The Cubs took todays game against the Reds, placed it in a box, closed that box, wrapped it in lovely Cubs printed wrapping paper, tied on a bow made out of ivy and handed it to the Reds as if they were celebrating their 16th birthday. Up four runs to two, thanks to two very welcomed two run homers from Alfonso Soriano, Dale turned the ball over to Carlos Marmol, who promptly turned it into a hand grenade. Walks to pain-in-the-ass Zach Cosart, Joey Bats and a hit by pitch to Brandon Phillips. Dale went Judy Blume and said "Then again, maybe I won't" and yanked Marmol. In came Hecotr Rondon, who promptly gave up a single to Jay Bruce, a sacrifice fly to Todd Frazier. Another walk-in run and sacrifice fly and the damage was done. 6-4 Reds. The Reds scored 4 runs on 1 hit. 4 runs, 1 hit. One more time.....4 runs....on one hit. Hey hey hey....Come out and play.
Third straight "Yeah, but...." performance for Samardzija.Two runs allowed ( 1 earned.) in 6 innings is fine. A quality start as they say. But once again, Samardzija was done in by throwing too many pitches. 111 pitches through 6 innings is just too many. Part of that was getting squeezed by an ump with a very interpretive strike zone. But part of it was jst not having the tip top command Shark should have to go with his Tip top stuff. James Russell, who still needs a haircut, pitched a nice 7th. We've addressed the disastrous 8th, And Rondon was fine in the 9th.
THE FOOL ON THE HILL
I can't defend Marmol. I understand the total frustration. I'll never get the hatred people have for him ( check your twitter feed when he pitches...) but the truth is he really shouldn't be on the team. Dale has tried encouragement, tried being tough, and most recently tried "the surprise method" by not telling him what inning he's pitching. None of them works. He eventually goes boom. I've seen it happen to other pitchers to ( Heath Bell comes to mind. there are hundreds of others). I don't blame him. And I don't blame Sveum for trying to fix him. He's on the roster, that's Dale's job. It's up to Epstoyer to cut their losses. The money is irrelevant as he's getting paid either way. There's no trade value. It's best for everyone to just part ways. I know everyone in the front office is busy deciding between Gray and Appel, but this isn't hard, and shouldn't take long.
Nice to see Soriano get it going. Both home runs were that classic upper swing and you knew it the minute they left the bat. Hopefully this is the start of a hot streak. It also helped that Anthony Rizzo got on twice in front of him. Granted once was just getting hit by the pitch. But the second one was a double that should ease any last concerns some might have about Rizzo's struggling against lefties.
Yick. This bullpen really knows how to ruin a good thing. And I think it's more than fair to hold he front office's feet to the flame on it. Afterall, bullpens aren't a product of money and putting a good one together shouldn't hinder any "big plans" that the front office have. This wasn't a good bullpen last year, and the front office basically just switched out the Rule 5 guy. They've tried some things, and adding Gregg has mostly been positive. But every time Marmol blows up, whatever progress or momentum the Cubs seems to build not only stops, it regresses. Edwin Jackson takes the bump tomorrow to try and avoid the sweep. I've got Orb, Normandy Invasion ( Breeding) and the Two Lukas horses (value) in all kinds of bets for the Derby. Onwards.