The Stache was revelatory once again (can you be revelatory more than once?), holding down a very good Reds lineup deep into the game. He was so efficient that, when it came time to bring in a reliever to blow the game in the 9th, Villanueva was still well shy of 100 pitches, so he started the inning. Unfortunately Villanueva walked the leadoff man, and was yanked in favor of Carlos Marmol after a sacrifice bunt saw the tying run reach second base. Naturally, that run crossed the plate when Marmol gave up a single to Joey Votto.
I didn’t have a beef with Sveum going to the pen when he did, but I do take issue with bringing in Marmol. Yes, he’s been dominant against Votto, but he also threw almost 30 pitches last night. It felt like a mistake from the moment Dale lifted his arm, and the results bore it out.
Fortunately for Sveum, Darwin Barney and Dave Sappelt bailed the Cubs out in the 10th. The media will still be unkind and the interviews uncomfortable, but it would have been far worse if the Cubs had lost.
Cody Ransom leapt immediately into the hearts of Cubs fans with a solo homer on the first pitch he saw, which he later followed up with a double. He also made some great plays at third base (together with an error, but whateves), and has been named the unlikely irrational love successor to Tony Campana.