living in an Upton World

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.





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  • Assuming Feldman and Villaneuva continue their current trajectories, when does Feldman become the "swing an" role in the pitching rotation?

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    It's almost like you can hear the air coming out of the season. You are correct -- this was a team loss.

  • No doubt Sveum would do some things different. The bullpen blows a 4 run lead in the last two innings, and your best relief pitcher is left tossing in the bullpen?
    Marmol is the one big mistake that Theo and Jed have made. He has no business on the team, much less trying to pretend he has the ability to close out ballgames. He should have been moved as soon as possible after the Angel trade debacle. Enough with the building value baloney, this crap can kill young ball clubs from ever improving. Three years is way past long enough, time to unhook the Marmol car from the train.

  • I agree. After the trade with the Angels fell through, I would have gone back to the Angels and said "Okay haren's a no-go but what else is on the table." They should know how capable Marmol is of imploding. And frankly rebuilding his confidence, approach, etc. is time that should be spent on Fujikawa, Rondon and others.

    As for the Feldman Villanueva switcher, there's still time. A month maybe? Garza has awhile till he comes back and I'd think they'd give each 5 more starts before even "evaluating" the situation...

  • In reply to felzz:

    And what makes you believe they didn't call the Angels back? Or any other team for that matter?

    Just because the FO didn't trade Marmol doesn't mean they didn't try, right?

    And BTW, Haren lasted 4 innings in his first start and has an ERA of 9.00.

  • In reply to felzz:

    I think the passage of time (approximately 10 hours now) has me in agreement w/ letting things soak until sometime in May is a more appropriate timeframe to better evaluate what we really have this year.


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    Sveum has no excuse for not expecting this type of April from Marmol. It's the same thing we saw last April. Close games, well pitched by the starting pitcher, trashed by the back end of the bullpen. Nice that Marmol has only given away one late lead before being pulled this year. As for the 8th inning fail by the offense, that's another repeat from last year, too--and not just April. The Cubs haven't had a clutch RBI guy since ARam (pre-2010). The jury's still out on Fuji. But perhaps the 8th should belong to Camp right now.

  • In reply to Robert Devetski:

    Camp is unspectacular,.... but steady. Could do worse as setup man.

  • Well said, felzz. They have to tack on runs in the 8th. That was crucial. Heartbreaking. These losses sting.

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    Im at the point where win/losses aren't going to ruin my day....what im looking for is progress and good games from the guys who figure to lead this team in 3 years and I've been satisfied with that.

    Castillo looks like a keeper. Getting better and better. Castro will be fine but his defense has been good, Rizzo contributed, etc.

    Fujikawa had good stuff(hit 94 multiple times) but could get his splitter working.

    This game will be a growing experience for a young team. Baseball is 9innings for a reason. Put your foot on their neck and keep it there.

    P.s. id love to be a part of any world that involves Kate Upton.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I kind of agree with this. And, as I said above, in this particular game there is blame to go around. The offense missed a change to blow the game open. Fuji blew up.

    Having said that, this has to be the end of the Carlos Marmol experiment. It's fundamentally unfair to guys like Rizzo, Castro, etc. to go play their butts off, put their team in a position to win a game, and then have Marmol come in and pitch batting practice. That strikes me as the kind of thing that could break their spirits. And that's bad. We were all hoping we would get a decent piece for Marmol. I think tonight was the end of that hope -- no one is going to give more than a bag of balls for him at this point. Let's move forward and see what Fuji can do as closer.

  • I don't. The sting is what's gonna make it sweeter when we win.

    I appreciate the positivity, but that loss sucked. The fact that Rizzo had a good game, Schierholtz has been better than advertised, that our fifth starter was throwing rocks, that should result in win. I'll be happy when this team turns these progresses into wins.

    Sveum has already said they're looking at the closer position for a change. That's good. The sooner we can stop talking about it the sooner we can talk about what's going right.

  • I look at the bright side a better draft choice.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    A higher draft slot perhaps, not necessarily a better draft choice.

  • I was more disappointed in Sveum. Sure, as mentioned above, you want to see what Fuki has, but however, his facial expressions clearly told the story.

    He was getting way too amped up for a guy who supposedly has been doing this for a long while. It was clear even from the TV that he needed to be taken out.

  • It's sad when you check a score and can guess exactly how a game must have played out. I was working so I hadn't been keeping up with the game. When I finally checked the results, 5-6, I had this awful feeling in my gut that we lost a game we shouldn't have.

    It made no sense to me why we would pitch Russell and Fujiwaka when we have a 4 run lead?! Why not throw camp out there, maybe Takahashi?

    Marmol is burnt toast IMO. I'm sick of the taste it leaves in my mouth. Marmol hasn't lived up to any part of the gracious contract he was given. I've got a great idea of how to extract value from marmol.. open up his roster spot for someone who deserves it, I'm with felzz, hoping for marmol to turn into a good prospect, at this point, is like hoping your last bite of breakfast turns into a bacon tree that lays eggs, only in our wildest and fantastic dreams.

  • In reply to northside disciple:

    Your food references made me smile, since I'm eating burnt toast, bacon, and eggs for breakfast now.

    Starting to agree on Marmol.

  • I didn't see the game and I'm glad of it. There's only so much despair one can view. How many times do we see this club, over the years, load the bases and then leave them there? Or somebody gets a triple and then stands right there for the next three batters? Well, the Blackhawks won, so I'll just think about that.

  • Tried to watch the game on For some reason, they said I was in Atlanta's local viewing area (I'm in Jax, FL) and so it was blacked out. Whatever, I'll listen to WGN radio and clean the carpet on a rental property... (exciting Saturday night - I know). The sad part is I finished up as Fujikawa just turned this into a 1-run game with Marmol due up in the 9th. I remember thinking, this sucks for Villanueva, he tosses a gem and won't have a "W" to show for it. I get home and hop online, and sure enough I was right. It's sad that I've resigned myself to this sort of expectation.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Rental Property in Jacksonville.......sounds like another KKK stains or doggie stains on the carpet?.....I heard vinegar takes out stains on carpet....

    All of Florida except, Tampa area (Rays), is Braves Land.......except for those 238 Marlins Fans in the Miami area who say otherwise.....

    Should have been a "W"........Marmol better be saving his money....I doubt he will get signed with another team after his contract ends.

  • Time to get a new manager. This lose his on him. You need to stop keeping a pitcher in who anyone can see is haveing a bad day.

  • In reply to cubs1963:

    okay...who do you suggest?

    come back with that new manager line at the end of 2014.......meanwhile, let Theo and Company deal with this Marmol matter.

  • I don't understand the mentality of treating our young players like they're delicate flowers, or that they don't understand the same things we do about the challenges faced by this front office.

    Personally, I think even the young players have been in enough baseball games that they understand that sometimes teammates can bail you out of a mistake, and sometimes those teammates commit mistakes that wash away your good game. On any given day, you can be the hero or the goat, and so you don't throw blame around.

    Last night's game is the kind that will build character on this team, teach them how to react to a tough loss, because even after the roster is full of elite talent, these players will have to be strong in the mental aspect of the game.

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    I know I've got to take a long cleansing breath aftere a game like this. Don't know where Marmol goes but he is guilty of arson big time. He's been in 3 games and the tums just can't be close enough.

    I live very much my first impressions of Schierholz and Castillo. We all will enjoy the added offense we haven't seen there for a while. Hope JS gives us something to smile about today.

  • This is mostly on Sveum. What was there to discuss in the 8th? Fuji was hitting bats wittyh deadly accuracy. The one out he got was the gift of a horrible AB. It all set Marmol up to implode. What to do? That's easy, find anotherr team for which to root. Talkinfg about the draft is for fools. What percentage of draftees ever see Wrigley?
    THe team must find a closer, on the roster or elsewhere. Russel looks like the best arm in the pen to me. Can he close? I think we should give him a shot.

  • Mike said it best, "you could almost hear the air coming out of the season". What did we expect? Much of the roster is made up of has beens and those that never were, and there is no quick fix.

  • Would anyone take a Carlos Marmol for Ted Lilly trade right now ?

    What about a Carlos Marmol for a bag of athletic supporters (used) ?

    What about Carlos Marmol for a box of pencils?

    Maybe we need Carlos Zambrano to intimidate Marmol to save games?....or have Zambrano kick the crap out of Marmol when he blows a game.

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