For a while, this had the look of a game that makes you remember how unpredictable (and awesome) baseball is. The Cubs scored off of Chad Billingsley, and Paul Maholm was great. How were they doing this after the disaster that was Thursday?

But then Kerry Wood let in a couple runs in the 8th. And then Rafael Dolis got screwed on a call (which got Dale Sveum ejected for the first time), which rattled him, and he started throwing balls. It felt all too familiar.

When Bobby Abreu hit a ball toward the gap with the tying run on first, I assumed the game was over. Not tied, mind you, over. I never considered the possibility that the Cubs would still manage to win, or – heaven forbid – that someone would catch the ball. But catch it David DeJesus did, and the Cubs … won? Awesome!

Too many great performances to enhance today, including DeJesus’s great day at the plate (Nobody F’s with DeJesus), Alfonso Soriano’s surprisingly spectacular day at the plate (Most People F with the Soriano), Super Joe’s homer, and Paul Maholm’s great start (especially considering the lineup he was facing). I also could have gone with Jerry freaking Hairston’s all-universe day.

But this stuck out too much…

  • Dave

    wait cubs’ relievers didn’t walk the bases loaded in the 9th?

  • Zogie

    Advanced Box Score
    The cubs continue to play good baseball. Excellent starting pitching and good hitting combines for a cubs win. The 9th inning was a bit dramatic, but it was mostly because of one blown call. Dolis did a great job closing the door. DeJesus 3-4 3B, 2B, BB and RBI. DeJesus broke out of his slump big time today. Campana 0-3 2BB CS. He had a tough time at the plate, but he did get on base twice. Castro 2-5 1K RBI continues to hit, but I do not see much improvement in plate discipline. His defense has looked great though. LaHair 1-4 K was rather quiet today, but when one guys has a bad day the rest of the team needs to step up. Soriano 3-3 2 2B, 2 RBI BB stepped up big today. DeJesus got a lot of attention for his bat, but the cubs would not have won without Sori today. LOOK he even took a walk. Stewart 0-3 IBB just a normal day for him. He could not do too much with strikes being call a foot outside. Barney 1-4 2B seems to be struggling even though he had a double today. Soto 0-3 BB had an ok day. He hit one ball a ton but the wind killed it. He has been hitting the ball hard lately. Mather 1-1 HR continues to produce. Johnson 0-1 is still struggling. Maholm looked great again today. The bullpen was not the greatest today, but the cubs’ bats kept them in the lead. Wood will be alright. Lastly, my shout out goes to David DeJesus. He played great defense and jump started the offense.

    • JK

      Zogie. Zogmeister. Zoghaven. Great summary.

  • Bruce

    Ralph Wiggum is my hero

  • hansman1982

    Good game Cubbies.

    Sveum, next time, kick some dirt at the ump. Make getting tossed worth it!!!!

  • Spencer

    Sure would be nice if we were on a three game winning streak right now…

    • Ron Swanson

      Sure would be nice if we were .500 right now….which we could be if not for Marmol.

      • Heybails91

        Serious question. What would our record be if he we had no blown leads/saves this weekend. I know it doesnt mean much, but i feel like it’d be close if not over .500

        • DocPeterWimsey

          If memory serves, then the Cubs wound up winning one of their 4 blown saves in the end.  So, if the Cubs had no blown saves, then they would be 13-13: but they also would be the only team in MLB with no blown saves.

          • Patrick

            I’m not a big fan of a few stats related to pitching: Holds, Blown Saves, Quality Starts, but… I’m going to take small stab at the Cubs Record vs. Quality Starts:

            The Cubs have had 15 Quality Starts and have won 10 of them. That’s a .667 ratio of wins to Quality Starts in games where they have quality starts.

            Here are the last several years (note, some seasons they won more games than they had QS)

            2011: 71w\76qs\.934wratio
            2010: 75\96\.781
            2009: 83\94\.883
            2008: 97\84\1.155
            2007: 84\81\1.037
            2006: 66\ 60\1.100
            2005: 79\91\.868

            So, if you look back at the worst ratio in those numbers, 2010, and apply that to this season it suggests 12 wins.

            All of that means not much, probably.

            • Brett

              If it means anything, it means the offense and the bullpen have been atrocious.

              And, hey, what do you know…

              (Good stuff, Patrick.)

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Just for context, the typical MLB team averages just over 9 wins per 10 QS, at least so far in 2012.  (It was about 0.94 victories per QS for all of 2011, so this is entirely in line with last year.)  Only the Marlins and Angels are getting fewer victories per QS than the Cubs are, with the Phillies, Astros and Padres hot on the Cubs heels (assuming that they are falling face first).  This probably highlights what the the Phillies’ problems are not: starting pitching.  Oh, wait: you already knew that….

              Interestingly, the Yanks and the Rays do by far the best: 1.85 and 1.63 wins per QS.  However, the Twins are near the top of the list, too: 6 wins from 5 QS!  That suggests that the Twins wouldn’t suck if their starting pitching didn’t…..

              So, I think that Patrick’s summary might help provide a good context for what was going right and wrong in different seasons.

          • Joe

            Yeah, zero blown saves is asking a bit much.

  • 1908 Blues

    Was that Dolis’ first mlb save? Cause dejesus threw the ball to campana who pomptly threw it in the stands.

    Nice rebound game for the boys. Can people back away from the cliff now?

    Glad reminiscing about my youth as a Cub fan with Rick Monday in OF. Good guy.

    • Sircub

      Nah, he got one like a week ago I think. It was one of those weird ones where they win by a wide margin, but he still gets the save cause he came in the eighth.

    • Alou and Vinegar

      1908, glad to see Monday also. Was my favorite player when I became a Cub fan.

  • Zogie

    Hey Brett, I have a reason why Campana got caught stealing. THE WIND! it was blowing in from left center so Campana’s small frame was being held back.

    • Papa

      Actually if you saw the replay, he was safe. Another blown call by the umps

  • drew

    How about Levine on ESPN 1000 saying he could see the Yanks trading for Marmol AND taking the whole contract?! Im not sure hes mentally stable

    • Ogyu

      Yea, I could see that. But I see a lot of things on LSD…

    • Joe

      That’s… that’s… what????

      Also: SOLD. With a kiss!

    • cjdubbya

      Maybe that should be the Yanks’ penance for taking on Hendry. And that would be fantastic.

    • JustSwain

      Isn’t Rothschild the Yankees pitching coach? Maybe he thinks he can get Marmol back on track…

  • Pasadena Cub Fan

    I was listening to the game in LA on Dodger radio and when the 9th inning started Charlie Steiner said “even though the Cubs are winning you get a sense of doom from the few fans that are left here in the ballpark.”

    • Joe

      Yo, PCF! I’m in Pasadena, too! Nice to meet you. :)

    • FromFenwayPahk

      Theo calls this crap ‘noise’. What flag did he see flyin’ as he left Wrigley today?

  • Bret Epic

    Is a Prior/Marmol trade in the works? Not likely, probably not and won’t happen, but the concept of it makes me laugh. I say we get rid of Marmol and get whatever we can for him.

  • Jschroeder

    I didn’t see the game except on game cast, what was the call that got Sveum tossed?

    • JustSwain

      Perfect low outside strike three was called a ball, and then Dolis hit the batter. Sveum argued balls and strikes and was tossed in about a millisecond.

  • die hard

    when are the Cubs going cut bait on Soto and Stewart? Each could fetch something…Also, Marmol to Yankees not too hypothetical anymore with injury to Rivera

    • Ogyu

      The market for Soto and Stewart will improve closer to the trade deadline. In the interim, they will hopefully start hitting a little better to boost their own value. No reason to rush into selling at the lowest possible point.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Neither of them really needs to hit that much better: both of them just need balls to fall into play.  The BABiP gods work both ways: LaHair isn’t going to keep his ridiculously high BABiP, and Soto & Stewart are not going to keep their ridiculously low BABiPs.  Really, we could dub those two the Atem Ball Twins this year…..

        • Ogyu

          While it’s true that both Soto and Stewart have low BABIPs, it is also true that their BABIPs are slightly HIGHER than their batting averages. So it would appear that what’s holding them back is not ridiculously low BABIPS, per se, but just ridiculously poor hitting.

          But with LaHair, I agree. His BABIP is more than 150 points higher than his batting average. No way that is gonna last and, when his BABIP comes back to earth, so will his overall stats..

          • drew

            Looking at Stewarts rates, coupled with watching most of the games, I have to disagree. It just so happens that not only is he not getting the “cheap” singles, but his linedrives (also being hit at a rate higher than his BA) are right at people

          • DocPeterWimsey

            BABiP is almost always higher than the overall batting average.  Remember, it’s (H-HR)/(AB-K-HR).  Because K’s are so much more common than HR, and because BA gets reduced by K’s whereas BABiP does not, nearly all players will have BABiP>BA.

            What you really need to do is break down batting average into singles rate, doubles+triples rate, and HR rate (or just XBH rate).  What you find for Soto and Stewart is that their rates of XBH are in line with their careers.  However, their singles rates are ridiculously low.  As singles are the hits with the biggest degree of “luck,” that strongly implicates bad luck in all of this.

          • Brett

            Most hitters’ BABIP is higher than their average.

            • hansman1982

              ya and you really have to see how far away from (at the very least) .300 their BABIP is (or how far away from their career norms).

              Here is what Fangraphs has to say:

              “The average BABIP for hitters is around .290 to .310. If you see any player that deviates from this average to an extreme, they’re likely due for regression.”

        • ty

          Maybe over analysis of Stewart hitting but some of his line drives are sailing. This comes from not hitting down on the ball and may be a sign of a sore wrist or stiff wrist.

          • drew

            The objective is to match the plane of the pitch, which is done with a slightly uppercut swing, (plane of pitch is downward due to elevated mound coupled with overhand delivery) so Im ok with him not “swinging down” on the ball.

            Regardless, a line drive is a line drive, and hes hitting plenty of them, so im not worried.

    • MaxM1908

      Die Hard, have you been watching the games? Stewart has had a ton of well-hit balls that have been right at players. He’s been unlucky, but the power and skill is there. He will come around (he’s also one of the veeeery few on this team who has demonstrated home run power, that makes him almost a necessity in this lineup). He has improved our 3rd base defense tremendously. His one handed grabs and throws to first have undoubtedly saved us runs this year. He makes plays that other 3rd basemen dream of. I understand you’re disappointed in his stat line thus far, but please take a look at the bigger picture.

      Soto, on the other hand, have at it.

      • die hard

        If truly snake bit, Stewart could bring something more in trade than I figured…why not?…Bring up Vitters to sink or swim…

        • JustSwain

          Uhhg Vitters. You think he’s going to improve his BA in the majors?

      • Blitzenjohn

        I agree on Stewart, he’s been unlucky. Stewart has been hitting the ball as hard as anyone, but right at the D. His BA will climb.

    • Josh Z

      When all their values increase. Right now you would be lucky to get a quality prospect for any of them. I think they will be able to trade Soto near the deadline and Marmol only if he improves drastically. I don’t know if they will trade Stewart only because I don’t think Vitters or anyone else is capable of stepping in and filling that role.

  • ty

    Brett: We respect your modest plea for language but can you imagine if Cubs had blown this one. Many of us would have disremembered!

    • Brett

      Oh, man, it would have been a war zone.

      • Josh Z

        Not from me. My computer would be broken

  • rocky8263

    In the seventh or eight inning the camera swept to a Dad holding a one? year old in the first row holding on that plastic guard that’s about a foot high. Is this guy nuts? Talk about a potential tragedy. Baby hurt, delay of game, guilt ridden player. C’mon parents just cause you get em in for free doesn’t mean they belong in foul ball/foul tip territory.

    • Kyle

      You know? I noticed the same thing. I try to be pretty lenient on stuff like this, because a lot of times people are reacting emotionally rather than considering the real risks. But it definitely struck me as kinda dumb.

    • Ogyu

      Come on! He got on TV, didn’t he?

  • ty

    Stewart with a nasty throw in the 9th. but Bryan Pena saved it!

  • Nick Nesler

    So I heard that volstad Is starting tomorrow cuz garza has a virus. Any word on when garza will pitch?

    • Evan

      They’re hoping for Sunday.

      • Spencer

        who is going to pitch if Garza can’t go Sunday?

        • Rick Vaughn

          Volstad on regular rest

          • Spencer

            Volstad is pitching tomorrow (sat) on regular rest.

  • brittney

    Luke (or brett)

    I am at the pensacola blue wahoos game (a reds affiliate) and they announced Koyie Hill. I tried to pull him up on their roster, no picture but his birthday matches the cubs former back up. But I thought he signed with the cards. I don’t knowif its actually him or just another koyie hill. Can you help me out with the answer?

    • Brett

      Yeah, it’s Koyie. The Cards released him a while ago, and he was picked up by the Reds last week.

      • hcs

        Jumped the gun there. Disregard.

      • brittney

        Ok a few more small questions just to quiet my thoughts. Did he sign a minor league contract with the cards? And the reds?

        • Brett

          Yes. Minor league deals. Very, very much minor league deals.

      • Peyton67

        Interesting…Pensacola’s rooster lists Koyie Hill as a manager/coach…..right above Jim Riggleman

        • brittney

          I noticed that as well. But I’m guessing its because they don’t have a picture, total stats, ect. The rest of the team you can click on the player name and get to that info but not with koyie. Or possibly because they don’t expect him at this level for long. They also had his weight at 220lb but he looked a lot thinner then 220. First year of having the team here, new stadium which it over looks the gulf and every home game is sold out. Koyie did get a rental in pensacola for 5 months so maybe he will be here all season (my best friend works for the rental company, only reason I know that). I am looking forward to next weekend and the possibility of meeting him. Id love to get a little inside scoop on the cubs from him.

    • hcs

      Neither Brett nor Luke, but the Cards cut Three Fingers Hill loose in spring training, and he caught on with the Reds.

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  • 100 Years of Tears

    Do any of us have faith in Kid K? I was all over that band wagon in January… does he have anything left to contribute on the field?


    • JustSwain

      He was throwing 95, he just wasn’t locating, and I didn’t see any movement on the few Cutters he threw up there. The velocity is there, which is a good sign, but if he can’t remember how to put movement on that cutter, or locate he won’t be worth much. This was his first trip back from the DL, so I’m not going to put too much stock into his performance yet. If he can get that Cutter to break again, and start locating that 4 seamer, he’s still got something left in the tank.

      • dob2812

        He’s not Kid K any more. Besides, Kerry Wood is most likely not part of the next Cubs team with a shot at contending. Don’t sweat the bullpen so much, guys.

  • ichabod

    she dips beneath the lasers, whoaooo awhoaooooo

  • Brian

    Come on guys. Here is his story with a baby. “I am baby sitting my little one today and my coworker gave me a ticket for the first row because he can’t make it today. What should I do?” what would you do if you were him? He made a right call.

    • dob2812

      There’s 81 games at Wrigley every year. He couldn’t wait for a different one?

  • sven-erik312

    Great game, got to see it here in Sweden too for once. Gotta feel for Marmol though. It’s really going badly for him and everyone is on his case accept Dale. Gotta like that in a manager. Hope they can get him doing well again.

  •!/sperls13 sperls13


    Love the Ralph Wiggum box score reference – classic.