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One strike away from winning a game in which the Cubs had blown a big lead, but somehow managed to come back …

Edwin Jackson did his first inning thing once again, easily retiring the first two batters before giving up consecutive singles and a walk. He would have gotten out of the frame unscathed if not for a Dioner Navarro passed ball. He then cruised for the next four innings before completely losing control in the sixth. That loss of control, coupled with similar shakiness from Michael Bowden and Dioner Navarro, let the Giants turn a 4-1 deficit into a 5-4 lead. In the inning, Jackson, Bowden and Navarro combined for a Major League record five wild pitches.

The Cubs did a little combacking of their own, rallying from a two-run deficit to take the lead in the bottom of the 8th. That was just designed to get your hopes up, though, as the Cubs managed to blow it in the 9th and 10th.

Today was Shawn Camp’s turn on the blow-a-save carousel. Everybody gets a turn (some more spectacularly than others, like Camp today), and it obscures nice things like a couple two-run homers from Starlin Castro and Nate Schierholtz, as well as a surprise homer from Alberto Gonzalez. (He also hit the sac fly that gave the Cubs the lead in the 8th, but no one will remember that now.)

I’m going on The Score (670-AM) tonight at 7pm CT with Ben Finfer to talk about the Cubs. Really going to be fun after this one.

april 14 box

  • IrvingandAshland

    At what point this Winter/Spring did Theo and Jed look at this bullpen and say “Yeah, that’s the best we can do. Lets go with that.”

    ?

    • http://flawedcast.net/wtny Nate Corbitt

      In fairness to Jed and Theo, the bullpen actually looked like a strong suit on paper going into the season. Camp did well for us last year, as did Russell. They signed one of the best closers in Japan. And believe it or not, Marmol wasn’t even that bad last season once he stopped shaking off the signs. You couldn’t predict what has happened so far.

      • IrvingandAshland

        I love Theo and Jed and think their great front office people. However, what is supposed to make them so great is the fact that they are SUPPOSED to predict future performances. I know, I know, this is such a small sample size. But we can’t give them a free pass for everything. That’s all I’m saying.

        • IrvingandAshland

          they’re*

          no free passes for bad grammar, either.

          • http://flawedcast.net/wtny Nate Corbitt

            Bullpens are such a crapshoot, though. They’re probably one of the hardest things to predict in sports.

            • Kyle

              I think that’s become an overrated cliche.

              Relievers, and thus bullpens, appeared to be very random back in the early days of the sabermetric revolution, when we used things like ERA+.

              Now that we have more refined tools, it’s not nearly as hard to predict who will be good and who will be bad. Still hard, of course, because it’s baseball. But not as hard.

        • BT

          Irving, you are making 2 entirely different statements. First you are insinuating that Theo and Jed clearly should have realized this is a terrible bullpen before the wheels came off, then you are claiming that they should be responsible for the bullpen’s performance. The first point is extraordinarily debatable, the second point is just common sense.

      • Kyle

        Meh. I think at best you could say the bullpen looked like it might be OK this season, if you took it for granted that both Marmol and Fujikawa would be useful.

  • Troy

    Do we have anyone that can go 1-2-3 in the 9th?

    • Bric

      Batting or pitching?

      • Jp3

        Awesome😃

  • hansman1982

    Wait, so Marmol was the only Cubs pitcher to not allow a man to reach base? WTF

  • Zogie

    A completely bizarre ball game. The cubs hitters did some damage and came through is some clutch situations, but the Giants brought their bats as well. The cubs did everything they could on offense, but pitching and defense gave up this game. Edwin Jackson did a decent job up until the 6th inning when he lost control of his pitches. He battle through the first 5 innings, but ended up walking too many batters and threw 2 wild pitches in the sloppy 6th. Bowden had his first terrible outing of the year. He allowed the Giants to gain the lead and he had 3 wild pitches in the 6th. It was terrible to watch. Navarro did not do much to help the situation. It seemed he could not block anything that inning. Sadly, both Bowden and Jackson were struggling with fastball control. The Cubs would again rally. Everyone one seemed to contribute today in the lineup except for Navarro. One huge surprise was that Marmol threw a perfect 7th inning, but then Camp came in and gave up a 2 out Solo HR to Pence to tie it up in the 9th. I told myself before the pitch that he should have thrown his sinker to backdoor Pence, but instead he hung another slider and Pence made him pay. In the 10th, Camp stayed in and just feel apart. I vote for Russell or Rondon for the 9th inning. Russell would be my first bet. Just too many mistakes today. My shout out goes to Alberto Gonzalez. He played well defensively and had a huge HR.

    • IrvingandAshland

      Looks like I don’t even need to watch the games anymore. Just gonna come here for Zogie’s recap afterwords. Hell Brett, he’s going to put you out of a job.

      • Zogie

        Game analysis on day I can. Brett will have a job for a long while. Funny thing is my real name is Brett too.

        • mudge

          Brett’s real name is Kyle, as it happens.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Yeah. Brett Taylor is just my funny, online handle. Real name’s Kyle Malempafarb.

    • Andrew

      Camp got unlucky in the 9th. That slider was right on the outside corner and pence hit it out. It wasn’t a bad pitch to me, but rather a case where the batter just beat him and that happens.

      • Kyle

        True, but it just made up for the pitch before, which was the hangiest hanging hanger that ever hanged hangily. He was lucky it wasn’t hit 500 feet.

        • Pat

          What do you expect from the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked? ;)

  • Chase S.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but… maybe they should’ve kept Marmol in.

  • Zogie

    Funny thing, the cubs scored 7 runs while also going 0-5 with RISP once again.

    • Cyranojoe

      What? Do homeruns with men on base not count or something?

      • Cyranojoe

        Oh, wait, they were on 1st. Gotcha.

  • Stu

    Sorry about trolling. The performance speaks for itself.

  • daveyrosello

    Jose Valverde was available for a song all winter long, just sayin’….

    • hansman1982

      The same Jose Valverde that is in extended spring training on a minor league deal with the Tigers?

    • http://flawedcast.net/wtny Nate Corbitt

      Brian Wilson is still out there.

      • cubmig

        Where’s Juan Cruz?

        • YourResidentJag

          Good question.

  • DarthHater

    I’m at work today, so I was trying to follow the progress of the game at ESPN. It appears that they were extremely slow in posting information. Brett had the final score posted here while they were still showing the Cubs coming to bat in the 9th. Just an FYI to anybody who can’t watch or listen to the game that it might be better to check scores at mlb.com or any place other than ESPN.

    • hansman1982

      God yes, Gameday on MLB.com is better.

      I think I would rather forsake the Cubs forever than follow anything on ESPN (besides a BN bracket challenge…)

    • Bric

      Yeah, it was terrible today. Len said the Brewers had come back to tie the game in the ninth but ESPN still had the game in the 6th. Never seen that before.

    • DarthHater

      It made me think some of you guys were psychic today. :-P

  • al

    I want to hear from those who argued that a bad team does not need a closer.

    • Kygavin

      no team needs a good closer. it is the most overrated position in sports. it has nothing to do with a “closer” they just dont have a good bullpen outside of Russell and he pitched the last 3 days so he wasnt available. If Dale would just play matchups instead of trying to have 1 guy get the outs in the 9th the bullpen would have more success. (also be helpful if they had better pitchers)

      • Dave

        How many games has that overrated position cost this team already.
        Getting the last three outs is a difficult job.

    • Internet Random

      Your mom goes to college.

  • Richp

    At least they’re scoring runs.

    • cubmig

      ….and giving everybody heart attacks the way and when they do.

  • Die hard

    Memo to Theo —grow a Tidrow mustache

  • morgan

    well one thing we know in 2 years so far, is that Theo n Jed cant put together a bullpen, had tons of opportunity in the offseason to do that

    • nkniacc13

      why spend a bunch of $ on bullpen guys when your likely to not be very good it doesn’t make financial sense. Also you have to remember that the cubs expected one of their starters to be in that bullpen but because of Garza’s injury that didn’t happen and they also thought Baker maybe ready to go at beginning of May putting 2 starters in the bullpen.

      • Blublud

        Check my post below. With a bullpen, this team is 8-4 or 9-3.

  • Jp3

    Die Hard, we scored 7 runs today, more than your projected 6, how could we lose??😐

    • Die hard

      Minimum 6 to avoid 100 losses was what I said and still holds true unfortunately with little leaguers thinking only 45 ft to home plate

  • MichiganGoat

    Oh well another long drive ruined by Cubs dropping a deuce in the 9th. Kevin Gregg not looking so bad mmmmm ;(

  • Jp3

    I refuse to say Kevin Gregg doesn’t look so bad, he’s what Peter Griffin from Family Guy would look like in real life

  • therealPattyP

    Marmol has been awful and will most likely be awful again. In his defense though, he was once a dominant bullpen arm. Something Camp will never be or hope to be. Can’t believe twelve games in and Sveum has already gone through three closers. Who’s next? Russell is too valuable against lefties to wait until the 9th to use him imo. It sucks but just letting Carlos be Carlos seems to be the best idea.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    I can agree Goat!… What do we have to lose.. Marmol is sure proving his worth at the deadline..we should have gotten rid of him before spring training.. I doubt if we get anything worth while for him now

    • MichiganGoat

      Brother I’m joking Gregg always looks bad

  • Blublud

    The Cubs are 4-8, and if I’m remembering right, without any blown saves, they would be 8-4 or 9-3. If we have any kind of a closer, we would be a very competitive team.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      After 2 blown saves today, the Cubs now have 4 for the season. So, if they could have gotten away with zero blown saves, then they would be 7-5. (Today’s two blown saves contributed to one loss; the Giants one blown save today didn’t contribute to any.) However, at this point, all but five teams have at least one BS. (Two of them are playing under 0.500, so it’s not a panacea, either!) The median is 2 already, so the Cubs only have one more loss due to bullpen implosion than expected.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com colonel ichabod

    never liked camp. always thought of him as very pedestrian

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    Blublud… Couldn’t agree more! Somebody needs light a fire under Dales ass.. Running the same shitty closers out there day in and day with the same results.. I am surprised the fans didn’t through a fit!.:. There’s no fight in this team!! The Padres suck.. But at least they go down fighting.. Just ask Carlos Quintin.. Lol

    • Dustin S

      I agree about the fight part. They have shown some heart in trying to come back lately, but overall the team has a soft reputation. I’m thinking next year, or maybe the next to line up with the renovations, this team could use a little logo, uniform, or ? tweak to give them a little more attitude. 100 loss seasons + the the Cubs rep and the cuddly bear stigma make me think the image could use a testosterone boost. I liked the cursive Cubs logo in the field in ST on the subtle side. And what Soler did with the bat was totally wrong, but adding a little swagger to this team might not be a totally bad thing.

  • Die hard

    In 1962 when Mets were worse team in history of baseball mgr Casey Stengel earned everyone’s respect by asking in the press coverage ” can’t anyone on this team play this game?” Time for Sveum to grow a pair and do same

    • DarthHater

      And the Mets went on to lose over a hundred games in each of the following three seasons in which Casey was their manager. In fact, Casey’s career winning percentage when he was managing any team other than the Yankees was a resounding .397. And my dead grandma could have managed those Yankees teams to championships. So maybe Casey should go back to being remembered primarily for smartass remarks.

      • Die hard

        Are you related to him?

        • DarthHater

          No, Casey was a much more talented smartass than I could ever hope to be.

          • Randy

            I doubt that

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    I don’t know how much more the fans and the front office can take this!!.. I feel if the Cubs are more than 20 games out of a playoff spot… I think Dale Svuem’s job should be on the hot seat!!!

    • willis

      Once the Cubs lose 100+ this year, God willing he’ll be fired.

    • THEOlogical

      I’m a very understanding Cubs fan, heck, I’ll take another season of losing if this team were getting blown out and not as productive at the plate. I take losses like these today very bad, because I see the potential there. It was the nail in the coffin for me, too much stress and my blood pressure keeps rising. I love this team and want the best for them and then I see the unraveling over and over. I love the site and my til death (looks like sooner than later) Cubs but I just can’t take this anymore…for awhile. I’ll catch you all in July or so when the trades have came and gone. Wish I could let the horrible losses go and get geared up for the next game but I just take it to heart too much and they linger for quite some time. Good luck to all of you for being able to stick it out. Wish I had your memory.

  • http://Bleachernation.com Ramy16

    Looks like the Braves are the team to beat in the N.L.
    They’ve got pitching and hitting!!! And just think the Cubs played them hard! I really don’t get our Cubs!

    • Blublud

      This Cubs team is a decent team. The results early show this. If they can some how get their 9th inning pitching figured out they will start winning a lot more games. They played well enough to be 8-4. That’s before you add Barney, and possibly a healthy Stewart, Garza and Baker. If Schierholtz is really this good, hopefully he proves my beliefs about him wrong, and when Soriano gets out of the Cold weather in a couple weeks, this team will be very competitive. Cubs have shown me enough early to make me think they could still sneak a wild card spot.

      • DarthHater

        Oh, crap. Who left the kool aid out for Blublud to find? :-P

        • Blublud

          I was the one early saying I thought this team could win 82-85 games, and despite this start, I still think they can get close. They have had some unfortunate injuries. Hopefully when Stewart and Barney returns, we can get some of the garbage off our roster like Lillibridge and Gonzalez. I can deal with Valbuena for now, at least until Theo sees that Watkins needs to be on this team.

          I’m not a Koolaid drinking, but I’m not a Theo hater either. I think I have praised him just as much as I have criticized him.

  • Die hard

    If Barney was smart he’d ask for another 15 days off to give himself time to have his agent develop a trade so he doesn’t have to play with this team

    • DarthHater

      Well, we’re all lucky that Barney isn’t enough of an a-hole to think that way.

  • demz

    I like Russell in the 9th inning. The guy has shown some poise and has that grit I think to make it through the 9th. I would be happy seeing him out there while Fuji is on the DL.

  • Die hard

    Today’s starter Linicecum must have some of the Samsonite in him as his record has gone south since shedding his goldilocks …. He could use some of that excess baggage on his top to get his stuff back and hold in a safe place

    • DarthHater

      Well done. ;-)

  • August

    I’m seeing Voglebach at first for the Cubs.

    • Jp3

      I like Rizzo a lot but I like knowing if he doesn’t progress we’ve got other options at 1st in the system

    • DarthHater

      Vogelbach currently has an OPS of .703 at low-A level. Rizzo currently has an OPS of .710 at MLB level.

  • Jp3

    I simply mean that if Rizzo doesn’t turn into the star we all hope we will have other options in a year or 2

  • Jp3

    Speaking of help on the way in a couple years, does Soler only have one more game on his suspension? Glad to see how he responds to the time off.

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