Ryno of the Week: Eight innings, one run. Seven innings, one run. You'd think one of those outings would result in a win, but Carlos Zambrano ended up with two no-decisions this week. But not only did he not get the wins, neither did the Cubs. And that's frustrating. As is losing back-to-back extra inning games on walk-off home runs by the formerly slumping Albert Pujols. As is getting swept by the Astros, etc. So with the frustration building, Z sounded off after the game yesterday in perhaps his most sensible rant ever. The folks over at Bleacher Nation covered it well.
Cubs Week 9 awards: Success in 2011 just not in the cards
After the sweep by the Astros, I said it was just a touch too early to declare the season over. Well, after another sweep, this time at the hands of the division-leading Cardinals, I think we can say the Cubs have put the finishing touches on a lost season.
It seems that everything is going in the wrong direction all of a sudden. The losses are piling up, but seemingly not as quickly as the injuries. The ownership ran afoul of MLB's debt rules. Fans aren't populating the seats at Wrigley. Robert Whitenack was one of the Cubs' feel good stories in the minors--he was 7-0 between Single-A and Double-A with a combined 1.93 ERA--so, of course, he's headed for Tommy John surgery.
But hey, Matt Garza's coming back!
Honorable mention: Carlos Pena, who scored four runs and had five RBI along with four walks. He's second in the NL in walks and his .356 OBP is pretty impressive given his .217 average.
Goat of the Week: He's usually excellent, and he's had far too few save opportunities this season, but Carlos Marmol is the reason Zambrano didn't get a win in either of his starts. Just this week, Marmol doubled his blown save total and nearly tripled his ERA.
Dishonorable mention: Geovany Soto, who--as Bob Brenly pointed out--was probably rushed back from his injury. He went 3-for-17 this week with eight strikeouts and looks overmatched.