martin should have been out. Then 2 batters later Sanchez hit a grounder to 1st that Rizzo should've had which was somehow called a hit by the official scorer. If the ump makes the right call and Rizzo fields the grounder it's game over, 3-0 Cubs.

  • In reply to Zorb:

    Right, and the thing is, it's not like elite closers grow on trees. It's the most pressure-packed position in the sport. Last year we bounced Marmol from that job, but as I recall Russell and Camp weren't any better. Over the course of a 162-game season, your closer's going to blow a few saves. Marmol is particularly streaky. He'll get hot for a month, then cool off for a month. It's frustrating, but Fujikawa probably isn't the next Mariano Rivera, either.

    For every save that Marmol blows, you could just as easily blame the Cubs offense for not generating a bigger cushion.

  • In reply to Zorb:

    I was observing the same thing. Cuzzi missed at least two definite strike calls on Marmol pitches. You'd think the umps would want to get to a warm clubhouse on a day like today.

  • In reply to Zorb:

    If the Cubs hit well enough to do well this year, having Marmol as closer will not hold them back. And if he does manage to do well, as he occasionally has in the past, he can bring them something decent in return.

    Given the odds of the Cubs actually competing this year, they would be idiots not to give him every chance to improve his market value. It is literally a no lose situation.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    I agree. Marmol is an easy target on a bad team; on a good team he'd be a less of a problem. But how many elite closers are there in the majors? And how many of those do you find on 100 loss teams? Given that, Cubs are lucky to have a closer with as much ability as Marmol. For a reliever coming in cold after sitting all game in the cold, I'd say Marmol did ok and he did get the save didn't he? I think he is a better closer than most 500 ball clubs have and is a net positive for a team like the cubs. If you think a rebuilding club is going to focus on getting an elite lockdown closer, even if they could find one, it would be way down the list of needs. Besides, he may provide the only real drama on this team this season, and he probably won't be getting many save opportunities anyway.

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    I'm thinking about that AT&T commercial with the kids. When the moderator asks me who I want to be, my reply is "Marmol Sucks." When he asks me "Why Marmol?" I reply, "Because it rhymes with Sucks."

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Speaking of minor league happenings, have you seen New Lennox native Tony CIngrani's stat line tonight? In 6 IP, he gave up 0 H, 1 BB and had 14 SO. Not bad for his first start in AAA. I wish he were in the Cubs organization.

  • john Arguello is practically tweeting play by play at the Kane County game.Kid's having the time of his life. I'm gonna go ahead and say he's drunk too.

    Expect a 2500 word wrap in the AM only here at Cubs Den.....

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    In reply to felzz:

    Speaking of minor league happenings, have you seen New Lennox native Tony CIngrani's stat line tonight? In 6 IP, he gave up 0 H, 1 BB and had 14 SO. Not bad for his first start in AAA. I wish he were in the Cubs organization.

  • The Cubs got a win and believe it or not Carlos Marmol's ERA actually went down after today's outing ...haha.

  • Epstein says a DH happen. Should we get one just just to watch
    V hit the ball?

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    It might be the only way we see him in a Cubs uniform. If he progresses the way we all hope he does and the NL doesn't get the DH, he can be in a package for a top of the rotation starter or other missing piece of the championship puzzle.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Epstein is from the am league, not yet aclimated to the finer nuances and valuable traditions of the nat league. With time, I believe there is hope he comes around, he seems otherwise to be fairly sensible. Is having a guy in single A minor league, with a big bat and no defensive position, now reason to change the rules of baseball? Wouldn't it be simpler to just trade him to the AL?

    DH was supposed to add excitement and generate more fan interest for the AL, the cubs don't need this, they have marmol.

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    Pierce Johnson didn't exactly get off to a great start tonight. OUCH!!!

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I know his game stats looked awful but IMO he didn't pitch that bad. He throws hard, John said low 90's but the way the catcher's mitt sounded I would say it was more like mid 90's. He also did a good job of mixing his pitches.

    What really killed him was mental errors on the field. The team had a total of 3 errors. It should have been more but since they're young I think they take it easier on them. They had tons of throwing errors, like missing the cut off man, the manager sucks at being a 3rd base coach, and they botched a couple of ground balls. Not to mention once they got on base no one would drive them in. Where have I seen that before???

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    On the bright side Ben Wells went 4 innings, gave up 2er, struck out 4. Wish I knew how his stuff was.

  • Anyone else having issues with the Iowa feed skipping to pre-game festivities in the middle of an inning? Watching via IPhone app on IPad 1. Downside missed B. Jackson's single. Upside got to listen to Tommy Lasorda talk about how you may feel down on life but things will turn around. Strangely motivated to accomplish activities now.

  • fb_avatar

    Buster Olney pointed out that the Astros set the record for most strikeouts in the first 3 games (since 1900)

    The article was posted before today's game, but according to his top 5, the Cubs now have the #3 spot for most strikouts in the first 3.


  • Hey, we're playing .667 ball, on the road no less. That's 108 wins. Rizzo and Schierholtz on pace for 54 homers and 108 rbi each. What more can you ask for? I add blue food coloring to my brandy, too.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    true, but then everyone else not named Rizzo or Schierholtz are on "pace" for O HR, 0 RBI and a sub zero BA with 250K for Lilly Bridge(why is that stiff in MLB?)

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    Oh Carlos.....

  • Fujikawa is going to have a huge advantage early in the season, especially against the NL division teams who didnt see him in spring training. Frankly, he should be the closer just from the lack of familiarity the Cards and Pirateshave with him. I dont beleive he faced the Brew crew this spring either. Carlos needs a one-way ticket to the back of the pen until he remembers he throws a fastball also.

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