Momma said there’d be days like this.

Carlos Villanueva had a very solid debut against a quality lineup. His stuff didn’t look overly impressive, but he didn’t make many mistakes, and he was mostly in the zone (and it was a tight zone for him, too). The Cubs’ bats kind of woke up … not that it mattered.

If you’re like me, you’re at least as frustrated with the top half of the 8th inning as you are with the bottom of the 8th or the 9th. The Cubs loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the 8th, and brought the top of the order up … then scored none. Remember this, if you didn’t already chant it: no lead is too big. 5-1? That’s nothing. Foot on the gas, boot to the neck, whatever your metaphor of choice.

The Braves immediately slapped Kyuji Fujikawa around in the bottom of the 8th, and Carlos Marmol gave up a couple homers to the Upton brothers to lose it.

It makes me sick to my freaking stomach that I don’t get to highlight anything good …

april 6 box

  • cubfanincardinalland

    They have to build value, that’s how these sabermetric guys roll. Maybe they can send him in to close the deal with city. Ah, never mind.

    • Bric

      Come on man, stop talking about building up anything in order to trade him. Remember Ritchie Robnett, Kyle Smit, and bunch of other guys who have come and gone in the last three years? These were the “specs” we got in return for the likes of Ted Lilly, Derrick Lee, Geovoni Soto and the rest of the Hendry crew when the team started to brake up. If reliable, healthy veterans get traded for nobodies then the interest in Marmol is less than zero.

  • curt

    time for marmol to be the long reliever where he can pitch without pressure and show team that crappiness wont be tolerated, welcometo the 5th through the 7th innings marmol.

  • http://deleted bubbleshargrave

    uh, what kind of an organization deliberately makes the same mistakes 3 yrs in a row. i was at busch stadium 2 yrs ago when marmol lost 2 games to puljos that weekend. i was done with him then. broke a good pair of sunglasses out of frustration. then i come on this website and read about the main writer’s support of marmol as closer just bc of a good second half last yr. pathetic. another cubbie occurance

    • BT

      You’re not reading closely.

    • Michael RIce

      The point is….the Cubs are going nowhere this year. They had a chnace at Haren, due to Marmol’s second half.

      I don’t like watching him throw games away, either, but if he can just get straightened out for a week, maybe teh Cubs can get soemthing of some value for him.

      • baldtaxguy

        “For a week?”

  • jim

    The CUBS continue to CONVINCE
    ME that THEY ARE Absolutely WORTHLESS!
    YES.They do have talent BUT, They do NOT
    Have CHEMISTRY. They do NOT know HOW
    to play “small ball”. They are NOT going anywhere!
    RICKETTS needs TO SPEND MONEY on players
    that are NOT OLD or recovering from INJURIES!

    • Michael RIce

      You know about the chenistry because you are on teh team and in the dugout….right?

      If they are worhtless go root for another team and quit trying to live vicariously through them. By the way, child molestors are worthless, get a grip.

    • Austin Powers

      I’m having trouble controlling THE VOLUME OF MY VOICE!

      Chemistry in baseball is the most ridiculous and unquantifiable scapegoat in the sport.

  • John

    This team is so into Stats. Well check out how many times last season the Cubs had bases loaded with no outs or one out and didn’t score. They’re doing the same this year. The scouting report on the Cubs “Load the bases and the next three outs are automatic.” This sucks big time. We have an “Emergency Care” staff of starters and a lame of a closer that Sveum insists in “his man”. Why shouldn’t Sveum be ambivalent about no progress. He gets the same salary win or lose. Spring training is no guide. Yeah. Well. It hasn’t gotten any better now that the season started. We don’t have the talent. Well does that mean don’t try.

  • Kenster

    Guys just started a new post under the Chicago Cubs The Bleachers forum in the message board to take off some of our stress from Marmol. Gotta be clever and lets have some fun.

    Heres the post:

    Alright guys lets see who can come up with a clever choice other than Carlos Marmol as closer for the first blank and the second for example: I would trust a blind man giving me directions more than Carlos Marmol closing a game, etc. Fill in the blank: I would rather have__________ than Carlos Marmol as closer. And #2: You can trust________ more than Carlos Marmol closing the 9th inning.

    • Kyle

      The Cubs hit .364 last year with the bases loaded and none out.

    • Jeff

      I would rather have my mother than Carlos Marmol as closer. And #2: You can trust that shit will come out of my ass more consistently than Carlos Marmol nailing down the 9th inning.

    • Roger Roper

      Genital warts #1
      Obama #2

  • Montana Hipster

    What about that video kid who almost won the bunt contest….any chance he can close games?

  • Kevin

    The Cubs will end up #15 this year in the NL but we really know they are #2.

  • WilliamGlass

    Is anyone else seeing flashbacks to Kevin Gregg and Antonio Alfonseca?

    • Alex S

      I’m experiencing flashbacks of Latroy Hawkins, personally.

  • Eric

    The more traffic this site gets the more idiots that come out of the woodwork but I guess that’s the price of success.

  • Spriggs

    Get used to it everyone. This team was built to blow. And they will blow all year.

  • Tim Kindlon

    It’s shortsighted and unfair to blame Marmol-he has proven time and time again that he’s not a closer-the fault lies with the people who make the decisions to keep putting him in the position to fail and not making a change-the new genius crew that is rebuilding this team is at fault and we can thank them for another year of futility.

  • hawkcub

    Just an irritating loss. Marmol needs to go and now. His trade value is nothing so whats the point of running him out there? Yeah I get we are going to be bad but we had this one. GRRRRRRR.

  • Carew

    I absolutely refuse to believe that a major league, professional team loses on purpose, “throws away the game” if you will. That’s just ridiculous. The Cubbies are just bad.

    Ok, mini-rant over. Still a young season, no worries (gotta have a little optimism)

  • Roger Roper

    “I had my pitches working,” Marmol said. “I just missed my pitch. I didn’t do anything bad.”

  • Coolbeans

    I mean I know Sveum was hand picked by this front office, but it may be time for a change. Marmol out and Sveum fired just might be the way to go.

    • BT

      Exactly. A different manager would have pitched better.

      • Coolbeans

        Change! Don’t we love change in America?!

  • MichiganGoat

    Wow this post quickly became one of the more amusing set of comments.

  • Alex S

    I feel just a tiny bit disconcerted by how everyone is focusing on Marmol blowing the save (something that’s come to be expected), and somewhat ignoring Fujikawa getting rocked and putting the Cubs in a save situation.

    Honestly, what’s most upsetting is that this happened when good ole Barlos Villanueva, master of quotes, turned in a quality start…Of all the times the Cubs should win, the ones that matter most are the ones where Barlos makes opposing hitters look drunk as f**k (well…maybe just a little tipsy).

    • DarthHater

      It’s way too soon to worry about Fujikawa. He has pitched in three major league games in his career. So, he had a bad outing. Big deal. Maybe he sucks, maybe he is good and tonight was a fluke. Too small a sample size to tell yet.

      Marmol is a different story. He has been unacceptably erratic for a long time and has walked over 6 batters per 9 innings over his entire career. So focusing on Marmol rather than Fujikawa right now is just common sense.

  • Tim Kindlon

    yeah-what’s that definition of insanity again?Something about repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

    • MichiganGoat


      • Jp3

        That’s awesome MG! Still laughing

      • DarthHater


        • DarthHater


          • Ron

            There were no horses harmed in the production of image?

      • @cubsfantroy

        Now that is awesome. Although it reminded me of the gangman style guy, or whatever that song is called.

  • mudge

    If I’m managing, Russell throws 2 and a third, which he is quite capable of doing every 3-4 days. Gossage and many others used to pitch that way. If someone’s on their game, let them pitch. The more guys you bring in the more chance one of them will get knocked around.

  • Mike

    I was at this game tonight. You felt the momentum shift when they left the bases loaded and didn’t score. After that it was two pitiful excuses for professional pitchers. Really stinks for the starter. He gave them six very good innings. Brutal walking out of the stadium after such a terrible display of baseball by the Cubs.

  • Chris

    1 more loss closer to 100!

  • Beardface

    In other news, Soler hit a homer today…. :)

    • Luke

      And Logan Watkins, in fewer games than Alberto Gonzalez, has already amassed more walks and total bases.

      On the other hand, Baez is picking up right where he left off last season. And that’s not exactly a good thing (no reason to worry – it is early and he has plenty of time to make some adjustments).

      • Bric

        You know the farm system is hurting when we have to pull former attorney generals out of retirement to play second base.

  • DCF

    Even if many people seems to be allergic to the idea, I think “building up value” is exactly the way to go with Marmol.
    Last year, they went down the same road and almost managed to pull off a trade.
    This year, it will be virtually impossible to build any value at all before the trade deadline. But it”s still better to give it a shot then to cut him loose for nothing right now.
    As sad as it is, a couple losses more or less will make no difference for the Cubs in 2013.

  • Dustin S

    So many thoughts on this game and early season, but I am going to sleep on it before venting.


    In the 1st and 8th, Castro’s poor situational hitting didn’t move runners along. This has been a disturbing trend since the middle of last year, yet it seems he keeps getting a pass. Fujikawa struggled, but still sucked it up and made a big pitch to Johnson to stop the hemorraging. Cubs doctors must have seen Humpty Dumpty’s X-ray instead of Haren’s. Unless Haren keels over on the mound, it’s hard to believe his back was so bad they would be afraid he wouldn’t be a flippable asset. Guess what? Neither is Marmol. Flip off asset maybe. No sane team (insert own joke here), would use him as a closer when he is effective. If you want to showcase him, do it in the 7th/8th inning role that he would fill for another team. Not signing Mike Adams or Grilli put us in this situation.The other guys are in their current roles because that is where they are effective; or not proven like Fuji.This is why they keep trotting out Marmol, causing swollen fingers and thumbs on message boards everywhere.

  • Chad78

    I can’t take it, it’s week 1 marmol is gone!!!! Please!!! I was thinking. I’m tired of this shit! My I laws are from st. Shit ville. I’m tired of being a joke!

  • sven-erik312

    Back in June of 2008, I came home from Sweden, we hadn’t been back in The States since 2004, and had not been over during the baseball season since 2001. We were in Florida, the wife and kids were at the pool while there was a Cubs game on. Not having seen the Cubs play on TV since 2001, naturally I was glued to the set I was amazed, they were playing the Braves. They were getting timely hitting, scoring runs with 2 outs and playng good ball. Then they put Marmol, it was the first time I saw him pitch, he was all over the place then and he still is. Until they put him in, I didn’t recognize them as a Cubs team, but as soon as he was it was like, same old Cubs again. Now, 5 years later, I don’t see any improvment from him. That 2008 team was otherwise a great team, until they started believing all the press clippings in September. The September team was a different team than the June team, no doubt about it.

  • hboliva

    Nice effort by Villanueva. Starting pitching has looked good, hopefully Samardzija continues that trend today. Call me crazy, but I still see this team playing .500 ball this year. That is, if the bullpen can refrain from turning W’s into L’s more than every now and then.

    Marmol no longer has any trade value to build up. It’s up to Sveum now to find ways to get Carlos into the game pre-9th inning. Give him no more than 2-3 weeks to get his act together. If he cannot, then designate him for assignment by placing him on waivers. If no other team claims him, outright him to the minors. If he refuses to accept the assignment, which he probably would do, then you release him and pay the remainder of the 2013 salary. Nothing against Carlos personally, but it’s time to move on.

  • Chad78

    He has no value!!!$!!