If you were watching another team, you probably wouldn’t believe it.

Should I just copy and paste the preamble from Thursday’s game? Starting pitching good, just enough offense, and then Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol combine to blow the game.

The Cubs slapped Gio Gonzalez around early, and knocked him out before the end of the fourth inning. But then the Cubs’ bats went lifeless, thanks in large part to the best reliever in baseball, Craig Kimbrel. What’s that you say? Craig Stammen? Who the hell is that?

Matt Garza had an overall solid outing today. The only runs he gave up came when Garza allowed a two-run homer to Adam LaRoche (on a decent pitch), after which Garza went absolutely nuts in the dugout, stomping around, screaming in the general direction of the field. That was the kind of thing we heard about before Garza came to Chicago, but didn’t see much of last year. But, within seconds, he was sitting calmly on the bench looking downward, regrouping. So, it wasn’t really a big deal.

It didn’t much matter, because the bullpen did to him today what it did to him all of last year.

  • JustSwain

    So my first reaction to todays game was to try to quench my anger. It didn’t work so I relied on prescription medication which did work. Then I started thinking. This team has actually outplayed the Nationals in both games, if it hadn’t been for two guys. Two little pieces of a very large puzzle… We’re off from where we need to be, no question about it, but if we are only two pieces from being as good as the Nationals (who are a outside pick to win the NL West) we are a much better team than I thought we were. Everyone else is competing at a higher level than I expected. Marmol I thought would snap out of it, but he just doesn’t even look like Marmol. Wood I always had my doubts about. He was actually pretty lousy in 2010 before he went to the Yanks and learned that cutter of his. 5 innings of spring training wasn’t necessarily a mistake, but expecting him to be a dominating setup man after 5 innings of spring training was. Maybe this is Theo’s way of telling Cubs fans to stop telling him what to do. Theo: “You guys wanted Wood back? Fine, here you go enjoy him. When you are ready to have me track down a decent reliever let me know.”

    For the Record, I’m ready. I think everyone on this board who was watching the Cubs closely knew the Bullpen was a problem. Well….its a problem. Bad late relief must be the easiest way to loose a fan base in baseball. I don’t mind losing games, but man does it make me mad when we lose em late.

  • JustSwain

    Anyone else notice Wood and Marmol now have matching ERAs(27)? O.k. so lets play armchair manager for a second here. Next game if we have a close lead going into the 7th, The starter is done, who do you go to for the next three innings? Do you give wood and Marmol another chance, or go with the young guys? Get rid of Wood and Marmol, or try to get work in for them in less critical of spots to see if they can pitch out of it? What are realistic options?

    My opinion is:
    Rolo in the 7th (or 6th and 7th if needed)
    Camp in the 8th
    Dolis in the 9th
    Wood and Marmol only if we lose the lead….by alot.
    Work wood and Marmol into non-critical situations to see if they can get their confidence/mechanics back.
    One more bad outing for either Wood or Marmol, and they go the minors to get work in.

    As bad as Wood and Marmol were Dolis looked Awesome today. Late moving fastball in the mid 90s, good control, looked poised considering he came in with the lead in the 7th for his first apperance of the year.

  • occubfan

    I did not see the game yesterday, but based on the play by play writeup, I think people are overreacting to two very frustrating loses. In yesterday’s game, Kerry Wood faced 5 batters: 1 strikeout, 1 groundout, 1 home run and 2 singles (1 a line drive, the other a soft fly ball). Of 3 balls hit in play, 2 were hits, for a BABIP of 0.667. So there was some bad luck there. Carlos Marmol faced 4 batters: 2 walks (very bad) and 2 hits (1 ground ball and 1 line drive). His BABIP was 1.000. Again, there was bad luck. One of the hits was a ground ball that could have been a double-play ball if hit in a slightly different direction. Shawn Camp faced 2 batters in the 8th inning: 1 infield single and 1 flyout. Of the Nationals 6 hits in the inning, 3 were ground balls or “soft fly balls.” The Nationals BABIP was 0.707 (5 for 7). One would normally expect, on average, about 2 of the 7 balls in play to be hits. Of course, the 2 walks had nothing to do with bad luck.

  • czechxican

    Let us not, in the future, ask the Cubs to retain an aging reliever, past his prime, and a closer, past his prime, because we *think* he can regain his form. Thanks for the memories, Carlos and Kerry