Enhanced Box Score: Nationals 7, Cubs 4 – April 7, 2012

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.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

112 responses to “Enhanced Box Score: Nationals 7, Cubs 4 – April 7, 2012”

  1. Spencer

    Wood got a Hold and took the loss? Those rules are messed up yo.

  2. Adam

    Is there a reason Russell didn’t come in to face LaRoche? Another swing and miss by Dale…

  3. Robert

    This is just amazing. it kills me to watch anymore… was it just me or did anyone else notice, watching the game, the elderly guy in the pink hat that always sits behind home plate left after chad tracy got the hit to put the nats up. im gonna take a few days off of cubs baseball… this anger’s my kumquats.

  4. Failblog.org

    I’m already checking out this year. As should everyone else…….this team doesnt deserve fans.

  5. Eric

    Garza gets mad at himself, blows it off and is focused when he goes back out. This I don’t mind.

  6. Cerambam

    160-2

  7. Eric

    These two losses really hurt since we moved Cashner and Marshall this off season and lost Carpenter.

  8. Luke

    In other news, Peoria is up on Beloit 6-2.  Turns out Rosario is a pretty good ground ball pitcher.

    Three more games coming later tonight.  The online radio feeds are free; might not be a bad way to forget about that 8th inning.

    1. MightyBear

      Luke, I know you posted this earlier but I can’t find it. Where do I go to get the minor league baseball feeds? Thanks man. You and Brett are doing an awesome job.

      1. Luke

        http://www.milb.com/multimedia/audio.jsp?sid=t451&home=t451&away=t102

        That page has links for all of them, grouped by team.

  9. Stuart Williams

    Garza was not the problem today. The legend called Kerry Wood is and the wild Marmol is.

  10. Leroy Kleimola

    Great game again like always. If you would have told me that the bullpen would have blew the game AGAIN today, I wouldn’t have believed it.

  11. CBP

    I was there today. All the players coming on and off the field looked lifeless. On the bright side Castro defense was superb and he is looking good. it’s sad to see Kerry Wood and Marmol get booed but those two have lost it mentally.

  12. Chef

    Kerry Wood, I want to love you so bad, please be a better pitcher soon. kthxbye.

  13. Kevin

    This is good, the price to get into Wrigley just got a lot cheaper. Glad I’m not a ticker broker holding onto a lot of tickets.

  14. Stuart Williams

    When the book on relievers is “don’t swing at anything unless it is a strike”, you know they are going to get rocked.

  15. Mrp

    These last two games have been so painful to watch. I don’t think my blood pressure can take watching too many more like this. Garza is too good to be on this team, we might as well do him a favor and trade him to a contender where he belongs.

  16. 2012 Cubs Trainwreck

    People have been jocking Wood for a long time. He is not that good, get it over it. He gets hurt constantly, and has only had a couple solid years in his career. I know he has done a lot for the community, but thats it. Anyone who thought the Cubs would win more than 65 games is crazy. I just hope Theo knows what is going to happen come August.

  17. MichiganGoat

    Boo hoo the Cubs lost, it’s going to happen a ton this year folks. If after every loss everyone goes all “burn it down” “I’m done with this team” you’ll going to have a long season to live through. Have your reactionary moments during the game (I know I enjoy a cathartic tweet or game day post) but after the game time to come back to reality. Some good positives out of today’s game: excellent starting pitching, some timely 2 out hitting, good bench play. Got to find the positives.

    1. 2012 Cubs Trainwreck

      Obviously they are rebuiliding, but it’s never easy to punt a 162 game season like the Cubs are. Thats the problem… No one wants a historically bad team to follow, and that is what the Cubs could be this year.

      1. die hard

        think 1962 Mets for history

      2. MichiganGoat

        You don’t have to punt the season, just look for something beyond wins and losses. Look for development of players, changes in hitting attitudes, etc. everyone should have known and expected that this year wasn’t going to be a high win total year. I’m still excited to watch this year unfold and will be reactionary during the game but look for the good things after the game.

        1. Adventurecizin' Justin

          Good posts, Goat…I fully agree!

        2. 2012 Cubs Trainwreck

          I know there are positives that can come from any season. My point is that if you are really really bad, it can cause major issues in the clubhouse and out. Yes, anyone with a brain knew the Cubs would suck this year, but I think it could potentially leave lasting impressions for years to come if they are terrible. I hope I am wrong, but think this is the worse Cubs team we have seen in awhile, and that is saying something.

    2. Houston Transplant

      You’re right. Positives? That 3-run inning came with 2 outs, right? Or at least the big clutch triple did. That’s a plus, because it happened so infrequently last year. Preliminary plate approach seems to be better. They’re still ridiculously aggressive, but even in the 8th, Baker and Johnson each had good at bats. The fact that the 8th ended with a strikeout doesn’t diminish the battle of an at-bat. You fail 7-10 times when you’re at the plate…if you’re good. Besides, Wood and Marmol should never have PUT us in that position in the first place.

      It’s nice to see solid starting pitching and an offense that was able to string a few hits together today. The back-end of our bullpen blows, obviously, but it is statistically impossible for them to be this god-awful the entire season, right?…right?….RIGHT?!?!?!?!

      *avoiding panic* I don’t expect them to contend or be a .500 team (I wish they would be, but you have to stay realistic), but it’s just extra painful to see them play a solid game only to have two numb-nuts mess it up…twice in a row. Fool me once…

      1. DocPWimsey

        A 3-run inning coming with 2 outs is NOT a particular plus. Despite what the radio announcers say, it is a bad offense that scores a greater proportion of runs with 2-outs, not a good one. A hallmark of good offenses is scoring with no outs. It has nothing to do with “clutch” and everything to do with OBP (avoid making outs) and slugging (getting guys past first base and scoring them from first base).

        Hopefully, within a couple of years, we’ll start seeing some high OBP players of the sort that Theo & Jed drafted in Boston; but do not expect to see too much this year. Then we might start seeing runs score with nobody out. (And, later, runs score with 2 outs.)

  18. MightyBear

    This is where Sveum (whom I like) has to manage. This is what Quade did last year. Definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Don’t do the Wood in the 8th, Marmol closing thing. Get a feel for these guys and use the hot hand. I have Dolis pitch the 8th. He looked good in the 7th but the “Book” says bring in your setup man in the 8th and bring in closer in 9th. This I can’t have a guy pitch more than one inning cause I don’t want to burn out my bullpen is a bunch of horseshit. If a guy is pitching well, LEAVE HIM IN. If a guy is pitching poorly or losing it, TAKE HIM OUT. Is this so hard?

    Am I wrong? Am I wrong? Walter Shobchak

    Side note: I love the aggressive baserunning so far.

    1. 2012 Cubs Trainwreck

      I agree with that Bear. Why not have Wood get his confidence back in a less stressful situation. Be nice if the mgr nuts up and goes with his gut..

      1. DocPWimsey

        What makes you think that Woody is lacking in confidence? Bad outcomes ≠ lack of confidence, lack of effort, lack of desire, etc. Instead, look to bad mechanics, bad luck, or (possibly in Wood’s case) decreased ability.

        1. bricky9

          The gun was clocking Wood at 95 mph. Don’t see any decreased ability there.

          1. Brady

            When the score was still 4-2 and Wood had 2 outs, I forget which batter but my point will remain the same just hang in there, he got to 2 strikes quickly and with no problem. His decrease in ability is getting that last strike. He got fouled off what seemed like 10 more times and then walked the guy (at least i think he walked him, I watched a replay of the game and my buddy called me during the 8th before the runs and decided to ruin the score for me, I was mad for numerous reasons) either way, I know he didnt get the out. It seemed like nothing he threw at the guy couldnt at least be fouled off if it was a strike. This is the degradation of talent I am seeing out of Wood. Just cant seem to get that out and the more pitches thrown, the more likely he will make a mistake and blow the game. I like Wood as a person but for gods sake he needs to retire after this season that way the FO doesn’t have that public clamor to sign him again.

    2. Leroy Kleimola

      agree.

  19. CBP

    Carlos Marmol and Wood are making Bob Howry look good

    1. Leroy Kleimola

      wow.

  20. Matt

    Mather continues to hit. Let’s keep throwing him out there somewhere everyday until he doesn’t hit anymore.

  21. die hard

    was that Wood and Marmol 2 games in a row?….yikes!!!..Doesnt Sveum know they cant come back that fast…burn em out b4 May?…good managing…whats Quade’s phone no?

  22. Leroy Kleimola

    absolutely…everyone was saying 3 year game plan so why are we freaking out over losing? We should be expecting this. I thought we did good today. You take out the 8th inning, and we did fine. Where is the power though? I hope it doesn’t take us 18 games to find our homerun swing…

    1. JOF

      Two good performances by Wood & Marmol and we are 2 0 instead of 0 2, confidence is high and we are all a lot happier. Certainly a lot of positives with starting pitching but how long can we keep Marmol (and Wood) ripping apart great starts.

  23. ferrets_bueller

    still in first place for the #1 pick. So far, so good.

    1. 2012 Cubs Trainwreck

      I would much rather have the Cubs pick 3rd, and not be ridiculous. As opposed to what could be in store for a team that gets the #1 pick, but thats just me..

      1. ferrets_bueller

        I think it kind of depends on the draft class, which we really dont know much about. Like this season, for instance, there really isn’t a clearcut top guy- you’d be better off probably being a little lower, 3-5. But if there is a clearcut top guy or two, I’d rather be higher. Tough to tell at this point.

    2. Houston Transplant

      We won’t beat the Astros. I was there yesterday…the Cubs are infinitely better…

  24. Njriv

    Can’t really blame Dale for putting Wood back out there. Dale like the most of us thought it was just a bad outing and he would shake it off, he almost got out of the inning before all that started to happen. The only thing I question is Dale bringing in Marmol into the 8th instead of Camp. It’s funny how everyone is all riled up on a year that we all know is basically being punted.But it is also frustrating that even though as low as the expectations are for this team, they still could have been 2-0.

    1. bricky9

      Wood looked great the 1st 2 batters he faced. He just couldn’t close the deal.

  25. HR Trucker

    Hey all its early do we not remember far far worse starts to the season. I remember cheering on Grace Sandberg and company every game until their first win if I remember right 95. Ill always believe and cheer for my hero’s in pinstripe and blue.

    1. Leroy Kleimola

      Yes. unfortunately 1997, was an absolute horrible year.

      1. bricky9

        1974-76.

  26. loyal100more

    i think there are quite a few positives to take from the 2 losses. i for one see the cup half full. though it is to early to get excited it is also to early to get bummed. starting pitching has been great so far. the bats… well we knew that runs would come at a premium for this team. now we come to the pen, who has let us down 2 days in a row. if improving the pen is gonna be the only problem we have this year, then we should consider ourselves real lucky as a rebuilding team. but as we all must face this is not our only problem, the list is quite extensive. and if all we have to point our fingers at so far is the pen, id say were in good shape. im not even about to start bashing the pen… it 2 games, we have played competitive in both games. yea you hate to loose games in that fashion… but come on, would you rather see the starting pitching get shelled, and no one on base. cubs fans we have alot to be thankful for, and alot to look forward to. im all in for the long haul, and i love this team win or lose… im a cub fan. lets get pumped by the positives weve seen so far.

    1. bricky9

      Well said. Thank you

    2. 2012 Cubs Trainwreck

      Not trying to be rude Loyal, but if you used caps when you should your pieces would be a lot easier to read. You seem like a great fan, just trying to help bro.

  27. Ron Swanson

    Safe to say our worst fears about Marmol are being realized. Wood’s struggles are just icing on the sh*t cake.

  28. Njriv

    I think they should start using Dolis in late inning situations.

  29. Leroy Kleimola

    You know what’s funny? If we win the next 8 games nobody thinks about the 0-2 start.

    1. Failblog.org

      and then you woke up

    2. DocPWimsey

      I don’t know: did the ’08 Cubs recover from their 0-2 start? I quit watching after that…..

      1. bricky9

        Yeah,the 1908 Cubs did bounce back and won the series(I was there)

  30. RW

    Can someone explain how Wood gets credited for a “Hold” with that stinking pile he flung out there?

    Do you get a hold for just showing up, when you have the lead?

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