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Wow. Way to keep things exciting, Cubs. Everyone loves a walk-off.

(Obligatory Kyuji Fujikawa is the new Carlos Marmol joke, or some such thing.)

The Cubs came back to win in the bottom of the 9th today courtesy of a Dioner Navarro pinch hit homer and a Starlin Castro walk-off double. That, despite Fujikawa, in the top half of the frame, blowing a beautiful start by Carlos Villanueva.

David DeJesus and Starlin Castro went deep for the Cubs today, which you’ll gladly take, even if no one was on base. But the Cubs also squandered a couple leadoff doubles, which, like, stop doing that.

But today was ultimately a good day.

april 12 box

  • Jon

    What’s up with Rizzo? He looks terrible.

  • Bill S

    Next. Try Camp.

  • mcb27

    Props to the boys. Rizzo and Soriano, though…

  • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

    Pitcher record is always the best way to assess pitcher performance.

    • Rcleven

      He still deserved it though.

  • ReiCow

    I wonder if Fujikawa is injured, because he did not look right on the mound at all.

    Moo.

    • FarmerTanColin

      I think its the cold or something. His splitter isn’t doing anything right, he didn’t throw it the last time he went out.

      • ReiCow

        I was more worried with his arm shaking and appearance of physical discomfort. Maybe it is just the cold – I hope so!

        Moo.

  • Tommy K

    I hope Fujikawa got to keep the ball from his first Major League win. Congratulations to him and his.

  • FarmerTanColin

    Blatant example on why pitcher wins are overrated and should be changed or not valued.

    Good game though!

    • Hansman1982

      Starting pitcher wins are much more useful than reliever wins. This says nothing about the value of starting pitching wins, though.

      • FarmerTanColin

        Reliever wins are pretty hilarious usually. Fujikawa getting the W in this game is a good example.

        Part of me wishes that Villanueva got something more visual though for the people not into advance metrics to realize that he pitched really well this game.

        • Dude

          Quality Start?

      • FarmerTanColin

        a scratch and sniff sticker would suffice. Not a star though unless it comes with one m&m

  • Tim

    Really starting to love Villanueva. What are we going to do when baker and garza are healthy?

    • mcb27

      Maybe put someone competent in the bullpen.

      • FarmerTanColin

        Brings up a good point on when do we start seeing bullpen movement? In May I bet some changes take place. Tennessee and Iowa have a lot of bullpen guys just waiting it out.

    • Featherstone

      If Baker ever gets healthy hes a very long way away. I project it goes something like Shark, Garza, Jackson, Villanueva, Wood.

      • Andrew

        Ya no need to worry about accomodating baker for a long time. By the time he’s ready, I’m guessing someone will have been traded.

  • http://Bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    So when do we start worrying about Rizzo? He was overmatched against Minor and now against Cain. I think he’s just in a funk, but man it’s not good to see our 3 hitter getting blown away by the better competition the way he is.

    • Carytid62

      It may be just me, but I’m going to go with “after more than 35 ABs” before I worry.

    • Njriv

      For now lets just blame the cold and wait until it gets warmer out. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

      • arta

        he didn’t do anything in ST! was bad against lefties last year! not sold on him yet. hope i’m wrong.

        • Hookers or Cake

          Yeah Rizzo only projects to hit 49 HRs this year and 140+ RBI’s at his current pace.

          The point is small samples in baseball are funny things. Even funnier in spring training.

          Plus whenever anyone mentions batting average, somewhere Joe Morgan is smiling and nodding.

  • miggy80

    Hell ya! Now for the I-Cubs to get there home opener! Headed to High Life then to Sec Taylor. Des Moines Bleacher Nation stop on out. More info on the message board.

  • http://Bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    The stat that really sticks out to me is only 1 BB for the Cubs pitchers. Refreshing to see.

  • Boccabella12

    If it’s any comfort, the World Champ’s closer blew a save too. *grasps at straw*

  • Andrew

    I really like what im seeing in Valbuena. He had a really bad slump to start the season but now has been getting on base a ton with walks and some of the hits are starting to drop. Schierholtz, Castillo, and Valbuena look like they could be some pleasant surprises.

  • willis

    Got to find a closer. This team, for all it’s warts, has been in position to protect a few leads this year that it did not.

    A cub fan asked me in Atlanta why not Camp…I said I didn’t think he fit the bill. But, maybe he or Russell will get a chance now.

    Great clutch hitting in the 9th. Way to not hang heads and take down one of the best closers in the game. Tremendous job!

  • mudge

    Why not keep stats on how players hit in cold weather? They go righty-lefty, how about sitting down Sori until the weather is warm? Or bat him 7th, until the weather is warm? Hard to enjoy a victory like this. The more pitchers you bring in, the more likely one will blow up. If someone’s on their game, leave ‘em in.

    • Andrew

      I’m kinda thinking Soriano and Castillo should switch spots in the lineup right now, but it probably doesn’t matter much where either is hitting. As much of a pain it is to watch Soriano now, I feel like he’s going to come out of it and when he does, he will carry this team.

  • Troy

    I prefer Bowden in the seventh camp in the eighth and Russell in the night

    • baldtaxguy

      And Rondon ?

      Its 10 games and I’m still very bullish on the pen. Fujikawa needs another few opportunities. If he really in fact becomes disastrous (which I really doubt), I like Camp as a closer, he has what it takes and he needs the opportunity. Russell is very good as situational, with Bowden & Rondon as very good developing set-up options. I’m anxious to see the pen after around 50-55 games.

  • SirCub

    My props go out to Starlin for showing up with great plate discipline today, after catching a lot of flak for yesterday.

    • baldtaxguy

      I agree, he looked very good, well beyond the obvious results.

  • kuvihorken

    does anyone else think fujikawa’s head looks like an oddly shaped potato?

    • miggy80

      as to everyone else has a perfectly shaped potatohead?

      • kuvihorken

        exactly, yeah.

      • DarthHater

        Aren’t all potatoes oddly shaped?

        • Hansman1982

          Eh, I’d say they’re perfectly shaped. For potatoes.

          • DarthHater

            That pretty much sums up the difference between you and a hater like me. ;-)

            • I love marmol

              I love

    • I love marmol

      it’s better than marmol’s pear shaped body which is accentuated by his too tight pants

      • DarthHater

        Okay. Great idea for a Wrigley promotion. Instead of bobbleheads. Cubs Mr. Potato Heads! :-D

        • N8theGr8

          How about a BobblePants Marmol promotion?

  • Koyie Hill Sucks

    So unlucky for Castro to have two almost walk off HR’s. He was great today, and actually for about a week now he has been making solid contact most of the time.

    WTF with Fujikawa, if he fails at close I would give russel the chance, he does not have your typical “closer”stuff but he has been good. Who else would it be? It sound crazy but Rondon I would consider putting there he seems to have the mold to be a closer, and if it’s a lost season why not try him?

    • Cyranojoe

      Depends on if it’s right for Rondon’s development. I agree he could make closer, but you don’t want to set up a guy to fail if he’s not ready, mentally or physically.

      • baldtaxguy

        I agree, Rondon needs steps to take before the closer role. But he sure appears to have the tools.

  • Cyranojoe

    Why would we hope that Rizzo’s troubles are weather-based? The weather gets cold every year… don’t you prefer to imagine that it’s a second year stress-out that he’ll get over in a week or two?

    • Hansman1982

      Because that’s be better than saying his career is toast after 2 weeks of PA at the start of the season.

      • DarthHater

        Yea, shouldn’t be long before diehard is on here suggesting that Rizzo has some incurable medical condition and that Theo should be blamed for not knowing about it. :-P

      • Cyranojoe

        LOL I’m inclined to say there’s a happy medium…

    • kuvihorken

      I think that Rizzo is fine. It is just that the guy that has been a whiff king this season is actually a clone that aliens created that is forced to do poorly. Once the real Rizzo breaks out of his alien jail cell he’ll be better than ever.

      • I love marmol

        check your source

    • FarmerTanColin

      It was also preeeetty damn warm by this time last year. April is always a weird month. Remember Fukudome would blow up every year. I remember Ronny Cedeno had a great April years back. Long season he should be fine. (Ignore Hosmer’s last season)

      • DarthHater

        April is the weirdest month, breeding
        closers out of the dead land, mixing
        Memory and desire, stirring
        Dull atbats with spring rain.

        • Rebuilding

          ^^^That’s some good stuff, Darth

        • N8theGr8

          Very nice, DH. That’s some “Homer in the gloamin” stuff there. I can dig it, man.

  • WilliamGlass

    Wow, I hate blown saves, but love walk-offs! Nice to see the same guys who Romo made look rediculous yesterday fuel a comeback. You have to love baseball!

  • cubmig

    Just my opinion, but I think Sveum had something to do with the game going south when he pulled Villanueva. It’s all water under the bridge and perhaps too, that move gets lost in the turn around the Cubs were able to make to win, but the manager’s decisions are just as critical as a players good or bad play. They posture the situation one way or another.

    Could Villanueva have gone all the way and spared the last minute pressures and drama? I don’t know. But……I will say that the odds (imho) signaling trouble from the lefty “V” was to face conveyed a serious threat. Villanueva had controlled SF hitters. His pitch count was nowhere flashing red flags. Whatever Sveum based his move on, who knows? Maybe he’ll be asked that in a post-game interview…….at least I hope so.

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      I didn’t agree with the move, Villanueva didn’t see to be losing control or on the verge of imploding, he was pretty much in cruise control the whole game. Stats aside, a manager has to have a feel for the game and his players.

  • fromthemitten

    Closers! SMH!

  • WilliamGlass

    Fujikawa did not look right and I will not be surprised if he ends hav up on the DL. They should have taken him out of the game.

    • The Dude Abides

      You may be right, but how’s he supposed to look? We have no idea other than his brief appearances this year. What to hope for A – he is hurt? B – this is what he supposed to look like?

      Either way hurry up and put together a couple of good months so we can trade you for a AA prospect somewhere…

  • WilliamGlass

    The writer in me wishes I could edit that sentence.

    • DarthHater

      The reader in me understood your point. Shrug. ;-)

  • kuvihorken

    I don’t know if it has been mentioned elsewhere, but who is the genius who picked all Cubs and Giants players to rack up early points and assure that the name BrettTaylorLikesWeenies made it to the top of the charts… LOL

    • DarthHater

      Gotta be captain ellipsis, crazy silly horserabbit, or resident bag.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think that’s hilarious.

  • Barroof

    Hey does anyone know where I can get my hands on a “THIS COULD BE THE YEAR” sign ? No hurry I just need it before 2015. Calm down boys, Barroof is still in a happy place.

  • cubmig

    Sorry for this but the following line as is is incomplete. Here’s the ine withthe correction:
    “But……I will say that the odds (imho) signaling trouble from the lefty “V” was to face conveyed a serious threat.” ……..should read: But……I will say that the odds (imho) signaling trouble from the lefty “V” was to face did not conveyed a serious enough threat.

  • Die hard

    Tidrows mustache 1. Theos high brow 1 ….. It’s good to be proven wrong if it means Cubs win no matter how they do

  • cubzforlife

    You can tell you have a young clubhouse when…..during Sveums post game interview you could hear players singing “Go Cubs Go” in the background.

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