I waited for the joke, it never did arrive. Cubs 4 Reds 2.

The Cubs recovered from another blown save from the bullpen to defeat the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 at the Great American ballpark Tuesday night. Darwin Barney's first home run away from Wrigley field in the tenth inning put the Cubs ahead for good and Julio Borbon would run around the bases on a Reds Miscue to add the insurance run. Kevin Gregg would save it for Carlos Marmol and everyone would check their calendars to make sure it wasn't 2009. Alfonso Soriano would also turn back the clock, getting on base with a single and then stealing second AND third before scoring on Scot Hairston's sac fly. Cody Ransom would introduce himself to Cub fans by homering the first pitch he saw. And Carlos Villanueva was on auto pilot, getting into the ninth with only a Chris Heisey HR mark against him. But After Shin Soo Choo walked and was sacrificed over to second, Dale played the stats and brought in Carlos Marmol. Votto had previously been 1-for-15 with 9K's against Marmol. Well, he's now 2 for 16 because he shot one just past Darwin Barney for the tying run. Marmol would eventually get through the 9th and set it up for Barney's heroics. To the Bat cave....


Can't say enough good things about Carlos Villanueva. OUT. STANDING. 8 1/3rd innings giving up the two runs on only three hits. The Cub pitchers have so little leeway with their anemic offense and putrid bullpen. But the Mustache was magnifique. Pitching 101 keeping the ball down and changing speeds. The Reds appeared to hammer the ball into the ground to Cody Ransom at third every inning. Let's talk about the decision to bring in Marmol. Dale's decision's were a) a tiring Villanueva who got hit hard in the 8th, just walked Choo and was on his fourth trip through the order. B) Marmol off a two inning performance yesterday. 3) Russell who was off a 1.1 inning performance yesterday and hasn't been nearly as effective against Votto as Marmol has. D) Gregg, Loe and the rest of Gasoline Alley. Dale went to the stats. While you want to kill him because it was yet another blown save, I just don't see how you can.


Quite the debut from Cody Ransom. Homering off the first pitch he sees and making several plays in the field. Quick reactions and a strong arm. It's just one game but it came as a welcome sight after seeing the drunken clown show that has been at the hot corner before. And how about Soriano stealing two bases and Julio Borbon stealing third in the tenth. I suppose when you're offense is this feeble. Which brings us to.

29 K's

The city of Cincinnati is going to run out of pizza by the end of the week. Apparently everyone gets a free pizza when the Reds strikeout 11 or more batters. Something they've done with absolute ease against the Cubs. Beef sported the Golden Sombrero tonight, striking out four times. Anthony Rizzo gave him some company, striking out twice. Each batter stranded 3 base runners. Please stop this. On the plus side, Starlin Castro drew his third walk. Baby learns to crawl...

Phew. Nice writing about a win. Theo Epstein is suppose to be on the Score tomorrow with Speigs and Mac. Wil be interesting to hear his take on this club he put together. If this Cub team had a bullpen they'd be dominating the Reds with their ace going for the sweep tomorrow afternoon. In fact, if this team had a "normal" bullpen this team might be around .500 and we'd all be singing a different tune. (the offense would still be a problem). Look forward to the interview, and I look forward to tomorrow. If the Cubs can come out of this ridiculous and weird week with a series win over the best team on the road, it will be a nice step in the right direction. So here's hoping they do it.





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  • I thought Villanueva got squeezed against Choo and had handled Cozart well enough to merit the chance at inducing a DP. With the current situation in the bullpen I think I would have then gone with Russell to face Votto/Phillips/Bruce. As you stated, however, hard to fault Svuem for choosing Marmol vs. Votto.

    Dusty starting Corky Miller in this game (or Cincy using him at all) was/is ridiculous. Tenth inning was a fluke, but we really deserved a win. You have to roll a 7 sooner or later. C'mon Large Mardj tomorrow!

  • In reply to Denim Dan:

    I think Cory Miller is what lost them the game. 4 or 5 stolen bases that helped score 2 runs and a disaster at the plate. Yeah the umpire was not consistent even Len got a little unnerving about it

  • In reply to Denim Dan:

    He definitely got squeezed. If theresa anything a player hates is an inconsistent ump, and Mr Marvin Hudson was not consistent at all. You can ALWAYS tell an inconsitent ump when the number of Ks is very high, since most players will take borderline pitches.

  • These last two games have been a dooozie. How about a nice 9-1 win tomorrow?

    Couple things I thought were weird, Dale went to Schierholtz to face Parra a lefty instead of leaving in Hairston. I know Hairston has struggled but hitting lefties is why he's on the team isn't it?

    Next was pinch running DeJesus for Soriano in the ninth that seems like a straight up tie when Borbon is clearly the fastest guy.

    The Marmol move is a total wash Votto hits everyone well. Expect to see Rondon and Loe tomorrow.

  • ESPN reporting Garza won't make his Smokies debut tom. Because he has a dead arm. Good grief.

  • Garza has another set back... This is getting to be a joke!

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    Not a joke. Typical Cubs.

  • Just once every week or so - I would love to see our Cubs win a 'laugher' as Harry Carrey would have said,...

    I state,... once again,.... that ~$2.2 MM they signed Villanueva for is looking like the best free agent money the Cubs have spent in maybe decades,... Wood has been outstanding and consistent. Shark has had a few down moments scattered among some generally good pitching,.... and toss out a few innings of Jackson's starts and he's been a good - if erratic - signing too.

    I really figured that the bullpen would have been a strength this season,... but man has that assumption been demonstrated WRONG so far. Especially the clown-college that has been our closer-corps.

    But - on the plus side,.... despite the horrible record,.... this is a team that never seems to get blown out and that (somehow) often manages to head into the end of a game with a lead,.... before thier bullpen blows it in the 8th or 9th innings.

    As stated in the blog,.... This is a team that had it had even an average bullpen and closers would be close to 0.500 instead of 6-13.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Villanueva signed a 2 year $10 million contract.

  • If this keeps up with Villanueva, he will be adding to the debate as to where our starting staff will be in 2015. And we better hope it does if this keeps up with Garza.

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    I want to more Bourbon, he looked a bit interesting in that one AB and ensuing base path adventure.

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    In reply to James Knott:

    I agree. I think Bourbon gives the team a speed dynamic that could help them out in some of these tight 1 run games. I've liked his approach at the dish and wouldn't mind seeing him get more opportunities... at least as a late inning sub for Sori. So far he's looking like a much better version of Tony Campana. It's funny how quickly cubs fans have forgotten that "stud."

  • Will be so glad at the end of the season when Marmol is no longer on this team!

  • The bullpen has indeed been bad--they rank 13th out of 15 NL teams in bullpen WHIP (they're ahead of the Cardinals, so there's that). But the anemic offense magnifies the problems of a weak bullpen because any run the bullpen forfeits becomes so crucial.
    This is an odd team so far. Spectacular starting pitching--best staff WHIP in the NL (!); second most stolen bases in the NL (!); third in the NL in home runs; and they're 10th (out of 15) in the NL in OPS, which is better than I thought they were. With those rankings you wouldn't expect the team to have a .316 winning percentage, but that's what the standings claim.

  • Time to panic about Rizzo? His swing looks awfully long this year. I know its early but he looks a lot like he did 2 years ago

  • John/Tom/etc...why haven't the Cubs reached out to Brian Wilson? I'm not saying this as a rhetorical question implying I want them to or think they should, I really want to know why. Do you all think he doesn't have it any more? Would it be another Gagne situation? When I see Kevin Gregg out there I have to wonder if Wilson would be any worse?

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