The Cubs close out a kinda-sorta two-game series against the Reds (and, for the third straight time, they won’t lose the series!). Ryan Demspter returns from the disabled list to take the start, on this, his 35th birthday. Across the aisle is another birthday boy, Homer Bailey, who turns 26.

Tony Campana gets the day off, but maybe he can pinch run his way to those 100 steals.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (9-15) at Cincinnati Reds (11-12), 11:35pm CT on CSN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview for this series lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.33 ERA, 0.934 WHIP)


Homer Bailey (1-2, 3.60 ERA, 1.360 WHIP)

Cincinnati Reds Lineup

1. Chris Heisey, CF

2. Willie Harris, 3B

3. Joey Votto, 1B

4. Brandon Phillips, 2B

5. Jay Bruce, RF

6. Ryan Ludwick, LF

7. Devin Mesoraco, C

8. Wilson Valdez, SS

9. Homer Bailey, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, RF

2. Darwin Barney, 2B

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Bryan LaHair, 1B

5. Alfonso Soriano, LF

6. Ian Stewart, 3B

7. Reed Johnson, CF

8. Geovany Soto, C

9. Ryan Dempster, P

  • Senior Lake

    I fail to understand why a struggling closer can’t be moved to a different role in the bullpen until he gets things worked out. If he doesn’t work it out then trade him for nothing or release him. It’s not like he’s building trade value by walking everyone and continuously blowing saves. This guy sucked it at the end of last year and hasn’t done anything to prove otherwise this year. It has to be either closer or nothing? He was a starter before he was a reliever…not that I want him starting either. At this point Castillo is a better option than Marmol.

    • AK

      Work things out?! He’s always had these control issues. Something is just not right and, the past couple of years, they have really not gotten better. In fact, they have gottten worse. Get rid of him.

      • Senior Lake

        If he didn’t have the ability he wouldn’t have ever made it this far. His control has definitely gone from bad to worse…if he could get it back to being just bad he might have some value. I’m not saying I think he will work it out but they do pay him a lot and I can understand why they wouldn’t want to just release him.

    • calicubsfan007

      I agree with AK, Marmol has gotten gradually worse. Damn Hendry for giving him that big f—ing contract!!

  • AK

    Unacceptable! Poor Demp, dude has had some bad luck, despite having a sub 1.00 ERA

  • calicubsfan007

    Dolis isn’t doing well now… Poor Dempster.

  • Michael

    Send him back to Iowa until he can find the stick zone consistently…

  • calicubsfan007

    CRAP!!!!!! Do we have any late inning guys who can pitch!!!!

  • Bret Epic

    I’m really *expletive starting with an f* pissed.

  • Cubbies4Life

    Once again, Marmol lost the game for us. AAARRRGGGH!!!!! What’s it gonna take, Mr. Sveum???

  • ty

    Quade lives!

  • Josh Z

    Seriously just call up the entire Iowa pen. I can’t watch these guys anymore.

    • Marmol Sucks

      Can we demote Marmol to AAA?

  • Marmol Sucks

    Sveum lost the game when he took out Dempster

    • calicubsfan007

      Love the name. Dempster was doing fine. Sveum should have let him finish. And I would demote him to single A, probably would still suck.

      • MikeL

        Sveum had to pull him. Dempster actually probably stayed in a bit too long being that he hasn’t pitched in a couple of weeks. You would be the same games screaming at Sveum for not pulling Dempster earlier if he had re injured himself. This loss was on Marmol and his inability to execute (failure to execute is generally 99.9% percent of the problem and not generally something that the manager did or didn’t do).

        • calicubsfan007

          You are probably right about taking Dempster out. I meant demote Marmol, not Dempster. It is just aggravating.

  • MaxM1908

    Can you outright an overpaid blimp like Marmol? No one would claim him, so what’s the risk? Let him learn how to pitch again and quit having him be a detriment to this Cubs team. Fuck his contract. It’s ridiculous to keep someone around who loses games. Say what you will about Soriano but rarely does he outright lose games.

    • calicubsfan007

      I am really HATING HENDRY NOW for said contract. At least Soriano has won games for us this year. What the hell is going on with Marmol. Don’t let him on the bus.

      • MikeL

        Bingo!!! Hendry was not a horrible GM….but it is reasons (and contracts) like this that got him fired.

        • calicubsfan007

          He seemed so desperate to keep “talent” in Chicago that he was willing to overpay to accomplish said goal.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Unbelievable we would be at .500 for the season if it wasn’t for Marmol. He has to be DFA’d before he gets on the bus. I would get him an airline ticket to the DR and say don’t call us we’ll call you.
    How can management let these guys play great games with excellent starting pitching and lose like this. Sveum I hope someone smacks some sense into you. If I was Dempster I would be back on the DL from beating the shit out of my locker

    • Marmol Sucks

      We really have no guys in the bullpen to count on now. I would give Theo an A on all trades over the offseason except trading Marshall was a huge mistake. Our bullpen is absolutely terrible and Travis Wood is in AAA. I’d rather have young guys like Dollis come in and lose because he can learn and grow but when veterans like Marmol come in and suck every game that is just unacceptable. They are too focused on the past when it comes to him. You see that a lot with some players teams are afraid to go. Or guys like Dontrelle Willis had a couple good seasons and now has sucked since his days with the Marlins. Same for Marmol. So what if he was good a few years ago. He sucks now, get rid of him

  • Luke

    Dolis was largely a one inning closer when he moved to the bullpen in the minors last season.  He got the job done in his one inning.  I don’t think he should have gone out there for the tenth.

    • calicubsfan007

      That error in judgement shows Sveum’s inexperience.

    • Michael

      Agreed, Russell should have been out there for the tenth.

  • RoughRiider

    #$&*( &^**#^ %#&% ^##

  • JOF

    How many games has he lost for us already? Quit the excuses and get rid of him. Zero value now.

  • ty

    Put Marmol on the disabled list now and send him to Mesa. Hell, i WILL work with him myself as I do not trust anybody else to teach him mechanics or pitch selection. The rest of you had your chance.

  • rbreeze

    If Marmol pitches this weekend it will be the biggest BOO-fest we’ve heard in a long time.

    He doesn’t belong on the mound right now.  Either fix him or move on.  Share the closer role with Dolis and Wood for awhile.  Enough already!!!

    • Marmol Sucks

      I don’t even want Wood out there.

  • Stu

    The question is will Brett say anything critical about Marmol/Sveum. It’s OK to be critical once in awhile, really…Go CUBS!!!!

  • ty

    Stewart–this is the bigs–that play has to be made and Dempster has a win. Gold glove my ass!

    • Michael

      Four years ago!

    • Njriv

      Shit happens

      • hardtop

        and it happens a lot to stewart it seems. he hits poorly but “he plays great defese”. if you are hitting .180 and still tanking balls, im not sure “shit happens” is an acceptable explanation. he has barely played average defense this season and has more mistakes than highlights.

        • Njriv

          He’s hitting the ball pretty well, they’re just not falling. And with the defense he’s better than Aram and better than Vitters.

  • Marmol Sucks

    I blame this game 100% on

    1. Carlos Marmol sucking as usual
    2. Sveum replacing Dempster with Marmol
    3. Stewart’s error in the 9th

    • Michael

      I agree on all of them, but I believe it was time for Demster to be relieved, he was third up in the 8th. I believe Marmol had fooled Sveum last night. Sveum should have taken him out after the second walk.

      • hardtop

        yeah, replacing dempster wasn’t the bad idea, it was replacing dempster with marmol that sucked. i dont care that he struck out two last night, he only has about 12 good pitches in him a month, and he blew his wad on wednesday.

        • MikeL

          But the problem is, we don’t have a reliable closer on this team. Yea, I know people might’ve been saying, “Why didn’t he bring in Dolis?!!?! He pitched really well!!!!” Dolis might be better than Marmol, but he is still developing and too young to be a consistent closer on this team. So even if we remove Marmol from the closer’s role (which I think is going to happen) and go a closer by committee. We will still have quite a few blown saves this years. It sucks. It also wasn’t all on Marmol, but Stewart also made that error which would’ve be at least one out and maybe two. So again, it comes down to execution in this situation, not management.
          Now with that said, no manager is perfect and Sveum will make mistakes. Every manager and coach makes mistakes. I am just saying this wasn’t necessarily a managerial mistake today.

  • Cheryl

    It will be interesting come tomorrow. Marmol has had so many chances to right the ship and is worse than before. He has probably lost his closing job after this and he just might have lost his piching job as well. Can you imagine what would happen if Carlos was still here? I’m glad he isn’t. But Sveum had to take the chance with Marmol. It’s too bad it was at Dempster’s expense.

    • calicubsfan007

      Someone should warn Marmol not to show his face in Chicago for awhile.

  • Brian

    Marmol should have been removed after the second walk. 9 pitches, 8 balls. Bad game management at the end. Hope Dempster had some nice words for Marmol and Sveum. 2 errors to close things out. Can the Cubs be the only team that can take something so beautiful and turn it into pure Sh.. Crap that fast?

  • calicubsfan007

    Well, I guess it’s time to clean house! It will be nice to see guys like Vitters, Jackson, Rizzo, and Dolis play. I think it’s safe to say that the Stewart experiment isn’t really working so far…

    • Marmol Sucks

      Yeah he is terrible as well. His saving grace was the “huge upgrade” he was supposed to be defensively but today it in part cost us the game. I don’t think Vitters is ready. I don’t know if he ever will be. Javier Baez is supposed to move from SS to 3B and I think there is a better chance of him being succesful than Vitters.

      • calicubsfan007

        I have heard that Vitters isn’t ready. I’m just saying that I want the youth movement now. I am not sure if Baez will be ready this year. Maybe we can have an open tryout to have someone play third for the rest of the year?

  • hardtop

    when does dempster give marmol an all expenses paid trip to the DL? its going to happen soon.

    • calicubsfan007

      I don’t think that Dempster will be the only one to knock some sense into Marmol. Garza, Maholm and Shark will definetly join in.

  • Myles

    Hey, interesting stats:

    This year, Marmol has let all 3 of his inherited runners score.
    He leads the team in walks allowed, including all of our starters (he has 12 in 8.2 innings, or almost a walk for each 2 outs recorded).

    Opponents are slashing .235/.476/.382 against him. Babe Ruth’s career OBP was .474, for reference. Opponents are literally getting on base against him with Ruthian frequency.

    • calicubsfan007

      Glad to know that there are facts that justify my anger.

    • Marmol Sucks

      Wow. I could have guessed that he led the team in walks but that is just pathetic when all of the starters are better than you. Good stats!

  • Stu

    Marmol must close.Marmol must close.Marmol must close.

    They might want to reprogram that part of the supercomputer…..

  • ty

    Just sick of rookie managers and pitching coaches–did you have access to our losses last year on tape so you would not make the same damn mistakes over and over? Cub fans have losses like this ingrained in our brain, our hearts, and up our ass.

  • MikeL

    Keep in mind that between Marmol…Soriano….and Zambrano….the cubs might be eating as much as 60 million in bad contracts. The rebuilding process just got a lot longer because they aren’t going to be active in free agency with those contracts hanging over their heads. Jim Hendry is to blame for about 90% of the money in those contracts….so thank you, Mr. Hendry.

    • Aaron W.

      With all due respect, Jim Hendry was ordered by Zell to get the Soriano signing done… he was ordered to lock up Zambrano. With contracts in the $100M range, owners (NOT their employees) steer the ship. With regard to Marmol, when he was extended, he was the most unhittable reliever in MLB, setting the record of K’s/9 in a season. I do not blame Jim Hendry for Marmol’s wheels falling off. JH was a GM, not a fortune teller.

      if one wants to eviscerate Jim Hendry for his job performance, attack his blowing up a 97 win team. Attack the Milton Bradley signing. Attack his bad trades that brought us DeWitt and scraps. Attack his utter inability to provide the team with a back-up 3rd baseman in 2009 (Baker, Fontenot, & Miles were atrocious). Don’t blast things that were either (a) not his responsibility–i.e. $100M-ish contracts, or (b) something ANY GM would have done (inking Marmol well below market value for an-at the time-elite closer).

      Our rebuilding is going to take longer because we didn’t draft particularly well in the middle to lower rounds for many years, not because of a few bad contracts. If we had the horses in the minors, the argument would be moot. One last point: when Ricketts opened the purse strings, we had arguable the deepest, most significant draft of the last 2 generations (in 2011)… and it was because JH has the foresight to tell Ricketts to do it before the new collective bargaining agreement kicked in.