Quantcast

Boy, that would have been special.

The Cubs teased us with a 9th inning rally today, Opening Day at Wrigley, entering the inning down 7-2. Unfortunately the game ended on a deep fly ball to right by Starlin Castro – a fly ball that would have won the game if the wind hadn’t completely shifted direction in time for the Cubs’ rally. Castro had already just missed two homers earlier in the game – one of which literally hit the rim of the left field basket.

I guess baseball is supposed to be exciting, and this game was. But damn if the ending didn’t sting.

Edwin Jackson’s Wrigley debut sure didn’t go as he’d hoped. He seemed to be having grip problems in the first inning, and he was all over the place after allowing two early singles. That led to four runs, and a huge hole – even on a windy day. He settled down after that, and look pretty good over the next five innings, but the damage was largely done. Shawn Camp didn’t help things immediately after Jackson, either.

Norichika Aoki continues to destroy the Cubs.

But … ugh. Grumble.

After his first two near misses, I added Castro to my team for Friday’s contest. (Seriously, I did. You should de-stress by signing up for the free $300 contest, too. It’s more fun with more of you involved. And I need fun.)

april 8 box

  • Roger Roper

    Reason I think God dislikes the Cubs #1.
    Wind blowing out all day except bottom of the 9th.

    • CityCub

      Agreed. Better timing on the rally, and that woulda been a Granny..

  • PaducahCubFan

    Games like this do have some bright spots, though. We’ve learned or been reminded in this first week that Wellington, Castro, and Shark are all pieces to a championship puzzle. Also, Scheirholtz sure appears to be playing his way right into a mid-season flip.

    • Bric

      That’s funny and very true but sssshhh. He might hear you.

  • ETS

    Has castro taken a walk yet this year? I thought all second half of last season all we heard about was castro’s improved approach?

    • Roger Roper

      I don’t think so. However that last AB was a thing of beauty. Fouled off two unhittable strikes, and three more hittable 96 MPH strikes.

    • DarthHater

      No, zero BBs in 30 ABs. But on the positive side, that isn’t really THAT much worse than his career BB rate.

      • Gergő

        Wrong day to complain about it, he saw 27 pitches today in 5 at bats (and the pitchers had contoll).

    • Diesel

      His first ab should have been a walk. But he did quite well today. Worked the count and got his pitch to drive and hit them hard to the opposite field three times. The ninth was exciting but I knew we were dine for once we stopped scoring from second and loaded the bases. It was great to be at Wrigley again especially opening day.

      And Brett thanks again for the great coverage of the renovations. I was asked by another reporter about it once I got inside to my seat and the infomation I got from you helped me not seem like a complete fool.

      Can’t wait for Saturday to go again.

  • Tobias

    Marmol did get out of a jam for once. 6th or 7th inning might be the spot for him.

    • I love marmol

      I agree

      • Rcleven

        Marmol, is that you?

    • Bric

      Well, his role as set up man was what got him on the national radar in the first place. It was only when he started crying about insisting on the closers’ job did his train go off the tracks and never really recovered. Sure all the stats guys will jump in here with a bunch of fantasy baseball jargon but his body work since then speaks for itself. More importantly his interest from other teams (or lack thereof) shouts even louder.

    • Spencer

      A jam that he himself started. The place for him is the waiver wire.

      • Tobias

        Yes, he started it, but he also finished it. Maybe the permanent demotion might have been the kick in the butt he needed.

        • caryatid62

          He wasn’t bad because he wasn’t trying. He was bad because he couldn’t throw a strike. It’s not about needing a “kick in the butt.” It’s about not being able to control where you’re throwing the ball, and you can’t will your way to make it better.

  • Troy

    Is it me or does it look like lillibridge looks lost?

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      No, he looks lost every at bat. He is just overmatched. I have no idea what he is doing on the team.

      And defensively he looks below average also.

    • notcubbiewubbie

      brent lillibridge can we give him back to the white sox? guy sucks period.

      • jp3

        0-14 lillibridge… why the hell does he keep getting ABs?

      • Rcleven

        Well to be fair he was Boston property then traded again. Sox are twice removed.

    • Spencer

      I honestly think he was the worst off season acquisition. He’s a disaster.

  • Gergő

    Can somebody point out the 2 hottest Cubs hitters during Sptring Training?
    Too bad Lillebridge had to play that much so early (maybe he is a good utility guy), I’m already sick of him.

  • Troy

    Sappelt also! Bring up Sweeney …

  • Troy

    On a positive note, our defense seems better than many of the other teams in the central. The brewers were not good on D and almost gave us the game in the 9th.

    • Alex S

      To be fair…consider that Aramis, Corey Hart, and Mat Gamel are all on the DL (as far as the infield goes).

  • pete

    Uh, Brett, Sullivan also said the score was 7-4. And today is April 8. Just a warning. :)

    • DarthHater

      heh

  • Mike

    1. Getting a little concerned about Rizzo (I know, small sample size, but still).
    2. Brett, I’m sure it’s been suggested before, but any chance the box score format could be replaced with one with OBP and SLG % going forward? Maybe Rizzo would look better in that light.
    3. A commenter suggested earlier in the week that you exclude the score from the headline for those of us who DVR the games. I second that, because I have to avoid your site on the train ride home if I plan to watch the game on DVR that night.
    4. Keeping my fingers crossed for a positive Wrigley Field announcement to soften the blow of this one.

  • Die hard

    Like I’ve been saying ad nauseum I admit—– 6 runs minimum and that wouldn’t be enuf today… Oh what the heck-Theo isn’t listening anyway— but if you are —- more speeeeeeed and make Marmol a starter … for starters

    • TWC

      Clearly, Carlos Marmol needs to pitch more.

      • fromthemitten

        yeah he was a GREAT starter why did they ever convert him to a reliever? oh wait you mean the higher the ERA the worse they are?

        • Bric

          No, I barely remember when he was a starter. But pitching in the 7th and 8th is clearly better than watching him blow another save opportunity.

        • TWC

          Holy crap. I just looked back at his 2006 lines as a starter. WHIP above 1.7. Yowza. My memory of how bad he is now made me forget how bad he was then.

        • Die hard

          Check his minor league starter stats

          • Dale’s Ear

            then check Bryan LaHair’s…

            • TWC

              Heh.

          • DarthHater

            So, you’re strategy is to make him a minor league starter again? That’s actually a better idea than keeping him on the major league roster…

            • Die hard

              Now you’re getting it…. Send him down to develop as a starter and bring him back up after All-Star game

              • MichiganGoat

                BEST IDEA EVA

              • DarthHater

                The 2016 All Star Game, right?

              • Cubbie Blues

                You had me until you meantioned bringing him back up.

    • whiteflag

      Correct me if I am wrong, but Marmol only throws a slider and a fastball. That doesn’t scream starter to me by any means.

      • Die hard

        A change up will develop with more innings and he can change speeds on main 2 with more innings… Also wont be overthrowing and that means better control

        • whiteflag

          You come up with some crazy ideas, my friend. At least in the minors, I don’t have to watch him struggle every day.

          • Die hard

            Ferguson Jenkins only had 2 pitches as reliever and then as starter

            • Dale’s Ear

              Fergie also had ridiculous control, Marmol is out there praying and chucking the ball towards the backstop

  • Curt

    Any news on the renovation could use some good news.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No. But no bad news – it sounds like there are just formalities left at this point.

      • DarthHater

        Would you stop already with this incessant over the top coverage? :-D

        • whiteflag

          The joke is over Darth. Let it go.

          • DarthHater

            I’m pretty busy, but I know several people at this blog who’d be happy to meet you face-to-face for a fight, if that’s what you really want. ;-)

            • whiteflag

              Bring it. lol

              • DarthHater

                Not me. I’m chicken. :-D

                • whiteflag

                  Just send your pals “four goatmen.” I’ll see if Die Hard is busy, then it will be like a gang fight. lol

        • whiteflag

          [img]http://www.deviantart.com/download/7691688/Dead_Horse1.jpg[/img]

        • whiteflag

          Damn. I failed :(

          • DarthHater

            Next time, search google for all sizes of the pic and select a very small version that won’t get cut off. ;-)

            Also:
            [img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8247/8625939893_08136da994_m.jpg[/img]

            • whiteflag

              Thanks. One day, I will figure this picture thing out.

              • Matt

                Actually I sort of like just the few legs sticking out. Subtle humor.

  • W_Francisco

    Castillo looks like a different ballplayer, both defensively and at the plate. He looks like hes earning the trust of pitchers, impressed the way he handled Jackson in the 5th and 6th innings. Im excited to see what a full year has in store. I think we should give Rizzo a month before we start to worry

  • @murdiddlyurdler

    i don’t know why russell cares if marmol is boo’ed. everyone gets boo’ed. marmol has pitched extremely boo worthy. we all know if he straightens out they’ll be cheering him on as they dance to that damn go cubs go song.

  • mudge

    Cubs struggle till Sweeney comes up. You need a center fielder in center field.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    I found it interesting that Sveum put Marmol out there today. I don’t think he was too happy with Marmol’s laughing about getting booed. Old school ballplayer like Dale was taught about taking responsibility when you stink. More than anything he is no doubt happy he doesn’t have to rely on him anymore.
    In the good news department, I think the Cubs have found another young core player in Wellington. Controls the running game, and can really square the ball up.
    Very nice professional at bat by Castro in the 9th.

  • http://Isa Voice of reason

    So, let me get his recap straight!

    Castillo missed two home runs earlier in the game when the wind was howling, BUT that third one would have made it out if the wind didn’t change directions? Really?

    And, jackson’s woes are to be blamed on griping problems in the first inning? Come on…

    This is just a bad team that is going to find so many ways to lose. They will blow leads, they will get blown out, etc. They will lose 95 plus games without question and might challenge for the franchise games lost record. Saying if this would have happened and if this would have happened… And if the king had boobs he would be queen!

    The excuses sound silly.

    • ProfessorCub

      You mean *Castro* (not Castillo) and *gripping* problem (not griping), right?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Who’s making excuses? Those are all things that actually happened.

    • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

      The first thing a fan should learn how to do is to enjoy winning like you have won before and give credit to the other team when you get beat. Anything on either side of those two benchmarks is is either being a coward or being insecure.

      Bad luck evens out over the course of 162 games. Lets try to keep the excuse making down to a bare minimum.

  • http://Isa Voice of reason

    The real recap:

    The cubs lack of offense hurt them again today as they hit under.200 as a team again. This will be the downfall of the cubs all year as they did nothing to improve over last years terrible offense.

    As well, Jackson was more than shaky in his first outing as a cub. Maybe opening day jitters, maybe he was spooked by the wind blowing out. Whatever the case, he got rocked.

    Marmol got the ball and although he didn’t allow a run, he did hear some boos from the fans as he struggled again to find the plate.

  • Blublud

    Let me say it again. I said it all off season. For you guys who were looking for a catcher. I know its early, small sample size and all, but Wellington Castillo is the real deal. I said before the season started and I will continue to stand by it, Wellington will be an All-Star. Posey will start, and Castillo will come off the bench. If he doesn’t, its only because someone decided to honor Molina and put him there. Castillo will show he is a top all around catcher in baseball by years end.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That is bold, if nothing else. If Castillo winds up an All-Star, you get a serious nod.

      • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

        If Castillo continues to accumulate passed balls at a record pace instead of a nod how about a kick to the groin for bluebird?

    • Tim Mo

      There is a guy named Rosario in Colorado that could be tough to beat this year

      • Blublud

        Rosario can slug, no doubt. But that is all he can do. Castillo has 20+ HR potential himself, and is much more patient at the plate. Castillo is a much better all around player, IMO. Castillo is developing into one of the better defensive catchers also, and If you are not a top base stealer, you might not wanna try running on him. If I had to choose right now between the 2, I would take Castillo without a doubt.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Castillo is hardly much more patient than Rosario. Given their walk rates, they are not even demonstrably different: 30% pairs of guys with the same “true” walk rates would show the same difference in walk rates (7.2% vs. 6.3%) in their respective miLB PAs given chance alone.

          The two players have about the same OPS, and that means that we can expect pretty similar run-production. However, Rosario also is three years younger: and that means that we can expect his OPS at age 26 to be better than Castillo’s will be at age 26. So, I’d take Rosario given a choice.

          • ProfessorCub

            Yeah, but the nickname “Beef” works much better with Castillo.

          • Blublud

            Doc, Castillo has a 8.9% walk rate compared to Rosario’s 5.9%. That’s showing more patience. Plus, Rosario to me is a guy who can hit HR, but can’t do kuch else and will be eventually exposed. Castillo is a much better all around hitter, IMO, and it will show with both playing full seasons. I don’t see Rosario getting much better and his minor league number don’t suggest anything. other then he was lucky to put up the numbers he did last year.

            • AB

              “Rosario to me is a guy who can hit HR, but can’t do kuch else and will be eventually exposed. ”

              Funny, sounds like Javier Baez right now.

          • jt

            If you look at total PA’s for both minors and majors for 2011, 2012, 2013:
            Castillo 720 PA, 74 BB
            Rosario 929 PA, 47 BB
            That does not seem similar?

  • Mike

    Now guessing 60-102 record this year.

    • Hansman1982

      If I’m basing a season prediction on these 7 games…I’ll go with 40-122.

      Since baseball is a long season. Ill go with, on pace for 75 wins at the deadline.

      • Kyle

        OK, lemme do some maths.

        106 games before the deadline, we’ve played 7.

        I predicted 77-win pace before the season, but we’ve had some negative enough performances to justify bumping that down to 76, I think, especially when you include the injuries.

        That’d be .469 true talent over the next 99 games, plus our 2-7 start…

        48-58 at the trade deadline as our most likely result.

        The remains play like a 70-win team, or 24-32 in the final 56.

        So as of today, I’m predicting a final record of 72-90.

  • CBP

    Surely the drought will end tomorrow.

  • wkranz54

    Bottom line for me is this…We have four almost guaranteed outs so far this season. Lillibridge, Valbuena, Pitcher spot, and CF. Rizzo is batting .160 and I’m not including him because I believe he will turn it around. How do you win games playing with five hitters? Thank goodness Shierholtz and Castillo are playing better than I expected. That was painful to watch, but I did just to have my heart broken.

  • Kramden

    Daytona’s looking awfully tough and it doesn’t look like Soler will be long for Daytona

  • Kyle

    Jackson had some stretches of decentness, but he had some shaky moments late in the game, too.

  • Die hard

    Watching Phillies Mets with sadness in my heart seeing what should’ve been our manager coaching 3B—- Ryno

    • Kramden

      Sandburg’s the next Cub manager once the new core comes up and Sveum is done being the caretaker manager.

      • Die hard

        Not according to announcer Rick Sutcliffe…. He could take over Phillies by All Star game

        • Kramden

          Somehow I just think it’s all part of the grand plan.

      • AB

        “Sandburg”

        The least you could do is spell his name right.

  • Die hard

    Matt Harvey of Mets looks like real deal

  • Die hard

    Ground out by Marlon Byrd who can still run.. Maybe Mets will give him back

  • Rcleven

    Stewart was 0 for 6 today back at XST.

    • Mike

      Wonderful. I was hoping they’d cut him before the season started and save 1.5 MIL. I’d rather have Chone Figgins for league minimum than forever DL-bound Stewart at 1.5 mil.

  • Believe in 2015

    Nice to see Logan Watkins starting the year off strong. Hit his first homerun of the year today. Any chance he is in a Chicago Cubs uniform before the end of 2013?

    • AB

      Geez……Loux destroyed in the first inning, 6 runs allowed.

    • Mike

      Hope so. We could use a real lead-off hitter with speed.

  • Rich

    So we played 7 games and lost 4 in a row. Lots of excitement today but let’s win the next two

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+