The Cubs looked inward, dug deep, and did everything they could to turn a 5-1 victory into a 6-5 loss Saturday night at the Ted. Carlos Marmol is gonna get the blame in this one, as his two gopher balls to the brothers Upton in the 9th inning lost the game. But frankly there's a lot of blame to go around. The Cubs actually jumped out in front in the 1st inning. Nate Schierholtz singled home David Dejesus who led off the game with a double. After a Justin Upton home run evened the score at 1 Luis Valbuena made his first hit of the year a memorable one, launching a home run to right field. The Cubs would add on in the next inning. Anthony Rizzo, who had been struggling, launched a laser to right center to put the Cubs up 4-1. Schierholtz would then double and score on a Wellington Castillo single. This gave Carlos Villanueva all the runs he would need. Or so you would think. After biffing a beautiful opportunity in the 8th, Kyuji Fujikawa came on to shut 'em down in the 8th. Instead he allowed 3 runs and allowed the Braves lineup to turn over. and set the stage for Marmol to implode in grand fashion. Let's dissect the frog, before we get nauseous and the teacher gives us an incomplete.
Oye Como Va
Carlos Villanueva was quite good. If you want to preface that sentence with "for a fifth starter" you can change the last two words to "effing awesome". Six and two thirds and only allowing the one Upton home run.He gave up 6 hits and walked 2 while striking out 6. He worked fast and threw strikes ( 60 strikes out of 92 pitches thrown. Nice.). No noticeable pitches other than good command and great poise. Also, wonderful facial hair as the mustache did not bleed into the beard, thus giving each feature unique distinction. Well done señor. James Russell came in and finished up the 7th. Before...
Kyuji Kyuji coo
Fujikawa had a horrible outing. Overthrowing everything. Castillo had to jump at least three times to catch rising fastballs from overthrowing. I know Dale wants to see "what he has" in Fujikawa, and you don't want to run out there at every sign of trouble, and there's some translation problems. But an earlier visit to the mound was necessary. I'm positive there's a japaneese word for "breathe.......". As for Marmol, there's no defense. He was obviously ordered to throw fastballs. Wouldn't surprise me if he was told to throw ONLY fastballs as that was all I saw. But his fastball was pretty straight and the brothers destroyed 'em. I can't see him being the closer. Frankly I don't see how he pitches at Wrigley Field ( Certainly not in front of a packed Wrigley on Opening Day.). But I think everyone, Marmol, Sveum, the front office, and everyone on Twitter making the same "Kate Upton just hit a home run off Marmol" joke need to stop looking at trade value, and salary, and just figure out what the next step is.
The Rizzo, the Gizzo, The ghost face Bizzo...
There was some good from this game. The offense came alive. 13 hits. After having 16 through the first four. In particular was the rebound from Anthony Rizzo. I was all set to talk about Rizzo's struggles. And after his first at bat, where he let a 2-0 meatball just sail past the plate, I was convinced he was struggling. But the next two at bats were beauties. First the mammoth home run to right center and his next AB an opposite field single. Feel free to build on this. of course he did strike out to end the 8th, an inning where they had bases loaded with 0 outs and 1,2,3 coming up........... serenity now.........serenity now........feel free not to build on that.
What a kick in the rocks. I know everyone is going to make Marmol the story. I'm not buying it. The entire team played those last two innings like dog doo. And that includes the manager. This is where we thank the people up above for inventing alcohol. Shark takes the bump tomorrow against Tim Hudson. I'm sure we all hope Samardzija can go nine.